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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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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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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 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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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, and 6/9 2021

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Looks like when I last posted, I’d speculated on covering a second week in the same week.

How laughably wrong I was!

Now it’s been nearly FIVE WEEKS with zero new posts in this blog.

Soooo…here’s four weeks’ worth of weekly hauls…so I can at least still shoot for "covering" the entire year of hauls, eventually…


Week of May 19, 2021

It’s also been a weird several weeks, with some stuff getting jumbled across multiple purchases. Stuff from May 19th was indeed–as I’d expected–a huge week, though!

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With the X books, we had Way of X #2 and Wolverine #12…then continuing on with Marvel, also had Amazing Spider-Man #66 and Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 (The ‘60s)! I’d thought I was staying out of Marvel but they’re simply offering a LOT more of actual interest to me than DC at this point…though most of that is my holding my nose and taking the plunge to be "all-in" on the X-books, and deciding to hang onto Amazing Spider-Man in case something gets good beyond my daliance with the story (forgettable enough for the moment) that was going on when I grabbed that issue awhile back for the cover!

Branching outward to Image, there was Ultramega #3 which is yet another title I want to support but have yet to get around to the actual reading yet. It’s a huge book, but I’m sucking it up and paying the price for it being huge.

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Then getting into a mix from picking up 5/19 and 6/2 stuff from another shop together, we have X-Men #20–which is the penultimate issue of this iteration of the series before another reboot in numbering in July.

Alien #3 marks the 2nd issue I’ve not read, and with the hassle I’m having even getting the omnibus and lack of WORTHWHILE "buzz" on the series, I’m considering just dropping the title. Maybe when I catch up on my reading of it, I’ll feel differently?

Spawn #318 is interesting…that’s 18 issues beyond the 300th issue. We’re also getting very close to the title being at the point that Uncanny X-Men was number-wise at the start of the Age of Apocalypse…which makes me feel rather old to consider!

Walking Dead Deluxe #15 seems too high a number to already be at…I suppose the series is shipping a couple times a month, and for that I won’t actually complain! We’re getting close to Michonne’s first appearance…and I wonder how many variants THAT is gonna spawn?

Against much better judgment, I ended up grabbing Milestone Returns #0 as I was picking up a bunch of other random stuff to "try." And I remember the original Milestone launch from 1994 or so and had a bout of nostalgia prompting the purchase.

TMNT: Best of Splinter #1 is the latest "Best of ____" issue from IDW‘s TMNT line. While I don’t think any of these are reprinting anything I don’t already have, I still like the idea of them, AND the completist/OCD in me still counts these as "TMNT single issues" since they’re not squarebound TPBs or such, and I’ve bought 1 of every single issue since the series kicked off in 2011. (Shame they’re not doing a 10th anniversary special or some such..!)

Even though I’ve tried to stay away from mini-series and such and had been passing on random titles…The BeQuest is another series I ended up getting the first issue…and then subsequent issues so I don’t have orphaned issues if I read and enjoy the thing. #3 is the latest issue here.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #3 is another of a recent "class" of titles including BeQuest that I’m getting lately and hoping will actually be a good read…and continuing to buy so I don’t have to hunt the issues later or miss out or such.

A third title in this "class" of titles is Stray Dogs, already at issue #4 and I think rapidly approaching its conclusion.

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Playing catch-up the other week, I also snagged a bunch of "random" issues that I’d either forgotten I missed or hadn’t known of and decided to "try" in addition to several months’ worth of those other series like BeQuest, Stray Dogs, and Jonna.

Looks like I missed photographing Radiant Black in the mix, but had that in there.

Then there’s Stillwater #7 which was a slight "surprise" to me that it existed…I’d thought the series was a 6-issue mini…but apparently it’s continuing on, albeit with a "hiatus" between arcs. Which is something I’m quite fine with…better a gap of several months between arcs than delays plaguing the thing mid-arc!

Possibly in the vein of World of Warcraft, we have Helm of Greycastle, which actually caught my attention initially for its title…and the similarity to "Greyskull" from He-Man/Masters of the Universe. Seeing a single cover image it’s CLEARLY absolutely NOT that property…but a fantasy property and I’d been curious about it when the first issue got ready to come out…but apparently then missed it. So coming across it, I snagged both #1-2 and we’ll see if I notice subsequent issues.

Red Sonja: The Superpowers #1-3 caught my attention for the covers, AND there being 3 issues available at once. Turned out it’s apparently a 5-issue series, so I decided to give it a shot, and mildly cheaper/simpler to get the single issues than paying the publisher’s price on a TPB and such.

Catching my attention for being something to do with "kaiju," Jenny Zero #1 was another that something had happened where I missed out on the first issue initially…but spotting it when I did, went ahead and grabbed it.

Finally for the week, another issue that caught my attention on a whim was The Girls of Dimension 13 #1. This being another $4.99 Aftershock book, I’m not entirely keen on it. But I’m liking stuff from the publisher, not seeing variants to a degree that cheeses me off, and with my wanting nothing to do with the likes of Boom, I think I’m seeing this publisher as a "replacement" for me.


Week of May 26, 2021

May 26 made for a smaller than usual week for me…though that also allowed the purchase of a tpb which is out of character for me of late!

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The Last Ronin #3 finally came out. While the series itself was initially delayed quite a bit I believe over art stuff, I feel like they should have delayed it further and waited til everything was ready to go monthly instead if it being something between "quarterly" and "thirdly" or whatever that word would be.

Getting the Dawn of X vol. 16 TPB "completes" the "first act" of the Krakoan-era X-stuff for me in collected volume. I’m tempted to "drop" these BUT still feel like I need to "support" the format–the "anthology-style" TPBs for an entire line. That said…having giant hardcovers of House of X/Powers of X and then 16 of these paperbacks for stuff between and then X of Swords…but other "mini-events" already like the Hellfire Gala and Trial of Magneto and Inferno (or is that a TITLE or mini?) coming up it sort of busts my notion of having a long run of paperbacks periodically interrupted by huge event. Time will tell.

New Mutants #18 was another "just the next issue" for the week, for getting all the X-stuff.

I apparently duplicated on Spawn #318 which could be worse, I guess…though I’ll be happier to get multiple titles entirely than the variants. As long as this stays at $2.99 for a pricepoint, though, I’ll overlook variants in general.

Finally for the week, had Summoner War: Legacy #2 that I know nothing about but looks like a fantasy title and based on a game or such…yet I got the first issue to try and opted to get the second here.


Week of June 2, 2021

This week was another big one that got split due to unavailability of some issues, and ended up "trying" a couple things I normally wouldn’t go for.

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Marauders #22 was my first issue of the Hellfire Gala, I believe…and the only X-issue still in stock when I got to the shop, having forgotten to message ahead for holds.

While I think I only read #1, I’ve continued buying issues of Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon, which concludes here with #6. I’ve heard mixed things but will judge for myself. It’s Larry Hama, which "sold" me on the book at all, so we’ll see.

Amazing Spider-Man #67 is another "the latest issue" pickup.

I’d nearly forgotten entirely about Batman/Catwoman as a series…and #5 here was a surprise of sorts. I have mixed feelings on the thing at this point but I’m "invested" already and might as well "support" it as I don’t care for OTHER stuff DC is doing, and this series is supposed to wrap up stuff from King‘s run on Batman from when I was all-in on the publisher’s Rebirth stuff five years ago when they had regained loads of goodwill.

I’m not keen on variants, but for the heckuvit, decided to pick up North Force #0, which is technically a variant of Savage Dragon #259, as while I’m not buying Savage Dragon in singles, I might be tempted to try a spin-off title, and this would seem a decent starting point. I also appreciated the novelty of the thing, rather than being a straight up reprint of #259. I think it reminded e a bit of Spider-GIrl #0 from back in 1998 (?) that reprinted a What If..? issue but with cover dress to fit the new series..

Vampirella 1992 is not my normal fare, but I believe it’s a one-shot, and set in 1992, and something about it put me in mind of the year-specific titles playing up nostalgia…and hey, 1992 has its share of nostalgia for me, so I snagged the issue.

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With several issues sold-out/not available on the 2nd, I ended up placing an order online to shore things up for the week.

X-Force #20 and Hellions #12 are chapters of the Hellfire Gala mini-event.

It didn’t register for me that I had a variant of Fire Power #12 so I ordered the proper cover, sucking it up on getting stuck with a variant. I suppose I have to decide if I’ll continue double-dipping on single issues while getting the TPBs or not, or just shift to the TPBs.

Then to wrap things up, I’d noticed Jenny Zero #2 and decided to get that after all–I had #1 by then and needed something extra to pad out the order to better justify the price of shipping.


Week of June 9, 2021

Coming current with the most recent week June 9 was a decent size and included a couple of back-issues.

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X-Men #21 and Excalibur #21 are both chapters of the Hellfire Gala. Children of the Atom #4, however, is not…but I believe this series was intended to be out last year, so it’s not exactly "in sync" with the rest of the X-line.

Amazing Spider-Man #68 is the second issue of the series in as many weeks…but also "the latest issue."

TMNT #117 is another "latest issue," and I’m not sure where I stand with this title anymore. 3 more issues and #120 will mark 10 years of IDW‘s series and I think THE longest I’ve consistently, unbrokenly followed any series/title with no gaps. That said…it’s time for the title to pick up again, as it just hasn’t been holding me as previous chunks of the run have; though it took a few issues after #50 to re-engage me where it had felt like a new title, but by the run-up to #75 I was really enjoying it again (and we had the Krang trial stuff). I’m not really getting that feeling at this point over a year-and-a-half post-#100 and the series just hasn’t been all that engaging or interesting and thus has–for me–been rather forgettable and blurred into a single slog that I read out of obligation, OCD, and continuity.

I vaguely remember many years ago when I’d followed a few issues of Savage Dragon, the series guest-starred some character from another series…and there was something about Larsen having either bought that character or was taking stuff on in support…but if I recall correctly, that character was Ant. And here/now seeing Ant #12 that supposedly wraps up the long-unfinished initial run and sets up a new run (?) or such, I decided to grab the issue…much like North Force #0 the previous week.

Geiger #3 is the latest issue, and I still haven’t read the first. It’s another that I may not have the purest motives to support: It’s Johns and Frank while NOT being DC and thus I’m wanting to support it out of spite. Plus, I’ve generally enjoyed the creators’ collaborations…they’ve at least been good themselves and pretty to look at, even if I didn’t care for their impact on continuity. As a creator-owned thing from Image I expect to quite enjoy the book!

And as with previously…Batman Scooby-Doo! Mysteries #3 is a $2.99 book and I feel the "need" to "support" a $2.99 book from DC when they’ve jacked most of their other titles to $4.99 and $5.99. I’ll buy for $2.99. I won’t for $5.99 and the publisher can pound sand at those higher price points!

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I blame Chris Sheehan for bringing the Curse of the Man-Thing mini-event back to my radar, and I wound up snagging the 2nd and 3rd (of 3?) chapters that were presented as one-shots initially in Amazing Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 and X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1. Now that I have these, I’m bound by OCD to seek out the Avengers issue that serves as chapter 1 of the mess. I’m NOT keen on the $4.99 price point NOR Marvel‘s publishing these all as #1 issues without even anything to clearly indicate on the cover that they’re chapters 2 and 3 of a larger story. I’d initially passed on the Spidey issue that was put in with my pulls a few weeks back. I guess I should’ve gotten it then and grabbed the Avengers issue when/while I could!


I’ve snagged some other stuff of note recently, and maybe I’ll show stuff off in another post soon. Or maybe it’ll be AUGUST now before I post again. Or something in-between.

Time–and some health stuff in my personal life and family–will largely guide that, I suppose.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of April 21 & April 28, 2021

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Well…I made it 3 1/2 months before missing a week, and thus doubling-up on these Weekly Haul posts! So, here you go, if anyone other than me myself cares about these! (Since these largely are a way for me to have record to go back to easily and see what I’ve snagged).

Whatever.


Week of April 21, 2021

Second-to-last week of April…and one of THE biggest weeks…and most complex weeks! Wound up piecing these together from two local shops and mail-order!

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Radiant Black is my chance to follow a Higgins series, since I won’t buy his Power Rangers stuff specifically because it’s (currently) published by Boom. TMNT is a staple…been buying this monthly since #1 nearly ten years ago. and Alien #2 is…well, it’s Alien, but it seems that Marvel is really half-arsing it…especially after they DOVE into numerous Star Wars and Conan titles virtually immediately. If all they were gonna do is a Dark Horse-tone book and a series of variant covers, but not even launch into a bit of world-building/re-establishment…seems like they’re squandering the license.

Way of X is the second book in the "third wave" of titles to launch for the Hickman-era of the titles. X-Force is "the next issue of a series I’m buying regularly now." and the Carnage book is…I don’t even know. I started getting the Wolverine anthology like this, and this one kinda slipped in with it. Maybe I want to support Marvel doing this sort of title? Maybe I just want a taste of "classic" Carnage? Who knows/

Amazing Spider-Man is a "next issue," ditto for The Walking Dead Deluxe. And apparently I neglected to realize I’d already bought the Star Trek: The Next Generation issue a couple weeks ago. Oops.

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Then there’s the new issue of Usagi Yojimbo, which I think has surpassed the Mirage run now, number-wise. I wasn’t keen when its Dark Horse iteration switched to mini-series near the end of its run…but I’m more than agreeable to a new #1 when it’s from a new publisher. I believe the continuity is ongoing, though, regardless of publisher. I’m in for a good, solid read whenever I get around to diving in to catch up on the IDW run. Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is a title I’m not sure what to make of…but feels like something to support for NOT being published by Boom. Hey…it’s Oni, so why not? I followed Letter 44 for 30-some issues or whatever it was from them…

Then there’s the 15th volume of Dawn of X, which I’m determined to at least finish its run up to X of Swords…but also supporting out of principle. It’s great to see an entire family of books being collected like this, for someone who wants to go all-in on the X-stuff. It seems like it’d be interesting to do this for more families of titles…and then collect the INDIVIDUAL series into their own books later, rather than this being the "side thing."

While I’m years behind reading any, I have great respect for the products put out by TwoMorrows, and definitely appreciate historical comics stuff, so Back Issue is a great magazine I like to get when I notice it…even if it DOES pile an extra $10ish onto the total. Well worth it for the content and time it’d take to read the issue cover to cover.

Also snagged a classic back-issue of the classic Warlock series…brings me ONE issue closer to having the full series!

As to Comic Shop News, I’d be more interested in the Milestone stuff if it WASN’T DC at this point, and wasn’t yet another attempt at relaunching the line. I wish the Milestone folks plenty of success, though DC is just so thoroughly on my crap-list that I’m steering clear. Also figure there’ll be enough variant covers and other speculator things associated, and I’m not gonna be "speculator-bullied" into buying it JUST to not have to pay higher prices later. Either it’ll be a speculator’s dream, or it’ll be fair-priced if not bargain-priced down the line. The latter two would mean I can get it later.

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Snagged Ultramega #2, Stray Dogs #3, The BeQuest #2, and a GI Joe: A Real American Hero: Serpentor Uncoiled special online. These arrived on Tuesday, so still count as the week of the 21st. Still have to read their first issues, but…whatever. I’m hardly any smart guy when it comes to stuff.


Week of April 28, 2021

And now we catch up to the "current" week with the 28th, and FOUR X-books…one of them FREE!

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Cable and New Mutants are "the next issue" right now/still. But then X-Men Legends is largely the same..but a new classic-X-Factor story, apparently! And the image seems familiar…I’m thinking (offhand, as I’m typing) it’s an homage to either X-Factor #1 or the first annual for the title. And then we have this Hellfire Gala Official Guide…a "preview" book of stuff–designs for characters and whatnot–for the upcoming event. I MUUUUUUUUCH prefer such content be presented like this–and as its own unit–and "free" at that–than as a bunch of content padding out a regular issue claiming "bonus content" when it’s NOT material I want to pay for, nor is it padding out repetetively a bunch of unrelated books for the sake of padding them out with "preview pages" and such. In this way it’s a nifty little bonus thing, can file it with the X-books, and enjoy it AS its own thing.

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Helm of Greycastle…a bit like "Grayskull," right? Nostalgia, looks fantasy-ish, and can check out this first issue. Whatever. Ditto for Summoners War: Legacy. I think this is based on some videogame, but…it caught my attention. So what the hey?

Newest issue of Spawn; #317. This is the 50th issue after I jumped back onto the title, after the cover to #257 caught my eye way back in 2015! (Making this my 51st continuous issue of the series!) This might put Spawn second only to the current TMNT run in that regard! I may have to think more on that…certainly something for its own post, perhaps.

Next is the final issue (I think) of the second story from the CLASSIC Usagi Yojimbo series, now presented here in COLOR.

Finally, an issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero that…turned out to be a darned variant. I hate variants. #280…I think I jumped back onto the title around 245 or so, so it’s been several years. Haven’t read in I don’t know how long…mostly just "supporting" the titles continuation and such. You can BET that I’d jump off if Hama leaves…this is verrrrrry much HIS book! And I’d love to fill the gap in issues from the low-160s to the 240s and just have the whole thing. But it’s a lot like Spawn, apparently: folks that HAVE the issues are hanging onto them, and they haven’t exactly had high print runs.

And…Comic Shop News.


I’m

I’m a bit worn down lately as "real life" has intruded big-time…particularly with work.

This is my first post in a couple weeks, and I lost the flow of covering Magic: The Gathering – The Shadow Mage. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on that again soon. And I’ve loooooads of X-stuff to read, to where I’ve neglected new comics for way too long and have those to catch up on.

First world problems, I guess?

Who knows what the coming week holds…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 14, 2021

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Another week, some new comics…

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Nothing all that exciting this week. Wolverine and Children of the Atom are "the latest X-books this week." Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon is the latest issue of that series…cruising on along on strength of the first issue and Larry Hama‘s name.

Then Star Trek: The Next Generation: The GIft as a reprint of an older story and getting some nostalgia. I’m not much interested in "modern" TNG comics, but occasional stuff like this I’ll check out. Cheaper than "hunting" back-issues to get the story, anyway.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #279 is another "latest issue/issue-out-this-week."

And the Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries is the first time in a few weeks that DC has been on here. But it’s a $2.99 comic! Given their shift mostly to $4.99/$5.99 and such…I’d be just part of the problem if I complain about their prices but then DIDN’T support a $2.99 book!

Finally, for the Comic Shop News issue this week…Looking just at the top, my first thought was "…again?" on The Mighty Crusaders/The Shield. My second thought was "Huh…that looks like Rob Liefeld art…" Unfolding the issue…sure enough, saw the ‘signature’ on the art. Say what you will about the man’s art…it’s typically very recognizable!

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