Boxing Day 2016

An inherent part of collecting is being able to show-off your books, but having been blessed with astute sensitivity, I’m far above this crass behaviour. I kid, of course. I’m rarely above anything and this is Boxing Week 2016!

As I wrote in the past, the younger version of me would plan a solo mission in advance and spend December 26 hitting up all the local comic stores. The current, older version of me has kids and values his time, so I rarely venture out during a holiday sale. However, I’ve accumulated lots of reward points, specifically from two particular stores during the course of the year and I wanted to use them up before the benefits changed (which often happens with small businesses). So, for the second year in a row, I woke up at the break of dawn and headed downtown, and this is my Boxing Day haul for 2016:

The sales girl felt that Alex + Ada was not as good as previous efforts by the Luna brothers. However, even if it’s half as good, I think I’ll still enjoy it. My apologies for the poor pictures but it’s dark out right now.

Alex + Ada, the Complete Collection by Jonathan Luna and someone who is not his brother, Sarah Vaughn on art duty. I enjoyed Girls so much that I wanted to sample more works from the Luna brothers… or rather just one Luna brother in this case. I picked up this hard cover compendium at 40% off sticker price and I can’t wait to start biting into it.

The discount was so huge on these books that I decided to take both remaining copies. I’ll store one away as a museum copy while I enjoy the other.

Frank Miller’s Ronin, Gallery Edition. I consider Ronin to be Miller’s crowning achievement. Although the narrative conclusion sort of fizzled out for me, the art is unique for Miller, vivid and the story is strong most of the way through. I already own many iterations of this book but the immersive, one to one ratio of his black and white inks up close heightens my appreciation for his expressive cross-hatching.

Captain Marvel Jr. #115, Captain America #77, Tale of Suspense #35, Amazing Spider-Man #41 and a beat up old Superman treasury bent out of shape. Not exactly investment grade but still cheap relative to their grade.

A small pile of beat up old books. I found these tucked away in an old box, under cobwebs and dust, in a distant corner of the store where most patrons would never dare to venture. The sticker appears not to have been updated in the past 20 years and with the addition of a 30% chop, these books were well worth picking up despite being low grade.

With an upcoming Ms. Marvel movie still ahead of us, I felt confident buying up the store inventory of these particular books.

7 copies of Ms. Marvel #1, 13 copies of Nova #1, 3 copies of Avengers Annual #10 and 2 copies of Captain America #25. These kinds of books are cheap enough to be affordable but “key” enough to be desirable as Marvel movies continue to cast their effect on the back issue market. This new inventory of resaleable books will help to off-set my table cost at shows and take the pressure off of my CGC books so that I can be more confident about their pricing.

I still collect Fantastic Four, Daredevil and X-Men so I’m happy to pick up cheap run issues if I suspect they may be in nicer condition than my current copies.

Daredevil #174 and Fantastic Four #59, #74. These are duplicates but I have a weak spot for Silver Age FF’s, so I’ll add these to FF box. I’ll upgrade my existing copy of DD#174 and put the lesser extra up for sale.

This is a must have book for anyone wanting to break into comics. The side-by-side comparison is a wonderful opportunity for up and coming artists to study how the sketcher pencil can be interpreted by the hard edge ink.

Jack Kirby, Pencils and Inks, Artisan Edition. This was recently reviewed by our beloved editor and is well worth the full admission price. But having been released so closed to the holidays, I took a chance and held off on the purchase, and was rewarded with a 25% discount. These seem to be going fast so I would pick this up while you can. The book is nicely laid out and is much more manageable to look at compared to the full size Artist Edition.

Many stores are maintaining their sale all week so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the deep discounts. My advice is to phone ahead or check their respective websites to compare pricing. Depending on your interests, some minimal planning will be well worth the effort. Surprisingly, the streets were pretty quiet this year and I bumped into several dealers who were looking to top up their own inventory. My only disappointment was that the stores would not allow me to stack my earned discount on top of their holiday sale, which was my main motivation for the outing this year… “D’oh!” Nevertheless, I was very happy with the discounts I received so I can’t complain, and rummaging through the bins is always fun. Happy hunting and let’s catch up in the new year!

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Charlie Kim
Charlie Kim is a designer who is currently transitioning into teaching. While working for various companies, he helped develop many international brands such as the Hong Kong Airport identity, Lenovo’s sponsorship program for the Beijing Olympics and Lavasa, a new city being developed in India. Locally, he's also worked on the 1998 campaign for the Canadian Opera Company, the Canadian Innovations stamp for Canada Post and the terrible Grand & Toy re-brand (hey, they can't all be winners). Charlie’s love affair with art and design all began with comics.
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9 Comments

  1. Nice haul Charlie! Santa must have left you a bunch of cash under the tree. Really like the Cap #77 and the two FF’s. Even better they are not slabbed. All the best to you and your family in the New Year.

  2. Your going to drive the prices down on Ms.Marvel and Nova Charlie!Great pick ups!Just an aside to your last post , I ended up picking up all of the Winterworld Graphic Novels including Scotts’ recomendation of the first reprinted hard cover and thouroughly enjoyed them.My favorites were the Jackson Guice issues.The La Nina storyline but the whole series is definitely worth picking up.
    Couldn’t agree more about the Jack Kirby Pencil and Inks book.I was amazed at how Mike Royer did not embellish Kirby’s pencils at all.He just put down what was there and also , he didn’t leave anything out either!

  3. Thanks Mike. Happy New Year to you as well. It’s always nice to stumble on some nice SA and GA books that I can add to my collection. The whole haul was kind of expensive but that’s where books like Ms. Marvel and Nova #1’s come in. Hopefully they’ll help offset the overall cost. It’s the only way I can afford expensive books like the Artist Editions ^_^

  4. Thanks Dennis… Winter World was definitely a fun read. I haven’t read the first book yet but I’m looking forward to it.

    It’s interesting to look at inks by various people. It’s an under appreciated skill that movies like Chasing Amy touches upon… suggesting that inking is tracing. But then you look at a Byrne page inked by Terry Austin, then by Byrne himself when he switch over to work on the FF series, later to be inked by Jerry Ordway. I’ve also seen Janson ink Byrne pages, which I felt was a real contrast in styles. I have local friend who use to ink for Marvel (but he hated comics and got out) but he would explain to me what he was allowed and not allowed to do. As I’m sure you know, many pencilers rely on inkers to help fill in gaps and detail left open during their rush to meet the deadline. So yes, the Kirby book provides lots of insight! Cheers!

  5. Nice pickups! I’m snatching up Nova #1s as well. That book has gone down in price in the last couple years. Do you think Nova will make his way into the MCU soon? It seems like a no-brainer to me, as RD Jr. won’t be Iron Man forever and Nova seems like a seamless replacement. Thanks for sharing, Charlie!

  6. Hey Charlie
    Kirby is a perfect example of what you’re describing. Dick Ayers, Vince Coletta, George Roussos, Wally Wood, Joe Simon, Syd Shores, Chic Stone, Mike Royer….and the rest. And then there is Gentleman Joe Sinnot. He had to redraw all the ears (apparently Jack really sucked at ears), as well as smoothing out the Kirby chunk, which Mike Royer inked to great effect to my eye. A sensitive inker is the best friend any penciller can have. Just picture Frank Miller Daredevils without Klaus Janson!
    In this neck of the woods the Boxing Week sales included 50% off back issues at one store and bin comics 99 cents at the other. Too bad I drop in so often I’ve already picked over the back stock, but that’s the luck of the draw, and I imagine that’s why I get so royally spoiled after patronizing both stores since they opened their doors. That alone goes a long way for bargains AND camaraderie.

  7. After the Infinity Wars, I think there’s going to be a big shuffle, both in terms of characters and how the stories are told. Characters such as Nova, the original Captain Marvel and the She-Hulk seem like good bets to me. They may not be A-list characters but they do have recognition and fit right in with where Marvel is currently at. Warlock in particular is bound to make an appearance during the Infinity Wars so I think we’ll get a glimpse of which way Marvel will be headed soon enough.

    It’s not just Nova… the whole back issue market is in a slump. The big SA keys seem to be holding but everything else is flat or trending down. There are so many good deals out there but I’m holding off on buying anything big for now. I’ll submit an updated market report in the new year, once I get a better sense of the holiday results from retail reports. Apparently, the stock market has been on the rise but I haven’t had the chance to look into it. Thanks Darren!

  8. I really lost interest in Millers art once Janson was no longer inking his pages. It just wasn’t the same. And yes, lots of great creatives out there with a steady hand. I think Sinnott in particular was popular among peers and was pretty consistent throughout his career.

    Boxing day shopping really does require a bit of luck, especially since you’re competing with so many other shoppers. But for me… it’s the only time to buy big, heavy and expensive books such as the Absolutes, Omnibuses and Artist Editions. There were a couple of Omnibuses that I was eyeing but by the time I hit up the second store, both books were gone. Oh well… that’s just the way it goes. But by pure chance, that’s also the same store that I dug up the 2 GA books. I asked if they would honor the old sticker price with the discount and they said yes. “Luck” is part of the fun when mining for comics ^_^

    Cheers Mel!

  9. Lots of indicators point to a stock market crash sometime soon. If that happens, I wonder if bronze keys will drop further. Totally agree that She-hulk seems like a good next step for Disney. I wish I could find accurate circulation numbers on bronze age Marvel and DC books. Savage She-Hulk #1 seems very common, like that book was heavily distributed.

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