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The End of Civilization post should be up tomorrow, but in the meantime, please enjoy this, the fifth anniversary installment of Nobody’s Favorites by pal Andrew, discussing a certain feathered hero of some note. (I will note that this series featuring the character is still a favorite of mine, and still holds up today…if only they’d stuck with that instead of endless rebooting.)
And speaking of pal Andrew, his other ongoing project You Chose Wrong (celebrating the tragic endings of Choose Your Own Adventure books and similar book series) recently featured one of my submissions taken from a book I’ve previously discussed.
By the way, in case you were wondering how the Batman Day event went at our shop…it went swell. Gave away lots of free comics and masks, had a successful sale on Batman comics and merchandise, got to see a very happy four-year-old girl in her Batman muscle costume, and we had this mysterious gentleman running about the store most of the day:
WHO WAS THAT MASKED MUSTACHIOED MAN?
Pal Dave wrote this comic.
Pal Andrew is up to something.
Coby and his five-year-old son watch the 1978 Superman movie.
- Siskoid presents his last, best hope for sci-fi TV blogging: “Your Daily Dose of Babylon 5,” where he plans to discuss every episode. The introduction is here, and as I write this the entries for the first two episodes are up, and you can keep up by following this convenient category.
I enjoyed Babylon 5, though I haven’t rewatched the series since giving the DVD sets (and associated spin-offs) a once-through as I acquired them. It was an interesting experiment in long-form storytelling with the constraints of the vagaries of television production, it gave us the fascinating crisscrossing story arcs of Londo and G’Kar, and it brought us Walter Koenig in a great role that made most folks come to say “Chekov who?” It wasn’t perfect, but what in this fallen world is; I probably never need to hear the phrase “with all due respect” ever again, for example. But there was certainly more to enjoy than to not enjoy, and the occasional (“occasional?”) bit of labored dialogue and rough-edged acting isn’t that difficult to endure given the overall success of the venture.
Hey, I liked it, and I look forward to enjoying Siskoid’s review of the series.
- Here’s an article giving an overview of the Kirby family’s side of the battle against Marvel/Disney over the ultimate ownership of Jack’s creations. At the bottom of the article, under “Amicus Curiae Briefs,” are links to PDFs of the actual filings, each with plenty of historical and legal details that comic fans may find of interest. (Thanks to pal Jason for the link!)
- In the latest Pal Andrew news, his latest “Nobody’s Favorite” is a comic I remember receiving at the shop, and I remember selling for the few months it was around, but couldn’t tell you anything else about it. Luckily, Andrew has stepped in and refreshed those memories for me.
Andrew is also relaunching his Ultimate Powers Jam, in which he rolls up characters using the Marvel Super Heroes role playing game, and passes along the results to you to flesh out the character and do with what you will. A sample, if you will.
- Best wishes to Swamp Thing’s cocreator Bernie Wrightson, who is currently dealing with some health issues but is reportedly doing well. Please keep yourself updated at his official Facebook page.
- Speaking of Swamp Thing, old pal Batfatty has sent along this back cover by Bill Wray from Cracked Monster Party #7 (1989), featuring Cracked’s mascot Sylvester P. Smythe following the tragic explosion of his bio-restorative formula experiment:
Hey, it’s purt’near the 25th anniversary of that drawing! EVERYONE CELEBRATE
- Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-ins were a hell of a thing.
- Pal Andy is trying to raise funds on Kickstarter for his children’s book SpaceBear, so please help out if you are so inclined.
- REMINDER: the Ultimate Powers Jam continues, in which Pal Andrew rolls up a character using the Marvel Super-Heroes role playing game system, and other folks step in to flesh out the character. Probably better than whatever comic you’re reading right now. Unless that comic is All-Star Batman, and nothing is better than that.
- AND NOW, A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR: please buy some stuff from our shop’s eBay store. Dig some of these shirts, man. This Jar Jar shirt is made from real Gungan skin. Help me clear some of this stuff out…I need to make room! Thank you.
- Humble Opinions…a new site offering comics and pop culture reviews and commentary. “Everything in Greece was on fire all the time” made me laugh.
- I haven’t linked to swell chap Tony Isabella in a while, so here’s today’s post of comics reviews. I haven’t really gone out of my way to seek out other people’s opinions of the current Superman books. I’ve been enjoying them, thinking they’re an improvement on what’s been going on with the character since the New 52 hoohar began, so I was interested to see Mr. Isabella’s somewhat-opposed take.
- It was pointed out in the comments that the Sluggo doll from this post was probably just some other doll repurposed into a Sluggo doll, and yeah, that’s probably what happened. It was still apparently marketed as a Sluggo doll (along with a Nancy doll) in the 1950s as a Post Grape-Nuts cereal promotion. Here’s a shot of them in their box. …Phew, Nancy didn’t make out so great, either. Assuming that is supposed to be Nancy and not some generic “Girl Friend” as the box would have it.
My pal Mark Hale, cocreator of Fake AP Stylebook, is in need of some financial assistance to help him and his wife through some difficult times. If you can donate a few bucks to help them out, I am sure they would really appreciate it.
As I write this, they are pretty close to their original funding goal, but this drive is active another week still, so any extra donations above and beyond that goal would be swell.
So when Topps Comics released The X-Files
#1 in the mid-1990s, about a year or so after the TV show’s debut, the demand for the comic caught us a bit by surprise. We ordered what we thought was a good number, considering the industry was well into its market crash at this point, but this was one of those comics that caught folks by surprise by managing to bring non-comic readers into shops. We sold out in short order, and proceeded to field requests the rest of the week from people looking for copies of that first issue, while thinking the whole time “if only we knew” which you can never really know for certain, really.
The upshot of all this is that X-Files became a “hot” item in a business where “hot” items were a pretty significant factor in almost destroying said business just a year or two earlier. And you can see a good example of just how “hot” it was if you cast your peepers back to the scan above and the price sticker visible therein.
That issue was among the many, many comics that came with this collection, and was one of the books that survived the sorting process as I worked through the boxes, throwing some into the bargain boxes and keeping some aside for potential use in the regular stock, or on the eBay. I haven’t dealt much with the old Topps run of X-Files…people poke through its slot in the back issue boxes once in a while, but it’s not like I’ve had a lot of demand of the series lately, even with a new series being released from IDW. At any rate, I’ve not really thought about the prices on this series in some time, and spotting the #1 in this collection, I pulled it aside thinking it was, if no longer at the $55 price it had been marked, surely it was probably still worth something.
Well, nope, not really.
A quick search of the eBay shows lots of the first three, four or five issues (including the first printing of #1, like the one I have from that collection) usually only sell for about five to ten bucks. The #1 by itself sold for as cheaply as $2, and I found one that sold for nearly eight bucks, which is more the exception than the rule, it seems. (A “slabbed” copy of #1, signed the stars of the TV series, sold for about $400, so I guess there’s that.) There are copies currently listed in the $10 – $15 range, but unless someone’s desperate to get a copy, they’re probably not going anywhere fast.
And I didn’t go back to double-check, because I’ve looked at eBay enough today, but my impression was that there were many attempts to sell the serial-numbered second printings as some kind of special big-deal thing, but no one cares too much about those, either.
The “too long, didn’t read” version: some formerly-hot comics don’t sell for what they used to anymore, which I’m sure comes as a surprise to everyone. And yet, even with this knowledge, I still don’t want to just dump this comic in the bargain bin. The days of getting $55 for this comic are long gone, but I might be able to get $5, maybe, if I’m lucky.
• • •
In other news:
- The other day, when I mentioned how I thought a new Legion of Super-Heroes series would be best served by making the focus one character, with the rest of the cast as occasional supporting characters? Jer asked which one, and Casey in the comments suggested “Brainiac 5,” which actually was my suggestion, too, when I previously brought up the topic.
Still think that’s a good idea. The team book version of Legion is not one people seem to want anymore, or at least no one’s hit on a version of the Legion that really does anything for anybody. There’s going to be another Legion book sooner or later, and it can’t hurt to try something different…I mean, what, you might end up with another dead Legion book if the idea doesn’t pan out? Or maybe you might have something that has a little staying power? What’s to lose, really? Other than money, creative efforts, market value of a DC property which has been adversely affected by yet another cancellation, so on?
- Back to that collection: Wayne asks if we have to inventory all the toys that came with this collection. In this case…no, not really. Our perusal of the toys, an informal inventory, revealed a handful of figures sans accessories that we might be able to sell for a couple of bucks each. Haven’t really made the time or space to price these things up and put ‘em out for sale…they’re low cost, low priority items, which we got essentially for free, and we haven’t really dealt with them yet because there are always other things occupying our time at the shop. The investment in this collection, aside from employee costs in processing and space taken up by storing the boxes, is minimal.
Having looked more closely at the toys, we’ll probably keep a handful of the usable stuff and dump the rest, either in the trash or in an eBay auction titled “BIG BOX OF CRAP – cheap! L@@K H@T” just to get it all out of my hair. Even the box of little accessories probably isn’t worth the trouble or mess, and may go on the eBay too. Someday. When I have the time.
- Pal Dave is starting a new feature on his site: “I Had That!” Nostalgia ahoy from one of the best comic/pop culture bloggers out there.
I may or may not be in Low Content Mode this week, but I’m certainly in Low Content Mode today, hence:
- Congratulations and / or my sympathies to my blogging brother Tim on his ten year reign.
- Employee Aaron’s wife Kempo has drawn Judge Dredd. If this is how he appeared in that most recent movie, maybe it would have made money.
- Yes, I’ve seen the Onion article. And they’re wrong; those are the only two movies. Well, and The Spirit, too.
So it’s been a while since I last bought an X-Men book, and I had absolutely no intention of picking up Amazing X-Men
until I actually held it in my hand. I’ve liked writer Jason Aaron’s work in the past, I enjoy Ed McGuinness’s art, and I have enough fond memories of the classic Dave Cockrum Nightcrawler mini
, which the cover and parts of the story somewhat invoke, to decide to take it home. It’s a light enough adventure, with minimal wallowing in current X-continuity that even a dabbler like me can dive into the setting with only the slightest exposition. And then there’s the bonus oddball theological aspects that always crop up when you have superheroes bouncing in and out of the afterlife, which can be embarrassingly campy when handled poorly
, but goofy and fun when handled right, like here. Well, they’ve got me for five issues, anyway, which is how long this initial arc is apparently going to last. We’ll see what happens when the inevitable crossover tie-ins begin to invade, but I am going to continue hoping this remains a fun Nightcrawler book, the other X-Men just supporting characters, becoming a solo title in all but name only. I’m not going to bet on it, but it’s nice to think about.
In other news:
- How Did This Get Made is an entertaining podcast where the comedian hosts of the show spend an hour shouting at each other about a different terrible movie every couple of weeks, and it’s always hilarious. This week the film of choice is Daredevil, and some of you may be interested to note that comics writer Ed Brubaker (whom you may recall wrote the Daredevil series for a while) joins in on the fun, bringing his funnybook knowledge to the proceedings.
- Hey. Hey, you. Awesome Hospital is back with an all-new two-part adventure. Go check it out.
So I should probably note that I wasn’t ill, or in dire straits (or even in Dire Straits) over the last week, given some of the concern I’ve received of late over my brief hiatus. I appreciate the comments, the emails, and folks popping by the store seeing how I was doing, but I assure you, everything’s fine. There was some house stuff, some troublesome appliances, and plenty of general “life getting in the way” type things that simply kept me from devoting time to the worrisome endeavor that is my website. It is nice to know that people do care, and I thank you kind people for your attention.
One event that occurred over the weekend was a small comic convention being held at a local library. We sent Employee Timmy over with some kid-friendly books and merchandise for Seth’s dealer table:
…which was right next to the Ralph’s Comic Corner table (not pictured) run by Ralph and his wife. In terms of actual immediate profit, it wasn’t the most…financially successful thing we’ve ever done, but we weren’t really expecting it to be. We made some money, but in terms of advertising it was quite
successful, plugging our respective shops (well, basically the same shop…Ralph’s handles the old comics, Seth’s handles everything else) to plenty of new faces, and hopefully we’ll see them pass through our doors.
In addition, Sergio Aragones was the guest-speaker at the con, and alas I wasn’t able to be there in the evening for that event, but both at the shop and during my brief presence at the library I certainly heard from several people who were excited to see him. Pal Casie did report the next day that the talk was quite successful and attracted a good crowd, which is very good to hear.
Anyway, not bad for a first try at a library-con here, and we look forward to doing it again. Plus, when I showed up in the evening to help Timmy break down the table and take everything back to the shop, I got some heavy librarian-nostalgia vibes while transporting boxes through the back rooms. I almost felt like shelving some books. Instead I went back to the store and…um, shelved some books there. Or, rather, Timmy did. I supervised.
Another event this past weekend was the Halloween ComicFest, which is the industry’s attempt at creating a second Free Comic Book Day later in the year. Now we didn’t have anything really approaching the craziness of our last FCBD event, and I’m not sure the idea of “Halloween ComicFest” has really caught on yet with the general public (due to the lack of that all-important word “FREE” in the name), but we had plenty of people show up throughout the day and get themselves some free Halloween-ish comics, as well as availing themselves of our in-store weekend sales. So, you know, that was fine. I did a little pushing of it this year prior to the event, but I think next year I’ll try to find the time to go all out with costume contests and such to make it more of a thing. We are offering discounts to people who show up at the shop in costume, so at least there’s that! (I mean, real costumes, not just showing up in your regular clothes and saying “I’m dressed as a movie extra!” or anything like that.)
• • •
In other news:
- Pal Cully (whom you might have seen in my comments here on occasion) has started a Facebook page devoted to some of his favorite comic book covers: The Golden Age of Awesome, featuring images both incredible and impolite, with Cully’s brief commentary. Fun stuff…always a blast to look at some crazy old comics.
- Speaking of crazy old comics, those of you who remember this post of mine may like to know that the latest issue of IDW’s Haunted Horror, #7, reprints the story from which I took those panels. It is an awful, awful story, and by “awful” I mean “absolutely fantastic.”
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