Reminder: Garage Sale is Today

You can also consider this post a reminder that I still have no idea how to use a flash:

These and other fine books, only a quarter each. (I should mention I've got a box full of old Comics Journals, and I'm letting those go for only fifty cents each.) I'm on Cortland Avenue between Andover and Moultrie, 94110 (although this isn't the address use 515 Cortland to get a close enough fix on my location). We're going to be near the rubble of the old library, and next to the storage containmnent cube. Yes, it's a garage sale, Armagetto-style! And I hope you can turn out. We'll be there from 9 to 4.

See you there!


Time for the Garage Sale: Jeff Talks Prep and Pleads

As always, my timing sucks because I'm so happy Graeme's got a post up that I hate the idea someone might miss it with all the following hoo-ha I'm about to throw your way. So please make sure to see Graeme's post below! Thank you.

So it's time for the annual hillwide garage sale in Bernal Heights this Saturday: that means people all over the hill will be having sales in front of their homes and apartments. And it means that, once again, I will be out on Cortland Avenue with a table, a bunch of long boxes, and some embarrassingly low prices: after much consideration, I've decided to hold my prices to a quarter a book.

Google maps is being kinda dicky without map links, but here's one to my rough location: 515 Cortland Avenue, 94110.

The Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, which organizes the sale, hasn't told me the exact location, but it's somewhere on Cortland between Andover and Moultrie.

Interestingly but probably unsurprisingly, in the year since I've stopped working at CE, the number of books I've bought has diminished significantly: this is probably because not having them right in front of me for eight hours at a stretch has made them easier to resist. I'd made it a point to try and spend less on comix when I left CE but I don't think that influenced things much--more of my spending has moved toward trades, archives, and manga than the actual floppy/pamphlet/single format. (Fortunately, I'm a notoriously poor bellwether for the rest of the industry, otherwise I'd be worried for future of the singles market.) So whereas in the past few years, I've had something like eight longboxes of books for sale, currently it looks like it'll be at most five.

That said, I'm looking to get rid of a lot of duplicates and stuff that has been traded (or at least in good-enough Essential/Showcase format) from across the range of my collection. Here's three quick pictures to give you an idea of what I mean:

Although it's still a work in progress. I mean, having just picked up the HTD omnibus, I really don't need all my issues anymore, so I pulled them and put 'em in the to-sell pile. But those issues have a particular hold on me--some of them I can remember what I was eating when I read them for the first time, or where I bought them, or the quality of light in my room as I reread them for the third or fourth time--and I'm finding myself skittish about letting them go. I was always a reader, not a collector or a speculator, but I find myself wishing now I'd been more of one (I was flipping through my copy of Hulk #181 today and, sure enough, I'd clipped the stamp like a good little Marvelite), just so that the filthy lucre could provide a tipping point in this tug-of-war between my past and my present. Strangely, it's the more personal stuff--like Howard The Duck--I feel more like letting go for a quarter. It's like returning an animal to the wild or something.

Uh, anyway, that's all a long winded way of saying there are going to be some very good deals. Depending on how manic or depressive I let myself get about all this, maybe some very, very good deals. If you're in the city this weekend, please think about showing up between 9 and 4 on Saturday on Cortland between Andover and Moultrie. Introduce yourself and I'll try to press a free comic in your hands or something. Feel free to drop me an email with any questions, or leave 'em in the comments link.

What's wrong with this picture?

[Apart from the fact the only stuff I've posted on a comics review blog lately is this pictures, a movie review, and a shill about my garage sale?]

I'd opine there's something wrong with throwing these books in a quarter bin. Some of them are too recent, most of them are too expensive, and a few of them are just too good to get thrown into a big long box and let go for a quarter.

This is exactly the kind of hopping-blind anxiety I go through for the annual garage sale: usually, I start out by worrying that nobody's gonna show if I'm not making some outrageously good deals (except Joe Keatinge and Chris French, who then go on to mock me); then I move through a stage of avarice where I go and pull the books that are surely worth a bajillion (which I then check on Ebay to find, most of the time, that if I hustle I might be able to sell the books at a profit... as long as I bill out my time at about ten cents an hour), then laziness sets in and I throw most of 'em back in the box, then despair, etc. It's quite the comic book passion play, with me moving through all the stages of the long box.

Anyway, these books are definitely going out--stuff I've since gotten in trade, stuff I read and enjoyed but realized I would never read again, stuff I thought was overhyped but might be a fun read for a quarter--and I've still got to make the call on many others (since I have Promethea, Preacher and The Invisibles in trade, why am I holding on to the singles?): there's gonna be a lot of fun early '80s junk, I'll have at least one bin of supercheap toys, a long box of trades, and about 25 PS2 games that are hitting the chopping block.

Again, that's this Saturday, from 9 to 4, at approximately this location (there's about eight dopes who pay extra to sell along Cortland rather than out of their garage, and I'm one of them. Of course, they usually don't let us know until the day before the sale, if then....) and I hope you can make it. If you know me and think you can make it, drop me a line and I'll put aside something for you.

Now, if you excuse me, I've got more sorting, hauling and panicking to do...

Hooray for Pointless Shilling: Jeff Talks Garage Sale.

My intention was to be back by now with a surly review, a sweeping overview, and some general sass talk, but one of the freelance jobs I've been doing since leaving CE keeps expanding and expanding, and blotting out all my free time. But! I did want to make those of you who follow the blog that my annual garage sale is coming up on SATURDAY, AUGUST 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights.

Those of you who follow the blog or shop the store will probably remember previous years where I breathlessly blabbed about what I was selling, posted photos, and just generally begged people to show. I may actually be too busy to do that this time around (and it's not like this site is starved for content these days) but I may give you at least one picture post as I get closer to the actual date.

Because Joe Keatinge and Chris French did such a masterful job of cleaning me out last year (both years, in fact), I'm not sure yet if I'm gonna have as wide a selection as previous years. But I know I'm going to be letting go all my uncollected Walking Dead issues, probably all of my issues of 52 (I've got 52 of 'em, but whether or not I can actually find them all is another matter), stuff I talked myself into buying and regretted later (hello, City of Others!), assorted Kirby stuff I've since collected (some of the New Gods and Jimmy Olsen stuff I don't need now that I have the Omnibus, a bunch of old "Marvel Comics Presents" reprints)...all of it for a quarter apiece (or twenty cents apiece if you buy ten or more, I think). I've still got a lot of digging to do, so there'll probably be more on top of that, but that's what I'm thinking of for starters.

Additionally, I'll have manga, trades, action figures and toys, some DVDs and a freakin' buttload of cheap PS2 games since I put that electronic crack pipe in storage a few months ago. Since I no longer work at CE and pick up any number of crazy-ass things on a whim, this may be my last hurrah so if it sounds tempting you should go.

And with that, I'll return you to regularly scheduled reviewing blog and get myself set up for my 3:00 meeting. Remember, Saturday, August 18, Cortland Avenue, 9:00-4:00. It'll be worth your while.

Memoirs of an Invisible Man: A Thank You and An Update

Right. So last time you heard from me, it was several weeks ago and I was planning a garage sale. Although you might or might not care (particularly since Graeme and Hibbs have been so on top of things), I thought it'd be nice to let you know what's been up since then. First, the garage sale. Honestly, it was great. I knew all would be well when the sale's patron saints, Joe Keatinge and Chris French, showed up early and hit those longboxes like they wanted 'em to bleed. (You can find a terrifying inventory of Joe's purchases here and a more concise summation of Chris' stuff here.) Joe and Chris were the first guys at my garage sale last year, and impressed the hell out of Edi both years with how friendly, sharp and normal they are. Thanks, guys!

But also big, big thanks to everyone else who showed up: Dave Robson, Peter Wong, Sam Phillips, Ian Brill, Steve Byrne, that guy Mark, that guy Shannon, that surly dude with the mohawk who bought well over a hundred comics, and tons of others my rusty memory can't remember at the moment. It's always great seeing stuff I like go to people who are really going to appreciate it, and to be able to clear out a ton of space, get some extra money to the Bernal Heights Seniors Center, and hang with great people all at the same time? It's the closest I'm ever going to get to owning my own comic shop (because I'd run my own shop out of business in about eight weeks) and it was great. Again, thanks.

As for why I haven't posted since--well, I don't know if you remember me mentioning Secret Writing Project X, but I actually got the gig and have been up to my eyes in it ever since. I can't give you any details at the moment (and can't even say for sure when I can) but it looks like I'm not going to be able to contribute much here until the end of September. But I'm really excited by SWPX and hope, when I'm finally able to tell you about it, you will be, too. Those of you who like my humor column for the newsletter will be pleased, I think.

Okay. Back into hiding for now. I was going to do very, very fast reviews on some good recent manga (Beck Vol. 5, Monster Vol. 4, Drifting Classroom Vol. 1) but that's not going to happen at the moment. Maybe if I end up with a few spare minutes between now and Monday...

Anyway, I'm well. Hope you are, too. Real reviews from Graeme are right below if you haven't read 'em.

Last Time 'Round the Corner: My Final Garage Sale Update

Okay. Last update. I'm kinda tired and brain-dead--running a comic book store on a slow day is infinitely more tiring than running one on a busy day. Not sure what law of thermodynamics is covered by that, but it's true.

Tomorrow from 9 to 4 is the garage sale and this is my very last chance to hector you about it. It's on Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights. For those travelling by Bart/Muni, get your butts to 24th Ave. and then take any Mission bus down to Cortland Avenue (the delightful Zante Pizza is on one corner of Cortland and Mission and the even-more-delightful Spicy Bite is on the opposite corner). From there, you can either walk up the hill and over (about a ten to fifteen minute walk, depending), or you can catch a 24 Divisadero bus to take you up Cortland to where all the activity will be. It's a Hillwide Sale day to benefit the Bernal Heights Senior Center and I've heard there's 110 registered sites all over Bernal Hill--even if you're not interested in my stuff, there'll be something across the Hill for everyone.

I should be right across from the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. You can find a Google map of that location here.

The pricing is more or less straightforward. All comic books are a quarter, unless you buy 20 or more, and then they go down to twenty cents a pop. All VHS movies, Hong Kong or otherwise, are a quarter. DVDs (with very few exceptions, one of my favorite Seijun Suzuki films among them) are six dollars apiece, but if you buy 7 it's $35 and if you buy 10 it's $40. The PS2 games range between $7 to $10 and are in faboo condition. Action figures are $4 each or 3 for $10. (And yeah, hauling all that stuff from my place is gonna be FUN.)

So, you know. Stop by. Say "Hi." Some of my favorite people in the world have already said they're stopping by so it should be a great time. Hope you can join us, but have a great weekend either way!

Third Time's The Charm: Jeff's Garage Sale Update.

Stupid Picasa. I wrote two different versions of this post and both of 'em disappeared into the ether. So now you get the super-short version. Dammit.

I was a huge Hong Kong movie junkie back in the '90s and I'd be loathe to tell you what I spent on all of these movies back in the day. But I'm not watching them and they're slowly fading (and have faded) and do nobody any good sitting in a storage space. So they're going to be at the garage sale too--a quarter a piece. I can't exactly guarantee that they'll play or be watchable or anything but I think a lot of 'em will be, and a quarter isn't exactly a lot of money to gamble, not when you could end up with a full copy of Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon in your hands.

You know what else you can get for a quarter?

I was looking through all my Kirby books and realized I'd picked up a some dupes back when I was buying the books in lots. So they're in there along with all the other assorted craziness. Hopefully this will entice more of you to make the trek out to the Cortland Avenue on Saturday. A copy of Millionaire's Express and a Kirby Kamandi for fifty cents total? Back in 1995, my head would've imploded at such a concept...

Tomorrow: an update on some books, times and prices, location and bus info. See you then!

Garage Sale THIS Coming Saturday!! (Plus, Comic Book Reviews.)

First, the big news: the garage sale is this upcoming Saturday, the 19th, and I'm not even remotely prepared. I've got eight longboxes of comics still to sort through so you'll probably get an update on Thursday (and, God help you, Friday). But I can tell you this: it's not going to be in a garage. Or near a garage. It's being held on Cortland Avenue, the main strip of lovely Bernal Heights, on the block between Andover and Moultrie. (See here for a handy Google map.) Last year, nobody would've showed for my sale if it hadn't been for the awesome people who heard about it through this blog or visiting CE. This year, average passerby will have no choice but to stumble over my longboxes, tremble in awe at my cut-rate DVD collection, marvel at how much time and money I wasted on mint-on-card action figures--and pick up some mediocre but perfect condition PS2 games at the rate such items deserve. Currently, my plan for the comics is to put 'em at a quarter apiece, but I'll mark it down to 20 for $4.00, which is still a pretty good deal, and I'm gonna have a ton of dollar manga and 5 for $10 trades. Anyway, you'll get another update before it happens with bus routes and everything, but mark your calendar: Saturday, August 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., here.

Second: the comic books. Unfortunately, our giddiness over last week's hat trick found its counterpoint Friday as Hibbs, G., and me looked at the week's new comics. "You know," Hibbs said. "If these books came out last week, I doubt I could have forced myself to write reviews. Because it's all just so meh." It seems unlikely that we'll get to a hat trick this week, and if we do, it'll be because Graeme wanted to talk about "Punchy Punchy Super-Hero," I'm worried no one's gonna show up for my garage sale and I'll have thrown out my back for nothing, and Brian will want to show off Ben's burgeoning understanding of superstring theory. Poor comics. What fair-weather friends you have in the Savage Critics.

52 WEEK #14: Eric Powell drawing Metamorpho is like having some aberrant sexual fantasy fulfilled before ever realizing that you had it--I'm counting the days as to when baby's gonna draw that sexy, sexy Element Man again. The rest of the issue, though, was highly OK--I quite liked the Khandaq stuff, and the mad scientist stuff was great (although, you know, if they had set up the Metal Men stuff in the early issues, it would have been even better). All every issue needs from here on out is a new origin of Metamorpho drawn by Eric Powell and we'll be set!

ANNIHILATION #1: Can't top Graeme's hilariously on-point review, other than to say that this did work for me, not so much because of the "OMFG! Galactus!!11!" factor but that there's a jump in time between the minis and this first issue so the characters have already changed and different relationships exist than the ones originally presented--it kinda reminded me of The Two Towers section of LOTR, weirdly. So it's The Lord of the Rings meets the movie of Starship Troopers but starring every cosmic c-list Marvel character from the '70s (with underwhelming art). Good enough for me, although without (a) a Frodo character, and (b) some bitchin' maps, it may not pay off nearly as well as the set-up.

BEYOND #2: Marvel poops so many mediocre minis out of its butt, I figured this would be more of the same. But I liked Scott Kolins' art here (c'mon, you really didn't like that view of the stitched together planet, with the volcano rising out of the lake and stuff?) and Dwayne McDuffie's script keeps everything lively--again, Graeme's description of this as Secret Wars told like it was the first season of Lost is really apt. Lowish Good because I think the characters are a little too lame for my taste plus the ending makes me leery that McDuffie is gonna try the whole "No, really, my take on [character presented on last page] was awesome! Here, lemme show you again!" maneuver that comic book creators occasionally try and rarely pull off.

DEVI #2: Meet issue #2, which really should have been issue #1. There's some neat stuff here--I really like the writer's attempt to create an Indian equivalent of Gotham City where a similar mingling of past and present urban motifs creates very different results from what you see in Batman's home town--and the art is very pretty and solid in some places (and very Top Cow Studios in others). It's far from great, but it beats the hell out of that Spider-Man: India codswollop from last year. Plus? Some of the oddest fuckin' text pieces you will ever read. So, yeah, OK.

ESCAPISTS #2: The charm takes a hit in issue #2 and there's probably a lot of reasons for it--the art becomes more of a muddle, for example--but I blame the pacing, as the absurdly effortless and breezy first issue becomes a huffy-puffy affair with excerpts from the creative team's new comic, an adventure of our new Escapist, and a possible romantic triangle jammed into one issue with all the indelicacy of someone jumping up and down on their too-full suitcase. (When the only female character is suddenly prone to kissing people on cheeks to express support, you know some vital piece of the creative engine isn't working like it should.) Still fun and interesting--at the risk of sounding like a dick, I think BKV is one of the few mainstream comics writers that respects (i.e., flogs the hell out of)the power of a good metaphor as much as top-notch prose writers do--but a real let-down from last issue. OK.

MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1: Yeah, what Graeme said. Plus, why'd they give him a skrull chin? Is that a clever nod to Marvel's shapechangers, or is it just that nobody was paying attention? I also wasn't crazy about the neck brace--is J'onn faking a disability claim to soak the JLA's insurance company? Is that how angry he's become? The whole outfit made me think of poor, fat David Ogden Stiers in a cape much more than the orignal costume ever did. Crap.

MS MARVEL #6: Hmmm. What does it say about Ms. Marvel that this issue, in which she barely appears, was the most interesting so far? What does it say about the future vitality of a work-for-hire universe that the only character who wasn't a female spin-off of an established male character was The Shroud? (This book had *two* separate female Spider-Man rip-offs.) What does it say about my attention span that this is only the seventh book I've reviewed this week and it all rhetorical questions? Eh.

SECRET SIX #3: Second issue dropped off my radar but this was a Good issue, even if there's not as much "dead means dead" as I would like (and also howzabout we shoot Vandal Savage into space for a year or two, huh?). The Mad Hatter suddenly suffering from what I assume will turn out to be mercury poisoning was a neat touch, though. Yeah, Good.

SHE-HULK 2 #10: If we can't get Bobillo on the art, I'll certainly take Rick Burchett: the guy's got storytelling chops, and his slightly cartoony art is a good fit for Slott's similarly fun but well-told stories. I'm a little worried about that silver bullet Slott gave the Two-Gun Kid back in that one-shot a few issues back, and the death-dealing on the last page was a bit jarring, but chalk that up to quibblage. A high Good, if you ask me.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2: Very much a follow-up to that recent arc in USM where all the same characters (Spidey, DD, Moon Knight and Punisher) showed up and kicked each other in the head for a while (although that also had, like, Elektra, and Iron Fist and MOKF and stuff, right?). Here, more head-kicking but with a far more clever set-up and a nasty, weirdly unresonant, pay-off. Good but in a "hey, these Hostess Twinkies are fresh from the delivery truck!" kind of way.

PICK OF THE WEEK: SHE-HULK 2 #10 was fun. (Come to my garage sale.)

PICK OF THE WEAK: MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 was crap. (Come to my garage sale.)

TRADE PICK: Looks like all the goodness is smack in the 'L's this week: LITTLE LULU VOL 11, two works by the mighty Chester Brown, LITTLE MAN TP NEW PTG and LOUIS RIEL in softcover. (And on each side, LEGEND OF GRIMJACK and an all-Jeff Parker-scripted MARVEL ADVENTURES FF DIGEST). But I didn't go for the goodness, I went for PENNY ARCADE VOL 2 LEGENDS MAGIC SWORD TPB which I read and quite enjoyed--the art's still not at the point where I really fell in love with it (although they throw in a lot of extras to make up for it) but the jokes are pretty funny and I'm a slobbery fool for Tycho's writing and commentary. Also, if you haven't read them before, that second volume of ESSENTIAL MARVEL TEAM-UP has some truly horrible work in it where Gerry Conway hacked out astounding levels of campy, shoddy, goofy work (I'll never tell you how depressed reading the second part of that Spidey/Man-Wolf/Frankenstein team-up made me, decades after reading part one). But God bless Bill Mantlo, he came on like gangbusters and kept Sal Buscema inspired--I don't care what anyone says, that issue with the Sons of The Tiger is awesome--and not a single story in this volume is less than three issues, all of 'em filled to bursting with affection, charm and something kinda like talent (if you squint hard enough). It's hard for me recommend, but it's kinda impossible not acknowledge.

NEXT WEEK: By which I mean Thursday! More details about the damn garage sale! Hope you can make it!

Garage Sale Aftermath....

Essentially, it was an awesome garage sale. Admittedly, you have to kind of stretch your definition of awesome to include "cold, drizzly, and underserved by foot traffic," but if you can, then yeah, it was awesome. Blessed be to Hibbs for letting me advertise the sale here and at the store--the bulk of the people who showed up were CE customers and subs who totally bowled over Edi with how funny, polite and kind they were. Most of them seemed pretty pleased with their purchases, to the point of more or less apologizing for robbing me blind by buying so many comic books and stuff at such low prices, but I was really happy to move some stuff and see people happy at getting a good deal. (As I've said, a comic store run by me would be out of business in six months.) Randy asked in a previous thread if the parting process was painful, but that all took place before I put stuff out to be sold. Once I did, I only wanted to see it gone (with the exception of my copy of The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man, which Sam convinced me to keep). The general foot traffic totally sucked, though: not only was it a horribly cold day that threatened to rain more than once in the first few hours, but considering it was supposed to be a hillwide garage sale day for Bernal Heights, there was nobody. I actually did better business with people walking their dogs at 9:00 a.m. than I did through registering through the neighborhood center for this community event. And I found out later that Cortland, the main street of Bernal, was apparently the place to be, with dealers staking out big sections of sidewalk and hawking their wares, and customers skipping from dealer to dealer with money all but falling out of their pockets. All that careful assembly of sets to appeal to the non-comics reader? Basically wasted. Grrr.

But, to get back to the point, I sold at least 1200 comics, half a dozen complete sets, about forty to fifty graphic novels, and cleared away four longboxes, thanks to Joel, Josh, their buddy who had worked all night (Chris, maybe?), Frank (the only one who showed up with a car and cleared away a longbox and a half all by himself), Robson, Sam, Brian, the Hibbs familia, and a couple of great passerby. This leaves me pretty well situated to try moving some stuff through Ebay after the wedding and the holidays and stuff.

Okay, work is a bit crazy today. Let's see if I can get out any reviews of something at some point...

Last Freakin' Garage Sale Update...

Because tomorrow is the big sale, and at the moment I'm trying to figure out if I should put prices on some of these odds and ends, like memory cards and stuff, or if that's just dumb. I'm really, really glad there are people like Hibbs who can do what they do, because if I was running a comic book store? It'd make it maybe a year, tops. I mean, I was glad to spend three bucks on the seventh issue of Shanna so I can now bag it with the other issues and sell the whole set tomorrow for six bucks. That's a hard thing to type knowing Brian is going to fall off his chair laughing when he reads it, but it's true. Another step I'm taking to make sure the whole realm of financial dumb-assedness is covered are trade paperbacks. I'm not actually selling that many of them, between fifty and sixty tops, but I'm pricing them at $3.00 apiece or 5 for $10. Some of this includes manga I didn't much care for (seeya, Heat Guy J!) but also some that I dearly love (seeya, first two volumes of Tezuka's Black Jack!), as well as stuff like Swamp Thing: Love and Death, Flash: The Death of Barry Allen, two different Jim Mahfood Grrl Scouts trades, Jack Staff, Stray Bullets, and others. I'm trying to make a garage sale that I've always wanted to go to and, apart from that one where I bought a hardcover first volume of Love & Rockets for a dollar, never have. Hopefully, some of you will want to attend as well.

Okay. So for the last time: This Saturday, the 13th, from 9:00 to 5:00 at 3225 Folsom Street, 94110. Edi said the tiny URL ( of the googlemap was inexact but it's still working fine for me. I planned out the trip on Muni through and you can see that list of what Bart and Muni busses to catch at In an earlier comments thread, pal Dave Robson also suggested either catching the J Church to Cesar Chavez and then hiking or bussing his way along that to Folsom, or catching the 22 to Folsom and then catching the 12. He says that should work, and I have no reason to doubt him.

Reviews on my end may be spotty but I figure I'll post something by Monday morning. I spent most of the day reading Alex Robinson's Tricked and maybe I'll be able to say a thing or two about my reaction to it then. But mainly I hope to be hanging out and selling comic books, and I hope I'll see some of you tomorrow.

And as I said previously, you can write me at pig.latin AT if you have any questions you don't want to leave in comments.

Thanks and have a good weekend!

Another Garage Sale Update....

Yes, another one. Don't worry. By Saturday night, this will all be over. So more cling-wrapping for sets, but I also decided to follow Hibbs' advice. He said if I wanted to guarantee that the stuff moves I should mark it ten for a buck. I kinda didn't want to do that considering the money I've spent on this stuff over time but then again, I want to sell it on Ebay even less. So I do hope some of you are planning on stopping by, because the post office's loss is your gain. I've got over seven long boxes of comics that are a dime apiece, and I think it's a pleasing mix of good, bad and indescribable. Those of you who remember how little I liked Mark Millar's run on MK Spider-Man, for example, will be pleased to know I'm selling all twelve issues of that for a dime apiece; a very large number of Waid's Fantastic Four and JMS's Amazing Spider-Man are in there, as is stuff I quite like but have replaced with trades, like Reload and Ministry of Space by Ellis, Ennis issues of Hellblazer, Fables, Boneyard, Age of Bronze, and a lot, lot more.

I also have a weird mix of older comix, not in mint condition or anything, but still well worth more than a dime, including an issue of Kirby's OMAC, Uncanny X-Men issues from around #175, a few obscure 100 page giants, that Baxter paper collection of Kirby's New Gods from the early '80s, a smattering of Master of Kung-Fu, and a oddly large number of issues of Spider-Woman.

After deciding to do the dime longboxes, I'm now worried that the sets are overpriced although they're mainly to appeal to people who want a complete story or set of stories in pack, which is why I'm selling the entire run of Burns' Black Hole for $10(!, if I do say so myself), the entire run of Global Frequency for $6.00, and the first two Blue Monday minis (plus one-shots) for $4.00. I've got more sets to make this evening (and probably tomorrow after work) but a lot of them are loose aggregations of Simpsons comics, or other things local parents might buy for their kids, and a few more things I'm trying to work out.

The two problem sets, both pricing and packaging, are the entire run of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, and Knights of the Dinner Table #46-104. I have no idea how to price them, and no idea, because of their size, how to package them. If you have any idea particularly as to a good price point, leave 'em in the comments.

God. With each sentence of this entry, I'm realizing there is not enough beer in the house to get all this done.

So there you have it. this Saturday, the 13th, from 9:00 to 5:00 at 3225 Folsom Street, 94110. Edi said the tiny URL ( of the googlemap was inexact but it works fine for me and I'm wondering if it's because she's using Safari as her browser. I planned out the trip on Muni through and you can see that list of what Bart and Muni busses to catch at And as I said previously, you can write me at pig.latin AT if you have any questions you don't want to leave in comments.

Okay. Off to do something about that beer situation....

In Which Jeff Advertises His Upcoming Garage Sale...

The battle with cling wrap continues...or will be, shortly. It's already past two and I've pissed most of the day away watching G.I. Samurai (an old fave I just discovered was on DVD last night) and The Wicker Man, an old copy of which I discovered digging through my stuff. A great double-feature, but it doesn't bind up the ol' JLA/Avengers miniseries in cling wrap, unfortunately.... Anyway, what follows is the text that I posted to the garage sale section of Craigslist just now. Fortunately I can do stuff here that I couldn't or wouldn't on Craigslist and can give you both a tinyURL for the googlemaps location of the sale, and an email address in case you have any questions. I hope if you're in S.F. that day you'll think about coming by--I'm really trying to get rid of a lot of stuff and I'm throwing in some great loss leaders (if you ever wanted to boast about buying a Criterion DVD for less than $10, this would be your chance):

Comics! Toys! Video Games! All the stuff that makes life worth living—is being sold off at Jeff Lester's garage sale!

Come 'round 3225 Folsom (Two blocks up the hill from Cesar Chavez) on Saturday August 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to help make room for a new life of marital bliss.

Perfect condition PS2 games for $7! Mint on Card action figures for $4! Hellboy and Grendel action figures $5, mint on card! Godzilla playsets for $2! True Crime Cards! Sin City lunchbox for $4! A complete run of Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol—for less than cover price! Sets of: Bendis' Daredevil! Simpsons Comics! An entire run of New Avengers for less than half cover! Real Kirby! Faux Kirby And (God help me) hundreds more!

Where: 3225 Folsom (off Cesar Chavez) Google map at:

When: Saturday, August 13th 9:00a.m.-5:00 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Questions? Feel free to email me at pig.latin AT

See you there!!

Short, Cranky and Mildly Panderous: Jeff's Reviews of 08/03/05 Books.

First, let’s be clear on one thing: I freakin’ hate cling wrap and I hope the sonuvabitch who invented it is burning in a sizeable fiery pit right now. The only thing cling wrap is good for is sticking to cling wrap, and it’s only good for that when you don’t want it to do so (when you first tear it off the roll, for example). Otherwise, you can crease it against another piece of wrap all you want and have nothing to show for it except heightened blood pressure and a newly found compulsion to throw oneself out a window. I’m having a garage sale on Saturday the 13th, and I’m trying to make sets for it—like the sets Hibbs packages and sells at the store—and I thought I could save some time by just wrapping the books in cling wrap and tape. Sure, they’d look a little cheaper but it’d be much faster, right? In fact, they look horrible and I think it might actually take an undexterous idiot like me even longer because, damn it, I’m using cling wrap.

And, yes, this is my awkward way of advertising my garage sale, and I’ll continue to do so throughout the week, complete with address and everything: since nuptials are impending, I thought it’d be a good idea to try and clear out the stuff sitting around in storage, comix, graphic novels, sets (including a complete run of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol), PS2 games, DVDs (I know, those don’t take up much storage but a man’s got to have his loss leaders), and some lovely mint-on-card action figures from the days when I was also a psychotic toy hoarder. If you’re in the San Francisco area this Saturday the 13th and you wanted to buy some good stuff at very cheap prices, I hope you’d consider dropping by. A portion of the proceeds go to the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center Senior Services Program, to boot.

Second, I didn’t read shit this weekend so reviews will be slight. It was just too busy on Friday, and I was a big ol’ boozed up shmoozer as a ton of people dropped by to hang out, and, as has been the case the last couple of weeks, the superhero mainstream just hasn’t interested me very much. Honestly, the first thing I sat down and read, in the morning while it was still quiet? Aaron McGruder’s new Boondocks collection, Public Enemy #2 (which, unsurprisingly, was awesome). And I kept telling myself that it was the clever cutting humor of Aaron McGruder that was keeping me from tackling all the week’s releases and I’d dig in a little later in the afternoon, but…the anecdotal evidence suggests I am on the opposite end of the spectrum with regard to DC and Marvel’s current output. Lots of people are happy with the product, and a lot of it seems to be flying off the shelves and yeah, okay, that’s a good thing. But will I bother to keep reading books (even for free on Fridays) if I don’t really care? Should I even post reviews here if that continues to be the case? Believe it or not, I don’t write these reviews merely to keep my snark finely honed.

So, in brief:

DETECTIVE COMICS #809: Oh, for fuck’s sake. One of the problems, I think, between die-hard fans and creators who work on mainstream superheroes is the dreaded “out of character” problem. If the fans see one of the main characters do something that doesn’t strike them as consistent, they’ll say “so-and-so is acting out of character.” The creators, should they choose to respond, might say something like, “Oh, no, no, no. This is entirely consistent with how I’ve portrayed the character for blank number of issues and is the center of the arc I’ve constructed for the character overall, and I even checked with the book’s editor who assured me it was fine, and, really, it’s the company’s character so if they approve it, it automatically is in character, right?” And then there’s either a flamewar or the die-hard fans go off to was their hands three hundred times and comb their hair for forty minutes, and the creators go off to eat their dinner of Cup of Noodles and hope the landlord doesn’t come ‘round trying to collect the rent again.

But I think we can all agree that Batman altering a crime scene to shift the blame from himself is out of character. And why? Because, if for no other reason, it wouldn’t work. Taking batarangs out of wounds and inserting knives instead? Changing the blood or paint smears so it doesn’t read ‘snitch’? Changing the chord the person was killed or hanged with? A crime scene technician is going to be able to tell the difference in a second. I can’t even believe anyone, in this day and age of CSI: Bandcamp, would think a general public could suspend disbelief for that.

Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think Batman would do it anyway, nor would he suddenly start blasting at bad guys with a shotgun—but at the very, most basic level, it’s just wrong and dumb, and that itself is out of character. I mean, really. Awful.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #34: This, by contrast, ended up reading like the freakin’ Aeneid. I love Kano’s take on Batman, the writing is smart and clever, and I didn’t have to clutch my head in pain at all. A high Good.

HIP FLASK MYSTERY CITY: God damn, I love Ladronn’s art: if there’s anyone who can get you to take a hippopotamus private eye seriously, it’s him. So this issue looks gorgeous, but does it go anywhere? In fact, it tries to go everywhere at once, which gives it the feeling of going nowhere. If it was being published with anything like regularity, and if I thought I’d be reading the next issue, say, a month from now instead of somewhere in 2006, that “everywhere at once” quality might work in its favor (something about its incoherence reminded me a little bit of Chandler). But as it stands now, it’s like a pricey stapled art portfolio with diaphanous word balloons. OK because, man, Ladronn’s art, man.

JSA #76: You know, for a page or two there, I thought we were gonna get something different than “OMAC flies off and disappears.” Nope. These OMACs have gotta be the greatest invention for superhero comic writers since the heydays of the bank robbers/muggers on page two. Actually, OMACs are even better since you don’t have to give them any personality whatsoever. To be fair, this was the most interesting OMAC fight I’ve seen yet, but that isn’t the glowing commendation I wish it was. OK.

JUSTICE #1: May be worth it just for the panel of Green Arrow standing defeated as the building he’s shot his cable arrow into collapses. “Hell.” “I love you, Green Arrow.” That was both hilarious and poignant in a way the rest of this wasn’t. It looks great, sure, but when half the issue is a dream sequence and half the issue is frickin’ Aquaman, it better, you know? It’s a great way to eyeball some Alex Ross art on the cheap, but I was kind of hoping he and Kreuger would also work some of the same magic they brought to Earth X. Oh, well. OK.

NEW AVENGERS #8: For some reason, this kind of reminded me of an M. Night Shyamalan movie: lovely looking, languorously paced. I’ve got some axes to grind but, compared to previous issues, they’re very, very small axes. I’ll say OK.

PVP #0: One the one hand, you can’t really complain about a fifty cent comic. But I do think Scott didn’t do himself any favors here—the strip selection seemed particularly haphazard, bits and pieces from continued storylines where the punchlines worked much better in context. There’s also a new piece, Skull’s origin story, that works much better but, again, only if you know the characters. A nice perk for established fans, I guess, but as an intro to new readers? Eh, at best.

SUPERMAN #220: So Superman can see people’s souls, eh? He has super-soulvision, does he? That is so stupid and wrong-headed I don’t know where to begin. I mean, how does he know that they are souls? What if what he’s seeing is the terrifying absence of a soul, a miasmatic aura that shows how human beings are separated from the unified soulfulness of an animistic universe? It’s one thing for a mystical hero like Raven to see Superboy’s soul. It’s another for Superman to have super-soulvision—it’s just unnecessary and dumb, like “check-balancing breath” and all those other useless powers strewn around in the Golden and Silver Ages. The rest of the issue was nothing to write home about, but super-soulvision? Oy. Awful.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #81: Not quite as strong as last issue, but a decent read nonetheless. I have to admit my memories of the issue are pretty dim, though: why were Ultimate Shang-Chi and Ultimate Iron Fist in the issue again? Good.

UNCANNY X-MEN #463: Unfortunately, no matter how drastically reality changes, characters written by Chris Claremont still read like characters written by Chris Claremont. Ugh. But Alan Davis art’s involved, so OK.

WILDSIDERZ #1 (OF 5): It’s great that J. Scott Campbell draws his influences from more than just superhero comics—unfortunately, those influences are toy commercials and Saved By The Bell episodes. Kinda sad because I can see how he might have ended up the next great Mad Magazine artist, but I’m sure the toy commercial/Saved by the Bell IP thing has a better chance of paying off big for him. Eh.

TRADE PICK: Lot of very nice stuff this week—I’m having a blast with DC’s Greatest Imaginary Stories, and I also plunked down the coin for the John Romita Sr. Visionaries HC which, for me, is worth it just for that beautifully recolored “Spider-Man No More!” page. And I already mentioned how much I liked Aaron McGruder’s new Boondocks collection, right?

But really, it’s all about Top Ten: The Forty-Niners OGN, which is a great read and well worth the pricey coin: it looks beautiful, it reads great, it has all sorts of bits and pieces that resonate with the first Top Ten miniseries, but it also stands on its own as a tour through a world of wonder and a journey of awakening. There’s a super-cynical part of me that wonders if DC/Wildstorm made this an OGN because the subject material made them uncomfortable and the higher price point would act as its own censor (this was clearly written as a four issue miniseries), but even if so, that’s the only real fault I can find with it. A really wonderful read, and resting at the top of the Very Good rating.

PICK OF THE WEEK: If you haven’t the money to spare, Gotham Central #34 or Ultimate Spider-Man #81. Otherwise, head straight to Top Ten: The Forty Niners OGN: how perfectly goddamn delightful it all is, to be sure. (Yes, I’m sure I’m going to hell for not using that phrase sarcastically…)

PICK OF THE WEAK: Hmm, super-soulvision or crime tampering? Crime tampering or super-soulvision? Tough call, tough call indeed. I’ll go with both Detective Comics #809 and Superman #220 because, dammit, these heroes are supposed to be the icons, you know?