Holiday Comics Extravaganza!

Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 117, 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 117…

 

Cool Comics News!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! I hope your comic book wishes come true and you get plenty of fun gifts to read during the upcoming winter months. Are there any Christmas comics from your past that you think fondly of today? When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading Dennis the Menace Christmas comics and digests, along with Archie and Treasury-sized holiday specials that Marvel and DC put out. What holiday-themed comic books make you feel nostalgic for your childhood? Feel free to share in the comments section at the end of the blog.

 

Cool Comics

Cool comics in my collection #559: DC Holiday Special 2017 #1, February 2018.

Now that I’m buying new comics again, DC must have realized that I’m a sucker for holiday issues. They got me in October with their big horror special, and now they nailed me with their winter Holiday Special. The cover is slick and solid, which is great for reading a longer comic (this is 87 pages), and the cover illustration knocks you out with your favorite heroes of the DCU, taunting potential buyers by stating “Eleven Festive Fables…From Some of Comics’ Greatest Creators!” How can you refuse? Well, it might be easy if you don’t have the spare $9.99. Yup, these don’t come cheap. And notice something else in particular about the cover? Rebirth is gone, and now DC is using a “DC Universe” emblem in the top left corner. So, is it worth it? For me, it is. I love the holiday stories, and you do get a lot of bang for your buck(s). It even has Bibbo, and you know who his favorite happens to be! Some of the stories will tug at your heartstrings, making this the perfect comic book to read while sitting in front of a warm fire as December 25 approaches. The cover price of DC Holiday Special 2017 #1 is $9.99, while the current value is $10.

 

Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap

Cool comics in my collection #560: Love and Rockets Free Comic Book Day 2016, May 2016.

The Hernandez brothers—Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario—hit the black and white comic book indie scene with Love and Rockets in 1982, published by Fantagraphics Books. Still going strong today, although Mario doesn’t really contribute any longer, I’d never before picked up an issue of this comic until I found it in my $20 long box of 419 individual comics. This particular issue is from Free Comic Book Day 2016, which publishers use to hopefully introduce new fans to their books. The back of the comic book tells us that it’s rated M (Mature), and it has language that you probably don’t want your kids reading, so keep in mind that this is a comic for adults. And when it comes to comic books, I don’t like “Adult” comics. I want comics that can be read by all ages, comics that I can pass off to my children and not feel embarrassed with the content. I understand that the Hernandez brothers are trying to give us what could be real-life stories, but not everyone speaks the way their characters do. Obviously, this title has a bevy of fans, or it wouldn’t have lasted so long. It’s just not for me. The cover price of Love and Rockets Free Comic Book Day 2016 is (yes, you guessed it!) free, while the current value is (yup, let’s hear it again…) free.

 

Cool Comics Classics

Cool comics in my collection #561: Teen Titans #13, February 1968.

One of my favorite things to do is search through back issue boxes at Kenmore Komics & Games (if you live in the Akron, Ohio, area and have never been there, treat yourself to a visit!), and when I found this one just a few months back in fair condition for only $4, I knew I had my Christmas Cool Comics Classic issue! Teen Titans #13 came out the December that I was just a wee lad of six years old, and didn’t even know what a comic book was. Of course, I’d already fallen in love with Batman and Robin on the TV, coming at me in bright and beautiful colors! Oh, if only I’d known then that Robin had his own crime-fighting unit, the brave kids of the Teen Titans. Not only do they help right wrongs, but sometimes they go out of their way to help others during the Christmas season. This issue gives us ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. I hope you get to spend your holidays with your personal heroes! The cover price of Teen Titans #13 is 12¢, while the current value is $105.

 

Recently Read Digital Comics

When I was a kid buying comics weekly, I happened to love getting special Christmas issues. Seems like most of the ones back in the Seventies were those over-sized Treasury issues that they don’t make anymore. If you want some Christmas comics, you can hop in your car and visit your local comic shop. But the alternative is to go shopping from your house on comiXology (or Amazon, by linking your accounts). Many of us have limited funds these days, not to mention space to store our collections, so if you want to read some comics, but don’t necessarily feel the need to own physical copies, digital is a great alternative. And this time of year sees comiXology having great sales, sometimes as much as 88 percent off. I bought this Marvel Holiday Special: 2005 about a year ago and finally got around to reading it. It’s that time of year, right? I didn’t care much for the first story, about the Mole Man (the art wasn’t for me), but the second story, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santron,” is both fun and touching. This story made the comic worth the price, in my opinion. The last story is a little different, and also is a touching tribute to what this time of year means.

 

The next calendar year comic, Marvel Holiday Special: 2006, gives us a story that wraps around another story, and a strange little alphabet rhyme. While this issue wasn’t as good as the 2005 Holiday Special, “How Fin Fang Foom Saved Christmas” is a somewhat enjoyable read, and Marvel finishes this special off with a background of Santa Claus and the ways the Marvel Universe have been involved with him. This part is almost all text, with a few little drawings, and it made me glad to own a larger tablet for my digital comic reading, because if I had to read this on my smartphone, I probably wouldn’t have been able to. The wraparound story is about a young woman who works for A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and her date at A.I.M.’s holiday party. It has its moments, but if your budget doesn’t allow you to get 2005 and 2006, go with the former.

 

Because I didn’t start collecting new comics again until this fall, I missed last year’s DC Rebirth Holiday Special. Maybe I could have found it in a back issue box, but comiXology happened to combine it with Batman Annual #1 and Harley Quinn #10, since both had Christmas themes. This way readers get even more bang for their buck. A Very DC Rebirth Holiday just became available in November, so I read both it and DC Holiday Special 2017 #1 in close proximity to each other. Personally, I like this year’s holiday offering from DC better. There were some good tales in this one, but I’m glad I picked up the digital copy for a fraction of the print release price. I think my favorite story in this issue is “The Last Minute,” which features Superman & Batman, along with the Super Sons. Thinking about it, this one made the collection worth it, and if you’re a Harley Quinn fan, you won’t want to miss this collection.

 

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 Holiday Comics Extravaganza!

  1. Just got done with a review on CBR of Batman #219 from 1970, featuring the classic Christmas tale, “The Silent Night of The Batman”. It’s a pretty short story, but it’s a good one (if you like the older pre grim-n-gritty Batman, that is). I feel disappointed that I have to pass on the DC Christmas Special on the principle of the price and my not wanting to support $10 comic books. . .especially because it has a Sgt. Rock story in it and those are sadly in short supply these days.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Profile Cover Art

      Thanks, Atom! I enjoyed your review of that Batman issue. Here’s to hoping you someday find the DC Holiday Special at a good price someday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, also!

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