DCU and me, baby

Essays, Art, Videos - all on the subject of comics

The greatest source of pathos in any Batman story, beyond the death of his parents, is Alfred’s futile hope that he’ll give up the cowl.

I went to the comic shop after a few months’ absence.Unfortunately, I went to the wrong comic shop.In the past, I would typically go to The Beguiling in the Annex for my comics, but because I no longer have an excuse to go over there anymore (my friend moved), I haven’t been in a while.So, yesterday I decided to go to the Silver Snail in the downtown core. It’s a great shop, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a super-popular shop. While The Beguiling is more like the comic creator’s comic shop - a place where people who appreciate the form can get their indie fix (and their big six fix, if they go upstairs). The Silver Snail is the fan's comic shop.That being said, they had sold out of practically everything I was looking for - except the three graphic novels pictured in the top middle, and the two issues of Coffin Hill in the top right. I wanted the Ghost issues, but I had missed issues 3 and 4, and they were nowhere to be found! Nor was Secret Origins #4 or Batwoman Annual #1, which I had specifically come to get. Alas, the foibles of not having a pull-list!
But where did those other comics come from, you ask?Good question!I think it’s a little-known fact that the used book store chain known as BMV buys “used” comics (whatever that means). They then sell those comics at around $1-2, depending on how old they are. The tricky thing, though, is that they don’t do a terrific job of appraising those comics. Sure, they jack up the price a few bucks if it’s from the silver age and it looks like something important might have happened in it… but not really enough to match the Fake Internet Values that are listed on such helpful sites as Comics Price Guide or StashMyComics (which are optimistically high, but I like to think they’re what people should think my comics are worth)!So, apparently, somebody had sold off their collection recently, because the New Arrivals bin was full of stuff from the mid-to-late 70s. I didn’t really have a reference book on hand, so I picked through it for things that might be worth something - if only sentimentally.So, I grabbed some Green Lantern/Green Arrow - among them was Green Lantern #90, which contained the first appearance of Saarek, the Vulcan Green Lantern. (Yes, that kind of Vulcan).I grabbed some old Flash issues. Nothing really special among them, but I chose a few that had the Reverse Flash in them, because I like that stuff.I picked up DC Super-Stars of Magic, which was #11 in a series of reprints, where every issue was “DC Super-Stars of ____” - because it’s an old reprint of an even older story, it still has some value, though, and I have strong sentimental attachment to Zatanna, who was the featured character.I also grabbed 1st Issue Special #2, which was the first appearance of the Green Team (who just got an ongoing series in the New 52 that was cancelled fairly recently). True Z-listers!In keeping with this theme of Z-listers (and other Zatannas that start with Z), I grabbed Showcase #66, which happened to be the first appearance of perennial nobody B’Wana Beast, whom the seasoned among you might recognize as that weird guy who morphs animals together from Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run.And I grabbed Detective Comics #503 for no reason other than that I saw Batgirl on the cover, and thought “this must be pre-crisis.”So, tl;dr, here’s what I got:
Detective Comics #503
DC Super-Stars of Magic #11
Animal Man: Flesh and Blood
Swamp Thing by Brian K. Vaughan Vol. 2
Ghost #5-6
Coffin Hill #8-9
Flash #225, #227, #281, #283
1st Issue Special #2
Showcase #66
Green Lantern v.2 #90, #92, #94, #100

I went to the comic shop after a few months’ absence.

Unfortunately, I went to the wrong comic shop.

In the past, I would typically go to The Beguiling in the Annex for my comics, but because I no longer have an excuse to go over there anymore (my friend moved), I haven’t been in a while.

So, yesterday I decided to go to the Silver Snail in the downtown core. It’s a great shop, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a super-popular shop. While The Beguiling is more like the comic creator’s comic shop - a place where people who appreciate the form can get their indie fix (and their big six fix, if they go upstairs). The Silver Snail is the fan's comic shop.

That being said, they had sold out of practically everything I was looking for - except the three graphic novels pictured in the top middle, and the two issues of Coffin Hill in the top right. I wanted the Ghost issues, but I had missed issues 3 and 4, and they were nowhere to be found! Nor was Secret Origins #4 or Batwoman Annual #1, which I had specifically come to get.

Alas, the foibles of not having a pull-list!

But where did those other comics come from, you ask?
Good question!

I think it’s a little-known fact that the used book store chain known as BMV buys “used” comics (whatever that means). They then sell those comics at around $1-2, depending on how old they are.

The tricky thing, though, is that they don’t do a terrific job of appraising those comics. Sure, they jack up the price a few bucks if it’s from the silver age and it looks like something important might have happened in it… but not really enough to match the Fake Internet Values that are listed on such helpful sites as Comics Price Guide or StashMyComics (which are optimistically high, but I like to think they’re what people should think my comics are worth)!

So, apparently, somebody had sold off their collection recently, because the New Arrivals bin was full of stuff from the mid-to-late 70s. I didn’t really have a reference book on hand, so I picked through it for things that might be worth something - if only sentimentally.

So, I grabbed some Green Lantern/Green Arrow - among them was Green Lantern #90, which contained the first appearance of Saarek, the Vulcan Green Lantern. (Yes, that kind of Vulcan).

I grabbed some old Flash issues. Nothing really special among them, but I chose a few that had the Reverse Flash in them, because I like that stuff.

I picked up DC Super-Stars of Magic, which was #11 in a series of reprints, where every issue was “DC Super-Stars of ____” - because it’s an old reprint of an even older story, it still has some value, though, and I have strong sentimental attachment to Zatanna, who was the featured character.

I also grabbed 1st Issue Special #2, which was the first appearance of the Green Team (who just got an ongoing series in the New 52 that was cancelled fairly recently). True Z-listers!

In keeping with this theme of Z-listers (and other Zatannas that start with Z), I grabbed Showcase #66, which happened to be the first appearance of perennial nobody B’Wana Beast, whom the seasoned among you might recognize as that weird guy who morphs animals together from Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run.

And I grabbed Detective Comics #503 for no reason other than that I saw Batgirl on the cover, and thought “this must be pre-crisis.”

So, tl;dr, here’s what I got:

Wonder Woman tellin’ it like it is.

Wonder Woman tellin’ it like it is.

Comic Book Showcase - Episode 16: Genderbenders and Race-lifts

I’m not a fan of that title either, friends. In this episode of Comic Book Showcase, we discuss why it’s so hard for people to accept change in comics - specifically when an established character is replaced by or changed into a different gender, sexuality, or race.

I think I actually come off as the one with the most idiotic opinions in this one, so please berate me via asks or replies so that I can clarify my position. I have already made a much more eloquent post regarding my opinion on the recent change of race for Wally West.

Anyway, we spend some time talking about Wally West and the new lady Thor character, not to mention Falcon replacing Captain America.

And here’s the second half of the conversation, where people stare at me blankly while I dig myself into giant holes:



I don’t know why Jamie keep’s making me the face of the “extra scenes” videos…

Comic Book Showcase - Episode 15: Sidekicks

So, I haven’t been keeping up to date with sharing these (and you can expect another post just like this in a few minutes).

A few weeks ago, on Comic Book Showcase, we did an episode about sidekicks; their merits and their foibles.

And here’s part two of that discussion, accessible via an inconvenient little box:

Wonder Woman kicks some ass in JLA: A League of One by Christopher Moeller.

Wonder Woman kicks some ass in JLA: A League of One by Christopher Moeller.

And here’s an image of Batgirl and Wonder Woman by Brian Stelfreeze, too.

And here’s an image of Batgirl and Wonder Woman by Brian Stelfreeze, too.

I think this Birds of Prey art was only ever used as a poster, so it’s a rare find.This here is pencils by Greg Land and colours by Brian Stelfreeze.

I think this Birds of Prey art was only ever used as a poster, so it’s a rare find.

This here is pencils by Greg Land and colours by Brian Stelfreeze.

I’ve been scouring the internet for original Brian Stelfreeze cover art. I hoped to get a higher res image of this, but I couldn’t find one. Alas! In 1997, DC released a series of one-shots for each of these characters, and Stelfreeze did the covers, which all linked up into one image.

I’ve been scouring the internet for original Brian Stelfreeze cover art. I hoped to get a higher res image of this, but I couldn’t find one. Alas!

In 1997, DC released a series of one-shots for each of these characters, and Stelfreeze did the covers, which all linked up into one image.

EXCLUSIVE: Everyone on Internet Really Impressed With CBR's EXCLUSIVE Bunn and Churilla Interview

This Outhousers article goes to great lengths to point out how fuckin’ annoying Comic Book Resources’ “exclusives” are.

DC frequently offers CBR exclusive art, previews, and interviews, etc - and to ensure that it remains exclusive, CBR plasters its watermark onto those images, effectively ruining the images, as far as the internet is concerned, forever.

As an appreciator of comic book cover art (as you might have noticed from my recent posts), and as an administrator on the DC Database, I go to great lengths looking for high-res, clean images of cover art to share with everyone.

When the only versions on the internet have that watermark on the bottom, it ruins it for me, and it ruins it for everyone else.

It stops being about the art, and it starts being about the fact that they got an exclusive.

Anyway, I’m forever angry about it, because I just feel like it’s a dick move. The Outhousers article is funnier than me ranting about it, so read that.

gailsimone:

athirdgenesis:

So, uh, This is Vengeance Moth’s profile on comicsvine.com. 

Wait…how is “attractive female” a power?

We at the DC Database have an intense hatred for comicvine.
Their wiki is not moderated well. Their information is sparse. Their corporate ownership gives them benefits that we deserve and they don’t, because they’re smelly jerkbutts who eat kittens.Here is our page on Vengeance Moth, which, while admittedly not very verbose, at least doesn’t list “attractive female” as one of her powers.

gailsimone:

athirdgenesis:

So, uh, This is Vengeance Moth’s profile on comicsvine.com

Wait…how is “attractive female” a power?

We at the DC Database have an intense hatred for comicvine.

Their wiki is not moderated well. Their information is sparse. Their corporate ownership gives them benefits that we deserve and they don’t, because they’re smelly jerkbutts who eat kittens.

Here is our page on Vengeance Moth, which, while admittedly not very verbose, at least doesn’t list “attractive female” as one of her powers.

Cover Art from Catwoman #1 (2001) by Darwyn Cooke.

Cover Art from Catwoman #1 (2001) by Darwyn Cooke.

Cover art from Secret Origins #4 (2014) by Lee Bermejo featuring Harley Quinn.

Cover art from Secret Origins #4 (2014) by Lee Bermejo featuring Harley Quinn.

Swamp Thing and Tefé.I love when DC/Vertigo release new collections of older books, because it means I finally get my hands on some high-resolution images of the cover art. In this case, Phil Hale’s art is beautiful.

Swamp Thing and Tefé.


I love when DC/Vertigo release new collections of older books, because it means I finally get my hands on some high-resolution images of the cover art. In this case, Phil Hale’s art is beautiful.