Table of Contents
02 Some People are Just Crazy
03 My Pet Peeve
04 He is the Son of Thunder
05 Robots and Comics
06 Top Ten List
07 Ad of the Month
08 What's New on the Web Site?
09 Is Aunt May Really Back?
10 Creating Heroes the
Rob Leifeld Way
11 Question of the Month
We are slowly nearing our tenth issue of Just Newsprint! There has been
a slow, but moderate growth in the size of the newsletter. The
readership is going up each issue and so is the mail! It seems that
there is a small, but growing population of comic fans who want nothing
more than to read comics. They are tired of the gimmicks, tired of the
limited edition books, tired of comics series starting over and over
again. They want something that the industry doesn't offer anymore,
quality stories with quality art at a fair price. In this new era of
comics, you either get a good story or good art. Usually you get
neither. When a book comes along that offers both, then you pay through
the nose for it. Kingdom Come was a prime example. You had a great story
and tremendous art and it was expensive! So many of them thanked me for
a newsletter that dealt with fun and affordable comics. Not the ones
that everyone is asking for, but the ones that you can buy with your
pocket change. So here is another offering of the no frills newsletter
for people who read their comics and think investments should be made
with a broker and not a comic dealer.
People are Just Crazy
I still remember the day when I received a huge letter in the mail at my
old comic store. This letter was many, many pages long and it was all
about how Marvel was stealing ideas from DC Comics. This person (I
cannot remember his name) went on and on and on about each character,
story, etc... that Marvel had done and was similar to one DC had done.
There were literally thousands of examples. Sometimes I wish I had kept
it as it would have made for some humorous reading on the net.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I responded to the letter. I asked
him if he ever considered how many ideas that DC may have borrowed from
Marvel and how many of the heroes and stories were very similar to stuff
done in mythology and in modern fiction. There are only so many
different story possibilities and everything has some similarities to
other previous work, whether intentional or not. Of course, I never
received a response. I guess I really didn't expect one as most people
who put this much effort into something are usually very narrow minded.
Well, the moral of the story is quite simply to enjoy your comics and
don't take them this serious. Once you lose sight of their original
intent, then they will cease to be a source of entertainment.
I attend alot of comic shows. If there is a comic show in the area, odds
are I will be there. Well, when I attend these shows, there is one thing
that really irks me. That is dealers who don't price their comics. You
start looking through the boxes and come across a book you want and ask
the dealer how much. What do they do? They pull out the latest price
guide and quote you a price. Once I see the price guide come out, I
politely put the book back and say "not interested". Most of the time,
the dealer could care less. But one time I had a dealer yell at me. He
said "Why did you bother asking for the price if you aren't going to buy
it?". I responded "Maybe if you priced your comics, then I wouldn't have
to bother you". In an angry response he came back with a less than
clever retort "What do you want me to do, give my books away?" Trying to
keep from laughing (it is hard to make your point if you are cracking
up), I responded "If I wanted to pay full retail, I could go to a comic
store and bypass the entrance fee of a comic show. I come here to look
for bargains and obviously there are none at this table". I then walked
away as he stood there fuming, but speechless.
I don't have a problem with dealers charging the full value for their
comics, but I cannot stand dealers who will not price their books. When
I go to a show, my time is valuable and I want to get around as quickly
as possible. I like to comparison shop and look for the best prices.
Since most shows around here have no guests, the only reasons to pay the
admission price is for the selection and hopefully the deals. There are
numerous dealers who take time to price their books. But occasionally
there is the greedy, for lack of a better term, dealer who will not
price them. They fear that they may sell a book for below guide price.
They may actually give a person a deal. Perish the thought!
Well, this policy of not pricing comics has reached the internet. I have
found a few comic sites that have a list of comics on the site and no
price. They will ask for you to email them to inquire a price. Maybe it
is me, but who would buy from someone who will not give you the price up
front? I don't expect everyone to be as crazy as me and have 50,000
books listed and priced on their site, but expecting the books you have
listed to be priced seems reasonable to me. I did talk to one dealer who
did this and his reasoning was that he didn't want people to go around
and comparison shop. He said this stopped people from finding better
deals. I asked him what he did when they requested a price. He said he
would send it to them. I then asked him if he thought they wouldn't then
go and comparison shop after they received the price. Of course he had
no response to this. Gotta love some people's logic.
One thing that people will learn is that the internet is not the
promised land it is made out to be. Just because you put a site up, does
not mean people will come to it. Just because you put up products does
not guarantee sales. Unless you are selling a one of a kind item or
something very, very rare, then you are in competition with other stores
on the net. Just like at a comic show, people are going to comparison
shop and unless you offer some other service that noone else does, the
people are going to generally buy from the lowest priced dealer. I hear
over and over again how people tell tales about how you can put stuff up
on the internet at whatever price you want and people will buy it.
Visions of getting full book or better stream through their heads, much
like the poor and destitute immigrants viewed America as a country with
the streets paved of gold. But the reality is that is not the case. If
anything, the internet is a buying paradise for comic fans. You have
tons of stores to choose from and new ones sprouting up every day. Books
that you could never find in the past are now only a few clicks away. If
anything, the internet should be a place to find affordable comics. With
the very minimal overhead, it is a great place for someone to setup shop
and they have an unlimited amount of people to sell to. Every day there
are approximately 50,000 new people signing onto the internet in the USA
alone. If the number of comic fans is at 1%, that means there are 500
new comic fans entering the internet every day. Over the course of a
year, that is 185,000 new comic fans on the internet. That is more
people than most comics stores see in a given year, in most cases alot
Now that I did my best Rosanna Danna impression and got way off the
subject, I will wrap this up. Quite simply, there are alot of
competition for your dollar on the internet and at shows. I feel that
you should be selective in your purchases and demand more from dealers.
Let them know that just posting a handful of comics on the net is not
enough. Let them know you expect quick service, fair prices and
frequently updated websites. Remember you have many choices and if one
person cannot fulfill your needs, there are many more dealers who are
willing to do it. Dealers like myself (you knew a shameless plug was
He is the Son of Thunder
If you read that title and thought we were talking about Thor, then you
need to read a few more comics. Thor is the god of thunder, not the son.
The son of thunder as he is called is Arak. This is one of those
interesting concepts that made for an interesting comic book.
Arak was a native American (as they are politically called) who went
adrift and was found by the Vikings and taken back to medieval Europe.
As they put it in the book "It is the age of darkness, between the fall
of Rome and the rise of modern civilization". So you have a native
American in the white man's world. This is their first exposure to one
such as Arak and he finds the world quite different from the one he has
The book is alot like Conan, with Arak being the part of Conan. They are
both physical specimens who are stronger and more deadly than the
average man. Both their fighting skills are unparalleled and they both
live in a world of magic and monsters. To make the stories more
interesting, they placed Arak in a world that is teeming with the
creatures of myths.
After some adventures, Arak teams up with Valda, a female warrior and
Satyricus a Satyr. They end up on pirate ships, in cities and even the
Mount Olympus. Arak's main weapon is his hand axe, though he uses a
sword and dagger almost as well. As the book goes on, they decide to
give Arak a new look and adds a mohawk. Guess they want to keep him
Overall, the book is a good blend of action and story. While they aren't
deep and involved stories, they are quite enjoyable. There is a good mix
of monsters and the writing by Roy Thomas is quite good. If you are a
fan of shows like Hercules and Xena or of comics like Conan and Kull,
then this would be up your alley. They are quite affordable and can be
found at most shows in the bargain bins. We sell them for fifty cents an
issue, a low price for good entertainment.
One of the longest running villains and heroes in comics is robots. From
the early days of comics to the modern comics, robots have always played
a large part. Most times they are a villain for the heroes to battle.
They are usually bent on destroying mankind and controlling the world.
Some do it under the command of others and others have either
reprogrammed themselves or some action changes their programming.
Most times, robots are given little to no personality. They are cold,
emotionless beings with a single objective. Robots like Ultron are there
solely for evil. Other robots (and androids as I lump them both
together) like Machine Man and Vision are more complex and actually
begin to take on personalities as they grow as characters. They show
that the robot does not have to be so limited.
Then there is Magnus the Robot Hunter. From the beginning, he was
trained by a robot to fight robots who have gone bad. Magnus would go
and preach against the dependence on robots. He wanted people to do
things for themselves, but they never listened. In the newer series, Jim
Shooter wrote a deeper story about the robots uniting to overthrow
mankind. They viewed the destruction of a robot as murder. This put a
whole new spin on the robot theme as they were given feelings of
remorse. This was one step closer to making them almost human.
While robots have come along way from the fifties when stories like "Robotmen
of the Lost Planet" made them more one dimensional to the stories of
today where some robots like Vision have even gone on to marry a human,
there is still a long way to go. I feel that the robot as a character in
comics is one who still has alot of possibilities. Who knows, the next
popular comic character just may be a robot!
Top Ten Robots in Comics
Well to go with the story above, I decided to dedicate this top ten list
to the synthetic life forms that occupy our comics. To make things more
interesting, I bypassed robots that were originally conceived in other
mediums like television and movies. It would be too easy to list robot
and androids like R2D2 and Data. So my robots are the top ones from
comics! See how many you agree with and which ones you think were left
off. Remember this is just my list, your may differ greatly.
10. Jocasta-This female robot who hung out with
the Avengers was a decent character, but one who never was fully
9. Metal Men-A whole group of robots that were
each based on a different metal type. A fun little book that was quite
8. Machine Man-From his start in 2001 to his
battles with the Incredible Hulk and his own series, this is one robot
who never received his just dues. While not a great solo character, he
could be a worthwhile asset to a team.
7. Ultron-One of the best villains the Avengers
ever faced. Later is showed him linked to Wonderman.
6. Wonderman-Speaking of Wondie, here he is at
#6. One of the few characters who died in comics and has stayed dead.
5. Robotman-One of the main characters of the
Doom Patrol, he provided leadership and stability to an unstable team.
He became even more interesting in the later Grant Morrison issues. I
know that technically he isn't a robot, with the human brain and all,
but with a name like Robotman, how can I leave him off the list.
4. Human Torch-The android from the Invaders was
a good comrade and someone who would not allow the Nazis to take over
3. Red Tornado-The long time member of the
Justice League, he longed to be accepted. With his courage and tornado
making ability, he proved himself time and time again.
2. Sentinels-These grim and very large robots
are a constant threat to the X-Men and always serve as a worthwhile
1. Vision-This is one character who has been
transformed many times. From a villain to a hero, he became an integral
part of the Avengers. Then he married the Scarlet Witch and everything
seemed alright. Before you know it, he was turned back to a cold,
uncaring being. Poor guy, they just keep messing with him.
Ad of the Month
This month's ad is one for the book "Powerman and Iron Fist". I picked
this one because you have to appreciate a comic that realizes no one is
bothering to read it and plead with you to read it. Click on the ad to
go to a much larger version. It is quite simple and effective (though it
wasn't effective enough to save the series).
What's New on the Web Site?
As is the case, I keep adding more and more to the web site. While I
didn't add as much to the comic section as I would have liked to, there
were some additions. So here they are:
1. More comic ads-After a hiatus with almost
no new ads being added, I have gone into full swing and added a handful.
I hope this is just the start of adding more and more in the near
future. Look for a "new" animation next to the link to see which ones
are the new ones.
2. More Comic Addresses-Last month, I was only
up to the letter "E" in the comic addresses for all the comic companies.
Well, I have made some more progress as I am now up to the letter "N"! I
hope to finish it this month. If you want to see any added that I have
missed, please send me the information and I will be glad to add them.
Is Aunt May Really Back?
While I don't keep up with new comics anymore, I do hear stuff
occasionally and one of the things I heard is that the recently
deceased, Aunt May is back. Is this true? If it is, why can't Marvel
leave anyone dead? If there is one character who we really didn't need
back, it was Aunt May. I wish they would just leave her dead. How many
times must poor Peter grieve his aunt before they lay her to rest for
good? This is bordering on cruel.
Marvel, please rethink this and let the poor lady stay dead. While
some characters are too vital to stay dead (AKA: Mr. Fantastic and Dr
Doom), Aunt May is not one of them. She played her role in the
development of Peter Parker and Spiderman and her wheat cakes are
legendary, but it is time to do the right thing and let her rejoin Uncle
Ben in heaven.
Creating Heroes the Rob Leifeld Way!
One of the least asked questions in comics is "How does Rob Leifeld come
up with all those heroes and villains?" His endless flow of characters
also intrigued us, so we sent out our crack spy, R.U. Serious to
investigate. He compiled all the information and we went over it. With
this shocking information in hand, we put together this piece aptly
titled "How to Create a Superhero in Minutes! Just Like Rob "501"
Leifeld." This will surprise all of you who have high regards for this
comic phenom (all two of you, if you go by the Youngblood sales). So now
you can become the next Rob Leifeld (real high aspirations) and appear
on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."
Step 1-CREATING A CHARACTER
When Rob needs another character, he does one of two things; he either
consults his Zoo cards or he opens the Dictionary. For our character, we
looked through the zoo cards and chose the cow.
Step 2-NAMING THE CHARACTER
Since Cowman would sound dumb (even by Leifeld standards), we pulled out
the handy Thesaurus and looked up cattle. After looking over the list of
related words, we chose the name bullocks (actually means a castrated
bull, but his fans aren't going to bother looking up the word). That
isn't enough, we need a better name. We could always stick to the tried
and true formula and add either black or blood to the characters name.
Well, the "Black Bullocks" sounds dumb and "Blood Bullocks" sounds too
painful. We will find a new name, but in comic tradition (Blue Beetle,
Red Ronin, Peter Parker, etc...) we will make sure they both start with
the same letter. We chose the "Brash Bullock."
Step 3-DESIGNING THE CHARACTER
This may shock you, but we have found out why almost all of Rob's
characters look alike. No, it isn't his art style, rather it is a handy
device called the "Mighty Men & Monster Maker". With this nifty little
device, you just put together a head, body and legs from a variety of
different ones. Change on plate and you have a new character. After you
figure out which one you want, use colored pencils to trace over him and
voila, a character.
Step 4-TOUCH UP
Now go and add those little touches that make your character unique and
so they look different enough so no one
figures out your secret. Add plenty of meaningless spikes and chains,
cause they are so cool. We also added ridiculously long horns (so they
would get knocked off if he entered any doorway). Now repeat the process
six more times and you have a team comic.
Since Rob doesn't worry too much about it, you shouldn't either. So we
made up a list of eleven different origins. All you do is roll two six
sided dice (take them out of the Monopoly game) and use the
corresponding origin. We even included a sample hero who has used that
1-Create an original origin.
2-Bitten by a radioactive creature. (Spiderman)
3-Powers bestowed by otherworldly being or is an alien. (Silver Surfer)
4-Born with them (X-Men)
5-Found mystical object that bestowed powers. (Thor)
6-Built armor/device that gives powers. (Iron Man)
7-Stole or borrowed armor/device from other hero/villain. (Crossfire)
8-Government project. (Captain America)
9.Freak accident dealing with chemicals or radiation. (Flash)
10-Magic, voodoo, or other mystical source. (Dr. Strange)
11-Consumed or exposed to special formula. (Lizard)
12-Tragic event forces person to become hero/villain. (Batman)
Well, now you have your next big character. Just waste, err... use your
life savings to bring out the book and watch the money come rolling in.
See you on the next edition of "Lifestyles of the Poor and Destitute."
Question of the Month
Last month, I actually received a few replies to my question. I received
one for the Sandman Seasons of the Mist, two votes for the Watchmen, two
votes (not counting mine) for Kingdom Come and one vote for Marvels. Not
overwhelming, but some response is better than none. This month's
question will hopefully garner a few more responses.
What Comic book character that hasn't had a movie, would you
like to see a movie made about them?
I personally would like to see a movie made starring Green Lantern. With
the new technology, they could really make the power ring look good and
be very creative. Imagine the scenes with the Guardians of OA and some
epic battles with Sinestro. This could be a great movie (especially
since DC is doing it and doesn't cut corners like Marvel).
Well, this has been the largest issue to date! I am finally getting into
a groove and hopefully next issue will be a little bigger. I am still
hoping for some submissions and it is a great way to see your name in
print. Check back in a month and we will be doing the landmark tenth