Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Been Fun...

I'm going to take a page out of my buddy Sean Maher's blog and call 'er quits. For now anyway. It's not something I want to do, but I'm not a big fan of doing anything half-ass, and with so much on my plate right now, I simply can't give this site the attention it needs. My goal is to be a published writer, and while this has been great experience, it's only holding me up from my real goals (if I ever want a signed first edition of my first book, I need to write that book first).

But rest assured, I'll still be buying. Always hunting and buying. Heck, I just spent $50 on the bay last night, dabbling in the graded football card market for the first time. So believe me, I'll never give up, never surrender.

Thanks to all of those who supported me in this endeavor, especially during my time of need known as the month of Cold Turkey. I learned a lot, but let's face it, haven't changed one damn bit. But that's okay, I'm pretty damn cool already.

The Collector's Mentality. It's been a fun ride. One that'll continue for the rest of my life, it just won't be written down.

Take care,

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back in the Saddle

“How does it feel to be buying again?” Stephanie asked yesterday afternoon.

“You must’ve read my last blog entry,” I said, knowing that I hadn’t yet talked to her about my recent binge on eBay and at DCBS.

“No, I can just hear it in your voice.”

”What does that mean?” I asked, sure that my voice hadn’t changed one bit.

“You sound happy. I figured it was because you finally bought something.”

That woman knows me too well. And I love her for it.
Remember that Hornung autograph card I bid on while in a drunken stupor? I failed to win the auction. Make of that what you will.
After four stores and over 50 books, I finally found a copy of Hunters of Dune that had the autographs. Along the way I also bought the new Star Wars paperback, Bloodlines, which I’ll never read, and Lombardi and Me, which I will.

Lucky for me, the limited edition Dune copy I picked up is numbered 7580. I always like to have my serial numbers end in 0. Unfortunately, however, I could only find copies with the blue ink. There are 6,999 other copies signed in blue ink. Now the question is will I hunt down one with green ink (2900 copies), purple ink (74 copies), or red ink (26 lettered copies). I certainly hope I look no further, but with me, don’t count out a set of all four.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cold Turkey: A Wrap (Mmm, Cold Turkey Wrap...)

“As we know from Mel Gibson, when you're drunk, your true self surfaces.” At least, that’s what my buddy Jason thinks. I’ll let the fact that he’s never been drunk slide for the time being because I think he has a point. For me, I guess it just goes to show that once a collector, always a collector.

On the one hand I’m a little disappointed in myself. Not so much for faltering so close to the finish line, but more because I had the setup for the perfect story. A collector gives up everything he knows for 30 days only to be put to the real test mere hours before the experiment concludes. Does he finish strong and resist temptation, or do his weaknesses get the better of him?

I guess we’ll never know since my weakness turned out to be a combination of Captain Morgan’s rum, Coke, and eBay. While some men get drunk and cheat on their wives or get DUIs and curse the Jewish community, I hop on the computer and spend money buying cardboard. Who knew?

“At least you learned some things about yourself, though,” Jason said, as if consoling a recovering alcoholic who recently picked up the bottle. “It was an interesting experiment. I look forward to your further thoughts about it in your blog. Your conclusions. Whatever...”

What’s odd is that despite caving in Saturday night, I didn’t do a damn thing differently on Sunday than I had the rest of the month. I was expecting this mad rush of spending around town. Sure, I had a slight interest to hop on eBay or head to the local comic shop or bookstore, but I didn’t feel the urge I normally have while bored on the weekend. Then again today I passed right past a Barnes and Noble and a Borders on my way to lunch, and I didn’t even second guess my decision to pass right on by.

Of course, then I got home this afternoon. Within 30 minutes of walking in the door I had won two auctions on eBay (Packers card sets) and placed my next month’s DCBS order ($145 after shipping). At first I felt a little sick to my stomach, like a binge eater knowing he’s going to regret everything he puts in his mouth. I couldn’t stop myself.

No, that’s not exactly right because I didn’t want to stop myself. And why should I want to? This is what I do. This is who I am. I’ll admit, it felt awkward at first. Like riding a bike after your broken leg finally recovers. It might’ve taken me a little longer to click that Bid Now button, but once I did, I knew I was back.

Once a collector, always a collector.

This is my 100th post on The Collector’s Mentality. What better way to celebrate my anniversary on my collecting blog than with a post about my first purchases in almost a month? What better way to say “Hell yeah I have the collector’s mentality; what are you gonna do about it?”

When I created this blog, I set out to learn a little about myself and hopefully have a spot of fun along the way. I’ve certainly done both, and I hope you have too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Twenty-Seven

Last night some friends and I went out to help a friend celebrate his upcoming marriage by getting him drunk. Of course, as with most bachelor parties, the entire crew got drunk too. I was no exception. It was a great time, and it was nice just to hang out with my brother, which I don’t do nearly enough.

When I got home, I wanted to avoid the dreaded bed spins so I grabbed a bottle of water, popped a couple of ibuprofen, and hopped online to waste some time by checking my email and getting the scores and highlights from the night’s preseason games. Although I admit to being a little fuzzy on the details, I remember two things happening after I surfed First, I remember reading my eBay watch list, which, after almost a month of going cold turkey, only had one auction listed. The second thing I remember was checking my email and finding one from eBay that stated I was the current high bidder on that damn Hornung card.


So here I am, Sunday morning, debating what this means. I guess technically I’ve officially lost the bet I had with myself. Regardless of circumstance, I bid on a collectible and that’s not allowed by the rules I created for this experiment. At the same time, though, I’m wondering if I can go back to eBay and cancel my bid and consider myself still in the mix. I mean, I was drunk. Can’t fault a guy for slipping up after a few too many captain and cokes, right?

Then again, if I do just accept defeat, that’d mean I can finally end this silly thing and go to the comic shop or pick up that Dune book.

So what’s the consensus? Is it still on, or did my drunken mistake only prove that I indeed couldn’t go a whole month without buying a collectible?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Twenty-Four

Bloody Hell. The collecting gods have proven to be a jealous, vengeful lot. I’ve wondered when they’d play a role in my abstinence. From the looks of it, the time is now. Just as I began to feel like they would let me off the hook for my little experiment, they’ve brought in the big guns to force my hand during these final days, days filled with weakness and temptation.

Remember that Hornung card I mentioned yesterday? The one I’ve had on my to-buy list for three years? The one I’ve only seen once during that span? Well, the collecting gods have played the cruelest of jokes by making the auction for said rare card end just hours before my collecting fast comes to an end. Those bastards!

Of course, my good friend Jason, a fellow collector who doubted me from the beginning, is getting a kick out of it. “Oh, man, that's rich,” he said this morning. “An essential purchase is tempting you at the very ass end of your abstinence. If you purchase this little card, you fail, right? No ifs, ands, or buts about it, no ‘Close enough.’ If you buy that thing, you've failed. Hahaha. Oh, I can't wait to hear what you do.”

Not only are the gods against me, but so are my friends.

I of course has several excuses for any decision I were to make. “Yeah, it would be a failure if you look at the calendar, but not if you look in my heart,” I said, wondering where that saccharin, new age crap came from.

“Let the rationalizations begin!” he shouted.


I’m at a loss. I honestly feel that I’ve kicked the collecting thing. I’ve proven to myself that I can live without. Or at the very least, I can live without having right now. Yet here I am facing the ultimate temptation. If I buy that Hornung card, it’ll be as if I spent the entire month proving just the opposite of what I set out to do in the first place: to show that I don’t need anything. But fuck it all to hell; do I really want to hunt for that card for another three years just to prove a point? I mean, it’s only three hours. If I lived overseas, it’d already be 30 full days.

Argh! Collecting gods, why have you spited me?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Twenty-Three

So, that Dune book release date came and went with nary an urge on this collector’s part. I’m still considering it, but I can hold out heading to the book shop for another week, no problem. More even. Amazing how those quick “buy now” impulses just fade away when you don’t give into them right away.

But there are a couple of things on the horizon that might tempt me as I come down the home stretch. The first includes a couple of graphic novels: The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobsen and Ernie Colon, and Lost Girls by Moore and Melinda Gebbie. I’m interested in reading both but haven’t made a move on either because I didn’t feel an urge to have them right this instant. Until now. Turns out there’s talk of second prints on both, and with 9/11 flying off the shelves around the country and with Lost Girls being pushed heavily, I’d be a fool not to go out and buy a copy of both as soon as I can.

The other thing I see that might tempt me at the final hour of this damn thing is an autographed Paul Hornung card numbered to only 25. According to an email I got, it’s on eBay right now (I can’t access eBay at work, or I’d already have checked). This card has been on my list for over three years. This is only the second one I’ve seen since I started hunting. I’m just hoping that it’s a ten day auction so its purchase can be made next month to ease my conscious and prove those naysayers wrong. If not, will I let this one slide through my fingers just to prove a point? Not bloody likely.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Twenty-One

Twenty-one days into my experiment and I’m finally seeing something I might be interested in enough to test my resolve on this whole cold turkey thing. And honestly, I don’t even see that happening.

On Tuesday, Hunters of Dune hits the stands. It’s part one of the final chapter of the Dune saga, which alone wouldn’t be enough to pique my interest (especially since it'll be on the bargain table in no time). Sure, I want to buy a pristine copy of the book so I can not read it just like the other Dune prequel books, but what makes this one somewhat special is that there are 10,000 signed and numbered copies randomly sent out to book stores.

I don’t know what to expect. Can I wait another 10 days before I head to Borders and Barnes & Noble to hunt for my autographed copy? Or will there be other freaks out there making that mad rush the hour the book hits the stands? I might have to go to the bookstores tomorrow just to get a lay of the land. If they are readily available, I have time. If I find one in five stores I visit, then I might need to break my collectible fast and move on with my life.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Sixteen

I make myself sick. Here I am not purchasing any collectible for a full month and instead of saving money I’m spending it hand over fist. That pisses me off. Instead of going into my next paycheck with well over $200 in my “extra money” account, I’m heading down the home stretch with less than $10.

Why? How could this happen? Because I’m lazy, weak, and I can’t say no to woman giving me puppy dog eyes. Here, let me explain….

In the last eight days, I’ve eaten breakfast or lunch at work 12 times. At roughly $4 a meal, that’s $50 right there. Instead of waking a few minutes earlier and making lunch or eating breakfast at home, I’ve spent an extra $50 I shouldn’t have been spending. Just because I’m lazy I’ve managed to whittle away any savings I might’ve had doing this stupid experiment.

Of course, I can’t blame my belly for everything. No, for whatever reason, I decided August was the time to buy boxer shorts and socks. God, when did clothes no one else sees become so expensive? Eight socks and four boxers for $30? That’s fucking ridiculous. Of course, if you look at the receipt, you also see deodorant, cleaning supplies, and the new NCAA 07 Xbox game. Guess which of those items piss me off the most. Instead of comics and cards, I have cleaning supplies and underwear? Bullshit!

Then there’s my wife. She recently quit her job to follow her dream as a freelance writer. I knew this meant less money to be throwing around by going to the bar, eating out, or just spending cash on the weekends. What I didn’t realize was that our desires to do such things wouldn’t slacken or that I’d be the one picking up the tab from here on out. That’s not a big deal. Not really. You need to have some fun and I love going out with Stephanie. But when it’s an unexpected expense that tops $100 in a mere five days, it becomes a problem.

So yeah, I’m grumpy as all hell today. But what really sent me over the top was realizing that I sold some comics for $50, too, and I’m still out of any savings I was expecting to have from the first half of this cold turkey month. You want to know the best part? Picturing what I traded those comics for. Did I sell my Batman comics for socks and underwear? One night out with friends? Food at work?

There’s just nothing like giving up something you love, something that’s been a part of you for a very long time, and have nothing to show for it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Fifteen

Half way through this silly little experiment and these weird feelings keep coming to the surface. I’m not sure I’ve ever cared less about collecting than I do right now. At every stage in my life, I’ve collected something. Books, comics, Star Wars merchandise, sports cards, whatever. Now, though, I’m so not interested.

I know, I know. You’re thinking that I’m a freak. How can I stop calling myself a collector when I’ve only gone without for a mere two weeks? You’re probably right. This is just a minor glitch in the system. I’ll be back to my old ways in no time. But I’m hoping to remember what I’ve learned so that I come away from this experiment with greater knowledge of why I do certain things and how to keep them at bay if my habits aren’t helping me in any way.

For example, I think the greatest thing I’m taking away from this so far is this feeling of freedom. As it turns out, I don’t need to buy that next issue of Batman or X-Men. I’m still going to be the same person if I don’t have every issue from Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman run. Comics and books are supposed to be art and entertainment, not some form of addiction.

And let’s face it, that’s what they were to me for a very long time. When you tell yourself you don’t want or need something, yet you go out and buy it religiously month in and month out, that’s a problem. Considering, even for a brief moment, that you’ll be incomplete if you don’t have the next fix is just crazy talk. It’s addiction, pure and simple.

An addiction I’m kicking. I’ll always have that urge to buy and to hoard, and I can promise you my need for perfect condition will never lessen. But that need, that anxiety I felt when planning my next purchase, all of that is going least for now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Great Comic Dump

It's time to sell sell sell. I'm so not interested in comics right now that I'm putting up all of my recent DC modern books for sale. You can see the first list here. If you want some cheap books, email me, leave me a comment, or post in the thread.

My buddy Jason yesterday said, "I predict big feelings of regret next month or next year. Sure, you're in the passion of the comic-dump NOW, but wait till that passion no longer consumes you. Are you a little caught up in the moment?"

To that I say hell no. Collections and graphic novels are my prefered way to read comics now, and I can still buy older back issues to curb my appetite for a comic collection. I don't need 100s of moderns taking up space.

So no, I don't think I'll regret The Great Comic Dump. If anything, I think I'll feel refreshed and maybe even liberated.

The Marvel books will be up later this month....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Eight

The mass liquidation is on.

I just got done selling 32 comics: 12 issues of 52, all 7 issues of Infinite Crisis, plus the Countdown issue, and the 12 most recent issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. I made next to nothing, which kinda sucks, but right now all that matters is the room I’ll be affording myself.

Batman, Detective Comics, Captain America….they all must go. At the end of next month, the only moderns I want to have in my possession are those with a cover done by Cho or Hughes. Everything else is gone.

How’s that for cold turkey?

Aside from actually wanting to get rid of comics, another odd thing happened today. I got a copy of the graphic novel, Closer, by Antony Johnston and Mike Norton. It was pretty much beat to hell. You name it, holes, dings, scratches, dents…this copy had ‘em all.

No, no, that’s not the odd part. The oddness comes in to play when I realized, just now, that I don’t even care. It didn’t phase me when I opened the package, and it’s not phasing me now, hours later.

Who the hell am I?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Seven

I’ve decided this whole cold turkey thing is for the birds. I mean, it’s boring. I’ve distanced myself from the day-to-day routine of collecting so much that I’m finding out that I have no desire to do anything related to my previous habits. I don’t want to hit eBay, I don’t surf the comic sites, I don’t hit creators’ blogs. Hell, I don’t even want to read the stack of books I got last week.

Plus, I went through comic after comic this weekend and I can’t wait to be rid of them all. I just want to make room. Room for what, I don’t know. But I’d rather have a closet of nothing than a closet full of comics I don’t want. When Stephanie joked this weekend that I should just throw them all away, I didn’t immediately balk at the idea. What’s worse, I didn’t even think about all the money I could make…instead, I’m just thinking of being able to see the far corner of my closet again.

But it’s not just comics this experiment is affecting. I went to the bookstore this weekend and pretty much had no idea what I was doing there. I was lost. I didn’t want to look too hard in case I saw something I actually wanted. I was like a father going back to the playground where he used to play as a kid. There was some familiarity there, but the feelings were hollow.

And when my friend, Jason, told me to pick up a book he was particularly interested in, I just said, “I can’t buy anything this month.” It wasn’t hard to say at all. I didn’t even have to think about it. It just came out. Like I was used to saying it already. It was like he had offered me a Diet Coke and I simply turned him down because it’s not my thing.

But reading and buying is my thing. That’s what I do. It’s me. So who is this imposter I’m dealing with now? Who is this cold turkey character? Who knows, but I have to admit, I don’t think I like him much.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Four

Hmmm, four days down and I’ve had no hiccups at all in my quest to go 30 days without buying a collectible. I feel indestructible. Of course, my first weekend is here now, though. And I just got paid. That’s usually a bad combination for me. Sure, I have about 50 hours worth of comics sitting there, just begging to be read, but that never stopped me before.

Surprisingly, it’s not comics or books that have piqued my interest recently. Instead, it’s football cards. What a stupid hobby, but damn it, now that training camp is in full swing and the Packers are hyping up some of their rookies, I’m jonesin’ to hit eBay and make some pickups before they catch fire. (I’m already thinking of picking some up in the late rounds of my fantasy football draft, too, but that’s another story.)

One thing I’ve learned already this week and in the last few weeks that I’ve weaned myself from spending too much, is that a lot of collectibles are impulse buys. “Ooh, that cover looks cool, I’ll buy it.” Only to take it home, look at it for another few seconds, and lock it away in the dark. But now that I’m taking it easy and forcing myself out of the game, I’m giving myself extra time to debate. I’m already glad I didn’t buy too much out of last month’s Previews, and I’m already second guessing the pre-orders I would’ve picked up had I already done so for August.

Who knows, maybe when this experiment is all said and done I won’t buy anything…ever.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day Three

So yesterday I received an 11-pound box of comics. My first instinct wasn’t to tear into one of them and read it. Instead, I looked at the covers and regretted not pre-ordering any monthlies last month. I soaked in the coolness of each cover, knowing in my heart that the next issue, the one I didn’t order, is going to be the best issue ever.

But I’m still standing firm. I haven’t checked eBay and I haven’t even bothered to check out the new prices at DCBS for October’s books. I’ve been tempted, but I’ve fought that demon back. All those books. All those discounts. They taunt and tease me, and I haven’t even gone to the site yet.

Of course, I have to be totally honest and admit that the reason I haven’t searched the net lately is that I’ve been swamped with other stuff. I’m busier then ever at my day job (and I mean that in the worst possible way, believe me), and the last couple of days I’ve been working with Bob Tinnell and company to put the final touches on The Wicked West Vol. II: Abomination. I’m having so much fun editing that book that I haven’t even had time to consider buying anything else.

An odd thing happened to me when I got home today. I got a set of 2006 Score Packers cards in the mail. This is the set I complained about NOT getting just the other day. Turns out I won an auction sometime in July and didn’t even realize I paid for it. I don’t know what that says about me, but it can’t be anything good.

I’m currently debating when to sort these cards and put them in my card binders. If I do it too early, I won’t have anything to look forward to later in the month. But if they’re sitting there on my desk waiting to be put away, they might tempt me to hunt for more. Hmmm, out of sight, out of mind. I’ll hide them for now.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cold Turkey: Day One

Well crap! I was all ready to post how easy the first day was. I was going to mention how I breezed through the first half of the day without even realizing I was starting out on what could prove to be the most daunting task I’ve ever given myself. Then I decided to pop over to my favorite comic book thread at DVDtalk to see what was happening and all my false bravado disappeared.

Chew, a friend from the DVDtalk board who just happens to appreciate cheese and the best team in the NFL, started a thread titled, “Comic Thread for August AKA 'Let’s All Pity B2K'.” I liked how that rhymed so I sauntered in all cocky, almost daring all the comic fans to test me when I posted my lack of desire for picking up the new Absolute Sandman. HenryFish set me straight just moments later by reminding me that if I missed this now, it would haunt me for the rest of my life. At least, that’s what I read into his post.

Lucky for me my good buddy Jason came along and offered the perfect solution to my problem: he’ll pre-order it for me. Ah, thank God for friends. Cold Turkey: 30 days without collecting, but not without heroes.

Anyway, not long after the DVDtalk crowd kicked me while I was down, I got an email from eBay with a second chance offer to buy some new football cards I didn’t win yesterday. Those fuckers! How dare they offer to send me the cards at my final bid when everyone knows I’m going cold turkey! I had hoped those cards would fill my need of sorting and rearranging my card collection, but noooooo, some other loser bid more than me and now I’m getting a second chance offer the day I go cold turkey. Wonderful.

Oh well. I will prevail. Just a few more hours until bedtime and then I can cross one day off my calendar. What do they say about a journey of a thousand miles? It starts with the first step. Well, so does my 30 days without collecting…

Monday, July 31, 2006

T-Minus Eight Hours and Counting

Well, my friends, there’s only eight hours left for me to collect comics, cards, or anything else that strikes my fancy. After that, it’s cold turkey for me. Thirty days without buying a single collectible. That means no comics, football cards, pieces of art, DVDs, books, or anything else that might jump out at me on any given day. Nothing. Nada.

Before I get started on my cold turkey experiment, let me hear what you have to say. For those of you who actually read this blog, do you think I’ll make it? Or are you a naysayer like most of my friends who doubt my will power? Drop me a line or post a comment and let me know your thoughts…

Although I’m about as positive as you can get that I’ll make it a measly 30 days, I must admit to being a little bummed that DCBS hasn’t updated their site with October’s books yet. I mean, had I been able to squeeze in another pre-order before my experiment starts, it would’ve been smooth sailing from here. As it is, I have to start off the month hoping I can find a way to pre-order later in the month than I generally like to do it.

Of course, August has 31 days, so if all goes right, I’ll be able to pass my little test and still have enough time to place my October order.

Aside from that, I think I’m ready. I’ve put away all my books and comics and catalogs. I figure, out of site, out of mind. Of course, I’m scheduled to get a shipment from DCBS this week, so who knows what that’ll do to my outlook on things. That’s pretty early in this experiment to be getting such a test, but I think I’ll survive.

Honestly, the one thing that has me bothered is the number of incomplete sets I have on my book shelf. I was looking through the collections I have and I realized that I never managed to get the Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 hardcover collection. I’m almost done with volume 1, but will I skip ahead and read volumes 3 and 4, or will I wait out this month of torture in order to read the whole story? Only time will tell.

And you’ll be there every step of the way. Expect regular updates on how I’m doing right here at The Collector’s Mentality. I can’t promise daily posts, but you’ll know about my milestones, and about any difficulties I might be having. But one thing you won’t be hearing is that I’ve thrown in the towel. Nope, I’m in it for the long haul…there will be no quitting.

Can a compulsive collector go cold turkey for 30 days? We’re about to find out.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cold Turkey: The Prequel

Two days before I go cold turkey for the month of August and what do I do immediately upon waking? I search through the latest Previews and scour eBay for deals. It’s as if I’m trying to find a few books and collectibles that’ll tide me over until I reach the end of this madness.

You can tell I’m jonesin’ for something to buy when I start looking into Manga. The upcoming Rose Hip Zero caught my attention in the Tokyopop section of the monthly catalog, so I decided to look into it. One thing led to another, and despite finding out almost nothing, I not only sold myself on the series but also decided I have to buy such silly nonsense as Battle Vixens. Good grief!

Lucky for me the only auction I found this morning that would allow me to pay before my experiment starts was a set of 2006 Score Packers cards. Cheap, too. That’ll tide me over on the football card tip, I’m sure. But comics and graphic novels might be another question.

One thing I have going for me is the urge to sell, sell, sell. Aside from my CGC books and my Adam Hughes and Frank Cho covers, everything must go. Not only will August be the month of not buying, it’ll be the month of selling. I just want to get rid of the junk I’ve amassed in the last couple of years, books I haven’t seen since I bought ‘em and stuffed ‘em away in the closet.

But if my friends are right, what I’m really doing is making room for the inevitable comic gluttony that’s just around the corner starting September 1st.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Creativity and Collecting

My sister once told me she thought I collected because it was an easy way to release my creativity. Almost as if the hunting, the buying, the storing, and everything in between were a way for me to relieve the pent up creativity that builds up inside me during my boring days in the office.

Until recently, I thought that was a bunch of bunk. I mean, how could buying something be the same as creating something? But now that I’m going through a lull in my collecting, I’m beginning to thing that maybe my sister was on to something. Sure, every collector has some ebb and flow when they pull back from the hobby or go full bore. The thing that’s interesting for me is the fact that the current ebb is running side by side with me writing every night and working with my artist on our Postcards story.

When I get home each night, I don’t think about surfing eBay. I don’t think about scouring the comic sites to see the latest news. Instead, I want to write my own story. I want to create. I haven’t been to eBay since Monday night. That’s almost scary. Think of all those rare books and cards I’m missing. But the weird thing is that it doesn’t even matter. Right now those things aren’t even on the radar. My goals have switched from buying every SP Authentic Packers card to writing and finishing a graphic novel script. And when I’m so focused on one, it’s impossible to even care about the other.

The closer I get to this 30 day cold turkey event, the more I think that it’s not even an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still want to do the reading of the comics I would normally buy, but the collecting of them is no longer a factor. Right now I’d rather read a graphic novel and dissect the reasons for why it works or doesn’t work. Storing a new Captain America? Hunting down an old Favre? Screw it.

Why would I want to buy not only buy someone else’s creation but almost worship its perfection when I can make my own? Think of the collectibility of my own published work…no one else would want to own mint copies, but I sure would. And I could sign as many as I wanted.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Collector No More?

I was ready to spend tons of cash. I was geared up to either ship a box of goodies home from San Diego or check extra luggage on the flight back to Denver. I was prepared to defend my spending when Stephanie asked how much everything cost.

But I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

Not only did I come home from the San Diego Comic-Con empty handed, but I didn’t even have that strong of a desire to buy anything in the first place. “Is this for real?” I asked as I walked and walked and walked, looking at all the cool shit I could buy. “Am I really not interested in anything?”

The first time through the booths I was pretty overwhelmed. It wasn’t that I was disinterested in all the wares for sale, it was more about the fact that I didn’t want to make any rash decisions. If I had a limited budget, I wanted to see what was available and map out my spending.

Quickly enough, though, two thoughts occurred to me simultaneously. First, I realized that no matter what I bought, I wasn’t prepared to keep it in mint condition. I certainly wasn’t going to put any books in my bag, and I didn’t have a poster tube to keep any prints or original art safe from the mobs of people bumping into each other. The second thing I realized was that there was simply no way I could decide what to get. I mean, how to you determine if a Frank Cho sketchbook is better than the other 200 available at the show? Or at artist’s alley, how do you determine which artist’s work you want to buy? Hell, once you did pick an artist, how do you narrow your pick down to one piece when all 50 look damn impressive?

So within two hours of entering the door, my brain was already shutting down. I had no desire to buy. Sure, I continued to look, but my wallet wasn’t burning a hole in my pocket like it usually does.

Hard to believe, I know, but that’s the way it went. It was pretty surreal. But there’s another obvious reason for the way this all went down. Although this was my first convention and I wanted to make the most of it as a fan, by primary goal was to meet some of the writers and artists I’ve worked with. I was there to network and start learning the ropes of what it’ll take to actually get a foot in the industry.

In a way, I felt like I was in limbo the entire trip. I wasn’t a fan, yet I wasn’t a professional either. At the same time, however, I was a little of both. I didn’t want to have a handful of loot from one publisher while I talked to artists from another. But I also didn’t want to not have that handful of loot. It was confusing. And tiring. But that might’ve been from the lack of water and food and all that walking.

Funny thing, though. When I got home, I searched online for several hours to find all the things I didn’t buy. For example, that Cho print I lusted after for awhile was on eBay for twice what it was selling for at the con. Same with his sketch book. It got even weirder when, instead of being disappointed, I determined I had made the right decision. Crazy huh?

Despite all that, one thing I still have my eye on is the Star Wars Animated statuettes from Gentle Giant. I don’t really need them, and I don’t have the money or the space, but damn they’re pretty. Maybe I’ll be picking them up sometime soon, since it’s obvious I’m totally not interested in buying comics.

Then again, I’m not really even that interested in those. I think it’s just the collector in my trying to find something, anything, that’ll keep himself alive until the urge to buy really kicks in somewhere down the line…because let’s face it, that urge is just around the corner.

Monday, July 24, 2006

SDCC Recovery

I’m still recovery from the madness that is San Diego Comic Con. It was simply insane. So many people, so many things for sale, so many men dressed in super hero outfits. I’ll be back tomorrow with a little recap, but for all of you wondering how much of a wallop my wallet took at the show, you’ll be surprised to hear I walked out of the convention without buying a single thing. Sure, I bought food and some drinks, but not one single collectible.

I think I might be cured.

Or maybe it’s really that I’ve finally gone totally insane…

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Princess No More

Well that blows. I’ve been gathering information from all over the web, particularly from Heidi MacDonald’s The Beat, stating that IDW’s upcoming A Princess of Mars has been scrapped. This completely sucks. As many of you know, I was looking forward to this series more than any comic in recent memory. I guess this is just one more reason to continue pulling back on my monthly habit.

The weird thing is that it looks like several threads from around the web, including one at Frank Cho’s Image site, have been taken down. Does this mean that maybe, just maybe, the book is still safe? I doubt it. But with Paramount working on a John Carter movie, I’m sure more comics are in the works anyway. So while I’m bummed the IDW book was cancelled, I can’t get to upset with announcements coming soon enough.

Then again, I still want my Cho variants. Oh well, maybe next time…

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Cold Turkey Tastes Terrible

I got my first taste of what going cold turkey for 30 days will feel like today when I read the DC solicitations for books shipping in October. And let me tell you, cold turkey is best served only on Thanksgiving. The first thing I noticed was how cool the new Adam Hughes cover to Catwoman #60 is. Not being able to pre-order that is going to scare me silly since it means I’ll have to hunt it down in October and hope I can get a mint copy. Wonderful!

The rest of my regular monthlies I think I can live without. After all, part of the reason behind this experiment is to wean myself off the monthlies. But damn it, look at all the other cool covers: Gen13 and all the other Wildstorm first issues and variants, a variant Adam Hughes for Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Manifest Eternity #5…a book I’ve never heard of but one that sports a pretty damn pretty cover.

And why do all these great trades have to come out the one month I plan to skip the pre-ordering? Just look at all the DC books coming out: Gotham Central Vol. 4, Ex Machina Vol. 4, and Y: The Last Man Vol. 7. Of course, we can't forget the absolute of all Absolute books, Absolute Sandman Vol. 1. I mean, seriously. It’s as if the gods of collecting looked down on me and said, “We smite you, you lowliest of all cretins.”

I told myself I wouldn’t follow this missed month by doubling up on all my collectible purchases in September, but that’s looking harder and harder every moment. I mean, this is just after reading the DC solicits. What the hell will the Marvel solicits hold? Another Omnibus?

All I know is that I’m fucked…and not in a good way.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cold Turkey: A 30-Day Experiment

Stephanie and I just watched the first episode of Morgan Spurlock’s, 30 Days. It’s similar to what he did in Super Size Me, but instead of eating McDonald’s, Spurlock spends an entire month on minimum wage. This got me thinking about how much money I spend on collectibles each month while others in the country struggle to put food on the table. I sometimes complain about the fact that I can’t afford all the comics and books I want, but when you realize that others can’t even afford healthcare or clothes, it all comes into perspective.

I began to think about my habits and what they cost, so I did a little research and discovered that I’ve spent over $3,100 on collectibles since November 1, 2005. And that number factors in how much money I’ve made selling collectibles, so in reality I’ve spent another $500 or more.

As I sat pondering all of this, one thing led to another and I began wondering if I could go an entire month without buying a single collectible. No comics. No books. No football cards. Nothing. Cold turkey for 30 days. Before I even had a chance to think it through, I had made up my mind.

“I’m gonna see if I can go 30 days without buying a single collectible,” I told Stephanie this morning.

“Are you serious?” she asked, obviously doubting my ability to do such a thing. She thought I was joking so she laughed when she said, “I assume you’ll wait until after San Diego?”

“Of course,” I said. “I’m crazy, not stupid. That would ruin the trip.”

By now she noticed that this idea wasn’t just some crazy scheme. I was serious. “You’re not going to buy anything for a month?”


“How? You can’t even go a week without buying something.”

“I just won’t get on eBay or look at other sites. Piece a cake,” I said, showing my confidence. “Hell, maybe this will give me a chance to actually read all the stuff I already have.”

“I bet you don’t make it that long,” she said, wanting to support me but having a hard time believing I could do it.

“Sure I can.”

“Okay, if you go a whole month, I’ll buy you your next collectible,” she said, throwing down the gauntlet.

“Any collectible?” I said, already imagining the original art or expensive box of football cards I could get from this deal.

“Well, anything for 25 bucks.”

“Twenty-five? That’s nothing. That won’t get me anything.”

“I know, you've probably spent $25 already today and it’s not even 10 o’clock,” she said, walking off to do the budget. “But that’s the deal. Take it or leave it.”

Of course I took it. I was going to try this with or without this side bet. So it’s on. Starting August 1, I’m going cold turkey for 30 days. That means no books, comics, or football cards. It means I can’t pay for any auctions I might’ve won at the end of July. It also means no pre-orders. I also can’t bid on any auction, even if the end date is one that’d allow me to pay after the 30 days are over. Nope, for me, cold turkey is cold turkey.

And of course, I’ll be writing my daily journal here for all to see. Yep, you’re invited to a front row seat as this compulsive collector goes without for an entire month. Let the madness begin…

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Like Other Big Things Too

Just got my box of CGC Signature Series books. Took awhile to get ‘em in from Canada, but it was worth the wait. On top of a 9.6 Sleeper #1 and a 9.6 Sleeper Season Two #1 signed by Ed Brubaker, I also got the beauty shown at left: A 9.6 Shanna, The She-Devil #1 signed by Frank Cho (signature is cut off a bit on the scan). I already have a 9.8 copy of the book, but I couldn’t turn down a signed copy. I mean, it’s Frank Cho. It’s minty fresh. And it’s a scantily clad Shanna with a spear. I mean, who’d turn that down?

Anyway, all three will be displayed on the top of my bookcase for a few days before making their inevitable journey into a box in the closet. Hate to hide these pretties, but I don’t want the light to hurt 'em. While they may be put away soon, you can rest assured that they’ll be brought out anytime I have company who’s even remotely interested in comics. Or art. Or girls.

A special thanks goes out to Tim Lo for hooking me up with these at a great price. I think he might’ve created a monster, though. Now that I have some signed books, my unsigned CGC books have lost some of their luster. Looks like I’m about to turn into an autograph whore. Now I just need to figure out how to get CGC to certify my comics and the autograph while I’m in San Diego…

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Christmas Eve

Josh Howard teased fans today when he posted the first cover from his upcoming Viper Comics series, The Lost Books of Eve. I love his art, and his Dead @ 17 series really got me interested in indie books when the series first hit a couple years ago. I don’t know anything about this upcoming title, but based on the few teaser images I’ve seen, I’m onboard. Even if the story stinks (which it won’t) we still have Howard’s scantily clad little waifs to appreciate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie

Holy crap. Amazon has listings for two eagerly awaited hardcovers. The first is the Runaways oversize hardcover volume 2. This is a great series. One of the more original hero books to come out in years. Plus, I love the oversize collections, not only because they’re big but also because you get the entire 12-issue story. Hell, even if you don’t read the damn things (like I’m prone to do), they still look cool on your bookcase. (Please oh please let Marvel do the right thing and make the spine dressing the same as volume one.)

The other book I’m eagerly anticipating is the New X-Men Omnibus. I mean, talk about huge. This bad boy is slated to be 992 pages. How the hell am I supposed to read that? As a collector I sure as hell ain’t gonna rest it on my stomach or on the table while I read it. I mean, that might ruin the book’s condition. At the same time, though, how long can you hold a 10-pound book before you get carpel tunnel? Oh well, at least it’ll look cool on my bookcase.

Keep in mind that these books haven’t been announced and might never happen, but the tease is enough to get me salivating. I just love big hardcovers. Well, big hardcovers and a good story, but you get the point.

Speaking of big hardcovers, maybe now’s a good time to hunt down that X-Men Omnibus I missed out on earlier...or at the very least, continue reading the Fantastic Four Omnibus.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ultimate Math and Freakish Idiosyncrasies

Online ordering has been a pain in my backside lately. If it’s not DHL finding new and inventive ways to piss me off and deliver my books late, it’s eBay sellers failing to deliver on all three of my book buying prerequisites. Case in point, I recently ordered a couple of Ultimate Spider-Man oversize hardcovers: vol. 1 and vol. 3. The auction stated both were first editions and both were in mint, unread condition. Perfect. Let’s bid.

For me, the equation is simple:

Title + 1st Edition + Mint = Purchase

(Notice that cost isn’t a factor in this equation. That’s normal. In this instance, however, I managed to find the three key elements to any book purchase, but I also managed to get quite a bargain.)

Anyway, the seller got most of it right with what he actually sent me. I was a bit worried when I opened that severely damaged box, and it didn’t take long to run through the equation. Mint condition? Check. First edition? Check. Correct title? Che…oh wait a second, this is vol. 4, not vol. 1. Argh!

Granted, I need vol. 4 for my collection, so it’s not that big a deal. Well, not until you hear about this particular freakish idiosyncrasy I have, then you might begin to grasp why I’m more peeved than your average collector might be.

See, no matter how hard I try, I can’t bring myself to read a particular volume of any work without first reading all the previous volumes. At first that doesn’t seem so weird. You want to get the whole story, so why not read vol. 1 before vol. 2? Yeah, that’s obvious. Some might argue that with comics you can probably jump right into the middle of a series without much of a problem, but still, it’s preferable to read the whole series.

I understand all that. But where my little quirk gets out of hand is when I can't bring myself to read later volumes without reading the earlier ones even if I’ve already read them. In other words, I can’t read vol. 4 of a book if I have never read vol. 1-3 or if I haven’t read them recently enough. (For the record, recently enough is usually within one week of reading the next volume.) For example, I haven’t read the two most recent volumes of either Y: The Last Man or 100 Bullets because reading the previous 5+ volumes would take up too much time, which is something I can’t spare right now. Do I want to spend my reading time reading something I’ve read more than once already, or do I want to try something new? Of course new wins out most of the time.

God, just writing that makes me want to run to a therapist. But it’s true and I can’t figure it out. It’s not like I’ve forgotten the events that preceded the most recent collection. And I don’t honestly believe it’s my wanting to get as much enjoyment as possible out of the books I buy, even though doing it this way ensures I read each collection multiple times. Nope, I can’t explain it, but that doesn’t make it less true.

So here I am with two volumes of Ultimate Spider-Man that I can’t read. I’m sure I could force myself to pick them up, but knowing that I’ll be getting the first two collections any time now just makes that proposition that much less likely. Which makes me upset because I had planned to enjoy some Spider-Man this weekend, but now I’ll have to try something else.

Hell, maybe I should look at this as a glass half full kinda thing. I mean, maybe this’ll help me finally get around to reading all nine volumes of 100 Bullets. Then again, why do that when another volume is just around the corner? I don’t want to have to read all nine again when that comes out, do I?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Love My Carpet

No, this isn’t another Internet post about the upcoming lesbian Batwoman. (Although, since I haven’t weighed in on the subject, maybe I should hijack my own writing by not only posting a picture of the superhero to run with the text, but also by talking about the fact that with all the hype and publicity, a pristine copy of her first appearance might be worth big money someday…and by big money I mean cover price.)

Instead, this is actually about carpet. See, my wife and I have been considering fixing up the house for some time now, and the quickest, easiest, most obvious way to improve your home is by getting carpet, especially when your current floor looks as dirty and disheveled as the one we have. Just that one move will make our house look so much better. But the only way we’re going to make that happen is if we start saving more money. That means fewer comics, fewer football cards, fewer trips to the bar.

Just how the hell am I going to pull that off?

Sure, I’m in the process of trimming my pull list substantially, but saving $20 a month on comics isn’t going to get us that new carpet that much quicker. So I can either do with less for 6-8 months, or go cold turkey for half that time. But is new carpet worth skipping a few months’ worth of comics and cards all together? Not bloody likely. Especially when you factor in new windows, new tile for the bathrooms, and new closet doors are just around the corner. Where would it end?

I know, I know, I can hear it already. I need to save for the things I want and sacrifice some collectibles for the time being. It’s called will power. Get some.

Well, to be honest, that doesn’t work for me. I’m addicted to ebay, I’m addicted to buying comics, and I’m addicted to buying football cards. I mean, if I waited and bought my comics after they’ve been out awhile, I’d run the risk of getting books of inferior condition. As for the cards, well, I’m struggling with just finding those elusive few cards I have left on my list so nothing’s going to stop me from snatching those up when I see them, not even beautiful carpet.

So tell me, fellow collectors, how the hell does a homeowner balance the need for collecting with the need for home improvements? While you’re writing your suggestions, I’m going to lay on my ugly brown floor and read a pristine copy of Captain America #19, paying close attention to whether or not I can live without that particular monthly fix and thus be $2 closer to having that new, clean carpet.

Mmmm, Autographs

Comic-Con released their autograph schedule. Now the question is how the hell am I going to get a huge stack of books and trades on the plane with me? That Star Wars Authors section alone has me worried about the size of my carry-on luggage.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random Musings

DHL left me another notice on my door, meaning my 8-pound box of comics will be delayed one more day. Those bloody bastards. I guess it’s time for me to have ‘em shipped to work.

I finished reading Making Comics last night. What an absolutely brilliant book. Scott McCloud discusses the ins and outs of comic creation in a way that’s both informative and entertaining. He gives great examples to help prove his points, and each chapter ends with notes and exercises that focus on the information delivered in that chapter.

If you have any desire to create comic books in any capacity, or if you just want to understand why one comic story or panel works while another doesn’t, this book is for you. I’d go so far as saying that all comic fans should pick this one up…it’s that valuable. Heck, I’ve already used it several times as reference material for the story I’m working on.

Just picked up this hard to find Antonio Freeman autograph. Cost me about $40 shipped. A bit more than I wanted to spend, perhaps, but it’s the price you pay to cross off another card from the list. Once I add this bad boy to my collection, I’ll have 133 of the 176 cards I’m looking for. That’s 76%. There are still cards on my list that I’ve never seen, so I might have to do more research to see if they even exist, but at this point, the cards I need are either extremely rare, extremely valuable, or both.

If I’ve just spent $40 on a card that wasn't in the “valuable” category, then I think my wallet’s in trouble.

I’ve found a way to talk myself into continuing to read monthlies. At least my favorites. See, Y: The Last Man is in its last year, so there’s no point in stopping now. So there's one I have to keep reading. Then there's the Brubaker books. As many have pointed out, Captain America and Daredevil are featuring the best stories these titles have seen in years, but what sold me is that they aren’t released in oversized hardcover format for a year or more after they’re released in monthly format. That’s plenty of time for me to get some mileage out of each issue and not consider it a waste of time when I spend more money on the same story later down the line.

I doubt even my mind can trick me into saving 52 and Warlord from the chopping block, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past myself.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Eight Pounds

I have eight pounds of comics heading my way on the slow journey from DCBS to my front door. Should be here Friday, unless DHL decides to not leave it at my door again, which would mean I’d have to wait until Monday to get my comic fix.

While I’m very excited about a few of the books I’ll be reading this weekend (DMZ Vol. 1, Tarzan: The Joe Kubert Years Vol. 3, Sight Unseen), I’m actually more interested in testing the waters and figuring out which monthlies I’m going to drop. My last order topped $110, and the preliminary outlook for next month’s is over $150. That’s just too much. And if I’m not enjoying the superhero crap so much anymore, it’s time to do some cutting.

For example, 52 has got to go. That series just ain’t doing anything for me. Sadly, Warlord is gone, too (I had high hopes for that one). Ultimate Spider-Man is gone after #100 (gotta end on an even number, right?).

What’s really interesting is that I’m thinking about cutting my favorites, too. Y: The Last Man, Daredevil, Captain America. I love these books enough that I’m buying the monthlies and the trades. That’s a waste of money, so maybe I should cut ‘em from my list. But that doesn’t feel right. I mean, doing that would mean I would no longer be collecting my favorite books. Instead, I’d be reading the second tier stuff. There’s just something wrong with that scenario. Who in his right mind reads and collects only those books he considers only okay while his favorites are cut from the list?

So of course, this leads me to the inevitable question: is it time to switch to trades and skip monthlies all together?

It’s not a new question, but maybe it’s time to answer it once and for all.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Walking on McCloud Nine

Right now I'm what you call a happy son of a bitch. Not only did I get an artist for my Postcards story, not only do I have a 4-day weekend coming up, and not only do I have three signed comics coming my way, but I also got a copy of Scott McCloud's Making Comics in the mail today. This is one book the collector in me holds no sway over. Nope. I'm going to use this book, you can bet on that (well, use it gently, of course, but use it I will).

When I figured out what was in the envelope, I quickly sat down and devoured the first chapter, "Writing with Pictures." It's nothing short of perfect. I mean, McCloud is a comic genius. While Will Eisner certainly did a great job of detailing the ins and outs of sequential art, McCloud just makes it so much...easier. His use of comic panels instead of prose text to explain each idea really hammers home the reasoning behind it all.

This book looks to be the perfect how-to book for comic creators. But screw all this writing about it, I'm going to go read the thing. I'll be back when I'm done...

Coming Attractions

I might be bored with buying and reading current comics, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy some minty fresh back issues. Signed no less. Don't these look pretty? I have these two beauties (and another I won't show just yet) coming my way next week. The only thing better would've been meeting Mr. Brubaker myself.

Damn it feels good to be a comic whore sometimes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Goodbye Mint Condition, I’ll Miss You

Earlier this week, Darrel, an editor I work with, told me he was curious about graphic novels. I saw this as an opportunity to get him interested in sequential art, so after getting an idea of what movies he’s enjoyed, I decided to lend him my copy of A History of Violence, by John Wagner and Vince Locke. I chose this particular title because of the subject matter and the quality of the presentation, but also because the copy I have isn’t a first edition.

I think he’ll like the book, so I’m doing my duty as a comic fan to further the medium. But let’s face it, I was not about to hand over a book that’s near and dear to me. If the future of comics depended on me handing over a pristine first edition, then maybe, but as it was, no way.

When I stood before him with the nearly flawless book in hand, I started the conversation by saying, “I’m letting you borrow this, but there are rules.”

“Uh oh,” he said jokingly, with a fake ominous tone and a laugh that was a little too uproarious for me. He obviously had no idea how serious I was.

“No, seriously,” I said, my face stern as I brought the conversation back to the level of seriousness it deserved. “I’m a book collector. And I’m a comic collector. And I like to keep my books in pristine condition.”

I showed him the copy of A History of Violence I was about to lend him, making it readily apparent he was not yet meant to reach out to grab it. No, that would happen only after he agreed to the rules. “I’ve already read this book,” I said, indicating the undamaged spine and the flawless pages and covers. “I’ve been known to read a book several times but still be able to return the book for a full refund without the clerk ever considering the book might’ve been touched, let alone opened and read.”

By now another co-worker, Georgie, was watching the conversation unfold.

“Oh no, you’re one of them,” Darrel said, again trying to bring some levity to the conversation.

“That’s right,” I said. “And I’m giving this to you with the hopes you can treat with the proper respect.”

After a moment of silence, I felt he understood the gravity of the situation, so I reached out and handed him the book. “Lucky for you this isn’t a first edition or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But as it is, we’ll consider this a trial. You only get one strike.”

The three of us talked animation and graphic novels and Hollywood for a few minutes as Darrel flipped gently through the pages of the book. At one point I was discussing my desire to break into the creative side of comics when Darrel spoke up. “When I read books,” I heard him say as he tossed the book into his bag, “I’m generally so rough they’re practically destroyed; unreadable when I’m finished.”

My heart stopped for the briefest of moments. Did I hear him right? I tried to replay the last few seconds of the conversation. Did he say he destroyed them, or that he was just usually pretty rough?

“Oh, he didn’t like that,” I heard Georgie say in the distance, my mind so focused on trying to determine what he really said, what he really meant, that I couldn’t even keep up with what was currently being said. Darrel said something about being nice this time around, but I wasn't listening anymore.

I took a deep breath and tried to forget what I saw and what I heard. "It’s not a first print," I told myself. "And it’s a trial offer. I have to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he’ll keep his end of the agreement. If not, well, we don’t have to do business ever again."

With that, I said my goodbyes and left as quickly as I could, getting out of there before I changed my mind and asked him to give it back to me. But on the way home, I replayed the scene a few times. No matter how I tried to spin the transaction, I could only come up with one conclusion: I’ve seen the last of my pristine copy of A History of Violence.

I hope the world of comics can appreciate my sacrifice.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I’m all giddy with excitement for the start of football season. With two tickets to the Packers/Vikings game in December, why shouldn’t I be?

To get the party started, I picked up this nice Ahman Green jersey card numbered to only 25. Of course, there was very little excitement when I won the auction, less when I got it in the mail, and even less when I put the card in a plastic sleeve and stuffed it away in the closet. Turns out that just like with comics, I’m finding myself less and less interested in any aspect of the football card hobby. So much so that last night I contemplated the best ways to sell off my collection with it being only 76 percent complete.

I wonder if this is normal for other hobbies. I’ve heard many comic, book, and card collectors complain that they get bored from time to time and have to pull back from the hobby for awhile before diving full bore again when they’ve recuperated. But is that the same for hobbies like painting, or woodworking, or scrapbooking?

Because I’ve gotta be honest, I’m getting tired of this ebb and flow crap. Just read my blog from beginning to end and you’ll recognize this isn’t some random notion. It happens way too often for me to actually be able to say I love the hobby. I mean, how can I say that when a quarter of the time I question its worth?

Of course, that won’t stop me from bidding on other cards or comics on my list, which is probably just another part of the problem.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Fine Art of BroDart

“Mmmm, beer. The cause of and solution to all the world’s problems.”
- Homer J. Simpson.

It’s amazing just how right Homer is. Of course, you can substitute beer with collecting in my case, but the thought is the same. I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that readers throw slurs my way, calling me a freak, a loser, or an obsessive compulsive nerd who needs to seek counseling. Well, to me, my collecting is my counseling. Or more precisely, my need to collect is the problem, but the peripheral stuff is the solution.

I’ve said before how making lists or putting comics and football cards into their final resting place can actually be very therapeutic. In a world of stress, I find my incessant habits to be very rewarding, relaxing, and enjoyable.

Let’s take BroDart as an example. For those who don’t know, BroDart is to dust jackets what Mylar is to comic books. It serves as protection and presentation enhancement. It’s essentially a sheet of plastic that wraps around the dust jack to offer a snug, perfect fitting outer shell.

I use this protective sheet of plastic for several reasons. The obvious reason is that it protects the book’s dust jacket. And as I’ve said before, it also makes the jacket look damn sharp by hiding tiny imperfections and giving it a bright, shiny sheen. Additionally—and I openly admit this—while I read a hardcover, that smooth, unblemished surface gives my hands a bit of pleasure while my eyes enjoy the story. It’s just another way, albeit a small one, to get more senses involved with the reading experience.

But while none of these benefits can be neglected, I also love the action of putting on each sheet of BroDart. It’s a simple task that takes concentration to do correctly. By focusing on each step in the process, my mind can no longer worry about the stresses of the day. Instead, I need to take into account the needs of the book in front of me, and how important it is to focus on every detail. Hunching over the work table, folding and caressing, double checking my work…this all relaxes me. Ask any woodworker or model maker. It’s that focus, that precision that makes the hobby relaxing.

Let me put it another way. Have you ever washed a new sports car? Remember how it felt to run your fingers over the curves, over those smooth surfaces? Or the satisfaction you get when you’re done that you not only spent time doing something you love, but by doing so, you also protected and enhanced something you consider beautiful. It’s the same with BroDart. Pulling the sheet so it’s snug against the dust jacket, then running your fingers to crease that lower edge so it too is nice and tight…it’s toned down eroticism. A feast for your fingertips as well as the eyes and soul.

But unlike a shiny new car, calling a dust jacket or book sexy might get you thrown in the loony bin. In reality, however, it’s not that different. It’s just not as well known, and thus, not as accepted. More people like me need to step out of the shadows and admit to enjoying things others consider weird before we stop being looked upon with fear or rejection.

My hobbies and the enjoyment I get from them, they don’t damage my life in any way. I don’t neglect my wife or friends. It’s not something I need counseling for. It’s simply a form of enjoyment others consider different, so it’s not acceptable.

But that’s okay. You go on hating, while I go on enjoying my life, including those small things like putting BroDart on a new Frank Cho collection.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Grand Opening

Ah, sweet bliss.

I got a box of BroDart in the mail yesterday, which meant I was finally able to open my Fantastic Four Omnibus. And let me tell you, the experience was heavenly. I held the oversized book in my hands, feeling the weight and smelling the pages as I turned it over to soak in every square inch of that gorgeous behemoth. I tugged at the plastic wrap and gently pulled it open, making sure the plastic didn’t snag any of the fragile edges. There was an audible sigh. At first I thought it was the book offering a sign of relief for finally being released from its dungeon, but I quickly realized it was me releasing a breath I didn’t know I had been holding.

Although I wanted to sit down immediately and begin reading the early adventures of the Fantastic Four, I resisted. Instead, I took the 10 minutes necessary to properly fit a sheet of BroDart over the dust jacket, caressing the smooth surface of the plastic as I fitted the two together, long lost lovers finally together for all eternity.

Once finished, I put the protected cover back on that hardcover, snuggling it tightly to the boards. That classic cover enshrined in a protective sheen that enhanced the cover’s radiance. Now that was heavenly. Only then could I sit in my chair and read the first few chapters without hurting the dust jacket.

Yes, life is good.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This Comic Stuff Has Gone Too Far

“I had the most terrible dream last night,” Stephanie told me earlier today. “Josh Howard was in a car wreck and suffered head trauma. It was all over the radio and TV but you were out of town and I was trying to get the news to you.”

“You know the comic stuff has gone too far when your wife is dreaming about it!” she said.

I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or be creeped out. Why the hell was my wife dreaming about comic creators and car wrecks? And why Josh Howard? Should I take this as a sign that I should be hunting down signed back issues or asking him to draw me another Dejah Thoris?

Regardless, my wife and I both wish Mr. Howard a long, healthy life creating comics. But for now, maybe I should keep the news about his new Eve series to myself.

I finally figured out why I’m into comics one day but not the next. The reasons probably won’t surprise you, but my solution just might. Look for more information in the coming days...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Absolute Confusion

I’ve been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to decide the tone of today’s post. Do I voice my concern with my lack of interest in 99% of the September solicitations that were released this week, or do I focus on the one shining gem amongst the mass of insignificant titles? Or should I risk losing those few readers I do have and try to tackle both issues?

See, I’m a bit perplexed by my lack of interest. It seems that once again I could care less about what’s coming out. The thrill simply isn’t there. Sure, those issues bearing an Adam Hughes cover or those special issues like Ultimate Spider-Man #100 caught my eye and will catch my wallet when that time comes, but for the most part, I couldn’t care less about the comics I’m reading.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love comics. I love the stories and art. But it’s time (again) to seriously evaluate how I get my fix: on a monthly basis or by waiting for the collected editions. A quarter of the books I get now I’m waiting to read when I have several issues in a row, and half I’m already buying both the monthlies and the trades, so what’s the difference? Aside from being able to participate on message boards and getting to put my pretties into shiny plastic, there’s no real benefit to get monthlies.

But oh man, look at the benefit of waiting for the trade. Just one look at the Absolute DC New Frontier has me mapping out a spot for it on my bookshelf. Not only will it make a fine addition to my book display, but I can’t wait to hold that behemoth in my hands, feeling the weight of it while I read Darwyn Cooke’s story and soak in those Dave Stewart colors. Plus, I get the whole story in one or two sittings instead of waiting months to read the next chapter while hoping I haven’t forgotten what insignificant events happened last time.

Lucky for me I don’t have to make a decision any time soon. Instead, I get my next delivery from DCBS in a few weeks when I’ll have a Christmas in July, a Christmas devoted to nothing but comics. If that box of goodies doesn’t get me excited about monthlies, then I’m switching to trades for good. And with books like New Frontier coming soon, that’s not a bad thing. But if I do become giddy like a school boy, I’ll be back on the wagon, telling the world how I’ve changed my mind again and can’t wait to read all those cool monthlies.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My First Day All Over Again

Give me a break! With all that indecision at Barnes & Noble last week concerning whether to buy those Superman books or the X-Men hardcover, I managed to walk away with an imperfect copy of the one book I did buy, Coma. Sure, it was a bargain book and cost less than five bucks, but damn it, I’m a book collector. Have been for years. And I’ve perfected my process of finding that one gem out of all the others. So how the hell did I spend 10 minutes scrutinizing all four copies yet come away with this crap?

I have no idea how this dust jacket got through my radar. Not only is there a quarter inch line of blue ball point pen ink on the back cover, but there’s also a small, reddish splotch the size of a nickel. I can almost understand missing one of those, but both of them? Good grief, did I not even turn the book over? I mean, steps 3 and 14 both clearly state that I must slowly look over every section of the back cover for quality insurance. How could I miss both? Do I need to take this to the next level and actually print out a checklist?

I was distracted, sure, but that’s no excuse. I’m no novice. This isn’t my first day on the job. I’ve done this thousands of times before. My only guess is that I skipped a step or two when I removed the only “flawless” dust jacket from one book and put it on another, the one with the tight spine and crisp white pages. But where did I slip up? I either put the dust jacket back on the same book, or I never bothered to look at the back cover. Either way, it’s unacceptable. I mean, if this were my career, I’d have to seriously consider laying myself off.

Lucky for me, I can go back to B&N and switch it out for a better copy. Hell, maybe it’s a sign indicating I should go back and pick up those Superman books. But what about my confidence? This is the type of thing that could send me into collecting tailspin. Will I second guess myself endlessly next time? Will I even be able to make a decision at all? If this gets out to the collecting community, my reputation will be ruined. I need to take corrective action immediately or all could be lost.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Bane of My Existence

What the hell is wrong with me? I get a little money and all of a sudden I can’t make a decision to save my life.

Case in point:

I took the day off to recuperate from a few hectic days of work. So I’m driving along this morning, heading to the movie theatre to see an early showing of Cars, when out of nowhere I have to buy something. Now! I have $95 left from the bonus I got two days ago and my burning pocket is beginning to singe the hair on my thighs. If I don’t whip out my credit card soon, I’ll have a seizure.

I do a quick u-turn and head for Barnes & Noble. Before I get halfway there, I’m already plotting my plan and it no longer incorporates going to the bookstore. Instead, I decide to turn back for home and buy that new X-Men Omnibus from Instock Trades. Doing that won’t feel as good as spending the money and actually walking away with something in hand, but I’ve had my eye on that collection for awhile, and there’s no time like the present.

Of course, I mull this over for roughly one minute longer than it actually takes me to get to B&N, so in I go. No more than eight steps inside my eye catches bright reds and blues and an old Superman logo.
”Ooooh, cool,” I mutter to myself. I do a quick glance around to make sure no one heard me talk to myself, then I pick up the hefty book, Superman: The Dailies 1939-1942. It’s a gorgeous hardcover that reprints the first 966 Superman daily newspaper comic strips. Of course, right next to it is another hefty book, Superman: Sunday Classics 1939-1943. Both are B&N exclusives.

Now I have a dilemma. Go home and get the X-Men book online or pick up these beauties now. Damn! What to do? Naturally, I can't rush into this, so I walk around the store while I think it through. Of course I'm in a bookstore so I find another book while I'm debating the issue. Lucky for me, Coma by Alex Garland, is only $5 on the bargain table, so it really doesn’t effect my decision. After comparing the quality on the four copies in front of me and switching out the dust jackets so the minty fresh one is teamed with the tight, pristine book, I’m off.

I peruse other books with Coma tucked safely under my arm, ensuring it’s protected from possible damage caused by a sweaty palms or obstacles that might be jutting out from table, bookshelves, or passerby. I pick up a few other books, but nothing catches my interest. How can they when my mind continues to turn over my debate?

But unfortunately, there’s no decision to be had. There’s too much at stake here. I leave the store without Superman.

Driving home, my indecision takes a turn for the worse. Instead of looking at the problem logically, I begin to kick myself for spending money on lunch three times this week. And why did I have to order a pizza last night? What an idiot. Had I simply taken a sandwich to work a few times or eaten macaroni and cheese last night, I’d have enough money to buy all three books. Instead, I have to carry this baggage with me the rest of the weekend.

Then it gets even worse when I start to tell myself that I don’t need any of those damn books anyway. I already have a backlog of unread books on my shelves, so how will three more make me any happier? It’s not like I’m going to have time to read the damn things anytime soon. Screw ‘em.

So what do I do when I get home? I start checking online prices for the books I’m looking for. Good, God, man, what’s wrong with me? Why can't I just make a fucking decision?

I’m telling you, sometimes I wonder if I should take up a new hobby.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Two Hundred

Guess who just got a $200 bonus for his five-year anniversary at work. Yep, me. And guess who’s already jonesin’ to spend spend spend. Yep, me again.

Let’s see how long it takes to spend that money, shall we? I deposited the check 24 hours ago, and I’ve already spent $68 on a box of BroDart.

What’s next?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Milkin’ Honey

Boy, does Frank Cho know how to milk his art for everything it’s worth or what? But if anyone’s going to milk his own art, it might as well be the guy best known for drawing breasts. I love the man’s art, and I readily admit that I purchase anything with his name attached, even if it’s just a hardcover reprinting previously published work, as is the case in the recently solicited Liberty Meadows: Cover Girl.

Just like Frank Cho Women: Selected Drawings and Illustrations, you won’t be finding anything in this new hardcover that you haven’t seen before. And that’s fine by me. I like the idea of being able to flip through his work without having to dig through my boxes of comics.

A couple of nights ago, I was doing just that, perusing Women while Stephanie updated the checkbook. She turned to me and asked what I was looking at. I held up the cover.

"Who’s Frank Cho?” she asked, genuinely interested.

“One of the best pinup artists in comics,” I said, studying another image of Dejah Thoris. “I like the way he draws women. They’re sexy, but they’re real.”

"Let me see,” she said, turning her chair around and reaching out her hands greedily. I handed the book to her but obviously wasn’t able to mask my hesitation. “Just give it to me. I won’t hurt it.”

With reluctance I let her take it and watched as she flipped through the pages, saying things like “Oooh, jungle girl.” It didn’t take long for her to notice one of Cho’s trademarks: big boobs.

“They’re huge,” she said.

“Yeah, but they’re real,” I countered, pointing out how they moved with the action instead of just standing perky and perfect like in most depictions of women found in comics.

“They’re huge,” she said again.

“But proportionate,” I said, pointing out that these women are larger than most comic heroines, with larger legs and arms and butts, too.

“Why do they have to be so big?” she asked. “I mean, you don’t see Spider-Man running around with a giant [expletive deleted].”

“But no one wants to see Spider-Man with a bunch of junk swinging through New York,” I said. “Everyone can appreciate an attractive woman.”

Or so it seems. If not, then Cho wouldn’t be able to sell his art over and over again in different formats. But as it is, there’s definitely a market. And I’m the first in line each time. As a matter of fact, I’ve already placed my order for Cover Girl. It just remains to be seen if this new book will keep me from buying back issues of Liberty Meadows…issues I’m collecting for the sole purpose of having those beautiful covers.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What’s Next?

I must be tired. For a collector with money just begging to be spent, that’s not a good thing to be. For the last 45 minutes, I’ve been scouring the Internet for things to buy, but I have no focus. I have no idea what to get into next. If I’m not careful, that could spell doom for me and my pocketbook.

Football cards? Eh, it’s the off season. Next!

First edition hardcovers? I already have the next few novels I plan to read, so why bother? Next!

Comics? I’m in a bit of a holding pattern with comics right now, just biding my time for that Princess of Mars series to hit. I’m unable to get motivated to read anything I already own, and making a purchase doesn’t seem to be the right thing either. Next!

Comic art? Yeah, that’s something I can get into. It’s been on the back burner for awhile now, but with Mark Wheatley continually catching my eye with his ERB artwork, it might be time to change that. Plus, being a part of the Postcards creative team I get to see sample art as it comes in, so I’m fighting the urge to interrupt the artists and ask to buy a page or two. (What’s the etiquette on that anyway? Is it impolite to offer to purchase art for a book you’re editing before the book is actually finished? For now I’m resisting, but I might breakdown at any minute.)

But let’s face it, I’ve been down this road, oh, I don’t know, three or four times already this year, and with no more room on the walls and no money or desire to “waste” on professional frames with UV coating, well, it’s hard to get jazzed about something that’ll be sitting in the closet. (That’s an interesting concept coming from someone with boxes of cards, comics, and books hidden away in the dark corner of my closet.)

I don’t know, maybe I’m just burned out on collecting all together. I mean, if I can’t get interested in anything, maybe it’s time for me to hang it up for awhile. Or perhaps collect something new. There is one thing that I’ve always wanted to collect but never managed to find a way to do it successfully: money!

Then again maybe I should take a nap before I start talking all crazy…

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dejah Thoris Puts On a Bikini

I’m not sure who I’m more upset with, Mark Wheatley for changing his Princess of Mars artwork so Dejah Thoris is scantily clad instead of naked, or IDW for asking that he make the modifications in the first place. Or maybe I should be upset with a culture that would make such a request expectable.
I’ve never been a big fan of artists altering to their work for the sake of sales. Sure, I understand the reasoning behind it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I voiced my concerns over Frank Cho’s modifications to Marvel’s Shanna, the She-Devil mini series, but this is even more near and dear to my heart. It’s Edgar Rice Burroughs we’re talking about here. His Barsoom series got me reading as a boy and made me want to write. This is sacred ground for me.

On top of that, I plan to plunk down good money for these 1-in-30 variant covers. But once I get my hands on these pretties, will I appreciate them for what they are, or will I only see the dastardly addition of Dejah’s bikini top? It's hard to find fault at all—especially with the painting in the background being the original Princess of Mars book cover...nice touch Mark—but damn it, try as I might, I can't get my eyes to stop focusing on that new bikini.

Don’t get me wrong, my grumbling has nothing to do with my desire to see breasts (well, maybe just a smidge, but not because of the breasts themselves but because everyone knows Martian women don’t wear clothes). What I’m complaining about is seeing and appreciating the original artwork but knowing that the art I finally get to bring home will be inferior. Let’s face it, no matter how minor the addition, these new covers just aren’t as good as the originals.

If these images were the regular edition of the covers, I doubt I’d raise any concerns at all. But that’s not the case. These variants will cost $30 or more, and I’m already questioning my need to own them.

The books in question, issues 4 and 5 of the mini, are still months away from being announced, let alone going on sale. That’s a long time to be debating this issue, but if my track record is any indication, debate this issue I will. It’ll be an interesting match up of wits and will power. Who will win, the collector or the art lover? Only time will tell, but to be honest, I think we’ve both already lost...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Every Penny

When I went out with Stephane last weekend and talked geek nonstop for three hours, one of the things we discussed was how we store our comic collection. I cringed at the thought of his hodge-podge organization, and he laughed endlessly about my need to categorize everything, as if tracking each of my purchases was somehow overly obsessive. He seemed to accept my desire to alphabetize, and he certainly understood the notion that I need to have everything in pristine condition, but those extra steps I take seemed to confuse my friend and give him great amusement.

But Stephane isn’t the only collector who finds my methods to be a bit anal. Over at the Collector’s Society, svndst1030 wrote, “I used to be like that but I realized how much time I was wasting so I just went to being somewhat organized.” Although he was partially joking and still feels the need to be organized to some degree, I can’t help but think that not only am I not wasting time, I’m actually getting optimal enjoyment from every comic I buy, making them worth the price I pay, if not more.

Let’s take the latest issue of Catwoman as an example. Including shipping and the Mylite2 bag with acid free full back, the issue cost $2.30. In theory, just reading and enjoying the comic a single time is worth $2.99, the book’s cover price. But for me, I enjoyed it many more times, but not by reading the thing over and over (God no, how could I keep the thing mint?).

The first thing I did was stare at and enjoy that gorgeous Adam Hughes cover. Not his best effort, but it still took a considerable effort on my part to tear my eyes away and finally open the book to start reading. Of course, reading takes me a little longer than the average comic reader, too. Not only do I soak in each panel, I also turn each page so slowly and so gently you’d think it would turn to dust if I put too much pressure on it.

Next I took five minutes to enter the issue into my Comic Collector database. Here’s where I store all the information I can think of for that issue: creators, issue number, title, date purchased, purchase price, storyline, characters…you name it. I spelled it all out in this database, loving every mundane moment.

Then I scrutinized the covers, the spine, the pages, looking for every miniscule defect I could find. I spent maybe three minutes on this task, and I enjoyed every second (well, except for that one deflating moment when I noticed the color-breaking spine crease near the top staple on the front cover. D’oh!). After putting my grade report into the database, I searched my Catwoman collection to see if there were others with similar defects on the front cover (lucky for me, this was the first and only). Had I not been taking the time to add the details for each and every issue into my inventory, how could I determine if I was having a consistent problem with spine stress? Just one more advantage of “wasting time.”

After that, it was time to put the book into its bag and seal it up for all eternity. There’s something therapeutic about putting a comic in its clear plastic bag. It’s like returning a baby bird to its nest. It just feels right. It’s natural. Peaceful. And after it was all sealed up, I looked at that cool Hughes cover again, enjoying it even more behind that shiny wall of protection. How does a thin piece of plastic make comic art look better? I don’t know. But ask any fan who uses Mylar bags and he’ll say the same.

After all that, I still wasn’t done. There was even more value to be had for my $2.30 because I now had to flip through my other comics, peaking at each issue for the briefest of moments as I looked for this issue’s final resting place. Once I found its spot, my heart warmed yet again. “Goodbye friend,” I said to myself, already looking forward to the day I’d revisit her. “I’ll be in touch.”

And when I closed the box to shield my precious from the light of day, I said a prayer and thanked the universe for such a lovely thing as a good comic book.

Yes, I spent close to 45 minutes on something most others are lucky to spend 15 minutes on, speeding through on their way to the next story. And for me, it wasn’t a waste of time. Oh no, it was anything but.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special announcement. Postcards, an incredible new anthology edited by Jason Rodriguez and yours truly, has finally been announced. And believe me, the news only gets better after this...wait until you see the names attached to this project.

I'm not only excited about this project because my name will be printed inside, but this really is a fantastic book. I know the theme. I've read the stories. This is a book comic readers can enjoy, but so can their non-comic reading parents and spouses. So if you're looking for a book to help get your loved ones interested in the format, Postcards is only a year away.

You can bet I'll have many of these bad boys in my collection come next summer.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

DHL — Delivering Happiness Late

Getting your books online has its rewards. By ordering through DCBS each month, I save a great deal of money (okay, it doesn’t actually save money because I put that savings right back into my comics fund, but you get the idea), I save a great deal of time because I don’t have to drive through rush hour to Mile High every Wednesday, and surprisingly, I get my comics in great condition. What’s not to love?

DHL, that’s what.

For the third time in a row my DHL shipment from DCBS has been delayed because of incompetence. There’s no other word for it. And there's also no excuses. Although I’ve already signed the waiver that allows them to leave the box at my front door, they once again left a note that states they’ll redeliver tomorrow. And believe me, this is beginning to piss me off.

I have a fairly stressful job, and when I get that happy email notice that tells me a box of comics will greet me when I get home, I get pretty keyed up about it. Like today. I was happy as a clam all day, laughing and singing as more and more crap piled up. Who cares about deadlines and irate customers when you have six pounds of comics waiting for you when you get home? Instead, I imagined myself enjoying a superhero yarn or two, or getting historic with Loveless. With as many books as I had coming, the world was to be my oyster.

But instead of a beautiful box of happiness, I found that fucking notice. It was stuck to my front door and I about tore it to shreds in a fit of rage (some super villain I’d be), especially when I saw the glue residue the sticker left on the door. Why can’t they just get it right? Is it too much to ask that I get my comics on time? And do they have to sick it to the door when the damn things are designed to hang from the door knob?

So I called DHL. I worked through some deep breathing relaxation while I waited for Marty, a manager at the local station. When he got on the line, I politely explained my problems, detailing how many times this has happened and how each time I was told that the “new driver” was to blame. After a little discussion of how upset I was, he called the driver to re-attempt delivery, which, unfortunately, is the same thing I was told the last three times.

I’m not holding my breath.

Now, before anyone leaves a comment to point out the fact that I already have stacks of comics and trades to read, let me say that I’ve thought of that already. And you know, for me, that reasoning just doesn’t cut it. I don’t have an explanation for why I feel this way (well, not a logical one anyway), but for whatever reason, I want something new. Those older books, well, if I haven’t got to them already, there’s something about them that’s making them unworthy of my attention. They’re yesterday’s news, so why bother?