Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stuttgarter Comicbörse - too late, too little time

As predicted in my last post a few days have passed and my post about Jamie Lee Curtis has been longer on the blog than the one about D - GRUPPE I wrote before that. It are always the posts I want to keep on the blog as long as possible that spend the least amount of time on it.

But nothing in life goes as planned. Like my visit to the Stuttgarter Comicbörse this month which was way shorter and much later than planned. To which we will get in a moment.

First I wanted to mention that there were two more things - aside from what I already expected like exhaustion from the Comicbörse throughout the weekend - that delayed a new post. Number 1 was that my internet explorer seems to have problems with blogger, meaning it crashes when I try to upload pictures or publish a post. At first I thought that was because I didn´t have enough free space on the computer but even after I trashed a lot of garbage the problem still remains. Which means right now I´m writing this post with Mozilla Firefox and I have to do the finetuning in Explorer later so I know everything is at it´s proper place.

The other thing is that I now finally have a job. It´s only three days a week but for the moment that is enough. Yesterday was my first day at work and Today I woke up sore all over. Maybe that is just because I´m not used to work anymore or maybe the days are over where I could do hard physical labour. Who knows ?

The good thing is that instead of the job at the health spa I´m working outside now which means instead of having to work late at night and having to worry about catching the last bus ride home I finish work in the afternoon. The bad thing is instead of working at the health spa that is really warm I have to work outside where it´s really cold which isn´t good for my cold. But how do they say : you have to die one kind of death.

So, waking up Today the first thing I had to do was go to the pharmacy to get some cough drops because I was too wasted Yesterday. The only things I did buy were a pack with 50 CDRoms to clean out the computer and two bottles of SCHWIP SCHWAP light because I forgot to bring something to drink to work and was thirstier than a dozen russians afterwards. I drank half a bottle before catching the bus home and the other half of the first bottle after getting there.

The second bottle was originally planned for Tomorrow, when I have to work again but it seems I´m not the only one who likes the drink so I also had to buy something to drink Today. Like I said I was really knocked out after work so instead of buying some medicine for my cold I went straight home. Which in turn meant getting up Today to go to the pharmacy. On the way back I bought more to drink but the bottle didn´t even last till dinner so I had to go a second time in the afternoon and buy more to drink. I hope there is one bottle left of the two I bought when I get up Tomorrow.

So, Today every muscle in my body was aching, especially my back is killing me and the first thing I did was going for a forced march. I tried to take a nap but there was always something else coming up and now it´s almost time for DR. HOUSE so I can forget about it. Maybe Tomorrow after work. Today I was just constantly interrupted by a short visit from my aunt and the usual hijinks with my Mum. You know, Mothers are strange and it´s always the same. First they want to order clothes online even if you don´t think that is such a good idea. When you say that you can´t try it on before ordering they say they will just send it back if they don´t fit. But when the clothes arrive and don´t fit they want to change it instead of sending them back. Why ? I already have clothes that don´t fit me. Why do I need more of them ? Or they say that maybe in two months you will loose a few pounds and they WILL fit.

Then why can´t it wait until in a few months ? Why do I have to order it now ? It´s not like there´s a war going on and they are going to ration clothes and we have to stock up on them. When I have lost a few pounds in the next few months - THEN we can get new clothes. Although then I can probably finally fit into the stuff I already have and don´t need new stuff. I don´t know. Women have this strange habit of buying new clothes that don´t fit like it automatically forces them to loose weight.

The problem is that doesn´t work with men. If a guy has some part of his wardrobe that is too tight he´s either going to give it away or use it to clean the cylinder head cover.

Sorry, for that little rant. But things like that drive me crazy. Especially if it´s just a waste of time - which I said from the beginning - and prevents me from getting my much needed rest. Now besides not getting any ( rest I mean, snap out of it ) I finally managed to watch the NICK FURY, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. tv movie starring none other then the Hoff himself as old One Eye.

I had seen some pictures and clips online but I thought how bad can it really be ? Well, the worst wasn´t the really unimaginative script, the bad acting by all involved or the typical 80s catchphrases. That was all really painful but the worst was the helicarrier or like I like to call it " s - word on a stick ". Now this is how the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier should look :

And this is the abomination the tv movie unleashed upon the world :

Now I don´t know who designed....no, whose sick and demented psyche this atrocity escaped but I´m betting he was blood - related to the producer and there was probably some incest involved. I mean they turned the whole idea of the helicarrier upside down. Instead of a giant aircraft carrier with some flying thingies on the sides you got four giant thingies with an itty bitty aircraft carrier on top of it. In fact if you don´t know there´s supposed to be an aircraft carrier on top of it you will miss it.

I know this sounds like nitpicking - especially since the movie is sooo bad and predictable on so many levels - but the thing is once you notice it it sticks in your mind. And it gets worse each time they show it and they show it over and over and over again in the movie. Even at the end when you finally think that you have overcome the worse they have to rub it in and show it one final time.

Man, this movie is so bad you have to see it to believe it which is why I will give a copy of this to my sister as a Christmas present. No, really. She loves stuff like that. She once made us all watch a really horrible movie because it was soo bad. She will be floored when she watches this for Christmas.

And speaking about Christmas, this was one of the main reasons why I was so keen on going to the Comicbörse in Stuttgart and why I was so disappointed when I got there late. And when I say late I don´t mean a few hours but almost too late. The night before I really had trouble falling asleep and when I finally must have managed to fall asleep....just a few minutes before I thought it would be a good idea to go and see what time it is since I haven´t set my alarm clock. But I must have dozed off while I was thinking about that.

And when my Mum woke me it was already ten o´clock. The Comicbörse in Stuttgart always starts at nine so I try to be on my way around half past nine at the latest. But last Saturday I left the house at half past ten which meant arriving in Ludwigsburg at a quarter past eleven ( of course I missed the first bus to Ludwigsburg ) and arriving in Stuttgart shortly after noon. Which didn´t really leave me much time to scour for Christmas presents since despite being oficially open till four o´clock some of the dealers start packing their stuff at one o´clock.

When you arrive after noon it´s a bit difficult to say if business or the number of customers has picked up since the last time because very often most of the visitors leave around noon. So I can´t say anything in that regards. As most of the good bargain priced comics were probably already sold I went for the most important things first. It has been a long time since I found more than one american comic at the comicbörse so I usually try to find some german comics. Which can be frustrating some times because the best stuff doesn´t necessarily get translated into german. And when it does it´s usually more expensive than the original version. There were no copies of the german edition of WEDNESDAY COMICS there - at least none that were still around when I arrived - but what was out was the german edition of the ULTIMATE X - ORIGINS trade collecting the five issue miniseries by Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams.

Now you can ONLY buy this with a clear conscience at a comicfair or convention where the dealer will give you a discount because the regular price for it is 14.95 EUROS while you can get the premiere hardcover for 13.95 EUROS via amazon.de. That´s one buck less for the hardcover via the trade. And that´s without thinking about the translation. I think I already mentioned it once or twice but despite having all the single issues ( some of them twice because I read them so many times ) I knew I was going to get the collected edition. Jeph Loeb has gotten a lot of flack for some of his writing and I particularly found his stereo commentary on SUPERMAN / BATMAN irritating at times but here he´s bringing his a - game. And can Arthur Adams really do less than impressive ? Even if the german translation is up to the usual standard ( or lack thereof ) this comic is worth it for the art alone.

But there are also some comics you HAVE to buy in the german language...well, because they haven´t been translated yet. And maybe they can´t be translated into another language. Like DIE ABENTEUER VOM HARTMUT.

I have mentioned the comic at every chance I get and I will keep pimping it until it is world famous. It´s one of the best german comics out there, the concept is brilliant and every time you think that everything about this little universe is said Haggi comes out with a new volume. It´s one of the few comics my brother in law reads and he always cracks up every time he gets a new issue. This time I even could get two new issues for him, DER HARTMUT KOMMT, SIET UND SIGT ! ( Hartmut comes, sees and conquers ! ) and DER HARTMUT HILFT DEHM WEINACHTZMANN ( Hartmut helps Santa Claus ).

I even got two Hartmut minicomics which I included in the present.

One of the things I always mention is that every time you find the dealer with the best bargains at the end and you always make a mental note to start at that table the next time. And every time you look for it first and you can´t find it until the end. And this time was no exception. In fact I don´t think I found the table with the trades at half price this time around. Maybe he had already packed up by the time I came. After buying the Hartmut issues I met german comic pontifex Geier who returned my first trade of AGE OF BRONZE - A THOUSAND SHIPS by Eric Shanower to me. Apparently I sent him the trade together with issue 3 of RANTIFUSO as research material for his planned comic about the Nibelingen. Yes, now that I think about it it doesn´t make any sense but at that time I must have thought it was a really good idea.

After putting the comics into my bag I continued to do the rounds and I made my next purchase at another table. This time I was getting something for my sister ( you don´t think the Nick Fury movie is all I´m giving her for Christmas, do you ? ) DER DUNKLE TURM - VERRAT.

The only thing that keeps nagging at me is that I´m not sure if she already has it or not. No, really. We almost never visit her because she is always busy with something or has something planned for weekends and holidays. And the only time we see her is when she visits us on Christmas or New Year. So I have no idea if I have to exchange it.

In any case I also bought the STAR TREK - MC COY trade by John Byrne, originally from IDW and published in german by CrossCult, the fine folks who do the german versions of HELLBOY, SIN CITY and THE GOON.

I love me some John Byrne. No, really. This may not surprise some of my longtime readers but a few of the newer ones might be shocked to hear it. I really am one of those diehard Byrnefans who keeps buying his stuff.

And not because of nostalgia or based on the masterworks he did earlier in his career. Well not exclusively. I will confess that there is a bit of special connection involved when you have followed the career of an artist for almost most of your comic reading life. Not only because you see him evolve as an artist and learn to think in his own version of graphic shorthand - which is something all comic artists do over the years.

But also because you like the way he tells the stories and more importantly you like the stories he tells. I enjoyed his BLOOD OF THE DEMON and DOOM PATROL books and right now I can´t wait for the next installment of his NEXT MEN continuation.

I have known for quite some time that he was doing some STAR TREK connected miniseries for IDW but there always was something else on my priority list so I never bought one. So this time I grabbed the opportunity and I can really recommend MC COY to any STAR TREK fan or anybody familiar with STAR TREK. And who isn´t ? Of course my sister will get a special kick out of the fact that the artist of the DARK PHOENIX SAGA ( which had such a big influence on the X - Men movie trilogy ) is doing a series about the original Bones.

DeForrest Kelley - Bones 1966. Hits the booze and stubborn patients.

Emily Deschanel - Bones 2006. Hits bad guys and gets hit on by Booth.

But I think even people who don´t know who John Byrne is will enjoy it.

A comic I thought my brother would enjoy was the MARVEL MONSTER EDITION 28 - IRON MAN, DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ( we just keep coming back to it, don´t we ? ) but apparently he doesn´t like Tony Stark very much after everything that happened during CIVIL WAR and after it. And yes, we also keep coming back to CIVIL WAR too.

The collection contains the 4 part THE INITIATIVE storyline and the 8 parter HAUNTED one of my favorite Iron Man stories of the last years. When I wrote about ULTIMATE X - ORIGINS I mentioned the german translation and while I don´t know who did it on that tome in MARVEL MONSTER EDITION 28 it´s once again everybody´s favorite. Not too surprising since he does a lot of Thor and Avengers stuff. I would like to say that it´s just a personal grudge by me but just opening the first page you see that this guy doesn´t know the difference between " haunted " and " hunted ".

Despite the translation´s usual shortcomings the story is really good and what especially hooked me it the crime mystery / haunted by ghosts angle. I´m always up for a good whodunnit and if you throw a guest appearance by the silver centurion armour ( BEST Iron Man armour ever ! ) into the mix it´s a must buy for me. And the art by Butch Guice is some of the best of his career.

I know Tony Stark is a bit whacko since he has this uncontrollable urge to turn everything into a weapon, and he´s a war profiteer. But this is another comic I really can recommend. Being a MARVEL MONSTER EDITION the only reason I hadn´t bought it before was of course the price.

These suckers are way too expensive and I once saw it at the SAMMLERECKE at half price but I waited too long and somebody else bought it. I was really of two minds about buying it or not but since I got it for 15 bucks ( I think that is a 7 EURO discount from the regular price ) I couldn´t resist. Like I said, originally planned as another present it´s now going to end up in my own collection.

Speaking about Tony Stark, it seems german readers were familiar with the name before the first Iron Man comic was translated to german. Now I just don´t know who was first and who copied who.

And since I mentioned my own comic collection a comic I have been after like the devil after a poor soul is ESSENTIAL HOWARD THE DUCK - Volume 1, although I don´t know if there really is enough material for a second volume. Frequent visitors to this blog already know that lately I can´t shut up about Gene Colan and I have been trying to get my hands on this ever since it came out. So far all comicshops had sold out on the collection and every thread on Comicforum or the Paniniforum where somebody sold it closed before I got a chance to buy it. So when I saw somebody selling it for 10 bucks I just said yes. The first issues are by Frank Brunner but from then on it´s all Gene Colan.

The last two comics I bought at the Comicbörse were the first two volumes of AMERICAN VAMPIRE from PANINI COMICS and I was a bit surprised myself that I did, even if I got them for 12 bucks each which means I saved almost 14 EUROS.

If you have read my last post you know I´m really sick and tired of vampires not being vampires and especially of vampires walking around in broad daylight.

I always get the feeling the writer either didn´t really want to tell a vampire story but it is what sells at the moment. So he takes some high school drama story and adds a vampire but for the story to still work he can´t have the whole " sunlight means death " thing so he comes up with a ring, a spell, a magic potion or WHATEVER. The other possibility is that the writer is either too lazy to deal with the whole daylight thing or too stupid to make it work in his story. In any case, vampires walking around in daylight are as bad as fast zombies. So far I haven´t seen a good " fast zombie " movie and if you ask me : if they are fast they are not zombies. Undead, yes. Hard to kill, yes. Eat brains, yes. Infectious, yes. Doesn´t mean they are automatically zombies. Just some zombielike, hard to kill, undead braineating and very fast not - zombies.

So when I first heard about this series from VERTIGO on all the " Best of 2010 " lists last year the whole idea of a vampire who is immune to sunlight didn´t really sound so innovative.

Okay, Scott Snyder came up with a vampire who can walk around in the day. So did everybody else. I mean does the term " daywalker " ring any bells ? The idea was in the first BLADE movie ( yes, the GOOD one )

and it was even mentioned on South Park. Everybody is doing daylight vampires nowadays. So that wasn´t the big selling point for me even if Stephen King was involved in the project and in fact wrote the backup stories in the first collection.

No, the real kicker in the series is the stunning art by former BLUE BEETLE artist Rafael Albuquerque who goes way and beyond.

After Cully Hamner left the BLUE BEETLE book I was really disappointed but after a few issues I really didn´t miss him since Rafael hit the ground running and made the look of the series all his own. VERTIGO books tend to suffer from great writing and mediocre art in most cases but not here. Together with I ZOMBIE this is already my second VERTIGO series I´m collecting and it seems that they have wised up because the art is improving.

The whole idea of a new breed of vampires who can walk around during daylight hours is sold a bit better here since there are still the " old " vampires around who have this weakness which is a clever stratagem. The main character Skinner Sweet is not very likeable - which he shouldn´t be because he´s the villain - but there are hints that the writer tries to turn him into that " lovable rogue / charming anti - hero " crap Today´s kids are so fascinated by.

Now in spite of all the reasons to hate it I´ll reserve a final verdict until I have read more of the series which I cannot avoid because Jordi Bernet is going to do an upcoming storyarc.

At the moment I can neither recommend nor damn the series so here are some links to check them out for yourself. The first one is for a preview on mycomics.de of volume 2 which according to the german commentary is a bit anemic compared to the original. There are also previews for issue 4 , issue 7 , issue 13 , issue 14 , issue 15 , issue 18 , issue 19 and issue 20 of the original series.

So, a pretty decent swag when you keep in mind that some of the dealers were packing their stuff one hour after my arrival but on the other side you might get a better deal if they are packing it in. They don´t want to carry all those heavy books and might get you an " Okay, 15 bucks for you because you always buy at my table . " kind of deal. Which in my case IS true because I always end up at the same tables. So, no hardcovers this time around even if that is one of my goals on going to the comicbörse in Stuttgart but I couldn´t find any interesting ones. I will still go to the next one because maybe I have better luck and even if you don´t find a lot of new reading material it´s one of the few places where you can mingle with the usual suspects and talk comics and why fast zombies suck. Which leads us to our last part.

Because of multiple requests by one reader Today´s video is the first part of the 1991 Fantastic Four movie produced by Roger Corman I already posted before. Enjoy !

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

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