Comic Book News Update!

I’m pretty busy with so-called “real life” work this week. Since I won’t be able to get out reviews or other fun things, I figure I’d fill you all in with some extra-special stuff.

Jim Shooter’s Storytelling Lecture

Iconic writer, editor and all things in-between, Jim Shooter, has recently been posting transcripts from a 1994 seminar he did about art telling stories through Jack Kirby’s art. They’re absolutely astounding and breathtaking to read and witness. Most importantly, it is still relevant today! (And unfortunately goes ignored). Please check out what he has posted so far, and keep checking back regularly for more updates!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Comic Sales & Highlights

Two classics were recently sold over ComicConnet.com and Ebay, making milestones for Showcase #4 and Journey Into Mystery #83.

“Mark Zaid of EsquireComics.com and ComicConnect.com are reporting the sale of a CGC-certified NM- 9.2 copy of Showcase #4 featuring the first appearance of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash for $100,000.” – ComicsPriceGuide.com

Showcase Flash

Meanwhile, the first appearance of Thor. . .

“. . . is autographed by Stan Lee and part of the CGC Signature Series. Graded at 6.5 by CGC, this copy of Journey Into Mystery #83 recently sold for $7,500.00 on eBay.” – ComicsPriceGuide.com

CGC Stan Lee Thor

Comics Sales Slump

In more depressing news, comic sales are continuously slipping. As ICv2 reports,

“Sales of the Top 300 graphic novels through Diamond Comic Distributors in March were down a substantial 18.6%, while sales of the Top 300 periodical comics fell 4.28%. Combined sales of the Top 300 Graphic Novels and Comics in March were off by 7.58%.”

Despite the drop, the 15 comics from March 2011 keep us hopeful with quantities sold being the last set of numbers in the list below. If you’d like to see the top 300, just click here.

1. FF#1 – $3.99 – Marvel – 114,472
2. Green Lantern #64 – $2.99 – DC – 76,898
3. Green Lantern #63 – $2.99 – DC – 75,632
4. Batman: The Dark Knight – $2.99 – DC – 71,108
5. Brightest Day #21 – $2.99 – DC – 70,204
6. Brightest Day #22 – $2.99 – DC – 69,824
7. Batman Incorporated #3 – $2.99 – DC – 66,772
8. Avengers #11 – $3.99 – Marvel – 66,618
9. Batman Incorporated #4 – $2.99 – DC – 65,315
10. Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1 – $3.99 – Marvel – 62,714
11. Kick-Ass 2 #2 – $2.99 – Marvel – 62,235
12. Green Lantern Corps #58 – $2.99 – DC – 60,100
13. New Avengers #10 – $3.99 – Marvel – 59,929
14. Batman and Robin #21 – $2.99 – DC – 59,818
15. Amazing Spider-Man #656 – $3.99 – Marvel – 59,626

And to think that in the 90’s comics were selling by the millions. These numbers reflect North America, by the by. *Sigh*

***UPDATE 5/13***

Here’s the official sales numbers for Marvel over at ComicsBeat.

Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

FanExpo Comic Guest List Announced! CGC Stuff, Too!

Being from Southern Ontario, it’s not often that comic conventions come out our way. However, one annual convention called Fan Expo comes to Toronto every year and brings in some of the biggest names in the business. In a nutshell, it’s the San Diego Comic Con on a smaller scale, centered in Toronto.

It focuses on Comics, Horror, Science Fiction, Anime and Video Games. It’s quite a well-rounded event.

Last year, I was able to meet my childhood hero, Stan Lee. Olivier Copiel, Gary Frank, Leonard Kirk, and Steve McNiven, to name a few, all made their appearances too. The year before that, I was lucky enough to meet Joe Quesada. This years list is beyond impressive:

JEFF SMITH (artist/creator – BONE)

JOE KUBERT (Legendary Artist)

ANDY KUBERT (artist – FLASHPOINT, BATMAN)

ADAM KUBERT (artist – ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN & WOLVERINE)

TONY MOORE (artist – THE WALKING DEAD, VENOM)

MATT FRACTION (writer- FEAR ITSELF, THOR, IRONMAN, UNCANNY X-MEN)

STEVE EPTING (artist – FANTASTIC FOUR, CAPTAIN AMERICA)

JONATHAN HICKMAN (writer – FANTASTIC FOUR, S.H.I.E.L.D, PAX ROMANA)

STUART IMMONEN (artist – FEAR ITSELF)

OLIVIER COIPEL (artist – THOR)

JASON AARON (writer- ULTIMATE CAPTAIN AMERICA, WOLVERINE)

JAMES ROBINSON (writer – SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)

STEVE McNIVEN (artist – CAPTAIN AMERICA, NEMESIS)

SHANE DAVIS (artist – SUPERMAN EARTH ONE)

RON GARNEY (artist – ULTIMATE CAPTAIN AMERICA)

MARKO DJURDJEVIC (artist – THOR, FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER-MAN)

JIMMY CHEUNG (artist- AVENGERS:THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE)

BRIAN AZZARELLO (writer – FIRST WAVE, 100 BULLETS, JOKER)

ETHAN VAN SCIVER (artist – THE FLASH REBIRTH)

MARK BROOKS (artist – UNCANNY X-FORCE)

DAN SLOTT (writer – AMAZING SPIDER-MAN)

ALEX MALEEV (artist – MOON KNIGHT, SCARLET)

DALE EAGLESHAM (artist – ALPHA FLIGHT)

FRANCIS MANAPUL (artist – THE FLASH)

KATHRYN IMMONEN (writer – WOLVERINE & JUBILEE)

DALE KEOWN (artist – HULK, PITT)

JEFF LEMIRE (artist – SUPERBOY, SWEET TOOTH)

KATIE COOK (artist – GRONK, STAR WARS, FRAGGLE ROCK)

DOUG SNEYD (Legendary Playboy cartoonist)

Of course, there’s even more!

Kei Acedara
Attila Adorjany
Sam Agro
Adrian Alphona
Kalman Andrasofszky
Andy Belanger
J. Bone
Kent Burles
C.B. Cebulski
Scott Chantler
Bobby Chiu
Michael Cho
Charlene Chua
Aaron Costain
Wes Craig
David J. Cutler
Willow Dawson
Kelly Sue DeConnick
Valentine DeLandro
Anthony Del Col
Michael Del Mundo
Jason Edmiston
Nick Evans
Ray Fawkes
W. Scott Forbes
Mike Gagnon
Agnes Garbowska
Holly Halftone
Clayton Hanmer
Scott Hepburn
Greg Hyland
Raffaelle Ienco
Jesse Jacobs
Eric Kim
Leonard Kirk
Shane Kirshenblatt
Scott Kowalchuk
Annie Koyama
Drazen Kozjan
Jessie Lam
Marvin Law
Alvin Lee
Kurt Lehner
Leo Leibelman
Nimit Malavia
Steven Charles Manale
Steve Mannion
Marvin Mariano
Nick Marinkovich
John Martz
Richard Maurizio
Conor McCreery
Brian McLachlan
Kagan McLeod
Diana McNally
Alex Milne
Vicki Nerino
Richard Pace
Dan Parent
Ramon K. Perez
Alex Perkins
Nick Postic
Gibson Quarter
Peter Repovski
Ethan Rilly
Benjamin Rivers
Hugh Rookwood
Dave Ross
Riley Rossmo
Salgood Sam
K.T. Smith
Fiona Smyth
Steve Sprayson
Diana Tamblyn
Ty Templeton
Kelly Tindall
Marcus To
J. Torres
James Turner
Alina Urusov
Eric Vedder
Joe Vriens
Tigh Walker
Ken Wheaton
Kurtis Wiebe
Britt Wilson
Steve Wolfhard
Howard Wong
Tory Woollcott
Craig Yeung
Richard Zajac
Jim Zubkavich

Publishes and Studios:

DC Comics
Marvel Comics
Image Comics
Archie Comics
Udon Entertainment
DK Canada
Koyama Press
Imaginism Studios
Transmission-X (TX Comics)

Check out more updates as they come along on FanExpo’s Website.

I’m very excited for Stuart and Kathryn Immonen, Matt Fraction, Steve McNiven, Marko Djurdjevic, Alex Maleev, Oliver Coipel, Dale Keown, Steve Epting, Jimmy Cheung, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Leonard Kirk, and Tony Moore.

It’s going to be a blast!

In other news, CGC Comics just announced that they’ve reached a milestone with 100,000 Signature Series books being certified through them.

“All collectibles certified with the prestigious CGC Signature Series label have been signed in the presence of a CGC representative, and are then submitted for CGC certification. CGC authenticates the signatures and indicates all pertinent information on the prestigious CGC Signature Series label. The Signature Series label includes security features such as an official hologram seal and a unique serial number. The item is then graded and encapsulated in CGC’s patented, tamper-evident holder, to become a treasured part of a collection. Thanks to CGC Signature Series, collectors know their signed items bear the seal of the most-trusted name in collecting.”

I’m proud to be part of that 100,000 with my copy of X-Men #15 signed by Stan Lee. (Who knows why I’m proud – I just am.)

Keep on Space Truckin’!

Classic Comic Fridays: Savage She-Hulk #1

It’s been over a month since I last did one of these. Because of how life is, I’ve decided to change the Classic Comic Friday’s to the beginning Friday of every month – only because I cannot guarantee a regular Friday update it seems.

As for the unfamiliar, Classic Comic Fridays are comics pulled from my own personal collection which I then decide to review – for whatever reason.

The Savage She-Hulk

The Savage She-Hulk #1 (1980)
Stan Lee (writer), John Buscema (penciler, cover), Chic Stone (inker). 40¢

Branching off from the Hulk comics, the story starts off with Bruce Banner trying to find a place to hide. Thankfully, his cousin Jennifer Walters, is a criminal lawyer who works nearby in Los Angeles.

Jen decides to take Bruce to her house for safe-keeping, and the two catch up with each other in the car. There, Jen reveals she is working on a high-profile case which Bruce thinks may put her in danger. After Jen suggests to Bruce that those types of things only happen in movies, they arrive to Jen’s home to be fired upon some thugs. Jen is hit, and Bruce tackles them away – avoiding turning into the Hulk. He realizes Jen is gravely injured, so he rushes her to a closed practitioners office and does a quick blood transfusion to help her until an ambulance arrives.

At the hospital, Bruce is held for questioning because he has no ID and is considered a suspect. He Hulks-out and escapes the hospital while Jen recovers. While recovering, the thugs who tried to kill her before reappear dressed in doctors costumes. As they try to chloroform her, she gets angry and transforms into – what the thugs call her – a She-Hulk!

They escape the hospital and She-Hulk chases them to their car where she off-roads it and gets information on who hired the hit on her. She then escapes back to the hospital – winding down in energy to turn back into Jennifer Walters. The goes into another hospital bed and tells a nurse she left her old room because she was scared of the noises she heard. Relaxing, she realizes the blood transfusion would have caused the change and proclaims, “Whatever Jennifer Walters can’t handle – the She-Hulk will do!”

Although I gave it a very fast-paced summary, it was a very fast-paced book. I couldn’t believe the story was over as it felt it just began – which I guess may be a sign of good story-telling.

Jen gets a name

Stan Lee dedicates the first six-or-so pages to the history of Jen and Bruce – revealing they are cousins and also giving a brief reasoning through their dialogue on why Bruce would trust Jen. We also get a lot of information about Jen within those pages, setting up the character to exactly how she is even now in comics. These few pages were essential to the book and really shaped how She-Hulk would appear in later comics.

However, from there-on, the book really picked up in pace, and I felt a bit over-whelmed in how quickly everything was going. Bruce turned refused to turn into Hulk when Jen was shot, but once arrested it was no problem? How does a blood transfusion save bullet wounds with the bullet still inside? Although the answer may be “it’s just a comic book,” I feel as if they were still somewhat cop-outs to how the book could have went. Given Lee only did this one book, I can understand why he wanted everything to be wrapped up so quickly.

John Buscema’s take on She-Hulk was superb. Considered one of the best artists in the industry, Buscema’s take on She-Hulk was done surprisingly tasteful – especially considering how She-Hulk looks now. Great detail was placed throughout the book to give an idea of the surrounding location, as well as detail to character.

Overall, it was an impressive start to begin a career for Jennifer Walters. It may not have been Stan’s best start to a new character, but She-Hulk definitely found a place for herself within the Marvel Universe.

Grade: 6/10

Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

Signed by Stan Lee

Today, I finally received my X-Men #15 signed by Stan Lee in the mail from CGC. I will definitely do a post about how CGC works and how the process works in the later weeks.

Until then, the glory of my comic:

X-Men #15, signed by Stan Lee

And what it says on the top:

CGC Signature Series
X-Men #15, Marvel Comics, 12/65
Signed by Stan Lee on 08/27/10
Off-white to white pages.

Stan Lee story, Kirby and Ayers cover.
Dick Ayers and Werner Roth art.
Jack Kirby layouts.

1st appearance of Master Mold.
2nd appearance of the Sentinels.
Origin of the Beast.

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Keep on Space Truckin’!