Week of May 6th

The Weekly from Cape’s Kafe

Thanks for coming down to Free Comic Book Day at the new location.  If you didn’t make it, check out the facebook page for some pictures: https://www.facebook.com/capeskafe

The Des Moines Social Club big giant Grand Opening is this weekend, Saturday May 10th.  There are a lot things planned for the night, including a keynote address by David Byrne (he formerly of the Talking Heads.)  He’ll talk about his experiences in Des Moines and the importance of the Arts in a city.  For more info: http://firehouse.desmoinessocialclub.org/grand-opening-party/

 

What to do about DC’s September shipping 3D books

If you are filling out a pre-order for April’s Previews and order DC books you noticed pages listing books that will not ship until September.  These are this year’s DC September event books and to make matters even worse when orders are submitted at the end of May, those are the set orders that will ship in September.

The system that is in place for comics is one that goes like this – Comics are initially ordered about two months in advance, three to four weeks before shipping we can add to or cut down in a Final Order Commitment system and then books ship to us based on those orders.

The event is called Futures End.  It will include 41 different issues shipping over four weeks.  Each issue will have a 3D cover and a standard cover.  There is some content information in the previews, but no information on who is writing or drawing each issue and we won’t even get this info until two days before the initial order is set – four months before they ship!!

This is the worst kind of guessing game I’ve ever seen in comics.  We are ordering books based on a weekly comic that will have – by the time we need to commit to ordering these – been published four times (less than a full month’s numbers) about an alternate future timeline story arc with very, very little information on what we are even ordering.

A note in the previews – form “Your Futuristic co-publishers” Jim Lee and Dan Diddio – sounds like they think this is all real interesting, but obviously not interesting to really let us know what it is about or interesting enough to get fully behind it and back it with any of their own money (like offering returns) or at the very least going through the proper channels (like the FOC system.)  This is a heck of a gamble for retailers with no support from the publisher.  Though they thank us for our support (hey, Dan and Jim, I’m sorry to inform you…)

Last year’s Villians 3D event (read that as gimmick) was successful if you look at it as generating buzz and talk, but it probably didn’t really generate too many more sales for them.  This year could be both “better” and worse in ways.  There could be a massive shortage of these 3D books.  I can’t see shops taking as big a gamble with an unproven alternate future storyline as they may have with actual household DC villain names.  Good for speculators, questionable for retailers and I don’t see how it makes the publisher any more money.  I ask just how much actual “value” those super awesome 3D covers still have today, a little more than six months later.

I just have to wonder about a publisher and its insistence on gimmicks over storytelling.

 

…and what is this Future’s End anyway?

I was wondering around on a comic “news” site today and found this article about the crazy new DC weekly title (because I really didn’t know what it was about) and found out – obviously – that it is set in the new DC new 52 future.  Now, the article is about the FCBD give away and is more than a little snarky (which is fine, as it is DC and they deserve far worse than a little snark for continuously making bad decisions over the last couple years.)  Worth a read: http://comicsalliance.com/dcs-futures-end-0-free-comic-book-day-2014-review/ but if Death and Mutilation in your comics aren’t your thing…

How about a preview of Hellboy #6, coming next week

Oh, yeah!  This is the good stuff, crazy ass Mike Mignola writing and drawing!! http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=21474

Gerard Way’s comic about Twitter

Oh, yes, you need to read it – especially if you use the twitter or even if you don’t or can’t understand why people use the twitter.  It is pretty great.  http://thetalkhouse.com/talks/gerard-way-my-chemical-romance-talks-twitter/  …and yes, there is more Umbrella Academy coming.

 

Kyle’s Warlord Retro Review

DC was a little late to the Sword and Sorcery party.  While Marvel had been successfully publishing Conan the Barbarian comics, which consisted of a mix of adapted Robert E. Howard stories as well as all new stories conceived by Roy Thomas, and showing tremendous sales numbers since 1970, DC didn’t try their hand at this relatively new genre in comics until 3 years later.  (Sure DC had been publishing comics chronicling the exploits of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan since 1972, but these were mostly adventure stories and didn’t quite venture into tales of magic, swords and ancient evil monsters.)

1973 saw DC’s first journey into the barbaric comic genre, with a short lived 5 issue anthology series titled “Sword of Sorcery.”  This series featured some gorgeous art from the early career of legendary artists Howard Chaykin, Jim Starlin and Walt Simonson.  Some of these stories were original tales penned by Denny O’Neil and others were adaptions of Fritz Lieber stories from the 1940’s that starred his characters Fafhrd the Barbarian and the Gray Mouser.  A prequel to this series appeared in the 1972 issues #201 & 202 of Wonder Woman (who was in the midst of her Denny O’Neil, depowered, Kung Fu Modern Day Working Woman phase at the time).

DC’s next foray into the Sword and Sorcery genre was with the short lived Rima the Jungle Girl series which debuted in 1974 and ran for 7 issues and featured some gorgeous Nestor Redondo art.  DC continued to publish Tarzan as well, and introduced a new series titled Tor the Caveman, written and drawn by Joe Kubert.   Tor only ran for 6 issues, but got a little closer to that Sword and Sorcery blend of Barbarism and Magic.  Marvel had meanwhile added Kull the Conqueror (another Robert E. Howard creation), Kazar and Red Sonja (a pseudo-Howard creation, brought to life by Roy Thomas and inspired by Howard’s Red Sonya character).

And then came the game changer for DC’s Sword and Sorcery comics, 1st Issue Special #8 and the introduction of Warlord in 1975.  Warlord was a new and unique twist on the Sword and Sorcery genre. Other comics and S & S stories dating back to the Pulps in the 20’s and 30’s focused on characters roaming mythical lands in ancient times.  However, Warlord was set in modern day, starring Travis Morgan, a lieutenant of the United States Air Force, who discovers a magical land hidden inside the earth’s crust, with the only access points being the North and South poles. This mysterious land was known as Skartaris, the land of the endless sun.

It was a land of magic and barbarism, co-existing in the same time as our modern world with skyscrapers and space shuttles headed to the moon.  Travis Morgan embraced this new land and quickly became known throughout the land as the Warlord, the fearless sword wielding and .44 Magnum sporting warrior, who had no equal in combat.  This character and world was the brainchild of relatively new, yet soon to be legendary comic writer and artist Mike Grell.

Grell would write and pencil, as well as sometimes ink, the title until issue #52.  At that point his involvement would be dialed back, usually only providing covers and even though issue #53-71 were credited to him, most of these issues were actually ghost written by his then wife Sharon Grell (Wright).  The transition was almost seamless.  During this stretch, a couple of young artists tackled Travis Morgan, including Jan Duresma, co-creator of Arion Lord of Atlantis (another Sword & Sorcery character that actually made its debut in a back-up feature in Warlord and go on to have its own series) as well as up and coming, and soon to be a DC Legend, Dan Jurgens.  The Creator of Booster Gold and Superman, artist and writer extraordinaire, cut his teeth on Warlord and was his art fantastic.  Another notable, Michael Fleischer, would eventually come to be a mainstay writer on the title, and really bring out the savageness of Skartaris.

Warlord Volume One would run until 1988 and end with issue #133 making it, far and away the top DC Sword and Sorcery comic in the company’s history.  (Roy Thomas’s Arak came in 2nd with just over 50 issues of publication between the series and annuals) and second only to Conan the Barbarian for longest running Sword and Sorcery comic by any company.

The Warlord has made a couple of attempts at a comeback, including the 1992 6 issue mini-series with Mike Grell at the helm, a 2006 series that ran for 10 issues under the guidance of Bruce Jones and Bart Sears and a 2009 series of 16 issues with Grell again in control.  All of these have had their merits, some more than others, but haven’t quite been able to capture that magic or the audience that the first volume had.

First Issue Special and Warlord Volume 1-28 are reprinted in Showcase Presents Warlord volume 1. It is another example of a great title being reprinted in the fantastic (and cheap!) Showcase Presents format, but it’s a shame that the rest of the series has not yet been reprinted, so, again I’m enlisting your help to contact DC and express interest in this great series in the hopes that it may finally see the reprinted light of day.  (The first 6 issues of the 2009 series have been collected in the Warlord Saga TPB.)

 

Week of April 28

New Location and Events at the New Site

The transition down to the Des Moines Social Club is nearly complete.  We are now open at the new location (in case you don’t know 9th and Mulberry, the old downtown fire station.)

Hours at the new shop will be 6:00am to 10:00pm weekdays and 7:00am to 10:00pm weekends.  The phone number stays the same – (515) 974-o515.  Emails are transitioning and for the mean time comic questions can still be sent to the same address.

If you like events, there will be several over the next month. 

Free Comic Book Day is this coming weekend and as we have done in the past, we’ll have a party on the Friday night before.  Then at 12:01am Saturday let you have first crack at the FCBD books.  We’ll open again bright and early on Saturday morning too.

There are also plans for a Des Moines Social Club big giant Grand Opening too.  That is planned for May 10th.  There are a lot things planned for that night, including a keynote address by David Byrne (he formerly of the Talking Heads.)  He’ll talk about his experiences in Des Moines and the importance of the Arts in a city.  For more info: http://firehouse.desmoinessocialclub.org/grand-opening-party/

Yes, Capes Kafe is a new name, but it’s the same thing.

Many have asked about the name change.  Yes, the name is changing, to Capes Kafe, but this is the same business and in many respects it is just a reverting back to the original idea the shop had twelve years ago – a coffee shop with comics.  Over the years, we have tried a great deal of things; businesses need to do this to keep going.  We never wanted to give up selling coffee, but the city had other ideas with grease interceptors and whathaveyou.  This is a rebirth of the original idea, in a better location, just with a different name.

 

DC in September

Oh, Brother.  Well, they are at it again and this time I don’t have a clue about how to order or, for that matter, how you should order their books (well, I do have an idea, but I’m not going to say it.  You already know it.)  I hope to have a better idea on this next week after talking to Kyle and how he wants to handle it.

C2E2

There were some interesting announcements out of Chicago over the weekend and though the big “Death of Wolverine” announcement might be the biggest, there are certainly a lot of stuff with implications for summer releases.  Check out http://comicsalliance.com/ for more.  …and for you high end purchasers, you might want to take a look at this http://comicsalliance.com/graphitti-designs-gallery-edition-hardcovers/.  I don’t see how they are better than IDW’s Artist Editions, but I’d like to see (own) a Brian Boland or Frank Miller one anyway.

 

Kyle B’s Retro-review, 1st Issue Special

This week I’ll be reviewing a very special series from DC’s mid 1970’s – the heart of the Comic Industry’s Bronze Age (and my own personal Golden Age) – by taking a look at 13 issue series called “1st Issue Special.”  This series debuted in January of 1975 and is pretty much just what it sounds like, a sort of pilot series for possible future ongoing series (note that the Comic Mini-Series concept did not exist yet and wouldn’t begin until DC implemented the revolutionary concept with its 1979 3 issue mini-series “World of Krypton”).

This 1st Issue Special series showcases a Who’s Who of legendary comic creators, whether that’s industry giants at the twilight of their careers like Jack Kirby or relatively new up and coming comics talent who would soon make a huge impact on the industry such as Mike Grell.  The series popped up during the beginning of a period of time known as the “DC Explosion,” where DC drastically increased the number of comics they published and the diversity of their line.  In all, they introduced 57 new titles between 1975 and 1978 and also increased the number of story pages in all of its titles, resulting in an increase in cover price.  Books were now a whopping 35 to 50 cents each!  For a frame of reference, this happened around the same time as the rise of the oversized “Dollar Comics” era that we discussed in a previous retro-review.

1st Issue Special served as 13 single one-shots that introduced new characters, such as Lady Cop and Warlord, or pitched existing characters like Metamorpho or Creeper for a new ongoing series.  The break down looked something like this:

Issue #1 “Atlas”; written and penciled by Jack Kirby, inks by D. Bruce Berry

Issue #2 “The Green Team-Boy Millionaires”; written by Joe Simon with art by Jerry Grandenetti

Issue #3 “Metamorpho”; written by Bob Haney with art by Ramona Fradon

Issue #4 “Lady Cop”; written by Bob Kanigher with art by John Rosenberger and Vince Colleta

Issue #5 “Manhunter”; written and penciled by Jack Kirby, inks by D. Bruce Berry

Issue #6 “Dingbats of Danger street”; written and penciled by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Royer

Issue #7 “The Creeper”; written by Michael Fleisher with art by Steve Ditko and Mike Royer

Issue #8 “The Warlord”; written, penciled, and inked by Mike Grell.

Issue #9 “Dr. Fate”; written by Martin Pasko with art by Walter Simonson.

Issue #10 “The Outsiders”; written by Joe Simon with art by Jerry Grandenetti and Creig Flessel

Issue #11 “Code Name: Assassin”; written by Gerry Conway & Steve Skeates with art by Frank Redondo & Al Milgrom.

Issue #12 “Starman”; written by Gerry Conway with art by Mike Vosburg & Mike Royer

Issue #13 “Return of the New Gods”; written by Gerry Conway & Denny O’Neil, art by Mike Vosburg

Unfortunately very few of these new concepts caught on with Mike Grell’s Warlord the lone character continuing on into its own new ongoing series, and what a great series it was. (This Warlord series will be the subject of next week’s Retro Review.) Most of the existing characters such as Dr. Fate, Creeper, and Metamorpho would make appearances in team books such as the newly revived All-Star Comics (featuring the JSA of Earth-Two) or Detective Comics and the Brave and the Bold.

The New Gods would make a brief comeback thanks to this issue, continuing their original numbering and series that had left off with issue #113 years prior.  Unfortunately New Gods would go the way of many DC series, and get cancelled in 1978 with issue #119, as a part of the “DC Implosion.”

While the “Explosion” of 1975 was a good thing, marking more titles, more pages, and a lot of new creative talent introducing bold new concepts, the “Implosion” marked the cancellation of nearly 40% of its publishing line.  This was a result of a struggling economy and the rising costs of paper and printing fees.  Many titles saw an unceremonious end to their books leaving plots unfinished and the characters in limbo.  Even the DC Staple Detective Comics almost got the axe before many members of the DC office persuaded management to save the title and merge it with Batman Family.

Many of the creations and concepts introduced in 1st Issue Special wouldn’t be seen again until many made a brief comeback 30 years later during the mid-2000’s.  I would suspect that even though these characters and properties weren’t deemed successful or commercially viable when they were released, they must have struck a chord with their audience and some of that audience just may have come into prominence as writers and editors at DC during the mid-2000’s attempting to resurrect these long forgotten characters and concepts.  Others, such as Starman Mikaal Tomas, wouldn’t have to wait quite as long, as he would go on to be a critical member of James Robinson’s epic Starman series in the 1990s.

Despite the series not amounting to very many issues overall, a number of them have been reprinted and collected.  Atlas would later be used in Superman in 2009, resulting in his 1st Issue Special being reprinted in the “Superman: The Coming of Atlas” HC and TPB, as well as the DC Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 2 HC. This Jack Kirby Omnibus would also reprint his Manhunter and Dingbats of Danger Street issues of 1st Issue Special.   The Creeper issue of 1st Issue Special is reprinted in the Creeper by Steve Ditko HC that DC released in 2010 and The Dr. Fate issue would go on to be reprinted a number of times, including the DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #3 in 1980, the Immortal Doctor Fate #1 in 1985 and the Art of Walt Simonson TPB in 1989.

Yes, some of these concepts are downright silly, but they represent a critical, fun, and diverse time of DC’s rich comic history.  If any of these sound interesting at all, I recommend going out and get your hands on them.  I promise, you’ll love them.

Come back next week when, as I mentioned earlier, I take a look at Mike Grell’s fantastic creation, Warlord!

Week of April 21st

New Location and Events at the New Site

The transition down to the Des Moines Social Club is nearly complete.  We’ll be open at the new location on Wednesday, April 23rd bright and early.  Hours at the new shop will be 6:00am to 10:00pm weekdays and 7:00am to 10:00pm weekends.  The phone number stays the same – (515) 979-4144.  Emails are transitioning and for the mean time comic questions can still be sent to the same address.

If you like events, there will be several over the next month.

Free Comic Book Day will be held, as we have done in the past, at 12:01am on May 3rd, party on Friday the 3rd as well as bright and early the next morning too.

There are also plans for a Des Moines Social Club big giant Grand Opening too.  That is planned for May 10th.  There are a lot things planned for that night, including a keynote address by David Byrne (he formerly of the Talking Heads.)  He’ll talk about his experiences in Des Moines and the importance of the Arts in a city.  For more info: http://firehouse.desmoinessocialclub.org/grand-opening-party/

Yes, Capes Kafe is a new name, but it’s the same thing.

Many have asked about the name change.  Yes, the name is changing, to Capes Kafe, but this is the same business and in many respects it is just a reverting back to the original idea the shop had twelve years ago – a coffee shop with comics.  Over the years, we have tried a great deal of things; businesses need to do this to keep going.  We never wanted to give up selling coffee, but the city had other ideas with grease interceptors and whathaveyou.  This is a rebirth of the original idea, in a better location, it just has a different name.

 

 

Kyle B’s – Retro Review of Captain America the Winter Soldier

By now you may have seen the Blockbuster hit movie Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, which may have been the best of the Marvel Studios movie adoptions, in the sense it stayed true to its title character.  I love Captain America, he is a close second to Superman as my favorite character of all time, and while the film Man of Steel completely missed the mark on capturing the essence of Superman, Captain America 2 nailed what the character of Captain America is.  The movie may have a few other issues, but being true to the character is not one of them.  However, this isn’t a movie review; I’m here to talk about comics, so let’s take a look at the story arc that inspired the blockbuster movie.

Ed Brubaker had a very lengthy and critically acclaimed run on Captain America that lasted about 8 years, and he kicked it off in style with his Winter Soldier arc which spanned the first 14 issues of his run. He starts his run in a dark era.  Captain America was at a low point, struggling with how dark and twisted the world around him has become and must now track down the Red Skull who has escaped prison and may have gotten his hands on the Cosmic Cube.

His hunt for the Skull takes a total 180 degree turn as the Skull is found assassinated and the Cube missing.  Cap must then turn his search to finding the man capable of pulling off such a feat and stop whatever plans he has for the sinister cosmic cube.  Enter the Winter Soldier, a mysterious legendary assassin in the intelligence community.  The strongest and most effective tool the Russians had during the Cold War.  In case for some reason you don’t know the true identity of the man behind the mask, I’ll prevent spoiling it for you in this article, but just know that he is the most personal of Captain America’s villains and makes for one great character dynamic with loads of tension as the arc progresses.

When I originally read this arc back in 2005 and 2006, I was blown away.  It was some ground breaking stuff, so I was interested to see what I’d think when I came back and revisited it years later.  Obviously knowing the identity of the Winter Soldier took some of the mystery and tension out of those first few issues as the story builds around this assassin’s mysterious identity and past, but the story still holds up pretty well.

My one gripe would be the darkness of the story and the effect that has on Cap.  Now there is a reason for this, which would pay off in the future, so I understand Brubaker’s motivations for painting the world and Cap this way since we know there is a payoff coming a year later in Brubaker’s run (I’ve read that he was plotting Cap 3 years in advance to what was hitting shelves).  However, even knowing what’s coming, it still bothered me a little bit that Captain America seemed jaded at times, it works well within the story, and the Marvel Universe at the time, but reading it now, looking at the story from 2014 Comic’s Industry Goggles – where it seems nothing but dark jaded versions of Superheroes exist – I hate to see Captain America start to approach that same dark territory, even when it is handled much, much better by Brubaker in this case.  Other than that minor complaint, which is more of a personal bias than an actual issue with the story quality, this run is near perfect.

The art on the story is pretty stellar too; it captures the tone of the story very well.  Steve Epting has this beautiful pulpy feel to his art that is almost as flawless as the pulpy style of Francesco Francavilla.  I’d love to see him draw a 12 issue Captain America book set during World War II.  The pacing is great, issue one kicks off with a bang and it’s nothing but acceleration all the way to the finish.  There are a few spots where the dialogue seems a bit forced, but Brubaker had cleaned up his scripting pretty well by the time his run hit the 20 issue mark.

This Winter Soldier story arc ran through issues #1-7 and #8-14 of Captain America Volume 5 (2005), and Marvel recently just put out the all of these issues is one handy Trade Paperback volume for a very affordable price.  If you’ve never read this story, go out there and get your hands on it, I think you’re going to really enjoy it.

Editor’s Note – Kyle was only reviewing the first arc of the story.  I would like to point out that when you are looking for Cap, you should get the whole run Brubaker had on the character.  It is the best the character has ever been written and I believe the whole thing is now in print again.

Week of April 14th

Silent Auction Underway

We started a silent auction this week of various things, art pieces and long time fixtures of the Cup. If you would like to own a piece of our history, this is your chance.

Most of the auctions have a minimum amount we are looking for or will sell it for and the auction must meet it for us to let it go.  We will tell you if you ask, but we aren’t advertising it.

Stop in and take a look.  Pictures are up at our Facebook page.

Here is a list of the below stuff:

  • Toy Box – Gene Ha original art framed – @$25
  • Spider-man print – framed Alex Ross – no bid yet
  • Rick Grimes – Original Tony Moore Walking Dead art framed – @$105
  • five small art pieces – framed art including Dave Johnson and Mike Mignola – @$35
  • the Original Cup o’ K sign – THE original sign – @$30
  • Mouse Guard – Original Dave Petterson framed art – @$85
  • In Case of Zombie Gun – the one of a kind safety measure – @$100
  • Fantastic Four framed print – Alex Ross – no bid yet
  • Coffee Shop Neon sign – @$90
  • Green Lantern Neon – @$50
  • Catwoman Print – signed by Adam Hughes – @$80
  • Batman Neon Sign – @$125
  • One Shot Wonders – signed by Mignola, Wheadon and Charest – @$20

Auction runs through Wednesday night at 7:00.

Super Moving Sale Continues

This is the last week of the location in Beaverdale.  We would really like to get rid of the majority of the excess comics in the shop.  So, we increased the Moving Sale to these levels:

  • 50% off all non-marked Trade Paperbacks and Hard Covers
  • 70% off the Old Wall books dating before April
  • 50% off all Bundles
  • 50% off Mugs, T-Shirts, Action Figures, Heroclix
  • Formerly Dollar books now 30 cents
  • Formerly 50 cent books now 10 cents

This sale will go through Saturday the 19th.

 

Schedule for Moving and Parties at the New Shop

As we begin to transition down to the Des Moines Social Club, we have a general schedule for the rest of the month.  We expect to be open at the new location on Wednesday, April 23rd.  The Beaverdale location will be open regular hours through Saturday the 19th.  We will be closed in both locals the 20th through the 22nd.  (We learned something from the last move and it is to not try and do it over a single night. Oh, boy that sucked.)

So, the first day at the Des Moines Social Club will be Wednesday, April 23rd.

If you like events, there will be several over the next month.  Free Comic Book Day will be held, as we have done in the past, at 12:01am on May 3rd, party on Friday the 3rd.

There are also plans for a Des Moines Social Club big giant Grand Opening too.  That is planned for May 10th.  There are a lot things planned for that night, including a keynote address by David Byrne (he formerly of the Talking Heads.)  He’ll talk about his experiences in Des Moines and the importance of the Arts in a city.  For more info: http://firehouse.desmoinessocialclub.org/grand-opening-party/

Yes, Capes Kafe is a new name, but it’s the same thing.

Many have asked about but the name change.  Yes, the name is changing, to Capes Kafe, but this is the same business and in many respects it is just a reverting back to the original idea the shop had twelve years ago – a coffee shop with comics.  Over the years, we have tried a great deal of things; businesses need to do this to keep going.  We never wanted to give up selling coffee, but the city had other ideas with grease interceptors and whathaveyou.  This is a rebirth of the original idea, in a better location, just has a different name.

Week of April 7th

Silent Auction Underway

We started a silent auction this week of various things, art pieces and long time fixtures of the Cup. If you would like to own a piece of our history, this is your chance.

Most of the auctions have a minimum amount we are looking for or will sell it for and the auction must meet it for us to let it go.

Stop in and take a look.  Pictures are up at our Facebook page.

Here is a list of the below stuff:

  • Toy Box – Gene Ha original art framed
  • Spider-man print – framed Alex Ross
  • Rick Grimes – Original Tony Moore Walking Dead art framed
  • five small art pieces – framed art including Dave Johnson and Mike Mignola originals
  • the Original Cup o’ K sign – THE original sign
  • Mouse Guard – Original Dave Petterson framed art
  • In Case of Zombie Gun – the one of a kind safety measure
  • Flash – Doug Mahnke original framed art
  • Fantastic Four framed print – Alex Ross
  • Coffee Shop Neon sign
  • Catwoman Print – signed by Adam Hughes
  • Batman framed prints
  • Batman Neon Sign
  • One Shot Wonders – signed by Mike Mignola, Jos Wheadon and Travis Charest

 

Super Moving Sale Continues

This week we increase the Moving Sale to these levels:

  • 50% off all non-marked Trade Paperbacks and Hard Covers
  • 70% off the Old Wall books dating before April
  • 50% off all Bundles
  • 50% off Mugs, T-Shirts, Action Figures, Heroclix
  • Formerly Dollar books now 30 cents
  • Formerly 50 cent books now 10 cents

 

This sale will go through Saturday the 19th.

 

Schedule for Moving the Shop

As we begin to transition down to the Des Moines Social Club, we are had a general schedule for the rest of the month.  We expect to be open at the new location on Wednesday April 23rd.  The Beaverdale location will be open regular hours through Saturday the 19th.  We will be closed in both locals the 20th through the 22nd.  (We learned something from the last move and it is to not try and do it over night.)

 

Drink and Draw this week

We’ll have Drink and Draw at Good Sons in Beaverdale Thursday night at 8:00.  You don’t have to be an artist to attend.  Everyone is welcome.

 

Kyle’s Retro Review – Treasury Comics

This week will be another one of those Comics History lessons as opposed to the review or look at a specific story arc or run.  So with that, let’s take a look at the world of Treasury Comics, the fantastic giant sized tabloid format that flourished in the 70’s for both Marvel and DC.  Marvel and DC were not the only companies to employee this giant format, nor the first, but they certainly did it longer and more successfully than any of the smaller companies that ventured into publishing comics under this format.

What are Treasury Comics?  They are literally giant sized – traditionally a whopping 10” x 13” in dimension – comics that usually run from 60 to 100 pages in length.

DC beat Marvel to the Treasury punch so to speak, by releasing their first Treasury around the Christmas holiday season back in 1972, with a giant sized Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer special.  Rudolph comics?  That’s right, DC actually had a fairly long running Rudolph ongoing comic series in the 1950’s, and as we’ve touched on in the past, in the days of few reprints and no trade paperbacks, DC released these stories reprinted for the first time in the Giant 10 x 13” Treasury Format.  In fact Rudolph Treasuries sold so well and were so popular, that he would end up getting 7, that’s right 7, Treasury Comics, while founding members of the Justice League Aquaman, Green Lantern, and the Flash didn’t get a single Treasury Edition devoted to them!

The new marketing of comics in an uncommon size obviously did the trick, as DC would continue to crank these out.  This first Treasury Edition had no numbering, but has retroactively been numbered C-20, because the next treasury DC would release would be Shazam! Numbered simply by C-20 and released 6 months later. (Big surprise here, DC has strange numbering in the Bronze Age, we’ve hit on that before.)  From there DC would continue to crank out Treasury Edition Comics under the “Limited Collector’s Edition” title.  The series served as giant sized reprints of past stories, and usually stuck in some sort of game feature as well, with some DC themed puzzles, connect the dots, and even cut-out masks. They also released full reprints of past Golden Age issue, ads and all, under the “Famous First Edition” banner.  Like Limited Collector’s Edition, Famous First Edition reprinted classic stories that weren’t available anywhere else in a format now almost twice as big as how they were originally printed, what a great way to read the first appearances of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.

It wouldn’t be long before Marvel decided they wanted to wade into the oversized tabloid comic market when they released Marvel Treasury Edition #1 featuring the Spectacular Spider-Man in June of 1974.  From there Marvel reprinted a number of classic stories in the Treasury Format, just like DC, including my all-time favorite, Marvel Treasury Edition #2 The Fabulous Fantastic Four, which reprinted the Galactus Saga that originally ran through Fantastic Four #48-50.

For Marvel and DC both, the Treasury format served as strictly a way to reprint past comic stories, until 1975 rolled around and they saw the Treasury Comic as a great way to introduce new stories that were originally intended to be told in this giant storytelling format.  The first Treasury to feature new content would also serve as another major milestone, it would also mark the first Marvel & DC crossover and co-publishing endeavor.

In August of 1975, DC and Marvel made history, coming together to co-publish MGM’s Wizard of Oz Treasury Edition.  This was such a success that it paved the way for the first Marvel & DC Superhero crossover, the infamous Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man treasury that hit stands in January 1976.  This featured an amazing story by a cast of DC and Marvel creators alike for this all new full length story starring the two biggest and most popular comic superheroes of the time.

From there DC and Marvel alike would both publish new stories in the Treasury Format.  Marvel would publish the new stories under their same Marvel Treasury Edition banner or under the occasional special, such as Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles.  DC on the other hand would publish their new stories under the “All New Collector’s Edition” banner but continue the C-## numbering system they previously established for their Limited Collector’s Edition treasury.  And of course the companies would continue to crossover in the Treasury Format with such gems as the Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk and second Superman and Spider-Man treasury.

Sadly by the early to mid-80’s the Treasury Comic format had all but gone by the way side by first DC, and then Marvel.  However, there is hope that it is making a comeback.  The fantastic comic company IDW Publishing has resurrected this publishing format today, and has continued to crank out 5-7 Treasury editions over the past 3 years.  They’ve released some fantastic editions, including 3 Danger Girl issues collecting the original Danger Girl series, 2 Rocketeer Treasuries, a GI JOE Real American Hero Treasury and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Treasury Edition. Their most recent is the awesome Judge Dredd Big Drokkin’ Treasury Edition.

If you’d like to learn more about Treasury Editions, check out the most comprehensive site devoted to these fantastic collectibles at the following link:

http://www.treasurycomics.com/