A Tale of Old Comics.

Sometime last week I went to my local comics store, Pegasus Hobbies, to buy some new comics.  I had about $20-$25 of cool new stuff come in and I was excited to buy it.  Now, I’ve been going to this store off and on for years, at least half my life.  I didn’t go for a few years while I was in college and living elsewhere.  Even when I was in Watertown there were periods where I just wasn’t as interested in comics and would spend money on other things.  (Food mostly.)  There was some comment made over whether or not I would still be around in a couple months to pick up some things I had ordered (if I have my way I’ll be buying stuff through my own store soon enough).  I thought we were joking around, until the owner of the place moves a couple boxes behind the register and there are my comics from years ago.  No exaggeration, years ago.  I know because the books in the box came out in 2002.  Lets examine a couple things here:
In 2002 I was working at TJ Maxx.  I know where my money was going then, to Applebee’s, drinking at Kurt’s or on my porch, and trying to hook up with whoever I was interested in that week.  I have some comics from that year, so I must have still been spending money there, and maybe these are titles I was waiting to pick up and then never did.  These books are still sitting there.  Six years later.  Who’s fault is this?
Is it my fault, for requesting these comics and then never picking them up.  Coming in and out of the store for years but, until the past 2-3 months, never buying anything on any regular schedule.
Or is it his fault for running a shitty store?  The books could have been given to another customer, tossed in a dollar bin, put up on eBay, etc.  But no, there they sit in my box 6 years later.  Now bent because they were securely in the box.
I feel bad about it all and ask if we can make a deal for the lot.  “Well, I don’t know, maybe.”  If he thinks I’m spending $2-$4 each on old, bent comics (none of which are valuable issues) then he’s nuts.  Maybe I’ll do a dollar each to call it even.  Or not buy them at all.  Many are collected in graphic novels.  Yes, even us comics fans have our own debate akin to the “do I watch the episodes when they’re on or wait for the DVD box set?”  There are pros and cons to both approaches.
Oh sure, I have tons of comics already but what’s a few dozen more?  Especially when I’m viewing it as building up inventory now.  Maybe a store, maybe online, but I know I can do it better than half the people who already have their own places.
By the way, if you have comics, toys, various other geeky things that you want out of your house, throw them my way.
Or maybe I should hold onto my comic book money and buy out Borders graphic novels when we eventually close.  Stock closed at $1.37 today, I think the writing’s on the wall at this point.

I would end this by saying I’m back to doing this e

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(Last) Week’s trip to the comic store.

Last week began a return to buying weekly comics.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been reading them weekly.  Between Borders, friends, and – um – other means, I’ve been keeping up to date on a good amount of comics.  But overall, its hit or miss.  Maybe the new issue will be at the bookstore.  Maybe it will still be in good condition, and maybe it will come in shortly after its’ Diamond release date so I can read it before spoilers are up.  But these things rarely happen, so I have brought back the weekly trips to the comic book store.  Each week, I’ll tell you what I bought and give a short review of the book.  Plus any other things I buy along the way.  Onto last week’s buys (technically the first week) for July 30, 2008.

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Coming soon – Nerd Sandwich.

Hellions Magazine Presents – Nerd Sandwich!

Take two comic book nerds and one “everyman”, put them in a room to discuss comic books in pop culture.  The first episode, coming soon, will discuss this summer’s movies and previews for those coming soon.  Do the comic fans feel that the movies are doing the comics justice?  Does the “everyman” even care?  And where do we draw the line between casual fans and nerds?  Tune in weekly for Nerd Sandwich.

Remembering Michael Turner – Wizard World Chicago.

from Comic Book Resources:

It’s a somber place at the Aspen booth at WizardWorld Chicago. Having lost their friend Michael Turner, artists have decided to draw Turner’s characters for fans in his honor. While doing this, they’re also collecting money for Turner’s charities.

David Finch, artist on upcoming “Ultimate Ultimatum”
“I’ve known Mike since the beginning of his career… I remember him walking in the door on day one… he started two months after me and he blew all of us away. He changed Top Cow forever, and he changed all of our careers. On a personal level, he was a great guy who was friendly with everyone. He was always supportive of all of us. He’s been fighting cancer for 8 years… he was always strong and he never complained. …He always had time for everyone, he never walked away from a signing. (This convention hasn’t been ruined for me) because we were all together when we found out. That made it easier. We knew he was deteriorating (takes a moment to choke back tears)… it was easier finding out last night with everyone, then having to find out by a phone call.”

Ale Garza, current “Fathom” artist
“The industry has lost an icon. So few artists have come into the industry and accomplished and done what Mike did. Especially in the short amount of time that he was here with us. I just think it’s a huge loss…It’s amazing to think of all that he was going through that he still managed to (put his effort into comics). It’s just mind baffling. I’m kind of speechless…As far as Fathom goes and Aspen as a whole, all I can say is that I’m going to do my best to stay true to his vision and keep his characters alive and keep him alive in all of us…He’ll always be there in comics and he’ll never be forgotten.”

Francis Manapaul, “Witchblade” artist
“What can you say about Mike? He was a really great guy and having been at Top Cow for a long time back in the day, he was kind of like a big brother to a lot of us here that were coming into the industry…He was just a really good guy. I have so many memories of just hanging out at conventions, all of the trips we’ve gone on – like when we were in Australia and New Zealand, and even little things like just hanging out and playing poker in his room. I think it’s just a great loss…The industry is definitely losing a really influential guy…there wasn’t really a dry eye at the bar last night, and that just speaks a lot about Mike and how many people that care about him. He fought a really strong battle for eight years. He fought valiantly and it’s just a great loss.

Remembering Michael Turner – Jeph Loeb

from Comic Book Resources:

Mike Turner died last night. He fought the same cancer my son Sam had for eight years. He was 37 years old. His friends and family were with him.

There was never a nicer guy. There was never a greater pal. He was a friend and mentor to Sam. He’s been a big brother to my daughter Audrey.

In terms of his legacy, in addition to the dozens of covers that he did for Marvel and DC, I’m pretty sure that the only interior work he did outside of Top Cow or Aspen was the 6 issues of “Superman/Batman” that we did.

Bringing Kara back to the DC universe as she was originally intended, as Superman’s cousin, was the story we told.

Supergirl now will always have some of Mike’s joy and spark.

Doing “Soulfire” with Mike and Aspen was a blast. It was so inspiring working with him. Whatever he touched as a creator, writer or artist was the finest.

Did I mention he was the world’s greatest guy? And there is a reason why the people at Aspen, like Frank and Peter and JT, are so loyal and of such fine character. Mike brought that out in everyone.

I know you know all this, but I wanted to write to you and this is what came out.

Supergirl is crying right now.

I know that much.

Jeph

Remembering Michael Turner – Jim Lee

from Jim Lee’s MySpace:

In remembrance of Mike Turner

Image Comics ushered in a new generation of young, talented creators and one of the brightest, the most affable and most ambitious was young Mike Turner. He stood out because not only was he tall, handsome and smart as a whip, but because he had dreams beyond just comics and more importantly, made those dreams come true.

I liked Mike a lot. We socialized mostly after hours during cons but since he had family and friends in San Diego who I also knew, we had a chance to hang out here as well, and he was just a great guy to shoot the shit with. Like Dave Stevens, Mike made comics more glamorous and cooler ahead of its time. He also always made sure to put the fans first, and it’s been truly heartwarming to read all the accounts and tributes to his good nature and his big heart.

I had known about his worsening condition for some time now as I work right next to Joel Gomez who was pals with Mike back when Joel worked at Top Cow and Aspen, but even that knowledge couldn’t soften the blow of his passing. It is particularly bittersweet to me that his death fell during the Wizard World Chicago convention as that is where I remember him being at his very best many years ago. Not because of the long lines of fans waiting to just meet him (because that was a normal occurrence, really) and not because of an amazing cover or comic he had just published (again, there are too many to list as I was a big MLT fan) and not because he always looked like he was having the time of his life (which he truly was–I still remember hanging out at his condo in LA, marveling at the view and toys), but because he was on stage at the Wizard World Awards show with Sam and Jeph Loeb, inspiring everyone in the room with his determination to not let cancer take him down.

And even when it got bad, Mike still made appearances at shows, drew gorgeous cover after gorgeous cover, and damn if he still didn’t make it all look easy.

Cancer took its toll but did not defeat him. Mike will continue to inspire, through word and picture, anecdote and hilarous, tall tale.

Rest in peace, Mike.

Michael Turner tributes.

I will be posting tributes to Michael Turner from other websites.  This is not to steal from other sites, but to get some of these beautiful thoughts and comments to even more people.  Please think of his family and friends at this time, and maybe sit down with some of his books to remember in your own way an artist that was taken way too soon.

Remembering Michael Turner – Jim (Mr Marvel) Trabold

from Jim Trabold’s MySpace page:

Michael Turner has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 37. Aspen Comics’ Vince Hernandez told CBR News Saturday morning that Turner passed away Friday night at 10:42 Pacific Time at Santa Monica Hospital in Calfiornia.

Turner is an artist best known for his work on books like “Witchblade,” where he got his start in comics, moving on to titles such as “Black Panther,” “Superman/Batman” and his very own creator owned series “Fathom” and “Soulfire” through his publishing company Aspen Comics. A prolific artist, he’s done work for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and has provided covers to some of the best-known comics published in the last ten years, including Brad Meltzer’s “Identity Crisis.”

Being a fan of his art it’s sad to see him go. To his family, friends and co-workers I say sorry for this great lose.

RIP Michael

Remembering Michael Turner – Mark Brooks

From Mark Brooks MySpace page:

Michael Turner’s passing

For anyone that might not have heard the news today, we lost one of the comic greats last night. Michael Turner, after waging a valiant fight with Cancer for the last 7+ years, Passed away last night at the age of 37.
To say I knew Mike would be a vast overstatement since I only saw him once or twice a year and it was usually just to say hello but I knew many of his friends very well and have come up in the industry hearing stories of Mike’s kindness and devotion to his thousands of fans and the smile that always donned his face even when the Cancer he suffered from was at it’s worst. year after year, even when in great pain, Mike would travel around the country to as many conventions as he could to show his appreciation to anyone that loved him or his work as well as pumping out cover after cover month in and month out even when the pain got so bad that he had to draw flat on his back. Mike set an example for all of us to follow whether it be work ethic or a general positive outlook on life even when things are at their worst.
They say that an artist is special because he or she is the only being in the world that is immortal. The works they create can live on forever far after the artist is gone. Mike proved this by showing all of us what is possible with hard work and determination and he created characters and worlds that will stand the test of time and keep him living in the artwork he drew.
If you knew Michael or his work, please take a moment tonight to pray for Mike as well as all the family and friends that are mourning his loss. If you’re not familiar with Mike, please take a second to look him up and see the kind of art he created. We lost one of the great ones today at far too young an age and our industry is poorer for it.

If you would like to send condolences to Michael’s family you are encouraged to do so. Please send them to:

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

His company Aspen Comics is also encouraging anyone wishing to do so to send a charitable donation big or small in Mike’s name to The American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp or the Make-A-Wish Foundation http://www.wish.org/help?s_kwcid=make%20a%20wish|917760391

Till we meet again,
-Mark

Michael Turner passes away at 37.

from Comic Book Resources:

We here at Comic Book Resources are very sad to report that artist Michael Turner has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 37. Aspen Comics’ Vince Hernandez told CBR News Saturday morning that Turner passed away Friday night at 10:42 Pacific Time at Santa Monica Hospital in Calfiornia. The news spread quickly at Wizard World Chicago, during what would have otherwise been a riotous night at the hotel bar, the mood suddenly turned somber with remembrances of Turner from friends and acquaintances. A minute of silence will be observed during Wizard World Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Turner is an artist best known for his work on books like “Witchblade,” where he got his start in comics, moving on to titles such as “Black Panther,” “Superman/Batman” and his very own creator owned series “Fathom” and “Soulfire” through his publishing company Aspen Comics.  A prolific artist, he’s done work for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and has provided covers to some of the best-known comics published in the last ten years, including Brad Meltzer’s “Identity Crisis.”

In 2000, Turner was diagnosed with cancer — chondrosarcoma in the right pelvis, which resulted in his loosing his hip, 40% of his pelvis and three pounds of bone. What followed was 9 months of radiation. The cancer has gone into remission and returned multiple times since he was first diagnosed.

For anyone who’s met Turner, they’re likely to tell you what a genuinely nice guy he was and how his spirit for life was higher than anyone else they had ever met. Oddly, my path crossed with Turner’s numerous times. We both live in Los Angeles, and on at least five different occasions we would run into each other at clubs or special events around the city. He seemed like the kind of guy who was up for anything and had a great sense of adventure, especially as evidenced by his love and excellence at water-skiing and martial arts.

Last year during Comic-Con International in San Diego, I invited Michael Turner out to the CBR Yacht for an interview. He was happy to come out to the boat. His colleague and friend, Vince Hernandez, called me the Saturday afternoon the interview was scheduled to say they were running late, but were on their way. I went to the end of the dock to greet them and there, off in the distance, was Michael, Vince and a friend of theirs walking slowly towards our slip. They were walking slowly because Michael was on crutches, recovering from the latest round of surgeries and treatment. It was a hot day, but there was Michael, making his way to the boat with a smile on his face. His strength of will was truly inspirational.

The resulting interview was a wonderfully sweet one. I remember talking with him about his comics, his covers, his health and much more. After the interview he and his crew hung out on the boat for a while, enjoying the calm moment away from the convention with a soda and good conversation.

Sadly, that video interview never made it on to the site (not for anything to do with Michael or the content of the interview), but we’ll make sure that video is encoded this week and published in his memory and so that all of you can see what sort of man Turner was.

Turner’s fight with cancer was truly inspirational. He fought it with dignity and grace.

More details concerning Turner’s passing are forthcoming. Those wishing to send their condolences to Michael Turner’s family are encouraged to send them to:

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230

Aspen Comics also encourages anyone wishing to make a charitable donation in Turner’s name can do so to his requested charities, The American Cancer Society or The Make-A-Wish Foundation

CBR extends it’s heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Michael Turner. He’ll be sorely missed.