Thrift Store Finds: Cincy Comicon Finds!

I’ve been posting stuff about the Cincy Comicon on my Tumblr all week and I thought I’d take today to post some of my comic book finds. Most people going to comic conventions have agendas they like to follow. Some folks are there to cosplay. Others are all about buying toys or art prints.

My agenda is to dig through longboxes and find cheap comics, both new and old. If I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed with this con in terms of my finds – I try to concentrate on finding far-out weird stuff and there weren’t many of that to be had. Still, I did manage to bring a ton of funnybooks home with me, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Here’s what I picked up.

Most of these finds were like, fifty cents a book.

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I picked up a bunch of issues of Leave it To Chance, a generational supernatural comic series published by Image/Wildstorm/Homage in the late 1990’s. Written by James Robinson with incredible art by Paul Smith, it’s one of those books with a great reputation I had never really read before. I remember reading about how the series was somewhat derailed by constant lateness (Smith has always been somewhat problematic as a penciller of a monthly book, even going back to his Uncanny X-Men days) but I love the concept of the series (girl adventurer investigates mysteries despite protests from her father) and I’m looking forward to checking it out.

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I could say the same thing for these issues of Mage: The Hero Defined, also published by Image Comics in the 1990’s. I’ve always liked Matt Wagner’s work and this is an urban retelling of the King Arthur myth, from what I’ve been able to glean. I know there’s more to it than that, but I’ve always stayed away from Mage because the publishing history of the comic is so weirdly erratic. The first volumes were published in the Eighties under the banner “The Hero Discovered” but it’s not readily available in trades. I thought picking up the first five in the second cycle, “The Hero Defined” might provide me a road into the character and the world. We’ll see. The first issue’s in 3-D which I’m REALLY not looking forward to reading.

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I picked up a bunch of issues of Paul Chadwick’s Concrete because it’s one of the best comics of the 1980’s and people don’t seem to talk about it very much anymore. Concrete was one of the first books I read that dealt plausibly with the idea of superpowers and how, in point of fact, they’d be a gigantic hassle. Chadwick tells wonderful stories about his protagonist navigating a world where he’s an 8 foot tall rock creature and makes these stories compelling. I picked up all of Killer Smile, a mid-’90’s mini-series, as well as a couple of other books featuring the character.

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I am slowly but surely completing collections of several creator and character specific runs on DC Comics titles I enjoyed as a teenager. I’m trying to get all the Mark Waid penned issues of The Flash, all the Chuck Dixon Robin issues, and the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern issues written by Ron Marz I missed.

A retailer pointed something sad out to me while I was digging through his wares- all the characters whose books I’m looking for in back issues do not exist anymore in these same incarnations in the current New 52 DC continuity. The Wally West Flash has disappeared. Tim Drake is still around, but due to some silly continuity modifications, he’s no longer Robin, nor was he ever Robin. Ditto the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern – he had been marginalized by the return of Hal Jordan long before the New 52 but these days, he’s been shunted off to a supporting cast member in a team book. It’s sad. I loved these characters growing up.

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Another area where the retailer portion of the con came up a bit lacking was with newer stock. I’m used to going to conventions and being able to catch up on titles published in the last year for about a buck an issue. That didn’t happen last weekend – no retailers I found had any good deals on newer comics besides one gentleman who had a bunch of “independent” titles for a dollar. IDW isn’t exactly an indie publisher but they’ve been putting out great work recently and I decided to pick up some stuff. The Doctor Who Classics will end up in my classroom. I was curious about The X-Files: Season Ten books, being a fan of that show from its’ early days… and they ended up being pretty good! I also snapped up a couple of issues of The Rocketeer, including the one issue of the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee pairing I missed last year.

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…and some random stuff. Mara is a book I’ve heard good things about. Ex Machina, I’ve always enjoyed that series and this looked like a stand-alone issue. Ditto the Wolverine: Debt of Death; I like David Lapham’s writing and the pairing of David Aja and Bettie Breitweiser was too good to pass on. Ferro City had a cool look to it, and my LCS forgot to pull this issue of Stumptown for me when it came out.

I’m holding back a couple of “oddball” comics I dug up at the show for future TSF posts, but that about makes up most of my haul. All in all, I would say it was a decent show for shopping, but like I said, I was disappointed by the lack of newer discounted comics and paperback booksellers.

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