Comics Update 2018, Part 5 of 5: And the Rest

Comics Finale!

Hey, kids! There’s more to comics life than Marvel or DC! Art by (clockwise from top left) Joe Quinones; David Aja,; Andy Clarke and Dan Brown; Jock; Geoff Shaw and Gabe Eltaeb; and Scott Wegener and Anthony Clark.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Comics collecting has been my primary geek interest since age 6, but I have a tough time writing about it with any regularity. Over the course of the next four entries…I’ll be sharing what I’m currently buying every Wednesday at my local comic shop — series and miniseries alike, budget permitting, broken down by publisher as of the very end of February 2019, including lists of 2018 works that are either done or dead to me.

The miniseries concludes at last! I’m happier when my weekly reading pile covers a gamut of publishers, genres, and voices, not just Big Two superheroes. In some respects I wish this section were a little longer, but for now this’ll do.

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My Free Comic Book Day 2015 Results, Best to Least Best

Secret Wars FCBD 2015!

Valeria Richards addresses her troops in Secret Wars #0. Art by Paul Renaud.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I observed Free Comic Book Day 2015 this past Saturday. Readers of multiple demographics, thankfully including lots of youngsters, flocked to our local stores and had the opportunity to enjoy samplers from all the major comic companies and dozens of indie publishers. As an incentive for the younger recruits, the shop we visited split the all-ages material apart from the rest and put up “KIDS ONLY” signs discouraging greedy adults from hoarding everything and leaving nothing behind in their wake.

I never grab copies of everything, and this year I took even fewer items than usual because I don’t really have the time or inclination to be the guy who thinks he’s obligated to read and respond to everything. I came away with a dozen comics of varying interest levels and finished reading the last of them the next morning. In my mind, each issue ought to be a satisfying experience for any new reader who opens the cover without any foreknowledge. Historically, each publisher’s offerings tend to fall into one of six story levels, ranked here in order from “Best Possible Display of Generosity and Salesmanship” to “Had to Slap SOMETHING Together, So Whatever”:

1. New, complete, done-in-one story
2. Complete story reprinted from existing material
3. A complete chapter of a new story with a proper chapter ending
4. Partial excerpt from an upcoming issue that will also contain all these same pages
5. No story, just random pinups or art samples
6. Disposable ad flyer shaped like a comic

The twelve comics in my FCBD 2015 reading pile came out as follows, from least favorite to definite favorite:

Right this way for the countdown!

Comics Update: My 2014 Faves and My Current Lineup

Buffy and Giles!

One of the neatest comics moments of 2014, from Buffy Season 10. Art by Rebekah Isaacs.

Comics collecting has been my primary geek interest since age 6, but I have a tough time writing about it with any regularity for a long list of reasons. I started a “Best Comics of 2014” entry at the end of January, saved it and then procrastinated the heck out of it. Since my wife and I will be attending the Indiana Comic Con this weekend, comics are foremost on my mind tonight and I think I’m ready to move forward and express a thought or two. At the very least, a lot of lists are in order.

Right this way for my favorite comics of 2014, and a look at what I’m following and savoring today!

Wizard World Chicago 2014 Photos, Part 3: Marvel and Dark Horse Costumes!

The Avengers!

The Avengers! Classic lineup, different take.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This weekend was that time again: our annual excursion to Rosemont, IL, for Wizard World Chicago. My wife and I took plenty of photos as usual, many of them usable. We’ll be sharing those over the next several entries, but I’m still too fatigued from the experience to figure out how many entries these will take.

Part three, then: representatives from the Marvel Universe, along with a few folks from other comic-book companies. Enjoy!

Right this way, True Believer!

Free Comic Book Day Results, Part 1 of 2: the Better Half of the Stack

Avatar vs. Fantasy Dudebros

Even in the world of Avatar: the Last Airbender. some guys think they gotta dominate everything. Art by Faith Erin Hicks.

As previously recounted, my wife and I had a ball on Free Comic Book Day 2014 this past Saturday. Readers of multiple demographics, especially a heartening number of youngsters, flocked to our local stores and had the opportunity to enjoy samplers from all the major comic companies and dozens of indie publishers.

How did the finished works do? Did they present an enjoyable, self-contained experience? Were they welcoming to new readers? Did they adhere to the old adage that every comic is someone’s first?

Of the nearly five dozen items offered to retailers nationwide, my wife and I carried away twenty-five in all, in addition to numerous other items I purchased using money instead of good will. My favorites from my FCBD 2014 reading pile were the following:

This way for this year’s Top 12!

“THE Star Wars”: Fun Adaptation of Stuff Found in George Lucas’ File Cabinets

Annikin Starkiller, Kane Starkiller, The Star Wars

Race into adventure with Kane Starkiller and his sons Annikin and Deak! Whoever they are!

In 1999 Dark Horse Comics published an intriguing experiment called Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the Origin — a comic-book adaptation of Joss Whedon’s original script for the movie, hewing more closely to what he envisioned in his head before the director and producer meddled and warped everything. Although Dark Horse’s version didn’t contain nearly enough Paul Reubens, few Buffy fans would choose the movie over The Origin. It was a rare opportunity to see a writer’s lost draft technically restored and given life anew.

In that same vein, Dark Horse now brings us The Star Wars, an eight-issue miniseries promising to adapt George Lucas’ 1974 rough-draft screenplay that would later be rethought, rewritten, rearranged, and eventually filmed as merely Star Wars. Without the “The”. Because it looked cleaner.

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