Foundation's Edge in Raleigh, North Carolina is probably maybe the best comics store in the world. The people who work there--well at least the owner and the main dude working--are really nice and helpful and know their shit, it's got any and every new issue each week, and an insane amount of back issues, dusty old graphic novels, a stellar collection of porno comics, and a ton of other great stuff, and it's all at ridiculously kind prices. It's a store that's never gotten rid of anything, obviously blossomed during the smart 80s comics boom, weathered the 90s turd-comics storm, and keeps going.
Well, over the past few weeks, plastered on lightpoles and university bulletin boards around Hilsborough Street have been flyers for a big sale, and so, after work, Monique and I headed over there with high hopes but also a boatload of cynicism because other than Baltimore's Cosmic Comix, "comic store sale" usually translates to "take these issues of Shadowhawk off my hands and oh yeah, here's a bunch of XXL T-shirts for 9.99 instead of 17.99!" We were greeted at the door--did I mention these guys are actually friendly?!--with the flyer above and raced upstairs to the back issues and manga and action figures. A bunch of stuff had been put out on tables and marked down to ridiculous sales prices, everything from kinda recent hardback collections to old-as-shit RPG books (I was this close to grabbing a Dominion: Tank Police RPG book) and tons of weird European stuff.
Anyways, here's what we ended up getting, equally around 85 bucks, which meant my check for this review and then some!
-Kamandi #9 by Jack Kirby: I've never ready any Kirby stuff but for whatever reason, I keep staring at these recently and was even tempted to buy that way over-priced hardback collection, so getting a random issue for three bucks and some change was awesome. The cover's got Kamandi and a typical Kirby space-ranger dude in a hot air balloon fighting giant bats dressed in leotards thingies.
-Manga Suprise! July 1996 - This has a ton of interesting stuff from American and Japanese artists, but I got it because it has a short story by Paul Pope from his "Super-Trouble" series/strip/whatever you want to call it.
-Mackenzie Queen TP by Bernie Mireault - The Madman/Jam collabo hipped me to Mireault's art and he's slowly becoming an obsession. At Baltimore Comic Con for like a quarter or something, I got this thing he did called Dr. Robot and this is similarly whimsical and fun, but also looks really heavy and philosophical...part Kirby, part stoner/European comics headtrip. Extra awesome because I've been eyeing this shit up and thinking about paying cover price ($14.95) for it and then, there it is for $4.95 stuck between like, some awesome late 70s Star Trek fanzines...
-Batman Black & White Volume Two TP: It's got this killer Mignola cover and Batman stories from Gene Colan, Kyle Baker, Paul Pope, Tim Sale and a ton of other guys. 11 bucks!
-Once Upon a Time in the Future TP by Zeljko Pahek: Was four bucks, is the big-style size that all late 80s European comics trades seemed to be, had some Bilal-ish art of two angry soldiers fixing a robot on the cover and uh, was four bucks! Can't say no to that.
-A Tribute to Gene Colan One-Shot: This is a steal at $9.99--and your money goes towards paying Gene Colan's medical bills--but I kept staring at it, leafing through it, and then putting it back for like the past 6 Wednesdays or whatever. Tonight though, I was like "Yo, my credit card bill's already fucked, so what's 10 more bucks??".
-Grey: Perfect Collection Vol. 1 Viz Graphic Novel by Yoshihisa Tagami: A sci-fi manga about a guy who has lost his girl in a war which is happening in a world where normal people are treated like dirt and troopers in the war are "real" citizens. Like all the older Viz Graphic Novels, it's a little bigger than your standard manga volume. All of the manga volumes were 45% off, thus, I was hard-pressed to get one. I thought this one looked best out of their selection of first issues. I was secretly wishing they had Kitchen Princess...but NOPE.
-Pokemon: Pikachu Shocks Back: 4 issue Viz series by Toshihiro Ono:
...made me really feel like I needed to read some pokemon comics (Thanks Spears). I dug these out of a "doubles" box that you aren't really supposed to go through. Dude gave them to me at cover price with the discount. TOO GOOD.
-RanXerox: Happy Birthday Lubna: Story by: Tamburini Art by: Liberatore: I'm real into Liberatore so, I felt it was necessary to pick up this one last item they had with his name on it. The only weird thing is...dude is really obsessed with really, really small boobs. I think it's sort of hilarious and awesome as much as it is creepy, but that seems to be a reoccurring thought with all Liberatore stuff I've read.
-The Most Important Thing And Other Stores: By Graham Chaffee: I'm not going to lie, I mostly picked this up because it has a bull terrier painting on the cover! I haven't read anything in it yet, but it seems to be a collection of little stories.
2 Dragonball! ISSUES: by Akira Toriyama
I have been hopelessly addicted to this series. I'm about half-way through the volumes. Toriyama is a genius at expressing cuteness, facial emotion, and innocence through this drawings. It becomes very addicting...very quickly. I am reading the volumes but had to pick these up. Again, these were dug out of doubles boxes that I wasn't supposed to be looking through! Lemme shout Karen here, for if she hadn't started reading Dragonball, I wouldn't be either.
Alex by Mark Kalesniko:
I decided on this on a whim...
I read the first issue. It seems to be a horribly depressing comic about this dog-man who used to be a semi-successful cartoonist in LA, who moves back to his hometown. He is a drunk who hangs out with his loser friend, watching Gilligan's island and taking massive alcohol shits. In the panel, he made the painting in question during one of his blackouts and like the rest of the comic, seems to be a comment on squandered ability.
GON: Color Spectacular!: by Masashi Tanaka:
SMURFS by Peyo, issues 1 and 3:
Gargamel is this dude who used really freak me out when I was little (but his cat is too good!). He's such a little creeper, popping up when you least expect it! What are smurfs besides blue? Anyway, I'm giving you this little one-page because it's hilarious when Papa Smurf scares the bejeezus outta that lazy smurf!