Cyberspace Comics market report, reviews and more

June 3, 2011

Retro-Read #51 X-Men: First Class

Filed under: Retro-Read — Doorman @ 7:49 am

With years spent reading single issues here and there, juggling storylines of dozens of titles, I decided it was time to find a better way to read comics. So, it was off to the back issue bins armed with the longest want list you’ve ever seen! Putting together series after series and reading them in their complete goodness, I was reborn as the Retro-Reader!

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Number of Issues: 8
First Issue: November 2006 ($2.99)
Last Issue: June 2007 ($2.99)
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Roger Cruz
Cover Artist: Marko Djurdjevic

*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*

This limited series is set within the confines of the continuity of the original X-Men series. All eight issues are one-and-done tales that take place between the first 66 issues began by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (and later continued by other great creators including Neal Adams). We’re given an inside look at the first team of X-Men (Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Marvel Girl) as they’re just learning how to use their powers and how to work together as a team. They’re not yet angst-ridden and jaded against a world that hates and fears them just for being different. They’re fun. They’re new and they’re having a good time. They’re also in danger. Constantly. And, that’s where the action comes in, as they’re exposed to threats like the Lizard, Skrulls, Frost Giants and more!

The Bad: The only thing that’s always a detriment to stories set within past stories is that there’s no real believable element of danger because we already know that these characters will escape safe and sound.

The Good: Jeff Parker returns the fun to the X-Men that they’ve long been missing. The team is young and new to this whole world of action and adventure. They’re a tight-knit group and they like to goof around with each other. Iceman fans will really enjoy this one, as he steals the scene quite often. Roger Cruz‘s dynamic artwork is complemented by the dynamic and bright coloring. It’s a real pleasure to read and look at!

The Verdict: These stories are quick, fun, one-and-done reads that are nestled within the early years of already-laid X-Continuity. Parker is careful not to contradict any of the continuity and does a great job of using it to his benefit. The artwork is slick, colorful and dynamic. This series is a refreshing look back at these characters before they went through all the changes and heart-break they’ve experienced over the years.

And, if you’ve enjoyed this series, there’s more where that came from! Aside from multiple specials, this series was promoted to an ongoing title that lasted for 16 issues and was then followed up with a four-issue mini-series that falls closer to the end of the original X-Men run. The concept proved so successful that other First Class titles later emerged and today, X-Men: First Class debuts on movie screens all over the country.

On Ebay: X-Men | Jeff Parker | First Class
On AtomicAvenue: X-Men | First Class

Guide to Marvel Comics Presents #11

Filed under: Guide to Marvel Comics Presents — Doorman @ 7:47 am

Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!

Marvel Comics Presents #11
Cover Date: Late January 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Rick Leonardi

Colossus in “God’s Country” part 2
written by Ann Nocenti
art by Rick Leonardi

The three attacking men, from last issue, check in with their boss, Alexander, to make sure he wants them to carry out the murder of their captive. Alexander confirms the kill and waxes on about the importance of carrying out covert operations within the United States of America and then controlling the message that is fed to the media. Meanwhile, before the attackers can finish the job, they’re interrupted by Colossus. And, that’s when we discover that they’ve got super-powers of their own.

Man-Thing in “Elements of Terror” part 11
written by Steve Gerber
art by Tom Sutton

The decapitated Man-Thing head has slowly been rejuvenating itself and recreating an entire body from the swamp floor. Meanwhile, above Central America, the mutated Colonel Choate explains to his fellow freakish super soldiers their new mission of killing the General Secretary of the Soviet Union. Back in the swamp, Marea is reunited with our reformed muck monster!

Ant-Man in “Drain Storm
written by Len Wein
art by Bob Layton

While playing dress-up, young Cassie Lang dropped her grandmother’s diamond ring down the drain. And, for most kids, that’d be the last they saw of the ring. But, Cassie’s not most kids … she’s got a super-powered father … so it’s Ant-Man to the rescue!

Wolfpack’s Slag in “Over and Over!
written by John Figueroa
art by Ron Wilson

Slag’s crackhead cousin, Chris, owes Ty-Rock (a dealer) one thousand dollars. And, since he doesn’t have the cash, Ty-Rock will cancel his debt if Chris kills a cop. So, Slag steps up to the plate to take down the dealer and get him to leave his cousin a lone. But, Slag quickly discovers that the war on drugs doesn’t care how strong he is, physically.

The Ant-Man story is an excellent example of the fun that can be had with this hero. Ant-Man stories can turn the most mundane things into huge adventures … kind of like those Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movies. As for the Wolfpack tale: it makes for a great after-school special. Additionally, Leonardi’s Colossus cover looks fantastically detailed!

On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Colossus | Man-Thing | Ant-Man | Wolfpack
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Colossus | Man-Thing | Ant-Man | Wolfpack

June 2, 2011

Famous Fanmail #61 Fred Hembeck

Filed under: Famous Fanmail — Doorman @ 7:46 am

You may not be surprised to learn that most people in the comic business grew up reading comic books. However, you might be interested in knowing what they were reading. Here’s a look at “Famous Fanmail”!

Fred Hembeck’s parody work has been featured in comics for around three decades now. At the age of 23, he got a letter published in Skull the Slayer #3 (cover date – January 1976), praising the creative team for its work on the book. Unfortunately for the title, in just a few issues it underwent more creative team changes than a book should endure in years, and it was quickly canceled at issue #8. However, the premise was indeed an interesting one but, be warned! If you’re going to read this series, it was canceled on a cliffhanger ending.

Skull the Slayer letters page with Fred Hembeck

On Ebay: Skull the Slayer | Fred Hembeck
On AtomicAvenue: Skull the Slayer | Hembeck

June 1, 2011

Cyberspace Comics Market Report #10 June 2011

Filed under: Cyberspace Comics Market Report — Doorman @ 1:41 pm

Here’s a look back at the previous month in online comic sales.

Number of listings in eBay’s “comics” section: 1,492,592 (3.06% decrease from last month)
Number of those that are Cyberspace Comics listings: 7,205 (2.86% increase)
My “market share” of comic listings on eBay: .48272% (6.10% increase)

Number of eBay comic listings that are auctions: 72,144
Percentage of eBay comic listings up for auction: 4.83%

My current eBay feedback (unique): 11,823
My current eBay feedback (total): 24,424
My positive eBay feedback score: 100%

Position Dollar Sales # of Current Listings
First Underground (↑) Underground (848 listings)
Second Bad Girls (↓) Bad Girls (811 listings)
Third TPBs (↓) Marvel Comics (666 listings)
Fourth Marvel Comics Image Comics (581 listings)
Fifth Other Indies (↑) Other Indies (498 listings)

Number of listings on Atomic Avenue: 1,395,306 (4.0281% increase from last month)
Number of those that are in the Cyberspace Comics Store on Atomic Avenue: 34,971 (18.05% increase)
My “market share” of comic listings on AtomicAvenue: 2.5063% (13.47% increase)
My estimated “market share” of AtomicAvenue orders: 4.50%

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