Friday, August 28, 2015

1 Valiant Book Away

This is the end.
It's been pretty crazy, but I am so close to finishing my goal.

The book above, Eternal Warrior Yearbook 2, is the last book I need for a finished run of the old Valiant universe. I got a few in my sights and probably end up pulling one this weekend.

It'll be great to be done. I love Valiant but I mostly want the newer stuff. I would imagine the book above to not be that great. Seems like so much of this stuff is hit or miss after a few years. Pre-Unity is great but from there, it's hard to like a lot of this stuff.

I still don't have all the gold books but there's nothing hard to get. It's all out there.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back Issue Selling

Ebay Store 
I had a bit of a dillema: What to do with all of the extra books I had acquired? Well...I have about 700 books that I currently have no need for. I decided to go the Ebay store route. I was sent a deal for store pricing under $5 a month for 4 months. Why not?

Here's the thing: I love to sell comics. I had that thought that many that collect have. I want a comic shop. The reality is that as long as I am a stay-at-home parent, I'm not going to ever have a business.

I went down this road about 15 years ago. I scanned a bunch of books and bought a domain. Linked to an ebay store. Thing was, at that time, I wasn't working, just like now. Then, I couldn't replace what I sold. I needed that money just to live on. Books sold and I sold just about everything listed, but never had a penny to put back in and it all collapsed. I'm in a better spot to try something like this.

Ebay is good because I've been selling for years to people all over. I have a couple people who follow me for sales. The rates are a bit lower as a store owner than as a regular seller. I wish I had better photoshop skills, but that logo/banner is the best I can do.

There's going to be a lot of stuff added slowly. I figure I have about an hour a day to work on this. It's sad. I still have to parent. I still have to be a husband. There will be days where I do more than that.

Currently, I added a lot of good Valiant books and some Marvel blank covers that I got some sketches on.

I am giving myself 4 months, which is the time I have a discount for having a store. If I am not doing enough, not selling enough, or not putting enough back up, then I'm stopping a store. I got a lot of key Valiants and desirable books from other publishers.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Not Many Left...

Lots of leftover books...

I am close, oh so close, to being done.

I am currently 7 books away from a full run of the original Valiant Universe. Roll call of missing books:

1. Eternal Warrior Yearbook 2
2. Magnus 0
3. Magnus 64
4. Valiant Vision Starter Kit
5. Visitor 13
6. X-O Manowar 66
7. X-O Manowar 67

That's it. I needed hundreds of books this year and I can almost feel the end coming. I'll be glad to be done, because this is a goal that is so reachable and it's been fun. This quest has really gotten me excited about the new books that Valiant Entertainment is releasing. I'm back to buying everything they put out. Now, I don't like all of it, but it's easy to get through DCBS, who sell a Valiant package every month, so why not take advantage. Plus, tastes can change. I don't like Unity right now but who's to say I will feel the same later?

The negative of doing something like this has been the extras. I recently donated some packages of Valiant books to some people that I knew that were not reading them. I did the last one through one of the Facebook groups dedicated to fans of Valiant. I even donated 120+ to a comic shop here in Salt Lake. But, I have acquired a lot of book along the way.

The picture above represents my extras. Some are not cheap, you know, a few Solar 10s, a couple Rai 0s and some Eternal Warrior 4s. Lots of Bloodshot 6s and Archer and Armstrong 8s. It's just how things go. I've bought a lot of book lots cheap, in order to get some books. I had been making serious progress before Valiant announced their movie deal with DMG. Would have been harder for the key issues after but I got those out of the way in time.

I feel like most of this stuff is quarter bin stuff. Condition not great and a lot of this is in the period that Valiant was selling hundreds of thousands of copies. Not all of it is bagged. There's a good amount of current Valiant and I'm going to hold onto that, as it is just doubles now. But old Valiant...

I think eventually, I will just catalog what I have, and either sell cheap, or give away. It's really not about money. Might be nice to make shipping and handling costs and that would be it.

We'll see.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ninjak - How Many Covers

How many Ninjak covers(so far)?

I have 17 currently, if I count my digital card from Lootcrate.

Cover A
Cover B
Cover C
Cover D
Cover E BLANK Cover
1:10 Valiant Next Variant
1:20 Character Design Variant
1:60 B&W Sketch Variant
Collector's Paradise EXCLUSIVE Cover
Yesteryear Comics
Emerald City
4 Color Grails

Still waiting on my London Comic Con one to show up.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

X-O Manowar - Just how many does one need?

One of my favorite titles from the original Valiant universe was X-O Manowar. It was a pretty simple concept: 5th century warrior with a living armor. As some say, Conan meets Iron Man. Aric of Dacia basically wields the greatest weapon, talks like Conan and favors fist over thinking. It was a fun book. When Valiant became Acclaim and the book relaunched, I was not as much of a fan.

It was great when Valiant Entertainment relaunched and right out of the gate we got a new X-O Manowar. Written by Robert Venditti with pencils by Cary Nord. I felt this was a really good read and I've enjoyed X-O a lot. I really like X-O's involvement in the book Unity, too. Right now, X-O Manowar is the longest-running Valiant title.

So, I've bought a lot of X-O Manowar 1s. Haven't gotten too crazy with any variants. I don't tend to buy them, but then Valiant has their pullbox variants. I've bought quite a few of those for many of their titles.

23 copies of X-O Manowar 1. Why do I buy these?  Well, Discount Comic Book Service still had a bunch of these that they were offering up at about 90% off price, so every month, I would buy 5. I have more coming, too.

10 copies of the X-O Manowar pullbox variant. Again, DCBS has them cheap and I have more on the way.

I try to keep up with signings of creators I like. I like Venditti. I think X-O is great. I like his Green Lantern work, too for DC Comics. Now, Midtown Comics does plenty of signings. If you look on Ebay and see someone selling a book signed at a Midtown signing, check Midtown's site. They usually sell for cover price. Pretty cool.

This is something a bit different. This was something concocted on that I found on Ebay. VF.Com will sometimes do a forum project and leave it numbered pretty low. A lot of the people there get the same number for each project. I got someone's 47/50. Maybe they don't get that number. I don't know but there's a chance there is a member who just passed on this item. It's signed by Venditti, Nord and then Warren Simons and Dinesh Shamdasani.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Valiant Value Box

I'm a sucker for mystery box auctions. Sometimes, it has worked in my favor and I've gotten great books. Other times, it's just pure garbage. Recently, I saw this listing, I knew I had to take a chance. Key issues? Autographs? Variants? How can one pass that up? There was the chance it could have been filled with Turok #1s but damnit, this was a chance I was going to take.

$25 for a box of stuff is not a bad deal. Was it the first Valiant? Acclaim? VEI? The suspense was killing me on this.

First, let's go through the current stuff:

Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps 0, Archer & Armstrong 24, Eternal Warrior 4, Divinity 1, Quantum and Woody 1, Harbinger 1 and Imperium 2. Not bad at all. I had Q & W, Harby and Divinity. I will gladly take doubles. If nothing else, I can try and give those to someone to try. I had not picked up Imperium 2 yet.

Now for the old school:

Here we have Chaos Effect epilogue 1 and 2. Deathmate through all the main colors, Bloodshot 0 chromium and Rai 0. The Rai 0 is in great shape and I am glad to have another. Deathmate...I have a lot of these but you take the good with the bad. I have a few Bloodshot 0s, too.

The pros:
Even the stuff that I already had is good stuff. I could probably put the #1s on Ebay and make some of this back. Same with the Rai 0. Right now, Rai 0 is a great key issue to have. All the books looked to be in great shape and were bagged and boarded. The packaging was great. I could probably have drop kicked the box and it would have kept the books safe. Someone new to these books could jump into a lot of this and not be lost. And most importantly, there was a lot of stuff here.

The cons:

I need more issues of Deathmate like I need a hole in my head. Seriously, I have a lot of these. They show up all the time in lots that I buy off Ebay.On the plus side, these were nicer copies that what I already have. Also, no cards. I don't know what it is but recently, I've been looking at Ebay at the price on boxes of cards. It's the kid in me for sure, but I just want to open packs of cards. I have sets of Valiant cards already but would have loved to have gotten a pack or a box or something.

Easily, this was worth $25.

Like I said earlier, I buy mystery lots off Ebay. Usually, it's not a seller with a love for Marvel/DC/Image. It's usually a person with too many yellowing copies of Secret Defenders or The Ray. Maybe, they throw in some WildC.A.T.S. to spice things up. There's no passion. The books are never bagged and boarded. This was great. I think one difference with this as opposed to another random seller who would do a mystery box is that this person probably has a lot of love for Valiant. A lot of #1s. A set of Deathmate. Even with my feelings of Deathmate, it's most of the story. No Deathmate Pink or Orange but those are just previews. No biggie. What more can you ask for?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Will Be My Valiant Year Of Comics

VEI's 25 Anniversary  poster by Kano

As a collector of comics, everyone has a goal. Maybe it's a weekly goal to get all the Marvel books that come out. Maybe you buy every variant cover for the Batman books put out by DC Comics. I used to have a yearly goal of getting that one item that I just had to have and for the life of me, I can't remember not doing it. Once, I wanted to finish off a full run of Grendel, fulfilling it with a purchase of #27 of the Comico series at San Diego Comic-Con. Other times, I wanted to patch the holes in a Transmetropolitan run. Another time, I had to have an Iron Man 55, featuring the first Thanos and first Drax. Absolute Authority? One year, it was the goal. It's pretty easy to do that when you are focused on one item.

What about one universe?

Valiant Entertainment has been around since 2012, putting out a small but great line of comics featuring most of the Valiant characters of the 1990s. Currently, I pick up a copy of all of their monthly books through Discount Comic Book Service and for pretty cheap. For under $20 a month, I get the entire universe and have been enjoying it since VEI started putting books out. And I still liked the old universe, with characters no longer under the Valiant banner, such as Solar, Magnus and Turok. Problem was, I was missing a lot of issues of everything. What about getting everything from the 90s, before the entire line was relaunched under the banner of Acclaim? Could it be done? Should it be? Let's be honest and admit that the first year of the early titles were as good as comics could be in the 90s, but once Unity, the big mega event that Valiant put out to tie the titles together came out, the books did lose a bit of steam. There's a few years of decent stories and then there's some stinkers too.

I had probably half of the superhero line in boxes. Was missing some key issues.  So I got to thinking: What about trying to get everything? I mean, price-wise, there was no action on the 90s Valiant titles and plenty of issues could be rescued from bargain bins in comic shops. Harbinger 1 was a $20 or $30 dollar book and maybe the 0 issue was more. So, I've set out to accomplish this task.

At the beginning of the year, I had started out buying what I considered to be the key issues; had to have Harbinger 1 and maybe Harbinger 10. Had to have Solar 3 and 10. X-O Manowar 4. Archer & Armstrong 0. Eternal Warrior 4-Rai 0(there is much complaining as to which one is Bloodshot's first actual appearance with the online community). I figure, not much key after that, since the print run for most of these books were so high, they should give you Turok 1 for just liking comics.

Things were going great until about two weeks ago on a Sunday night when news broke that VEI had brokered a deal with a Chinese production house for a nine-figure sum to help move along a series of movie projects. All of a sudden, there was a mad dash to start getting stuff. Any real collector worth his time dabbles a tiny bit into speculation and I do enough to know one golden rule about back issue buying: If news breaks of a television or film property, you better start spending and fast. I don't need 10 copies of X-O Manowar 1, but I didn't have 1. I had a second printing of Solar 10. That wasn't going to do. I needed a gold Archer & Armstrong 0. I also had to start figuring out what all could be considered key. Was Shadowman 16, the first appearance of Dr. Mirage going to be sought after? Probably not. Was Bloodshot 6, first Ninjak, going to get pricey? Probably not, but I am sure someone was trying to price it up on Ebay like it was hard to find. Rai 1-5? Yeah. Need that, too.

Comic speculation is the worst. I love it, in the sense that I have been lucky with the Marvel/DC side of it. I have or had so many key appearances and when I needed to, profited off selling my one copy I had. But really, if you don't buy books you need when these stories come out, then you have to spend more money. Cheap copies disappear.

My goal is to get the remaining copies I need. Not trying to get every variant. A copy of Bloodshot 0 with the gold cover would be nice, but I am not looking for the very rare platinum edition. The following list is the remainder of what I feel I need to do this.

Armorines: 0, 0 Gold, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8-12
Bloodshot: 0 Gold, 50
Captain Johner: 1-2
Darque Passages
Deathmate Pink
Deathmate Green Comic Defense
Eternal Warrior: 1 Gold Embossed, 3, 15, 17, 23, 25, 29-49, Yearbook 2, Wings Special, Fist and Steel 1-2
Geomancer: 1, 3-8
H.A.R.D. Corps: 1 Gold, 8, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21-30
Harbinger: 3-7, 30, 35-41
Magnus: 0, 64
Ninjak: 1 Gold
Original Doctor Solar
Outcast Special
PSI-Lords: 1 gold, 2-10
Punx: 1-3, Manga Special
Rai: 8, 20, 22-23, 25-31
Secret Weapons: 6, 8, 11-12, 14-21
Secrets of the Valiant Universe: 1, 3
Shadowman trade w/ Darque Passages
Solar: 2, 5, 7-9, 11, 33-36, 38, 43-46, 48-60
Solar: Alpha & Omega, Second Death
Turok: 1 Gold
Valiant Era trade w/ companion
Vintage Magnus: 2-3
Visitor Vs: 1-2
Visitor: 1-6, 8-13
X-O Manowar: 0 Gold, 9-13, 15 Pink, 16, 20, 27, 29, 36, 38-67

The only thing that isn't added to this list are the Valiant Validated Signature Series editions. Valiant put out its own line of signed books, complete with certificate of authentification. I actually have a lot of these.

So blogging this...I thought it would be a nice way to document 2015's comic book purchases. Put some pictures up of some of the completed runs, or key issues, or just anything related to Valiant, old and new. It should be a good year.