I've always told myself that of all the things I'd order online, comics wouldn't be one of them. It just seems too risky, and unfortunately, I've learned my lesson the hard way.
I recently bought Black Summer and No Hero from Amazon, and I knew that Supergod was the third piece to this whole puzzle. My friend had told me about this place, Midtown Comics, where you could order comics...and particularly that they had their back issues for up to 40% off. That included variants, and if it's one thing I want from my Ellis comics, it is variant covers. They had all of the Church of the Supergod sketch variants for cheap, about $4.00 a piece. I couldn't pass it up. I picked up some other stuff that I had missed: Deadpool Pulp #1-4, Starborn #1, Soldier Zero #3, and Madman Vol. 2.
A few days later, my comics come in the mail, and upon opening Supergod #1, I am greeted TO TWO RIPPED PAGES!!! This was a comic that was sold under the impression that it was a "Near Mint" copy. Near Mint, folks. That does NOT mean it comes with two ripped pages, both of which take up at least a quarter of the page. Moreover, it was like this IN THE BAG! That means they shipped this to me knowing full good and well that they sent me a product that does not meet up to what they stated it was.
Obviously, this will not suffice, so I contact their customer service. Well, I think the more appropriate term is "I tried to do live chat with a customer service rep but it said they were offline so I sent some kind of a message, got an e-mail with a ticket number that I have no clue where to enter in order to track the progress of my complaint so for all I know they could leave me up in the air". I state that I'm an unsatisfied customer, and that as a first time buyer, it really discourages me from not only ordering from them again, but also ordering from ANYONE online again for my comic book needs.
I get a reply e-mail today. "You have been credited $3.66 to your account. We're sorry for the inconvenience."
Okay, I'm sorry. THIS is customer service? I tell you that you've sent me a faulty product, and you tell me "HEY, THANKS FOR THE MONEY, SORRY WE LIED, HERE IS SOME MONEY TO MAKE UP FOR THAT KTHXBAI"?! I send ANOTHER complaint to let them know that they didn't even know the condition of the book that they sent, and why in the HELL would I buy from the company again? I want to know that they were wrong about the order they sent to me, and I want them to acknowledge that. Credit? YOU SENT ME A FAULTY PRODUCT ALREADY! WHY WOULD I BUY FROM YOU AGAIN?! Sure, the other products were in fine condition, but that does not change this incredibly dissatisfying experience.
I'm sure some server bot will say some stupid standardized letter crap and my chances of doing anything else here is boned. However, it's just not right. It needs to be known that there is a company who doesn't pay attention to what they are doing, send out products under false pretense, and then make no effort to say "hey, you matter as a customer and we'd like to keep doing business with you".
In turn, I hit up eBay, and I found someone WHO ACTUALLY E-MAILS ME that has issues #1 AND #2 in the Church of the Supergod variant (Midtown didn't even have #2 in variant), and they even went as far as to send me at-that-moment photos of the comics to make sure that I was not getting screwed. THAT person will continue to get my business. THAT one single solitary person WANTS my satisfaction, my positive feedback rating, and my business. THAT is what is giving me confidence in ordering any comics online again.
Is it just me, though? Has anyone else been screwed by Midtown like this before?
Recently, aztek the lost commented to me on Freeman's review of issue #6 of Daytripper that he felt I might be spoiling a massive plot point about the Daytripper series. I would say "if you don't want to know what that is, then don't look at the upcoming spoiler tag"...but I won't say that. There will be no spoiler tag. I don't feel what I'm about to say is at all a spoiler, but it is a necessity.
The lead character of Daytripper, Bras de Oliva Domingo, dies at the end of every issue.
I know what you might be asking (for the few people who are actually reading this anyways...and even then, many will say tl;dr anyways). "Josh, why the hell would you be posting that...and saying it's NOT a spoiler?"
If anyone feels that it IS a spoiler, I'm more than happy to contain it in spoiler tags, but it's difficult to speak about the stories that these books are actually talking about without bringing up the fact that its lead character meets his very untimely demise by the last page of every single book you are buying.
I haven't written my own user reviews for the first three books in the series, as I didn't really care to write reviews. I did it for three years with video games, and it was a chore. It also made me hate video games for a while, but luckily that has since changed. However, once I read the fourth issue, I had to write a review. It has since made me realize that reviewing books is something exciting for me, as it's a very different kind of reviewing.
In my user review for #4, I point out that I cried at the end of the story. This is literal, folks. Balling like a sissy, grabbed a bottle of scotch and had a couple glasses, sat on my bed and thought about my life...CRYING. It is VERY rare that something has that level of impact on me personally. Combining issue #3 and #4, it made it even more resonant for me. Here's why:
In issue #3, he's 28 and alone, and gotta say - I'm in the same boat. The outlook for the future? Not so great. Mind you, it's different than Bras' situation, but I could completely understand his feelings of loneliness. He ends up meeting a glimpse of a woman that feels comfortable, safe, and more than anything, feels like the potential of forever.
Then he dies...and that hits really hard on a very emotional and personal level for me.
Then you move into issue #4, where Bras is 41 and married to the girl he caught that glimpse of at the end of #3. He's expecting his first child, and then finds out his father passed away when he gets to the hospital on this joyous occasion. It takes a very somber tone after that. Moreover, the fact that his father has died...and he's expecting a child...COUPLED with the knowledge that Bras dies at the end of every issue... Man, that was a hard issue to swallow, as I've personally wanted kids for a long time, but the chances of that happening are also very slim. The way he dies in that book...without ever seeing his child... Words cannot even express...
The idea of Daytripper to me is that the death makes the moments of life more meaningful. In my review for issue #5, I pointed out that I felt like Bras' death felt like it was becoming more of a gimmick because I didn't feel the emotional pull the same way I did in #3 and #4. I've come to realize that I didn't NEED to feel the emotional pull of the death, as knowing that he was going to die...even at 11 years old...impacted the way I looked at these tiny moments in his life.
The knowledge of death makes the artwork in those panels, every little detail of them, spring off the pages. It's one of the few books where sitting for a few moments, staring at that panel, really taking it in...it makes a world of difference.
Hell, when I go back and look at Tony's review of the first issue, he refuses to spoil the ending to it because he didn't know where the series was going. We didn't know this was going to become an ongoing thing in the books. Now that we DO know it's an ongoing thing, I wish he WOULD'VE told us about it in that review. I've gone back and read these books at least 10 times each now (well, except #6, still haven't gotten to pick it up yet). Every single one of these issues has so much interlocking stuff, and the chronology that Fabio Moon has picked to tell this story in is just so godd*#n brilliant! I don't think I would've cared so much about issue #4 without the events of issue #3.
We talk so much as comic fans about how a character's death has become something cheap, used as a device to reel us in with its setup of "oh hey, one of these major characters is going to die". Despite the fact that we know they've got a 99% chance of being resurrected somehow. Moon does the unimaginable: he gives us a character where his death makes a stronger impact on the story being told every time. It's such an odd thing to see unfold, but when you are aware that Bras is gonna bite it, you realize that you are attaching yourself stronger to the moments because you have to take them in.
Therefore, I don't think it's a spoiler at all saying "Bras, the lead character of Daytripper, dies at the end of every issue". If anything, I think letting people know that information makes the books even stronger than if you try to hide that fact. Daytripper is a peek into our own mortality, a way of reminding us "Death is coming for you, make the most of it while you can, and enjoy the little things". Without Bras' death, what kind of book would we be left with? Stories of life that simply hold less impact.
Since no one reads these damn things anyways, I figure I won't bother attaching them to the forums. Instead, I'll just use it as my own personal diary. Anyways...
Got a prize package from Archaia today due to winning a contest they had on Twitter (giving a review in under 140 characters of any Archaia book). Not only did I net me a sweet Archaia shirt, but I also nabbed some new stuff to read...WHICH IS GOOD since I don't have a ton of money for anything personal right now. Included were the following:
I've really wanted to check out Awakening, although I didn't really dig the art from the previews I had seen. Nonetheless, the story seemed interesting. As for Robotika, I also wanted to check that out badly, as it gave off a very Aeon Flux kind of vibe to me. I didn't really have any interest in Titanium Rain or The Devil's Handshake, but now that I've got them...I DO have an interest. LOL Meanwhile, receiving this package made me realize yet again how psyched I am about the release of Tumor in hardcover...as well as Mouse Guard Black Axe next year!
In the meanwhile, I finally got to read Criminal: Bad Night, which means I'm all caught up and ready to dig into the two issues of The Sinners that are currently out. I really wish Brubaker could get on a more solid release schedule for Criminal, but I also realize that the dood is pretty busy with Captain America Reborn. That should be finishing up soon enough, though, and hopefully he'll be able to put some more focus on Criminal and Incognito after that. Speaking of Incognito, I'm debating on whether I should pick up the TPB when it hits or just stick with the single issues I've got. Opinions?
Last but not least, I'm saddened to see that the initial release date of December that I had seen for the Kick-Ass trade has been pushed back to February. *le sigh* I swear that it feels like I'll never get to read that damn book. The real question, though, is whether I get the paperback or the hardcover. Is it good enough to warrant what will most likely be a $30+ price tag for Kick-Ass? Is it really that good?
Also, I'm curious about picking up Sweet Tooth. They look interesting...to say the least...but I haven't heard anyone actually say anything about them. Is it any good so far?
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My profile over here has been little else but Twitter feeds and status updates as of late (while I'm slowly working towards being the first person on Giant Bomb to hit 10K posts). With the holiday season kicking in...and the fact that I work at a PC and Xbox 360 gaming center...it means that my time is spread pretty thin with all the new games that are being released *cough*MODERNWARFARE2*uncough*. However, it doesn't mean I've been taking my comic reading lightly. I just haven't been writing about it.
A lot of that is because I'm still catching up on things that you guys have probably already gotten WAAAAAY past. Here's a bullet list...because I like bullet lists:
Blackest Night - Green Lantern Corps #41 was good. Green Lantern #47 was really good. Blackest Night #4 was eh. I hate to say it, but I'm getting less interested in BN right now. Maybe it's because I'm ready to start reading BN: Flash and BN: JSA...and BN: Starman. I've also got BN: Superman #3 sitting around, but the shop STILL hasn't gotten copies of BN: Supes #2. Grr. HOWEVER, they finally got BN: Bats #2 in again, so I was able to finish off the BN: Batman set. Gotta say...kinda disappointed by the end of that. Thought it would play out better. I haven't been reading the core Batman books, only Batman & Robin. That's solely because they don't have all the issues from after Battle/R.I.P. *le sigh*
Preacher - I'm continuing to plow through the trades on that. Up to Vol.6 now. Vol.4 was alright, but I didn't really care about side stories for Arseface and the hillbilly bumpkins of Jesse's past. Vol.5 was excellent though. The only thing I can say is "HUMPERDUMPER DIDO!".
Criminal - I finally picked up Lawless in singles, as well as the one-shots for Gnarly, Teeg, and Danica. Those one-shots were some of the most gripping pieces of literature I've read in a long time, and Criminal has easily become one of my favorite books ever! Hopefully, my Bad Night trade will make it to my hands soon. I haven't started on The Sinners because I wanna finish up on all the previous stuff first.
Sleeper Season One - Got the trade for this, and man...it's a tough read. Very disjointed timeline, which I like...but my sleep schedule means I'm usually reading comics when I'm half-awake, and this is definitely NOT a book to read when you are half-awake.
The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home - Picked all 5 singles up for $11.00 (three of the issues were in the $1 bin at the shop, SWEET). I'll get around to reading those this week.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan - Homie at the shop let me crack open a used copy of the HC they got back (the dood complained about it being $35 and having few word bubbles). Gotta say...that's a pretty fun book...but definitely not going to spend $35 on that damn HC.
The Marvelous Land of Oz #1- As G-Man has said...if you haven't picked that up yet...do it!!! I was thoroughly impressed with the work that Shanower and Young did on Wizard of Oz, and this is no exception. Suffice it to say...I might like this more than I did the previous! Really looking forward to the big reveal in this book, as I think it'll shock some people who aren't familiar with the story at all. hehehe I'm also psyched that this is selling so well, as it means there is a strong chance that the duo will do Ozma of Oz, which is a GREAT book!
Fables - I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm going to be picking up the Vol.1 trade pretty soon (since it's only $10...thank God for Vertigo's cheap trade pricing). I've heard nothing but good things about this series, so I gotta see what the hubbub is all about.
Scalped - Brubaker mentioned this in the back of one of his Criminal issues, so I think I'm going to have to check it out...since that guy seems to have pretty good tastes.
Sadly, though, I'm gonna have to start slowing my roll on comics for a bit. That just means I'm not going to be able to buy as many per week. hehehe My car ('93 Mustang) has had a cracked head since July...which if you know anything about cars, that's just damn near insane and impossible to believe! Still runs like a dream, lawl...but now that I've written this, I'm sure that I've jinxed it. Nonetheless, a remanufactured head would run me about $300, but I found a 302-carburated with a transmission...only 33k miles on them...for $600!!! That's two months of saving, but the guy is going to hold onto it for me until I've got the money together. I can't wait. My dream has been to get this car some performance going, and personally...I don't believe in global warming. I believe in fast cars. I'm from Texas. = D From there, I'll probably be spending more time dumping money into my car finally so I can take it out to the amateurs at Ennis and/or local drags at Prairie Hill. Hopefully, this is the start of what I've been waiting for.
This week's escapades at the shop involved me picking up the six issues of Incognito by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, as well as more Blackest Night stuff.
One of the guys that works at the shop, who attested to being a hardcore Vertigo fan, said that he really liked the stuff coming out of the Icon imprint, and after we talked for about an hour about comics in general and what each of us like, he told me that picking up Incognito was essential for me. Man, was he right about that! I really enjoyed these comics, as it's got just enough grit to it but still holds onto a relatively noir-ish feeling. The character of Zack Overkill is probably one of my favorite new characters, just because he's so balls to the wall. What made the issues cooler was the explanations of old pulps in the back of each issue, like Doc Savage and The Shadow. Luckily, my grandfather would tell me about those characters, and even showed me a couple of pulps that he had in a safe deposit box. Since I was a kid, I knew a little bit about those two specifically, but being so young, I didn't comprehend a lot of what was going on. Still, Incognito definitely has me wanting to pick up the Criminal stuff and even hunt down Sleeper. Now I see why people like Brubaker's stuff so much...
As for Blackest Night, I picked up Green Lantern issues 43-46, as well as Green Lantern Corps 39 & 40. I'm still waiting for more copies of BN Batman #2 to come in, as they still only have the variant cover for it.
I also put out an order for Preacher Vol. 3 so I can continue on with that story. I don't typically like Garth Ennis, as his writing is a bit too...dense...for me sometimes. I really enjoy Preacher so far, but his Punisher stuff...I just really couldn't get into it. I know that a lot of people would probably want to throw me in the town square and stone me to death for saying that, but he's got this writing style that I just can't quite get into. Meanwhile, with Preacher, I still see elements of that...but it's so damn funny and so damn vulgar that it reaches out to my twisted senses.
Short blog this week. Hopefully, I'll actually read some stuff this coming week.
After going by Bankston's today (my local comic shop), I quickly realized something: while I am finding myself getting back into comics...I'm going to need somewhere to put them all at this point. Just between my previous collection of stuff that I still had and the new stuff I've gotten, I also quickly realized that I might need ANOTHER bookcase pretty soon. LOL
This week in "jakob187 catches up with everyone else as best as he can", I picked up the four issues of Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin as well as the Secret Invasion TPB.
I gotta say that I'm really digging Batman & Robin, to the point that I'm ready for more issues to be out, like, yesterday. I also now understand why people are saying that it's a shame to see Frank Quitely not doing the interior art on that series. While I really liked Phillip Tan's art on issue #4, I don't feel like it does justice to the moments shared between Dick and Damian. I really enjoy the way that Morrison has caught this underlying sadness in both of the characters: Grayson as the one-time protege who now has to take up the mantle for his former mentor, and Damian as the "too tough to cry" kiddo. Their exchanges are excellent, and it's nice to see Robin not being a little weenie for once! I have to agree with the Comic Vine review: Damian spouting the line "Whose neck to I break first?" after being captured by Pyg was PRICELESS, and for me, it really makes me feel like Robin is a must more important character than he ever felt like before. Either way, the four issues alone were incredibly amusing, and I really want to go read Final Crisis and Battle for the Cowl just so I can kind of understand what exactly has happened through all of that in order to lead into this.
This raises a question from me to the Comic Vine community: I was about to pick up the All Star Batman and Robin TPB from Miller/Lee, but I have heard some not-so-flattering things about that. Does it run along with this stuff, or is that a separate thing altogether? Also...Batman R.I.P....how important is that to read compared to Final Crisis and Battle for the Cowl?
Moving on...Secret Invasion. So, last week, I finally read Civil War. That was a mind-blower for me! I really enjoyed Millar and McNiven's work on that...as it would seem many many MANY others have also. This week, I decided to pick up the Secret Invasion TPB to try and catch up with the Marvel Universe a bit more. I have to say that while there were some great twists in that, and it really had me going, I couldn't get into it as much as I could with Civil War. This was simply due to the fact that most of the artwork was cluttered to me, and to go beyond that, I didn't enjoy Yu's take on some characters - particularly Spider-Man. While he is a good artist and has his own unique style, I found myself kind of sneering at images of Wolverine and Spider-Man and even at one point Captain America and thinking "that's just not right". Now, the clutter of the panels is easily understandable to me: huge ensemble cast of characters + massive Skrull invasion destroying stuff = clutter. It's a simple formula. However, it made me realize that I have a very specific form of panel-style that I like: I need something that is very character-driven rather than action-driven. The event means less to me than how the characters react to it. There were a few moments that I really enjoyed in the book, especially after the Skrull invasion was done with and Thor had his words with Tony, but other than that, it felt like too little talk and too much action. There wasn't enough of a balance for me. It was still a good read, though, so I can't complain too much...and it's getting me closer and closer to being a bit more caught-up.
Aside from that, I have to say that I was excited to hear that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young found its way to #9 on the NYT Best-sellers!!! My HC should FINALLY be in sometime this week, and then next week, I should have Mouse Guard Fall 1152 in my hands. I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about both of these coming in! I keep looking up Skottie Young's artwork for the Wizard of Oz stuff and just drop my jaw at how well it fits with a 109-year-old story!
Last but not least, I was saddened to find out that Bankston's had all the Old Man Logan stuff EXCEPT issue #68, and it was on an indefinite back order. Therefore, it looks like I'm going to have to wait for the TPB/HC to finally come out for that. I was also sad to find out that issues #4 and 5 for Kick-Ass weren't available at the moment, but they have them on order and they should be in next week as well, so I should be picking up all the back issues for Kick-Ass next week along with Mouse Guard Fall 1152...if my money allows me to. = /
As I've stated before, I haven't really read comics in a LOOONG time. Aside from a couple of story arcs that I got in big and bulky paperback form, the last comics I read involved Wolverine losing his adamantium. Yeah, I fell off the horse pretty hard, folks. Luckily, I was sent a new lease on the world of comics...literally (and thank you for your graciousness indeed, ma'am).
So, Mouse Guard...WOW! After going through the first two issues of Winter 1152, I was psyched to check out the rest of the story. Unfortunately, the local comic shop didn't have the hardcover collection or all of the individual issues for it, but Books-A-Million came through. Gotta say...DAYUM! That book is excellent storytelling, excellent artwork, excellent character development. I mean, it's amazing what David Petersen can fit into 192 pages. That almost sounds weird to say - "only 192 pages". However, Petersen doesn't have to use 1,000 words a page to get the character development out to the user. A few panels and some well-written dialogue later, I get the point loud and clear. That's an incredibly difficult thing to do, and I can see why this is such a treasured book in the Archaia lineup. I've got Fall 1152 on order, should be here around the first of the month. Can't wait, and given the ending of Winter 1152, I'm waiting with baited breath for Black Axe next year!
I also got to partake in a handful of single issues from the Archaia lineup, and I dig what they do. Very nifty stuff, and I'm going to be picking up a handful more of their hardcovers...particularly The Killer Volume One and the Okko hardcovers. I'll be getting down on that Artesia Besieged issue and the Gunnerkripp Court volume sometime tomorrow.
Since I picked up Mouse Guard at the evil corporate monster, I decided to stop by the local comic store (Bankston's) and check it out. It's been quite a long time since I stepped foot in that store, with the last time being a purchase for a Magic The Gathering Ice Age starter deck. I felt SOOOOO overwhelmed! There's just so much to take in. With all the back issues from yesteryear, current issues lining every shelf, new stickers everywhere and last week stickers just as often, I was so lost! The guys at the counter felt bad for me!!! I had to giggle, and I was sweating pretty badly (which I was worried about them kicking me out for that alone...I wouldn't want a sweaty dood's hand touching some comics for sale). I decided that this would be where I could get into the meaty stuff: Civil War and Blackest Night. I asked which one took less back-reading to get into. Very quickly, both said "Civil War". Therefore, I picked up the hardcover for Civil War. Now, I know what you're saying: "Dood, you paid $40 for the hardcover when you could've paid $25 for the trade?!". This is the point where I have to let everyone one that I'm a fiend for special features, which is why I prefer getting things in hardcover collections. Well, that and I just don't have a whole lot of room to put a bunch of bag-n-board boxes...and the hardcovers look really bad ass on the bookshelf. = D
I haven't read a ton of Millar's work (although I continued to eyeball Superman: Red Son and the Kick-Ass individuals for quite a while), but if Civil War is any indication of his abilities, then BAWLIN'! That stuff was heavy to take on (again, given that I haven't read comics in a while), and there was definitely a good amount that went over my head. Luckily, I've got plenty of time to research the events around it, read the comics that go into those details, and the time to really try to wrap my head around all of this. Any suggestions about where to go for that stuff would be greatly appreciated from y'all.
While I was at Bankston's, I also happened to order a copy of Marvel's hardcover for Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This collection has worried me, as I'm an avid fan of Oz (I've read Baum's 13 books, as well as a good number of Plumley's work on the franchise...not much past the 27th book or so, though). They had an issue from the collection, so I read through that. After seeing G-Man's review (and him responding that Dorothy's slippers ARE silver in it and that they didn't screw the Tin Man's origins up)...as well as reading that one issue...I'm so psyched for it to come in. The artwork was gorgeous, very much in the vein of what Baum would've had illustrated in his books. The story in that one issue was very faithful to the original source material, which made me happy. I'm just taken aback that someone would do such a respectful job, and I can't wait to read the rest of it.
So, with that in mind, sorry for reviewing a bunch of old stuff that y'all have probably read and forgotten about already! lol Hopefully, I'll be caught up to some new stuff soon enough. Next week, I'll be picking up the Green Lantern: Rebirth trade and try to get into this Blackest Night stuff. = D
Howdy, everyone! I am jakob187, and I wanted to just make an introductory blog to introduce myself.
I'm a regular at Giant Bomb (one of the top 3 forum posters), and I've decided to start splitting my time between that and Comic Vine. I'm a big music, movie, and video game fan. It's been a longtime since I've used the word "comic fan", as I've been out of the loop for a long time. I still pick up the occassional graphic novel and such, but I ran into a problem. See, back in my day, there was DC and Marvel. Image was just starting with Spawn. I remember when issue #1 LAUNCHED, and it was a nutty time. After that, so many comic companies started coming around, and there was a relative lack of interest in Marvel and DC stuff. I think the last comic series I bought a newsstand issue for was the Fatal Attractions crossover stuff for Marvel. Regardless, I love me some comics and graphics.
I've recently started getting back into comics more, but the other problem is that I don't know where to start. My tastes tend to lean more towards DC nowadays, because I realized that I liked their characters more than Marvel in a lot of respects. For instance, I've really wanted to start reading the stuff coming out for Blackest Night, but I don't know where to start!!! I'm sure that once I get familiar with all of the features here on Comic Vine, I'll be getting back into comics in no time!!!
So why the splitting of time between GB and CV? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my video games, as I work at a network gaming center. However, I have realized that there seems to be too many good comics coming out that I just don't want to ignore.
Therefore, any suggestions for really good story arcs (I prefer arcs rather than individual issues, unless the individual issues are worthwhile) would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully, I can become a decent member of the Comic Vine community. Thanks.
*EDIT* P.S. - I just read the rules, found out "no cussing on the forums"! Had to go check everything I've written so far to make sure I didn't!!! If you know me from GB, then you know that I can let it flow if need be. Man, it's gonna be weird dualing between the two now. lol