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Um…Oops? (Or, The Unexpected Quarter-Bin Haul)

Apparently there was a snafu with Diamond and shipping this week in the US, with the holiday and all. I’m not sure actual details, but with Carol and John’s doing New Comic Day on Thursday, I decided I’d stop by real quick, see if they had one issue I was after. And maybe I’d find a second issue for the heckuvit.

I was gonna be in-and-out real quick, buying maybe 2 comics, if that.

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They’d put out several longboxes of 25-cent comics. After half-heartedly flipping through one, I decided to take on the next, and then a couple more. I had a decent stack going.

Then another longbox was brought out. So, sure, I’ll look through that. Then another.

Bought my stuff, they gave me a box to cart them out in…and here’s another longbox, with the promise of yet a couple more.

Ultimately, I bought 148 comics…only 1 of them "current."

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And on getting home Thursday night, I had a package waiting for me: my latest InStockTrades order.

While I’m waffling on how I feel about the "deluxe hardcover" treatment for Action Comics (as opposed to a "thick" paperback), it’s still a cool volume. And as far as I know, these are the only two Flash by Mark Waid volumes out thus far, and two excellent additions to my Flash shelf.

Finding time to read ’em all, though…that’s gonna be another thing entirely!


With the extra purchasing this week and last, though…I totally blew whatever might have become a "convention" budget or a "sale" budget, so I plan to attend to the recent purchases–and hopefully some solid reading–and am foregoing a convention that would be little fun anyway going alone, and a sale that…well, I’d surely spend way too much at (given half a chance) and other expenses that’d be involved.

C’est la vie and all that. Another week closing out…and we have the new Spider-Man film!

The ONLY trailer(s) I have seen for it thus far were theatrical–and really, I think it’s only one, and was before Wonder Woman or Guardians vol 2. I know OF some stuff, from casting to images forced in front of me…but by and large, I’ve managed to avoid stuff, and intend to continue to do so, even if it means trying to "stay offline" for the day or such.

When Seeking One Issue Goes Awry

Another "bonus" weekend post!

Last weekend, I snagged a bunch of comics from bargain bins, including these four Superman issues, the Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite! story.

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Unfortunately, I’d managed to totally forget that there was a Starman tie-in issue.

Annoying, sure, but hey, not like that series was all that popular in the long run (though it ran at least 43 issues, if not more), totally overshadowed by the James Robinson run that followed post-Zero Hour. Surely it would be a simple matter–with four shops relatively nearby–to locate this one, single issue.

Boy, was I wrong! None of the four shops I made it to this week (including back to the usual, where I thought for sure the issue would be in the bargain bins and I had just missed it) had the thing in any bins, bargain or otherwise.

On a whim, I stopped off at a Half-Price Books, figuring I was already willing to "pay back-issue prices" for the thing, so I could grudgingly pay a higher HPB price since I’d exhausted other simple-ish in-person means of acquiring the thing. (*Still bugs the crap outta me that HPB assigns arbitrary high prices to more issues than not lately! They bill themselves as a USED books store, based on the notion of everything they carry being HALF OFF the printed/published cover price!)

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Somewhat shockingly enough, they had the issue!

…priced at $3. For a beaten-up condition, newsstand edition (UPC instead of generic box). But as usual and as I would factor for any comic shop back issue…the price is the same or less than what I’d pay for a new off-the-shelf, released-just-this-week comic, so hardly worth "complaining" about: the thing is, after all, over 25 years old, and most comic shops don’t seem to have MUCH stock going back before the early 2000s or so, it seems!

Of course, my "quest" for this one particular issue wound up with me making some extra purchases I had not planned on, but for time spent and even visiting other shops, felt like I should buy something rather than walk out empty-handed.

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Being much more meticulous about going through the bargain bins this weekend…I found waaaaaaayyyyyy more than I intended to.

Quite the difference between 36-year-old me and 11-year-old me: 36-year-old me can buy a stack of comics like this. 11-year-old me had a 3-year collection that in its entirety at the time was 1/3 smaller than this particular stack.

Also, those Justice League Action Mighty Minis being…well…miniature…certainly makes the stack look even more impressive.

I wanted 1 specific issue.

There are 122 reasons I would’ve spent less if I’d just tried HPB first…

Conservatively Quarter-Binning: Scud and West-Coast Avengers

I flipped half-heartedly through the quarter-bin this week, after a too-lengthy drive to the no-longer-local comic shop. Recent life events meant an immediate drop to being a LOT more conservative in spending, but I was a bit curious as the quarter bins looked to be a similar state to the last time I’d flipped through, weeks ago.

Of course, I never should have "doubted"–quite a lot of fresh assortment, but with my current mindset, didn’t even consider grabbing much…and ultimately I only bought 6 (amounting to a whopping $1.50!)

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Two of the issues were Scud: Disposable Assassin #1 and Marvel‘s West Coast Avengers #1.

I had no problems with myself, snagging these two #1 issues–I have plenty of problem when I find "runs" of a series in bargain bins with 12+ issues or such…minus the first issue where someone obviously "cherry-picked" only the #1s. But in these cases, they were just the isolated #1 issues…no #2, no runs.

Not necessarily the greatest condition, but not anything I would consider poor.

The West Coast Avengers issue is a novelty to me…I’m sure I have a few issues scattered in my longboxes, but I don’t consciously recall any particular run of the series. Yet, hey…it’s a #1 from back when #1s actually meant something.

And the Scud one caught my eye, having recently contemplated the single-volume collection of the entire series, though it’s been several years since it was published (I’d put that on a mental want-list at the time, though never actually got around to purchasing the thing). The fact that the issue is a third printing doesn’t bother me at all…I’ve no real intention of trying to track down the singles…knowing there IS a one-volume collection out there!

While I’ve found plenty of enjoyment getting runs of stuff and huge stacks of comics from bargain bins…it’s also quite cool just getting a select few, for such a small price. Especially when–instead of dwarfing the "regular new stuff" issues, this provides for an excellent "enhancement" of the "regular purchase."

The other four issues I picked up were two issues of Valiant/Acclaim‘s Trinity Angels and the first two issues of last year’s Telos series from DCYou after Convergence.

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!

The Weekly Haul: Week of May 04, 2016

Outside of several pretty hefty recent book purchases, actual comics made for a big week this week…and probably my widest, most “diverse” (publisher-wise) such haul in ages!

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In my main/regular/new issues, I have five publishers represented. I was not going to buy the Thunerbolts issue…while I’d greatly enjoyed the late-1990s/early-2000s and somewhat tried again with the series with Marvel Now, I’d trailed off. Something about this cover, though, just REALLY triggers the nostalgia factor for me. While I’d prefer the title be at the top of the cover, for the image they went with, it works…sadly, I am certain this “main” cover is hardly the only cover…thus it lacks the iconic status of the original 1997 Thunderbolts book.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, Thunderbolts (2016) #1 is only $3.99! I have been so extremely put-off by Marvel‘s high prices and the seeming stream of $4.99+ #1s that I’ve written ’em off as too expensive for my interest. I’d far prefer $2.99, but at this point I’ll “support” $3.99 OVER $4.99 for #1 issues, regardless of size (standard or extra…short me on size and the complaint’s renewed!)

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I’d picked up the first two issues of X-Men ’92 recently to “check them out,” having bought the series last year with the Secret Wars stuff…seeing the third issue, I decided to take a chance and buy this one so I’m “caught up” for the reading. I’d been quite surprised that the first couple issues were “only” $3.99 apiece…that #1 was not $4.99 was a major selling point for me!

A $1 issue from IDW, and a catalog of Marvel collected volumes round out the “normal” stuff for the week.

Which brings us to issues of timing, with their release falling on May 04.

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Star Wars Day seems to have become an official Thing, May 4th each year. As in “May the Fourth be with you.” So rather than stagger them across the entire month…Marvel threw us ten $1 reprints of #1 issues. For the price, I’m cool with them; they were pulled for me as part of my “$1 and under promo-priced stuff” part of my pull-list. In addition, I snagged an extra copy of several issues to give to coworkers.

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Given the relative (I believe) “recency” of several of the issues, I’m quite glad I waited. As is, I’m a bit miffed at these now-$1 copies of the $4.99 Star Wars #1 and Darth Vader #1 from last year…ditto on the Vader Down issue. Still, these give me a first-issue jumping-in point to help determine if I want to buy the trades…

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I also hit the quarter-bins, where I snagged several random-ish issues. The Wolverine issue brings back definite memories from when it was originally released, so I grabbed that on the nostalgia alone. I snagged the Captain Marvel because it was #1, did not have the other issues in the bin, and I wanted an ‘even number” of books. Turns out the Generation X/Gen13 books are variants of the same issue. I’m disgusted on principle but can’t be too upset…they’re wraparound covers, and I’m only out 50 cents for a double-length story.

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I totally forgot several weeks ago to follow up on an offer on the Guy Gardner issues–the store owner was planning on clearing them out “soon.” While I think I “missed out on” several early issues in the run, these issues are mostly what I recall being present at the time, so it all worked out in the end. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the Abyss that is my collection of longboxes I have the first 20+ issues–at least the bulk of the run before the book became Warrior…so I mostly passed on those for now, as I’m hoping to get the entirety of my comics collection sorted sooner than not…and I’m trying to exercise a bit of restraint in this regard (though adding 30 25-cent issues ($7.50) to an already cringe-inducingly large week on top of other expenditures may not be the most intelligent thing to do.

Old vs. New: Quarter Bins vs. New Comics Rack

This week was another where I managed to score some cool stuff from the quarter bin of my local comic shop. Sad thing is, it also continues to pound home just how EXPENSIVE current comics are. 2/3 of my final cost was the tiny stack of new issues, dwarfed by a huge stack of almost 60 issues that totaled roughly HALF the cost of the other 7 issues (one of which was a $1 comic).

Sharing the awesomeness…

Picked up where I left off a couple months ago, adding to my Silver Surfer run:

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And getting a great start on my early post-Crisis Flash run (no pun intended):

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Some early 1990s X-Men issues (two editions of Bishop’s first appearance…not sure if the one is the first print or 3rd or later; the gold cover is the 2nd print:

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The GI Joe/Transformers full 4-issue mini, and 4 of the first 5 issues of GI Joe Special Missions:

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Couple shiny issues, Infinity Gauntlet #1, and the first issue of the “new” X-Factor:

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The entire stack of quarter-bin awesomeness compared to the new issues:

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The new issues:

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Quarter-Bin Awesomeness

As you can see by the photo here, we’ve got Batman #497 (the issue where Bane broke Batman (Bruce Wayne)’s back during 1993’s Knightfall arc. That midddle issue is Wolverine #1, from the original ongoing series from Marvel in the late-1980s. And rounding things out is Spawn #1 (FIRST printing, even!).

Going back 16 years, we’d have the April-1994-cover-date’s issue of Wizard Magazine.  The price guide in that issue lists these as:

Batman #497 – $9.50
Wolverine
#1
– $30.00
Spawn
#1
– $12.50

Did I pay $52, you wonder?

Nope…I paid a mere $.75 for the lot of ’em.

Speaking of price differences…compare these two stacks of comics:


On the left is a stack of 88 issues of Wolverine, Batman #497, and Spawn #s 1-2.

On the right…is a stack of 8 issues, new this week.

That huge stack?

$6 less than the tiny stack of this week’s new issues.

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