thrift store finds: cincinnati comic expo finds!

Ok, this is going to be a long one, folks. I’m just warning you of that now. Last weekend was the Cincinnati Comic Expo and I spent two days visiting the con; on Saturday I went solo and on Sunday, Ellen and the boys came to spend the morning. I thought this year’s convention built on the momentum CCE had coming off of the 2011 con quite nicely.

Let me walk you through some of my purchases!


Some people go to conventions for the celebrities… some people go for the comic creators… I go for the comic bargains. New and old books can be had for a pittance; often complete runs of recent issues can be found for $1 dollar apiece. Here’s some of my finds:

I meant to pick up The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom when it was in comic shops a few weeks ago, but didn’t get the chance. Ditto the series Near Death, which I’ve heard is sort of a pastiche of 1980’s private eye television. I pick up random issues of Invincible whenever I find ’em. That’s a book I always buy in the hardcover Ultimate Collections but I don’t mind dropping a few quarters in a back-issue bin now and then to stay current.

You can see my two interests pretty clearly here. I wasn’t sure The New Deadwardians was for me when it came out, but for $1 dollar, I’ll take a risk. I also pick up these thick collections DC publishes whenever I see them – the fact that they’re $8 bucks on the stands but I can scoop them up for $1 is catnip for me. Finally, I padded out my Batman Adventures collection a bit with two issues from the original series and two from the follow-up series.

I’ve trimmed a LOT of the fat off my comic pull list from month to month, but one cut I’ve always felt bad about was Wolverine and the X-Men. I bought the first four issues when the series was in stores and thought it was fantastic fun – Jason Aaron’s writing a series full of action and pathos but with a definite sense of humor. There’s not a lot of the overwrought, depressing stuff I normally associate with the X-Men franchise. It helps that the two rotating artists (Chris Bachalo, Nick Bradshaw) on this book are great.

Actually, looking at all the Marvel books I pulled, I got the majority of them for the art – I’m pretty burnt out on Brian Michael Bendis’ take on The Avengers at this point, but the siren song of penciller Walt Simonson drew me into these three issues. Ditto Ultimate X – I could care less about the Ultimate Marvel Universe at this point, but Art Adams on pencil chores will always rate a purchase from me. Ditto Daredevil Annual #1; Alan Davis is an artist I’ve loved since I was a kid.

Journey into Mystery… man, I feel bad about that one. I LOVE the book but didn’t support it. Thus, it’s been cancelled. I’m going back and picking up as many issues of the thing as I can. In my defense, there never seemed to be a good time to jump into the series toward the end! When I found out about the book initially, it was right in the middle of “The Terrorism Myth” storyline, so I said “OK, I’ll wait until that’s over and then start reading. Almost immediately after that (it seemed) the book did a crossover with New Mutants! I’m not interested in New Mutants, so I decided to wait… and now it’s cancelled. A bummer, but it’s still fun work and I’m looking forward to catching up.

ALF, glorious ALF. After yammering on about the Alien Life Form’s Marvel Comic forever, this is the first comic convention where I’ve had significant luck locating a number of these books. ALF ran for 50 issues and I’m proud to say I now own more than half of that run!


 I stayed away from a lot of trade purchases this year; my shelves are getting stuffed as it stands now. I couldn’t resist these two though.

I love the aesthetic of the 1970’s Marvel horror comics and figured Essential Man-Thing might be interesting to read. I’m a little bummed, because the guy who was selling these had a TON of the Marvel Essential titles. I saw one I wanted to buy on Saturday but decided to wait until Sunday to pick it up… and on Sunday, it was gone. Lesson learned.

Batman: Turning Points collects a five issue miniseries from one of my favorite periods of Batman comics, when writers like Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka were putting their mark on the relationship between Batman and Commissioner Gordon. This is one of those “through the years” books where each chapter takes place during a different time in Batman’s history – the first chapter takes place during “Year One” and the fourth happens during the Knightfall/Knightquest storyline of the 1990’s. Fun stuff.


Again, didn’t do a lot of toy purchases this year, but I couldn’t resist these two

I’ve been after a toy representation of The Doctor for awhile now but never found one at a price I liked. These were being sold for $8 bucks a piece and at that price, I jumped at The Doctor (with beard) variant, as he looked in the second episode of the 6th series. It’s an INCREDIBLY specific variant for the toy series but I don’t mind. I dressed as The Doctor earlier this week for my school’s Homecoming Spirit Week and, with beard, I looked a lot like him!

Finding the Validus right arm FINALLY ends a six month long quest to complete this dumb Collect n Connect figure from the DC Universe Classics toy line. I paid $5 bucks for the arm and now you see Validus in all his purple, brain-visible glory.

Here’s a bunch of books I got signed by the creators appearing at the CCE, including Jack Kirby inker Mike Royer, superhero penciller extraordinare George Perez, writer Steve Englehart, and artist Mike Norton.

Here are a couple of books I got signed… with a little something extra.

David Peterson’s Mouse Guard is a popular book in my classroom’s lending library and I was so happy he took a moment to sketch a little mouse in the inside cover. This is going right back into my classroom, to surprise readers when they find a little drawing by the author sitting on the title page.

I didn’t know much about Battlepug, but I’ve enjoyed creator Mike Norton’s work on the indie relationship series The Waiting Place quite a bit. Norton did quiet relationship stuff well in TWP, but he’s also one hell of a dynamic adventure comic penciller, and Battlepug is Norton’s goofy, fun expression of this aspect of his talent. I asked Norton to give me a little sketch in the inside cover, and hoo boy, did he do something great for me. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the comic now, and I suggest everyone click on that link above and check it out.

In a lot of ways, the big draw of the Cincinnati Comic Expo this year was their Swamp Thing reunion, bringing together four artists who worked on the seminal horror series. The nice thing about having Rick VeitchThomas YeatesSteven Bissette, and John Totleben all in the same convention was the prospect of getting ONE hardcover book containing all of these gentlemen’s work collected signed. I went through the whole line and got the above signatures.

I’m especially happy with the little Rick Veitch sketch… I’m a fan of Veitch’s work from when I was a surly teenager, reading his flashback tales on Image/Awesome Comics’ Supreme.

So yes, the Swamp Thing reunion was a big deal… but for me, the big draw of this con was getting my copy of Dark Horse Comics’ Aliens Tribes signed by Bissette and painter Dave Dorman. A hardcover prose book with illustrations, Tribes was a book I absolutely LUSTED after as a kid. I saved my allowance over the course of two months to be able to afford this book and then spent a good chunk of my time afterward pouring over each page.

I related this love of Tribes to the artist and the writer and they both gave me CRAZY SUPER AWESOME sketches within the cover of the book.

You guys know what a big fan of Aliens I am, right? You know how awesome this is for me… right?

Anyway, that’s my haul from the CCE. It makes me laugh a little bit because this took FOREVER to write and I’m pretty sure something like 20 people will end up reading it…

One Response to “thrift store finds: cincinnati comic expo finds!”

  1. […] even keeping that in mind, I wanted to check out the CCE this year, if only because I’ve done it in the past and I didn’t have quite the shopping experience I was looking for at the Cincy […]

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