Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shameless comic pimping Tuesday

It´s been a while since I did one of those because lately I have done other posts on weekends, what with Halloween and all those other things that have come up. But now there are a few comic bargains at amazon I wanted to mention before going back to business as usual so let´s start with the shameless comic pimping.

As you all know I got my own little amazon store embedded in this blog but even though I have created approximately 0.00 bucks of revenue through it every once in a while I want to bring certain bargains to the attention of my readers. It´s what I did before I got the store and I guess it´s what I´ll keep doing once amazon decides that I´m not worth keeping as a partner and kicks me out.

I like to entertain the idea that such a thing has no influence on me or the way I write my blog. Which is probably true since I still have to pay for most review copies myself. And I never recommend any books I haven´t bought myself and enjoyed. As my amazon store is from amazon.de I should not have to mention that this is all for my german readers.

Keeping that in mind I just HAD to plug the WEDNESDAY COMICS HARDCOVER especially in the pre - Christmas period.

As every year another Christmas comes around in a few weeks and that means aside from the BIG FREE COMIC CHRISTMAS CONTEST on this very blog, getting presents - preferably comic presents - for your loved ones, family or acquaintances. Of course the best is when you manage to give one of those diehard comic muggels a comic as a present and they can´t get enough of it. That´s one big " Mission accomplished " on your Christmas list right there.

Now when I give presents for Christmas I prefer to give those big hardcovers that look very impressive on the bookshelf but here in Germany they are very expensive which means there are only two outlets for those kind of books for me : conventions like the Stuttgarter Comicbörse taking place this month on the 26th - or amazon.

Now you may find the new german hardcover edition of WEDNESDAY COMICS at the Comicbörse in Stuttgart. But - " as always " a frustrated Subzero added - PANINI COMICS GERMANY just had to make it unavailable to the general comic reading public. I really have no idea how they expect to bring more readers into the german comic market if they keep pandering exclusively to the collectors market. Now you better sit down because for some unfathomable reason PANINI COMICS GERMANY thought it would be a brilliant idea to make the german version of the american 50 Dollar hardcover a limited edition of only 999 copies at a price of 69 EUROS. No, really. If you don´t believe me check out this link

Just before Christmas they throw such an overpriced collectors edition hardcover on the market. What does that say about them ? Okay, you might find it with a bit of a discount at the Comicbörse in Stuttgart or at some other comic convention but to have an even comparable price with the american 50 Dollar edition the comic dealer would have to give you a discount of 19 bucks. Might happen. Okay, it might happen. But it´s not very likely and it´s not nice of PANINI COMICS GERMANY to put this kind of pressure on german comic dealers by forcing them to offer at least a 19 EURO discount to stay competitive.

I´m saying " at least a 19 EURO discount " because you can get the hardcover between 40 and 35 EUROS at your regular online comicstore. Now the reason why I had to make the WEDNESDAY COMICS HARDCOVER my first item is that at the moment amazon is selling it for 25 EUROS. That´s almost a third of the german price, half the price of the original edition and still 10 bucks below what the best priced online shop will charge you and it includes shipping.

And the reason why I want to put it on the blog right now is that those bargains can go very quick. In one of my first bargain books posts the comics I was writing about were sold out while I was finishing the post. And good prices will not last forever as the CAPTAIN AMERICA OMNIBUS or the ASTONISHING X - MEN OMNIBUS have already gone over 51 EUROS and the " 3 trades for 15 EUROS " offer has also already expired. Now if you really, really want to support the german comic market OR if you want to buy it as a Christmas present for somebody who only can read german you´re stuck with the german 69 EURO monster. But if you can read english and you may have thought about getting it NOW is the right time. I have learned a long time ago that with these things you only have one chance and in most cases you will regret it later if you don´t grab the bull by the horns.

Now what is WEDNESDAY COMIS ? Oh my god, I totally forgot that there may be people out there who have no idea what I´m talking about.

Back in 2009 DC comics had the idea of reviving those classic newspaper comics section and I´m not talking about the tiny cartoon strips you would get during the week but those glorious big Sunday pages in full color. Coming in the newspaper size and folded to standard comicbook size WEDNESDAY COMICS was printed on newspaper and although at a price of 3.99 per issue it tanked the whole " good comics at low prices " thing it still offered your money´s worth with comics that each had one page every issue by a literally WHO`S WHO of comic legends and up and coming artists.

On the top of my list is - naturally - KAMANDI written by Dave Gibbons and drawn by Ryan Sook,

METAL MEN written by Dan DiDio and drawn by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez,

METAMORPHO written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by Mike Allred,

SGT ROCK written by Adam Kubert and drawn by Joe Kubert

and SUPERGIRL written by Jimmy Palmiotti and drawn by Amanda Connor.

And the rest of the list is equally impressive : BATMAN by the 100 BULLETS team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso,

SUPERMAN by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo, DEADMAN by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck who´s channeling his inner Darwyn Cook,

GREEN LANTERN by Kurt Busiek and Joe Quinones,

TEEN TITANS by Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway, STRANGE ADVENTURES by Paul Pope, a really strange WONDER WOMAN by Bill Caldwell, FLASH COMICS by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher that simultanely tells a story of the Flash AND a story of Iris West,

THE DEMON / CATWOMAN by Walter Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze

and last but not least HAWKMAN by the incomparable Kyle Baker. Now I would like to be able to give you a detailed analysis about each and every one of the comics but the truth is that I only got the first issue.

Because after reading the first installment of the strips I knew I had to get the collection at some point and buying any subsequent issues would just be a waste of money. And now that I have the hardcover edition on glorious highend paper my issue 1 is of course going into the bag for the big Christmas contest. In any case this book is worth it if you only like some of the comics and you won´t believe the size of this sucker. Throwing this book at somebody is considered assault with a deadly weapon and legally it should come with a weapon´s license.

Talking about blunt force trauma my next two items are also in the " get it while it lasts " section and the first one is the 50 Dollar DARK AVENGERS HARDCOVER by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato ( with some help by Greg Horn and Chris Bachalo ) that is still offered at 25 EUROS.

I have already written at length in this post why the 400 page collection gets my utmost recommendation so I´ll just post another piece of gorgeous art by Mike Deodato.

The second one is SECRET WARRIORS HC 6 - WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS that is now offered at 10.70 EUROS which is less than you pay for the paperback at amazon ( 11.99 EURO ) or at your regular online shop for the hardcover ( around 18 bucks ).

I haven´t gotten around to do a review on the series but from all the fallout of CIVIL WAR ( we just keep getting back to it don´t we ? ) this is one of the best written books. The art is done by Alessandro Vitti who first alternated art chores with Stefano Casselli and then took over when Stefano left the book and while it may not be the best volume for new readers I wanted to mention it for all those who already are fans of Nick Fury´s handpicked band of misfits and didn´t have the time to get the latest volume.

Now the next two items I HAVE already mentioned a few times on the blog : iZombie volume 1 and 2 by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred. So far I have only given some dubious hints or mysterious comments but now it´s time to let the cat out of the sack - so to speak. I won´t ruin everything but here´s the readers review from amazon :

For all zombie fans out there gnashing their teeth in anticipation for the next issue of WALKING DEAD, MARVEL ZOMBIES or DIE TOTEN, Vertigo offers a surprising new take on the zombie genre. iZombie is a significant tonal shift from most zombie comics on the market : it’s told from the perspective of female 20 - something zombie Gwen Dylan, whose undead existence comes with a great twist. In order to maintain the pretense that she’s alive, Gwen must consume human gray matter once a month or else her zombie instincts take over. Along with the brainy aftertaste comes selective memories from the deceased, and Gwen is cursed with flashbacks that are not her own. It’s a tough gig, coupled with a job digging graves ( bright side : her day job provides those necessary late - night snacks that she reluctantly craves), and the irony is not lost on her :

This is, by the way, totally some kind of symbol for my entire existence. Digging holes in the morning, filling them up in the afternoon, and sneaking in at night to dig ‘em back up again. Over and over. Like that guy in the Greek hell who rolled a big rock up and down a hill all day. What was his name? Syphilis? Something like that, anyway. Whatever. Seriously, though, I’d switch places with the dead Greek guy in a second.

Gwen’s best friend, Ellie, is a lonely ghost stuck in 1960s fashion, but she wears it well. Her melancholic state is just as interesting as Gwen’s predicament, and Roberson develops both female characters with an easy - going, natural manner, giving iZombie a refreshingly frank attitude. When Gwen’s oblivious coworkers ask her to join them after work, she off - handedly dismisses them: " I’ve got to wash my hair, or something suitably girly like that. " Even undead, Gwen is too cool--a graveyard hipster, hiding her secret under a thick coffin liner of aloofness.

Once Gwen cracks the latest cranium and devours its innards, however, she uncovers a murder mystery that threatens to spoil her detached routine. She, Ellie, and their were - terrier pal, Scott, form an askew Scooby - Doo alliance to solve the case, and along the way they cross paths with a sorority comprised of vamping vamps, a Hugh Hefner - esque mummy who might hold more answers than Gwen imagined and monster hunter Horatio who she should avoid but falls in love with instead.

Mike Allred’s pop art leanings imbue iZombie with a sly, ever - smirking temperament. His characters inhabit a canvas that’s instantly recognizable as his own : bold, unblended lines case characters who seem partially aware of the comic panels that frame their stories. They knowingly pose, at once a part of and removed from their backgrounds. The artwork is muddier than Allred’s Madman series, yet not as sharp - edged as his X - FORCE / X - STATIX run. The first paperback includes over ten pages of sketchbook material from Allred, and it’s fun to see his pencil - work before it gets handed off to his wife, Laura, for coloring.

As longtime readers of the blog may already know I´m a big fan of Mike Allred and so I might be a bit biased where the art is concerned but what really makes this a winner for me is how Mike Allred manages once again to collaborate with a writer who makes slackers interesting. First he did it in the aforementioned X - FORCE / X - STATIX where I started reading the series because I had to know which of those self - absorbed pseudo heroes would die a horrible death ( next ) and ended up rooting for them. Now he does it again and while I usually am not a big fan of slackers as main characters and find them boring the way Chris Roberson writes Gwen has won me over. Which might have to do with the occasional nudie shot by Mr. Allred.

This series is just all kinds of fun, intrigue, action, comedy, romance, horror and......well, stuff and it gets high marks from me.

And last but not least the HELLBOY - HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD HARDCOVER written by Mike Mignola with art by the brilliant Richard Corben is finally out.

I had totally forgotten about this but thanks to the suggestion list of amazon I was reminded of it. The book gets top scores from me without having read it first only based on their previous collaborations. It seems Mike Mignola read my comment that it would be nice to have a book full with Richard Corben Hellboy art because this time he went straigth to the graphic novel. It´s only about 2 EUROS cheaper as from regular online shops but I wanted to mention it because it´s new in my amazon store and the shipping takes 4 to 7 weeks as it is a new book. So if you want to get it for Christmas you should order it soon.

As I said, all these books are offered at a good price right now so you shouldn´t wait too long before ordering them.

Man, with all the HELLBOY, iZOMBIE, GEISTER SCHOCKER, JOHN SINCLAIR and GESPENSTER KRIMI lately you might think this was SUBZERO´s LITTLE HORROR COMIC BLOG but on the other side what would you expect from a blog called TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN ? There´s bound to be some horror stuff involved especially during the time around Halloween. And since I already mentioned JOHN SINCLAIR I´m glad to announce that the rumors about the death of Vincente Ballestar are just that : rumors.

The spanish artist who did most of the ( and the best ) covers during my period on the german horror pulp cult series is alive and well and you can find his blog right here . He even posted some artwork especially for his german JOHN SINCLAIR fans.

With pulp novels in most cases you have only the cover to give you some visual input of the story and the covers by Vincente always helped you greatly in that departement. Most of the issues I read have his covers which always managed to convey a mood of horror and suspense. It also helped that he has a knack for drawing the ladies although it sometimes took a long time until such massitas like Glenda Perkins finally made it on the cover. I mean managed to be shown on the cover.

And with that it´s once again time to wrap things up as it´s pretty late and the first comments are starting to come in. As usual around here it has taken me longer to write this post than anticipated and I couldn´t put in all the stuff I wanted. But with writing the post, doing the necessary research, receiving mail from amazon, making phone calls, writing e - mails, do the big clean up in my room, help with the cooking and even leave the house for some shopping I had a pretty busy day.

As this post was almost exclusively for my german readers I want to close out things with german band LOS DOS Y COMPANEROS who, according to my brother are the s - word.

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


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

It would be nice to see some Black Tower books translated into German but its one of those things that'll probably never happen. Must get to a German convention in 2012 though!

SUBZERO said...

It´s not likely but who knows what might happen ?

Man, I´m not finished and I already got comments. By the way - check your e - mail. I sent you some corrections for your latest post in german. I have to say if you used some of those online translation machines it pretty much butchered the text.