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The Weekly Haul – Week of November 7, 2018

Last week wound up being a decent-sized week, both for new comics as well as Half-Price Books having a coupon sale with 40% and 50% off coupons!

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First off, the new issues of Batman and Nightwing that have become top-of-the-stack reads fo rme.

Then there’s the newly-relaunched Green Lantern title with a "The" added onto the beginning, and a new, boring, plain-looking logo as The Green Lantern #1. While I had figured it’d be a curiosity, I had not expected it to be sold out less than an hour into the afternoon–arriving earlier than usual lately and it was already sold out! (Much thanks to Sean for selling me a copy that he’d had aside for himself!).

Adventures of the Super Sons is quickly solidifying as something I’ll try to read after the fact, but knowing I’ll want the singles, it’s less aggravating to just get them as they come out than try to hunt them down later.

The newest issue of The Walking Dead presents Outpost Zero as a "flip book," and I honestly bought this for the Outpost Zero segment more than anything else (and then the Walking Dead side is just a face and no actual Walking Dead logo/titling!).

I feel like Leviathan #3 is running a bit late, but i"m not certain. I’m still undecided on following this long-term, but figure with each issue as long as it doesn’t put me off too much, I’m not opposed to continuing–AND I really like the logo/title design!

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I have yet to check out the new Netflix series for Sabrina, but as usual I’m up for a $1.00 reprint, this one The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, part of the Archie horror line that seems to have more or less stalled out.

A Kickstarter that I’d backed awhile ago for a Munchkin Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally came in, and one of the "bonus" items was a reprint of the original Mirage edition of TMNT #1!

And then at a Walmart looking for other stuff, I happened to notice this latest "holiday" 100-page Giant, so snagged it, keeping myself up to date on those issues.

And finally, the newest issue of DC Nation as well as the newest Comic Shop News!

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Half-Price Books occasionally does coupon sales via email, where they send coupons every day for a week or so, with a progressively higher discount percentage, beginning at 20% then going to 30%, 40%, and then ending on 50%.

I went to an HPB further away than my "usual" area, and while I’d intended to get a game, I happened to spot Ultimate Spider-Man volume 8 in the locked case, and as the one volume I was still missing, found an employee and was able to get a look at the book itself.

It was priced significantly above cover price, but still well under what I’ve seen it sold for online…and with the 40% off coupon, that brought it down to cover price, so I jumped on it!

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…and that now gives me a complete run of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up (Ultimate Spidey) and Ultimate Spider-Man itself, vols. 1-12 and the Death of Spider-Man Omnibus…this is the entirety of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, including annuals and a mini-series/tie-in or few!


I didn’t get this post ready over the weekend, nor finished on a lunch break–and between starting this and actually posting…news hit the world that Stan Lee has passed away.

Morbid though it is, when it came to "tribute art" or such, the image I first thought of–and words to offer on his passing that came to mind–are from the cover of that omnibus.

I’ll surely have more to say later…as will likely everyone else whose lives have been touched by comics!

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of October 24 & 31, 2018 and Halloween Comicfest

It’s amazing how life gets busy at certain times…and how that can be exacerbated by having the computer one has been primarily using for years suddenly decide to freeze up and then refuse to ever boot up Windows again.

Combined with a couple other things going on, and rather than separate posts, let’s cover "The Weekly Haul" stuff from the past couple weeks AND Halloween Comicfest!


Week of October 24, 2018

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Last week had the foiled edition of Action Comics #1004…and I finally pulled 1001, 1002, and 1003 together and caught up on reading! I have to reiterate how much I’ve liked this low-key "stunt month" that DC did this year, where the foiling did not add to the regular price–$3.99 books stayed $3.99, so it’s purely cosmetic. And as a "stunt month," it’s not like it was all over the place. And the best part is that the fancy covers are the main, primary cover and NOT some variant!

Extra dose of TMNT with the second Macro-Series issue, this one focusing on Michelangelo; and the sixth issue of TMNT: Urban Legends, reprinting the 6th issue of the old Image series!

Then the newest issues of Aliens: Dust to Dust, of Flash, and Die!Die!Die!…where I have some collating and catch-up reading to do!


Week of October 31, 2018

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This week is a "fifth week," and so definitely a bit smaller. DC‘s second issue of Heroes in Crisis hit, apparently a week "late." I was not 100% on picking this up, but especially with being a small week, and I’m now leaning toward "grudgingly" picking it up, if only for morbid curiosity…but perhaps just as much so that I can read it for myself and evaluate it for myself. If I don’t like it, at least I’ll get that for myself. I don’t like it so far, but it feels like it’s got some weird sort of potential. I’m also willing to "support" it with it not having umpteen branded official tie-in chapters (so far), unlike the marvelous competition.

I’m digging the main Batman title of late, having jumped back into current reading with The Gift and the run-up to #50; loved the Freeze story, and just keeping up. As a fifth week, figured what the heck? Been ages since a Secret Files [& Origins] issue, so curiosity (and the foil cover) won me over. Plus…it’s Batman.

And I’m definitely enjoying the True Believers What If..? issues–most of them, I have not read before, so they’re particularly fun for only $1.00, where so many of the True Believers issues are reprints of stuff I do already have and/or have read. This What if…Legion had Killed Magneto? draws from the original Age of Apocalypse stuff from 1995. (And I’d meant to ‘cover’ the issue several years ago when I covered the entirety of that original Age of Apocalypse saga, but never quite got around to it then.)

Finally, snagged some Hordes minis to go with others I’ve bought…I have a good-size selection of these now to assemble, prime, and paint, which could be a way to pass a few weeks coming up or in 2019.


Halloween Comicfest 2018

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While it seemed there were more officially-branded Halloween COmicfest issues than ever this year, many were "mini-comics" or "ashcan-sized," and at least from the covers and being backed up on plenty of other reading and considering last year’s issues and maybe prior years…I opted just to snag these. I wasn’t sure what to make of the Adventures of Aspen Mascots but it looked fun; definitely up for the Hellblazer reprint (especially while DC otherwise doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do with the character) for the 30th anniversary. And the completist in me didn’t want to pass on the Rise of the TMNT mini-comic, though I’m not fond of the tv show from the premiere episode.

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As a far, Far, FAR superior value to me than contemporary Marvel #1 issues, for the same price, I snagged both of these issues of the older Captain America series from the 1960s. My grandfather (who helped get me into comics 30 years ago) had at least one of these issues, though I can’t remember which (and pretty sure he didn’t have the other, as I always mixed up the cover images in my memory). So there’s sentimental value in getting these copies if only for that.

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Going through $1 bins, I ended up opting only to get the Tales of the Marvels issues. There’s just not much in the way of Marvel stuff that I find worthwhile outside of 25-50 cent bins…but especially at the moment due to personal stuff going on.

The Gobbledygook issue will go into my TMNT collection; it was a nice find for 33% off, which put it cheaper than any modern Marvel issue.

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I snagged about $4-$5 worth of 25-cent bin comics. These Battlebooks ones stood out to me immediately for the tradedress…I love the way the white/red of the main logo pops and the characters on top of the crisp black background. These are a bit of nostalgia for me–I remember when these first came out! I think I’d originally gotten the Citizen V one, and can’t remember what the other one I picked up was.

These were a sort of game, where (with rules as described on a couple of inserts included in the issue) two players would have the characters "fight" and the results were determined by grids of statistics on the various pages.

They were more interesting than they sound, but are definitely at best value for 25 cents for the artwork. Still, fun finds!

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I have fond memories of the Slingers title. I have yet to actually read the various Spider-Man issues where Peter Parker took on the four alternate guises (Ricochet, Prodigy, Dusk, and Hornet). But when this series premiered, I went with the Ricochet edition, and followed the series to its conclusion (12 issues and a Wizard #0 issue, if I recall correctly).

As I recall, these were variant issues–the beginning and ending are the same in all four issues, but there’s a several (8? 12? 16? I honestly don’t recall as of this typing) page sequence in each issue that is character-specific, where the Slingers split up, so the Ricochet issue follows him when the four split, while in place of those pages, the Dusk issue follows that character instead.

I absolutely would not want this being done with modern comics at modern prices, since it would be vastly over-used very quickly. But now nearly 20 years in the past and available in 25-cent bins, I find this a fun sorta thing–especially getting all 4 issues for only $1.


And that’s it for October. Here’s hoping November’s a good month! Hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2018 already…but then, lately it’s hard to believe it’s 2018 when sometimes I feel like I still so clearly remember stuff from 1999, or 1998…that I was self-aware even 25+ years ago (and that all these years later, here I am still into comics as much or more than ever before!)

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I Tried–and Now Have Canceled–My DC Universe Subscription

no_to_dc_universeI really have to “blame” fellow blogger Natalie (Stabbing Stardust) for getting me to TRY the DC Universe thing when I was initially adamantly intending to stay away from it for awhile*. With stuff she’d posted and said about it, I was curious enough to try it, initially thinking to breeze through Constantine in a week, and when I only got through a few episodes, decided to go ahead and go with a single month to start, figuring that’d give me time to finish Constantine, and poke around a bit.

(*This blame is not a bad thing, and IS one of the great things, to me, of being part of a comics/blogging community!)

I have YET to really in any way LIKE the interface–VERRRRRRY briefly on the computer a couple times to browse (nothing impressive) and mainly on a Roku TV app.

There’s no simple, alphabetical list of series, it at least SEEMS LIKE they keep changing stuff around for what’s grouped where in the menus/home screen, and with so little actual COMICS content available, even SEARCHING doesn’t do much.

The app even launched BEFORE even ONE of the new, announced series were ready to go–five weeks of ME using it, and NOW there are only THREE episodes of Titans available, and UNlike the Netflix model of dropping an entire season at once, it’s on a weekly-drop schedule, and NOT even at “midnight” (at 2am EST Thursday night into Friday morning, the app gave me a note saying the third episode of Titans would drop in “5 hours”).

Of all the tv content, really only Constantine (a single season) and Superboy seasons 2-4 are of any immediate interest to me; the former to catch up on the character as they’ve continued into the “Arrow-verse” and the latter for nostalgia and finding a certain scene that sticks out to me from when I was a kid.

The CW shows–Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow–are not available on it, nor is the ’66 Batman series. It seems a handful of “classic” cartoons–the ’40s Fleisher Superman shorts are available, and I think I saw some Super-Friends thing; but I don’t believe the ’60s/’70s cartoons are available, nor the RubySpears Superman.

There are several documentaries, but as I have at least a couple on DVD, even those aren’t a great draw, and none “justify” $8/month; I’d rather pay the $8 for a dvd and have that tangible product in my actual collection!

Most egregious–and what most directly led to me actually CANCELING–came Saturday night after I finished episode 3 of Titans. Finished with the episode, I decided to browse to find a comic or story to READ. I’d previously experimented with the navigation with Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey #1, and Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (The Death of Superman/Doomsday! part 1) but hadn’t actually READ any full issues yet.

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Amidst the stupid-loose categories (more “Raven,” more “Titans,” etc), looking at individual stuff, I spotted a SPELLING ERROR. Suicide Squad: Trail by Fire. Trail, as opposed to Trial. A simple, stupid typo, but extremely grating to me. Trail OF Fire would make sense as an alternative to Trial OF Fire. But the “by” would mean that a Trail (A-I) by fire is a trail running alongside fire…as opposed to a Trial (I-A) by fire being under fire, via fire, amidst fire, etc.

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Then I noticed one of the loose categories was “Last Chance to Read.”

LAST CHANCE…to read?!?

Not even TWO MONTHS and a crap selection of comics, and they’re ROTATING COMICS OFF the app ENTIRELY?!?

I understand, condone, and would even EXPECT them to rotate what they are ACTIVELY PROMOTING, what they are “PUSHING,” at any given time. Batman Day? Push the Batman stuff. New show about the Titans? Push stuff related to those characters. Halloween? Push the haunted stories. Etc.

But making EVERY SINGLE COMIC available essentially something on a TIMER, something FINITE and LIMITED…something INTRINSIC to their existence, to their having characters anyone cares about…but basically saying “hey, read ’em NOW or not at all!” is just a massive stomp on the foot, to me.

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While I was stewing on that, I then noticed ANOTHER typo, in the Batman/New Titans crossover A Lonely Place of Dying. A 29-year-old story…but they have it listed as A Lonely Place FOR Dying. Nitpicky? Yeah, but it’s extremely personal to ME, as that was the first story in Batman that I had a part 1 of as a kid (My very first issue of Batman was 439–the conclusion of the 4-part Year Three; my second-ever issue was 440, part 1 of Lonely Place OF Dying).

This thing’s been compared to Marvel‘s Marvel Unlimited, as an “answer” to that, as something potentially “better” (at least TRYING to be “better”) since DC hasn’t HAD anything REMOTELY similar.

But the ticking timer on comics mean the ENTIRETY of the app is “curated,” not just curating recommendations and themes or such. And if they’re rotating comics content, who’s to say they won’t decide to rotate other content? The animated movies? (I own those already, too; many of them also digitally that I can watch on Vudu with hundreds of other digital movies)

I’d THINK that (especially with Titans having a “TV-MA” rating) as a late-30s male who has been into comics–primarily DC over the years, for basically 30 years now–I should be the primary audience. Nostalgic for digital back-issues (to preserve sales of modern stuff), violent, dark tv (Titans), old enough to have kids to expose to the animated content, a family to share other tv content, and so on.

But again, I can only figure “I’m obviously NOT the target audience.”

And I can’t in good conscience feel as strongly as I do on all this and complain about it without backing it up with some sort of action. So, catching it a day before it would have renewed, I’ve cancelled my subscription, and with no subscription, will be removing the app/”channel” from my Roku devices (and never even got around to installing whatever app there may be for phones/tablets).

Maybe I’ll check back in later. I’ll probably wait to see how long the DC Universe “exclusive” shows will be available and in what form–are THOSE going to be “rotated” as well? Force you to–if you’re more than 5 weeks “behind”–resort to waiting for some sort of DVD/Bluray release (as even the “Netflix-Exclusive” shows have)? Or will I be able to re-subscribe later and watch the full season?

While this thing has “potential,” 1. the app being SO RUSHED that it was launched “only” a few weeks before new, original content was even ready to be launched; 2. the extremely limited, crap selection of “sampler”-like comics and 3. the rotating OUT/off of stuff, rather than simply ADDING TO an ever-growing “library” of content…that’s 3 strikes, in my eyes.

I’m so incredibly glad I opted to only spend $8, rather than $75+ for some annual thing. I feel strongly enough NEGATIVELY toward the thing as of this typing that I even considered re-upping with Marvel Unlimited on PRINCIPLE, even though I would ONLY be able to make easy use of that on my PHONE.

“Passively,” I very much do NOT recommend DC Universe at this time. I’m extremely discouraged and frustrated with stuff, but knowing I’m a bit of an anomaly having so much dvd content in my personal collection, I’ll stop just shy of actively recommending against the service, as far as the tv/animated content goes. Comics-wise, don’t waste your money, though!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 17, 2018

This ended up being an interesting week for me for new comics!

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New issue of Batman, of course. I snagged Nightwing #50 last weekend, knowing #51 was coming out. I love the foiling on the cover, too! New issue of TMNT; new issue of Mr. & Mrs. X (I really need to find the wedding issue and 1-3 to catch up on actual READING!). I ended up getting Green Lanterns #57 as (I believe) the final issue of that series, thanks to a spoiler of the Cyborg Superman being in it (which, along with the cover, got my curiosity up for dealing with continuity TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD!). Another ending, Simpsons Comics‘ final issue (#245). This might be my first issue purchased of the actual series…perhaps sorta morbid to jump on for the final issue, but c’est la vie! Finally, based mainly on the foiling and partly on tying in to Heroes in Crisis (Maybe 80/20 split for me), picked up Green Arrow #45 from a whenever it came out–last week, or a couple weeks ago.

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Over the weekend, wound up swinging by Half-Price Books due to an errand involving going right by the exit. Came across Superman & Batman: Generations and Superman & Batman: Generations II paperbacks. While I know I have at least a few of the single issues for both, I’m not sure where, offhand. And since they were there in front of me, and I don’t remember the last time I even saw these in-person (and they’re fairly old–predating the 2005 DC logo switch!) so I opted to get them so I wouldn’t kick myself over passing them up later! (However, I did pass on several volumes of The Flash Chronicles, that were priced at or ABOVE cover price due to being "out of print"–I haaaate that HPB does NOT separate such volumes out from their general half-price mission/collection! But that’s a topic for other posts…)

I also found out that the reason the newest Marvel digest from Archie wasn’t/hasn’t been out is that the digest series has apparently been flat-out cancelled. As a consumer (rather than businessperson), that sucks, and is a major, conscious negative for me toward both publishers (regardless of my "understanding" from the business standpoint…if it wasn’t selling, it wasn’t selling). It’s something I liked and was buying, and with it cancelled, that’s one less thing I’m getting from either of them!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 10, 2018

The past week ended up being a large-ish week, without being huge nor tiny (I know, great phrasing, isn’t it?).

Anyway…let’s dive in!

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The new Superman, Supergirl, and Flash issues are part of the annual "stunt month" stuff that DC often does. This year–foil-ized covers at no additional cover price (that I’m aware of). I’m buying titles anyway, already grudgingly paying $3.99…but hey…SHINY!

The Cursed Comics Cavalcade is an 80-page squarebound issue for $9.99. The Swamp Thing Halloween Horror issue is a 100-page squarebound issue for $4.99…but you have to go to Walmart to get it. All told, though…180 pages for $14.98 is NOT bad these days when a skinny 120-page volume might be $17.99!

Adding to the horror theme, the Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie came out. I haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but I believe it’s basically a series of "shorts" that were available on the CW‘s web site last year, but now stitched together as a feature-length thing. I’m not sure how well it may or may not match up to Justice League Dark from last year, but what little I’ve seen of it, the visuals seem like they’d fit in. And best of all, Matt Ryan reprises the voice for John Constantine!

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Over the weekend, Saturday October 13th was designated Walking Dead Day to observe 15 years since the original The Walking Dead #1 back in 2003. There was a "free" issue with several short stories focusing on specific characters; a $2.99 reprint of #1 with a new cover (that I figured hey, I really wanna support the price point), and a number of blind-bagged issues…reprints of various "key" issues throughout the series (particularly front-heavy to the first 100 issues).

I opted to snag #100, figuring that’d be my easiest point of comparison of new to original editions. I almost ended up "leaving it in the bag," though, figuring "ignorance is bliss."

From what I understand, each blind-bagged issue has 4 covers:

  • Color with trade dress
  • Color "virgin" (no trade dress)
  • Black and White with trade dress
  • Black and White "virgin" (no trade dress)

I opted, ultimately, to open mine, dreading any but the color with trade dress. Surprisingly enough (for a 1:4 chance), that’s the one I got, which makes me feel a lot better about the purchase. However, something to the cover just doesn’t sit right with me/makes me squeamish, so for filing purposes, I slid it back into the black bag.

Also snagged a Batman Day reprint of Batman: White Knight #1, since it was there and I was there.

Finally, I’d forgotten to look for Nightwing #50 on Wednesday after passing on it the previous week, but snagged the last copy on Saturday. I’d not been keen on the $4.99 price and such, but after reading the latest issue of Batman decided I was curious about how stuff was being handled on the Nightwing side of things, and decided it was worth getting, if only to follow for another issue or two and see how long-term stuff will be.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 3, 2018

Another week, another batch of new comics! (and stuff).

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Batman, as usual. #56…means it’s been 6 issues (3 months biweekly) SINCE the infamous Wedding Issue with #50. While I’ve "kept up with" the reading of this title since the Booster Gold arc that began in #45, all the hubbub with #50 and it coming off like the end of "Act One" has made #51-onward feel like a new series in its own way…just (UNLIKE virtually every Marvel title ever) without the renumbering after #50.

I need to catch up on the Super Sons, but knowing I’d eventually be wanting the single issues, it’s easier to "keep up with" than to hunt down later for "everything." And then Die!Die!Die! gets another issue to keep me going (or not).

I was "on the fence" with X-Men Black: Magneto for a number of reasons–$4.99 price, being a one-shot, I don’t plan to get an X-Men Black ongoing, I’m not "current" with most X-Men stuff, I’m not buying 5 issues for the Apocalypse story, etc.

But then I saw Chris Claremont‘s name, and figured fine…with it being a larger issue AND only a one-shot and being a (RARE these days) Claremont issue, I’d give it a chance.

I’m a bit of a sucker for the promotional "magazines," hence the Marvel Universe one here. And hey…free! (at least to me, and though I don’t plan to get into the new/weekly Uncanny X-Men, on the chance something in print could convince me, it’s worth letting the comic shop pay to get something in my hands that might "sell" me on a weekly).

Finally, last week’s and this week’s Comic Shop News. I remember when these were numbered in the 300s…that means I’ve been seeing them for at least 1,000 weeks!

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Several of this week’s DC issues had shiny, foil covers! I was tempted with one of the New Age of Heroes issues just for the shiny cover (DC, shiny cover, ONLY $2.99…) but then I realized the Batman one had the shiny cover, and since I was getting it anyway, that satisfied the urge for a shiny cover.

I saw a couple Facebook posts about them, and seems it’s for their "annual" "stunt month" thing. Looks like at least a couple other issues I’d be getting anyway will have the foiling, so I’ll be content with what I’m getting anyway. I’ve no intention of going out of my way for these! (But absolutely give DC credit for NOT bumping these by $1 cover price just for the foil!)

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And I recently made my first purchase through a Facebook buy/sell/trade group. Someone was getting rid of a bunch of stuff. Seeing what was being asked for for Star Wars vol. 1 and Darth Vader vol. 1 and vol. 2, I’d figured it was reasonable for any single volume. That it was for all three AND included shipping…I jumped on the deal!

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Suffice it to say that including shipping, it was like getting a discount on Star Wars vol. 1, with both of the Darth Vader volumes as pure bonus! They came with an extra plastic cover over the dustjackets–I’m not sure if I could remove these…frankly, if these sorts of covers were cheap and easy to handle I’d consider them for most of my dust jackets on stuff I own!

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A local Walmart had these Power Rangers Legacy Collection helmets on clearance. I’ve had my eyes on these for most of the year. Getting both for less than the original price of either individually made them very well worthwhile.


I might do a separate post on the topic in more depth, but in brief: today (Friday, October 5, 2018) the newest Magic: The Gathering set–Guilds of Ravnica–is officially available/on sale, presumably at local game stores, but also at Walmart (and presumably also Target).

The Power Ranges helmets are a much better, more "tangible" value than 4 "random" booster packs of presumably* crap-physical-quality cards that more than likely would not have anything "special" in them. Knowing I was going to willfully stay out of buying this set on principle, I spent less on other stuff I’m happier with and have already gotten more entertainment value (and much more to come yet) out of than opening some boosters and putting some cards in a box or such.

There’s that old thing that works out to "For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost." For want of $20 (Jace’s Spellbook) I want little/nothing to do with "the local game store" and have near-zero use/need for Magic cards now.

We’ll see how fired-up I get in the near future on stuff, as to whether or not this gets expanded into a new post!

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Remembering Kayla on the 28th Anniversary of Her Birth

28 years ago–October 4, 1990–Miss Kayla Crystal came into this world. At least, that’s what information my family was given when we responded to a classified ad for this 15-month-old female sealpoint Himalayan in early January 1992.

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Kayla was part of my life from an evening in January 1992 until the morning of May 9th, 2010. Just over 18 years.

As we knew her exact birthdate, I’ve always observed it.

And though she’s been gone over 8 years now, she’s not forgotten, even as I’ve continued to grieve as I have over Ziggy these past 10 months, who I had a scant 7 years with where I expected at least as many more. (and it feels odd in a way to mention them together, as they never met, and my time with each of them is separated by months).

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Happy birthday, Kayla.

Night Kitten, Pretty Kitty. Babycat. Kayla-kitty. I miss you. Perhaps you and Christy have met Ziggy at the rainbow bridge, and I’ll see you all waiting happily together when my time, too, comes…

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