Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stuttgart Comicbörse

Today I was at the comic fair in Stuttgart.

On Friday I was at my new comic shop to see what I got there waiting for me. It´s not a good thing to go to your comic store the day before you attend a comic fair because you need all your money there. But I usually go to the comic store a few days before so I know what´s in my bag. I´ve made the experience comic shop owners don´t like it too much if you buy stuff they want to sell you somewhere else.

This time it seems there were even less vendors and almost no US comics. Which in past years have been the main reason why I went to Stuttgart. I still remember the first time I discovered the comic fair in Stuttgart. It was like I had just stepped into a parallel universe where all the comics that were impossible to find were laid out on table after table almost breaking under the weight.

I was absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer number of comics and I have been going there ever since. Now in recent years the number of comic dealers and visitors have been going down - I guess it has something to do with the fact that they don´t advertise it enough. This used to be a big event but lately it´s more like the meeting of a comicclub. You already know all the dealers and you basically go there because that´s the only occasion to meet people in person.

Another reason may be that most people nowadays buy comics over the internet from internet shops or e - bay. The kids of today are not used to go out, meet the dealers in person and bargain a little.

So that´s one of the reasons why I still go to Stuttgart. For my US comics I have to go to the internet or the comic conventions in Erlangen or Essen ( or Spain like this year ) but I go to Stuttgart to meet up with the usual suspects. Yes, I don´t leave the house very often and since we don´t go to the icom meetings anymore that´s one of the few opportuities to meet other loonies and just talk comics.

The other reasons is that I still buy the occasional german translation of comics and since I generally can´t afford the more pricey comics - which in Germany are 90 % of the published comics - this is almost the only source where I can get german comics for a reasonable price. Which is extremely important now that christmas is just around the corner. Hardcovers are always better than softcovers as presents and normally I can´t afford to pay full price. And mostly when I am in comic shops that have german comic books I forget to check out the new product.

This time I had even less money than the last time but I also didn´t find that much interesting stuff. Nevertheless I found a few hot items so here´s my swag from this comic fair :

Luna 2

Part 2 of the new science fiction series from SCHWARZER TURM by the creative team of Robi and Toni Greis best known for their work on the adult series ALRAUNE whicxh was even published by eros comix. Since we didn´t go to Essen this year we didn´t meet the guys from Schwarzer Turm so I had to buy this comic in Stuttgart and didn´t get it signed.

I paid full price for it but that´s okay since I don´t want our friends to loose any money on it. God knows there aren´t enough publishers in Germany putting out excellent stuff from german comic artists.

Marvel Exclusiv 68 - Daredevil Dekalog

I got this for half price. It took me quite some time to find this particular comic dealer but I just had to go here first. Last time I found his table almost at the end when I had already bought three trades that I would have gotten more cheaper from him. And when you have such a small comic buying budget like me every Euro counts. This time it was really hard because there were no tables with the usual US books which are normally my points of reference.

Additionally since some of the usual comic dealers were absent other dealers took over their tables and a lot of guys got shuffled around. So I had a hard time finding some points of orientation.

The Marvel Exclusiv line is one of the comic lines in Germany that put out Marvel stuff but normally they are too expensive for me. I gave up reading Daredevil around issue 25 ( I think ) but I have been following the series since Brian Michael Bendis took over in the german translations. I´m still not sure if that´s a good thing or not since it has less words than in the original version. Bendis can get a little wordy sometimes....and that´s putting it mildly.

Spider - Man Kravens letzte Jagd

This is probably going to be a christmas present. I also got this for half price. I was thinking of possibly getting the Astro City trade TARNISHED ANGEL as a present but when I returned to the table it was already sold.

I already have this story....twice. Or more ? I got the individual issues when they came out but I´m not sure if I got them all. Then I bought it again when it was reprinted in one of the Condor pocket books. And the last time I was in Erlangen I bought a reprint that was reduced because it had a printing error. But since PANINI recently did a reprint of it I thought it would be nice to have a readable version in german without any printing errors. I would have preffered the hardcover version but I couldn´t find it.

PANINI made a survey this year about which were the best Spidey stories and Kraven´s Last Hunt came out as the number one contender. It really is the story most german comic readers remember fondly. So if I don´t find any other presents for christmas this will be my present for my sister or her husband. They should at least read one good Spidey story in their life and now they should already know the black costume from the latest Spidey movie.

Marvel Exclusiv 39 - X - Force Hardcover

Another comic I already bought. When I did the posts about X - Force / X - Statix I remembered that I had bought this comic but I gave it away as a birthday present to a person I barely knew. I was working at this job as a call center agent ( which is german slang for someone working on the phone ) and I was just transfered to a new station and the woman who was my new advisor mentioned that it was her birthday. Being the comic freak I was I got her this book the next day just to surprise her. I don´t even know If she liked it since her brother had just taken it away from her and I got fired before I could find out if she ever read it. Someday I have to try to find some addresses of the guys working with me at that time because one of them still has a bag full of wrestling tapes I lent him.

What can I say ? I´m a generous guy.

Anyway, I needed this book and for 8 bucks it was a real steal. Maybe this will also become a christmas present but I would like to keep it to myself. In any case I have to read it first before coming to a decision. It´s been some time since I last read it and I don´t remember too much of the stuff in it. Like I totally forgot that the first issue did not get the approval of the comics code which for Marvel was the occasion to drop the comics code altogether.

By the way I always read the comics I give away as a present first. On one side to look if there are any printing errors but on the other because I like to give new comics as presents. And since I don´t know them I have to read them to see if they are any good. And sometimes because I know that once I give them away I´m never going to see them again so I better read them first.

Hack / Slash Der erste Schnitt

Finally the critically acclaimed series Hack / Slash has found it´s way to Germany. I guess mostly due to the fact that it´s going to be a major motion picture soon cross culs has added this little gem from Devil´s Due Publishing to it´s long list of titles. It was a special surprise for me that it´s in color since so far all the books from cross cult I knew were in black and white. But I also have seen their reprint of Mike Mignola´s magnificient FAFHRD AND THE GREY MOUSER adaption which is also in color.

The cross cult hardcover always represent a nice package with the hardcover and the nice extras but I just don´t like the smaller format. I really would prefer the normal US sized comic fromat which is the reason that I´m glad that I bought all the SIN CITY stuff in the original version. It´s nice on your shelf and since Dark Horse copied the german version for the new reprints of Sin City I guess they are also big fans of the new format but I like it more old style.

One of the positive things is that since the format is much more like a normal book size it´s better if you want to give it away as a christmas present to the comic muggels out there ( we really need a word like that for all the non comic reading people out there ). Which I´m not sure if I will do it. I have to read it first before I reach a verdict.

All in all this time the comic fair was just the usual but I got some more reading stuff till I finally get more comics from my pull list. There are still big gaps in my comic collection as the reorders of the stuff I missed is coming slowly. Ah, the live of a comic reader.....

That´s all for today and next time I can hopefully wrap up this month´s solicitations.

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