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Harper Convention: October 2021 & CNJ Consolation Haul

While I’d made it to the Cleveland Comic Book & Nostalgia Show last October (2020), I missed out on the February 2021 edition due to it being far too crowded. This year’s October edition–October 3, 2021–I had no trouble getting in…was actually there and part of a small crowd there for when the doors opened.

Unfortunately, it was a rather "disappointing" show for me, in terms of finding stuff I was looking for.

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I ended up buying several Marvel Milestone Editions of some X-stuff. But no luck on other stuff I was actively looking for.

Perhaps the most notable thing for ME was while I was fishing the MMEs out of a box, someone right next to me dropped about $2k cash on an actual Giant-Size X-Men #1! The seller sold 2 copies in as many minutes, albeit one for $2k, one for about $5.

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I also stumbled across this display pack of vintage ’90s X-Men figures from Toy Biz. I was shocked at the low price! ONLY $20, for 10 figures! So….$2/figure! And this was still intact as a box unit.

Well….the figures are basically screwed into the plastic bases. However…given I’d want to display them anyway, and for the price, I’m plenty-ok with that!

What I was less "ok" with was going to the trouble of going to a show and not really finding anything else of interest, just frivolous-ish stuff that didn’t really MATTER long-term/overall.

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So with time on my hands and money in my pocket, I decided to visit Carol & John’s since I was relatively close by, and snagged a big chunk of missing Generation X issues that I needed.

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They also had a bunch of random $1 comics including some Alpha Flights; I ended up grabbing these two issues, figuring their condition’s rough enough I can have patience and find better condition copies OR a larger "run" some other time.

Plus I had my eye on another issue I spotted…

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They had this issue of the original Mirage run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Considering I am STILL kicking myself mentally for passing up a 3rd print of #1 several years back that they had for something like $125, I jumped on this. With their everyday 25%-off-marked-prices discount, this was significantly less than marked…but STILL well above what I’ve paid for ANY OTHER SINGLE ISSUE in my 33-some years of buying comics! (surely pocket change, though, for someone that drops $2k cash on a single issue some Sunday morning..!)


While I forget the exact phrasing, I remember years ago hearing on a podcast someone talking about how essentially, 90% of one’s collection costs 10% of what they pay for the collection. That’s certainly looking valid to me for TMNT stuff. All the more as I’ve also snagged the Raphael and Michelangelo covers of IDW‘s #1 from 2011 this year and am now looking for the Donatello cover. I’d intended to try to get the wraparound cover (a la X-Men (1991) #1) but as a retailer-incentive cover or such, figured if the REGULAR covers are so hard to find these days, I’d better snag those when I CAN. I’d bought the Leonardo cover when it came out, and (in retrospect) SHOULD have sucked it up and bought the other 3 at the time just to have them. Deffffffinitely paying for it now.

But that’s another story for another time!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 22, 2021

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Closing in on the fiiiiiiinal haul of the year! Here’s a look at yet another huuuuuuge week’s haul!

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The Trial of Magneto #5 wraps up this mini-series jusssst shy of the new year. Wolverine #19 and SWORD #11 I believe ALSO wrap the current volumes, with renumbering/relaunching with stuff in 2022.

New issues this week for Amazing Spider-Man #82 continuing the Beyond thing; Phoenix Song Echo #3 continuing the theft/plundering/appropriating of X-stuff to the Avengers side of things. And Wastelanders Hawkeye is….there. (Still hunting down the Wolverine issue from the previous week!)

Rounding out the Marvel stuff, I happened to look at the Venom #3 cover and saw that it lacked a certain NAME on the cover. Ok…so, if that name was JUST on the #1–that I already bought when I mixed it up with Hulk a few weeks back–then I’ll give in and give the series a few more issues since I’m not avoiding it for the social media practices of its writer. And I’m not even sure why I’m getting Black Panther except to "support" a title that does NOT feel like its writer is overhyped or "stunt"-assigned.

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I love that we have a whole family of Spawn books now…though I’m curious as to just how long McFarlane & co. will keep it up. I’d have to "research" to see what the longest-running other "side series" was for a companion piece to the main Spawn, but I have a feeling these are already putting a decent-sized dent into things.

Radiant Black continues to get by on strength of its writer’s name for me, and supporting his NON-Boom, non-MMPR work.

Walking Dead Deluxe continues; as does IDW‘s TMNT; and managed to get the second issue of the new Haunted High-Ons mini.

While I’m mentally "OVER" DC at this point, I’m already "invested" in this Batman Catwoman series for better or worse; ditto the Batman Scooby-Doo Mysteries. Total "obligation" or "OCD" buys both…and I’m not even sure about reading either at this point! Yet again, rather sad to note that a mere 5 years ago I was basically all-in on DC and now it’s just my own OCD finishing out limited runs on a couple books that has me buying ANYthing AT ALL from them.

The Conan the Barbarian facsimile edition #1 is from a week or two back; had to get it online as it was unavailable locally.

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I also hit back-issue bins and came up with a "random" issue of the ’90s What If..? series…the cover grabbed me. I’ve long been a fan of this iteration of the Iron Man armor, with those cables in the neck…not sure WHY, it’s just always grabbed me! And I’d swear I already had the X-Men ’92 issue, but it was still on my list, so I figured fine, get it (again, maybe) just to make darned sure so I can get it OFF my "missing issues" list!

And of course, Comic Shop News…amazingly still going, and at this point the ONLY still-published, continuously-numbered periodical in North America that actually goes back to the early-’90s…


One more week’s haul to go to complete 2021. And that’ll be the usually-small week falling on the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 15, 2021

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Heyyyy…finally a less-than-18-books-in-one-week week!

Extremely Marvel, heavy, though…but that’s come to be a new-ish "normal" for me as well.

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X-Force #26 and Excalibur #26 mark what I believe are the final issues for both series, as well as the totality of Krakoan X-content for this week.

Hulk #2 gives me a second issue of the title…something that has my attention PRIMARILY for it NOT being the writer of the Immortal Hulk series. I’m already well on my way to being better off waiting for collected volumes, but c’est la vie, I guess.

Amazing Spider-Man #81 is another "just the next issue" for me; while Miles Morales: Spider-Man #33 is an issue I didn’t even realize was gonna be tying in to the Beyond stuff currently in the main Amazing title. Since I thankfully was made aware of it before visiting the comic shop I was able to grab it!

Demon Days: Rising Storm #1 is one I should have passed on, but I THINK I have all the other Demon Days issues so far, so until I figure out what I’m doing (or not) with them, better to "keep up" than have to "catch up" later, I suppose.

Marvel Voices Comunidades #1 came out some other week recently, but I’m just grabbing it this week…and that’s to follow along with/keep along with Chris Sheehan‘s X-Lapsed podcast and as close to "complete-Krakoan-X as I can get.

TMNT #124 is apparently a Christmas issue; I’ve been starting to reconsider on this title…deffffffinitely "just" getting it at this point outta HABIT as opposed to any actual enjoyment of the title. I can’t even think what the last issue was that I read, and marks at least a couple years since I’d last REALLY enjoyed the title and been excited for it–back with the run up to and actuality of #100.

King Spawn #5 is another "latest" issue…interesting and cool having a "family" of Spawn books…though kinda scary already being at a 5th issue here and I haven’t read any yet.

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I’ve been enjoying these "binge book" comics of which Super Sleepy #1 is the latest: about $5 for a nice thick issue seems a great value and plenty worth "supporting"!

And having backed it on Kickstarter, my copy of the Silverline Christmas Special arrived this week along with its companion SIlverline Signature Series book (modeled after the old Malibu Signature Series).


So only 10 books–really–for the week; the Silverline issues don’t "count" as they weren’t comic shop purchases of stuff newly out this week. Baically a week only HALF the size of the previous couple…so hopefully I’m getting stuff wrangled back down a bit.

Intentionally skipped a couple issues I’d have otherwise bought; missed at least one or two issues that I’ll likely seek in the near-future; and….time will tell!

Even though this is the third New Comic Book Day of the month, there are still TWO MORE yet for the month…and the YEAR.

2021 is nearly done, and 2022 technically will be the third year involved in all this pandemic stuff and ramifications. This time rather than "hiatus" stuff it’s delays and shortages as well as newer/changing distribution stuff.

Not sure if I’ll try to do a post on those topics or not, but we’ll see.

For now…here’s hoping for another small-ish week for the 22nd!

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Not at Comic Con X-Haul 2021

Another "catchup from summer hiatus" post! Back in July or very early August–whenever SDCC was–Cleveland-area shop Carol & John’s had their annual "Not at Comic Con" sale. Among other things, that includes a small room of longboxes of comics for $1 each…but if you buy 50 or more, they drop to 50 cents each!

I wound up going out that Friday after work, figuring what the heck, I could spend $50 or so and either get a handful of issues for under $50, or certainly add 50-ish random issues if I got particularly close to 50 where it’d cost the same either way, 50 or 100!

Well…I wound up getting a FEW more than that.

JUST…a few.

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But filled in a lotta holes in the collection, and while my preferred bargain-bin-sweet-spot is ’90s comics…over the past couple years or so with the CNJ sales, I’m actually able to extend the target scope of my collection beyond ~2003 all the way to the present.

To where–at least for the likes of Uncanny X-Men–I’m pretty close (relatively speaking) to having the entire run going back to my birth month. Alas, #141 in particular’s a problematic one to acquire, as are a few earlier ones. But as of this TYPING I believe I have #s 142-500 at least, and a number of post-500 issues; as well as much of the post-Schism run, a bit of the 3rd one after that, and the 2018-2019 pre-HoX/PoX run.

ANYway…I could ramble a lot more, but rather than that randomness and such, I’m just gonna present a photo gallery below of the issues laid out…if only as a personal record of stuff I’d snagged. (Also as of this typing, I’ve now duplicated on several of the Generation X issues because I stupidly did not check this stack prior to seeking those out and was over-eager to "complete the set.") More on that in another post, I think!

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I’d made it to the shop whatever Friday night that was, a little over an hour until closing. I honestly had not expected to find MUCH, but then found quite a bit. I was watching the time, though, and with just a few minutes til closing, had to grab what I had and get rung out, which was still pretty expensive despite everything being 50 cents!

As of this typing (Thanksgiving Day) I believe they have another sale coming up for Black Friday that I may stop over for. Time will tell!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 8, 2021

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Yet another HUGE week! Ugh…and I think there are still a couple/several issues I was interested in that I’ve not found. Combine that with getting a couple of wrong covers and having to double up to get the proper cover, and I’m all the more frustrated with variants this week, too!

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I definitely go in waves, it seems…and lately, I’m on a huge Marvel wave. I’m "all-in" on the X-books, treating those like their own publisher…like a Valiant or such, except Valiant has been on my shi crap-list for more than half a decade now. So Inferno and Hellions and X-Men Legends have their "next issues" out this week. Final issue, sadly, for Hellions…but we’re winding down the Hickman-helmed stuff and heading into post-Hickman stuff, albeit hopefully a more graceful such shift than Morrison back in 2004!

I’ve also stuck around on Amazing Spider-Man out of curiosity, but ALSO to support the notion that I WILL ABSOLUTELY BUY A SERIES that (gasp! shock! horror!) has a creative team change and status quo change but KEEPS ITS ONGOING NUMBERS. And a few weeks back I let myself snag a couple issues of the Death of Dr. Strange and so had to grab the tie-ins and…here we are. I find it easier to justify the gradual, "payment plan"-like bit on getting an event a chapter or couple chapters at a time rather than a huge, expensive collected volume…and since I’ve NOT been using the likes of DCBS and won’t "just" pay full cover price for most collected volumes…singles it is!

And with the Death of Dr. Strange and the Darkhold "mini-events" on my pickups, I figured what the heck, I’ll give Devil’s Reign a shot. And I’ve been getting Fantastic Four stuff lately….and THEY have an event coming up, so….guess I’m very much a Marvel guy right now (while really ONLY buying Batman/Scooby-Doo from DC, and that solely on basis of "supporting" the $2.99 price point!) But maybe more on that with the weekly haul post for 12/15…

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New TMNT stuff. The Best of Shredder is–like the Best of April a few weeks back–sorely lacking in terms of including excellent character stuff from the TMNT Adventures series. In the case of Shredder, surely they could have used TMNT Adventures #25 or #36! This one reprints the colorized TMNT Color Classics #1, which reprints the original Mirage #1 from 1984…admittedly solid-ish as the first appearance of the character, but why not #10? Given there have been a number of reprints of that #1, seems like a wasted slot here!

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #288…sounds lately like IDW might be losing the Hasbro stuff (GI Joe and Transformers, anyway)…I sincerely, totally hope whoever takes ’em up keeps this series going, INCLUDING THE NUMBERING as well as keeping Larry Hama. I will probably avoid the GI Joe stuff on principle if they drop Hama and/or renumber to #1. Here’s hoping IDW at least gets to squeak along to an issue #300, so whoever gets the license next at least doesn’t get to screw that "honor" up.

Spawn and Walking Dead Deluxe have their "latest issues," as does Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle. While technically a Marvel issue, this is not Marvel continuity so–like say, the Ender’s Game/Shadow stuff, I’m not lumping it in with general Marvel stuff.

And then just because the whole mini was available and I’m 90% certain I don’t have the issues (could be wrong, and then I’ll have wasted the $10 or so) so now I do.


I managed to force myself to skip several non-big-2 titles and skipped or missed a (couple?) #1s, but since I’m NOT a speculator, not a reseller, not a dealer, etc…and I’m literally not even actually reading most of what I’m buying lately (YET), I’m passing on that stuff in favor of the X and other Marvel stuff that at least maybe/sorta/kinda/slightly "matters" more and isn’t JUST something to be a 4-6 issue mini-series to get optioned for some streaming-exclusive and be the next big speculation/scalper deal.

Here’s hoping the week of the 15th is a littttttttttle  "smaller" than the last few huge weeks have been..!

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Chris Claremont Signing

Falling amidst my lengthy hiatus from blogging, back in August for Free Comic Book Day, Cleveland comic shop Carol and John’s was able to have Chris Claremont out for a meet & signing!

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Plenty of loads of other pieces online can fill you in on Claremont and his importance in a more formal way. But here’s my "story."

I was introduced to the X-Men in 1992. While specific dates and numbers may be slightly off–we’re talking nearly 30 years ago and plenty of life since then, after all–I remember a friend having me borrow an issue of The Uncanny X-Men from him. I don’t remember the story, I don’t remember all the characters…but I do remember his "quizzing" me on the characters after, and as I recall it right now, three of them were "Wolverine," "Bishop," and Storm. As this was likely earlier-’92, and Bishop wasn’t in that first October 1991 issue, this was PROBABLY Uncanny 285 or 286 or so. Move ahead a few months and there was some new cartoon debuting on Fox Kids. Along with watching the couple of episodes there (Night of the Sentinels), this same friend sat me down and we watched an older cartoon episode–Pryde of the X-Men.

…which gave me a bit of deja vu, even then. I recognized it! Turned out that I had seen that one before–some (presumably Saturday-morning) or such, it had been on and I caught it, there was never anything else, so I forgot it. But I clearly remembered that theme song proclaiming "X-Men! X-Men! …come-ing-your-way!"

ALSO in there among stuff, another friend was following the The X-Cutioner’s Song event–the polybagged-with-a-card crossover event in the various X-books. So I was aware of the titles, even though I wasn’t getting them myself. (also late-1992 saw The Death of Superman, Vengeance of Bane and Batman: Sword of Azrael, dabbling in speculation with Bloodshot #0, getting in "at the beginning" with the likes of The Batman Adventures #1, Spider-Man 2099 #s 1-3, Guy Gardner #1, early issues of Batman: Shadow of the Bat and so on. A friend was getting The Infinity War and had some other Marvels so again, I was aware of that side of things.

Probably thanks to Wizard magazine and other promotional stuff as well as friends being interested, plus the cartoon and such, 1993 saw me start getting X-Men comics myself…my first X-Men comic being Uncanny X-Men #300. I initially missed #s 301 and 302 (filling the gap in not long later) but managed to snag each issue from #303-onward. By then had also dabbled in other titles with the Fatal Attractions event (X-Factor #92, X-Force #25, then Uncanny 304 before some time later getting X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75 on the same night….that’s another story).

But by 1994, the X-Men were a "thing" for me, though it was NINETIES’ X-MEN that were my thing. Despite those issues of Uncanny, I’m pretty sure the first issue of X-Men "adjective-less" for me was #24–the Rogue/Gambit date issue. (If you know it, you definitely know the cover!). It wasn’t long after X-Cutioner’s Song, BUT it WAS a couple years removed from the Claremont era.

Fast forward a few more years, and I’d definitely learned OF Days of Future Past. I still have a kids’ chapter-book version of a "novelization" of the story…the only way I got to read the story for a time! Somewhere over the years I got that skinny 2-issue "prestige format" "collection" of Uncanny 141-142. Otherwise, I think my introduction to Claremont‘s stuff was his Sovereign Seven from DC, though I got into that for it being a #1 and a new team…I had no conscious connection of him to X-Men. Ditto later for his run on Fantastic Four in early 1999 or so.

Yet somewhere, somewhen over the years, I made the conscious connection. And came to recognize his run for what it was, and its grand import to comics, and the X-Men, and so on. And some of that probably runs up right to the last few years or so. I’m far more aware OF his work than familiar with it. I’ve yet to read the vaaaaast majority of his X-Men stuff, or really any of his New Mutants (I read the original graphic novel in college 20-ish years ago from the university’s library), or his X-Treme X-Men and such.

And while I hadn’t realized it until a couple years ago…he was in rarified air for me, on the "bucket list" of "people I’d want to have ‘met’" or such. Up there with Stan Lee (‘met’ in 2012), Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Jim Lawson, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens


So a couple years ago–I don’t remember exactly when, but I think it was December 2019–when Carol & John’s announced that they’d have Claremont out for Free Comic Book Day 2021, I knew immediately that I’d "have to" be there. I knew by then that he doesn’t make many appearances, I had the impression he was rarely in the US at all (I’m probably highly wrong, there), but to have him at a signing at a store less than an hour’s drive from me…it was an exciting no-brainer!

But then 2020 happened. So the event was pushed off. I won’t get into assumptions/thoughts.

I was glad to hear earlier this year that it was "on" again and made plans to be there.

I didn’t know details or logistics. Floated plans, made tentative plans, but ultimately ended up there by myself.

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Claremont being who he is…I had to go beyond my usual "couple token issues" to get signed. Up until the evening before the event, I wasn’t absolute on what I wanted to get signed.

While I was happy in 2012 to pay the $40 for a photo op with Stan Lee, I’d otherwise never paid more than $5 for a signature…while I may budge on it some, overall I don’t like paying for signatures when it’s stuff for ME or for friends. I get why creators charge, but that’s where I typically fly by "live and let live." If they’re charging what I don’t want to pay, then their signature and meeting them obviously isn’t "worth it" to me for that.

I believe with this signing, the first signature was free, with subsequent ones being $10. Hearing stories of other creators charging upwards of $50+ per…that sounded absolutely fair to me!

I knew I wanted to get Uncanny #142 signed. I’d hunted for–and failed to find–an original #141, so went with a Marvel Legends reprint edition I’d managed to get. Not as good as the original, nor as good as a "facsimile edition" would be, but fit my purposes. I’d acquired #142, and as part of the 2-part Days of Future Past, that was a given…same reason I wanted 141. Then there was #266…Gambit’s first appearance. And while I was at it for Gambit, I’d also snagged Avengers Annual #10, so wanted to get that signed…first appearances of both Gambit and Rogue. But plenty of other stuff. I decided Uncanny X-Men #274–the Savage Land issue with Rogue and Magneto–was a "key" to me with some fair bit of sentimental value. And while I doubt I’ll ever get to, with the possibility of someday also meeting Jim Lee, decided on 1991’s X-Men #1.

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I ended up arriving right about 8:57am or so…noted the time because of some health stuff I was dealing with and having to be sensitive to the time. I believe "the event" was to "start" about 10 or 10:30 and had known going in that getting there early was gonna be important. Even that early, there was already a significant line…but nothing compared to what soon built up behind me!

One of the workers handed me a sign–I was the back of the line, and requested I hand the sign back as others showed. I had the sign for a few seconds before getting to pass it to another, and he to someone else, and no longer a concern to me. Wound up spending the ~3 hours in line with the guys that showed up behind me–Mike and Rob–also there solo. While I wasn’t overly talkative–as an introvert, the entire thing took a lot out of me–it was enjoyable, and interesting, and quite memorable. Just being surrounded by other people whose lives were impacted by the work of one man’s writing!

We got to the head of the line right about Noon…and it was sounding like Claremont was gonna be getting whisked off for a lunch break and such, and I was suspecting that was gonna happen after the family that was juuuuust ahead of us/me. That ended up not being the case, though. I think I’m thankful for that–but caveat being that I certainly hope it was NOT to Mr. Claremont’s detriment!

In the foyer, CNJ had a huge poster/mural up based on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #141, and I was able to get one of the guys to take a couple photos of me with it.claremont_signing_friends_books

Also got to get a photo with the man himself! While not a professional/portrait type thing (as with Mr. Lee in 2012) still a "key" photo of me, for me!

Back to the issues I was getting signed: I had my 6, but also had several issues for friends! As a fellow X fan and friend, while I’d been unsure of what issue to get, I ended up getting a copy of a facsimile edition of Uncanny X-Men #266 signed for Chris (find him at chrisisoninfiniteearths.com, @acecomics on twitter, etc.!). Also had acquired an ‘extra’ Avengers Annual #10, so got that signed for Bridgett (knowing Rogue to be just about her favorite character) and another facsimile Uncanny #266 for her husband Stephen (knowing Gambit to be one of his). (you can find them at Seraphim Entertainment, Bridget at Euphoria).

I had several other friends who were unable to make it…and I feel bad not having been able to get stuff signed for them. Had I known they weren’t gonna make it, would have made those arrangements!

That said…going in, I had sticky-notes on the issues with names, intending to get the signatures "personalized" (remember, I’m not in it for reselling and such!). However, came to realize Mr. Claremont was just doing straight signatures, so I let it be…MUCH more interested in hearing anecdotes and other such than trying to be annoying about requesting personalization if he didn’t seem concerned about it. I do remember that he commented on the Uncanny 266s, something about if anyone had any extras, he’d be glad to have ’em. (Which, coming after a tease from that site that bleeds coolness) seemed to be to confirm he’s got something going on with Gambit…


And…well…that was that. 3 hours in line, 9 books signed, and a memorable experience (for me) on the whole!

I defffffinitely preferred this to a convention…while I’d have been way happier with NO LINE…that’s just not gonna happen! But for spending 3 hours in line for a couple of minutes of time with the guest of honor…this whole thing sure beat spending a similar time/line/etc. at a convention with paid admission and skipping other events while in line.

This post is a good 4 months or so LATE, so I do apologize for that, as well as being SO all-over-the-place. Much of this has been stream-of-conscious writing…I’m not going back through to edit overall, and if I second-guess myself TOO much I’ll NEVER get this posted.

So feel free to chime in in comments, here on the blog itself, or on twitter if I’ve posted a link, or on facebook with the same. I’ll gladly follow up on some half-finished thought, clarify where I’m clear as mud, etc.

Otherwise…bringing this post to a close, for now!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 1, 2021

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Another week, another post, and…holy crap was this another ridiculously-huge week!

Let’s get into it…

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Three X-books. Trial of Magneto, Marauders, and New Mutants. All in one week.

Then the nearly-weekly Amazing Spider-Man, which despite a major shift in status quo, creative team, frequency, and even logo somehow managed to keep its "original numbering" for THIS volume. (Probably cuz someone at Marvel has their eye on the first #100 in YEARS!).

Speaking of "someone at Marvel," the Phoenix seems to have been "stolen" from the X-Realm…but I’m still getting this Phoenix Song Echo because of the Phoenix being an X-thing, even though I SHOULD–by rights–ignore it as an Avengers family title. But speaking of the big A…giant issue. And with some others of late…and getting much more back into Marvel in general as I’m increasingly disgusted with DC…well, I bit with the huge anniversary #50/#750.

I’ve got high "hopes" for The Marvels despite not having actually READ any of the issues yet. I tracked down the early issues "recently" so now it’s a "keep up and wait" game.

And somehow I got myself tangled up in Darkhold as well as The Death of Dr. Strange, so a couple tie-ins there.

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…and STILL another Marvel in Darkhawk, which I’m getting solely because of Kyle Higgins‘ name.

While I should just cut my losses, I still wound up grabbing the Hardware issue. Maybe I’ll just finish out these "season one" minis and let that be that. Of course, that assumes they even come out reliably with all the shenanigans with DC and Lunar and the whole printing/paper and supply chain crap at present.

New issue of Spawn. McFarlane publishes this title A DOLLAR CHEAPER than pretty much any other American comics publisher (outside of a couple of DC Scooby-Doo and maybe Looney Tunes and such titles). Not only that, but accompanying titles I believe are all $2.99. AND the Spawn titles all have these quality cardstock-y covers! I continue to vote with my dollar(s) buying these on principle for the price point!

IDW gives us a new issue of TMNT as well as some sort of one-shot behind-the-scenes Snake-Eyes: Deadgame thing. I’d gotten the mini in the Long Ago so grabbed this as well for completionary value.

New issue of Fire Power (I need to catch up on my reading). Snagged "the next issue" for The Magic Order 2, which means I have followed this second series an issue longer than the first. And while thinking of it like that, I’m kinda kicking myself for grabbing this issue. But being in a hurry on a lunch break…well, there ya go.

Also grabbed first issues for whatever King of Spies is (I think I grabbed this for Millar‘s name) and Maniacs of New York was snagged on strength of the publisher name. With my feelings against Boom and Valiant I’m glad to let Aftershock take their place…at least in MY buying. Even if I haven’t totally figured out what they’re all about, if they have a shared universe or if they’re just an Image "clone" or sorts.


This was a single-shop week; a one-shot purchase, with no collected volumes, no holiday spirit, nothing particularly special…but EIGHTEEN BOOKS..! That is absolutely NOT "sustainable" even for me, so I’ve GOT to figure out what I’m doing on that. Especially as I "try to support" some titles. I’m just one person, and weeks like this leave me (re) contemplating DCBS at least for some stuff. Current distribution/supply-chain woes being what they are, though, it’s hard to figure out which would be the better way to go.

December is a 5-Wednesday month…but one of those falls between Christmas and New Year which is traditionally an "off week." BUT as that STILL LEAVES the "normal" FOUR Wednesdays…this sure seemed like an awfully big one. C’est la vie I guess.

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A (solo) Birthday Trip and Haul

Getting older is a mixed thing. On one hand, I feel "old" and "older every year." On the other hand, I gotta count my blessings–especially that I still have both my parents, even at MY "old age" and grateful for THEIR continuing-to-increase old age.

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Without getting too deep into the "weeds" on stuff, I took a day off work and set out for some "distraction" to keep busy and not let myself "think" too much ABOUT another solo birthday and all that.

So I set off for Columbus, OH for the day. My plan was more or less a "mini version" of my "HPB Quest" from September 2019 where rather than trying to hit ALL of the HPBs I was aware of, I figured maybe I’d shoot for 3 and a comic shop or 2-3, a comic shop, and a couple Walmarts for some "toyhunting" or such.

BUT I’d also been thinking about trying to hit IKEA while I was down that way to hopefully score 2-3 Detolf display cases.

THEN I totally forgot to even plot out a route/note addresses and such, so I ultimately wound up picking the northernmost HPB and setting GPS for that one, planning to figure out the rest once I got there.

On the way, I actually had to go past Ikea Way, so plans changed a bit on the fly.


I went to the Half-Price Books and ended up scoring a few comics. More expensive than I wanted, but better pricing than I feel the HPBs in northeastern Ohio have.

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Found a handful of Uncanny X-Men 500s issues that the list I have in my phone indicated I was still missing. (although several seem really darned familiar so hopefully it’s just that I’ve seen them in the past and/or passed on them in the past due to price!

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And I could not pass up the Amazing Adventures issues.


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I decided to duck into the Walmart in the same plaza, and happened across a Raw10 figure I hadn’t even known would be out! "Hoof."

They also had some red "chase variant" of the character, but this thing’s too large for me to be bothering with odd-colored variants, "chase" or otherwise.


Since I was already really close to IKEA, I decided to go there next. And realized that it wasn’t as big as I’d imagined…yet soon found out it was more labyrinthine than I had.

And long story short, ultimately despite several COLORS existing, they only had ONE single Detolf letf in stock that I was able to buy…and I’d pretty much decided I was going to get at least 2, maybe 3, prior to discovering that last, lonely, single unit that remained. I couldn’t very well pass on it after so much time and such, so got it…but "only one" necessitates a return visit some other time…hopefully with "pre-ordering" a couple units ahead of time!

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So I’ve got my one…not sure if it’s gonna get put together today or not, but at least as of this typing, it’s still in its 2-box packaging to await assembly.


By this point I was a bit discouraged and decided I didn’t "have the heart" to run around to a bunch of HPBs. I remembered that a friend had recently posted about Big Fun Columbus where she’d gone with her kids, so I decided that I’d try that instead.

After a bit of an adventure trying to find and figure out parking (what ever happened to classic, MECHANICAL simple parking meters???) I was able to park and get into the store.

Where I found what I’ve been missing for close to 4 years since the Cleveland Big Fun closed in February 2018!

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One key purchase was this Cyber Samurai Mike. These came out "after my time" collecting the TMNT figures as a kid (though I have fond memories of the Archie comics 5-parter featuring these!) While a bit pricier than I’d prefer, the novelty of one of these now in my collection is well worth it…all the more when stacked against the novelty of a mere 6-10 new comics these days.

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I was going to get the Raph one but it was more expensive…AND had a tag on it that it was "incomplete." This one had no such note, and was $10 cheaper so I opted for this one. I don’t know that the other was missing much of note, but I do really dig this one! And bonus: it came with this "clip and collect" profile card! (already clipped and collected).

birtthdayhaul_marvel_legends_shikah_to_get_jeffWhen I’d first walked in, I found several "cheapo" loose figures that I was going to buy–some old Toy Biz X-related characters (I think I had a Gladiator and Weapon X at least). But I eventually decided to put those back, in favor of some other finds.

While looking (only intending TO LOOK) at the loose Marvel Legends figures, I noticed a little figure that really caught my eye. Did a double-tacke: nahhhh….couldn’t be! When the heck would they have made a Jeff the Land Shark figure?!?

But given the way they had the thing standing between another figure’s feet, I figured they probably came together, but asked anyway.

Sure enough, Jeff was not a "solo figure," and was part of a "package deal" including the character he was with.

Now, I’d had a price in mind, that I was willing to pay just for the little guy.

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And all the more as I had absolutely no clue who the character was that he came WITH, I was thrilled that the PAIR were a mere $10! (Which was cheaper than what I was prepared to pay for JUST Jeff!) Some post-trip internet sleuthing (aka "Googling") tells me the character is Shiklah, and was released in a wave of Marvel Legends back in 2020 or so. I remember seeing that wave in stores…I’m sure I even SAW this one, including Jeff! But that was BEFORE I was consciously aware OF Jeff or had any interest at all in the character.

The figure came with a small wire "doll stand," which also added value for me…even discarding Shiklah, that leaves me a figure stand and Jeff for less than what I would gladly have paid just for Jeff!

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There was an old card catalogue unit that–rather than cards–had a bunch of small figures and accessories. I spotted one drawer labeled "minimates" and decided to peek. Spotted what had to be–and indeed turned out to BE–Steel. Not a horrible price….but BONUS! That price INCLUDED a Cyborg Superman! So…not a bad purchase at all! And I added the bag to my basket.

birtthdayhaul_vintage_ish_aprilWhile still having the Cyber Samurai turtle on the brain, I found a bin of classic loose figures for $5/each. Not bad, but they were mostly early non-turtles figures that I already had…mostly from my own ORIGINAL childhood collection.

I did find a variant April O’Neil that I don’t think I had, so I grabbed that.

I also found two Triceratons and was all set to grab those, too, as army-builders…but then noticed they had no tail.

That explained the $5, I guess. And not caring to bother with online prices and hassles for "replacement" tails, I opted to pass on those.

The lack of "finds" here solidified my intent to get the Cyber Samurai Turtle, so this was when I decided to put back the other bagged/loose figures.

I was also going to get a Batman Beyond/Batman 2-pack but cool as it was, I only really wanted the Batman Beyond and otherwise find myself–overall–so sick and tired of BATMAN at this point with the dozen or so (seemingly!) Batman comics out every single week that it was not hard to talk myself out of getting it.

I’d also spotted some figurines that appealed to me…and while they ratcheted me way above what I wanted to spend for the day, I knew I’d be kicking myself if I "passed" on them.

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Rogue, and Gambit. Especially with both figurines being present, and these being older units…I figured it was not likely I’d come across them again, so might as well suck it up and buy ’em while I could.

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While I was willing to pay what I did for them–about 4-5 comics’ price each–there was an unexpected bonus!

They had the "books" that the figures came with! They were filed away, so I had a few minutes to continue looking around while the store employee went to pull those. Since I was willing to pay for just the figurines themselves (knowing that as "originals" they’d have come with the books) I was not about to turn down the books….and I really like these, too!

While I had those few extra minutes looking around…I found some old Wolverine and Wolverine and the X-Men figures from back in 2008 or so, when the first X-Men: Origins movie hit, and that animated series. I still have a bunch of those figures–loose–somewhere but I need to dig them out.

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Considering Marvel‘s (Hasbro‘s) 3.75" figures are about $10…seeing this 12-13-year-old figure still in packaging for $5, I decided I might as well snag it as well as part of my purchase, if only because I like the yellow on this a bit better than my (memory) of a 3.75" Wolverine I already have from around this time.

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So all in all….an expensive, frivolous, but fairly satisfying "haul" for my own birthday.


And between the drive to and from Columbus, between stores, and time IN stores…it was definitely a full day’s trip, which kept me busy/occupied and distracted for the day.

Not exactly what I’d had in mind or intended going into the day…but can’t really complain much with the outcome.

Especially as the haul rivals that of any convention, minus the admission cost and other convention frustrations.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 24, 2021

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Here we are again, this time with the most recent week’s haul! And…if you care, Dear Reader, this is Monday, after having a post just this past Friday! So…SLIGHTLY sorta kinda maybe partly possibly back to some semblance of a schedule…

Anyway, while I could have crammed this into the previous post, I figured it proved to be a HUGE week (THE most expensive new comics week I can even remember!), and so well worthy of being its own post. Plus, this jump-starts me a bit to try to get back to at least the weekly rhythm heading into the final few weeks of the year!

Week of November 24, 2021

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Starting off for this huge week…Marvel "dominates." X-Men and Wolverine have their "next issue" for X-books. Death of Doctor Strange continues with its third issue. Amazing Spider-Man continues with its latest issue; and we have the first issue of a new Hulk series. I’ve had issues with the writer of the previous series–Immortal Hulk–so avoided that. Couple weeks back, bought the new Venom #1 because I SAW it and crossed it (somehow) with this Hulk #1, knowing I was wanting to give the #1 a chance on a series I’d been avoiding. Oops.

Thanks to Marvel Unlimited and their Infinite Comics and loving the It’s Jeff piece, which has Kate Bishop in it, I got it on the brain to grab this Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1. Not sure how it’ll compare…apparently (it turns out) this one’s NOT by Kelly Thompson, so…we’ll see.

Checking out this Black Panther series with a new writer; and I believe an early (but as yet still upcoming) issue is gonna have a big tie to the current X-books, so might as well build some context.

Saw the Darkhold: Blade #1 available again and snagged it. Oops…I already had the darned thing. Gonna have to start maybe keeping a checklist on my phone and mark/indicate getting issues or not, and checking that.

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Getting into NON-Marvel stuff, there’s the newest issues of Radiant Black, as well as TWO Spawn-universe issues in King Spawn and Gunslinger Spawn. Then we have a Local Comic Shop Day variant of Walking Dead Deluxe…the issue introducing the Governor! I couldn’t pass up the shiny silver foil…cheesey ’90s-style gimmick, and with there being so many variants on this series this time through anyway…why not? I’m giving Echolands a bit longer, along with Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters. I thought this one was a mini-series, so given I was trying to support a new book on concept, it being ongoing where I’ve yet to read any issues, it’s probably gonna wind up getting cut.

GI Joe: ARAH and Usagi Yojimbo issues. Current and classic…a good combo.

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Going off the beaten path, couple of Source Point Press books in Good Boy, Unborn, and Haunted High-Ons. (couple, three…whatever).

Snagged Friday on strength of Brubaker‘s name…turns out it’s a single chapter of a graphic novel. Ugh. I enjoyed the issue well enough and definitely interested in getting the full book…I’d probably actually be more annoyed if it was most other things, but helps that I actually read the thing right away and found out!

Had the first 3 issues of Masters of the Universe Revelation, and apparently had missed the 4th. Got stuck with this variant, but at least it’s *A* copy of #4. Duplicated the Last Ronin Design Archive, having ordered a copy to be CERTAIN to get it…wasn’t sure if it was included with my regular pulls. Could be worse.

Finally, snagged the Miskatonic: Even Death May Die as I’ve been grabbing these large "album-size" books from Aftershock…especially like that they’re one-shots! And the Geiger books collects 6 issues…for $9.99. A great price for the story…ESPECIALLY considering the single issues were $3.99/each, so $9.99 vs. $23.94. I’m a sucker and double-dipped…solely to try to continue to "support" the $9.99-volume-1 thing.

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Sarah-Cat kept photobombing as I got stuff situated to get photos for this post, so she gets to wear this week’s Comic Shop News and gives me plenty of justification to work that into this post, where I usually won’t include CSN unless it fits in my regular laying out of other comics for the week.

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A friend sent me an early birthday & Christmas present…the first couple volumes in Brubaker/PhillipsReckless series. I think there’s one other one out, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that one in the not-too-distant future, I think.


All in all…as said above, HUGE week. Even with a couple stragglers from previous weeks and a cheapo-TPB…these huge, expensive weeks are getting old fast…and while I obviously have gotten fairly liberal in giving random stuff a shot…I’ve not been READING stuff, and so it’s getting hard to justify at the prices…especially combined with OTHER STUFF in life I"m spending money on.

So Definitely gonna have to start looking at trimming back again, even though I’ve already nearly-completely excised DC from my purchasing!

It’s made all the more annoying/complicated/frustrating with all the recent delays and schedule-shuffling and such with paper shortages/supply-chain problems. Stuff clusters, and then I get monster weeks like this!

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The Monthly Haul: October 20 to November 17, 2021

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Well, ONCE AGAIN, despite the best of intentions, I let a few more weeks slip by!

So, here we are again with me covering multiple weeks in one post. This time out, "only" FIVE weeks, though…a month. October 20 through November 17!

As with my last post catching up on 3 months, I’m just going to leave these as more of a "gallery" than anything else rather than trying to come up with random ‘vamping’ stuff to fill space/remember back across the weeks and all that.


Week of October 20, 2021

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Week of October 27, 2021

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Week of November 3, 2021

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Week of November 10, 2021

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Week of November 17, 2021

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And with that, we’re allllllmost caught up to "current."

And despite my last few times saying so….barring some catastrophic technology issue, should be covering the CURRENT/most recent week–11/24–in my very next post…on MONDAY!

And from there, will start dropping some posts that I’ve had percolating for months in my mind that are finally getting written…and we’ll see where the next 5-6 weeks take us as far as 2021 goes, before whatever 2022 brings…

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