Cosmic Comix's 18th Annual Year-End Sale
Despite what any survey or free weekly says, Cosmic Comix is the best comic store in Baltimore, MD. Their back issues are completely in order and easy to browse, the boxes are never tight and are all clearly labeled. It's the only store I ever see children in, and you know, dudes with girlfriends.
The entire staff is extremely helpful, greeting you at the door, and if you subscribe, like David and I do, your new comics are placed directly in your hand. Brutally honest, Cosmic Comix is the only store where an employee hasn't swayed me into buying something weird/bad. Especially Rusty, who will always give you his honest opinion about comics (without nerding out), even if it means you may not buy it.
Another great thing about the store is it's CLEAN, your fingers never look disgusting after going through a box and you don't sneeze from back issues. The wall of figures is reorganized constantly, making you rethink your priorities everytime that one Wolverine toy is moved.
Just to get down to it, Cosmic is one of the best, and one of the only stores worth going to. Here's what we all got:
-What If? #45: "What If The Hulk Went Berserk?" I bought this because isn't that the point? The Hulk goes berserk all the time, right? Or have I been mixing him up with someone else?
-The Thing #31 "Devil Dinosaur: The Movie." This feels much more like a What If, with The Thing fighting dinosaurs and being in a movie and all.
-Michaelangelo Christmas Special. This was actually really great, it had some awesome old turtles' pin-ups and two stories that ruled.
-Brute Force #1. I don't know how I couldn't buy this for a dollar, it feels like someone was playing a trick on me.
-Jordi Bernet Solo. I haven't bought any of the Solo issues, but this one seemed too good to pass up. It has a Batman/Poison Ivy story, and a great Jonah Hex one. The art is great and one of the non-character stories is an incredible black and white story, written by Joe Kelly.
-The Survivors: Talons of Blood. This is an over sized that I assumed I'd have to pay trade price for but Rusty gave it to me for a dollar! Race apocalypse story, incredible art by a guy named Hermann.
-Mephisto Vs. Series. This set of four has Mephisto, who is basically Marvel's devil, working his way up the totem pole stealing souls hoping to eventually land himself Silver Surfer's soul. The four issue series has him facing off against a different team each installment, the four being Fantastic Four, X-Factor, X-Men, and finally, Avengers. 3 bucks for all four!
-Fist of the North Star Part Two #1-5. Kung Fu apocalypse comics, from the old Viz Media set, each cover is just more awesome than the last.
-Hercules Prince of Power #1-4. I love Hercules and I love him even more when he's in outer space. There's nothing more that can be said about it.
-Bio-Booster Armor Guyver. My first exposure to Guyver was the American movie, but after seeing the animes as a kid, when I saw these comics I knew I needed them. More classic Viz manga.
-Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham. This is a three issue prestige style mini series written by Mignola and drawn by this dude Tom Nixey. It has a ton of characters in it all set in an H.P. Lovecraft story. It's great to see Mignola's worlds mixed.
-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Not even gonna lie, I'm this college student right in the middle of finals bullshit, so I haven't actually gotten around to reading this yet. I'd picked up the freebie preview of it though a couple weeks ago, and the art looks pretty good, if not a little too sketchy, final-undergrad-illustration-project-ish.
-Capt. Marvel Mini-Bust: Sammy's birthday present! Dude had been talking about that shit for ages.
-Super Manga Blast Vol. 1. I was like a second away from buying all nineteen of these, solely for the installments of What's Michael?, these great little vignettes that range from Michael being this normal housecat, to stories like the one in this issue where he's a professional wrestler in this animal world.
He can't do an elbow drop because cats always land on their feet! HAHAHAHAAaawwwww...
Fury #1-6 by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson. I didn't buy this series the first day of the sale since I had never read a Nick Fury story and am not exactly a fan of Garth Ennis. Having said that, once I saw Bill Sienkiewicz's typically glorious covers, I had to pick it up.
Space Usagi #1-3. Usagi Yojimbo is one of Sammy's favorite comics and it is a truth universally acknowledged that if you take an otherwise great comic and put it in space, the result is generally superior by several orders of magnitude.
Vertigo POP!: London #3-4. I picked up the first two issues of this mini penned by Peter Milligan with illustrations by Philip Bond in another comics shop's dollar box. Milligan's Sub-Mariner: The Depths is hands down one of the best series going right now and Bond's work on some of Grant Morrison's better works, such as the recently re-issued Kill Your Boyfriend, made this series more or less irresistible.
Repo #1-2. The fact that Rick Spears is the cousin of a great friend of all of us here at Are You a Serious Comic Book Reader? had infinitely less to do with my decision to pick up the first two issues of this mini-series, illustrated by frequent Spears collaborator Rob G, than the fact that his Pirates of Coney Island is probably the best incomplete comics series you will ever read.
Hellboy: Makoma #1 of 2. The recent Hellboy: The Crooked Man series illustrated by Richard Corben is perhaps the best installment yet in Mike Mignola's vast Hellboy universe. Makoma incorporates the Corben illustrated tale within a frame narrative drawn by Mignola himself. What more needs to be said?
Batman: Gotham Knights #2. I credit Brandon with urging me to pick up this issue of Gotham Knights for John Byrne's superb Batman: Black & White story included at the back of the comic. Byrne's retro tale of the bust-up of a decadent ring of drug-dealing plutocrats is written and drawn in a style evocative of the Batman comics of the 1940s.
Steelgrip Starkey and the All-Purpose Power Tool #1-6. There is something about these Epic series from the '70s and '80s--in this case about a construction worker hired to operate a miraculous power tool allowing him to single-handedly construct entire skyscrapers in a matter of minutes--that makes them difficult to pass over. Besides, check out that cover!
Clash #1-3. I have had particularly good luck with these DC prestige-style mini-series from the early '90s, having previously picked up Howard Chaykin and José Luis Garcia Lopez's exuberantly bizarre jungle-fascist space-epic Twilight. This series, written by Tom Veitch with pencils by Adam Kubert, once again illustrates, in its prophetic musings on a once and future destroyed Afghanistan, Shelley's conception of poets as "mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present,"
Bad Company: Goodbye, Krool World TPB. All I had to do was flip through a handful of pages from this collection of stories from 2000 AD by Peter Milligan, with art by Brett Ewins, Jim McCarthy and Steve Dillon, I knew I wouldn't leave the store without it.
Cage #4-5. Azzarello and Corben's rambunctiously cerebral Banner is one of my favorite trades and the word in my circles is that, if anything, their take on Luke Cage is superior even to that great series. Even better than getting these two issues for a buck each is the fact that later that evening as I was cruising eBay for the series' first three issues, I came across a listing that offered Cage #1-4 and all four issues of Banner, all for an extremely reasonable price. As it turns out, the lot was being sold by none other than Cosmic Comix in Catonsville. A quick email to the guys at Cosmic got me the first three issues of Cage at a price you would be hard pressed to match at any other comics shop, bar none.