The Joy of Finding “That” Issue!

Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 105, where we take a look at comic books I own (and in some cases ones that I let get away), both new and old, often with a nostalgic leaning for those feelings of yesteryear.

For each of the comic books I include in this blog (except for digital issues), 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 edgosney62@gmail.com.

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 105…

 

Cool Comics News!

Welcome to Episode 105, which sees the launch of my new section, Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap. If you’re a buyer/reader of comic books, most likely you enjoy getting bargains now and then. Sometimes you can find collections at remarkably discounted prices at stores like Books-A-Million, but most of the time you’ve probably acquired your best deals at garage sales and at your local comic shop, perhaps by flipping through quarter or 50¢ boxes. At the end of last year, I bought a long box filled with 419 comics from my local comic shop and talked about it right here at Cool Comics. The best part, I paid just $20, making the cost of each comic book about $0.0477. So that’s where I’m starting with Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap. Each week that I include this section I’ll be pulling an issue from the long box, reading it, and giving you my impressions (I don’t really do reviews here, as readers know). There are over 90 titles in the box that aren’t from the “Big Two” companies, so Cool Comics will be seeing a little more variety. Enjoy!

 

Cool Comics

Cool comics in my collection #499: Doctor Strange #12, December 2016.

The first three cool comics here are from the last Marvel 3-Pack I bought at Walmart. This issue was showing through the plastic wrap, but you couldn’t tell what else you were getting, much like the DC 3-Packs. But instead of costing just $5 like the DC comics, this pack cost almost $10. Nearly twice the price, which isn’t as fan friendly. Granted, it was still cheaper than the cover prices added together of the three issues, but how many parents are going to pick this up for their kids? It didn’t seem to capture the spirit of saving money by shopping at Walmart. As for this issue? I’d previously read the first two collections of this Doctor Strange series, which covered issues 1-10, so I understood what’s been going on. However, whereas I really enjoyed the first 5 issues of this Doctor Strange series, I didn’t care much for issues 6 through 10. So is issue 12 any better? Maybe. A storyline is being set-up for subsequent issues, but I’d have to read more to really have an opinion on the direction of the series. At this point, I prefer the Doctor Strange stories from several decades past, but you know me…I usually prefer comics to be old, sort of like me. The cover price of Doctor Strange #12 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.

 

Cool comics in my collection #500: Secret Wars #6, December 2015.

It feels like I’m time traveling through this 2015 Secret War series, because I’d already read issue 7 from a previous Walmart 3-pack I’d opened and read, and now here’s issue 6! It’s difficult enough to miss the first several issues of a mini-series, but when you end up reading them backwards, that’s a whole other set of troubles. Although I think I appreciate this series a bit more now that I’ve read this issue. There are still lots of holes for me, but that will be taken care of sometime in the future, because now I own the series in digital format. Just like the first Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and the spawned sequel of it, I wasn’t collecting new issues when this came out, so I’m late to the game. I remember searching back issue boxes in the Nineties, always hopeful to find another Secret Wars issue I needed from the Eighties series, and finally getting them all. Then I was able to read the series in order. Sanity. Unlike today. An interesting side note: on the cover, this issue has “#6 of 8,” while on my other issue in this series, it says “#7 of 9.” They did put out 9 issues, so they must have decided they couldn’t finish the series in 8 issues. Complete havoc! The cover price of Secret Wars #6 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.

 

Cool comics in my collection #501: The Mighty Thor #1, January 2016.

The last comic in the Marvel Walmart 3-Pack was The Mighty Thor #1. I’m a longtime fan of the character, and only Spider-Man beats him out for number of issues in my collection. Why do I like him so much? I’m not sure if there’s a particular reason, but we readers always recognize when something resonates with us, and when it does, we want more. Even though I’ve been out of the weekly comic buying game since 2003, I knew Thor was now a female. Or at least there was a female version of him. It didn’t surprise me, because when a character has been around for many decades, sometimes creators try different things. Sort of like Beta Ray Bill and Thunderstrike, and a few others who’ve filled in for the Odinson. Some of the changes Marvel has made over the last few years have driven readers away. I’ve read very few of these issues, as my focus has been on mostly 20th Century comics. Regardless of the reasons behind Marvel’s decisions, none of it has affected me one way or another. I read what I want to read, and if I don’t like something, I’ll quit reading it. That’s about as political as you’ll find me here, because when it comes to buying, reading, and collecting comics, the fun factor is what matters to me. What did I think of this issue, you ask? I thought it was well done, thought provoking, and a little sad, based on Jane Foster’s condition (my wife went through a horrific battle with cancer 18 years ago, so yes, some of the panels affected me in a personal way). The cover price of The Mighty Thor #1 is $4.99, while the current value is $5.

 

Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap

Cool comics in my collection #502: Judge Dredd #10, September 2016.

I’m excited to start this new section in my blog on comics that I picked up dirt cheap, especially considering the long history of this iconic character. Did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of Judge Dredd? And yet I know so little about him. I think I saw part of the Sylvester Stallone movie once, when I was flipping through channels, but I never set out to watch it. He’s a British creation, and obviously quite popular, but I didn’t read his comics. I looked him up on comicbookrealm.com and was surprised to see the number of series he’s been in, not to mention how many different comic book companies have published Judge Dredd. This issue comes from a newer series put out by IDW, a comic book company that frequently produces comics from licensed properties such as Star Trek, Transformers, Ghostbusters, and even My Little Pony. There is definitely a place for these comics, and while it’s difficult for them to get near the top, where DC, Marvel, and Image typically reign, if they find the right fanbase, they can last for a while. I was fascinated with this Judge Dredd comic, and I can see myself reading more in the future. The cover price of Judge Dredd #10 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.

 

Cool Comics Classics

Cool comics in my collection #503: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1, December 1976.

Do you remember a couple weeks ago how I was lamenting the fact that I neglected to purchase The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 when it showed up at the newsstands and on drugstores racks at the end of 1976? Now get this, I recently walked into my local comic book shop, flipped through some back issues, and there it was, not a pristine issue like they have under the glass counter, but a number one issue all the same. Some creases in the spine didn’t prevent me from making this purchase. All collectors appreciate old comics that look brand new, but not all of us have the money to shell out for them. I’m quite happy with the purchase I made. It would have been really cool to have bought it in 1976 for just 30¢, but now part of the fun for me is finding these gems from my childhood. The cover price of The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 is 30¢, while the current value is $90.

 

Recently Read Digital Comics

If you’re a reader of digital comics, it certainly pays to take a look at the current sales comiXology is offering. Last week I discovered they had the Batman: The Long Halloween collected edition, featuring all 13 issues, for just $5.99. I just so happened to have some Amazon credits, so I bought it through them (they own comiXology, and your digital comic purchases through Amazon can be read in the comiXology app). This was another much-talked about series that I’d never read, so it was a great way to get it without breaking the bank. Written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, this series is Batman noir all the way, with crime families, a mystery killer referred to as Holiday, and plenty of other characters from the Batman family. While I’ve read plenty of comics featuring Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman’s never been in my top list of must-buy superhero comic books. But I couldn’t put my tablet down for long once I’d started The Long Halloween, and I finished reading it in less than three days. It had the perfect balance of word and art, and the darker colors greatly captured the mood. If you’ve never read Batman: The Long Halloween, I strongly recommend it.

About Ed Gosney

Ed Gosney grew up in the small river town of Martins Ferry, Ohio, near Wheeling, West Virginia. He claims it was a magical place that helped mold his imagination, as he spent countless hours roaming the hills, playing in a cave, and hanging out at the Ohio River with his childhood friends. Ed is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education, and served in the Army, becoming a Journalist and the editor of the Army post newspaper. After being honorably discharged, he entered the corporate world to write business proposals, working for several different banks and at times managing proposal teams. Currently living in Copley, Ohio, Ed has been married to Melissa since 1987 and has three children, Renee, Ed, and Brynn.

2 Responses to The Joy of Finding “That” Issue!

  1. Long Halloween is one of my favorite Batman stories, as well as one of my favorite comic stories in general! I feel that Batman works a lot better in noir-style stories than in over the top superheroics and Long Halloween captured that essence perfectly. If you liked Long Halloween, then I highly suggest you take a look at the sequel. . .Batman: Dark Victory. It’s by the same creative team and in the same style. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Atom, thanks so much for the suggestion of Batman: Dark Victory. It just so happens that comiXology and Amazon had it on sale at the same time, so I bought it the same day. It will probably be a few weeks until I get to it (my reading schedule these days is often generated by my blog and what my plans are for each week), but I’m looking forward to it!

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