Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Fun and Unexpected Sunday Drive

Doug:  With great apologies to our friend David_B, I have a confession to make -- last Sunday I attended Wizard World Chicago.  Here is an email I sent to my partner upon my return, with temporal parameters updated so you know what the heck I'm talking about --

Doug:  Our oldest was able to come home yesterday (Saturday) afternoon and he'll be staying until Tuesday (now two days past) morning, so that was nice.  And, I got my expenses reimbursement from my 10-day trip to Washington, DC in July to work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  I guess I had miscalculated how much I'd get, because it was about $150 more than I'd expected.  So, on a whim I asked him if he wanted to take one more whirl at the Chicago Comicon.  As he was immediately up for it (I did ask him to buy his own ticket this year -- at $50 a pop, I just couldn't do it for both of us, and he has worked all summer), we hit the road around 11:00 this morning (this past Sunday).

I got the following hardcovers for $10 apiece:

DC Comics Classic Library -- Flash of Two Worlds
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Half price hardcover:

Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Half price trade paperback:

Daredevil Visionaries:  Frank Miller, volume 2

And the following were $5 tpbs:

Invaders Classic, volumes 2, 3, and 4
The Tomb of Dracula, volume 2
Chronicles of Conan, volume 2

But the coup of the day, which basically paid for my ticket in, was the following hardcover, MSRP of $49.99, which I bought for $3 (yep, $3!) --

The Joe Kubert Library:  Tor, volume 1

I got all of that for $80.  I also spent $20 with Neal Adams, getting the Batman print that is the cover to Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams, volume 1.  Neal autographed it to me and we chatted for a few minutes.  My son bought both the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali print and the "Athletes of the Century" print that Neal created for ESPN The Magazine -- which if you've never seen it is a recreation of the Superman/Ali cover, but with Michael Jordan standing in for Superman and the other top 98 athletes making up the audience.  Neal signed both of the prints to my son as well. 

Both of the prints (pictured below) came with papers that had a legend of all of the personalities in the two audiences -- a nice touch!  I thanked Neal for all he'd done for me.  He was typically full of himself, which my son picked up on right away.  I did not bring up plate tectonics...

Doug:  I mentioned just above that I spent $80 on the books that I purchased.  When I got home I totaled the cover prices on them.  With what I paid, I got a 75% discount off MSRP; even with factoring in my admission ticket and $13 for parking, I still got a 55% discount.  I use's typical discount of 30-35% to gauge my success rate at a sale of this sort -- I'd say I made out pretty well.  And you know where else I made out well?  In the "father and son" department -- we just had a great time, people watching, looking at cool stuff, all the cosplay folks running around.  And the 75-minute car rides on either side of the trip were a treasure as well.  Hey, the lad's almost 22 years old and going to be a senior in college.  This may indeed have been our last safari.

Doug:  And again -- a big "sorry" to my pal David, as he'd asked me months ago about meeting up at the con, and I'd said I was not going.  Windfall, m'man -- that's the only reason I went!


david_b said...


(David_B shrieks from his desk at work...)

No worries sir, I wish I could have galavanted through comic-con booths, but humbly I was protecting this country's freedom, making it safe for you to at last purchase Joe Kubert books..

LOL, seriously, I was up still in the Army Sunday afternoon, glad the father-son trip worked out, I used to love mine with my Dad before he passed on. Maaaan, he loved his big shiney cars, leather seats, you name it.

Sounds like great savings..!! I was happy to purchase that MarVell Masterworks HC for $40 last year at Detroit's Comic-Con, and the nephew I was going to take this year was AGAIN busy with his new girlfriend, so it's all good.

By the way, awesome to hear about the 'Revolver' album, Doug. I'm currently hunting down the Hor Zu German release of 'Magical Mystery Tour' with it's bright, shiny green/purple cover. I always dreamed of having it since I had the German version of 'With the Beatles' as a kid; incidentally, it's the ONLY release that ever featured the hi-hat intro to 'All My Loving' (until a UK release decades later). In fact, I always feel cheated when I hear that song 'without' the cymbal intro..

Congrats on the scores. How were the lines for Neal Adams and Stan Lee..?

david_b said...

Ooops, that was MarVell Masterworks Volume 1 I mentioned buying, easily a 60% off deal..

Doc Savage said...

plate tectonics...! Tee hee.

mr. oyola said...

I still have never been to a comic con.

Maybe one day I will have the time and money and will get to pick up all those books on the list I carry around on my phone.

Sounds like you had a great time, Doug and got to spend quality time with the son, which is also great. When I was 22 the last thing I wanted to ever do was spend a day with the fam, so you must be doing something right. ;)

Edo Bosnar said...

Well, David may be o.k. with the whole thing, but I'm pretty miffed that you guys didn't take me along and smuggle me inside in a cello case or footlocker or something ... :P

Like Osvaldo, I've never been to a real comic con, and given the geographic distance to the nearest ones that would interest me (in the UK maybe?) and the admission fees, I probably won't visit one anytime soon. Glad you had a good time, though: very cool that you spent quality time with your son, and that you once more came across some great deals. The Kubert and Garcia Lopez books in particular are really great scores.

Anonymous said...

Doug, very cool father/son story. Mine is 17 but not into comics. But I can relate to the bonding.

I have a high school anecdote that I hope you guys (we say ya'll) will find amusing. A school buddy of mine, who was big into collecting comics, thought Superman vs. Ali was the stupidest thing he ever heard of. Now this guy was also a pretty good artist, liked to draw his own comics but they were very satirical with caraciture type art. A couple of months after Supes/Ali came out, Ali was beaten for the title by Leon Spinks (remember him). So my friend drew his own version of how he thought the story should have gone down in - Superman vs. Leon Spinks!!! I'll just cut to the chase - it ends with Superman literally knocking ol' Leon's head off and sending it into orbit around the planet. My friend thought that was fitting. And he drew a good gap-toothed head zooming through space.

Thanks for indulging me in that but I cannot see that Ali/Supes cover without thinking of poor Leon.


mr. oyola said...

Speaking of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, you should check out this hilarious podcast regarding it from the dudes at Traveling Through the Bronze Age.

Warning however, NSFW (language).

P.S. they mentioned an email I sent them in their one of their earlier episodes about ROM (my personal favorite)

Garett said...

Interesting sports print Doug...I hadn't seen this before. Great pickups! Invaders gets a drubbing around here for the art, but at $5 a pop I'd buy em too! Crazy price for TOR...I haven't read these classic stories, but I liked Kubert's art in the '90s Tor, and the art and story were great in the '09 Tor tpb.

Some Garcia Lopez reviews from the Superman book would be cool. : )

Doc Savage said...

Never let it be said that I don't stand up for the wonderful work of Frank Robbins. Those Invaders issues he didn't draw lack the period feel that comic book called for. Plus he was a really good artist anyway, just not appreciated in the post-Adams world of mainstream comics. And a heckuva good writer, too, which I doubt anyone would opine re: Adams! Love those Robbins Batman tales.

Humanbelly said...

I have to say, Doug, that what resonated with me in your post was the obvious quiet joy in sharing a great day with your son. I'll be taking HBSon back up to school for his sophomore year tomorrow, in fact, and yestereve had a few hours of errand-running, shopping & waiting for HBGirl at dance class together. . . and it was simply a delightful bit of uncategorized, easy quality time.
I know it sounds a bit pat and possibly cliche'-- but he truly is my best friend, and it's tough to have him gone so much now that he's a young man. The upside is that college is only 45 minutes away (just up above Baltimore), and I'm an involved Marching Band parent, so there's lots of contact. What's especially nice is that he's a boy who will openly and fully give his Dad a big hug just about anywhere and in front of anyone. Man, there aren't words to describe that.


Doug said...

Thanks for being a pal, David!

Osvaldo, we did have a great time. My wife and I are very fortunate to have great relationships with both of our sons, and they get along great as well. It's been a real blessing to not have had to deal with many issues that adolescents can go through.

Tom -- now I'd love to see that art! Great story!

Edo and Garett -- yes, you can both look for some Superman by Garcia-Lopez in the coming months. I have quickly thumbed through the book and there's a team-up with Supergirl that looks intriguing. I don't think Kara Zor-el has made it to the blog yet! I'd love to do the Superman/Wonder Woman treasury, but that story's a monster in length!

By the way, I pre-ordered the second volume of the Batman - Jim Aparo hardcovers from Amazon, and it's to arrive in October. I've not run a Bob Haney post since April or so, and need to get back to that sometime. So many comics...

Matt, I always appreciate guys who go what seems to be against the grain on certain artists. That you (or anyone) sticks by a guy that to many seems unpopular is a virtue. I always want to sit down next to a fellow aficionado with a sampling of "Artist A"'s work and pick it apart. I'd find that incredibly enlightening.


Doug said...

HB, you and I were typing at the same time --

The relationship you describe with your son could have been written about us and either of our boys. It's a treasure, for sure.


Doc Savage said...

Still trying to get my son interested in comic books. He's
almost 4 but he knows Spider-Man and Batman. And he knows "Flash runs fast." He's got a stack of Batman the Animated Series comics just waiting...

Doc Savage said...

I'm hoping to get back to my blog to do a review of the Human Fly, one of my all-time favorite series, in which I will have to discuss Frank Robbins' artwork. Personal/financial stuff has stolen much of my little free time.

Anonymous said...

It is a nice story. My old man bought me an issue of World's Finest when I was a kid on a road trip with him. I made a point of hunting that issue down. It was a lousy comic, but even so.

david_b said...

Great story Anonymous, I did the VERY SAME thing for my first issues. My dad got them for me when I was sick in bed back in '69 (Captain America ish 113, Hulk 114 and Ditko's Charleston Space Adventures 7), had to recollect 'em all.

It was such a treat showing my Dad 30yrs later the same issues he bought for me, now repurchased in VF condition.

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