"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.And also like last year, the money spent (Monique and I's total: $105.35) pretty much means I spent my checks from this and this all on comics! But blah blah blah, let's dig into the haul...
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 and tons of weird European stuff."
- Dare: The Controversial Memoir of Dan Dare #2 & #3 by Grant Morrison & Rian Hughes
- The Last Generation: Book I by Bryer, Foust, & Parch
- Negative Burn #12, #18, & #20
- Optimism of Youth by Jack Jackson
- The Secret of San Saba by Jack Jackson
- The Story of O by Guido Crepax
The issues run like $4 a piece, so I waited until this sale to pick up the next two--still need #4, they didn't have it--but this is just really awesome series. It's basically a take on Miller’s Dark Knight Returns wherein an aged icon—this time Britain’s much-loved Dan Dare—feels the need to get back into the game, only this time he doesn’t go back to his superheroics, he agrees to shill for the Thatcher-esque Conservative party. Imagine if a retired Batman, so bored of life in his old age, picked up a call from Dick Cheney or something around 2004 and helped get Bush and pals re-elected. It’s actually far more dystopian than anything Miller could ever think of.
Sammy grabbed the issues of these at comic-con and BLAM! Foundation's Edge had a trade of the first three issues for 2 bucks. Am really excited to read this. Just as an aside...one of the really funny/sad/awesome things about this sale was that some of the stuff I couldn't find anywhere at Comic-Con is just sitting in Foundation's Edge. Not sure what that says about the con, really. Haven't read this yet but it looks insane and there's a cool intro from Chuck Dixon in which he sort of presents the series as somehow, an uncynical post-apocalypse story!
These have some stray Paul Pope stories and that's why I got them. Serioulsy--these were at the top of my list for comic-con but they were nowhere to be found, but they're all rotting away in a whitebox in Raleigh, NC. The stories are an illustrated version of part of Engles' eulogy to Marx, a fucked-up Clowes-ian Christmas tale, and one of Pope's signature 90s, smokey autobiographical tales about a dude he met whose girlfriend drowned. Back issues were 40% off, so each of these was around 2 bucks!!!
Jack Jackson or "Jaxon" as he's usually known is an underground artist whose work I've been seeking out lately and again, couldn't find any of at comic-con but found these two trades. The thing about stores like Foundation's Edge, which came out when the weird, indie comics boom of the early 80s was there is that they just have so much shit in boxes and piles and for a sale or just every once in a while they sort some of it and stick it on the shelves. I've never seen these in the store until today but they're long OOP, so they probably were unearthed and put on the shelf at cover price--the store's nice like that. One is a bunch of Jaxon's weird, trippy strip type stories and one is somehow about Spanish explorers and Apaches and a giant-ass bug. Looks awesome.
Just re-released in a pretty nice and fairly affordable hardback, made more affordable when all the trades are 35% off. I love artsy-fartsy porno comixxx.
- Gon: Underground by Masashi Tanaka
- Magical Pokemon Journey by Yumi Tsukirino
- Man-Thing: Whatever Knows Fear... by Hans Rodionoff & Kyle Hotz
- Morphos The Shapechanger by Burne Hogarth
- Pink Flamingos: Bring Down the Night by John R. Sanevere, Carol Q. Sansevere & William Rieser
- Space Fantasies Vol 1, Number One by Some Weirdos
- Street Fighter by Len Strazewski & Don Hillsman
- Wallace's Wood's The Wizard King, The King of the World by Wallace Wood
- The World of Ginger Fox by Mike Baron & Mitch O'Connell
- Tuesday and Thursday, Queens Blvd, and Dream Big Dreams by Andrew Zaben
Gon is everything a manga reader wants without any extra variables. Gon is both a loner and a fighter so that solves the whole "antagonist/protagonist" element but it's the art that reaches above and beyond to both make reading easier and compensate for the heavy nature focus. The bonus here is that it fulfills the quick-reading dream of NO TEXT but still is able to be funny and cute. "Underground" is a collection of stories dealing with well, underground dwellers such as ants and prairie dogs.
Pokemon comics are weird. You want to be really into them and sometimes they can be really awful. I mostly bought this one because it was a dollar and it features some STAR pokemons like jigglypuff and magikarp. If they made these color, it would redeem all problems 100%.
Man-Thing is kind of like this ugly dog breed that the general population thinks is ugly but a certain sect thinks they are the cutest thing ever. I think Man-Thing is cute. I don't think I'd think so in real life but as a cartoon, he's just a stringy, mossy, blob with body builder attributes. Anyway, this collection includes both modern Man-Thangs and 70's Man-Thangs which illuminates a lot of the differences between modern comics and bronze age comics. The biggest contrast, at least for me, is in the art styles but most notably, the coloring. The bronze age stuff just uses color fearlessly which just means the sky is bright blue and a man's shirt is bright yellow while the modern 'mics just struggle for mood and style. Even though Man-Thing is "scary", why does it have to look "scary"? I don't think I'll ever really understand the obviousness of mainstream, modern comics.
This is really something else. No, seriously. A really great essay prefacing this unfinished work by Gary Groth, of Fantagraphics and The Comics Journal, describes Hogarth as "adapting to the needs of the genre and the character." Morphos is a super-hero like character that is the result of Merlin the wizard, trapped in crystal after falling in love with the Lady of the Lake and getting played, wanting to make the human race greater through his own DNA contained in his hair. The hair is given to a female commercial scientist who eventually, with the help of her partner, is able to conceive Morphos by injecting the embryo into herself. Unfortunately, the company she works for catches on to her plans and most of the completed story is her running from the owners of the company she works for with her co-worker. The story remains unfinished because Hogarth died but the book includes the written epilogue that he constructed as a skeleton for the story. Morphos is eventually able to change shapes but is not capable of true violence. The art is incredibly detailed in color and line-craft so it's especially a shame that he wasn't able to get to the shapeshifting part of the story because he would have been able to do an incredible job of translating that into pictures.
This is just a Miami Vice-like story using 4 young women who are in a club called, not surprisingly, "The Pink Flamingos." The art is completely like the cover and all in color. There's not a lot of information on this or the second book on the internets but thats probably because it's put out by Angel Entertainment,Inc but is also called a "Simon & Schuster Graphic Novel."
Half-porno comic and half-super hero comic, this is, ultimately, just some weird fan-made 70's comic.
I've never read LotR. I've seen the LotR movies but I don't remember them. So, I don't really understand how this compares to LotR but it is said to be similar. Basically, this dwarf-man is tricked into becoming a hero to save the world from an evil force/god. I'm dying to find parts two and three.
Brandon Graham has mentioned this one before. It's a really weird (like) 80's feminism story. Basically, Ginger Fox becomes the CEO of a movie production company while also falling in love with one of the asian, lead actors in one of the in-production kung-fu movies. Hollywood old-heads try to take her down but she makes it out on top...Murphy Brown style...or not.
Altogether, these cost 4 dollars so, I thought it was worth the risk. The art is AWFUL. Seriously, just awful...no use of perspective and sometimes, it's even hard to tell the different characters apart. The stories have this 90's feel to them-- introspective but weirdly self-obsessed. There's a lot of "meaningful conversations" and love triangle type stuff usually umbrella-ed by some larger problem. The "umbrella" of Dream Big Dreams, for example, is the question a bar owner faces when given the option to turn his bar into a franchise. The people who patronize his bar don't want it because it's sort of this old-indie-dude-dive bar but his wife sees those dollar $igns. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it through them completely but for now, I've convinced myself that I'm into this 90's story aesthetic (even though, I realized I'm much more into it when used with young people--My So-Called Life, Clarissa Explains it All, Blossom--than with older folks who have jobs and marriages, etc.)