Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Comicbörse Stuttgart 2010

Last Saturday the Comicbörse Stuttgart took once again place ( it´s twice a year, the next date is May the 28th 2011 ) and I wanted to write about it on Saturday but as always I was too wasted afterwards.

I had already expected that the earliest I could post would be Sunday but on Sunday I was too tired. Saturday had really been exhausting and I needed to recuperate my strength. On Monday I had to go to Ludwigsburg to a copyshop to do a test printing for that new company but that was one trainwreck in and onto itself. Maybe I´ll write about it when we are in the final stages of the project. And the test printing was much more expensive than I thought. I had enough money left to pay for it but it ate almost all of my budget for this month. And on top of that I had an appointment with the unemployment office. Another grueling day.

On Tuesday I had to write a few job applications and I was still a bit down from the experience at the copyshop. So no new post till Today. Which means that I only managed to do 5 posts in November but that´s still a good month. It seems my average posting ratio is between 4 and 5 posts a month now so 5 posts means a good month. Today I had to get up early to sent one of the two test prints to the fine folks at ZWERCHFELL who were so kind and gave me the data for the test prints in the first place. And a surprise package that goes overseas. Can´t wait to see how that will be received.

Anyway, back to the happenings at the Comicbörse in Stuttgart before the comics I bought there disappear into the various comicboxes that are all over the house.

The attendance looked like less than the last time but it´s already been so long that I don´t really remember how many people came last time. It sure was full just before I went home. I usually go there to find some stuff at half off prices or to meet the usual suspects. As someone who goes there regularly one already knows the dealers, some publishers and the big comicstars.

It´s a welcome break from the usual treadmill and reminds you why you are a comicfan in the first place. You get there, meet people and the rest of the weekend is just comics, comics, comics. And it´s a chance for me to see what´s up in the german comicscene since that is one of the few venues where I can see all the new books that have come out in Germany especially from the smaller companies. Most german books are just too expensive so besides the ones I can get at the train station in Ludwigsburg there are not that many german series in my reading diet. Especially since most of them are the translations of american comics except HAMMERHARTE HORRORSCHOCKER which I am following religiously.

I had hoped to find some Christmas presents there but it seems like I have to look somewhere else for them. Nobody had a copy of the CORALINE comic by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell so I´m probably going to have to order it at amazon. I already looked at all the bookshops and comicshops in Ludwigsburg but it seems I´m a few months late. Also I didn´t find any LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES or ELFQUEST issues. I think I totally forgot about them.

I also totally forgot to look for new issues of DAS SAGTE NUFF.

The event started at half past nine ( I think ) but because I went to bed really late the night before I just got up at nine. I had already prepared most of my stuff the day before ( something I learned when doing the course that ended in October ) so I just had to wash and go ( no pun intended ) to Stuttgart. The busride was uneventful as was the trainride but once I continued on foot it was another thing.

I could have gotten something to eat at the central station in Ludwigsburg but I opted for a snack at Burger King at the train terminal in Stuttgart. Naturally there was only one counter open and it took extralong to get my food. Afterwards I had to use the toilet and there was one that just had been opened a few months ago. At least I think so because I hadn´t seen them before. They are on the exit in the middle of the train terminai where you take the escelator to the subway that has a special conveyor belt for the luggage.

The new toilets were clean, quiet and not too expensive. Of course now that I was already late I had to wait 15 minutes because the police had to throw out some kind of bum or drug addict that had fallen asleep in one of the cabins. Talk about an eventful trip. In any case, when I finally arrived at the DGB Haus ( where the Comicbörse Stuttgart takes place ) it was already eleven o clock. Since I couldn´t see any of the Dinter Brothers on stage I went looking for the 50 % off table.

There´s always one table where you get the thick comicbooks at half price but usually I tend to find it at the end of the con when I don´t have much money left. This time I went straight looking for that one. Although I first made a stop at the table of my usual comicshop where I got one comic at half price.

So what did I get ? At 50 % off I got from PANINI Comics Germany DAREDEVIL 5 - HART ABER UNGERECHT collecting the US issues Daredevil 106 - 110 and Deredevil Tarantula.

This volume comes directly after the last american trade I bought. There was also volumes 6 and 7 at a dealer´s table but with a price of 14 bucks for each one they were even more expensive than the original trades. So either I´ll get them via amazon or wait till the next Comicbörse.

Daredevil is one of the series that I´m following in trade form ever since Bendis and Maleev took over and I usually can wait till I find them at discount price. It´s been so long since I read the last volume that I have re - read them again beginning with the MURDOCK PAPERS trade. And I have to say the change from Alex Maleev to Michael Lark is akin to the change from Salvador Larocca to Carlos Pacheco on FANTASTIC FOUR. One of the things I always found weird is how most comic readers praise the Bendis run as one of the best ever and this huge epos blablabla. Now I don´t want to say it´s not a good read ( otherwise I never would have suffered through Alex Maleev´s artwork ) but I think one of the reasons it stands out qualitywise is that it has ONE creative team for a very long time.

And people have little to compare it to - speaking of actual titles. Aside from the books written by Bendis or Ed Brubaker you can count yourself lucky if a creative team stays on one title for six consecutive issues. There are really only a handful of current titles in the Marvel universe where you can see what can be achieved if one writer gets the chance to develop his own vision and longterm stories. So most readers have to compare it to the classic runs from Yesteryear which may be one of the reasons most think of it in terms of the great classic runs.


Just last month I decided to get the back issues of GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS I was missing. The GREEN LANTERN movie is coming and thanks to the Green Lantern videos I posted in my last posts I got a hankering for Green Lantern centric stuff. GREEN LANTERN AGENT ORANGE collects issues 39 to 43 of GREEN LANTERN which I skipped mostly due to Billy Tan´s artwork of which I´m not that big a fan as to buy single issues. I think issue 43 is one of the issues still in my comicbag at the comicshop but I´ll just bring it back to the basement.

RED ROBIN 1 : DER GRAL ( collecting issues 1 - 4 of the regular series ) is a comic I got because of a review I read on COLLECTED EDITIONS about the RED ROBIN : COLLISION trade paperback that sounded interesting. So that book was on my radar and I also was curious what Tim Drake was doing after the events of BATMAN R.I.P. It´s also a chance to see what my paisano Ramon Bachs is doing although I have to say it doesn´t look like they inked his stuff here. I mean there is an inker listed but the art looks like the usual " taken right from pencil and darkened digitally " comics I´ve seen here and there.

Last but not least I got the BLACKEST NIGHT MONSTER EDITION at the table of my usual comicshop at half price because the back cover was damaged. It collects the BLACKEST NIGHT one shots ATOM AND HAWKMAN 46, THE POWER OF SHAZAM 48, THE QUESTION 37, WEIRD WESTERN TALES 71, CATWOMAN 83,THE PHANTOM STRANGER 42 and STARMAN 81 as well as the BLACKEST NIGHT tie - ins THE OUTSIDERS 24 and 25 and SECRET SIX 17 and 18. With a regular price of 30 EUROS it´s outside of my price range but at 15 bucks it´s okay.

One of the main problems with the MONSTER EDITIONS of PANINI ( as well as some of the other collections ) is the price they charge. And I not only say that because I want cheaper comics but also because I see the huge piles of them people buy when they get them at 50 % off or even with just a small discount of ten or five EUROS. I don´t think they don´t sell so good because the material that´s collected is uninteresting to german readers. It´s more that they are mostly five EUROS above the pain threshold of the readers. Especially if you can get the US hardcover collection for the same price ( or sometimes even less ) as the german softcover collection. Which in some cases also has a bad translation.

Another german comic I bought were volumes 3 and 5 of the CROSS CULT reprint of ANDRAX by Peter Wiechmann and Jordi Bernet. The series was originally published in Rolf Kauka´s PRIMO COMICS

and later in ZACK.

This is the first re - mastered complete edition that contains a few unpublished comics. I already got issues 2 and 4 at my usual comicshop with a big discount because the inside pages were printed upside down. Now I just need the first volume for the complete set.

CROSS CULT is the company that got the german licenses for HELLBOY, B.R.P.D. and SIN CITY ( among others ) and it´s really difficult to get some of their hardcovers for less than regular price. I know because I´ve been trying for over a year to swap the first volumes of LONE RANGER and VAMPIRE BOY for some volumes of WALKING DEAD. Well, maybe I can put them on the pile of comics for the big Christmas contest if I ever get around to organize it. In any case, to get them at 10 bucks each was an opportunity I couldn´t let slip by.

I also found something for an acquaintance but since he probably hasn´t received my mail yet I´m not going to mention it in case he reads my blog.

After that I went up the stage because my brother had finally arrived and he told me that he had seen one of the Dinter Brothers there. Of course by the time I was on stage he had already left for parts unknown. And by the time I was once again on the floor looking for him he was back. So I had to go up a second time. Damn stairs.

I also met Geier who was so generous to give me a copy of HORST volumes 2 and 3.

Now I feel a bit bad about not having finished the next translation. Oy ! I heard that this time PANINI didn´t change as much as in the first volume but I still have to read them sometime. Right now I have a big pile of comics to read - and I love it.

There are also a few US comics I bought at the Comicbörse Stuttgart. There was one dealer who sold american comics for 1 EURO and inbetween all the issues of YOUNGBLOOD and other comic jewels I found issues 32 to 34 of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, issues 53 and 57 of GREEN LANTERN ( another two issues that go back to the basement ), THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD issue 25 co - starring HARDWARE and BLUE BEETLE and issues 1 to 9 of JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST.

The Justice League issues were some I was still missing, the Green Lantern issues I wanted to buy anyway and I was really curious to see what was going on in Generation Lost now that Maxwell Lord is back after BLACKEST NIGHT and no - one except the surviving members of the Giffen League remember him.

I was a bit reluctant to put the book on my pull list but at 1 EURO per issue I´m willing to check out the first 9 issues. And , okay, to say the truth, I only picked Brave and the Bold 25 ( the real series not the one based on the cartoonshow with the Batman with the monsterjaw )

so that I had a nice number like 15. Maybe watching too much MONK is starting to rub off on me.

So all things considered I didn´t get any presents for Chritsmas but I got a nice stack of comics at a really good price. And I got to stay in contact with all the folks I usually meet there. I´m definitely going to be at the next one in May.

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