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#NotAtComicCon – But Probably a Better Haul

moving_books_summer_2016Without getting much into it for now…2016 is another year that I am #NotAtComicCon. And frankly, I’m glad for it…in some ways it’d be kinda cool to go, just to HAVE gone, but it’s not my scene; it’s gotten too huge, too many people in too small a space, it’s too non-comic focused, all the “good” panels would be full before I could get there, it would not be a conducive environment to hunt back issues and bargain books, the cost of admission and lodging and food and travel would eat up any “margin” of bargains anyway, and for what dealers pay to be there, they aren’t gonna be just peddling the kinda bargain-priced stuff I’m after anyway, etc.

Amidst a major shift in my personal life, I made it to a couple of Half-Price Books stores last week, taking advantage of two 40%-off coupons and a “surprise” 50%-off coupon. I’ve had my eye on the Lois Lane: a Celebration of 75 Years for several months now, not pulling the trigger, and other stuff beating it out on previous coupons. Along with that, I paid “full price” (half of cover price) for the two Alex + Ada books; vol. 2 to replace a damaged copy I hadn’t realized was damaged when I bought it, meaning that across editions I’ve functionally paid full price for the 3 good-copy volumes I have (the complete 3-volume series).

The day before that, I got the Absolute Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War which was a bargain at $40 (carrying a $100 cover price); got it for 40% off that $40, bringing it down to the cost of 5-6 Marvel single-issues!

With the 50%-off coupon, I bought the X-Men: Fatal Attractions volume. $25 cover price, HPB had it priced as $20 (ugh!), but I got it for $10, which is what I’d seen it for at a convention maybe a decade ago. (And then I learn there’s a new edition coming out in about 3 months…). I also got the Superman: Escape From Bizarro World just to fill in a gap…I’m not overly interested in the Superman volumes from this era, but the Superman fan that I am, I’m not opposed to expanding my Superman sub-collection.

Finally, stopping in at a shop I hadn’t been to in awhile, browsing bargain bins, I found the 2nd volume of Uncanny X-Men: The Complete Collection by Matt Fraction, which completes the ‘set’ I’d started five months ago.

I highly doubt I’d’ve been able to score this kinda haul at any convention; these come from three separate stores, each in a different city, some 10-15 minutes’ drive apart…not all one location a couple minutes’ walk apart. But I’m good for the prices I paid for them.

critters_at_desk

My desk at work has amassed another small collection of randomness in recent weeks. Target clearanced the larger-sized monster figures several weeks back, so I got the Marshmallow Man for about 30% off (turns out the clearancing was an error…I’d wondered about that, considering it was a week before the new movie had even come out!)

The two blind-pack Ghostbusters I’d gotten awhile back, as well as a miniature Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon) from 2014 or ’15… and some Pokémon. Seems what I’m most a fan of are the “Generation 1” characters, and here I’ve scored several of my favorites, from a couple of 2-packs.

So again…I’m quite happy enough with what I’ve gotten lately along with “regular” comics, even not being at Comic Con.

Green Lantern #48 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Plastic Ring quest #4

And now the ‘ring quest’ is complete.  For many others who have also completed this set…it’s a goal poor Larfleeze–“Agent Orange”–will likely never get to do.

As I’ve said before, I think this is just about the coolest promotion for comics I’ve seen.

Of all the rings, of COURSE the coolest wound up being the Green Lantern ring. Because when you come right down to it–whether that first year or so following Kyle’s book, or that brief period after reading the Amalgam “Iron Lantern” issue when I was all the more interested in GL, to more recent years–it’s the “original” of the Corps.

Another thing that I wonder about is what other similar promotions could be done?  Including the year it came out (1991), next year (2010) will be 20 years OF The Infinity Gauntlet; 2011 obviously being the 20th “anniversary.”  How cool would it be to have something like this ring promotion for a re-issue of the original mini-series (6 gems, 6 issues…nice, no?).

Or sticking with DC: what about a Legion of Super-Heroes ring?  As with all these Lantern Corps rings…just change the color of plastic used and the little symbol on the top piece.  Such a ring could be tied to a special Legion issue or annual or issue of Adventure Comics or the like.

And what about a Flash ring?  Given Barry’s back, and I believe the Flash-costume-in-a-ring-for-easy-access was his thing…so why not use the red plastic again and put the lightning bolt on the top piece? And tie this, say, to the new Flash #1 by Johns.

Plastic Ring quest #3

Another week, two more rings.

This week’s rings were the blue and violet (or Star Sapphire). They came with Adventure Comics and Outsiders.

Amusingly enough, if you put ’em together, they look more blue and pink, almost as if they are something for kids.

With these rings, we’re left only missing the Green and Red rings…those are due next week, I believe.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 [Review]

The Son & the Stars Part One

Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Andy Clarke
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Swands
Asst. Editor: Rex Ogle
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Kalman Andrasofszky
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue opens with a brief re-telling of the origin of L.E.G.I.O.N. and what got characters to the current R.E.B.E.L.S. status quo. The characters deal with the ongoing conflict with Starro, and we see Dox losing control as his son is taken by agents of Starro, and the forcefield he’s created to contain Starro is endangered. As Dox and crew jump into action to deal with this, they encounter seveal Sinestro Corps members…and discover that something even WORSE is chasing the sinestros. The issue ends on a relatively high “holy crap…that’s awesome!” moment (though it was topped by this week’s ending of Green Lantern Corps #42).

The writing’s solid, and the art is good stuff. There’s a distinctive style to the visuals that sets this apart from a lot of other comics; sets it above, actually. It fits the story and gives a definite feel that adds to the narrative.

On the whole, not a bad issue. I’m somewhat familiar with the characters, mainly from giving this series a try for its first 3-4 issues. I’d dropped the book for boredom and not really caring about the characters. This issue doesn’t do much to change that…but the context of the Blackest Night tie-in makes things a bit more interesting. And the ending has me VERY interested in what comes next–all the moreso if it adds a lasting element to the status quo BEYOND Blackest Night. Didn’t take much, but this certainly out-did the Doom Patrol tie-in last week, which earns it additional credit in my sight for that alone. Not as good as the Booster Gold issue this week, or GL Corps…but still a worthy chapter of the overall Blackest Night story.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Plastic Ring quest #2

ringquest002Now, this is getting to be more like it! Including that Black Ring from Blackest Night #1, 4 out of the 8 rings are now available.

I’m very thankful that my comic shop, at least, is giving the rings away with purchase of the comics that had to be ordered in X quantity to be able to order the rings.

I have not yet asked the comic shop if (any of) the rings are going to be for sale individually–I think the temptation to try to purchase an extra or two might be a bit too great. Of course, when you get right down to it, the ones I’d most be interested in getting multiples of would be the Green and Yellow.

But as-is…cool as these are, I think they’d lose just a little bit of specialness if they weren’t unique items in my collection.

Plastic Ring quest #1

Goofy as it might seem…some things very easily amuse me. I got the biggest kick out of receiving this cheap plastic black ring back in July with the release of Blackest Night #1.  All the more because it was “big,” thick, and ACTUALLY FIT.  I could wear this thing, and not uncomfortably at that.

And I was quite excited at the prospect a couple months back at more rings, one for each of the Corps. The rumour was confirmed, and I’ve been looking forward to these.  Yesterday, I obtained the Yellow Lantern ring with my purchase of Doom Patrol #4, the first of the “traditional” crossover/tie-in issues of the Blackest Night event.

Pictured below are the two rings so far…

Lantern Corps: Black and Yellow

Green Lantern #47 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Green Lantern #46 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Green Lantern #45 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

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