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/

 

Week of March 31st (opening day!)

Sales in time to move

We will enter our second week of sales in preparation to move.  This week’s sales will be:

20% off all Trades and Hardcovers

60% off the old wall – before March 2014

Bundles are all half off

Any mugs, glassware or action figures are 40% off

All dollar books now 40 cents

All fifty centers now 20 cents

These will start Tuesday afternoon

 

Auction

We have also been asked about several pieces of either art or items in the shop.  We don’t know a better way to do this, so, we are going to have a silent auction on some of it.  Items such as Neon, the original sign, very select framed art and the “in case of zombie, break glass” sign.

Silent auction starts on Wednesday.

 

Drink and Draw

The next D&D will be on Thursday, April 10th at 8:00.  We will still be at Beaverdale’s Good Sons and will discuss if we move the event in May.

 

Some crap from the internet

I think one of the many things that has soured me on this industry in recent years is the comic “news” industry.  Many are self serving tool’s paid to regurgitate corporate comic opinion and put forth reviews that serve to only further make comics a wasteland of stupidity.

I feel the greatest of these are the single-minded focus on very bad and getting worse comic movies.  Yes, Yes, I’ve railed on this before and perhaps things are not any better than they were ten years ago, only magnified.  Maybe I‘m wrong and all these great and awesome comic adaptations really are the vanguard to a new golden… I can’t even finish that sentence.  If you haven’t seen the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, yeah, I’m right.  http://comicsalliance.com/first-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-live-action-movie-trailer-arrives-video/  Ah, garbage.

 

And if that wasn’t enough, how about the sexist advertisement for Hardees (I have an argument going with my wife on if Arby’s or Hardees is grosser, I guess she wins now.  However, we both agree that environmentally and socially, the worst loser is McDonalds… but I digress.)  Help sell your movie with sexist tie-ins to disgustingly foul food no one should ever put in their body, I love Hollywood… no I don’t. http://comicsalliance.com/hardees-carls-jr-x-men-days-of-future-past-mystique-western-x-tra-bacon-burger-ad-video/

 

Enough about that crap, let’s talk comics, but not cut them any slack.  Really one of the worst problems right now – have we ever really got rid of this issue – is lateness.  Image with all its flair and quality has slid into some bad and reoccurring problems with it.  As a retailer I can see the jump a high quality book gets when it is first released and, because of a great initiative by Image, offered to us at returnable quantities, we can get it into many people’s hands.

Then it runs late and momentum dries up like an Arizona pond.

Image isn’t alone on this.  The latest of the late is Sandman.  Really DC, you didn’t see this as running behind?  Are you blind?

http://comicsalliance.com/sandman-overture-three-delayed-july-vertigo-neil-gaiman-jh-williams/

Gaiman takes responsibility for the lateness, but don’t you think this still comes down to the company saying, “we didn’t have issue two even started before we solicited issue one.  It is OUR fault.”

Sorry for all the negativity.  We need something positive.  How about a great article that highlights some of Peter David’s runs on books.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51815

I’m a VERY big fan of Peter the Great.  I got in on his Hulk run pretty early on and stayed with it though my college days (that was a long time ago.)  What ended up being an over ten year run on the Hulk, he created one of the best runs on any character ever; certainly one I would put up against nearly every other super hero run in the industry’s long history.

David is one of the greatest of the greats and personally I don’t feel he gets enough credit for the work he has done (remember he is a novel writer of some renown too.)  His current reworking of X-Factor has been a nice fun read too.  Nothing like the old X-Factor run that preceded it (maybe the reason it is titled All New, huh?)  This is a mix of Mutants – or at least former X-Men – who are now employed by a giant company with some shady people running it, don’t they all have them though?

The main character in the series is Gambit, someone who I’ve never really liked, but with David writing him, he is fantastic.  Like with all his runs, he can take B or C level characters and make them great; proving that there are no bad characters, only bad writers.

The Week of Saint Pat’s Day 3/17

Sorry for the delay.  Monday was a national holiday that I partook in.

 

Hellboy Day

The last (more than likely) party at the old shop will be March 22nd.  This is also Hellboy’s Birthday Party.  We are so thankful for all the great comics, especially the Mignola work, that Dark Horse has put out over the twelve years we have been open and this is an awesome way to end the Cup name.

We will have freebies – including a new, never before published Hellboy comic – some major sales and Free beer (or soda.)

Why are we having this?  Well, we have been well supported over our twelve years by the great people at Dark Horse.  They are truly my favorite comic company and have some of the best people working there, as well as producers of some of the finest comics in the industry.  They know what they do best and they do it.

In the twelve years I’ve had this shop, the total number of “that’s the best book this week” books I’ve read from them is astronomical.  I don’t even want to guess at how many times I’ve said, “yeah, BPRD number [whatever], that was the best book I read this week.”  Everytime a Hellboy comic came out, it was that way.  I could probably say that the best book I’ve read in the last twelve years was a Hellboy book.  Hellboy in Mexico, es Mucho Grande!!

Stop by and hang out.  We’ll start about 2:00pm and go until we close at 6:00.   …and I’m not giving out the Hellboy books early, so, don’t even ask.  …and I’ve seen it – it is awesome!

 

Changes to Cup in 2014

As has been posted and written about the last couple month plus, the shop is moving in April.  The Des Moines Social Club (at 9th and Mulberry downtown) will be the new home.

The shop will be taking on a much different look, feel and style in its new digs.  It will revert too much of what it was when it started out, a coffee shop with a sprinkling of comics.  This will change how we do pull lists and how both we and you will have to approach ordering.

  • The new system will be a pre-order and pre-pay.
  • It’ll be based around Diamond’s Previews and THEIR shipping schedule.
    • This means, for instance, if you order from the February Previews, those books will ship in April.
    • It is simple. Order what you want from the Previews catalog, pay for it in advance.
    • When we switch, there will be no other pull list system from us.
    • We are rewarding you for your commitment. The new system will get you a 20% discount.
    • Yes, you are locked into those books, but you will also save more in doing so.

If this works for you and you need more details, please ask or e-mail.

I want to emphasis how time is starting to run out in the sense of getting on board on this.  Please don’t wait until the last minute to get your orders for April in and pay for them.  I’ll be cutting off all unpaid January orders next week.  If you have a JAN14 invoice that is outstanding, I suggest paying it off this week or at the very least talking to someone about it.

One more change that is coming is the name

As most of you are aware big changes are in store for your favorite friendly neighborhood comic shop. With the new locale we felt it necessary, for personal and professional reasons for a “re-branding”, look for Capes Kafé downtown!

You can find more at the new Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/capeskafe

 

New crazy Team Up book coming

Batman ’66 is teaming up with Green Hornet.  So, perhaps, if you have ever wondered who would win in a fight, Adam West or Bruce Lee, we may find out.

http://comicsalliance.com/kevin-smith-ralph-garman-ty-templeton-batman-66-meets-the-green-hornet-dc-comics-dynamite/

Interesting look at what may have been

A fan takes in an alternate look at what could have happened had a rouge janitor at the Warner Bros. offices not erased the continuity chalk board at DC.

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2014/03/grumpy-old-fan-checking-up-on-earth-august/

and if you have not read about it yet…

It has been a great couple years for scientific discovery and it was officially announced that primordial gravitational waves have finally been detected, therefore laying down the last piece of the theory of relativity.  Science wins again.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/17/primordial-gravitational-wave-discovery-physics-bicep

special note

Richard Dawkins is coming to Des Moines.  One of my personal heroes will be speaking on April 12th at Hoyt Sherman.  I’m spreading the good news as we just don’t get people like this very often.  I’ve already got my tickets and if you go and hear someone sounding an awful lot like a girl at a Beetles concert – that’ll be me.

http://www.secularityusa.org/

http://www.hoytsherman.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=162%3Arichard-dawkins&catid=32%3Anew-events&Itemid=45