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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 Amazing Spider-Man #255
Nov 9th, 2013 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #255 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #255

Date: August 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 Price Range: $1.00 – $10.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Spider’s Web” letters page
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Ron Frenz, Josef Rubinstein, Joe Rosen and Glynis Wein
Notable Notes: Spidey battles the Black Fox, the Red Ghost and 3 super apes!

Scary Apes!

I find our primate cousins – gorillas, orangutans, monkeys – to be just fascinating! I love watching documentaries, like Nature on PBS, that follow these amazing, beautiful animals and reveal their world to us. Silver back gorillas are especially cool, and a little bit frightening too. I can’t imagine what it would be like to come across one of these beasts in the wild! In this issue we get to see a criminal who has to do his work with 3 of these apes watching his every move – and ready to make him pay the price should he mess up! Ulp!

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Thor #343
Oct 20th, 2013 by Rusty

Thor #343 cover

Thor #343

Date: May 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 24 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Thor rallies an old timer to help him fight a dragon!

Odin the Grey?

In the last few issues, Odin has disguised himself as a wandering traveler and visited some people who were left none-the-wiser. I couldn’t help but think how much he looked and acted like Gandalf in those scenes! I wonder how much one mythology was mixed with another there? Oh well, it was still fun, even if the scenes did feel a little bit out of place.

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The Amazing Spider-Man #254
Sep 28th, 2013 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #254 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #254

Date: July 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 Price Range: $1.00 – $10.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Spider’s Web” letters page
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Rick Leonardi, Josef Rubinstein, Joe Rosen and Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Hobgoblin’s Battle Wagon is retrieved… then stolen!

Isn’t It Ironic?

Yep, just like the Alanis Morissette song, some pretty ironic things happen in this issue of our favorite web-crawler! To begin with Hobgoblin’s vehicle is stolen right after the authorities retrieve it. Also, Peter is trying to be the bigger person and apologize to his aunt, who is acting like him! Sheesh – will the craziness never end!

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Thor #342
Sep 14th, 2013 by Rusty

Thor #342 cover

Thor #342

Date: April 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 21 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page
Story & Pencils: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: Terry Austin, John Workman, Jr., Christie Scheele
Notable Notes: Thor goes to Antarctica.

The Bottom of the World!

I am a big fan of science programs on TV, especially the ones on PBS – like Nature and Nova. Every time they show scientists and animals in Antarctica I always think it would be fun to go there… but only for a little while. Seeing the penguins and the harsh environment, or studying sea ice would be totally interesting! Anyway, here is an issue where Thor goes to that very continent – but it’s not for scientific research!

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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 Amazing Spider-Man #253
Aug 10th, 2013 by Rusty

The Amazing Spider-Man #253 cover

The Amazing Spider-Man #253

Date: June 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 Price Range: $2.00 – $15.00
Stats: 23 color pages plus ads and Bullpen Bulletins
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artists: Rick Leonardi, Bill Anderson, Joe Rosen and Glynis Wein
Notable Notes: 1st appearance of The Rose!

Football in Comic Books?

I am a fan of major league football – especially the Oakland Raiders! This issue of Spider-Man has a story about a quarterback with a (fake) major league team – and I think that is the first time I’ve seen such a story in a comic book! It turned out to be a pretty good story, and served nicely to get me in the football mood for this fall. If you’re a fan of football and comics then this is an issue you won’t want to miss!

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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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Thor #341
Jul 29th, 2013 by Rusty

Thor #341 cover

Thor #341

Date: March 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 NM Price: $4.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., George Roussos
Notable Notes: Thor battles an ancient dragon!

Godzilla in Marvel’s Manhattan?

I used to love to watch the Godzilla movies when I was a kid. Yes they were kind of hokey, and I got great pleasure from making fun of the bad English dubbing – but there was something undeniably cool about the monster itself! That strange scream, its fire/electric breath and the way it stomped on Japanese cities were proof that Godzilla was different than your average dragon. Anyway, this issue reminded me of those old movies… well, except for the dubbing part.

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Thor #340
Jun 24th, 2013 by Rusty

Thor #340 cover

Thor #340

Date: February 1984
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Cover Price: 60¢
2013 NM Price: $6.00
Stats: 22 color pages plus ads, Bullpen Bulletins and “The Hammer Strikes” letters page
Story & Art: Walter Simonson
Other Artists: John Workman, Jr., George Roussos
Notable Notes: The end of the first Beta Ray Bill story arc.

Science Fiction Mythology?

I have long been a fan of both mythology and science fiction. Perhaps that is a big reason why the Thor comic series appeals to me so much – there are many elements of both genres within its covers. This issue is a great example as Thor and friends set out to do battle with aliens from another dimension. Ah… just one more reason to love comics!

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