Ordering Comics IV

It’s a new year and I need to order me some comics! I am again going to chronicle the laborious process I use. I still have the same two stores which I support: Challengers Comics in Chicago owned by friends Pat and Dal, and Graham Crackers (GC) Wheaton which is local to me in Aurora and managed by friend Rick. Philosophically, if they were closer I would shop exclusively with Challengers as I did when I lived in DesPlaines and worked in Niles. It was a 20 min drive which I did during Wednesday lunch. But they’re not closer. Now I drive 20 minutes to Wheaton during Wednesday lunch. I tend to order more from Challengers but have more rando buys at GC. I usually order one higher priced item through GC and the rest through Challengers. I’d guess I spend 1/2 of my comic budget at GC, 1/3 at Challengers and the rest (1/6) at other places.

Previews is a monthly catalog of comics and comic related items. While I purchase Previews in magazine form it does have it’s catalog available online. If you go to previewsworld.com you can search on a title (like RISE OF BLACK FLAME yes, it has to be in ALL CAPS) to see the listing. This is the list of items which caught my eye as I went through the catalog.

Items are listed in the following format: product ID (JAN17+4 digits,) title, date of release and msrp.

JAN170107 RISE OF BLACK FLAME 05/03/17 $19.99
JAN170138 MISTER X ARCHIVES 05/31/17 $24.99
JAN170140 STARSLAYER LOG OF JOLLYROGER 05/31/17 $24.99
JAN170390 DOOM PATROL THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS 06/21/17 $99.99
JAN170394 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNWRAPPED BY JIM LEE 04/26/17 $39.99
JAN170396 LEGIONNAIRES BOOK 01 04/12/17 $34.99
JAN170470 TMNT ARTISAN ED 05/10/17 $50.00
JAN170553 RAGNAROK VOL 02 05/17/17 $24.99
JAN170713 SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED 03/15/17 $24.99
JAN170785 COMPLETE PHONOGRAM 04/12/17 $49.99
JAN170822 DEADLY CLASS VOL 05 03/15/17 $14.99
JAN170831 JUPITERS LEGACY VOL 02 04/26/17 $14.99
JAN170850 SAGA VOL 07 03/29/17 $14.99
JAN171107 CAGE TP 04/19/17 $12.99
JAN171110 BLACK WIDOW TP VOL 02 04/26/17 $17.99
JAN171111 BLACK PANTHER TP BOOK 03 04/12/17 $16.99
JAN171112 SCARLET WITCH TP VOL 03 04/19/17 $15.99
JAN171315 ARCHIES ONE SHOT CVR A JAIME HERNANDEZ 03/15/17 $4.99
JAN171418 STRANGE FRUIT HC 05/03/17 $24.99
JAN172285 TASCHEN 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS SLIPCASED HC 05/10/17 $69.99

Now what can we eliminate? This is not to say I won’t be buying any of these things but more what items am I not going to order. This removes the commitment from me and puts the onus on the retailer for these non-ordered items. There’s a chance I will miss out on getting something but that’s most likely just in the short run. I mostly buy collections which have very little market value and can easily be ordered again unlike the occasional, hot, single issue.

Black Flame is drawn by local artist and friend Chris Mitten and part of the popular Hellboyverse, so no danger of either store not ordering that. In fact if I ordered it at one store it’s almost guaranteed Chris would do a signing at the other. Ragnarok will easily be carried by both. I would mock Rick mercilessly* (even more than normal) if he did not carry it. The rest of the elimination list are from Image and Marvel and any comic store worth their salt will be carrying that string of titles from Deadly Class through Scarlet Witch. Which leaves me with the following potential orders.

JAN170138 MISTER X ARCHIVES 05/31/17 $24.99
JAN170140 STARSLAYER LOG OF JOLLYROGER 05/31/17 $24.99
JAN170390 DOOM PATROL THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS 06/21/17 $99.99
JAN170394 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNWRAPPED BY JIM LEE 04/26/17 $39.99
JAN170396 LEGIONNAIRES BOOK 01 04/12/17 $34.99
JAN170470 TMNT ARTISAN ED 05/10/17 $50.00
JAN170713 SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED 03/15/17 $24.99
JAN170785 COMPLETE PHONOGRAM 04/12/17 $49.99
JAN171315 ARCHIES ONE SHOT CVR A JAIME HERNANDEZ 03/15/17 $4.99
JAN171418 STRANGE FRUIT HC 05/03/17 $24.99
JAN172285 TASCHEN 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS SLIPCASED HC 05/10/17 $69.99

Let’s go through what’s left and why. Mister X is something I’ve never fully read and having this collection with the Hernandez stuff as well as the Gaiman/McKean story makes it a strong choice. Starslayer is also something I’ve never read but will probably pass on. I like Grell’s art but not sure I want space swashbuckling. The Doom Patrol Omnibus is a maybe — I don’t own any of it and it should be wonderful, silver age silliness. The Jim Lee JL unwrapped is the only item that’s a guaranteed must buy for me. It’s pencil art and that’s my thing. Legionnaires is a book I’d normally eliminate as being something stores would order but it’s a weird choice of issues which may make stores second guess that buy. But it’s also making me second guess that buy. TMNT Artisan is in a more manageable size but I’m probably not going to order it. If I really wanted it I would have purchased the oversized hardcover version. This brings us to the Seven to Eternity Artist’s Proof. This is a strong maybe but it’s $25 for two issues of inks in an 11×17 format. Jerome Opena now does a lot of crazy stuff with his art and I’m not sure this will show all of that. Phonogram is something I supported from back in the day and already have all three volumes but not in color. Well not the first volume in color. No offense but McKelvie’s art is better with color so this is on the list though I’m safe in not ordering it as it should be readily available. The Archies is a single issue, not a trade, and I’d be buying it only for the Hernandez cover which would be duplicated in a trade but only if there is a trade. Archie stuff sells and every store should carry this which would only require me to remember that I want it and check for it. And that’s why it’s on the list so I don’t have to remember I want it. Strange Fruit is Mark Waid and J.G. Jones so it should be worth it but it may be worth waiting for the soft cover. The last thing is the Taschen DC book which was originally, literally, the size of a coffee table as well as hundreds of dollars. Now it’s just a regular sized coffee table book.

And this is the final list. I’m probably getting the Omnibus through GC and the rest through Challengers. If you’re interested (or let’s say concerned at how much I spend) I do get a discount at each store.

JAN170138 MISTER X ARCHIVES 05/31/17 $24.99
JAN170390 DOOM PATROL THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS 06/21/17 $99.99
JAN170394 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNWRAPPED BY JIM LEE 04/26/17 $39.99
JAN170713 SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED 03/15/17 $24.99
JAN172285 TASCHEN 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS SLIPCASED HC 05/10/17 $69.99

*I threatened to do the same thing in Ordering Comics III when Ragnarok vol 1 was solicited.