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What's in the box? - a different type5186

Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
What are the random things you find when you're going through your boxes "around" your collection? This weekend, I was digging around, looking for "stuff" and found some of these things. Always fun to find comic-related goodies from my early years of collecting. The coloring books in particular are from when I went "all in" with comics in 1986.

Thinking about it, though, there's a lot of history here. A lot of people these days, younger collectors, are buying books from this time, before and after, especially when you look at Image launch titles like Spawn, which are still around. Others, like Defiant (I liked it!!!), have come and gone. When you look at Spawn, it was originally solicited as a Malibu book, but they went ALL IN with advertising in Previews... How much of this was publisher-sponsored, and how much was Previews themselves talking to McFarlane, interviewing him, etc... Either way, this is really interesting.

At the time, we were really into collecting cards, too, so the insert for the latest Marvel line was GREAT!

Anyway, this is all a piece of history, just as much as any single comic issue. You might think, "oh, such and such is the first appearance of Spawn," but... is it? Look at advertising, solicits, preview pages, etc...

Also, look at the other "fun" things young geeks were passed in comic book shops to entice them to purchase the next big thing. This is just the tip of the iceberg - just one tiny stack of things I pulled out randomly from a random box this weekend on a whim and took pictures of.

And, yes, I did color in the coloring books... The Storm was probably done by my sister or mom. I'm still not THAT good at coloring. I'm competing with my two-year-old these days.


































































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COLLECTOR Stu private msg quote post Address this user
Right there with you my friend - I have many of the same things! I nice throwback to a great time in comics and my childhood. 🤘🏻 I also have some Mego figures that I’ve held onto. Once I’m home I’ll take some pics and post them.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by Stu
Right there with you my friend - I have many of the same things! I nice throwback to a great time in comics and my childhood. 🤘🏻


The best escapist time of my life, ha ha!
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
@thelastbard I have a couple of that Xmen comic book too. Not colored in of course.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@thelastbard I have a couple of that Xmen comic book too. Not colored in of course.


Didn't have any crayons? I'm sorry. :P
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Collector ZosoRocks private msg quote post Address this user
The Batman Previews with the WoK insert book.....

Well, Defiant was at the SDCC that year and signed and certified any defiant books you bring to their booth.

That was one of six I brought...signed and certified by Shooter.

I'm actually looking for Aug 1996 previews with a Valiant insert book.

Got one for sake @ $10.00 plus shipping? I'll buy it.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelastbard
What are the random things you find when you're going through your boxes "around" your collection? (snip)







While this issue of Previews is neat, it is also the highest print run of any issue of Previews at 150,000 copies.
I get that info from a Previews Trading Card series.

The front of the card for this issue:



The back of the card:

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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by X51

While this issue of Previews is neat, it is also the highest print run of any issue of Previews at 150,000 copies.
I get that info from a Previews Trading Card series.


They probably had some GREAT ad money!

@ZosoRocks Not sure if I have that one... Would have to see if I can find my "stack"... In a box somewhere, but '95 was an odd year. Working two jobs, in college, renting a place, riding the bus EVERYWHERE (or walking) in SoCal, but still managing to maintain my collection. Challenging, but kept my runs of main books going.
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Collector BrianGreensnips private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
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Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@thelastbard I have a couple of that Xmen comic book too. Not colored in of course.


Didn't have any crayons? I'm sorry. :P
No, I bought them to collect. They looked cool.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
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Originally Posted by BrianGreensnips
@thelastbard I have a couple of that Xmen comic book too. Not colored in of course.


Didn't have any crayons? I'm sorry. :P
No, I bought them to collect. They looked cool.


I figured. The Spider-Man one is really cool - Romita-ish. A lot of the X-Men one has iffy artwork, but I loved it back in '86!
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
I never worked at a comic book store, but I had connections and liked to keep any retailer exclusives and industry publications.

Here's an unopened Diamond Retailers Previews Packet.



The retailers could get one per store. This is how many retailer exclusive comics were distributed. It came with posters, flyers and incentive freebies to get a store to order the content in the issue of Previews that was also in the packet. I kept them unopened if there was nothing inside that interested me. I let a store open theirs first.

Some stuff I got in different packets were these...

The preview version of Silver Surfer #100. It's the same as the normal #100 with an extra wrap over the regular comic. This is the cover wrap.



There was also Marvel Watch #0 which had an over-wrap cover on a certain issue of Doctor Strange. Not sure the issue number off the top of my head.



I kept scattered issues of Diamond Dialogue.. great historical info that was generally tossed every month.







I have a few 'Sales To Astonish' issues:







I have a Diamond Seminar program booklet.

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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
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Originally Posted by X51

While this issue of Previews is neat, it is also the highest print run of any issue of Previews at 150,000 copies.
I get that info from a Previews Trading Card series.


They probably had some GREAT ad money!


Yeah. Publishers have to pay for their ads in Previews, like any other magazine. You'd think Diamond would give publishers ad space for free since they take in a percentage of the money for every comic sold.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
These are cover gimmick demo copies of Robin III that were sent to retailers to show off the covers. They look and feel like a normal comic, but all the interior pages are blank.






I'm sure someone will buy a copy some day and think they got a printing defect. Sorry, the blank pages were intentional.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
@X51 Those are some cool things you have accumulated!!! I used to go with the owner of my local shop sometimes to pick up his books from Diamond and he would hand me posters and such (the folded down to comic sized), but nothing like this. Awesome!

With Previews in general, Ads are paid for, but coverage depends on if it's part of a campaign or if Diamond wants to support it. For example, these days, they have different levels of featured books (Gems of the month, for example), which are not paid for, articles which aren't paid for, articles on Previews world and on the Vendor Portal... all the same, BUT retailers CAN pay for "blasts" to retailers which are paid for and are pure advertisement, and read more like press releases over articles.

Since I'm on both sides of it - fan and creator - I get to see the opportunities, but it's not like I've been able to toss money around, ha ha... The one nice thing we got to do from one of my books is a one-per-store poster, which was cool.

Aside from that, Gem of the month or other Diamond-decision-based coverage and one article where Diamond decided to interview someone associated with the project and publish it on PreviewsWorld.com and the retailer portal.

All interesting to see on all sides - fan, retailer, creator, publisher.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelastbard
@X51 Those are some cool things you have accumulated!!! I used to go with the owner of my local shop sometimes to pick up his books from Diamond and he would hand me posters and such (the folded down to comic sized), but nothing like this. Awesome!

With Previews in general, Ads are paid for, but coverage depends on if it's part of a campaign or if Diamond wants to support it. For example, these days, they have different levels of featured books (Gems of the month, for example), which are not paid for, articles which aren't paid for, articles on Previews world and on the Vendor Portal... all the same, BUT retailers CAN pay for "blasts" to retailers which are paid for and are pure advertisement, and read more like press releases over articles.

Since I'm on both sides of it - fan and creator - I get to see the opportunities, but it's not like I've been able to toss money around, ha ha... The one nice thing we got to do from one of my books is a one-per-store poster, which was cool.

Aside from that, Gem of the month or other Diamond-decision-based coverage and one article where Diamond decided to interview someone associated with the project and publish it on PreviewsWorld.com and the retailer portal.

All interesting to see on all sides - fan, retailer, creator, publisher.


I was able to get a Retailer packet because one owner in town had two comic book store, but 3 retail locations. One of the locations was a trophy shop that had a small sampling of comics available. They were ordering two retailer packets. One of the comic stores would include the order for the trophy shop in their order. I talked the manager of one store into ordering a third retailer packet for the trophy shop and selling it to me for their cost. I was so good at predicting hot comics or indy comics that could sell, they did anything they could to keep me as a customer. Stores were in bidding wars to have me buy from them. They were offering me 45% off cover price just to get me to buy from them and have my knowledge accessible. I actually talked them into letting me pay more so they'd make something reasonable off of my orders. I settled for 40% off cover prices.
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Collector Despain private msg quote post Address this user
I had a t-shirt with this image on it in the early 90s:


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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despain
I had a t-shirt with this image on it in the early 90s:




It was probably HUGE on a white t-shirt, too, right?
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by X51

I was able to get a Retailer packet because one owner in town had two comic book store, but 3 retail locations. One of the locations was a trophy shop that had a small sampling of comics available. They were ordering two retailer packets. One of the comic stores would include the order for the trophy shop in their order. I talked the manager of one store into ordering a third retailer packet for the trophy shop and selling it to me for their cost. I was so good at predicting hot comics or indy comics that could sell, they did anything they could to keep me as a customer. Stores were in bidding wars to have me buy from them. They were offering me 45% off cover price just to get me to buy from them and have my knowledge accessible. I actually talked them into letting me pay more so they'd make something reasonable off of my orders. I settled for 40% off cover prices.


Geez... you must have been buying a TON! I get an email from my place if my orders drop below a certain point. "Everything okay at home," kind of thing... "need me to hold off on billing?" That kind of stuff, ha ha... But, that's today, not that many years ago. We're talking back when books were quite a lot less per copy, and if they were offering you 45% off cover, you must have been buying a LOT.

Were you reselling things back in, or stockpiling for the prospector apocalypse?
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Collector Despain private msg quote post Address this user
@thelastbard That's the one. I believe "X-Force" was printed on the shirt too. I wore it out a long time ago. Good times.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by Despain
@thelastbard That's the one. I believe "X-Force" was printed on the shirt too. I wore it out a long time ago. Good times.


That was the name of the game with shirts back then... If we were lucky enough to GET shirts, they had to be printed HUGE - Look at me, I'm a comic geek!!!! I got enough $%#@ back then without adding fuel to the fire.

I have a love/hate/love with the availability of shirts now. A lot of them LOOK better, but more people are wearing them who haven't even cracked a comic. I did a tear through my shirt collection on IG not too long ago (something like 200?). Kind of nuts, and I didn't even make it through all of them.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
Quote:
Originally Posted by X51

I was able to get a Retailer packet because one owner in town had two comic book store, but 3 retail locations. One of the locations was a trophy shop that had a small sampling of comics available. They were ordering two retailer packets. One of the comic stores would include the order for the trophy shop in their order. I talked the manager of one store into ordering a third retailer packet for the trophy shop and selling it to me for their cost. I was so good at predicting hot comics or indy comics that could sell, they did anything they could to keep me as a customer. Stores were in bidding wars to have me buy from them. They were offering me 45% off cover price just to get me to buy from them and have my knowledge accessible. I actually talked them into letting me pay more so they'd make something reasonable off of my orders. I settled for 40% off cover prices.


Geez... you must have been buying a TON! I get an email from my place if my orders drop below a certain point. "Everything okay at home," kind of thing... "need me to hold off on billing?" That kind of stuff, ha ha... But, that's today, not that many years ago. We're talking back when books were quite a lot less per copy, and if they were offering you 45% off cover, you must have been buying a LOT.

Were you reselling things back in, or stockpiling for the prospector apocalypse?


At one period I was doing shows. I was lazy and it was too much work.
I bought a decent amount, but the volume wasn't why I got the discount. Most of their regular customers were buying double what I bought. I made the stores extra sales just by hanging around the shop.

Shops liked me because I could look in Previews and tell them which books would be hot before anyone had the titles on their radar. I'd order a book and it'd be selling for four times cover price a week later. I remember telling a guy that he was going to sell out of a back issue at $4 a piece. He laughed at me and asked why I didn't buy them if it was such a good deal. Since he mocked me, I bought him out and within a year I was getting $90 a piece trade credit towards an Amazing Fantasy #15. A $16 investment ended up being the same as $360 cash for me. I traded comics for a $900 copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1993 and I had less than $300 in the comics I traded. I made similar deals that landed me a Hulk #1, FF#1. They all knew it.

Customers would walk in their store and ask what issue some Marvel character 1st appeared and I come back with something like "The Stranger" first appeared in "X-Men #11". The shop owner would say "really?" I'd say "Yeah." The customer would buy the comic and they'd get a sale that they would have lost without me being there.

Most people consider me to be their personal entertainment when they are bored.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
@X51 That makes perfect sense then... Awesome! You were the type of person that the employees should have been and/or the comic shop owners should have been themselves, but most couldn't pull off.

I hope you still have some of those books! DAMN... That is the way to speculate. I saw the writing on the wall on a lot of those things, still do, but I never started "sharing" that knowledge until more recently. Would never have considered sharing it with a comic shop, though, especially as a kid.

Here's the difference between buying the stock and knowing the books, characters, industry, and trends, I guess...

It gets a little dicey these days, but it's still fun. I just don't try to risk too much $$$ in the game. Can't afford it with a wife, kid, and mortgage. Wish I had some of those books you mentioned, though!
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Collector Despain private msg quote post Address this user
Here's one I still have. Had it since 1989:




Quote:
Originally Posted by thelastbard
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despain
@thelastbard That's the one. I believe "X-Force" was printed on the shirt too. I wore it out a long time ago. Good times.


That was the name of the game with shirts back then... If we were lucky enough to GET shirts, they had to be printed HUGE - Look at me, I'm a comic geek!!!! I got enough $%#@ back then without adding fuel to the fire.

I have a love/hate/love with the availability of shirts now. A lot of them LOOK better, but more people are wearing them who haven't even cracked a comic. I did a tear through my shirt collection on IG not too long ago (something like 200?). Kind of nuts, and I didn't even make it through all of them.


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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despain
Here's one I still have. Had it since 1989:




Looks like Beast meets Wolverine meets DemonBear.

I like it.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
@X51 That makes perfect sense then... Awesome! You were the type of person that the employees should have been and/or the comic shop owners should have been themselves, but most couldn't pull off.

I hope you still have some of those books! DAMN... That is the way to speculate. I saw the writing on the wall on a lot of those things, still do, but I never started "sharing" that knowledge until more recently. Would never have considered sharing it with a comic shop, though, especially as a kid.

Here's the difference between buying the stock and knowing the books, characters, industry, and trends, I guess...

It gets a little dicey these days, but it's still fun. I just don't try to risk too much $$$ in the game. Can't afford it with a wife, kid, and mortgage. Wish I had some of those books you mentioned, though!


I don't like modern comics, so I don't speculate or give advice anymore. There are books that I know will go up in value, but I'm not a fan, so I don't even want them temporarily in my collection. Also, everything has a time period when you can best maximize returns. If I'm not motivated to do what it takes to sell and maximize profits, it's useless to speculate. I hung out at a lot of stores, so I was a line of communication between them that they might not have with the "enemy" (LOL!) otherwise.

For awhile, every comic shop in town was getting a phone call from a Teen Titans fan. He would ramble on the phone for long periods and wouldn't let them hang up. If they did, he'd just call back. The customer was so annoying, that every shop I hung out at would be talking about him. Through me, I could relay their experiences with him. Eventually, someone found out how to get him to hang up immediately. The magic phrase was "Does your nurse know that you're using the telephone? He'd hang up if they said that. He was evidently a mental patient and wasn't supposed to be using the phone.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by X51
I don't like modern comics, so I don't speculate or give advice anymore....

"Does your nurse know that you're using the telephone?"


I think that quote might still work for some people, whether they're a mental patient or not!!!

I had some periods where I liked comics LESS and trimmed down to very low quantities of purchases... Down to $15 per month when books were $2.99 each. Other times, I was strapped and cut down. There was one VERY dark time when I quit, but it didn't stick. There's always something I find that I love in and around the industry.

Part of it these days is "never trust a skinny chef," in regards to writing and also recommending things. I feel like I can't write a medium I'm not current in to some degree, and there are current writers who I enjoy and who inspire me still, though there are a lot who need some work (or at least editorial direction). When I look at the dark years right before and right after the balloon popped, though, I think the industry has some damned good titles, but has its head up its @$$ in regards to staying away from the same pitfalls from that time...

I think as fans, too, we need to keep chasing the dragon. Seeking and reminding ourselves why we loved and love the medium. If someone says, "this book is amazing and here's why," I try to give it a chance. I'm more likely to listen if I have a conversation with them first and can tell they have a clue, but.... I try.

I keep singing the praises of Batman / Elmer Fudd and Batman Annual 2 for that reason. Out of time / continuity, brilliantly written and drawn. Just GOOD. The kind of stories you sit down and read and remind you of why you loved reading comics as a kid, but tempered by things you can appreciate as an adult - the subject matters covered, dialogue, and quiet moments without being too "talkie".

Soapbox... stepping off!
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
I know exactly why I liked comics. It's right here:


No one is making comics "the Marvel way".

You can plow through Jim Shooter's blog and get more detailed info.
http://storytelling.jimshooter.com/

You can read Alex Toth's critique of Steve Rude.
http://illdave.com/comicbooks/history/toth-critiques-rude.htm

Essentially, modern comics no longer have respect for my time, my money, or my personal taste. It's decompressed to the point that they bore me and waste my money.

Publisher's have no respect for the characters.
Computer coloring makes everything look plastic.
Colors used are not natural... the combinations aren't found in nature together.
Too much use of making everything glow.
Digital processing makes everything look muddy.
Inking doesn't enhance the art even if they use an inker, it traces the art. I've read tweets from Neal Adams' son Josh expressing this frustration.
The glossy paper adds to the plastic look.
Competent creators are pushed to the side so they can hire copycat style artists for cheaper.

Editors don't edit. They placate.
Artists ignore scripts. Talked to one at a show who was proud that he'd ignored the script. He drew one story. Did he know or care why minor details may affect a larger and more complex story and scope? Of course not.
Artists are more concerned about the resale value of their art than telling a story. Listened to an artist brag that he rejected a Punisher script because the Punisher would be wearing prison garb and he only wanted to draw the Punisher in classic poses.

The covers misrepresent what's inside.
The covers aren't informing me about what I'm buying or why I should like it.
I'm tired of upshots of heroes poking out their chest.
I don't like cartoon style of art being used on a serious drama. Todd McFarlane draws cartoon faces on characters, so even his art doesn't meet my standards. It annoys me.

There are too many WTF moments when I open a comic. They are not good WTF moments. They are WTF moments that distract me and make me stop reading and enjoying story.

You can also read the Jack Kirby Collector and get insight on panel flow and how the eye follows the illustrations.

I've got a friend who will read anything. Good or bad, he'll give anything a shot.
I'm not that way. I was open minded when I started reading comics. I refined my tastes over time and developed a sense of what I like and don't like. I can quickly spot what I don't like. I can quickly spot what I do like. Some people say I'm too picky. As a general rule though... when I like something, there's going to be a larger audience out there that likes the same elements.

The argument that I get in return relates to the current comic book consumer and their buying habits and contentment.
Using the current consumer to define quality ignores the hundreds of thousands of potential consumers that just got tired of their expectations not being met. The comic consumer is like fish in a barrel. The hook keeps getting dropped in with bait. The only fish that are biting are the ones that ate the bait last time. The fish that didn't get fed died off. Once the unfed fish die off, it doesn't matter what bait you put on the hook. They aren't there to bite.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
@X51 I get where you're coming from, really. It's the same discussion we could have on music these days (or from the last 15-ish years. You have to REALLY hunt for the gems. Even when people recommend in many cases is based on a lowered bar of expectations. I am surprised when I REALLY REALLY enjoy something, and I find myself recommending a lot of trades over anything else, since that's filtered reading - easier to discriminate storylines that have run the gauntlet... And, they tend to be older with some that have squeaked through from authors who shine bright for a few projects and get beat to hell by publishers wanting a little too much content from them (or maybe push themselves too hard).

Anywho, I wouldn't want to try and change your opinion on things. I get it. I guess my long-winded point is just that there's still some "gold" to be found in these mines - you might just need to dig a little deeper. BUT, you have to want to. If you don't, that's okay, too! There's plenty of love to be found in what came before. I'm still digging there, too, and want to play in that sandbox as well.
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
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Originally Posted by thelastbard
@X51 I get where you're coming from, really. It's the same discussion we could have on music these days (or from the last 15-ish years. You have to REALLY hunt for the gems. Even when people recommend in many cases is based on a lowered bar of expectations. I am surprised when I REALLY REALLY enjoy something, and I find myself recommending a lot of trades over anything else, since that's filtered reading - easier to discriminate storylines that have run the gauntlet... And, they tend to be older with some that have squeaked through from authors who shine bright for a few projects and get beat to hell by publishers wanting a little too much content from them (or maybe push themselves too hard).

Anywho, I wouldn't want to try and change your opinion on things. I get it. I guess my long-winded point is just that there's still some "gold" to be found in these mines - you might just need to dig a little deeper. BUT, you have to want to. If you don't, that's okay, too! There's plenty of love to be found in what came before. I'm still digging there, too, and want to play in that sandbox as well.


I took gambles on finding the gold from about 1996-2001. It was too hit and miss. I ended up regretting a lot of what I bought. Some of the stuff did appreciate in value, but it took longer. The stuff I liked best was coming out too far apart and eventually sales were so low, the creators gave up. I like plots that grow in depth and complexity across a broad spectrum of titles. An indy title cn't do that. It takes a larger publisher to do that. Msrvel and DC build and destroy and repeat. They wonder why consumers are tired of them.
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Collector thelastbard private msg quote post Address this user
@X51 Much harder, yeah... Invincible did it... Walking Dead does, too, but you have to read trades. Unwritten (Mike Carey) did it well. Y The Last Man. Saga, I'm told (haven't read it yet).

Opinions vary, but Erik Larsen has managed to keep that crazy Savage Dragon going for YEARS and it nods back to the classics again and again. He's just having FUN with the book and damn the torpedoes, you know? I stopped reading for years, picked up 90 issues off of eBay, tore through it, kept up for another 40 issues, dropped off, and am regretting not keeping up again.

Again, though, you're right that those can't cross over multiple titles (unless you count if Kirkman tries to do something across the "Funk-o-tron-verse", which he hasn't gone too crazy with.

I miss the long-form era of storytelling on the Marvel side. It's what I want to be able to do!! Tell a story over 75 issues with shorter arcs mixed in. A BLAST!!!
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