Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So many comics so little money

Today it's about time to write about the comics I bought on Monday in Barcelona. This time I took my mother's mobile phone with me and the trip was not as catastrophic as my last one as I had more time.

Following my mother's directions instead of getting off the train at Barcelona Sants I stayed till Barcelona Estacion de Francia, which is the last stop of all trains going to Barcelona. From there on I walked in direction Arc de Triompf which is where the NORMA COMICS is situated. Just when I wasn't sure if I was going in the right direction I could see the triumphal arch a few meters ahead. Nevertheless, next time I'm taking the subway from Estacion de Francia.

Since I already had been to the NORMA COMICS shop, this time I went to the FREAKS comicshop which is in the next street running parallel because I wanted to get the new issue of DOLMEN - one of the best comic news mags ever. As usual I was totally flabbergasted when I entered the FREAKS shop. If you are into indie comics this shop has all the cool stuff you might ever need in your life. All the tables are just filled with tons of comics that are usually hard to find or even impossible to get.

American hardcovers, trades, art books, all kinds of comic publications and the spanish editions on top. Add to that the best of american superheroes in the spanish editions and you might understand why I seriously thought about moving in there permanently.

After what seemed like an hour it was time to think about which comics to buy. There were some hardcover black and white collections of the comics that were published in the german KOBRA comics like MYTEK, SPIDER, ROBOT ARCHIE, EYE OF KELLY or STEEL CLAW.

Those series were also published in Spain and one reason why they are still available in spanish comics shops is that some of them were drawn by spanish artists like Jesus Blasco ( Zarpa de Acero ) or argentinian artists like Francisco Solano Lopez ( El ojo magico de Kelly ) who died on the 13th this month at the age of 83 . You can find his last interview here .

Another comic I had to leave for another time was the hardcover collection of Neal Adams' DEADMAN series, not because of the price ( at 30 EUROs it was okay for such a big book ) but because it was just too big. I already knew that I was going to get two of these big hardcover collections from PLANETA DeAGOSTINI so I didn't want to go overboard.

And there was also the fact that I had to get them past my mother somehow. So instead I bought the DEADMAN by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez hardcover that collects the original 4 issue miniseries, issues 5 and 6 of the most recent series as well as all the covers from the DEAD AGAIN miniseries. A much smaller book and at 11.95 EUROS also much cheaper.

The next thing was to decide on which CLASSICOS DC hardcover I would get. I had thought I could get another one of Norm Breyfogle's Batman hardcovers but there were just too many to choose - at least without making a hard decision. One of the possible candidates was the second volume of Marv Wolfman and George Perez' TEEN TITANS run but there was also one that collected George Perez' JUSTICE LEAGUE issues.

I would have liked to get them both but since the comics in the JUSTICE LEAGUE collection were very early George Perez I decided to get the TEEN TITANS one. The only downside was that I had to buy it at NORMA COMICS since FREAKS didn't have it. There also were two volumes of George Perez WONDER WOMAN but I didn't want to start too many series.

Remember that last time I mentioned Gene Colan I said there should be a collection of his issues of Superman with the Phantom Zone story and his Wonder Woman issues ? Well, guess what. Here is Spain there is one. And I would have really liked to get it but again - a bit too expensive and too big for me although at 40 EUROS for 464 pages it's appropiate. Instead I got the JEMM SON OF SATURN collection ( 30 EUROS for 296 pages ) because I always had been curious about the series that in it's inception was supposed to be a book about J'onn J'onnz, everyone's favorite martian.

There also were some artbooks by Adam Hughes but I was more looking for reading material and the really small one was the most expensive because it was signed.

Last but not least I had to get the newest issue of DOLMEN which has an interesting article about PLANETA DeAGOSTINI loosing the rights to DC in Spain and Latin America. Apparently Planeta has been overflooding the spanish market with too many collections each month ( which I can believe just looking at the number of cool hardcovers I would like to get ) and DC always had a hard time selling in Spain. The new company that is going to publish DC in Spain and Latin America is El Catalogo a comicshop and packager with lots of ties to Planeta. For all those who don't know what packagers do : basically big comic companies delegate the part of making comics like translation, preparing everything for the printers, coming up with a layout etc to smaller companies.

In that regard El Catalogo has already been doing the hard part only up to this point they did it for somebody else. At this point there has been no official statement so there is no information if they really were not interested in publishing DC anymore. As always DOLMEN is on the forefront of comic news.

So now the first part of my comic buying spree was over - selecting what to get at FREAKS - and I went to NORMA COMICS to finally start spending some cash. Aside from the second TEEN TITANS hardcover I also bought the first installments of PANINI's new newsstand line MARVEL HEROES. In Spain there is always some unexpensive line that reprints older comics for the newsstands. Here at least they try to keep comics at the newsstands.

As the first parts of these series are normally pretty cheap I got SPIDERMAN - VUELTA A CASA ( JMS' first eight issues on Spider - Man for 4 EUROS )

and LOS CUATRO FANTASTICOS - IMAGINAUTAS ( Mike Wieringo's first five issues, two by Mark Buckingham and one by Stuart Immomen )

with CAPITAN AMERICA - LA LEYENDA VIVIENTE ( John Byrne's complete fantastic run on the book ) for 9.99 EUROS both together.

The next volumes are all priced at 9.99 each and the material is not new but as a line designed to cater more to the casual reader or the non comic reader it's pretty good. And I have to say I would really have liked to get a few more of them as they have such great stories like THE DARK PHOENIX SAGA,



and ARMOR WARS issues.

Like I said, not really the most recent stuff but a really high quality selection at a price german comic readers would kill for. I'm going out on a limb here but I don't think you'll see a similar line in Germany. At least not for 10 bucks.

Now that I had gotten more comics than originally planned it was time to find a KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN as they don't have them in Germany ( at least in the part where Neckarweihingen is ) but normally there are not so many people around and it was hard to find one. I also went to El Corte Ingles for the DVD of GREEN HORNET as my mother hadn't seen it yet.

This time I had a mobile phone to call home but the way back wasn't without it's difficulties as the trains were announced to leave on one rail while leaving on the opposite rail. I missed the first train and almost the second one too but I managed to run to the other side of the platform and jump on the train in the last minute. And before getting home we also got more beer. So all in all a pretty successful day.

I still haven't read any of the comics except some parts of the MARVEL HEROES books I read on the train as I atched the episodes of FRINGE and SMALLVILLE I missed last week. But I have read the first volume of Norm Breyfogle's BATMAN stories and they are just fabulous.

In memory of Solano Lopez Today's video is about EL ETERNAUTA his most famous comic written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld. It's pretty famous in Argentinia and the main caracter has become a political symbol.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest

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