Tagged: Collecting

Mindy Newell: Collecting

Yesterday was a tough one for the Newell family. Actually, the past few months haven’t been easy; my dad is – well, the best way to describe the situation is that my father is a soul trapped in the shell of what was once a healthy, vibrant human being. To be honest, I don’t know why he isn’t dead. And my mom had a stroke about a month ago – and although she’s up and walking around (with the aid of a walker), the energetic and vivacious woman with whom I laughed and fought and loved is gone, too, leaving behind an old lady who is dip-shit batty – though I must admit that some of what she says is pretty funny.

And at least they both are in the same nursing home.

We have spent the last few weeks cleaning out their apartment – especially my brother, who has the responsibility of doing most of the work and coordinating everything, since he lives only seven miles away from their adult community complex in a town on the Jersey side of Philadelphia. Alixandra, Jeff, and I have had at least the luxury of distance in dealing with all this as we all live in the metropolitan New York area; meaning that we are there on weekends, but Glenn is there every single fucking day. So here’s a shout-out to you, bro – you rock!

Anyway, I’m not about to tell you that while cleaning their place yesterday I found a mint copy of Superman’s first appearance (Action Comics #1, June 1938) buried beneath old photos and magazine in a beat-up old trunk. If only, right? ‘Cause the Los Angeles Times reported in August 2014 that a copy of that iconic comic went for a record-breaking $3.2 million. I’m not even sure if either of my parents ever read or were even aware of it; though come to think of it, now I do have a faint memory – or perhaps it’s just a wistful thought – of my father saying that he did, or maybe it was that one of his friends was reading it. I’m not sure.

Come to think of it, I do know that my mom said she never read comics, but neither of them objected to my reading them years later, especially after my uncle, a New York City Public School principal, said that it was wonderful that “she was reading, and understanding what she read, at such a young age.” Of course, reading a comic book was strictly taboo if I hadn’t done my homework or at the kitchen table during meals – which I never understood, because my father read the newspaper during breakfast, especially on Sunday mornings. The funny thing is, I don’t remember my brother reading comics. That doesn’t mean he didn’t – I just called him to check on that, and he said, “No.” I said, “Never?” He said “Aah, maybe once in a while, Richie Rich or something…”

Although there always were comics around the house, nobody ever saved them. They might lie around my room for a while, but eventually they made their way into the garbage. Which is why all the old comics are worth so much these days, because they are rare – it’s like real estate, y’know? When it comes to real estate, it’s location, location, location. When it comes to comic books, it’s rarity, rarity, rarity.

But there were plenty of other printed words. In the form of books.

You remember books, right?

My parents were voracious readers, and they collected books. They were probably charter members of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the New York Times Book Review was read as much as the Sports or Style sections. (I remember my parents tearing out reviews of certain books and taking them along to the bookstore. Remember bookstores? And in their bookshelves were everything from popular bestsellers to beautifully bound in leather and slip-cased classics.

Books like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The Collected Works of Somerset Maugham. Salome by Oscar Wilde. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. All five novels of the Leatherstocking Tales by James Feinmore Cooper (and illustrated by Newell Wyeth, Andrew’s father). First editions of The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway), Giant (Edna Ferber), Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, and Winston Churchill’s five-volume history, The Second World War. And those titles are just off the top of my head. There are three huge boxes of books sitting in the hatchback of my Toyota Matrix right now, too heavy to struggle with in the cold, sleety rain last night to bring upstairs to my apartment.

I am planning on keeping almost all of them. But last week my brother and I were wondering if any of them might be worth on the market. So I did a little research on the web, ending up at the Antiques Roadshow site, and found out that, for instance, the Heritage Print, 1939 edition of Great Expectations is worth $450 – $500. The Collected Works of Somerset Maugham, Doubleday, 1953, is worth $250 – $300. And I don’t even like Maugham.

Wow.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that, if we decide to sell them, that’s what we’ll get. Vagaries of the market, and all that, and of course it depends on whether or not we sell them directly or to a dealer – the dealer automatically taking 20 or 30%.

And, of course, chances are that I’ll end up keeping them even though I don’t know where the hell I’m going to put them. *sigh* Alix claimed shotgun on my parents’ bookshelves. Time to go to Ikea.

But in all likelihood, there’s a few thousand dollars worth of books sitting in the back of my 1994 Matrix right now. Thank God the roof doesn’t leak.

Hmmm…

Wonder what that old Time Magazine, dated December 22, 1980, is worth? It’s the one with John Lennon on the cover.

 

Marc Alan Fishman: R.I.P. Collect-ability

Marc Alan Fishman: R.I.P. Collect-ability

Fishman ArtA fine friend of mine – a comic shop retailer, convention promoter, and all around great geek – tasked me with a topic for the week: the death of collect-ability. As a collector himself, my friend postulated that “[It seems like] Marvel Comics no longer has any ongoing series, and everything they create now is a limited series.” Interesting thought, no?

For those paying close attention to the racks these days (which I admit I’ve not… but more on that later), they’d note that within the big two, no issue is numbered over the forties. Between Marvel NOW and the New 52, the industry has taken a shine to newness as the gimmick du jour. Gone are the long-running series that toppled in the hundreds before they were relaunched into new volumes. Serious collectors would amass each issue into their glorious bags and boards, stacks, and boxes.

Devotees of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Action Comics, or Detective Comics would “ride the run” as it were. Through the high times and low, the collector made a simple statement: I want all of this. When the volume ended, a new line in the Overstreet is made and thus, said geek has the ability to opt out and move on. It might also be appropriate to hypothesize that when a volume ended, it did so not at the height of its quality or popularity. As my buddy Triple H might say? It’s always about what’s best for business.

Let us dive into that then, shall we? As a retailer, a #1 is a boon for business. It’s the universal jumping on point for a reader. Sales charts proclaimed that the New 52 was an initial success. As were several gimmicks revolving around funny numbers. Marvel NOW got into the same tactics, albeit under slower pretenses. At the end of the day though, all the ongoing series now sit in their infancy, and it is perhaps leading to an antsy fan base changing titles the way they surf the Internet. Keep producing #1s and you spark the base for a quick jolt of sales each time. The same way TV launches their seasons of new shows. The same way movie studio reboot and relaunch franchises when they want guaranteed money.

I personally am not getting any book with Wolverine in it. I freely admit though that when I see a new Wolverine #1 with a new team I stop and think “maybe I should get in on that kooky Logan business…” Hell, whilst driving home from the New York Comic Con, my Unshaven cohort declared that Matt Fraction was going to write a new Silver Surfer series. Given that I loved the new Defenders mini he did (which I bought, oddly enough, because it was a #1 and I was low on books to buy that week it debuted…), there I sat, hands on the wheel thinking that it’d be worth a try. By the way, I hate the Silver Surfer. He defeated Kyle Rayner in Marvel Vs. DC in the 90’s and I’ve never forgiven him. Yet, the allure of a #1 and a creative team I like is enough to sway my snarky heart. Scary, no?

My unnamed pal noted his sadness that his newer customers would “never get to experience of watching a series / character / creative team grow”, and those words ring true. Ron Marz’s run on Green Lantern anchored my teen years. By watching Rayner grow from a newbie ring-slinger to the true torchbearer of the corps, I built a life-long love of the character. Do I feel the same way about any character I’ve read in the last several years? Hardly.

I love the Superior Spider-Man right now, but I know that love is entirely fleeting. Much as I’d hoped Dick Grayson would hold the cape and cowl of his mentor for more than a hot minute, I knew that the industry I wallow in is one of transitory entertainment. Nothing lasts longer than the sales figures allow them to. When Walt Disney’s petulant corpse and the unseen Brothers Warner loom in the darkness with gluttonous desire, the idea that a paltry four dollar rag be given years to find a voice and mature is as impossible as a mouse actually piloting a steamboat. It’s a small world after all, and it doesn’t run on dreams and candy. It runs on movie and merchandise revenue. Comics these days serve their purpose more for maintaining rights, and collecting otaku for monetary tribute. The business model for doing that simply doesn’t take into account anything more than a bottom line in the black.

One thing I’d be remiss to mention here is how my very own studio has thought of production. Our Samurnauts concept was built to be presented as a maxi-series of mini-series… if that makes any sense. Knowing our audience as we did when we started, it was hard to not want to make everything last only long enough to make it into a trade. Then slap a new #1 on the next mini, and make everyone start back at the beginning. Simply put? When I walk past an indie table, and see a series past even four issues? I’m already walking past for fear of the costly barrier to entry. While the series itself may be absolutely amazing, as a fan, I freely admit that I’m always less likely to buy-in when I know there’s a backload of material to catch up on. Comics aren’t seasons of shows on Hulu or Netflix; they’re commitments of dollars, and as such I’ve ended up becoming a slave to newness.

I open the argument to you, the people of the court. Are Marvel and DC doing you wrong by continued experimentation, relaunching, and ADHD production? Or do you like the idea that you’re never too far away from a jumping on point? Do you find the pulp of today to be too transitive, or do you like to consume your sequential fiction one micro-series at a time?

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

 

 

Martin Pasko: U-Moved! U-Phoric? U-Betcha!

Martin Pasko: U-Moved! U-Phoric? U-Betcha!

Pasko Art 130808If you’ve got The Amazing Colossal Comic Book Collection whose unfettered gigantism is dust-collecting you out of house and home, you may need to find a bigger but cheaper house and home … in which case you might need what is known as a Low-Cost Move. Which brings me to this week’s excursion into the realm of Don’t Let This Happen To You.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my lovely new home in California, to which I moved right after attending the San Diego Comic-Con, and am comfortably and serenely keyboarding as usual.

Back from that link? Sorry.

It wasn’t really my intention to begin with a headlong plunge into The Do You Know Long It’ll Take Me To Get That Image Outta My Head? Zone. I only mention it because the only clothes I have right now are what I packed for San Diego, and I launder them daily. That’s because, almost two weeks later, I’m still waiting for everything I have in this world to arrive in a conveyance that is over 10 days late, courtesy of a lovely little company I’ve come to call “U-Hell.” 

But I’m serene, I tell you, serene, because U-Hell now promises me that tomorrow they’ll finally deliver the plywood 8′ x 7′ x 5; contraption we will call “the U-Pod.”

A “U-move” is theoretically simple: U-pack your stuff in this container and They-Haul it to Ur-Destination, where U-Unload it Ur-self, then call to have Them-Pick-Up the empty pod.

But I’m serene, I tell you, serene only with the help of the margaritas I’ve blended every night since shipping the U-Pod from my former home in Pennsyltucky, the Wolf Trap State, so named because after sic months there you’re willing to chew off your own foot to escape. And I’m so drunkenly, sleep-deprivedly serene that I actually believe a promise from U-Hell.

This, despite the fact that everything They’ve-Told me so far about what They’d-Do for me has been either: (a) a “communications error;” (b) something that someone else told me the previous person had no authority to promise me in the first place; or (c) information contained in an automated “U-Mail” that didn’t accurately reflect my origin point or destination; was sent from an email address I couldn’t replay to; and notified of charges to my credit card for products and services I didn’t order.

Today, U-Hell helpfully informed me (“Do not reply to this U-mail; it will not be We-Read”) that in transit, my possessions have been heard to be … uhm, “shifting.” I tried to call to express undying I-Thanks for their U-Mail inquiring whether I was transporting ping-pong balls or unlidded crates of grapefruit, because I’d begun sleeping regularly and was falling behind on my panic attacks. But all I got was “Please stay on the line; a U-Call is important to us…”

So, luckily, I won’t be sleeping through my alarm and will be wide awake to begin the all-important process of determining how many irreplaceable pieces of priceless memorabilia from my award-winning career have been ricocheting around my U-Pod, thanks to the U-Truck’s “U-Patented ‘Air Glide!’ U-Suspension U-SystemTM.”  Thank God I didn’t get a wink of sleep breathlessly anticipating how much expensive computer hardware I’ll be replacing by spending all that big money ComicMix pays me.

But I’m laughing, I tell you, laughing at life … to the point of margaritas spewing out of my nose and onto the keyboard borrowed from one of my new housemates, which is now shorted out and won’t be available to replace the one that’s colliding with all those boxes of priceless and irreplaceable memorabilia. But that’s okay, because I think it’ll be bent just enough to look really good glued to the top of my Emmy®, right where that globe made of all those slender, fragile strands of gold used to be. Besides, what’s an Emmy® when you have an Inkpot Award, the sharp edges of which have been useful in responding to my irresistible impulse for self-mutilation, by making sure that the Wolverine claw stab-wounds never completely heal?

So, by this time tomorrow, I’ll be serenely, I tell you, serenely ignoring the U-Mail I can reply to: the one asking me to “Rate Your U-Hell Experience!” This customer-satisfaction questionnaire helpfully compensates for my obvious inability to express myself, by supplying multiple-choice answers to its questions. These range all the way from “Thrilled Beyond Even My Unrealistic Expectations” to “Even Better Than The Promotions On The U-Site When The Server Wasn’t Crashing,” helpfully enabling me to resist the temptation to type in “U-Suck.”

By the time U-read this column, the U-Pod will have arrived. But please don’t ask me how my Amazing Colossal Comic Book Collection fared, because I didn’t have a collection to entrust to U-Hell in the first place. That was lost by Wall-Eyed Van Lines, which moved me last year from New Jersey to the My-Hell of Pennsyltucky.

Now where the fuck is the lid to that blender…?

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases Can’t See TeeVee

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman – Scooby and the Geriatric Comics

 

Tarzan Swings in the Funny Pages

With Tarzan’s adventures beginning their second century, Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing are bringing back some of the Jungle Lord’s greatest comic strips in new collected editions.

Arriving in comic shops July 31:
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS’ TARZAN: THE SUNDAY COMICS 1931-1933 HC
George Carlin (Writer) and Hal Foster (Art)

Beautifully restored and printed at giant size, this first volume in Dark Horse’s comprehensive collections of Hal Foster’s Tarzan Sundays reprints over one hundred strips on high-quality paper and in eye-popping color, replicating their appearance when they were brand new! Featuring historical essays on Tarzan and Foster, this astonishing volume is a must for every collector! Collecting every Tarzan Sunday strip from September 1931 through September 1933!

* From Hal Foster, creator of Prince Valiant!
* Introduction by Mark Evanier!

Hardcover, 15″ x 20″, 120 pages, $125
Age range: 12
ISBN-10: 1-61655-117-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-61655-117-9

Learn more about Dark Horse Comics’ Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933 HC here.

Coming December 2013:
TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS VOLUME 2 (1969-1971)

IDW Publishing is proud to announce that the Library of American Comics will be collecting comics legend Russ Manning’s classic run with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ King of the Jungle in 2013! TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS is a four-volume series. The first three volumes will chronologically collect all of Manning’s daily black & white and full-color Sunday strips from 1967 to 1974, while the fourth volume will collect the remaining Sunday strips, which Manning continued to do until 1979.

“The addition of Tarzan to the Library of American Comics amplifies even further that the imprint is the premier archival home for comic strip reprints and collections,” says IDW’s President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein. “Russ Manning’s Tarzan run is one of the real highlights of the modern age of adventure strips and we are extremely excited to be the home of its long-anticipated return to print.”
The series of hardcover volumes will commence May 29th with Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1: 1967 – 1969. Fans will be treated to the first-ever collection of a historic turning point in Tarzan history: when Russ Manning was handpicked by the Burroughs estate to return the strip to its creator’s original vision. Manning put together a dream team of assistants in this historic endeavor, including future comics greats Dave Stevens, William Stout, and Mike Royer, creating one of the most loaded rosters in comics history, and a perfect opportunity for new fans to discover the adventures of Viscount Greystoke.

In his introduction to Volume One, William Stout writes, “Russ Manning was a natural storyteller. He may also be one of the most underrated writers in comics. His beautiful art is so captivating that it’s easy to understand how it might overshadow his scripts. He was as adept with telling Tarzan tales in contemporary Africa as he was setting Ape Man stories in dinosaur-infested Pal-ul-don.”

Reproduced from the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. file copies, fans can expect TARZAN: THE COMPLETE RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS to receive the same critically acclaimed, award-winning treatment that Dean Mullaney, The Library of American Comics, and IDW Publishing have become renowned for.

Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1: 1967 – 1969
HC, B&W, $49.99, 288 pages.
ISBN: 978-1-61377-694-0

Learn more about IDW Publishing’s Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips Volume 2 (1969-1971) here.

Learn more about Tarzan here.
Learn more about Edgar Rice Burroughs here.

 

Captain Zeroson the Case at Altus Press

Coming in a few weeks from Altus Press is Master of Midnight: The Collected Captain Zero by G.T. Fleming-Roberts with an introduction by Stephen Payne

About Master of Midnight: The Collected Captain Zero:
For years you’ve read about this last gasp of the pulp hero, this invisible detective created by the legendary G.T. Fleming-Roberts. Yet Captain Zero is far more than a tiny spark thrown from the dying pulp fire. Far more complex than once thought, he provides a telling commentary on the desire for such mainstays as home and hearth so eagerly pursued in post-WWII America. And he offers a subtle, albeit inadvertent, critique of human control of science, particularly atomic power and the Bomb in the scary, early days of the Cold War. Join us for these three intriguing pulp mysteries, and learn what made Captain Zero a disappearing hero—in more ways than you might have ever expected! Collecting the entire Captain Zero series, this comprehensive edition also includes an all-new introduction by Fleming-Roberts historian Stephen Payne.

568 pages, approx. 6″x9″

Softcover: $34.95 | hardcover: $44.95 | ebook: $4.99

Learn more at www.altuspress.com.

POWELL BOOKENDS THE SPIDER

The Spider™ Argosy Communications. Artwork © Dan Brereton

New Pulp Author Martin Powell shared the following news on his Facebook page.

Well, now it’s official. Moonstone is now packaging a special volume devoted exclusively to my own adventures of Norvell Page’s mad and monstrous crimefighter — THE SPIDER. This is exciting, but also a bit bittersweet as it’s my swan song for this character. I’m going to miss him.

The collection will feature both re-presented comics and prose as well as all-new stories and art, never before published.

The contents are:

“City of the Melting Dead” illustrated prose with art by Tom Floyd
“City that Couldn’t Sleep” illustrated prose with art by Pablo Marcos
“Death Siege of the Frankenstein Legion” comic with art by Pablo Marcos
“Blood Reign of the Thunder King” comic with art by Hannibal King
“City of the Bleeding Snow” comic with art by Tom Floyd
“The Spider vs. The Werewolf” comic with art by Jay Piscopo

Soon as I know the publishing date, I’ll announce it here on Facebook.

FRONTIER IS HERE!

Cover Art/Design: Bobby Nash and Jeff Austin

New Pulp Author Bobby Nash’s newest BEN Books release, FRONTIER, a collection of pulpy sci fi and space opera themed stories is now available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook. It is also as a paperback from BEN Books direct, which can be found here. Paperbacks will be available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble within a week.

PRESS RELEASE:

Frontier collects 9 sci fi short stories from Bobby Nash, author of Earthstrike Agenda, Evil Ways, and Deadly Games! Some of the rare tales presented in Frontier are reprints and others are in print there for the first time. The stories that make up Frontier happen on Earth, on alien planets, and in the deepest recesses of space. There’s action, adventure, horror, and even a little romance.

Stories included in Frontier:

SAMARITAN
In deepest space, a research vessel rescues a survivor who asks to be returned home. The catch: her planet lies at the center of a black hole.

DREAMWEAVER
Nathanial “Doc” Dresden wakes up in space, free floating above the moon. But he is not alone.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE MONSTERS GONE?
Nathanial “Doc” Dresden and his team investigate bizarre happenings.

MIDWAY
A meteor storm damages Midway station, a museum storage facility and frees an ancient creature from its icy tomb.

JUST ANOTHER SATURDAY ON OUTPOST 9
When war breaks out between neighboring worlds, the Outpost 9 space station is caught in the crossfire. Dr. Erin Moonshadow tries to save lives as chaos reigns around her.

THE DROP
War. Ground troops are dispatched. Dropped from their starship, the troop transport is attacked and one of the soldiers is lost. Then things get strange.

NIGHTMARE IN AMBER
Are a young man’s dreams of an interstellar war a product of his imagination or a prophecy of things to come?

THE GARDEN
A survey crew discovers a veritable Garden of Eden. Is this paradise or is there a serpent in hiding, waiting to strike?

A JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY
A one-page story that was doubled as an advertisement for a convention where Bobby was a guest. A fun experiment.

Illustrations in Frontier are by Bobby Nash and Jeff Austin.

The author shares the contents of the book as well as an essay on the making of the book on his website. You can read Bobby’s thoughts on Frontier here.

Get your free Frontier ebook AuthorGraph here.

PULP’S GREAT FRONTIER!

Cover Art: Bobby Nash and Jeff Austin

New Pulp Author Bobby Nash has announced that FRONTIER, a collection of pulpy sci fi and space opera themed stories written by him over the years will be on sale next week from BEN Books.

The author shares the contents of the book as well as an essay on the making of the book on his website. You can read Bobby’s thoughts on Frontier here.

Bobby Nash’s Frontier will be available as a paperback and in multiple ebook formats.

Keep watching this space for more.

ALTUS PRESS UNVEILS A MAJOR ADVENTURE

Altus Press has released Deep Waters: The Complete Adventures of the Major, Volume 1 by L. Patrick Greene. This edition features an introduction by Ed Hulse and is available in paperback and limited edition hardcover.

About From Deep Waters: The Complete Adventures of the Major, Volume 1–
The long-running and much-beloved series from the pages of Short Stories is finally collected in order and with a plethora of bonus material. Join Aubrey St. John Major–AKA the Major–and his faithful companion, Jim the Hottentot, on their adventures across the diamond country of Africa. This collection includes the first 12 stories, uncut and with all the original illustrations, along with Greene’s correspondence, and an article by Archibald Bittner on the author. Capped with a career-spanning introduction by pulp historian Ed Hulse, this is a collection decades in the making.

The 320 Page Deep Waters: The Complete Adventures of the Major, Volume 1 contains the following stories:

No Evidence (Adventure, November 1, 1919)
Two of a Kind (Adventure, November 15, 1920)
Lines of Cleavage (Adventure, February 1, 1921)
Ivory (Adventure, March 1, 1921)
Amnesia (Adventure, April 1, 1921)
A Deal in Diamonds (Short Stories, May 1921)
Tools (Adventure, August 1, 1921)
Bitter Alum (Short Stories, August 1921)
The Seventh Plague (Short Stories, September 10, 1921)
Royal Game (Short Stories, November 10, 1921)
Kruger’s Gold (Short Stories, October 10, 1922)
From Deep Waters (Short Stories, November 25, 1922)