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The Weekly Haul – Weeks of March 1st & 8th, 2017

Week of March 8th, 2017:

This week was a pretty small week for new comics for me: only two new issues!

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We’ve got the second chapter of Superman: Reborn in Action Comics #975 (a 38-page issue for only $3.99!). And the second issue of Blake Northcott‘s All New Fathom.

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Along with the new issues, I noticed a couple of familiar-in-style polybag tops sticking out of the $1 bins…upon investigating, they were indeed issues of Wizard! For being only $1 apiece, I snagged all 8 issues present, figuring I’ll at least enjoy opening them and going through the goodies that came with them…as well as "replacing" posters long since ripped out and lost.

Ziggy was curious what I was doing, so got himself into the photo. A nice little bonus, no?

And because I totally forgot to do it from last week, below I’ll cover last week’s haul.

Continue reading

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 21st, 2016

This was a relatively small week, with a number of factors.

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New Superman; new Aliens: Life and Death (hard to believe it’s been 2 years now since the whole Fire and Stone thing!). And from a 50% off bin, the first volume of the Clone Saga to go with my first four Ben Reilly Epic.

50% off a Marvel trade is often stretching price-worthiness for me; "only" 40-42% (such as from InStockTrades) is a stretch in general, though still beats the heck outta full price.

Where with DC having reasonably-priced volumes, I’m much more willing to pay full price for those!

…And I’m leaving this at that. Short ‘n sweet. Back to revisiting the ’90s Friday, most likely… and maybe a "bonus" post or two over the weekend with Christmas and all.

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…

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

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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.

The Weekly Haul – Week of November 2nd, 2016

This was an interesting week’s worth of issues, as I went in planning on (probably) getting three issues…but then not getting the third, and getting two others I had not had any intention of getting.

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Shade: The Changing Girl is weird and out there and I’m still trying to get my head around it. I’m not sure what I had expected, but this wasn’t it. Though I acquired the first issue at least a couple weeks ago, I only just got around to actually reading it the other day, so I was relatively fresh-ish diving into the second issue. I liked this issue better than the first, as it’s at least a continuation of something I read already, recently, rather than being something trippy that I had no context for.

I absolutely loved this week’s issue of Superman, even sharing that love with several friends. The issue was great, and continues to reinforce my current love of the Super-books in a way I haven’t had in roughly a decade.

I was going to go ahead and get the Catwoman: Election Night special…and the "variant" at that (with the Penguin on the cover…since the bulk of the issue, I believe, is the Catwoman story, with Prez "merely" as a 12-page "backup" thing). But then I decided…no. I don’t think I even got Catwoman #1 at the launch of the New 52, I haven’t read the character’s book since prior to 2011, so what do I care about it now? There’s not even any rumor of the character getting a solo in the near future (that I am aware of), so there’s no "connection" or "hook" for me, ultimately. And I never did check out the Prez series at the start of DC You, so I wouldn’t even have any context there, either.

So, browsing other recent comics, I spotted both issues-so-far of Surgeon X, and figured ok, they’re both there, I’m getting a bigger "sample" than just one single issue, and I’ve had more of a taste for trying new series lately, with Moonshine and Reborn in the past month.

Of course, I’m unable to tell for certain from the issue itself if it’s the first print or the second print…I’m assuming that–with nothing saying "Second Print[ing]" that what I have IS the first print. Unfortunately, while plenty of news sites and blogs run with stories OF something getting an extra printing, they do not spell out whether or not the image they’re using is of the first print THAT sold out…or of the pending/then-upcoming second print. And in the world with a sea of variants and rarely any indication other than research-based knowledge of an image being the indicator OF which printing something is…

The Weekly Haul – Week of October 12, 2016

This week proved to be another "small" week for me, though also "key" and "expensive" in others.

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Firstly, yet another week with a new Superman comic (Action Comics, specifically)…I’d have to dig back, but I’ve gotta be getting close to the half-year mark of the week-to-week actively wanting to get the next Superman-related comic out that week, just for the next bit of story. And unlike even the New Krypton stuff (which PALES by comparison to Rebirth!), this is a FUN excitement, a new/updated status quo that I like and am not just going with. And rather than tease me with pseudo-triangle-numbering, the two main Superman books are just coming out, telling solid stories, and now with this issue of Action we’ve even got footnotes again–referencing the sister title (Superman) as if BOTH TITLES are actually taking place in the same timeline, part of the same universe, etc! We also get a nice reference to another series that means next issue will be interesting as well…

I was going to hold off on Supergirl, but that cover just grabbed me! Not so much the rendition of the character herself (this art style is not very much to my liking for her) but the Cyborg Superman, and the promise of potential that it holds in that image.

And I pulled the trigger on the Hellblazer volume to get that outta my system…I don’t think vol. 15 is due for another few months, and unfortunately, I worry too much about stuff going out of print these days, thanks to Marvel refusing to keep anything in print all that long or predictably. This volume is also a bit more of a "key" volume than I’d considered initially.

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With Hellblazer vol. 14: Good Intentions, these new editions have fully caught up to where I came into the series back in 2001 (just over 15 years ago!). This single volume combines three previous paperbacks, as it collects Hard Time, Good Intentions, and …Freezes Over. Sixteen issues in one volume; three story arcs…plus material from Vertigo Secret Files: Hellblazer.

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Now begins the steady march through as the new editions finish, and hopefully over the next several years, we’ll get a full Hellblazer library of volumes that actually look like the single series that they are, and allow one to–in this format–have the entirety of the 300-issue 25-year series.

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Even if the new, numbered editions do not end up spanning the entirety of the run…I do have–with the probable exception of the Hellblazer: Bad Blood mini–the run between the new editions and the smaller "original" editions.

The Weekly Haul – Week of October 5, 2016

This week I made it back to my usual comic shop, where I had no problems with getting any of the issues I was after, nor problems with "the wrong cover" in cases of variants, etc.

I even decided to try a new Image title for the heckuvit because I’d not been immediately put into a sour mood over variants.

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I keep thinking what a great feeling it is, actually looking forward to a new Superman comic each week, whether it’s Superman or Action Comics–basically back to a "weekly" thing for me. Sure, you have different creative teams telling their own in-title stories, but it’s the same, familiar character in both and fails to come off as entirely different versions of the character!

I’m not thrilled at the $4.99 price on the TMNT Universe series…I think I thought the first issue was oversized or such. However, I’ve long held the TMNT up as an exception, so it’s basically the one book I will NOT drop or refuse to buy over the price point…I DO retain the right to complain about the pricing, though and "make noise" about it! That said, I’m digging the main story…just not so much the "backup" bit.

I believe I’ve "topped" my previous stint following the Spawn title now…I’m right around the 1-year mark now following the title this time, where I think the longest I’d gone previously was 6 or 7 issues (maybe 8 or 9). I think I’d read that this would be the final issue with Erik Larsen on art, which is a bit of a shame, but we’ll see what comes next. I do think something as simple or "arbitrary" as the title’s price jumping from the current $2.99 to $3.99 would be immediate grounds for me dropping it–part of its appeal that got me going on this run was THAT it’s $2.99 and high-numbered; from before any announcement of Rebirth or reverting Action and Detective Comics to "legacy" numbering.

Finally, Moonshine caught my attention from recent hype online (though I never once clicked on or checked out ANY "previews!") and for being a #1–because it is a wholly new, brand-new, not continuing from anything, this is the cold opening, absolutely the beginning of the story, first appearance of the title, characters, story, etc first issue. AND the $2.99 price point. I was curious given the creative team–I’ve read the first volume or two of 100 Bullets and liked it, and have heard little but good about the creative team in terms of that title…so figured I’d check this out. I don’t think I want to go "on the hook" adding it to a pull-list given my life right now…but I’m inclined to check out the next issue. Pretty sure this will–like so many others–read much better in a collected edition, BUT with Image‘s $9.99-first-volumes, for about the price of 5-6 issues, I can still buy the first couple single issues and the collected volume without doubling up on price anywhere.


In addition to these issues and several others I doubled up on for immediacy, my DCBS September box arrived, with all of the September-shipped Rebirth issues.

I also snagged 18 25-cent books from the quarter-bins; mostly DC post-Zero Hour #0s and a couple other things that caught my eye. Slightly regretting not doubling back through the boxes for the One Million issues, but I really need to go through my boxes and figure out what exactly I’m truly missing. (I’m more likely to get to the #0 issues sooner for this blog than get to reading the One Million issues).

Yet another solid week, though I expect next week will be relatively small, primarily the new Action Comics issue.

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