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Arcs & Runs #51. It’s time to take my semi-annual look at another segment of the landmark Kirby-Lee run on the Fantastic Four issues #1-67. We are on segment number five if you are counting (and I am). Early Fantastic Four comics are a real treat to read and re-read as you get older. They don’t get stale. I once…

I came across an interesting article recently that I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention. The article is by Adam Barnhardt over at Comicbook.com: http://comicbook.com/2017/07/21/alterna-comics-newsstand/ I found this quite interesting and would be interested in hearing the thoughts of the readers of this column as to the benefits or liabilities of this venture. Now I am not familiar with any…

July 26, 2017 / / Nut Shell 4 Comments

About 10 years ago, I made the decision to cut our cable and phone service in favour of hi-speed internet. But I also worried that my family would be left out of the cultural loop, and indeed, it was difficult to hold up my end of the conversation at the water cooler during work when everyone else was chatting up…

The team of John Byrne and Terry Austin burst into comic consciousness in a big way with X-Men #108. They came in to finish off the Empress Lilandra and the Imperial Guard /Starjammers storyline and exploded in what was undoubtedly one of the most successful collaborations of the Bronze Age! There was another part of this collaboration that was vital to the success…

When I initially was planning to do this post, I was going to talk about one of the most revered winning collaborations out there, John Byrne and Terry Austin’s run on the X-men. Which culminated with the Dark Phoenix Saga. However when I began my research on this post I became so aware of the great contributions of Dave Cochrum along with…

This month we feature the beginnings of the most popular new super-hero of the Silver age of comics The Amazing Spider-Man. I can say that just about as brashly as Stan Lee did calling The Fantastic Four The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine. Over a fifty year plus time frame Spider-Man has become Marvel’s most popular character overall. There are plenty…

June 22, 2017 / / Nut Shell 2 Comments

Summer is well underway and I’ve spent the better part of this month fixing little things around the house. Next on the list is to give our deck a fresh coat of paint. I saved the old paint can so that I can get the store to match the same colour. I remember paying about $27 for one standard can…

My comments here are going to be short but sweet. I did not know that the Original Art to Amazing Fantasy#15 was donated to the U.S. Library of Congress in 2008 by an anonymous donor. The story goes that the anonymous donor approached Steve Ditko to give him the art, and Ditko didn’t want it! https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0805/spiderman.html You can view the…

We are in the month of June with the last vestiges of spring, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and a young couple’s thoughts turn to marriage and a life lived happily ever after… (insert screeching brake sound here)! Well that might have been the norm in days gone but today it’s just a wee bit different. In…

I had lunch with a friend Saturday who had an extra ticket for the Niagara Falls Comic Con and asked if I’d like to join him. With no plans that day and a free ticket who could say no? He handed me the ticket and I stopped, staring incredulously: Total $46. Yes, that’s $46 for one day. It says advanced…

May 29, 2017 / / Nut Shell 4 Comments

Last September, I acknowledged a shift in back issue sales that began in November 2015. I wrote about three concerns I had as we entered the biggest shopping season of the year: Holiday sales The US political climate Movie fatigue Now that we’re about half way through 2017, let’s revisit these concerns… Holiday Sales I had hoped that there would…

Another amazing Toronto Comic Arts Festival, or TCAF, this past weekend. It’s a free show in a wonderful space, so there’s nothing to hold a reader back from attending. As has become our tradition my son and I attend Saturday from show opening until we’ve browsed everything twice. He is eight and the world of comic reading at this point…

We are going to take Arcs & Runs in a slightly different direction this week and look at a Silver Age run of issue #4’s. Yes #4. I have listened to all the love and support for issue #2’s and their value relative to #1’s. I think many of them overvalued. I have always believed that issue #4’s only bent…

April 26, 2017 / / Nut Shell 5 Comments

Speaking of milestones, both DC and Marvel Comics celebrated their 75th Anniversary during the past several years. DC Comics was officially founded in 1934 and Marvel Comics back in 1939. Despite all the promotions and industry events, anecdotally speaking, the 75th Anniversary of DC and Marvel seems to have been met with indifference among collectors, with very little recognition on…

It cannot be underestimated how important the artistic team is on a comic book. It can make or break a title. The interesting thing is that over time (sometimes years) a title will go through wild swings in the life of that title. To name a few, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four, Miller’s Daredevil and Gene Colan’s Doctor Strange were all great examples…

We are finally back in the saddle here on Arcs & Runs and we will start the year with a look at some comic books that were connected from their first publishing date or “birth”. Twins if you will. In today’s post, the two titles both began in September 1963 and through a few fits and starts are still running…

One of the most sobering aspects of growing older is the loss of the people around you that have had a profound effect on your life. The loss of reference points to different times in your life, one by one, inevitably pass away. Those of you reading this right now,  who didn’t really connect with me here, other than the fact that…

March 23, 2017 / / Nut Shell 39 Comments

Last updated on April 11th, 2017 at 07:37 amI’ve got a lot of things I’d like to discuss but I’m gonna have to put that on the back burner because this past weekend was the Toronto ComiCon, 2017! I usually split a booth with someone but this year I went solo, although I did have someone to help watch my…

I’m not even sure how I came across this, but I sure knew I wanted to share it from the moment I saw it. Superman debuted in 1939 and shortly after that the Max Fleischer Studios were approached to do a cartoon of the character.They weren’t really interested in doing it. They were doing Popeye Cartoons and a big success for…

About a month ago I wrote a column called You’re Creators…So Create Already. It was quite a passionate column with a lot of comments. Mostly lamenting the direction in which Marvel, in particular, had taken in their storytelling. The vast majority of comments lamented the the fact that so many characters no longer bore more than a passing resemblance to the characters that…