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The Weekend Haul: Weekend of November 2, 2019

This past weekend yielded an interesting haul. It started with the Akron Comicon.

I believe the first time I’d attended the Akron Comicon was in 2012. I got to meet Norm Breyfogle, Mike W. Barr, and a couple other creators. Along with meeting them, I got copies of Prime #s 1, 11 and the Prime Time TPB along with Detective Comics #604 (my first-ever issue of the title) signed by Breyfogle. I got Mantra #1 and my Batman: Year Two collected volume signed by Barr.

In 2013, I went again, and got to meet Jon Bogdanove and got Superman: The Man of Steel #1 signed.

I don’t think I made it back again until 2018.

And now 2019.

Which proved to be quite a disappointment for me. Two creators in particular I’d looked forward to seeing at the show had to back out. Additionally, the "guest of honor" (I think that’s MY phrasing, not the official show-phrasing) was an old Cleveland, OH-area tv host from the 1980s–predating MY experiences in 1988-onward–so I had zero interest in his presence at the show as I obviously had no nostalgia/connection whatsoever.

The show was at yet another "new location," this time in Cuyahoga Falls–just outside of Akron proper. Certainly some quibbles on the name of the show tying to location and such, but whatever. Prior to arrival, I was picturing this rather small (for a convention) location from a friend’s wedding I attended years ago. My primary concern was parking. I cannot speak to the parking situation after Noon or so, as I actually got to the show around 11 or a little before. (I was leaving the parking lot shortly after Noon and there were a few open spots). But it seemed to me a rather small amount of parking for a show expecting a lot of people. I was burned a couple years ago by a different local show on the parking, which has made "parking" a #1 concern for me with plans to attend any convention.

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I had no trouble getting into the show. I essentially followed a couple in, following signage. I was rather surprised to find no line (having had a pretty good wait to get into the Hall of Fame City Comic Con a few weeks ago). Someone with a scanning rod or whatever those things are called–hand-held metal-detector scanners–was checking everyone on the way in. No problem there–just a few seconds, non-invasive, though I was momentarily worried that stuff on one of my carabiners would set it off. No issues, though. I was directed to a table where there seemed to be several stations–picking up pre-ordered tickets, buying tickets with cash, and using a card. I was using cash, so once I realized the stations, had no further wait.

I was then directed to another table for a "swag bag" (I got the term from the bag itself, I don’t recall exactly what was said to me–I was by then already getting some low-level anxiety from being in an enclosed, densely-populated space). A table had several posters I was going to look at, but I saw (volunteers?) putting them into bags and was handed a bag of my own, so I thanked the worker and went on in to get out of the entranceway foot-traffic. After the show when I inspected this "swag bag" I discovered two Netflix She-Ra posters…and a double-sided 5.5" x 8.5" flyer for some sort of bowling and/or restaurant. Nothing comic-related. Nothing listing comic shops in the area, nothing offering a show-floor layout or vendor list, no random trinkets or promo cards for geek/gaming/comic/hobby/etc stuff. If it was merely a "courtesy bag" (cuz hey, how many people necessarily think to bring bags in with them to hold stuff they buy?) that’d be one thing. As a "swag bag" it was almost insulting. BUT as I wasn’t there for any Akron Comicon items, no big deal.

I was primarily on the hunt for:

  • Uncanny X-Men #141 for $30 or less
  • Uncanny X-Men #350 "regular" cover (non-shiny) for under $10
  • X-Men #45 for ideally $4 or less
  • Wolverine #145 "shiny" cover for under $10
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #200 (for under $5)
  • Spawn issues for under $5 each

I did see a Marvel Legends reprint-edition of Uncanny X-Men #141 for $2.50 that I passed on (I have it already, somewhere, and we just had a $1 True Believers reprint in the last couple weeks, if I wanted anything other than the original). I did see a couple of "wall books" instances but as I’m just looking for low-grade $30 or less, I’m not interested in the $100+ wall-book copies.

I did find the Uncanny X-Men #350 regular edition, and it was only $5…so there was some definite satisfaction in that! The same dealer also had X-Men #45, also for $5; I figured for the convenience of taking it off my mental list and not having to hunt, it was worth the "premium." Plus I was able to simply hand over the $10 I got back from my admission $20.

Another dealer actually had Wolverine #145…albeit the NON-shiny version that I got 20 years ago. I’m interested in getting the "shiny" version since I was not able to get it back then. But for the nostalgia and such, and already having a sinking feeling on the convention, I was shifting into the mindset of wanting to at least buy enough to "justify" my $10 admission…so, $6 for that. Not exactly a waste as it’s a convenience copy now of a key (to me) issue AND it’s no worse than some modern $5.99 comic that I would not appreciate the way I do this one.

Finally, Another dealer had Spectacular Spider-Man #200 for $4.50; but he gave it to me for $4 since he didn’t have change (a pleasant surprise, and I thanked him for the discount!).

I browsed the dealers that had comics; I think I saw two with Spawn issues; but as "usual" they were early (pre-26) and/or 290+ with nothing I was missing between 62-256. I did find a couple with some TMNT comics, but of course they were IDW series or the IDW reprints for the most part; several Mirage issues but no prices and I figured I’d go back to them after I’d had a look around the rest of the show floor.

But I quickly had my fill of the place, and with other stuff planned, decided to cut my "losses" and just leave, rather than get to where I myself felt like I was wasting money on buying stuff and just accept the "loss" of "admission."

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I then went to Kenmore Komics and picked up some stuff; chief being Hope #5 (of 6).

I’d completely forgotten I was intending to look for Uncanny X-Men #325 along with 350 and the X-Men #45, but located it here, and for the same $5 I’d paid for the latter, so well worthwhile.

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I also found 5 Spawn issues for $4 apiece (so no worse than buying 5 random modern comics) to continue to close up the holes in my first-100 issues of the series; I’m now 12 issues away from having 1-100!

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Continuing my journey for the day, I headed to Hazel’s Heroes, which I knew thanks to Facebook was having a "Not at Comicon" sale. Unfortunately, by this point nature was calling, so I ducked into a Marc’s in the same plaza to use the restroom. While in the store I found this Justice League Chibis Complete Set for a whopping $3.99. Considering I’d paid half that a few years ago for a single packet with 3 of these, on that pricing it was well worth buying this set to get the rest. I’m quite certain I got Green Arrow and Superman from that packet and can’t remember the 3rd (Cyborg, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, or Batman, probably). I’m a sucker for Robin stuff, and while throwing money away for the day…why not?

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Once into Hazel’s Heroes, I found a treasure-trove of old Wizard issues for $1 apiece as well as some fairly beaten-up copies of tpbs for $1. Thankfully, I’d recently gotten rough photos of my Wizard shelves and was able to zoom in to the spines to see what issues were not presently…present. Though several are issues I know darned well I SHOULD have…they weren’t on the shelf when I took the photos, and for "only" $1 and rarely if ever coming across Wizard in bargain and/or back-issue bins…I snagged these.

Also for "only" $1, grabbed the Dawn of the Age of Apocalypse and the Twilight of the Age of Apocalypse books. These are the original editions from back in 1995 or so, and rather inferior books at this point. But I’m mildly interested in getting a complete set eventually, and as these fall out of apparent favor with newer, fatter editions, I’m not at all opposed to grabbing them for $1 each!

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Then for general back-issues, the sale was something like comics up to $8.99 were $1, $9-something was $3, and so on.

I found the TMNT Adventures: Year of the Turtle #2 which leaves me only missing the first issue of the mini from having the complete mini-series; and 5 or so of the quarterly "special" issues from the series.

I snagged a couple of the Uncanny X-Men issues from just before #350, thinking a re-read of those might go well with a re-read of #350 itself. I didn’t factor in having several more issues handy or not, so it leaves me still "missing" several for these "convenience copy duplicates." Perhaps I’ll just leave those for Marvel Unlimited.

Since they were functionally $1-books, grabbed a few more X-issues for the heckuvit/with meaning to me.

And as one of "those" issues I like getting just to get, a couple more of the deluxe edition of 1991’s X-Men #1 with the gatefold 4-part single cover. I still intend to eventually frame a couple copies of the covers–the exterior as the large 4-part image; and the interior cover is its own vertical 4-panel poster.

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I also got another copy of the Image Firsts edition of Spawn #1–I’m suck a sucker for that cover image!–as well as the DC Dollar Comics Superman #75 (for what the issue is, I’m happy to buy multiples. Plus, then I have copies to give to (a) friend(s)!) Also got another copy of The Adventures of Cthulhu Jr. and Dastardly Dirk #1 for a friend.


I spent slightly more at Hazel’s Heroes than I did the convention, and I got a LOT MORE value out of it.

And I spent as much solely on Spawn at Kenmore as I did at the convention, where no one at the convention had issues of the title I needed.

I’m happy enough, really, with what I got at the convention…but that $10 admission brought the average price of the issues up to $7.50 apiece, essentially…and with a bit of shuffling on how much for which issue I probably would have been better (or just as well) served ordering the issues online and sticking to the comic shops.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 30, 2019

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Well…I was a week late posting last week’s edition, but here I’m essentially "early" for this week’s edition. Go figure, huh?

That’s what life does, though, I guess!

This was a large-small week. Relatively "small" in quantity. Small in quantity, but big in price.

Let’s get to it!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99

This is the 99th sequential issue I’ve bought for this series, beginning a little over 8 years ago in August of 2011. This is by far THE longest single uninterrupted "run" with any comic series for me with no "breaks." Even though I followed 2004’s Tales of the TMNT to its concluding issue, there were months at a time where I wasn’t able to get (an) issue(s) and would have to catch up 3-6 issues at a time with online orders and such. So as the title heads to its 100th issue, it’s also a big deal for ME in tracking that length! That this issue–#99–is $7.99 was unexpected as I expected this for the 100th issue. If it means the 100th will be even bigger…great! I’m all for more content. THOUGH even as MUCH as I allow TMNT to be my "exception," variant fatigue is even seeping in HERE to me. As well as this being the longest I’ve followed any single series in one go…part of me begins to wonder if even this could use a "break." Get to 100 and take a break for a few months. But then, look how long it took me to pull the trigger on other stuff I lamented pricing/etc. before finally dropping.

 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1

This is another $5.99 #1 issue. At least it’s squarebound so quasi-"prestige format." Despite having a large #1 on the cover, the code in the barcode box that tells which cover you have (regular or variant(s)) is 0211, meaning this is being considered a #2…if these are one-shots, I’d expect that code to be 0111. I got sick enough of $4.99/issue with X-Men stuff the last few months; $5.99 is really quite out of the question for a "series" for me. Perhaps it IS DC trying to be sneaky, a la Marvel by making it look like one-shots while actually considering it a series?

The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1

Then an issue I’d forgotten was coming: I believe this brings the John Constantine from the ’80s Books of Magic (back?) into canon; certainly a younger version of the character not being aged in "real time" from his first appearance. But I think I’d seen that this version may be a lot more Vertigo-esque than we’ve had since a version of the character crossed back to the main DC universe back in 2011 at the end of Brightest Dayin Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing. I was also rather surprised to see the Black Label…um…label on this. I thought it was Sandman Universe, not Black Label. Considering All-Star Superman was moved to Black Label and is not an "adult" or "mature readers" comic, it seems rather odd to me that BL would mean "adult" in and of itself. Whatever it means, I am truly growing tired of seeing it all over DC‘s output with their inconsistency and lack of clarity about stuff. So that’s a ding against this as well. Whether I’ll pick up and go with the ongoing series at the end of November remains to be seen. I’ll likely try the first issue at least, but more than likely will fall back to wait for collected editions.

DC Dollar Comics: Superman #75

This is one of THE more appropriate reprints, and feels like one of THE best-done for a DC Dollar Comics edition vs. a replica/facsimile edition. It’s $1, which is 25 cents less than the original issue was 27 years ago; and this comes out within 2-3 weeks OF the 27th anniversary of its original release! I was a bit surprised at DC keeping so MUCH of the classic cover intact…they even KEEP the original UPC box from the Direct Edition stating the creators, and put a NEW UPC box on the other side of the cover for the current edition. They also replicate part of the original corner box including the flying Superman image, and the cover dress/placement/font of the phrase The Death of Superman!. I almost feel like I would prefer this as a replica edition…I do not believe ANY reprint of the issue since the original 4 printings has had the gatefold back cover; so the effect has never been the same for the issue’s ending. I do find it odd that this reprint has a "To Be Continued in The Death of Superman" seeing as this is the end of that story. But much as with the Batman #497 a couple weeks ago…this is one of THE single issues I am absolutely MOST familiar with, and thus far more "sensitive" toward than most other reprints.

True Believers: X-Men: Moira MacTaggert #1

This one’s "just another" reprint to me. I believe it reprints X-Men #96; just a couple issues into the post-Giant-Size X-Men #1 era. I’m not sure when I thought the character had first appeared, but I would not have guessed it correctly.

True Believers: X-Men: Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinel

This one’s another that I definitely recognized the cover image but would not have been able to tell you a number. I WAS pretty sure it was an X-Men Unlimited issue, and the indicia bore that out–originally published as X-Men Unlimited #27. As it was a quarterly title and #1 was in 1993 AND it took two quarters off during the original Age of Apocalypse for X-Men Chronicles…I’d place this as being an issue from 2000 if I had to hazard a guess. Which makes it relatively recent as True Believers reprints go.

Batman Annual #4

Not much in thoughts for this, except I’ve gotta catch up on reading the main title. I’m not sure how "between-the-issues" this one might be, though it looks like it may read well enough on its own…time will definitely tell!


One $7.99, one $5.99 two $4.99s and three $1 issues. $27 for 6 issues. When I got back into comics in a big way–particularly summer 1992–I could get 20 comics for $27, with a bit left over!

Next week looks to be decently-smallish…I’m tentatively planning on Legion of Super-Heroes solely for the stupid plastic ring, assuming one is available with it. I’ll pay $3.99 for the ring and a bonus comic…if I’m not enthused about a comic with a bonus ring.

And looking ahead…I’m not seeing anything offhand about more True Believers for November…I was starting to think these were basically weekly with a different theme each month. I guess not?

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of October 2 and October 9, 2019

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Well, let’s try to NOT get a full month or more behind as several times earlier this year already! Alllllllmost two weeks behind, but c’est la vie. That’s one of the things, I guess, about having one’s own blog and not making any money from it or such–far more freedom of schedule and such!

Several quick, random shout-outs to start things off!

Sadly, far too many great bloggers out there to shout out without being an entire post. But all of the Super-Blog Team Up folks are fantastic and always worth following and reading!


Week of October 2, 2019

The first week of October brought what really is a small-er-ish week, though it felt a lot bigger!

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New Batman, new Young Justice, and the last House of X (really "just" chapter 11 of the 12-part HoX/PoX foundation-laying world-building whatever for the relaunching X-Men family of titles).

The 2nd issue of the 2-issue Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium; the final issue of Batman/TMNT III round out the truly "new" stuff.

We then have the facsimile/replica edition of Batman #251, the Dollar Comics (DC‘s version of Marvel‘s True Believers reprint line) edition of the 1970s’ The Joker #1 (apt timing, obviously intentional, for the new film Joker).

And speaking of Marvel‘s True Believers stuff, two of those, reprinting the first appearances of Bishop as ell as Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost. The Bishop issue in particular is more of a 25-cent book to me…but I’m willing to pay the $1 for the True Believers in general, and definitely want to support the reprints, as I get more out of them than most new stuff the publisher puts out the last few years.

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…And the week’s Comic Shop News stands alone by virtue of the way I do photos for these posts. Since I’ve taken to including it each week, didn’t want to be overly lazy and leave it out.   


Week of October 9, 2019

And then for the most recent week…we lead with multiple $4.99 comics! Which is rather disgusting in its own way. Also a reminder of how absolutely shameful Marvel has gotten with its numbering!

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While a local comic shop (as of this past weekend) has a copy of the original Amazing Fantasy #15 (for only $8,000!)…I am quite happy enough with this $3.99 facsimile edition of the issue. Then we have the final issue of Powers of X, which is also the overall finale to Hickman‘s HoX/PoX saga. And then Spawn #301. #300 a few weeks ago was a big deal for the huge number, matching Cerebus as a creator-owned title reaching such a number, and so on…but now with #301, Spawn exceeds that record (it’s even earned McFarlane a Guiness World Record…a record which I was glad to see the creator acknowledge would never have been reached without all the other people who have also worked on/with the title over the 27 years!). That the series launched after the artists left Marvel which at the time had a 30+ year history of their then-titles, but is now 250 issues beyond any numbers Marvel is publishing 27 years later?

IDW gets the next couple of slots for the reprint series of the Image TMNT series as well as what may (now) be the 2nd-highest-numbered comic series of its obvious category in GI Joe: A Real American Hero. The fact that they’ve successfully published some 112+ issues picking up from #155 some 15+ years earlier totally blows the notion that only low numbers sell! We have another $1 True Believers issue from Marvel, this one reprinting the first appearance of Pyro, I guess? More importantly, it reprints the key Uncanny X-Men for only $1. Even with this edition, I would happily pay $3.99 or so for a replica/facsimile edition of the issue!

Then we have new issues of Superman, Supergirl, and Detective Comics, all of which I feel like I’m woefully behind on reading. And if rumours are to be believed for stuff DC may have coming up, it makes me feel all the more like these have a short lifespan ahead in my buying.

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Finally, we have the latest issue of Event Leviathan, which I’ve been getting–continuing to get–on the notion (now vain!) that I’d catch up on Action Comics and Superman and this title itself and not want to have to THEN chase down issues or such. At this point, 5 of 6 issues in and not having read any, I’d have been far better off just waiting FOR a collected volume! Ugh.

And this week’s Comic Shop News features Vampirella; with the very sorta cover that makes me feel dirty at seeking the title out at all, ever. That the title’s publisher insists on umpteen covers per issue makes it extremely inconsistent to even find issues and though I’d bought the first issue, I’ve missed subsequent issues for either not recognizing a cover, or seeing multiple covers and just not feeling arsed enough to decipher which would be the "A" cover vs. C or E or whatever umpteenth cover.

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Hall of Fame City Comic Con 2019

Comic conventions have come to be a fairly "mixed" thing for me. On one hand, they’re a place to meet creators, and get access to all sorts of back issues and deals and such that are NOT available at the comic shops I frequent usually (and whose stock I largely "know" as-is and take advantage of weekly). On the other hand, I’m not thrilled with large crowds and all the unpredictability that comes with them, unknown parking situations, added parking and admission costs just to get access to the con, certain long lines, etc. Especially when attending alone (whether no one else wants to go with me, or "life" gets in the way and I don’t decide 100% that I myself am even going until the day-of).

This past weekend, I attended what apparently was the fourth annual Hall of Fame City Comic Con (and my second attendance of the show). I’d last gone to the 2017 show two years ago. I’d intended to attend last year’s show, but "life" was not going well at the time, which combined with trying to go alone, parking, and a monstrous-looking crowd that saw me forego the whole thing.

Probably "the" guest for the year was David Yost, the actor who portrayed BIlly Cranston in the original seasons of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I knew going in that I definitely wanted to attend his panel/Q&A…which was definitely a quick hour! Me being me, I wasn’t interested in coming up with any questions to throw out, and don’t REALLY think I learned anything particularly "new," but I enjoyed the time. There’s something about simply hearing stuff "live" from someone, and taking in their presence and impact on a crowd of people that has such a different impact from simple "facts" or information gleaned by READING (online or otherwise).

I took a small poster that I’d planned to get signed, and looked forward to a quick photo with the actor…waiting until later into the day for the initial line to die down, and still stood in line for nearly an hour.

Only to THEN realize that it was $30/signature, $30/photo op, $50/shout out (whatever that is–something for podcasts or YouTube channels, perhaps?). So, disgusted at spending so much time in a line but unwilling to spend $30 for a "signature of opportunity" or a random photo that would embody "this was a $30 commercial transaction" to me, I bailed.

Lesson learned: look up signing/autograph costs ahead of time, and remember that there’s a significant difference in such "celebrity guests" and comic creators.

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After 3-4 times around the block, I finally found parking nearby. Then had to stand in the 11am sun for over a half-hour. Which admittedly wasn’t as bad as it initially looked–at first, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be in by noon. Where other conventions would have several lines going–at least at the point of admission itself once you got up there–this one seemed to have one line for pre-ordered tickets and one for on-the-spot/at-the-door, which created a definite bottlenecking effect; as well as only one person checking bags and such (I was thankful my bottle-opener and mini-pocketknife (that I always forget I even have on me til I need it) didn’t raise any alarms.)

Once in, I was handed the ashcan-sized "program" for the con, which included a map of the floor’s layout with where the various creators and vendors were located.

The only actual back-issue purchase I made of the whole show was this Batman/Spawn: War Devil issue…which is itself a "convenience purchase" to have it immediately with my Spawn stuff…I’ll get into that eventually with an upcoming "SpawnQuest" post.

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Where I first walked in, I was greeted by the Toys Time Forgot booth, which was fantastic, as that–with Dirk Manning–was one of my primary "goals" for the show. I got the store-exclusive Hope #3, and signed. While I make no secret of loathing variant covers in general…I find that something like this works as an exception. I haven’t thought too deeply on it, but I think part of it is that it’s not DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc. And that it’s SO limited as to be negligible; it’s NOT part of the "marketing" of the title "in general," and that Dirk is present and signing the issues in-person, such that the thing being a ‘variant" is nearly incidental, as it’s another creator-owned title; as a store-exclusive, it’s benefiting a specific retailer, and it’s a great souvenir/artifact of attending a particular event (store signing, or in this case, convention appearance).

I also got my Tales of Mr. Rhee hardcover signed; and Dirk gifted me a glow-in-the-dark pin!

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I’m pretty sure that at this point, Manning is the creator I’ve met most frequently, as he’s local to the region, attends a lot of shows and such, and is such a friendly, personable guy and just great to catch at the various shows. He’s really set a high standard in my book, which I’ve certainly held others up to in a big way.

I went from getting Hope and Tales of Mr. Rhee signed to the panel room to be sure I got a seat for Yost‘s panel.

From that panel, my aim was Mark Texeira and Mark Bagley. I’d spent a couple hours going through my comic boxes the night before specifically to locate my original 1998 Marvel Knights Black Panther #1 to get signed, and had bought a Wolverine issue (to avoid having to dig through boxes) earlier in the week.

Unfortunately…I saw that Texeira was charging for autographs–it looked like $10 each. Which immediately nixed the novelty of it, of spending a couple minutes (if that long) at the table and all. Outside of the likes of Stan Lee, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, I just don’t see paying for autographs!

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So I cautiously made my way onward to Bagley‘s table, and was disappointed to see that he was charging, as well! BUT…then I realized his charging was specific. Signature-only: $10. Personalized: free.

As I’d intended anyway to have them personalized, nothing on my part was changed.

I got The Amazing Spider-Man #375 and Venom: Lethal Protector #1 signed; both being "key" books to ME personally, as a couple of my earliest Spider-Man and Spidey-related comics, and fairly big deals at the time. Though admittedly in 1993, I could not have told you these were Mark Bagley and actually hadn’t even realized the connection when I was getting Ultimate Spider-Man junior and senior years of college.

One of my favorite memories of early Ultimate Spider-Man was the shared enjoyment of the series with one of my best friends. There was something to getting the new issues, reading them, talking about them "in the moment" and the shared enjoyment that went a long way. And I’m pretty sure that was one factor that helped get me into reviewing and eventually blogging, and those few months in particular of it remain a high-level standard unmatched in recent years for me.

My friend had spent some time in Italy one summer for school, and brought back an Italian edition of Ultimate Spider-Man for me. It has the cover image of the U.S. #13, though it has the contents of #s 12 & 13, I believe.

So a gift from a friend from a shared period of shared enjoyment of a series, and signed by the creator…makes that a particularly key, sentimental issue in my collection.

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As I browsed, trying to determine if anyone had any Spawn comics, I spotted a familiar cover…TMNT: A Fishy Adventure. (I detail that book’s significance to me in my 2017 Super Blog Team-Up post on the Mighty Mutanimals.) Seeing that this was in much better condition and without any ex-library junk on it, I stepped in for a closer look and saw that a couple of the other storybooks were also available.

While I’d have been thrilled to have had Fight for the Turnstone and The Magic Crystal present, I was happy to also be able to get Return of the Shredder and The Incredible Shrinking Turtles.

That I was able to get these 3 for a mere $2 total was fantastic! Half the price of a cheap/standard-price comic these days, for 3 long-out of print and (in my experience) rare (especially in such good condition!) storybooks. Definitely the "deal of the show" for me!

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I then made my way back to the "panel room" for Mark Bagley‘s panel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As someone else suggested when Bagley threatened that we’d just have to listen to him ramble if no one had questions…that’s one thing people enjoy with such panels. Just hearing the creator talk about their experiences and such, in their own words.

After the disappointment regarding bailing on meeting David Yost over the $30-$60 signature/photo op pricing, I ended up taking a 2nd look at a booth with some $6 ea/4-for-$20 books, and wound up getting the deluxe hardcover Marvel: Generations, Marvel Legacy, and Thanos: The Infinity Conflict. I also grabbed IDW‘s Saucer Country. Compared to the all-too-frequent-of-late $6 single-issues from Marvel, these oversized/deluxe hardcovers and OGN would actually BE worth $6/ea, and even better at functionally only $5!

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I then swung back around to Toys Time Forgot and caught Dirk again briefly, and then opted to "pull the trigger" on getting a couple of "exclusive" Pops (and hey, what convention’s complete without buying at least one of these little buggers, the last 8-some years?). I still have my eyes on the Swamp Thing one and possibly Lobo, but decided the TMNT branding meant more to me; especially as I do specifically still want to get Michelangelo, Donatello, Splinter, April, Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady if I can ever find them for what I consider reasonable pricing (i.e. NOT $20+ apiece!).

I departed the con from there. Met/got stuff signed by Dirk Manning and Mark Bagley; got to attend the David Yost and Mark Bagley panels…truly "more success than not" for the show, disappointing as it was discovering prices for Texira and Yost and choosing as such to pass on them.


I was yet again not particularly impressed with "dealer stock" for comics at the show. Bargain collected volumes, but those are by and large skinny, non-sequential volumes in a longer series and clearly "overstock" without much in the way of being ‘special’.

Plenty of generic variant covers overstock; and plenty of isolated modern back-issues that (at surface glance/appearance) seem to be overstock and primarily Marvel, with a fair bit of DC. I did manage to find 2-3 instances with some Spawn presence…one of which was that Batman/Spawn issue pictured at the top of this post. It seems that "everyone" that has Spawn stuff at a show has the earliest issues, isolated or as a run; but much past #40 or before #270 is not present.

While it makes sense for dealers to bring overstock to shows to try to get rid of it with people that normally don’t make it to their shops; it’s disappointing for someone like me looking for stuff that isn’t "just" random overstock.

It’s also discouraging when I’m looking for very particular back issues that no one’s "bothered" to bring; while any particular "fun" to serendipity in $1 bins or 3/$1 bins or 50-cent bins is totally lost on realizing that stuff is not sorted in any meaningful way. DC? Marvel? Image? Alphabetical? With so many other people around and also flipping through such bins…and MY knowing darned well that any significant "keys" are NOT going to be in there (especially at a convention) it’s just not worth the hassle (to ME) of riffling through such bins on the off-chance of finding anything "worth" getting.

ESPECIALLY when I’m very specifically interested in particular back-issues (Spawn, cheap X-Men #141, non-shiny Uncanny X-Men #350, shiny Wolverine #145).

I suppose we’ll see what I come across at a couple of upcoming shows if I actually make it to them.

All this said…I’ve now been to 2 of the 3 iterations of the Hall of Fame City Comic Con that I’ve been consciously aware of. And as such shows go, it’s been enjoyable overall. "Too many people" for my preference in a way…yet NOT so many as to have choked aisleways and such.

Employment, finances, and timing-permitting, I’ll very likely attend next year’s show. All the more now having this second instance in my experience, I’ll be that much more ready for a third!

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My Spawn Collection at 300

As of Spawn #300’s release–September 4, 2019–my Spawn collection isn’t all that large.

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But it includes #s 1-19, 25, 30, and 257-300! Granted, in this photo, I have the 2019 Free Comic Book Day edition of #1 on top. I also have the Image Firsts edition. And the homage to Ultimate Spider-Man #1 edition of the Director’s Cut in there.

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I have my real, actual #1 framed alongside the #1-homage cover of the Director’s Cut hanging on the wall down to the basement.

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At a glance it disappears into a sea of framed stuff, but it’s still there! It’s how I like displaying the occasional variant that I do buy for the art!

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Then I have a shelf of miscellaneous stuff that hasn’t been rehomed elsewhere as yet. Several bust banks, a Kotobukiya Professor X, the Neca Shredder…and Spawn figures I got a couple years back.

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In this photo are a couple of early-ish (maybe not FIRST wave, but certainly from an early one!) Spawn action figures. These are standard-size; I’m not sure exactly what scale…they just are what they are. I also have my ORIGINAL Medieval Spawn figure minus its cape elsewhere, but when I had the chance to buy one that had the cape (and the sword) I jumped on it! Of course, with the originals, I do remember it being quite cool having a figure that also came with a "full-size" comic book. (And this was before Marvel Legends, even!)

While I don’t know if they were originally with either of these figures, I do have a couple issues that I think had originally come with some figures.

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And there’s this oversized statue-size figure. I loved the price, and its size. I may not be willing to pay several hundred dollars for a statue, but a couple comics’ price for a plastic figure? Great by me!

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My two original Spawn figures on a shelf of miscellaneous figures…

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A bit of a closer view. Though…wow. Batman is REALLY rather prominent, there!

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OK…there we go. The Spawn figures!

So that’s Comics and toys.

"But what about the movie?!?" you might ask. "Wasn’t there an animated series?"

Got those, too.

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The original film, as well as a "box set" of the animated series (from HBO, at least originally, I think?)


I probably have a handful of other Spawn things around. But other than getting the individual issues the last almost-4-years, I’ve really only dabbled in the character/property. (As I type, I recall I also have at least one of the Spawn/Batman issues…but if I jump up for every memory to add a photo, I’ll never finish this post and get to bed at a decent hour!)

I suppose this is a bit more than I thought when I first started typing tonight…and surely "more" than many people have.

I have roughly 70 issues of the main Spawn title…leaving me 230 issues to have the full series. Whether I’ll seek to attain that, I don’t know. A couple years ago, I hunted down 100 issues of Savage Dragon in barely a month. I don’t see THAT happening again.

But time will definitely tell!

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#HPBQuest 2019

I have a very mixed relationship with Half-Price Books. Many, many books and graphic novels and such that I own come from the chain. But much as I find great stuff at times, they drive me absolutely nuts when it comes to their trying to be too much all at once, instead of just a diversified used-books-and-such store. But that’s a subject for other posts.

This past weekend, I finally took the plunge and took a years-old idea and made a reality of it.

While I’ve been somewhat aware of their being at least 5 Half-Price Books locations in the Columbus, OH area in addition to the two that I’m aware of in the Cleveland, OH area, I don’t think I’ve ever made it to more than 2 stores in a given day: Either both that are still around here, or a couple of the Columbus ones when I’m in the area to visit a friend when she’s in town.

But what if I were to take a day, and simply make it my goal to visit as many of these as I could? No particular visitation, not meeting up with anyone…not the passive “I’m in the area, might as well stop by the nearest HPB location.” But a specific attempt to visit all 5 of the stores.

As I’ve mentally dubbed it after the fact…it became my #HPBQuest. (Something more than “merely” a typical #HPBHaul).

And then after I actually made it to all 5 of the Columbus-area stores…I realized it wouldn’t be a significantly different timespan, so I decided to add the Cleveland ones into the mix on the way back, so made a sixth stop. Unfortunately, though, traffic I’d hit between the 4th and 5th Columbus stores (due to an OSU game) delayed me long enough that I’d have gotten to the 7th store about 5 minutes or less until closing, and I never want to be that guy.

So for good measure, after hitting 6 in one day, I hit that seventh on my way to another engagement the day after, just for good measure. (After all, what if they had something fantastic-awesome-amazing and I missed out solely for not taking a few minutes to stop in?)

Anyway…after such a “quest,” here’s the “haul,” what I have to show for such a random, crazy stunt.


Half-Price Books #1: NorthPointe Plaza, Lewis Center

I’m not sure what I expected to find first, but I wound up getting three books at the first HPB I stopped at.

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I snagged the updated Titan printing of the movie novelizations of Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection; though it turned out that I already had the latter. Oops.

I also grabbed MechWarrior Dark Age: Pandora’s Gambit, adding the first new MechWarrior book to my collection in probably 13-15 years.


Half-Price Books #2: Carriage Place Plaza, Columbus

While a bit underwhelmed at the first store, I found a fair number of MMPBs at the second. And probably my best find of the day in a Highlander complete TV series on VHS set (and just a few days after my Super-Blog Team-Up entry on Highlander and TMNT!)

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I’ve occasionally thought back to some years ago seeing at least a couple of the Highlander seasons at a now-closed HPB in Mentor. Though I have the series on DVD, I’d always liked the way the series was done on VHS with the spines of the tapes all making a single image. There was also something to it for the series being available like that at all, in the late-1990s, when it was rather rare for any tv series to have more than a few episodes or a “Best Of…” selection.

Being the type of person I am, seeing all six of these seasons available grabbed my attention. When I realized that each was the price of a single issue of a modern comic series I knew I was absolutely buying these, if only to HAVE them.

I’ll have to research a bit to see if the DVDs are supposed to have the same content, or if there’s something unique to these VHS that will warrant getting a player to actually try watching some of these!

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Since I’d already pulled them from the shelves, I also got several Dragonlance novels. The Legend of Huma is an old favorite, and in this case a duplicate…but as a favorite, I wanted to get it so I have a copy to perhaps gift to a friend or such!

The Battletech book was part of a hope of finding a number of books in the series, and GI Joe is GI Joe.


Half-Price Books #3: Lane Ave., Upper Arlington

The third HPB was the single largest I think I have ever seen!

Of course, when I first walked in, I thought it was the smallest. But the first room gave way to a hallway which opened into a massive room.

Unfortunately, despite being huge, they really didn’t have much that I was looking for or that I opted to buy, given what I’d already bought and might buy at other stores, with at least 3 more to go at the time.

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While I may wind up kicking myself on it, I opted for a 10-episodes-only He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD over a 2-box-set of the entire first season. #1, this was 1/5 the cost of the other and #2, just being practical, I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually watching even these, let alone binging–and sticking with it–an entire season!

I had never seen or known the Warmachine: Prime Rules Digest to exist, so bought it as a curiosity. I’m sure the full-size rules books that I own are VASTLY out of date as it is (ditto for Hordes), but for “only” $2.99 over $20-40, a curiosity was in order, here.


Half-Price Books #4: Shoppes At East Broad, Reynoldsburg

The fourth HPB was significantly less impressive after the size of the third. I did find the 4-issue Icons: Rogue series. I may already have this, but I’m equally likely to be thinking of a friend having bought the series for another friend. And while these ought to be 25-50 cent comics, they’re not something I’ve come across repeatedly or anything, so for $1 apiece, I figured that’s the price (or less) for anything Marvel publishes at present, and certainly worth spending for a full story like this.

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I’m not quite sure what to make of the covers…I’m not used to seeing Rogue illustrated this way, with an almost photorealistic appearance clearly based on the actress from the 2000 X-Men film (hard to believe that was 19 years ago, and this comic series is 18 years old now!)

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I normally am not much of a fan of oversized items, but I recall some hype over Molly Danger back in the day, and figured a collected edition would be over $10 now. And as a hardcover treasury-edition-sized thing for that price, this wasn’t bad.

I also scored the 4th and 5th seasons of Boy Meets World on the clearance shelves…which add nicely to the first 3 seasons I already have!

Finally, I actually found a copy of the live-action Masters of the Universe film that I’ve been keeping an eye out for.


Half-Price Books #5: S. State St. Westerville

By the fifth stop I was definitely getting rather worn down. I’d also hit some major traffic leaving the fourth store and at one point realized I’d wound up circling back completely to the store just trying to get away from the area.

A lot of intersections were coned-off as closed or turn-a-certain-way-ONLY and I ended up just following several roads for awhile (ignoring my phone’s GPS instructions) until I was far enough away to begin following the device again.

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This HPB I consciously remember visiting a couple times previously. Alas, no amazing Further Adventures of the Batman finds this time or such.

I’ve gotten away from omnibus volumes as they’re generally just too large and unwieldy to me. But I opted to get this Brightest Day one, thinking it didn’t seem too thick or heavy, but at 25 issues a decent size–larger than an 18-issue volume, but not a ridiculous 50-60-issue volume.

Snagging The Boys Omnibus vol. 1 for 50% off beat prices I’ve seen looking on Amazon or such…and was in-stock and available in-person in much BETTER CONDITION than anything Amazon would bother to deliver.

I’m pretty sure I have Chew vol. 1 from ages back. Seeing vols. 2-3 on clearance at $3/each (cheaper than a single issue of a modern comic), I snagged them.


Half-Price Books #6: Great Northern Blvd, North Olmsted

Despite “completing” my goal of all 5 Columbus-area HPBs, I decided it wouldn’t add much to my return trip to aim for a more local one to cap off the trip.

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This is one of the HPBs I’m most familiar with, that I probably get to every few weeks/couple months or so.

Having listened to the William Gibson Alien3 audiodrama from Audible and being deep into the Audible audiobook of Alien: Isolation, when I saw The Book of Alien, I was keenly interested.

I also found the best-condition copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hardcover I’ve seen in years (even the dustjacket in better-than-Amazon-Prime condition!) so snagged that to complete my hardcover set of the series.

The Wonder Woman Anthology was a bit of a curiosity.Seems it was available exclusively through Costco, and contains the first Wonder Woman (New 52?) volume as well as the first volume of the New 52 Justice League and I think the first volume of the Rebirth Justice League. For $10, for such a thick volume, I figured why not?

Finally, saw the Zombies!!! base set (I think that’s what it is) and decided to get it rather than regret passing it up later. I’m looking forward to trying Zombicide with some friends in the near future, but with a new edition of that coming out next year, I’d rather wait. And I believe this game is the one that you can buy a “bag o’ zombies” and just seems a fun novelty to me and possibility for an interesting game, coming off the ending of The Walking Dead this summer and my 70-issue binge of the latter part of the series.


Half-Price Books #7: Golden Gate Plaza, Mayfield Heights

I could have just made it to Mayfield, but it would have been about 5 minutes until closing if I did…hardly time to go in and look around more than a cursory glance at a couple things. I’d wonder what I missed in such a rush-through of the store, plus I hate to be that guy in a retail place rushing in right before closing and holding everyone up.

Especially as visiting the next day would be a brief, convenient deviation from a straight point-A/point-B route to where I was going anyway!

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Alas, nothing of significant interest that I had to see or pick up.

I did find an acceptable-condition-to-me (and almost certainly better-than-AmazonPrime condition) copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Which, as I’d mournfully realized the night before, I was also missing from a complete set of the hardcovers.

For taking the time, I decided to get a “replacement copy” of Aliens Book 1: Earth Hive. My copy has been read several times over, and the spine is quite the worse for wear. This copy has a nice, clean spine that looks a lot better on the shelf with the other novels. I may also eventually “replace” books 2 & 3, but time will tell on those.


The Forgotten Amazon Orders

I also had a couple of Amazon orders arrive over the weekend.

One I’d intentionally had in addition to the HPB stuff, and the other I’d totally forgotten about.

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I think it was only a couple weeks ago I discovered the Alien: Isolation novel would exist (I think it just came out?). In half-assedly putting together an order for it, I came across Alien: Echo, which seems to be a YA novel set in the Alien universe. Definitely an oddity, but being in-brand, it’s something I was very interested in!

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While I feel the series was vastly over-hyped and opted not to get it at the time, I did finally decide to get Batman: White Knight. I also was not thrilled about it being a retroactive addition to DC‘s Black Label branding. But c’est la vie and all that.

I also had looked up–initially to put on a list to look into it more at some later point–the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection hardcover. But for its price and the size of the thing, went ahead and ordered it along with the White Knight volume.

I’m far from being a particular fan of the He-Man/Masters of the Universe stuff. But with a new series recently announced, having watched the Toys That Made Us episode on Netflix semi-recently-ish, and a couple YouTube videos about the toys, and seeing the size of this hardcover at a store, I realized it’s an excellent sort of volume, collecting all the vintage mini-comics and such into one neat volume, rather than one having to hunt down all the individual pieces as rare artifacts with individual vintage toys. They’re just all here, together, in one item, quite fit for the shelf.

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I’m pretty sure that this is essentially an “oversized hardcover” to the minicomics as a regular “oversized hardcover” is to regular comics. It’s a bit larger than digest-sized, but not quite full comic-book dimensions. Still a great volume, and sure to be an excellent resource!


All told, I don’t expect I’ll particularly want to undertake such a “quest” again as this weekend. It was an idea that’s rattled around the back of my head for years, so now having actually done it…that idea and curiosity has been more than satisfied.

It was definitely something to do, got me away from home, and was maybe the first real trip I’ve taken in years, so plenty of positives despite no desire to do it again anytime soon.

That said, it’s primed the idea to me of another similar idea I’ve had with a friend, or visiting a number of comic shops in a single overall trip. Though I’m pretty sure the “Comic Shop Crawl” would need to be a full weekend thing, or started much earlier in the day.

Time will definitely tell, though!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: July 10 to August 14, 2019

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Once again, it’s been a few weeks since posting! Maybe soon I’ll get back into a regular rhythm of things with at least 1 less distraction (11 seasons of The Big Bang Theory) behind me!


Week of July 10, 2019

All the way back to early July 2019 to start this re-catchup journey!

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A very heavy-DC week, with the only Marvel stuff being reprints of old material.


Week of July 17, 2019

Another standard-ish week…

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Another replica edition and a reprint from Marvel. I opted to get Vampirella #1 on being written by Priest; the cover’s rather off-putting compared to the other stuff, and has long been one of the reasons I’ve NOT bought the title.

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Somehow the image from Comic Shop News of Vampirella with Red Sonja seems more…"normal"…-ish?

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Runners had finally come in from a Kickstarter!

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Snagged some Dreadstar from bargain bins for a great price! And far superior pricing to a Kickstarter earlier this year that I bailed on.

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Legend of the Shaders is a Kickstarter I’d been looking forward to, and was glad to get! "The Harp Twins" also do some great harp music covers of popular songs…some of my recent favorite instrumentals!

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More bargain bin books. Where was TwoMorrows Publishing when I was writing papers in college and needed citable "sources"?!?

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A batch of the Walmart DC Giants


Week of July 24, 2019

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A surprisingly Marvel-heavy week. I decided to throw in with the Hickman X-Men reboot to give stuff a shot. Marvels Epilogue was expensive for what it is, but goes with the Annotated series. And another X-Men replica edition adds to my collection of such things.

Behind on reading and not one bit impressed with the Year of the Villain stuff. DC just did a similar thing a year or two before the New 52, to say nothing of Underworld Unleashed back in the ’90s. I’d rather pick up ’90s comics than pay $5 an issue for modern stuff.

And then just on the offchance that I’d get around to "finally" getting/reading the original White Knight, figured pick up the new one so I wouldn’t have to "hunt" later.

And I couldn’t pass up at least a first issue of another Archie vs. Predator as the concept is just so ludicrous! Or at least, it WAS before Riverdale and the line’s reboot and whatnot. I think the original series is FINALLY available in paperback, nearly 3 years AFTER a hardcover was out.

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Another $2 newsstand copy of Superman #75.

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I finally got my Munchkin collection re-organized. At one point I thought I wanted to condense to a couple of their "monster box" things, but realized I’d rather just have the games obvious as to what they are, and NOT have to lug most of a collection around just to be able to play any given version.

Quite a shelf, though.


Week of July 31, 2019

Another X-Men week…

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And another couple newsstand Superman #75s. Because I could.

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And I’m iffy on the whole Dawn of X but time will tell.

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I finally "pulled the trigger" on the Armageddon 2001 saga and ordered the issues.

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We’ll see when/if I ever get around to actually reading the thing, but at least this way I can add the story to a "complete events" box I have with Eclipso: The Darkness Within, Bloodlines, and Zero Hour: Crisis in Time.


Week of August 7, 2019

And now into August…the current month at least!

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I opted to take a chance on Absolute Carnage #1. I was then glad I did when I read on Bleeding Cool that if one redeemed the digital code before 8/20, they’d get a "director’s cut" edition of the issue with some more extras including a variant covers gallery.

However, when I went to redeem my code, I found that my copy of the issue had no code whatsoever–apparently a misprint (the sticker didn’t get added to the issue). While Marvel Support provided me a code via Twitter, it only gave me a "basic edition," and when I pursued it, was told that that’s all that came with the issue.

So a digital-only director’s-cut edition for $2 MORE than PRINT is out there, and I feel severely shorted, with frustration toward Bleeding Cool AND Marvel on the matter such that I’m all the MORE determined to NOT buy into this event beyond having already WASTED $8.

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I came across new TMNT toys at a Target and found that I really like the stylized look, especially compared to my overall distaste for the Rise of the TMNT look.

I opted to buy Raphael as my "modern favorite" of the turtles (my "classic favorite" had been Leonardo as a kid).

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The back of the box…

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My mistake, though, was in thinking I’d be happy with JUST the one turtle. I wound up spending an afternoon visiting several Targets to locate the other 3 turtles.

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Leonardo.

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Donatello.

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Michelangelo.


Week of August 14, 2019

And finally, catching up to this past week…

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Another replica edition in X-Factor #87. Mostly I’d consider it a 25-cent book, but I’d still rather pay $3.99 for it than most of what Marvel is putting out presently. AND show that I support these reprints MORE than I do the bulk of their current output!

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The "final" batch of Walmart issues…at least as exclusives. Apparently there could be another 1 or two of the Superman one, but otherwise these are all "rebooting" AGAIN, and rather than the entire package being exclusively Walmart-only, apparently there will be Walmart-only COVERS as well as the retail giant getting a couple weeks to a month’s head-start on comic shops. But rather than 4 or 6 titles, suddenly DC is leaping to 10 or 12 with an eye on 20ish. Which seems a bit of overkill to me, and has me thinking I might throw in the towel on these.

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Here’s what 14 months of the things look like together on a shelf, though. Way too much reading yet to do anyway…plenty for a "rainy day" or such!


And this catches me up to current…I think I’ve actually thus far managed to document every week’s haul of 2019 so far. ‘Bout the only thing I’ve managed to keep up with, it seems.

Of course, as this post goes live, tomorrow–August 21–sees another new week of comics.

As I fall further behind in my reading, and that compounds itself.

The hobby becomes more "chore" week over week.

C’est la vie.

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