San Diego, new comics, and misanthropy.

§ July 21st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on San Diego, new comics, and misanthropy.

Well, I don’t know how many of you are winging your way to the San Diego Comic Con as I type this, but alas, yet again I am not able to make it down there despite only being about a four hour drive north of the event. It’s probably just as well, as 1) I don’t really have the money for it right now, 2) that many comics in one location may drive my love for comics right out of me, and 3) I hate people.

I know pal Ian is on his way down, so hopefully he’ll come back with some nice war stories. I do get to live San Diego vicariously through some of my customers…a year or two back, I had a longtime customer of mine come in to show off his latest original art acquisitions from the Con. It was a piece he had bought from Jill Thompson, featuring the image from the cover of Death: At Death’s Door. I said, “hey, cool, you got Thompson to duplicate the cover art!”

Customer: “Noooo…not exactly.”

Me: “Really? It looks just like the cov….” (suddenly, it dawns on me) “This is the actual original cover art?”

Customer: “Yup.”

He paid a good chunk of change, too, but by golly it was worth it. It’s a very nice piece.

Usually some friends and coworkers bring back freebies from the convention for me…I accumulate pin-back buttons, and there’s no shortage of those at San Diego. I have an autographed Milk ‘n’ Cheese fridge magnet from there, as well as a couple Hellboy autograph cards with original Mignola sketches on the back. And pal Sean (AKA “Fleshhead” – you may have seen his handle pop up in my comments sections) usually gets me something neat…the Harvey Birdman wall clock he found for me was brilliant. So, basically, I stay home from San Diego and get a load of unnecessary stuff from the convention anyway. Ah, it’s good to have minions!

Anyway, if you’re going (or if you’re there already) have a good time!

Meanwhile, back at the comics ranch, I was dealing with a super-late UPS shipment: instead of having our comics in our hands 1 1/2 to 2 hours before opening, we got them 10 minutes before opening…and since this is San Diego Con Week, of course a lot of stuff came out. I’ve never seen so many manga books come in at once. Oy. And about a third of our Daredevil shipment had heavily damaged corners, which is frustrating. And then there’s the whole box of toys that never seemed to show up…though they’re supposedly on their way to the shop tomorrow. And I was fighting the beginning of a cold all day…there’s nothing like breaking down and counting new comics then pulling for the comic savers while having to break off every six minutes or so to blow a pint or two out of the mucous spigot that has somehow replaced your nose during the night. Yeah, I know, lovely image, but you’re better off reading it than I was dealing with it. (Back off, let me whine.) I’m on a combination of medications now, so I’m feeling a little better.

Usually on Wednesday nights, I like to do a little run-down of some of the week’s new titles, but I’m not sure really if that does anyone any good, really. Maybe I’d be better off waiting a couple of days and seeing if I have anything of real value to say about any of the new arrivals, rather than just spouting off a quick line or two.

Ah, heck, let me say a couple things, anyway:

Plastic Man #8 – those of you who didn’t care for the initial storyline in this series may find this one more to your liking, as PM finds himself suddenly confronted by vast shifts in comic book continuity! The opening gag (parodying a certain artist known for his painted-comics work) is a hoot…I’m sure the artist in question would be offended terribly.

Flash #212 – if super-characters in adult situations aren’t to your liking (and some of you really don’t like that, given the reaction to Identity Crisis), this issue of Flash will probably not be your cup of tea either. This issue focuses on Rogues Gallery member the Mirror Master, and has quite the disturbing mirror-image cover. It is nice to see at least a minor reference to the Mirror Master’s Animal Man appearances within.

Demo #8 – I would get thrown out of the He-Man AiT/Planetlar Club if I didn’t at least mention that this came out this week.

Spaghetti Western – this is the new book from Scott Morse, and boy it looks good. Alas, I left it behind at the store, but now I think I need to own it. pal Dorian bought a copy, so I’m sure we’ll see a review or something from him soon.

normalman Twentieth Anniversary Special – I hate being able to measure parts of my life in 20-year spans, and yet it really has been 20 years since I first bought normalman off that new arrivals rack. Still my favorite Valentino work (I really haven’t been able to get into anything else he’s done…nothing against the guy), my attachment to the normalman character is enough to pick up this comic, even though it seems to go to the “let’s make fun of comic conventions” well that has been gone to a few too many times already.

Actually, it would be nice to see the original normalman series in a trade again…Slave Labor did a black and white trade back in ’87, which is nice, but I think this book really needs to be see in color. And I was researching that bit of business (about whether anyone was doing a new trade, not about old trades…I have the old trade), I found out that the previous normalman comic, normalman/Megaton Man, came out 10 years ago! Oh, I grow old, I grow old.

Okay, that’s enough. I’m hauling my heavily-medicated carcass to bed. See you tomorrow.

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