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Gotta Be Kitten Me

After about half a year of waiting, I finally received a certain box at work. With other, smaller (but far more awesome) boxes within.


Exploding Kittens has finally arrived.

‘Nuff said. (Though I’ll probably find more to say about it later.)

How Amazon Invalidates its own Prime Shipping

When one orders something on Saturday, is a current (has paid through November) Prime customer, and the key thing about that is the “free” two-day shipping, it’s reasonable to expect to happily have the (bought) product in-hand Tuesday (Two-day shipping: Monday is 1 day, Tuesday is 2nd day). If the time of day means they count Saturday (or apparently Sunday) and the item is delivered Monday, great.

…Except when that item arrives damaged.

Which is apparently such a common thing that they have a built in system to just generate a replacement order and return-mail label and such.

So, Item arrives Monday, damaged. What I’ve taken to calling “an oversized paperback” in my Amazon feedback, sent in a flimsy, oversized bubble mailer. Sure, bubble mailer. Ok, it’s not just put in a paper envelope and shipped; maybe the plastic of the bubbles helps protect from potential water damage (?!?). But that’s really about all–it certainly does not protect against bending, creasing, folding, denting, nor the book sliding around in the envelope, and depending on the angle, pressure, and whatever beating it’s taking, sure allows plenty of room for the cover to be creased and folded, the books corners and top/bottom spine to take damage and dents, etc.

I immediately turned it around–initiating the return/replace mechanism. Replacement was due to arrive Wednesday. Didn’t arrive Wednesday. Didn’t arrive Thursday. Amazon’s own “tracking” only shows the thing at some in-between “on its way” stage. Will it arrive Friday? Or will I be waiting til Monday?

Two other items I’d ordered at the same time arrived together Tuesday. One was another paperback, the other a large, heavy hardcover. Both of which were tossed loose in a cardboard packer together, with a gaping corner not even sealed off from the elements or external exposure. Both, of course, damaged. Corners a bit dinged up, some dinging to the spine, on the hardcover. Not horrible, but noticeable to me for looking for the damage. The paperback was banged up as well–sliding around, hitting the sides, and not exactly helped by being somewhat loose with a heavy hardback (which seems to have helped drive the paperback against the sides of the package with just a little more force/pressure than it would have managed on its own. So again, I initiated the return/replace process for both of these.

Despite initiating the process back to back, only the paperback immediately got a replacement “order” right away, the hardback was apparently held up in some kind of queue to be reviewed by a human first, resulting in it not making the cutoff for a two-day turnaround.

Wednesday, nothing arrived, despite expecting that first paperback’s replacement.

Thursday, the replacement of the second paperback from Tuesday arrived…and like the first one Monday, this was loose in a bubble mailer, and actually in more of a beat-up condition than the other book. Of course, I’ve initiated a second round of return/replace…but because I have these delivered to work and it won’t allow me to edit what address to send to…a two-day turnaround on Thursday means Saturday–I’m not at work, no one is there to accept deliveries…making it a four-day thing with Monday being the earliest I’ll be able to get it.

Still no sign of the replacement of the first paperback.

At present, I’m expecting possibly that one arriving Friday, along with the replacement hardcover (3 days instead of Prime’s 2 days).

And really, I should have just gone through something like InStockTrades or CheapGraphicNovels, because I might have received stuff tomorrow (Friday) or possibly Monday…but at least they’d’ve been thoroughly, securely, safely packed to prevent damage in-transit.

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The Weekly Haul – Week of July 29th, 2015

This proved to be a pretty big week for me…two Marvels and an IDW.


I completely forgot about the Deadpool book, and figured I’d stay on it–not sure if it’s 4 or 5 issues, but I’m enjoying it and opted not to wait for it to hit Marvel Unlimited next year. And X-Men ’92 is just nothing but awesome on all sorts of levels. TMNT is TMNT, and a “given” for me.


Though I usually stick to ’90s stuff through present, I delved a little further back with some back issues this week. Between quarter bins and some $1 bins, I snagged a handful of older comics that happened to appeal to me tonight.


These Captain America volumes were already heavily discounted…but because they’re also rather beat-up–certainly not “brand-new” condition–the shop owner cut the price on both in half. So both volumes combined wound up costing me as much as three Marvel single issues.

So, definitely quite a haul for the week. Next week looks like it’ll be the first post-Valiant week where I’m not expecting anything one-off that’s been pre-ordered, where I’d been expecting these volumes as well as several I showed off last week.

For the difference, I’ll probably raid the back-issue bins…see if I can find one of the un-reprinted Silver Surfer issues from the run-up to 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet, or maybe a random Silver Age Superman or such…or browse the racks for an Image #1 or check the shelves for an Image vol. 1 paperback. Time will certainly tell!

An 11-Year Journey Complete: BTAS

Over the weekend while browsing a Walmart, I noticed they actually had a Batman volume that they haven’t seemed to have had before, and it caught my attention for NOT being volume one.


I had bought volume one in August or September 2004, as a form of “protest” of the then-new The Batman series. I tried that new show and did not like it. And so rather than grouse about it, I used it as an excuse to go out and buy the DVD of the series that I actually DID like.

A couple years back I found volume three as part of some sale on super-hero stuff, and then a good price on volume four online…but I couldn’t find this one for a comparable price.

Finding it in-person for a VERY reasonable price, I picked it up this time.

Giving me all 4 volumes…the complete Batman: The Animated Series.

I still have a couple Justice League seasons and however many  Batman Beyond seasons…but the fact I now have this series to go with my complete Superman series is quite cool and makes me a happy fan.

Random/Arbitrary Super-Vinyl

Browsing a local Barnes & Noble recently, I found myself perusing a clearance table…and noticed a couple of baskets of smaller items under the table. Amongst those, I found this:


Now, I sure as heck wouldn’t have paid full price for this thing…but at half-off, it was the price of a comic book, and it’s Superman! so it had my attention.

My first thought was size, and how tiny this is (depending on the size of your screen, the photo is probably actually larger-than-life). But then, I have a small display cabinet with a shelf of mini-characters like this, and figured this’d make a nice addition to it.

So I bought it, and opened it, and I’m not too impressed–I’d thought the whole thing–feet, arms, torso, head, and cape–were all magnets to be swappable, but it seems this is only a 3-piece unit: feet, torso with arms and cape, and head.

Still, I can’t be all that disappointed…it’s not like I have others in this line or planned to get any more, or to do any of the part-swapping.

My $4ish was a bit more than I’d say this is worth…but if you like any of the characters you find in the line, they’re cutesy and solid enough, whatever you might pay is on you.

It’s A Real Good Thing, Valiant…

Don’t you agree? It’s a real good thing, Valiant functionally cutting out fans who have bought every single issue published to July 2015. It’s a real good thing to intentionally limit a book to 4% the print run of a hyped “event” book. It’s real good, really, to use actual story content of the comic book universe to “bribe” individuals into being some sort of “marketing team” to push something, just so they could get CONTENT.


That it is possible for someone who was “all-in” buying one of every single issue the company was putting out (blindly, sight unseen, by faith and as a show of support for the company) to get an issue on the secondary market–for $35, $40-something, $50 and up–is not a viable thing. Not when–prior to this–one was able to, for 39 months, get at least *a* copy of a story-issue (even if not some rare/premium variant cover) for COVER PRICE.

It’s also a real good thing, leaving me in the state I am, now with a negative slant toward the publisher and its books, compared to the positive I had before.

The Weekly Haul – Week of July 22nd, 2015

For only spending a little more than what many recent weeks have cost me, this week’s Wednesday Haul is quite different from most:


I only bough one, lone single issue comic. However, I dug Crisis on Multiple Earths vol. 1 and Justice League: Trinity War out of a 70%-off bin, and the three Marvels cost me a little more than 4 contemporary Marvel single issues would have.

I’m expecting two Captain America volumes (from a recent “blow-out” of books the shop passed along to its email subscribers) next week that will balance things out again there. After that, more browsing and randomness.

Of course, I’m probably going to be leaning DC and Image-heavy on collected volumes for awhile, too, at least for “casual” stuff.

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…

I’ve long been a Green Lantern fan. And to me, it’s seemed that one of the most common cheapo plastic "promotional artifacts" in comics has been the Green Lantern ring. It’s simple, small, and pretty cool.

Thanks to a good friend with experience, skills, and resources to do so…I have something even better than the older tiny rings, or even the more recent rings given out during Blackest Night and such.

I have this:


It’s a customized fit, entirely metal ring, with the GL lantern symbol…but unlike a previous version I had, the symbol doesn’t stick out much, so this does not get caught on stuff in the course of my day. It’s not some gaudy bauble, doesn’t stand out garishly, yet gets attention when noticed.

And while the thing looks as it does in general, even more awesome is what it does after it’s been held to a light or taken in some serious sunlight and has had a chance to "charge."


This thing glows. Put it in a bit of shade and it glows, and the darker the space, the more it seems to light up. It may not cast any beams of light or anything, and I’m probably not gonna navigate any dark rooms with it…but as a fan of Green Lantern and being a comics person and all that?

There’s little more cool than catching this glowing green out of the corner of the eye and realizing "hey…my ring is glowing!"

Even more cool…this is not something that can just be bought at some store. To my knowledge, this ring I have…this thing’s unique. Or at least, suitably rare. So in its own way…it’s that much more authentic.

And ultimately…this simply fits me.

Cover Gallery: Generation Next

Amidst all the reviews and such, for me (at least) sometimes it’s just really fun to look at a bunch of comics’ covers together, whether it’s admiring a run of a series, or seeing a full story, or some other ‘theme’. Here are the covers to the Generation Next issues from the original Age of Apocalypse event in 1995 (and as a shameless plug, click on the cover and that should take you to my Age of Apocalypse Revisited coverage of the issue).


generationnext001 generationnext002
generationnext003 generationnext004

Cover Gallery: X-Man

Amidst all the reviews and such, for me (at least) sometimes it’s just really fun to look at a bunch of comics’ covers together, whether it’s admiring a run of a series, or seeing a full story, or some other ‘theme’. Here are the covers to the X-Man issues from the original Age of Apocalypse event in 1995 (and as a shameless plug, click on the cover and that should take you to my Age of Apocalypse Revisited coverage of the issue).


xman001 xman002
xman003 xman004
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