Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, June 10, 2004
  Bargains and Betrayal
I am such a fool for bargains.  Often I buy things that I don't need -- things that I don't even much want -- just because they were such good deals.  Last weekend I was at a local Barnes & Noble that has a fairly large used book annex.  I'd gone there in the past to browse though their selection of used comics (which often weren't used at all, but were marked half-off anyway) but this trip was different for two reasons:  First, the size of the comics section had doubled, from one bookcase to two.  Second, there was now manga available in the used section.  (Still nowhere near the number of books from DC and Marvel, but enough to fill a shelf or two.)  If my better half hadn't been there to play the role of externalized impulse control, I'm sure I would have ended up doing much more damage to my wallet, but as it was, I snagged quite a bit of sequential art loot (listed below with comments):
Crying Freeman Perfect Collection: Portrait of a Killer - Looks like a gonzo mix of sex and violence, all gorgeously illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami.

Gon (compilation of Gon and Gon Again) - I've heard a lot about this series but never read it.  Skimming though it, it looks like it'll be a quick read in one sense (the stories contain no words whatsoever) but on the other hand Masashi Tanaka's detailed cartoon-style art could definitely take some time to appreciate fully.

Club 9 Volume 2 - I read the chapters collected here when they were originally serialized in Super Manga Blast, but I so adore Makoto Kobayashi's charming tale of a country girl making her way in the big city that I've always planned on getting the trades.  Getting one at half-price was just an added bonus.

Chobits Volume 1 - A couple people whose opinion on manga I trust have recommended this series (which always struck me as thinly-veiled Lolita porn) so I'm curious to see if I can get past my preconceived notions about this book.  Flipping though it, I'm not optimistic.

Sanctuary Volume 6 - I know, I know, I wrote off this series after the pervasive misogyny in volumes 2-4 turned me off.  But for the incredibly low price of only three dollars I was powerless to pass up an opportunity to sample more Ryoichi Ikegami artwork.  See?  See what great bargains are capable of reducing me to?

Berserk Volume 2 - I know, I know, I wrote off this series as well but I've been told it improves as it goes on, so I figured for $7 I could afford to give Berserk a second chance.

Benkei in New York - Christopher Butcher has praised this manga, and I like what I've seen of Jiro Taniguchi's artwork online, so this was a given.  Heck, even Warren Ellis loves this manga, so it must be good!

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! - A collection of a Dark Horse mini-series I didn't even know existed.  But I was won over by the Cary Nord artwork and the fact that this comic has endnotes.  I love endnotes!

Batman: Gotham Noir - Yes, it's a Batman Elseworlds, but it's a noir Batman Elseworlds by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

Batman: Reign of Terror - Yes, it's a Batman Elseworlds, and oh god it's a Batman Elseworlds set during the French Revolution, but it's a Batman Elseworlds with art by José Luis García-López.

Reaper  - I, uh, I don't know how this got on here.  (Just kidding:  I thought the art by Cliff Rathburn -- who has kind of a Kevin Nowlan thing going on -- looked interesting, but upon closer inspection this seems like something CrossGen might have published (or a hybrid of several things CrossGen did publish, plus more violence and gore).)
And all for forty bucks!  Now I just have to make time to read all these books, in addition to all the other unread comics sitting around my office.  Yes, bargains can cause me to lose sight of how backlogged I am.

Bargains can also make me disloyal.  For over two years, I've been a faithful customer of my online retailer, Mailordercomics.  But today, wooed away by bigger discounts from a competitor, I placed my first order with Discount Comic Book Service.  How I could I resist?  Look at some of these deals!
WE 3 #1 - 75% off! ($0.74)
NEW X-MEN VOL 3 HC - 50% off!! ($14.99)
BONE ONE VOL ED SC - 50% off!! ($19.97)
LOCAS A LOVE & ROCKETS BOOK HC - 45% off!!! ($27.47)
I saved almost sixty bucks on those four items alone!  (A savings of $23 compared to MOC's prices.)  For that kind of money, I'd sell out my own mother.  (Well, not really.  But I figure there's less of a chance that my mother is reading this than my wife is, whom I would never sell out either, but I'm guessing that the whole "sell out" exaggeration really only works if it references someone along the magnitude of parent or spouse.)

Did I mention I like bargains?
Like Unto A Thing Of Irony!

Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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