Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Greenville Comic COOOOOON!

This past Saturday I pulled myself away from the Clemson-Wake Forest game to head over to the Greenville ComicCon in an effort to obtain even more comics for my already overcrowded collection. At least, this time out, I was armed with a list, and was trying target specific needs in my collection. And I wasn't alone -- my wife, despite being under the weather and in no real way a comic book fan, put on my Justice League of America t-shirt, packed some tissues and came along, occassionally popping up with a "I found some Iron Man over here" or "This guy's got some Flash books here." As long as I have known my wife, I have been impressed with her ability to deal with hardcore nerdery -- I remember one year at Borderlands "Big Sale," which is a mass of unwashed humanity trying to get good deals on gaming and comic goods, she simply grabbed a collection of Beetle Bailey, grabbed a seat in a corner and read for an hour. God I love her.

Here's how I fared at the Con.

Excalibur: In the last two years or so, I had completed my collection of the original Claremont/Davis run, right through the end of the "Cross Time Caper." My original collection, though, was spotty -- I began reading the title around when Davis came back and was essentially handling both writing and art chores, and was missing a few issues here and there. I was able to pick them all up (48, 56, 60-61, 64) at a good rate and thus complete everything I am actively seeking for the title. I might pick up an Ellis issue here and there, but otherwise, QED: I'm done.

Steel: The Indestructible Man: Frank will be glad to know that I did not go over his defined "whole run for $10" advice for this series, although I still have a little left to go. I was able to find #3 and #4 in very good shape from a surprisingly well-organized dollar bin. Both copies look quite nice for their age, and, interestingly, both issues contain two Steel stories apiece. Double the value! Unfortunately, the dealer (the only guy with any stock of Steel there) did not have a copy of either #1 or #5, so those remain on the list.

Black Lightning: The same guy who had the Steel also had some nice looking selection of Jefferson Pierce's first series. (Oddly, I find the original run a lot more than the second volume.) I would have liked to finish the run, but still, I got #6 and #8-10, leaving me only with #7 and #11 eluding me. Not too shabby all told, and I have to say that BL has some of my favorite DC covers from this era, including the really cool logo.

Iron Man: Ahh my Iron Man collection. Two whole boxes of my collection is nothing but Shellhead, the fruits of my labors over more than a decade, but primarily the last 3 years. Everything from 1996 onward is in the collection already, and budgetary reasons cause me to rely on reprints for the real early stuff, so I tend to focus on the late 70s through the early 90s when Iron Man shopping. Starting from when Bob & Dave came on board with #116, I have about 85% of the title up through the close of volume 1. So I'm mostly hunting for individual "onsey-twosey" type things. I picked up #183, #191-192, #279 (featuring my man Ronan The Accuser!), and Annual #10. The same dealer also had some stuff from the mid 70s, including #68 and #72, but no way I'm paying $2 apiece for books in such sorry shape -- I mean, one was missing it's back cover for crying out loud! I don't care if Shellhead does have a nose in the issue, I've got some standards for collection here.\

I also ended up picking Showcase Presents: Superman v.1 (you can't be 500 pages for $5!), Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement in Gotham (because Dredd rocks), and 200 bags and boards because I'm a geek. I also got a free Flash button, to go with my Legion of Superheroes, Vote Luthor 2000, and Mr. Myxzptlk buttons which I intend to wear on a lanier at some point.

I had to pass on a few things, though. One dealer had a full run of DC's Claw the Unconquered, which was very tempting. I probably could have talked him to under $20 for the set of 12, but thoughts of 'Do you really need another DC Explosion title?' made me hold back. I also put back Justice League of America Annual #3, featuring the Detroit League. If it had been #2, I might have pulled the trigger, but for $3, eh, I thought it was a bit much. Finally, despite this one dealer really putting the hard sell on me, I passed on a copy of The Life Story of the Flash autographed on the IFC by Mark Waid. I like the Flash, and I like Waid, but he wanted too much for it, and I'm sorry but being a jerk to your potential customers? Yeah, pal, it's a turn off.

All in all, I was satisfied with what I was able to buy despite this being a very small Con. It's never a good sign when your Con is in the "ballroom" of a Days Inn. But that's okay, I had fun and my wife didn't seem too put out either. I would have liked to spend more time digging through the dollar bins and finding "buried treasure," but you know what? Sometimes it's better to have a plan and stick to it.


Anonymous said...

I really wish I could have come with dude, but I made a commitment. Plus, it was still a pretty good time, especially after the turkey was done and I was free to pull mad science experiments with the fryers (who knew battered, deep fried oreos would turn out to be such a hit?). Also, fried pickles are kick ass.

The Atlanta Comics Expo is in early Feb. It's a bit larger than the one we missed on Sunday, so maybe we can keep that in mind as a possible get-together.

Rick L. Phillips said...

Sounds like you had a good time Luke.
If I had known you were looking for those BL issue and issue #1 of Steel I would have mailed them to you when I was getting rid of my collection. I had to sell the collection to pay some bills but I would have given those to you since you are a friend. Sorry they are gone now.
I am hoping to make it to the Mid-Ohio con for at least one day in a little over a week. If I do I hope I have as much fun as you did.

Luke said...

Adama -- Don't sweat it. As I said, TJ was under the weather anyway, so it would have been difficult to try to entertain with her being sick. Plus, knowing you, she'd have given you the cold to boot.

Rick -- I appreciate it man. But you had nop way of knowing that, so (as well) don't sweat it. I hope you get a chance to hit the Con; how far away from home is it for you?

Diabolu Frank said...

I was finally going to finish reading Steel: The Indestructible Man#1, picked it up, and realized--wait, I already HAD finished reading Steel: The Indestructible Man #1! Within the same week! If only there were some sort of Hands Across America program where I could pass my unwanted and unloved copy of Steel: The Indestructible Man #1 from geek to geek before arriving at your doorstep. Better still, my boy Dave could pass you the cancerous piece of his soul left from continuing to collect Iron Man well past the first quarter of your run. Unbeknownst to Marvel, putting "Teen" and "Tony" together triggered an ancient Babylonian curse that will eventually lead to the destruction of all mankind. Or at least harsh our collective mellow.

Diabolu Frank said...

Oh, about Black Lightning-- though an implosion title, there are still many tens of thousands of copies of the first series in circulation. Print run for the final issues of series 2: 3,700 or less. Who says modern comics aren't collectable?

Luke said...

I'm sorry that you didn't care for Steel. Sometimes I think my tastes just run contrary to what everyone else in the world likes. I'd offer to trade you something for it but I doubt I have anything of interest to you for tradebait.
As to Iron Man, amazingly enough I started reading the title about 4 months before Teen Tony, and still stayed on board, and have to this day. So I guess it was a fate thing. And yes, ye gods was Teen Tony a terrible ordeal in both concept and execution. Bleech.

I hadn't thought about that for Lightning, although in retrospect, damn, that's pretty obvious.

Diabolu Frank said...

Gerry Conway was pretty hit and miss with me in general, but trust me, my tastes run counter to the norm as well. I run a freakin' Martian Manhunter blog, for God's sake. I replied positively to your blog on the Jared Stevens Fate. I liked Marvel's New Universe line. That ain't normal, man.

Seriously though, I would happily give you Steel #1. It's just another book that needs to get outta my house. I've got boxes of its kin.