Tag Archive: marvel comics


BatmanKeaton1

Last year, DC Comics celebrated a huge milestone. I should really say comic books in general celebrated a huge milestone because the world was first introduced to Superman in the pages of Action Comics, created from the young minds of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Now that trend continues again this year as another legendary character celebrates 75 years of comic book existence. Arguably the most popular comic book character (or least one of the top three), Batman continues to thrill and amaze after all these decades of storytelling. Interestingly enough, his title was almost cancelled in 1964 and Batman was going to be killed off. A few changes to make him more contemporary helped stave off his demise but it wasn’t until a certain television series helped put the character prominently in the minds of everyone.

While the campy 1966 Batman TV series helped foster a new interest, it made the character almost too comical. It wasn’t until Dennis O’Neill and Neal Adams brought Batman back to his original dark roots in the 1970s that firmly put a stamp on who the character is. No one has looked back ever since.

But comic books have become big business these days. Both Warner Bros. and Disney, the parent companies of DC Comics and Marvel Comics respectively, are raising the bar and taking this competitive nature between these two comic book companies to a whole new level. This is quite evident in the way they have tackled the whole film industry. Marvel has definitely solidified its movie making abilities with a slew of successful films and they don’t seem to be slowing down. DC has finally gotten its act together and is trying to reclaim its might in the box office.

But it does come back to the source material. Collecting comic book these days is a very expensive hobby. An average issue costs between $3.00-$4.00 these days. I do admit that I rarely pick up single issues anymore opting to waiting until issues are released in collections, which is why I appreciate Free Comic Book Day and the reason for this whole exercise.

For many years I hosted an annual event on Epinions.com called The Funny Pages Write-Off. It’s a celebration of comic books in general and how it extends beyond the confines of the printed page. These characters are bombarded everywhere now. However, with the demise of Epinions.com, this write-off didn’t seem like it was going to happen. Almost.

In celebration of all the festivities surrounding this popular genre, the seventh annual Funny Pages Write-Off begins again. Write a review related to comic books and comic strips. Notice I say comic books and not just superheroes. It can be about comic books, graphic novels, movies, toys, clothes, television shows, cartoons, novels, video games, and anything else you can think of. Did you ride the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags? That totally counts for this. Did you visit Metropolis, Illinois, the “Hometown of Superman?” That counts as well. Anything related to comic books counts.

Even better, find obscure references that mention anything about comic books, such as the movie Office Space implementing a quick-rich scheme based on the machinations that happened in Superman III or the argument over the best Silver Surfer artist (Jack Kirby or Morbius) in the movie Crimson Tide.

This will be the summer’s blockbuster write-off so have fun from now until the end of August. Give me a shout in the comments section if you do participate. It doesn’t matter where you write your review. It can be on another writing site, your own blog, anywhere at all, as long as I can link back to your original review. I’ll list and link your review(s) to this page.

Check out these previous entries:
2008 Funny Pages Write-Off (186 reviews)
2009 Funny Pages Write-Off (90 reviews)
2010 Funny Pages Write-Off (279 reviews)
2011 Funny Pages Write-Off (301 reviews)
2012 Funny Pages Write-Off (253 reviews)
2013 Funny Pages Write-Off (156 reviews)

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carstairs (17 reviews)
Books: Melissa Explains it All  || Calvin and Hobbes: There’s Treasure Everywhere
Movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier  ||  The LEGO Movie  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy  ||  Ghost Rider  ||  The Rocketeer 
Ornaments: 2014 Hallmark Ornament: Snoopy #17  ||  Hallmark’s High-Flying Hero Ornament: Rocketeer  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament: Good Grief, Charlie Brown  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament Disney/Pixar Legends #4: Edna Mode  ||  2014 Hallmark Ornament: Hangin’ with Count Snoopy 
TV Shows: Sabrina The Teenage Witch – Season 7  ||  Smallville – Season 7  ||  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One  ||  The Big Bang Theory, Season 7  ||  Arrow, Season 2 

elvisdo (8 reviews)
Editorials: Thor Tells Shania Twain “I Feel Like a Woman!”  ||  Superman Embraces the Dark Side of the Force  ||  Move Aside, Xena! Wonder Woman is the Original Warrior Princess!
Events: Marvel Universe Live! 
Movies: Justice League: War  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy
Toys: LEGO DC Super Heroes: Superman: Metropolis Battle  ||  Imaginext DC Super Friends: Brainiac 

mariedragonfire (9 reviews)
Books: This Pen for Hire
Editorials: Thor to Become a Woman  ||  Holy Limited Edition Boxset Batman!  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy is Still Awesome on Second Viewing 
Movies: X-Men: Days of Future Past  ||  Transformers: Age of Extinction  ||  The Simpsons Movie   ||  21 Jump Street  ||  Guardians of the Galaxy

I remember back when I was a kid (and that was a long, long time ago) how my dad took me to the store and bought me some comic books. There were three or four comic books bundled together in a package for a relatively low price (I think it was $1.00 at the time). It was basically a “grab bag” of comic books because you really didn’t know what you were getting. Some of my first comic books came in this way. I still remember getting The New Adventures of Superboy #5 (by Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger), The Avengers #191 (by David Michelinie and John Byrne), The Avengers #195-196 (by David Michelinie and George Pérez), Super Friends #28 (with art by Ramona Fradon), and Fantastic Four #218 (by Bill Mantlo and John Byrne), to name a few titles. What surprises me the most is the amount of Marvel titles I was reading back in the day considering I’m more of a DC guy. I always thought that the “grab bag” concept was great and definitely a treat for kids who just love getting comic books. This was perfect for long car rides. Buy a few of these packages and you’re set for the trip.

Fast forward to the present day. Since comic book stores have appeared more and more over the years, finding comic books in the local grocery store is becoming more and more extinct. There are a few places such as giant book stores where you can see the current comic books on the rack but it doesn’t have that same vibe. Then I saw something that really shocked me and made me giddy like a kid in a candy store again.

I was browsing through Toys ‘R’ Us with my son and came across a bundle of comic books packaged together. I think there were five or six in a set, and it was done in the same way that I used to get them as a kid. I looked at the comic books closely and noticed that these were old titles from the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the titles I saw were The Shadow War of Hawkman #2 (by Tony Isabella and Richard Howell), The Adventures of Superman #501 (by Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett), X-Men #1 (by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee — Storm Cover), and Conan the Barbarian #115 (by Roy Thomas and John Buscema). This is totally fantastic on many levels.

First, what a great way to get some really great comic books from back in the day; second, the bundle costs around $5 making these comics no more than $1 each; last, it’s such a great blast from the past to have some of these titles for a cheap price that you might actually need to complete your collection. As all of this was swimming in my head, I had to see who was distributing these books and noticed the website of www.cardsone.com. Naturally I had to check it out.

As stated on its website, “Cardsone has specialized in buying large closeouts and past years overstocks of entertainment and sports trading cards, comic books, coins, collectibles, and supplies. Cardsone then re-manufactures these products into more desirable, heavily discounted, collectible packages and products. Unlike our competitors, Cardsone manufactured products, provides the retail customer the opportunity to purchase collectibles from past years at drastically reduced prices.”

How great is that! Even better is finding them at five below as well. That’s a guaranteed $5 package. I hope to see more of these packages available at different places. It almost makes collecting comic books fun again without having to worry about the current $3-$4 price tag for each book.

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