Aug 12, 2010

Planet X Comics Big Sale - What To Buy

Greetings, folks! Planet X Comics is having a big sale this weekend from August 13-15, where - get this - all TPBs, HCs, and books are 30% off; all comic sets and variants are 40% off; and new comics are 20% off.

These numbers are huge, folks, especially when you live in the Philippines and books get marked up when they get here.

If you're wondering what to buy, well, I've got more than a few recommendations for you all around the Cube, but I scoped out the store today and I can give you folks some recommendations here as well.

For those of you who are interested in America's Best Comics (ABC), Alan Moore's imprint under Wildstorm, because of my recent post defending Moore from the nonsensical rants of John Byrne, I can't recommend the Tom Strong Deluxe Edition enough. While I wouldn't call Tom Strong the "best" of the ABC line, it's so much fun and encapsulates everything that's great about sci-fi/fantasy/superhero comics, in that it can do anything and take any shape. In the deluxe edition, collecting the first twelve books of the series, there are time travellers, beautiful female Nazi bitches, a giant computerized snake in a world of Aztecs, a Shazam spoof (with art by the one and only Pete Poplaski), and even appearances by the old Nedor characters. And a talking monkey. The art is varied, and Chris Sprouse shows off two different styles, and you get stuff by people like Gary Frank too! Check it out!

Of course, the thing that's always going to top my "want to buy" list is Absolute Promethea. I find it so hard to justify buying this, since I already have the complete Promethea collection in hardcover, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that if any comic ever merited an Absolute Edition, it's Promethea. Although he was already respected in the field before this, this is the comic that made J.H. Williams III a superstar. For most of Alan Moore's artists, I can honestly say that I don't think they've ever been better than when they worked with Moore. But J.H. Williams III has been the constant exception - he's just gotten better, and better, and better.

Does anyone want to buy my first two Promethea hardcovers, so I can get this?

Planet X also has a complete set of the original issues of Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset by Rick Veitch. Veitch takes disparate elements from the Greyshirt stories he did with Moore in Tomorrow Stories and crafts a really intricate narrative that's full of Comics Techniques and Tricks. Even without having read the Moore stories, this is worth getting for all the tricks and atmosphere that Veitch pulls off. The first chapter is drawn in the style of Little Archie. The second is drawn in classic crime comic style. And it doesn't - at all - feel out of place. Highly recommended, and with 40% off, you can get it for less than 400 pesos.

Getting off ABC for a while, you may also want to check some of the hardcovers and comics-related books. I know, for one, that I am very interested in DC Universe Illustrated by Neal Adams:

And any comics historian should really read the 2010 Eisner Award-winning The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics. Kurtzman is the most important person in comics that most people have never heard of - and he may very well be the most important person in comics, period, and anyone who wants to know about comics should learn about him as much as possible.

Your mileage may vary, of course. Matt, who wrote the Ex Machina piece a while back, would like to discover more works by Brian K. Vaughan (may I recommend The Escapists?), specifically Y: The Last Man. He'd also like to explore the Wildstorm and Vertigo imprints some more.

And PIG, who obviously loves Superman, would search for some Superman and Batman single issues (all at 50 pesos each), because he loves the shorter stories.

But when asked to recommend a mainstream superhero book, he gave the exact same recommendation I would give you all: All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. See, with all the many different versions of Superman that have existed over the years - ultrapowerful demigod, black costume with guns, guy who couldn't fly - it was very difficult to find a Superman that encompassed everything you thought Superman should be. I'm not saying All-Star Superman did that, but it came the closest that anything's ever come, and I can't recommend it enough. More than anything, it's got that Sense of Wonder that makes comics wonderful.

I also recommend Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Beyond instilling that same sense of wonder into the main-continuity Superman, this story really shows what Superman is all about. The ending is epic, and Gary Frank draws my favorite version of Superman. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that. Gary Frank's Superman is my favorite Superman.

And if you have kids, like I said, I cannot recommend enough Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil:

On the Marvel end of things, I've always, always been meaning to get a copy of X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga, by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. We had this comic as a kid (with a great Bill Sienkewicz cover), and I absolutely loved it, to the point that I didn't feel that any comic with the X-Men in it afterwards was "real." I've never seen Wolverine written better - not in prior appearances and not since.

Also, these days, while I don't think the Spider-Man team has been flawless since Brand New Day, I do think it's been the best and most enjoyable Spider-Man has been since, oh, I dunno, he got married, and I could happily get any one of the post-One More Day trades. Get Death and Dating, because when you get Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Marcos Martin, Mike McKone, Roger Stern, and Lee Weeks in one book, you cannot go wrong.

My two final recommendations are based on gifts that Peachy gave to me for my birthday. The first is to find all the issues of Dodgem Logic, the magazine published and organized by Alan Moore, that you can. While not strictly comics, it's an underground magazine full of nifty stuff (including a Where's Wally wordsearch. I'll let you bask in the awesomeness of that idea) that wouldn't be covered anywhere else. You may not agree with their views or even read every article, but it's a good endeavor and no one can deny that it looks pretty. Plus, their slogan is "Colliding ideas to see what happens." It's gold!

Alan Moore drew this, folks. One-trick pony, still?

The last recommendation I have is Fractured Fables, which I will review on the site in due time. It's got a variety of artists giving mostly funny takes on old-timey fables. The Little Mermaid, by Peter David and Juan Ferreyra, is hilarious, and the Rapunzel story by Derek McCulloch and Anthony Peruzzo had me in stitches. You also get greats like Terry Moore, Bill Morrison, and Jill Thompson (side note: when you read Jill Thompson's story, keep in mind that it's a literal adaptation of a fairy tale. Then ask yourself if it makes sense.) on some stories.

But for Filipinos, you may be interested to know that our own countrymen have two stories in this book. Nikki Dy-Liacco wrote "The Fox and the Cat," while "The Secret Princess Society" was written by Marie Cruz and drawn by Whilce Portacio. The latter involves anting-antings (protective amulets) and duwendes (dwarves), and it's great exposure for our culture to other cultures.

Additionally, if anyone can explain Brian Haberlin's "Ugly Duckling" story to me, I'd appreciate it.

Get ye to Planet X this weekend, Comics Cubers!!

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