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The Weekly Haul – Week of November 30, 2016

This week was a ridiculously HUGE week, in pricing, quantity, and physical size!

Getting into it:

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Newest issue of Surgeon X, which I enjoyed the first couple issues of, after jumping in a bit late. No apparent variant covers with this, or at least none that I saw to distract me or make me wonder which cover is the "real" or "regular" or "basic" cover. IF this is the variant or a variant…yeah, I’ll be highly annoyed, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that!

I nearly passed on the New Talent Showcase, but I kinda liked the cover, and like the concept of the book, plus I’m just a sucker for these squarebound comics with spine text that can go right on the bookshelf as-is, even though they’re "just" a "single issue" of whatever. I also dig the notion of it being a one-shot/special to showcase the new talent, and not "pushing" some "branding" on a spread of regular/ongoing series as a notion OF the new talent (or "young guns") being somehow, by default, superior or more worthy of promotion than established talent.

While I appreciate the Direct Currents issue being magazine sized to go with the Rebirth preview back in the spring, I’d definitely prefer to see it comic-sized, as I do not presently have a good filing system for magazines. Still, as a "free" thing (comic shops had to BUY this, same as Free Comic Book Day stuff, same as loads of other promotional materials that we as customers tend to receive AS free) I can’t really grouse about it!

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I hate "clustering" of stuff. And it is truly very annoying after getting so used to DC‘s $2.99 price point to have two $4.99 books out the same week; all the more as these are not part of the "regular" series for either title, and thus I’m paying "full price" for to keep with complete runs from the DCBS "bundles" that allow me to get the entirety of Rebirth.

Worse, both of these are out the same week as the one IDW title and general exception to my other rules on pricing of "ongoing" titles and such TMNT Universe. Three issues, each one could be replaced with twenty issues from a quarter bin! $15…for three issues. Ugh!

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I’d "expected" these books last week: the shop passes the various Marvel blowout sales along to customers on their email list…so each of these cost me what two Marvel single issues would have! But each volume has a lot more than only two issues’ content!

And to me, in general, frankly, Marvel is doing a great job lately of making the Clone Saga and Ben Reilly Epic look particularly appealing to me…if only for knowing they’re 1. finite and 2. where they end. I’m just a bit bugged at the fact that books 5 & 6 are out of print/unavailable except at RIDICULOUS markups by third-party sellers. I may want the other two volumes for this set…but especially after getting these at only $8/ea, I sure as heck will not spend $20, $40, $60+ beyond cover price when I’d be hard-pressed even now to "justify" spending cover price on any of these! Great at $8, but Marvel‘s pricing in general is too "premium" for me on print stuff! (All the more their "new" content, as opposed to reprinting stuff from the 1990s)!

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Snagged these Double Take volumes for $1/ea (90% off). I know the company’s done/nothing forthcoming, and would have preferred to get all 10, but these are all that were present. For less than the cost of 2 Marvel issues, these’ll provide plenty of reading, and I’d hope I could (cheaply) find the other three volumes to have the complete, finite set, and though not in singles, this complete "dead universe."

Not impressed with most of the covers or the generic fonts–these look more like flags for a department store for differing lines of clothing or such, or some other generic tagging of something. But the notion of the stories being set in the same "universe" as Night of the Living Dead intrigued me before, and I’m certainly willing to have paid a whopping $1 per volume! (considering I have the shop pulling all $1-and-under promo single-issues, and I got these that each contain five comics’ worth of material!)

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Then just to grit my teeth all the more on a couldn’t-pass-them-up-for-the-price basis, I bought two boxed games. Together, these cost me a few cents more than two DC issues, and for under the price of a single issue apiece ($2.79ish and $3.49ish) I’m willing to have ’em for my games collection/shelf!

All the more at the price-shock of realizing the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is a whopping $90!!! I’d LOVE to get THAT game, but that will likely have to wait to be some kinda personal reward/celebration of a major life event eventually. Assuming I don’t talk myself out of it in frustration over some key character minis being Kickstarterexclusive. (Thaaaaaat is a matter for another post, perhaps!)

Here’s hoping that next week is particularly light!

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The Weekly Haul – Week of October 26, 2016

This week was a rather large week…though, granted, it was also a make-up week, picking up stuff from the usual shop, which I’ve had to drop back to less-frequent visits.

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New Action Comics from this week; TMNT #63 from last week or the week before, with TMNT Universe from this week. The Aliens: Life and Death issue is from some time back, while Aliens: Defiance is from this week. I’m not certain if Letter 44 and the IDW Greatest Hits: Godzilla are from this week or not.

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I also stopped by a Half-Price Books intending to check for Dragonlance and Magic: The Gathering novels, see if they had anything new. I did find a new MTG novel. I probably should have walked out then, but I just had to check out comics stuff, didn’t I?

Teen Titans: Earth One (vol. 2) was there…and given my hunt for the first one, knowing I’d want to get this, figured might as well get it now at the actual half-off, rather than waste time/money/gas hunting it later. I assume that at least part of this Batman: Anarky volume was/will be reprinted in the Norm Breyfogle hardcover(s) from DC…but with some stuff leaping from late-1980s to late-1990s, and this being old, out of print, AND ACTUALLY HALF OFF, figured I’d regret not getting it.

Before actually getting to the register, I browsed the single-issue comics section in a cursory fashion…comics were marked as being "price as marked." Found this Batman preview issue with "Free" marked (by the publisher) over the price section…figured I’d challenge the cashier. No other price marked on the item; comics are "price as marked" and it’s marked as "free," but they’re not gonna just give away something. I was quite satisfied when this was manually entered as "25 cents" and I didn’t complain.

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I made the "mistake" of browsing a cart of new stuff to the store, and spotted an unfamiliar Superman book. I almost ignored it, but on closer inspection realized what it was, and could not talk myself into passing it up. Superman: From the 30s to the 70s. While hardly in pristine condition…the book is from the (early?) 1970s, so is older than me, and not a book I "see all the time" or such. And it’s Superman. So…’nuff said.

At least it was cheaper than 4 Marvel comics!

Here’s hoping that next week is a small week for new comics…

The Weekly Haul – Week of September 7th, 2016

This was a much better haul this week, with a visit to the usual comic shop, and only a passing visit to the closer-by one.

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Though they’re doomed to be duplicates with the Rebirth bundle from DCBS, snagged Superman and Supergirl. Also Darkwing Duck and Aliens: Defiance, from previous weeks’ pulls.

Then I did end up hitting the bargain bins.

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A quick glance at the bargain bins told me there was nothing really of interest, but I flipped through anyway, once I spotted a bin that I hadn’t seen at first. In this one, for 80% off, I found the Marvels: 10th Anniversary Edition, and quickly did the math in my head. Yep. For $10, on a $50.00 book that I have honestly wanted since I first learned of its existence some twelve years ago, this was a no-brainer. The book sports a little bit of wear–or at least, the dust jacket does. But it’s more than acceptable given the price!

Then the Wolverine hardcover was a freebie for buying something from the 80% off bin! At the closer-by shop, after seeing it for several weeks, I "gave in" and snagged the Heralds volume. Oversized hardcover, contains 4 issues (I think), at the price of one single regular-sized Marvel comic? Considering I couldn’t find it showing in my ‘inventory’ on my phone, opted to go for it.

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There were a lot of "new" ’90s books in the quarter-bins, and I snagged a few, though they were still collectively cheaper than two current Marvel books!

The Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 I recall as–at one time–being listed in Wizard as a $40 book. 25 cents today! It wasn’t til I got the thing home that I noticed a scribble on the cover…could be an autograph, though there’s no certificate or anything for its authenticity. Still, for only 25 cents, I’m quite happy. I actually had forgotten that the cover folds out…and this on a roughly standard-priced single-cover "iconic image" issue. Today these would be 3 different covers, all for this first issue: the center image as the "main" cover, the left panel as the "original Azrael" cover, and of course, the actual "Batman" cover for the right.

And there’s just something–to me–appealing with a handful of the Marvel #1s that Marverick and Mutant X are a part of.

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I’m quite interested in assembling the entire 18-issue run of Eclipso, and have been for years. Ideally from 25-cent bins, as I could probably just go online and get it relatively easily as $1+ single issues. Snagged the Prodigy variant because of the art, and nostalgia (Slingers was a cool concept, to me!). The Sovereign Seven Plus issue is one I may or may not have already, but not a bad one to snag. And the Doom Force caught my eye initially as a #1, then for curiosity with the "Suggested for Mature Readers" note. And the cover just looks like a ’90s book..! So why not?

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I’ve been working on an extra set of Mantra, and this Giant-Size issue comlements that nicely. The Superman issue is one of my favorite cover images, one I’d love to have a poster of! Nomad #1 for the sake of hey! Nomad #1! And though I had a copy from several years ago, I think this copy of Parallax: Emerald Night is in better condition and so will be a ‘replacement copy’ as well as a ‘convenience copy’ to have my "core series" set of The Final Night unified for now.

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I’m a sucker for old Wizard issues, especially as they are a relative rarity at all in bargain bins, and I have a shelf full of all my old issues and then some. The Image themed Wizard Special Edition is a new one for me. And this copy of #12 is in far better condition than the copy I had previously, thus serves as an excellent replacement copy for the rather beat-up copy I’d had. The Mage issue/collected edition was an oddity that caught my attention…it’s a Book One yet has a #9 on the cover…I still don’t have the issues all straight for this series. But for only 25 cents, I added it to the stack!

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These six issues were relatively random. Several for nostalgia, others for probably filling-in-of-holes in runs. All of these would likely be $2+ at Half-Price Books, with the Batman issue probably getting priced at $5-$10, based on recent patterns of pricing. All six for 25 cents each at the actual comic shop that knows the value of these sorts of issues.

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And finally, several Marvel Annuals…I may eventually see if I can assemble a set of all of the ____ and ____ ’98 annuals. For now, two new (I think) ones, plus the ’96 X-Force and Cable. I would have passed on the Gen13/Generation X and Generation X/Gen13 issues had both not been present. I found one in the back of one box, the other in the front of an adjacent box, and decided to grab them. Some weird synergy to them, and hopefully an interesting read eventually!

All in all, considering the stack of older stuff, the hardcovers, AND the new issues, this was an excellent haul…though one that certainly could have been a lot more expensive.

The Weekly Haul – Week of April 20, 2016 (Bargain Bins)

Along with my ‘regular’ purchases, stopped off at the other local comic shop, looking primarily for the Superman/Wonder Woman issue I was now missing in the current storyline…or so I thought. (Turns out the missing chapter is an issue of Batman/Superman, which would have been a really useful bit of information to have consciously had!

Not finding what I was there for, I hit the bargain bins and found a bunch of 25-cent comics of interest.

I also found another Ultraforce figure that I don’t believe I’d found before: Topaz.

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Best thing is the figure was only $2…a real “no brainer” for me for sure!

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I came across a bunch of Showcase issues. Here are the handful of Showcase ’93 and the couple Showcase ’96 I found. The Two-Face one–a chapter of Batman: Knightfall–is a duplicate, but one worth having, if only for filing purposes.

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And the gem of the bunch, the back half of Showcase ’94…making it relatively easy to mentally track…I just need to find issues 1-5!

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Most of Strangers 1-16. A bunch of those early issues are apparently ‘variants’ in that they have the UPC/barcode on the covers instead of “nothing” or a non-barcode that many “direct market” books had from this time period. Normally I’m not one for variants, but finding a near-complete run of a bunch of issues make it well worthwhile, especially for the price of one single contemporary Marvel issue.

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Turok, Sovereign Seven, and The Man of Steel were lone #1 issues…but what the hey? I’m half interested in how many copies of Turok I can amass; and the others never hurt to have extras. The “ashcans” were cool finds–I have ’em all somewhere, but they’re rather rare (in my experience) due to their size…either not being filed with comics that are then sold, or “hiding” because they’re smaller and thus passed over…at least in bargain bins.

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I know I have at least a couple of these Justice League America issues, but while pulling them I’d hoped there would be more, and then figured until I get my collection actually sorted again, not gonna hurt too much to have a larger isolated ‘run’ for now.

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I found myself working toward an ‘even number’ for my mental math of my stack, so grabbed a couple random-ish issues. One of the store workers was sorting through a small box of comics and tossed some more “recent” releases on the quarter bins…functionally giving me first crack at ’em, so I snagged the bottom row above.

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Whether I get around to them sooner than later or not, I always enjoy finding Superman comics from before the Death of Superman, and then several of the others are just ones I like, particularly for the iconic covers from an age when such things could stand uniquely and not be lost in an overwhelming sea of variants.

The older issue of Action Comics where Clark tells Lois he’s Superman is a first print…I recall there being at least two printings, so it’s cool to snag an extra copy of a first print like this.

Not that I’m unaware of it or anything, but I’m such a sucker for the ’90s, and continue to enjoy these finds much more than most new comics.

And while I recognize that I’m rather “spoiled” right now with relatively easy access to a number of shops with 25 and 50 cent bins and various bargain-bins…it’s still apalling to consider that I can buy 64 such comics like this…for the same price a mere FOUR new Marvel comics of 20 pages each. 80 pages of story, or 64 entire issues? Not hard to see the better value when one enjoys the bargain-bin finds.

I just wish I had so much more time to actually dig in and read and re-read stuff more frequently.

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 24th, 2014

A rather large week to mostly wrap out the year…

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A couple $1 books, the 3 DC Weeklies, final issue of Aliens: Fire & Stone; a Valiant in Unity, Letter 44’s latest issue…and since I’d bought into Robin Rises Omega, figured I’d check back in for the conclusion.

Along with these new single issues, I picked up a couple of 50%-off trades. I got the first volume of Love & Capes several years ago…finally got vol. 2. And though I had the older edition of Batman and Son, at half-off it was worth the “upgrade” to this larger edition with more content.

The Weekly Haul – Week of August 20th, 2014

This week’s haul was a bit late, with me not making it to the shop until Friday this week. Back to a Valiant-heavy week, which is not a bad thing…

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I’m still a bit on the fence with Batman Eternal…I went ahead and picked up this week’s #20, figuring if nothing else, I’ll leave off on a round number that way, if I do decide to drop it. I suppose I should look into whatever the next “big” thing is in the main Batman title, because of Batman Eternal keeps to itself, maybe I’ll stick with it, even though I’ve all but decided to keep outta the Futures End stuff.

And I believe there’s only one more chapter of Superman: Doomed to go. And hey…three Valiants this week. Normally I might gripe about the clustering, but this week seems like a good mix.

The TMNT Annual is a prestige-format thing like the 2012 one was, and should be an interesting read.

I also hit the quarter bins and snagged a run of Rex Mundi and Out of the Vortex…might detail those later.

Not bad for the week…

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