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Committed, I should be: The Great After Christmas Comic Book Sale!

I’m stealing the name from Sonia’s awesome column because it fits. Deal with it!

So today was New Comics Day, but of course there weren’t many new comics. Amazing Spider-Man #700 came out, and the less said about it, the better (it’s a pretty dumb issue, but that doesn’t excuse the death threats, of course, because that’s just shameful behavior). Mara #1 came out, and I picked it up but won’t review it until next week. A new Hip Flask comic came out, which features beautiful Ladrönn art but really shouldn’t come out twice a decade, should it? And my groovy retailer, Howard, had a post-Christmas sale. Oh, when Howard has sales, look out!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas if you indeed celebrate Christmas. I’m always impressed with my wife’s presents to me – I never ask for a thing, because I really don’t need anything and I’m perfectly happy hanging out with the family. But she got me a very cool pocket watch, which I will now show to anyone whether they want to see it or not!!!! I’ve wanted a pocket watch for some time – I never wear watches anymore, and I use my phone for the time, but a pocket watch is much cooler than a phone. So I’m very happy. Look out if you come anywhere near me, because I will show you my pocket watch! You will be stupefied by its awesomeness!

But then Howard had his sale. He doesn’t usually have a post-Christmas sale, but as this was a small week for retailers (which makes no sense; last week was huge, and Diamond could have easily told retailers that some books shouldn’t go on sale until this week, as retailers have an agreement with Diamond not to sell things early), he decided to make up some difference by having a sale. Lo, it was a big sale. Here’s my haul:

Some trades were 30% off. I got these:

Judgment Day by Alan Moore. I’m perversely fascinated by mid-1990s Alan Moore and his work with Image and Awesome Entertainment. I’m sure this sucks, but I bet it sucks in an utterly bizarre way. Judge me not! List price: $16.95. Sale price: $11.86. (All of the sale prices are “more or less.”)

Mud Man volume 1 by Paul Grist. I haven’t read as much of Grist’s work as I should, mainly because it’s so scattershot, but this is the first five issues of his latest series, and I’m looking forward to reading it. List price: $9.99. Sale price: $6.99.

Back issues were 40% off. I got these:

Vext #1-6 by Keith Giffen and Mike McKone. Like mid-1990s Alan Moore, I’m fascinated by those late-1990s series that DC tried, most of which didn’t last longer than a year. Some I bought when they were coming out, but others I skipped, and now I’m trying to find them. I figured this would be a nice read – it lasted only these six issues. List price: $15. Sale price: $9.00.

I bought one giant Marvel Omnibus that would probably haven’t been 40% off it it hadn’t been me. I buy a lot of comics; Howard tends to round things downward for me occasionally. That Omnibus is:

Captain American Omnibus by Jack Kirby. This is the collection of issues #193-214, when the King went back to Marvel in the mid-1970s. It looks hella awesome. List price: $74.99. Sale price: $45.00.

Some trades were a whopping 60% off (!!!!). I got these:

Medieval Spawn/Witchblade by Garth Ennis and Brandon Peterson (among others). Yes, this is utterly ridiculous, but what the heck. I’m curious to read Ennis writing these characters. List price: $9.95. Sale price: $3.98.

The Ray: In a Blaze of Power by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada. That Joey Q. I see great things in store for him! List price: $12.95. Sale price: $5.18.

Alien Legion: Footsloggers by Alan Zelenetz and Frank Cirocco. People on the blog have mentioned their fondness for Alien Legion, so how could I pass up the chance to check it out? List price: $19.95. Sale price: $7.98.

Gravel volume 1 by Warren Ellis, Mike Wolfer, Raulo Caceres, and Oscar Jimenez. I wasn’t impressed with the first issue of this series, but I figured I’d give the collected edition a shot. List price: $24.99. Sale price: $9.99.

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Girl Genius volume 1 by Phil and Kara Foglio. I’ve been curious about Foglio’s steampunk adventure for a while, but the trades tend to be awfully spendy. What better place than a sale to check one out? List price: $22.95. Sale price: $9.18.

Ultimate Comics The Ultimates volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Chad Nevett swears by this. I mean, he literally carries a copy around and when someone wants him to swear on the Bible, he swears on this. It’s kind of weird. But I figured it would be fun to read! List price: $24.99. Sale price: $9.99.

Some trades were $3 or 4 for $10. I bought 20 of them, meaning I spent $50 on these books:

Bad Mojo by William Harms and Steve Morris (published by AiT/Planet Lar, September 2004). I like Steve Morris’s art. I assume he has a real job, which is why he doesn’t do more comics, which is too bad. List price: $12.95.

The Broccoli Agenda by David Yurkovich (published by Sleeping Giant Comics, November 1999). Yurkovich is a really cool and weird creator. He should be better known! List price: $7.95.

Damned by Steven Grant and Mike Zeck (published by Cyberosia Publishing, August 2003). Grant and Zeck did one of the few Punisher stories I like (Return to Big Nothing), so I thought that this would be fun to check out. List price: $19.95.

The Forgotten volume 1 by Jareth Grealish and Evan Young (published by Fintan Studios, July 2003). Nope, I know nothing about this. It looks cool, though! List price: $11.95

The Foot Soldiers volume 2 by Jim Krueger and Phil Hester (published by AiT/Planet Lar, September 2001). I should probably try to find volume 1, shouldn’t I? List price: $14.95

The Hammer by Kelley Jones (published by Dark Horse, November 1998). I bet T. has signed copies of each of these issues. List price: $12.95.

Happydale: Devils in the Desert books 1 and 2 by Andrew Dabb and Seth Fisher (published by DC/Vertigo, 1999). This is part of my quest to buy everything Seth Fisher ever drew. Sadly, it’s not a long list. List price: $6.95 each.

The Hat Squad by Jay Faerber and Eric Yonge (published by Moonstone, 2002). As this is by Faerber, I assume it’s a pretty good mystery. But why the hats???? List price: $5.50.

James Bond: Permission to Die by Mike Grell (published by Eclipse, 1989). I assume Greg Hatcher has written about this at some point. If not, he probably should! List price: $3.95.

Ladytron by Joe Casey, Eric Canete, and Jason Johnson (published by DC/Wildstorm, October 2000). Who doesn’t love Casey on Wildcats? So why wouldn’t I want to read this? List price: $5.95.

Menz Insana by Christopher Fowler and John Bolton (published by DC/Vertigo, 1997). Okay, I get not ever hearing about some of these, because they’re so obscure. But this was a Vertigo book and I honestly never heard of it at all when it came out nor since. Weird. List price: $7.95.

Paradigm volume 1 by Matthew Cashel and Jeremy Haun (published by Image, August 2003). I’m not sure why I skipped this the first time around, but I did. Oh well. List price: $13.95.

Raider volumes 1 and 2 by Thomas Zahler (published by Maerkle Press, 2002 and 2004). Zahler’s Love and Capes is a really good comic, so I figured I’d check something out by him before that began. What the heck, right? List price: $14.95 and $13.95.

Roland: Days of Wrath by Shane Amaya, Fábio Moon, and Gabriel Bá (published by Terra Major, 1999). The epic of Roland, drawn by the twins way early in their careers? I’m totally in! List price: $19.95.

Shangri-La by Marc Bryant and Shepherd Hendrix (published by Image, January 2004). This is listed as “volume 1, #1.” I wonder if any others ever came out. List price: $7.95.

The Star-Spangled Adventures of Captain Freebird by Matt and Shawn Fillbach (published by Sirius Entertainment, October 1999). I’m a really big fan of the Fillbachs, so I try to pick up their work whenever I see it. List price: $19.95.

Strangeways: Murder Moon by Matt Maxwell and Luis Guaragña (published by Highway 62 Press, March 2008). Yeah, I know I probably should already own this, but now I do! List price: $13.95.

Troublemaker book 1 by Janet Evanovich, Alex Evanovich, and Joëlle Jones (published by Dark Horse, 2010). I had very little interest in getting this when it came out, and what interest I had was because Jones was drawing it. When it’s super-cheap, though, I can splurge a little! List price: $17.99.

The list price of all of these comics is a staggering $473.30. I paid $184.25 for them. That means I paid about 39% of list price for them. That’s a good deal!

Yes, the entire purpose of this post is to crow about my purchases. But that’s what Christmas is all about – spending obscene amounts of money to keep the economy going! As I mentioned, I hope everyone had a great day, and let’s make 2013 a great year!


I’m jealous of the Cap omnibus. I picked up the original Treasury Edition of Bicentennial Battles at NYCC, and, uh, it’s probably the greatest comic book ever made.

I LOVE Joe Casey’s Wildcats, even if I did only start reading in during 3.0, and I’ve never heard on this Ladytron series before now. I need to find this as well as his Majestic series.

This post just made me remember about “that weird prestige Vertigo thing I overpaid for.” I bought Menz Insana when it came out and can’t tell you the first thing about it except that I think I was upset that I paid $8 for it once I finished reading it. I have no idea why I bought it though it could have been a light week and I was a pretty big Vertigo fan at the time.

Bill: I’m looking forward to it!

Patrick: I knew about the Ladytron thing, but only because I heard of it years later. It’s very short – probably a little bit longer than a standard issue – and it’s a nicer format, but I imagine it’s hard to find because it’s not really a “back issue.” Of course, DC never reprinted it with the Wildcats stuff, because that would be CRAZY!

Da Fug: Ha! Yeah, I’m not sure I would have picked it up for cover price. I like Bolton, but it does look a bit strange. When it’s basically $2.50, though, I figured what the heck?

I am missing Vext 3 and 4. I must to the back issue bins myself. It’s ok, since it’s Giff, but it’s nowhere near as good as Heckler (but what could be?).

I got Mudman v1 but have not yet read it. But Grist is way cool.

I’ve heard of Menz Insana but never seen it. It was listed in the Vertigo Encyclopedia, so it’s not like they totally ignored it. But yeah, it’s an odd one.

Mostly, though, I wanted to say that Judgment Day by Moore is AWESOME. Seriously. It’s very much a “life gives you lemons” thing, where the EXTREME/AWESOME characters are suck, but what Moore does with them really is good. I hope the Aftermath issue with Gil KANE!!! art is in there, as that’s friggin’ great, too. It should have Alpha, Omega, and 3, as well. Seriously, that’s how it was numbered.

Also, “Judgment” was spelled without that e in the middle, like I like. Because I am weird.

Lots of good stuff there. So curious about that Ennis trade. Didn’t even know it existed. Weird stuff.

I’m in a similar boat as you with Gravel. Was not particularly impressed by the first issue in any way and really haven’t given it a look since. But yeah, if I also found it for obscenely cheap, I’d probably give it another go.

Anyway, I just got a bunch of stuff dirt cheap for Christmas off of Amazon:

The Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns Vol. 3 (I have the other two…so…might as well)
Strange Girl Omnibus by Rick Remender (VERY curious about this)
Punisher Omnibus by Rick Remender
Essex County by Jeff Lemire (ashamed to say I’ve never read it)
Gotham Central Vols. 1-4 (somehow, I’ve read just about everything Brubaker and Rucka have written….well, aside from the majority of their shitty runs on X-Men and Action Comics, respectively, but missed this)

I’m going to my LCS tomorrow to pick up my copies of Justice League and Aquaman. He too, like your LCS, is having a 25-30% off type post-Christmas sale…but I already got all this stuff…heaven help me if I end up with yet more comic books!

I did, in fact, write about Mike Grell and James Bond… not as much as I should have, though. He deserved more than a paragraph, it’s a really good mini-series. Of all the guys to do Bond in the comics, Grell came closest to the Ian Fleming Bond. He went straight to the source and worked his way back out, even taking Ian Fleming’s description of Bond as looking like “Hoagy Carmichael, but more ruthless somehow,” and doing his best to put that on paper.. But it still reads like Grell… it feels like JON SABLE to me. But then, his Green Arrow felt like Sable with a bow.

Alan Moore never sucks. Period. Even when he gets to work with the worst characters ever created. Even his Voodoo mini-series had some redeeming features.

Sue me, but Jack Kirby DOES suck occasionaly. Hs 1970s Captain America work, and his 1970s Black Panther, does little for me. It reminds me of his late Fantastic Four issues, around #80-90, when Kirby did all the plotting, because Stan couldn’t be bothered anymore. The glorious dawn of the Marvel Universe was over, and somehow it felt now like a B-Movie.

The only Fleming James Bond novel I read was Casino Royale, so I’m not as great an expert as Greg Hatcher, but man, it is really different from the movies. The Fleming Bond is almost unusable in a Hollywood movie. But almost as shocking as all the misoginy was Bond’s uncertainty about the morals of fighting communism. That bit of Casino Royale was actually quite progressive, when he says that what we accept today as normal was considered the equivalent to “communism” in past ages, etc.

Rene, I have my lawyers drawing up papers now…

Congratulations on the Captain America Omnibus, Brian. Kirby’s 70s Cap is a great Kirby action movie book, and it has the first Arnim Zola. I might be jealous if I had not gotten Kamandi Omnibus Vol 2 for Christmas.

Rene: Different strokes for different folks, but I’m pretty sure the last year or so of the Lee/ Kirby FF was done full-script (or at least plotted in greater detail) by Stan Lee because Kirby was tired of doing most of the plotting and not getting credit.

Greg: Menz Insana disappointed me because 90% of it was drawn in a super cartoony style while I was hoping Bolton would apply his more realistic style. Now I sound like a fanboy who doesn’t like “cartoony” art and thinks more lines = better (NOT TRUE, by God, I mean Parobeck and Toth and Marcos Martin and Darwyn Cooke are some of my favorite artists), but my expectations lead to disappointment. Anyway, $2.50 sounds about right.

I just burned through the Amazon gift cards I got. I eagerly await some Hellboy volumes, the new Love & Rockets series, the last volume of Scalped, and some other goodies. Gotta love Christmas!

Judgement Day is a lot better than it should be. It kind of fizzles a bit in the end, because they needed to maintain the universe, but it’s way better than the ‘Violator’ stuff or anything in “Wild Worlds” or any of his ‘Spawn’ work.

Let us know more about that “The Hat Squad” trade you got.
There was a very short lived TV show with that name (see the link via my name above).I’ve always assumed it was one of those very odd licensed projects Moonstone picked up–and I wish they could hold on to their licenses, they do good work.

Travis: Yeah, it looks like it’s all in there – the Gil Kane issue, the Alpha and Omega … five chapters in all, plus a roster at the end.

I always spell “judgment” like that. I always assumed it was correct, until I saw that it could be spelled either way. But I stick with my spelling!

Alex: That’s a lot of cool stuff. Strange Girl is pretty typical Remender – good set-up, a bit weak on the resolution – but it’s not bad. And Essex County is excellent. So is Gotham Central.

Greg: I figured you had written about it, but I didn’t feel like looking!

Rene: Yeah, I probably should have been a bit more kind to Moore. :) I own his Image stuff, and while it’s nowhere near his best work, it does contain some very interesting stuff. I imagine that this will be more of the same. It’s kind of fun reading these comics from Moore, because you can tell he’s trying to make it awesome, but there’s so much working against him!

Mike: Very good stuff as well. It’s always fun to use gift cards!!!

JRC: I’m going to try to review some of these, but I probably won’t get to all of them. Per your request, though, I’ll write about that one!

I had a very frugal trip to my local newly opened comics shop today. Half a dozen back issues of Astonishing X Men and a bunch of Marvel Now #1s and #2, the last issue of Uncanny X Force and the latest Hellblazer. I walked out with my wallet lighter by just €31.

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