I honestly have nothing against the Syphons comic book.

§ August 21st, 2017 § Filed under retailing, self-promotion § 5 Comments

So the other day on Twitter I was reminiscing about the influx of comic book price guide periodicals that flooded…well, wait, hold on, let me back up.

A few days ago a customer told me in passing that he’d heard Wizard was coming back. For those of you who don’t recall, Wizard was a monthly comic news/interview magazine that featured a price guide in the back, with occasional investment recommendations, lists of new first issues, and that sort of thing. It ceased publication a number of years ago, but the Wizard brand still appears on conventions, and I regularly get folks in the shop asking me if the latest issue of Wizard is out. (Technically, the answer to this is “yes,” I suppose.)

A little bit of Googling later, I found this article saying that Wizard is being relaunched as a digital “service,” with a quarterly magazine and a daily video thingamajigger. No word here on whether a price guide is part of the quarterly release, which, judging by my retail experience selling the magazine for its entire existence, was the magazine’s primary attraction. Okay, I exaggerate, but really, not by much. I’ve heard more than once “Wizard‘s gone!? Then how do you price your comics?” But the magazine’s appearance and content skewed young-ish, appealing to the teen crowd of comic readers that were then heavily populating the marketplace during the industry’s boom years. Features on “hot” comics and creators, pack-in freebies like trading cards (also “hot” for a time), offers for special “limited edition” comics…there was a lot of material to attract fans of a certain type, and there was nothing else quite like it on the market…at least until Hero Illustrated showed up.

Anyway, to get back where I started, this got me to thinking about the many other price guides that suddenly turned up during the last time lots of people remembered that comic books existed as items they could purchase. I’ve already mentioned Hero Illustrated, which was basically the same thing as Wizard, with articles that perhaps aimed at a very slightly older reader, but still had that big ol’ price guide section in the back. As I recall, the major difference from Wizard was that Hero sometimes offered “ashcan editions” (i.e. digest sized previews of comics) as pack-ins, along with the usual trading cards, etc.

Going a slightly different route was the magazine pictured above, Comics Values Monthly, the title of which you can almost read, there. I actually have two issues of this magazine in the Semi-Vast Comic Archives…that one there, which I bought for perhaps obvious reasons (“Wha–!? A Syphons preview!?”), and the other one being a special issue about the Death of Superman, of course. This was a less fancy publication than Wizard and Hero: black and white interiors, few articles, focus is on the “price” part of the mag. There’s the occasional goodie (this issue had a folded bound-in poster of its cover), oh, and just flipping through it, there’s an interview with Garth Ennis, which wasn’t as important to cover-blurb as Syphons, I guess. This mag also had an annual price guide softcover.

There were other monthly (or semi-monthly) price guide magazines. Overstreet had their own Wizard-esque price-guide-with-some-articles slick covered mag Overstreet Fan. (Amusingly enough, Wizard started their own annual price guide book, competing with Oversteet’s annual guide. That only lasted a couple of years, as I recall.) I don’t really remember a lot about the quality of the articles, but I do know they sent us a pretty cool clock (with the “Fan” logo across its face) that, as far as I know, is still working and displayed on the wall at my previous place of employment.

The long-running Comic Buyers’ Guide had a regular (quarterly?) price guide sometimes sealed in a polybag along with their tabloid editions. When it shifted from a weekly to a monthly, it had a price guide in the back of every issue, I believe.

And there were others, probably many short-lived mags. I seem to remember one or two that tried to be all-purpose price guides (like the appropriately-named Combo magazine) with prices for comics, toys, cards, Fabergé eggs, collectable shoes, what have you. I’m trying to remember if Beckett, the primary publisher of sports card price guides, ever did a comics price guide during this magical period of the 1990s. If not, they missed a bet, because man oh man did I ever have lots of people asking for our “comic book Becketts” at the time. (That’s how I knew a bunch of people bailed out of the card market to seek their fortune in funnybooks.)

In practical use, we tended to stick with the Overstreet annual guide for general pricing, with reference to Wizard for any month-to-month trends that an annual guide might miss. Once other price guides proliferated, we’d occasionally use those for reference as well, but not nearly as frequently as the Overstreet annual/Wizard monthly power pair.

Nowadays, it’s mostly Overstreet I use, plus just general awareness of local market conditions. I’ll pop in on the eBay to see if anything unusual happens to stand out, though given how things are organized there, it’s easier to just look up specific issues rather than just browse and hope you see relevant data. And I know there are online price guides services…I haven’t signed up for any of those, but one I looked at had a page of “CURRENT HOT ISSUES!” that didn’t hold any surprises for me this time, but might be a handy reference for knowing which titles people are going to wanting multiple copies of.

Don’t know that I really have a point to this beyond “hey, remember when there were too many price guides?” There was another thing on Twitter that I brought up, regarding the discrepancies in prices we’d often find between price guides, which was surely just a matter of differences in surveyed retailers and their own pricing trends. However, I remember my comic shop cohorts and I speculating that perhaps some guides pushed certain prices a little higher than they should have been, in order to attract more buyers. “Hey, Comics Cash Weekly lists the comics I own at higher prices than The Old Price Guide Grandpas UseComics Cash Weekly, you’ve got my money!” …However, clearly this would require a level of sleaziness that could never occur in the comics industry. But I do wonder if anyone actually did decide on which guide to buy based on that criteria? I mean, people have done weirder things for less reason.

As for Wizard new venture…all I know about it is what I read in that article, but I honestly don’t know if “quarterly” is often enough when most big comics news/entertainment sites are updated multiple times daily. Yeah, I know they have the daily video thing, and we keep getting told video is the way everything is going, but…maybe I’m just an olds, but I’d prefer to read information online at my own pace rather than have someone talk at me. I mean, you read all this, right? …Hello?

• • •

Speaking of too much to read, installment #7 of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon is up at my Patreon page, covering Swamp Thing #6 from 1973. Only one dollar a month gets you into my exclusive club, where we’re all talking about you, right now…if only you were there to defend yourself!

I looked through my Amazing Heroes Preview Specials for way too long trying to find that book’s original title.

§ August 18th, 2017 § Filed under pal plugging, publishing, self-promotion § No Comments

A couple of reactions to Wednesday’s post:

Eric L asks

“OK, but was Radioactive Adolescent Black Belt Hamsters any good? The title sounds like a blatant rip off, but it seems to have lasted a while so maybe it had something going for it?”

The fact that the title “Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters” was so on the nose was pretty much part of the joke, and folks kept putting out books with more tortured variations of that title format. Even Marvel was going to get in on the act, with a one-shot titled Grown-up [or Adult] Thermonuclear Samurai Elephants, but it took so long to come out that the fad had passed, and it was renamed Power Pachyderms prior to its eventual unleashing.

But Hamsters was the first out of the gate in the “‘borrowing the Turtles’ sauce” race, and…well, as these things go, it wasn’t bad. I only had one copy of the comic in the store for me to flip through and remind myself of the actual contents:

…and of course it was the 3D special, which was a small bit of a challenge to my aging eyes. But, you know, it was amusing enough, and professionally done…it did its job as a funnybook. Also as I recall, other issues featured work by Ty Templeton and Sam Keith, so there were some interesting art jobs on the series that you probably wouldn’t have expected. Yes, it will always be remembered as “The First Knock-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and it deserves some credit (or, more likely, blame) for leading the way for the [blank] [blank] [blank] [animal, maybe] titles that would follow, but as black and white boom comics go, it’s certainly nowhere near the bottom.

Dave Carter says

“The comic I remember most from the B&W boom was Mark Martin’s Gnatrat. I recall quite enjoying it at the time (though may tastes may have been less discerning in those days…)”

Trust your memories at least on Gnatrat and related titles, Dave…as I mentioned in this post about The Boom, Mark Martin’s comics were Quality Products by a talented cartoonist, definitely top echelon of the period. They are Batman/Daredevil/Frank Miller parodies, but they hold up. There was a complete Gnatrat trade paperback a few years back…out of print, but used copies are cheap on Amazon at that link.

• • •

In other news:

  • The next installment in the Swamp Thing-a-Thon at my Patreon should be up over the weekend, or Monday at the latest. Only one dollar gets you a extra giant wall of text from me twice a month!
  • Alan David Doane notes a recent David Letterman interview where the talk show host reflects on frequent guest (and comics legend) Harvey Pekar. I remember watching all of these as they aired all those years ago…usually funny but so uncomfortable. I think it was in that final appearance that Dave got pissed at Harvey and referred to American Splendor as “this Mickey Mouse thing.” I suppose I could go look this up on YouTube, but that’ll probably just make me agitated.
  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with SPF 300,000 sunscreen, looks directly at the Sun-Eaterwithout protective lenses! Bully, NO! Always be safe when observing solar events!

And somehow Mike gets another post out of the Death of Superman.

§ August 16th, 2017 § Filed under death of superman, retailing § 3 Comments

So the other day I ran a little thread on the Twitteringabob about how, in the last few days, I have had an excessive number of people popping in to ask about the direct market edition of Superman #75, the infamous (and much discussed on this site) “Death of Superman” issue. In fact, in one instance there were a couple of guys hanging just outside my shop’s door, with one encouraging the other to “just go in and ask him, he’ll know!” As that happened, I even thought to myself “ooh, he’s going to ask me about the Death of Superman issue,” which was probably 15% Mike’s Psychic Powers manifesting themselves again, 90% Mike Has Been Dealing with As He Said Many Questions about This Comic for Days Now, and 3% Mike’s Not Very Good at Math.

Anyway, all these folks come in, inquiring about how much that particular issue is going for (and occasionally simultaneously wondering where their own copies may have been stashed away). As it happens, I’m currently out of stock on that issue, having recently sold through all my copies, but I inform them that my most recent price on that comic, in the sealed bag, in new condition, was $30. If you looked at that Twitter thingie I linked above, you’d have seen that I noted the general reaction was a slightly disappointed surprise, apparently at the fact that the price wasn’t much higher. Frankly, I’m surprised I can still sell them at that price…for years, back at the previous place of employment, we had ’em at $15 a pop, and even that started to creep up a small bit as we neared the end of my reign of terror there.

I opined in my Twitter posts that the “Death of Superman” issue, despite being sold in great numbers to people purchasing them as investments, likely suffered a sizeable attrition in sellable copies over the intervening decades due to poor storage, the kids getting at them, being peed upon by pets, whathaveyou. I know I’ve had several copies pass through the store in collections offered to me, only to pass on them because they were obviously wrecked. I knew I wrote about this on the site before, and it wasn’t even a year ago if you want to go back and read about this very thing in even greater detail.

In my view, then, at least locally, those bagged Superman funnybooks are getting harder to find in mint condition, so I feel at least a little justified in going $30 on them. I mean, I’m not getting much resistance at the price, and I’m out, so I guess that’s what the market will bear. I’m probably going to wait a while before that price scoots up any higher, though.

Oh, and at this late date, let me respond to Joe S. Walker’s comment there:

“How did you get on with all those copies of Teen Titans, The Falcon and the rest? Still got any?”

He’s referring to this, and I’m pretty sure my old boss Ralph got rid of all those in a massive back issue sale he made to another dealer. They’re Somebody Else’s Problem now!

Another topic brought up on Twitter that was discussed here on this site not too long ago was the 1980s black and white boom, mostly inspired by this tweet about my having a full run of Mark Bode’s Miami Mice in the shop. My primary reason for pointing it out was that I very rarely see later issues of the more obscure b&w boom indies of the period (assuming they had later issues…most were one Highly Investable Issue and done). For example, issue #1 and #2 of Miami Mice were familiar sights, but I can’t recall the last time I saw either #3 or #4. Of course, that’s because most people ordered heaviest on the first issues then slashed orders on the follow-ups so they could spend more money on other new first issues.

Like I say here, I wish I had more of a retailer’s eye view of the boom as it happened, though 30 years of comics-slinging later (tied together with having kept up with the comics press at the time) I have a general idea of what was going on. I just don’t have the memories of the stress of having to plow through the order forms of the time, trying to discern between people actually making an effort (like Bode’s Miami Mice), and people just cranking out shit to play the collectible market for some of that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style mad money (like titles I could mention here, but won’t). But then again, I’d probably trade ordering comics then with having to deal with variant covers now. It’s always something.

Anti-Hitler Comics #1 (Summer 1992).

§ August 14th, 2017 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 1 Comment

For a while there, New England Comics (the publishers of The Tick were releasing several reprint series of Golden Age-era stories…mostly forgotten, probably public domain, and almost entirely strange. The longest running, and, for my money, the best of the bunch was Tales Too Terrible to Tell, a fat ol’ comic stuffed with terrible stories that, despite the title, they were telling anyway. Most issues of this and the other reprint books included copious historical notes about the publishers and the stories themselves. The reprints are all black and white, and reproduction is usually pretty good, depending on the source material they’re using…there’s the occasional muddy page, but if you don’t like it, go buy your own copy of the color original, effendi!

There were other reprint titles along other themes, such as Extinct! (featuring the oddball not-horror comics of the period) and My Terrible Romance (you can probably guess), and then there was this:


That awful feller Hitler gets what’s coming to him in the stories within, generally involving him being in Hell, and, y’know, good riddance. My main memory of actually having this book on the new comics rack at the time was the fact that the blue “Anti-” in the logo didn’t immediately register with people on first glance. The first thing a customer would see upon browsing the shelves were the big bold ‘n’ black words “HITLER COMICS” which, as I recall, elicited a comment or two. I would respond “Anti-Hitler Comics, ANTI!” and they’d look again and go “ooooooh, okay.” The little yellow slash symbols over the swastikas didn’t really come across at first glance, either…maybe it’s the fault of the cover design, or maybe it’s just that things like swastikas and the name “Hitler” cut through whatever attempts you can make to, um, soften the blow, I guess.

There are only really two stories inside…”Futuro Kidnaps Hitler and Takes Him to Hades,” which is, well, what it says on the tin:


That’s a great splash page which was probably something to behold in color…and the rest of the story suffers a bit by not being in color. The small-ish panels are filled with highly detailed but somewhat confusing activity that could have used a little color to make the action a tad more clear. (I, an effendi, should apparently go buy my own color copy of the original!) Anyway, Hitler is shown being shuttled from one punishment to the next, while Futuro tries to stop Hitler and Satan from teaming up to defeat him…and, well, as the text pieces note, this was published right after America entered the war, and the creators apparently felt they couldn’t just outright kill off Hitler since in the real world he was going to continue being an ongoing problem. It was enough that the story promised its readers that Hitler would get the punishment he deserved someday, either in this world or the next.

The second untitled story (save for the name of the story’s hero, the Unknown Soldier…not the DC Comics guy) is a little more peculiar, in that Hitler is presented as being Satan himself, who pops up to offer a solider, George Smith, safety and heroism in battle now, in exchange for his soul later.

The Unknown Solider uses his supernatural powers to attempt to intervene, while Hitler/Satan allows George his moments of heroism, only to instill cowardice in him later after removing his soul to undermine the troops’ morale. Hitler/Satan of course gets his comeuppance, as George regains his bravery after speaking to spirits of fallen heroes, and sacrifices himself in battle…stopping a German advance and freeing his soul from Hitler’s grasp.

These are a couple of nice, little-seen examples of wartime propaganda comics, and it would have been interesting to see what more the editors of this series had available. Alas, though a second issue was promised on the back cover, it never appeared. But if you need more anti-Hitler (or just anti-Nazi in general) funnybookin’, let me direct you to this Twitter hashtag.

Apparently Twitter was celebrating some Cat Day or ‘nother recently…

§ August 11th, 2017 § Filed under pal plugging, retailing, scans, self-promotion, the thing § 2 Comments

…being one of the at least three Cat Days recognized by God and man. Alas, I missed the August event, but I’m ready for the ones in October and February with this little ol’ panel right here:


Yeah, that’s right, cats are doin’ it for themselves, standin’ on their little cat feet, and not taking any guff from the fella with the syringe. He totally had it coming. Anyway: Cat Day, everyone, Cat Day!

In other news:

  • I mentioned the new Mister Miracle #1 on Wednesday, and it was quite the hit apparently. My initial order on this was a little on the low side, since New Gods material that’s not by Kirby can be bit of a hard sell…but after having several customers ask about it and getting some additions to the pull lists, well, I was convinced to go a little higher. Not high enough, it seems, as they’re gone now, but I would have been out a lot more quickly otherwise. Oh, and Diamond seems to be out of stock on ’em as well, so look forward to that second printing announcement Any Day Now…if it hasn’t happened already. I don’t know, I was busy today.

    Now it remains to be seen if the right lessons are learned, two of which are of course 1) more Tom King/Mitch Gerads comics, and 2) more good Fourth World comics. The wrong lesson is 3) “better crank out more Fourth World comics as fast as possible by anyone we can get, it’s hot hot hot right now!” but let’s see what happens.

    I did have one person come in to grab the comics because, as this customer declared, “Mister Miracle is my favorite character!” I’m really curious about what her reaction was to the actual comic, since it’s quite a different take than what we’ve seen before. Depends how she liked Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers version, I guess.

    Fellow blogging machine Ryan has a few words to say about this here new Scott Free funnybook, so go see what he’s got to say.

  • NOT COMICS: pal Andrew talks about his brief obsession with slot car racing, one that I also shared for a short time in my long-ago youth. As I recall, the gimmick with the set I had was that the cars could change lanes, which I thought was pretty slick. The neighbor kid across the street and I whiled away some precious days goofin’ around with these things. …I’ve got no big reveal or life lesson here, just thought you should know I wasted my life doing stuff other than reading comics.
  • Don’t tell Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull Too Young to Know about Such Things, but that Amalgam-ated character’s name could have been truncated into much, much worse form. I mean, that had to be on purpose, right? …Anyway, I apologize in advance. (Oh, and I just looked at the comments there, and I guess Twitter pal Evan beat me to the same shameful conclusion.)
  • Hey, have I reminded you lately about my store‘s Instagram page? I set it up quite a while ago, but I’m trying to use it more frequently now…usually posting pics of goodies around the store and new acquisitions, with the occasional pic of Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew. Please, follow me there if you are so inclined!

 
 

image from Unexpected #197 (April 1980) by George Kashdan & Ruben Yandoc

Y’all probably need something good to read right about now…

§ August 9th, 2017 § Filed under jack kirby, this week's comics § 4 Comments

…so may I recommend the first issue of Mister Miracle, on the shelves of funnybook stores today?

I’m finally catching on to Tom King’s work…I’ve been reading Batman of late, I’ve been picking up those Vision “director’s cut” comics (collecting his 12-issue run two at a time), I finally got around to reading Omega Men, and they’ve all impressed me with their originality, their cleverness, their maturity and their entertainment value. King and artist Mitch Gerads continue these books’ commitment to the nine-panel grid in Mister Miracle, where it is almost like the ticking of a clock, each panel the same size and representing the same amount of story time, pushing the reader inexorably forward. This is a weird, almost nightmarish, but compelling take on the characters, where the inherent weirdness of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World is approached from an askew angle. Some familiarity with the concepts are required, but 1) most superhero comic readers have at least a slight knowledge of the New Gods; 2) the stuff you need to know is brought up in dialogue, and 3) c’mon, anyone picking this up is going to know Mister Miracle’s deal anyway.

There are some storytelling techniques that underscore the disquiet present throughout the narrative, but I don’t want to say more and spoil the surprises. Suffice to say this is a new take on Kirby’s creations here, replacing the standard (and usually great, don’t get me wrong) bombast with an unsettling tension.

Oh, and the cover stock is nice, too. Good ‘n’ sturdy. Would make a good coaster!

All in all, a nice way to honor Mr. Kirby’s memory, just in time for his 100th birthday.

Was putting together something else for this site…

§ August 7th, 2017 § Filed under firestorm, superman § No Comments

…and it didn’t work out, unfortunately, so instead let’s admire this page from DC Comics Presents #17 (January 1980) by Gerry Conway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Steve Mitchell:


That Garcia-Lopez fella…he knew what he was doin’.

This is the title for this post.

§ August 4th, 2017 § Filed under advertising, self-promotion § 3 Comments

They said it couldn’t be done…they said it shouldn’t be done, but I dood it! Part the Sixth of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon over on my Patreon is up, covering issue #5 of the original Swamp Thing series. For the entry fee of only one measly, paltry, barely-noticeable dollar per month, you can see a whole lot more typing by me, America’s Only Comics Blogger. Be the envy of your friends and the bane of your enemies…put yourself on the path to righteousness…grow tall and strong and healthy…by joining today!

In the meantime, whatever you do, don’t think about this:

Blogging about that particular comic in the year 2017.

§ August 3rd, 2017 § Filed under pal plugging, publishing, self-promotion § 1 Comment

First, my pals Matt and Chris took listener questions for the latest episode of the War Rocket Ajax podcast, and you can literally hear joy die in their voices when they get to mine (at about the 53:50 mark). Don’t worry, fellas, some day you’ll come around to my way of thinking!

Second, if you follow me on the Twittererers, you may have seen this thread a while back where I talk about a fella who used to be in the magazine distribution business who came by to see if I’d be interested in buying comics. He didn’t have any on hand at the time, but from the sounds of things his particular heyday was about the late ’80s/early ’90s period of the comics boom. Of particular note, he mentioned receiving a notice from a publisher to not distribute some bundles of a particular comic that had been delivered to him, and to have them destroyed. Well, he said he kept a couple of bundles intact “just in case,” though he couldn’t recall that actual title in question.

And just yesterday, the gentleman came back in with a sampling of the comics that were in his possession. Plenty of those Jim Lee X-Men #1s, one of the bagged X-Force #1s (though the bag had been slit at one end and the trading card removed), and a copy of the recalled comic of which he still had hundreds of copies. And that comic was:


…the Saved by the Bell Special from 1992.

To start with, this is assuming the gentleman’s account is correct, and that this is the comic the publisher asked to be pulped. I only saw the one (very beat up) copy (the scan above was stolen from the Grand Comics Database). He said he had plenty more of this very comic, and for the sake of argument I will take him at his word.

Next, my initial assumption was that there was a publishing date discrepancy…the comic the gentleman had contained a March 1992 publishing date in its indicia, whereas the GCD listing linked above had it dated at March 1993. Maybe there was a licensing issue, thought I, and Harvey wasn’t actually allowed to send out that comic for whatever reason…a problem cleared up a year later when they reissued it. However, the Comic Book Database gives the comic a 1992 date as well, so maybe there’s a typo at GCD? I don’t know.

Also the Holiday Special is a nearly direct reprint of the first Saved by the Bell comic from 1992, so I thought maybe that was just the previous edition’s indicia…except this indicia very clearly stated it was for the “Saved by the Bell Special.”

Ultimately I can’t find any reason for this to have been pulped, other than the sheer fact it was a Saved by the Bell comic. The gentleman said he definitely got a letter from the responsible party instructing him to shred these things, but unless he tracks that letter down (and he may yet…he says he thinks he still has it) I have no idea why this issue was allegedly held back. I don’t recall anything from the time, since that definitely falls within my early years of working comics retail, and I can’t find anything on the Recalled Comics site, so…who knows? It’s a Mystery for the Ages, one to pass down to your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, all the way ’til the end of time. Or I find more information, one of the two.

And third, the next installment of the Swamp Thing-a-Thon should be up over at my Patreon page soon…if not by Friday, then on Monday. Thanks for your patience!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 31st, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 11 Comments

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy August 2017 edition of Diamond Previews
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams:

p. 63 – Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister Hand of the Queen Bust:


And here’s Tyrion in his new gig for Dos Dragóns as the Most Interesting Man in Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos.
 
 
p. 68 – Batman Lost #1:


I don’t know how many issues I can take of Batman entering that sequence of numbers and pushing that button every 108 minutes.
 
 
p. 107 – Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1:


Any dopes make fun of them for drinking that milkshake, Harley’s got a big ol’ mallet with those chowderheads’ names on it.
 
 
p. 129 – The Joker An Adult Coloring Book TP:

CUT TO Jared Leto coloring outside the lines on every page of this book and laughing maniacally, as he preps for Suicide Squad 2.
 
 
p. 131 – Two-Face A Celebration of 75 Years HC:


By all rights this should be a flipbook.
 
 
p. 160 – The X-Files JFK Disclosure #1:


Oddly enough, Scully and Mulder discover it really was just Oswald who was responsible. Huh, go figure.
 
 
p. 236 – Commando Spawn Action Figure:

Finally, Commando Spawn, the perfect figure to go with Party Angela!
 
 
p. 275 – Jawas 2 T-shirt:


So anyway I was just thinking about that time Neil Young incorporated Jawas into his act and how Lucasfilm had a few words about his doing so. No reason, just came to mind.
 
 
p. 284 – Aspen Universe Decimation #1:


AND NOW…THE LAZIEST JOKE POSSIBLE:

Oh no, 1/10th of the Aspen Universe is going to be destroyed!

THE LAZIEST JOKE POSSIBLE IS NOW COMPLETED. YOU MAY RETURN TO YOUR HOMES.
 
 
p. 334 – Atari Classics Atari Force TP:


If someone had only told me back in the early 1980s when I bought those three Atari cartridges with the Atari Force comic book pack-ins, or in the late 1990s when I bought those two other games with the pack-in comics I was still missing, that all I had to do was wait ’til the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Seventeen to get ’em all under one cover, why, I could have used that extra cash to get myself the Model CX-22 Atari Trackball Controller. OH THE WASTED OPPORTUNITIES OF LIFE
 
 
p. 418 – The Villain #1:


Cactus Jack and Charming Jones sure look different. Wonder how Handsome Stranger made out?
 
 
p. 422 – Santa Vs. Dracula GN:


WHOEVER WINS, WE LOSE…well, okay, maybe I’d root slightly more for Santa in this instance.
 
 
p. 489 – Comic Shop The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us A New Geek Culture:


Hey, I have a book about my life in comics retail, too! Here, let me show y–

[cover flies open, blood starts shooting out of its pages]

Er, hold on a moment….
 
 
p. 489 – The Flash Hocus Pocus Novel:


The Flash travels back in time just to witness this amazing performance in person:

 
 
p. 489 – Iron Man The Gauntlet Novel SC:


“TONY STARK SHOT THE FOOD”
 
 
p. 503 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial The Classic Illustrated Storybook HC:


“E.T. iPHONE HOME”

“Wait, what?”

“E.T. FACETIME ELLIOT WHEN E.T. GETS BACK”

“Face..time? What are you even…?”

“FOLLOW E.T. ON INSTAGRAM, @ETNOLONGERONEARTH”

“Um, look…isn’t it about time for you to go?”
 
 
p. 506 – Star Wars Coding Projects:


“Hey, maybe someone could code some encryption software for, oh, I don’t know, the Death Star plans, Todd.”
 
 
p. 509 – The Walking Dead Official Cookbook:


And remember…if Daryl diets, we riot!
 
 
p. 516 – Justice League Official Collector’s Magazine:


“Cover not final” is no surprise, since apparently the movie isn’t quite yet final either.
 
 
p. 562 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Groot Premium Motion Statue:

“The cassette tape itself is actually a real (and working) blank tape featuring the label as seen on screen!”

NO, DON’T DO IT! Home grooting is killing the music industry!
 
 
p. 603 – Preacher Titans Mini Figures:


You know, when I was anxiously awaiting each new issue of Preaacher as it came into the store, I never once imagined any of the characters eventually being transformed into one of these doodads. Well, except Quincannon, who’s pretty much unchanged.
 
 
p. 624 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Lanyards:


“My keys and ID, where to find th–oh, here they are.”
 
 
p. 636 – Aggravation Retro Game:

Ain’t nuthin’ retro about aggravation…seems like we’re constantly getting fresh new aggravations all the time.
 
 
p. 639 – Clue The Walking Dead AMC Edition:


If one of the possible murder weapons isn’t a little metal and/or plastic representation of Lucille, what are they even doing.
 
 
p. 640 – Monopoly The Golden Girls Edition:

DO NOT PASS. That’s all, just “do not pass.”
 
 
p. 640 – The Thing Infection at Outpost 31 Board Game:

Every game ends in a tie, with two players glaring at each other over the gameboard. It’s very depressing.

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