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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 13, 2019

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This past week felt like the sort of balance I REALLY prefer to have with new comics. Though I may be "missing out" on other stuff…it’s still a bit more than I may have "time" for…especially with other distractions that I’ll get into down below!

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Though it’s another $6 book, Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night (the 3rd in a series of these specials) is sorta worth it…I’m willing to let it slide by for being a squarebound thing AND coming out alongside a $1 reprint of the original Blackest Night #1. Plus, having enjoyed plenty of Elseworlds stuff back in the day…if DC isn’t going to bring that imprint back, I can handle stuff like this. I’m still a bit wary and suspicious that this is leadup to some major event for the sake of a major event–and I’ve little intention of "buying back in" on such a thing with the way the new status quo is shaping up (and with Superman revealing his identity for the 2nd time in half a decade).

The Catwoman issue I bought because of having read that it offers her side to "the Wedding stuff," and I’m interested enough in that. And the "fancy cover" for the SAME PRICE AS USUAL is a very positive factor!

GI Joe: A Real American Hero is a title I’m still woefully behind on reading, but am still very supportive of, if only for its high numbering! I have a large amount of the original run and have the notion of filling in earlier issues in this run to eventually have the whole series. But time will tell.

I believe this 6th issue of the IDW run of Usagi Yojimbo is the 30th anniversary issue. I’m pretty sure I saw something on Facebook from Stan Sakai about that.

And then the The Tomb of Dracula facsimile edition is another I got on simple principle OF being a facsimile edition. I’ve lost track of the number of these…I’m not sure if they’re quite "weekly," but I’m certainly appreciating their frequency. I’d probably be quite happy if Marvel (and DC!) simply did a "series" that itself was simply these reprint editions–where one could "subscribe" TO the "line" without hassle to the comic shops.

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Having already had the first 5 of the 6 issues of Event Leviathan, I decided to finish that out. I’m continuing to be discouraged by the issue apparently "ending" with the "launch" of another event/series already. But at the same time, that also backs up my notion of it being time to back away from a lotta this stuff.

I’m not entirely sure what this Marvels X thing is that headlines the previews thing…but it seems like they missed the 25th anniversary of the original series. As a contained thing I might be interested, but time will tell.

And finally, Comic Shop News, spotlighting Superman revealing his identity to other heroes…and the reason I finally pulled the trigger on dropping Superman and Action Comics.

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On a more positive side…a Kickstarter project I backed recently came in! The second issue of Cat & Mouse by Roland Mann & Co. with the revived Silverline. As a Kickstarter thing, I’m more forgiving of variants and such, especially the Kickstarter Exclusive Edition covers–because the CONTENT is still available to anyone, even if the special cover isn’t. As a sucker for nostalgia, I’m cool with the Retro edition. There’s even some difference to the coloring, it looked like–which I appreciate! Finally, the "graphite edition" is not JUST a "sketch cover" (which I dislike as variants). This is a whole different edition of the issue, where the interior is also like this–so the cover is NOT some "inferior" thing, it’s actually a perfect match to its interior! And it gives a different look at the contents of the issue that I find rather cool as a novelty like this.

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The new Pokemon game came out last Friday. I broke with "tradition" of getting the "red" versions to get Sword…largely because of knowing a friend had pre-ordered Shield and I wanted to know I had a trading buddy. Then I realized that when I’d bought in on the Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon re-issue of the previous game, I’d also gone "blue" so…c’est la vie.

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I also snagged this nifty felt banner (the flip-side is a map of this new games new "region" in the Pokemon world) as well as the plush starter critter, Scorbunny. I’d gotten the plush of Litten 3 years ago with Pokemon Sun, so it just seemed fitting to make that a tradition of getting the plushie of the critter I’d start the game with!

I also then promptly blew away the weekend with first being up Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday, then spending the majority of the day Saturday and again into wee hours, and a decent chunk of time Sunday playing. As of this typing Monday evening, I’ve left off having acquired 5 of the 8 "gym badges" in the game. I also "bred" a couple Farfetch’d and Scorbunnies for trade, but pulled myself away from that side of the game for the time being. Mindless stuff with that almost 3 years ago is what led to my binging the entirety of How I Met Your Mother into 2017!

Heading fast toward "the holidays," I don’t know how long it’ll take me to "finish" the play-through of the "main game," but I’ve already sunk more time into this game than any other game since the original Pokemon Sun, in such a short span of time. I’ve probably got a way to go yet to match Breath of the Wild, but that was spaced across weeks before I lost interest. I certainly feel like I’ve already more than gotten my money’s worth out of this game compared to every other game I’ve bought other than Breath of the Wild.

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Token Photo Post: My Manga Collection

I almost had daily posts this week, for the weekdays! With some personal stuff going on that took up my Thursday and then exhausted me further on Friday…to get the (week)daily posts for this week…here’s a "token" photo post!

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I’m presently (still) reworking my basement space with bookshelves and such. I’ll certainly do a mega-post at some point once I’m done, to show off the entire space AND the specific shelves and collection and such.

But for now, I’ll stick to showing off some of the shelves in somewhat isolation.

Here? My manga collection.

On top of the bookcase I have the complete Dark Horse run of Lone Wolf and Cub. No clue when I’ll get around to actually reading the things; though I think back in 2001 or 2002 I got through the first 3-4 books. That far back, though, I’ll surely have to restart from volume 1.

Then there’s the complete run of Naoki Urasawa‘s Monster; I still have the final four volumes or so to read.

Next is the entire 8-volume run of Chobits, which I had bought and read in its entirety in less than a week back in 2004; partly as self-distraction with losing Grandpa and amidst the funeral and such.

I tried getting into Fruits Basket thanks to the friend that introduced me to Chobits as well as a "promo dvd" that I’d had with an episode of Fruits Basket and Dragonball GT or whatever. But I only made it a few volumes into the series before falling way behind.

Yu-Gi-Oh! I only ever got the first volume…I read it at the time, but never got around to the later volumes.

The first three Pokemon books there are "digest-sized" collections of single issues that were published (I believe) by Viz; whatever the case, I have the single issues for the first couple volumes. Then there are the first three volumes of Pokemon Adventures that I snagged for a buy-2-get-1-free sale a few months back; I’m about halfway through the first, but shelved it to make sure I knew what I was doing with spacing for the shelving.

As always…I own and continue to buy way more than I can possibly read right now…but hey: someday!

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Pokémon Through the Years: The Games

Back in probably 1998, a friend got me to try this new card game, based on a video game that was taking the country by storm. Pokémon. Not long after–in early 1999 or so–he convinced me to get a Gameboy and the actual game, so we could battle and trade critters and such. He’d started with Pokémon Blue, so I got Pokémon Red.

Fast-forward to this past summer, July 2016, and the release of Pokémon Go got me back into the property after a number of years away.

A couple other friends convinced me to get a 2DS, and I re-bought Red via the digital shop…though quickly left that aside to try the newer game: Pokémon Omega Ruby (both my red 2Ds and Omega Ruby chosen to stick with the Red theme).

I also pre-ordered Pokémon Sun at the time. Then, due to a Black Friday sale, I ordered Pokémon Y though have yet to dive into playing that one–I figure its time will come, eventually!

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And I came across my original box, and the mini manual, while going through some years-old stuff helping parents clear out the old house.

So even with the more-than-a-decade gap, and the 18 or so years total since getting that first game…I have all four on a shelf.

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And perhaps one of these days I’ll really get into detail on my experiences and thoughts regarding the various aspects of Pokémon through the years beyond just having these four games.

Plush Poké-Buddies

I now have three of my favorite Pokémon characters as plushies!

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Eevee has got to be the cutest, most adorable critter of ’em all! While I like most of the "Eeveelutions" as well, this little furball’s top of the pile.

And Litten was my chosen starter for Pokémon: Sun, decided as soon as I saw (my) first "spoiler" image of what the three would be…despite some significant disappointment over not receiving a "pre-order with us and get this bonus poster!" poster from Gamestop (an employee insisted they were only for people who had pre-ordered BOTH Sun and Moon), I still wound up (at a different store!) snagging the plush Litten the next day.

And finally, closing out 2016, I came across the plush Snorlax, which fits as one of my other primary characters in Sun, that has been on my core roster without fail as the other five slots have seen a rotation.

Plushies, (in)action figures, a Nintendo 2DS, Omega Ruby, Sun, and X can really all be traced back to Pokemon Go for me, rekindling the dormant Pokémon interest back in early July.

#NotAtComicCon – But Probably a Better Haul

moving_books_summer_2016Without getting much into it for now…2016 is another year that I am #NotAtComicCon. And frankly, I’m glad for it…in some ways it’d be kinda cool to go, just to HAVE gone, but it’s not my scene; it’s gotten too huge, too many people in too small a space, it’s too non-comic focused, all the “good” panels would be full before I could get there, it would not be a conducive environment to hunt back issues and bargain books, the cost of admission and lodging and food and travel would eat up any “margin” of bargains anyway, and for what dealers pay to be there, they aren’t gonna be just peddling the kinda bargain-priced stuff I’m after anyway, etc.

Amidst a major shift in my personal life, I made it to a couple of Half-Price Books stores last week, taking advantage of two 40%-off coupons and a “surprise” 50%-off coupon. I’ve had my eye on the Lois Lane: a Celebration of 75 Years for several months now, not pulling the trigger, and other stuff beating it out on previous coupons. Along with that, I paid “full price” (half of cover price) for the two Alex + Ada books; vol. 2 to replace a damaged copy I hadn’t realized was damaged when I bought it, meaning that across editions I’ve functionally paid full price for the 3 good-copy volumes I have (the complete 3-volume series).

The day before that, I got the Absolute Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War which was a bargain at $40 (carrying a $100 cover price); got it for 40% off that $40, bringing it down to the cost of 5-6 Marvel single-issues!

With the 50%-off coupon, I bought the X-Men: Fatal Attractions volume. $25 cover price, HPB had it priced as $20 (ugh!), but I got it for $10, which is what I’d seen it for at a convention maybe a decade ago. (And then I learn there’s a new edition coming out in about 3 months…). I also got the Superman: Escape From Bizarro World just to fill in a gap…I’m not overly interested in the Superman volumes from this era, but the Superman fan that I am, I’m not opposed to expanding my Superman sub-collection.

Finally, stopping in at a shop I hadn’t been to in awhile, browsing bargain bins, I found the 2nd volume of Uncanny X-Men: The Complete Collection by Matt Fraction, which completes the ‘set’ I’d started five months ago.

I highly doubt I’d’ve been able to score this kinda haul at any convention; these come from three separate stores, each in a different city, some 10-15 minutes’ drive apart…not all one location a couple minutes’ walk apart. But I’m good for the prices I paid for them.

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My desk at work has amassed another small collection of randomness in recent weeks. Target clearanced the larger-sized monster figures several weeks back, so I got the Marshmallow Man for about 30% off (turns out the clearancing was an error…I’d wondered about that, considering it was a week before the new movie had even come out!)

The two blind-pack Ghostbusters I’d gotten awhile back, as well as a miniature Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon) from 2014 or ’15… and some Pokémon. Seems what I’m most a fan of are the “Generation 1” characters, and here I’ve scored several of my favorites, from a couple of 2-packs.

So again…I’m quite happy enough with what I’ve gotten lately along with “regular” comics, even not being at Comic Con.

Lake Effect Comic Con Haul 2015

This weekend was the (I believe 6th) annual Lake Effect Comic Con in Mentor, OH at the Great Lakes Mall (specifically the Atlas Cinema). This is a local one-day show, primarily a "dealer’s room," but also an Artists’ Alley, and a small slate of events–a couple panels, a costume/cosplay contest, etc. The event is organized by the owner of Comics and Friends, a comic shop in the mall (that I find it hard to believe has been there so long now!)

I’ve been to at least 4 of these now, with varying degrees of luck finding stuff I’m looking for. One year I found a bunch of X-Men and Valiant stuff; another year I happened across an X-Men omnibus for 60% off cover minutes after walking in and bought it and walked out before I could spend more money. I believe it was last year I scored several action figures I’d been looking for.

I went in hoping to find a discounted Thanos vs. Hulk paperback or X-O Manowar deluxe hardcover vol. 1 and barring those, perhaps a Thanos Mighty Mugg or perhaps the Hulkbuster Iron Man Marvel Select, or maybe some cool quarter-bin issues or Power Rangers blind-box mystery vinyls, etc. Sadly, the only real bargain bins I saw were Comic Heaven and I have access to that store anytime I’m (frequently) in the area.

But one dealer had a bunch of old toys, mostly loose, as well as several classic board games…and Munchkin.

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I’ve been putting the newer Munchkin Legends in my cart at Target and then jettisoning the thing before I check out for over a year, and often considering some of the expansions elsewhere when I come across them (and not getting those for lack of having the core/original game).

Finding this "classic edition" for only $12 was a great find, and means I can at least play the game itself.

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I came across this Minimates Enterprise (with Captain Kirk) and picked it up, put it back, picked it up again, put it back, walked away, and then back to actually get it. Despite being a Star Trek fan, until now I’ve never actually had an Enterprise, and for the price (and the branding), I decided this is worthwhile and will definitely get some shelf space.

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There’s also the coolness factor for me that it’s the Original Series and not based on the new movies version. While I like the new movies, I like the "classic" stuff and it seems there’s much more available than for the new films.

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And I was recently remembering the classic/original Pokemon stuff, and finding the complete original mini-series for only $3 was well worthwhile.

With these three items, I figured I had spent enough and didn’t need to go looking for more to spend money on just for the sake of spending money; and since I hadn’t really seen anything particularly eye-catching or promising…that was that.

I was in and out in under a half-hour, spending only about what I’d usually spend in a typical weekly comic shop run, so I did well, and walked out with half my "budget" still in-pocket, which itself can now go to this week’s new comics.

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