Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Beginners Guide: The Ways To Read The Walking Dead Comic Book

With The Walking Dead TV Show getting more popular then ever, i am somewhat surprised how many of the rabid TV Fans have not read the comic.  As good as the TV Show is (and it's real good), the book is just SO much better IMO.  it is not restricted by AMC restrictions, or the restrictions of TV itself.

i have written up a summary of which ways someone that is new to the book can get started and/or caught up on the book:

Floppies/Monthlies:  Starting in October of 2003, Image Comics released The Walking Dead as a monthly release (meaning that it was released one a month, and it has pretty much remained true to that format for each month since then for the last 10 years.)  The floppies feature full color covers, and after each issue a Letters Column where fans write in and discuss/ask questions about the book.  Some floppies also feature sneak
previews of future Image comics.  These issues, while meant to be read, are also highly collectible, making this the most costly way to read the series.  There are currently 156 floppies. There is no "end point" in sight, and i'd expect it to go at least 300 issues.
Cover price is $2.99

Trades/Trade Paper Backs/TPB : These are released about every six months.  Each TPB contains six floppies.  There are no covers or Letter Sections included, and the individual issues are not separated, it reads straight through.  There are no bonus materials included.  There are currently 25 TPBs of TWD. 
Cover Price is $14.99

Hard Cover Trades/HC : The Hard Cover Trades consist of 12 floppies, with the pages being literally a larger format. Essentially, each Hard Cover contains two TPB's.  There are bonus materials included including a collection of the covers in the back of the HC.  The Letter Section is not included, and the individual issues are not separated, it reads straight through.  There are currently 12 HC Collections.
Cover Price is $34.99

Omnibus/Oversized Deluxe : These collections contain 24 floppies each, or four TPBs/Two HC.  These pages are even larger then the HC, and comes with a slip case.  Packaging overall is Very Well done.  There are bonus materials included.  There are currently 5 Omnibus'
Cover Price is $99.99

Compendium : These Collections contain 48 floppies each, or Eight TPB/Four HC/Two Omnibus'  The pages are the same size as the floppies and the TPB.  There are no special features in the Compendiums, strictly 48 floppies from first page to last. Since these contain 48 floppies, they tend to take years to come out between releases,  48 floppies is 4 years of monthly releases, so its a safe bet (there is nothing set in stone) that a
Compendium will come out every few years. UPDATE! Volume 3 is OUT NOW!
Cover price on these is $64.99

i am a monthly floppy reader, have been since issue 98 i think it was.  i know some people that wait for the TPB to come out, but i have no idea how they have that kind of will power! LOL

When re-reading, i prefer the Hard Cover Trades/HC format.  i feel it is just the right right size when held in my hand, the increased page size is nice, and since its a hard cover, it is just an over all better experience imo.

The most economical way to read TWD would be The Compendiums, but keep in mind that these are HEAVY! i think they weigh about 7 pounds each.

Like anything else, do not be afraid to shop around for the best price you can find.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. i can literally talk about TWD all day.

Mind MGMT By Matt Kindt

This is an independent monthly comic book released by Dark Horse Comics that you probably have never heard of.

it is 24 pages of STORY. there are NO ADVERTS within the front and back covers.  Any ads that are there are there to advance the story, and/or items related to the story. 

i will not tell you what the story is about, because i want you to experience it for yourself.  i will say that for the most part, it is most likely unlike anything else you've ever read when it comes to comic books.  That is especially true if you are strictly a "Big Two" reader, and more-so if you are all about the superheroes (not that there is anything wrong with that)

Matt Kindt writes, draws, colors and letters this book.  That's correct, he does everything that you see when you read Mind MGMT (pronounced Management).  Not only does he color it, but it is colored using water-coloring, pure awesomeness!

Now, his style may not be for everyone, but i for one, love it.  i have so much respect for the fact that he creates all aspects of this book.  That is a pretty rare feat in todays comic book world.

There are three trades out so far, which cover the first 18 issues (plus some neat bonus stuff).  The Trades themselves are a thing of Beauty.  They are both Hard Cover Collections, at Soft Cover pricing.  Not only that, but the paper stock used for the pages within are second to none.  To try to describe it here would be doing them injustice really.

i cannot recommend this book enough.  i want this book to be read by as many people as possible.  if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, as i love talking about this book (and any of the other great books that Matt has done)

Monday, October 14, 2013

2013 NYCC Thoughts, Ramblings ... Recap.

The 2013 NYCC has come to an end.  The sads have already set in, but that is normal, as it always happens to me after attending a big show.

Needless to say, i had a great time. it's really difficult NOT to have a great time when attending the NYCC.  This was my second one, and it was
different then last year.  How? you may ask.  it's hard to explain i suppose.  Last years NYCC was the first comic show that i had ever attended. i
was still so "green" when it comes to collecting comics.  i had a lot to learn. still do. Thankfully we all are always learning some thing new at all
times really.  thats one of the wonderful things about collecting. always learning something new.

This year, there were a handful of artists that were not going to be attending. initially i was a little bummed about this, but i understand that real
life gets in the way sometimes, it happens to everyone, thats the way it is.  But that didnt mean that i wasnt going to make the best of it, it was
NYCC afterall!!!

Well, i think it all worked out for the best because i was able to spend so much time involved in great conversation with those that were there :)
There are bound to be people and things that i will unintentionally leave out of this re-cap. it is not intentional, it just happens.

OK, where to even begin.

The days prior to the show i was having trouble falling asleep due to the excitement of the show approaching.  When it came to the night before
the show, i knew that sleep would not be an option.   i left my house a little after 1am on Thursday morning, hoped on the 1:49 LIRR Train to
Penn Station.  i arrived at Javits at approximately 3:15am.  i was expecting to see people there hanging out when i got there, but i was the first
one there, nobody around.  Still dark, not too cold, and relatively quiet for it being Manhattan and all.  About an hour or so later, a cosplayer
arrived, and we waited around until slowly other people started to show up.  it was about 7am before a bunch of people really started showing up.

They told us that they'd let us into the waiting que at 12 noon.  not a shock that they lied, it was after 12:30.  The show was to start at 3pm. This year
they came up with the "great" idea that all badge holders had to "tap in" to enter the show, and "tap out" to leave the grounds.  Yes, that was as
dumb as it sounds.  Of course, mine didnt "tap in" properly when they finally let us in, so my first in line was more like 30th when they finally got
my badge to work.  i was pissed, but all they could do was say "sorry". ugh.

When the doors opened, we all rushed in like a pack of zombies.  my first stop was the Skybound booth to secure some of the WD #1 B&W
NYCC Exclusive Variants, and to say hello to the staff that ive become friendly with over the year thanks to the twitter.  Mission completed,
and it was then around the corner to the Image Comics side to pick up the East Of West Hardcover NYCC Exclusive, as well as some other
things that people asked me to pick up for them.

Then it was time to check out the main floor where there were corporate booths and dealers and such.  Lots of comics and all types of collectables
to buy.  Of course, lots of high prices on stuff, especially WD floppies! LOL  no shock really. it is what it is.  did that for a while, just to give the
artists that were in Artists Alley time to get set up, and settled in.  Then it was time to head over to AA. 

Last year, Artists Alley (AA) was a complete game changer for me.  i didnt really know what it was all about, and when i learned, i was blown away.

This year, i learned that DC had given up their big fancy main floor booth, in favor of setting up at AA.  that had me completely worried.  i was worried
that DC would fuck up AA and exploit it, like the BigBloatedTwo like to do with everything else that is enjoyable.  Thankfully i was wrong.  DC had
an insignificant representation at AA, all the way in the back.  infact i didnt even realize they were there until late friday, when i made my way all the
way to the back wall.  good riddance.

Those that know me (and anyone reading this, really) know that the two people that i really wanted to meet most this year were Charlie Adlard (who
draws TWD) and Matt Kindt (The amazing Creator, Writer, Drawer, Colorer, Inker, Letterer of Mind MGMT).

Charlie lives in England and is sort of a big deal.  Image brought him over just for this show, so i knew that getting to chat with him was just not going
to be possible.  Turns out that i wasnt completely correct. i got to interact with him a little, but as much as could be expected given the situation.

i knew that Matt wasnt going to be setting up at AA until later in the evening, so it was time to check out who else was there.  Just like last year, there
were PLENTY of people who i had no idea who they were, but thats ok, it happens lol.  There were a lot of people set up and it seemed like there
were more artists set up then last year.  Not a lot of "empty tables" which was nice, since it was Thursday and all.  Speaking of which, this year NYCC
sold individual Thursday passes for the first time.  This meant that there were a LOT of people at the show Thursday, and that was not more evident
then just seeing the crowd at AA.  i will say that there were more people in AA Thursday evening this year, then there were Friday evening last year,
and thats saying something.  i love how packed AA gets, as its all about the artists, and for the most part, smaller artists that are not getting rich from
"Big Two" work.

Last week or so, i came out with an idea of a new collecting focus when it comes to getting commissions that i am a fan of.

As you may or may not know, i am a huge Walking Dead Comic Book fan.  Rick Grimes is my favorite character.  For this Focus, Rick Grimes, i approach
the artist and ask them if they are doing commissions.  if yes, i explain to them what i would like, and if they agree, then we move forward.  Here is what
i require, just three things.

1) No Hat
2) No Hand
3) Grungy/Unkempt looking, facial hair. (Basically Post ZA)

The rest is up to them.  Whatever is in their mind, i'd love for them to translate it onto the blank comic page. if they are up to it, then i give them a
Walking Dead 109 blank, and pick it up when its finished.

The nifty name i came out for this? "The Grimey Grimes Project (GGP)"  heh, i thought it was catchy.

Ok, well now it was time to see if anyone was interested in my GGP.  First person that i recognized while walking around was Ryan Browne.  Ryan
is the current artist for a book i like called "Bedlam".  Ryan and i have talked before on the twitters, and when introducing myself he remembered.
We chatted for a bit and then i asked him about GGP and he said it sounded like a good idea.  (yes!).

Then it was time to talk to other artists and see if they'd be interested in GGP.  Some of the artists i met last year, some this year for the first time. Most
agreed to participate in the GGP, which i thought was awesome!

All in all i was about to add eight pieces to my GGP (one is being completed today and mailed to me)

ok, where was i ..... oh yea, then it was more walking around to see who else was there at AA.  Again, so many, no need to mention them all by name.

Then it was time to see if Matt Kindt had gotten to his table at AA.  indeed he had.  he was all set up with his lovely wife, who was also amazing to chat with.
i love meeting great people in this hobby.  i simply cannot even recall all the amazingness that Matt and i talked about.  over the course of the four days i
would have to say that we chatted for at least two hours. it was so fantastic!   i have so much respect for him, it was a true honor to meet him in person

Then it was time to wrap up day one and head to the LIRR to get home in time to grab literally a few minutes to shower, rest and return for day two.

Friday was day two.  (a lot of what happened during day one was repeated each day, really)  i got to Javits around 6am.  The line wasnt too bad, couldnt
have been more then 200 people or so.  By end of day Friday, i had some of my GGP's back in hand.  Damn they were nice.  i was showing them to friends
and other artists as well.  all enjoyed what they saw.

Friday night i was able to get 80 minutes of sleep before heading into the city for Saturday.  On Saturday i got to Javits at about 5:30 in anticipation of a
very long line.  well, it wasnt. i was almost in the same exact spot as the morning before.

Saturday was, of course, packed.  i was able to spend literally 30 minutes on the sales floor (10:00 - 10:30) before the crowds started POURING in like
blood from a freshly cut wound.  CRAZY times indeed. i spent pretty much all day in AA on Saturday.  Not that that meant that there wasnt anyone there,
because it was packed there as well.  im sure attendance records were set this year.   had to have been.

i was supposed to go to the Zombie Escape Walk on Saturday night, but i was far too tired to even think about it. i was home by 11pm-ish and was able to
get 6+ hours sleep before getting up to go to the last day of the show.

i got to Javits just a little after 10am on Sunday.   LOTS of people awlking from the Penn Station area over to the show.  i was surprised to see that i was
just about able to walk right in without much wait at the gate.   There were already a ton of people inside, so getting around wasnt all that easy.

It was such a good time, it really was.  Sucks that it had to come to an end. i was able to get home around 8pm last night and get ready for TWD Season 4 Premier.

Here are some pickup pics:

 photo null_zpsba48a7c3.jpg  photo null_zps0cf17ee1.jpg  photo null_zps3bfa6405.jpg  photo null_zpsfca05e8d.jpg  photo null_zps4d09729d.jpg  photo null_zps08ccf102.jpg  photo null_zps47be335e.jpg  photo null_zpse4ac47b7.jpg  photo null_zps0b25d120.jpg  photo null_zps4bb5152c.jpg  photo null_zps74e378e6.jpg  photo null_zps44e895ab.jpg  photo null_zps91518b89.jpg  photo null_zps1ffd58ea.jpg