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Monday, June 26, 2006

Batman on the side

The big problem with collecting complete series is that when you are close to the end you hardly buy any books any more. Sure at the beginning it's all fun, 30 books here, 50 books there...easy when they're not that expensive....but considering issue #1 - #20 of most runs are worth more than the 400 books that follow put together it becomes very slow at the end as you need to consolidate and your dollar only stretches so far.
To counteract this I've always collected a series "on the side"...a cheaper series or a part of a series, just to keep the buying/collecting vibe going. I collected Thor when I was busy getting the last Fantastic Four issues and nearly got all the Thor books in the time it took me to buy 3-4 FF books...Now that I'm in the same situation with Amazing Spider-man I've decided to collect Batman as well...

Yes I know it's DC and yes I know it's hardly a "small,on-the-side-series", but first of all, Batman is so cool he could be a Marvel character (hehe). I've always liked Batman, trouble is that it's such a massive library (66 years and counting )who knows where to start. So I talked to some people and listened to others and I've decided to collect Batman #200 - #350. Most collectors agree that this run contains most of the really good stories/art and are not that hard to track down. I just want to collect the Batman flagship title and not all the satellite books, so from #350 onwards there are a lot of crossovers where you needed to buy 10 different titles a month just to figure out what was going on (which I hate). So up to #350 most sto
ries are self-contained in the "Batman" book...and the reason why I'm starting at#200.....

well here's a typical pre-200 cover

See what I mean ? Because of the success of the TV-series (which I still like to this day) the Batman comic book was really dumbed down....sorry to say 60's Batman comics really suck. The other good period is the very beginning, the early 40's, the pre-gimmick days, but prices of these Golden Age books are in the thousands for a GOOD issue..so maybe in another lifetime.

Meanwhile here are a few examples of the books I've already collected, late Silver to Bronze-age Batman

And yes those are The Beatles on the cover of #222

Monday, June 19, 2006

Doom Doom shake the Room

Ok, continuing from the previous post, here's what I recently got Spider-man wise....
12 Issues to go until I've collected the entire series, so I didn't feel too guilty on spending $ on these puppies....after all they were on my want list

Issue #39 is ju
st a classic book, powerful, iconic cover, Norman Osborne revealed as the Green Goblin..but most important first John Romita issue...the artist that more than anyone (yes, even Ditko) made Amazing Spider-man THE Marvel flagship book and THE penultimate Marvel hero

I also couldn't resist picking up #5 in FINE...it's my earliest ASM to date, but more importantly it's the first showdown between Spidey and good old Doctor Doom.
Being a Doom-head, this was (together with #1) at the very top of my want list and
I was chuffed to finally get this beauty from 1962

Again, to see the larger scans, just click on the thumbs

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mind the gap

So what happened to me the last 2 months....well basically life happened.
I had to cut down on my on-line time due to a heavy work schedule and stuff that needed to be done around the house.

But I didn't stop buying books, just stopped reading them and even looking at them. Yes I'm sad to say that I reached another nadir in my collecting life, the one where you buy books, and when you receive them, you open up the package, look at the
cover and just toss them on a big pile and forget about them for a few weeks....even the expensive ones.
But today I had some time and I started to siff through the books I bought the last 6 weeks..

here's a small sampling...

The two first books were your typical "impulse buys".
I've always loved both of these covers, the Kirby cover on the JIM book (first Absorbing Man) has always been one of the most powerful Kirby JIM covers, the action just flows off the pages...This copy cost me a lot more than I was willing to spend, as it's in much higher grade than I normally pick for my early Silver Age books....but the colours are still amazing. The red is just dripping off the book, almost a "wet paint" look..incredible after 40 years...I'm always willing to pay a little extra if the cover truly is fabulous.

But the real winner is Nick Fury, agent of SHIELD #1...one of Steranko's most famous and best covers ever. It's always been in my cover top-5 and now I'm glad I finally have a copy. You just gotta love his take on composition and pop-art.
The 60's don't ya just love 'em ?

As always, just click on the pics for a bigger version