It’s Been Fun – A Fanboy Farewell


This is my final column, not just in the series of What I’m Excited For, but under the banner of Project Fanboy.  Maybe I’ll be back in the future, but for now, I have so many irons in the fire that I had to choose which ones to nurture and grow.  All in all, I’m very much looking forward to getting my articles out on GeekDad.com.  Well, ok, more on that later.  For right now, please, check out the column below.

 

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These past three columns, I’ve been talking about what I’m looking forward to the most as a fanboy. So many big events have me on pins and needles waiting for my next shipment of comics to hit. I’m having to take out a second mortgage on my house to afford all the super-hero based movies hitting the big screen. And if I had a time machine, I wouldn’t use it for some big heroic deed or even pull a Biff Tannen, I’d simply shoot forward to pick up a copy of Arkham City and the DVD release of the final season of Smallville. Indeed, 2011 looks to be a booming year to be a fan of comics and their various and sundry adaptations.

While I’m thrilled about all of these, I also have some exciting opportunities in front of me, on a personal level.

Wired’s GeekDad.com blog has offered me a spot as an occasional contributer with the opportunity to move up to a core contributor over time. They receive over a million unique hits each month due to their in-depth, yet conversational, coverage of anything and everything that a geek – especially one who is a dad – might care about. They do everything from product reviews and previews to interviews with some very interesting and entertaining people.

This opportunity on top of my other duties, such as slushpile reading for Dark Quest Books, coupled with my own comic script and novel writing endeavors, take up nearly any time I am not at my “real” job. I also have some friends who are starting up their own comic book community, and they’ve asked for my help in getting it up and going.

So, sadly, somehting’s got to give to make room for these, hopefully, beneficial changes in my schedule.

I have ultimately decided for this to be my final column with Project Fanboy for the foreseeable future. You guys have been nothing but good to me. Guys, I appreciate the support and words of encouragement I received through email, PM’s, and posts. I realize at times, I tend to babble, but no one ever called me on it, so I guess I did all right. In the end, what more could I ask for?

Love, peace, and chicken grease,

Ray

What I’m Excited For In 2011: Miscellaneous Edition


This is my next to last column in the What I’m Excited For series.  Stay tuned tomorrow for my final column.

 

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End of Smallville:

This is going to be a hard one for me. I don’t have reception out where I live, so I have to wait and pick up the seasons when they come out. I don’t know if I can wait, though. As much as I’m looking forward to it, though, it’s definitely going to be bittersweet. I love this series. It began as a fun diversion for a Superman fan, but it quickly turned into it’s own fun separate universe of familiar characters and settings. It was sort of like the ultimate Elseworlds maxi-series, only on TV.

So, to the team behind Smallville, I salute you. Great show, everyone.

Young Justice – I still haven’t seen this, because of the whole reception thing, but I hear some very good things about it. Let’s hope it gets a good foothold and lasts longer than some of the other Cartoon Network WB shows.

Green Lantern Series in November

Not to beat a dead horse, here, but . . . Stupid rural area at the bottom of a big hill without reception rasser frasser rassa frassa . . . I so want this to be huge. Bruce Timm, again? Heck yes, please.

Walking Dead’s 2nd Season – I’ve only seen a small, small, portion of a couple of episodes, but this looks horridly sweet. Looking forward to it for everyone else’s sake, since I won’t be watching it until it’s all released, probably.

New Animated DC and Marvel movies for 2011:

Animated DC Direct to DVD Movies:

Following up on the recent release of All Star Superman – Feb 22, DC will be putting out
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights on June 7 (Capitalizing yet again on the buzz for this year’s big screen adaptation). There is also talk of Batman: Year One, possibly being released in September.

Here’s but a glimpse at 2011 Convention Schedule. For an in-depth listing, check out http://www.geekcal.com/ They rock! Oh, and check out all of the cons scheduled for this weekend and the rest of March.

ECCC: Emerald City Comic Convention – This Weekend, Seattle

Steel City Comic Con – This Weekend, Monroeville, PA

Metropolis Super Con – This Weekend, Metropolis, IL

Buckeye Comic Con – This Weekend, Columbus, OH

C2E2 – March 18 – 20, Chicago

MegaCon – March 25 – 27, Orlando

Boston Comic Con – April 30 – May 1

FCBD – Not really a con, but this thing gets bigger with each passing year. Everyone celebrates it. Just show up at a shop, and they’re bound to have giveaways or quarter comic sales, or something.

WonderCon – April 1 – 3, San Francisco

Comicon International – July 21 – 24, San Diego

APE: Alternative Press Expo – October 1 – 2, San Francisco

2011 Comic Book Games:

Some games, I will be the first in line for, such as Batman, while others I’ll have to visit a friend who doesn’t live in the sticks. I actually bought my PS3 to be ready for the release of the DCUMMORPG, but then I found out it won’t work online out here. (This is the last time you hear me whine about it, ok?)

DC Universe Online
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Batman: Arkham City
X-Men: Destiny
Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
Thor: The Video Game
Captain America: Super Soldier

I know there are still so many miscellaneous comic goodies out there I’m missing, here, so please feel free to chime in with some of your own.

Ok, that’s it for now, but stay tuned tomorrow for my final column in the “What I’m Excited For” series.

Take care,
Ray

What I’m Excited For In 2011 – Movies Editions


This was originally posted on Saturday, February 19, 2011 on ProfessionalFanboy.com.  It is the second installment in a series of four, talking about the cool comic book goings-on for 2011.
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I love an action packed summer blockbuster as much as the next person, and that goes doubly for anything comic or geek related. However, as expensive as movies are these days, its all I can do to justify the expense. Yeah, and don’t get me started on the $2.50 can of soda in the vending machine or the ten-dollar popcorn at the concession stand. Cost aside, I still manage to pull myself to two or three every summer.Well, guess what, the summer blockbusters? They’re starting a little early this year, and I’m strapped for cash. I have points that I can cash in for prizes either through promotional deals or through my credit card rewards, so maybe I’ll pull me some cinema passes and do it that way. 

No matter how I do it, it’s still going to be hard to decide which one I’m most stoked to see. Don’t take my word for it, just check these out.

Green Hornet – Currently in theaters

I’ve only recently had any dealings with Green Hornet comics, but my buddy swears by them. I haven’t seen it yet, and I initially gave it a pass. I watched a trailer for it, though, and I think I’ll be picking it up at RedBox in a few months.

Priest – March 4

Rebel priest? Check. Vampires? Check. Is this yet another remake of ‘Salem’s Lot? RedBoxing this one, too.

Thor – May 6

My friend, Vic, has read Thor for as long as I can recall, but being a DC man, I’ve never picked it up. I’ve read the odd story with him in it over the years, granted, but I’ve never given him much thought.

My cousin caught an early look at the trailer, and he couldn’t say enough about it. Then, on Superbowl Sunday, I was one of the millions to see it, and, all I have to say is “…..”.

This movie will definitely kick so much Asgard. I’ll be there with my bucket of popcorn and expensive drink, too.

X-Men: First Class – June 3

I was the only one of my group who enjoyed the first three movies. When I first heard the news for a proposed reboot, I was ticked. After watching the teasers and official trailer, recently, I am starting to come around.

I’m sure I’ll be forking over some more dough for this one, too.

They should keep my seat reserved, too, because next, I’ll be hitting . . .

Green Lantern – June 17

Finally! And, it looks like Warner Bros. might be doing it right. I know Jeoff Johns is impressed by it. With 7200 sectors, and the rich legacy of the character and the corps itself, this is really one of those movies that could hit the ground running and never stop.

Transformers 3 – July 1

Ok, so this is another Michael Bay pic with the spindly robots in disguise as Transformers, but I really liked the first one a lot. The trailer for this one looks far better than two.

With it opening the day after my birthday, I’m sure I’ll be there to unwrap the paper.

First Avenger: Captain America – July 22

Thank you, Marvel, for baldly labeling it as The First Avenger. When is DC going to follow suit with a The First JLA-er movie?

As for the movie, itself, I don’t know how well it’s going to follow with the comic, but the Superbowl spot looked solid.

Theater or rental? Theater, I believe.

Cowboys and Aliens – July 29

Please, forgive me, but this looks like soooo much fun. I doubt I’ll be going to see it, but I’ll probably be scooping it up the day it’s released for rental.

There are several other candidates for the must watch list, but these are the main ones I’m looking forward to. How ’bout you guys?

See you soon,
Ray

Being A Fanboy In 2011: What I’m Excited For


I posted this today, February 12, 2011, as part one in a series of four, where I’ll discuss all of the cool comic book goings-on this year.
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2011 Already? It seems like just a couple of years ago, 3-D Brainiac-13 came back to wage war on Superman in Y2K. Just weeks ago, Waverider was busy sifting through the heroes to see which one was destined to turn to the dark side, and thus, causing Armageddon in 2001. But, the years, how they do fly by. 

Speaking of flying by, the days and weeks since my last Professional Fanboy column have done just that. It’s funny the way life sorta gets in the way of fun things like writing and commenting about comics and the fanboy experience.

For a few posts, I really wanted to do a little talking on the new comic-related items of interest for the year. Some interest me more than others, simply because I’m a DC Comics man, so bear with me.

In part one, I’ll discuss upcoming events – both large and small – that have me stoked.

Part two will focus on comic book movies for which to keep your eyes peeled.

Part three will serve as a general hodgepodge of other random comic related goodness.

Part four will be about something that I am very much looking forward to, but which will remain hush-hush for now.

As always, I want to preamble these columns with an apology to all non-DC Comics readers. One day, when I get plenty of time and money, I’ll read it all. Then, we can have a nice little sit-down together.

So, what are the major events this year?

REIGN OF DOOMSDAY

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Part 1: STEEL #1
Part 2: OUTSIDERS #37
Part 3: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #55
Part 4: SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL #5
Part 5: SUPERBOY #6
Part ?: Action Comics #900
Part ?: Action Comics #901

Wow, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this event. I love Steel, and I love Doomsday. That, alone, has me salivating. Then, you take into account I cut my comic book teeth on The Death and Return of Superman storyline. It was the event that brought in a lot of us.

On a side note, as some of you might know, I get my comics for the current month at the beginning of the next. When my latest shipment arrived, a week back, I ripped it open and dug through the stack for my issue of Steel #1. But, guess what . . . It wasn’t there. I was actually missing six books in total. My service was awesome about it, though, and they’re adding them to my February books. Of course, it’s taking every ounce of restraint I have not to fork out the dough for a second issue at full price, plus tax, just to be able to have it in my hands right now.

FLASHPOINT

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The Spaceship Never Crashed.
He Spends His Days Running Wayne Casinos.
They Experimented On Him In Labs For Years.
Where Is His Ring?
Their Marriage Was Arranged To Prevent War.
When did Cyborg become our protector of Truth, Justice, and the American way?
Why is Citizen Cold the greatest hero of Central City?
Where will the Ravager strike next?
Who is the Outsider, and why is he better than you?
What is top secret?

Whatever Happened to Gotham City?
FLASHPOINT: BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: DEADMAN AND THE FLYING GRAYSONS #1-#3
Whatever Happened to the World’s Greatest Super Villains?
FLASHPOINT: CITIZEN COLD #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: DEATHSTROKE & THE CURSE OF THE RAVAGER #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: THE OUTSIDER #1-#3
Whatever Happened to the Aliens?
FLASHPOINT: ABIN SUR THE GREEN LANTERN #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: PROJECT: SUPERMAN #1-#3
Whatever Happened to Science & Magic?
FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN & THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: SECRET SEVEN #1-#3
Whatever Happened to Europe?
FLASHPOINT: EMPEROR AQUAMAN #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: WONDER WOMAN AND THE FURIES #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: LOIS LANE AND THE RESISTANCE #1-#3
Everything You Know Will Change in a Flash
FLASHPOINT: KID FLASH LOST #1-#3
FLASHPOINT: THE WORLD OF FLASHPOINT #1-#3

And, then there are a few more. There’s at least one more mini and some one-shots. Another wallet buster, to be sure, but I’ll be right there in line with you draining it dry.

After Geoff John’s treatment of the Green Lantern franchise, I was ready to see what he handed down with the Flash with Barry Allen’s return. But, it’s been . . . slow, really. The Flash isn’t supposed to be slow. I don’t mean that the story is bad at all. I’m just ready to get right into the action, and I believe we’re about to have that action in spades. Moreover, I’ve always been a sucker for time-warped tales. While everyone else was busy turning up their noses at Zero Hour, I was all over it. In fact, that was the first mini I read more than once (three times now). Oh, and I’ll finally have Dan Jurgens back on the Booster Gold main title.

AQUAWAR:

Well, I never thought I’d hear myself say this (well, see myself type it), but . . . Bring. On. Aquaman. Yep, you know, the guy who talks to fishies. But, now, apparently, the badass king of the sea. Mera and the new Aqualad are knocking me out, too. I really like where this is headed.

END OF BRIGHTEST DAY:

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The weekly/bi-weekly maxi-series trend has seen it’s ups and downs, in my mind, but this has been a really good ride. I like how it weaves the heroes’ individual tales together in a manner reminiscent of 52, but it includes B+ to A- characters, instead.

END OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST:

This one, I really wanted to check out, because I like the character of Maxwell Lord. I reallllly wanted to see where his resurrection would take him. Also, I love Booster Gold – even when he’s not being written by Jurgens. Besides, who doesn’t have at least some nostalgia for the Giffen Era Justice League, eh?

WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS:

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Brother vs. Brother vs. Brother vs. Brother . . .

It’s on!! I have grown to love all of the Big Four of the Corps. Don’t know who I’m rooting for – okay, so it’ll always be Hal – but I know it’ll be knockdown drag-out and then knockdown again. The whole saga/epic that Johns is bringing into play this time around with the GL mythos is unbelievable.

Rebirth, Corps Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, War of Light . . . War of the Green Lanterns!

ACTION COMICS HISTORIC 900th issue:

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As I mentioned earlier, Superman was my gateway character. And, we’re talking about Action Comics, here. The place of Supes’ birth. This series is 900 issues in the making. You’re looking at a colossal collection of talent, story, and, of course, ACTION. While I don’t own all of these issues – goes without saying – I probably have a good 300, or so. I’ve read and enjoyed every one, and I can honestly tell you I can’t wait to read the next 300, 900, 1,000, . . . Ok, so that won’t happen, but I’ll definitely be snagging a copy of Action Comics #1000.

As for #900, well, not only is DC bringing in a slew of creatives to do this thing right, we’re finally going to get Superman back in his book, we’ll see the culmination of the best Luthor story of all time, we’ll have Doomsday, we’ll have close to 100 pages of awesome!, and best of all: We’ll have it all in 2011.

That does it for this installment, check back next weekend for the second part. Bring your butter popcorn and your excitement.

– The Eventful Ray

Merry Christmas from Professional Fanboy


So, this one’s pretty self-explanatory.

 

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Ho ho ho, boys and girls!

Guess I learned nothing from my previous post.  The idea I had for Thanksgiving was transitioned into a Christmas idea.  The author I had lined up is just too swamped, I guess.

Anyways, I just wanted to say that I really hope your Christmas was a FAN-tastic one.  I know you were bound to snag lots of swag.  So, please give us a look.  Post pics, stories, etc.

TTFN,

Ray

AND NOW, PLAN C


I start off apologizing for things falling through the cracks due to things outside of my control, blah, blah, blah . . .  Then, I move into what I’m thankful for and give some Black Friday/Cyber Monday advice.  Yes, again with the sales and saving money thing.

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Ok, so I’m over a week late on my column.  D’oh!

Can you ever find it in your hearts to forgive me?

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I’m not that big on excuses, but just know that what I tried to pull off would have been super cool.  Unfortunately, I was relying on a creator with tons on her plate right now.  It just didn’t come together.  I’m talking to her about doing something similar for Christmas, though, so stick around.

From the beginning, I had an idea for a backup column in the works.  I did the preliminary searches and background digging, but when I got word that this other was going to come through, I totally jumped off of the idea in favor of this other one.

My original backup column was going to be two-fold.  First, I was going to discuss what I was thankful for in comics this year.  Second, I was going to reveal what I had dug up on various sales and whatnot for Black Friday.  There were a lot more BF deals out there than I’d realized.

Since that didn’t pan out, I decided to try a similar spin.  Guess you could call this “Plan C.”  I’ll substitute any Cyber Monday (Black Friday’s evil twin) sales I might find instead.

Fair enough?  Good.

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So, what does this Professional Fanboy have to be thankful for this year?  So, so, so, so much.

#1    This column for one, of course, has proven to be a highlight.  I love having the opportunity to come here and spout off about whatever hits my keyboard.  I am utterly thankful for the chance to reach out and connect with the fans in this great community.  I hope that you all continue to keep coming back until next Thanksgiving and beyond.

#2    Having a zombie story accepted in Incubator Press’ anthology.  Willie assures me that Double Date will be coming out in the months ahead, and I’m going to hold him to it.  Heh.  I’ve seen proof that the first issue has come out.  I know it can be ordered online.  Just one more, and then, boom!  I’ll be picking up my comp copies of issue # 3, and reading my story, illustrated by the very talented Enric Simon.  I have the first three inked pages in my email, and they are spot on.

#3    The folks at Viper Comics gave me something to be thankful, when they recently accepted Black Dawg for their online anthology Cryptophobia.  I don’t have any word on when it’ll come out or who my artist is, but I have faith, and I’m already planning for my next submission.  Wish me luck.

#4    I have numerous other non-comic related things I’m grateful for, ranging from friends, family, and my day job, to the possible publication of some of my prose work.

#5    Bruce Wayne is finally back, and looking to reconnect with his family in the most ultimate of ass-kicking ways.

#6    Blackest Night’s end and Brightest Day’s first half have been nothing but boom, boom, BOOM!  Awesome stuff, Geoff and the gang.

#7    DC Comics lowering their prices is definitely a plus.  Sucks to lose the pages and backups, but more money in my wallet means more titles purchased.  Good move, DC.

#8    The re-launch of Birds of Prey with Gail at the helm?  Hell yeah.

#9    A Steel One-Shot?  Absolutely.  This has always been one of my dream characters to write.  Maybe that’ll headline next year’s thankful list.  Ha. Ha.

#10    Boom Studio’s Mark Waid’s speech about 99-cent books was pretty inspiring and hopefully prophetic.

Ok, what about you?  What makes you thankful, today, in or out of the comics realm?

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I confess, I’ve never purchased anything on Cyber Monday.  My willpower never lasts past Black Friday – Green Lantern, I am not.  Hopefully, those of you who have been able to ignore the tantalizing sirens of Black Friday can find some good swag in the sales below.  Oh, and please, don’t take my word for it, visit the sites themselves and read up on all of their fun disclaimers, stipulations, etc.

www.TFAW.com had some incredible Black Friday deals this year.  I spent an hour or more, checking out these deals.  I’m talking about $1 and $5 doorbusters, 10-cent grab bag comics, etc.  They say that even more deals will be added on Cyber Monday, so check them out tomorrow.

http://www.sheldoncomics.com/

Every Sheldon book on sale for $10 each.  Apparently it’s a good deal.  I mean, the man did check with his wife on the pricing.

http://allaboutbooksandcomics.com/wp/tag/cyber-monday-sale/

Receive free shipping at All About Books and Comics.

This isn’t really a Cyber Monday sale, but www.zeuscomics.com of Dallas is having an in-store $1 Back Issue Sale until the end of the year.

http://www.mattycollector.com/

They’re discounting an extra 10% on orders over $100.  While not exactly comic books, who doesn’t love toys?  Here’s their list of products:

MOTUC He-Man®    MOTUC Skeletor®
MOTUC Battle Cat®
JLU Lobo
JLU “Shazam!” Family 4-Pack
JLU Doom Patrol 4-Pack
JLU Legion of Super Heroes 4-Pack
JLU Gotham City Criminals 4-Pack
JLU Justice Guild 4-Pack
12″ Ray Stantz™ Figure
12″ Egon Spengler™ Figure (with trap)
12” Peter Venkman™ Figure
12” Winston Zeddemore™ Figure
Adam Strange and Starfire Figures 2 Pack
Alexander Luthor and Ultraman Figures 2 Pack
Justice in the Jungle: B’Wana Beast and Animal Man Figures 2 Pack
Infinite Heroes Crisis 4-Pack
Ghostbusters™ 6” Peter Venkman™ Figure (with Slimer)
Ghostbusters™ 6″ Ray Stantz™ Figure (with Subway Ghost)
Ghostbusters™ 6″ Winston Zeddemore™ Figure (with trap)
Ghostbusters™ 6” Walter Peck™ Figure (with containment unit)
The Color of Fear: Romat-Ru and Karu-Sil 2-pack
6″ Superman
6″ Flight Stands
DC Universe Classics Figure Stands
Justice League Unlimited Figure Stands
Infinite Heroes Figure Stands

Click the below link for Cyber Monday savings of 20% off at Toy Anxiety.  Please, note:  Gotta have the coupon code.

http://toyanxiety.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/cyber-monday-at-toy-anxiety/

One last bit of speculation . . . Last year, Marvel offered 30% off an annual subscription to their Digital Comics.  This past Friday, DC held their Blackest Friday event, where they offered all 70+ Blackest Night tie-in issues for $0.99 each.  I can’t find where they’ll be repeating this or any other sale for tomorrow, but I figure it might not hurt to keep your e-peepers open.

If you know of other sales, please, shoot them our way.

Happy savings!

- Ray

10 TIPS FOR BATTLING DWS: DRAINED WALLET SYNDROME


Seriously, so tired of being broke.  I wrote this helpful article in spite of the fact I won’t take most of my own advice, here.  :)

 

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Wouldn’t it be awesome if every 24 hours, you could simply pick up your wallet, strike a heroic pose, and utter an oath that would return it’s power level to 100%?

“In poorest day, in brokest night, no comics shall escape my sight . . .”

Something like that at any rate.  Instead of a daily recharge, we fanboys simply have had to watch our pull lists dwindle.

For years now, one of the biggest fanboy laments has been the morbidly rising cost of a 32-page comic.  There’s been so many studies and reports done over the years on this very thing.  They give all of the statistics and figures in pretty pie charts and graphs.  For this column, though, I’d like to focus on some of the things we can do to still get our comics without resorting to piracy, but still retaining at least a little green in our wallets (or credit on our cards, whichever the case may be.)

I have put together a little list of the top ten ways the comic junky can save a buck.  Ok, maybe not the top ten, but ten nonetheless.

Disclaimer: You will still be broke as a joke if you try all of these ideas.  Remember, you can gain weight if you eat a mound of healthy foods.

Scenario #1:    “I just want to read comics.  It doesn’t matter who the writer is, as long as they’re free and plenty of them.”

The web, as everyone knows is full of comics that are either free or ask for a small donation.  Then, there are probably as many comics you can download for under a buck.  Now, these are primarily indy comics to the tenth power, but that doesn’t discount their quality in the least.  Of course, you can also get beaucoup of awesome (if not random) free books from the larger companies.

Scenario #2:    Quarter Bin

I don’t live close to any of the big chain comic stores, but once in awhile, I get to sneak off to Texas and grab some quarter comics.  That’s the bestestest feeling in the world.  Four or five times now, I’ve walked away from Zeus Comics in Dallas with long boxes filled to overflowing with the cursed things.  As a result, I could stop getting new books and still have enough quarter books to last me five years or better.

Scenario #3:    Trading Sites

Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to hold onto my comics, because one day, they were going to be worth a fortune.  Well, sadly, times they have a-changed.  The only time a comic is worth anything now, is immediately after it becomes hot.  Blink, and you’ve lost your window.  But, there’s still some value in that copy of Alf #23.  Click on over to your friendly neighborhood trading site, and give it a whirl.  You still have to pay for shipping, but man can you rack up!  As a bonus, you get to interact with comic fans who are equally as eager to get new books for such a reasonable price.  It’s a great way to fill gaps or even an entire run you missed out on.

Scenario #4:    Library

The public library can hook you up with so much now days.  No longer is it the cold, damp tomb where you go to pencil out that book report or get a copy of the novelization of Star Trek IV.  No, now you can check out movies, music, and, coolest of all, you can pick up some awesome trades or graphic novels for the low, low price of FREE.

Scenario #5:    Nicks and Dents

I just discovered this the other night.  Hit up Google and search for Nick and Dent comics.  You’ll be surprised at what all you’ll find.  As I mentioned earlier, comics don’t really go up in value as a rule anymore.  This goes doubly for TPB’s.  But if you’re collecting for the story, who really cares.  Am I right, or am I right?

Scenario #6:    Online Pull List Discounts

I have to be careful promoting this one.  Despite the fact that so many people get their comics this way, it still feels like you’re being an ass for taking sales away from brick and mortar stores.  I confess this is the route I have had to go to, and can really be the best medicine for DWS.  I went from the 10% discount at my LCS to saving 40-50% on my books.  Plus, I’m not charged tax.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t afford to get 40 books at cover price plus tax.

Scenario #7:    In-Store Pull List Discounts

If you feel guilty about switching your loyalties to online, and thus killing the brick and mortar comic specialty shops, then here’s a partial compromise: Ask for an in-store pull discount.  Some of the stores I’ve frequented have already had a 10% discount built into their hold pricing, while others I have had to ask.  While it’s not nearly as grand a savings as one can get on the Interwebs, it can at least eat your taxes for you – which on a slew of $3.99 comics can really add up.

Scenario #8:    Catalogs (such as Lakeside Collection or Edward R. Hamilton)

My wife loves to shop through catalogs, and she’s been known to find some very worth while deals in them.  The last couple of years, she’s even began to find some comic books and related items in them.  Some of the most notable are both the Marvel and DC Comics Encyclopedias and the DC Vault.  Though their cover prices are around $40 or $50, she’s been able to pick them up for me at a very reasonable $17 to $20 each.

Scenario #9:    Auctions

This one is almost a no-brainer, as Ebay and it’s clones have been attracting comic book afficiantos and hobbiests since Superboy wore a jacket.

Scenario #10:    Re-read Your Back Issues.

I know this column was supposed to be about getting new comics into your hands for free/cheap, but think of it this way, if you have 1,000 comics or more, chances are pretty good that you don’t remember everything you own.  Plus, it’ll give you the chance to fall in love with that battered copy of Fantastic Four, all over again.

Bonus Scenario:  Be A Mooch

Chances are, you can already see the benefits of this one without my belaboring the point.  I will say this, though, I have read so many good books this way.  Kurt Busiek’s Secret Identity.  The 8-part Adam Strange limited series, Planet Heist.  The first 18-20 issues of the current Teen Titans run.  And, that’s just to name a few.  The hardest part is finding a friend who’s willing to share a cherished book.  Lucky for me, each of my comic reading cohorts know that I would face The Tribunal should I bend a corner.  If I crease a spine or rip a page?  Then, I would honorably execute seppuku.  You get the point.

Bottom line: Sometimes it’s good to be a mooch.

Hopefully, I have given you all something to help you stay afloat in this wonderful time of comic book inflation.  Maybe my advice will even get you by until the industry heeds Mark Waid’s words and slashes those prices.  We’ll see.

Until then, I vow to keep the price of reading Professional Fanboy as low as possible.

Take care my fellow cheapskates!

- Ray

CANDY AND DRESS-UP…YAY!!


This was my Halloween column for last year.  I really had fun putting it together.  Gail Simone even said it was a fun column, and that just made my day all around.  On a side note, assuming everything finishes loading, this will mark the first time Nothing to See Here has had something to “see.”

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Well, here we are again, staring another Halloween straight in its hand-carved, smiling orange face.  Halloween is the first official day of Candy Season – You know, the one that lasts through Christmas, takes a small break, and then comes back with a vengeance around, say, February 1.  This time of year always sees the Masters’ candy bowl turn into an all-out, holiday free-for-all.  Dig your hand in, pull out a fistful, and examine the contents closely.

“What’d you get?”

“I got two Santas, a pumpkin, a bat, and some pastel hearts.”

Ah, good times.

 

But, it’s not enough that the candy industry freakin’ owns us all winter long, no, they have to incorporate licensed characters.  So, what, my lack of willpower wasn’t enough for you, Candy?  Now, you’ve got to hit my collectors’ sense of OCD, as well?  Fine, I’ll play your little game.

 

Halloween is also perhaps the best time for a fan – well, with the exception of convention season, of course; it’s when it’s totally acceptable to bust out your superhero costume.  It’s also kinda fun for those of us who enjoy wearing our underpants on the outside of our clothing.  If you’re a cosplayer, or into LARP, it’s probably just another day.  For the rest of us, we can finally take leave of our inhibitions – and in some cases, our senses – and bust out the homemade outfits.

If our seamstress skills are not up to speed, there are also countless stores and websites that specialize in everything from the little pink Supergirl costume for girls, to the tight skirts and almost non-existent tops for adults.

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Halloween Tip #1:

Instead of candy that can rot the teeth and fatten the bellies of your neighborhood gouls and goblins, rummage through your long boxes, and dig out some comics you no longer want.  Grab a handful of duplicates.  Run to the comic shop and grab some quarter comics.  This year, drop something a little different into their pumpkin pales (or Batman heads); give them a real treat: Comics.

Halloween Tip #2:

Can’t decide on a costume?  Don’t have the money to spend?  You can always go as Conner Kent, A.K.A. Superboy.

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Well, gang, I guess that wraps up this edition.  But guess what, I’ll be throwing in a special column for Halloween.  I’ll be talking with comic author Tom Stillwell about his Halloween one-shot, entitled Toy Boy: Strangers with Candy.  It’s gonna be fun.  Trust me.

Oh, I almost forgot, be sure to check out a Project Fanboy’s sneak peek of the DCU Halloween special here.

And, please, post some current or past Halloween pics in the comments section.  I’d love to see them.

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Ray

FANBOYS: OUTSIDERS NO MORE


My second Professional Fanboy column.  And, yes, I was being a wee bit facetious.

 

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Fanboy, Fen, Trekkie, Warsie, X-Phile, Xenite . . .

These all used to have negative connotations.  In school, I only confessed to being either a fanboy or a Trekkie when confronted and/or coerced.  Talking to a g-g-g-girl about my hobbies?  Forget about it.

Want to get your ass kicked?  Ok, tell another guy.  Go ahead, tell one who plays athletics.  I’ll wait for you.

Now, fast forward to the futuristic year of 2010.  Want a geek girlfriend?  Just go online.  We now have our own geek dating sites.  No, no, not those kinds.  I’m talking about ones we don’t have to be ashamed of.  But, and here’s the best part, you don’t even have to rely on dating sites.  Now that girls have discovered the Interwebs, go to comic forums.  Thanks to Twilight, you can’t even go to conventions without hitting on them.  Er . . . well, not “hitting on them, hitting on them . . . .” :o

Um, moving on.  Those jocks I mentioned?  You don’t think they’re into super heroes, now?  Was it just us geeks that boosted the sales up for movies such as Iron Man or the Dark Knight?  Ok, that’s actually a trick question, because the answer is pretty much, “Yes.  Yes it was we geeks.”  The only difference is that fanboys now come in an unlimited combination of flavors.

I remember once when I was about 14 or 15, the biggest kid in my grade came riding bikes by my house with a semi-mutual friend.  They wanted to know if I wanted to play a game of basketball at another kid’s house.  I invited them in while I got ready.  Now, they were inside my Fortress of Solitude.  I had let my guard down.  How could I be so stupid???  Ok, so that day didn’t actually end with me being slam-dunked into a goal.  In fact, I was elated to get out of it with only mild ribbing.

In fact, my large friend seemed sort of interested in the stacks of comics he found, leafing through them a few times while I got dressed.  I like to look back on that day and think I might have fired the first shot in the war against Fanboys.  (Of course, I think I invented the concept of the Redbox movie kiosks, but still. :cool:)

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Ok, now, lets try some couples-style counseling for those holdovers still bent on harassing us over some perceived weakness.  Sit down with your detractors, and repeat after me:

“You like video games, right?  Action movies?  Comedy?  Well, the same thing can all be found right here.”

On quite a few, you can even throw in this caveat: “You do know about all of those scantily clad [women or men, depending upon their preference].”

On some, and you know the ones I mean, you can just say, “Look, it’s like a book, but with lots of pretty pictures.”

Walk the mall, watch TV, drive down the interstate and look at the decals on truck windows.  Check out the necklaces, tattoos, and cell phone cases.  You’ll see the emblems for Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and now more than ever Green Lantern.

Ladies, like Ryan Renolds?  Think he’d look good in some tights?  Gentlemen, think Robert Downey, Jr. is funny as crap?  Want to see what that American Psycho can do in cape and cowl?

The numbers don’t lie.  The answer is a resounding yes.  Now, fanboys and girls, join me, and let’s shove a big tall stack of Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, or Gail Simone graphic novels into the waiting and welcoming arms of those I like to call, Fan-Curious.

Live long with the force, and may the prosperity be with you.

Ray
(Professional Fanboy)

THIS INTRO NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION


This was my first foray into my new comic book column, so be kind.  :)  It was originally published here on September 25, 2010.

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What’s up, fanboys and fangirlies!?

Welcome, welcome, welcome.  I know you’re probably asking yourselves, “What’s a Professional Fanboy?”  Ok, I’m not sure of that, really.  I’ll just pretend that’s what you’re asking yourselves so I can say this: You are.  It’s as simple as that.  Do you love comics?  Bleed comics?  Hunger for comics?  Um . . . love comics?

If so, you’re at the right spot.  And, you’re in good company.  I’m a comic nut, too.  I’ve been reading them for eighteen years.  I’ve read thousands and own thousands.  Ok, and let me address you lapsed fanboys who no longer read your books, though you’re still pulling them.  I don’t know what you’re waiting for; dig in!  We’ll forgive your lapse.  Come.  Join us.

So, wanna know a little about me?  Again, I’m going to pretend that you said ‘yes.’  I am a budding writer, avid comic fan, husband, and a father – not in that order, of course.  While I’m an aspiring writer, I am a Professional Fanboy.  (Get the feeling I’m trying to coin a catch phrase?)

Currently, I have several irons in the fire. I just landed this sweet column with the wonderful people at Project Fanboy, I’m a slushpile reader for Dark Quest Books, I have an 8-page zombie comic, published by Incubator Press, coming out in the next months. Plus, I’m always coming up with new ideas and trying to find anyone skewed enough to publish my novel(s) and comic script(s).

From what I’ve read around PF’s forums, I believe I’m in good company there, as well.

So, the nuts and bolts – What’s this column going to be about?

Um . . . stuff?  Yeah.  Fanboy stuff.

I’m going to be tackling some common ground for comic based columns: interviews, conventions (hopefully), getting published, etc.  I’m just going to do it a little differently.  I’m aiming it all towards the fan side.  Pros are still fans.  If they’re not, well . . . that’s just ridiculous.  So, I’ll be probing to find out what makes their inner fan squee about their current projects.  Also, I’ve never known anyone who, after picking up a comic, didn’t say, “Man, I wish I could do one of these.”  Well, why don’t I find out everything I can to help make that a reality and pass it straight to you guys?  I’ll be discussing things like Kickstarter.com, anthologies, and DiY books/ebooks.

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Here’s your obligation to me, though — If you’re going to follow this bi-weekly column, then I need you to do three highly important things:

#1 Toss me some feedback, ideas for future columns, personal fanboy stories, etc.  Post replies or hit me up on Twitter @Azrael52.

#2 Spread the love.  Tell everyone about this wonderful new column and/or cult (We’ll have to see where we end up when the smoke clears.  Oh, and none of that Koolaid B.S, m’kay?)

#3 Here’s the most important task of all: Keep me in line.  It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s for my own good, really.

OK, see you in two weeks (and every two weeks thereafter)!

And, in the meantime, if you still haven’t got enough of me, feel free to check out my About Me page or visit my blog.

- Ray