Friday, September 30, 2011

Barnes and Noble Breathes Life into Newsstand Comic Books

National bookseller, Barnes and Noble, is now devoting a considerable amount of magazine shelf space to newsstand comic books.


So I've been collecting both direct and newsstand edition comics for about a decade now, and each year it gets harder and harder to find places that carry the newsstand versions.

It's started to feel (I would imagine) like the days of prohibition when you had to give a secret password to enter an underground speakeasy to get your drink on.

Newsstand comics are becoming a rare breed, which is what attracted me to collecting them in the first place.  I realize that most comic book collectors have barcode blindness, and don't see a difference between a direct or newsstand issue.  I didn't either for nearly two decades of collecting.  But as I find myself completing the collection I have, I want to find new areas to branch into, and newsstand comics have been a blast.

One of the better places to find newsstand comics in my neck of the woods has been Hastings -- a regional store that carries books, DVDs, toys and more.  However, as of last year, they switched to being a Diamond customer and thus becoming one of the largest chains of direct edition comics and back issues.  And their back issues are priced typically at $.99 or $1.99 each.  You can find some nice stuff for cheap.

Beyond Hastings, there is Books A Million (or BAM) and a variety of local mom and pop stores.  BAM is reliable, but has a limited number of locations.  It's great to support the local mom and pop stores, but their selection is limited.

Now Barnes and Noble has entered the newsstand comics arena.  I assume it represents a new channel of sales for their brick and mortar stores as the book market is slowly eaten up by online sales.  But that's a story for another day.

Anyway, all of the Barnes and Noble stores that I've visited over the last few months are now devoting several shelves in their magazine area to new comic books and comic magazines.  And they are seemingly carrying most, if not all, newsstand titles released each month.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spider-Man Comic Appearances for September 28, 2011

With 17 new Spider-Man comic book appearances this week, Marvel is continuing to lay out a swath of alternate printings for a large number of their books.

The variant covers eased up this week with only 2 that included a Spidey appearance.

And Herc #8 is my favorite cover of the week.  This issue is a Spider-Island tie-in that features Herc clad in a Spider-Man costume on the cover.  That makes two favorite cover issues in a row for Herc...a book I'm not really a huge fan of, but the cover art has been fun lately.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amazing Spider-Man #667 Montreal Comic Con Variant Cover

A new variant of Amazing Spider-Man #667 was produced by Marvel for the Montreal Comiccon occurring September 17-18, 2011.

It features a variant cover by Neal Adams himself, and it is purported to be the first time Neal has drawn Spidey in print.  If that's true, he shouldn't stop now because the cover is really stellar.

There's a colorized version available online, but the black and white version was the one produced for the convention.

If you weren't lucky enough to make it to the show, you can probably find a copy on Ebay.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spider-Man Comic Appearances for September 21, 2011

There are 16 new Spider-Man comic book appearances this week.  They include an inordinate number of alternate printings and only a couple variant cover issues.

My favorite cover for the week is the Avengers #15 Immonen color variant.  There's no Spidey on the cover, but there is some mighty nice pose striking going on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spider-Man Comic Appearances for September 14, 2011

This is a big week for variant covers.  There are 25 new Spider-Man appearances this week, and only 4 books make up 20 of the variants.

Be sure to note that there are 4 versions of the Amazing Spider-Man #669 "You're Spider-Man" variant cover.  This was the one that retailers could opt to have a customized cover if they were willing to purchase a minimum of 2,000 copies.

Only four stores took them up on the offer -- a far cry from the 142 that opted in to the #666 variants with a 500 minimum.  You can read more in an earlier blog post.

Hopefully, Marvel will take a break on the personalized cover fad for fear of cramming all these variants down our throat and seeing more people leave the hobby.  My 2 cents.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Amazing Spider-Man #669 Retailer Variant Covers

On the heels of the Amazing Spider-Man #666 retailer cover variant's being released, Marvel went right back to that well to offer a similar retailer-specific cover for issue #669.

This time, though, instead of the minimum order of 500 copies of the variant, each store would be required to purchase 2,000.  And while 142 stores took part is issue #666, only a handful have ventured into issue #669.

The stores taking part in the promotion include:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marvel pairs with Food & Wine magazine for a new Spider-Man comic strip

The September 2011 issue of Food & Wine magazine features an original Spider-Man comic strip.

Written by C.B. Cebulski & Chris Eliopoulos and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, the one-page comic teams the F&W Test Kitchen Superheroes with Spider-Man against the Green Goblin.

You can read more on the F&W website.

The magazine also features an article illustrating how chefs are seen as modern day superheroes.

Coupled with the article is a link to view a digital-only 13-page comic book featuring Spider-Man and former Top Chef contestant Eli Kirshtein as they battle Mysterio.

The comic is being offered to view for free on the digital comics site.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spider-Man Comic Appearances for September 7, 2011

Following a massive appearance list from seven days ago, this week we have 10 new Spider-Man comic book appearances at the local comic shop.

One fun appearance this week is a non-Marvel comic titled Orbit: Stan Lee which features a biography of the one and only Stan "The Man" Lee.