When I was a younger man things were a lot different than they are now. Not all of it was for the better. As depressing as the internet can be it does make it easier for everyone's dirty little secrets to come to light. I don't miss that part, so much. But what I do miss is the way comics used to be priced. Back in the day, I could scrounge some change out of my Gran's couch cushions and take it to a local recycled bookstore that was renovated out of an opera house my family used to own. I would swagger through the front entrance tipping a derby at the doorman, and flashing a glint of silver between my fingers. The cashier nodded, and pressed a button under the register. A bookcase slid across the floor revealing an iron wrought staircase, and I descended it into what I always imagined was what used to be the orchestra pit under the theater. That is where I found what I desired: Rows and rows of white boxes filled with every comic book imaginable, illuminated by soft white light that somehow filled the entire room. A subtle series of bells sounded from an unseen source, and a single poster board said the words I would never forget "All comics $.25." It was a magical time, but unfortunately one that would not last.
Then quickly things changed, and comics were no longer $1.25. Suddenly they were $2.50 and came with a bullshit trading card I already had. Put a crappy Wolverine Hologram on the cover, and now they are $3.00. Make that cover two pages and it's $3.25. Make the Hologram 3D, and now the book is $3.50. The whole pricing point just kept getting worse and worse. At one point a comic book fan and affluent banker looked at me condescendingly through a monocle and said "Outrageous prices, you say? Perhaps if you would stop being so lazy and get a second job you could afford comics". Then he cackled like the Penguin and drove off in a Ford Escort trailing exhaust and laughter in his wake. Comic book fans all over cried out for a Champion. We needed a man so large in stature and girth that the truth could not escape the pull of the gravity of his conclusions.
We needed Jude Terror. For a time, things were good. Jude's legendary "5 Comics for Under $5 Dollars" articles were a big hit. At the height of their power, they did something that no one thought was possible. Jude's article caused DC Comics to reduce their entire line below the $5 dollar pricing point. Maybe it had to do with something else, maybe not. But something inescapable changed in Jude. Someone offered him money, and suddenly he could afford $5 comics. The internet cried out for help again.
I answered that desperate call. Rising from the ashes of the success of Judas Terror, I give you the phoenix reborn! Welcome to ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT SAY NO TO $5 COMICS NOW!
Dark Horse Comics – Shaolin Cowboy Who'll Stop The Reign #3 - $3.99
By Geof Darrow
Shaolin Cowboy is an insane comic that blends dystopian fiction with samurai and western genres. In this issue alone the Shaolin cowboy must battle all manner of armed creatures and a giant hog. This was my first time picking up this comic but I didn't have to put forth much effort to catch up to the current story.
Here's the solicit:
It ain't Arby's but we got the meats when the Shaolin Cowboy goes to Halal and back. Caught between the cloven and the clawed, can a karate chop beat the pork chop and still win in a pinch? Hog Kong and King Crab and his band of minimum-wage assassins all say, 'NO!' Will our hero win by popular 'smote'-or die by electoral carnage?
Dynamite Entertainment - Swordquest #1 - $3.99
By Scott Kowalchuk and Ghostwriter X
Swordquest is an interesting little comic based on the controversial Atari games that did it's part to make sure the Video Game crash of 1983 was a thing. The game was action adventure and by playing it you could win thousands of dollars in cash prizes, only in the comic the game is real. When an old payer learns his health is in serious jeopardy, he decides to cross one of his life goals off his bucket list by stealing the Golden Sword that was to be his grand prize. But does the sword have it's own plans?
Here's the solicit:
The Atari Age returns to comics with the most unexpected story of the year: SwordQuest! In 1984, Peter Case was on his way to being crowned champion of SwordQuest, set to win the last of four contests and lay claim to a golden sword worth over $50,000! But when the game was discontinued, Peter found himself without a game to finish. Now, over thirty years later, Peter's stuck in a different kind of game entirely - the game of life - and he's losing fast. But when he learns that all the prizes meant for the SwordQuest contest of his youth are on display in the World Arcade Museum, he finds an unknown determination that sees him put together a team of like-minded losers for the ultimate heist job - a real-life swordquest! The red-hot team of Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Ghostwriter X (Down Set Fight) have a new game - and the stakes have never been higher!
Image Comics - Crosswind #1 - $3.99
By Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
From beloved comics legend Gail Simone comes an exciting new comic about about a Mobster and a Housewife being switched psychicaly. Crosswinds is a visceral read and Cat Stagg's beautiful art give it a surreal quality that I think you will appreciate. The first issued elved greatly into the lives of each character, but it was a compelling read and I will gladly go back for more.
Here's the solicit:
Fan-favorite creators GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS make their stunning Image debut with this mind-bending new ongoing series! A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman. A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife. When an inexplicable event strikes these two random strangers, their bodies, souls, and lives are switched to potentially deadly effect. It's Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas!
IDW Publishing – Highlander American Dream #5 - $3.99
By Brian Ruckley and Andrea Mutti
With a several bad films and a television series that jumped the shark The Highlander franchise has been through some rough years and set the low bar for this comic book adaptation. Fortunatly IDW has had no trouble overcomint this low standard to deliver a highly enjoyable comic. Set as an immediate prequel to the events of the first film make for a setting and story any Highlander fan could enjoy.
Here's the solicit:
The cult-classic film's triumphant return concludes! The American Dream has followed Scottish swordsman Connor MacLeod as he clashes with powerful immortals from the American Civil War to 1950s Manhattan on an unstoppable march toward The Gathering, where the last of the immortals will duel to the death. And to the victor goes The Prize... and control over humanity's destiny!
Pick of the Week: Image Comics – Shirtless Bear-fighter #1 - $3.99
By Jody LeHeup and Nil Vendrell
At last but not least, I give you the epic premiere of the hot new comic that everyone is going to be talking about for years to come. Shirtless Bear Fighter didn't just stop at making a great comic, they changed my outlook on the entire world. Raised by bears, Shirless Bear Fighter is an enigmatic badass raised by bears that has retired from bear fighting to guard a small forest. But when more sinister and threatening bears than have ever seen before imperil the world Shirltess must come out of retirement, put on a pair of pants and fight bears with his bare freaking hands. This non stop action comedy will have you simultaneously in awe and in stitches.
Here's the solicit:
SERIES PREMIERE After being betrayed by the bears that raised him, the legendary Shirtless Bear-Fighter wanders the forest he's sworn to protect, fistfighting bears, eating flapjacks, and being the angriest man the world has ever known! When wild-eyed, super-strong bears attack the citizens of Major City, Shirtless ventures into the human world to do what he does best...PUNCH THOSE BEARS IN THE FACE! But all is not as it seems. Someone is manipulating Shirtless...and only by confronting the demons of his past can Shirtless hope to save his future! A heart-filled, hilarious, tall tale for the ages? you don't want to miss SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER!
Remain ever vigilant in the face of certain unnecessary costs, True Believers! Did I miss something you think deserves to be mentioned? As always, let me know in the comments below.