Thursday 3 December 2009

Cutting Comics Cavalcade

Here's what I did getted this week:

Dark Avengers Annual #1
Mighty #11
Siege: The Cabal

Pretty pathetic, huh? Three comics. I passed on Blackest Night Wonder Woman #1 (as noted before, I've been giving Blackest Night a wide berth for various reasons, but the prospect of Greg Rucka – who penned an excellent run on Wonder Woman earlier this decade – writing this three-issue miniseries piqued my interest; a quick flick through at the comic shop extinguished said interest, as it just looked like one long underwritten fight scene); Marvels Project #4 (Ed Brubaker-written, but shockingly tedious thus far, and this issue didn't look any better); Torch #4 (I actually forgot to get this, only realising once I'd left the shop, but on reflection I doubt I'll miss it; Mike Carey's take on the Mad Thinker has been fun, but I think the Thinker – hey! – has now exited the series, stage left. As have I); and Uncanny X-Men #518 (I've simply lost interest).

All of which, combined with managing to read two of the three comics I bought on the fifteen minute train ride home and a chance stumble-across on the interweb, got me slightly nostalgic for, of all things, late-1990s superhero comics, specifically the post Heroes Reborn Marvel comics, more specifically the second Busiek/Perez Avengers run. Those were some great old skool comics, where loads of stuff happened every issue, or at least seemed to happen, or at least did in my memory of them. Whereas now, I can read Siege: The Cabal in seven minutes and be treated to what basically amounts to a board meeting for supervillains (and a boring one at that) interrupted by some half-arsed fightage and destructionage. Brilliant.

So now I want to go back and read some of those Busiek/Perez Avengers issues, but I have a feeling I flogged them a few years ago. Maybe I'll check next time I'm at my folks' (most of my comics collection is in their loft), but I don't think I'll find them.


Well I Never Knew That Dept.

As noted on Bleeding Cool, a new biography of Patricia Highsmith reveals that Highsmith did a stint at the coalface of comics. Blimey. It's entirely possible that this information is in the biography of Highsmith I'm currently reading, Beautiful Shadow, but I haven't got very far with it yet. Anyway, a quick search on t'web (apart from bringing up Existential Ennui as one of the hits when you google "Patricia Highsmith comics" – not much bloody use to anyone there, including me) turned up this:

"Living in New York City and Mexico between 1942 and 1948, [Highsmith] wrote numerous comic book stories, turning out two stories a day for $55-a-week paychecks. With Nedor/Standard/Pines (1942-43), she wrote Sgt. Bill King stories and contributed to Black Terror. For Real Fact, Real Heroes and True Comics, she wrote comic book profiles of Einstein, Galileo, Barney Ross, Edward Rickenbacker, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. David Livingstone and others. In 1943-45 she wrote for Fawcett Publications, scripting for such Fawcett Comics characters as Golden Arrow, Spy Smasher, Captain Midnight, Crisco and Jasper. She wrote for Western Comics in 1945-47."

Right then. A-hunting we will go...

Tuesday 1 December 2009


I almost forgot. Also waiting for me yesterday when I got home was a 1958 Pan reprint of Casino Royale. Another eBay bargain. Here it is:

The Ripley Collection

So, I now have first editions of all the Ripley sequels. The final one, The Boy Who Followed Ripley, turned up yesterday, a really lovely Heinemann first edition purchased via AbeBooks for very little indeed. AbeBooks is quite the resource – it's an aggregate of online booksellers, and pretty much any book you care to name is on there. Anyway, here are those covers in full:

And not forgetting my Pan paperback edition of The Talented Mr. Ripley:

Monday 30 November 2009


Just filled two holes (ooer) in my collection by winning first editions of Kingsley Amis's James Bond Dossier and Book of Bond, a job lot on eBay, for less than it would've cost for one of the books on their own. Splendid.