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The Quarterly Haul: July 21 to October 13, 2021

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Well…I VAGUELY recall thinking–way back in July–over THREE MONTHS AGO–that I’d be getting back to posting The Weekly Haul…well…WEEKLY!

But life–and WORK*–got busy and crazy and all that; had a health scare with the Chloe-cat; and then it was just simply overwhelming thinking about catching up. And with some especially busy weeks with work, and TRYING to actually READ (and CATCH UP TO CURRENT from 2019!) on X-Men stuff…I just haven’t really touched this blog.

Then there’s also that frankly…this is a vanity project. It’s in no way "monetized," and about 14 months ago I even started PAYING for a domain and to have WordPress NOT show ads, so not only am I not making money from this blog, it’s COSTING ME money just by its very EXISTENCE.

Whatever…my blog, my schedule, and it’s a benefit of doing my own thing that I’m not causing others issues with my (lack of) schedule and such.

ANYway…here we are, nearly the end of October. And while I’d actually figured I’d cut my losses and just pick back up with current…I never really stopped my weekly routine of at least taking PHOTOS for this blog, it’s just a matter of actually "processing" said photos and then WRITING and formatting actual blog posts using those photos.

So, this post is gonna be VERRRRRRRYYYYYY photo-heavy as I cover THIRTEEN weeks….from July 21st to October 13! However, I AM going to forego the issue-by-issue commentary and "list," and simply present the photos of the weeks’ hauls, divided up by week. And given the time-frame, some may be SLIGHTLY out of order, as these include purchases from both the weekly shop and another I don’t get to every week…I’ve managed to ID a release date by when certain issues came out (according to League of Comic Geeks) and have the photos roughly ordered within each "week."

These Weekly Haul posts are largely for myself, and while I think I managed to cover every week of 2019…2020 had a huge gap from The Shutdowns and such. And I couldn’t quite get myself to "let go" for this year, so…here we are. If you enjoy it, great…if not…well, hopefully I’ve got some other content you’ll enjoy.

On with the hauls!


Week of July 21, 2021

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Week of July 28, 2021

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Week of August 4, 2021

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Week of August 11, 2021  

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Week of August 18, 2021

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Week of August 25, 2021

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Week of September 1, 2021

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Week of September 8, 2021

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Week of September 15, 2021

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Week of September 22, 2021

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Week of September 29, 2021

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Week of October 6, 2021

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Week of October 13, 2021

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…and Famous Last Words…but hopefully I’m getting this blog back on track!

IF I get to it, then coming soon: "The" Chris Claremont signing, a HUGE haul of X-books from a Not-at-Comic-Con sale, loads of toys acquisitions, and…whatever else comes to mind to post.

As always…time shall tell!

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Impulse Buying and Price: Guardians 2 Hot Wheels

It seems almost amazing at times how much impact price has on impulse purchases. And what a difference that 97 cents makes compared to, say, $3.99 per unit.

Case in point: a wave of Hot Wheels, with various vehicles done up in honor of the main characters in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 and related stuff.

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For a little under the price of a mere 2 regular Marvel comics (or 1 1/2 #1 issues), I snagged all 8 of these. Walmart had a big bin of them, and I poked through, initially curious after the Drax one caught my eye…then decided that ok, if they had all 8 shown on the back of the cards, I’d go ahead and get them…but if they only had 7, or 6, or such, I’d put ’em back and buy none.

But they had all 8, so…I bought ’em.

These’ll go with the Captain America: Civil War wave I picked up the same way last year.

I’m not much of a car guy, but occasional things like this, with snazzy packaging that really grabs the attention (moreso than the vehicles themselves), are fun…and really don’t take up that much space, thankfully. And since I’m not buying up the action figures and other stuff that cost a lot more…I allow myself the indulgence.

All the more with zero interest in other movie toys for stuff like Spider-Man or Wonder Woman, and not even seeing any product for Alien: Covenant and such.

C’est la vie!

Digital Comics, Unfriendly Page Layouts, and Black Vortex

double_spreads_01I was recently reading some online posts about Thanos, Thane, Infinity, and Black Vortex…and realized that while I had STARTED reading Black Vortex, I never finished it.

I believe it was a 12-issue story…and you can download 12 issues to your device with Marvel Unlimited, and I’d done just that, intending to binge-read the story…and yet I never finished the story.

The reason?

Page layouts.

I enjoy digital well enough…but even turning a tablet sideways, it’s virtually impossible to actually make out the text–captions, speech bubbles, etc–on a 2-page spread shrunk to fit even on the sideways-turned-tablet.

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And in thinking about it, I’m certain that was what stopped me in my tracks: I just got so incredibly annoyed at CONSTANTLY having to turn the tablet and zoom in, because it seemed like every couple pages was a double-page layout!

While a "standard" single-page, vertical, is generally a decent read on a table, it then either is showing only half of the layout, or turn the device sideways and it’s reduced to a much smaller size.

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Sure, there are the various "zoom in to read" modes–Comixology has its "guided view," Marvel Unlimited has some sort of panel view, and I imagine other similar platforms have their own thing to allow you to basically zoom in or view just a given panel in lieu of an entire page.

But part of what drove me to get a tablet, looking forward to the digital comics side, was that the tablet in standard vertical orientation–a bit taller than wide–was roughly the size of a single page of a standard comic book.

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"Modern layouts" can be quite cool, and interesting, and presumably fun for designers, and allow artists to "experiment" and all that (and please believe me, I can totally appreciate that and see immense value and necessity for it) but it all rarely translates well to a digital screen, at least in my own opinion, for my own methods and purposes.

I can’t see "digital" ever totally replacing "print" for me, though I would not be entirely opposed to "switching" to "digital only" for single issues and collected volumes as my "print edition" or "archival copy" if I really dug something… though that’s largely its own topic and for some other post. But for newer comics with the constant full page panels and double-page splashes (already a "cheat" to my pagecount for $3.99 in many cases), it’s even more annoying to experience attempting to read digitally.

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And so–particularly with Marvel, as this specific example–as much as other elements are "barriers to entry, I’m already ok with reading some stuff digitally.

I just can’t stand the double-page spreads that seem to be far too common, recklessly used and even "abused" by way of throwing out pages for something being double-shipped or otherwise trying to make a deadline.

If I’m gonna have to fumble with something physical, do more than just a gentle "swipe" across a screen to read an entire page…I’m darned well gonna just stick with a print edition comic!

Giving In: I Bought the Thanos Pop Vinyl

I don’t think I even knew about the Thanos Pop vinyl previously; I happened across it in mid-March in a Hot Topic when I was walking at a local mall.

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I was unwilling to pay the $18.99 or $19.99 or whatever the price was. In December 2014 I’d found one of these "oversized" Pop figures of Nicol Bolas (Magic: The Gathering) for about $16, which didn’t seem too bad for what it was. But I was not willing to pay a full $19/$20 for one of these.

Finding this one for about the price of Nicol Bolas and not finding other stuff I was interested in while visiting a comic shop, I decided to just get this before it became a way-expensive hunt later or I paid more including shipping buying online than just buying it and having it in-hand for the instant gratification.

This joins my 1990s Silver Surfer animated series Thanos, my Marvel 3.75" Thanos, and my Marvel Select Thanos…leaving me offhand still seeking the blind box "mystery mini" Thanos and the Mighty Muggs Thanos that was out some years back.

The Black Vortex Checklist

An ancient artifact.
An unknown power.
The fate of billions.

February 2015
The Black Vortex Alpha #1
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Legendary Star-Lord #9
All-New X-Men #38

March 2015
All-New X-Men #39
Guardians Team-Up #3
Guardians of the Galaxy #25
Nova #28
Legendary Star-Lord #10

April 2015
Cyclops #12
Captain Marvel #14
Legendary Star-Lord #11
The Black Vortex Omega #1

source: Promotional Bookmark (pictured below)

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Loot Crate December 2014: Anniversary

The latest Loot Crate’s shipped; mine arrived this afternoon…a few days earlier than I’d anticipated.

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Yet I think I can say this is–for me–the most disappointing of the four Crates I’ve gotten so far.

Given I’m led to believe some folks consider the contents of these to be “spoilers” and such, I’m putting the rest of this post behind a cut.

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Finally! A Marvel Book Worth Its Cover Price!

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walmart_guardians_of_the_galaxy_cosmic_avengers_cMost Marvel volumes are vastly over-priced and well beyond what I can actually bring myself to spend for a single unit.

However, I found a promo-priced volume at Walmart that is VERY worthwhile.

This is a full-sized Marvel volume (if flimsy in the cover-department) for a whopping $5.00 cover price. I mean…this has MORE THAN ONE ISSUE of content in it. It has a digital code on top of the several issues it reprints. It’s a square-bound volume.

It’s not worth $19.99…but $5? Yeah, that beats the heck outta the usually bargain-priced $9.99 volumes that I consider more than worthwhile to “sample” a title. And so it is with this “Walmart Exclusive” that I found myself MORE THAN willing to spend cover price to buy the thing, and check out a title I wouldn’t otherwise.

I believe there are 3 other $5 volumes Walmart is offering–a 7-issue Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time, and (Bendis‘) Avengers vol. 1. If I come across the Spidey one, I might spend the #5 for that story. The Avengers one I’m quite “iffy” toward, and I already have the Cap issues in my Ed Brubaker Omnibus, so no particular “sense” duplicating for now (unless these $5 volumes were to become an ongoing “thing” and I could amass a small “library” of such volumes).

Definitely looking forward to reading this, after I catch up on some other reading. And who knows, maybe it’ll do something for me.

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All-New Marvel Now Checklist #1 (December/January)

December 2013
Avengers #24.NOW

January 2014

All-New Marvel Now! Point One #1
Avengers World #1
Black Widow #1
All-New Invaders #1
All-New X-Factor #1
All-New X-Men #22.NOW
Guardians of the Galaxy #11.NOW
Thunderbolts #20.NOW
Savage Wolverine #14.NOW
Avengers A.I. #8.NOW

Source: Promotional Postcard (pictured below)

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