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Savage Tales #5
Feb 18th, 2018 by Rusty

Savage Tales #5 cover

Savage Tales #5

Date: July 1974
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 75¢
Stats: 20 black and white pages (Skull River story)
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
Notable Notes: Conan gets a new horse!

No Water

What is the longest you have ever gone without water? I once went about 30 hours, and it was terrible! I am a big water drinker, even now, since it is suppose to be healthy, and I do prefer it to the overly sweet sugar drinks that are so prominent these days. But I wonder if we, like Conan in this story, had gone a long time without anything to drink, would be prone to blackouts or agreeing to take on stupid jobs. Hmm, hopefully I’d die before fighting a rich prick and then giving all his gold to manipulative villagers! 😉
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ElfQuest #5
Feb 11th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #5 cover

ElfQuest #5

Date: August 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 33 color pages plus editorial and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The end of the first Elfquest chapter.

Follow Gandhi’s Example

Whenever I see a herd of stampeding horses, or other grazing beasts, in movies or read about them in books, I always recall the movie Gandhi. It is there that the title character urges people to lie down, saying that the horses won’t step on them if they are prone. For some reason I have often thought about that part of the movie. Although I am not sure if that is true or not, it does seem logical that horses wouldn’t want to step other living creatures. I guess we are kind of like that too – how many of us would run across of carpet of cats, for example? Anyway, there is a part in this comic book where I thought the characters should heed Gandhi’s words and all lie down. However, the award winning movie didn’t come out until three years after this book was published – so I guess I can’t fault them!
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Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1
Feb 4th, 2018 by Rusty

Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Cory Doctorow’s Futuristic Tales of The Here and Now #1

Date: October 2007
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Stats: 22 color pages
Writers: Cory Doctorow, adapted by Dara Naraghi
Artists: Esteve Polls, Robert Studio and Neil Uyetake
Notable Notes: The first time a Cory Doctorow short story has been adapted to comics!

A Story and A Comic!

Several years ago I read and reviewed Cory Doctorow’s short story “Anda’s Game”. (You can still read that post over on my science fiction blog) I thought the story was pretty good, but definitely not his best work. He has written a ton of cool short stories and novels, so I was excited when I recently learned about the comic adaptations of some of his stories! I started with this one because it was the first story in the free (and legal!) TPB download. I kind of think there was something lost in the translation to graphic form, but it was still fun seeing a great short story in comic book form! Kind of like seeing a movie that was made from a novel you read. Anywho, here’s what I thought of it.
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ElfQuest #4
Jan 14th, 2018 by Rusty

ElfQuest #4 cover

ElfQuest #4

Date: May 1979
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2018 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Bearclaw and Joyleaf pin-up art, Laugh “Wolf” and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of Madcoil!

Rival Spurning

Have you ever been spurned by a rival? I’m talking about when you finally decide to play nice, and so you make a reconciling gesture only to be scoffed at, turned down or ridiculed? This can lead to even higher tension between rivals. I remember one case, in particular, when I was in high school where “my nemesis” and I elevated proverbial blows until we were ready to kill each other. Ah, the good old days of teenage testosterone! Nowadays I usually (emphasis on usually) laugh and let things blow over, because I am older and wiser… or is it older and weaker? One of those. Anyway, in this issue we see some male-rival-spurning going on, and I’m sure it will lead to more aggression in later issues. I can’t wait!
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24 Awesome Batman Comics to Read Online for Free
Dec 24th, 2017 by Rusty

A gift for you, dear readers! Here is a list of high quality Batman comics that you can read online for free! It took me a long time to scour the web and compile this list, so I hope you enjoy it and make great use of it! Presented in alphabetical order, here are what I believe to be 24 great Batman comics to read online for free: Read the rest of this entry »

ElfQuest #3
Nov 12th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #3 cover

ElfQuest #3

Date: December 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $30
Stats: 32 color pages plus Rayek pin-up art, Meet the Wolfriders and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: Cutter and Rayek battle for Leetah’s love!

Fight For Your Right

Would you fight, literally fight, to win the heart of your sweetie? What about your job? Or your family? Or your home? Or your comic book collection? 😉 Sure, we’ve all heard of fighting for true love, but as I read this comic I asked myself “What do I consider worth fighting for?” It gave me a little bit to ponder… but not for too long, because I had the rest of the comic to read! Here is a great comic – beautifully rendered and fun to read!
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ElfQuest #2
Oct 26th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #2 cover

ElfQuest #2

Date: September 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $3 – $40
Stats: 31 color pages plus pin-up art, welcome and Elfquotes letters page
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: The first book from WaRP Graphics

Love At First Sight

Ah, love at first sight… does it really exist? I tend to think that it should more accurately be called “lust at first sight” – at least in the real world. But in the world of fiction perhaps love at first sight is a thing that actually works out. In this issue of ElfQuest the Wolfriders’ leader, Cutter, is so smitten with a beautiful woman that he kidnaps her! But that works out OK for him – and that is another way to tell that we are in fictional world!
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ElfQuest #1
Oct 10th, 2017 by Rusty

ElfQuest #1 cover

ElfQuest #1

Date: April 1978
Publisher: WaRP Graphics
Cover Price: $1.00
2017 Price Range: $4 – $50
Stats: 31 color pages plus forward, pin-up art and Elf-olution
Writers: Wendy and Richard Pini
Artist: Wendy Pini
Notable Notes: A spruced-up reprint of ElfQuest’s first appearance!

Convoluted Publishing History

Some comic book series just really fly through the publishing companies. Astro City is one that comes to mind. ElfQuest is another one. Beginning in the late 1970s the Elf saga started off in Fantasy Quarterly #1 by an independent publisher, then it switched to the Pini’s homegrown company WaRP Graphics. Years later both Marvel and DC would pick up licenses to it, and so would Boing Boing and Dark Horse! Sheesh! Oh well, at least it is a good series, and one that deserves to be published – regardless of who is doing that publishing!
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Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #1
Jul 13th, 2015 by Rusty

Astro City #1 coverKurt Busiek’s Astro City #1

Date: August 1995
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.25
2015 NM Price: $12
Stats: 24 color pages plus pullout poster, “Greetings from Astro City” and house ads
Creators: Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Richard Starkings, Steve Buccellato and Alex Ross

Dreams of Flying

When I was a kid I had many dreams where I could fly – heck, I still have them! Wouldn’t that be something – to just take off like Superman and fly away? Those were always the dreams where I was totally upset once I woke up and realized it wasn’t real. But still, it’s fun to dream isn’t it? Apparently we normal humans aren’t the only ones who dream of flying – this issue shows us that superheroes have those dreams too… even when they really can fly!

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The Stuff of Legend #1
Jan 25th, 2014 by Rusty

The Stuff of Legend #1 cover

The Stuff of Legend #1

Date: July 2009
Publisher: Th3rd World Studios
Stats: 23 color pages
Writers: Mike Raicht & Brian Smith
Artists: Charles Paul Wilson III
Notable Notes: A toy rescue party is mounted!

Don’t Let The Boogeyman Get You!

When I was a small boy, we didn’t call him the “Boogeyman”, we were just afraid of the scary monsters in the dark – especially the ones outside! We felt marginally safer when we finally got a dog, because then we had a built in warning system when the monsters were near, right? Anyway, now I look back at some of those irrational fears and smile… at least until my young daughter screams and runs into my arms. What is she hiding from? The Boogeyman, of course!

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Batman: Gotham Adventures #1
Jan 18th, 2014 by Rusty

Batman: Gotham Adventures #1 cover

Batman: Gotham Adventures #1

Date: June 1998
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
2014 NM Value: $4.00
Stats: 38 color pages
Writer: Ty Templeton
Artists: Rick Burchett, Terry Beatty, Lee Loughridge
Notable Notes: Joker gets a big, big price on his head!

A Smarter Way To Catch The Joker?

The rational, non-fun, part of me has always been a little bit disappointed that the Joker is still running around being crazy after all these years. It seems like if Batman isn’t able to put the kibosh on this villain, then maybe there is another, better way? This issue addresses that very topic, and shows us that one dedicated and vengeful man can come up with a clever method for bringing down the Joker once and for all!

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The Walking Dead #1
Sep 8th, 2013 by Rusty

The Walking Dead #1 cover

The Walking Dead #1

Date: October 2003
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.95
2013 Price Range: $7.00 – $250.00
Stats: 24 black & white pages
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore
Notable Notes: 1st issue of the insanely popular zombie series!

Zombies… Nooooooo!

I resisted reading this issue for a long time. Why? Well, because I’m not a huge fan of zombies that’s why. I mean I don’t hate them, it’s just that I kind of rejected them on the grounds that “everybody is doing it.” Anyway, on a long bus ride I finally jumped in and read this issue on my Android tablet and was quite surprised and how much I enjoyed it! Here’s what I thought of this landmark first issue:

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The 11 Best Sites for Free Comic Books Online
Aug 1st, 2013 by Rusty

Over the past year I have been searching for web sites where I can read comic books online for free. Guess what? There are loads of places to get free comics, and a lot of sites for online comic books too – but it has been difficult to find high quality sites which are legal. Nevertheless I persevered and have scoured the web looking for the best sites. (* See below for the criteria I used when searching for good sites) Anyway, I have finally come up with a list of what I believe are the 11 best sites for free, online comic books:

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Bandette #1
Jun 13th, 2013 by Rusty

Bandette #1 cover

Bandette #1

Date: 2012
Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics
Cover Price: 99¢
Stats: 13 color pages
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Colleen Coover
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of the artful-dodger known as Bandette!

Just Like The Fun Comics of Yesteryear!

I enjoy the older, adventure comics in the style of Tintin, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover Bandette! I had been wanting to read some Monkeybrain comics for a while, and this was a great opportunity – so I jumped at it. I’m glad I did because this was one fun book that I recommend you give a try!

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Whiz Comics #2
Mar 28th, 2013 by Rusty

Whiz Comics #2 cover

Whiz Comics #2

Date: February 1940
Publisher: Fawcett Publications
Cover Price: 10¢
2013 Price Range: $8,000 – $176,000
Stats: 64 color pages plus ads
Writers: Bill Parker and ?
Artists: C.C. Beck and ?
Notable Notes: 1st appearances of Captain Marvel, Ibis the Invincible, Golden Arrow, Spy Smasher, Scoop Smith, Lance O’Casey and Dan Dare!

Is It This Or Is It That?

Captain Marvel, aka Shazam, has a long and complicated history. The complications begin with this issue and the question of “Is it issue #1 or issue #2?” The inside front cover lists this as issue #2 of Whiz Comics, and a little bit of searching reveals that the first issue was actually an ashcan copy created for trademark purposes and it wasn’t even called Whiz Comics! Anyway, this issue (the true #1 but actually marked as #2) is where all the magic happens. Oh yeah, there are other complications too – such as the name “Captain Marvel”, his close resemblance to Superman and his integration into the DC Universe after DC Comics obtained the rights to the character… but we won’t go there right now.

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