Saturday, January 22, 2005
Rockheads #1 (1986) - art by Rich Sawyer
Friday, January 21, 2005
Suddenly, for no reason, a Warp Graphics promo poster:
So, among the many boxes of back issues we have on our shelves, we have a few that contain miscellaneous titles from the '80s to the present - titles that only ran an issue or two, or were the only title from its publisher, or (usually) both. Essentially, titles that don't have homes anywhere else in the other back issue boxes.
Anyway, the boxes for these particular comics were getting a little too tightly packed, and as I was adding another box and moving some of the comics around to loosen things up a bit, a sad thought stuck me.
I stopped what I was doing and paged through a comic that released one whole issue in the late '80s, and was, in fact, the only release from this publisher. "This comic," I thought, "represented someone's dream...someone put a lot of time, effort, and money into this, and probably thought it was the beginning of something big. And, now, all it turned out to be is yet another forgotten comic in a plastic bag in an old comic box."
Well, okay, my thoughts weren't that coherent -- they were more like "we're stuck with this stupid comic forever" -- but it still saddened me to think someone put all their hard work into something that's essentially lost. (Unless they have cases of unsold copies in their garage that they're still pawning off on friends and neighbors.)
I think that way sometimes about older comics, ones from the off-brand companies from the Golden and Silver age that are highly unlikely to ever be reprinted. For example, that Spunky the Monkey story...it was fairly clever, it was appealingly drawn, and it's totally forgotten except by sad old fanboys like me who happens to enjoy vintage funny animal comics.
None of the above applies to the approximately 7,000 worthless Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rip-offs and Dark Knight parodies that plagued the '80s. Most of those deserve to be forgotten.*
Your disturbing Batman image for the day. Oh, heck, have another.
* I said most - I know that there were a very, very small handful that were actually pretty good, Mark Martin's Gnatrat being the best of them.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Star Wars, new comics, and Mike freaks out.
Here's a old store story I was reminded of yesterday:
Several years ago, we had two cases of the oversized Star Wars movie adaptation treasury edition (technically, Marvel Special Edition Featuring... #1). I don't remember rightly how we got stuck with those turkeys, but we had 'em, and we were trying to get rid of 'em. We put a big stack of them on the counter, put a sign on them that read "25 cents each," and hoped for the best.
One day, I get a phone call:
Caller: "Hi! I recently damaged a friend's copy of a Star Wars comic, and I wanted to buy a replacement."
Me: "Oh, sure, which one was it?"
Caller: "Star Wars #1...it's really big, bigger than a normal comic."
Me: "Yeah, we got those...they're a quarter each."
Caller: "Uh, no, this is number one, it's a Star Wars #1, the large sized one."
Me: "Yes, I know, it's the oversized Star Wars #1. We got 'em. We got a lot of them. It's 25 cents."
Caller: "This is the Star Wars #1, it says Special Edition across the top. I don't think it's the same thing."
Me: "That's the exact same thing we have here. I swear to you, it's only a quarter. We're trying to get rid of them."
Caller: "But it's the collectible first issue."
Me: "They printed a ton of them...we have lots, and we don't want them. I promise you, it's the same thing you're talking about, and we're selling it for only a quarter."
Caller: "Um, okay, thanks anyway."
And that was that. I probably should have said, "oh, wait, I misread the price tag, it's actually $25" - that would have been less grief in the long run.
Before you ask...no, they're all gone now. Yup, only at a quarter each. We were also selling an overload of copies of All-New Collectors' Edition #C56 (the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali issue*) at fifty cents a pop. Makes you sick now, doesn't it? It does, me.
Anyway, I told you all that since I don't have a lot to say about new comics day - the Hellblazer: All His Engines hardcover was actually pretty good, though I don't see the reason for the hardcover treatment (aside from the forthcoming movie). We don't really learn anything new about the characters, there's a slight change in the status quo for Chas (though it could easily be ignored), and basically it's just a longer Constantine tale. Plus, I believe those are pages from the Hellblazer Secret Files reprinted in the back, detailing Constantine's history for the newcomer, at whom this book is presumably aimed.
Oh, and Adventure of Superman #636 continues to build upon situations from everyone's favorite mini-series event Identity Crisis, in way that's sure to tick off all the people who weren't ticked off before.
Plastic Man #14, more than any other issue in this series, felt like an animated cartoon. It's Plastic Man versus a mouse, and it's page after page of mostly wordless man-against-rodent hijinks. It does read very quickly, but it's a lot of fun, and Kyle Baker's art is always a joy to look at.
Invincible #19 came out this week, and this is the one series that I wait for the trade on. I think the industry will survive if I follow just one comic in TPB format only. Well, the books are attractively done, I like the extra material included, and the price is right. I'm really tempted to peek inside...but no...must...be...patient.
Demo Scriptbook - an attractive package, as we've come to expect from AiT/Planetlar. I'm not a big "scriptbook" person myself, but I'm sure there are Demo fans out there who would enjoy this peek behind the scenes.
Comics Journal #265 - now, I've been reading this magazine for over 20 years now, and it's so weird to see names of people I know suddenly popping up in there. Pal Dorian last issue, pal Ian** this ish...it's freaking me out, man.
* I sure wish DC would reprint this...and reprint it nice and big, just like the original, to show off that great Neal Adams art. Yeah, the story's dopey, but by God it's gorgeous.