Monday, February 11, 2008

Long Note About ACE

Well, as I mentioned in my quick post below, I attended the Atlanta Comics Expo over the weekend. Overall, I think it was a good show. Obviously it was not one of the more massive ones like Dragoncon or HeroesCon, but it did have plenty of comic goodness to go around.

Celebrities: Well, there were plenty of comic industry folk around, but the two that stuck out most in my mind were Ethan van Sciver and Michael Golden. Now, I wasn't particularly excited about van Sciver, he was notable to me mostly because my absent friend Joe would have loved to have met him. Unfortunately, he has some sort of thing called a job that kept him away from the convention. Some people, I tell ya. van Sciver is most famous for his work on Green Lantern, and most recently recieved good press for the Sinestro Corps War.

The other big gun was Michael Golden, co-creator of X-Man Rogue and prolific Bronze Age artist. I was interested in him mostly because of his work on Dr. Strange in the late 70's. Unfortunately, I forgot the issue of his that I owned, and none of the ones I picked up at the show were from that era. I did however get a super awesome black and white Dr. Strange/Clea print signed by Mr. Golden. One of these days, I need to get a frame for it and all my other prints.

Dealers: ACE had these a plenty, although I was disappointed by the almost total lack of bargain basement discount bins at the show. There was one booth that had 2/$1 books, and El Jacone and I hit those pretty hard. Another booth had $1 comics, but they only brought Superman, Batman and Spiderman books with them to the show (losers). I did pick up a bunch of good stuff from Columbia, SC retailer Heroes and Dragons. They lacked true bargain bins, but they did have a ton of great mid-priced books that I really appreciated. So did El Jacone, who finally found a bunch of Iron Man issues he'd been looking for.

Events/Panels: I didn't go to any of these, but I'm sure they were fun. I was there to buy comics, thank you very much.

Now, on the what I acutally picked up. Remember in my last post when I said I spent waaaay too much money? Well, now you'll get to see where it all went! (I'll divide these up by fanboy categories, an idea I stole from El Jacone.)

Doctor Strange: Unfortunately, most of the dealers had very little of my poor, unloved Sorcerer Supreme. I did pick up the last issue of Vol. 1 (the series that spun out of Strange Tales and kept its numbering) which is a nice capstone for me. Now all I have to do is work my way down! I did grab a bunch of issues of vol. 3 from the 50 cent bins I mentioned earlier, plus #56 of volume 2 (NOT drawn by Michael Golden, dammit!). Overall, not a lot of Doc action going on, which is okay I guess, considering how much money I've spent on him at previous shows.

Firestorm: I got a really nice copy of Firestorm #1 (the DC "explosion" title ((which I just found out is his first appearance! I would have expected it to be more, in that case, even for Firestorm)) along with #4 of that series for really cheap (no surprise there...) along with a few random issues of his later series. I don't have a large Firestorm collection, so the cheap stuff is just fine for me right now :)

Defenders: One lousy issue! That's all I could find of my beloved non-team! Well, it WAS issue 100, so that's pretty cool, and I wasn't really looking that hard...okay, tantrum over.

Moon Knight: Okay, I got one issue of Moon Knight as well. The pickings were pretty slim, and I was focused on another character (guess who?) so I'm not really upset about this. I'm one issue closer to completing my run of his first series, so there's that, at least.

Random stuff: Man, I went a little crazy this weekend with stuff I don't normally collect. At the Heroes and Dragons booth I ran across a nearly complete run of the Star Trek series Marvel put out to coincide with the release of The Motion Picture. The first issue I found had Kirk holding a gnome in the palm of his hand, while Spock insisted that gnomes were illogical from the background. How can you not love that? HOW?! So, of course, being anal, I had to own the rest of the series as well. I'm currently missing just 3 issues, so I have no doubt I'll be able to complete the run without too much trouble. At the same booth, I picked up What If..? vol.1 #1. I've always been a fan of the weirdness of What if...? so I couldn't resist. At $5, it was well worth it. I also grabbed a couple issues of Justice League Europe from a different booth. Damn my brother for getting me that first issue....

And now, for the fanboy character everyone's been waiting for...GREEN ARROW:

Man, did I drop a ton of cash on our friend the Emerald Archer. Its a really good thing my tax return is coming in soon, lemme tell ya.

Green Lantern/Green Arrow: This is where most of the cash went. I got the very first issue of this run (Green Lantern #76) in absolutely beautiful condition from a dealer I've worked with before, Crazy Ed. Ed, as his name implies, is a crazy person, and his prices are a little steep. Of course, you do get what you pay for; every book he has is quality work in amazing condition. You won't find the shit-tons of mid-90's blagh that clog most dealer's boxes in his booth! To keep #76 company, I also picked up 77,78,82,83,86, and 89, all from Ed. He had more to sell me, of course, but I had no more money to give him. Alas, I may have to wait until HeroesCon in June to finish the run.
However, my regular comic shop also had a booth at the show, and they had a nice copy of 85 for a really good price, so I snagged that as well. At the Heroes and Dragons Booth, I picked up 88 because of the really weird ass cover (Hal and Alan Scott, with a green Pteradactyl (spelling?) between them. Below, Hal punches a giant nutcracker toy) not realizing that is was part of that run. It turns out that it was a reprint "surprise issue" (the surprise being that Neal Adams was late with the art) that doesn't continue the story at all, but it was cheap and I'm a completist, so it went in my bag.

I didn't get the entire run, which makes me sad, but I did get most of the really important bits. I have 85 and 86, which contains the Speedy-is-a-dope-addict storyline, which is without a doubt the most famous arc in that series. I have the very first issue, where it all starts, and the last issue, where it ends. I can fill in the holes later on. Expect my thoughts on these issues once I have time to sit down and read them.

Now, the Adams/O'Neil run may be the 400lb gorilla of my weekend purchases, but I picked up a few odds and ends of the 80's Grell run (where Ollie moves to Seattle) as well. I pulled 6-9 out of the bargain bin at the Borderlands sale last weekend, so I had a good starting point. That particular run went on for quite some time, so I couldn't afford to grab everything. I settled for grabbing the first issue from Ed and filling in the rest of the first ten issues from other dealers. Again, expect my thoughts on those at some point.

All in all, the show was an amazing (if expensive) experience. I own a critical piece of my favorite character's history, I got to hang out and talk comics with El Jacone, and I now have blog fodder for the next several months!

1 comment:

Damian said...

Sweeet score!

But damn these conventions/expos. I've taken jobs/projects just so that I'd have a small fortune to solely blow on whatever con I knew was coming up next.