06th Dec2013

West Week Ever – 12/6/13

by Will

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We’re back! Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? I thought about writing last Friday, but how many of you would’ve actually read it? Not many, I presume. So, we took a week off. That just means there’s twice as much stuff to talk about this week!

One thing I miss about Thanksgivings of years past is the Fox Kids TV Takeover. Back before Fox Kids was sold to ABC/Disney, there was an annual tradition that took place on the Friday after ever Thanksgiving. As this was before the prevalence of internet, kids were invited to send postcards to vote for their favorite shows. Then, on Black Friday, the Fox Kids lineup would consist of only the shows that received the most votes. It was rarely a surprise, as you could pretty much guess what you were going to see: Batman: The Animated Series, Power Rangers, X-Men, etc. The main perk was it was one of the rare times you’d get to see some shows outside of Saturday morning. They weren’t even new episodes, but it was still something I used to look forward to watching. I wish ABC Family would find some way to replicate it with an Eek! The Cat marathon or something.

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While we’re talking about watching stuff, I guess it’s a good time for a Netflix update. I’ve backed off of the movie-a-night schedule I had going there for a while. Lately, I’ve been rewatching The League because I’ve forgotten a lot of the early episodes. On the movie front, I did watch The Wedding Weekend – a movie so nice they named it thrice. No, seriously, when it was filmed, it was called Shut Up and Sing. Then, they got sued because that was the name of that Dixie Chicks documentary. Then, they renamed it to Sing Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace. Then, at some point, it simply became The Wedding Weekend. It’s about a 7-man a cappella group that reunites 15 years after college to sing for the wedding of one of the members. Drama ensues, old wounds are reopened, and there’s sexual tension. If you’re looking for an accurate depiction of collegiate a cappella, and what happens afterward, this movie does a pretty good job of capturing it. There’s the whole notion that you’ll never get those days back, and your “stardom” is fleeting. The movie seems to suggest that those days may end, but you have to continue to make those moments happen in the “real world” as best you can. It’s kind of depressing at times, but I enjoyed it. If anyone has Netflix, though, I need you to do me a favor: try to watch this movie and let me know if the audio syncs up. For the first time since I got Netflix, this is the first movie where the audio just wouldn’t sync, so I felt like I was watching a foreign film that was dubbed. This doesn’t happen on anything else that I watch, but it happened every time I tried to watch The Wedding Weekend. Does Netflix have a bad encode? Was it just my computer? Help a brother out!

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Well, it’s certainly been a week of Twitter zaniness. I’ve been known to stir up trouble on Twitter, and this week was no exception. Before we get to that, though, something else weird happened: I got a reply from a tweet I sent 2 and a half years ago! In June 0f 2011, I tweeted:

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Some backstory: Ghostwriter was a PBS show about a ghost who promoted literacy, while Jeremy Miller was Ben Seaver on Growing Pains. In the second Ghostwriter adventure, he actually joins the team and then he’s never mentioned, or seen, again.

Anyway, the other day, I got a response to that tweet that merely said:

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Apparently, this chick is his fiancee? I checked out her feed and it seems like she’s basically doing PR for him, so I guess she Googled his name and my tweet came up. It’s still weird to receive a response so long after sending the tweet. I guess you never really know who’s going to see what you write…as we’re about to find out.

So, the other night, my pal @timdogg98 retweeted this from comic artist J. Scott Campbell:

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Here’s the full pic:

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If you don’t know a lot about Campbell’s work, a lot of his women tend to look the same. I’m actually a fan, but I feel like Campbell’s been phoning it in lately. So, that led to this exchange:

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I thought that would be the end of it until the man himself decided to make an appearance:

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Not really sure what to make of that emoji. Was he taking it all as good fun? Was that the shorthand way to say “Cool story, bro”? The long and the short of it is that he clearly has a filter for his name, as I deliberately didn’t tag him in that thread, nor did I respond to Tim’s tweets that mentioned him. Lesson: I need to stop talking shit on Twitter. OR I need to talk MORE shit on Twitter. I haven’t really settled on the takeaway lesson yet.

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Speaking of comics, I recently discovered a book from Oni Press called Letter 44 that I actually really enjoyed. Every outgoing president leaves a letter for the incoming president, and this is the letter meant for #44. Everyone assumed that the 43rd president was a real moron who started unnecessary wars and ran the country into the ground. What the letter reveals, however, is that NASA discovered an advanced race in space that may be preparing an invasion. So, the wars on foreign soil were really just tactics to make sure we had a battle-ready military should the need arise. Now, the 44th President has to carry on what was started by his predecessor, and also decide whether to tell the American people. It was a really strong first issue, and I’m curious to see where the story goes. Few of my local shops dabble in indie books, however, so I may have to wait for the trade. You can read the entire first issue here.

This Week’s Post

Virginia Comicon (& Rob Liefeld) In Pictures

Links I Love

The TwinkieMcRib Nerd Lunch/Storify

Please Take A Moment And Read This Hilarious Amazon Review Of A $40,000, 85-Inch Television – UPROXX

Amazon Reviews Written by James Thach – Amazon

12 of Zack Morris’ Ex-Girlfriends That Would Make a Better Wonder Woman than Gal Gadot – UnderScoopFire!

The Conversation We Should Not Have About Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman – The Nerds of Color

Three are no longer with us (as well as Nelson Mandela, RIP), while the other’s life will never be the same. Only one, however, had the West Week Ever.

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Well, this one should’ve been obvious, as she was the only choice who wasn’t either canceled or deceased. This former Israeli soldier/model had her life turned upside down as the world discovered she’d been cast as Wonder Woman in the sequel to Man of Steel. Many are wondering if she’s got the physique to pull it off, but that’s what horse tranquilizers are for. She’ll be fine. It’s not like she’s gonna make the movie suck. Warner Bros has that taken care of by shoehorning every DC character into this movie that they can. Still, Gadot went from a virtual unknown to Hollywood’s new It Girl overnight. For that reason, Gal Gadot had the West Week Ever.

31st May2013

West Week Ever – 6/1/13

by Will

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During a recent marathon, a sad thought occurred to me – who were the Golden Girls‘ friends before the show? They went from strangers to best friends in such a short amount of time. Now, this isn’t so uncommon, due to proximity and the amount of time they spent together. Still, what did they do before answering that ad on the grocery store bulletin board? Who listened to Rose’s St. Olaf stories? To whom did Blanche brag about her sexual conquests? To whom was Dorothy a bitch? OK, that was clearly Stanley Zbornak, but still… Once they became roommates, they became all that each other had. I’m glad they found each other, but it just makes me think about the elderly folks who don’t have a group of friends like that. I always joke that I was raised by the “Black Golden Girls”, and I don’t know what they’d do if they didn’t have each other. That’s not something I really like thinking about…

Last week, I told you about my trip to NJ, but I forgot to post my meager toy haul. You can’t have a road trip without toy stops!

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It appears the latest wave of Hot Wheels Pop Culture Collection cars have hit stores, as I didn’t even know these existed. They don’t get me as excited as the first series, but I had to have them for completion and all that. It seems like the cars in series 1 were iconic in spite of their movies, while series 2 seems to be comprised of obscure cars from hit movies/shows (with the exception of the Back to the Future DeLorean). I mean, I can’t even remember Axel Foley’s car, and this certainly isn’t the car that comes to mind when remembering Ferris Bueller. I think Hot Wheels is just fleecing us at this point, ’cause they know we’re completists.

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Out of the LEGO minifigures, only 3/5 were new figures for me. So, if anyone needs a Roman soldier or an Ogre, let me know!

I was cleaning the “store” and ran across some notes from Diamond. A really good quote that every prospective comic creator should know is:

“All these guys who want to do comics in the worst way do them the worst way.”

It means that a lot of small press comics come from a place of passion, yet there’s nothing professional about them. We used to call these “vanity projects”, as these guys really just wanted to walk into a comic shop and see their names on something. What they don’t realize is that their shop probably ain’t even gonna carry it unless the creator has a relationship with the shop owner. Passion is not a substitute for preparation. I think that’s valuable advice for many things in life.

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I’ve written about my love of SiriusXM before, but I have to gush about their newest channel, Comedy Central Radio. I was really into Raw Dog Comedy, but they were playing too many Andrew Dice Clay deep cuts. I do miss some of the regular shows, like the Alternative Comedy Show with Mark Says Hi, as well as Besser’s Back Room. That said, CCR plays selections from Comedy Central’s library – a lot of which I missed by not having cable growing up. They don’t seem to really play too much old stuff, though. Right now, there’s a lot of Tosh and Amy Schumer – just like the TV network. Still, I’m finally hearing bits that are new to me, as I was really getting tired of the constant loop of Carlos Mencia talking about Bill Clinton lying about the blowjob.

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I like to think I’m “in the know” when it comes to popular stuff, but I didn’t know a thing about Uniqlo until this week. I was reading a really old GQ (December 2011, to be exact), and there was a profile on The Unique Clothing Warehouse, now stylized as Uniqlo. Basically, they’re trying to out-H&M H&M and out-Gap The Gap. They don’t look at clothing as “fashion”, but rather as a necessary commodity. They feel everyone should have equal access to said commodities, so they keep prices low. So, their pricing is like H&M, but their styles are solids and wardrobe basics like those carried at The Gap. To hear the corporate culture of the place, though, it sounds like a cult. They have mantras like this:

Uniqlo is the elements of style.

Uniqlo is a toolbox for living.

Uniqlo is clothes that suit your values.

Uniqlo is how the future dresses.

Uniqlo is beauty in hyperpracticality.

Uniqlo is clothing in the absolute.

Anyway, I kinda wanna check out their clothes, but I know I’m still too fat for fashion. Nope, it’s just the TJ Maxx clearance rack until I lose another 20 lbs or so…

from the Marvel Cinematic Universe facebook page

from the Marvel Cinematic Universe facebook page

This image was released of The Winter Soldier from the set of the upcoming Captain America sequel. Say what you will, but I think it shows the weakness of the Captain America concept that the sequel is The Winter Solider. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an amazing saga, but it’s like doing the second Batman movie and making it about No Man’s Land. You kinda need to have established the world before jumping into those concepts. Winter Solider is Cap 3 material, not Cap 2. What would’ve been a better idea for Cap 2? I honestly don’t know. There aren’t a ton of iconic Cap storylines. I guess they could’ve done the one where he runs for President. Otherwise, a lot of his major character beats happened during Avengers stories.

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Oh, for those not familiar with the Winter Soldier, you saw the first movie, right? Remember when Bucky fell off the train? Well, in the comic, he’s not dead. The Soviets find him and turn him into this amazing assassin called The Winter Soldier. He has that name because he’s cryogenically frozen between jobs, so he’s been carrying out major assassinations over the past 60 years, and they just put him on ice until he’s needed. He’s brainwashed, so doesn’t remember being Bucky Barnes. So, that means half the movie will just be Cap vs. Bucky until they both realize who the other is. Maybe Cap 2 ends with Steve Rogers dying, so Bucky can take the shield in Cap 3. This is what happened in the comics, and I’m sure Marvel wouldn’t blink if contract negotiations don’t go well with Chris Evans next time everyone’s at the table.

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(The following was a Twitter rant, but I felt it bears repeating, especially for the fools who choose not to follow me.)

I’d explain my issues with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but everyone’s excited about it, and nobody cares about the dissenter. Fine, here it goes. The problem is with it’s structure. It’s in the same universe as the movies. That’s HORRIBLE. On the one hand, it can debut characters not worth their own movie. On the other hand, no broad strokes can be made because it essentially has to “Dance between the raindrops of continuity” of the movies. This has NEVER been done before. Sure, you have spinoff shows, but never a spinoff operating concurrently with an ongoing FILM franchise. Even when Power Rangers did it, it wasn’t canon. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie never happened as far as the show is concerned. And those are just my problems with structure. It doesn’t even get into the Whedon problems. He’s the Gail Simone of TV. He doesn’t have fans – he has DISCIPLES, and they’re never objective about his stuff. Just blind followers. Another issue is Coulson. He always seemed like a “less is more” character to me. Avengers was almost too much. I’m fine with shorts, but the last thing I want is a weekly one hour dose of him. It neuters his concept. Finally, you run into the Birds of Prey problem: no matter how much fans claim they’re fine with the characters they’re lying. They’re secretly hoping the big guys (Avengers) will show up, which will never happen.

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Did you know that Will’s World of Wonder is now on Facebook? Well, it is! Come on over and give us a Like. Also, don’t forget – now until 6/3, use coupon code “memorial” via Google Checkout for 20% off EVERYTHING. Please! My children need wine!

Meanwhile, go read this post that I wrote over at Cool & Collected filled with yard sale tips!

Fans demanded their return, while another made it so with a slice. One teabagger used to be a pimp, while another is giving Marion Barry’s legacy a run for its money. Only one, however, could have the West Week Ever!

This week was rough. I mean, Arrested Development rose from the ashes, but folks thought Patrick Stewart, at 73, ate his first slice of pizza. Meanwhile, James Lipton admitted to having been a pimp in Paris, and Toronto’s mayor smokes crack with reckless abandon! Who really deserves it?!

I enjoyed Arrested Development when it was on, but I was never a devoted fan. Also, I haven’t seen this new season yet. Patrick Stewart’s had pizza – he just hadn’t had a NY slice before, so that kills the wind in that sail. James Lipton celebrated the 250th episode of  Inside The Actor’s Studio AND admitted to Parade Magazine that he had been a pimp. With whores and everything! Meanwhile, Rob Ford is simply unstoppable. I haven’t done this before, but this week, I’m leaving the choice up to you, the reader! So, tell me: Who had the West Week Ever?

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UPDATE – In light of new information, a new player has entered the arena. I’d like to congratulate my bud, Howie Decker, and his wife on the birth of their second son, Lucas Daniel Decker. Forget all the celebrities – I think it’s safe to say the Deckers are having the West Week Ever!

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22nd Apr2013

Mail Call Monday – Batman, Empowered, Joes and More!

by Will

Check my swag, yo! I just felt there had been such an influx of goodies through the mail that warranted some mention. I don’t typically do this, as most of my stuff tends to come from random eBay sellers. The past 2 weeks, however, have brought stuff from Facebook and Twitter friends, so I want to share those with ya.

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First up, Kevin over at Team Hellions took me up on the Trader Will’s Deal-O-Rama post that I wrote for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. I was glad he came forward, as I was starting to feel like the kid picked last for sports. Well, he did not disappoint!

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As you can see, I got the first 2 volumes of Adam Warren’s Empowered, as well as a deck of Star Wars playing cards. His wife also sent along something nice for my wife, but she ran off with it before I could take a picture! I read the first volume of Empowered years ago and loved it, but never got around to actually buying any of it. Needless to say, I can’t wait to read these. Thanks, Kevin!

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Next up, I bought this from my buddy Vincent over at Dinosaur Toy Vault/The Robot’s Pajamas. He went to Joe Con, and ended up buying the Exclusive Night Force Nocturnal Fire boxed set. He’s selling off the figures to pay for his trip, and I just had to get Psyceh-Out. Even though I think he gave me a good price, I paid more than I ever should for a G.I.Joe figure. Still, Psyche-Out holds a special place in my heart, as he was the first G.I. Joe figure I ever got. I hadn’t seen the cartoon at that time, so I didn’t even realize he wasn’t important. I just loved that he had satellite dishes all over himself, and that Woolworths only had him and Raptor. I sure as Hell wasn’t buying Raptor! In the years to follow, I would lose all his dish accessories, snatch the antenna from the back of his head, and bite off his fingers. Who knew I was training for a job at GitMo? As maimed as he is, I still have that figure, as he suffers from PTSD in my Joe case at my mom’s house. One day, he will stand side by side with his updated version, and see that it truly does get better (NOTE: It always bothered me they spelled his name – typically that’s pronounced “SY-kee”, making his name pronounced “SY-kee Out”).

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Some more eBay acquisitions to bolster Operation Trade-Up. That X-Statix Omnibus gets rid of an entire longbox for me on its own. That thing retails for $125, but somehow I found it for $32. And if you’ve never heard of it, definitely track down The Last Days of American Crime by Radical. There’s a Bruce Willis-starring movie just waiting to be made!

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Next up, Twitter/Facebook pal @kngfu71 was selling off some action figures, and I snagged this movie Reed Richards off him. Little known fact: I’m not an avid Marvel Legends collector, but I’m trying to track down all the movie versions of Marvel characters on the cheap. I had a Reed body and accessories that I found at a thrift store, but he didn’t have a head. I actually bought this to cannibalize it, but he’s so cool that I think he gets to live, and I’ll just put that other Reed body on the site for a customizer to buy. If I’m not mistaken, I believe I’ve also got a Sue Storm on the way from Michael, so that will complete my movie Fantastic Four!

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Finally, everyone was raving over this figure, and I knew I would need it for my Batman collection. That said, it’s not that easy to find, and I really don’t have time for a toy hunt right now. Luckily, I ended up getting an Amazon gift card for cashing in some bank rewards points, and I couldn’t think of a better way to waste it! Actually, I thought of several different ways, but it was burning a hole in my pocket. Though I probably wouldn’t buy from them directly, this ended up coming from Big Bad Toy Store via Amazon. It was cheaper than I was gonna find at retail, and when everything was said and done, I only spent $1.38 out of my pocket. So, what can I say about him? He’s a big fucking hunk of plastic! The New Plastic Smell was so full and robust that I just huffed his card bubble once I finally extracted him. I saw many colors, and I think I learned Chinese! Since I’ve never owned an MOTUC figure (the line from which the body was borrowed), I wasn’t really familiar with the different articulation. His rubber undies obstruct full movement of his hip joints. I haven’t seen an other review reference that, but that’s how mine turned out. Too bad he’s not a pegwarmer like Penguin – I’m sure a lot of customizers would love to have a field day with that MOTUC body at a lower price than the Matty Collector store charges!

Well, there ya have it. Would you like to be included in a future Mail Call Monday? Then send me some shit, fool! It’s just that simple. I’m out.

07th Apr2013

LOEB Presents Trader Will’s Deal-O-Rama!

by Will

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So, here we are. If you listened to my most recent appearance on the UnderScoopFire! podcast, then you heard my discussion about the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Basically, I said that it didn’t do much for me. Don’t get me wrong – it has strengthened relationships I already had, but some of you new cats won’t give me a second glance. Maybe you don’t get my humor, or maybe I’m too “blue” for you, but that’s how I see things. I’ve visited and left comments on your sites, and you’ve never darkened my door with a plate of cookies and a “Welcome to the neighborhood.” So, I guess I’ll just have to buy your friendship.

This week’s League topic is Trading Post, where different members are offering up things they’re willing to trade. Of course this was right up my alley, and here’s some trade fodder that immediately came to mind:

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If you’re a Hot Wheels enthusiast, then you’ll recognize these are the highly coveted Pop Culture series. They have real rubber wheels!

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If you’re into RPGs, then I’ve got this brand new, hardcover Warcraft Manual of Monsters.

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If you’re a Motown fan, I’ve got this unopened 4-disc set of Motown classics!

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For the goth kids out there, I’ve got this 3-book Lenore set, each SIGNED by creator Roman Dirge!

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!

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If you’re not familiar with me, I run a little collectibles site called Will’s World of Wonder. It’s got new and used toys, comics, what have you. Anyway, ANYTHING on there is fair game. ANYTHING.

So, what do I want? Nothing, really. What I mean is that I’m never looking for anything in particular. I just know when I like what I see. So, impress me. Welcome me into this community with your best wares, and let’s make a deal.

NOTE: This deal is only available to LOEB members who participate in this week’s topic.

Here are some other Leaguers offering cool stuff:

Team Hellions – Trading Post

ShezCrafti – For Trade/Sale: My Catwoman Comics

Cool & Collected: Come Visit The Ol’ Cool and Collected Trading Post

19th Feb2013

Thrift Justice – The One With All The Books

by Will

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I love books. The real kind, with words and few (if any) pictures. Before I even discovered comics, I used to beg my mom to take me to Crown Books to get the latest Hardy Boys paperback. Once I got into comics, pictures took over for words, but I still get in a book every now and then. In the world of thrifting, I tend to stay away from books. Why? Because of motherlovin’ book scanners. I’ve probably gone over this before, but there’s a group in the reselling community known as book scanners, who just camp out in the book aisle like it’s the manga section of Barnes & Noble. At that point, they either use a phone app or a dedicated scanner to scan the barcode of each and every book to find out if it has any value on the secondary market. Long story short, you won’t find many great books due to these vultures. I know some of you are thinking, “Why do you hate them so much, Will? You’re a reseller, too!” You see, my “gift” is that I have an eye. I don’t scan. I don’t use Google. I see things and notice there’s something unique about them. If they could do that with books, I’d have more respect for them. Instead, they use technology as a crutch. Without the scanner, they wouldn’t know what they have. It’s like a guy with a metal detector – even if he finds something, he probably won’t know what it is unless he truly knows coins and whatnot. Every now and then, however, I happen to find something before they do (usually it’s a book that doesn’t have a barcode; that’s too much work for them). I thought I’d share a few of those finds with ya today.

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I actually got this on my honeymoon, but didn’t fit it into the Thrift Justice Road Trip post at the time. I’ve never read Bone, and always kinda thought it was overrated. I mean, it looks like the “Adventures of Albino Smurf”. Still, you can’t really have an opinion on something you haven’t experienced, so I picked this up. “One Volume Bone” has been available for years, but I never really wanted to spend the money. There’s even a full color version now, but it was never high on my list of reading priorities. This B&W copy, however, only cost me $3 at a roadside thrift store in the Outer Banks. It’s not pristine, but it’s a good “reading copy” at about 10% of its original price.

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Like everyone else, I’d been a fan of the Boondocks series on Adult Swim, but I never really read the newspaper strips. I remember them being controversial and getting kicked out of a lot of papers, but I never gave them the time of day. So, when I came across this collection, I decided to take a chance. It also helped that the store considered this a children’s book, which meant it was $0.69. I honestly don’t even think they charged me that, which I’ll explain later…

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I’m no fan of Doctor Who. It’s not that I have anything against it, but it’s just too vast of a franchise for me to get into. I mean, it’s a 50 year old franchise! Sure, people tell me “You don’t need the old stuff. Just start with Eccleston”, but I don’t believe you! If I get into something, I go ALL IN, and that’s not easy to do when half of the series is only on tapes allegedly owned by some African warlord. So, that has kept me from giving The Doctor a chance. Still, these books are from that earlier era, and I love a good sourcebook, so I grabbed all of these. I’m still not sure if I’ll ever read them or just try to sell them.

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This is a nice coffeetable book that I got the week after Disney bought LucasFilm. Nice pictures. Still gonna sell it, though. I’m no Warsie. #Trekkie4Life

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So, this was a nice find and I’m sure I only got it because there was no barcode (I love that scanners are too lazy to type in a simple ISBN). This was a 3-volume hardcover reprint set of the Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson Star Wars newspaper strips. Remember how I thought I got Boondocks for free? It was because of this set. I don’t think the cashier saw that book because it was between these. That wasn’t strategic or anything – just coincidental. So, as she flipped through them, she decided that they were children’s books. Signed & numbered children’s books. In GREAT condition. So, after a quick trip to my friend eBay, a $2.07 investment eventually netted me $160. Man, there are times when I LOOOOVE thrifting! This was  one of them.

So, there ya have it. Book scanners make things a bit more difficult, but there are still treasures to be found. For all of their tech, they’re still missing some gems right in front of their faces. And that’s just fine by me!

07th Jan2013

Thrift Justice – Sign Your Name Across My Art

by Will

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Welcome to the first Thrift Justice of 2013! Oddly enough, the stuff you’re seeing today is probably the stuff I’ve been holding onto the longest. Before I ever really envisioned the whole Thrift Justice thing, I used to frequent thrift stores to rummage through the longboxes of long forgotten comics. Longboxes are a funny thing for me – while they’re sometimes filled with treasure, they simultaneously fill me with a sense of anxiety that I can’t even convey. I have this tic where I feel like I HAVE to go through each box because you never know what might be in them. I HAVE TO. So, a room with 14 longboxes is both a blessing and a curse. Luckily, the thrift store only had about 2 boxes, but I never really expected to find what you’re going to see here today: autographed comics!

The thing with autographed books is that you never really know if they’re authentic. I mean, unless you watched it get signed, anyone could’ve put that signature on there, certificate of authenticity be damned! Still, I’m a bit familiar with the signatures we’ll see, so even if fake, they’re good forgeries.

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First up, we’ve got the Top Cow “classic” (can you see me making air quotes?) CyberForce #1.  I actually recently read the first volume of this series, so I’ll cover it in the upcoming return of Adventures West Coast. For now, let’s just focus on this one issue. It appears to be signed by EVERYONE at Homage Studios (except Jim Lee). Sadly, they gave it the gold Sharpie treatment, so I can’t read most of them. Because I have history with Dynamic Forces limited editions, I can make out some of it. For example, that’s Top Cow CEO/series creator Marc Silverstri’s signature across the title. Anyway, this book is from the early 90s, so it’s got the requisite holofoil gimmick cover, and will probably give you lead poisoning if you breathe in too much around it. Man, I can’t wait to review that book. It was GOLD!

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Anyone remember Devin Grayson? Well, if you’re new to comics, there was actually a woman who once worked for DC Comics NOT named Gail Simone! While Gail was off writing Agent X (Deadpool Who Wasn’t Deadpool. Don’t ask), Devin was a key writer in the Batman corner of the DCU. She had long stints on The Titans and Nightwing (she actually wrote a controversial issue where he got raped. Not even lying), plus she wrote the majority of the Batman: Gotham Knights series. Then, she went on to Marvel to write the forgotten Ghost Rider: The Hammer Lane series, and just kinda faded away. At one time, there was Devin, Christina Z, and Louise Simonson, yet people act like Gail was some sort of trailblazer.

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If you were a comic creator in the mid-late 90s, chances are you went through a Titties & Monsters phase. It was something of a rite of passage. This was that phase for Tony Daniel. Oh, you know who he is. He likes to be called Tony S. Daniel or Anthony Daniel now, but same guy: he took over the art on Grant Morrison’s Batman once Kubert bailed. He also wrote the New 52 relaunch of Detective Comics. I actually bought this series when it was out. Published by Image Comics, The Tenth was about some jailbait that hung out with a big ass monster. It probably had some kinda plot, but I was 16 and I liked how he drew girls. At least Spawn was “What if Satan Were Batman”, but 15 years later and I still can’t tell you what the Hell it was about. Anyway, this was an exclusive cover offered by American Entertainment – they were a mail order company that used to have ads in all the comics.

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This is the final issue of the JLA: Year One maxiseries, signed by inker Michael Bair. I’m familiar with his work because he inked Rags Morales’s art on Identity Crisis. In fact, I initially got his autograph when I met him and Brad Meltzer at a signing for Identity Crisis. So, while flipping through the longbox, I said aloud, “I know that guy!” Anyway, I’ve never actually read this series. Mark Waid wrote it, so it’s probably good. That said, it’s pre New 52, which means it “doesn’t count” anymore. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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This is Wonderlost #1, signed by writer C.B. Cebulski. This was an interesting project. I actually read this when it was originally released, as I got a comp copy some years back. CB was an editor at Marvel, but had the option to do work for other publishers, so he delivered this anthology of anecdotes from his adolescence. While it entertaining read, it still left you wondering “Why?” Like, it read like one of those collections you’d get from a company like Top Shelf, where they call them “comix”. Each anecdote is handled by a different artist, and the cover was by Leinil Francis Yu.  It’s clear that it was a bit of a love letter to his teenage years, but it was just such an odd fit for Image at the time. In fact, it probably still would be. He’s currently the Senior VP of Creative and Creator Development for Marvel.

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I put these two together because that’s how I found them: sharing opposites sides of the same bag/board combo. Also, they seem to go together thematically. Here, we have Hitman #5 and Preacher #17. These clearly came from the same collection, as they’re both made out to “Bob”. Hitman is signed by series artist John McCrea, while Preacher is signed by cover artist Glenn Fabry. Plus, the chick at the register just seemed to think it was one really thick comic, so two signed comics for $0.50! Anyway, I haven’t read much of either series. I think they’ve finally collected all of Hitman, so I’ll definitely check that out. Meanwhile, I’m still on Vol 2 of Preacher.

So, there ya have it. My mild obsession led to some interesting finds, and I never paid more than fifty cents for any of them. Try paying a creator fifty cents for his signature at a convention! Are they all legitimate? I think they are, but who knows? WHO CARES?! I got a good story out of it, right? And, really, that’s all that really counts.

08th Feb2012

The Toy Fair Post

by Will

This is part of a post that I teased all the way back at the tail end of 2011, and here we are, almost 2 months later. Before we jump into things, I should probably tell you that you won’t get the whole story this go-round, but it’ll lead into wonderful new things. That’s worth it, right? Anyway, I thought this would be a great time for the post, as many of my e-friends are gearing up to head to NYC for Toy Fair, and what you’ll see here ties into that. What’s Toy Fair? Well, I’m glad you asked!

The American International Toy Fair is held every February at both The Javits Center and the Toy Building in NYC. It’s a trade show for the industry, where buyers come to see the toys that are expected to be the hot items during the next holiday season. As it’s a trade show, it’s not open to the public. So, this has caused the show to be surrounded by a certain mystique, as toy fans have wondered what occurred within those halls. To a toy fan, going to Toy Fair is like going to Mecca. In recent years, however, it has been easier to gain access, as blogs have been able to gain press access. What used to be relegated to a ten-minute segment on 48 Hours is now the bread and butter of the toy blog set. Toy Fair news, especially the exclusive kind, is guaranteed site hits.

As we’ve already covered on the site, I love learning about the toy industry. Sure, the product is nice, but there tends to be a more interesting story behind the product. It recently occurred to me that I never wrote about my own Toy Fair experience. I, like other toy fans, have had dreams of entering the halls of Toy Fair. Remember that 48 Hours special I mentioned in the last paragraph? Well, that’s how it all started. I remember it clearly: 1988 – I was eating one of those giant chocolate chip cookies that you get from delis. And since I had a loose tooth, chewing said cookie knocked out my tooth. Anyway, while eating this cookie, I was watching 48 Hours (I was a weird kid), and they were showing the Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation toys. This was also the dawn of my Trekkiedom, so seeing toys and Star Trek at the same time sent my little heart a-flutter. I noticed that the toys were being presented by spokesmodels wearing Starfleet uniforms. As I continued watching, I learned that this show happened EVERY year! Unfortunately, it was also only open to people in the toy industry. I didn’t know how, but I was going to find some way into that show. That was the plan.

Fast forward 20 years later. Yes, it really took 20 years. I was working at Diamond Comic Distributors, and I’d pretty much exploited that job for every opportunity it presented. I got sent to New York Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and worked with the dude who wrote most of the episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Hell, my biggest account handled Transformers, G.I. Joe and Ghostbusters! I’d made all my dreams come true – except one. It was time to go for the brass ring. You see, Diamond also has a toy department. Well, they actually kind have two: there’s Diamond Select Toys, which is basically Art Asylum in sheep’s clothing and there’s the Diamond Toy Department, which buys up mass market things, like Marvel Legends from Hasbro, and then distributes them to comic shops. Due to its role in the toy industry, Diamond also has a presence at Toy Fair. I don’t know how I pulled this. I honestly never expected this to go through, but I mentioned to my awesome, awesome boss that I’d always wanted to go to Toy Fair. A few days later, he tells me that he can get me a pass. Sure, I’d have to get up there on my own, find my own lodging, etc, but I could get into the show. To this day, I wonder how he pulled that off, as they really loved to say “no” around there. So, one Vamoose Bus ticket purchased, and I was in NYC.

So, Toy Fair. It was everything I ever wanted yet nothing I expected, all at the same time. First off, while the news outlets focus on the hot popular stuff, like Star Wars, Cabbage Patch (well, in the 80s), and G.I. Joe, I was amazed by how much of the show actually catered to toys you’d never really think much about. See, as a Toy Fair novice, I didn’t realize that the GOOD stuff is at the Toy Building. Most of the major companies, like Hasbro, Mattel, etc, have year round showrooms at the Toy Building, and they hold most of their presentations there. The Javits Center is where they might set up a booth, but it’s not where they’re showing the best stuff. Instead, the Javits Center is comprised of smaller vendors. To make a comic analogy, Marvel and DC are in the Toy Building, while Javits is the small press.

Walking around, it was interesting to see 10 different Chinese vendors trying to sell the same little pedal car. I guess they all use the same factory, and then it becomes a bidding war to see who can give retailers the best price. Oh, right. I forgot that part. The purpose of Toy Fair (in theory) is so that retail buyers can get a sneak peak at the holiday season’s projected hits, so that they can place their orders for the season. I said “in theory” because it’s a not-so-well known fact that there’s actually an earlier November Toy Fair that’s just for the big guys like Toys “R” Us, Target, and Walmart. So, while the February Toy Fair might feature “new” stuff for some buyers, it’s more of a refresher for the bigger guys. Anyway, you end up seeing more stuff that would end up in a mom and pop toy store than you would in a major market retailer. For example, this was during the Mentos/Coke craze, so there was actually a science kit with elaborate tubes and stuff, allowing you to really get some mileage out of that explosion.

Since I didn’t know about the Toy Building showrooms at the time, I missed out on all the cool stuff. Still, I made my dream come true, and I got into Toy Fair. There was a lot of other stuff that happened during that trip, worst of all was me losing my cell phone in a cab. It was like a scene from a movie – I realized I’d left it in there just as it pulled off. I ran after it, but it turned a corner. As I ran around the corner, there was a SEA of yellow cabs. Which one was it?!! So yeah, lost my cell phone in a cab, in New York City, on a government holiday ( I think it was Presidents Day).

So why did I post this now? Well, one of the best parts about Toy Fair is the exclusives. Some of these are rare toys, while some are just industry-specific brochures. I’m sad to say that I didn’t leave with much during my adventure. I still have the program, and I think I have a picture frame, but that’s about it. However, over Christmas, I went to Denver and found a few Toy Fair items that I simply couldn’t leave behind. I think any child of the 80s would love to see these, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen…tomorrow.

12th Oct2011

Adventures West Coast: Complete Strangers In Paradise (Pocket Edition)

by Will


Oh, Strangers In Paradise! This is one that I’ve been dreading for some time. I’d always wanted to read the series, as it was THE indie darling of the 90s. Most of all, it was always at the top of all those “Which Comics Would My Girlfriend Would Love?” lists. A few years back, the series was collected in a bunch of digesty “Pocket Edition” books, so I saw that as a great time for me to give them a shot.

(courtesy of Comics Bulletin)


Strangers In Paradise, by Terry Moore is really structured like a sitcom. It’s got a supporting cast of zany characters, there are 6 volumes (just like 6 seasons of a sitcom), and it’s got a will they/won’t they? love story. However, for all my TV knowledge, I can’t figure out which network would air this thing. The title isn’t a clever play on words, so it couldn’t air on USA. It’s about lesbians, but not the hot kind, so no Showtime. The plot kinda goes off the rails at points, in Nip/Tuck fashion, but it’s too gyno-centric for F/X. I guess we’ll just throw it on Lifetime between some Meredith Baxter Birney movies.

Here’s the deal: Francine Peters and Katina “Katchoo” Choovanski have been friends since childhood. Francine’s chubby and has low self-esteem, so she dates douchebags. Meanwhile, Katchoo had a rough childhood, so she’s grown into an empowered feminist who doesn’t live by society’s rules. Right there, you’ve got a Thelma & Louise situation, and Katchoo struggles to make Francine see how wonderful she is. Then, you begin to see that there’s more to Francine & Katchoo than just “sista girl empowerment”. A couple of times, they get close but Francine pushes away because she wasn’t raised to think that was OK. Enter David: a struggling artist who falls madly in love with Katchoo, but she’s having none of it, as she’s just not into nice guys. So, there’s our love triangle. David loves Katchoo, Katchoo loves Francine, and Francine loves Katchoo, but won’t give in to those feelings. Simple enough, right? Brace yourself for what’s next.

See, it turns out that there’s more to Katchoo than simply an abusive father. She moved away from Francine during high school, and the details of those years had been a mystery. It turns out that Katchoo was a high class escort, working for madame/businesswoman Darcy Parker. Katchoo was Darcy’s best girl, and they’d even become lovers for a time. Darcy only pimped her girls out to politicians, which earned her a bit of political clout. One night, Katchoo and another call girl decided they’d had enough, and they plotted a way out of Darcy’s empire. They stole some money, and a politician ended up dead. Fast forward to the present: Darcy has figured out that Katchoo stole her money, and sends a bunch of muscle after her to get it back. At this point, Katchoo’s trying to live a normal life as an artist, while trying to figure out if she loves Francine or David. Then, we find out that David is *spoiler alert* Darcy’s brother, who actually knew about Katchoo’s past. Oh, and the muscle sent after Katchoo? It turns out to be her own twin sisters, Tambi and Bambi – sired by the same abusive father. Yeah.

Then there’s some kind of weird flash forward thing, where Francine & Katchoo are now Camryn Manheim & Melissa Ethridge, raising their two adult daughters in a log cabin or something. One of the daughters is trying to be a writer, and she decides to write about the love story of her “2 moms”. So, then the story basically turns into the series finale of Roseanne (remember that? Dan DIED?! Becky actually married DAVID?! Of course Jackie was gay!). So from this point on, it’s not clear if the events are actually happening, or is they’re just the result of creative license being taken in order to make the book-within-a-book more interesting.

I could get into all the side characters, like Casey and Freddie, but they’re just the comic relief, and I’d hate to spoil the INSANITY they bring to the table. Basically, when the story starts to get too heavy, Casey gets a boob job or Freddie gets emasculated by a woman. Haha!

The beauty of all the characters is that they’re flawed. Even a guy like Freddie has a sympathetic side, and you start to understand why he is like he is. I will say, however, that the series is uneven. It goes from Three’s Company to Twin Peaks at the drop of a hat. Not to mention that it’s too damn long. Indie books don’t have to keep the same schedule as Marvel and DC, as there’s more involved with the production of a self-published book. That said, it felt like Terry Moore just got to the point where he was just writing the book to write it; it stopped feeling like it was headed anywhere. There’s even the false ending in volume 5, where you learn that Francine & Katchoo are happily together, with kids. So, why the reset button? It’s not like they had a time machine or anything, so why get temporal with things? The last 2 volumes don’t really make the reset seem worthwhile. We end up with more out of place characters, like Francine’s husband Brad, and his rock star brother, Griffin. If SiP is a sitcom, volume 5 is the season where the main couple have a baby and/or Cousin Oliver/Pam/Seven comes to live with the family. It just wasn’t necessary. Oh, and David gets a brain tumor.

Due to the way that the story ebbs and flows, it almost feels like the periodical isn’t the right format for the book. Its pacing lends itself better to the world of the newspaper strip, akin to Funky Winkerbean or something. I guess it was groundbreaking to tackle a soap opera like this in the comic format. Sure, there had been romance comics in the early days of the industry, but those stories were typically done-in-one tales. This was a multi-year, multilayered story that’s really impressive in scope when you look back at it. I do, however, feel bad for anyone who read this in sequential form, as the story tends to gain and lose momentum almost without warning. In all, it was an impressive experiment to build an indie series around such an intense, soap operatic format, but I don’t know if it resulted in an even, well-rounded story.

06th Oct2011

Thrift Justice – The Case of the Three Jokers

by Will

 

So, last weekend the rain was too much of a nuisance for any of the local yard sales to take place, but I was still jonesing for a treasure hunt. That meant that I had to find someplace indoors, which led me to the Civitan Flea Market. Located in Arlington, VA, the Civitan Flea Market occurs on the first Saturday of each month, from the months of April to November. I checked it out for the first time a few months back, and I liked what I saw. Since it takes place in a multilevel parking garage, it’s open rain or shine. Basically, a vendor pays about $20 to set up in a parking space, and you’re left to just make the rounds. From what I could tell, vendors don’t seem to have “regular” spots, so I walked around to see if I noticed any of the good vendors from my first trip. But we know you’re not here for the words – you’re here for the haul!

Recently, I’ve been buying up all the cheap Calvin & Hobbes books I run across. Here’s a little confession: I really hated C&H up until about 2 months ago. I know most of my peers fondly look back on the series, but I just never “got” it. I think I had the misfortune of always tuning in when it was one of the, for lack of a better word, “preachier” strips, so I just always felt it was overrated. That said, as someone who had a myriad of imaginary friends, this series was pretty much right up my alley. So, I found a collection at a yard sale a few weeks back, which has led to the acquisition of 2 more collections.

As a fanboy, this is one of those things that I guess I’m expected to have read. I’d never really come across it, and it always seemed a little too much of a Sandman gateway book anyway. Since I’m neither a cutter, nor do I work at Hot Topic, I always shied away. Well, on this particular day, I guess I was kinda desperate to buy a comic, and this was the best I could do. The vendor wanted $3 for it, which I felt was kinda steep. Then, she told me that it was for her grandson’s college fund. I couldn’t let the guy suffer through student loans as I had. I forked over the three Georges. Then, I asked her where he was thinking of going for college. She replied, “Well, he’s only 16 months old right now.” Huh. All I could say was, “Well, I guess you’ve got a couple more sales ahead of you.”

I’d seen this book during one of the Borders liquidation sales, but couldn’t bring myself to pay what they were asking at 25% off. This, however, is not only an advance reader’s copy but it was also a quarter! I’m a sucker for preview and promo items, so this was just what the doctor ordered. The seller had placed a sticky note on it, saying it was “Perfect for fans of Family Guy and The Daily Show“. This might just be an oversell – kinda like how every comedy compared itself to The Hangover for a whole year.

If you dare claim there was a better game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, I will slap you in the face and kidnap your dog.

Stallone was supposed to be in Beverly Hills Cop. They decided they wanted to go in another, more comedic direction. He made this instead. And it was GLORIOUS. I love this movie for the odd product placement. Just imagine: Pepsi paid to have one of their soda fountains shot up in a standoff; a Christmas-themed Toys “R” Us commercial is playing in the background, as Stallone cleans his gun and eats cold pizza!

I wouldn’t buy season sets of this show, but I am sucker enough to fall for “The Mike Judge Collection”. Sure, it’s a best of collection, but it’s a multi-disc best of. Plus, I trust Mike Judge. The man went on to give us Office Space and King of the Hill. It’ll be worth it if “Teen Talk” is one of the episodes featured. “I’m Lolita, and this here’s Tanqueray. You boys wanna go back behind the bleachers and make out?”

And now we come to the reason for this post’s title. You may not be able to tell, but this is a deck of Batman Begins playing cards. It was purchased for three reasons:

1) I love Batman

2) I love shiny things/holograms

3) They were $0.25

Now, I knew what I was getting into. The seller told me that someone earlier in the day had counted the cards and that while the deck was missing an Ace, there were THREE Jokers. Now, I’m used to quirky merchandise, so I wondered if it was supposed to have 3 Jokers. I mean, “Joker” kinda means a little more in a Batman-themed card deck, so maybe that was the novelty. Still don’t know. I don’t even play cards!

This is Tri-Klops. He’s from He-Man. That is all.

 

This is Lothor – the “big bad” from Power Rangers Ninja Storm. While he was far from the most menacing villain, I always loved his aesthetic. It’s not everyday you see an evil alien ninja in a luchadore mask. The articulation sucks, like most Power Rangers villain figures, but he still looks cool standing around.

A Nightwing doll! How cool is that?! Yes, I’m calling it a “doll” because that’s basically what this is. Sure, his body is probably based on a G.I. Joe style body, but he’s got a cloth outfit and hard plastic head. He appears to have mustard or something on his chest, but I don’t care. Nightwing doll for $1!

I got this from my favorite vendor. Last time, she had some great Batman stuff, and this was just as cool. If you’re not a comic person, this is an unused cover from X-Men: Alpha, which kicked off The Age of Apocalypse. This event started just as I was getting into comics, and I haven’t experienced something that riveting since. A lot of comic crossovers are cyclical now, but this was actually a fresh idea. Anyway, this appeals to my love of comics, as well as my love of shiny thing/holograms. Oddly enough, I don’t remember this as having a holographic cover gimmick; it shipped with a foil cover gimmick, so I wonder if this was some sort of retailer exclusive.

These came from the same vendor as the X-Men cover. It may not be immediately apparent, but the “Vote DC” poster is actually a promotional item from the Marvel vs. DC event. You’ll notice Batman hiding Captain America’s shield in his cape, as Superman brandishes The Hulk’s pants. Below that is a poster for 1991’s X-Men #1. I collect comic promo items that are typically only available to retailers, so these 2 posters were great finds.

Well, that’s all she wrote for the flea market. Next month is the last one of the season, so I’m pretty sure I’ll go check it out one last time. In the meantime, I’ve got my hands full with the thrift stores. Tune in next time, where I’ll show ya some autographed stuff I came across!

10th Jun2011

52 Thoughts…

by Will

So, I already talked about the future of DC Comics in this post. At that time, I figured it was best to be optimistic, and just wait and see what was in store for us. Now, the 52 launch titles of “DCnU” (yes, I hate that, but it seems to be catching) have been announced, so I thought I’d give BRIEF thoughts on each one.

1. Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

Great idea, but we all know that this is the creative team for, at best, the initial arc. By #6, we’ll still Johns on board, but we’ll have a Kubert or Scott McDaniel on art. You could do worse, but this is a book that deserves to ALWAYS have A-list talent on it.

2. Justice League International #1 by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti

I like Booster Gold, so I’ll give it a shot. I just don’t have the love for the JLI that a lot of fans seem to have. I’m here for Batman and Booster.

3. Teen Titans #1 by  Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund

All hail our Image overlords. Seriously, this is more DV8 than Teen Titans. At least Tim Drake’s still around…

4. Suicide Squad #1 by Adam Glass and Marco Rudy

Another concept for which I’ve never had much love. It’s got Harley in it, though. Crazy, redesigned Harley.

5. Action Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

This is an iconic comic cover:

This is NOT:

Good luck with that.

6. Superman #1 by George Pérez and Jesus Merino

Meh. This would mean something in 1988. Perez doesn’t exactly “bring all the boys to the yard” these days.

7. Superboy #1 by Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva and Rob Lean

Loved the writer 20 years ago, but don’t know those artists.

8. Supergirl #1 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud A. Asrar

These guys kept Superman/Batman chugging along, but I think I was the only one buying that book. Liked Asrar on Dynamo 5, though.

9. Batman #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

Same problem as Action – this  cover isn’t dynamic enough for a book that’s being relaunched after 700 issues:

 

10. Detective Comics #1 by Tony Daniel

Can’t believe Daniel’s still on this franchise. He came along because Kubert couldn’t stay on schedule. Then, they reward him by making him the artist AND writer once Morrison went off to do what he does, resulting in a run that felt like filler. Now, they shift him over to Detective to do more of the same?

11. Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by David Finch

Relaunched after 2 long-delayed issues. Yeah, this’ll work. Paul Cornell or Peter Tomasi will be on this book in a year.

12. Batgirl #1 by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.

She is HEALED! Barbara Gordon can WALK, and it is a MIRACLE! This one’s causing a lot of chatter online. I’m kind hoping hoping the last panel of #1 shows her getting shot.

13. Batwoman #1 by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder

Do we really need this is the one, true Batchick is back on the prowl? I get that it contributes to DC’s “diversity”, but she feels pretty redundant at the moment. Plus, Williams is the draw. No one’s gonna care once Calafiore gets put on the book.

14. Catwoman #1 by Judd Winick and Guillem March

Winick, eh? How long before Selina gets a trusted confidante who’s then diagnosed with HIV? That’s the Winick Special right there!

15. Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort

I like Rocafort, but Red Hood is kinda like Hush: less is more. Don’t keep him in the spotlight. Plus, a team comprised of Arsenal and Starfire hardly makes it a “must read”.

16. Batwing #1 by Judd Winick and Ben Oliver

‘Cause we’ve all been wanting to read Bat Panther. Nobody likes reading Black Panther, so who thought putting bat ears on that concept would be a winner? This is an affirmative action ploy right here.

17. Nightwing #1 by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows

Surprise, surprise. Not. We knew it was coming, but we thought it would come through a more organic process than what’s seemingly taking place.

18. Batman And Robin #1 by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Why does this book still exist? It was created as the “new flagship”, a la Astonishing X-Men so that Morrison would have his own sandbox to play in. Once his stuff expanded to other titles, this book’s purpose ceased to exist. It’s superfluous.

19. Birds Of Prey #1 by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz

No Gail and no Oracle. This title hasn’t fared as well when Gail’s not at the helm. Also not sure about the lineup. However, if they’re still in Gotham, I’ll check it out.

20. Green Lantern #1 by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

Doesn’t seem like anything changes here. Good for its fans.

21. Green Lantern Corps #1 by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna

See #20

22. Green Lanterns: New Guardians #1 by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham and Batt

This will be the first Green Lantern book of DCnU to be canceled.

23. Red Lanterns #1 by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes and Rob Hunter.

This will be the first Lantern book of DCnU to be canceled.

*NOTE: Since there seems to always be a Green Lantern mega event on the horizon, I suspect this book, along with New Guardians will be canceled “as a result of those events” – even though it’ll really be due to sales.

24. Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

It’s Johns, so it shows DC’s committed, but Aquaman, at his best, has still been considered a joke.

25. Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello #1 and Cliff Chiang

I came for the art, but I stayed for the story. Seriously, I love anything by Cliff Chiang. Can’t say the same for Azzarello, but I’ll give it a chance.

26. Flash #1 by Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul

Who? I mean, I know Manapul – he’s supposedly the reason the last series was so late, but this other guy. I assume Flash will have a high profile, due to Flashpoint,  but this ain’t a team that instills confidence.

27. Green Arrow #1 by JT Krul and Dan Jurgens

JT Krul, huh? He did the lambasted Rise of Arsenal, but people swear he’s good. Pass.

28. DC Universe Presents #1 by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang

Anthology books don’t do well, but Jenkins is a good name to have on this. Plus, it’ll serve a key purpose in the beginning, as it will help to explain the new status quo in areas not covered in the established series.

29. Savage Hawkman #1 by Tony Daniel and Philip Tan

Ha! Hawkman’s always been a continuity bitch, and Daniel’s writing it. I saw it won’t last 2 years.

30. Blue Beetle #1 by Tony Bedard and Ig Guara

Glad Jaime’s back. It’s another diversity book, and it could be DC’s Ultimate Spider-Man if handled right.

31. Fury Of Firestorm #1 by Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver and Yildiray Cinar.

This is just City Guys with nuclear powers thrown in. Look at that cover. They should really be back to back, with their arms crossed. “They’re from different worlds, but they find out they have more in common than they thought.” Sitcom 101.

Plus, Gail doesn’t have the best track record as co-writer on a book about young heroes. Her run with Byrne on The Atom left a LOT to be desired. It’s debatable whether that was due to her or Byrne. Then, her Gen 13 run was also pretty lackluster, but that could also be attributed to that fact that it was a stale franchise. I just don’t think she has the same grasp on the “young voice” that writers like Bendis and Kirkman have.

32. Mr Terrific #1 by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson

Affirmative action hire! Kiss this goodbye.

33. Captain Atom #1 by JT Krul and Freddie Williams II

JT Krul again, and another character nobody really gives a shit about. Won’t see year 2.

34. OMAC #1 by Dan DiDio, Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish

Didio on a Kirby concept. Since it’s Didio, they won’t cancel it until it’s only selling 10 copies, but the writing will always be horrible.

35. Static Shock #1 by John Rozum, Scott McDaniel and Jonathan Glapion.

Who? Only one I know here is McDaniel. He’s got a nice, kinetic style, but I don’t know how this’ll play. Basically, Static and Blue Beetle are courting the same audience. If they’re aiming for a new audience, this is good, as it could bring in diverse readers. If we’re counting on those already reading comics, they hate minority characters.

36. Hawk And Dove #1 by Sterling Gates and Rob Liefeld

This is a joke, right?

37. Deathstroke #1 by Kyle Higgins, Joe Bennett and Art Thibert

He’s had his own series before, but he’s another character where less is more. Don’t try to turn him into an anti-hero, or try to make us sympathize with him.

38. Legion of Superheroes #1 by Paul Levitz and Francis Portela

Levitz knows the Legion, I’ll give him that. This is also, like, their 9th reboot since I’ve been born.

39. Legion Lost #1 by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods

Fabian Nicieza AND Scott Lobdell? DC really broke out the time machine, huh? Hope we get some hologram covers out of the deal!

40. Grifter #1 by Nathan Edmondson, CAFU and BIT

So, Wildstorm’s back, eh? It could work.

41. Voodoo #1 by Ron Marz and Sami Basri.

Wasn’t she a stripper? I don’t entirely remember. Based on the cover I’ve seen, and the fact that Marz is writing it, I get the feeling he’s just gonna use some of his Witchblade ideas over here. After all, more people will read this than those buying Top Cow books.

42. Stormwatch #1 by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda

Martian Manhunter’s in The Authority? It might work.

43. Animal Man #1 by Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman and Dan Green

Jeff Lemire is that indie darling DC keeps trying to push on us, but just like “fetch”, I don’t know if it’s gonna catch on.

44. Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette

Here’s your Swamp Thing, hippies. It’s even got that Scott Snyder y’all love so much. I feel like this might be a “be careful what you wish for” situation, where having ST in the main DCU isn’t as awesome as you thought it was going to be.

45. Justice League Dark #1 by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin

Better hope this is a mini. Sure, it’s Milligan, but this is just Shadowpact all over again.

46. Demon Knights #1 by Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert

See #45

47. Frankenstein: Agent Of SHADE #1 by Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli

I like Frankenstein. I like SHADE. I also realize this is just Hellboy and the BPRD. Luckily, I like this character more than I do Hellboy – that is if it’s the same characterization as in Seven Soldiers.

48. Resurrection Man #1 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Fernando Dagnino

Doesn’t see year 2.

49. I, Vampire #1 by Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino

Might’ve worked as a low-selling-as-singles-but-sells-respectably-in-trade Vertigo title, but I don’t see it working as a mainstream DCU book.

50. Blackhawks #1 by Mike Costa and Ken Lashley

A cool, honor-bound group of pilots is now updated into a band of infojock mercenaries. Like Checkmate, I think this concept would be cool woven throughout the universe, and maybe given a mini here and there, but I don’t think it’s a viable ongoing concept.

51. Sgt Rock And The Men Of War #1 by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick

There are folks who love war comics. Then again, that war is typically WWII. The Big One. All that. Not sure if modernizing it will work, based on common opinions of our current wars. However, it’s the DCU, so all the battles will take place in fictional places, like Bialya, so it won’t matter.

52. All-Star Western #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey and Meridat.

It’ll march along  just like Jonah Hex did. “A rose by any other name…”

So, those are my initial thoughts. I hope I wasn’t too mean. If anything, I kinda wanted to make a note of this point in time so that I can come back to it when the books ship, and see if I still feel the same. What are your thoughts on the new lineup?

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