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Days we look foward to as Archie Fans. by BettyReggie
[Today at 03:58:53 pm]

What have you done today? by Archiecomicxfan215
[Today at 12:12:04 pm]

What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[December 10, 2018, 09:42:47 pm]

What comics have you been reading? by BettyReggie
[December 09, 2018, 12:39:55 pm]

Library Books That You All Read by BettyReggie
[December 09, 2018, 12:37:11 pm]

Features by Oldiesmann
[December 07, 2018, 11:49:38 pm]

Riverdale Reviewed by Tuxedo Mark
[December 02, 2018, 06:13:49 pm]

Latest Hauls, what did you buy? by BettyReggie
[November 27, 2018, 10:08:42 pm]

Sears/Kmart by SAGG
[November 20, 2018, 06:47:00 am]

New Sabrina comic book miniseries (non-horror) by DeCarlo Rules
[November 16, 2018, 01:28:13 am]

* Shoutbox

Refresh History
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "'Ti$ the Sea$on" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 9: [link]
    December 02, 2018, 06:14:22 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Thanks. Yeah, we don't know what happened to him. Possibly a stomach problem of some kind.
    November 29, 2018, 08:36:52 am
  • rusty: Sorry for your loss.  7 years is pretty young for a cat.
    November 28, 2018, 11:49:53 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: R.I.P., my sweet, beloved cat, Misiu (2011-2018). :'(
    November 28, 2018, 08:50:46 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Making of Mr. Righteous": [link]
    November 24, 2018, 03:59:01 pm
  • Vegan Jughead: Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!
    November 22, 2018, 07:30:50 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Skateboardin' Blossom" from Cheryl Blossom #26: [link]
    November 18, 2018, 06:22:18 pm
  • Oldiesmann: RIP Stan Lee :( [link]
    November 12, 2018, 02:04:24 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Fashion Emergency" from Cherl Blossom #26: [link]
    November 11, 2018, 07:05:28 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Internet outage for nearly 24 hours, but I'm back now. :)
    November 09, 2018, 05:37:49 pm
  • rusty: That is hilarious.
    November 04, 2018, 02:36:07 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: The funniest thing I've seen all year (and maybe ever)... [link]  :2funny:
    November 04, 2018, 07:12:01 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: It's crazy that ACP hasn't reprinted those 2 issues as a double-size one-shot. Or the lead story in a TP collection of vampire stories (including "Twilite" and others).
    November 04, 2018, 03:21:35 am
  • irishmoxie: That's crazy about those Betty and Veronica issues being worth so much. They're only about 6 years old. I'm pretty sure I have copies of them.
    November 04, 2018, 01:36:00 am
  • DeCarlo Rules: On a relatated note, the real FIRST Vampironica appeared in Larry Welz' underground comic Cherry Poptart #1 [link]. That can be had right now, CGCed at 9.4, at the Buy-It-Now price of $280 on ebay. Although the book had several subsequent printings, only the first printing ($2 cover price) contains the Vampironica story. Much, much scarcer than B&V #261 & 262, but then far fewer people seem to be aware of its existence. It may not be the same Vampironica as the one that appears in her own comic book from ACP, but then you can easily make the argument that neither is the Vampironica from B&V 261-262.
    November 04, 2018, 01:15:09 am
  • rusty: Crazy.  I obviously missed that back then.
    November 03, 2018, 10:06:11 pm
  • DeCarlo Rules: Yes, I mentioned this a while back somewhere around the time Vampironica #1 was first solicted or shipped. I even mentioned it to Dan Parent and told him if he still had copies he should get them CGC'ed.
    November 03, 2018, 04:33:03 pm
  • rusty: Apparently Betty and Veronica #261 and 262 (1987 series) are popular now due to Vampironica.  Somebody actually purchased a copy of #261 for $299 on ebay recently.
    November 03, 2018, 01:41:51 pm
  • archiecomicscollector: I've been watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on no Riverdale means more time in Greendale :)
    November 01, 2018, 10:17:35 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: Quite easy. I don't need a new episode every single week.
    November 01, 2018, 09:05:48 pm

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

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General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:01:32 am »
THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP #2 - One of the very few Marvel comics that interests me at the moment. Maybe the only one (haven't made up my mind about the whole INFINITY WARS thing), apart from the Thanos original graphic novels of Jim Starlin. I like that it's a comic featuring a teenage character, but that it's essentially upbeat and positive (none of the teenage angst traditionally associated with Marvel since Spider-Man and the X-Men). Also that it's promoting STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) for girls -- good for them! I almost missed out on this character (the first series went by without me reading it until it came out in TP). The new Wasp is Nadia Pym (daughter of the original Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket, Henry Pym - who just happens to be one of my favorite Marvel characters), who was raised in secret in Russia by "The Red Room", a covert intel/black ops division left over from the Soviet days (where the Black Widow was previously trained). I automatically assumed from this brief sketchy info that the character would be angst-y (when she was initially introduced in AVENGERS), but as it turned out, nothing could be further from the case. For the sake of any kind of logic or realism, it's getting harder and harder to justify the Cold War origins of some Marvel adversaries. After all, the Cold War ended officially with the fall of the Berlin Wall, so we're now going on almost 3 decades without an 'evil Soviet regime' to justify the origins of characters (especially Iron Man villains) like Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo, and of course, the Black Widow (who defected from the Communist Bloc to become a SHIELD agent and an Avenger). As far as how this relates to the current teenage version of the Wasp, supposedly Maria Pym (the first wife of the hero who would become the original Ant-Man) was kidnapped while the married couple were visiting her homeland (an un-named nation under Communist rule) and was never seen alive again. Details were sketchy, but this is the supposed motivation for Pym becoming a hero. How Nadia Pym was born in Russia without Henry Pym ever having been aware his that wife was pregnant at the time of her kidnapping is a mystery, as is how long she survived after her abduction and what eventually became of her. But since Nadia Pym is merely a teenager, these events could not have occurred more than about a decade and a half ago (since she is now about 15 or 16). Communist agents kidnapped Pym's first wife circa 2002-2003?? Best not to think too hard about it, I guess.

(of 6)
- Not really feeling anything for the DCs, either. I'll probably stick with Detective Comics at least until it reaches issue #1000 (under incoming writer Peter Tomasi, whose previous Batman stories I've liked); after that, we'll see. Other than Detective, let's see... There's DOOMSDAY CLOCK, which I'll see through to the end (#12), and I'll probably check out the new Geoff Johns SHAZAM series too (despite not being really keen on the initial backup miniseries from JUSTICE LEAGUE a few years back); the new GREEN LANTERN by Grant Morrison (the first issue wasn't bad), and FREEDOM FIGHTERS (a 12-issue limited series) sounds like it might be interesting, so I'll be checking that one out. I think that's about it, except for SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP and LOONEY TUNES.

WILLIAM GIBSON'S ALIEN 3 #1 - Sunk by pedestrian artwork. I'll pass on the rest of the story, which wasn't bad as far as it went.
DR. HORRIBLE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER #0 (one-shot) - An unexpected sequel to a previous one-shot from 2009!
(of 4) - Now here's the kind of reboot I actually like.
LONE RANGER VOL 3 #2 - It's just okay. Not as good as the previous version.
MARS ATTACKS #2 - I may actually like Dynamite's version better than the previous (IDW) version, or the original (1990s) Topps Comics version.
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #4 - Sorry, I'm just not into it. For one thing, this seems to ignore the original PSP series' revelation that when released from their imprisonment in Pandora's urn, the 1940s superheroes had been transformed into the avatars of the mythical Greek pantheon. This version of the story gives an entirely different explanation for the origin of the urn, and its source of power. I'll probably ride it out though, unless it goes beyond 12 issues with no sign of improvement.
THE THREE STOOGES: MATINEE MADNESS #1 - Now in black & white (just like the original Stooges shorts!), and set in the 1930s/40s. It's an improvement, as is the more cartoon-style artwork by Eric Shanower (!!)
STELLAR #6 (of 6) - It was interesting at first, but it just seemed to... stop. Not sure I understood the ending, or if they were just leaving things hanging in hopes of a possible sequel.
LIGHTSTEP #1 (of 5) - Incomprehensible... at least to me.
GO-BOTS #1 - Only picked it up because I've enjoyed Tom Scioli's previous work (GØDLAND, AMERICAN BARBARIAN, G.I. JOE vs TRANSFORMERS). I don't even like Transformers that much, and this is just a pale knockoff of that. So... no.
(of 5) - It was okay. A little hard to get into because I wasn't totally familiar with the historical context of what (exactly) was happening in China at the time of the story. I'll probably wait and just pick up the trade collection later.
SUKEBAN TURBO #1 (of 4) - Just an ugly, terrible story about gang girls whom I couldn't possibly care about. Nice artwork fooled me into reading it.
EXORSISTERS #2 - Not quite as funny as the first issue (more backstory-ish), but I enjoyed it.
HEDY LAMARR: AN INCREDIBLE LIFE OGN TP - Interesting, but I felt like I was missing something. I wish there was more in it about Hedy Lamarr's inventions and technical interests; it feels like they just scratched the surface of that aspect of her personality.
COMICS COMICS QUARTERLY #1 - Graphic stories written by comedians. Not as good as it sounds. Can't win 'em all.
HELLBOY & THE B.P.R.D. 1956 #1 (of 5)
TITANS #29 & 30
- Essentially DC tricked me into reading these by using a retro/flashback-y type misleading cover on issue #30. Cheap trick, DC.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 30, 2018, 01:59:44 am »
I was disappointed with the new reprint lines since they are essentially 'best of' collections rather than being a complete reprint series.  When  they were announced, I thought that they would be starting a comprehensive reprint line with perhaps Archie and Me #1-10 in volume 1, 11-20 in volume 2 and so on, but I must have misunderstood them somewhere.  I'll just stick to my complete runs of all those titles.  If they had done it the other way, I probably would have purchased them to support the line anyway.  The few books that I don't already have were mostly covered in the Dark Horse Archives, at least for the Archie stories.

I'm convinced it's less a function of "best of" than of "what we have on hand already digitized". If people just scratched their heads wondering why SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH Complete Collection v1 was in black & white (the only such "Archie Complete Comics Collection" b&w collection that ACP has produced to date), it's because it was an experiment. That required them to do some actual work in terms of locating older Sabrina stories that hadn't yet been digitized, and the trade-off of the cost of that production work in digitizing previously undigitized stories for the first time was that the whole thing was printed in black & white to save ACP the cost of paying for full-color printing. The same economics applied to the trade paperback collection CHILLING TALES IN SORCERY VOL. 1.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 29, 2018, 06:31:36 am »
Wow, when you save them up for a year or more like that, it almost seems like ACP has a full-fledged publishing operation going on, while the reality if you look at the solicitations is more like 1 or 2 (at most 3) floppy format comic books in any given month, 3 or 4 digest titles, and 2 or 3 trade collections.

Recently, I read these -

-- These are the only regular digest titles I'm getting at this point. Recently I picked up a couple of the more recent Giant Comics digest collections, and ARCHIE 1000 PAGE COMICS ROMP, but haven't done more that read a couple hundred pages of the 1000 Page collection.

ARCHIE #700 - Theoretically, I'd say it's an improvement on the original reboot by Waid and Staples, but that doesn't mean I'll be buying it now. I only purchased this one because of the Mike Allred variant cover. It's still about as pointless to me as doing a reboot of Dilbert or Zippy using the same writer and artist.

ARCHIE AND ME TP VOL 01 - Issue 1 has artwork by Harry Lucey; 3 through 9 by Bob Bolling, the balance of the stories are written and drawn by Joe Edwards. It astounds me that this title managed to run for 161 issues. None of the stories are worse than average, but they could have appeared in almost any Archie-centric comic title. Was Mr. Weatherbee, as a character, that big of a draw? Why not Ms. Grundy? Or for that matter, what would have seemed to make much more sense to me (well I thought he was funnier, anyway) would have been Mr. Lodge.
EVERYTHING'S ARCHIE TP VOL 01 - Not as many Archies (the band) stories as you might expect. This one's all over the place in terms of artists, but the latter half of the book is heavy with Al Hartley written-&-drawn stories, which you hardly ever see much of a concentration of in random collections.

On the whole, the "Archie Comics Presents..." series of trade collections seems like a good idea, and I guess it's better than spending the same money on digest issues. It's just that the Archie-centric titles like the above (and the previous trade collections of ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH and LIFE WITH ARCHIE) don't seem all that distinctive in any way. Like you could have put the same stories into any random issue of World of Archie or Archie Jumbo Comics Digest and nobody would really have noticed that much, apart from the suspicious nature of them obviously being very close in vintage to each other. So once again, ACP continues to zig in mirror-reflection to my zag, frustrating me by not giving me what I really want. Maybe it's because they led off with unusual collections like JUGHEAD'S TIME POLICE and COSMO THE MERRY MARTIAN, which might have given me the impression we'd be seeing a much more eclectic selection, concentrating stories which had been thinly-distributed as reprints through the digests in the past. And now I'm stuck with them working their way through a long list of fairly long-running but otherwise unremarkable titles. **Deep sigh**

For the record, here's my "most wanted" wish list of titles that would fit in this series:

She's JOSIE (from #1, 1963)
THAT WILKIN BOY (from #1, 1969)
The MADHOUSE GLADS (from their 1st appearance in Madhouse Ma-ad #67, into #73-93 of their own title)
Tales Calculated to Drive You BATS (all 8 issues, complete)
Archie's MADHOUSE (from the earliest issues)
BETTY AND ME (from #1, 1965)
REGGIE AND ME (from #19, 1966)
CHERYL BLOSSOM (from the beginning)
JUGHEAD'S FANTASY (#1-3 complete + JUGHEAD'S FOLLY, the 1957 one-shot that served as a prototype)
The New WILBUR (#80-87, by Doyle & DeCarlo, 1958-59, complete)
BETTY'S DIARY (including the AGS one-shot that preceded the regular run)
VERONICA (#1-17, the "Veronica Around the World" issues)

I'd say Sabrina, but they've really already done exactly the collection I want, except that it's in black & white. Now that Sabrina's profile has been raised due to the Netfilx series, let's work on getting a deluxe hardcover edition of the exact same stories in color now, m'kay, ACP?

Just some random older floppies I found in the back issue bins:
THAT WILKIN BOY #11 (Oct-78)
ARCHIE'S T.V. LAUGH-OUT #63 (Dec-78), #67 (Jun-79)
PEP #342 (Oct-78), #345 (Jan-79)
REGGIE AND ME #342 (Dec-77)
LIFE WITH ARCHIE #45 (Jan 66), #85 (May-69), #188 (Dec-77)
JUGHEAD #282 (Nov-78), #285 (Feb-79)

It's gotten to the point where some of the run-of-the-mill issues of Archie titles from the 70s or 80s, if it's a title that doesn't feature B&V, Josie, Sabrina, Bingo Wilkin, or Madhouse Glads (-- those are the ones I'll actually collect) I'll just give it a quick flip-through, and unless I see something out of the ordinary, I won't even bother to read it.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 28, 2018, 08:32:04 am »

I am all caught up with Dark Horse now.

Aliens Dead Orbit 1-4 - This was a rather pedestrian Aliens series.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great either.

I liked it simply because of the superior artwork of James Stokoe. Too often the Aliens and Predator miniseries are decent enough stories, but the lackluster, pedestrian artwork is what drags them down.

Mignola books - These make up a large part of Dark Horse's books and are pretty good

Hellboy Krampusnacht

Koschei the Deathless 1-6 - A man in the 1400s is adopted by a dragon, gains powers and near immortality.  Pretty good.

Lobster Johnson Mangekyo - An ongoing Lobster Johnson series would be nice, but I'll take the one shots and miniseries if that is all we can get.

Rasputin the Voice of the Dragon 1-5 - Rasputin is recruited by the Nazis for occult purposes, though much of this story deals with a younger Trevor Bruttenholm in 1941 before he starts working for the special branch that deals with weird bollocks.

The Visitor How and Why He Stayed 1-5 - An alien was sent to assassinate Hellboy when he arrived on Earth because of the danger he posed, but couldn't because Hellboy was an innocent child at arrival.  He stays on Earth and observes Hellboy's growth to make sure he does not become a threat and the Visitor also builds a life for himself, too.

I don't get every single one of them by any means, but I do enjoy Mignola's Hellboy-verse. My favorites are (by far) LOBSTER JOHNSON, and HELLBOY & THE B.P.R.D. (starting with 1952, now up to 1956), although I'll usually try to read any of the one-shots (some of those, like Krampusnacht, are among the best stories). Sometimes I'll read the first issue of a stand-alone miniseries like KOSCHEI or RASPUTIN and decide I like it, but to wait for the trade paperback collection to read the whole thing. I read at least part of all the ones you mentioned above, and liked them all. I have all of the main HELLBOY story arcs in trade collections now, although I didn't read any of the BPRD ongoing series up to this point, or any of the more peripheral ones like Witchfinder or Jenny Finn. The Lobster Johnson one-shot you mentioned is over a year old (and the last miniseries, over a year-and-a-half old), and I'm chomping at the bit for more of Tonci Zonjic's version of LJ. There's a peripherally-related spinoff miniseries of the LJ one-shot Mangekyo, THE CRIMSON LOTUS, that just came out last week, but it's not actually a Lobster Johnson story, so it's not quite the same.

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows 1-4 - Jeff Lemire explores a scientist who discovers how to tap a new form of energy and which allows him to become a superhero.  He spends all his time with this and neglects his family.

Jeff Lemire's BLACK HAMMER universe is one of the best things to come along in years. I've enjoyed every single one of the related miniseries.

Resident Alien An Alien in New York 1-4 - The doctor sees images of artwork from a New York artist who went missing 20 years earlier.  The artwork is excellent, but it is the phone number in alien script that draws his attention and he follows the lead to New York.  I have really enjoyed the various Resident Alien books.  I guess the series concludes with the next miniseries.

I've loved Peter Hogan's RESIDENT ALIEN from the beginning. Such a good concept, and excellently executed. The last few of them I've just waited for the trade collection, since they read much better that way. I just picked up the An Alien In New York trade last week, but haven't gotten to it yet.

All About Archie / Re: New Sabrina comic book miniseries (non-horror)
« on: November 16, 2018, 01:28:13 am »
Wasn't there a Sabrina one-shot or miniseries announced around two years ago and then cancelled? Is this a resurrection of that?

You're thinking of the one-shot originally solicited for March 2017, which would have been written by Katie Cook (My Little Pony) and Franco (Tiny Titans, Little Archie one-shot), and drawn by Andy Price. The plan was to have three different covers available from artists Sandra Lanz, Adam Hughes, and Paul Renaud. Here's the original solicitation description:
Brand New One-Shot Special! Sabrina is off to college for her first foray into 'the real world.' After years of being protectively home schooled by her aunts, she is ready to experience friends, boys, and parties-but a shocking revelation will rock her world in a way she never expected!

A sample of Andy Price's artwork for that one-shot, and the Adam Hughes cover variant:

The new miniseries by Kelly Thompson (w) and Veronica & Andy Fish (a) is described simply as:
... A new Archie Comics mini-series launching in 2019 that will modernize the classic Sabrina character we all love, sans the Dark Baptism and Satanic imagery of more recent incarnations. Readers will follow Sabrina as she moves to Greendale with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and attempts to navigate high school while her magical powers emerge.

Sample character designs by the Fishs for the new miniseries, and a cover image:

It's funny that it took a television (if that's really the right word for Netflix) adaptation of the Archie Horror version of Sabrina to bump-start an updated version of the classic Sabrina premise. I would have thought that would have been the very next thing on the list after the rebooted version of Josie and the Pussycats (if not before) -- not REGGIE & ME (a title which hadn't had a comic book published since 1980). Now, with the success of the Netflix series, it would be incredibly stupid of ACP not to try to capitalize on the Sabrina brand by launching some sort of new product -- it's pretty clear that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's priorities lie with RIVERDALE, and not with writing issues of some horror comics that sell a measly few thousand copies each.

So to answer your original question, NO -- no relation to the previous one-shot solicited and cancelled in 2017. Personally, I would have loved to have seen the previously-solicited one-shot. The Andy Price interpretation of Sabrina seems much more in line with "classic Sabrina", while the Fishs' version seems much more "New Riverdale Sabrina" (although not the same version of the character which appeared in Ryan North & Derek Charm's JUGHEAD). I suppose I will read the new version of Sabrina (I'm sure I can borrow a copy), but I'm not particularly excited about it, as compared with the previous Derek Charm and Andy Price interpretations. Visually, the Fishs' version of Sabrina seems barely distinguishable from Robert Hack's ChAoS version -- but that might be a very deliberate decision on ACP's part.

General Comics / Re: Stan Lee has died
« on: November 13, 2018, 11:34:58 am »
There are a few quotes from Stan Lee in The Best of Archie Comics. He also had nothing but high praise for working with Dan DeCarlo.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 12, 2018, 12:32:20 pm »
Well, if you are retired I guess it explains how you have so much time to read all those comics.

Given that you're saying you might check out Exorsisters in trade, I wonder (based on your reading habits of waiting months to read 5 issues or so of any given title) why you're not just getting the trade collections of all those other titles to begin with. I mean I can see it where some people just want (theoretically at least, presuming that they can find the time) to read things while they're still "fresh", and not wait on a gap of several months until the trade collection is released, but it seems like by the time you're getting around to those particular issue numbers, the TP collection must already be available or at least imminent within the next month or so. It seems like next to nothing (getting to the real fringe publishers otherwise) that isn't getting that trade collection, almost like clockwork in today's comic publishing world.

I have been reading/collecting a lot of titles since since my early teens.  It increased when I started working at a comic book store when I was 16 (in 1986) and has stayed that way even after the store closed in 2005.  I also read 100-200 books each year, though more have them have been audiobooks in recent years.
I like the individual comic format more than the trade is one of the main reasons that I stick with it.  I will often save up a bunch of issues to read early in the run, but then will read them as they come out (assuming that I have the time) after that.  I don't mind reading trades for series that I didn't buy as individual issues, but will usually just check them out of the library instead of buying them.

I've largely gone the other way. If I can stand to wait until it's released, I prefer reading (and collecting, and owning) the trade collection. All of that bagging/boarding and (if we're talking about something older that I'm re-reading after a long time) UN-bagging or RE-bagging/boarding (depending on age) gets tedious after a while and the trades just seem much more convenient, more durable, and less susceptible to damage through routine handling. That's truer than ever of comic stories published in the last couple of decades, because the stories are being designed to fit the collected edition format.

As a side note, I'll make the observation that manga stories, whose individual chapters as anthologized in various Japanese manga periodicals (mostly weekly or bi-weekly, sometimes monthly) are basically analogous to an American floppy comic book, could be (and used to be) published first in English translation in the U.S. standard popular periodical format, but now they're going straight to collected editions of 200 or more pages, and they read much better that way. I really think U.S. comic publishing would have been much better off if it stuck to a disposable first-publication format (CHEAP! ... as MAD Magazine used to say...) instead of making an expensive, computer-colored, slick-paper 'disposable' comic that no one is ever going to dispose of, but which requires post-publication protection (in the form of bags and boards) from normal handling.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:54:30 am »
I remember debating picking up Exorsisters, but ultimately decided to pass based on the preview.  Since you are recommending it, I will plan on checking the trade out when it eventually is released.  Even if I was collecting it, though, I wouldn't be reading it.  My policy on many new series, especially from Image and smaller companies or miniseries, is to keep the books in a box as they are released and to read the title when it is complete or when four or five issues are out. 

Well, if you are retired I guess it explains how you have so much time to read all those comics.

Given that you're saying you might check out Exorsisters in trade, I wonder (based on your reading habits of waiting months to read 5 issues or so of any given title) why you're not just getting the trade collections of all those other titles to begin with. I mean I can see it where some people just want (theoretically at least, presuming that they can find the time) to read things while they're still "fresh", and not wait on a gap of several months until the trade collection is released, but it seems like by the time you're getting around to those particular issue numbers, the TP collection must already be available or at least imminent within the next month or so. It seems like next to nothing (getting to the real fringe publishers otherwise) that isn't getting that trade collection, almost like clockwork in today's comic publishing world.

For myself, I know there are a few titles where I'd start off buying the individual issues, then for one reason or another, never get around to catching up on the title until the trade collection was out or due out soon. When that happens I just sort of scratch my head and wonder what I was thinking. If I was going to wait that long to read those comics, then why didn't I just wait for the trade in the first place?

General Discussion / Re: What are you currently watching?
« on: November 12, 2018, 03:18:23 am »
URUSEI YATSURA ("Those Obnoxious Aliens") - I've known of the existence of the manga (published by Viz) since it started in the U.S. in 1989, but never really followed it. There was a long gap between the first 8 floppy comic-sized issues of LUM Urusei Yatsura and The Return of Lum (which became the new title) in 1994, at which point the series continued on, collected in 9 TPBs (from 1994-2000). Those TPBs condensed material from only the first 11 (of 34 total) Japanese volumes, skipping some stories. Viz is about to start re-publishing the manga in a newer, more complete English translation beginning in February 2019, which is what prompted me to do a little internet research on this series.

Unknown to me, the entire anime series adapted from the manga (195 episodes plus 6 movies and 12 TV specials and OVAs, originally released from 1981 through 1991 in Japan) had been released earlier on DVD in North America by AnimEgo (a company now since defunct). 150 of those TV episodes, movies or OVAs (in Japanese with English subtitles, exactly as released on DVD by AnimEgo) have been uploaded by someone to YouTube >>

It's a fun series. It concerns a lecherous high school student named Ataru Moroboshi who is randomly selected as Earth's champion by the invading aliens known as Oni (which means a demon or devil in Japanese). Ataru isn't interested in being anyone's champion, but changes his mind when he sees that his opponent is the attractive alien princess Lum -- a horned, green-haired teenage cutie wearing a yellow-and-black-striped bikini and boots. (All the Oni seem to wear some sort of yellow-and-black-striped clothes.) To win for Earth, all Ataru needs to do is succeed in a kind of game of tag, by grabbing Lum's horns within the 10 days of the contest. She can fly though, and immediately and easily eludes him for almost the entire 10-day period. Ataru finally cheats by firing a rubber suction-cup arrow at Lum's bikini top, yanking it away. When she reacts in shock by covering her top with her arms, Ataru pounces upon her and grabs her by her horns. Ataru is relieved because now that Earth is spared from the alien Oni invasion, he'll be a hero and can marry his high school sweetheart Shinobu. Blurting out his happiness, "Now I can get married!", he's heard by Lum and she takes it to be a proposal of marriage to her, and immediately falls in love with Ataru. Now she won't be dissuaded from her pursuit of her "Darling", as she calls him, while Ataru is now in hot water with Shinobu whenever Lum is around (which is always, as she eventually comes to live with him, and enrolls as a student in his school, as well). She also has with her an annoying, mischievous toddler cousin named Ten, and a jealous ex-boyfriend named Rei in hot pursuit -- a guy so handsome that all the girls that see him (including Ataru's mom!) immediately fall for him, even though his manners are atrocious and he turns into some sort of giant tiger-like monster whenever he gets mad.

The series seems to feature a never-ending stream of delightfully-weird happenings to keep things lively. It's Archie-like in the sense that Ataru is kind of a hapless shlub with a roving eye for the ladies (but otherwise not a bad guy), caught in the middle of two girls fighting over him (or getting mad AT him), so it's romantic triangle time.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:42:27 am »
Since I have over 300 Image comics to catch up on, I'm breaking it up a bit.   B-F to start

Wow, that is a lot of titles (considering it's just B through F), Rusty. Do you have (in your head, or can you approximate by some rough figuring) how many different titles (in progress, ongoing or limited series) you're reading at any given time, including all publishers? I mean the things that actually do get published on some sort of semi-regular schedule, not those things that are once-in-a-blue-moon (like for example, the various comic strip reprint series from IDW's Library of American Comics, which are probably no more often than annual at best).

What I really wanted to ask though, is did you not get Ian Boothby and Gisèle Lagacé's new Image series EXORSISTERS? (Begins with an E, right?) If not, you should really check that one out. Twin sisters (but not really) Cate and Kate Harrow are supernatural investigators and as close as can be (spoilers again, not really twins), but totally different in personality. Like Betty and Veronica, or more apropos, like Patty and Cathy Lane in The Patty Duke Show. Fun-filled supernatural situation comedy ensues. I like Gisèle's other stuff with Dave Lumsdon -- Ménage à 3, Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks (in increasing order of how much I like them) but I feel like Exorsisters has the potential to be even funnier, and it's already off to a great start. I really hope it's an ongoing series from Image and not just a limited series.

[SPOILER: A lot of the covers seem to have this split-image or mirror-reflection motif, and that's a clue about the true nature of the Exorsisters.]

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:06 am »

  Story, art and cover by Joe Musial. King Features Syndicate comic strip characters star in an educational story about nuclear physics (expanded from a 1948 article that appeared in Popular Science magazine).

Mandrake the Magician takes the scientific position, explaining to Dagwood and Blondie the basics of atomic power. Numerous other characters appear as well, including Jiggs and Maggie from Bringing Up Father, the Katzenjammer Kids, Henry, Snuffy Smith, and Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Wimpy. The upper 3/5ths of each page consists of a single comic panel with word balloons, while the bottom 2/5ths of each page contains text elaborating on the idea presented in detail. Page 28 consists of a multiple-choice quiz (18 questions) to test what you've learned by reading (correct answers provided inside back cover).
Back in 2012, the genesis of the special comic, which was published by Harvey Comics and distributed to schools for free, and was also included as an item in A.C. Gilbert Co.'s No. U-238 Atomic Energy Lab Kit in 1950, was explained by the anonymous "Archivist" at the KFS website (
The how and why of atom-splitting was explained many times in many ways, but mostly, a lot of people were confused or unsure about just how that energy was created or what were the prospects for usage. General Leslie Groves, who had lead the Manhattan Project during the War, and now in retirement, was a respected expert on all things atomic. He first developed an idea for presenting the atomic story for laypeople with cartoons, and approached Joe Musial with this concept.

Joe Musial was an all-around utility player for the syndicate. He could write stories, do ghost work on any number of strips and comic books in different styles, even outside the Hearst realm.

As the head of “King Features Educational Division,” he first created an exhibit for the atomic show at the New York Golden Jubilee exhibition in 1948, explaining the workings of atomic power with King Features’ cartoon stars. This led to the comic book version.

General Groves wrote a preface in the finished book, and other contributors included Hearst columnist, Bob Considine, as well as several physicists and a quote from Bernard Baruch.

The most popular strip stars during that era were the Bumsteads, so naturally they would be the leads in the book. The “story” inside was that Blondie and Dagwood, accompanied by the rest of the King characters, attend a public lecture given by Mandrake on just what atoms are made of, how they get pulled apart, and what causes them to detonate.  The Bumsteads  are magically transported to atomic size so they can inspect the various neutrons, protons and electrons doing their stuff up close while a scientific explanation narrates the pages below the cartoons. Though Chic Young’s photo is inserted in the opening of the book, doubtless no one else but Musial drew the illustrations.

The story begins, "THIS BOOK TELLS what an atom is, how it can be split and what happens when it is split. Here, therefore, is a comic book that is different from any you have ever seen." You might think that a comic book such as this produced in 1949 would be viewed in hindsight as hokey, naive and oversimplifing a complex topic, but nothing could be further from the truth. Still as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago.

General Discussion / Re: Sears/Kmart
« on: November 11, 2018, 03:48:37 am »
The irony is not lost on me that Sears was at one time, over a century ago, most favorably positioned as THE alternative to brick & mortar retail stores.

The Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalog was indeed the "" of its time, from 1897 to 1993.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:32:20 am »
DETECTIVE COMICS: THE COMPLETE COVERS MINI-HC VOL 01 - Reprints the covers of the first 300 issues of Detective Comics, one per page. Not quite what I was expecting when I ordered it... I think I thought it would be about the size of a Big Little Book (typically about 3.5" x 4.5" and 1.5" thick, 432 pages, although the page count may vary). This turned out to be only about the size of a deck of playing cards or a pack of cigarettes (2.5" x 3.5"), which didn't exactly make reading the cover text (which is close to the only text in this book) easy on the eyes, when you consider that the actual cover images are even smaller than the page size. And the cover price is $11.99! Abbeville Press published a similar series of 'Tiny Folio' books documenting the cover history of DC icons (2 volumes each of Batman in Detective Comics, and Superman in Action Comics, 300 covers per volume) back in 1993-94, and those books were approximately 4" x 4.5" and 320 pages (although they were softcovers). These are still available on Amazon, so I'd recommend anyone interested to purchase those instead.

ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF DARK #3 (of ?)- Written by David Avallone and drawn by Dave Acosta (the same team that produced previous Dynamite series Twilight Zone: The Shadow, and Doc Savage: Ring of Fire, both of which were excellent, if much less funny), and it captures the humor of Elvira quite well. Very 'meta' and 4th-wall breaking-y. The plot, such as it is, concerns Elvira lost in time, meeting up with such horror icons as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, and (in this issue) Bram Stoker -- all the while being pursued through time by Vlad the Impaler. How this came to be is revealed in this issue and involves another famous icon of gothic fiction.

MAGICA DE SPELL GIANT HALLOWEEN HEX #2 - Like last year's Halloween Special, this one features Magica's family, and is a sequel to last year's. Nothing in particular to do with Halloween per se, but a good Magica De Spell story.

UNCLE SCROOGE: MY FIRST MILLIONS #2 (OF 4) - I don't know if it's me, but this feels sort of out of place, continuity-wise. That might seem odd to talk about continuity in a Disney comic, but Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, following up on a lot of bits and pieces of continuity introduced by Carl Barks in earlier Scrooge stories, fairly well defines Scrooge's early years (while still leaving plenty of open spots for further stories). This just doesn't feel like it fits with that at all. The story in this issue, which covers how Scrooge made his second million, has to do with him building the world's first transcontinental railroad . It's established in the story that this took place in times when the telegraph had been invented, but not telephones or radio. In the real world, the transcontinental railroad happened in 1869. Along the way, Scrooge invents the Super Bowl Championship game (which didn't happen in the real world until 1967). IIRC, in Don Rosa's earlier 'Life and Times' story (elaborating on things first established by Barks), Scrooge made his first million during the Klondike Gold Rush (which in the real world took place between 1896 and 1899). The stories in this series are okay in and of themselves, but I'm a little disappointed that they don't seem to square with the previously-established history of Scrooge McDuck.

STAR WARS ADVENTURES: DESTROYER DOWN #1 (of 3) - The IDW Star Wars Adventures series is kind of frustrating me. On the one hand, it's nominally more accessible than, say, Marvel's Star Wars comics, with stories that don't just go on forever (although admittedly, that's exactly what some people want in a Star Wars comic). For me, though, the main attraction (or potential attraction) is not just stories set in the Star Wars universe and featuring Star Wars characters, it's stories drawn by Derek Charm featuring Star Wars characters. I'll admit I'm probably unusual here, in that I've been a growing fan of Charm's work since first encountering it on IDW's earlier Starfleet Academy (which I would have fervently wished to become an ongoing series). The frustration happens for me because I cannot get a single longer Star Wars Adventures story arc drawn entirely by Derek Charm, which is what it's going to take to commit me to this IDW franchise of miniseries. To the average buyer, it doesn't matter: "Oh, it's a Star Wars comic book. I LIKE Star Wars; I like comics; therefore I'll buy it." For me, it's... "Well, there are tons of Star Wars comics; I like Star Wars, but not enough to buy ALL of them, especially when I'm already getting tons of other comics." So what makes one Star Wars comic book different from another? For me, it's a creator whose work I really like, working in that universe. But at best, it seems I can only get from 1/3 to 1/2 of each issue's allotted story pages drawn by Derek Charm. This issue is no different, with the first half (Destroyer Down, Episode 1) drawn by Derek Charm, and the last half (The Ghost Ship, Part 1) drawn Jon Sommariva. That's not to say that the artwork of Jon Sommariva is bad; it's not. The latter story, 'Ghost Ship' functions as kind of a prequel to the former, 'Destroyer Down'. No idea how this will look in a collected edition, but continuity-wise, it should probably be ordered as Ghost Ship, Parts 1-3, followed by Destroyer Down, Parts 1-3. No idea why IDW chooses to tell the story in serialized form the way they are. Both stories are written by Scott Beatty (who I've always liked as a writer), and really, when you get down to it, the main feature and backup story are really a single story. Can't I just get to read one longer, self-contained story arc drawn by Derek Charm? Please, IDW, I'm begging you!

OUTER DARKNESS #1 - A promising start to this new science-fiction/horror hybrid series that has a Starfleet-like setup of 'continuing mission', combined with the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft. I've previously enjoyed the work of writer John Layman on Mars Attacks (IDW) and DC's Detective Comics, so I figure I'll give this series a one-arc trial at least. Too soon to say for sure, but it looks like it could be interesting, and the art style is unique and bold. Here's hoping.

KICK-ASS #9 - I'm just kind of losing interest in this one, and in its companion title HIT-GIRL. They're getting too far away from the original premise, which was the idea of the RLSH (Real-Life SuperHero) subculture. The execution is still fairly good, but this new Kick-Ass is a different character entirely wearing the same costume (and no other connection to Dave Liszewski, the original Kick-Ass).

JUGHEAD #184 (Sept 1970)
LIFE WITH ARCHIE #101 (Sept 1970)
ARCHIE #219 (July 1972)

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:30:00 am »
I'm caught up on Dynamite now.

I don't know what to say about Dynamite. I wish they'd give as much attention to the stories and interior artwork as they do to the covers. I buy a fair number of their titles, just based on my liking the characters, but sometimes it seems like I'm just getting them for the covers.

There are some examples of good stuff, where they're at the top of their game (The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane, Doc Savage: Ring of Fire, Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Greatest Adventure, Sherlock Holmes, Vampirella: Roses For the Dead, Dawn/Vampirella, and Vampirella (2014, Volume 2, the one written by Nancy Collins). And the recent Sheena was better than expected and the new Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is pretty good so far (my expectations were kind of low at this point, so it's a pleasant surprise). Unfortunately, they just seem to be too few and far between, considering all the titles they put out.

And then there are far too many instances where they're really a letdown: Green Hornet '66 Meets Will Eisner's Spirit (not even the real Spirit), the Gold Key stuff, Bettie Page, that most recent wave of reboots of The Shadow, Green Hornet, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris, and (turning out to be a big disappointment for me) the long-awaited return of Project Superpowers. Mighty Mouse didn't quite click for me -- I think it was because, while it seemed like a fun spin on the character, the artwork just didn't cut it. They needed someone who could draw the story in a way that would have made it funnier to read. I say that as a guy who absolutely loves what Sholly Fisch is doing every month writing Scooby-Doo Team-Up. Anyway, it always feels like (barring well-known talent) most Dynamite series are going to be a real crap shoot when you pick them up. And then a lot of them are just middling-fair, like Red Sonja/Tarzan (but then I'm not really a Gail Simone fan).

They also publish a bunch of licensed properties that I don't read (Battlestar Galactica, Charlie's Angels, Dresden Files, James Bond, John Wick, Nancy Drew, Red Sonja) that I can't comment on. I'd kind of like to read James Bond, but since they're not doing the movie Bond, I'll wait until they actually adapt one of Fleming's books, or at least do an original story set in continuity in that time period. I can see why they update 007 for movie audiences (which makes it a different character), but to me the real Bond is set during the height of the Cold War, and he's a character of that time.

General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: November 06, 2018, 10:28:08 am »
THE SENTRY #5 (of 5)
(of 9)
(Gorilla Warfare!)
(of 6)

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