Sketch Covers

So I'm gonna check with my local guy about any stock he may carry for convention/sketch covers but I wanted to put out an APB on how other folks are coming by their virgin covers to take for sketches. If anyone has a good site/place where they come by good deals or just information on the subject it would certainly be appreciated as the wife and I gear up for next year's conventions. Many thanks to all in advance and Happy Monday.

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Heavy Metal

Any Heavy Metal readers/fans out there ? I have never followed the book - but it's piqued my interest lately. I know it has a rich history - and quite the publication run. That's no small feat for any magazine regardless as to what's being written in it. Anyhow, anyone with opinions on the matter are welcome to chime in.

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First Symbiote I see Tonight

So I have had this long standing discussion with some of my buds about what was the first encounter between Venom and Wolverine. I know, I know - it's geektacular. I get it. All the chortling aside - I'm still rather curious. And nowadays, I'm actually interested in getting the damn book to keep for my collection. I think it's http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?q=marvel+comics+presents+117&pubid=&PubRng= this book, but I'm not quite sure as there's no real mention to it. Should anyone out there have any idea or interest in enlightening yours truly - I'd certainly appreciate it.

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Asylum City

Wife picked up Arkham City for me on Valentine's about a month ago. I know, I know...I've waited a month to get started. Sue me. I had to wait nearly two years to play Asylum and beat it just after the first of the year. Oh well, at least I was able to play.

I gotta say - Asylum was one of the best games I've played in 5 years. Now, I don't play nearly as much as the wife - but whatever she plays (damn near everything) I watch her do so. In terms of its graphics,physical gameplay, story and overall gee whiz factors - truly I cannot equate it to anything I've played in a long damn time.

The best parallel I've been able to summon is akin to a super-hero esque Resident Evil. The first one. The suspense which is built in to the surroundings was tangible. Only back on the fist Resident Evil did I have that sense of anticipation which comes from the horror genre. I could truly gush about Asylum for days, however as it has been something which I'm sure folks have worn the wheels off of lately - I'll just leave it by saying that while only 10 % into City, I am very pleased to see the level of excellence in all aspects continue. Review to follow !

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X - Farm Animals ?

You heard it here first; Marvel unleashes the fury of the farm this fall with Dynamo-Donkey, Corky-Coichon, Haz-mat Quarter Horse and of course their leader Guile-Eye Goat..........

No shit - this is how I feel about a lot of what Marvel does with X books. I've been through the 7 steps already about how any business stays in business - I get the model. Truly, I do. And I want Marvel to stay in business - again for selfish reasons. I'm even willing to step out on a creative limb as a fellow artist and say it's a good thing to take risks and try new things as it grows and expands your repertoire. All of these caveats over and done with - I'm still frustrated at how the X universe gets managed at the front offices.

Each of us has got at least one if not more X characters we like to follow on with. Having 20 plus characters on one title makes for folks not getting to see their favorite every month as you try to make room for character development. So you come up with launching a second or third title to manage all of these stories. That much I agree and encourage. But - right now, I couldn't tell you who's on what X team other than Uncanny or X-Factor. And even those barely. Hell I can follow Factor better than Uncanny, which is a direct result of David's writing.

Uncanny, Factor, Force - all of these have legitimate goals as an organization. They have defined missions and personalities whom fit their organizations as a result of being well developed characters. I have no clue why it's being called 'Wolverine and the X-Men or X-Men: Legacy'. The former aren't any longer X-Men or if they would have themselves be then I'd like it if Marvel would carve them a unique moniker to identify themselves with. Same with Legacy.

Truth told though; as a reader, fan and collector I'd prefer it to cap at 3 or 4 titles. Not 6 or whatever it is now. Rotating 10 characters within those titles at a time is enough. I get it that there are more than 30 total. Oh well. You saturate the same market that clamors for more of your product and you run a different risk of having too much product without enough demand or worse yet, create a stagnant pool of interest in your creative product. Going to the well again and again in any branch of entertainment industry is a recipe for red numbers in quarterly reports.

The compromise is to have a solid rotation and years worth of story arch planning which implements new characters into the titles and some out as they move on. Define the damn titles; give them purpose within themselves and capable of independent action/stories. Provide fans of each reasons they follow them separately. Ditch any un-necessary titles that flood the market. That's it. Oh, before I go though - bring the original numbering back to Uncanny. Thanks.

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CGC, PGX and other 3 letter acronyms

So, after a little over 10 years now of CGC and all the early naysayers of its viability or impending vulnerability due to outside low balling competitors we've really seen only one company stand up to the industry leader. With PGX having been on the scene now for several years as at least a viable competitor I was curious to ask some of the fellow fans out there what their informed thoughts were.

I have trolled all over forums and search engines to see whether there was a discernible difference in professional opinion over the quality of services offered but have yet to really come up with a comprehensive answer. I myself have only ever gone through CGC to submit books for grading and have done so since their inception. Yet even in reading PGX comics or CGC - there's really not much with which to go by. You hate to start asking them to list their graders and their professional resume - but really is it that much different then than having an all star line up on your favorite fantasy team ?

Within any industry - you want to have the best working for you. You also want to have competitive prices at a margin to induce consumers to your product. It astounds me though - a decade later - that we don't have a truly cohesive way to evaluate the respective companies. These are, however, my rambling thoughts - and besides, my wife tells me its about time for my nap and to not worry so much. All your thoughts are welcome !

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