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Hall of Fame City Comic Con 2017

Saturday, I attended the Hall of Fame City Comic Con, held in Canton, Ohio. I’m not sure when, exactly, they got on my ‘radar,’ though I think they might have been a Facebook ad (one of the astronomically-rare few to be properly, successfully "targeted," but that’s another story).

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After being thoroughly burned on the NEO Comic Con, I wasn’t entirely sure what to "expect" from this one, and very nearly opted not to go. But since I had pre-ordered a ticket, I figured it’d be silly not to, even if I walked in, did a quick walk-around and walked back out.

Going in, two of my main "goals" were to meet/get stuff signed by Norm Rapmund and Ethan Van Sciver.

I also wanted to find a bunch of Savage Dragon comics on the cheap.

And find some good deals on collected volumes that weren’t just the same old boring/repetitive mix of $10 Marvel hardcovers and SKINNY TPBs.

Finally, there was a Green Lantern panel scheduled with both Daryl Banks and Ethan Van Sciver that seemed likely to be interesting (Banks was the artist of the fall of Hal Jordan; Van Sciver was the artist on the redemption of Hal Jordan). Plus, it was the only one that seemed to hit me as a demographic, involving any kind of super-hero comics.

So…how did this con go?

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I had three Booster Gold issues with me to get signed by Mr. Rapmund. I wound up sticking with two, though…but could easily had multiple dozens of issues, loving so much of what the man’s done!

Then for Mr. Van Sciver, I opted for my "key" issue where I first became really aware of him as an artist–Green Lantern Rebirth #1.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything with me to get signed by Mr. Banks…something I fully intend to correct in a few weeks if I make it to another con I’m aware of that he’s supposed to be a featured guest at!

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I happened across a booth with a bunch of paperbacks, and initially figured to be just another one selling a bunch of over-stocked skinny Marvel books. But I spotted a fat, thick volume, and realized that this booth actually had some real QUALITY stuff for its pricing. I regret a couple volumes I passed on, but still wound up with these eight (8!) volumes.

I believe the paperback Marvels all have a cover price of at least $34.99, if not $39.99 apiece. And I happened to notice a $29.99 price on the hardcover The Puma Blues (a title that caught my attention due to recently becoming re-aware of the title thanks to research I did for my Super-Blog Team Up post The Death of the Mighty Mutanimals. It’s by Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli; long associated with their Mirage Studios work with the Ninja Turtles.

Each of these worked out to a whopping $5 apiece…so I’m kicking myself all the more for those couple of Wolverine books I passed up!

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After the Green Lantern panel, I headed back out onto the floor, and wound up stopping at a booth with a bunch of Pops because I saw a Swamp Thing, and because of the flow of foot traffic. Once I’d looked at some stuff and was ready to walk away…I spotted a familiarly-packaged Superboy, and on further investigation found Eradicator as well as the black-suited Superman. There was no way in heck I was spending to buy all three…so I selected the Eradicator, finding the design a lot more appealing to me, and this is a figure I’ve wanted for quite a long time!

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Realizing I was blowing my budget, I decided to call it a wrap, knowing anything else I was likely to find would probably put me way over-budget. But on my way out, I opted to buy a copy of this "autograph print," for the art and being a ‘souvenir’ of the con, even though I should have bought it on the way in and then made the rounds to get it signed by all six guests. But then, I’m not an autograph hound, and prefer that when I get signatures for comic stuff, it’s the actual comics and they mean something to me. Not "just" some signature on a print for the sake of filling in some blanks. And I assume the sale of these prints help out the con itself, so figured why not?

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I also stopped back in at an entrance-way table, where as I’d "suspected," there were still plenty of these Voltron posters. I dug the look of this, and didn’t want to be carrying something like it around the whole con…but grabbed it on the way out.

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On the way home, having had the Pops-spark rekindled a bit for the day, I stopped at a Toys R Us hoping to find the Rafiki figure with baby Simba, but no luck. They did have this Clayface, which I’d looked for elsewhere and not seen, and assumed to be one of the oversized figures. Finding it and not wanting to have to "hunt" for it later, went ahead and snagged it!

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Along with getting those Booster Gold issues signed, also got to get a photo with Mr. Rapmund!

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And what I’d "pictured" as just getting a quick photo of the men from the fall and redemption of Hal Jordan wound up with me being in the photo with Mr. Banks and Mr. Van Sciver!


So, all in all…for me, this was about as excellent a convention as I could have hoped for, in going to it alone and not seeing any obvious 25 or 50 cent bins, and being somewhat jaded from other experiences.

I am glad I went, and have to say I’m extremely eager to read more of the Green Lantern run Mr. Banks did the art for, and to get a couple things signed by him in November.

I definitely enjoyed the panel, generally enjoying hearing favored creators speak about their work and various other things in the "comics industry," and very much enjoyed some of the topics covered in the panel. In its way, the panel itself was practically worth the price of admission in itself!

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Halloween Comic Con 2016: The Convention Haul

Over the weekend, I had a chance to get to a quasi-local (for me) convention–Halloween Comic Con, hosted by The Pop Shop in Sandusky, Ohio.

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Prior to even going to the event itself, a friend gave me a few things he’d had for me, including a couple of Ultimatum hardcovers he’d picked up for me some time back!

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The main Ultimatum volume has Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum itself…unfortunately, does not have the Annuals that were collected in the March on Ultimatum regular-sized hardcover. The Ultimatum Companion includes tie-in issues in the run-up to, during, and after the event for Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic Four; it also includes the Requiem issues for those titles.

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All in all, a couple of excellent oversized volumes for the Ultimate collection, and they’re very much the sort of collections I absolutely love: One volume for the “main” event itself and anything “core” to it…then a “companion” volume with the various tie-ins and such! Great package…

Then we get to the actual convention stuff…

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Free with admission we got this Soulfire Collected Edition volume. Nothing overly special (to me), but as a freebie…not bad at all!

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This Superman figure worked out to roughly $4…the price of a single Marvel comic…yet it’s something that generally would be basically a $20 item. Anyone can say what they will about Superman…but me? $4 for a full-size figure like this is something I’m quite game for! (And someday soon I may have to post a photo of my Superman shelf…)

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Unfortunately, none of the other figures in this wave were present… I’m not a huge fan of this version of Wonder Woman, but Flash, Green Lantern, or especially the Captain Marvel figure would also have been great scores!

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I initially made a mental note of the Hawk and Dove figures, though didn’t spring for them right away. Once I’d had a chance to wander the tables, and we were about to leave, I doubled back to check, telling myself they were a set. I would buy both if they were both still present, leaving whichever one was there if someone had already bought the other. Needless to say…they were both still there, and I snagged ’em.

Neither figure is that remarkable or interesting to me on their own…but the two of them, together, are really freaking cool to me!

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The Superman figure above and these four volumes were part of a $5/ea or 5/$20 deal. There’s a whole bunch of Superman paperbacks I’d like to own, but not enough to pay much for. At the same cost as a Marvel comic, though…I’m quite willing!

The Resurrection Man volume “rounded out” the deal, and for the price and having 14-ish issues (from the original 1990s run), not bad at all!

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Moving on into stuff, I snagged a 2nd copy of Superman #s 150 and 166 with the extra-shiny-ness thing going on. For the price, I was sucked in with the shinyness and the relative rarity…as in this is only the second time I can think of that I’ve seen this version of #150; and my original copy of 166 suffered some unfortunate rolling/bending years back being in the back of a longbox. For under $2/ea, glad to double-up!

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For “50 cents each or 5/$2,” I added an extra copy of the Superman: Save the Planet! special to the other four issues that had my attention.

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While I’d made sure ahead of this convention that I had my Ultraverse and TMNT comics sorted and missing issues logged…I neglected to log my stack of DC One Million issues…and unwilling to spend the extra $1 or 50 cents or whatever they would work out to on yet more doubles of those, I probably passed on a simple score of wrapping up my set of DC One Million.

That said…I snagged the DC One Million 80-Page Giant as well as what I hope is only a 2-part DC Two Thousand. I’d hoped for Flash: Terminal Velocity (the run-up to #100) but the stock skipped from the early 50s to the 120s…I settled for the four-part Born to Run story, as I couldn’t remember if I had the single issues or not.

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For basically $2 apiece, got Shade the Changing Man #1 and the Prime versus The Incredible Hulk. The former to compare/contrast with the new Young Animal iteration (Shade the Changing Girl) and the latter because hey, that’s a great price for an issue like this! (remember it, as this comes into play a bit later!)

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I believe I dug the Wild Dog and Uncanny X-Men issues out of a $1 bin. Hearing the character will be apparently playing a role in this season of Arrow and the surprise reference in another title recently, I figure I’d be glad to have this issue (unfortunately, they did not have the other issues of the series). And with the rumour of stuff for the upcoming Logan film (aka Wolverine III), I wanted to be sure to snag Uncanny X-Men 229 before it pulls a 266 in pricing on me!

(As an aside: if anyone has or could get me a copy of 226 in the $10ish range up to $20, I’d love to talk!)

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For the price of a single Marvel comic, I “upgraded” Aquaman #1 from a beat up copy to a nice copy…and filled out my Peter David run to now having a full run of #0 & 1-48! This includes “the” key issue–#2–where Arthur loses the hand…and I danced a fine line taking these photos between not actually sitting to read #s 1-3 and 0 and skimming through #2 and #0 in particular!  I remember when this series started, as well as noting Aquaman’s appearance in Zero Hour itself (see my 2016 Zero Hour Revisited posts), but had never gotten into/kept up with the series, to my later regret. Gladly, with ’90s comics being so (financially) cheap, I’ve embraced being able to catch up at a fraction of even the original cover price cost!

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My friend and I found a table with a huge selection of ’90s 25-cent comics. The listed deal was something like 25 cents each, so many for $2, or fill a USPS priority box for something…he saw us both amassing a decent stack, and made us a deal to go in one one together…so sharing the cost, we proceeded to grab some extra issues we’d passed on…and filled a box. Lotta cool/fun stuff…especially for less than 25 cents apiece!

I have (somewhere) a couple issues of the X-Men Archives, and apparently grabbed 5 of the 6 here. My friend pointed out the Magic: The Gathering issue…in a bag and board, it felt extra-thick, so I snagged it for curiosity of the thickness (turned out it included a copy of the Acclaim Comics preview I’ll reference below).

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Nothing really screams “’90s!” to me like these covers (and a handful of others from Image in 1992-1994). The ’90s get a bad rap, and to me, I’d say that a lot of what I think people really think of in the negative can be best referenced with early Image books moreso than stuff that leaked into DC and Marvel (as I obviously have an incredible fondness for the decade when it comes to comics!)

I also get a certain “satisfaction” out of scoring the “hot Image #1s!” of the early ’90s for a mere 25 (or less!) cents apiece.

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gen13_pricing_wizard_52And speaking of…Gen13. I pretty clearly remember this issue being one of THE “hot” issues of its time…to the point that I now probably have bought 5 or 6 copies for 25 cents each just to retroactively stick my tongue out (figuratively) at all the people who may’ve paid $20, $30, even $40ish for a copy of the thing!

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Weekend Ranting (October 1st Edition)

Though I’ve been sticking to Monday to Friday posting, I’ve had some thoughts increasingly building up that haven’t quite been making it into standalone posts. So, here are some things that’ve been on my mind lately.

And remember–this is just me, some random guy who has been "into" comics for 28 years, blowing off some mental steam.

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  • Marvel‘s doing Artist: TBA variant covers. and Super-secret Artist 1:1000 variant covers. And ridiculous needs-an-app-and-loads-of-entered-data-to calculate-eligitiblity variants. Y’know…bad enough, doing variants AT ALL. But if you don’t even have the artist(s) lined up and so you’re announcing variants MERELY for the sake of VARIANTS…you suck! Back in 1992 in one of THE doorbusting-est instances of a comic going on sale, I have the number "750" stuck in my head as the number of copies of Superman #75 I heard was ordered at ONE shop. Launching a continuation of a (now) year-old mini-series and having a 1:1000 cover? What the heck?!?
  • Marvel hyping a new Star Wars series…but it’s Star Wars: Classified. Look…either you bite the bullet and SPOIL some sort of surprise-ending to something, some otherwise "surprise development," and you just take the backlash OF spoiling something, by soliciting some spin-off series. OR…give it a rest! Give it a break! Let the series or event or whatever CONCLUDE, and THEN solicit/hype the Next Big Thing. Yeah, you’ll have a 2-month gap, but if people are really, TRULY clamoring for it…allow some time for ANTICIPATION to actually build. For some finality of something before to sink in. To get the word out that hey! There’s actually more coming, that’s not the end of everything. Just the end of a story!
  • Variants, PERIOD, are no longer special. Regardless of my personal dislike of variants, I can at least accept/acknowledge the choice to use them for "special occasions." Say, a #1 issue, or the start of some new storyline (oops, if we’re talking Marvel, that’s one and the same!) or some other big deal. But when every single issue of every single series seems to have a MINIMUM of two different covers, then there is NOTHING SPECIAL about them. It’s actually MORE SPECIAL and UNIQUE to find any comic for which there is ONLY ONE PUBLISHED COVER. I mean, How freaking ridiculous is that?!?
  • #1 issues are the same way. When there are 3-4 #1s for an otherwise "ongoing series" in the course of 2-3 years; when it takes a combination of 3+ "series" just get to 60 issues… it’s not special. Either that #1 indicates a to-be-short-lived mini-series which will be far preferable in a collected volume…OR it means that I have absolutely NO REAL IDEA what issue I would go back to if I wanted to read something immediately preceding it…since despite this #1 on the cover, I can lay decent odds on it being functionally a #10 or a #29 or some such, being the next issue published with a title and creative team and no greater gap in publication than any other issue-to-issue time (#3 to #4, #27 to #28, etc).
  • The constant cycle of events…particularly the line-wide events. And I’m looking primarily at Marvel on this. Hardly halfway into Secret Wars (Summer 2015) they start the hype/push for a big round of renumberings/relaunches. But the event is "delayed" and the relaunches go out anyway. Then, by the time that event book finishes, they’re already starting the hype on the NEXT event, Civil War II (Summer 2016). And then prior to THAT event even finishing, they’re already rolling out…ANOTHER ROUND of renumbering/relaunches! With delays and such, didn’t Secret Wars functionally run at least 8 months? Add to that what I believe is functionally at least 8 months of Civil War II, and even IF there was a whopping four-month gap between the two, you have 16 out of 20 months with an ongoing major event story! (80% of your time with ongoing events).
  • I got suckered on it twice when Marvel kicked off their new Star Wars line, paying the inflated $4.99 cover price for a #1, though in my own defense, I checked to make certain subsequent issues were "regular price" at $3.99. Star Wars, though. Bigger deal, something special, allegedly-extra-sized issues, big splash, whatever. But the move to it seeming virtually standard that a #1 will be $4.99 or $5.99?!? You’re already losing me on yet another freaking #1 issue…but then you want to have it $2 above a DC #1 if not TWICE AS MUCH as a DC #1?!? Fool me once, shame on you. Keep it up, I see what you’re trying to pull, and even something I’d otherwise BE interested in or consider supporting on principle, you keep me away. (Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows)
  • Convention Exclusives. There’s that saying of "leaving money on the table," right? And while I can "get" and "appreciate" marketing psychology and stuff for supply and demand and hyping stuff up…when you create product SOLELY to sell at a convention when you KNOW DARNED WELL that there are NUMEROUS people that will NEVER BE ABLE TO ATTEND a convention (and that numerous people BUYING your product AT the convention are doing so SOLELY to "flip" the product on the secondary market)… it sucks. Just make stuff available to people who will pay. Sell it through your site. Take pre-orders and produce to that. SOMEthing.
  • "Convention book stock." I get that part of dealers going to conventions involves selling to audiences they don’t usually have, with probably hundreds if not thousands of bodies that have never/will never set foot inside their actual store…but bringing stuff to the convention gets product in front of eyes and likely sales otherwise not possible. BUT… to me, it seems like "everyone" tends to have the SAME STUFF. Virtually EVERYONE has bins and bins and BINS of Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers, typically $10/ea (having had $19.99, $24.99, or $29.99 cover prices). Very little DC product, period, and typically not in flat-price bins.
  • "Convention singles stock." Recent comics marked up $1 from cover price (new/last few weeks’ issues, with SOME at cover price if there’s been no real "hype" or such). $1 bins of overstock from the last 5 years. MAYBE discounted stock from a few years prior, virtually nothing from the 1990s, and virtually no 50-cent or 25-cent bins with any sort of "runs." When there ARE 50 or 25 cent bins, nothing is remotely in order, it’s all just a mash of stuff thrown together. A convention is basically a one-time thing: I get to look at the boxes NOW, and that’s it. Not worth the hassle…compared to a shop with a regular stock that I can check back every week or so for new stuff or decide that yeah, that bunch of Action Comics issues? I’ll snag those and then see what’s missing and go from there.
  • Final thought for now: Communication is key. If you’re running a convention and accepting applications for press passes, and state that someone will be in touch "within a few weeks of the show," that implies "a few weeks AHEAD OF the show." Two days ahead of the show, I realized 1. hey, the show is THIS WEEKEND and 2. I never DID hear back from them, guess I didn’t qualify for a press pass. So, I went back to check admission prices and such–maybe I’d want to go anyway. But Given that I’d be going alone, simply as me/myself, AND paying admission and facing the above couple points? I decided it would NOT be worth my time/hassle/etc. 4:50pm the day before the show I finally get a response…but I’d already planned my weekend as NOT including the show. C’est la vie.

Further Shame of Conventions vs. Awesome LCS

Further putting conventions in general to shame, last Friday I’d gone BACK to the LCS in the hopes of snagging the rest of the Action Comics issues I’d passed on on Wednesday, and with it being Friday, and after work, and the store nearly empty…I did a more thorough flipping through the quarter bins than just the relatively quick pass through barely 1/3 of them that I’d done previously.

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Eleven of the first Twelve X-Men Forever issues.

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Pretty sure I’d recently snagged Strangers 1-16, so tacking several issues onto that for convenience doesn’t hurt.

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I am not sure if or where in the run of Hellblazer collected volumes this series was ever reprinted (Might have only been one of those Vertigo Resurrected issues I’m missing). For $1, not a bad acquisition…have not read this since summer 2001 when I was first introduced–solidly–to Hellblazer in general.

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For shiggles, grabbed several Spawn issues to be thorough…though I think I already had them. Better an extra $1 now than, say, $9.50 or more per issue (a local Half-Price Books had the Spawn #30 priced specifically at $9.50!).

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Several unrelated books, one-off things that had caught my attention–the Malibu issue has a hole through the entire issue–I don’t recall if this would be “THE” infamous bullet-hole issue from the early-’90s or just some stupid die-cut/hole-punch thing. But hey… 25 cents. And Adam Warlock, penned by Jim Starlin, with that classic The Infinity _____ logo? Beautiful cover, 25 cents with a digital download code (a digital purchase would cost at least 99 cents)…yeah, sort of a no-brainer, particularly as “just another issue” tossed on the stack.

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A bunch of #0 issues from the original Zero Month from DC Comics, immediately following Zero Hour. So many memorable, “iconic” covers, some of the more recognizable (particularly for the theme)…

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17 or so Mantra issues, for the potential convenience of an earlier re-read, or an extra set to look into getting bound!

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Minus one issue, the complete run of R.E.B.E.L.S. (’94, ’95, ’96).

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And of course, the Action Comics issues I’d even gone back looking for. I’m now only missing about 15 issues from having #532-904…

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…and I’m not gonna turn down cheap (25-cent!) copies of so many other Bronze Age issues…I have zero illusions of ever going all the way back to #1, but I expect I’ll eventually settle on a specific year or somewhat-reasonably-attainable number to work to fill in from–whether it’ll be MY “earliest” issue to current, or some number even if I have several earlier issues.

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Even snagged several post-Byrne issues, because why not? #700 is truly “iconic” to me, and the others…well, I have a mental image of my first personally-owned issue but didn’t know if maybe I was picturing something else, and went ahead and tossed these on the stack.

Of course, this week, I have every intention of sticking “just” to the Rebirth books and anything else already on my pulls…the past week’s acquisitions are not a sustainable pace!

Nearly 200 25-cent books and some great finds at a couple Half Price Books stores ultimately yielded a haul that far surpasses most anything I could (reasonably) actually imagine from a convention!

Putting the Con in Convention for This Introvert

There’s a local, annual convention in Mentor, OH that’s been going seven years now, hosted by the “mall comic shop,” Comics and Friends. I’ve been going for at least four of those years now, and this year it was moved to a new, larger location–it outgrew the lobby of the mall’s movie theater that it’s been held in prior to this year.

It’s seemed like a solid event, with plenty of dealer turnout and foot traffic and such…all the more evident by the fact that it’s been an annual thing, ongoing, and OUTGREW its original location.

Unfortunately, for ME, that’s kind of a negative as I’m an introvert, to say nothing of issues I simply have with this type of show–the local one-day “dealer hall” things.

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Admission was $5–very definitely a reasonable price and one I absolutely do NOT begrudge them!

Instead of being held in the lobby of the movie theater, it was held a few minutes away at a hotel where there were several rooms available for use, to house everyone.

Now, I’m speaking as a total introvert–tight spaces, loads of people, me by myself–that’s a situation I usually try to avoid; so even though I walked into it willingly, my “social anxiety” flared almost immediately. So I was not impressed with the space. When there’s no room to get past others looking at books on a shelf to look at them myself, I’m not a happy camper. Even less so when I realized the shelves and shelves of $5 or 6/$20 are all skinny-as-heck Marvel paperbacks, and the thicker volumes and volumes with classic material older than the last 8 years were price-as-marked…which while in some cases was better than half-off, was still isolated to primarily Marvel stuff of little interest to me (especially having had to “budget” ahead of time, with cash). I’d be interested in some series, but not random/isolated volumes or jumping in with 2-3 and my budget’s shot, even at half-off.

Then moving further through the space, realizing that most dealers had golden/silver age books where even the crummy-condition stock seemed to be at least in the $5+ range, or else stuff from very recently (like the last 2-3 years) was not very appealing. I’m going to be hunting down the New 52 Action Comics run and Superman run (probably also Batman/Superman and Superman/Wonder Woman, cuz hey, OCD) but one dealer had stuff at $2/issue…but isolated issues from Action 2-14 or so. Hardly a run to put MUCH dent into what I’m missing…and the crush of people was a bit much.

Other dealers were set up with boxes of bargain-books–some “half-off,” others fixed pricing–$5 paperbacks, $10 hardbacks; one had $3 paperbacks/$5 hardbacks that I saw–but the space was so cramped/crowded that it was hard to access the boxes–with constant flow of people trying to pass, and my trying to observe some basic courtesy and etiquette and NOT just wade in while someone else is going through a box, etc.

And it quickly became apparent that by far, the absolute VAST MAJORITY of the bargain books were old Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers, and random non-sequential volumes of the skinny-as-heck Marvel Now books and such that just do NOT interest me in the SLIGHTEST.

While one booth had some DC Comics Presents (but not #1 or any of the Annuals) and another had some slightly-pre-Crisis Action Comics, nothing really stood out to me as worth my while and cash “in the moment.”

I finally–at the far back of the place–found a box of half-off books that (shockingly) actually included DC books, and found the Flash: Terminal Velocity tpb. The dealer rounded down, giving it to me for $6…and after paying, thanking him, and heading away, decided on the spot to cut my “losses” and get the heck out. $5 admission plus $6 meant I functionally paid $11 for an out-of-print, cover-price-$13 Flash tpb of a story I’ve been unable to find the singles for and been interested in reading–so while the experience was extremely underwhelming, it was (in the end) mostly worth my while.

YET–very disappointing on principle to walk in to a convention and wind up walking out with only a single, lone paperback when I’d had visions of a whole stack of comics or a handful of bargain paperbacks, etc.

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To “make up for” my disappointment there, a few hours later I drove across town (some 45 minutes directly out of my way) to visit a Half-Price Books location I haven’t been to in a number of months–possibly as recently as February but maybe not since last year.

And hit the jackpot.

Two Superman books that’ve been on my radar. Yeah, For Tomorrow gets a bum rap, but I’ve wanted to “upgrade” to the single-volume edition from the crappy 2-volume set (just as I did with Batman: Hush a number of years back!). For $4.99 I grabbed Godfall–I’ve been thinking it was a 4-issue book but it seems to be 6, and I’ve meant to get it for a number of years.

Justice for $15 was a real treat to find, and I wasn’t going to pass it up for that price.

I’ve been looking for the Teen Titans Earth One in hardcover (only finding the paperback when I’ve found it at all), so getting it for half-price was great.

And then to add insult to an exploding budget-remnant, they had 2 of the 4 volumes I’ve been missing for years of Naoki Urasawa‘s Monster.

I actually had to pass on a couple other books I’d eyed…deciding the out of print/”rarer” books trumped several dollars’ savings that I can still get on the books I left.

One bookstore, one “every-day” kinda place that I could just choose to visit “whenever,” and I found this stack of books…but a once-a-year convention, an actual rarity tied to a specific date planned in advance, I wind up with ONE book.

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