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

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

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


Week of October 24, 2018

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

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

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


Week of October 31, 2018

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

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

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

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


Halloween Comicfest 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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?

Halloween 2014

So much for a “holiday.” Longest day at work I’ve pulled in nearly 2 years, and totally, completely FORGOT it was Halloween before my day was done. So nothing fancy here, just closing out more than two months of (week)daily posting with the end of October here.

Lord Pumpkin: perfect villain for today, and one of my favorites in general, if often forgot amidst other favorites that are still in current/contemporary “new” comics.

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Halloween Haul 2013

Not much for today, so just sharing this week’s haul…which appropriately enough includes Halloween ComicFest comics!

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New comics, of course…new Sandman, and two TMNT books that clustered again this month. a couple $1 comics. And I decided after seeing the COVER image so many times the last few months to ‘try” the Damian mini.

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A bunch of “mini-comics” or ‘ashcan-size’ comics for ComidFest…

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Some full-size issues for ComicFest…

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…and probably my favorite of the full-size ComicFest issues.

All of these PLUS some bargain-bin issues for just over $20…NOT a bad haul at all!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Thoughts on Issues First Week of October

QUANTUM AND WOODY #4

quantumandwoody004I’m continuing to quite enjoy this series. I’ve been reading through the original series digitally, and other than consciously noting that they’re different, for what I’m getting of the reading experience of both: this new iteration fits right into the spirit of the original. Even the slightly modified relationship between Eric and Woody works well and does nothing to diminish their interactions…if anything, it adds depth. Despite all the hubbub earlier and the promotional posters, here in THIS issue we finally meet “the goat,” and quickly see why this is the most awesome goat in comics. I’m pretty sure my high enjoyment of the Goat is knowing it to be a running gag from the original series combined with the “hype” from even before I’d read any of the originals. I look forward to seeing both the continuing development of the main characters, as well as how the goat is handled in this iteration long-term/moving forward. This issue wraps up the first arc…if you’ve not read any so far, it’ll definitely be worth picking up the collected volume.

SHADOWMAN #11

shadowman011Of all the Valiant titles, this is certainly the best one TO have a Halloween Special. That it’s another issue of the main title and not some extra issue (say, a $4.99 one-shot with a couple of sketch pages making up the $1 difference from the price of a regular issue) is a huge “plus” for me. The story itself didn’t interest me all that much, yet as a slice-of-life piece, I liked it; it’s the sort of thing I often like to see…so I can’t quite figure out why it didn’t have the expected appeal. The art was good; no complaints from me there. This is a self-contained issue…and Valiant offers a “previously” blurb on the inside cover, so really, you don’t need to have read anything before this to pick it up and “sample” the Shadowman title. Not my favorite issue, but not every issue CAN be. This is still a decent read and I’ll be continuing to keep up with the title.

FOREVER EVIL #2

foreverevil002With all the “hype” around the first issue and what it COULD mean for Dick Grayson/Nightwing, as well as buying several of the 3-D covers and figuring context wouldn’t hurt, I bought the first issue, and it wasn’t all that bad…I figured even though I had no intention of following Villains Month into any individual titles, I’d go ahead and check out the next issue of Forever Evil…and here it is. I did. There’s potential…but I have no intention of buying all the tie-ins: whether individual titles’ issues OR specific tie-in minis, and this reeks of Infinite Crisis to me where the main issues might advance things a bit, but also serve as ‘setup’ for many of the tie-ins (which will have the “meat” of the event). I’m not interested enough by this issue to plan on continuing on with the series. Perhaps if it gets good word of mouth from others I’ll jump back in…otherwise, I think I’m pretty much done with this.

BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE #2

batmanblackandwhite002Normally I’d balk at the $4.99 cover price, especially for “only” a mini-series…and I’d wait for the collected volume. After all, mini-series = short, finite story = better in one go as a single-volume. However, this is an anthology, and each issue is already several shorter stories…and for me that would get a bit grating after awhile, having a thick edition where every several pages begins a new story. So I’m enjoying this format, and getting some nice, short one-off bits dealing with Batman and his cast, by a number of creators with varying name-recognition for me. If this were an ongoing series, I doubt I’d have as much interest in it–I’d wait for others’ reviews and general word-of-mouth as to anything particularly “amazing” to be found in a given issue. But while nothing really stands out to me from this issue, I enjoyed it, and compared to many comics felt I got a good read for my money.

THE REST OF THE STACK #2

Due to personal finances, this was a small week for comics for me…but the pricing for these “Halloween Ashcan Comics” was just right for snagging them. And as stuff I read after the regular comics I picked up, they very much fit the criteria as “the rest of the stack.” They’re also something I’d want to touch on anyway…they don’t quite warrant full-review treatment, but the fact they exist seems to call for something. These are smaller than normal comics–both in length (about 12 pages inside the covers) and physical size (fold an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of paper in half and that’s your size). I call these “ashcan comics” because that’s the term I recall for comics like this from the mid-1990s. Perhaps I’ll touch on the topic of such comics another time.

For me, this is a mixed bunch. My favorite of these five specials is the Betty Cooper Confidential–probably because it seems best suited to the format. It read very much like a short story from one of the Archie digests I’d buy in the checkout lane at Walmart or some such. Even this is largely a preview for another book, though. The story–which has Betty’s diary blown away on the wind and then recovered in pieces by her friends–is one of those that plays all the characters as being friends, with far less competition or other conflict between them than in other stories. Given this is a light-hearted piece, that works fine. I’ve never been a great judge of a good age group for Archie books…but I’d say this one’s quite mild and safe for any age that’d be interested.

The Popeye comic features a reprint of what seems to be a classic serial in which Popeye & friends encounter a “ghosk” on their ship. There’s not much to it, but it’s definitely got the feel of the old Popeye cartoons I’ve recently exposed myself to. I can mostly hear Popeye and Olive’s voices in my head as I read this, but there’s something distinct to these pages–they are not simply an adaptation nor exact source material for any of the cartoons I can recall. The Ghost theme seems chosen for Halloween (where these specials are intended to be available for giving out)…but the few pages we get does not give a complete story, and just seems to end after giving up several clues and a likely reveal, though no real details or context. Still, it’s a good sampler for what Seeger’s classic strip is like, and for seeing Popeye in comic panels rather than in motion on a tv screen.

The Star Wars issue is a brief story that sees Han and Chewie wind up on a planet in need of fuel, and discovering undead inhabitants doomed to relive the accident that claimed their lives. In a way, this story feels rather out of place for what I’m used to with the Star Wars universe. At the same time, it’s also plausible given the suspension of disbelief one needs in order to believe in aliens, space ships, and The Force. We do get a “complete adventure” in these pages, which is nice–it’s just a quick slice-of-life sorta piece detailing this one particular incident the characters faced. I couldn’t say how it holds up to Star Wars canon, but it’s certainly worth the couple minutes it takes to read!

I’d expected the Casper/Little Lulu to be my least-favorite of all of these, but it has some slight charm to it. I don’t particularly LIKE it, but I can appreciate the strips for both characters for what they are–classic strips that were well-known in their time (I at least know OF the characters, even if I can’t tell you much of anything else other than what you see in this issue). Like the Popeye issue, this is interesting as a classic of comic strips, but if you’re not interested in the characters going in, this probably isn’t going to do anything to change your mind.

Finally, the Domo issue–which was sitting next to the just-released full-sized volume of the same title (Domo: The Manga) feels very much like a previw and nothing else. I’m not even sure what to make OF Domo or whatever the character may otherwise be called. I’ve seen the image of the character represented in various elements of pop culture, but know even less about it than I do Casper. The stories contained in this issue don’t really make sense to me, and I’m relatively certain as such that I am not at all the target audience. If you like Domo, this might be worth your time. If you don’t…then don’t bother with this.

I’ve always forgotten about these until they’ve been on the shelf at my local comic store, so buying any in bulk hasn’t seemed an option, though these would be great to have to give away–whether to kids out trick-or-treating for Halloween, or just to have to hand friends who otherwise wouldn’t give a darn about comics. It’s kind of a shame DC and Marvel didn’t have any in this bunch.

If you’re interested in any of these, check with your local comics retailer–mine had these on the shelf for $.25 each or a set of all 5 for $1 (which is why I wound up with the Casper/Little Lulu and Domo issues). Taken as a whole, for the time spent just reading these, they were well worth that $1. I’d almost be willing to buy stuff like this on a regular basis, especially from DC–give me a couple 6ish-page previews of a couple titles (make it a flip book and preview two titles in one issue, showcasing a cover for each) instead of the in-issue previews that get so annoying, and I’d likely read them.

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