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Curse Words…for Curse Words: Dropped Due to Variants

If you’ve been reading this blog for ANY length of time, you know that I–as a general rule–loathe variant covers. Primarily "ratioed" variants, but with very FEW exceptions, variants in general, their very existence.

And this week just REALLY reminded me WHY.

And though I COULD blame the comic shop, I personally place the blame squarely on the publisher, FOR doing a variant. Or allowing a variant. Or WHATEVER the case is.

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After actually rather enjoying the first issue, and looking forward to the second issue, the day finally came: Curse Words #2 was on "the list" as out on February 22nd.

Having been "burned" by a "surprise" variant on Moonshine #2 (which, by the way, immediately prompted me to NOT pick it up ,and thus lost me on singles on that series), I was "re-aware" of even Image doing variants on stuff (something I’d be more inclined to attribute to DC, Marvel, IDW, Boom, and Dynamite!).

So, when I saw two different covers, neither of which was visually "familiar" to me, and I was already expecting there to be a "new" or "unfamiliar" (because I ONLY bought one cover of #1!) issue, I figured fine, they did a second issue with variants, I had not really seen any "marketing" or such for the issue so was not (for once) pre-disposed to preferring one specific cover…so I grabbed the more appealing (to me) cover of the two or so I saw.

Got it home, even included the thing in my photos for my "Weekly Haul" post, none the wiser of anything.

But then I went to READ the thing.

And I saw that the word "Second" was NOT followed by "Issue" after all, on the cover.

Nope…it was followed by "Printing."

I managed to grab a second printing of #1, the issue that I already owned, that I bought and read weeks ago.

And of course, much as with most publishers, comics are not some "returnable" thing, so it’s not even like I can take the thing back to the shop for a refund or such. I’m stuck with a second copy of the first issue now, and no copies of the second.

Frankly, to say that I’m "annoyed" is an understatement.

On principle, I’m done with this book as single issues. I might snag the collected volume(s), but I will NOT support it any further as single issues.

Should I have noticed that it was not actually the second issue? Maybe. BUT when I know the second issue’s due out, with a cover that’s not mimicking the first, and I’m grabbing my comics in a hurry and just want to get stuff and get out after a long day at work, I’m not gonna examine every stupid facet of a cover. I buy comics because I want to read the story, not for stupid covers!

Maybe the shop should have put something with the issue to indicate 2nd printing. Maybe they should’ve shelved it with last month’s books instead of right next to the brand-new 2nd issue (but probably more sales having them together, so someone can immediately see and pick up BOTH issues if they’re looking for them/curious!).

So, I hold Image responsible…with no idea if the "idea" or "push" came from a creator or not. Just use the same darned cover, and mark it as a second printing! IF I wanted more "art" from something, I’d buy a darned print or something!

And on top of this…folks wonder why I tend to gravitate toward collected volumes for new issues. At least THERE, I’m FAR LESS LIKELY to wind up getting some 2nd print of something I already have, with just a cover in quick passing to go on.

The Weekly Haul: Week of February 22, 2017

This week in comics is probably my most expensive in awhile…or at least, it sure feels like it! But then, multiple $3.99 issues and two $4.99s will do that! (Ugh!)

weeklyhaul_02222017a

Actually, the only $2.99 of the week was Action Comics. I’ve been looking forward to Highlander for awhile, though other than knowing that there was a new (mini?) series coming, and something giving me the notion it’s a prequel to the original film, I know virtually nothing about it yet. I’m giving Curse Words and Kamandi Challenge a second issue, and of course, keeping up with the Prometheus/Aliens/Predator/AvP: Life and Death arc. And with TMNT being just about my favorite property, a bit eager on that new issue despite the price point (again, with TMNT remaining my conscious exception to pricing that’d put me off of other properties).

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And a second-for-the-week $4.99 TMNT book in the "Director’s Cut" of Batman/TMNT Adventures #1. I knew I’d ultimately regret it if I didn’t get the thing…and rather than waste time/money later in extra-hunting to get it, figured I’d just nip that right in the bud (so to speak).

And then the Dr. Strange keychain and Outcast #25 were "free" bonuses at the shop (along with a full-size Dr. Strange movie poster that I may photograph later once framed!).

Next step is getting stuff actually read!

The Weekly Haul – Week of January 18th, 2017

I think this was just about the simplest, most "basic" week of comics I’ve had in months!

weeklyhaul_01182017a

Just four issues, plain ‘n simple. Granted, that Kamandi Challenge is a monster of an issue…but it’s basically a small collected volume; and much like other similarly-sized issues, it’s squarebound WITH spine text, so skinny as it is compared to, say, Batman: Knightfall or such, it’ll go on the shelf. Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that all 12 issues of the Kamandi Challenge itself will be this size, and sorta hoping so!

Of course, the latest Superman issue; and I look forward to reading The Ray‘s Rebirth issue.

I gave in on Curse Words for the hype AND actually being able to get the cover with the image I’ve come to associate with the first issue. The FAMILIAR image that’s been used with pretty much anything that’s stood out to me since the series was announced…and I think including the announcement. I do not like the price, at $3.99…but figured I’d try it anyway.

This week? No back issues, no bargain bins, no new collected volumes (if we don’t count the Kamandi issue as one). I do have a major InStockTrades purchase on its way, but that’ll either be its own post, or feed into another post, later.

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 28th, 2016

…The final weekly haul of the year.

And for me, a mere two "regular" issues.

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The weekly Superman issue (biweekly/two titles). And having checked out and mostly enjoyed A.D. After Death‘s first issue, figured I’d go ahead and stick with it, since I believe it’s a 3-issue mini. I dig the format–it makes it REALLY feel worth its cover price, at "only" double a DC book, and only a little more than a Marvel!

For the physical quality, size, and length of time it took to read…blows anything Marvel is currently putting out (new content) outta the water for me!

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The shop I went to actually had some TMNT back issues I was missing. Since I was buying the Clone Saga Epic volume last week, I’d passed on these at $3/ea…but grabbed ’em this week. Cuz hey, filling in gaps in an actual key part of my personal collection! And even as back issues more than a decade old, they only cost me what any current DC book would!

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And finally, I had a "surprise" package when I got home on Tuesday. I’d both somewhat forgotten about the Kickstarter as well as thought stuff wouldn’t be here til sometime in January. I’d ordered this Zen book with a print.

Have to say I’m rather disappointed that this is labeled as a volume 2, as I did NOT realize that when I ordered. I may have known it was not a vol. 1, but nothing indicated it being LABELED thusly, that I recall seeing. So it goes (unfortunately) from being a random Zen graphic novel to being an orphaned #2 with no #1 in my library.


While I may hit the shop–or my usual–or both, even!–before the 1st…this was the final Wednesday of 2016, and so my last regular purchase for the year.

Be "interesting," I guess, to see what the coming year holds…though I have never been good about the end-of-year lists and summaries or coming-year predictions/expectations and such. Perhaps I’ll manage one this year?

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 07, 2016

Down to the final several weeks of the year (and the first comics week for me post-2016 birthday)! Counting back to somewhere after Halloween 1988 and early spring 1989, I’ve been "into" comics for 28 years now–over 75% of my lifetime! Or to phrase another way… I’ve only NOT been into comics for something less than 1/4 of my entire life!

This week worked out to be a pretty small week overall…really small, actually, such that I snagged a collected volume at full cover price and bought some stuff from $1 bins!

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After the driving I’ve been doing lately, I opted to stick with "just" the closer comic shop for this week–which means I’ll have at least the Aliens: Defiance issue waiting for me next week.

Along with my non-pull-list double-dipping on the Superman titles (not waiting for end-of-the-month bundles to arrive to read), I picked up a 2nd copy of the Direct Currents #1 magazine…and showing how much I did not look at it last week, I was pleasantly shocked to see the Super Sons ad on its back… that’s got to be probably my most anticipated upcoming title! And I love that they’re using the "classic" Superman/Batman logo with it!

And then, having seen the volume in the Comixology Pull list thing, I was interested in this One Week in the Library book. A HUGE thing it had going for it was the cover price–$9.99–so I didn’t feel too badly about buying it at "full price," after last week paying $4.99 each for two annuals and an ongoing TMNT, as well as $7.99 for the New Talent Showcase issue. This is much thicker/substantive.

AND it’s a case of the title, the CONCEPT, a textual DESCRIPTION "selling" me (again, along with the price point). Not some 20-40% "preview" of the issue online ("leaked" or otherwise). Just a title and concept for an acceptable price!

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With a surprising lack of 50-cent/12-for-$5 bins, I looked through a bunch of $1 bins that seem to have replaced the cheaper/older stuff at this shop.

No runs to speak of, at least not that I picked out, but I did find these six issues that were worthwhile to me to pick up.

Kaijumax for the heckuvit–only $1, and I have the $9.99 collected volume, so even now I’m still well below cover price on the individual issues, and this gives me the actual first issue to compare against the collected volume. A DC #50 in The Flash was quite worthwhile for only $1…rather than the original $4.99 price! Same for The Flintstones–for the $1, I’ll check it out where I was unwilling to buy it at full cover price.

The Street Fighter/GI Joe was interesting enough as a concept, and for "only" $1, more than willing to snag the issue, if only for the cover. While I loathe variants, I can’t deny that some of these overdone "action figure cover variants" hit a nostalgic sweet-spot for me! And for the price, opted to go with this, even if I wind up just using the cover itself–literally–as an art piece or such.

Then the Magic: The Gathering and Munchkin issues I bought soley for the card included with each. Well, primarily on the Munchkin issue; and I’m not sure if I already had this MTG issue, but on the offchance I ever decide to track down the single issues, doesn’t hurt to already have this now at the price.


Knowing I was looking at a small week, and coming off a weekend where I pointedly did my best to ignore my own birthday, I went ahead an placed an order with InStockTrades for an X-Men book I’ve wanted for awhile (and there are several more high on my want-list that I cannot justify buying all at once, though I’m increasingly anxious regarding their remaining in-print and thus significantly discounted!).

Unfortunately, though, I was also surprised with a real-life intrusion of discovering a burned-out headlight, necessitating the purchase of a replacement, which will likely now be a rather cold-weather endeavor in the doing of replacing the thing. Coldest day of the week, it looks like, so of course the bulb wouldn’t blow while we were having highly-unseasonable warm weather…

The Weekly Haul – Week of November 23, 2016

For a Wednesday that includes issues from last week, and the cover prices on stuff, this ended up being a rather light "week" for me. Especially with some stuff I’d half expected to have come in. Not gonna complain, though!

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Action Comics, A.D. After Death, and Super Powers! are from this week; as is TMNT, I believe. The Spawn issue and Darkwing Duck may be from last week; they were part of my pulls, but I didn’t make it to the usual shop last week. I actually swung by the other shop for the Action issue, as it was sold out at the usual.

I had not been planning on getting the After Death issue, especially being a limited series and "prestige format" at that…but its non-standard size caught my attention, and I figured might as well try it and see what I think of it.

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As part of a week-long sale, the usual shop was having a clearance sale, getting a bunch stuff out, with a "progressive discount" thing–Monday was 60% off, today was 70% off, and I believe Friday and Saturday will be 80% and 90% respectively.

I wound up buying a couple packs of gamedice for Munchkin, and the first three books above.

Batman Eternal vol. 1 cost roughly 3 regular Marvel issues, while War Stories and Superman: Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude were hardly more than the cost of a Marvel #1 each.

At the other shop, seeing the actual/regular/"finished" color cover edition, I went ahead and picked up the DC Universe: Rebirth – The Deluxe Edition…figured better to just pay that now than wind up adding numerous other things to some online order for now

I also flipped through the 25-cent bins, but nothing really caught my eye. There were several bins of series stuff, but others had already cherry-picked stuff, so there weren’t even any true "runs" of anything for me to snag.

Plenty of other stuff with Black Friday this week that’s gonna suck up money I don’t really have anyway.


Really, of everything, the one I was most looking forward to was the Rebirth Deluxe. It’s not a bad volume, though I think I was expecting something else. I’ve gotten SO USED TO hardcovers–especially the "deluxe" and "oversized" hardcovers–having dustjackets that this one feels a bit cheapened somehow, still slightly incomplete. But for its size, it’s not a bad price, and it’s nice to add to my "events" shelf.

Next week is a "Fifth Week" or "skip week," which at least on the DC side means several Annuals, which is also a bit of a bummer as they weren’t part of the bundles I’ve been getting, so if I want ’em, I’ll be paying the full price…

Stuff I Didn’t Buy – Week of November 16, 2016

My "Weekly Haul" this week ended up consisting of Superman #11, Aliens: Life and Death #3, Reborn #2, and Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #2. I may get into those tomorrow or Friday.

But, indulging in some negativity and ranting (this is my own blog, after all–read it or not, completely up to you!) here are several things I didn’t buy, but considered buying, almost bought, or under other conditions would have bought…and why.

Moonshine #2

moonshine0002a     moonshine0002b

I picked up Moonshine #1 last month to try, and for what it is, enjoyed it enough that I’ve been watching/waiting for #2 to come out. It’s finally out this week (Oct. 5 for #1, Nov 16 for #2…that’s about SIX weeks, no?) Thing is…it’s a brand-new series. New series, new creators, not spinning out of anything, hasn’t had long enough to really develop or have any "in jokes" or (to me) any real iconography or symbols or other stuff to warrant any relevant/useful/interesting/cool variant covers. But there they were on the shelf, two covers that–at least at the shop I was at–sat there in equal-ratio. So, just looking at them, I saw nothing overly obvious to indicate which was the "main" cover, the "A" cover, the "primary" or "basic" cover…in short, which one was NOT the "variant."

In searching for suitable images to use for this post, I’ve narrowed it down to the one with the skulls as being the cover I’d’ve gone with–and that was the one I’d added initially to what I had in my hands to purchase. But whether it was there or not, I did not see anything to indicate which should be which…and I refused to stand there in the middle of the shop, googling on my phone to try to determine an answer…but I also was not going to suffer buying a variant when I want to have the "regular" cover.

So, I wound up saying "screw it!" and put ’em both back.

Because of a variant cover, a series I was otherwise trying, interested in, willing to give a chance to–I opted NOT to buy #2, and as such will NOT be buying ANY OTHER single issues for.

Hope it’s worth it, folks. Maybe I’ll buy the collected edition, which presumably will have a single cover. But even there, for throwing a random variant in there, you’ve cost yourself MY purchase, and MY goodwill, such that here I am giving your book more space and time pointing out the customer frustration with variants, and that you won’t have me (not that I matter, personally) playing any role in talking the book up positively.


DC Universe: Rebirth – The Deluxe Edition Hardcover (LCSD edition)

dc_rebirth_deluxe_lcsdHere’s another one I’ve been looking forward to. I believe the "regular" edition of this should be out soon; a week or two, perhaps, yet.

But what really turned me off about this (and I was sort of surprised to see it out already instead of being held back til Saturday) is the cover. That is, the "sketch" cover. THe lines-only, without cover, except in the trade dress and credits.

See, I don’t get why people like these. (If you do, more power to you–I simply do not get it!) To me, it looks like a draft, and unfinished product, an inferior product. It’s not finished, it’s not the intended edition, etc.

So while I’d’ve been willing to plonk down full cover price for this thing in-person, in general…I was NOT willing to do so for an inferior cover.

Yeah, it’d almost certainly be on my shelf spine-out and I wouldn’t even SEE the cover most of the time. But when I’d pull it down off the shelf, I’d see it, and I’d be treated to the unfinished image at that point, and reminded of the sheer ridiculousness of it, when I can simply wait a week or two and get the full color cover edition, which is the actual product, and actually has the cover to grab attention and attract one to reading it.


Thanos #1

thanos_0001I should have been a prime mark for this book. Thanos, and it’s a #1, so supposedly a jumping-on point, right?

But this is Marvel. And at this point, I don’t trust them. Yeah, I could buy the issue, but is this a 6-issue series? Or 12? Will this be partaking in events before issue 10?

And then, there’s that shattered NOW! thing, recycling an initiative from just four years ago.

And that big #1 in the upper left corner, but then a small white #1 down near the Marvel logo and UPC box, as if to clarify "yes, this actually IS a true #1, this is not one of the issues we’re trying to TRICK you into buying as a #1 when it’s really a #7 or #18 or some other such!"

Further, there’s the fact that I’m not interested in buying any Marvel #1 issues for $4.99! That is way too freaking much for a single issue, padded/"’bonus’ material" or not!

Oh…well, this is "only" $3.99? Yeah, well, it’s seemed all the other #1s have been $4.99, and Marvel has been very clearly conditioning and "training" me into the SIMPLE "assumption" that ALL of their #1s are $4.99…so sure, it’s a "surprise" when it’s not, but I still have the other stuff above counting against it such that $1 less than assumed price is not a great selling point–this is STILL $1 MORE than grabbing a random DC Rebirth issue!

There’s also the odd mix Marvel has lately of stuff ignoring enough continuity to be frustrating in general to one who greatly enjoys continuity (at least 1980s into early 2000s) and yet being so stupidly tied-into stuff as to feel impenetrable if one has not been closely following recent events. Flipping through, I caught what looked like Thane, who I believe is a "son of Thanos" or such from Infinity (an event/crossover I did not and have not read) and thus another aspect of things I am actively disinerested in.

Perhaps most "petty" of me…this is not a Jim Starlin book, and I much prefer his take on the character, if only for some sort of internal consistency that I (again) do not trust Marvel to maintain in general at this point.


So, I walked out with my four comics that did not frustrate me on sight. Superman #11 had a variant cover, but the bulk of the covers present were the same–the one I got–and the other cover I couldn’t even tell what the image was supposed to be, just glancing at it. On Cave Carson, I was able to use the same methodology: this cover had more of this than the other, and seems to fit the title better. And it’s at least an "established" (if decades-old-since-established) property and not a brand-new-concept-characters-universe-everything kinda issue. Aliens is an Aliens comic, the 3rd issue of a stated-up-front-on-the-covers 4-issue-miniseries rather than something being cancelled before telling its intended first story or such. And Reborn #2 only had one cover available on the shelf, so no "confusion" or wonder about what the "main" cover is.

But as stated last week by Valiant‘s Dinesh Shamdasani, "we’d love nothing more but the industry is not set up for that" [having only 1 cover per issue] and "must also remember that while we both may not like variants lots of people love them."

Still, I’m obviously a clear case where having variants is a detriment, and that’s a couple of lost sales (magnified the longer Moonshine runs) and whatever else spills out of that.

And thanks to crap with variant schemes and holding content hostage, I’m presently (since July 2015) refusing to purchase anything from Valiant, and since their stunt with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 earlier this year, I refuse to touch anything from Boom! Studios, either.

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