So this is the part where I get to show off all the cool stuff I came away with. I haven’t taken pictures of everything, only the important stuff and I’d also like to point out that I took the photos about ten minutes before typing this up, so it’s all done under a crappy bulb with my phone. Not the best, but it means I can just get this done without digging the cable for my actual camera out (shows how much I use that!). So, where to start? Ok, we’ll go from prints, to blank variant sketches, to really cool stuff and then anything noteworthy that pops into my head that I haven’t bothered to photograph.
The three prints I picked up over the convention were pretty cool, I picked up the limited to 200 LSCC 2014 Judge Dredd print, which funnily enough didn’t have Dredd himself on, instead it had the Dark Judges and Judge Anderson on. It’s a Frank Cho piece, looks really nice but is the one print I don’t have a pic of. It’s slotted quite tightly into a convention bag and I’m not sure I can get it back in again, so it’ll remain in there until I can get it framed. Then, as I mentioned yesterday, I picked up two pieces from Jamie Tyndall, one of Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade, and one of Harley Quinn. It’s funny, because it turned out to be a very Harley Quinn centred weekend for me. Anyway, these are the prints.
Jamie had a couple of different Harley prints, but the thing that really sold me on this one was what he did with the hammer, it’s got a really cool, makeshift yet genius design to it. And it looks like it’s going to do some pretty serious damage. What I didn’t notice until Matt looked at it was Catwoman, can you see her? And when I saw that it was £20 a print or two for £30, carried on going through them and saw he’d done a Witchblade one, that was that. I’m a huge fan of Witchblade, a nice piece of Witchblade art is an easy sell to me.
So the blank variant sketches came from Federica Manfredi, Jack Lawrence and Andy Clift. From Federica, I had a steampunk styled Black Cat. I’d been wandering round with a blank variant of The Defenders (the series that featured Black Cat) looking for an artist I thought would be an ideal fit for a Black Cat commission and stumbled upon Federica in the corner. I chatted to her a bit while checking out her art and, lo and behold, she had a few pages from Spider-Man Family she’d worked on featuring none other than Black Cat. And it was absolutely perfect, she has a real knack for drawing Felicia, so when I put the idea to her that she do her in a steampunk style, Federica was well up for it. This is what I got back, which I’m thrilled with.
Next up, as I was wondering around artists alley I came across Jack “Jackademus” Lawrence and his buddy behind their table. I’d been chatting to a guy in the queue for Gary Frank and after bumping into him again he suggested I go check out his work. I had a look and Jack seems to cover a very wide variety of styles, but one thing he excells at is a very american animated style. That’s when it hit me, I had the perfect blank variant in my bag for this man, I put my idea across and he was interested. Granted, it was something he’d had quite a few requests for, on this exact blank variant, but it was something he enjoyed doing so much he didn’t mind. He also said he does each one differently so it never gets boring. Anyway, enough of the suspense, right?
How good is that? The guy has this wonderful ability to emulate Bruce Timm’s style without just being a straight up rip off. I was so thrilled with this piece, it’s one a really can’t wait to get framed and up on the wall. Next up was the blank variant from Andy Clift. Andy works in the comic industry as a flatter, although I’ll be honest I don’t exactly know what this entails, he is also a damn fine artist. Anyone that follows British indie comics will hopefully be aware of Andy’s own work, Bertie Bear, which is probably one of the coolest and most fun things out there at the moment. He’s also a huge Green Lantern fan. Can you see where this one is going?
That’s right, Bertie Bear the Green Lantern. It goes to show what an absolutely awesome dude Andy is too in that he only charged £10 for this commission like his others, but would normally only do black and white. He said he felt this needed the colour though, and did it for me at no extra cost. And in all honesty, I’d have had no issue with giving the guy more money for this. It’s set me off now too, I’m going to buy up more copies of this blank variant and get all the different Lantern Corps’ represented by Bertie at various conventions. Next one will be a Sinestro Corps Bertie, you will fear the bear!
But wait! There’s one more! This is unbelievably cool, so prepare yourself for this. I’m going to talk about this one after the picture, I don’t want to give anything away…
That’s right folks, this is a Dan Slott original piece. He apologised profusely the entire time he was doing this for me, but actually it’s one of the best things I’ve come away with. I love it. It will be framed along with the others and displayed on my wall, but the main thing is I think it’s really cool that even though he is no artist, he’s willing to get into the spirit of things and do stuff like this for the fans. What a legend!
I think the only other thing I really want to talk about is the three first appearance books I picked up. These varied wildly in price, one being mega cheap and one not so, but all three are for characters I love so I was happy with the prices I paid. First up, we have Detective Comics #648, where we have the first appearance of Spoiler. I was also after #647 which is the first appearance of Stephanie Brown, not in any guise or costume, but no one had that one. This issue setting me back a whopping £1, most likely due to the fact that Spoiler/Stephanie isn’t a hugely popular character. She’s one of those that has a very loyal following, but not a particularly big one.
Next up was New Teen Titans from 1980, also known as the first appearance of Deathstroke the Terminator. This was one I was thrilled to see, and due to the price tag, I picked it up immediately. It set me back £12, which for a thirty year old comic in good condition which also happens to be the first appearance of one of my all time favourites is an absolute steal. I haven’t dared open it, however, all I’ve done is transfer it from the bag it came in to one of my own, and stashed it safely away for the time being. I’m not normally one for buying a comic and not reading it, but in this case I’m not going to risk it.
As a quick note, that’s my headphones wire in the way of the photo, not a dirty black mark on the comic. I noticed it after I’d sat down and couldn’t be bothered to get back up again. This next one is the most special to me, however, with it being a huge first appearance. It also cost me the most at £110.
Can you guess who this one is? If you guessed right, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, no worries. It’s the first appearance of the one and only Harley Quinn. At least, her first appearance in comics anyway since she originally debuted in Batman the Animated Series. This is in freaking mint condition, at least the covers are anyway. I haven’t dared open it for fear of damaging it in some way, but even though in this condition I think I could sell it on for a lot more than I paid, the value of owning this to me is priceless. Ever since seeing her for the first time in the animated series, Harley has been a top favourite of mine, as is the case with many people I’m sure. Funny thing with this one though, when I first spotted it on the Sunday I knew straight away what it was but held off for the time being. It was coming quite close to the point where prices start getting slashed and since it was an American seller (Midtown Comics) I was hoping they might drop it a bit. The guy behind the table pretty much said this himself.
So I go outside for a cigarette, constantly thinking about this comic and still with £160 in my wallet. This was moeny that I had earmarked purely for buying stuff over the weekend, and having saved £75 by giving up on Gary Frank, it almost felt like it was meant to be. Then I got a little jittery, thinking that someone else might have just seen it like myself and gone for it, so I finished my smoke and raced back to the hall, straight over to Midtown Comics. I’d decided before I finished my smoke I was buying it, and decided to not wait and see if it dropped so I could guarantee 100% it would be mine. When I asked the guy to get it down for me so I could buy it, they said someone had been asking about it while I was gone, nearly bought it and then wandered off, intending to come back shortly.
Talk about close! They even threw in a free trade paperback of my choice with the purchase, which I thought was really cool. I got Batman: A Death in the Family. Not read it yet but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I think picking up that particular issue was probably the highlight of my weekend, the only problem is this has kicked off a new thing for me now. I already have a pretty hefty pull list, a trade paperback and graphic novel addiction, loads of old series I’m collecting in singles, a fairly recent addiction to collecting action figures and another hobby in the form of video games. Now I’m picking up first appearances, which I know is going to get damned expensive. But, even though I’m not one for selling this sort of stuff on at any point, those key issues with first appearances of major characters are the ones that only appreciate in value, so if I ever came to sell on, a fair few of them would go for nice amounts.
I’m picking up a load of frames next week, so I’ll put up pictures in next week’s Friday update so you can see how it looks. Either that or I’ll do a special post for the frames themselves, since I’m not using a professional framer or the £15 specialist comic frames. Anyway, I think that about covers that off, thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think of the treasure!