We have all faced the bright pain of realizing we cannot afford all of the comics we would like to read. It is a pain akin to losing a child. Of course I am being ridiculous but the point is made. When we can no longer buy all the books we want we are left with few options. I am currently in this position and here are some ideas I came up with for both myself and anyone else in a similar position.
1.) Cutting Back: When we can no longer afford to buy everything we want to read the first thing to think about is cutting back. I have already had to do this a couple of times. I used to spend $50 or more a week on comic books. I now average about $30 but budget restraints have forced me to reconsider again.
2.) Waiting for Trades: Waiting for the trade paperbacks to be released can be a good idea but it is not always. A trade for marvel books usually covers an arc of 5-6 comics and runs anywhere from $15 to $25. This is not always a great choice but it may help some people. I don't like this idea only because I like to be current week to week.
3.) Wait for Sales: Waiting for comics to go on sale is a good idea for people who do not care about being up to date. Many comic book stores will run specials or discount backstock at a certain point and that can be a good way to pick up many books quickly.
4.) Buy Digital Codes on eBay: I have come across people who will sell digital comic codes on ebay for a couple of dollars. This would save someone about 50%. However, this option is not great for everyone because as of right now only Marvel Comics come with digital codes I believe. This is also problematic for those who prefer paper books for both investment and readability purposes.
I hope some of this advice has helped. I will be cutting back for myself but hopefully I can pick some more stuff back up in the future if circumstances change. My future posts in the Buy List will reflect the changes and I will try to keep you all updated on what I am dropping. Thanks everyone and #StayNerdy!
With the release of Batman vs Superman there is sure to be much debate and discussion about the film and the effect it has had on audiences. These effects are already prevalent and identifiable among movie-goers and comic book fans alike. Now, this is not going to be a review on the film but merely a thesis on how best to approach the polarity that this film has had. For our review on the film, stay tuned as it will likely come out this coming weekend sometime.
Discussion and debate are two methods that are often used to help others understand our position and to help persuade those who we disagree with. I believe these discussions and even arguments are vital to the nerd/geek community as a way to grow closer and arrive at a place of universal understanding. However, these arguments need to be constructive and avoid fallacious reasoning. It is nigh impossible for us to believe something without good reason. The polarity of Batman vs Superman has rendered members of our community to nothing more than angsty and overly defensive pronouncers. I will refer to those people for the sake of this post as Eristic Nerds. It is important to keep in mind that saying "the film was too dark to be good" is not a good argument. It is an opinion presented as fact. the same is true of saying that it is good because it was dark and gritty. Instead, if I was making the argument, I would say something to the effect that I either do or don't enjoy gritty films. That is an explicit expression of my opinion which can be understood by others. Presenting opinions as facts is a sure-fire way to irritate other people in the discussion.
The first thing I will say is that critic reviews should not ever matter. All reviews are a matter of opinion and opinions are not facts which opens them up to criticism and discussion. It is important here to also note that there is a difference between something being good and something being enjoyable. I can enjoy a film that is ripe with plot holes, poor dialogue and effects, and that frankly fails to provide any sort of intent. Those components can make for a poorly constructed film that is by all accounts a failure to tell a full story. That, however, does not mean that people cannot enjoy it. The reverse here must also be true. The most properly constructed film of all time can be boring to people or unenjoyable. However, it is undeniably good by the standards that literary experts set on what makes a great story. Words do matter so it is important that as we debate our feelings and opinions on BvS that we draw that distinction. Saying that the movie was good can send mixed signals as we do not know if you mean you enjoyed it or if you thought the actual story was well constructed and executed. Saying that despite the problems with the film it was the most enjoyable film in a while completely gets the message across. Now, I am not saying these are my opinions. I am merely using these as generic examples.
Another important point that needs to be addressed is the constant comparison to Marvel films. I get it, Marvel and DC are competitors but that does not mean we need to make it a competition. The fact that this movie was not like Marvel films does not make it good nor bad. that is fallacious reasoning. Being different does not equate to being better or worse. Adding this in weakens the entire argument. there are more than one way to succeed. Marvel has found success with it's way of doing things and DC may find success by doing things their way. the fact that this movie, as some may say, was a "breath of fresh air, compared to Marvel's light-hearted formula" does not mean anything. Devoted Marvel fans may enjoy the way those movies are made but that doesn't mean they can't enjoy this movie or vice versa. BvS cannot be said to be good as a result of it being different than Marvel's films. Bvs cannot be said to be bad for the same reason. the two have nothing to do with each other. Comparing Marvel and DC films is a another discussion which should be conducted separately from the discussion of how good BvS was.
The other major detraction from this discussion is the old argument of how 'real comic fans' think. I used to be one of those. I used to be like the old man groaning about all of the people who are all of the sudden nerds because the love RDJ as Iron Man. I would complain about the fact they have never read a comic or didn't know and love the characters the way I did. This is an elitist nerd mentality that is obsolete now. We take it as an insult when someone says 'real comic book fans.' Not all fans of comic books feel the same way. Making the argument that BvS was great because it stayed true to the comic books means nothing. People who haven't read the comics may have easily been lost as a result and those who have may have felt that the story was not integrated well. The first Harry Potter film suffered from this same problem. while book readers may have enjoyed how true the movie was to the book, the adaption was poor because it was not a full story. When there were parts that could not be translated to film easily, they were excluded. This created a film that held an incomplete story and was almost unwatchable to newcomers. A direct translation does not always make for a good adaption for this reason. There are ways to reward comic readers that don't exclude everyone else. Exclusivity has no place in these films anymore. In addition, many comic book fans may also have problems with a comic book-based film that is too close to the source material. I know, crazy, right?
The final point to avoid when having these discussions is talking about how much money the movie has made. Just as poor critic reviews do not equate to a bad movie, huge box office standings do not equate to a good movie. There are any number of factors that can influence box office numbers. One of them could be the quality of a film but as we all should know, association does not mean causality.
If this article has interested you at all please feel free to comment and provide your thoughts. For our review please stay tuned. We will post a link to it on our Twitter and Facebook when it is up and you can also find it in the usual places iTunes, Podbean, and here on our podcast page. Thanks everyone and #StayNerdy
It is the Tuesday before the release of Batman VS Superman as I write this. Today I came across a review from Comic Book Resources. i did not read the review as I like to avoid spoilers but I did skim through the comments. Many of the commenters accused the writer of being a Marvel Fan Boy and the commenters who supported the writer posted something like 'DC Fanboys gotta come out to defend a movie they haven't even seen yet.' There were a couple of moderate comments expressing that they had seen the film during an early release and the review is spot on or that the review was the first bad one they had seen.
All of this has brought me to a point where I am very conflicted. I love the characters and I am an avid comic book reader. I do lean toward Marvel more but I also love DC. Snyder's portrayal of Superman in Man of Steel and of his parents and his iconic meaning were poor to say the least. however, I enjoyed that movie. If I can't come to terms with that in this movie, am I biased? Is this the result of my inner love for Marvel? Am I so blinded by things that I enjoy more that I open myself to criticism and the distaste of others? What happens if I love the movie? Will my fellow Marvel fans convict me for liking a DC film? Am i suddenly not a real comic book fan because I came to terms with Snyder's universe?
This is my inner conflict. I am finding it more difficult to go into this movie with an open-mind. Here is the real point. I am not worried about what criticisms will come my way and what others may think of me, despite what i said above. I am worried that my own thoughts, opinions, and predispositions will make it difficult for me to enjoy this film. I am already primed to go in with a critical eye. I have been looking forward to this movie and was an early supporter of Ben Affleck's casting while others were upset. However, reactions to the early screenings and the overhaul of marketing that has been done leading up to the film worries me. I want to like this movie, but i don't know how to avoid being overly critical of it.
I guess I will have to wait until this Thursday to finally see how I feel about it. I hope I can get past my distaste for this version of Superman and that I can find myself enjoying the film. I have been a huge proponent of Zack Snyder in the past despite his many critics. I hope the film proves that I am worrying for nothing and I hope DC has finally put itself in the right place for success. This movie has a very low probability of being a bust, but among comic fans, I wonder if it may be. Stay tuned for our final review of the film.
Thanks everyone and #StayNerdy,
Nerdy Boy Kristian
By Kristian Grummel
It all started with the deck selection. I had played in two previous modern PPTQs. In the first I played infect which was the deck I had the most experience with. I ended up playing against a lot of midrange decks which are the worst match-ups for Infect and went 2-2. In the next PPTQ I decided to play a brew. I built a pretty interesting Bant Collected Company deck that some friends helped me tweak. I went 3-3 on the day which was a bit disappointing. Everyone at this tournament was playing Tron and Twin decks. The metagame seemed to have completely changed in the time span of a week.
After this I began playing Grixis Twin and had been playing it for a good amount of time. My partner is nerd and fellow Nerdy Boy Scott had been playing a lot of Grixis Delver on MTGO. We decided it would be best for him to play a deck he was comfortable with and I went back to infect. I felt pretty comfortable with infect and thought that my chances were okay. I had never done well in a Modern PPTQ before and was a bit weary.
The journey started Saturday morning as Scott and I journeyed to our local comic book store, Metropolis Comics. Here we met up with friend and occasional scum Austin Kim. We both hopped in his ride and set off for Carmichael where we would hop into Jeremiah’s car. On the way Austin showed his scum side by yelling at another driver in his blind spot and proceeding to be ignore certain red tinted colors. We made it to Jeremiah’s in one piece and not without many Korean jokes. We all then took a journey with Jeremiah to Folsom where we would all then get into Gary’s car and make our final departure. The car ride to Chico was not bad but it was long. We made it there on time and began the process of filling out decklists and waiting for the tournament to begin. I include this part about the journey because the trip to and from tournaments can have a lot to do with the mind-state of the players throughout the tournament. We had a great trip and it was a lot of fun. Here is how my tournament went.
Round 1 vs Burn
Round one I played against burn, which is not necessarily a good match-up. We played game one and I won. Right after game 1 match slips came around and it appears that the guy sitting next to me and myself had sat at the wrong table. I should have been playing against affinity, which is a match-up I had no experience against. Because it was only round one the judge just repaired our two matches and let us off the hook to continue playing. Game 2 I lost. She drew the nuts and just burned me out. Game three, with a stroke of luck and some skillful protection spells, I won with damage from a Dryad Arbor.
Round 2 vs Boggles
Round two didn’t take long. Boggles has a very bad matchup with infect and it is worse when she mulled down to five in game two.
Round 3 vs Tron
Tron is another deck that doesn’t have a great match-up with infect. Game one he did not have anything and just died. Game two I spell pierced his turn 3 Karn with another one waiting for him to play an Ugin. He played a Wurmcoil Engine instead which can’t do anything against an Inkmoth Nexus and a Blighted agent.
Round 4 vs Grixis Delver
Round four I got paired up against Scott who was also 3-0 at the time. I won game one because he had nothing and I game two he mulled to five and kept a one or no lander.
Round 5 and Round 6- Draw Draw
I made top out as the second seed.
Top 8 Quarter Finals vs Loam Aggro ft. Seismic Assault
Game one I lost to flame jab. Game two I had the nuts. Game three, I lost to seismic assault life from the loam. Probably the worst match for infect. There is nothing infect can really do against life from the loam + Flame Jab + Seismic Assault. Luckily we all agreed to split prizes and I tripled money.
All in all, the tournament was a good experience. I was undefeated going into top 8 and got paired up with one of the worst match-ups I have. However, that is what modern is. Most decks have some great match-ups and some awful match-ups that just are pretty unwinnable. I feel like I played pretty well with some misplays that did not end up hurting me too bad. Gary is the only other person who made prizes and Scott losing to me was the turning point of his tournament.
This weekend there is another PPTQ and this time it is Standard. I have played a lot of different Standard decks recently but this time I am going in with a brew (another Bant brew in fact). Let us see how this tournament turns out as Scott and I make our way to playing higher level magic.
Collectible, entertaining, fun, expensive; these are all words that could be used to describe comic books. Some people see comic books as a way to make money while others just want to enjoy the stories. Some people want both. This article will take a look at the factors that influence the price of comic books in addition to merits of enjoying comic books for what they are.
There are many factors that influence the value of a comic book. From a business perspective, demand is a huge factor. If there is a lot of hype over an upcoming comic book, it is a good bet to expect the value to increase. Some recent examples of this are Superman 38, a highly expected book that revealed a new power for the Man of Steel. The week of the release the book had already increased in price from anywhere around $8 to $15. Wytches was another hyped book released in October of 2014. This book was brought to us from fabled Batman writer Scott Snyder. When a name like that is attached to an independent title it is a thing of beauty. That book is floating around $12 right now but that is still four times the $3 it was released at. Another factor is the volume of the print run. A book with a low print run is more likely to increase in price. This is the supply aspect of economics. When supply can’t meet demand, prices increase. People are more willing to pay more for something rare. It is hard to know if the print run will be low before the books are released without spending a lot of time researching every upcoming title, which to be fair, who has the time? Another aspect of demand as it relates to comic books is the number of printings the book has. Obviously that isn’t something someone will know upon the books release. However, some books go to second printings very quickly. One recent book is Lady Killer from Dark Horse that was released in January of 2015. The first and second issues of this book quickly went to second printings. The first issue is close to $50 right now and the second between $10 and $15. The new Ms. Marvel series has had seven printings though and the first issue is also around $50. This is another reason prices are hard to gage. New characters and things of that nature will often increase values of books. The popularity of the new characters will be the determining factor of the books value. The final influential factor is the condition. If a book is in bad condition, the price will falter. This is a simple explanation of the factors that influence prices for those who are only interested in making money.
Some people want to really enjoy comic books and have the ability to make money off of them. These people will often find that they are trying to play catch up. They only want to pick up certain books once they know that they are valuable. This will result in running to every comic book store around hoping they still have one or two copies hiding around. It works some times. However, my simple advice to those people is to just pick up what they enjoy. I picked up the entire Edge of Spider-Verse series and the variants because I love Spider-Man and variants. I never expected the second issue to be worth over $100 and the variant to be even more. One day, I might sell them or send them in to get graded.* To sum up my advice for those who want to read and make some money; get what you enjoy and if it becomes worth something then the opportunity to sell it is there.
There are many people who look at comic books for what they; stories. These people don’t care about the condition of the books and think that slabbing** them is not appropriate. This is not a common opinion but it is out there and I want to be fair to everyone. What is important to these folks is the story and what it means or represents. This is the purest form of enjoyment they get from comic books. While other people may get more satisfaction from owning a 9.8 first appearance of Wolverine signed by Stan Lee, others will get satisfaction just from reading a torn up copy of Hulk 181 in the bathtub. Everyone is entitled to do what they want with their comic books and it is not fair to look down on what anyone else does. Collectors will collect and readers will read. For people who want to read the stories and keep their books pristine, there are trades and omnibuses, even digital copies. It is important to understand there are multiple ways to approach the same thing.
I hope this little article was enlightening and helpful. What I really hope to accomplish by writing this is for everyone to get something out of it. I hope it helps the collectors, the readers, and the sellers. Overall, I hope it brings all of us nerds closer together by building an understanding that there are different ways to enjoy this great form of literature, and that, even if someone takes in the work differently than you, we are all comic book fans. Stay Nerdy!
*Grading is when a book is sent in to anyone who does grading and they rank the book based on it’s condition and they put it in a protective case to preserve that condition.
** Slabbing is just another word for grading and it refers to the casing that is put on the book. It looks like a slab.