The End of American Comic Books?

With the major two American Publishers (Marvel Comics and DC Comics) Marvel Comics (Real) | Spiderman animated Wikia | FANDOM powered ...Dc Logo Png Transparent - Dc Comics Logo 1976 - Free Transparent ...largely pricing themselves out of the periodic comic book market, ($4 for a 22 story page comic? Are you on crack?! 🙂 ) and failing to engage any sizeable readership in the sub-thirty market, and losing readers in their dwindling above 30 market, they are kept around largely to just be an idea space/loss leader for the actually profitable divisions of the multinational oligarchies that own them.

That is not to say there are not brilliant writers and artists that work for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, but unfortunately they are crippled by a few things.

First a pricing structure (over $3 for a couple dozen pages of comics. 10 minutes of reading entertainment is moronic. It is a poor value for dollar when compared to just about anything else) , second a quality structure ( abhorent paper and cover quality. Poor and obtrusive placement of ads, especially when compared to better Indy publishers. Marvel Comics is especially culpable in this) and third a flawed editorial structure/mindset ( lets inundate the MARKET, dilute the brand and confuse and frustrate the readership, with too much overlapping, and conflicting, and redundant books, and events, and storylines. Let us not give prospective readers one clear on-ramp to our comics, a single Batman book to follow, or Spiderman book to follow, when we can publish 20 poorly selling, and market-fractioning books instead. And let us not place the books or advertise the books, places where our demographic could actually find them).

All three of these ingrained ‘sales’ structures of major American comics, seemingly just designed by moronic frat boys, rather than capable professionals who really love and want to grow/expand the medium.

Marvel and DC comics for the last few decades since the 90s, proving themselves inept at selling American Comics to Americans or anyone else. Think about it, Marvel and DC comics, these publishers, their inability to sell 100 thousand comics in a nation of 300 Million people, is an unprecedented level of failure. Especially with the hard work of selling these characters to the mainstream already done by the movies and TV shows.

If I were the parent companies, AT&T and Disney, I would wholesale fire the Marketing and Editorial departments of both companies, and bring in fresh blood with fresh ideas. Because, clearly the people currently running these divisions have not the slightest clue how to sustain and grow their print model/readership.

Now on the Independent comic book publishing Front, there are still promising companies, IMAGE COMICS, and some of the smaller companies such as Alterna and Albatross etc. these companies are really challenging the ingrained pricing and content and quality deficits of marvel and dc. these companies resembling more the mad creativity and broad appeal of marvel comics in its bronze age glory days, before it lost its way. before the peter principle took hold of marvel and dc, and they grew past their best and most useful state.

WHERE I BUY JUST ABOUT NOTHING MONTHLY FROM THE BIG TWO (Exception being Christopher Priest’s DEATHSTROKE) I buy just about everything from ALTERNA, and ALBATROSS and a bunch from IMAGE. Dark Horse, IDW, Ahoy, Aftershock, Titan, all companies putting out great books.

However a recent rash of buyouts of Indy comic companies, by deep pocket Chinese companies may bode ill for true Indy American Comics. and may signal an end to this current golden age of american comics.

AND YES, I WOULD ARGUE THAT LOW SALES AND OTHER ISSUES TO THE CONTRARY, WE ARE IN A GOLDEN AGE OF COMIC BOOKS, graphic literature, slims. cause when you get away from the reprehensible shenanigans and mismanagement and flooding the market tactics of the big two, the comics themselves, have truly never been better, or richer, with nearly every genre of book being published, and across the board, a higher level of story and art then ever before.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

Ahoy Comics | Expect More

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i grew up in the bronze age of comics, i love the bronze age comics, and there were some great comics. but across the board the quality and creativity is better today. you just have to push a lot of that noise of the big two out of the way so you can see eric powell’s hillbilly and goon, so you can see brubaker’s criminal, so you can see rucka’s lazarus so you can see walker’s bitter root, so you can see dingess’ manifest destiny, and the list goes on. and even in marvel, great comics are being made,  ta-nehisi coates black panther and captain america, jason aAron’s thor, montclare’s moon girl and devil dinosaur, g. willolw wilson’s ms. marvel and the list goes on, it is just marvel has made these books (for reasons mentioned) unpalatable to pick up monthly. it is better to wait for the collected edition and read the story that way.

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for monthly comics I really like the Alterna model in terms of pricing, and seeking old fashioned newstand distribution. And hopefully other companies can follow their homegrown lead so we continue to have American comic book companies not potentially censored by allegiance to foreign interests.

Hope you found the above slight tirade useful. It comes from a place of love for the medium, and love that a home grown, domestic comic book company… can endure.

If you want to buy the back issues of any of the books I mention, or subscribe to books (preorder new books, I highly recommend it) use the below link. You will get great books, and it will earn a few pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

https://www.mycomicshop.com/?AffID=200301P01

 

Streaming VOD Roku Fire TV Channel Watching Guide For Feb 2019 : HULU Edition!

HULU

 

1st Kudos to Hulu for, in an age where Streaming Services like Netflix are going price-hike crazy, actually offering a price reduction. Applause to HULU! This and Amazon Prime in my opinion are the best two Streaming services, in terms of both content, value, and ease of use/quality of the surfing experience.

Netflix lags FAR behind both channels, in my admittedly biassed opinion.

 

Okay onto the stuff you need to catch this month on Hulu (both old and new content):

https://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/legion-season-2/dxqfn3rxkaa06zq-jpg-large.jpgThe first season of LEGION was nothing short of game changing television. Writer/Producer Noah Hawtey with this and the 2nd season of FARGO proving himself one of the best writer/producers of this new Golden Age of Television. [To that list of best writer/producers of this new Golden Age, I would add creator Drew Goddard for DAREDEVIL Season 1 (Was not a fan of Seasons 2 and 3), and Cheo Hodari Coker’s brilliant and criminally underrated LUKE CAGE Season 1 and 2. While DAREDEVIL Season 1 is the better Action Show, LUKE CAGE is the better show, both writing and importance, for reasons way beyond, one person hitting another.]

I am looking forward to Noah Hawley’s feature film directorial debut LUCY IN THE SKY (slated for this year), but until then I will be enjoying the 2nd season of LEGION on Hulu.

 

 

John C. McGinley, Nate Mooney, Deborah Baker Jr., and Janet Varney in Stan Against Evil (2016)

The Boondocks (2005)

Into the Dark (2018)

INTO THE DARK? A hulu curated series of feature length Horror Movies?? Count me in!!!!!

Dwayne Johnson in The Titan Games (2019)

THE TITAN GAMES is definitely inspired by AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, and while not as compelling as that show, this is still a very good mid season fill-in for AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR.

I had my doubts about ATLANTA, but the first season made me a believer. A modern day renaissance man, Donald Glover is a creator to watch. And season 2 is now on HULU. This show and WAYWARD PINES are two shows that get painted with the TWIN PEAKS brush, as a measure of their strangeness; but both shows are far better than TWIN PEAKS ever was.

David Kellman, Robert Shafran, and Eddy Galland in Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Ted Allen in Chopped (2007)

Cities of the Underworld (2007)

The Tesla Files (2018)

 

Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Underground (2016)

 

The first episode of UNDERGROUND Blew me away! Fantastic use of anachronistic music, and camera movements to tell this tragic and triumphant tale of horror and holocaust. It is of course not easy viewing, but is rewarding and essential viewing. I did not like and do not rewatch the film ROOTS, but the film SANKOFA which covers the same story of the slave trade but does it with such heartbreaking beauty and incredible visuals, it becomes an undeniable work of art, rather than simply a dry recounting of facts, or a pity party. That is what UNDERGROUND also brings to this shameful part of American history. The struggle of those who fought against the accepted horror of their time.

In that way, how much more heroic are they… than we. I look forward to completing season 1 and 2 this month on HULU!

 

Rick and Morty (2013)

RICK AND MORTY- much to my surprise is animation genius. LOVE IT. Right up there with the VENTURE BROS. Looking forward to season 4 showing up on HULU.

Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Called both the best and worst movie of 2018, depending on which reviewer you listen to, I’m really looking forward to watching SORRY TO BOTHER YOU sometime this month. And based on the track record of certain critics, I think this one is going to end up in my loved it pile.

The Sisters Brothers (2018)

Joseph Sikora, Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton, 50 Cent, Lela Loren, and Sinqua Walls in Power (2014)

I LOVE this series, POWER, and am way behind on it. So HULU this month will give me the chance to finish season3 and watch season 4.

Scott Grimes, Penny Johnson Jerald, Seth MacFarlane, Peter Macon, Adrianne Palicki, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, and Halston Sage in The Orville (2017)

I loved the first season of the ORVILLE. Season two started off great, but the second episode written by Wellesley Wild and directed by Kevin Hook, wow, that was a stinker.

It is some of the worst television I’ve seen since the 4th season of HELL ON WHEELS. Meaning really god awful, editor-less and rambling and self indulgent, please-fine-me-the-remote-fast-forward television. :). The odd thing is with just a less heavy handed delivery, no need for multiple hit us over the head holo-deck scenes, it could have been a good episode. the message was sound, the delivery unfortunately over indulged.

I will be very pleased not to see the name Wellesley Wild or Kevin Hook on any upcoming Orville episodes. 🙂 . Because other than that misstep, it has been a great and balanced show, not over doing the comedy and letting the drama shine thru when called for. And the visuals/ set and ship design and CGI, are just stellar.

It is the best STAR TREK on TV since the turn of the century. Wow. Let that sink in. 🙂

Castle Rock (2018)

Runaways (2017)

Kelsey Grammer, Russell Hornsby, and Rachelle Lefevre in Proven Innocent (2019)The premise of this show, addressing wrongful convictions, is I think very timely, and intriguing. Particularly in a witch-hunt/social media lynching America where people are found guilty and punished BEFORE trial, much less a verdict. In such an America where corporations the jury and the judges, rubber stamp social media verdicts, and special interests weaponize social media… a show about wrongful convictions… I’ll take a look.

Now the above are some of the top shows on or coming to HULU in February 2019, and reasons to give HULU a look this month.

So those of you who came just for the February 2019 STREAMING TV guide can leave now.

For those of you who want one of my inconveniently timed and inappropriately placed rants, 🙂 keep reading.

 

 

That last mention above, regarding the show PROVEN INNOCENT, made me ponder upon that subject.

One of the most idiotic postings I read recently, was this commenter piling on some guy accused of harassing a woman.

This guy was calling for the usual things the mob calls for, the accused to get fired, the accused to get stoned, etc. To which was pointed out that he knows neither the ‘claimed’ victim nor ‘claimed’ accuser,  that before taking sides and handing down his verdict, maybe this should go thru due process. Due process defined as If criminal… a court of law, if civil or corporate, a board of inquiry or a federal HR complaint.

When pointed out that there is a process for proving an actual crime or wrong doing, that perhaps has nothing to do with stirring up lynch-mob justice on Facebook or Twitter, and attacking someone who should be innocent till PROVEN guilty…. this guy’s response was….

 

“I TRUST WOMEN!!!!”

That was it.

Some woman he does not know, claims some horrendous deed was done to her, last week, 5 years ago, 20 years ago, and this guy takes it as gospel and attacks wherever she points.

You know where that also happened.

Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and 1693.

As well as the United States from the age of reconstruction through the 1960s, where many a body swayed from many a tree.

“ME TOO’, may be a great movement for healing wounds, and improving conditions.

However, it has no place deciding guilt or innocence.

Only facts should do that, not the baggage of the mob.

Here endeth the aside. 🙂

Favorite Purchase of the Day : NEGRO ROMANCE #1

 

Romance books as well as Comic Books in general really picked up steam in the post World War II years. The comics finding themselves picked up by everyone one from kids to teens to adults. GIs and their wives also making a regular audience for these comic books.

In the prosperous post World War II years America was riding high, and you can see it in everything from the cars to the boom in home ownership to the boom in the birth rate, to the boom in comic genres and publishers.

In an America where currently comics struggle to sell a 100000 issues, comics back then routinely sold upwards of half a million copies. The more popular titles in the millions.

Romance Titles were one of those lifted by the general explosion of comics. And mainstream comics, though another war had just been won, ostensibly for liberty and freedom, were still victim of an America cowtowing to Jim Crow restrictions. Books that had people of color,could not be sold in some southern states if those depictions were not jingoistic or demeaning.

Evenhanded or respectful depictions of people of color, would likely get your book banned from that particular retailer. It was an extension of the same restrictions movies dealt with, that led to the ‘race’ movies of pioneers such as Director/Producer Oscar Micheaux in the 1920s and the creation of Black Film Production companies, and more importantly a Black owned circuit of theaters.

However Comics, while more popular than today, were still a niche medium and attempts to break the Jim Crow mandated codes against people of color, while valiant and brilliant… were unfortunately short lived. Especially where legal protections against mob behaviour/lynchings were virtually non-existant.

So that the NEGRO ROMANCE comic  existed at all (much like the earlier ALL NEGRO COMICS) is down to the courage and talent of people who at the end of the day just wanted to tell good stories, without the Minstrel Show trappings of the time. That the book lasted two issues before being literally white-washed, removing characters of color and renaming it, is unfortunate.

But at least we had those two issues. And Thanks to Karl A. Therrian, after 70 years of being  lost from the light of day, these issues, along with ALL NEGRO COMICS are currently available.

I could not be happier to own these reissues, in FANTASTIC condition of these extremely rare comics. Get them while they last.

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https://amzn.to/2M5427P

I will cover the book in more detail in an upcoming post.

However, I would strongly suggest not sleeping on these books. Yes, you can buy them from various people, but it is apparent the love and care that Karl A. Therrian puts into his reissues that sets them above the competition.

Buy it while available.

December 1st to 2nd Youtube Roundup : Dr. Von Chilla + Price Increases+Bendis+ Social Justice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gswkW9as0M4

 

Under the heading “Don’t drink and Youtube” 🙂  – Dr. Von-Chilla went on a bit of a tirade regarding people speculating on comics and buying comics based on movie, tv news. Which I can get behind his feelings on that.

He also threw in there, ‘Brown chicks taking over for white guy superheroes’, which I think is a whole separate argument that I don’t get behind.

Now I know Dr. Von Chilla is not one of those anti social justice warrior nut-cases, who were hating on creators like Mark Waid and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Dan Slot, but that issue he brings up of characters changing, is one of the arguments of this mob.

It is that faulty ‘anti social justice warrior’ thinking.

If you do not like social justice warriors, you should not be reading superhero comics, because Superman, Batman, and Captain America in their origins were Social Justice Warriors. Before there was a term for it, these characters in the Golden Age were taken it to the fat cat businesses and corrupt syndicates and regimes that were sticking it to the little guy. From slum lords to Nazis the comics of the 1930s 1940s were all about saying things about what was wrong in the world. Far more courageously I might add, than most books do today.

So to hate on today’s comics for doing the same thing is to be disingenuous at best, and a moron at worst.

Now that’s me going on a tirade against people with an issue with Social justice concepts in comics. Here’s the thing, not all comics are for you or for me.

We have our preferences and there is nothing wrong in wanting to stick to that. What is wrong, is to not allow others there preference.

If the publishers can sell new characters to new populations, great for them, if they can spike sales of existing story-lines, by changing up the character, great for them (changing up not being the same thing as a mashup, which is what they are doing wrong today). That is nothing new. After the first 110 issues of the original IRON MAN he got in a rut. Back in the 80s… the creators, to get him out of this rut, wrote a FANTASTIC very long storyline where Tony Stark, became an alcoholic, stopped being IRON MAN, and James Rhodes became IRON MAN. And those were STELLAR issues from the 1980s. For my money the only issues, along with the original 110 issues, worth owning.

The same thing happened in GREEN LANTERN, the book was going nowhere after Neal Adams’ departure in issue 89 (IT SHOWS YOU HOW MUCH NEAL ADAMS BROUGHT TO THE BOOK AND THAT HE WAS A HUGE PART OF THE CREATIVE DIRECTION, BECAUSE WHEN HE LEFT EVEN THOUGH THE WRITER DENNY ONEIL STAYED, THE BOOK WAS UTTER CRAp. THE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS STORYLINES THAT MADE AND STILL MAKE THEIR PARTNERSHIP SO GOOD, WENT BY THE Way-side AND THE BOOK DEVOLVED INTO A BORING BOOK. AND I LIKE DENNY ONEIL AS A WRITER, BUT WITHOUT NEAL ADAMS HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THESE CHARACTERS. I SPECIFY THESE CHARACTERS BECAUSE HE DID VERY WELL ON BATMAN AFTER NEAL’S DEPARTURE) .

THE BOOK WAS BAD A LONG TIME AND DID NOT GET GOOD AGAIN UNTIL ABOUT #172 when writer Len wein comes aboard and started to direct the book back to earth, and replacing Hal Jordan with John Stewart. LIKE ALWAYS THE LATE, GREAT LEN WEIN WOULD BE CALLED IN TO HELP RIGHT A SINKING SHIP, AND WITH THE HELP OF HIS ARTIST WOULD COMPLETELY REVAMP IT, AND BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO the series.

AND ONCE HE GOT THE BOOK winning again, WEIN would turn iT OVER TO ANOTHER WRITER TO CARRY THE book to the championships (to toss in a sports comparison).

HE DID THAT WITH THE X-MEN, fixing it and HANDING IT OFF TO CHRIS CLAREMONT AND HE DOES THAT HERE WITH GREEN LANTERN… fixing it and HANDING IT OFF TO STEVE ENGLEHART AND JOE STATON, till about issue 200, with wonderful Joe Staton art and great Englehart stories, along with the ONeil/Adams run… those are my favorite issues of GREEN LANTERN to this day.

SO IF LOOKING TO COLLECT GREEN LANTERN IN MY Humble OPINION YOU GET ISSUES 42 to 80, then 172 to 200. Use the following link(YOU GET GREAT BOOKS, AND YTOU EARN A FEW PENNIES FOR THIS BLOG TO KEEP THE LIGHTS ON. A WIN-WIN!):

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=179931&pgi=1&AffID=200301P01

 

https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680115.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/4749311.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679549.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/899707.jpgGreen Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 52Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 53Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 54https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680145.jpg

https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/681251.jpgGreen Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 57Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 58Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 59Green Lantern (1960-1988 1st Series DC) 60https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679569.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680191.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/680199.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/679611.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/612061.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/800569.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/1081095.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/867585.jpghttps://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/804069.jpg

And they were experiments, creators tossing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck. They were allowed that freedom in the 1980s, they should be allowed that freedom today.

The ones that do not appeal to you, don’t buy. Like me I no longer buy Marvel Comics in monthly form. I think to pay over $3 for Marvel’s horrendous paper quality, and obvious attempt to milk the speculator market rather than create good stories is asinine.  And their obvious editorial mandate to create new characters, mashup characters, to get the mindless speculators, to buy cosmic ghostrider, or phoenix wolverine, or Thor venom, or Hulk Wolverine; is not creative, it is actually them in real ways making of themselves a horrible parody and joke. The same for DC, to a lesser degree, ever since Bendis went over there. He’s a good writer, but I find him more trojan horse at DC, bring the fratboy idocy, and disrespect for readers intelligence and pockets, that he championed while at Marvel.

No sooner he is over there and DC raises its prices to $3.99. So yeah these days, with Marvel and Dc, if I hear good things about a story, I’ll check it out at my library when collected or pick up the trade online. But as far as monthly books, you just get a whole lot more bang for your back from Independents like Image, Dark Horse, IDW, After-Shock, etc. DC and MARVEl, the two companies that realistically can afford to keep the price point of new comics at $2.99 or less, are the ones driving the price up($4,$5,$6,$7 is unsupportable, when realistically speaking most of these books will end up in dollar bins in a few years. It is bad business from the big two.)

So these days companies like Alterna and Chapterhouse who sell books for under $3, are the ones I am happy to purchase everything they sell. For me they are the future of comics.

So alll that to say, there are hundreds of comics released every month, there is no shortage of Alternatives.

And quite frankly to expect Superman or Captain America of today to appeal to you the same way as the Superman of your childhood did, and never allowed to experiment or change that character is moronic.  Characters change, writers changes, the audiences they write for likewise change.

You hate slabbing. Don’t slab. You hate variant covers don’t buy variant covers. (Quick aside : I’m not a huge fan of either of those things. I think pressing comics, while it removes imperfections from the cover, is PROVEN to shorten the lifespan of the interior newsprint pages. I think it is people moronically pursuing short term goals, at the expense of the longevity of the actual book. People are going to unslab these books in several years and find pristine covers over deteriorating interior pages, especially as it relates to older books. Newsprint+moisture+heat=mistake. Every single time.

But hey  if people want to continue doing this even after being informed of the potential damage (every single person you see pressing on youtube, presses differently. Different ranges of heat, different amounts of moisture, different drying time before slabbing. I guarantee you 99% of the people slabbing comics are doing more harm than good, and are making a mold infused mess rather than preserving a collectible. It is all experimentation and guess-work with the lot of them.

If you were to do it perhaps to salvage a book that already had interior water damage, I would only use CGCs  original service, rather than one of these diy -let me get my iron out -guys. Also going through CGC you have some potential recourse through your insurance company  if things go wrong. Better than some of these guys who are doing pressing at their kitchen sink. Okay that may have been a long aside. 🙂 )

 You hate new characters or change to your existing characters, don’t read those characters. Read the 80 years of back issues, or choose new comics to support. It is not that effing difficult, it is not effing brain surgery, it only becomes a problem when you want YOUR choices to be the only choices everyone else has available. That is the problem I have with the anti social justice warrior nuts.

They think their right to hate something, should supersede someone else’s right to love something.

Don’t tell me the things you hate. Tell me the things you love, and that is how you move the needle.

It is what is great about the Youtube comic community. A lot of people sharing their loves, has inspired me to buy a LOT of books this year. People telling me what they hate, has not gotten me to drop a single book, or change a single purchasing decision. I decide for myself what is worth hating, and I hate very few things. I dislike a lot. I have no interest in reading books or watching tv shows about trans or gay characters. I’m not saying these books or Tv shows shouldn’t not exist,  OR THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT, but I have no interest in them IN MY COMICS OR MY TV SHOWS. So AFTER THE FIRST SEASOn of supergirl tv show (which i enjoyed) I dropped out of the second season, because it was too much soap opera bs about her sister coming out. no interest. same thing with arrow, mr. terrifics relationship i think is out of place and just detracts from the show, etc.

so instead I just find something I like, to watch or read.  SO while I may dislike or avoid many  things, I hate very few. Your hate is not something I catch from you, like the cold.

But tell me of the things you love, and that I will check out, to see if I love it too.

Dr. VonChilla, knows this. Because I have watched his videos where he introduces us to books he loves. And some of those books I’ve bought.

That’s how you change the world for the better Dr. Von Chilla… one great recommendation at a time.

 

 

Top Black Friday Shopping DEALS for Those Not in Debt! COMIC BOOK FAN Gift Edition!

If you are in debt, see my previous post. You should be using any free money to pay down or pay off your debt, not adding to it.

A simply essential Youtube channel for sensible money management tips is :

MINORITY MINDSET-

https://yt3.ggpht.com/CdRWgeqIDvjAWK7tus78G4gmmWc7sRRvr7wQaocxRQ02MEZS-iRz_CJCkEIP1S9DJg2S5sxCIQ=w1440-fcrop64=1,32b75a57cd48a5a8-nd-c0xffffffff-rj-k-no

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT3EznhW_CNFcfOlyDNTLLw/featured

https://theminoritymindset.com/

A lot of it is seemingly common sense, but if common sense was common, most of America would not be drowning in debt, and a person who did not win the popular vote would not be in the oval office.

So we can not have too many people… talking sense to us.

Obviously as a nation and a world, common sense bears repeating often. 🙂

 

Anything you buy, should not be bought on credit until any existing debt is paid on first.  If you can pay cash for it, after paying down on your debt, than go for it.

For the few of you who have done this, this list is for you:

For COMIC BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL/SLIM Fans:

First get the comic book fan in your life, quality bags, boards and tape. As a fellow collector I speak from experience, few things are as aggravating as a disorganized collection.

So let us start there, by helping the comic bibliophile in your life get more organized.

Every single comic fan needs comic book bags and backing boards, and typically never gets enough or the right kind for themselves.

I’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the ones to get:

Comic Book Bags AND BOARDS:

 

E. Gerber without a doubt is the name to trust in this hobby, and his MYLITES2 a must own. Get “standard size” as that will support not just today’s smaller comics but the older, larger bronze, silver and golden age comics. But plastic is not enough you will also need a backing board (preferably full back as it is acid free on both sides) to keep the books from getting damaged when stored or being moved.

Also with the board each bag can store two comic books, with the books facing out. Storing it this way actually better protects the books. Buy the bags and boards together and save money.

Get them here:

https://amzn.to/2TzXHES

 

TAPE:

Now, traditionally to close the bags a little bit of scotch tape was used, but that proved to be an issue as that tape would end up sticking and damaging the comic book, when it was removed or inserted into the bag. Some people use painters tape, but it defeats the purpose of having these books beautifully displayed in crystal clear mylar, if you are going to use unsightly blue tape to close the bags.

No, a good upgrade from both scotch and painters tape is two sided tape. There are several varieties one that works well for me is :

XFasten Double Sided Carpet Tape, 2-Inch x 30 Yards
All you need is 1 to 3 very small pieces, maybe 1″ x .5″, apply it not to the flap of the plastic bag, but the back of the mylar plastic bag, where the flap will seal, remove the film, close the bag, and tada you have an almost invisible, very non-obtrusive way to safely seal your comic book bags. And comics may be removed and inserted without risk of tape damage.
Get yours here:
Okay, we got you set with protecting the individual comic, now what do you store them in?

COMIC STORAGE:

There is arguably nothing more outdated about this hobby, than grown ass men and women filling their homes with these unsightly cardboard boxes. 🙂 Now don’t get me wrong, for many years I was one of these men. I think sometimes we go on inertia, and what worked for us yesterday, we continue with today and into tomorrow, unexamined.

And if you are still a kid, or even a bachelor, living by yourself, maybe that comic box fits your needs.  But maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you outgrow it.

The surest way to entrenched failure, is to not continually reexamine the constants of your life.

It is like people voting along party lines, or treating elections like a horse race, or a basketball game. Where we need our team to sweep, rather than putting the best person in the position. That is not the way. You have to always reexamine, on a case by case basis, who we love and who we hate, because everything changes.

Midterm elections, is an example.

I had several Democrats, a couple Republicans, a couple green party, because sometimes the label does not tell you who best represents your or your family’s or your community’s best interest. That is the problem with America, we are voting for the label, and not the measure or voting history of the specific man/woman.

All this highly political tirade, — hey its my thing, to say always be on the lookout for the better mouse trap.

And the standard comic book box or even the newer drawer box, may not be the better mouse trap for you.

 

ComicsDC: PR: Get $2 for your old empty comic box! Beyond Comics!Value of old comics | Comic book worth, appraisal & valuationOld Comic Books | eBay

 

Here in 2018 I have completely transitioned away from the standard comic book box for a variety of reasons. Cardboard is a nice home for bugs, particularly spiders, silver fish, etc.

I love watching those storage reality shows, and people grab these comic book boxes, and the boxes are stained and rotting away around the comic books. And even when brand new, it is not something for a more mature, tailored environment.

And while your comics may be safely bagged and boarded the cardboard box itself is a convenient home and meal and breeding ground for such pests. And whether a storage unit or your home, insects, particularly spiders, find a way. Especially if cardboard is involved. Now definitely keeping your collection in a temperature controlled location, with ceiling fans constantly gently moving the air, and dehumidifier material/desiccants (such as that derived from volcanic rock) helps. But until you remove the main attractant for humidity and moisture and pests, stacks of cardboard, you are fighting an uphill battle.

So what do you do instead? You replace the cardboard box. You put all that cardboard where it needs to be… in recycling bins.

There are 5 great options out there, to replace your outdated comic book box. Two display options and 3 portable options.They are:

IKEA Kallax 4 Shelving Unit Black-Brown

IKEA’S KALLAX is just wonderful for displaying books, graphic novels, and even bagged and boarded comics, to include certified CGC/CBCS sized comic books. I own six of the above Kallax cubes and they are one of the best purchases I have made.They look GREAT in any room, and display your collectibles beautifully as opposed to the horrendous traditional comic book box.

 

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2S6U9bz

 

Another great and essential storage and display unit, that also resolves the cleanliness and organization and appearance issues with traditional cardboard boxes, is the above CASA PURA METAL STORAGE SHELVING UNIT. I have the 4 tier unit, that is rated to hold 155lbs per shelf.

 

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2DUBYmi

 

Okay now while great for displaying your collection, the Kallax and Casa Pura storage units are not portable options. That is where the next options come in…

 

 

Muscle Rack MK131311-B2PK 11" x 13" x 13" Black Milk Crate (Pack of 2)

MUSCLE RACK BLACK MILK CRATE fits perfectly in the above KALLAX or is great stacked on the CASA PURA. Very reasonably priced and holds as many comics as the standard short box. Conservatively 150 bagged and boarded comics per milk crate. That means inserted into the Kallax you can hold up to 600 comics. And used 2 to the shelf on the Casa Pura you can hold at least 1200 comics with space in between for trades and hardcovers.

Made of hard plastic, you can toss away your stain and bug collecting cardboard box. As these MUSCLE RACK CRATES will not trap humidity (the enemy of paper based products) like your traditional comic book box.

Price them here:

https://amzn.to/2P1sRS6

Okay for strictly display needs, the above three items will handle everything you could want. They will turn your comic collection space, from a kids room, to an adults room, where your collectibles will not cause your significant other or guests to groan upon seeing it. The above items would be equally good for record or figurine or movie collections.

However, portability for the books you do not need displayed, but still want easy access to, and to be able to easily move them; you need something more. We will go over those last two options in the upcoming installment.

If you have found this post helpful, please like it up, spread the word, and use the associated links. You get great items and it generates helpful pennies for this blog.

Thanks! And more next installment!

 

 

Black Friday Shopping Dos and Donts!!!

Black Friday ‘Do’s’ and ‘Do nots’ basically boils down to the following sentence.

If you owe money on your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card, or other loan or bill, Black Friday rather than an excuse to buy cool stuff, should be a day to pay down more on your debt.

Now If you have money left over from your PAYCHECK, after paying down on your debt, and want to treat yourself to a great deal. please do.

But not if it adds to your cc debt. Only if you can pay it out of this week’s paycheck.

And that tip should be for any holiday or birthday. If you can’t afford to buy it outright, without adding to your debt, or pay it off in a month, don’t buy it.

 

 

TV Show of the Day : LUKE CAGE SEASON 2 by Cheo Hodari Coker

Cheo Hodari Coker’s 1st Season of Luke Cage was one of my favorite TV shows of 2016, right up there with the excellent Noah Hawley LEGION. They were each in their own way, game changing and ground breaking TV.

Mike Colter in Luke Cage (2016)

LEGION largely for its visuals and innovative storytelling, and Coker’s LUKE CAGE for in many ways being one of the few shows to offer a multitude of characters of colors in non-stereotypical ways, and with innovative roles, with unfettered storytelling. One of my favorite shots in the 1st season of LUKE CAGE, was four strong, upstanding women of color, captured in one great shot. Not as prostitutes, not as rappers, not as comedians,  but as heroes. Likewise their male counterparts were admirably done.

LUKE CAGE, the series, sings/rewards…  largely because of those conversation of books in the barbershop, those conversations on playwrights and writers. Those things, those conversations, that mostly uninformed people (who mainly know Blacks via the stereotypes they have consumed through mass media), would right off as preachy, or talky, or unrealistic, those are the conversations, that immediately sang for me, and clued me to the greatness of this show.

As someone who grew up in those Barbershops, those conversations are very true, to how many of us escaped the traps of the street, and found our way to something… better.

Always Forward.

If SEINFELD can be acclaimed for being, in places, a show about nothing, we should allow that same latitude to a serious show such as LUKE CAGE, that uses those seemingly frivolous nothings about the writers, and the artist, and the books, and the music; to say profound somethings.

Of All the Netflix shows, it is the only one that says something more profound, than the standard super-hero or for that matter action or drama tropes. It says something about the world outside our door, and how to meet it. Not preachy, not banal, and never losing the joy and beauty we can find, despite the dire days, and the dangerous nights.

It is the balance of crime and charm, violence and virtue, war and wit, that can sing, to those with ears. And it withstands repeated viewings better, because of all those layers you can view it on.

Cheo Hodari Coker’s LUKE CAGE is one of the best written and most innovative and ground breaking shows to come along in years for precisely this reason. It takes you the place all great writing should, beyond your prejudices, your assumptions, your comfort zone.

For my money it is one of the best of the Marvel/Netflix TV shows, right up there with the first season of DAREDEVIL. But edges it out, because I find the characters in LUKE CAGE, especially the protagonists, far more interesting and likable. DAREDEVIL’s main characters are various stages of unlikeable and annoying.

Add to that Coker’s plot has something valuable and timely and timeless to say about our world, that transcends bad guy fights good guy. There is a complexity to the storyline and the conflicts, that rewards repeated viewings.

Ten episodes in and that complexity remains for Season 2 of LUKE CAGE. It is not perfect, I can do with less Alfre Woodard, particularly her and the character of Shades getting intimate, I can really do without. I never really buy Shades attraction to Woodard’s character, and the more they try to sell it, the less it works for me. Also Alfre’s unhinged performance, while I get it.. she is Lady Macbething it up, for me it is too much. She is always in her twitches, and sputterings, always at eleven, always wildly and uncomfortably out of control, which for my own taste would have been better dialed back to 4 or 5. Also the poster for season 2 is absolute garbage, whoever came up with that poster should be fired. It is that inept of a poster. Right up there with the HANCOCK boxart and poster.

But those minor weakness aside, LUKE CAGE season 2, following strongly in the footsteps of Season 1 is crushing it; the story and performances shine, and like season 1 it has the best soundtrack of the year. Ten episodes in and I’m loving it… Grade: B+.

More to come as I watch the last few episodes.