Author: Comic_Diva

I post pictures of my comic collection, toys and such on Instagram. I post about comics, pop culture and current affairs on Twitter. Feel to free to follow either or both. https://twitter.com/comic_diva/ https://www.instagram.com/comic_diva/

Skybound’s Anniversary Box Set and Modern Speculation

I’ve spent some time reading the CGC chat boards and have come away with a cynical feeling about modern collecting. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t stop buying or reading what I love, but witnessing some of the speculation nonsense does put me off the hobby sometimes.

sky1See here’s the thing:  Skybound, a subsidiary of Image Comics, introduced an anniversary box set of comics this year at San Diego Comic Con. The box set comes with 10 comics, Issue 1 reprints of popular titles by Image Comics. There are two sets, of covers:  a more common color version, and a less common black & white version. All box sets are sealed, so you don’t know what you have until the box is open. Included in each box is also a flash drive with PDF versions of all 10 issue Issue 1 books. Skybound sweetened the deal by randomly inserting “golden tickets” in some of the boxes.  The “golden tickets” were bonuses which meant the possibility of an additional rare CGC 9.8 signature series book. A purchaser could potentially come away with an original issue 1 such as The Walking Dead, Clone, Thief of Thieves, Birthright or Outcast. (Use this link to see the full list of 10 comics.) The box set sold for $80/pc and was initially only available at the con. With the popularity of The Walking Dead, one can imagine the “feeding frenzy” over graded copies of the original series that appeared as a consequence of the “golden tickets” in these boxes. Enter the speculators.

Some of the “golden tickets” have been redeemed, however the one that matches The Walking Dead CGC is not yet claimed. As a result, many fans sky2are buying stacks of the anniversary boxes (now at prices in the range of $100 – $300) with the hope of landing a “golden ticket” for a CGC Issue 1 of The Walking Dead. Some speculators on the chat boards assume the book is so “rare,” it could easily command $10k for whoever owns it.

For my part, I purchased two boxes hoping to get one color edition and one black & white edition of the reprints for my collection. Both of my boxes were color and neither had a redeemable ticket.  Since my purchases, I notice, unopened boxes are posting on eBay and disappear quickly as fans attempt to find the last elusive “golden tickets.” And because the ticket is not yet redeemed, the prices of remaining sets in the secondary market are being driven ever higher by speculator.  In my opinion, it’s reaching ridiculous height. For some, this kind of marketing event generates revenue from second market sales. For others, this kind of marketing event is a complete turn off and reminiscent of events that led up to the comics bust in the 90s.

            sky3     sky4

I think some speculation is good for the hobby, especially as I do believe there will never be another modern sleeper hit like The Walking Dead.  However, to what end?

Images belong to Skybound.

The Stuff of Legend

IMG_0442 The Stuff of Legend

Publisher: Th3rd World Studio

Writers: Mike Raicht and Brian Smith

Artist: Charles Paul Wilson III

In 2009, three very creative guys got together and wrote the narrative for a fantastical child adventure. Set in the 1940s, The Stuff of Legend is tale of friendship and bravery. The Boogieman really does exist, and he uses closets and shadows underneath beds to capture his victims; victims who are never heard from again. One such victim is ‘the boy,’ who is taken by the boogieman into the world of shadowy dark. This is not a simple story about a little lost child, but rather the heroic adventure of the child’s loyal toys in their pursuit to find him and rescue him. In their quest to get ‘the boy’ back, seven toys and a faithful family dog enter the world of the boogieman, bonded in affection and displaying a fierce sense of duty to one another. It’s an epic adventure. What happens when older toys resent newer models? Are they willing to help? Can they be trusted? And, seriously how much help is a ballerina, a stuffed teddy bear, or a Jack-in-the-box? The Stuff of Legends is a dark, twisty tale of bravery and betrayal. Now in its fifth volume, The Stuff of Legend was picked up by Disney for film adaption.

Cool Factor: These toys turn into their real life counterparts once in the Boogieman’s world.

Format: Floppy (though the first arc sold out), Trade paperback, Hardcover & Limited Edition Leather-bound, Digital

IMG_0443  IMG_0444  IMG_0445

All images belong to Th3rd World Studios. For more indy goodies from this publisher, visit th3rdworld studios.

Let’s Begin…

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.13.08 AM

I’m an avid comic reader since early childhood. Some of my first loves were Ritchie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost. As I got a little older, I found Mike Grell’s Warlord. Man, I thought Travis Morgan was the bomb. Then my cousin introduced me to Peter Parker and the Uncanny X-men. Oh my god! The action! The drama! The crossovers! I was hooked.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.58.58 AM

From the Death of Superman to Wolverine losing his adamantium, I devoured all things DC and Marvel. If either press published it, I bought it. (I bought what I could afford, anyway.) I had them all and read each issue like a junkie. And then I fell prey to the “collector’s hype,” wanting gold foil variants of every title. Alas—I shortly learned my habit wasn’t sustainable at that magnitude, and I left the hobby around ’95.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.59.08 AM

Five years later, around the time Marvel’s Ultimate line launched, I walked into a comic book store and my excitement for comics returned. I really enjoyed Ultimate Spider-man, The Ultimates and Ultimate X-men. I bought every issue, and then some. I wanted to rekindle the joy I felt from titles like Wolverine Volume 2, but I didn’t have the cash. Though I wanted them all, I had to leave so many books behind, on the shelf. I started doing all the old things that caused me to leave the hobby before: buying every #1 issue of re-launch, purchasing every book on a crossover event, hunting down limited variants. I was headed for broke, and that’s when I realized… I needed to step back. Was I really enjoying what I was buying or was I just buying comics because of some perceived value/rarity?

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.06.27 AMMy tastes in stories and titles were changing, and they weren’t “collector’s hype” oriented. I didn’t want a typical collection of capes and tights. I wanted something different, something I could enjoy reading over and over again. Enter The Walking Dead circa 2003, a zombie apocalypse tale with blood and guts, and I thought, “Eh… what could it hurt?” I bought one copy and fell in love with my first modern Independent. (In hindsight I wish I’d purchased the whole stack.) Incidentally, did you know there are two different covers of the now famous issue one of The Walking Dead? One cover depicts the words, “Mature Readers” in white, while another cover, depicts the words in black.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 9.57.27 AM

Today, some 15-years since my re-emergence into comic collecting, I really enjoy creator-owned works, especially original concepts. The imagination it takes to step “off the beaten path” of hero comics, away from the tried “capes and tights” formula stories, and try something new is–in my opinion–phenomenal. Currently on my pull list is almost everything from smaller presses (not exactly all “small,” cause… you know… Image, Dark Horse etc.).

I read comics ‘cause I like them. I’m not here to speculate. I don’t fancy myself a talented writer, so I’m not looking to write or draw my own comic; I’ll leave that to the experts. Comic writers and artists can have my money. I just really enjoy the energy of this hobby, and reading comics brings me happiness. I only write about books I like. If I read a series and think it holds a good story, I want to tell others about it.