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Friday, February 02, 2024

So why am I revisiting my almost 20-year old blog after such a long time...
Well to cut a long story short, Photobucket in all their wisdom decided to delete my pics or have me pay a quite large sum to host it.
To make matters worse, my internet provider's service which included personal webspace with each account, which I used for backup did the same and wiped every user's website

Now it was a crappy webspace, but I used it to host my pics which I could then use on other sites like this blog. As my ISP deleted my personal webspace (after 25 years of use) I lost everything...including a lot of the pics that were on this blog.

So I apologise that you'll see the ugly generic Photobucket and other banners instead of the pictures that were supposed to be there...as some were almost 20 years old they are gone forever.

But the stories remain (until Blogger also decides to terminate the account ahum...) so you can still read about how I started as a collector in 2005 until 2013 when I switched over to vlogging on my Youtube account.

Please feel free to check out the videos of my collection at 

I also stopped making videos after I sold almost 15,000 comics from my collection back in 2017.

I did keep about 1000 comics, all the keys and all the Silver Age Marvel Superhero books from #1 - #100.
But I'm not actively buying comics any longer, once I completed the entire Marvel run from Fantastic Four #1 (1961) to Spider-man 500 (2004) I lost interest...as there was nothing left to buy.

I still have the core collection and the memories on this blog and the vids...and that's enough for me.

'nuff said


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Summer of the Lay-over.

I should have called this "San Diego Comic Con 2013" or maybe "This Summer's comic adventures" would have been more apt but after spending so much time at airports all over the world this Summer I'm officially burying the word "layover" with this entry. To give you an idea I spent over 24 hours waiting in various airports...not boarding, or sitting in planes...but waiting. It was awful, tedious and mind-numbing..but to be honest it was all worth it.

 I was lucky enough to get my same job back at San Diego Comic Con, being a signature witness for CGC. I had a lot of fun again, interacting with all the creators, watching them sign people's comics and trying to keep a straight face when some fanboy was so nervous he dropped all his comics and then kicked them while they were on the ground. 
A nice bonus was that I had to witness the David Duchovny/Gillian Anderson signing, the Ex X-files stars were reunited and were doing a limited signing at SDCC. Duchovny was a little surly, although I did talk to him a little and Gillian Anderson was radiant as a blond and very friendly. 

A personal highlight was the Sam Kieth signing..although the "MAXX" creator looked like he would have rather been on the beach, he was a delight to talk to and made a lot of time for the fans...It was truly wonderful to see how he graciously answered every single question even after he was asked for the 5th or 6th time. 

But of course, it wasn't all work...I was there as a fanboy as well and spent hours and hours digging through comic boxes and looking at portfolios filled with orinal art. O picked up about 100 comics, nothing really earth-shattering, as my comic collection has been complete for a few years and I just go for upgrades these days. 

But I did manage to get some really nice pages of original art that have been on my want list for years. I made a few videos of some of the stuff I brought back... click on the vids twice to go to my Youtube channel so you can see them in High Def. 

San Diego Comic Con 2013 Comics Haul Part 1
San Diego Comic Con 2013 Comics Haul Part 2

San Diego Comic Con 2013 Comics Haul Part 3

And this year I did something I swore I would never do...I actually stood in line for some San Diego Exclusive Toys, my wait wasn't that bad, but I know some people stood in line for 4-5 hours to get a My Little Pony toy or an Angry Birds Star Wars action figure set. It was an interesting experience, but I'm not sure I would do it again.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

San Diego Comic Con 2012 working hard for the money.

Yeah, I'm still alive ;) I meant to put this little nugget on my blog in July of 2012, but for some reason I never got around to it. Anyway, a little while ago I received the wonderful news that I can be a CGC signature witness again at the San Diego Comic Con, so to celebrate I decided to re-read and post this wall of text I wrote when came back from SDCC last year. 

So what exacly is a CGC signature witness ? Basically I go along with people who get comics signed by creators and witness it for CGC. When the person that gets the comic signed, submits it to CGC I have to co-sign the paper, which declares the comic was indeed signed by the artist. Then CGC takes the comic with the form and grades it and puts it in a yellow (signature series label) 

Last July at SDCC i was doing a signing with Olivier Coipel (French X-men artist) and he was two hours late, drove his agent crazy...when he finally showed up the agent and the two other artists that had to sign the books as well almost lynched him...CGC and I weren't too happy either. I waited all the time while they needed me to witness another signing. 

 Lots of jokes were made by the Americans about "French laissez-passez attutude" Olivier Coipel had a friend with him and they started chatting in French, saying things like "**** them all, it's the national French holiday today, we'll do what we want" etc... I let them talk for 3 minutes (they were doing this while they were signing) and then I started talking to them in French...the look on their faces was fantastic..they had no idea someone there was able to understand them. LOL
Well because I had to watch Coipel sign for 40 minutes and I was a foot away from him I couldn't do anything but talk to him...in French of course, so he was interested to know where I was from and why I was working for CGC as a Belgian etc... just small talk, killing time.
Coipel charged $2 per book signed...he signed over 100 ... so that's $200 just to sign your name for 40 minutes while chatting with your buddies...and he still complained afterwards that his arm hurt

This is the list of people I witnessed signing books..although I wasn't allowed near Stan Lee, had to watch from a distance.. Most were available in under 5 minutes, but some took a long wait (see the list) It was especially brutal to wait so long for Ashley Wood in line when we only had one book to get signed. Coipel/Chueng/Morales did over a 100 in one signing session. The ones with an * were the ones who were very nice and I had a nice chat with, the others were businesslike, or else I didn't bother talking to them.. 

Stan Lee 
David Finch 1 hour 
Joe Mad * 
Mike Mignola * 
Hernandez Brothers * 1 hour 
Gilbert Shelton * 1 hour+ 
Ashley Wood 2 hours 
Angelo Torres * 
Jim Lee 
Rob Liefeld 
Herb Trimpe * 
Steve Engelhart 
Dave Gibbons * 
Mark Shultz 
Jeph Loeb 
Mark Waid 
Mark Buckingham * 1hour+ 
Robert Kirkman 
Charlie Adlard 
Mike Carey 
Ben Edlund * 
Gary Gianni 
Rob Guillory (Chew) * 
John Layman (Chew) * 
Erik Larsen 
Joe Jusko 
Marc Silvestri 
Jim Valentino 
Lary Hama * 
Klaus Janson 
Jeff Lemire 
Rudy Nebres 
James Robinson * 1 hour 
Michael Uslan 
Trevor von Eeden * 
Jill Thompson 
Olivier Coipel * 2 hours waiting, then 40 minutes signing. 
Mark Morales 
Jim Chueng * 

Herb Trimpe was the nicest of all...he knew a lot about Belgium, Waterloo, The WW2 battles in the Ardennes etc... 

Mignola signed & dedicated the book I bought from him, but we couldn't agree on the price for the Hellboy cover he was selling. I liked it, but at $6000 it was out of my league and it was a new cover (2012) and I preferred something from 1995 - 2005  

 I must say I never was that interested in modern artists that much (well except two or three like Mignola, Darwyn Cooke...) but I have found a new appreciation for them, seeing them draw stuff in front of you and watching the artistry ... Jim Cheung and Mark Morales who I didn't even know impressed the hell out of me, as did David Finch. I had three different Belgian T-shirts which I wore during the con, was a great ice-breaker with the artists.

Charlie Adlard was way too busy to chat...we stood in line, when it was our turn, we said hello, asked him to sign the books, thanked him and then moved away for the next person in line. I got some more stuff signed for myself, you can see it in video #3... I forgot to have Angelo Torres sign anything for me..but I do have this pic of him and me, while he was signing books for CGC

 It's strange, after a few days of meeting artists non-stop you stop being a fan and start looking at the artists as "business" ...a little sad really. Next to Trimpe the most interesting conversation was with Gilbert Shelton (who is almost 80 now) about his friendship with Robert Crumb, Carl Barks and Alex Raymond...he told stories for 10 minutes while we kept up the line. My business partner did buy two Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers omnibuses and Shelton made a sketch in each one of them, and it took about 5 minutes per sketch as he is a little old now. 

I got a few more things signed... got a book signed by all three Hernandez Brothers as they rarely all are in one place...even though I don't really like Love & Rockets. 
Some of the artists like Adlard and Torres have a scheduled appearance, meaning they will be at a certain booth at a certain time for one to two hours...So you have to be there about 30 minutes in advance as they count about one minute per person and then the stop the line, so if you are number #50 or something you can't go up anymore. Somebody from the staff takes spot #51 in line and tells everyone that comes after that they won't be able to see/meet the artist that day. It sucks if you are behind in line, but if you are there early enough it means that you are certain that you will meet the artist as they will stay until the last person that was allowed in line. 

It also means that if you have something signed or ask for a sketch it can take no longer than one minute.So conversation is limited. I was about #20 in line for Finch, got there 30 minutes before it started. They cut the line at #25 ...so I was pretty lucky. But only the first ten got a free sketch as he took 3 minutes per sketch. I would have asked for a Joker sketch as they were great..but alas it didn't work out. 
Some of the other artists have a booth/table for themselves and are present about 75% of the 5 days, so you can walk up to their booth where they are working on a commission for someone, have them sign your stuff and take as long as you want talking to them, well until they ask you to leave as they have work to do. 
They generally do not give out free sketches, just sign stuff. If you buy something they are selling (prints, trades etc) they will do a quick head-sketch if you ask them...or you can pay them for a larger sketch/commission. 
After the first two days of the show I was dead tired. Lots of fun, crazy amount of people,getting to see old friends and finally meeting people I've known for years. Very expensive though, food and all the taxi rides alone are costing me at least $200 a day. And that's without the hotel and getting here. 

But I knew it was going to cost  a lot. It's worth it but it's a once in a lifetime thing. Don't come just for the comics as they are more expensive than online. But you do get to see them I'm real life. The comic section isn't that crowded but the rest of the con is crazy, especially the toys section with the toy exclusives. 
Hundred of people in line to get a ticket to have a chance to be able to buy some exclusive toy, crazy. The problem is that the comic section is split in two sections with the toys in between. So it can take 25 minutes to get from section A to section G. After doing it ten times a day you are exhausted and every bone in your body hurts and then you do something silly and sneak into the toy section.

Call me crazy, but I loved it, and this year I'll be be back again, chasing artists and dodging hordes of toy-carrying  fans. See you there on the 17th through to the 21st of July 2013

 On my youtube channel you can see some vids with all the stuff I brought back.





Sunday, January 01, 2012

2245 comics read in 2011 - Final tally

2245 ... that's the magic number for 2011, the year that was. I've bored everyone to tears (most of all myself) with the updates on how my quest to read 1000 comics in 2011 went.
Well along with the year, the quest is over and these are the points from the Belgian jury.

As I wrote before, I got bookcurious halfway and decided to go for 2011 comics, because let's face it ... a 1000 comics a year, or less than 3 comics a day isn't exactly a stretch. Once I reached 2011 comics I felt happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I manged to pull it off and reach an even higher level in the never ending game of Geekquest, but also a bit sad because I knew I would start slacking in the final 6 -8 weeks.

And slack I did...with the last two months being among the underachievers of the year.
Anyway I've stopped posting all the comics I read this year, but will post a final breakdown per month.

I've also just decided I'll take up the gauntlet again and shoot for 2012 comics in 2012... and will probably make a small post about it now and then.
The trick I learned this year is to stay away from Golden Age comics, they are too big, way too wordy and I fell asleep during half of them, cutting into my reading time. So I'm foreseeing that it will be mainly moderns I'll be reading, on a good day I can read about 10 - 12 of these per hour...which says as much about me as it does about today's comics :(

January 169 comics read.
February 184 comics read.
March 155 comics read.
April 235 comics read.
May 190 comics read.
June 225 comics read.
July 141 comics read.
August 311 comics read. (yeah baby ! )
September 274 comics read.
October 110 comics read.
November 88 comics read.
December 146 comics read.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Joke's on you Batman !

I once heard somebody say that Batman is so good he could be a Marvel character... which as a Marvel zombie myself, struck a chord. Now I must admit I have nothing against DC, it's just that I chose a side and am sticking with it.

But there is no denying that Batman is one of the all-time great comic book characters, maybe the most iconic one of all. So even I couldn't help but start collecting Batman. My initial target was to get #1 though to #500 ... But that's a very tall order. I still haven't broken the top ten issues yet, but I do have a nice #11.

I still need about 40 issues to get them all, but I went for the Joker covers first.
Everybody loves the Joker and he really knows how to jazz up a cover.
In this video I'm showcasing my complete set of Joker covers from the Batman series from the Golden and Silver Age, from Batman #1 to Batman #200.

I didn't bother with the Joker covers from #200 onwards as it would have made the video too big and most of you have probably seen them all. But who knows there might be a few GA or SA covers here you've never seen. Enjoy !

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Monday, October 03, 2011

A 1000 comics in 2011 Indian Summer

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, but I was almost buried under a mound of comics..a bit like Spidey when Kraven put him 6 feet under. That's how many comics I read the past two months.

I knew that August would be good as I had a lot of free time, away from TV and computers and just me, a deckchair, the beach and some adult beverages. You gotta love a holiday in the sun when half your luggage consists of trades and comics.
Plus I had to make up for July where I only managed 141 comics.
August made well up for that slip, in fact I have now fully accepted that I have no life to speak of as I read 311 comics in August (-insert mocking graemlin here -)

Much to my surprise I was able to continue in the same vain throughout September and clocked up another 274 comics in that month. Mainly because I started reading a really long run of Hellblazer in August (260 issues) and just continued reading in September.

So after all that I'm now less than 100 comics away from breaking my target of reading 2011 comics in 2011. October looks like the month where I reach my goal, but I've already decided to just continue until January 1st just to see how many I manage to read in one full year.

Anyway, for you librarian-types out there here's what I read the last two months :
(deep breath)

August 2011 311 comics read.

Lone Wolf & Cub Book #3 (3 comics)
Fafhrd & Gray Mouse Book #1 (2 comics)
Reload 1-3
Wolverine the JUngle Adventure (2comics)
Iron Age 2 (2 comics)
Iron Man 2.0 #6 + #7
JIM 625
Logan's run aftermath 2 + 3
Marvel zombies Supreme 5
Mighty Thor 3
Moon Knight 3
Mystery Men 2 + 3
Planet of the Apes 3 + 4
Red Skull 1
Red Skull 1 + 2
Red Sonja Revenge of the gods 4
Sherlock Holmes Year one 4 + 5
Supreme Power 2
That Hellbound train 2
The Mission 5 + 6
The Strange case of Mr Hyde 3 + 4
Ultimate Fallout 1-3
Batman the Dark Knight #4 (2011)
Conan, island of no return #2
Conan Road of Kings #6
Conan the Barbarian The Mask of Acheron (2 comics)
Creepy #6 (2011)
Criminal the last of the Innocent #2
Daredevil #1 (2011)
DC Comics the new 52 (2 comics)
DC retroactive Batman the 70's
Fear Itself #4
FF #5 - FF#7 (3 comics)
Formic Wars Burning Earth #7
Hellboy the Fury #2
The Boys #56 + #57
The last mortal #2 + #3
LOEG Century 02 1969 (4 comics)
The Mis-adventures of Adam West #1
The Walking Dead #86 + #87
Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #5 + #6
Warlords of Mars Dejah Thoris #5
Warlords of Mars Fall of Barsoom #1
Warlords of Mars #8
Northlanders #1 - 42
Saga of the Swamp Thing 1-7
Thor Viking 1-5
Hellblazer 200 - 237
Hellblazer 1-110
Red Prophet Tales of Alvin Maker 1-6
Orson Scott Card's Goldbug
Criminal - The Last of the Innocent 3
Ultimate Fallout 4/5/6
The Walking Dead 88
The Cape 1
Ultimates V5 #1
That Hellbound train 3
Supreme Power 3
Mystery Men 4
Moon Knight 4
Kick Ass 2 #3
JIM 626
Iron Age 3 (44 pages, counts as two)
Iron Age Omega
FF 8
Fear Itself 5
Elephantmen 32
Daredevil (2011) 2
Conan Road of Kings 7
Batman the Dark Knight #5 (2011)

September 2011 274 comics read.

Criminal Bad night 1-4
Hellblazer 111-199
Hellblazer194 - 199 + 238-257
Fables 19-27 (8 comics)
Hulk (2008) 1-21
Justice League (2011) 1
The Rinse 1
Ultimate Hawkeye 1
Hulk (2008) 22 - 37 ( 16comics)
Drums #1 & #2
Iron Man 2.0 #8
Planet of the Apes #5
Red Skull #3
The Last Mortal #4
Conan (Dark Horse) #1 - #50
Catwoman #1 (2011)
Chew #20
Conan Road of Kings #8
Daredevil #3 + #4 (2011)
Fear itself #6
Hellboy The fury #3
Moon Knight #5 (2011)
Mystery Men #5
Northlanders #43
Planet of the Apes #6
Proof Endagered #4 + #5
The Boys #58
The Vault #1
Ultimate Hawkeye #2
Warlords of Mars Dejah Thoris #6
Warlords of Mars Fall of Barsoom #2
Warlords of Mars #9
The Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #1 - #6
House of Mystery #1 - #41 + annual #1 + #2

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

A 1000 comics in 2011 JULY Summer slacking

Well Summer finally arrived and with that my 9-week long holiday began, weather was awful in July so all of this should have combined in to a perfect storm and made for excellent comic book time. Alas things turned out differently.

I really have no idea how it happened, but July was my worst month this year concerning the amount of comics I read. I had a lot of free time and still only managed to read less than 150 comics. A pittance compared to the previous months.

Now before all of you start thinking that I spend all my time at work reading funny books and that's why the amount is so low this month I need to clarify some things.

I entertained my friend Andy for about a week and took him to Holland, France and the UK and there was just not time (or inclination) to read comics at all, we just had way too much fun.

I also cleaned out my attic and spent half a week migrating one of my systems from Xp to Win 7 (64)....and believe you me, I would have much rather spent that time reading comics.
Set up a new laptop and spent days trans-coding video files for my Ipad²

In August I'm going on holiday again, but this time it's a beach holiday, so I'm going to pack about 150 comics (and a few books) so let's hope I get my numbers up again.

Anyway, the results of the Belgian jury for the July month of the year 2011 :

JULY (141)
Marvel Team -up #51 - #80
The Horrorist (90 pages counted as 4 comics)
Chiaroscuro 1-3
Detective Comics #395
Lucifer Nirvana (48 pages)
Blade Runner #1 & #2
Raiders of the Lost Arc 1-3
Wulf 1
Ironjaw 1
America Vs The Justice Society 1-4 (counts as 9 comics)
Books of Magic 1-4 (counts as 9 comics)
Conan Savage Tales 2 + 3
Eerie 32/33/34/35/36
Creepy Archives #10 (Creepy 46/47/48/49/50) 290 pages : 13 comics
PVP Awesmology 600 pages 27 comics
Marvel Team-up #81 - #98
Alpha Flight #1 (2011)
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Monsters #1
Batman - The Dark Knight #3
B.P.R.D. Casualties #1
Captain America #1 (2011)
Chew #19

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Friday, July 08, 2011

A 1000 comics in 2011 JUNE - initial target reached

No need for false modesty now, I've always known I would get to the 1000 comics mark well before the last day of 2011. But I wasn't sure I would get to 2011 comics in 2011...well I'm getting more confident now.

During the month of June I managed to already reach the 1000-comics-read-point, which was good as to be on track for 2011 comics I had to reach at least 1006 comics before July 1st. At the time of writing I'm now at 1200 comics, but have to be careful as I'm doing a lot of traveling again this Summer. I just got back from another comic trip and I'm still visiting London in July. In August I'll be going to Asia for another three weeks and really don't see me lugging a suitcase of comics with me.

Today I received about 15 hardcovers from my friends at www.cheap-comics.com so that should cover my 180 comics for July, but I don't know how August will fare...maybe I'll break down and get an Ipad² and get a digital subscription for all the modern comics I read monthly...Hmmmm ?

For you comic-book fans, here is the list of the 225 (a new record ! ) I read in June 2011 :

JUNE (225)
Marvel Team - Up 21-50
FF #3 + FF #4
Conan - Road of Kings #5
Daredevil Reborn #4
Elephantmen #31
Iron Man 2.0 #5
Journey Into Mystery #623
King Conan - The Scarlet Citadel #4
Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead #5
Kirby - Genesis #0
Planet Of The Apes #2
The Mission #4
Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #4
The Mighty Thor #2
Red Sonja - Revenge of the Gods #3
The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #2
Hellboy The Fury #1
BPRD The Dead Remembered #3
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Flashpoint #2
Moon Knight #2
Witchfinder Lost And Gone Forever #5
Fear Itself #3
M.D (EC Comics) 1-3
Starman (1996) 1-80 + Annual 1/2 + Secret Files 1
The Boys #55
Criminal - The Last of the Innocent #1
Annihilators #4
Formic Wars Burning Earth #6
The Iron Age - Alpha #1
Journey into Mystery #624
Logan's Run - Aftermath #1
Mystery Men #1
Love and Capes - Ever After #4
Conan - Island of No Return #1
Kirby Genesis #1
Last Mortal #1
Ultimate Captain America #4
Red Sonja Blue One-shot
Supreme Power #1
Warlord of Mars - Dejah Thoris #4
That Hellbound Train #1
Love and Capes - Ever After #5
Iron Man V2 (Heroes Reborn) 1-13
Iron Man V3 #1 - #55

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

A 1000 comics in 2011 MAY (I have another)

May was the first month where I really struggled a bit. I still have a ton of unread comics,but the last few months I was concentrating on all the trades I still had to read and have now nearly wiped them all out.

The problem was that I couldn't decide which series to start with so in the end I settled on two series that I plan to sell in the near future, and it would be a shame to sell them without even having read them. About 30% of the comics I read this month were moderns, which is good as that way I'm still keeping in touch with today's market/story-lines.

I'll never "love" modern comics as much as I do the Silver Age and Bronze Age ones, but a lot of them are very well written and some of the art isn't bad either.

Anyway here's the list... I read 190 comics in May 2011 which brought the grand total on May 31st to 938 comics read in 2011. I should crack the 1000 comics mark somewhere during the first week of June.

Ultimate FF 1-37 + annuals 1,2
X-Factor 1-70 + annuals #1 - #9.
Annihilators 2
Dark Horse Presents #1 80-pager (3)
Feat itself Sin's past one-shot (4)
Journey Into Mystery #622
Red Sonja Revenge of the Gods #2
Ultimate Thor #4
Iron Man 2.0 #3 + #4
Warlord of Mars #6
Warlord of Mars - Dejah Thoris #2
The Walking Dead #84
Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead #4
FF #2
Hate Annual #9
Conan - Road of Kings #4
King Conan - The Scarlet Citadel #3
Sherlock Holmes - Year One #3
The New York Five #4
Ultimate Avengers vs New Avengers #3
Planet of the Apes #1
Rasl #10
The Mighty Thor #01
The Mission #3
The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1
Moon Knight #1
Annihilators #3
The Boys #54
Sir Edmund Gray, Witchfinder - Lost & Gone Forever #4
Marvel Zombies Supreme #4
Thor, whoever wields this Hammer (JIM 83/84/88)
B.P.R.D. The Dead Remembered #2
Fear Itself - Spider-Man #1
Fear Itself #2
Fear Itself - The Homefront #2
Gladestone's School For World Conquerors #1
Extra (EC comics) #1-#5
Formic Wars Burning Earth 1-5
Flashpoint #1
Captain America - Hail Hydra #5
Chew #27
Warlord of Mars - Dejah Thoris #3
Hellboy Being Human one-shot
Marvel Team - Up V1 1-20

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bagge's Belgian Beauty

In the wake of the incredible Heritage sale where a page of The Dark Knight sold for almost half a million dollars I'd like to talk a little about original comic art. This is just a small story, but I though I would share it anyway. It's kinda corny...but hey so am I.

First of all I need to explain how much I love Peter Bagge. I'm a big Marvel zombie and my comic collection is almost made up of Marvel from 1961 (FF #1) to 1984(Secret Wars #1) that's what I know and love and those are the parameters for most of my original art pages as well. There are some exceptions, but those are few and far between.
But ever since somebody gave me a copy of Hate #17 as a freebie I have really enjoyed the crazy world of Buddy Bradley, Lisa and all the other misfits. Since then I've bought all the stuff Peter Bagge has made and together with Robert Crumb he's probably the only underground artist I enjoy (I'm pretty vanilla )

I always wanted to own a page with Buddy in his comic book shop, but those are the most popular ones and I've never even seen one. Anyway today my local comic book shop had a copy of Hate annual #9 for me. Peter Bagge has all but stopped with the Buddy series and for the last 5 - 6 years, has only released one Hate comic per year.
So I saved it for last as it's a delicacy only savored once every 12 months.
The issue was finished far too quickly, and when I turned the last page, I was pleasantly surprised by this :

Peter Bagge made a strip about Belgium :roflmao:
(CLICK to enlarge)

Being Belgian, I can tell you he hit the mood perfectly, every and any time I'm in the US and I tell people where I'm from, I need to give them extra info...and the info in this page is almost 100% identical to what I tell folks...

At first I thought of just taking the comic with me when I'm traveling again and just whip it out and show it to everyone when I'm put on the spot...but then I had an idea.
I looked up Peter Bagge's email address and wrote to him, telling him how much I had enjoyed his stuff over the years and that this latest "Belgian" piece was just perfect....oh and BTW is it for sale ?

I didn't have a lot of hope as I went to the site where he usually sells his art and it wasn't there...
Less than an hour later Peter Bagge replied to me, thanking me for the mail and telling me everything he knew about Belgium was on that page and that he should have included the Smurfs as well lol
Oh, and he had kept the page, and had not put it up for sale, but if I was interested he would sell it to me, as it would be cool to have that page actually ending up in Belgium.
Five minutes later I paypalled him his asking price and the original art to the page was mine.

This was the first time I have ever contacted an artist, for any reason whatsoever and it was a very enjoyable experience.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A 1000 comics...April overdose.

April 2011 came and went and brought a lot of nice, sunny days. I'm happy to report that at least 30% of the comics on the list this month were read lounging in the garden, enjoying a beer (or five).

You'll also probably notice that I went completely overboard and read 235 comics this month, or an average of about 8 comics a day, every day. May and June will seem like lean months compared to this. Anyway I'm at 743 comics now after 4 months, so the new total of 2011 comics even seems feasible at this point.

Here's what I read this month :

Strange Adventures #205-216 Deadman
Brave and the Bold (vol.1) #79, #86 and 104
Aquaman (vol.1) #50-52
Challengers of the Unknown (vol.1) #74
Criminal V1 #6 - 10
Criminal V1 #1 - #7
Amazing Adventures #1-6,
Amazing Adult Fantasy #7-14
Amazing Fantasy #15.
Creepy #42 - #45
Elephantmen - Man & Elephantman #1
B.P.R.D. The Dead Remembered #1
Fear Itself - The Homefront #1.
Infestation #2
Kick Ass 2 #2
King Conan The Scarlet Citadel #2
Logan's Run The Last Day #6
Marvel Zombies Supreme #2 + #3
Sir Edmund Gray Witchfinder Lost And Gone Forever #3
The Boys #53
The Mission #2
Chew #18
Captain America - Hail Hydra #4
Eerie #28 - #31
I kill giants #1 - #7
Infinite Vacation #2
Fear Itself #1
Hellboy - Buster Oakley Gets His Wish One-shot.
Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #3
Love and Capes - Ever After #3
First Wave Special #1
Catwoman #1-#18, #32 & #50
Catwoman Secret Files and Origins #1
What If Karen Page had lived
What If Jessica Jones had joined the Avengers
The Pulse #1 & #2
Flinch #2
The Losers #1-#8
30 Days of Night Bloodsucker Tales #1 & #6
Dark Days #5 & #6
Black Dragon #1-#6
Lucifer, the Morningstar option #1-#3
Alias #1 - #28.
Captain America Comics #1 - #4
Wolverine Logan #1 - #3.
The Uncanny X-men #151 - #175
Tales of the Crypt #7 - #12
Captain America #43 - #50, #600/#601
Captain America Reborn #1 - #6.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The final bricks in the wall.

Pop quiz hotshot, what do Incredible Hulk #92, X-men #63 and Sandman Mystery Theater #66, #69 & #70 all have in common ? Give up ? I thought you would, well I got them all in a single package this week and they each were the final issues I needed to complete those three series.

It's a nice coincidence that I managed to complete three series all at once, especially considering, the X-men series took me five years, the Hulk four and the Sandman MT books have been on my want list since 2007 !!
So how come it took me this long to get them and was it pure serendipity that I managed to get them all in the same month ?

Now none of them are particularity expensive, the Overstreet Price guide has the Hulk #92 (in NM) at $5, The X-men #63 guides F/VF at $60 and the Sandman Mystery Theater are at best worth a few bucks each. The trouble was finding them in the first place and getting a decent deal in the process.

X-men #63 was easy to find, it's plentiful in any grade and never sells over guide. It's one of the better issues of the first X-men series, Neal Adams goodness and a cool Magneto cover. But for some reason it ended up the last issue I still needed to get. I really don't like paying $14.00 in shipping for a $50 book...so each time I saw one for sale I was hoping to bundle it with something else to save on shipping, but I struck out every time and passed.

By sheer chance a collector was selling a bunch of Silver Age X-men books, including this one AND some modern books..including the elusive Incredible Hulk #92.

Now Hulk #92 is the very first Planet Hulk issue, which is the best Hulk storyline of the last 20 years, so collectors have been scrambling for this book which starts it all. Last year I was able to purchase the entire Planet Hulk run...with #92 missing. Every comic book store I've been to in the last 3 years had this issue missing...Sure they were on eBay, but at 2X to 3X the guide price (and then I would have to break my rule of paying shipping for a single book as well). But like I said I finally found a seller who was selling it a reasonable price and had another book I wanted.

And then there were the Sandman Mystery Theater books. A lesser known Vertigo title, but one of the very best from the 1990's (not to be confused with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series). Sandman MT lasted for 6 years and never disappointed, if you go back to this post from May 2007 you'll see I was already raving about the series...and I was also boasting that I had completed it. Well I wasn't lying, I was only being stupid...I thought the series stopped at #65 and later found out it went on another 5 issues. Which of course,I didn't have.

So I started hunting them down which turned out very difficult. The final five issues didn't have a large print run as the series was slated for cancellation and a lot of comic book stores didn't even bother to order the final two issues.
Issues #69 and #70 were particularly difficult to find. Remember these are basic $3 books which will never appreciate or become valuable..and still Mile High comics is selling #69 for nearly $15 (5X guide) and doesn't even have a single copy of #70 for sale. The only people buying these are the idiots like me who complete series and just have to had every single issue.

But getting all of them was more than worth it, nothing beats the feeling of getting a series complete, and when you manage to do more than one in a year, not to mention a week, it's a real red letter day on my calendar.

With X-men #63 I now have X-men #1 to #250 complete, I used to have #251 - #450 as well, but I sold those in the big purge of 2010.

With Incredible Hulk #92 I now have amassed my longest and completest run ever.
* Incredible Hulk V1 #1 - #6
* Tales to Astonish #59 - #101
* Incredible Hulk V2 #102 - #474
* Incredible Hulk V3 #1 - #112

That's 544 consecutive Hulk issues from 1962 tot 2007 (when the series ended and I did as well)

And with those Sandman issues, I can finally proclaim Sandman Mystery Theater #1 - #70 complete (and yes, this time I've checked to see that #70 is really the last issue)

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Monday, April 04, 2011

A 1000 comics...the March report

March came and went, and happily brought a touch of Spring in the air. Not that I noticed much of this as I was, of course, inside..reading. I must be honest here, March wasn't as easy as January or February as there were much more distractions (damn sunshine !) but all in all the outcome was OK.

I managed to read 155 comics this month, that's 20% less than February (184) and 10% less than January (169)...but still an average of 5 comics a day. Let's be honest here, I've no doubt I'll reach the 1000 comics mark this year. I'm really enjoying this and have tons of unread stuff still to read, but here's the twist : Somebody suggested I'd try and go for 2011 comics in 2011...which is an absurdly high number. But strangely enough I'm still on target. I will need to read an average of 5.5 comics a day...every day and that's a tall order. But hey nobody said it would be easy.

Here's the list I read in March, again a nice mix of vintage and modern issues.

Eerie 23 - 27
Ultimate Captain America #3
The Boys #52
Chew #17
Annihilators #1
Marvel Zombies Supreme #1
The Eternals (Neil Gaiman) 1 - 7
Mysterious Suspense 1
More Fun Comics 101
More Fun Comics 73
Whiz Comics 2
Detective Comics 359
Sensation Comics 1
Sandman Mystery Theater #57 - #70
Captain America #301 - #350
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Gods #3
Captain America - Hail Hydra #3
Conan Road of Kings #3
Infamous #1.
Legion of Super Villains One-shot
Love and Capes - Ever After #2
Strange Tales (2010) #1 - #3
Startling Stories: The Megalomaniacal Spider-man
Red Sonja, Revenge of the Gods #1
Sir Edward Gray Witchfinder Lost & gone forever #1 + #2
The Walking Dead #82 + #83
Victorian Undead 2 #5
The Mighty Thor" #39-#44
Captain America and The First Thirteen one-shot
Fear Itself - Book of the Skull #1
Iron Man 2.0 #2
Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #2
Warlord of Mars #5
Warlord of Mars - Dejah Thoris #1
Fantastic Four #536/#537/#538
Thor #1 - #12
Thor #600/#601/#602/#603
Thor Giant sized Finale
Batman The Dark Knight (2011) #1 & #2
FF #1
Daredevil reborn #3
Orson Scott Card's Speaker For The Dead #3
The New York Five #3
Caligua 1
Deus Ex 1
Sherlock Holmes - Year One #2
Criminal #1-5

Monday, March 07, 2011

A 1000 comics February

Well I managed to hang on and continue my reading quest of 2011. It's been a lot of fun and I'm convinced now that not only will I reach the 1000 comics mark, but I'll keep reading long after that. By my last count I still have over 3000 comics which I haven't read yet...so I'm good for a while ;)

Anyway this is what I read in February :

Creepy 33-41.
Amazing Spider-man #562 to #578.
Amazing Spider-man #501 to #524.
Eerie 1 - 22.
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Gods #2
Captain America - Hail Hydra #2
Doctor Strange - From the Vault #1
Hellboy The Sleeping And The Dead #2
Iron Man Thor God Complex #1
The Walking Dead #81
Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #1
New Ultimates #5
Ultimate Thor #4
Victorian Undead II #4
Warlord of Mars #4
Ultimate Captain America #2
The Boys #51
Daredevil Reborn #2
Love and Capes - Ever After #1
Silver Surfer - an all new beginning #1
Iron Man #252 - #300
Iron Man 2.0 #1
King Conan Scarlet Citadel #1
Orson Scott Card's Speaker For The Dead #2
Sherlock Holmes - Year One #1
The Mission #1
The New York Five #2

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A 1000 comics in 2011

One of the pitfalls of collecting comic books is that soon the collecting becomes a goal on its own. You don't collect anymore to get to read a good story, or to find out something you didn't know about your favorite character. No, at a certain point your collection becomes so important that you collect just for the sake...of collecting.

I tried to resist this for years, but slowly I turned away from being a comic reader to a comic collector who reads, to finally a comic collector. There were years where I bought a few thousand comics and maybe read 50 to 100 comics that year in total. One of the questions I get asked the most when I show off my collection (in real life or through my Youtube vids) is "Have you read them all ?" My standard answer for years was something like : "Well I'm a few thousand behind schedule, but one day I'll catch up". After a certain time I'm not sure even I believed it anymore.

Now since my collection basically got completed sometime in late 2009 the deluge of new incoming comics has slowed down considerably, but still I didn't have the time or the inclination to start reading. About a year ago I made the decision to start selling off a major chunk of the collection (almost everything from 1985 - 1999) and in doing so I committed the awful sin of selling comics, even large series, that I hadn't even read. I could hear Jack Kirby turning over in his grave.

For some reason I read more books and magazines ABOUT comics and comic book history than I did reading the actual comics themselves. Deep down inside I knew this was wrong, but I was stuck in a rut.

Now let's fast forward to the end of December 2010 a couple of friends and acquaintances on the CGC boards made a New Year's resolution to read more comics in 2011 and I happily jumped aboard that train. About 10 of us took up the challenge to try and read 1000 comics this year, or about 3 a day, every day (or 84 each month).
I started on January first and the first month is now over and I'm happy (and yes proud) to say I read 169 comics this month..I WAY overshot my target, but I know it's better to have a little in reserve for the lean months.
I'm really hoping I can stick with it for the entire year and am curious what my grand total will be. I'm pretty sure the 169 comics I read this month will not be surpassed this year as I had plenty of free time and motivation to start off with.

I did ad an additional clause to my personal quest, only 25% can be comics I have read before. I still have thousands of comics I haven't read before, so that shouldn't be a problem, but I just put it there to stop me from re-reading favorites like the 75 Sandman issues for the 5th or 6th time.
I'll try and post a monthly update, and here's the list I read this month.

January 2011 - 169 comics

Strange Adventures #117, 120, 123, 126, 129, 132, 135, 136, 138, 141, 144, 147, 150, 153 156 and 160 (16 comics)
V for Vendetta #1 - 10 (10 comics - re-read)
Journey into Mystery #87
Daredevil #159 #160
The Brave and the Bold #40
Marvel Premiere #15
Batman #108
Creepy #1 - #32 (32 comics)
Hellboy The Sleeping and the Dead #1
Ultimate Avengers 3 #5 + #6
Warlord of Mars #3
Stuntman 1/2/3
Conan 1-24 (24 comics)
Ultimate Captain America #1
Captain America Hail Hydra #1
The Walking Dead #80
Conan - Road of Kings #1 + #2
Captain 3-D #1
Fighting American #1 - #7 (7 comics)
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Gods #1
Daredevil Reborn #1
Infinite Vacation #1
The Thanos Imperative - Devastation one-shot.
Weird Worlds #1
Victorian Undead II #3
Fighting American V2 #1
The Double life of Private Strong #1 + #2
Adventures of the Fly #1
Marvel Westerns: the two-gun kid,
Marvel Westerns: western legends,
Marvel Westerns: kid colt and the Arizona girl,
Marvel Westerns: strange Westerns starring the black rider,
Marvel Westerns: outlaw files
Captain America 25/26/27/28/29/42 (18 comics)
What if ? 22/23/26/27/29/30/31/32/33/34/35/42/43 (13 comics)
The Boys #50
FF 587
Shazam #1 (2011)
Lady Death #1 (2010)
Infestation #1
The New York Five #1
Orson Scott Card's Speaker For The Dead #1
Proof Endangered #1 + #2

Have to go now as it's already a new month and I still haven't read a comic today.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Journey Into Mystery...and beyond

Thor has always been somewhat of an odd duck in the Marvel stable...great art, great stories, possibly the strongest hero in the Marvel Universe, but virtually unknown to the general public.

Up to a few months ago, only comic book fans would have known that the Norse god of thunder is also a regular Marvel character...and that he tends to speak in Shakespearean English. I guess it was just a step too far, people could suspend their disbelief and accept an angry guy turning green and hulking up, a rich inventor and AA-club member making a 21st century armor and even a guy getting bitten by a radioactive spider...but a 1000 year old mythical Asgardian god that comes to Earth and sounds like Macbeth or even Hamlet...nah that just wouldn't fly.

So for nearly 50 years, The Mighty Thor, to use his full name has been a b-player at best. Which is a shame because there are some very nice books in the series. Most of the top artists and writers loved to work on Thor as there were almost no boundaries. Space adventures, magic, mythical legends, down to earth rough and tumble with the Avengers...it's all happening for Goldilocks. Jack Kirby has even gone on record to say that Journey into Mystery was his favorite series to work on. You can't really get higher praise than that.

So anyway, as most of you know Marvel will be releasing the Thor movie in 2011 and this could very well propel Thor into the limelight and the public eye.
Even if the movie flops, the ad campaigns will reach into every household and hopefully people will finally understand what it really means when it's Hammer Time.

For me it will be a welcome relief as I have tried to get people to start reading Thor (any time period) but almost nobody does...so to get the ball rolling so to speak I've made a little video of the very first Thor covers/comics, when the series was still called Journey into Mystery.I managed to complete Journey into Mystery #83 up to Thor #400 a few years ago and still haven't read them all..but I just might start on them in the coming weeks.

The video on this page is only the TRAILER, if you want to view the full video (and you know you want to) just go to my Youtube channel : ---> Thor's Journey into Mystery full video. Oh and watch it in 480p for more details.

Trailer :

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Size Matters, of course it does.

Even though I'm already somewhat over the hill, I'm happy I was able to carry my new comic book up the stairs. If it had come out in 10 years time I would have had to hire someone to carry it and perhaps turn the pages for me. You see I think I just bought the biggest comic book ever.

The year 2010 marks the 75th year anniversary of DC comics and veteran collector and DC-completist Ian Levine had been shouting since 2005 (the 70-year anniversary) that DC should somehow "do" something "special". Anyway 2005 came and went and in 2009 Ian started making a lot of noise again so that DC didn't glance over the 75th thingy.

Well they didn't and much to Ian's joy they kinda included him in the festivities.
In the beginning of 2010 DC and Taschen Books went over to Ian's home from Germany (three times) to photograph all sorts of covers and interiors form his DC collection.
The results were to be used in a huge six hundred page massive coffee-table book on the history of DC for their 75th Birthday.

Ian also showed us a few of the preview pictures and between that and him hyping the book I was sold and signed up for an advance copy. Cover price was a staggering €150 but seeing the book weighed nearly 15 pounds and with over 720 pages and 2000 images — including covers, interiors, original illustrations, photos, film stills and collectibles I thought it was worth it.

Anyway I waited for near 5 long months but today I finally took hold of the book. Now there are BIG books, there are GIANT books and there is this book...
Take a look at the pics to see the dimensions and step back...you don't want it to crush you.

I'm going start reading it today and I don't expect to be finished any time this year...but on first glance it's a wonderful book, very complete, all the info you could possible want and the reproduction of the old artwork is the best I have ever seen. Telling the tales behind the tomes is 38-year DC veteran Paul Levitz (pictured), whose in-depth essays trace the company’s history, from its pulp origins through to the future of digital publishing.
If my math is correct, Marvel should be 75 years old in 2014 as their first (Timely) comics came out in 1939...hmmmm are you listening Marvel ?

I used the wonders of video to give you an idea how big this book is, watch the small preview here or click on the video to go to my youtube channel and watch it in higher-def.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

After The FACTS.

Looking back at my very hectic but fun day at FACTS 2010 this year, a few things come to mind, but I would like to start straight out of the gate, with the feeling I had all day. This is a great hobby we have and sometimes we tend to forget it. Sitting at home behind a PC screen, scrutinizing every single detail of every single comic or storyline, getting into online flame-fests and being sarcastic slash negative because it looks right the cool thing to do.

But when it comes down to brass tacks, this hobby is all about the people.. I met an army of nice people today, from A-class artists, to very young fan-boys, from indie publishers to volunteers who go without sleep to make sure everyone is entertained. From retailers who actually care more about pleasing the customer by selling them a fantastic hardcover than by just the sale.

I'm guilty of being too jaded myself, telling everyone in earshot (and beyond) that cons really aren't that great, that there are better deals to be found online, that they are loud, expensive and crowded, that the food is bad and the service is worse etc etc...Well I was wrong, cons are the lifeblood of our hobby and you are really missing out if you don't attend one near you.

By now if you are guessing that I had a great time then you deserve a gold star. I hardly bought anything (one comic !) worked my ass off and already left the house at the crack of dawn, but it was all worth it. Here are some highlights. I forgot a lot of things and will undoubtedly have left some people out, sorry for that, but I still love you.
The very first and probably the biggest highlight was getting to meet Dave Gibbons.
After we had build up our booth, I walked over to the next hall and the Artist's village. There were already people queuing for Frank Cho and Greg Cappullo, the line for Dave Gibbons was still empty which kinda surprised me. Mind you this was about 1 1/2 hours before the artists were due to arrive and the general public was admitted.

At 9.00 AM the early-bird ticket holders were admitted (one hour before the rest) and at 9.15 I walked over the artist section again. The line for Cappulo had grown to maybe 20 people, about 10 for Cho and three fans were eagerly waiting for Dave Gibbons.
As I didn't expect a lot of sales before 10.30 AM and my partner was manning the booth, I decided to get in line as well.Dave showed up at about 10.05 AM and was eager to go. Frank Cho and Brandon Peterson showed up each over an hour late...All the artists had sampled some Belgian beer the night before and only Dave Gibbons was able to to fight the hangover and be there on time. Separating the men from the boys and showing he is the consummate professional.
The first person in line wanted a Rorschach head-shot, which Dave drew in about 10 minutes and looked really nice. Oh, prices were €50 for head-sketches and €75 for full figure. Quickie sketches and sigs were free. Second guy just wanted his Watchmen trade signed, so that went quickly and the third guy, whom I regularly talk to online, wanted a Comedian sketch..which I think looks fantastic, so I included Philippe's commission here as it is truly breathtaking seeing Dave draw this in a matter of minutes, first blue-line then ink...he was like a machine. (Yes Phille I was looking over your shoulder when Dave drew it)

And then it was my turn, I had brought my Watchmen page along and asked Dave to sign it, he looked it over for a while and told me "it's always nice to see an old friend", referring to the page of course :)

We chatted a bit,he asked where I got it and told the story of how he sold the art (per complete issue !) to London's Comic Showcase store. I don't know if Dave wants it out there how much he got for each issue + cover, but I was shocked to find out how low it was. But seeing Comic Showcase then sold the pages for between £70 and £150 each, you can figure it out.

Mister Gibbons and I also discovered we had a mutual friend, Paris_Fred...now there's a guy who gets around. I didn't want to take up too much time as the line behind me had now grown to over 25 people (and it didn't seem to get any smaller throughout the entire day) so in parting I asked him who his favorite artist was and after some thinking he said "Wally Wood"...Dave Gibbons was really a very nice man to meet, an excellent artists and he has excellent taste in other artists as well :).

I also saw a lot of old friend who it's always a delight to bump in to (you know who you are !) and finally met some people I know from various chat-boards face-to-face...which is always nice.
I sold a lot of trades and hardcovers at the cheapcomics booth, but most of all tried to talk to people about which series they liked and suggested other titles they might also be interested in (Anything Walking Dead flew of the shelves).

I'm always in awe of all the people that spend months making their own costume and then proceed to walk around it it, sweating like a pig and not being able to buy anything as they can't stoop down to look in the boxes, and even if they did....where would they put it as they have no pockets. There were a LOT of cos-players at FACTS, but the guy walking around in the home-made Iron Man suit deserves deep deep Kudos ! I wonder how many batteries it took ?
I was also impressed by my friend Malkavian of Brainfreeze who was immaculately dressed as a pony.

But what really got to me were the independent publishers, the small-time companies who still publish comic books, against all odds, for the simple reason of the love for the medium. I'm pretty sure most of them don't break even and still they persevere. My deepest respect goes out to the people at Dropcomics and especially to my friends at Windmill Comics This Dutch team of writers, editors and artists are keeping the spirit of early comic fandom alive. They are the lifeblood of the hobby and I consider them today's Jerry Bails, Don Thomson, Biljo White or Roy Thomas. Thanks guys, may fame and fortune find you some day

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