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Plush Poké-Buddies

I now have three of my favorite Pokémon characters as plushies!

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Eevee has got to be the cutest, most adorable critter of ’em all! While I like most of the "Eeveelutions" as well, this little furball’s top of the pile.

And Litten was my chosen starter for Pokémon: Sun, decided as soon as I saw (my) first "spoiler" image of what the three would be…despite some significant disappointment over not receiving a "pre-order with us and get this bonus poster!" poster from Gamestop (an employee insisted they were only for people who had pre-ordered BOTH Sun and Moon), I still wound up (at a different store!) snagging the plush Litten the next day.

And finally, closing out 2016, I came across the plush Snorlax, which fits as one of my other primary characters in Sun, that has been on my core roster without fail as the other five slots have seen a rotation.

Plushies, (in)action figures, a Nintendo 2DS, Omega Ruby, Sun, and X can really all be traced back to Pokemon Go for me, rekindling the dormant Pokémon interest back in early July.

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 28th, 2016

…The final weekly haul of the year.

And for me, a mere two "regular" issues.

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The weekly Superman issue (biweekly/two titles). And having checked out and mostly enjoyed A.D. After Death‘s first issue, figured I’d go ahead and stick with it, since I believe it’s a 3-issue mini. I dig the format–it makes it REALLY feel worth its cover price, at "only" double a DC book, and only a little more than a Marvel!

For the physical quality, size, and length of time it took to read…blows anything Marvel is currently putting out (new content) outta the water for me!

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The shop I went to actually had some TMNT back issues I was missing. Since I was buying the Clone Saga Epic volume last week, I’d passed on these at $3/ea…but grabbed ’em this week. Cuz hey, filling in gaps in an actual key part of my personal collection! And even as back issues more than a decade old, they only cost me what any current DC book would!

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And finally, I had a "surprise" package when I got home on Tuesday. I’d both somewhat forgotten about the Kickstarter as well as thought stuff wouldn’t be here til sometime in January. I’d ordered this Zen book with a print.

Have to say I’m rather disappointed that this is labeled as a volume 2, as I did NOT realize that when I ordered. I may have known it was not a vol. 1, but nothing indicated it being LABELED thusly, that I recall seeing. So it goes (unfortunately) from being a random Zen graphic novel to being an orphaned #2 with no #1 in my library.


While I may hit the shop–or my usual–or both, even!–before the 1st…this was the final Wednesday of 2016, and so my last regular purchase for the year.

Be "interesting," I guess, to see what the coming year holds…though I have never been good about the end-of-year lists and summaries or coming-year predictions/expectations and such. Perhaps I’ll manage one this year?

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 21st, 2016

This was a relatively small week, with a number of factors.

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New Superman; new Aliens: Life and Death (hard to believe it’s been 2 years now since the whole Fire and Stone thing!). And from a 50% off bin, the first volume of the Clone Saga to go with my first four Ben Reilly Epic.

50% off a Marvel trade is often stretching price-worthiness for me; "only" 40-42% (such as from InStockTrades) is a stretch in general, though still beats the heck outta full price.

Where with DC having reasonably-priced volumes, I’m much more willing to pay full price for those!

…And I’m leaving this at that. Short ‘n sweet. Back to revisiting the ’90s Friday, most likely… and maybe a "bonus" post or two over the weekend with Christmas and all.

A New Beginning..?

Barring catastrophic, unforeseen circumstances…about the time this post goes live, I’ll be starting my first day of a new job.

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Nearly 9 1/2 years ago (the first Friday in July 2007), I walked through the front doors of a building I’d–til then–never been in before, "reporting for work" via a temp agency. Figured it’d last a few months…maybe a year. I wound up being hired in as a fulltime employee a couple months later.

Six weeks shy of my nine year anniversary, I was laid off.

And now after a frustrating few months…I begin a new adventure.

I have no idea what the future holds.

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As with certain other points in my life–it’s an easier parallel to a comic, in a loose sense–in a way of thinking.

In this case…it’s a new #1. New series, new creative team, new direction…same established character and continuity.

Certain supporting characters remain, and previous characters that may have been in focus may end up in rare cameos and appearances here and there–while a new front-and-center supporting cast is introduced. A new core situation that informs large chunks of the protagonist’s life, and will set the stage for whatever ripple effect of things to come.

Whether this’ll be a one-shot, a mini-series, or a lengthy and full run, I don’t know.

Time most certainly will tell…

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TMNT Toys Ephemera: "Classic" Donatello Card

Though there’ve been re-issues–particularly the 25th Anniversary and the more recent “Classic” line–here’s a relatively close-up look at the ACTUAL CARD from the 1980s edition of the original Donatello figure!

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I always liked these clip-and-collect profile bits. I remember having had a bunch of them cut out, but lost them at school one day, to my definite disappointment! So it’s all the more remarkable in a way that this one “survived” to be found and scanned here, presented now nearly 3 decades after I originally got (and opened!) the toy itself!

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The front of the card, with the classic logo and design elements, and showing where the adhesive for the plastic bubble ripped off more than just the squar-ish outline.

Of course, what should it have mattered? Who really KEPT these things (other than me, that is) when there’s not even a figure still attached (no “MIB” or “Mint In Box” here!)

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It’s hard, now, to believe there were ever so few figures…ONLY ten?!? Yet, by the time I had all ten of these, there were already many, many more!

Loads of memories with the toys–playing with them, with friends; the collecting; the shared enjoyment when friends would get new figures and we got to see more figures as a shared experience than we’d’ve been able to on our own.

I may have some other cards like this to post eventually…just more “ephemera” from across the years..!

Showing Off the Shelves: Batman (December 2016)

I’ve been getting newer stuff worked in and generally re-situating my shelves, leading to showing off the current configuration.

Lagging a bit behind my Superman collection, which is well onto its third shelf, my Batman collection still has a little way to go to fill its second shelf and creep onto its third.

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While The Dark Knight Returns is more of an "ending" to the story (or should’ve been, but Strikes Again and III are another subject/post entirely) I ended up starting the shelf off with it–I have the story in numerous editions, much like other favorites The Death of Superman and Kingdom Come.

Then, following what I did with the Superman stuff, I lead with the "survey" collections spanning the years, then try to approximate rough chronological order from the Silver Age into modern times. The Batman run seems a lot more solidly event-oriented, with the bulk of the "inches" on the shelf being the event collections.

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Following the event stuff, I ease a bit into the New 52 era, and then back out into broad stuff. Even as I type this, it crosses my mind that the Batman Arkham volumes actually belong up in the earlier volumes as ‘survey’ books that are not collecting any singular story but a broad range of issues featuring a particular character.

The glaring gaps in my Batman collection are all the more glaring compared to Superman; but that’s not terribly surprising, as I’ve been a much more solid Superman fan than Batman over the years. No great dislike of the character; just a far deeper like of Superman.

The few hardcovers that I have are largely glaring stick-outs to me, such that I’d be somewhat interested in trying to replace them with paperbacks; particularly Heart of Hush and Batman: R.I.P. I’d ordered Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader at the same time as the Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow counterpart, so am somewhat hesitant to replace one, as they tie together in my mind; perhaps someday I’ll replace ’em both.

It’s simply astounding to consider the vast library of Bat-stuff out there…I have a relatively large collection here, but I swear I don’t have a fraction of what’s (been) available!

Mentor, OH Comic Signing/events for December 10 & 11, 2016!

I just received an email from one of the local comic shops in the area–Comics and Friends, located in the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, OH.

They’re having a couple of signing events this weekend–see below.

Chris Lambert I know from practically the beginning of my knowing comic shops existed–he was the owner of Comics and Collectibles back in the ’90s, and a huge part of my formative years as a comics fan!

Saturday, December 10th:

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And Sunday, December 11th:

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This is a neat comic shop, if a bit different from any others I’ve come across: this one is inside an indoor mall; "the Mall" to me, growing up. There’s no outside storefront, you have to know it’s in the mall, or just be in the mall yourself, to know it’s there. I usually park at the mall’s Macy’s "anchor store," and go in that way–the comic shop is the first store outside the Macy’s, into the mall.

And they have a good selection on back issues, very fair prices on ’em, lots of "sets" and a decent selection of toys and bank busts, and Heroclix and the like; a kids’ section, and a good selection of collected volumes.

The space is a bit cramped at times–being "just" a store slot in a mall–but it’s certainly a comic shop (as opposed to some other store that happens to also have comics), and I’ve found plenty of great deals here; found issues here that everyone else was out of, and while it’s not my "regular LCS," it is one that I like to visit on a fairly regular basis.

I don’t know that I’ll personally be able to make it to the events this weekend with prior plans…but if you’re reading this blog and in the vicinity, it’s well worth checking out–for the event themselves, or just the shop!

For more info, you can find them online at ComicsAndFriends.com!

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 07, 2016

Down to the final several weeks of the year (and the first comics week for me post-2016 birthday)! Counting back to somewhere after Halloween 1988 and early spring 1989, I’ve been "into" comics for 28 years now–over 75% of my lifetime! Or to phrase another way… I’ve only NOT been into comics for something less than 1/4 of my entire life!

This week worked out to be a pretty small week overall…really small, actually, such that I snagged a collected volume at full cover price and bought some stuff from $1 bins!

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After the driving I’ve been doing lately, I opted to stick with "just" the closer comic shop for this week–which means I’ll have at least the Aliens: Defiance issue waiting for me next week.

Along with my non-pull-list double-dipping on the Superman titles (not waiting for end-of-the-month bundles to arrive to read), I picked up a 2nd copy of the Direct Currents #1 magazine…and showing how much I did not look at it last week, I was pleasantly shocked to see the Super Sons ad on its back… that’s got to be probably my most anticipated upcoming title! And I love that they’re using the "classic" Superman/Batman logo with it!

And then, having seen the volume in the Comixology Pull list thing, I was interested in this One Week in the Library book. A HUGE thing it had going for it was the cover price–$9.99–so I didn’t feel too badly about buying it at "full price," after last week paying $4.99 each for two annuals and an ongoing TMNT, as well as $7.99 for the New Talent Showcase issue. This is much thicker/substantive.

AND it’s a case of the title, the CONCEPT, a textual DESCRIPTION "selling" me (again, along with the price point). Not some 20-40% "preview" of the issue online ("leaked" or otherwise). Just a title and concept for an acceptable price!

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With a surprising lack of 50-cent/12-for-$5 bins, I looked through a bunch of $1 bins that seem to have replaced the cheaper/older stuff at this shop.

No runs to speak of, at least not that I picked out, but I did find these six issues that were worthwhile to me to pick up.

Kaijumax for the heckuvit–only $1, and I have the $9.99 collected volume, so even now I’m still well below cover price on the individual issues, and this gives me the actual first issue to compare against the collected volume. A DC #50 in The Flash was quite worthwhile for only $1…rather than the original $4.99 price! Same for The Flintstones–for the $1, I’ll check it out where I was unwilling to buy it at full cover price.

The Street Fighter/GI Joe was interesting enough as a concept, and for "only" $1, more than willing to snag the issue, if only for the cover. While I loathe variants, I can’t deny that some of these overdone "action figure cover variants" hit a nostalgic sweet-spot for me! And for the price, opted to go with this, even if I wind up just using the cover itself–literally–as an art piece or such.

Then the Magic: The Gathering and Munchkin issues I bought soley for the card included with each. Well, primarily on the Munchkin issue; and I’m not sure if I already had this MTG issue, but on the offchance I ever decide to track down the single issues, doesn’t hurt to already have this now at the price.


Knowing I was looking at a small week, and coming off a weekend where I pointedly did my best to ignore my own birthday, I went ahead an placed an order with InStockTrades for an X-Men book I’ve wanted for awhile (and there are several more high on my want-list that I cannot justify buying all at once, though I’m increasingly anxious regarding their remaining in-print and thus significantly discounted!).

Unfortunately, though, I was also surprised with a real-life intrusion of discovering a burned-out headlight, necessitating the purchase of a replacement, which will likely now be a rather cold-weather endeavor in the doing of replacing the thing. Coldest day of the week, it looks like, so of course the bulb wouldn’t blow while we were having highly-unseasonable warm weather…

The Weekly Haul – Week of November 30, 2016

This week was a ridiculously HUGE week, in pricing, quantity, and physical size!

Getting into it:

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Newest issue of Surgeon X, which I enjoyed the first couple issues of, after jumping in a bit late. No apparent variant covers with this, or at least none that I saw to distract me or make me wonder which cover is the "real" or "regular" or "basic" cover. IF this is the variant or a variant…yeah, I’ll be highly annoyed, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that!

I nearly passed on the New Talent Showcase, but I kinda liked the cover, and like the concept of the book, plus I’m just a sucker for these squarebound comics with spine text that can go right on the bookshelf as-is, even though they’re "just" a "single issue" of whatever. I also dig the notion of it being a one-shot/special to showcase the new talent, and not "pushing" some "branding" on a spread of regular/ongoing series as a notion OF the new talent (or "young guns") being somehow, by default, superior or more worthy of promotion than established talent.

While I appreciate the Direct Currents issue being magazine sized to go with the Rebirth preview back in the spring, I’d definitely prefer to see it comic-sized, as I do not presently have a good filing system for magazines. Still, as a "free" thing (comic shops had to BUY this, same as Free Comic Book Day stuff, same as loads of other promotional materials that we as customers tend to receive AS free) I can’t really grouse about it!

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I hate "clustering" of stuff. And it is truly very annoying after getting so used to DC‘s $2.99 price point to have two $4.99 books out the same week; all the more as these are not part of the "regular" series for either title, and thus I’m paying "full price" for to keep with complete runs from the DCBS "bundles" that allow me to get the entirety of Rebirth.

Worse, both of these are out the same week as the one IDW title and general exception to my other rules on pricing of "ongoing" titles and such TMNT Universe. Three issues, each one could be replaced with twenty issues from a quarter bin! $15…for three issues. Ugh!

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I’d "expected" these books last week: the shop passes the various Marvel blowout sales along to customers on their email list…so each of these cost me what two Marvel single issues would have! But each volume has a lot more than only two issues’ content!

And to me, in general, frankly, Marvel is doing a great job lately of making the Clone Saga and Ben Reilly Epic look particularly appealing to me…if only for knowing they’re 1. finite and 2. where they end. I’m just a bit bugged at the fact that books 5 & 6 are out of print/unavailable except at RIDICULOUS markups by third-party sellers. I may want the other two volumes for this set…but especially after getting these at only $8/ea, I sure as heck will not spend $20, $40, $60+ beyond cover price when I’d be hard-pressed even now to "justify" spending cover price on any of these! Great at $8, but Marvel‘s pricing in general is too "premium" for me on print stuff! (All the more their "new" content, as opposed to reprinting stuff from the 1990s)!

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Snagged these Double Take volumes for $1/ea (90% off). I know the company’s done/nothing forthcoming, and would have preferred to get all 10, but these are all that were present. For less than the cost of 2 Marvel issues, these’ll provide plenty of reading, and I’d hope I could (cheaply) find the other three volumes to have the complete, finite set, and though not in singles, this complete "dead universe."

Not impressed with most of the covers or the generic fonts–these look more like flags for a department store for differing lines of clothing or such, or some other generic tagging of something. But the notion of the stories being set in the same "universe" as Night of the Living Dead intrigued me before, and I’m certainly willing to have paid a whopping $1 per volume! (considering I have the shop pulling all $1-and-under promo single-issues, and I got these that each contain five comics’ worth of material!)

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Then just to grit my teeth all the more on a couldn’t-pass-them-up-for-the-price basis, I bought two boxed games. Together, these cost me a few cents more than two DC issues, and for under the price of a single issue apiece ($2.79ish and $3.49ish) I’m willing to have ’em for my games collection/shelf!

All the more at the price-shock of realizing the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is a whopping $90!!! I’d LOVE to get THAT game, but that will likely have to wait to be some kinda personal reward/celebration of a major life event eventually. Assuming I don’t talk myself out of it in frustration over some key character minis being Kickstarterexclusive. (Thaaaaaat is a matter for another post, perhaps!)

Here’s hoping that next week is particularly light!

Showing Off the Shelves: The Flash (November 2016)

My Flash stuff is the most recent "subcollection" to take off for me, having "started" with The Secret of Barry Allen and not really counting the Flashpoint volumes to pulling those in, and adding a number of other volumes in 2016…including having pre-ordered the Flash by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Omnibus prior to being laid off.

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As Flashpoint was an "event," I’d had those books grouped with my other "event books," but decided that as the only "event series" that I have like this (and keeping what I do have of Blackest Night with the Green Lantern stuff, made sense to me to move Flashpoint over to fit in right after the Road to Flashpoint volume, leading directly to the Omnibus (which has the first 25 or so issues of the New 52 run).

I would hope that there’ll be another omnibus collecting the back half of the series, but for now, I’m more interested in/looking forward to The Flash by Geoff Johns vol. 3 and The Flash by Mark Waid vol. 1!

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