Saturday Bullet-points

February 14, 2009
  • My day started off around 5:45 this morning. I woke slightly, tried to readjust a pillow, and knocked this computer off the stand it’s been on, so got up to make sure I hadn’t destroyed it. Use the restroom, and realized it was later than I’d’ve gotten up if I was working today.
  • Popped in a Highlander video (yeah, VHS), expecting to watch a quick 10-minute blooper reel, but it was the “Highlander: Behind the Scenes” special, so that was about 45 minutes. A bit of reading, some putzing around, and now I’m definitely up for the day–at least until/unless I take a nap later.
  • Getting ready to get around for the day. Figure head up toward my parents’; get an oil change; get stuff to make some “mexican cornbread,” and hopefully spend much of the afternoon working on a new/addition-to photobook.  Re-sharing the old one with Eric last night has definitely re-inspired me as to the worthwhile-ness of the project; though I doubt it’ll be completed for another couple weeks.
  • I have High School Musical 3 songs stuck in my head. Thursdy night was curious as to when HSM3 would be out on DVD; decided to look it up. Turns out it’s due out this upcoming Tuesday–which is rather cool. Unfortunately, nothing yet that I see regarding any kind of 3-pack. And so I have NO real intention of purchasing this. If there were a $10 single-case trilogy pack (or given the new-ness, even $20) I MIGHT consider it. But I will NOT pay $20 for just one or two of the HSM films.
  • My review of Tales of the TMNT #55 was noticed last week by Dan Berger, the TMNT webmaster over at And the writer of Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade linked to my review of #3 as well.
  • Work is definitely getting to me–too often, I find myself thinking in terms of “efficiency.” Whether it’s throwing food into the microwave and THEN putting the rest of the groceries away (so the food can heat as I’m productively putting stuff away, then can eat quickly and get on with evening plans) or scanning/processing/uploading cover images to cX hoping they can be approved lightning-quick while I get the rest of my cover images scanned/processed and uploaded to my webspace for CRBW, or just whatever.
  • I’ve been thinking about switching some webhosting stuff around, and seeing if I can simply point to my reviews site, and let that be my primary site. Unfortunately, to do so would require editing 100+ reviews so I don’t lose the cover images associated with each. Assuming I decide to do that, it’ll probably be another month or two, and begin with playing with uploading to wordpress, and seeing how the files are stored and such. Ideally a consistent path with just the image name itself changing–that would make it relatively simple, provided I can mass-upload.
  • ‘Nuff rambling…I”m out.

comics and pricing

January 13, 2009

Sunday while grocery shopping, I happened across Wolverine & the X-Men Magazine, issue 1. Flipped through it, curious…and ultimately bought it.  For only 1.5 times the price of all of Marvel’s mini-series and many of their “regular” books, this magazine contained the contents of 4 comics, plus a Mini-Marvels strip. Wolverine & Kitty Pride: First Class #1; an issue of X-Men: First Class, plus the original Incredible Hulk #s 180 & 181–the story that introduced the world to the Wolverine.

so, two “modern” comics’ contents, two reprints of classic issues, and a mini Marvels strip. NONE of which I’d read previously. So really, one of the greatest values I’ve gotten for buying something “new” at “cover price.”

And it’s got me thinking. I would really, REALLY like to see Marvel AND DC do something like this for brand new material. Give us a magazine with 3-4 issues’ worth of content plus a reprint or two (ideally, relevant in some way or theme to the new materil). And then at the end of a story arc, collect JUST that story into its own volume.  Give me an X-magazine with Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, and reprint, say, from Giant-Size X-Men #1 and 1991’s X-Men #1. Two current, one line of reprint stories going WAAAY back, and one line of reprint stories going back to the early 1990s. A second X-magazine could cover Young X-Men, X-Factor, and Cable, with reprints of 1990s’ issues from X-Factor, X-Force, or Cable–heck, do a run of New Mutants from Cable’s first appearance and follow that to X-Force. Alternate months or story arcs.

Another magazine could include Iron Man and Captain America current stuff, while reprinting classic Iron Man and Cap stories (Demon in a Bottle for Iron Man, maybe go back to early Cap & Falcon issues; or late-80s/early-90s Cap stuff). Thor and Incredible Herc could have a magazine, with reprints of classic Avengers stories or solo Thor stuff, and the classic Hercules mini-series or such.  An Avengers magazine could do New and Mighty Avengers plus Initiative, with reprints of classic Avengers.

Or just do all the new stuff by “family.” Give me a $10-$15 volume with all of the month’s X-books (Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force, Young X-Men, X-Men: Legacy, as a Shonen Jump style thing (cover’s flimsy paper, interior’s newsprint) (well, at that quality, make the volume $10-$12, max). 6 issues’ content for the price of 3-4. Yeah, someone only wanting to buy one title would have to pay more just to read that title, but someone interested in a couple would get more bang for their buck.  Then when the twice-yearly wrap-up happens, put out a new volume of Astonishing X-Men collecting ONLY “Astonishing X-Men” without the other titles. Someone buying monthly gets more books in one volume for cheaper; those waiting for the trade anyway can still do so.

G.I. Joe #1 from IDW comes out tomorrow. Part of me really wants to buy it. But, I do NOT want to “support” the $3.99 price point, NOR the ridiculous variants. The idea of 3 (or even 2 with a mini-series) ongoing Joe titles is very appealing, and the concept interesting. But at $4/issue when I may not even be able to get the cover I’d want (and the issue itself would be promoting the other variants and the uber-rare retailer-sell-your-left-arm-exclusive variants)…….it’s the principle of the thing.

Maybe if the collected volumes are reasonably priced.

Still, a bummer to have a title of no little interest that I’ve gotta avoid on my own principle.


December 29, 2008

I really need to establish and then maintain a list of back-issues that I’m interested in.

Went to a comic store today for the final day of an “end of the year sale,” in which all back issues were anywhere from 25% to 90% off. Still missing a couple issues of Robin between 112 and 120, but darned if I can remember WHICH couple. Plus, there are–I know–a number of other “runs” with a few holes to be plugged (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight 1-80ish, Green Lantern 90s series 1-50ish, Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Incredible Hulk 400-465ish, etc and so on).

Wound up getting a couple issues of the “Merdude &” mini from the Archie TMNT line (apparently signed by Dan Berger?), cuz I do want to complete my Archie TMNT collection.

Picked up Kingdom Come #4, completing the singles in my collection.

Nabbed Green Lantern vs. Aliens 1-4, as that’s a story I’ve been interested in for quite awhile (and furthering my quest to read all of the DC vs. Aliens and DC vs. Predator or DC vs. Aliens/Predator stories).

Finally, picked up Astonishing X-Men #3. This was the final issue of the mini-series from late summer/early fall 1999, wrapping up the “The Shattering” story where Xavier disbanded the X-Men, and featuring the “death” of Wolverine.  I’d picked up the first 2 issues as they came out, but this third issue sold out before I was able to get a copy back in ’99, and has eluded me for 8 years or so–I’d held off buying it before, waiting for a sle like this one.

I’d actually forgotten what enjoyment can be found hunting for specific issues.

Christmas cheer? Blogging while bummed

December 16, 2008

It’s 9 days ’til Christmas.

But it doesn’t even begin to FEEL like it.

I just feel cold and tired toward stuff…it’s like the consumerism/commercialism has taken over.  And between work and the downhill trend the last few months in my social arena…the sheer DISCONNECT from people…it just feels like I’m slogging through life, regardless of what month it is or some important day approaching.

I find myself alternatingly frustrated and disgusted with Christmas music–just so totally NOT in the mood for it–and yet part of me wishes that I were.

I’m sick and tired of “society” at large seeking to shape what I’m supposed to be, think, say, DO. Christmas, AND other stuff.

Tomorrow’s Wednesday.  New Comic Day…which means back to writin’ some reviews.

Sad thought? Comics have been a constant in my life longer than any person outside immediate family.


December 14, 2008

For the last couple months, I’ve lost track of just how many of my (DC) comics have had a four-page ad right in the center of the comic.  Now, the first couple weeks, it was a simple matter to grip the thing, give a quick yank, and out the ads came with the comic itself none the worse for it.

The third week, I yanked, and ripped the adjoining pages.

They had not only stapled the ad in as any other pages/ads usually would be….BUT had also GLUED the ad TO the other pages.  So that one is FORCED to leave the ad in, unless they want to rip out 4ish pages of actual comic.

To ME, that says that they know people (might) rip ’em out and such, and are specifically taking action to force people to leave ’em in.

Quite frustrating.

Comic Book creator credits

December 5, 2008

I’ve been filling in my reviews templates with the creator credits for comics I’m going to review this week.  Came to Justice Society of America #21, and scoured the issue thrice before determining that it did NOT, in fact, include any creator credits.  So I went to DC Comics’ website and found a brief writer/artist/cover credit (which leaves out colorist, letterer, assistant/associate editor, and editor). Then noticed they had a PDF preview available–found the credits there: in a dark grey on black that I could barely make out (double-checked that page in my print edition, and it’s just a solid black bar).

I’ve also noticed of late that both DC and Marvel tend to NOT list the Cover artist/inker/colorist anymore (for years, actually).  Whenever I do reviews of Marvel or DC books, I tend to have to go to their websites to see who they list for the covers.

When I recently wrote up reviews of the original “Death of Superman” comics, I noticed that with the letters pages they always listed who did the covers; I also recall early in my reviewing back in ’04, DC used to list the cover credits on the last page of the issue with the “next issue” cover preview and other “house ad” stuff.

It just seems strange to me that the cover creators are often left out altogether, and even that an issue would ship out with the entirety of its creator credits not showing.

The way it SHOULD be done

November 23, 2008

Sometimes it can be quite cool to have a comic’s cover-image be much larger/wider/whatever than the standard front-of-the-comic cover.  In this case, Alex Ross had a 3-paneled image of Superman, Supergirl, and a number of other Kryptonians for use with the “New Krypton” story.  It is shown below as it was published: one panel per cover for three consecutive issues/chapters of the story.  When you put the three covers–one cover, one single copy of each book, three different books–one has a very cool larger-than-normal image.

Unlike, say, the double-panel image used with Justice League of America #1, in which they didn’t even bother to do a wrap-around cover-image, but made each panel a different edition of the SAME book.  (Shoot, have 1/2 as issue #1, and the other 1/2 as the cover for issue #2!)

For that matter, this New Krypton image easily could have been a 3-cover variants series for any one of the issues, or used with the New Krypton Special.  As it is, each of these issues has had a variant cover anyway (I opted to get the ‘standard’ editions, knowing I’d get this triptych out of it, and I enjoy the sense of continuity alluded to by the covers).

Superman #681 / Action Comics #871 / Supergirl #35

Superman #681 / Action Comics #871 / Supergirl #35