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Friday, February 22, 2013

Key Issue Alert - Strange Tales #110 1st Appearance of Dr. Strange!


Strange Tales #110
1st Appearance of Dr. Strange 
Published July, 1963
 Key issue located:

ComicLink: This silver age key issue and the first appearance of Dr. Strange has been located at ComicLink in various grades. The highest is a CGC graded 8.5, and most there are CGC graded. Expect to shell out bucks for this Marve key issue. A low VF is listed at $1,950 and the bid price isn't far behind at $1,700. You can click the blue link above or this link right here to see for yourself.
Comic Connect: Comic Connect just got a whopping CGC 9.2, and this beauty goes on auction February 25th. Be sure to click the link to check out this high grade comic, and if you're on the hunt for this book, be sure to register and bid.

Comic Connect also has a raw/unslabbed (which means non CGC or PGX graded) Strange Tales #110 clocked in at a Fine plus (FN+). The asking price is $1,375, and the highest offer at $735.

Ebay: And of course, there's ebay. There are quite a few copies of this key issue comic up on ebay, and they're CGC graded as well. You know how I feel about buying non-CGC graded books on ebay. Buy unslabbed comics on ebay at your own peril.

Here's some options if you wanna go the ebay route.


WHY THIS ISSUE?
Make no mistake that the first appearance of Dr. Strange in Strange Tales #110 is an extremely hot key issue to get right now. Especially since Kevin Feige has talked about how a Dr. Strange movie will help to kick off Marvel's cinematic Phase III.

A Dr. Strange movie will most likely appear post Avengers 2 in 2015 or 2016, meaning you have some time but not a lot. You can bet that demand for this book from now until then will continue to heat up, and the closer it gets to Dr. Strange hitting the theaters, the more deeper you'll dig into your pocket for this book.

So, you know what I always say, Get in on this one as soon as you can!

You can read the news about the Dr. Strange movie being part of Marvel's Phase 3 by clicking the link.   

Dr. Strange Marvel Movie To Be Part Of Phase 3!


So the rumors of last year appear to be that much closer to becoming true in the Marvel cinematic realm. It appears that Marvel will continue to do what DC and Warner have failed to do and expand their universe of characters on film.

With Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 The Dark World ready to kick off Marvel's Phase Two this year, it was announced last month that Antman and a Dr. Strange movie will kick off Phase Three after Avengers 2! That's right! Marvel is already talking about Phase Three in their movieverse (that's a not so subtle hint at Warner/DC to get a clue)!

Marvel's mighty President of Production, Kevin Feige, excitedly confirmed the film to MTV news when asked about the new flavors the studio has post Avengers 2:

"'Doctor Strange,' which I've been talking about for years, is definitely one of them, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he's totally different from anything else we have, just like 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' He's totally different from anything we've done before, as is 'Ant-Man,' which keeps us excited."

Last year, The Playlist claimed in a podcast that Marvel Studios has intentions to introduce Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange in Thor 2 The Dark World. 

This report even goes further to claim that the role will be more than a cameo and Dr. Stephen Strange will be a colleague of Natalie Portman's character, Jane Foster, and helping to aid her in her cosmic research. Whether this is still true, as this report was last year and rumors of The Enchantress being in the movie turned out to be false, it does make sense. The Eye of Agamotto was spotted in Odin's Chamber in the first Thor movie. However, there has been no casting news for anyone playing Dr. Stephen Strange in the Thor 2 The Dark World.
This is what I like to hear! Sure, there are more popular characters that I'm sure some Marvel fans would like to see hit the big screen than Dr. Strange, but the fact that the studio is excited about tying this character into their movieverse makes me excited.

Whether or not the Stephen Strange character is introduced in the Thor sequel, it seems apparent that Dr. Strange will help to kick off Marvel's Phase Three shortly after Avengers 2 and The Antman movie. So, comic collecting fans, you can be sure about which first appearance I'm suggesting to be on the hunt for! Click the link to find out what comic helms the first appearance of Dr. Strange.


The Antman movie will be released in theaters November 6th 2015.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Breaking Hearts And Busting Heads! The Bay Area's Own The Birds of Prey Cosplay Team


Harley Quinn, Blackhawk, The Huntress Birds of Prey Costume Team
While other parts of the country seems to have a more bustling and more well-known cosplay culture, the Bay Area remains relatively quiet for some mysterious reason. So, after discovering a team of dedicated and awesome cosplayers called "The Birds of Prey" in my neck of the woods, I just had to do a feature on this local cosplay team and am truly honored to have been fortunate to do so!

On a gorgeous Saturday, I met with Raven and Blackhawk at the Heroes And Villains comic shop in downtown Pleasanton, which happens to be the cosplay team's home base. A comic shop as a cosplay team's home base, what's cooler than that? I felt very at home myself, and among the shelves of comic books and action figures, the two Birds of Prey Costume Team members generously took their time and told me more about their amazing team and dedication to cosplay.

What started out as an idea of a friend who donned the name Oracle, a group of highschool friends embarked on a mission to create a fan film long ago to honor and bring to life their favorite DC Comic characters. Making these characters leap off the pages of the comics to film never happened, but what emerged was an entirely different beast! The Bay Area's The Birds of Prey Costume Team was spawned!

Harley Quinn cosplay
Since their extraordinary origin story, the Birds of Prey Costume Team has been costuming and cosplaying at local comic conventions such as The Wondercon and comic shop events. They have become local favorites. Throughout the four years they have been together, the team has managed to have had members such as Spoiler, The Huntress, Harley Quinn, Gypsy, Robin, Power Girl, Supergirl, Black Canary, and Batgirl join their roster at one time or another.


That's pretty impressive, but what's even more more impressive is their costuming. They are major fans of the DC Comics characters they bring to life, and bring to life are the key words to their costuming mantra!

Spoiler cosplay picture - Birds of Prey Costume Team The Birds of Prey Team aspires to craft costumes that often goes beyond mere spandex. Their dedication to crafting accurate costumes also incorporates a practical, realistic and sensible approach determined by each character they aspire to realistically recreate.

After all, their website does state: We are trying to produce comic accurate costumes as if they were really fighting crime on the streets (to a point of course).

When we discussed a bit about the team's costuming style and preferences, Blackhawk added, "Bruce Wayne is a billionaire. You wouldn't see him go into a shop and buy $30 spandex to fight crime with." 

But that's not to say spandex is never used...

"It all depends on the practicality of the character," Raven added, "but we try not to use it." 

Both Raven and Blackhawk went on to mention that it would make sense for a teenage character, who would naturally be on a lower budget, to don a spandex inspired costume.

The Huntress Birds of Prey Costume Team picture
Photo by crackerjack
I happen to agree as well, and it did make sense. I understood and admired their take on cosplay, which adhered to the questions of what if these characters did leap out of the panels of comic books into reality? What would their costumes look like and what are some sensible materials would those costumes be crafted out of

The team collaborates together and collectively works on the costume crafting, and the love they have for their favorite DC Comic characters more than shows from the amazing costumes they create. Both Blackhawk and Raven pointed out that the costumes are always a work in progress and are always being modified and altered. They not only want to capture the look of the character, but the essence as well. 

Raven had been cosplaying the Teen Titans character for Halloween before the team's conception. In fact, the creator of the comic character, Marv Wolfman, actually sent someone from his booth at a comic convention to grab The Birds of Prey Costume Team member Raven to take a picture with him. If that isn't huge kudos for a cosplayer and fan, I don't know what is!

I couldn't help but be smitten by their enthusiasm and love towards comic books and the craft and art of cosplay. As Blackhawk and Raven both agreed and acknowledged, "It's taking a two dimensional art off the page and making the character three dimensional."

Gypsy cosplay picture - Birds of Prey
Photo by crackerjack
I couldn't have explained it any better, and I can't say just how immensely grateful I am that Blackhawk and Raven both took time away from their Saturday to tell me more about The Birds of Prey Costume Team and their dedication to the visual 3-D art. More than that, Raven and Blackhawk were both class acts, very accommodating, and extremely fun to be around. 

I'd also like to give a huge thank you to the mysterious Oracle for taking the time to set up the meeting between myself, Blackhawk and Raven. 

As it turns out, the team is on a sort of hiatus and actively seeking other dedicated and local cosplayers to join their super team. So, if you're in the Bay Area, love DC characters, a skilled or novice costumer interested in cosplay, don't be shy. Please visit the Birds of Prey Costume Team recruitment page and shoot them an email.

Batgirl cosplayer from Birds of Prey TeamYou too can look absolutely amazing and start Breaking Hearts And Bustin' Heads as your favorite DC Comic Character with this extraordinarily fun, eclectic, diverse, and superb team of cosplayers!

The team does have plans to attend The Big Wow Comic Fest this year on the weekend of May 18th through the 19th in San Jose. They will also be suited up this year to make an appearance at the Heroes And Villains comic shop before Big Wow on Saturday, May 4rth. Be sure to stop by and say hi at both events if you're in the Bay Area.

Oh, yes, and be sure to take pictures with this class act cosplay team. I most definitely will be. As always, I'm wholeheartedly appreciative of the dedication, effort, and funds that cosplayers undertake to bring our favorite superheroes to life and make comic conventions and collecting comics just that much more special!

For more information and pictures of the amazing Birds of Prey Costume Team, be sure to click the link above as well as check out their Facebook Fanpage.

Picture of The Birds of Prey Costume Team
Photo by crackerjack

Friday, February 15, 2013

Anti-Gay Superman Author Boycotted By Fans & Some Comic Stores!

Social issues and politics have permeated comic books well since it's inception. Look at Captain America, whom creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby admitted to the character being a "consciously politcal creation" and response to the morally repulsive actions of Nazi Germany at the time. Furthermore, the creation of the X-Men dealt with the social issues of racism and bigotry.

Now, it seems that politics are effecting just more than the stories in comic books. Recently, comic fans and a few comic store owners have boycotted buying and stocking new issues of The Adventures of Superman because the writer Orson Scott Card is a well-known anti-gay and same-sex marriage opponent. 

Comic store owner Richard Neal of Zeus Comics in Dallas stated on his Facebook page:

"Card sits on the board of the National Organization of Marriage which fights against marriage equality. His essays advocate the destruction of my relationship, that I am born of rape or abuse and that I am equated with pedophilia. These themes appear in his fiction as well. It is shocking DC Comics would hire him to write Superman, a character whose ideals represent all of us. If you replaced the word "homosexuals" in his essays with the words "women" or "jews" he would not be hired. But I'm not sure why its still okay to "have an opinion" about gays? This is about equality."

San Francisco's Whatever comic book store also posted a message on their Facebook page stating:

"Whatever... will not be carrying the Orson Scott Card issues of Superman when they are released in print," reads the message posted to Facebook. "We refuse to give money to someone who will then turn around and use that money to fund more anti-gay hatred."

Many are shocked that DC Comics would even hire Card to pen stories for such a character like Superman. So far 11,000 signatures have been signed at AllOut.org to get Card ousted.

Despite the outrage, DC Comics is standing up for the writer and their decision to hire him, stating:

“As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself.” 

Response from the right against this boycott has also been coverd by Fox News, of course! NOM president, Brian Brown, went on air to give support to Card and voice his outrage. 

“This is completely un-American and it needs to be stopped,” Brown said on Fox. “Simply because we stand up for traditional marriage, some people feel like it’s okay to target us for intimidation and punishment.” 

Personally, I find his statement contradictory and a double-standard. It's completely AMERICAN to boycott whatever you like in this country. The fact that an organization can boycott gays and their right to be treated equal under the law and blurt out a statement like that is a bit hypocritical, don't cha think? Man, if that wasn't a lame attempt to try to spin the victim mentality around. Don't dish it out if ya can't take it.

Now, I'm not gay. I'm as straight as you can be. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass whether someone is straight or gay. It's none of my business.

I do care about freedom of expression and speech. Sure, boycott any and everything you want. It's a right in this country to do so. Card can write all he wants about his viewpoint, but it's also my right not to buy it or anything he does write...even in Superman comics.

Even though the Superman issues Card does write for may or may not have any anti-gay or anti same-sex marriage rhetoric, I can refuse to give my money to DC Comics just on the principle alone of hiring Card if I don't like the dude.

I, however, do agree that petitioning the dude out of his job is going a bit far. DC Comics has a right to hire anyone they want...a bigot, a martian, a rubber doll, whatever. But, like I said before, if it really bothers you that much, not giving DC Comics your money is petition enough. 

I also care about being treated equal under the law in this country also. I admit, I'm not the biggest gay supporter in the world. However, I have the principle that succeeding in taking away the right of another only makes it that much easier for others to take away a right of yours next time around.

Monday, February 11, 2013

NewKadia Clearance Sale Part 2! Get 20 to 25% Off!




Looks like NewKadia is having a Part 2 to their annual clearance sale, and that's just fine with me. More opportunity to get those key issue comics and save! If you haven't heard of NewKadia and looking for where to buy comics online, NewKadia is definitely a place to consider when it comes to buying comic books online.

So here's the deal. If you're a repeat costumer, you can save a nice 20% on orders of $20 to $249. Order $250 and up and get 25% off your order! Not bad, huh?

Just use the code: part2 at checkout.

I still see some really great golden, silver, and bronze age key issues to grab there. Here's just a few suggestions to consider for your collection:


Conan #1 (1970) - I'm still shocked and surprised to see this bronze age key issue still available, especially since Arnold (The Governator) Schwarzenegger has announced that he will return to the role of Conan, and that means a new Conan movie is in the works already. Check it out before the movie hype drives up the demand and value for this book.





Wonder Woman #45 - This golden age goodie is a rare find, and a low VF copy is an extremely awesome and gorgeous investment. Not a key issue, but these golden age comics of popular superhero comics are getting harder and harder to scrounge up.

If you're looking to add some golden age comics to your collection, there's no better time than to take advantage of NewKadia's Part 2 Clearance Sale and save an extra 25% on this comic. Click the link to check out this golden age comic and add it as another prized possession in your comic collection.

Amazing Spider-Man #28 - You can never go wrong with silver age Spider-Man comics, especially an issue in the lower numbers. They just keep going up and up even in lower grades. This is a key issue on top of that - The first appearance of the Molten Man. NewKadia still has two copies in the lower grades, so if you're looking to fill that gap in your collection, visit this link to check out this silver age key issue Spider-Man comic.


These are just some great comics to consider that NewKadia still have available. There's a whole lot more comics to buy online there, so visit NewKadia and save now!


Remember use the code:

part2

at check out.

You'll save 20% on orders of $20 to $249. 
And 25% on orders $250 and up!

Not sure when this sale ends! Good luck and happy huntin'!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valuable Bronze Age Comic Books! Key Issues To Get Now Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the Valuable Bronze Age Comic Books and Key Issues To Get Now! If you haven't read Part 1, don't worry. You can click the link to read that one first and come back to this.

So let's not beat around the bush and get this thing going.

(first appearance of Moon Knight)

This key issue of the first appearance of Moon Knight is getting up there in value. It's often an over-looked key, as Moon Knight has a cult following and most do gun for the first appearances of more popular characters.

As a long term investment, this comic is a good choice, and the demand for it is pretty luke warm right now even in NM grades. Will that last long? I don't think it will. It may not be a rush out and get it key at the moment, but it's definitely a key to consider.

mycomicshop has this bad boy at various grades, but the only high grade one is a CGC 9.2. 

And, of course, ComicLink has various graded and non-graded copies of this key issue bronze age comic. You can click the links above if you're on the hunt for this key issue.  

Ebay, of course, has a few copies of the 1st appearance of Moon Knight as well.



Like I said this comic is only getting more and more expensive. The demand is pretty moderate right now, but imagine if Disney/Marvel decide to do a movie or introduce this character on the big screen! You know what I'm getting at.

Uncanny X-Men #141
(Part 1 of Days of Future Past)

As most of you all already know the new, X-Men movie will be based off this storyline. I'm expecting the sequel to X-Men First Class to be epic. The new cast will be joined by the cast from the first X-Men trilogy as the story within this comic calls for.

Also, we will finally see Sentinels! No, not just a head. We'll see the X-Men from the future timeline go against the Sentinels! That is going to be awesome!

Now, this is one of my favorite X-Men comic stories of all time. It, of course, is part of the fan beloved and legendary team up run of Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne. As another legend would say, "Nuff said!"

Some awesome places to get this issue? Well, mycomicshop.com has a 9.4 unslabbed copy on auction. Only 4 days left as of this writing. You can check it out at this blue teleportation link here.

There's also a variety of copies on ebay for this bronze age X-Men key issue:

  

 
(Part 2 of Days of Future Past)
 

Part 2 of the Days of Future Past storyline! Do I really need to say anymore? I think you get the point on this one by now.

The fine folks at Newkadia have a low NM copy for this book. If this is your first time ordering from there, be sure to use the code new4 to get 20% off on this book. Not bad, huh?

Want this issue? Grab can grab it by visiting this link!

Also, mycomicshop.com has this fine bronze age comic at a low NM as well. They also have one 9.0 copy (not CGC) up for auction with 4 days left, another unslabbed 9.2 that will go up for auction in March, and a low VF for sale. Click here to add this bronze age X-Men to your collection. 

Ebay also has various graded and un-graded copies of this book as well.

 

If you're on the hunt for this issue, you know what to do. Remember the X-Men Days of Future Past comes out in 2014, and these issues are hot right now! I have a feeling it's going to be the best X-Men film ever!



As usual, this is an ongoing series, so stay tuned for part three. If you missed part one, just use the navigation below to see even more valuable bronze age comic books and key issues to get.

Part 1 | Part 2