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The Weekly Haul: Week of August 2, 2018

The first week of August…and a decent-sized week of new comics, including a piece I’ve been looking forward to for some time!

Of course, Chloe was quick to come by and check things out as I took these photos, so I’ll give her first spot in this post!

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I’m a sentimental fool when it comes to this cat…and I simply enjoy her company and love when she actually stays put like this for a good photo.

On with the week’s new comics!

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We’ve got the first issue of the 12-issue (planned) "maxi-series" Adventures of the Super-Sons, following their 16-issue ongoing series that ended not too long ago. The newest issue of Batman, essentially a "#2" in my eyes, for "the Next 50 Issues" of this run and considering #50 a finale of sorts. (However, I extremely highly totally completely hope that DC does NOT renumber the series anytime before a new 200+th issue!)

I’ve gotta catch up on the actual reading, but we’ve got part 5 (somehow I thought it was a 4-parter) of the Deathstroke Batman story. Then there’s the 10th issue of Mister Miracle, and the 254th GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

And for the heckuvit, of this week‘s round of "indy" #1s, I decided to check out Leviathan. As much as the out-there premise caught my attention from a text/blurb preview, it was honestly that title logo that got me. I love the big, blocky logos, and find skinny generic-typeface-minimalist logos completely uninteresting and a bit pretentious. So a big, bold title that actually looks substantive and significant…it’s a dumb aesthetic thing, but it sold me!

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Then the book I’ve been looking forward to for awhile–TwoMorrowsComic Book Implosion, an "oral history" of the DC Comics "Implosion" of the late 1970s. Having long heard the term and been vaguely aware of it in broad strokes, a nice historical piece in-depth on the subject, in print format for me to get to as time allows…this had my attention from the publisher’s first social media post I saw about it!

Hard to believe it’s been another month already–DC Nation #3–but here it is. I also quite like the way the animated Star Trek look fits so well with the ’80s animated Transformers look. I might actually check out the first issue if it’s out on a "slow week," and go from there!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 25, 2018

This week was a fairly small week of new release comics for me…small enough that I "padded it out" a bit.

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The new issue of Action Comics–#1001–was a given, for me. It’s been 3 months coming, since the huge #1000 issue.

After looking forward to The Flash War for so long and even letting the title go for several months, I got back in for the (finally) actual story itself…which seemed too short. This #51 "epilogue" issue is a pleasant surprise-extension of the story.

And Mr. and Mrs. X is Marvel actually getting me with a concept I’m interested in–fially having Rogue and Gambit get to this point (one of my earliest X-Men comics was #24–the "date" issue with the two.

I quite enjoyed the X-Men: Grand Design issues from the turn of the year, and was rather disappointed at the long delay between those and the next ones. Time healed that particular "wound" and it was a pleasant surprise to find this one out this week. Unlike other $5.99 issues, these actually feel heavy and "special" and worth the price.

I hadn’t realized The Hellblazer was ending…but as with the end of the 300+ issue Vertigo run, I opted to snag this final issue "immediately" with the intent to fill in the gaps I have in the story via collected volumes, eventually/someday.

Because I was "curious" after stupidly "buying into" some hype over the Teen Titans Special several weeks ago, figured I might as well give this issue a shot and see if it actually goes anywhere interesting, or if IT is all-hype/etc.

And finally, because it actually reprints an issue I did not yet own and had never even read before, the True Believers issue reprinting What If..? #1 was a handy addition for only $1. (3 Marvel comics for $11…pretty darned cheap considering their usual prices!)

Still, it’s rather dismaying that even the DC titles were all $3.99. I’ll occasionally be ok with occasional higher-price-point issues–Grand Design being an excellent example–but certainly not as a routine, regular thing. And for me, Marvel has far too often "abused" the higher prices in my eyes, such that I was honestly somewhat surprised that Mr. and Mrs. X was "only" $3.99 for a #1 issue. (Which was another reason to support the title–NOT EVERY #1 NEEDS TO BE a $4.99+ giant-sized issue! And yet, I could argue that this one would be more deserving of a giant-size status. Reprint X-Men #24, and maybe some other key issue from the characters’ pasts. Reprint the Avengers Annual Rogue first appeared in, and Uncanny X-Men #266 with Gambit’s first appearance–juxtapose their first appearances with how far they’ve come. After all, this title is not MERELY "the next month’s issue" of a title with a #1 slapped on the cover…it’s truly a new status quo for the characters, it’s a new title we have not seen before, and so on. (As opposed to the fifth(?) Amazing Spider-Man #1 or the seventh(?) Captain America #1 in the last 20 years)

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 18, 2018

This was a small week comics-wise!

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New Batman, first issue of Archie Meets Batman ’66, a #0-issue for Rise of the TMNT, and the second issue of The Magic Order. I either haven’t read #1 yet despite buying it, or have totally forgotten it already, but went ahead and picked up #2 to be sure to have it. Whether I’d go on to a 3rd issue remains to be seen!


I ended up splurging on some new DuckTales stuff this week:

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I was VERRRRRRRY glad to find that Launchpad is available as a single-figure card, and NOT exclusive to the Suncatcher (plane) playset, and got him, as well as Flintheart Glomgold.

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Larger view of Launchpad…

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Larger view of Glomgold…

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I also went ahead and bought the Target-exclusive 10-inch Scrooge McDuck Pop vinyl (From Funko. Not being much of a statues guy, this one struck me as "statuesque" and though it’s not my favorite interpretation of Scrooge, I like it for what it is.

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The cats didn’t know what to make of Scrooge, though, and both came over to check him out before I could even get him outta the box!

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Sarah took off after determining that he wasn’t food, treat, nor comics to lay on. Chloe settled in to ask how she might obtain the same sort of financial success as Scrooge…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 11, 2018

This past week was a small week for me for comics!

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The new Superman #1–a long time (several months?) coming. I still think this would’ve been the place to start with the storyline that we got as Man of Steel (2018). Then we have the extra-sized Flash #50, with what I suppose is the "conclusion" of Flash War (at "only" 4 chapters…but an Annual prologue and whatever other lead-up threw me off with the title earlier in the year).

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #253…a series closing in on its 100th issue or so. This "began" with a Free Comic Book Day #155 1/2, if I’m recalling correctly–and then started properly with #156…picking up from the original Marvel numbering going back to the early 1980s! Given the time between 1995 and the start of this run, the series could legitimately have started with a new #1…but this has a feel of TRUE "legacy" in the numbering.

The second issue of Aliens: Dust to Dust is out; and the "surprise" new series from Kirkman Die!Die!Die! premiered with the barest heads-up that it was even going to be available. I opted to check it out on principle: the way I grouse about over-hype and over-marketing and such (particularly from the likes of Marvel) I feel I should at least check something like this out to "support" something NOT being part of the "hype machine" and all that. If they’re willing to take a chance putting it out withOUT all the hype/etc, I can take a chance on a #1. Normally I’d be annoyed at something with a distinct lack of information available…but especially as an exception to the norm, I’ll give it a bit of leeway.


And speaking of exceptions, I was actually going to go ahead and check out the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 given some online spoilers…I even went so far as to physically pick up a copy of the issue to look at…but the $5.99 (while not $9.99!) was still way too much for me for some "casual" "check-out." At $3.99…I’d’ve bought it. That extra $2–whether extra main-story pages or not, is too much. Marvel already put me off with years of $4.99 #1s…going up to $5.99 just keeps me out all the more! With all the relaunches/renumberings/WHATEVER…certainly they could do a "loss-leader" and give some extra pages for a lower price, to get folks to check the thing out?

There’s also some sort of "digital sale" for DC…and though I already have the print edition, $4.99 for the digital Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle was well worth a purchase…all the more as I’ve been annoyed lately at all the digital sales having been $5.99. Though my tablet (an iPad 2) is nearing the end of its functionality (I"ve already had to drop Marvel Unlimited due to incompatibility), it still works with the DC app (over 4 years on and I’ve yet to buy anything through Comixology itself since they dropped in-app purchases through Apple devices.) I’d been on the edge of paying $1.99/issue for the four-part The Mud Pack as it was…so here, for $3 cheaper, got a whole mess of additional issues’ content for the price. AND I don’t feel bad double-dipping on the digital for "only" $4.99 despite having the actual hardcover and numerous copies of each of the single issues from The Mud Pack.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 4, 2018

Last week was an odd week for comics, with a US holiday being on Wednesday itself…and with both Marvel AND DC putting out key books on the day, many comic shops opened for limited hours so as to accommodate making sure people could buy the Wedding issue of Batman as well as the premieres of the new Catwoman and Captain America series, among other things. I had a mix of stuff, making it to two shops, amidst a couple of other things going on.

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I was doing my darnedest to avoid SPOILERS for Batman, and while I technically succeeded…I saw ENOUGH to have a PRETTY STRONG GUESS as to what happened, though I still hoped I was wrong. I ended up buying the issue digitally so I could read it before 1am, and thus be "safe" with spoilers I knew were out there. Suffice it to say that I opted NOT to buy Catwoman. The new Man of Steel mini had its final issue–and I really feel like this SHOULD HAVE BEEN simply the first three issues of the new Superman and 1001-1003 of Action Comics with Bendis. I just don’t see the "specialness" to it that warranted this as a mini-series…we have a new villain, major developments…but nothing to the LEVEL OF the John Byrne stuff.

I’m quite enjoying the TMNT: Urban Legends, reprinting the Image run of the TMNT book in color. While I know Peter Laird retained some publishing rights to his own series when he sold the property…given we’ve seen some IDW reprints of the Tales of the TMNT run from the 2001+ era, I hope we might also eventually get colorized reprints of his TMNT vol. 4…perhaps even some sort of finishing of the story that trailed off around 2007.

I need to catch up on my reading of Spawn, though being "on" the title since #256 or so, I’m probably still on at least to #300. Of course, a jump from $2.99 to $3.99 might have me reconsidering that. And as much as I like Priest, I have yet to actually read any of the Deathstroke vs. Batman issues, and as I’m easing out of DC, as this arc wraps, I’ll probably be off the title.

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Bane: Conquest finally gets to its 12th issue. I can’t even honestly remember at this point if I read the first issue last year with stuff going on in my personal life–but the intent was always there, so I stuck with the title. Now by the time I get around to gathering all 12 issues together AND actually reading, I should have waited for the collected volume.

The sheer audacity of this The Pouch character got me for Bloodstrike: Brutalists. I have had zero luck finding concrete info as to whether this Brutalists numbering is continuing from the 1990s’ numbering or a more recent numbering. If the latter, I may jump in; otherwise, might go for a collected edition.

TMNT Universe is another I have to catch up on reading…though being TMNT, it’s an exception to most of my usual problems with comics and gets that "pass" on its over-pricing.

Then we have the newest DC Nation issue; a 10-cent Project Superpowers issue, and another Back Issue issue caught my eye.


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With plans to catch Ant-Man and the Wasp, and known traffic issues with my route, I built a lot of extra time into things on Friday and made it to a Booksamillion I hadn’t been to in awhile, and managed to get this Tyrannosaurus Rex Pop that I passed on some time back and regretted doing so. I thought about getting the Velociraptor but ultimately passed on it due to other books (see further below) and a few other factors for present.

I continue to notice that I love these figures for non-human-face characters. They’re excellent for the style…but the human characters/faces just look too generic for my taste.

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I stopped in at The Exchange, a location of which I hadn’t been to in awhile…and had a 3-way excellent find!

Some years back, a friend had found a copy of this The Further Adventures of the Joker book for me…though in regrettably poor condition. Still, it was the only copy of the thing I’d ever seen or come across. But here, I found one in much better condition, and for 25% cheaper than a standard Marvel comic!

I’d been vaguely aware THAT there was a hardcover edition of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, but finding it for $10–half the price of the PAPERback edition–and in relatively decent shape, and it being Superman…I snagged it, as I know full well I’d have totally regretted it if I didn’t and missed out. This is now shelved next to my original paperback copy (that I received as a Christmas gift in 1989…my first-ever TPB/graphic novel/collected edition).

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The Exchange also had this Samurai Usagi figure. I don’t’ recall if I’d actually ever seen this "in the wild" or not–I’d seen a couple of the regular version, and bought one of those at the time–but seeing this for only $10 (basically a $2ish premium over Target or Walmart before they prematurely clearanced the line out completely) I jumped on it.

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Along with the Jurassic Park Pop, the Booksamillion also actually had The Son of Neptune with the other bargain-priced volumes. I’d been eyeing these for quite awhile, but saw no point in buying the hardbacks for vols 3+ without owning vol. 2…and having bought vol. 1 in hardback when it first came out (whenever that was now) I wanted the hardbacks instead of the paperbacks. So finding vols 2-5, I sucked it up and spent the money to get these. The next challenge will be actually getting around to–you guessed it–reading them.

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And speaking of "challenge" and "reading" as a singular thing… Sarah-cat here has really gotten consistent with inserting herself into things whenever I’m trying to read OR take photos for this blog… but she’s so darned cute, and I’d always loved spotlighting Ziggy as well as Chloe along with comics and such, I can’t be annoyed with her. Especially when I can get her to actually look at the camera like this!

But as I posted on Twitter when I sent this photo out…it’s safe to assume that any photos in this blog have passed her inspection, as I can’t seem to take any without her being on-hand to supervise. Chloe is often nearby as well, though she seems to have delegated to Sarah, which means between both of them, this blog is 100% kitty-approved!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of June 27, 2018

This week’s proved to be a rather small (though more expensive for its size) week.

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The new Man of Steel issue…which, while it has a nostalgia-inducing cover evoking the nearly-26-year-old Doomsday / The Death of Superman story doesn’t so much as mention or touch on that story whatsoever. Flash 49, part 3 of The Flash War. And due to "hype" I snagged the Teen Titans Special…while it may be a bit of a turning point, I do NOT feel like it lived up to any of the hype at all.

Marvel has stupid-ridiculous prices for its single issues and collected volumes. But 6 $3.99 issues and 1 $4.99 issue in a $19.99 paperback is (comparatively) not bad. So I went ahead and got the Thanos Wins tpb. I suppose it’s also a way to support this straight to PAPERBACK thing, rather than going to hardcover first and THEN "eventually" paperback. ORRRRRR I flat-out missed the hardback, so…whatever.

Then because it was on sale, I picked up Hulk: World War Hulks for a whopping $5.99. Something like this–a deluxe/oversized hardcover, good and thick…for basically the price of a single Marvel issue? I’m there.

It’s also helpful finally updating my phone’s photos-of-my-shelves inventory so that I could look and confirm this wasn’t a duplicate, as I recognized the cover. But that’d be because half the cover is from Fall of the Hulks: Alpha that I reviewed some years back..

Next week will be ‘interesting’ with New Comics Day being July 4th…or Independence Day here in the U.S. and stores being open due to DC and Marvel putting out key issues that’ve been highly hyped, and no one shifted to this past week or July 11th, and Diamond didn’t push by a day for stuff to be on sale on Tuesday or held til Thursday.

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Lake Effect Comic Con 2018

This past weekend, I went to the 9th annual Lake Effect Comic Con, in Mentor, Ohio. (Think northeast Ohio, a couple miles south of Lake Erie–hence "lake effect!"). The convention started out at the Great Lakes Mall (still in Mentor)…I don’t recall the first couple–they may have been inside the mall itself, but don’t quote me! The ones I remember were in the movie theater lobby, of the theater sharing a parking lot with the mall. And several years ago, this con outgrew that space and moved to the Holiday Inn where I believe this is the third year.

It’s hosted by Comics and Friends, a comic shop in the Great Lakes Mall that I sure as heck wish had been around when I was a kid!

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With various things going on in my personal life, I wasn’t originally "sold" on attending. But when I found out that Dirk Manning was going to be there, I was "sold."

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Since the last time I’d seen him (at Fantasticon back in March), he’d put out The Adventures of Cthulhu Jr. and Dastardly Dirk #1…which I’ve been wanting to get (and ideally in person, at that!). So I snagged that, as well as Then It Was Dark, which is an anthology volume he’s got a story in. (I resisted Tales of Mr. Rhee as I backed a Kickstarter at a level that includes all the volumes of that series). And of course, signed, which is a fun bonus to getting these in-person!

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And for the first time since I’ve been catching him at conventions, I had stuff that I took with me to get signed!

Back in December 2017, at a sale at RuppsComics, I’d come across the first issue of Nightmare World #1 from Ape Entertainment and got that…easily a diamond in the rough! Of course, I couldn’t find the thing back in March, but had managed to in time for this convention. Very cool having this early edition of such an early issue.

And–fun to learn–Dirk showed me where one of the pieces in the issue is different from the final collected version due to a situation with the art that had to be redrawn. I’m pretty sure this is the first instance I have–specifically–of that sort of thing, and I really dig it! To be able to compare an original "version" with a redrawn version and see how they hold up against one another…a rare opportunity!

I also had my Kickstarter edition of the Nightmare World Omnibus, which even though I think it came with a signed bookplate, is not the same as getting the actual book signed in-person!

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Though I’ve meant to previously and didn’t, this time I finally got a photo of Dirk! He’s got quite a selection of stuff available, in multiple formats, and I love seeing his displays. Especially now, with Hope and Cthulhu Jr. included!

Sadly, in trying to be quick so as to not block an aisle or hold anyone up trying to get by…I did not properly frame the photo,cutting off part of the table, as well as Dirk‘s name from his banner…which otherwise is almost perfectly positioned!

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And along with the first photo of Dirk, got my first photo with him, as well!

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In my further wanderings, I came across the guys who do Canada Bear, which was quite cool–I’d already gotten the first two issues from Comic Heaven last year, and hadn’t realized that they had the third issue out already. They also had some prints, and I really liked this Thanos one, so ended up buying it along with the comic.

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I wasn’t all that impressed with the general comics or collected volumes selections at the con. Or at least, I wasn’t seeing much that would spur me to somewhat "randomly" buy something I wasn’t specifically "on the hunt" for. Nothing was matching or beating the selection and pricing I get regularly at Comic Heaven and Kenmore Komics, two stores that really set the standard for me.

But then I did find some bins with books $5 each or 5/$20 that actually had some "worthwhile" books–that is, not Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers nor exclusively skinny 6-issue books. While $5 (or $4 with the bulk price) is not bad, it’s still not generally "worth it" to ME on "typical" Marvel paperbacks.

But then, when they’re these massive $35+ paperbacks for that $5, they’re absolutely worthwhile to me. And then with the "bulk" price…I got these for the price of any standard Marvel comic presently being published.

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Along with the paperbacks, on the way out there were some Heroclix figures on the freebie table, so I snagged Nebula…because why not?


lake_effect_comic_con_2018hAs said…I wasn’t originally "sold" on attending this convention, but ended up going because Dirk Manning was going to be there.

Though I wasn’t myself interested in many of the booths, I saw a lot of comics as well as comics-related stuff. I saw several costumes–though I was in and out/gone a couple hours before the cosplay stuff.

If I was on-point looking for pre-1990s comics, I’d’ve likely had my fill…but I wasn’t looking for single issues over 50 cents apiece.

I lucked out with my timing on getting to the hotel, and found an empty (and valid) parking spot just to the side of the building, so didn’t have too far to walk to get inside. No problem with getting in and paying for admission, and being directed to the convention space itself.

The overall space was a bit tight, and I’m glad I got there on the early side, as I hardly want to imagine much more of a crowd present, as I don’t tend to do well long-term with small spaces and lots of people. Getting around was fine for me as an able-bodied individual…I didn’t really look for and so couldn’t begin to say in terms of getting around as part of a group, or disability or such.

I do think this one’s outgrowing this space as well, at least as a casual/outside observer.

There was another convention in Akron on Sunday as well, but for where I’m at personally, I would not have made it out given the distance (and lack of Dirk). This Lake Effect convention was about as "local" as I could ask for, so ultimately as the comics person that I am, there’d have to be something really wrong for me to not actually go (even if I’d be in and out in 20 minutes).

It’s also quite cool to see the "community" in the space. I’m more of an "observer" than "active participant," so just "showing up"–especially by myself–is actually a fairly significant thing for me.

I don’t know if I’d quite use the word "fun" for myself for the con–but that’s COMPLETELY me and being quite the introvert. But I am glad that I went, and definitely look forward to the 2019 con!

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