Saturday, February 27, 2010

What I Bought - Feb 27, 2010

Last weekend I went to a small comic book show near Tyson's Corner, VA. I spent close to three hours going through a dozen or so long boxes of books that were completely disorganized. I was looking for a few things and found some of them. The comic books were $1 a piece. If I was more patient I might be able to find them for less at another show, but it was fun looking.

I bought 13 books for $13:

Superman Annual #11 (1985) - which contains the classic story For the Man Who Has Everything by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the same team that created the Watchmen. I saw the cartoon version before reading the original. I've got to say that my memories of the cartoon are better than what I read in the comic book. Of course, there would have been no cartoon without the comic book. Also, I think I had lofty expectations because of (a) my memories of the cartoon and (b) my memories of Moore and Gibbons most famous creation.

Falcon #1, 4 - I picked these up after recently learning that Christopher Priest (who was recently interviewed by the Dollar Bin and who working as Jim Owlsley) was the writer of this series. I've owned #2 of this four-issue limited series from Marvel Comics for years. I bought it when it first came out because it had a Sentinel on the cover. Need I say more? Ok, I will. I never bought or read the rest of the series but listening to Priest made me want to seek out some of his work. I didn't find #3 in the boxes I was looking through.

Batman and the Outsiders #9-12, 16-21 - I bought #1-8 when they first came out, back in 1983-84. I can't remember why I stopped buying this series. Maybe it will come back to me when I re-read the series, maybe not. It may have been a matter of money, or it may have been that I lost interest in comics around then. I honestly don't know. I was looking to complete my run of the portion of the series that was drawn by Jim Aparo. Unfortunately I didn't find # 13, 14, 15.

On the eBay front I've managed to triple the size of my collection of Golden Age comic books in the past week. I've owned an issue of one of the EC Science Fiction Series for a number of years. I believe I bought it when I was in my last apartment, which means I got it between mid 2002 and late 2004. Last weekend I won an auction for a coverless copy of Star-Spangled Comics # 66. I paid $30 for it, plus another $5 for S&H. I probably paid too much for it. I wanted it for two of the featured characters in the book: Robotman and Liberty Belle.

Then today I won an auction for a coverless copy of Detective Comics #152. This time I'll only be paying $11.49, plus $3 for S&H, a much better deal. Once again I wanted it for the Robotman feature. It would be nice to have a copy with a cover but that would also probably cost me considerably more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What I Read - Feb 18, 2010

I was really surprised by the last couple issues of X-Men that I read, I'm talking about #10 & 11, not of the current series but the original series, surprised in a good way. I really liked them.

X-Men #10 - In this issue the X-Men travel to the Savage Land and meet Ka-Zar, and Zabu. It is the first Silver Age appearance of Ka-Zar. I think part of what made this story so much fun is how it contrasts to the previous 9 issues. For the first time the X-Men are not fighting a superhuman opponent. Instead, they are on an adventure.

X-Men #11 - X-men are back in the civilized world in this story. Cerebro, Professor Xavier's mutant detecting machine, has located a new mutant who maybe the most powerful mutant of all. The individual turns out to be The Stranger, who isn't a mutant but an alien. Professor X and the X-men unsuccessfully try to get to the Stranger before Magneto does, but it turns out that there is a price for Magneto to pay. The twist at the end (which I won't give away here) was a nice touch.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Big Books

I own two Marvel Omnibuses: The Uncanny X-Men Omnibus (collects Uncanny X-Men #94-131, Annual #3, Giant-Size X-Men #1) and The X-Men Omnibus (collects X-Men # 1-31). Prior to buying them I thought they were a great idea. I was fixated on three advantages that I perceived when comparing Omnibuses to Marvel Masterworks:
  1. The cost per page, each Omnibus contains the equivalent of 3 or 4 Marvel Masterworks, for the cost of 2 or less.
  2. The page size is a little bigger so the images are a little bigger than they are in a Masterworks.
  3. The Omnibuses include the letters pages and other other bonus materials that the Masterworks do not.
I love the content (both regular and bonus: I never realized there were so many female X-Men fans back in the day) but I have a little trouble with the size. They aren't as portable as I would like them to be. They are too bulky and too heavy for me to read while I'm standing up on the Metro. In order to read them I need to be sitting with the book on a flat surface or my lap. Of course this didn't really sink in until after I bought a couple of them.

There are a couple other classic Marvel series that I want to read that have been released as part of the Masterworks series: Amazing Spider-Man and Thor. There is a Spider-Man Omnibus (possibly two) and I've been toying with the idea of getting it but now I'm leaning much more heavily (no pun intended) toward buying the Masterworks instead, one volume at a time. There is no Thor Omnibus, as of yet, and I was holding out for one but now I don't think that I will bother; I'll get the Masterworks instead.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I Read - Feb 13, 2010

Powers v12 - Well, I'm finally all caught up on Powers, more or less. I've now read all the stories that have ben collected. All that remains are the few issues of the current series that will presumably be collected some time in the near future. It might be a good idea to give it a rest and read something else instead. That said, I still say that this is an awesome series. This, the final chapter of season/series #2 was no exception and it certainly leaves me wanting for more stories about Walker and Pilgrim.

Sleeper: Season One - I've now read 4 of 12 chapters in this collection. I can't deny that I like it but I'm not ready to call it a classic just yet. Maybe that's because I had extremely high expectations going, possibly due to all the praise this series gets. Maybe that's because when I compare it to other so-called classics that I've read in the past year it doesn't measure up to the best of them (Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knights Returns) even though it does surpass at least one of them (Kingdom Come). Maybe that's because I'm not as enamored by Sean Phillips artwork as some are. It works but I'm just not crazy about it and I'm still getting used to it. Maybe I'll grow to appreciate it like how I eventually grew to appreciate Michael Lark's artwork on Daredevil during Ed Brubaker's stint writing that book. But maybe not, after all my recollection is that I appreciated Lark's artwork from the get go and just developed a deeper appreciation for it as the series progressed. By comparison, Phillips's artwork on Sleeper seems muddy but that maybe the colorist's doing. Then again maybe my head is so into following the story that I haven't the time or desire to focus on the artwork or give it the attention it deserves. I am enjoying the story. It's keeping me guessing and isn't predictable in the least bit, or at least not so far. I like the way Ed Brubaker is layering in back stories, a little here and a little there.