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Cleveland Comic Con 2019 – Sunday and #Spawnquest

This one wasn’t entirely on my radar. But a combination of marking "Interested" on Facebook events, creators creating events for their presence at conventions, and actually PROPERLY-targeted ads on Facebook) meant that I was loosely aware that this one was happening.

Having been unable to locate Spawn #s 20-24 and 26-29, I figured the best way to get them for a decent price quickly was to give this convention a shot where I otherwise would have passed on it. I’m not 100% certain that I came out ahead in the deal as it was a $10 admission on top of what I paid for what I bought…but I suppose it works out for a "convenience tax" or "immediate gratification tax" or such. And tax, period.

Also, my social/anxiety/introversion issues can make conventions seem extremely counter-intuitive. Why would an introvert with anxiety choose to put one’s self into situations ripe for setting off said anxiety?

Still…this was a 2-day event (Saturday and Sunday) and I went in the afternoon on Sunday, so pretty sure I missed the bulk of the crowd(s).

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After quickly browsing one section and it not seeming that anyone had comics other than DC/Marvel stuff I was not at all interested in for the day or toys priced higher than I was planning to spend, I made my way to the 2nd main section. Browsing quickly, I determined that one dealer had a good chunk of "early-Spawn" including the ones I wanted. But the prices were higher than I really wanted to spend. So I made a mental note to come back after browsing the rest of the space.

I came across the New Dimension Comics tables. They had a bunch of Sonic the Hedgehog digests–Sonic the Hedgehog Archives. For a whopping $1 apiece.

I already had several volumes from the series…but for $1 each, I decided I was ok with duplicates.

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I snagged 10 volumes in total, out of at least 25. While not ideal, these were originally $8 or so apiece when they were published, so I made out on the deal. To best of my knowledge, these all reprint issues of the Archie run of the title, that ran for over 200 issues.

But what about #Spawnquest?, you might wonder.

I did manage to find another dealer that had issues in the range I was looking for, each issue several dollars cheaper than the first dealer I’d found.

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So I snagged 20-22, 24, and 26 there.

A bit more browsing to wrap up, and I went back to the first dealer, where I picked up 23 and 27-29 to complete my Spawn 1-30 run.

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And on the second pass, I realized that one of the copies of #1 was $10, where I’d only seen $20; so for the novelty of it–AND for it being "only" the price of 2 throwaway/I-probably-couldn’t-care-less-in-general generic Marvel modern issues–I bought it. Which gives me a copy I have framed on the wall, one with a smallllll stack of "key" or "special" books, and this copy. I really like the cover, and I get more "joy" out of getting another copy (I believe I’ve now paid a grand total of $10.50 for actual Spawn #`1s!) than I’d get out of many other random issue-purchases.

I also bought #50 for $6. Which again–that’s no worse than a too-frequent $5.99 modern Marvel or DC issue. And only slightly more than the lowest-price Marvel or DC for an issue that’s a series I’m specifically interested in right now, and an issue that’s at least 20 years old!

Annnnd the way it worked out…for what I "saved" browsing further and finding the 2nd dealer with cheaper issues…that difference basically "paid for" the Spawn #1!


I think it would have been cheaper, though, if I’d "just" ordered these issues online. But not by MUCH…and I’d be waiting at least another week or week and a half for the shipping, plus having PAID for shipping. And I would not have had the "chance" of finding other stuff; and would not have found the Sonic digests.

So it was a bit of a gamble. But I’m happy for the immediate gratification of filling in the gap to know I have in my possession already #s 1-30. And #50 puts a nice boundary on the next stage of my #Spawnquest: I think I want to most focus on #s 31-49. Though if I find decent prices or bargain prices on other issues during the hunt, I’ll probably get those as well.

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Halloween ComicFest 2017

Over the weekend, we had Halloween ComicFest. Basically like a Halloween-themed Free Comic Book Day with participating retailers. Same sorta thing–publishers put out specific comics that retailers can order, that are intended to be given away. Retailers, of course, can opt to do other stuff as well.

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Since I was not in costume, I was part of the crowd that qualified for picking 5 of the "free" issues. I’m definitely in a Thor mood lately, and Ghostbusters and The Tick caught my eye. I rounded it out with Darth Maul and Hellboy and the BPRD. I also snagged three "back issues" of Action Comics from the New 52-era (#s 37-39), which MIGHT leave me "only" missing #s 36 and 40 or so from that run, and thus effectively means I’m a mere 2 or so issues shy of having every issue of Action  Comics from #583 to #990!

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Along with the Halloween issues, Carol & John’s also had several bonus things to choose from with a purchase. I opted for the Thor by Walter Simonson vol. 1.

Later in the day after some non-comics personal stuff, I was able to stop by Comic Heaven, where I picked up Atomahawk #0 to try, and the fourth volume of Criminal (I think there are 7 volumes). I was also able to get the Walking Dead reprint of #1, Wizard World edition from 2013. Pretty nifty.


Thanks to a couple friends, I learned that Dollar General had some sort of pack of skeleton miniatures. Took some hunting (and finding multiple DG locations) but combined with figures I already had, I was able to take the following photo (done up meme-style at another friend’s suggestion).

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After all…this week (I believe) we get the first issue of a new (and this time weekly) TMNT/Ghostbusters comic series. And this would be a scenario (sorta) the Ghostbusters might just be able to help with, no?

#SaveWinston Ends On a Happy Note

winston_on_comics_carol_and_johns_comic_book_shopI was quite dismayed early on Monday to learn that Winston, a Cleveland-area comic shop’s shop-cat, was missing.

I’ve been to this shop (Carol & John’s) a handful of times, and even if I’ve only caught a glimpse of the kitty, that’s made me smile, and justified the visit. (And I once drove out there specifically hoping to see Winston…something I’m contemplating doing this weekend again).

For me, there’s just something to there being a “shop cat” around…particularly given the way I’m such a “cat person.” I’d encountered a shop cat at a comic store in Pennsylvania about 6 years ago that I’ll always remember–he followed me around, stuck his paws down between issues while I flipped through a longbox, and even decided my head was a plaything while I knelt to flip through a box on the floor and he was stretching down as far as he could reach over the edge to swipe at me, trying to get me to play with him. I had also once “discovered” a book/comic/something shop when I moved for grad school back in 2004…the cat curled up in the window caught my attention, or I wouldn’t have even noticed the store.

There’s also the story of Dewey, chronicled in the book Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World that gets to me.

I ‘discovered’ Dewey barely a week after I lost my first cat, Christy…and reading the book had a huge impact on me, was truly cathartic and really helped me, in its own way, to deal with that loss.

And aside from that, it’s just fascinated me ever since, to consider there being a library or a shop or such with a resident cat that I might see every time I went there.

Even as I type this, a memory’s just surfaced that when I first “discovered” Carol & John’s, I researched the place online, their web page, before I went out, and it was the notion of Winston, their shop cat, that “sold” me on driving out immediately, and the inward thrill of actually seeing him briefly (it was late and he’d probably had enough for the day–I recall him going behind the counter away from the main part of the shop).

So when I saw the top edge of a “Missing Cat” poster in my Facebook newsfeed early Monday afternoon, I had that immediate thought I always have–feeling bad for whoever has lost a cat, but was shocked and then dismayed to realize it wasn’t “just” Carol & John’s page sharing a local missing kitty, but it was their own kitty–a kitty I’ve met, that I “know,” and it was a gut-punch I don’t usually get from such postings.

I’d shared a couple of the posts on social media myself, doing what I could to get the word out so anyone local-ish would know and could keep an eye out, all the while dreading what seems to be the “usual” horrible news.

winston_found_screenshotSo when a friend shared a post to my newsfeed last night, I was first curious about the post…but my heart truly leapt with a beat of joy when I saw what the post actually was:

Great news!

He’d been found, he was safe, the story had a happy ending.

And I’ve thrilled tonight looking at the Carol & John’s facebook page, reading all the comments, seeing several recently-posted photos, and generally seeing just how well-loved this cat is, by so many in the community.

I’d commented to a couple friends last night that I’m sure Winston’s gonna have extra visitors this week, and as mentioned above, I myself am really thinking I want to take a trip out there to see him (regardless of a Not-At-Comic-Con sale the store is holding this week).

And obviously the situation touched me in such a way that it’s what I chose to write about tonight, superseding any other posts I might’ve written.

If you’re in the Cleveland area, it’s well worth paying Carol & John’s a visit. Great service, amazing stock, plenty of bargain-bin ($1) comics, lots of new stuff, a kids’ play area…and of course, Winston the cat.


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Photo (above): Winston laying on some comics, back home again after going missing for a couple days. This particular photo was posted as the profile picture of the Carol & John’s Facebook page Tuesday evening 7/7/2015. Please visit their page, check them out (enjoy photos of Winston at least!), and all that.


You can find them at 17462 Lorain Ave / Cleveland, Ohio in Kamms Plaza.

LeBron James: Hero No More?

If recent stuff were from a comic book, this could be the cover:

And I maintain: the backlash and intense venom on the issue is NOT the fact of his leaving…it’s the WAY he went about things. I talk more about my thoughts on the subject in a blog post over at comixtreme.com: Thoughts on the LeBron James thing.

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