Haul / Ebay Unboxing and Why Variant Covers are destroying the Comic Book Market / Experience!

THE BEST OF DC WAR COMICS AMERICA AT WAR  Edited by Michael Uslan

One of the great discoveries of 2018, in addition to me getting back into old back issue comics, and purchasing my first Golden and Atomic age comics, is my jumping into conflict or combat or war comics, with both feet.

The first conflict title that really grabbed me was OUR FIGHTING FORCES STARRING THE LOSERS. I have been reading comics for decades and somehow I managed to remain largely clueless to these comics. I mean I had seen war and western comics as a kid, and had no interest in them as most kids of my age at the time.

I think those books are very much something you have to grow to appreciate, much like the art of Jack Kirby.

But here many decades removed from that kid, this year I stumbled across the amazing run of Joe Kubert covers for OUR FIGHTING FORCES, and they just blew me away.

In an age where a lot of morons are using gimmicks like variant comics to sell multiple copies to a dwindling reader base , and publishers are playing into the gambling aspect of the speculators, who don’t even read the comics, they just oooh and ahhh over what amounts to pinups on the cover, rather than in the book where they used to be.

To the point where you have covers that are completely devoid of typography. Typography is part and parcel, of what makes s great, iconic cover. Another part of being iconic, is there being only one image,  per issue, a popular shared point of reference that an entire public can reference.

If you say Amazing Fantasy 15, or X-men 94, or Hulk 181, what makes all those issues so iconic, is they  bring up one agreed upon, and shared image in the minds of the audience.

Now covers have a minimum of 2 variants and often 10 times that many. At that point you have stopped selling stories, and are in the business of selling pin-ups. And if all you want is a pin-up, just download the damn cover images. Do not get me wrong there are some wonderful images being created for these ‘variant’ covers. But they are pin-ups or posters, they are not covers. They act against the very idea of a cover, which is a single, memorable image you can identify with that story. You weaken your own product, by dilluting and muddying the waters, with multiple covers, or multiple endings, or multiple versions. Plurality being the enemy of the iconic.

It is the reason modern comics are a speculator’s bubble, poised to burst. The whole market, much like the 90s, is built on speculation, and chasing the very transitory and ephemeral nature of what is hot. A lot of it is forced or manufactured rarity. Ooh this issue had a curse word in it, ooh this issue had a possibly risqué or controversial image.

It is completely manufactured market, based on very superficial minutiae, than in any way on content or quality.

DEATHSTROKE is consistently one of the best books DC comics is producing. Christopher Priest month in and month out delivering fantastic writing, with fantastic interior art.

Unfortunately all the speculator’s comment on is the cover variant.

While no doubt the creators are glad to have the numbers, having the readers is the real goal of this medium, and the real satisfaction of being a creator.

It is one reason that older comics, particularly from the Bronze Age, are getting so popular. The storytelling, the typography, the beauty, the singularity of vision, all stands out, especially in comparison to the lack of all of those things in most modern comic books.

Joe Kubert I really have grown such a HUGE appreciation for his story-telling, particularly his covers. He is such a master artist, and no-where is that more obvious than on his long and fruitful run in Conflict Comics.

Here without further ado are just a few of the must own LOSERS Joe Kubert covers (the complete essential run goes from OUR FIGHTING FORCES 123 TO 141. 19 issue run of AMAZING covers. And even though Kubert keeps doing the cover art till 151, I would say 141 is a good jumping off point for individual issues collectors.  After 141 DC would go for a more conventional , less experimental style, and those later issues lend themselves to just picking up in a collected trade format.

The more boring covers seems to coincide with the switch of Editors from Joe Kubert to Archie Goodwin. And then it would quickly bounce to Jack Kirby and Finally Murray Boltinoff who would see the series to its demise at issue #181. The series at its strongest, and the individual issues worth collecting, are issues 123 to 141.

Buy your issues here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=180611&pgi=101&AffID=200301P01

Use the link above, and get great deals, and help this blog keep putting out content.

 

Thanks!

 

You heard it here first!!! Forget about paying a fortune for the first issue of new book BATMAN DAMNED, a flash in a pan overpriced at cover price, book. And get something with real staying power, Joe kubert’s 1970’s run on OUR FIGHTING FORCES issues #123 to141!!

 

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THE LAST WORD: Joe Kubert’s BEST Comic Book Covers!!(Some of them)

I have an appreciation for the late, great Joe Kubert here in 2018 as an adult, that I really didn’t have for him as a kid. And much of that is down to exposure, as well as a broader scope of reading material.

As a kid, comics that interested me were what interested most kids of the latter 20th century. We were children of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Chis Claremont and John Bryne, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, David Kraft and Keith Giffen, Bob Haney and Jim Aparo. The very exciting and colorful, but delineated world of Superhero comics.

The Brave & The Bold #84 - Neal Adams

But then the late 80s happened, and creators like Alan Moore and Frank Miller and William Mesner Loebs created works that seemed to challenge and expand the horizons and genres and tropes of the medium. They were following in the footsteps of late 70s pioneers such as Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, and the aforementioned creators, who all had their moments of scripting comics with an Indy sensibility before the term existed.

And now as an adult, having explored much of the growth of the mainstream comic industry from their golden age roots, to their big screen interpretations, here in 2018 I am revisiting some work that was largely before my time.

Namely the westerns and horror books and combat books, of the late 60s and early 70s.

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And this deep dive into this world (I mean I have gone deep in 2018), has solidified and cemented and revealed somethings. Most notably is 1/ The western comic books of Marvel Comics, the 12cent and 15 cent, etc comics, RAWHIDE KID, TWO-GUN KID, GUNHAWKS, MARVEL WESTERN, by mostly Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, and Gil Kane, and Herb Trimpe and John Severin are masterpieces. And these books are MUST OWNS. And many have not been reprinted. And while MARVEL COMICS were hands down producing some of the best Western Comics, some other notable comics in this genre are the painted cover LONE RANGER comics by Dell and Gold Key Publishing, and DC’s TOMAHAWK–

(Brief interuption to gush on Kubert’s TOMAHAWK. The last 25 issues or so of TOMAHAWK go from Neal Adams covers to the final ten which are Joe Kubert covers, from issues 131 to 140. There are not many people who can follow Neal Adams on covers, and be able to equal him.

When Neal Adams does a run of covers, those become the definitive sought after covers, especially during this period of the 60s and 70s in DC. Whether BATMAN or DETECTIVE or SUPERMAN or SUPERBOY, to this day the definitive covers for all those titles, are the ones drawn by Neal Adams, and with good reason. Neal Adams is a master artist.

So it is no small compliment to say not only does Joe Kubert’s ten issue cover run on TOMAHAWK equal the work of his good friend Neal Adams, they surpass them. As someone who just acquired those ten books this year, listen to me when I say they are INCREDIBLY undervalued, sporting both stunning covers and interiors, and no true fan of comics should be without them. If you can get them in high grade for $10 a book, that is a steal.

Get those issues at the link below. You get great comics AND you earn a few pennies to keep this blog’s lights on.

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=181351&pgi=101&AffID=200301P01

)

–and ALL STAR WESTERN & WEIRD WESTERN. All fantastic and I will be doing a bit on Western Comics in an upcoming post.

 

https://i0.wp.com/comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/798/374435_20160819181122_large.jpg

 

And 2/ where the Marvel Comics  of yesterday ruled the WESTERN genre, the WAR or COMBAT genre was ruled by DC Comics. Largely because of two names the great Robert Kanigher and the great Joe Kubert. Both men master story tellers, one with words and one with images, and both men incredibly prolific and productive. My favorite TEEN TITANS story of the silver age is by Robert Kanigher, my favorite FLASH stories by Robert Kanigher. So I always meant to pursue Kanigher’s work into his combat/conflict/war books of the period, and I am finally getting a chance to do that in 2018. And what immediately sells these books is the iconic covers and visual storytelling by the late, great Joe Kubert.

Joe Kubert’s cover art on Our Fighting Forces #135

His work, especially pre the mid 70s, where his covers got to play with the typography and marrying that to the cover image… gold. Absolutely gold. To the point where covers for OUR FIGHTING FORCES and OUR ARMY AT WAR for a brief period in the late 60s, early 70s are cover art truly raised to the level of Art with a capital A. Why anyone would pay $4, $5, $6, and $7 for a brand new comic book (that can be found in the $1 bins or reprinted in a much better quality trade in a few months), when you can take that same money and get a classic issue from this period of comics… is beyond me.

It is work you are typically not going to see unless you go looking. Not many people are showing off 50 year old war comic book covers. In 2018 I have gone looking.

Let me show you some of what I’ve found. We will start with a taste of his unconventional and relatively rare Superhero work and move onto his more prolific genre work.

 

 

 

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SYFYWIRE’s Matthew Funk says it best when they say…

“G.I. Combat #88

Kubert’s contributions to the visual language of war stories can’t be overstated, and this cover proves as much. This is very Stanley Kubrick-style imagery, but the comic predates Full Metal Jacket by 26 years. Kubert was creating iconic, haunting, and cinematic images of war that would influence generations of storytellers.”

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When you think of great, iconic cover artists, the names Gil Kane, Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Nick Cardy, and more recently Alex Ross come to mind. And all deservedly so. But one that arguably has gotten overlooked by the masses is Joe Kubert, and this is largely because he worked mostly in genres that did not get the attention back in the day. But now as an adult and getting into genres of Western and War and Horror, I am getting exposed to the work of great artists such as Joe Kubert, I am seeing much of it for the first time, and it is…. ASTONISHING. What really amazes me about Kubert is when he gets to play with Typography in his covers, and make that part of his story-telling, those are absolute game changers. Such as the above, and many of his Combat books.

 

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SGT ROCK

G.I. Combat (Volume) - Comic Vine

Our Army At War 254 - Sgt. Rock - Joe Kubert

Cover

Ready to own some of these great comic books?

Then use the link below and start ordering:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?q=our+army+at+war&pubid=&PubRng&AffID=200301P01

 

Where to buy NEW comic books right now, Sept 2018 Pre-orders! And What books to get! ALL THE REST EDITION!

This is the last day to preorder books that will be shipping in December at a discount.

Here are my suggestions for the books worth your time:

MARVEL COMICS

Nothing. I can recommend nothing from Marvel Comics. Marvel is GROSSLY overpriced.  Save your money and either pick up these issues for a $1 or $2 each in a few months, when they are no longer new, from the secondary market. Or wait till they get collected into trade paperbacks and read them from your local library for free. Or buy them used online for a fraction of what getting the individual issues would cost.  I grew up with Marvel Comics, and i think they still have some fantastic creators I would love to read on a monthly basis, Ta-Nehisi Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA , comes to mind. After much hate from the moronic bigoted internet crowd, the moronic antisjw nazis, it turns out Coates CAPTAIN AMERICA is shaping up to be great. The same with just about anything Al Ewing touches. Unfortunately these great creators are sabotaged by a unsupportable comic price, and horrible editorial and marketing decisions.

The movies quite frankly are a lot better, and a lot less disorganized, stupid, and at times ingrained bigoted than the comics. The comics play lip service to diversity, and it is great to see creators like Coates and Walker get a chance to start their vision, but inevitably Editorial steps in and ruins/aborts their process/ending. The comics back pedal from everything to try to pander to the racist anti-change and anti-diversity mob, who typically don’t even read the comics they complain about.

The movies so far under Feige’s reign have embraced diversity with no back pedaling or moronic denigration that makes up so much of what goes on in the comics when it comes to characters of color (‘Oh Well we can’t have the Black Nick Fury be his own man. Let’s explain him away as the son of a White Nick fury.’ What????? Yeah this is the stupidity and racist great ideas that is happening in Marvel Comics, by there non-writers of color and editorial department.)

So yeah, so far the movies are actually better by far than the comics. So stick with them for now. Or until they start following the stupidity of the current comic books.

DC COMICS

Unfortunately DC that was doing a good job of keeping their prices under $3 a comic, ever since hiring the trojan horse of Brian Bendis, they have adopted Marvel’s disastrous and customer offensive pricing policy. Of charging $4, $5, $6,and $7… for COMIC BOOKS!!!!

Absolutely immoral.

And I like Brian Michael Bendis as a creator, but I despise him as a shill for the company, and his arrogant frat boy attitude to companies milking the audience, and  his basic ‘ah they will pay the higher price. Lower prices do not sell.’ I’m ten years of proving Bendis is wrong. It is not diversity that is the cause of Marvel Comics’ inability to keep from bleeding readers, it is the bloody price of their books. Add to that the over abundance of ads, poor placement of ads, and atrocious paper quality and you have a company that is repeatedly slapping their customers in the face, then wondering why the customers are not sticking around.

DC will soon find they will have the same issue as Marvel Comics. They will keep the die hards for a while, the sheep who buy multiple issues and variants, and the speculators, but that is  a far cry from the millions of people a publishing arm of Times Warner should be reaching.

Besides their last $2.99 books, which word is they are going away soon… The only book over $3 that I get from DC, that I make an exception for, is Christopher Priest’s brilliant DEATHSTROKE. And that is going to change, as editorial has decided to reward the critical acclaim that series has received, by mixing it into their editorial marketing ploy, basically gutting Priest’s ability to tell unhindered stories with the character. Once Priest leaves, so do I.

So what is worth getting?

Here is my list for September Pre-orders:

Beyonders 4 On order 1 $2.59
Bitter Root Cvr D Williams 1 On order 1 $2.59
Cavewoman A Wizard A Sorceress And Meriem 1 On order 1 $2.59
Cemetery Beach 3 On order 1 $2.59
Cinema Purgatorio Vast Cvr 16 On order 1 $4.54
Dark Ark Cvr A Doe 11 On order 1 $2.59
Deathstroke (2016) Cvr B Var Ed 37 On order 1 $2.59
Dick Tracy Dead Or Alive Cvr B Tommaso 3 On order 1 $2.59
Feast Or Famine 1 On order 1 $0.98
Gideon Falls Cvr B Suayan 8 On order 1 $2.59
Hillbilly Red Eyed Witchery From Beyond 4 On order 1 $2.59
Infinite Dark 2 On order 1 $2.59
Infinity 8 7 On order 1 $2.59
Jook Joint 2 On order 1 $2.59
Leviathan Cvr B Guillory 4 On order 1 $2.59
Lightstep 1 On order 1 $2.59
Lodger 2 On order 1 $2.59
Magic Order Cvr A Coipel 6 On order 1 $2.59
Moth And Whisper 3 On order 1 $2.59
New World Cvr B Moore And Muller 5 On order 1 $2.59
No World Primer 2018 On order 1 $0.16
Oblivion Song 9 On order 1 $2.59
Outer Darkness 1 On order 1 $2.59
Proxima Centauri 6 On order 1 $2.59
Raid Cvr B Photo 4 On order 1 $2.59
Red Sonja Cvr A Caldwell 23 On order 1 $2.59
Rick And Morty Cvr A 44 On order 1 $2.59
Rick And Morty Presents Pickle Rick Cvr A 1 On order 1 $3.24
Shadowman Cvr C Veregge 9 On order 1 $2.59
Sideways 10 On order 1 $1.94
Silencer 11 On order 1 $1.94
Sink Cvr A Cormack 6 On order 1 $2.59
Skyward 8 On order 1 $2.59
Spawn Cvr B Mattina 292 On order 1 $1.94
Stellar 6 On order 1 $2.59
Terrifics 10 On order 1 $1.94
Unexpected 6 On order 1 $1.94
Walk Through Hell 6 On order 1 $2.59
Warning 1 On order 1 $2.59
Whispering Dark 2 On order 1 $2.59

Order yours here:

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

And tell them HT sent ya!!!!

🙂

 

 

TERRIFICON 2018 Review! In a word…. TERRIFIC!

TERRIFICON 2018!


Books I picked up at this year’s terrific Terrificon at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conneticut!

 

Man, we had such a great time at this year’s Terrificon two weekends ago. We just made a weekend of it in Connecticut, and only spent one day at the con, but what a fun day. My better half, who is not the comic head I am at all, was surprised by how much she enjoyed it.

Part of it is the convention is very well laid out in the simply massive Mohegan Sun Casino Complex. The Con which was huge in terms of space, only took up a fraction of this massive Casino Complex. And there was huge room between booths and areas, so while well attended, you didn’t feel crushed in a crowd, like Awesome Con or New York Comic Con. Also the emphasis here was very much on Comics, so you just had a very laid back, yet fun crowd. The writers and artists were very much the superstars here.

Another part of the success is the panels. While the shopping was great, and I found great deals; walking around and shopping to me, is not enough reason for me to go to a con. And I am not really interested in getting anyone’s signature, and shopping alone I can do online and save the hotel fees and travel expenses.

I am someone who likes great panels, informative conversations with those creators who created what is best in this hobby, and their interesting behind the scenes stories . So I did my homework and new the panels to attend, and the time to get there for them.

The Black Panther panel was a definite hit, being able to see three generations of Black Panther writers on the stage. Don McGregor and Christopoher Priest were the name draws, and were excellent but I think everyone was wowed by newest Black panther artist and writer Afua Richardson. She was just a joy, and her talk of how she laces symbolic and linguistic meaning into the covers she did for Black Panther has I think everyone who left that talk.. on the hunt for her work.

 

The girl power vibe in the room was strong. 🙂 But so was the Christopher Priest vibe, this guy is one of my favorite writers, the only monthly DC book I buy anymore is his Deathstroke, and he has written some of my favorite runs. Quite frankly he was a huge reason I attended this con. Him and Roy Thomas. Getting to hear both of these legendary crreators speak, a win, win.

In addition there was the mellifluous John Suintres (from the WORD BALLOON podcast) as MC, Jim Starlin the always stoic Larry Hama, the slightly bemused Michael Golden, and Paul Kupperberg.

So a fantastic set of panels oh and some great food and shopping. The Mohegan Sun Casino offering world class food and shopping options. We stopped at Bobby Flay’s Burger and it was awesome.

And without futher ado, onto the comic book shopping. Here are some of the books I got at Terrificon 2018. All of my shopping for the con was between 50 cents and $2.50 per book. The following books averaged $2 a book, and as you can see are in great mid-grade condition. Fine  to VF condition. Why on earth would anyone pay over $3 for new books, when you can get great bronze and silver age comics , with great stories and art for that same price or less???!!!!. Shame on you Marvel and DC . Instead for new comics replace Marvel and DC with Canadian company Chapterhouse and American company Alterna. And preorder from Image, Dark Horse,  IDW to also get their new books for less than $3.

All in all just a great experience. Along with Heroescon and Baltimore it is considered one of the best, most enjoyable true Comiccons.

I definitely look forward to going next year.

Go ahead and like and subscribe to this post. I have pics of the panels, with Christopher Priest, Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin, etc…so if this post gets enough likes, and new subscribers I’ll add additional pics and content.

And definitely support this post by buying items from the blog sponsor below:

 

http://www.amazon.com/shops/aseller99

https://www.ebay.com/sch/aseller99/m.html?

 

Thanks and be well out there!

AMAZON PRIME WatchList ITEM/GIFT of the Day : Accident MAN Movie and Book!

Accident Man Movie Poster ACCIDENT MAN- Ease of browsing. This is one of the reasons I canceled Netflix in favor of Amazon Prime. That and the fact I am not paying for more than two streaming services, and my other choice is HULU.

Searching Amazon Prime is a lot like the old days of the giant video stores, only it is a lot better. You have the greatest movie library in the world at your fingertips, and ratings and trailers for almost all the movies to help you make your selection. And also they have a CUSTOMERS ALSO WATCHED recommendation queue to turn you on to other films you might otherwise not have known about.

That and the trailers have helped me discover a lot of great and obscure films I otherwise would have never know about. This film starring two of my favorite Martial Arts actors of the 21st century, Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins, is an adaption of a great, little known British comic magazine character, ACCIDENT MAN. He originally appeared in the UK’s excellent, but short lived, TOXIC magazine.

And that was followed up with a mini-series  from DARK HORSE COMICS.

I didn’t realize until doing the research for this post, there is a hardcover ACCIDENT MAN, that collects all of his appearances in TOXIC magazine, as well as the Dark horse Comics. That is so a MUST BUY! I have the Toxic issues, and I’m keeping them because it is great to see the artwork at full, magazine size, but having all his work collected in one spot on quality paper… sign me up!

Here’s the link to the hardcover. I would recommend buying two copies, one to keep and one to resell when it goes out of print, because it will. Thank me later. 🙂

https://amzn.to/2P7kRzg

Cover Image

If the movie is half as insane as the comic strip, it is going to be a whole lot of fun. And looking at the trailer… it is.

You can get the movie either via streaming or DVD/Blu-Ray:

Accident Man [Blu-ray]

https://amzn.to/2BQaiPA

Considering the Blu-Ray comes with an audio commentary and making of features that reward multiple viewings, I would spring for the Blu-ray/DVD over the streaming version. Especially considering you can get the disc a bit cheaper. You can use the link above to order your copy today.

Thanks to Alien Bee of Alien Bee Dot Net for providing the special features details that even Amazon did not have. Go check out the Alien Bee site for more great reviews:

http://www.alienbee.net/blu-ray-review-accident-man/

Subscribe and like if you found the post informative, and please spread the word. And  email or comment with what your purchase, recommendation of the day was. Till next time!

 

YouTube CHANNEL of the Day: PROFESSOR THORGI & Why Marvel and DC Comics are not selling!

Stop by Professor Thorgi’s channel and check out his review of new series JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. As someone who with rare exceptions no longer gets monthly comics from the major comic publishers, me being interesred in anything new from DC or MARVEL comics… is rare.

The excellent coverage YouTube channel Professor Thorgi provided today on series JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK has me interested.

I really want to rush out and buy this series from DC Comics, however… I will not.

DC has recently followed Marvel in pricing their comics at S4 a book. The cost of hiring Bendis perhaps. Whatever the reason, for me that translates into both companies charging more for new comics than they are worth. $4 cover price at a minimum, with many of the books being even more expensive at $5 and up. 

I can spend that money to buy bronze age back issues that will hold their value as opposed to new issues, that 99% of them will be in the surplus dollar bins in a couple months. WHY ON GOD’S EARTH WOULD YOU PAY $4 for A NEW COMIC , when you can get a classic fantastic four or kubert comic for the same price?

Our Army at War #254

Fantastic Four #104

Fantastic Four #133

Buy Back issues here:

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

That pricing for new comic books is just pure greed, from two companies that are backed by billion dollar parent companies. Unlike smaller publishers, these companies have the infrastructure and scale to support bringing in these books at $2.50  or at least hold the line at $2.99.

I feel the companies inability to do so, and in the case of Marvel, unwillingness to do so comes down to greed, short sightedness, and mismanagement.They would rather try and price gouge the same aging customer base of about 70000 readers to buy multiple copies of overpriced issues, than price the issues at an attractive $2ish price point, to try to sell to millions rather than just thousands.

Contrary to the minority of loud but wrong right wing nuts, comic fan pretenders, screaming against creators and against diversity, as the failing of comics, comics are, in terms of creativity,  in a golden age.

Comics as someone who has been reading these books longer than most of the vocal minority have been alive, comics across the board have never been better in terms of writing, art, stories, creativity, diversity of genres, etc.(with minor exceptions such as Nick Spencer’s racist Nick Fury Jr idea. Really?? That is your idea? I don’t think so. :). Just have the Black Nick Fury be the black Nick Fury. Don’t hamstring him with some insulting, denigrating  and moronic story about him being the ‘son’ of the White Nick Fury. Just stupid and insulting on so many levels. An example of the movie division just being better and  smarter and less racist than the comic book division. And who would have thought that? 🙂 )

But that one caveat aside, the reason the comics are not selling is they are overpriced. Bottom line. And the big two publishers are over saturating the market to try to get their few readers to buy a lot, everything, to keep up.

Newsflash… people can not afford to get a lot, much less everything, especially at $4 a book.

So they choose, like I choose, to either severely limit their consumption or get nothing at all ( I get from DC only one $4 book, Christopher Priest’s DEATHSTROKE, and their few remaining $2.99 books.  However with DC poised to ruin the good work Priest has done on DEATHSTROKE, by putting the character in the JLA, hampering Priest’s ability to write for the comics unhindered, I see me dropping even that title. And according to the rumor mill the $2.99 books are going away. As far as Marvel, I  get nothing at all.)

The fact that Marvel is not legitimately selling millions of copies of Ta-na hesi Coates or Donny Cates or Al Ewing or Mark Waid or David Walker has nothing to do with those creators, those creators are doing their job;  but marketing and management and editorial mandates are failing these books.

I will definitely be reading Coates Captain America run, or the latest Moon Knight. But not monthly, Marvel and DC have taught me that they are not good or affordable publishers of periodical material and to rather wait for the collected edition and read it for free at the library, and the ones worth buying, to purchase in collected form, at a substantial discount over the individual issues. That is just smart shopping in this day and age, and for periodicals to not adjust their price point and marketing plan to make their product more attractive to an audience with a glut of choices and demands for their time… is to be bad at your job.

Marvel and DC’s periodical publishing arms… are bad at their jobs. People in charge of getting these numbers up and selling these books, should be given a deadline to turn things around and make improvements. And if they don’t  maybe what Marvel Upper Management needs is to sweep out the old under-performing and stagnant comic selling paradigm that has taken root at Marvel and DC and replace it with fresh faces, with fresh, innovative ideas for moving product, and winning readers. Do mail order subscriptions at a discount through Amazon, like Entertainment Weekly and other magazines do. Even selling the books as a loss leader, by increasing your subscriber base to millions rather than tens of thousands, you dramatically  increase what you can charge for ad space. But it takes change to make positive changes.

 

Now on the other hand, companies that are worth supporting in periodical form are ALTERNA, CHAPTER HOUSE, they provide inflation friendly comics, that allow you to pick up great books at a sub $3 price.

Also IMAGE, DARK HORSE, IDW, even though they are in the $3 and $4 range, they give you a lot more for your money than DC and Marvel do,  The smaller companies offer you a better periodical experience, they give you more pages, less ads, on better paper, and with additional content such as letters pages and special features.

All that creates a very simple take away for where and how I buy comics in the 21st century:

  • These days when I buy comics, I buy them via pre-order courtesy of MY COMIC SHOP. COM, at a sizable discount off of cover price. I am an affiliate for My Comic Shop, so when you use these links you earn a few pennies for this blog.
  • But the reason I am an affiliate, is because i use and love the service, so it becomes easy for me to hawk them. I have tried other mail order services, and have been pretty disappointed and felt pretty ripped off by them.
  • My experience with MCS has really kept me from quitting the hobby all together. They have been that good for me, and you may find them similarly for you, an easy on-road to a medium, comics, that seemingly has more off-roads.
  • They let you read synopsis of the many, many companies out there.
  • And I get these great books mailed directly to me in great condition.
  • And generally speaking…  I am not buying Marvel and DC. And I have to tell you my reading experience has never been better, and my wallet thanks me.

Use the link below, and your wallet can start thanking you as well:

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

For the love of all things good, STOP pressing and cleaning your old comics!!! You are DESTROYING them!

Watching these Youtube videos on line of people so-called pressing and cleaning their comics.

I can not believe what I am seeing  it is like giving baboons knives. 🙂

People do not press your comics yourself, and do not pay to have an ‘expert’ do it for you.

Why?

Few reasons.

1/All of these so-called experts are using t-shirt presses or steam irons to ‘improve’ your comic. They are all just winging it, with no real understanding of ph balances, and acidity and moisture content, before or after. It’s a bunch of hacks, each one with no understanding of reason 2.

2/ The application of heat and moisture to newsprint, jump-starts a chemical reaction in the pulp paper, the newsprint, that continues and accelerates long after the initial application is supposedly done. The process is called advanced deterioration. The two things you should never apply to pulp paper, to avoid early deterioration, heat and moisture. A whole slew of new and returned collectors are doing just that. In hopes of turning short term profits by slabbing and reselling their ‘hot’ comic. In the long term what they are doing is SHORTENING THE LIFE of that bronze, silver age or golden age comic.

It is far better that your comic has a spine roll in it, than you BURN IN heat and moisture and humidity deep INTO the fabric of newsprint paper. That as stated is kicking into high gear deterioration and breakdown of that pulp paper on a molecular level, that CONTINUES after you have it graded and slabbed in plastic.

And yes, it comes back on the surface looking flatter and squarer, but internally you have taken years (if not decades) off the life of that pulp paper.  And that deterioration process will continue, as well as the possibility for mold growth, IN THE SLAB. Particularly if there is not sufficient time between ‘pressing’ and slabbing.

I’ve seen warped books in a slab before, and the root cause appeared to be a disastrous ‘pressing’ job, immediately followed by slabbing that still humidity soaked book, in plastic.

Now of course the person who sells you the book, doesn’t care, as long as he is getting paid for the arbitrary grade on the slab, people only seeing the cover of the book in the slab, and having no idea of excessive humidity or ph levels in the actual pages of the book. So it becomes a game of hot potato, to not be the one stuck with this graded book, that when finally unslabbed from its protective case, will be found to be in worse condition than a similarly aged book that had not suffered heat and moisture intrusion.

So arguably people are paying more for slabbed books (that is what they call graded comics, that have been sealed in plastic after grading) that are actually shortening the life of their comics, that because of this mania of people seeking a ‘perfect’ cover, they are ruining the actual comic book pages by entrusting them to witch doctors claiming to ‘press and clean’ them.

And I’m sure there is at least one restorative service that is keeping ph levels and moisture content, in mind. However they are the conservationists at the Library of Congress, and are not the services selling themselves as pressers to help you increase the grading on your comic book. 🙂

This is not brain surgery. I do not know what it is about the 21st century , or America in the 21st century, where common sense is not common, and idiocy is contagious, and sought out over reason. How do we  jump on obvious idiotic band wagons like ‘Me too’ and ‘Let’s iron my old pulp comics!” 🙂

And before I get hate mail, I think crimes of abuse when proven in a court of law, people should of couse face the punishemnt prescibed. However, I think when punishment is applied by the mob, before the verdict is in, people losing their jobs, their families, their name before their day in court… that is not justice. And when you are making judgements on your biases and trama, and projecting your issues, or unapplied vengeance in your own life, over the facts of a case that has nothing to do with you, that is mob rule. That is lynch mob justice. That is a witch hunt. And calling it ‘ME TOO’ doesn’t make it any less so. Okay back to the regularly scheduled program.

I do not have a major issue with drycleaning, provided the person knows what he is doing, however If you love your comics, for the love of GOD, spread the word to have people stop pressing their comics. If you have to get out an overwrap or wrinkle, do it the old fashioned way, apply weight and time, to the book. Not heat or moisture.

That should be common sense to anyone over twelve years old, especially anyone who is a comic fan. The fact that it isn’t… disturbing.

Not trying to be belligerent, I’m a collector, so I hate the idea of people shortsightedly ruining collections, in this new speculator’s bubble we find ourselves in, a couple decades after the last speculator bubble popped.

Love the hobby guys, and avoid the snake oil salesman. 🙂

Here endeth the public service announcement. 🙂