Winter storm Juno hit the New York area this week — or, rather, was SUPPOSED to hit this week, as it turned out to not be so terrible in my neck of the woods. We got around a foot and half of snow and my car ended up with a mysteriously busted rear window. Day off of work in exchange for dealing with glass replacement = unfair trade-off.
In other local news, my comic shop, Collectors Kingdom, has relocated to a temporary spot near their old, now-burnt out, home. Their IndieGoGo campaign is still ongoing and if you can spare something — anything — they would love and could use the help. It’s a fantastic shop run by a great guy and it’s a place that is known throughout most of the area as the place for comics, pop culture stuff, and general “geekery”.
AND, daily brown bag art for The Boy is STILL ongoing…
God, I’ve never looked forward to the end of a school year more…
Welcome to the first installment of The Weekly Haul for 2015! Yeah, sure, we’re actually at the third Wednesday of the year, and okay, it’s been a few months since we’ve done a Haul, but…ummm…I don’t know. Thanksgiving turkey coma? Holidays wrapping paper industrial accident?
Whatever excuse you’ll take, I’ll sell. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
With Halloween approaching, the annual “Be Undecided About Our Costumes Until My Head Explodes” festivities have begun! The Boy has ran through a thousand ideas — Leonardo from the TMNT, Superman, Julius Junior, a Skylander (note: he has NO idea what a Skylander is, but he says that he saw it on a commercial and it looked “so cool”), a skeleton — I’m thinking he’s going to go as That Kid Who’s Father Is In The Mental Institution From Halloween Costume Indecisiveness.
Don’t ask me such insane, unanswerable questions — there is no reason why not. A free pterodactyl is always a welcome thing!
I’ve been also trying to plan his 5th birthday party in the meantime — The Boy’s birthday is the day after Halloween. He wants a dinosaur-themed party, so I’ve been hunting down small dinos for decorations. Not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, but I’m hoping for a great idea… I got this awesome surprise in a package of toys that I ordered — I’m taking it as a sign.
And, lastly before we get into things, I got another addition to my “doctor” commissioned art collection — this AMAZING piece by James Stayte of Doctor and Professor Jones! See? Sons are MADE to drive their fathers crazy!!!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Weekly Haul. The reason for this has been a combination of many different factors — the school year starting up (with The Boy now in Kindergarten and The Bulldozer in preschool), things with work getting busy, and other fun life stuff. I hadn’t been able to get to the comic shop and, when I was FINALLY able to go, my pullbox was COMPLETELY overwhelming.
Just one thing before we dive right in. At the start of this school year, my beautiful wife asked if I would draw a quick doodle on The Boy’s snack bag as a little surprise for him. For any NORMAL person, this would have been a simple task. For my warped brain, though? This was a CHALLENGE.
Every. Single. Day. And it’s only the start of the October. Plus, this is committing me to do the same for The Bulldozer when she hits kindergarten. And any future kids too.
I have reached a disturbing milestone in my life as a comic reader. I have done something — something that I once deemed TOO TERRIBLE TO EVER DO…
I sent comics to the CGC for grading.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, the CGC, or Certified Guarantee Company (not Comic Grading Company, which I’ve always stupidly thought), is one of the largest (THE largest?) comic grading companies out there. What they essentially do is take your comic, use a standardized method of describing the condition of your book, give a score of 0.5 (poor) to 10.0 (gem mint), and then (here’s the scary part for me) encapsulate the book in a clear container (to quote their website) “through a combination of compression and ultrasonic vibration”.
Anyway, my big problem with the whole CGC grading/slabbing is that the comic becomes no longer readable. To me, collecting comics has always (for the most part) been intricately tied to reading. I like having my runs of titles, going back into the long boxes, and rereading old stuff, discovering interesting things that I may have missed. I get that we live in the surging digital age of comics, where finding a book is as simple as going onto Comixology and downloading it to the iPad, but — call me an old man — there’s something about holding the book.
So why this time? I came across two comics that I have relatively no interest in reading but — I’m no dummy — I understand their importance in comics history —
Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 are the cameo and first full appearance (respectively) of the future X-Man, Wolverine. Granted I am a HUGE X-Men fan and, therefore, having these issues are fun for me, but I am NOT a Wolverine fan. These issues, while I love the original whiskered-Wolvie, are not special to me. I don’t know if I’d ever sell them — and I’m convinced that people who slab their books are primarily interested in resale value — but I could part with these (over most of my collection) and be fine with it.
I will give the CGC this — I’m really excited to find out what grade they get.
We’re moving on up here at The Weekly Haul! If you’ve been here before, you’ve likely realized that the site has a new look to it, thanks to a move over to a larger server and a site creator with bigger functionality. I’m excited about the future of TWH — Remy and I are still hard at work on our Top 162 X-Men Countdown and we’ve got some more Before the Film articles coming your way soon (since seemingly the only super successful movies being made are based on comics), plus Remy texts me every day with ideas for new features. The guy’s brain is strange, but at least it’s comics-oriented, right?
So, WeeklyHaulics, let’s get back to the thing that started off this site, huh? Before we get to the comics, how about a couple of other new things that I got since the last update?
Now that the site has been back for a month or so, churning out our Top 162 X-Men Countdown feature (check it out!) and the newest column Before The Film (starting with the X-Men: DOFP story, soon to be joined by a certain space-faring team…), I realize that it’s been ages since I’ve done the column that started the site — The Weekly Haul!
My relationship with my comic shop has been in pretty great form these days. I was riding my Previews pull list for a few months pretty nicely with the help of an employee at the shop who did an excellent job making sure my books were all in the bin, BUT OF COURSE, he’s no longer at the shop. Mysterious circumstances and whatnot. I really like the shop owner, but when it’s just him, despite me making a pull list every month and submitting it on time (and paying for Previews to be able to do this), the books just don’t make it into the bin. I’m so entrenched in habit that it’d be hard not to go there anymore, but I did go to an LCS by work to pick up some comic boxes and HOLY GOD THIS SHOP WAS BEAUTIFUL. Clean, neat, well-dressed and groomed employees? Tempting.
A few weeks ago now, the wife and I took the kids to their very first convention (and mine too!) — Eternal Con. This is the second year the con has been running out here on Long Island. It’s held in the Cradle of Aviation museum in Garden City, which provides a pretty cool space backdrop for some of the vendors. The kids dressed up for the occasion:
We had an amazing time and met some really nice cosplayers (which really thrilled The Boy):
Meanwhile, while BoyBat ran around like a maniac, using his charm to get free stuff from some of the nicest and most talented artists (Ryan Browne from ZombiePETZ and Daphne Lage from Dream Weaver Press). The Bulldozer?
Ate until she passed out. She’s a real trooper.
Anyway, we had a total blast and came home with a ton of new stuff. One of the office walls had to be rearranged to contain everything, including an sick Chamber (from Ryan Browne) to accompany my Gen X shelf and some amazing X-Men prints from ModHero:
While the wall looks nice, the floor is another matter. Remy and I are in the middle of our Top 162 X-Men Countdown, which meant I had to take my long boxes out of the closet for “research purposes”. Now we’re drowning in cardboard.
DEAR WIFE: IT WILL GET PUT AWAY I SWEAR I KNOW IT’S IN THE WAY OF THE CROCHET SUPPLIES BUT IT WILL GET PUT AWAY SOON