Saturday was the continuation of a great tradition here in the Upstate of South Carolina -- the gathering of nerds outside of Greenville's favorite comic and gaming shop, Borderlands, braving surprisingly chilly temperatures in order to get some great deals in the aptly named Big Annual Sale. (The flyer for the sale this year actually said "How long can we keep doing this? Apparently forever!") Now, when I was in college, I came to the B.A.S. primarily for gaming models and equipment. But at this point, I own pretty much all I need on that front, and despite the non-stop lure of that Heroclix Legion of Super Heroes boxed set, I managed to once more avoid all of the higher-prices pitfalls of pewter and plastic. No, once more, this year I was there for the comics. Namely, the giant rows of 3/$1 longboxes, and the "Half-Off or $5, whatever's cheaper" table of trade paperbacks and graphic novels.
Iron Man: For whatever reason, Borderlands has never had a huge amount of Shellhead back issue stock, and this time was no different. I did manage to find a pair of pre-Bob & Dave issues, though, from the discount bins. Issues 111 and 115 are now in the collection, and though 111 was a bit ratty, at 33 cents I can afford to replace it later!
Magnus, Robot Fighter: Last year's B.A.S. started my Magnus collection, and this year added a few new additions to it as well. Issues 38, 43, and 57 were the only new ones I managed to find, but overall there was a distinctly shorter supply of Valiants this year than last -- perhaps as part of a trend for what seems to be the seemingly inevitable return of Valiant? One can speculate on that, I suppose. In any event, I enjoy getting Valiants in this form, since they seem to hold up very well this many years after the fact. Unlike a lot of Image books -- I was sorely tempted by the large runs of Wetworks available, but I just wasn't sure if plopping down cash (even at 3/$1) on a mid-90s Image title was the best way to go (though I did pick up the Ashcan just for fun).
ShadowHawk: Which makes this all the more bizarre. But loyal readers know that I dig me some ShadowHawk and Jim Valentino. I had all of Valentino's 'Hawk work from when it was first released, but ended up having to unload it along with a lot of other stuff a few years back when I was moving. I always regretted dumping the title and so have been reconstructing it from back-issue and bargain bins as of late. So I hit the mother lode on saturday, as I not only managed to find all of the issues I was seeking really cheap (I: 1-3, II: 2, and III: 1-4), but also the Special, which I bought (despite not being written or drawn by Valentino) entirely for the Silver Age ShadowHawk backup. I also found the "ongoing" series, which followed after the third miniseries, but like I said -- I like ShadowHawk AND Valentino, so I left them without a second thought.
(Batman And) The Outsiders: My newest DC obsession doesn't seem to be well-represented in back issue bins in South Carolina, but I found a few issues. Issues 21 and 29 of the first series (which will become redundant for me if DC ever releases a second Showcase for the title), and then #3 of the second, Baxter-paper series (appropriate, as I have the second part of the story already) were all I could find of the title in all it's incarnations, but hey! Barr and Aparo! That's all I need! (And yes: The Baxter paper still looks gorgeous.)
The Bronze Age of Madness: My friend Adama spotted a "vein" of Bronze Age genre titles, and knowing my interest in such things, alerted me to them. Thanks Adama! Anyways, I was very pleased to find a nice offering of DC books from the 70s, including an issue apiece of The Losers, Unknown Soldier, and The Witching Hour, along with a few issues of Ghosts. I also managed to locate one random Charlton horror comic, an issue of Haunted. Between these finds, and my recent acquisitions of some old Weird War Tales, and my brother's Christmas gift of a ton of Vault of Horror reprints, expect to be reading about some 4 Color Frights in this very space!
And, as pure gravy, I found the third issue of Marvel's Kull The Conqueror series. How's that for appropriate?
Finally, in the Fair Trade Department, I had to restrict myself to only two purchases from the aforementioned "Half-Off or $5" table, lest I blow my budget. First was Harvey Pekar's American Splendor: Another Day, which was the 4 issue stint that Pekar did for Vertigo a while back. I'm a sucker for his work ever since my friend Jon bought me that AS collection a few years back. The other was the complete collection of Murder Me Dead by David Lapham. I am more familiar with his work for Harbinger and Terror, Inc. than I am for Stray Bullets, but it looked like a meaty mystery and the art was very appealing, and for $5 how could I resist?
So all in all a good haul and a good time had by all. I may not have made out like Adama did, what with the literal pile of D&D books at a buck apiece (which then proceeded to play the role of a tripping hazard in my living room for the rest of the weekend), much to the dismay of those shoppers who had failed to notice this deal. I probably shouldn't spend any major cash on comics for a while.
... Of course, Atlanta Comic Expo is this coming weekend. Oh boy.