Thee Comic Column #125 – A Valiant Way of Doing Things

RaiLet me tell you about my trip to the comic shop the other day. As is my custom, I headed to Manhattan Beach’s branch of The Comic Bug on my way home from work, using the stop off as a welcome respite from the five-day a week insanity that is the Southbound 405 Freeway* at 3:00 PM on a weekday. Ah, the sights and sounds of a comic shop on new release day – it is pure, unadulterated joy to me. And on this particular day there was double the joy when I met one Andy Liegl, Sales Manager of Valiant Comics on my way to the register. Andy’s a friendly guy whose passion for comics runs as deep as my own, so within moments of his inquiry into what I had in my stack and the perfunctory small talk that revolved around the first issue of the new Luther Strode series and James Tynion, IV I knew that I wanted to hear what this man had to say. Andy had a table decked out with trades and single issues showcasing the Valiant Universe as it is today, almost three years after the re-launch that brought them back in 2012, about the same time a certain other comic company did their re-launch. But I’ll get back to that. So I inquired and Andy, Andy was only too happy to talk to me about what Valiant is doing – besides signing a nine-figure movie deal to open a movie division that is. I wanted to know about the comics, a company I’d been peripherally aware of since their inception in 1988  So Andy gave me his pitch and when all was said and done, I was impressed.

Thee Comic Column #122: Big Man Plans

BigManPlans-cov-01_web02A few months ago on Drinking with Comics my co-host Mike Wellman became absolutely aghast when he learned I had never read Eric Powell’s The Goon. Admittedly, since starting the show there have been quite a few books that I haven’t read that Mike has trouble understanding: Hellboy, Elephantmen (remedied now) and The Goon were big sticking points right off the bat. My defense is what it always is – you can’t read everything. There’s plenty of stuff we overlap on and probably an equal amount he’s not read that I feel is essential. It takes work to keep up, and in the interest of trying to read everything good sometimes you need a friend to point you in a particular direction you may have missed. So it was in that spirit after the shoot that night that I took Mike’s advice on where to begin The Goon and picked up the second volume of the trades.

Thee Comic Column #113: Elephantmen

2089608-elephantmen_036__2011__pagecoverOne of the most difficult truths for me to accept is that due to the nature of our perceived reality, to money and, increasingly, time, there is simply no way I am going to be able to read everything I want to during my lifetime.

First world problems, I know. Still…

Thee Comic Column #106: Birthright

Birthright-01-VAR_Alright, I’m currently traveling so this will be a short one cribbed in airports and cafes while I make my way home to Chicago. That said, I’ve found yet another new comic I’m really digging and that is what this column is for – to spread the word.

Thee Comic Column #91: Adventures in the Dollar Bin!

CAM00800Last Wednesday I wandered into The Comic Bug in order to pick up my weekly pull – including Stray Bullets: Killers #4 and Trees #2 – and found that Mike and the guys had purchased someone’s entire collection. As with most comic shops, this happens from time to time at the Bug. They’re always buying stuff, but once in a while they get a MASSIVE collection, and that was definitely the case here. Once acquired this stuff often goes to form a daunting Dollar Bin display which takes considerable time and effort to go through but which, for the willing, can pay off tenfold. Case in point, the previous time I was privy to this happening was, coincidentally around the same time last year and on that particular occasion I scored pretty much John Byrne’s entire run on StarBrand, thus filling in some gaps in my reading that goes all the way back to the formative years of my comics habit – the 1980’s, when I was still in the single digits and inhibited by the parameters of my weekly allowance. This time too, the collection the guys had gobbled up appeared to lean heavily on the era of my youth so I diverted from my usual browsing and dove into the dollar bins looking to find more long-lost stories from the days of my childhood.

Thee Comic Column #86: Frankenstein Alive, Alive!

image courtesy of tumblr.idwpublishing.com

Thee Comic Column #83: Free Comic Book Day

CAM00340You know, I have never been to a Free Comic Book Day event before. I know that probably seems a bit incongruous with my interests and character, but really it wasn’t until about two years ago when I first started going to The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach that I learned what a big deal the industry-wide holiday had become. And when I heard a member of the ‘Bug’s staff describe the crowd and frenzy, well, I thought, “Nope. Not for me”. Crowds don’t always work for me.

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