Bubbles, inflated prices, and $.50 bins

These two links fall under the general heading of the business of collecting.

The first is about baseball cards and how the market has changed and the bottom has fallen out in recent years. Comments about being priced out of the hobby echo the concerns and trends in the comic industry.

It also made me think about the general shift in attitudes. The big thing, with Jesse and I both, used to be not collecting individual issues on some stories for a variety of reasons and waiting for the trade. Increasingly, I see Jesse saying that he’ll wait until it hits the discount bins. How much longer does the direct market have with attitudes of this nature?

The second is one most have probably already seen. Robot, citing the Associate Press, wrote that at a recent comics auction, Action Comics #1 sold for $1.5 Million. A couple of startling facts cropped up. 1. The last copy to sell was around $300,000. 2. There are assumed to be only 100 copies extant.


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This Week’s Comics

I’m still getting caught up on the last two weeks worth of comics — the Electric Mayhem’s official position is to frown upon reading of any sort — but I got way more books for the past 2 weeks than I have in many months. It was pricy, but a nice change of pace. Expect some reviews later in the week, especially Nemesis…That book was better than I expected, and yet Mark Millar still found a way to let me down.

And here’s the noteworthy books of this week.

  • BLACKEST NIGHT #8 (OF 8 ) – It’s finally here! I still haven’t gotten #7 yet, but I’m super-curious as to how this is going to shape the DCU for a while. Plus, it’s kind of nice that the madness is going to be over, for a while at least.
  • GOD OF WAR #1 (OF 6 ) – We don’t talk video games that much, but God of War was my favorite game ever (I’m currently playing the new HD GoW Collection and waiting for the price on GoW3 to drop) until Batman: Arkham Asylum came out. I don’t know much about this one, but Marv Wolfman will put out a solid story if nothing else, and the chance to see Kratos run around killing more famous figures from Greek mythology is one I’ll take.
  • IMAGE FIRSTS YOUNGBLOOD #1 – I LOVE that Image is releasing issues of key books from their history for only $1, but I’m somewhat puzzled by this one. Something like 17 trillion of them were printed, so this may be the only one that’s actually overpriced. Quarter bins around the world are stuffed to the gills with this book.
  • IMAGE FIRSTS WALKING DEAD #1 – This one makes a lot of sense, though. The first issue is only a few years old but incredibly expensive. Sure, it’s been collected in various types of trades (with various types of price points), but this is a great way to give someone a taste without making them dive in. And for the record, it’s an excellent zombie book.

Random Posts For Your Weekend

The List: Superman’s Least-Utilized Powers

The Man of Steel.  The Man of Tomorrow.  Superman.

Strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men!  Sure, we all know about strength, flight, and heat vision, but surely that’s not where his powers stop.  Even Jerry Seinfeld wonders about that: “Why would that one area of his mind not be affected by the yellow sun of Earth?”

So, presented here for your enjoyment is this week’s List: Superman’s Least-Utilized Powers.

  • Super-Absorbancy

  • Super-Penmanship

  • Super-ability to figure out the tip

  • Super-Nudity (so nude he appears clothed)

  • Super-Able To Restrain Himself Around Cheesecake

  • Super-Gift Wrapping

  • Super-Thank You Card Writing

  • Super-Snuggler

  • Super-Birdcalls

  • Super-Parallel parking

  • Super-Accountancy

  • Super-Sphincter Control (Superman doesn’t poop until Superman is good and ready to poop!)


** Editor’s Note: Super-Inoffensive Gas was a finalist, but after investigation our research department learned that his is actually one of his MOST utilized powers and was thus disqualified.

Game Tape: The Return

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week marks the full and glorious return of my LCS…more or less. I was ecstatic beyond words at walking in (on a Wednesday!) and seeing the familiar friendly faces. Here’s hoping that the guys can make it work.

On to the books!

COBRA COMMANDER UPDATE: In GI JOE #16, we see the gloved hand of the Commander. Dixon is really milking the suspense here as we see more of the inner workings and structure of Cobra. Although there wasn’t a single Joe in this issue, it still held my interest. This issue marked the end of the second act in this over arching story introducing Cobra to the world stage. Destro is rewarded for his contribution to the M.A.S.S. Device. The Baroness receives a reprieve for her go-it-alone strategem. Dr. Mindbender is reprimanded (I choose to interpret the single shot of his panic as such). The plans go into their final stages. Big conflict is coming and the drums of war hasten their bloody tattoo. On a personal note, my heart leaped with joy to see Major Bludd on the last page. Of all in the inner circle of Cobra, Bludd has always been my favorite. From his grating voice to his poetry bordering on Vogon-esque, he’s just a ton of fun.

Amazing Spider-Man #626 was a solid story. I skipped 625 with the Rhino because it’s a Kelly book. This issue, though, Van Lente is at the helm. The Hood drives the action here with an appearance by the newest Scorpion as setting the stage for things to come. One thing that this new team of Spider-Man writers has be able to better than most since the old Stan Lee days is balance Spidey and Peter. When one takes precedence over the other, the book suffers. As important as the balance is the fact that Peter is redeemable in these stories. The old “Parker luck” doesn’t just keep kicking him and beating him to pulp as it has in less memorable years. I’ve said it before, the fun of the book is back.

Green Lantern #52 is good and readable, if you can wrap your mind around the sudden shift in Sinestro’s raison d’etre. Johns hasn’t set this up as well as he thinks he has. Making noises here and there about always wanting to avenge Abin Sur’s death hasn’t convinced me that he’s not simply the maniac that ran the Sinestro Corps. The moment with Stewart was nice. Maybe we can finally put the past behind him. There was also a pleasant lack of Luthor and Scarecrow being mindlessly dumb. The issue as a whole was fast paced in a not so rushed way. Considering that this mini-crisis ends in the next book published, I’m not sure how it can feel that way. Still, this was a peak in the EKG for the whole story. For the moment, I’m choosing to ignore the fact that all life and all Lanterns now seem to stem from Earth in a weird creationist sort of way.


I also snagged three Jeff Parker books. I didn’t know he was doing another Hulk related book, but Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #3 caught my eye. I don’t know much of what’s going on, but it wasn’t too hard to catch up. Some of the ideas were clever, and I might have appreciated more if I were actually following the story instead of the writer. Might be worth looking at in the cheap bins later.

I picked up Thunderbolts #142 also. I haven’t read it, but let’s assume that like Avengers vs. Atlas #3, it was brilliant and fast and clever.

That wraps up my return to regular comic reading…except to say that I also got Muppet King Arthur #3. Like FoH, I have no real idea what’s going on, but the gags are good and the art is the best it’s been on any of these Muppet fairytales. Mebberson was outstanding on Peter Pan, but her art is so static. This artist, whose name escapes me right now manages to be consistent (what was lacking in Robin Hood), cartoony, fun, and dynamic.