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The Weekly Haul – Week of July 30th, 2014

This week’s haul was rather moderate–not tiny, but not particularly huge or overwhelming in either cost or quantity.


Since I’d requested them sight unseen, I’ve continued with the Chromium covers, and with these being a VERY RARE EXCEPTION to my usual no-variants rule, I’ve got both editions of Armor Hunters: Harbinger. And I’ve continued with Futures End and Batman Eternal


I half-heartedly flipped through the quarter-bins for anything new or interesting. I probably already have the X-Factor issue, but not certain–it’s from near the end of the original run, where my collection remains sparser than earlier in the series. I don’t consciously remember the War Story issue, but had the first couple “waves” of War Story issues, so why not. And several Werewolf issues that I believe will make a fine addition to the Vampire issues I bought last week.


And because–at 90% off cover, Scalped vols. 2 & 3 (I got vol. 1 back in 2007) cost less than $4–I figured why not? I don’t recall how long the series ran, but I haven’t (yet) read the first volume, even, so these’ll add to a hopefully good, interesting reading when I get around to it. And with the discount I’d had on that one seven years ago, I don’t think I’ve topped $12 for the 3 so far.

I am going to have to decide soon if I *really* want to keep up with the DC Weeklies. They’ve not been bad, but I’ve had no problem going several weeks without READING, between actually reading the issues. And with Zero Year ending, I don’t know if the Batman Eternal will start having more direct tie-ins to the main title or not, and I don’t want to be forced (or enticed) into buying yet MORE series on a regular bases, especially when they’d likely be $3.99 to the weeklies’ $2.99.

Updating the Hellblazer Library before Constantine

I virtually NEVER buy collected volumes “in-person,” sticking to single issues for in-person purchases, due to pricing. However, I have been quite highly impressed with the re-issued Hellblazer volumes the last year or two.


This week, I picked up volume 8, which is a rather thick volume, and very certainly physically FEELS like a big book, well worth its cover price. As with the earlier volumes, this one is basically a merging of two of the “original edition” volumes into a single book.


The new Hellblazer vol. 8: Rake at the Gates of Hell contains the issues previously collected as the un-numbered volumes Hellblazer: Damnation’s Flame and Hellblazer: Rake at the Gates of Hell. This volume is rather significant for ME, as the original Damnation’s Flame was the first Hellblazer book I ever read and it–along with a Secret Files and Origins issue–were my initial introduction to the series and the John Constantine character.


Part of the heft of the physicality of the volume seems to be that the paper might be slightly thicker…or somehow less compressed. Even with less covers, this new volume is actually fatter than the two original volumes whose issues this contains.


Now, if I was looking at a Marvel volume collecting this many issues, or simply being this thick, I would certainly expect it to be–at MINIMUM–a $35 book, more likely $40, if not a $50 paperback. But here from DC (well, Vertigo) this is a “mere” $19.99 or to use my above rounding, it’s a $20 book. What makes that EXTRA appealing is looking at the two older editions that I bought over ten years ago.


When I bought Damnation’s Flame back somewhere in 2003 or so, it was $16.95…and as that predated my online ordering and such, I actually paid cover price plus tax at Comic Heaven.

And in 2004 or so when Rake at the Gates of Hell was put out, it was itself $19.95. A $17 book and a $20 book–$37ish total–yet now in this new edition the entirety is only $20.


Given that these new editions are actually NUMBERED and contain extra issues the original volumes did not (the original edition of vol. 1 did not contain the Swamp Thing issues, for example. Vol. 1 now has them so you’re NOT left on some cliffhanger that you have to leave the series of volumes to resolve. And this time through–at least so far, in July 2014–the volumes share a cohesive trade-dress so they actually look like a series.


I’m still missing several of the later volumes of the series, though still filling in those holes, despite the chance that I’ll be double-dipping, “upgrading” to the new editions if the entire series actually gets collected. As-is, vol. 8 takes us up to #83…at this rate, I do imagine we’re looking at an eventual 30 or so volumes if these make it through to the 300th issue; possibly 31-32 if various specials and such get factored in, maybe more if any of the spotlight minis (Lady Constantine, Chaz, Papa Midnight) get mixed in.

The next question is going to be how to “recycle” my old editions. Sell ’em on eBay? Sell them as a lot? Sell them individually? With these new editions, those old ones are technically out of print–so based on the APPARENT “logic” of Amazon 3rd-party resellers, I should probably sell them for about $50-$140 apiece, right*?

(*Actually I’d consider looking toward roughly $10/ea if I could sell ’em all at once, maybe put that into the new editions of Preacher or even Lucifer, with Lucifer having the weight as I already have old editions of Preacher but have yet to read Lucifer at all)..

Half-Price Books "Mini-Vacation" Haul

While visiting with a friend at the start of a “mini vacation” last week, we wound up in a Half-Price Books. Her idea, but I’d already had some thoughts of going to one. And the fact that we both can enjoy browsing a book store is an added plus of the friendship. Of course, despite my pointing out a bunch of stuff in suggestion to her, I still wound up spending more than she did…though in my defense I went through about 3 “phases” as I put stuff back to hang onto other stuff, before finally settling on what I actually bought and walked out with.


The bulk of my purchase was Aliens Omnibus volume 4 and Aliens Omnibus volume 5…which add to my existing volumes 1-3. I’ll have to look ’em up but I’m thinking there may only be 6 of these, so it’d definitely be cool to have the run.


I also bought 3 $1 comics–a reprint of Star Wars #1 from Marvel; the still-sealed Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 collector’s set (bought it for the posters). and a slightly beat-up copy of Prime #1/2 because hey…it’s Prime #1/2 and it’s definitely not nearly as common as #1, or even the majority of #s 1-15 or so.

I was quite amazed at the bulk of the $1 stock–it was all stuff I’d generally consider to be 25-cent stock, with very few exceptions (including what I deemed “worth” my $1/ea).

However, they had a bunch of 25-cent “clearance” stock…each individual issue tagged with a break-apart price sticker directly on the covers, meaning one’s either stuck with that sticker, or very likely would have to rip a hole in the cover trying to peel the thing off. Much of the 25-cent stock was NUMEROUS copies of VERY FEW issues. I pulled a stack of about 15 copies of an Image foil cover….Something #2. Saw at least a dozen copies of Rai and the Future Force #11. May have been a bunch of #9 as well. It was both disgusting yet morbidly fascinating at the same time.

I made a point of showing these to my friend, explaining that apparently they’d bought a collection from someone who finally realized these were near-worthless.

Of course, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 was in the $1 stock, when I’ve heard stories of entire longboxes full of the thing being hoarded. Maybe a good thing I don’t work at HPB as I would NOT in good conscience be able to sell most of the issues for $1!

Stolen Comics and Requiem for a Jacket

Remember last month when I posted about initially more than doubling my GI Joe collection?

That post is now all that remains of that particular purchase.

frowneySomeone got into my car overnight, and among other stuff that they stole, they stole this bunch of GI Joe comics that were there waiting to be loaned to a friend.

Along with the comics and a GPS, lost my favorite jacket that my dad gave to me in late 2003, which I wore from that point through last year before taking on a less comfortable one that actually zipped (I broke the zipper on the older one the first time I wore it, but never got it fixed even though I wore it through ten winters–nearly 1/3 of my life, and the majority of my ADULT life).

And really, it’s the loss of that jacket that has me most upset, because the thing had a lotta sentimental value to it. That first night I wore it, when I broke the zipper was the night I saw The Return of the King with friends, and was my last day at the job I had at the time, after a transitional summer from undergrad to “real world,” and heading toward my first solo apartment, and everything that happened before I went to grad school.

I wore it all through grad school; it’s the one I wore visiting New York and my sister Thanksgiving 2004, and again with a couple of my best friends in late December 2009. It was with me the first few winters of my current job.

And instead of a longer, more cheerful post, I’m just sticking with that. Not exactly what I expected of my Monday (or, y’know, of EVER).

Here’s hoping the rest of the week is much better.

Current TMNT DVDs

I’ve long since given up ‘hope’ of any “full season” DVD release, so I’ve tried to “keep up” with the partial-season releases for the current TMNT series.

So far, the latest Casey Jones one has been the best ‘bargain’ for something like $7.99 plus I got a free box of TMNT Kraft-brand mac ‘n cheese with it.


While I don’t like the partial-season releases, I have to say I prefer these ~6ish episode releases to the 3-4 episode releases of the 2003 series. Having missed a bunch of those a decade ago, I would be quite THRILLED for them to re-release that series, whether as a full series, in full seasons, or even in ~6 episode increments.


Still…now having five of these, they’re starting to look rather cool as a mini-collection within my larger dvd collection…

Bargain Bin Haul – Week of July 23rd, 2014

Along with this week’s huge new issues haul, I also bought quite a few quarter-bin issues.

I picked up a number of Vampire comics for a friend, as well as most of the Call of Duty minis from Marvel from 2002 or so (The Precinct, The Wagon, The Brotherhood) for another friend.


I was pleasantly surprised to find copies of the Ultraverse Premiere issues of Hardcase and Night Man, as I want duplicates so I can file Ultraverse Premiere as its own thing in my Ultraverse collection rather than having the series only dispersed as the flipbooks to all the others. I also snagged Night Man 22, and since the Hardcase issue was part 1 of the 3-part NM-E rematch, I picked those issues up as well.


I love the cover of Man of Tomorrow #1, and much prefer this “newsstand edition” cover to the Wedding Album. And for a mere 25 cents I wasn’t about to leave Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow there.


I was rather surprised to find this first-print newsstand edition copy of Superman #75 still there, so snagged it, as I’ve made it a point to snag all first print copies of the issue I come across in 25-cent bins. Wasn’t til I got it out at home that I noticed the huge crease down the center like the issue was folded in half–perhaps this had been a subscription copy where the postal delivery person folded it around envelopes when sticking it into a box. I’m also a sucker for chromium covers, so snagged yet another copy of Superman 82; and since they were there, snagged #100 and Adventures of Superman #505 for the shiny cover.

All in all a very satisfying bargain bin haul!

The Weekly Haul – Week of July 23rd, 2014

As new comics go, this week is definitely one of the biggest in quite awhile, with a pretty significant haul just FOR the new-this-week comics!


This was ‘Batman Day’, so there’s a free special edition of Detective Comics #27, reprinting the original first appearance of Batman, as well as a couple other features/reimaginings/retellings of the story, it looks like. The Vertigo Preview is the way I prefer my “previews”–a separate comic-sized thing, rather than several pages of “padding” in regular issues. The Portfolio of upcoming action figures and statues is interesting…and if I had the space/finances I’d definitely be interested in several of the statues!


While I was content to go simply with the Adam West mask, the store owner told me to go ahead and take one of each, so…got all four of the masks offered. Dark Knight, Original, New 52, and Adam West.


Two new Doctor Who series have begun, one focused on the Tenth Doctor, one on the Eleventh. I haven’t been particularly enamored with other Doctor Who comics, but was certainly interested enough to give these both at least a try for the first issue. And continuing my collection of the new Valiant chromium covers…


Two new Valiant issues including the regular edition of Armor Hunters: Bloodshot. And though the Gold Key line from Dynamite is not Valiant, they’re in the same vein and I’m filing them in my Current Valiant box.


Latest Letter 44 and two new TMNT issues this week…


And the latest of both of DC‘s current weeklies and the new issue of Superman. While I still loathe the Superman title moving to $3.99, I’m tentatively (case-by-case/issue-by-issue) onboard for the current arc with Johns on the writing.

Catching Up A Bit

Unfortunately, I’ve managed to get quite a ways behind on some of my reading the last few months, with a number of personal things going on in life. This week’s been a bit of a catch-up week as I work on resolving the issue…I don’t like being behind, especially when it means I’m buying stuff “just because I’ve BEEN buying it” rather than an actual interest…and typically, once I’ve gotten to about 6 issues of anything built up that I’ve not read, that’s usually a sign it’s time to drop the title and move along.


I’d read the first three issues of this year’s Serenity: Leaves on the Wind mini as they came out. I then got backed up on them due to not getting to #4 the week it was out, then misplacing that so it created a bit of a ripple effect until I was able to get all the issues back into one stack. Now I’m looking forward to the hardcover, though I don’t think it’s due out until December or so…and of course looking forward to further Serenity story(ies).


In the same sitting with Serenity, I also read the first issue of JMS’ Dream Police. This was a series that–not having gotten around to the first issue, I didn’t buy any further issues. I’ll probably wait for a collected volume, as it was juuust interesting enough I’m curious what comes next.

With the next issue of Letter 44 due out this week, that’ll put me exactly at 6 issues I’m behind on, so hopefully I’ll get caught up, or at least read enough to determine if it’s time to cut this title. After all, a $1 first issue thoroughly impressed me into immediately adding the series to my pulls…but having trailed off since then and gotten so backed up, obviously I haven’t missed it exactly, even if it’s good.

Of course, along with the various single issues I’ve amassed, I still have a couple “$10 Volume Ones” to get to that I’ve already bought, and there are quite a few others that have come out the last several months that I’ve yet to acquire. And those tend to be a much better value than single issues, even if I never buy a later volume.

Monday Blasts From the Past

Quite a few years ago now, I picked up–finally–a collected volume of the Man of Steel. It was a new edition as a first volume in a series collecting in order the ’80s “reboot” of the Superman franchise.


However, it’s only just in the last couple weeks that I’ve finally acquired a copy of the older edition of the book. It’s not in great shape, unfortunately…but for $2.60ish (less than the price of a rare $2.99 single-issue!) it was a purchase I couldn’t quite bring myself to pass up. I’d talked myself out of it a week or so earlier, but since it was still there, I took is as a sign that the volume was destined for my collection, if only temporarily.

I’d picked up an anniversary edition of Dark Knight Returns at some point, though it was not the edition I’d remembered originally reading a copy of from a local library. And then when DK2 was put out and a similarly-trade-dressed edition of DKR released, I picked up both.


Somewhere along the way in the last few years, I’d found this copy of the older DKR volume and bought it for about $7, in surprisingly good condition given its age and that I found it at a used books store.

In this modern day ‘n age where it’s virtually a “given” that every arc will get its own volume…it’s interesting to me to look at these two “classic” editions of “classic” stories from a bygone era where such volumes were relatively extremely rare and truly special, and not just the latest collected edition of the latest renumbering/reboot of the latest iteration of a character or run.

Seasons Spinnin’ ‘Round Again–The Years Keep Rolling On

seasonschangeii001Sometimes it seems odd to me that people ever have any trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy. I’ve made such a distinction, internalized it so, that even in my dreams I cannot fly–if ever I have some fantastic dream where I’m in the role of something or someone that can fly, it’s a clinical knowledge, but when it comes time TO fly, I’m at a loss.

But that’s really neither here nor there at the moment.

I’ve neglected this blog lately. Oh, I’ve tossed up a couple reviews and several other posts the last few weeks, attempting to get back into the swing of things. But real life’s been in the way. So much going on even as–at times–it seems like NOTHING is going on.

For years now, I’ve periodically taken photos and made comic cover style images of them, creating a very loose chronicle of the years, going back to when I first wen off to college. If my life were a comic, it would be The Life of Walt.

In the spirit of the ’90s rebooting and such, and actually being worthy of it for the huge status quo change of Walt going off to college, it would have relaunched with a new #1: The Life of Walt: BGSU Student. And that would have followed the college years. And then, though graduation would be a huge shift, it would keep its numbering, but with a slight change to the subtitle, a label thingie modifying it to read The Life of Walt: BGSU Alumni but otherwise maintain that numbering for another 15 months after graduation. And then when I went off to Kent State for grad school, that would have qualified for another reboot. The Life of Walt: Kent State Student. But after a couple reboots, upon graduation, rather than yet another renumbering, it would revert simply to The Life of Walt, as it had been before college–but maintain the numbering from the Kent State years.

Which is really probably all just a bunch of gibberish to you reading this, though there’s a logic to it in my own head.


And in keeping with the comics analogy, going a bit deeper…there’s that gradual shift that characters may be put through. Maybe it’s a few small jolts, that mark a subtle change each time without being anything huge. And then something happens that causes the character to reach out to a number of past companions and allies, seeking answers based on whatever this instigating event is.

And maybe it’s just some clichéd “plot point,” or maybe it becomes something rather defining for the character. Maybe the character is changed, something about them tweaked a bit, adding some sort of strange complexity or nuance, or just making them more annoying to the readers for some sort of stupidity, following along some sort of chain of events they should know better than to chase.

Seasons change–seasons of life. One might compare life to a SINGLE cycle of seasons–spring and summer representing childhood and young-adult stuff, with autumn suggesting midlife and heading toward old age, with winter representing the latter years of one’s life.

But I look at seasons not quite so literally in this sense, not as a mirror of the typical “four seasons” but as periods of life–perhaps denoted by certain overall atmospheres, conditions, environments.

“Things change.  Sometimes the air itself is heavier, the weight of our sorrows collecting until the sky can hold no more and lets them fall as tears of rain…to return tot he world as flowers.  Everything changes, sometimes in seasons…more often in sudden squalls.”

~ Sephie [narration] (Barbara Kesel, Meridian # 43)

And earlier in the Meridian series:

“You can tell when some things are about to happen–you can feel it.  Others slip by.  You just don’t realize things are about to change.  Forever.”

~ Sephie (Barbara Kesel, Meridian: Flying Solo)

Fitting, in its own way. Even if no one else sees the sense in this post…for me, it’s fitting.

Yet, like a (perhaps) well-crafted solicitation…it maintains a careful vagueness. The details are in the experiences themselves, the pages. Or there’s always the great philosopher River Song:


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