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It’s a good thing I didn’t go after all those Miracleman variant covers like I was planning.

§ October 21st, 2022 § Filed under collecting, miraclemarvelman § 5 Comments


So I don’t have very many of those illustrated comic boxes for my personal use. I mean, I sell plenty of them at the shop (where I dubbed them “Fancy Boxes” on my signage for them, and the name seems to have stuck with my customers), but I haven’t much felt the need to grab too many for myself. I did make an exception for the Hellboy boxes, of which I bought three and immediately filled two, thinking the third would last me a whle. But, the joke’s on me as Dark Horse seems to have accelerated its Hellboy and Hellboy-adjacent funnybook output over the last year or three and now I’m wishing I’d picked up two or three more of those boxes.

Anyway, another design has come out that tempted me into owning, and as you may have guessed by the image leading this post, it’s that darn ol’ Miracleman what done the deed. It’s a nice pic they used, though I would have liked it they’d wrapped illos around the entire box and not just the two sides. Ah well. Despite that, I now have a fancy box of my own in which to stow my Miracleman goodies.

I haven’t yet gathered all my MM stuff together, as I’m currently in the midst of reorganizing my collection at home (“wait, didn’t I give up most of my stuff to the shop, how do I still have this much left”) and everything is still in the “total and utter disarray” part of the process. But I know I have the original 24 issues of the Eclipse run, plus the Apocrypha mini, the Miracleman Family mini and the 3-D special, plus all of the Marvel reprintings of same from a few years back. Not to mention that one-shot Marvel put out giving a history of the character, and all those black and white reprint comics (I passed on the hardcover archives).

And there’s the tangentially-related stuff, like the Total Eclipse mini. Plus, we’ve got new MM stuff on the way, starting with the refurbished Silver Age #1, leading into newly published Gaiman/Buckingham stories in a month or three. If that’s not all, there’s whatever Marvel is planning to do with the character (I predict the “Marvelman” version, versus the “Miracleman” version tied to that specific story) in the Marvel Universe itself, as hinted at by this one-shot from a few months back. Oh, and there’s the two new pages in, I think, Marvel #1000, right?

With new stuff on the way, I’m not sure how much more box space I’m going to need. Without having all the MM comics I own in front of me, I can only estimate that they would take up about…half a box, maybe? I don’t know how much more of the “Miracleman” story Gaiman and Buckingham have left to tell, and once Marvel starts doing separate Marvelman stories…who knows, maybe I’ll be wishing then I’d picked up more of the fancy boxes. God forbid I just put these in plain white boxes, what would the neighbors think?

Oh, you know, I forgot the oversized stuff I have, like that original UK Marvelman Special and Warrior #4 with the formerly-unreprinted MM story. And, ooh, wait, there’s the forthcoming Miracleman Omnibus, I’ll need room for that, too!

Almost forgot the Warpsmiths stories that popped up here and there, like in the A1 anthology! I’M GONNA NEED MORE BOXES

As a wise man once said, “it’s sort of an illness.”

“He is this lightning, he is this non-posable PVC figurine.”

§ August 3rd, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 1 Comment

So Multiverse Talk from last week is still on hold just a bit longer, as I forgot I had a very early morning doctor’s appointment Wednesday. As such, no longform late-night typing for me on Tuesday.

Instead, here are a couple of pictures of a recent acquisition, the 2003 San Diego Comic Con “Spawn + Miracleman Exclusive Two-Pack” from McFarlane Toys:


Why did I get one of these? Well, I’m all caught up in Miraclemanmania, as there seems to be a slight chance that I’ll finally see the next chapter in the story after waiting nearly 30 friggin’ years. Honestly, I’ll believe it when I see it, and maybe not even then.

ANYWAY, the toy. It dates from that very brief period when Todd McFarlane believed he had the rights to the character, slowly beginning the character’s intro in his Spawn comics. That whole hoohar is a mess and not going to be explained by me, The Blogger Trying to Go to Bed Early Tonight, so you can just Ask Jeeves or Alta Vista-it or whatever it is you kids do to look up mostly-true info on the internet.

Here’s the back of the package:


Note that Spawn is an “action figure” while Miracleman is a “PVC version” of the larger Miracleman statue produced by McFarlane around this time. No, I’m not on the lookout for the statue, too…we had one in the shop at the time, and, um, it was not to my taste. Also, I could be remembering incorrectly, but a vague memory just stirred up of some kind of issue standing the statue on its base? Maybe someone can help me with that.

As such, the figure is posed just as the statue was, and scaled down to this four-inch size, some of the aesthetic issues I had with the larger version are, naturally, reduced.


Okay, still looks a little odd, but it’ll do ’til a real Miracleman action figure comes along. Complete with “Final Battle with Kid Miracleman” playset, of course.

I wonder how many alternative names they went through before deciding on “Miracleman” (and how disappointed they were to find “Mighty Man” was taken).

§ July 15th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 2 Comments

Just a couple o’quick responses to comments on Wednesday’s post:

Daniel T sez

“I really hope MM doesn’t actually interact with the Marvel Universe. He so, so, SO doesn’t fit in there.”

My assumption (and I haven’t read any of the recent news stories about the character’s apparent involvement with the Marvel Universe) is that the version we’ll get there will be different from the “Miracleman” that was in the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman story. The latter is like “its own thing,” with a presumed narrative and planned ending. I suspect the Marvel Universe version will be named Marvelman and be more along the lines of the pre-Moore era.

Here’s a page which goes into detail on the character’s previous interaction with the Marvel Universe, mostly in that one Captain Britain story where we see MM’s grave. (The pic there says “Miracleman” but I’m pretty sure it said “Marvelman” in its original printing.)

That said, there’s a little aside in the original Moore issues, during the battle with Kid Miracleman, where various apocryphal events are described that may or may not have occurred in this event. I believe one of them involved MM traveling in time to encounter himself in the past? Something like that, don’t have the issues in front of me. Anyway, this version could make a side trip to the Marvel Universe as part of one of these weird happenings during that big conflict with KM. Kid Miracleman somehow gets loose on Earth-616, Miracleman chases after him, the rest of this Earth’s superheroes get involved, it’s a Whole Big Thing ’til they’re both returned back to Eclipse’s issue #15.

I mean, I have no idea. We’ll all find out eventually. It still smacks of DC surprising us with that Watchmen tie-in at the end of the DC Rebirth special way back when.

• • •

Thom H also sez

“It really is weird to see MM interacting with Marvel characters.”

Whenever Marvel has, like, a Superman-level character in the books (like maybe Sentry, or Gladiator, or, you know, even Superman his own self) it feels like it’s almost…milieu-breaking. Like, a Character Like This shouldn’t exist in the Marvel Universe, which is basically New York and other outlying environs, just with superheroes with more limited powersets. It’s like if, I don’t know, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie showed up on Babylon 5. Does that fanfic exist? If not, © © © ™ ™ ™ me.

That’s probably not exactly what you meant…I guess you mean more it’s a mismatch in general tone, a character used to examine and break superhero tropes suddenly hanging out with characters who traffic in said tropes. Yes, it’s weird, but I am looking forward to see how the Miracleman Universe mixed with the Marvel Universe works out. Could be fun, could be a car crash, I look foward to it either way.

• • •

And one last bit of business…Joseph has a lot to add about Watchmen Heroclix, so I’m just gonna point you to what he wrote. I will say the folks who sent me the Watchmen ‘clix set for review also promised to send along one of those Giant Dr. Manhattan Heroclix statue thingies, but alas, none ever arrived. I’M STILL OWED A GIANT HEROCLIX THINGIE.

No jokes about “GIANT THINGIE” and Dr. Manhattan, please.

If the property holders would allow it, Marvel could give us a Star Wars/Miracleman/Aliens/Predator/Planet of the Apes comic.

§ July 13th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, variant covers § 8 Comments

So as I may have mentioned once or twice in the past on this here weblog thingie that I enjoy Watchmen ephemera and other inappropriate tie-ins. Not that I think they’re important additions to the Watchmen story, but rather I enjoy observing how people who aren’t Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons and their Watchmen creative pals handle characters and situations that were never really intended for usage outside their original context. Sometimes it’s an ill-advised crossover comic, sometimes it’s a big ol’ box of Heroclix game figurines, sometimes it’s a poster featuring even more merchandise. But whatever it is, I’m invariably interested in it.

Similarly, I have an interest in Marvelman/Miracleman and whatever weird tie-ins exist beyond the original comics themselves. There’s not nearly as much as there is for Watchmen (I mean, there’s the button, and this wacky series) which makes things a little easier on me trying to track down all this nonsense.

One that nearly got past me was Marvel’s one-shot Timeless, which hints at a coming meeting between the Marvel Universe and Miracle/Marvelman. By the time I found out about it, all my copies were sold out, which actually worked out since they eventually released a reprint with a nice Miracleman cover by its current-if-decades-interrupted artist Mark Buckingham.

Which leads me to why I called you all here today. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the initial Moore/Garry Leach revival of the character, pairing ol’ MM with a variety of superheroes on variant covers of their titles. I know, I know, I’ve said in the past that I hate these misleading cover images featuring (sometimes) the stars of the book with other folks who don’t appear inside. But I am weak, and have decided that I need one of each of these. “But Mike,” you ask, “why not just download the images from Marvel or wherever instead of taking home even more comics,” and my reasoned response to you is “SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP.”

Anyway, here are a few of those images…I’m quite taken the X-Force one:

And this Captain America one is nice and cheery:

This one is quite busy:

And…I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine:

These are just a few of the many MM variants that are heading our way, and at least a couple make me wish we’re getting actual team-up stories inside (“Miracleman and Sam Wilson go out for a nice flight around the city.” “Wolverine finds himself with a tiny Miracleman lodged in the side of his head.”) but I guess that’ll have to wait ’til we get whatever was teased with that Timeless comic.

While finding these images, I did spot an old solicitation for the Miracleman: The Silver Age #3 from early 2016, which was going to feature at long last the new Neil Gaiman/Buckingham chapters of the story they’d started way back when at Eclipse Comics. Well, apparently at the end of the year we’re finally getting those long-promised stories, no, honest, we mean it this time. Back in 2016, one of the covers promised for that #3 was a “Hip Hop variant,” which alas had no art available with the solicit, but there was this Skottie Young cover that I hope gets offered again:


Once Gaiman/Buckingam finish their run, give Young the book. Or if the Miracleman story has come to its conclusion, have Young redraw the entire series. I’d read it, though the redone childbirth issue would be something else.

Garry Leach (1954 – 2022).

§ March 30th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, obituary § 5 Comments

Admittedly, I bought that Miracleman #1 Eclipse put out in 1985 because I was totally in the bag for Alan Moore comics. Knowing he had a whole big thing going on in England long before he wowed me my beloved Swamp Thing comic made me want to get my mitts on anything that eventually made it over the ocean and into my local shop.

That first issue of Miracleman did not disappoint, seeing Moore take a Captain Marvel (“Shazam,” to you young folks) clone and work what was to me mostly (cough) unprecedented twists on classic genre formulas.

But what stuck with me the most from that first issue, what seared into my brain and made me anticipate the following issue more than just about any other comic I’ve ever read, was this pic right here:


Miracleman’s former young partner, Kid Miracleman, having never said his “magic” word to change back to his normal human identity of Johnny Bates, is now grown up, his superpowered body having evolved into something terrifying as it aged. There he is, just hanging in the air, charged with energy, leering at his intended victims, made all the more terrifying because he’s just wearing regular people clothes, not a skintight emblem-adorned costume with a flowing cape.

Who drew that image? Who was responsible for putting that weirdly offputting yet compelling scenario into my eyeballs, making me ponder it for a month as I awaited the next chapter, making me remember it even now, nearly forty years later?

That Garry Leach fella, that’s who.

He was only on the Miracleman (or as it known originally, and I’m sure you already know, “Marvelman”) stories for a few installments, before Alan Davis took over. However, he established the look, the dark, mundane, and near-depressing world of the strip, where the garishly-clothed Miracleman should stand out in stark contrast, but still feels…reduced, in a way, pulled into the real world and away from the kid’s comics in which he was born. A brilliant trick, one that definitely sold the kind of story Moore was trying to tell.

Of course Leach did far more than these Marvel/Miracleman strips, but it was this comic that had the greatest impact on me. Someone on Twitter had posted the two pages that lead up to that pic above, in the original black and white printing as it appeared in Warrior in the UK, and those 40 years between seeing Eclipse’s color reprint and today just washed away. It was like seeing it again for the first time…just as powerful as it ever was.

Thanks, Garry, and so long.

A dream of variants.

§ February 7th, 2022 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, variant covers § 6 Comments

Okay, I had planned to jump back into Variant Cover-age Mondays here on the site again, but as I was working on the planned subjects for said post, I realized I didn’t have the info I needed to properly put them in their retailing/collecting context. So, let’s have that one sit in the oven a little longer.

Instead, I’m going to go on a variant tangent, as well as touching another popular topic on this here website, and take notice of this forthcoming variant for the Marvel Comics one-shot Timeless:


Due out in a couple of months, it plays up the fact that (spoiler, I guess) a character has visions of the Miracleman (or is it?) logo, revealed at the end of the story. I found out about that particular twist just in time for me to have sold out of my last copy…I did get a restock of some of the variants, but none of those did anything for me. And the forthcoming 2nd printing features that awful Punisher redesign, so a hard pass on that.

But that third printing? With ol’ MM front and center? Drawn by Mark Buckingham, the fella who illustrated Neil Gaiman’s truncated run on the character? Yes sir, that’s for me.

Now Miracleman at Marvel has not had an easy time of it. First, Alan Moore asked that his writing credit be removed (replaced by “The Original Writer”). Then the comics themselves were bloated, expensive messes, featuring the comics people actually wanted to read, backed up with extra editorial pages and reprints of “pre-return” Marvelman stories that nobody really wanted. And then of course there were the printing screw-ups, which, by the way, Marvel never did reissue corrected copies of that comic. Plus there’s the fact that the promise of new stories picking up from where the original series left off (with Eclipse Comics going out of business) was never fulfilled.

Well, Marvel put a lot of cash and time into straightening out all the rights issues and getting the character under their umbrella, so I guess they need to get their money’s worth. Now whether this is a new version of Marvelman (separate from the Miracleman comics by Moore and Gaiman), still called Miracleman but again separate from Moore/Gaiman, or (the most hilarious option) the next chapter of that Moore/Gaiman story, with MM dipping into the Marvel U. between installments of his own book.

I have no idea what will be the case, of course, and one wonders what kind of a fit MM would have in the Marvel Universe, even if only temporarily (see also: DC Universe and Watchmen). But we’re either getting an ongoing series with the character out of this, or (crossing fingers) those new stories from Gaiman and Buckingham picking up from where they left off decades ago will finally see the light of day.

Anyway, writing about this reminded me of the limited-run non-3D editions of Miracleman 3-D Eclipse offered way back in Ye Olden Tymes. This article seems to have that pretty well covered.

So anyway, as I was saying….

§ August 26th, 2019 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, publishing § 5 Comments

Sorry for the extended hiatus, pals…my eye isn’t *quite* back to where it was before the last incident, but it’s getting there. Now all I have to do is try to remember where I left off.

jmurphy mentioned in the comments from my last post about reprinting the unreprinted comic book series:

“Nearly one-fifth of the way through the 21st century, and Print-On-Demand can’t handle this? One of Warner’s other subsidiaries uses On-Demand technology for out-of-print audio CDs and movie DVDs. Books can be printed on demand, maybe someday the technology will be applied to comic trades as well.”

I’m pretty sure it has been, to some extent. I believe at least a couple of Rick Veitch’s original graphic novels available through Amazon (Boy Maximortal and Rare Bit Fiends), and surely there must be other examples. Turan thinks that ownership shenanigans may give some folks cold feet about doing something similiar, but I suspect wouldn’t be doing it if he thought his intellectual property was at risk.

Hooper triples down on this reprint idea:

“Finally thought of something I wish was/is collected in print – Impact’s Fly by Parobeck and Strazewski.”

Hey, did I ever mention I once met Len Strazewski? Years ago he came into my former place of employment. Nice guy. Anyway, since this is a licensed title from Archie Comics and published by DC, I support it falls within the “non-Marvel/DC” parameters of the original inquiry as to what we’d like to see reprinted And Impact Comics as a whole, I thought, was pretty good. I had the complete set, including the looseleaf Who’s Who binder pages.

Anyway, The Fly is a nice suggestion, and it’s a shame that any Mike Parobeck work is out of print. I was quite partial to The Jaguar as well. In fact, I think there was a lot of solid work in these comics, and if there’s any consolation, at least they should be cheap if you happen to find them in any shops. I’m not even 100& sure I have any in my shop right now.

The King of the Moon proclaims

“I’ve got a cool idea, they could finish MiracleMan”

Oof…again, it’s a Marvel property now, but it started out as someone else’s so we’ll let it slide in there. Yeah, it’s too bad that it all started out as such a big deal and then just kinda…went away. I suppose we’ll see the new, hopefully concluding issues of Miracleman eventually, then reprinted in collected editions forever and ever until Marvel inevitably lets volume 2 fall out of print, requiring anyone waqnting to complete their set of the books to go pay stupid prices for it on eBay. I mean, I’ve waited this long for the story to continue, I suppose I could wait a little longer. Not too much longer, though, I’ve probably only got about 25 to 30 years of life left in me, so let’s get cracking, people. Though every time I hear about Neil Gaiman getting a new TV or movie deal, I think “well, that’s Miracleman pushed back another year or three.” Good for him, honestly, but the comic fan in me is like “ACK, COME BACK TO US NEIL.”

Okay, my eye is twitching at me, so I’ll wrap up this post here. Oh, wait, I thought of another thing I’d like to see in print: Popeye from Charlton Comics. I know IDW did a lot of the Dell/Gold Key stuff, but I have a real soft spot for those ’70s Popeyes. Probably zero market for them right now, but we’re talkin’ ideally, not realistically.

THE EYE SAYS STOP TYPING. Back Wednesday. Thanks for reading, pals.

It’s a miracle I’m still talking about this, man.

§ June 13th, 2018 § Filed under miraclemarvelman, retailing § 1 Comment

Just a brief follow-up on MIRACLEMAN TALK (from this day and this other day)…I did ask my former boss about the comic and the relative scarcity thereof, and once again I called upon his powers of recollection regarding his comic orders from decades ago.

To the best of his memory, while in general his Miracleman orders had dropped as the series went on over the years, his numbers hadn’t varied that much during that end run by Moore and Totleben. In other words, he didn’t suddenly cut orders on #15, purposefully making that the “rare” issue. While delays and such did affect sales a bit, Ralph said that he quite liked Miracleman and wanted to support it. It was generally agreed that the likely explanations for that one issue’s relative scarcity was the reputation it had garnered when it was new and on the shelf, thus bumping up sales to curious readers who hadn’t been following the title before, and in the years that followed said reputation kept the comic out of circulation as, to repeat what I’d said before, it was “hot and rare” because it was “hot and rare” – an assumption of collectability that fed into itself.

Related to the former assumption that some of those #15s that were bought as one-off samplings of the series by folks who didn’t otherwise read the comic is the idea that many of those particular comics were just simply lost or discarded — “ah, I just have the one” [tosses it into the trashcan], that sort of thing. Or perhaps they’re still there, buried in neglected short boxes out in the garage, with tools and pieces of wood and that old tire pump that doesn’t really work all that well but you never seem to get around to buying another one so the old one will do for now, all piled on top of the lid. That’s just talking about the people who dipped in and out again buying the one issue, inflating those rack sales…I’m sure there are plenty of full runs of Miracleman out there equally languishing. I mean, I know I have a set of the series tucked away for another reread after I actually catch up on all the recent comics I’ve not had time to read yet.

Anyway, the scarcity of #15 was borne out by his recollection (and mine, from my years tending the comics mines at that shop) that as far as backstock storage went, Ralph still had leftover unsold stock on most of the Miracleman issues, but didn’t have any #15s. Without cycle sheet information tracking sales at the time, that was our only real indicator of the increased demand for that one issue over the ones around it. Now, whether that was specifically from rack sales or just secondary market demand, that’s hard to say today. (Eventually most of the rest of the stock was sold off, too, as Miracleman went through occasional fits of demand over the years…and of course with the advent of eBay, the stock depleted even further).

So there we go…plenty of assumptions and some distant memories…nothing but the coldest, hardest facts here at Dubba-U Dubba-U Dubba-u Dot Progressively Ruined Dot Weirdcountrycode. Also, as I was talking to Ralph, the topic came up of, as I said, cycle sheets, plus the actual process of ordering back in Ye Olden Dayes, so look forward to that, and more Comic Crash Talk, in the next day or so.

“BLOGGER SHALL NOT KILL BLOGGER.”

§ June 5th, 2018 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, marvel, miraclemarvelman, retailing § 2 Comments

It’s been a long week for me already, and it’s only Monday night/Tuesday morning as I write this, so…well, let me just cover a couple of things:

First, regarding the seeming scarcity of Miracleman #15 that I was discussing when last we met, a discussion with pal Andrew on the Twitters put me onto the Google search for any print run information. This site here seems to have come up with what they call a “rough estimate” of 37,000. Not sure entirely how they came by that number, but it seems reasonable enough to me, given the publisher, the time period, and so on. Now, how many of those copies are still extant, or even in circulation, I’m not sure…that website labels this particular comic as “common,” and I suppose, despite the relative difficulty in the past of turning up copies in stores, there always seem to be plenty on eBay, and I suspect after all this time the number of people looking for it has declined, while the number of available copies have perhaps increased. I mean, I’ve seen two copies pass through my store within the last year or so, while is quite the improvement over the past decade or three of my observations.

Second, speaking of rare comics:


Definitely the first time I had one of these in my hands. Was looking forward to having that iconic cover in my case, but didn’t have it in my possession nearly long enough…like, a few hours at most? Anyway, it’s off to a happy home, but it was neat to have it around at least for a little while. There was an original Hulk #6 in the collection too that also sold, but alas, didn’t have time to take any pictures of that one. As per usual for the original Hulk series, it was a little worse for wear…I bet some mint copies exist somewhere, but never among the many copies I’ve seen over the years. Ah well.

Third, I may again be a little light on content this week, for which I apologize. Still more health things I’m addressing, but I should have another post on Thursday, and then with any luck, a new End of Civilization post next Monday. There, I’ve typed it, I’ve gotta do it now. THAT’S BLOG LAW.

I’m not entirely sure how Alan Moore could disguise himself, frankly.

§ June 1st, 2018 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 4 Comments

So the other day I purchased a small collection of Miracleman from Eclipse Comics, including what I tweeted as “the hard-to-find #15,” which is pictured below:


Almost since its release, it’s been more-or-less accepted that Miracleman #15 has been the most difficult to find, which is borne out by my experience over the last few decades, as all the issues around it would regularly turn up, but not that fifteenth one. The price in the Overstreet Price Guide tends to reflect that assumption, with #15 listed much higher in value than the issues around it.

This is not a thing I’ve really looked into or thought about over the years. I mean, I had some general assumptions about Why This Was, mostly involving…well, let me get into that in a second. First, let me point out this tweetery from Twitter pal Tom, who noted


Now, 1963 I would argue is a slightly different situation…this was a ’90s Image comic during the whole boom/crash of the market, and the occasional urge to over-order on certain titles still hadn’t been driven out of retailers’ habits. I mean, yes, the promise of A New Alan Moore Project certainly helped bump up numbers, but being A New Image Comic probably helped, too. Also, the fact that 1963 wasn’t a “serious” superhero comic, y’know, drove down demand from those folks who insisted their superhero funnybooks be SERIOUS BUSINESS. And it was notoriously an unfinished series, with the never-released 1963 Annual, and that drove down aftermarket sales as well. (Okay, not that Miracleman didn’t end on a still-unresolved cliffhanger or anything, but at least Moore’s segment came to a conclusion.)

So, why is this particular issue of Miracleman so hard to find? As I was about to say eariler, my personal belief for the cause of its scarcity was its hyped-up reputation for being a particularly dark and violent superhero battle, graphic and unpleasant and totally unlike anything we’d seen in superhero comics before. Even previous issues of Miracleman, with its moments of graphic violence, weren’t a patch on the horror so disturbingly illustrated by John Totleben. As I vaguely recollect, there was at least some promotion of the title as such in the fan press and Eclipse’s advertising, which surely attracted buyers beyond those who regularly read the title.

Which brings me to another possible answer, and one that I initially replied to Tom with…that despite all the hype and anticipation, orders may have been lower than normal. Miracleman was a comic that had been plagued with delays…which may have caused retailers to drop numbers believing that lateness would affect potential sales. Remember, this was back in the day when late shipping books weren’t nearly as common as they’d be in succeeding decades, with, you know, three years between issues an’ all. Something consistently late-shipping would normally see attrition in sales, Alan Moore or no Alan Moore.

Now, the problem with this assumption is that I don’t have ordering/sales records for my old place of employment at the time. I’d need to talk to my old boss and see if he can recall, but this is still 30+ years ago. What I’m working on is my knowledge is how I’d approach the problem of a late-shipping book, at least in the context of the 1980s marketplace, vs. the somewhat more lenient comics market of today. I’m sure I would have cut orders…maybe not by much (it’s still Alan Moore, at the peak of his initial Alan Moore-ness) but as someone running a store and maintaining a budget and juggling what I can afford and not afford, that’s the call I would likely have made. Now of course with 20/20 hindsight we’re all “you should have ordered a million of these and perhaps fewer of ALF #9″ but what’s done is done.

Another possible answer, which has its own problems with I’ll come to in a moment, is the simple fact that people are holding onto their copies. The fact that this issue has this “mystique” about it, that it goes for a lot in the secondary market, becomes in a way a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s hot and rare because it’s hot and rare, and folks hold onto their copies because it’s hot and rare, making it even more hot and rare, and so on. Now this is a bit trickier, because it seems like if someone is aware enough of Miracleman in the first place to know about #15’s reputation, it would seem unlikely that they would unload their other issues of the series while hanging onto the one issue. Or maybe they already sold their #15 for a premium price (like on the eBay, where there’s no shortage of them) prior to the rest of the issues being brought to us for sale. Or maybe they never got a copy of #15 in the first place, having sold out before they could get to a shop and they’re now unloading their incomplete series onto stores.

Anyway, that’s just a few possibilities. I’m sure there are some I haven’t considered, like Alan Moore surreptitiously traveling from shop to shop buying up copies of #15 just to stick it to fanboys. And perhaps things are changing anyway, as, in the couple of Miracleman collections I’ve picked up since being at my own shop, #15s have been included. Maybe Marvel’s recent reprinting of the series has loosened some collectors’ grips on the originals…I even thought briefly about unloading my own run and replacing them with the reissues, though a couple of problems with the reprints made me glad I hadn’t.

In conclusion…Miracleman #15…I have one for sale here at the store in case anyone wants one.

Also, if you want to read more about Miracleman, I’ve definitely said plenty over the years, but Twitter pal Tom, whose blog I’d already linked above, also has his own Miracleman category you should peruse.

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