Sunday, December 18, 2005

Encouraging and Depressing All At Once

I saw something that was both encouraging and depressing at Target today while doing some Christmas shopping; a handful of superhero trade paperbacks amongst the Marvel magazine-sized All-Ages reprints. They had the new Greatest Stories Ever Told volumes for Superman and Batman, a couple of copies of the first volume of the first Superman/Batman trade, and some Ultimate Spider-Mans. It's encouraging to see comics in places beyond the comics shop and the book store. I've spotted some Marvel digests at Wal Mart along with, oddly enough, an X-Factor annual from the '80s drawn by Walt Simonson and John Byrne. They also have black and white mini comic reprints of the first three issues of all the classic Silver Age Marvel books (I picked up Fantastic Four, because I'd never read the first issue, and hey, it was a dollar). The local Waldenbook even has a healthy spinner rack to go along with a decent graphic novel section. All those things are good signs.

That said, it's sad that things have come to this, that seeing comics outside their niche is a cause for celebration. To go nostalgic on you for a moment, I remember when I was a kid and you could find comics at every grocery and convenience store in town. That's how I bought most of mine. Comics were cheaper back then, too. What's really sad is that I'm only 23 and I already have these kinds of stories. It's a good thing that I grew up in the foil cover/speculator glut crapfest of the '90s, or I'd probably drone on, waxing poetic about how comics were so much better when I was younger. I know better; they weren't. But still, at this rate, I fear I'll be able to challenge Greg Hatcher for the role of our official Crochety Old Man in a few years.*

*I'm kidding. We don't have an official crochety old man. It's a symbolic title only. And I'm not challenging him for it. He has a bunch of art students he could send to fuck me up.

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Blogger Bill Reed said...

Ahh, the good old days. When comics were at the supermarket. I remember way back when... then again, it was only five or six years ago! Ack.

I also picked up that one-dollar FF thingie. And the two Spider-Man ones. FF one was tons of fun. I've read those Spideys before. I just bought them to have something to hand to my cousin's kids. Trying to get 'em addicted. You know how it goes.

12/18/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Yeah. I miss the good 'ol days.

When I was a kid, I bought my comics at the combination tobacco shop/newstand/reptile zoo.

Which makes the comics I bought as a kid somehow much, much better than any I could buy today.

12/19/2005 02:52:00 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Good value for those Target books too. They've reprinted the Handbooks as "Encyclopedias", so you get, for example, the Avengers and FF ones in one volume, slightly bigger than normal for $4.99. I seem to recall that they're originally $3.99 for one, so that's pretty cool.

Their tpbs are a lot cheaper than cover price too. Something like $10.99 versus a cover price of $14.99. Sadly it's stuff like Superman/Batman which I'm not into, but it's a start.

12/19/2005 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Comics are sold in every supermarket in Sweden. They still don't sell much.

12/22/2005 10:21:00 AM  
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