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Posts tagged “Spider-Man

Xmas Avengers!

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Doc Ock!

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I made this Spidy background a while back – it’s about time I got my Doc Ock in it!

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Guardians of the Galaxy 3

What Guardians 3 SHOULD be….

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Doc Ock

CostumeThis is one of those outfits that’s just gotten better as the years have gone by. It’s still one of my favorites just for the way it messes with your eyes…..

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Spider-Man

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My personal definitive way of drawing iconic characters

Spidey’s got to be skinny. I mean he’s got muscles, but they shouldn’t show.

I always liked how Erik Larson drew him, skinny, with the flexibility of Tod McFarline but not so cartoony. Spidy’s suit seemed darker during Larson’s run and I like the idea that the blue part is so dark it’s almost black.

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3 Dev Adam (Three Mighty Men)

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captainIn an attempt to stop the evil Spider-Man’s organization smuggling from Mexico into the US, those respective governments enlist the help of Captain America and El Santo!

This was actually my first exposure to Santo, but it makes more sense if you already know him as a folk hero. Still, this is a little nuts, and Spidey is extremely evil in this, with eyebrows as big as the day is long and a fiendish mustache under that mask.

This one has been in circulation for ages now and shouldn’t be too hard to track down, but if you don’t want to spend an hour and a half slogging through it, just hit the highlights on YouTube!

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Spider-Man loves Mary Jane

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I first discovered this at a Target in a tabloid edition. It was the first mini series (four issues) and cost about $5.00. I grabbed it thinking it was Spidey related and I’d save it for my daughters.

I never expected to get hooked.

See, Mary Jane is a tough sell for me. She’s far too often superficial, vacuous. Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of her in the Raimi movies is a perfect example. I hate her. I know it’s the Nerd-gets-the-girl cliché, but I just can’t stand her.

This series takes a different approach. It’s the Spidey universe through the eyes of a High School MJ. She still lapses into superficiality sometimes but you can see there’s more there and it’s a really great look at the Spider-Man story from a different angle.

The characters are all there, Flash is still a jerk, Harry is a bit of an amalagam of the comics and the movies (which, to be fair, NEEDED to happen) and Peter Parker is a bit more a nerd than usual. Makes sense from MJ’s POV. Liz is actually a lot spunkier than I recall and Gwen Stacy is portrayed as a bit of a spaz. The differences work though and somehow, Sean McKeever  REALLY pulls it all together in this engaging package that I just couldn’t put down, finding myself eagerly awaiting the next month’s issue.

The initial four-issue miniseries, Mary Jane, originally intended as an ongoing series, began publication in June 2004 under the Marvel Age imprint, a line of comic books by Marvel Comics aimed at younger readers. a second four-issue miniseries, Mary Jane: Homecoming, which began publication in March 2005. Unlike the first series, Homecoming was not published under the Marvel Age imprint, but as a regular Marvel Comics title, because Marvel Age had by then been restructured into the Marvel Adventures imprint. a second four-issue miniseries, Mary Jane: Homecoming, which began publication in March 2005. Unlike the first series, Homecoming was not published under the Marvel Age imprint, but as a mjregular Marvel Comics title, because Marvel Age had by then been restructured into the Marvel Adventures imprint.

Unfortunately the series ended with issue #20 when McKeever left for an exclusive DC contract. An attempt was made to revive it but it never felt the same. The last series was cancelled after five issues. I jumped ship after two. A real drag for me as well, because for two years this WAS my Spider-Man title. It was the only one I was getting. Better than anything going on in the flagship title.

Still you can find the first and second series in digest form and I really recommend them. I’ve even see the first one at the Library in the Manga section. You may want to check it out first before deciding if you want to commit to hunting down the last twenty issues of that third series…(but trust me…you do!)


The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer

best893487-1I always liked this title but it suffers far too much from comparison to Calvin and Hobbes. This isn’t Calvin and Hobbes, it lacks the satirical wit that was aimed at adults. This is far more kid driven – but it’s GOOD kid driven.

Gus is a little boy with an active imagination who loves comic books and superheros- of course t he big difference is that he lives in the Marvel universe where there actually ARE superheros!

He sometimes lets his imagination get away from him and it begins to intrude on his real life…playing with his sisters jump rope and pretending she’s the lizard…

It was a fine series and was reprinted in tabloid size under the Marvel Adventures banner  to be sold in Targets but never went any further than it’s original four issue run. You may find some of these still floating around. It’s worth it just to see his tirade at J. Jonah Jameson over his Spider-man editorials…..gus2


Japanese Spider-Man

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imagesHow do I describe the insanity that is Japanese Spider-Man? Basically in the 70’s Marvel licensed the likeness and name to a company called TOEI and said “Do whatever you want with it”.

And they did.

This Spider-Man is a dirt bike racer in his secret identity. Spidey uses supercharged race cars and a giant robot to do battle with Power Ranger-like villains.

Of all the foreign rip-offs I could cite, this is by far the most fun. it’s commercially avalible,  though a region 1 DVD is hard to find, but I’ve also seen it on YouTube.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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So yesterday we ran this strip over at Violent Blue.

Amazing Spider-Man 2

I don’t want to hate this movie.

1I really questioned whether I would review it because the problem is this can not possibly stand up on it’s own. This is  the second film in the Amazing cycle and it’s inevitably going to draw comparisons from the Rami cycle. The second Rami movie is the best of all the Spider-man movies ever. More to that point, I have no problem saying it’s one of the greatest Superhero movies ever made. In fact it was just on TV over the weekend (capitalizing on the release of the new film) and it absolutely holds up.

I liked Garfield as Peter Parker in the first film. I thought Toby was a better Spidey though. More light hearted and fun. I hoped Garfield’s Spidy would grow on me, especially since they got the costume right this time. Sadly, it was the opposite. His Peter has gotten more grating and that stupid Bronx accent (is it meant to be queens? It doesn’t sound queens to me) really gets ramped up here and drives me nuts. Not as bad as the Dancin’ Toby sequences in 2 and 3, but not fun.  Peter is too moody. Too brooding. This isn’t Batman. Spider-Man looks best in the sunlight and happy.

2I also don’t buy the Peter/Harry relationship. This needed to be addressed in the first movie. Harry belongs with Peter from the word go, bringing him in cold in the sequel just feels tacked on. What a coincidence Peter just happened to be friends with the richest kid in New York….

Harry’s completely unlikable in this by the way and that’s a shame. The tragedy of Harry Osborne is that he’s not a bad guy, he’s been twisted. If you’re not rooting for him to rise above it, then it doesn’t work. And I’m not. I don’t like this Harry.

He’s not alone though. I HATE Aunt May here. God she’s useless in this series. She’s pathetic…nothing more than a dialogue delivery system. May is supposed to be a dichotomy – old and frail with a shocking amount inner strength that can’t be measured. I mean, they couldn’t even be bothered to put a white WIG on Sally Field!

Look, I have issues with the Rami cycle. I never liked his casting of Kristen Dunst and never really liked his version of Peter Parker. I think his inexplicable need for every villain to have some sort of relational connection with Spidey was ridiculous. But for the most part….for the most part he got it right. Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson looked like they stepped right off the comic page, and their characterization was so dead on that they stole the show. Even though he didn’t have the right look, everything else about the Green Goblin rung true. Norman and Harry Osborne were perfect updates (and they LOOKED related by the way). Rami got  the relationships right. He understood the characters. Most importantly, he loved the source material. He loved the comics. Everything else comes from that.

3I don’t think the current producers love the comics. I don’t think they get it. In fact, more and more of this feels like film by committee. Everyone has input. This movie in particular drops so many names it’s transparent that it’s just designed to be a springboard to other things…and that fails to entertain.

I want to like this. Remember what I said about them really understanding how to use effects? It’s still true in this entry, but this time it’s par for the course. I don’t see anything that really blows me away. They don’t have the goodwill of everything being shiny and new. They had to deliver a great story, but they are trying to do too much to achieve that.

A lot of what I had a problem with the first time around is still there. Actually most of it has been kicked up a notch, such as treating Spidey like a grim avenger. Instead of repeating it all here, I’ll just refer  you to my post on Amazing here : https://argocitycomics.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/amazing/

 

If you haven’t seen it, wait for it to hit redbox or Netflix. Better yet, just pop in the Raimi films and go from there.


Halloween Comicfest

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As I mentioned yesterday, we did the Halloween Comicfest over at Carol and John’s Comic shop.

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hcf_logoLike on Free Comic book Day, publishers release special editions with the Halloween Comic Fest logo on them and these are distributed for free at participating retailers. It’s a way to especially get kids into comic shops these days. I’m still plowing my way through the stack of free comics I got, along with a couple I bought while I was there (I hate just showing up, grabbing the free stuff and leaving. Same as on Free comic book day, we make it a point to buy SOMETHING – even if just a couple issues from the quarter bin or dollar boxes), but here are some of my favorites so far….New_STK621002

Batman : Lil’Gotham.

I really haven’t been into this series. I suppose it’s fair to say it’s not aimed at me. Even worse, Damien is still alive in it and I hat him with such passion it’s unreasonable. There’s also something just ….wrong about cute gothamites. Batman villains just aren’t supposed to be…chibi.

This has some great moments in it though. Damien being completely unfamiliar with trick or treating so he goes and attacks kids in costumes….

it works as a fun kids book and was naturally one of the centerpieces of this years selections.

New_STK622248There was a My Little Pony book this year. I actually made a point to get to the comic shop kind of early In the day just to make sure I could snag this for my girls. Bronys are unpredictable and I could have easily seen this one getting sold out before we could manage to get in the shop. Thankfully, not only did both of my girls get a copy, I even got one myself.  It’s a reprint of one of the stories form earlier this year, but it’s a good bit of the story and nicely scary – appropriate for Halloween.

Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the only pony book out there this year.

New_STK621297Another book called “Vamplets” was out with a kind of “Ghostly Pony” look to it. I almost missed the thing entirely until Maddie pointed it out to me. This and the My Little Pony books are bothe mini comics – about half the size of a normal one. Ashcans we used to call them.  A lot of the kids stuff was set up this way.  Still, fun books and perfect for Halloween.

Next up is Art Baltazar’s new book. I know, I keep gravitating towards the kids New_STK621021stuff, but Ity bitty Hellboy is just not to be missed. I really loved Tiny Titians, and this is just more of the same only with different characters. In fact, I’m not always into Hellboy that much, but this book was too much fun for words.

I did get through the Thor issue they had available and would actually really like to hear someone else comment on it. I’m not a big fan of Thor in the first place – he appeal has always mystified me, and lately a lot of his titles really seem to emphasize the elements of him that I really don’t like in the first place- most notably the big dumb football player personality with the big chin and no neck….and this issue is no exception. It sets up a new story arc about someone or something who is going around the cosmos killing small “g” gods. It’s an interesting enough concept, but with no investment in the character and STK622037_TNa general dislike for beings who refer to themselves as gods or pantheon mythology in general this one really didn’t do a whole lot for me. Sorry guys. Like I said, I’d love to hear someone who’s a Thor fan chime in on this one. If I find something elsewhere, I may reblog it.

My last pick from the pack was Ultimate Spider-Man. This isn’t the actually Ultimate Spidey as in the Ultimate universe, or the Bendis run, this is more based on the cartoon that Disney and Marvel are currently running. I’ve watched it with my kids, it’s okay, and a good attempt to bring Spidey in to the Avenger’s universe. The book is divided into New_STK622038two features, beginning with an origin story, told as Spidey fights off the Shocker. Meh. The second feature where Spidey is shadowing an LMD of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury is much more fun. Inside are also a couple of one page gags where they’ve taken a page from the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics and redone the text pull things completely out of context. A really fun book.

Carl and John’s went the extra mile as well, also handing out candy and bookmarks and buttons (with Itty Bitty Hellboy on them). I’m really enjoying Halloweenfest, and I love that it makes Free Comic Book Day come twice a year now!

 

 

 

 


Catching up on autographs

AutographsYou know, I never posted any of the autos I got at the Akron Comic Con last year, and that’s something I’ve really been meaning to do. So here we are. I want to start with the ones from Gerry Conway because they are just my absolute favorites. The fact that I not only have these comics, but have signed copies of them just makes me want to squee everytime I see them.

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Mike W Barr was a delight. I loved his run on Star Trek and especially love his Batman and the Outsiders, so it’s a great pleasure to have them both signed. Id didn’t just go with number ones though, I went with an issue of Trek that was special to me as well….the first one I ever got.

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Tony Isabella created something special in Black Lightning, and I don’t know if we ever really appreciate it enough. I especially loved the 90’s version. They made a figure of it, but other than that, it got almost no attention at all. I never even knew about the series until long after it was over.

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Breyfogal. enough said.

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I’m a fan of Joe Staton’s Green Lantern and have to wonder why he isn’t a bigger personality in the field…It’s not that Dick Tracy is a bad gig, but it seems like he should be doing more.

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Kyle Rayner is another underappreciated character. Polarlizing I guess. I hated him at first too, just because he took the place of Hal Jordan. Once my friend Ben got me actually reading the book though, I really grew to love him and realized my ire was more a reaction to how poorly Jordan was treated in Emrald Twilight. I got Daryl Banks, the costume designer, to sign a couple of great covers both with a lot of characters crammed into them!banks1

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A couple more to throw in here, Cameron Diaz was nice enough to sign a Green Hornet picture for me. Tara Strong signed a collage for me and a pony picture for my girls. Maddie sleeps with it….I kid you not.

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Finally there is…this. How do I properly describe this and the joy it brings me?

About a year or so ago my friend Johnny Em bought an animation cell off ebay. The seller shipped it in this envelope to protect it. As soon as he saw it he thought of me. My wife couldn’t understand why I was so excited over a dirty old envelope. Well you see that Filmation logo on the corner? As in the people who made He-Man? This carried proofs or cells at one time while they were making the series – you can see the notes “young hordak, Sorceress, and (I think) Marlana scrawled up in the corner by the logo. It’;s signed by every person who when through the production phases – each signing off on thier work.Definitely one of the coolest pieces of He-Man Memorabilia I’ve ever gotten!

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Akron Comicon

Okay, I have NO idea what to make of this.

I just heard about these guys on Facebook and I’m interested in going. The thing is, I just drove out to Akron for a comic con that featured Gerry Conway a couple of months ago and well….we all remember what happened there….. ( https://argocitycomics.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/why-i-drove-out-to-north-coas-comic-con-and-didnt-go-in/ )

These guys made it CLEAR they weren’t associated with those guys and really, I want those spidey comics signed. The wife and kids are going away for the weekend and I’m alone at home anyhow, so it’s providential timing . Gonna load up the iPod and hit the road again. We’ll tell you all about it next week (if I can tear myself away from Violent Blue and  my NaNoWrMo project long enough to blog….)


Spidey

This time Maddie asked me to draw her a Spider-Man. We were watching the musical and she decided she wanted to color him. She realized though, that she wasn’t sure abotu the color scheme. Maddie started to look for a guide and realized she had one right in front of her. Maddie grabbed the DVD case and used it to follow the colors. She actually did a really nice job here. The guys over at Violent Blue would be proud


Happy Halloween!

If you’re not sure exactly what is going on, check out this week’s Violent Blue.

The Spider-Man costume is real. What happend is we were given a box of custumes for the girls, and someone threw in an adult Spider-Man costume for me. No mask or gloves, but not a big deal.

Except I was broke.

So I was looking at this Spider-Man costume and trying to figure out what to do with it. I had a costume party coming up and wanted to wear it, but the mask and gloves were a problem. I considered doing the mask in facepaint, but my hair would still be showing. I don’t currently have a bald cap and it just looks band anyhow. I could do a Marvel Zombie, but to be comic accurate, I need a torn up mask. I don’t have an intact Spidey mask, much less a torn one.

Zombies still seemed like a good idea. I was thinking about the “Blackest Night” event DC had done in the Green Lantern comics a year ago. Those zombies weren’t just dead people, the black lantern rings kind of took them and turned them into gruesomely distorted versions of themselves. I came up with the idea of etching the spider web on my face and creating dark circles around my eyes in the shape of his goggles from the mask, then adding my black lantern ring to explain the lack of gloves.

I like it. The makeup was crazy long – over two hours. I could probably chalk that up to me trying out some new techniques. The cuts are cotten, colored with fake blood and the edges cleaned up with flesh tone greaspaint. A little black in there too to dirty it up and make it look infected. I could probably do it quicker now. I also added a little pink to the skin where the cuts join to add some trauma. Over all, I think it works well, and I like the idea of a costume that is in of itself a crossover. I like the idea though, that Taylor is wearing to to cause trouble. I used to wear Doctor Who costumes to Star Trek conventions for that EXACT SAME REASON!

Head on over to see this week’s Halloween hijinks at Violent Blue!


The future of Comic Book movies

So blockbuster season is firmly in  the past. I saw what I was going to see, and successfully avoided Dark Knight (not a nolan fan, I’ll get around to it on DVD). and I’m wondering how much longer this can last.

Don’t get me wrong. Comic Book films aren’t going away. They never have. There have been comic book films pretty much as long as there has been cinema. I have old Captain America serials and Superman movies from the 40 and 50s. I think there were a grand total of five Shadow movies. But as you look over history, you can see certian…eras. Especially in the last few decades. Usually it’s started off by a Superhero film that redefines the genre. Superman did it, and that was really the model for a good chunk of the 80s, until Batman in 1989. That redefined things as gritty, dark and rubber suits if you were going to go with a costume like in Captain America – but you weren’t allowed to show the suits too much. No costume? You just went dark and grindhousey like in the Punisher. Oh and the supporting cast didn’t really have to resemble their comic book counterparts. You can toss Judge Dredd, The Crow, Spawn and Blade in there, probably even X-Men though around that time things began to change. Specifically, Spider-Man changed all of that. Now we were looking more at making the costume as closely resemble the source material as possible, like Cap and the Avengers and Thor and Green Lantern and Hellboy ect….and it also defined the Superhero movie as THE blockbuster event of the summer.

And that’s where we’ve been for a while. In fact, we’ve kind of gone from a comic book movie being an event because it’s so rare, to any other kind of blockbuster being an event because it’s so rare. Remember Independence Day? Mission Impossible (two was my favorite)? Godzilla? How about the original Total Recal or Terminator 2? Demolition Man? We don’t see these movies so much now because the Superhero movie has taken their place. Indeed, one of the reasons The Expendables has been such a big deal is because the 80’s action movie has become nearly extinct.

Which brings me to my point. How long can this last? We’ve been on the superhero blockbuster ride for a decade now and what really has me thinking about this is The Avengers. It seems to me that with the Avengers, the comic book blockbuster has reached critical mass. It’s a brilliant achievement in of itself, and really the epitome of everything Avi Avrad was trying to do when he set Marvel down  the path to making movies (his belief was that film was where Marvel would make it’s money and was the future of the company) in the 90’s.

But where do we go from here? Already the landscape is changing again. The Dark Knight seems to be the new template, judging by the look of The Amazing Spider-Man and Man of Steel. If Superhero film is moving in that direction, then the Avengers is already falling behind. And as DC moves forward to try and duplicate the success from the Avengers, the glut of Superhero movies on the market is only going to get worse, making market fatigue inevitable…and quickining it’s progress.

That’s really my fear. That it becomes so common place it breeds contempt. Without some new innovation, a REAL game changer (not just an tonal change like we got from the Dark Knight) that Hollywood will ride this train into the ground, until Superhero movies become box office poison. 

And here’s the really scary thought to me both as a comic fan and as a comic artist on Violent Blue

Because comics these days are so heavily tied to the movie properties to support them, when the Comic Book movie goes back underground or vanishes completely for a while (like it did in the seventies)…what happens to comic books?


Turn off the Dark

This should be awful.

Seriously. This is a terrible idea and the people who gave  the go ahead should really consider another line of work.

So why can’t I stop watching it?

I got the DVD at Monster Bash. It’s not great, certainly no pro-shot, but it’s watchable….given that may alternative is sitting and listening to the OST with my eyes closed.

We all heard the stories about the nightmare production – actors in  the hospital, budget overruns, script problems. The subject matter itself really isn’t suitable for stage. Mind you, it’s not the WORST idea for a musical…you need only go back to our post months ago on Carrie : the Musical to see that. ( https://argocitycomics.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/carrie-the-musical/ ) And it feels the need to rehash that origin story AGAIN. This is the reason I skip the first fifty minuets of Raimi’s first movie every time I watch it. Still, they manage to do something interesting with it. The idea of the hero persona being inspired by the myth of Arachne is an interesting take. We actually get to the MJ romance quicker and I honestly LIKE MJ in this. It’s a better actress and somehow she just feels more sympathetic.

Interestingly, we never get resolution from Uncle Ben’s death.

There’s a heavy film influence here. The costume is obviously based on the movies -and it’s certainly better than that crap Andrew Garfield is wearing. They add the romance angle from Doc Ock and his wife and transfer it into the Norman Osborn character. It’s MJ he drops off the bridge again instead of Gwen -I’m more willing to forgive that with a smaller scale like this though.

You know what? I think “Rise above” may be even more inspiring than “With great power comes great responsibility”.

It’s not U2. If you remember that, you’ll be fine with the music. It’s not u2. It’s showtunes that aren’t bogged down with the baggage of showtune tradition. It’s better than other novelty musicals like Evil Dead or Spamalot.

In the end though, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a novelty. It’s really more circus than theatre. It’s cool to finally see Carnage in a live action appearance (unless you count the Sega Genesis commercials back in the 90’s) and the cutscenes on the big screens of the villains and the backstory really works. It’s fun. The music is catchy enough for me to listen too at work. This production should be terrible….

But it’s not. I want to hate on it, but I just can’t. I’m not sure it’s worth the price of a broadway musical, but it’s definitely worth seeing.  Hit up Youtube for clips and grab a bootleg if you can find one. (While you at it, check out this week’s Violent Blue!)

 


North Coast Comic Con Saturday

Before I head out to see Jaws this weekend I’ll be hitting Akron for the North Coast Comic Con. I’m not sure what to expect, the website is minimal to say the least. Still they have John Ostrander and Gerry Conway so I’m stoked.  found those two old Spideys in that stack from my mother in law and those were both Conway’s work. And John Ostrander created Suicide Squad…one of my favorite series ever. It’s worth the trip just to meet them.

If you’re free Saturday morning/afternoon, why don’t you come out and join me! I promise it won’t be as crowded as SDCC.

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New old comics!

I decided I wanted to go through my comics and reorganize this weekend. I’ve been getting too many doubles lately and wanted something  on paper listing what I have. My wife came home while I was about half way into the organization and told me her mom had sent home a stack of comics for me.

I don’t know where my Mother-In-Law found these. She eBays and these were probably originally ment for a lot, or bought included in a big mess of stuff that she was planning on selling. The condition wasn’t great on a lot of these and she decided it wasn’t worth her time to divide it up, price it and list it.

There’s a bunch of 60’s and 70’s World finest in here and that really excited me! I’ve never owned a World’s Finest, and always wanted to explore the series. Lately I’ve really been getting into Silver Age stuff, even though i’m more of a Bronze Age fan. Some of these have torn covers, missing covers, and a lot of wear. I’m a reader thoguh, not a collector and I’m fine with age.

Under the World’s Finest, there was a stack of old Spider-Man comics.

Oh my God.

Are you kidding me?

That’s the first appearance of the Punisher! I’ve had a reprint of that since I was 12! Condition is fair to good. Not terrible. Ant that! Is that REALLY the death of Gwen Stacy? No, seriously? And again, in decent condition….probably because it’s double bagged with a Marvel Tales reprint of the same issue!

They arn’t near mint by any stretch of the imaginaton. They arn’t going to be worth the hundreds that they would be in better condition, but still exciting to get! So thank you to Sherrie, I’m really happy to have these!