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kchark
10 June 2012 @ 11:54 am
We’re going to be moving to a new apartment soon, and the idea of packing up the hundreds of books that we own got me to thinking: What would I keep if I could only take 10 trades with me? That’s 10 trades total, so it rules out most lengthy series, although the size of each trade itself doesn’t make a difference. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rid of my collection, this is purely a theoretical exercise.

1. Omega the Unknown - This is one of my favorite comics ever. It’s offbeat, has some crazy art, and is simply so weird and seemingly random that I can read it over and over again and still enjoy it. There are very few books, much less comics, that I can say that about, so Omega has to come with me.

2. Popeye Volume 1: “I Yam What I Yam!” - I love E.C. Segar’s Popeye, and I’d have to take at least the first volume of his series with me. This book has both the black and white dailies and the color sunday comics, which are separate stories, so it’s kind of two volumes in one...Definitely worth keeping.

3. Wednesday Comics - An artistic and literary tour de force with top talents on both sides of the equation, like Neil Gaiman, Amanda Conner, Joe Kubert, and many more. Also featuring some of my favorite characters on exciting adventures with no pointless continuity. Fun! Also it’s an enormous book and looks great on a bookshelf or a coffee table if you can fit it on them.

4. Showcase Presents: Secrets of Sinister House - It’s not that this volume features any one story that’s particularly compelling, it’s just the overall quality of the comic. Sinister House is a campy 70’s horror comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but manages to have some great art and decent writing. I could put one of the House of Mystery or House of Secrets showcases here, but neither of those have the ultra-70’s “mod witch” introducing each storyline, so Sinister House wins.

5. Marvel Essentials: Dazzler, Volume 1 - Ok, so maybe I can’t actually read all of this book even once yet, but it’s Dazzler! It would be good to have at least one trade on my shelf that’s to-read rather than already-read. Nothing but wall-to-wall sparkly 70’s disco jumpsuit action!

6. Oishinbo: Japanese Cuisine - How did a volume of manga make it on this list? Maybe because it’s about cooking and features recipes, super detailed food art, and oh yeah an entertaining story as well!

7. Criminal Deluxe Edition - Boy, am I lucky that they made a deluxe edition of this that includes the first three storylines of the series, because I would have a difficult time choosing just one of the smaller trades. Pulpy non-superhero comics at their absolute best, Criminal is a story that is worth rereading someday, and that’s a good reason to have it around.

8. Doctor 13: Architecture and Mortality - One of my favorite comics stories, containing all of the most painfully obscure DC comics characters and their adventures as they are written out of continuity. A funny story about characters nobody cares about with awesome art by Cliff Chiang? Yes, please! It’s also the only comic that I own original art from, so it would be great to have a copy of the finished work around too.

9. Showcase Presents: Superman Family Volume 1 - Oh look, another showcase! Superman Family has the classic wide-chest Superman stories that don’t make any sense or have any continuity that I crave. It’s also a massive 500+ page book that I haven’t read all of yet, so it would be nice to have around if I have a little bit of free time on my hands.

10. Glamourpuss Omnibus - Oh wait, this doesn’t exist! But it needs to. If they ever make a trade containing the entirety (or even a little bit) of Glamourpuss, I would have to take it with me everywhere. As it stands, the only way that I can foresee this happening is if I took all of my issues of Glamourpuss to a bookbinding company. Nobody reads this comic but me.

 
 
kchark
25 March 2012 @ 04:05 pm
One thing that's changed for me since DC's New 52 relaunch is that I now buy almost all of my comics digitally rather than physically. DC went to same day as print digital publishing with the reboot and I jumped right on board, especially since they take $1 off the cover price after the comic has been out for a month. I don't mind being a month behind since I don't hang out at many fan sites, and saving 33% on every issue lets me check out even more stuff than I would be able to otherwise.

The big reason that I switched to digital is because physical comics take up space. Since I used to own a store, I have wayyyyyyyy too many comics already, well over 10,000 issues in storage and here in the apartment. By not buying many physical comics anymore I help to prevent my collection from becoming even more monstrous! Also, and this may sound a bit odd for a "comic book guy" to say, but I've never collected comics for their resale value. I just buy them to read them and keep them in case I want to read them again someday, so going digital is no loss there.

The only comics that I'm not currently buying the digital version of are those that are deluxe-sized or printed on special paper, like Mondo (they still charge a higher price for the digital copy even though they're the same size as everything else...) and those that aren't available in a digital format, like Dave Sims' Glamourpuss. I really don't miss physical comics at all, and I greatly appreciate the space that it saves.
 
 
kchark
21 March 2012 @ 11:00 pm
So, I'm a bit of a comic fan. While owning my own comic book store for a couple of years, I was able to read just about everything that was released each month. After I closed the store, I pretty much decided to drop Marvel in favor of DC both to save money and because DC was putting out plenty of solid titles that I actually wanted to read.

When the New 52 happened, a lot of people were instantly negative about some of the changes, but I wanted to give them a chance! Some of the ideas seemed pretty good, and there were a lot of great creators involved, so there was a good chance that this would end up ok. I tried out a few different books here and there but I wasn't really impressed with a lot of them.

The new takes on Superman and Supergirl (who I had previously really enjoyed) really changed the characters a lot and I didn't feel the same connection to them as before. Dick Grayson was no longer Batman and we went back to Bruce Wayne, so I wasn't as interested in that either. The new Wonder Woman seemed promising with art by Cliff Chiang, but they took the character into whole new directions (apparently she was born naturally now instead of made out of clay, Zeus is her father, and the Amazons are murderous rapists instead of peace loving semi-immortals).

Skip ahead 7 months to today and I'm only currently reading two titles from DC: Animal Man and Batwoman. I had been picking up My Greatest Adventure, which was enjoyable but it recently ended at issue #6. Meanwhile, they added one of my favorite artists to Batwoman (hooray!) but then yanked her off the book suddenly against her will only 3 issues later (boo!). This has not increased my enthusiasm for Batwoman, but I love the character and I'm probably going to stick with it. Animal Man is awesome in every way, but I used to buy 20+ DC books a month. Now I'm down to 2? Something is wrong with the New 52, at least from my perspective.

Meanwhile, I've turned into just the kind of indie asshole that I've always hated. The kind that only buys Image comics with a smattering of Top Shelf and Fantagraphics thrown in when they release something compelling. WHAT HAVE I BECOME?

Oh and also Archie Comics.
 
 
kchark
07 March 2012 @ 08:40 pm
TUMBLR
friending meme
 
 
kchark
14 February 2012 @ 01:48 pm
Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your blog. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

Questions received from Jamie.

Click here to read the questions and responses!Collapse )
 
 
 
kchark
05 December 2011 @ 10:55 pm
Just as a sort of reflection and a semi-productive activity, I wanted to make a list of my favorite video games of all time. These games are somewhat in order of how much I like them, starting with my favorite (subject to change). This isn't a meme or anything, just something fun to do.

So let's get started!Collapse )
 
 
kchark
31 October 2011 @ 07:16 pm
I wrote a brief story to be told at this year's Halloween party. Here it is:

The time: ancient Rome. The place: somewhere along the northern borders of the Empire.

Claudius led his infantry unit through the woods, moving quickly toward the area where he had received reports that the locals had been planning a gathering. The barbarians should know better by now that meeting to plot against the Empire so close to the border was a terrible idea.

In the back of his mind he remembered the other reports that he had heard about these woods. The bloodthirsty demons who attacked without warning, ghosts and goblins who could not be harmed, and came for only one thing: the heads of their victims. Claudius felt a chill go down his spine, but it must have been the cold breeze whispering through the trees, because a true Roman would never shiver in fear.

Up ahead in the forest, the men could see the light of a campfire in the distance, and they knew that they were getting close. But as they kept walking, the light from the campfire grew brighter and brighter, until they knew that there had to be a towering inferno just ahead!

Suddenly, falling from the trees and erupting from the ground itself, an army of demons and monsters appeared around them! Their horns were long and curled, their eyes seemed to shine red in the light of the fire, and before long, their faces were dripping with the blood of their enemies. The Romans screamed in terror and began to run back the way they had come, some of them catching axe blows to the back as their reward. Claudius stood frozen in place as one of the demons grabbed him by the top of his helmet. With a slice and a pop his head was yanked free, and these Celtic warriors had a fine new drinking cup for tonight’s Halloween feast!
 
 
kchark
21 September 2011 @ 12:39 pm
Comment to this post, and I will list five things I associate with you. They might make sense or they might be random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your LJ (or just add a reply back at me).

Answers from kihanna:
Comics
PC games
Science Fiction
Economics
History
 
 
kchark
10 February 2010 @ 06:49 am
This is an overly philosophical essay, and you don't have to read it if you don't want to waste your time. It's just here for my enjoyment.

My essay on motivation and the end of human society.Collapse )
 
 
kchark
13 January 2010 @ 10:27 am
There are quite a few exciting things coming up this year in the comics world, and I figured that I should make a post about them so that you could be aware of them all!

First, as I'm sure many of you who follow Jamie must know, the Justice League International is returning this year! Written by Keith Giffen and Judd Winick, it should be very entertaining. The cover to the first issue doesn't impress me at all, but hopefully it will have a different artist for the interior. Either way, it will be fun to have another JLI adventure, and it appears that this one will take place in current continuity, as opposed to the last couple that they've done which were "untold" classic stories.

DC is going to be doing a new edition of their Who's Who in the DCU series this year! It's been quite some time since they've done an update, and it sounds like it will be a massive undertaking. For those who don't know, Who's Who is a series where DC gives background information and a lot of fancy new art for its characters. It's kind of like the Marvel Handbook, except better quality and with less pointless diagrams. Didio says that it will be some 800 pages long with over 1000 characters by the time it's all said and done. It should be great!

In non-DC news, Valiant Comics is making a return, but in the strangest way ever! Apparently Dark Horse has taken over the properties, but don't worry, they won't be doing anything strange or disrespectful with them, because Jim Shooter, the creator of most of the characters and of Valiant itself is coming back to write them! The first issues coming up are relaunches of Dr Solar: Man of the Atom and Magnus: Robot Fighter, but hopefully there will be more.

One more thing, just because I always have to mention it: Savage Dragon is hitting a new high in its story, and if you aren't reading it you should be. Erik Larson is a great storyteller and I personally love his art, although I know his kind of style not for everybody. Regardless, you should be getting this book! 2010 looks like a great year for Savage Dragon, and for comics in general!