Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 78, where we take a nostalgic look at comic books I currently own, and in some sad cases, ones that I let get away.
For each of the comic books I include in this blog, I list the current secondary market value. This is according to the listings at the website www.comicbookrealm.com. They list out the near mint prices, which are on the comic book grading scale of 9.4. If you go to the website to look up any in your collection, you can click on the price and see the value at different grades. Not all of my comics are 9.4. Some are probably better, and some are worse. But to simplify it, that’s the grading price I use here. And remember, a comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Have you considered being a guest host for Cool Comics? You can do a theme or just pick any of your comics for inclusion (this blog is for all ages, so please keep that in mind), with a maximum of seven issues. Repeat guest hosts are permitted and encouraged. Send your completed blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or comments, please scroll to the bottom of the page to where it says, “Leave a reply.” I hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I do writing about them. And now, Episode 78…
Cool Comics News!
Last week I covered three of the 24 issues in the Walmart variant packs, and promised to tell you about all of them. My plan is to bring you those comics every other week, so that we keep a little variety here. This week, I’m covering one of my greatest childhood passions, The Planet of the Apes!
Cool comics in my collection #407: Planet of the Apes #2, October 1974.
I can’t tell you the date that the original Planet of the Apes movie first aired on network television, but I remember watching it, and immediately knowing that it was my new favorite thing. Ape mania took over my neighborhood starting the very next day, as my buddies and I reenacted what we saw on our TVs the night before. But it wasn’t enough. We wanted…no, we NEEDED more apes. And someone was listening, because we were granted four more movies, a TV series that lasted for just one season but in our hearts forever, and a Saturday morning cartoon. And trading cards, Mego action figures, and some other weird toy stuff, too. But better than the trading cards was the Planet of the Apes magazine, full of not only black and white comics, but articles and pictures! For just the price of a dollar, we were granted a few hours of what we saw as the best entertainment money could buy. Those were the days, indeed. All I have to do is look at the cover, and it takes me back in time. I can see myself now, sitting on the couch in my parents living room, a little nervous about the plight of the lost astronauts led by Charlton Heston, and amazed at how awesome the apes looked. The cover price of Planet of the Apes magazine #2 is $1, while the current value is $32.
Cool comics in my collection #408: Planet of the Apes #1, April 1990.
In the mid-Nineties, when I was back into buying comic books once more, I discovered that another company, Adventure, had put out some Planet of the Apes comics. It didn’t take long for me to find most of them and add the back issues to my collection for a reasonably low price. The experience definitely wasn’t the same as it had been 20 years before (see above), but if apes were in comics, I needed to collect and read them! I’ve said it here before: comic books can function as time travel devices. And searching for these issues really brought the memories flooding back (much like they are right now). Are these superior comics? That’s for the individual reader to judge. Are they really deserving of being called Cool Comics? To me, they are, if only because I loved all things Apes so much in the Seventies. I bought and read all the paperback novelizations, along with the original Planet of the Apes book, and these comics from the Nineties helped add to that nostalgic feeling I love so much. The cover price of Planet of the Apes #1 is $2.50, while the current value is $4.
Cool comics in my collection #409: Planet of the Apes #1, June 2001.
Dark Horse was next in line for licensing the Apes, and this short three issue series is subtitled “The Human War.” Why can’t the humans and apes just get along? This is a theme we often see in science fiction: two sentient species warring against each other, with occasional periods of peace, then the wasp’s nest gets stirred once again. Of course, the stories would be boring without conflict, because no one wants to see Dr. Zaius and Taylor perform musical theater together, do they? OK, maybe they do! (Click it…go ahead, I’ll wait until you get back.) But all kidding aside, it’s interesting how the writers end up getting viewers and readers to sympathize with the apes over the humans. A good example of this is the newer films, and especially Escape From the Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Do you have a favorite Apes memory, be it comic, movie, book, or TV show? Please feel free to share in the comments section below. The cover price of Planet of the Apes #1 is $2.99, while the current value is $3.
Recently Read Digital Comics
I got in a couple of quick digital comic reads this week, and a little more progress on a larger digital collection I’m reading, which I’ll talk about here when I’m finished. Since I went with a theme for my print comics, I decided to do the same with the digital, going for a bit of sword and sorcery. First up is Barbarian #1, by Recondite Pictures, published in December 2010, a creator owned comic that I got free from comiXology. The art looks pretty nice, and I love the colors, but as far as the actual story is concerned, I really couldn’t tell much of what was going on. As a matter of fact, even several of the characters within the comic didn’t seem to know what was going on, as this strange barbarian comes out of nowhere, fighting some other strange creature. When we first see the Barbarian, he’s in some kind of full body green suit that he ends up tearing off. I looked at the covers and fan ratings of the subsequent issues, and people liked #2 through #4 (it’s only four issues), but #1 has just a 2-star rating out of 5. I’d give a 3, if just for the cool art. There isn’t much dialogue in this issue, and not much description either, but it was kind of fun, since it was free, and I’d consider giving issue #2 a try sometime.
If you’re a fan of Conan the Barbarian, then you’re probably familiar with Red Sonja. I have a few of her Marvel issues, but this one is from Dynamite Entertainment and originally came out in 2005, then added to digital comics in 2010. Robert E. Howard’s creations have entertained fans for decades, and this was a pretty good story. You can buy omnibuses of Red Sonja on comiXology, each containing several hundred pages for a fairly low price. Reading this made me regret my decision to sell my Conan the Barbarian comics when my collection grew too large for my house. You can get Red Sonja: She-Devil With a Sword #0 for no cost on comiXology, so it’s a no lose scenario. If you don’t like it, delete if from your tablet, and don’t look back. But if you enjoy it, it’s nice to know there are so many more adventures you can read.