Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How many comics did I get for 20 bucks ?

So, in my post on STAR WARS DAY which should have been about STAR WARS but turned out to be about anything BUT I mentioned that one of my latest order were 42 comics for 23 EUROS but if you don´t count the costs for handling and shipping the price is 19.49 EUROS for 42 comics. 

At the current comic prices what do you get from Marvel or DC for 20 bucks ? Four single issues, five tops. Surely no hardcover, maybe a trade, two if you go to Vertigo, Valiant or iMage. But surely not 42 comic books.

Now you´re probably thinking if I got these comics for such a low price they can´t be good. Or they are not in very good condition or they must be old. While they are all in very good, readable condition, yes, these are old comics and as for the quality that´s entirely up for your own tastes. But so you can make yourself an idea here is what I got for my 19.49.

As you can see we are not starting with the highlights and X - MEN UNLIMITED is right at the bottom. I ordered this because Steve Epting was listed as the artist but he shares art chores with Mike Miller. Since I haven´t read it yet I don´t know how good the story is but at 47 cents this will probably go into collateral pile to swap with other comic readers.

I ordered this on a whim because I knew the MR MONSTER series from DARK HORSE PRESENTS. It´s a black and white comic by various artists but my favorite story is Screams of the Coffee Fiend by Shane Glines. I couldn´t find any art from this issue but these are 4t cents well spent.

Speaking about DARK HORSE PRESENTS, I got two issues from the first volume and we´re still in 47 cent territory here. Initially I ordered three but the last one was already gone. So I got issue 66 which has 2 pages of a strip by Eddie Campbell, 10 pages from An Accidential Death by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower, an 8 page Concrete story by Paul Chadwick and an 8 page Dr. Giggles story by Manny Coto and Alan  J. Burrows. This was promotion for the Dr. Giggles movie adaption Dark Horse did and I remember that there was a lot of hype about the movie but when I finally saw it I was really disappointed. I don´t even remember what the movie was about and I don´t know how my reaction would be Today. I might have the Concrete story in one of my various collections but it´s still worth buying this comic because of it. Paul Chadwick´s art is just so good.

I have to say issue 139 did surprise me a bit because the cover looks like your generic " tough guy with a big gun shooting up a monster " cover.

First of all I didn´t see the two extra lizard arms at all and secondly the art by Tom McWeeney is better than you can see on the cover. The second story is by Carlo Barberi who later worked on the superb JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURE book and who is still dealing with his manga influences here.

Man, talking about all these great series from Dark Horse reminds me that I still haven´t gotten one issue from the latest volume of DARK HORSE PRESENTS. I absolutely have to read it if I ever win the lottery . . .

THE SPECTRE 41 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake. Basically you can´t go wrong with any issue from this terrific run. It´s always a good story and solid art by Tom Mandrake. And here he gets to do pirates. Arrr!

So far I have only a few single issues and the trade I got for 5 bucks but I bought this just in case DC doesn´t continue with the trades. I mean it took them long enough to put out the first two. And this book is already completed and everybody who has read it loves it. Why the holdup DC ?

Okay, I paid a whopping 56 cents for SUPERMAN - THE MAN OF STEEL ANNUAL 5 but it was totally worth it. First off, how come this comic is not ALREADY in my collection ? It´s penciled entirely by the late Paul Ryan and inked by one of my favorite inkers Josef Rubinstein. The only reason I can think of that makes sense is that I was low on money and weary of all the Legends Of The Dead Earth annuals. At that time DC did try something different in their annuals so instead of the usual world threatening cross - overs after which nothing would ever be the same they did some themes - some more successful than others - like this, pulps or ghosts. While there were the usual rotten apples among them this lead to interesting comics.

Oh no, you can´t pin this one on me. I effing ordered this when the series by Ivan Reis was announced but it never came. I don´t know if that was around the time my old comic shop closed down and all my subscriptions were transferred to my new comic shop or if it was in one of the countless comic shipments that were seized by the german Board of Customs and Excise but I never got my copy. And at 89 cents it´s still a bargain. 

I have to admit I bought this more for the beautiful cover by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez than for the interior art by Barry Kitson but he does deliver.

No matter how many comics you have, unless you´re a compulsive TEEN TITANS addict there are always a few TITANS comics missing because you can´t follow all the series. And I´m not counting the current NEW 52 / REBIRTH Titans. I remember starting to read this series but when they replaced Paul Pelletier with Mike Collins I was out. So for 47 cents this was not that bad. I´ll have to post a few more of those Jose Luis Garcia Lopez covers sometimes. For the next TITANS comics I paid 84 cents, each. 

This is from the short lived TEEN TITANS series by Dan Jurgens in which Ray Palmer was rejuvenated and because he was now a teenager he had to hang with the Teen Titans. I never liked stories in which characters would be treated according to their age instead of their experience.

I mean the Atom didn´t suddenly forget everything he learned during his decades of crime fighting he just had a younger body. this should be a plus not a reason for punishment. The same goes for Kitty Pryde when she was forced into the New Mutants after being with the X - Men for years.

But Xavier is a gigantic dick anyway. I mean, after what - ten, fifteen, twenty years - he SUDDENLY realizes it´s not okay to train kids to fight super powered criminal mutants ? It was okay with his original students but now it´s not. He´s such a hypocrite. And back to the whole Atom / Teen Titans thing : if you would put him in the team just because he looks like a teenager now would you also entrust your child to the care of somebody who has the mental capability of a baby but looks like an old man ? Probably not. So the whole thing always was kind of funky to me. 

A lot of movie references on this one. I never liked the high soap opera content of this series nor the whole alien connection for the entire team´s super powers thing but Argent was always nice to look at.

The first issues I read from this series were 12 to 15 which compromised the Then & Now story in which four of the originals returned. As well as George Perez who inked Dan Jurgens on these four issues. I think he did not earn enough money by doing just pencils so instead he inked other artists which he could do much faster. And his inks are always terrific. 

The best part about seeing the old team members together again was the friendly pestering and sense of camaraderie and how far they have come sine their days as teen sidekicks, especially Wally West. That sense of legacy is something DC totally ignored with their NEW 52 and what they are desperately trying to recapture with their new REBIRTH campaign.

There are really not a lot of Marvel titles here and the next two blocks are Milestone titles. I got 5 issues of HARDWARE : issue 2 ( 28 cents ), issue 3 ( 37 cents ), issue 4 ( 37 cents ), issue 5 ( 28 cents ) and issue 16 ( 1.12 Euro ). Issue 16 is more expensive since it has a second gatefold cover.

I never read the Milestone books but I guess I was not the intended target audience. I know that on the show The Fresh Prince of Bel - Air they had the covers of the first issues framed and for people of color this was a much bigger deal to have positive role models . Most Milestone series were written by the late Dwayne McDuffy and this one was penciled by Milestone co founder Denis Cowan and in an uncharacteristic gesture they retained creative rights. If you have read any comics from the Bronze Age you have seen Denis Cowan´s art since he was a very prolific artists then.

The other Milestone series I bought is ICON and I got issues 1 ( 1.12 € ) again, more expensive because it comes poly bagged with a trading card, an exclusive cover poster and four panels of a giant sixteen panel mural what ever that may be, issue 3 ( 37 cents ), issue 4 ( 37 cents ), issue 25 ( 84 cents ) more expensive because it´s double sized, issue 27 ( 37 cents ) and issues 33 and 34 ( 28 cents each ). I know, not a lot of consecutive issues but it should give me an idea if the series is worth continuing.

This series was also written by Dwayne McDuffy with Mark D. Bright doing the art who many will know from his great work on IRON MAN. So the art in this is beyond reproach. Icon is Milestone´s version of Superman and it never hurts if there is a hot chick in it. Just ask Will Smith if he ever got any complaints about Tatyana Ali being on The Fresh Prince of Bel - Air.

Her outfit reminds me of another hot afro - american singer but who ?

There also were some issues of STATIC available at a bargain price but I didn´t know the artist so I decided to stick with the series where I knew the artist before deciding if I want to delve deeper into the Milestone. 

Our last block is also our biggest one, 16 issues of Valiant´s H.A.R.D. CORPS series, issues 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 for 47 cents a pop each. Since I only had the first issue from this series so far these are all new to me and I can finally find out what the book is all about. Yay, I get to explore another series of " classic " Valiant.

The art looks like the generic Valiant house style which means nothing too flashy but always with solid storytelling and there is much to be said for that. Going through the issues I noticed that some were written by the dynamic duo of Abnett and Lanning so I´m looking forward to read that.

So that´s my complete comic haul for less than 20 bucks. Nothing very rare or super important among them but for my taste most of them good entertainment which should tide me over until my Epic Collections start arriving. They will probably all come on the same day anyhow. But what do you think ? Did I find some nuggets or was it all a waste of money ? Now that my mobility is seriously impaired and I probably won´t go to Erlangen or any other comic conventions this may be one of the few options left for me to get cheap comics. I will definitely let you know my thoughts on the H.A.R.D. CORPS series and the Milestone books when I have read them.

Our first birthday is spanish actor Hugo Silva. The 39 year old actor was the big draw for women on the show Los Hombres De Paco, a show my mother never let me watch because she found it too chaotic. It´s one of the shows I hope the americans never re - make because they would surely ruin the tone of the show which is a cross between The Simpsons and The Shield. But that show is in the past and in the present Hugo is best known as 1980s cop Pachino on cult show El Ministerio Del Tiempo.

Another movie heartthrob is Bruce Penhall who can look back on 59 years and having bodacious übersexbomb Roberta Vasquez rub her well endowed unmentionables all over his naked body in a few Andy Sidaris movies.

He also got it on with playmate Suzi Simpson in Enemy Gold and real life Power Girl Julie K. Smith used her body to subdue him in a jacuzzi in The Dallas Connection. I have done various posts on Roberta Vasquez, Dona Speir and Andy Sidaris so if you want to read more just use the tags.

Meg Foster celebrates her 68th year and she was in such cult movies like They Live ! and Greg Hyppolite´s erotic masterwork Undercover Heat with the great Athena Massey in the lead role. Since I couldn´t post anything from the latter one that was safe for work let´s concentrate on Masters Of The Universe with He - Man Dolph Lundgren where she was Evil Lynn.

What many people don´t know is that Gary Goddard, the director of the movie was a big Jack Kirby fan especially of his NEW GODS. So when he got the chance to make a big sci fi movie instead of making a Masters Of The Universe movie he made a movie that took a lot of material from NEW GODS and made a cineastic tribute to the King. He even tried to get the studio to hire Jack Kirby as set designer. I guess that would have been the only thing that could have saved the movie. So now you know why they are not on Eternia for most of the movie and why they all act like in a Jack Kirby comic. By the way, Meg Foster did not wear special lenses in the movie, that´s how her eyes look naturally. Although she DID say that her costume was really uncomfortable and restraining her movements.

Composer Jay Ferguson turns 69 Today and he has contributed to movies like Best Seller, Johnny Be Good, Gleaming The Cube, Double Dragon and A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 : The Dream Child as well as composing the themes for shows like Melrose Place, Going To Extremes, Tales From The Crypt, Viper and NCIS Los Angeles. Back in the day a lot of the cassettes I listened to on my walkman ( ask your Dad what that is ) were soundtracks because I really like symphonic music. So one day when my brother took the dog for a walk he borrowed my walkman and it was already a few hours after midnight. When he came back he told me that he had not checked what was in the walkman and which kind of sick s - word I listen to. As it turns out the soundtrack for Nightmare On Elm Street 5 was in the walkman and suffice it to say he never took it without checking first.

Normally I don´t mention producers in the birthday roll call but Today would have been the anniversary of David O. Selznik who produced such classics like The Third Man and Gone With The Wind amongst others. He also produced Duel In The Sun in which cult siren Jennifer Jones plays half breed Pearl Chavez who wants to be a good girl but her spectacular body turns her into the object of sexual obsession of two rivaling brothers.

The two brothers who try to use and abuse poor Pearl are played by Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck who plays the bad guy in the story.

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of Fritz Austerlitz better known as Fred Astaire who starred in all the musicals I saw as a child. He always made dancing look easy even though he practiced his steps for hours. Since I couldn´t find Ziegfeld´s Follies which has Judy Garland in it here is the famous scene from Royal Wedding where Fred dances on the ceiling.

Since I haven´t talked much about Milestone on the blog yet here is an interview with Dwayne McDuffie who wrote most of their series.

It has nothing to do with anything in the post but I recently found this video of The Thief and The Cobbler which was mentioned in a Best 10 Animated Movies video. I never heard of this movie and I don´t think it was ever shown in Germany. You also can´t buy it in a german version.

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

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