Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Unbridled Capitalism II: The Wrath of CON!

You know the old saying that violence only begets more violence? Well, evidently, buying comic books only begins buying more comic books. Admittedly, this result is substantially less gory, unless one considers their bank account. Anyway, as detailed over in his blog, Adama and I hit Atlanta Comic Expo this past Saturday, with me making that long, lonely nerd-trek down I-85, desperately hoping that I could find the local John Boy and Billy Big Show affiliate and resisting the temptation to stop for some biscuits at Hardee's. And I do like biscuits.

Anyway, the show itself was good-sized, easily the biggest show I have been to since the last time I went to the Big Apple Comic Con at the Paramount Theater (which was held on the same day as the Gay Pride Parade, and is a whole story in itself). The dealer room was good-sized, with your various types of dealers you typically see at these shows. One of my favorite comic book stores, Heroes & Dragons from Columbia, SC, was there in force (more in a bit), and Adama's regular shop, Titan Comics and Games, serving the Atlanta area, were there as well. Lots of very friendly folks from all over the Southeast were in town to get down to business: comics!

Robocop: You'd think a licensed book from the 90s would be easier to find, but no, you'd be wrong. In any event, I got the two #1's which had been eluding me, for 50 cents apiece -- both the regular #1 from the ongoing, as well as #1 of the Marvel adaption of Robocop 2.

(Batman And) The Outsiders: In a lot of ways, I am very, very predictable. This is one of them. My collection of what is rapidly becoming my favorite DC superteam got an injection of issues, as I picked up the Batman And The Outsiders Annual #2, the final six issues of Adventures of the Outsiders (#33-38, featuring Alan Davis on art!), and then #1 and #2 of the Baxter-paper series. You know, for DragonCon, I think I might make a Geo-Force costume.

Oh, you think I'm kidding?

Steel: The Indestructible Man: Victory! The good folks at Titan had the whole run, and dirt cheap to boot, so I snatched up the last two remaining issues of Hank Heywood's solo title which I needed! (Which reminds me that I need to email Frank.) Amazingly enough, this has no become the only ongoing series published before 1990 which I have a full run of. What does that tell you about 1) my buying habits and 2) my collecting habits? Yeesh! I couldn't find a cheap copy of All-Star Squadron #8 or #9, featuring essentially what would have been Steel #6, but now they are on the hunting list.

Weird War Tales: Now this is just strange. Crazy Ed, whom Adama was all-too-eager to pay big bucks to for some bee-yoo-tee-ful Green Lantern/Green Arrow mags, was a little too pricey for me. I'm not big into the high-dollar collectible books, partially because a lot of the titles I like just don't fetch the kind of prices and demand one usually sees from this sort of dealer. So while Adama and Ed were bargaining, I was flipping through his boxes of War comics and came across Weird War Tales #61, a very odd little gem featuring science fiction war stories as a change of pace, and possessing one really, really sweet cover. At $7.95, it was a little higher than I wanted to pay, but I really dug the cover and I figured I could negotiate. So I get up to him, and Ed has just finished working out some big-dollar deal, and I hand him my one comic. He stares at me for a second, then says "That's it? That's all you want? Just one skeleton is all you want?" I just shrugged, and he casually hands it back to me and says "Six bucks." I hand him the cash, and he's just flabbergasted, "Who only brings six bucks to a Con?!" and so forth. At the time I was kinda annoyed, but now, I'm just laughing. I don't think I'll ever forget that -- and now, when I see him at HeroesCon or DragonCon, I'm going to see if he remembers me.

Iron Man: Now, you may recall that at Borderlands, I only found a measly two issues of my favorite comic. 2 issues! Surely I'd have better luck this time out? Oh yeah. Thanks to the good folks at Heroes and Dragons, and their insane number of longboxes, I've suddenly made a huge dent into my missing issues. Once I made the decision to do it -- and honestly, and $1.50 a pop, that's about the best price I am going to find for books of this age in this nice of shape -- I ended up with thirty-two comics, entailing 51-54, 58-59, 62-65, 68, 70-72, 75, 78, 82-83, 87, 89, 90-91, 93-94, 96-97, 99, 101, 104, 108-109, and 112. Whew! Good thing I brought my backpack. Titan got in on the fun as well, with a trio of modern books I needed, adding 308, 309, and 313. I now possess a literal mountain of Shellhead comics to read, you know, in addition to everything else I have bought this month. Eeeep!

Stuff left behind: Quite a bit, actually, as my Shellhead spend-a-thon left me mostly tapped for funds. Titan had a great selection of DC War titles, including lengthy runs of both Sgt. Rock and Unknown Soldier, along with a few Weird War Tales, which I knew I couldn't afford. Crazy Ed had the entire run of Marvel's Kull The Conqueror/Kull The Destroyer, as well as the Kull And The Barbarians magazine, as well as a sorely tempting pack of the complete Shadow War of Hawkman, which I forced myself not to buy lest I somehow start collecting Hawkman. And Heroes and Dragons still have a bunch of Iron Man that I need, but the ones I left were of a higher price point -- I figured, this time, go for quantity and buy cheaper books. Still, while it sucks not being able to afford these titles, I was more than happy with the ones I did buy.

All told a great con and a lot of fun spending time with Adama and his two super-cute cats, Ollie and Dinah (*groan*). I'm also pleased to report that The Film Crew does an admirable job of emulating the Sci-Fi era of MST3K, and that the line of the weekend (in my mind), belongs to TV's Frank:

"And then, suddenly, it starts to get weird."

Truer words, my friends, have never been spoken.

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