Welcome to Cool Comics in My Collection Episode 158, where we take a look at various comic books I own (and in some cases ones that I let get away), both new and old, often with a nostalgic leaning for those feelings of yesteryear.
For each of the comic books I include in this blog (except for digital issues), I list the current secondary market value. This is according to the website www.comicbookrealm.com. They list out the near mint prices, which are on the comic book grading scale of 9.4. If you go to the website to look up any in your collection, you can click on the price and see the value at different grades. Not all of my comics are 9.4. Some are probably better, and some are worse. But to simplify it, that’s the grading scale I use here. And remember, a comic book is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Have you considered being a guest host for Cool Comics? You can do a theme or just pick any of your comics for inclusion (this blog is for all ages, so please keep that in mind), with a maximum of seven issues. Repeat guest hosts are permitted and encouraged. For any questions or to submit your completed blog, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any comments, please scroll to the bottom of the page to where it says, “Leave a Reply.” And now, Episode 158…
Cool Comics News!
October is finally here, so Cool Comics will be bringing you some scary issues to put us all in a fall harvest kind of mood (although I cheated a little and started giving you some chillers during the second half of September…and hopefully you loved them!). The weather is getting colder, the sun disappears much quicker these days, and strange shadows seem show up out of nowhere. If you love spooky comic books, perhaps you also love spooky books, and for the October season, my favorites are the Jason Crane series by Richard Gleaves.
If the name Crane sounds familiar, then chances are you’re familiar with Washington Irving’s story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Maybe you’ve never read it, but with all the movies, cartoons, and TV shows and characters that have been inspired by Ichabod Crane and his battle against the Headless Horsemen, now that proverbial bell is ringing in your head! SALEM: Blood to Drink, is the 4th in the series and is available in paperback and via Kindle (this version releases October 5), and I can’t say enough good things about these books, which give us a modern-day story that is surrounded by all the myths and legends not only of Irving’s tale, but we also get a little Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe thrown in (and maybe others that I didn’t notice). The catch, though, is that these myths and legends turn out to be real, and the descendants are very much affected by all of it.
If you haven’t read any of them, you can find all four on the page linked at the book title above (or click on the book cover). A word of warning, though—once you start, you won’t want to stop, as these books are very addictive (also, Richard Gleaves is an excellent writer and knows how to pull you in, making you feel like you are right there in the story). Lovers of Halloween cannot go wrong with the Jason Crane Saga!
Cool Comics Battle of the Week!
Your Cool Comics Battle of the Week is The Demogorgon versus Spectre! What do you think would happen if they faced each other in a titanic tussle, and how do you see the winner achieving victory? Let us know in the comments section below.
#752 — Stranger Things #1, Dark Horse Comics, September 2018.
Have you seen Stranger Things? You know, that show on Netflix. Yes, the one that takes place in the Eighties and kids are playing Dungeons & Dragons, Eggo Waffles are a food staple, and even a Hobbit from The Lord of the Rings (Samwise!) has a role in season two. Chances are you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t, make sure to start watching as soon as you finish reading this episode of Cool Comics. It’s a fun adventure with tense moments, Eighties nostalgia, and a mysterious place called the Upside Down. As the rest of us know, a boy named Will goes missing not long after the show begins, and while we see a little of what he goes through, we don’t get the full picture. But fear not! Stranger Things the comic book (at least this first 4-issue series) is focusing on Will Byers and what happens to him in the Upside Down. As a fan of the show, I enjoyed this first issue and appreciate the art and writing, as they both capture the flavor of the Netflix hit. And since there is such a long wait for Season 3, why not check out the comic series? The cover price of Stranger Things #1 is $3.99, while the current value is $4.
Cool Comics Done Dirt Cheap
#753 — Oddly Normal #1, Image Comics, September 2014.
Being that it’s now October, I tried to find something in my legendary longbox that would fit the season, so when I found a handful of comics called Oddly Normal, I felt I was on to something. This quaint story, written and illustrated by Otis Frampton, reminded me a bit of The Munsters TV show, with Oddly being like niece Marilyn—only Oddly is fully aware of just how different her family is. Not to mention that unlike Marilyn, Oddly has green hair and pointed ears. We come to learn that her mother is a witch, and this half-witch little girl wishes she were normal. So why does it remind me of The Munsters when it seems so different? I guess it’s something I can’t really put my finger on, yet the impression is there. Regardless, I ended up enjoying this story more than I thought I would, and I’d think that younger fans of Stranger Things and Harry Potter would enjoy this comic. The cover price of Oddly Normal #1 is $2.99, while the current value is $3.
FCBD the Cool Comics Way (Week 21)
#754 — Pokémon: Sun & Moon, Viz Media, May 2018.
Often people make statements that comic books aren’t for kids these days, and while that applies in some cases, it doesn’t in others. For example, this particular Free Comic Book Day issue is most certainly targeted for readers much younger than me (not to say that some older readers couldn’t appreciate it, but it’s obvious I’m not the kind of reader Viz Media has in mind), along with a number of other comic books that come out each month. You just have to know where and how to find them. And this is another reason that I appreciate FCBD. I do appreciate being exposed to different companies and different characters, even if I’ll never read certain titles again. So if you know of any Pokémon fans out there (and we all know they exist, as some are still chasing them around with their cellphones), consider getting them some comic books as an alternate form of entertainment. The cover price of Pokémon: Sun & Moon is free, while the current value is $1.
Cool Comics Classics
#755 — Ghosts #97, DC, February 1981.
I love old comic book anthology titles, and when they come with scary tales, that’s all the better! Typically, these comics don’t feature characters we are familiar with, but as you can see on the cover of this issue of Ghosts from 1981, the Spectre is in one of the stories. Usually when I think of old comics, anything published in the Seventies and earlier are what first comes to mind, but I have to face facts that the Eighties were quite a while ago. When this issue came out, I was a senior in high school, but I was no longer buying comic books. I was way too cool for that kind of thing (at least that’s what I told myself). But as we age, we gain wisdom, and I wish I had been buying comics back then…because they were so cheap compared to today! Still, I was able to buy this in a quarter box at my local comic shop, so I ended up getting it for less than cover price. Do you love to read scary comics in the month of October? If so, what are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below! The cover price of Ghosts #97 is 50¢, while the current value is $18.
Recently Read Digital Comics
The longer I read comic books, the more I appreciate what came before my time. Several months back, Previews offered an upcoming #0 issue of a comic called Project Superpowers, from Dynamite, for just a dime. Ten cents sounded like a good deal to me, and it turned out that I had the #0 issues of volumes 1 and 2 in this series, so I read them in advance. Of course, I barely got any story, but at least I was able to read something with the characters. Turns out they are Golden Age superheroes that weren’t being used, and Dynamite got the licensing rights. Maybe you know all this, but when these first two series came out, I wasn’t getting comic books, so the entire thing was fresh to me, including the heroes from the late Thirties to early Forties. The Green Lama, Samson, the American Spirit, Fighting Yank, Masquerade, and many others became a part of my reading world. After the 10-cent issue came, I continued with the third series. Yet, I needed to know more to really appreciate the story, so when an omnibus of everything that came before was offered via comiXology (I bought mine on sale through Amazon for under $10, and this normally sells for $29.99), I added it to my digital collection. Project: Superpowers Omnibus Vol. 1: Dawn Of The Heroes, contains Project Superpowers Chapter 1: #0-7, Project Superpowers #½, and Project Superpowers Chapter 2: #0-12, along with some additional art. It’s 550 pages, and I’m glad I could read it on my tablet instead of lugging a big volume around. It takes some getting used to these characters since they aren’t the familiar big screen stars of today, but I certainly had fun reading it.
In last week’s Cool Comics episode, we told you about a Kickstarter for a comic book called Mississippi Zombie. It needed more donors then, and it still needs more donors to reach its goal, but in the meantime, I read a digital copy of another comic book by the same writer, Bradley Golden. Timmy Lala’s Ice Cream is the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and this horror one-shot (this is the month for horror, so you might want to get this one) is available in both digital and paper. It’s been garnering good reviews, so if you’re a horror comics aficionado, you may want to add it to your collection. Timmy Lala’s Ice Cream has no real surprises in it, and while you may just figure it all out before the end, this is one of those stories in which the reader should just sit back and experience the journey. The art is good and creepy (a good thing in this case!) and the writing pace works well and keeps the story moving. While this isn’t the typical kind of scary comic book I like to read, I appreciate this for what it is, and it’s got me excited for Mississippi Zombie. And like usual, Cool Comics warns parents (and other readers who don’t like this kind of material) when a story contains things not meant for certain eyes, and Timmy Lala’s Ice Cream does have a few choice words and depictions that make this a horror comic to keep away from your kids. If you’re a fan of variant covers, this did come with one (but I’m unsure of the availability) and I included both so you could see them. If you want to purchase this comic, write to the author, Bradley Golden, at Secondsightstudios2014@gmail.com, and he can answer your questions and get a copy into your waiting hands!
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