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The Weekly Haul – Week of December 24th, 2014

A rather large week to mostly wrap out the year…


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.

Revisiting the ridiculous price of comics (vs. value)

My frustration with the pricing of current/new comics continues. But I do love my local comic shop: the bargain bins and bargain tables honestly put most convention dealers to shame…perhaps all the more by my ability to visit the shop weekly, rather than a one-shot experience.

I’ve largely ignored the bargain-TPB/HCs the last few weeks, but as of this week, we’re up to 80% off. Which makes the X-Men: First Class vol. 1 and X-Men: First Class Finals $3/each–$1 cheaper apiece than most of Marvel’s current new single-issues. (And these each have about 5 issues’ content in ’em!). For that price, and prior enjoyment of First Class issues…yeah, why not?

Sweetening the deal, there were several stacks of books free with a purchase (turned out, purchase 1 book = choose 1 free book; purchase 2 free books, choose 2 free books). So for $6, I got FOUR new TPBs. Roughly 50 issues’ content.

Meanwhile, for regular-sized TMNT #19, Harbinger #9, X-O Manowar #10, and Superior Spider-Man #4 I paid $3.99 apiece; and extra-sized Hellblazer #300 was $4.99. $21 for 5 new comics…while the content of a mere $6 purchase DWARFS the stack of new stuff.


Death in Fantastic Four, and Why I love my Local Comic Shop

ff587cover_marvelstockimageI was home in this apartment tonight when it occurred to me: I didn’t even LOOK for the “death issue” of Fantastic Four. All this hype and such about it…and it wasn’t even—in the actuality of standing in the comic shop—worth my attention, apparently.

I ranted a bit about the issue from an ad a few weeks back in my post Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag. I would add to that list of complaints the way the publisher spoiled the story/leaked it to media on Tuesday, when ostensibly they were encouraging (“allowing?”) comic shops to sell the issue on Tuesday to allow fans and readers to get and read the issue withOUT having the story spoiled for them. Also the supposed “bonus” of random signed copies that seem to be cropping up—with a certain limited number of copies inside the polybags being signed by the writer. As if to add a further level to falsely inflate the “collectibility” of the issue.

On a much more positive side, my local comic shop was having an incredible sale on hardbacks (mainly Marvel). $10/pop. I wound up picking up Magneto: Testament (been interested in that for ages) as well as Marvels: Eye of the Camera, which I’d read the first issue back when it came out, but opted to wait for the collected volume. What better time than now? And, after going the library route to catch up on nearly HALF of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, I’ve been morbidly interested in Ultimatum, but the libraries I frequent haven’t had it. Saw it here, figured what the hey?

So…$75 in books for only $30. And I have friends who’d be interested in reading these volumes as well, so they get increased value for multiple readers…


tmntatundra01Sales like this are why I love my comic shop. For lack of better phrasing…they often have “convention-level sales” at least once a month—whether it’s freshly-stocked 25-cent bins (yeah, 25…not 50!), random bargain runs ($10 for 45 of 50+ issues of the original X-Force or $15 for 60 issues of JLA, and other such deals), 50-90% off collected volumes. Sometimes these sales seem ongoing…to the point that on the “deals” side of things…I never seem to get a chance to miss going to conventions.

Also, a TMNT book I ordered from Mirage a couple weeks back came in today. Disappointed there’s no text on the spine, but it’s otherwise a great collection of the Archie Adventure Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #s 5-10 from Tundra, from 1991.

Pull lists

For the first time since I was a teenager, I have started an actual pull list.

Back then, when I was heading off to college and knew I wouldn’t have regular access to a comic shop, it was Capp’s Comics, in Mentor, OH. I’d been going to the shop for over 7 years at that point, and it was a simple matter. Gave my list to the owner, and he pulled those titles for me, and periodically I would get a phone call telling me it was time to come in an pick up my books.

I had that pull list/box for several years…truthfully, I don’t remember now if I ever specifically pulled the plug, or if that one went out of existence during the 7 or so months from when I moved out on my own for the first time a few months after graduation and didn’t make it back in to visit the shop. (It was also during this time that I would occasionally mail-order some comics…which got me on an email list that led to my being a reviewer over at Comixtreme).

A few years back, I started a single-title pull list at my then-main LCS for The Thing. The title was struggling, and there was a push to support it, and I was convinced to try the book. By adding the title to one’s pull list, arguably, one was showing one’s support….the comic shop would know they’d have a “guaranteed sale” and order at least that many more copies, if not that “plus one” for the shelf. (Two months later, the book WAS cancelled, and with it, my pull list faded to nothingness).

A couple years ago, after growing ever more frustrated at only being able to get issues of Tales of the TMNT when I visited a friend in Michigan and went to his LCS or ordering online…it dawned on me. Just start a pull list for the TMNT books. My comic shop may not order the title for the shelf, but there was no problem with ordering a copy for a specific customer.

So for the last couple years, Tales of the TMNT and related TMNT books were ordered and kept for me, and all was good.

A couple months ago, I discovered that my LCS was only getting 1 copy of any given Boom! Kids title–the singles don’t sell well, though the collections do. So I re-opened my pull list for Darkwing Duck and Uncle Scrooge. Yet, at only two titles, and buying a number of other titles, I never truly considered that–nor the TMNT stuff–a real, actual pull list.

I’ve been planning for weeks now to throw in with this LCS I’ve been going to for nearly 3 years now. One reason or another kept putting me off as I procrastinated. I knew I was forgetting a title, and wanted to turn in a complete pull list. This, That, Whatever.

Even this afternoon, as I took an early lunch to make it to the LCS shortly after 1 while most of the comics would still be on the shelf…I realized how “old” it’s gotten, wondering if a book I was interested in would still be there. Calling across town to another shop if something was, and stopping in there, an added side-trip. Both possibly being out, and having to hope that yet another store in my OLD stomping grounds had something still in stock on Friday.

So today, after work, I swung by the comic shop for the 3rd time in 2 days (they’re closed on Tuesdays? I never GO on Tuesdays, so I did not recall that little factoid…and this afternoon I forgot my list when I took an early lunch and left my book with the list tucked into it on my desk at work).

The owner took a quick look at my list–possibly surprised at my organization (for good or ill, I’m not sure), and commented that yeah, he’d better start pulling these, as they’re books he orders pretty light on. As I left, he said he’d be pulling these for me moving forward, and I thanked him, and was on my way.

Excepting the obvious…the comics (and a magazine) that I’m getting are all now being pulled at this LCS…now officially–more than ever–my HOME comic shop. The pull list–full, actual, real–now renders any other comic shop that of “other” or “backup.”

And y’know what?

It’s kinda cool having a “home” comic shop once more.

– Life with Archie: The Married Life

– Darkwing Duck
– Uncle Scrooge

– Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom
– Magnus, Robot Fighter
– Usagi Yojimbo

– GI Joe: A Real American Hero

– Invincible
– Savage Dragon

– Invincible Iron Man
– X-Men

– No Quarter Magazine

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