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The Weekend Haul: Weekend of November 2, 2019

This past weekend yielded an interesting haul. It started with the Akron Comicon.

I believe the first time I’d attended the Akron Comicon was in 2012. I got to meet Norm Breyfogle, Mike W. Barr, and a couple other creators. Along with meeting them, I got copies of Prime #s 1, 11 and the Prime Time TPB along with Detective Comics #604 (my first-ever issue of the title) signed by Breyfogle. I got Mantra #1 and my Batman: Year Two collected volume signed by Barr.

In 2013, I went again, and got to meet Jon Bogdanove and got Superman: The Man of Steel #1 signed.

I don’t think I made it back again until 2018.

And now 2019.

Which proved to be quite a disappointment for me. Two creators in particular I’d looked forward to seeing at the show had to back out. Additionally, the "guest of honor" (I think that’s MY phrasing, not the official show-phrasing) was an old Cleveland, OH-area tv host from the 1980s–predating MY experiences in 1988-onward–so I had zero interest in his presence at the show as I obviously had no nostalgia/connection whatsoever.

The show was at yet another "new location," this time in Cuyahoga Falls–just outside of Akron proper. Certainly some quibbles on the name of the show tying to location and such, but whatever. Prior to arrival, I was picturing this rather small (for a convention) location from a friend’s wedding I attended years ago. My primary concern was parking. I cannot speak to the parking situation after Noon or so, as I actually got to the show around 11 or a little before. (I was leaving the parking lot shortly after Noon and there were a few open spots). But it seemed to me a rather small amount of parking for a show expecting a lot of people. I was burned a couple years ago by a different local show on the parking, which has made "parking" a #1 concern for me with plans to attend any convention.

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I had no trouble getting into the show. I essentially followed a couple in, following signage. I was rather surprised to find no line (having had a pretty good wait to get into the Hall of Fame City Comic Con a few weeks ago). Someone with a scanning rod or whatever those things are called–hand-held metal-detector scanners–was checking everyone on the way in. No problem there–just a few seconds, non-invasive, though I was momentarily worried that stuff on one of my carabiners would set it off. No issues, though. I was directed to a table where there seemed to be several stations–picking up pre-ordered tickets, buying tickets with cash, and using a card. I was using cash, so once I realized the stations, had no further wait.

I was then directed to another table for a "swag bag" (I got the term from the bag itself, I don’t recall exactly what was said to me–I was by then already getting some low-level anxiety from being in an enclosed, densely-populated space). A table had several posters I was going to look at, but I saw (volunteers?) putting them into bags and was handed a bag of my own, so I thanked the worker and went on in to get out of the entranceway foot-traffic. After the show when I inspected this "swag bag" I discovered two Netflix She-Ra posters…and a double-sided 5.5" x 8.5" flyer for some sort of bowling and/or restaurant. Nothing comic-related. Nothing listing comic shops in the area, nothing offering a show-floor layout or vendor list, no random trinkets or promo cards for geek/gaming/comic/hobby/etc stuff. If it was merely a "courtesy bag" (cuz hey, how many people necessarily think to bring bags in with them to hold stuff they buy?) that’d be one thing. As a "swag bag" it was almost insulting. BUT as I wasn’t there for any Akron Comicon items, no big deal.

I was primarily on the hunt for:

  • Uncanny X-Men #141 for $30 or less
  • Uncanny X-Men #350 "regular" cover (non-shiny) for under $10
  • X-Men #45 for ideally $4 or less
  • Wolverine #145 "shiny" cover for under $10
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #200 (for under $5)
  • Spawn issues for under $5 each

I did see a Marvel Legends reprint-edition of Uncanny X-Men #141 for $2.50 that I passed on (I have it already, somewhere, and we just had a $1 True Believers reprint in the last couple weeks, if I wanted anything other than the original). I did see a couple of "wall books" instances but as I’m just looking for low-grade $30 or less, I’m not interested in the $100+ wall-book copies.

I did find the Uncanny X-Men #350 regular edition, and it was only $5…so there was some definite satisfaction in that! The same dealer also had X-Men #45, also for $5; I figured for the convenience of taking it off my mental list and not having to hunt, it was worth the "premium." Plus I was able to simply hand over the $10 I got back from my admission $20.

Another dealer actually had Wolverine #145…albeit the NON-shiny version that I got 20 years ago. I’m interested in getting the "shiny" version since I was not able to get it back then. But for the nostalgia and such, and already having a sinking feeling on the convention, I was shifting into the mindset of wanting to at least buy enough to "justify" my $10 admission…so, $6 for that. Not exactly a waste as it’s a convenience copy now of a key (to me) issue AND it’s no worse than some modern $5.99 comic that I would not appreciate the way I do this one.

Finally, Another dealer had Spectacular Spider-Man #200 for $4.50; but he gave it to me for $4 since he didn’t have change (a pleasant surprise, and I thanked him for the discount!).

I browsed the dealers that had comics; I think I saw two with Spawn issues; but as "usual" they were early (pre-26) and/or 290+ with nothing I was missing between 62-256. I did find a couple with some TMNT comics, but of course they were IDW series or the IDW reprints for the most part; several Mirage issues but no prices and I figured I’d go back to them after I’d had a look around the rest of the show floor.

But I quickly had my fill of the place, and with other stuff planned, decided to cut my "losses" and just leave, rather than get to where I myself felt like I was wasting money on buying stuff and just accept the "loss" of "admission."

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I then went to Kenmore Komics and picked up some stuff; chief being Hope #5 (of 6).

I’d completely forgotten I was intending to look for Uncanny X-Men #325 along with 350 and the X-Men #45, but located it here, and for the same $5 I’d paid for the latter, so well worthwhile.

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I also found 5 Spawn issues for $4 apiece (so no worse than buying 5 random modern comics) to continue to close up the holes in my first-100 issues of the series; I’m now 12 issues away from having 1-100!

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Continuing my journey for the day, I headed to Hazel’s Heroes, which I knew thanks to Facebook was having a "Not at Comicon" sale. Unfortunately, by this point nature was calling, so I ducked into a Marc’s in the same plaza to use the restroom. While in the store I found this Justice League Chibis Complete Set for a whopping $3.99. Considering I’d paid half that a few years ago for a single packet with 3 of these, on that pricing it was well worth buying this set to get the rest. I’m quite certain I got Green Arrow and Superman from that packet and can’t remember the 3rd (Cyborg, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, or Batman, probably). I’m a sucker for Robin stuff, and while throwing money away for the day…why not?

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Once into Hazel’s Heroes, I found a treasure-trove of old Wizard issues for $1 apiece as well as some fairly beaten-up copies of tpbs for $1. Thankfully, I’d recently gotten rough photos of my Wizard shelves and was able to zoom in to the spines to see what issues were not presently…present. Though several are issues I know darned well I SHOULD have…they weren’t on the shelf when I took the photos, and for "only" $1 and rarely if ever coming across Wizard in bargain and/or back-issue bins…I snagged these.

Also for "only" $1, grabbed the Dawn of the Age of Apocalypse and the Twilight of the Age of Apocalypse books. These are the original editions from back in 1995 or so, and rather inferior books at this point. But I’m mildly interested in getting a complete set eventually, and as these fall out of apparent favor with newer, fatter editions, I’m not at all opposed to grabbing them for $1 each!

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Then for general back-issues, the sale was something like comics up to $8.99 were $1, $9-something was $3, and so on.

I found the TMNT Adventures: Year of the Turtle #2 which leaves me only missing the first issue of the mini from having the complete mini-series; and 5 or so of the quarterly "special" issues from the series.

I snagged a couple of the Uncanny X-Men issues from just before #350, thinking a re-read of those might go well with a re-read of #350 itself. I didn’t factor in having several more issues handy or not, so it leaves me still "missing" several for these "convenience copy duplicates." Perhaps I’ll just leave those for Marvel Unlimited.

Since they were functionally $1-books, grabbed a few more X-issues for the heckuvit/with meaning to me.

And as one of "those" issues I like getting just to get, a couple more of the deluxe edition of 1991’s X-Men #1 with the gatefold 4-part single cover. I still intend to eventually frame a couple copies of the covers–the exterior as the large 4-part image; and the interior cover is its own vertical 4-panel poster.

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I also got another copy of the Image Firsts edition of Spawn #1–I’m suck a sucker for that cover image!–as well as the DC Dollar Comics Superman #75 (for what the issue is, I’m happy to buy multiples. Plus, then I have copies to give to (a) friend(s)!) Also got another copy of The Adventures of Cthulhu Jr. and Dastardly Dirk #1 for a friend.


I spent slightly more at Hazel’s Heroes than I did the convention, and I got a LOT MORE value out of it.

And I spent as much solely on Spawn at Kenmore as I did at the convention, where no one at the convention had issues of the title I needed.

I’m happy enough, really, with what I got at the convention…but that $10 admission brought the average price of the issues up to $7.50 apiece, essentially…and with a bit of shuffling on how much for which issue I probably would have been better (or just as well) served ordering the issues online and sticking to the comic shops.

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SpawnQuest #5: Batman & Spawn

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Around 3 years ago, in 2016, I’d discovered some comics at Dollar Tree. $1 for a comic, a collector’s guide, etc. Not a horrible price, though most of the comics were what I’d consider 25-cent books. Freex #1 particularly caught my eye; as did another.

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One that seemed well worth the $1 price was Spawn/Batman by Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane.

And then recently at the Hall of Fame City Comic Con, I snagged what I consider a "convenience copy" of Batman/Spawn: War Devil.

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And last week as part of the regular Wednesday haul, I grabbed Spawn #91.

Not as keen this week to charge ahead. It’s actually sorta discouraging to realize just how spotty the rest of the series is going to be to get, and what a long haul it may well be.

And all the more how I’m particularly interested in getting my run filled in up to #100 for the near-future, even if the rest of the series ends up being a long slog.

And #301 came out this week…so I suppose I haven’t done horribly for the month between the issue that kicked off the excitement and the few weeks til its next came out.

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SpawnQuest #4: Nearing the End of Easy Acquisition

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A couple weeks ago, I’d ordered a few more Spawn issues. While I’m not intending to get every last tie-in and off-shoot/spin-off (and not even counting stuff like Curse of the Spawn or the Sam & Twitch series in this hunt), I had a couple of the Spawn Fan edition issues, and two of the Spawn/WildC.A.T.s issues.

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So I ordered the missing FAN edition and crossovers. And a couple more of the single issues. Those arrived.

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I also went back to Comics & Friends and snagged what was left of what they had that I was missing.

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I probably should have cut myself off with fewer issues…but being logical/sensible, since I’d almost certainly be getting the issues anyway, better to just get ’em and be done than to arbitrarily hold off. Especially since–technically–I could afford ’em without significant problem or such.

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And then the next day, I swung back by Comic Heaven and snagged several more of the issues they had that I was missing.

I figured better to get these there as a regular shop I go to ahead of whatever I’d find at an upcoming convention or such!


Of course, seems that after this initial run of stocking up really quickly on a concentrated area of issues, I’m about to hit the harder part of stuff.

"Everyone" seems to have the first few issues of the series. I’ve heard the number "1.7 million" regarding the first issue, and imagine similar for the next several, and while surely declining numbers from there, seems like I’m "always" seeing the first 16-20ish issues as back issues. Beyond those, it seems quite spotty–even with the online retailers, let alone what bricks-and-mortar stores have in backissue inventory.

I’m definitely driving at 1-100 most immediately, now having 1-67, having 70 of the first 75, and 82 of the first 100. Not quite as quick, easy, or cheap as my Savage Dragon build-up a couple years ago. But I do think this one’s gonna have much better longevity.

As always, of course, though…time will tell!

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#SpawnQuest #3: Beyond 50

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After having snagged a bunch of issues online, the next part of my hunt turned to a comic shop I hadn’t been to in awhile that has a lot of backissues.

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I was thrilled to discover that–a perfect fit for having just filled in to Spawn #50–they had issues 51-55! The very next issue I’d need, and it was five issues in sequence!

(I suspect that before long, instead of being able to get "runs" of issues I’ll be forced to go piecemeal singles and more gradually fill in gaps, and have far more gaps in general!)

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On my way back from that shop, I realized that while I’d thought I’d checked another, I hadn’t…so I stopped in, and was able to get some more issues…and introduce several tiny "gaps" into things with them having a bunch of issues, but not every sequential issue.

As such, this expands the bulk of my collection to issue 69, albeit missing 4 issues (56, 63, 66, 68) from that.

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I also opted to go ahead and bag ‘n board the series so far. I’ve a feeling I’ll be moving the collection around over time as I add to it, and over the past year or so I’ve been bagging-and-boarding new comics for that same reason. Stacks "slide" a lot more this way (unfortunately) BUT issues can stack, be stood upright, and generally handled a bit less delicately without having covers getting creased or crunched, and so on.

I may not be fanatical about condition, but that doesn’t mean I want to "destroy" my own comics!

So this stack in the photo is Spawn 1-69 (minus 4 issues) and 257-300, as well as the modern/recent Medieval Spawn/Witchblade mini, the Spawn Kills Everyone one-shot and Spawn Kills Everyone 2 mini, as well as a couple Fan Edition issues, a couple issues that originally came with action figures, the first (only?) issue of Stupid (with a Spawn on the cover!), and couple issues of a Spawn/Wildcats mini.


I’m definitely in danger of over-committing, I think…at present, my official intent with this "SpawnQuest" is the main, actual Spawn series. #s 1-300+, period. NOT all the one-shots, spin-offs, tie-ins, crossovers, etc.

I believe there have been at least a couple iterations of Curse of the Spawn or some such, a couple of Sam & Twitch series, and numerous one-shots, annuals, specials, crossovers, tie-ins, and so on.

While I may (likely) wind up getting some of those as I go along, this "quest" definitely, specifically the main series. If I can get a bunch of those others, cool.

That said, I know I have–and I think from quarter bins, at that, as well!–the crossover issues with Batman. If I recall correctly, there were two. One was Spawn/Batman published by Image while the other was Batman/Spawn published by DC Comics. I believe the Frank Miller/Todd McFarlane one was Spawn/Batman, and that one I recall being a particularly "big deal" back in the early days of my being into comics, and was one of my earliest forays into Spawn, though I couldn’t tell you a darned thing about any "story" to the thing.

I do recall getting another copy of the issue back in 2016 or so in a pack of comics from a Dollar Tree, which I got specifically FOR that issue, as it was well worth the $1 by itself.

While this is a second "SpawnQuest" post in a week and my 5th or so Spawn post in 2 weeks, I can’t imagine I’ll be able to keep up quite such a frantic pace of acquisitions as I have. And it’ll be all too easy to–like with Savage Dragon a couple years ago–get distracted and leave off.

But I’ll probably take the opportunity–as this is also giving me "stuff" to even post ABOUT and get back into posting a bit after virtually nothing for a few months this year–to post photos of the other issues I do have, as–at least for me myself–I’d sort of like to be able to have shown photos of every issue from 1-300whatever by the time I "complete" the series to whatever then-present.

Time–as always–shall tell!

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#SpawnQuest #2: Issues 31-49

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I guess I could have titled an earlier post as "SpawnQuest #1," but I don’t think I was quite as "committed" to the thing at that point. Though I used the phrase "SpawnQuest" in it, and since it technically was the first post for this, I’m starting here, now, with #2! There IS no actual #1. (or perhaps I’ll retroactively go back and re-title the post…though I don’t really like doing that!)

But with several recent posts on Spawn, I suppose I’m making it a bit more official, if only for a few weeks.

I suppose the convention that weekend was like "testing the waters" or some such. But that was also "filling in a gap" in my collection. I forged ahead after that with a couple of online orders, to fill in the next gap in my collection, created by buying Spawn #50.


SpawnQuest #2

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Though I don’t believe I’d ordered from them in years, I remembered a site I’d ordered comics from in the past without any problems–NewKadia.com. I decided to check their selection, and found that they had a number of Spawn issues in stock. They also had a handy feature where I could type an issue number or range and add all to my cart; ALSO specifying best condition OR lowest price.

As I’m definitely going for a "reading copy" collection–I’m happy to have great-condition issues, but I just want the issues and for them to not look like they’re in horrible condition or such.

Since my next "immediate goal" after the convention last weekend was issues 31-49, I keyed in that range, selected "lowest price," and let those get added to my cart. I checked out, and that was that for NewKadia.

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For the remaining issues, I was able to use LoneStar Comics (aka mycomicshop.com).

Both orders arrived on the same day, which was even better…especially as I’d placed the order on a Wednesday and had them Saturday!

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While "just" ordering online certainly takes some of "the hunt" away, when I get "all about" something like amassing many issues quickly, I can be quite impatient and more "for" the "immediate gratification" than ever being able to say I hunted every issue down from bargain bins or such.

Especially as I saw from the Cleveland Comic Con, dealers that HAD Spawn at all had them clearly marked–a sort of "sub collection" or such, a specific "category." While I’ll be happy to grab any random issues in a 25-cent bin or such, the series is still going at #300 and beyond, has never been renumbered/relaunched and all that, and so has never just ENDED or been "dead" or such…so its issues are all still relevant and less likely to be "dumped" en masse or whatever.

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Along with filling in the #s 31-49 gap, I’d previously ordered Spawn: Resurrection #1…beginning from the other end of the series. I’m pretty sure (at the moment) that this one-shot fits between Spawn #s 250 and 251; that it goes with 251-256 as an arc; where I "joined in" with #257 and have kept up since.

And as I’ll likely show off existing issues as I go about this #SpawnQuest, here are several of the reprints of #1. The Image Firsts edition; the 25th anniversary edition (Ultimate Spider-Man #1 homage cover). And the 2019 Free Comic Book Day reprint.


I’m probably going to be a total broken record over the course of these posts, but I’m just amazed at the series being at #300, and that despite multiple different reprint editions OF the original, I actually own the original, as well! Particularly as I remember my friend Zack getting/having The Amazing Spider-Man #365 back in 1992 or early 1993–along with at least one of the other Spider-Man 30th-anniversary issues with the large hologram on the covers. Granted, that represents another 5 or so years’ worth of issues after the series’ 300th issue (1988?). But it was just absolutely unfathomable to me at the time that I’d ever be able to go all the way back to #1, say, on that series. (And all the moreso now in 2019!)

But with filling in this 31-49 gap, I already (now) have the first 50 issues of the series, as well as the latest 44 issues (257-300). With knowing I have a few issues from the 185-190ish range and #200, that means I have at least 100 issues out of the 300…so a third of the series!

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Cleveland Comic Con 2019 – Sunday and #Spawnquest

This one wasn’t entirely on my radar. But a combination of marking "Interested" on Facebook events, creators creating events for their presence at conventions, and actually PROPERLY-targeted ads on Facebook) meant that I was loosely aware that this one was happening.

Having been unable to locate Spawn #s 20-24 and 26-29, I figured the best way to get them for a decent price quickly was to give this convention a shot where I otherwise would have passed on it. I’m not 100% certain that I came out ahead in the deal as it was a $10 admission on top of what I paid for what I bought…but I suppose it works out for a "convenience tax" or "immediate gratification tax" or such. And tax, period.

Also, my social/anxiety/introversion issues can make conventions seem extremely counter-intuitive. Why would an introvert with anxiety choose to put one’s self into situations ripe for setting off said anxiety?

Still…this was a 2-day event (Saturday and Sunday) and I went in the afternoon on Sunday, so pretty sure I missed the bulk of the crowd(s).

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After quickly browsing one section and it not seeming that anyone had comics other than DC/Marvel stuff I was not at all interested in for the day or toys priced higher than I was planning to spend, I made my way to the 2nd main section. Browsing quickly, I determined that one dealer had a good chunk of "early-Spawn" including the ones I wanted. But the prices were higher than I really wanted to spend. So I made a mental note to come back after browsing the rest of the space.

I came across the New Dimension Comics tables. They had a bunch of Sonic the Hedgehog digests–Sonic the Hedgehog Archives. For a whopping $1 apiece.

I already had several volumes from the series…but for $1 each, I decided I was ok with duplicates.

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I snagged 10 volumes in total, out of at least 25. While not ideal, these were originally $8 or so apiece when they were published, so I made out on the deal. To best of my knowledge, these all reprint issues of the Archie run of the title, that ran for over 200 issues.

But what about #Spawnquest?, you might wonder.

I did manage to find another dealer that had issues in the range I was looking for, each issue several dollars cheaper than the first dealer I’d found.

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So I snagged 20-22, 24, and 26 there.

A bit more browsing to wrap up, and I went back to the first dealer, where I picked up 23 and 27-29 to complete my Spawn 1-30 run.

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And on the second pass, I realized that one of the copies of #1 was $10, where I’d only seen $20; so for the novelty of it–AND for it being "only" the price of 2 throwaway/I-probably-couldn’t-care-less-in-general generic Marvel modern issues–I bought it. Which gives me a copy I have framed on the wall, one with a smallllll stack of "key" or "special" books, and this copy. I really like the cover, and I get more "joy" out of getting another copy (I believe I’ve now paid a grand total of $10.50 for actual Spawn #`1s!) than I’d get out of many other random issue-purchases.

I also bought #50 for $6. Which again–that’s no worse than a too-frequent $5.99 modern Marvel or DC issue. And only slightly more than the lowest-price Marvel or DC for an issue that’s a series I’m specifically interested in right now, and an issue that’s at least 20 years old!

Annnnd the way it worked out…for what I "saved" browsing further and finding the 2nd dealer with cheaper issues…that difference basically "paid for" the Spawn #1!


I think it would have been cheaper, though, if I’d "just" ordered these issues online. But not by MUCH…and I’d be waiting at least another week or week and a half for the shipping, plus having PAID for shipping. And I would not have had the "chance" of finding other stuff; and would not have found the Sonic digests.

So it was a bit of a gamble. But I’m happy for the immediate gratification of filling in the gap to know I have in my possession already #s 1-30. And #50 puts a nice boundary on the next stage of my #Spawnquest: I think I want to most focus on #s 31-49. Though if I find decent prices or bargain prices on other issues during the hunt, I’ll probably get those as well.

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