Off The Rack #111

Off The Rack #111

Monday, October 29, 2018

The inaugural Capital Comic Book Convention yesterday at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Ottawa was a success as far as Jee-Riz Comics & Appraisals was concerned. We covered expenses and went home with a bit of extra for all the hard work that my partner Chris put into gathering and pricing stock and setting up our booth in the dealer’s room. My old body is sore from all the moving but I’ve got two weeks to recover before the next Capital Trade Show at the Jim Durrell Arena on November 11.

The highlight of the con for me was talking with my pen pal Ryan from Kingston who I wished could have been able to attend. His fiancé was there and got him on the phone for me and I gave him a very brief report on how things were going. It was busy and noisy at the time so I might have said some things that were odd or confusing. Sorry about that Ryan. I also had a long discussion about the joy of comic books with an older collector named Steve. We went on and on about appreciating the art form. There was a moment of connection when we were talking about Barry Smith’s art in Conan: Red Nails and he mentioned the panel where Conan spears the dinosaur. We could both picture that panel in our heads and knew exactly what each was talking about. That kind of enthusiasm and camaraderie never gets old. Steve made me even happier when he bought one of our old DC Digests. I hope he returns to buy the one reprinting the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow story that Neal Adams drew. He remembered reading that when it hit the racks back in the early 1970s.

I only managed to score four comic books off the racks to read and review after subscription service copies were pulled. I had to read Die! Die! Die! #4 and Silencer #10 before the store opened so I could put them on the racks to be sold. I’m sorry I can’t write more reviews, but on the other hand it’s less unpaid work for me. I would love to be able to just read comic books and not have to think of anything to say about them afterwards. I got a chance to do that during my shift last Wednesday. Heather did a bit of moving in Comet Comic’s new space and had some racks and a table set up when I got to work. I moved the subscription service boxes downstairs and racked all the comics that were sitting in boxes so that they were displayed for sale. It’s comfy and quiet down in the basement of Black Squirrel Books and I had time between our customers coming in to pick up their subscriptions. I was surrounded by bookshelves full of books but chose to read comics to pass the time. I didn’t expand my horizons much since I didn’t want to read anything new that was ongoing. Since Marvel had a plethora of number ones that came out in the last month that were on the racks I read those. I originally passed on starting Spider-Geddon so I read #0 and #1. They were just as I thought they were going to be. The evil Inheritors have been resurrected and are on the hunt again for Spider-Folks throughout the multiverse. Too many universes and too many Spider-Folks to keep track of and the only one I really cared about was Miles Morales. He only had a cameo and they’re already using the comics to shill for the next Spider-Man movie. Ugh.

I also read a bunch of the new What If? comic books. The first one I read reminded me that Uatu the Watcher was dead because the guy introducing the story was good old Nick Fury on the moon. This guy took over watching over the Earth in one of the Secret Wars I think. Either that or it was another mega crossover Crisis. This was in “What If Flash Thompson became Spider-Man?”. Flash was a jerk and he learns that with great power dot, dot, dot. It was okay. I also read “What If Peter Parker Became The Punisher?”. Let’s put it this way; Peter Parker is no Frank Castle. The others were worth reading but all of them weren’t as fun as I remember the old What If?s being. What turned out to be fun was “Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1” and that is as it should be with Wade Wilson being his stupid self against the very serious King of Wakanda.

I probably would have written reviews on all of the comics that I read but I didn’t have my laptop with me. I won’t be schlepping it to work until we’re all set up downstairs and I have somewhere I can sit and write. It’s weird that I want to pass on my thoughts about all the comics that I read. I think it’s because of my obsessive compulsive need to keep doing reviews since I started writing these things. I’m addicted to giving people my opinions. Hello, my name is Kin and I’m an over sharer.



Exorsisters #1 – Ian Boothby (writer) Gisele Lagace (art) Peter Pantazis (colours) Taylor Esposito (letters). Kate and Cate Harrow are twin sisters who retrieve souls from hell for a price. I really like the art because it looks as good as Dan DeCarlo’s Archie comics but with a lot more detail. You’ll see that the sisters aren’t really twins in the conventional sense and that should keep you reading. Plus they fight demons but are not as taboo as Warrior Nun Areala.



Die! Die! Die! #4 – Robert Kirkman & Scott M. Gimple (writers) Chris Burnham (art) Nathan Fairbairn (colours) Rus Wooton (letters). I love this hyper violent story about 4 identical brothers who are highly trained assassins. George is a douche bag who killed his brother Paul and tried to impersonate him. Paul’s girlfriend Jennifer saw through the ruse and this issue starts off with a wicked fight scene as Jennifer avenges her boyfriend’s death. I love the art in this and the humour too. I’ll never eat rhubarb pie again. The other brother John just wants to be left alone but he is about to be visited by a whole lot of commandoes sent to kill him. I can’t wait to see how those killers Die! Die! Die! next issue.



Silencer #10 – Dan Abnett (writer) Patch Zircher (art) Mike Spicer (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). Hell-iday Road part 3. They jumped the gun with the cover showing Talia trying to kill Honor. Spoiler alert: Silencer and Quietus’s alliance fails to kill Talia al Ghul. Oh, and their Freaky Friday adventure ends. I didn’t like the art in this issue as much as I used to and I find the burden of Honor’s husband and son to be tedious. I’m going silent on this book now.



Action Comics #1004 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Ryan Sook (pencils) Wade von Grawbadger (inks) Brad Anderson (colours) Josh Reed (letters). Invisible Mafia part 4. So why am I still reading this book but have stopped reading Superman? First of all the art is really good. Then there’s the heartfelt relationship between Superman and Lois Lane. It’s highlighted very well in this issue. The first page shows the screen of Lois’s laptop and I read what was written on it and I think it sums up what the Man of Steel means to Brian Bendis. He has distilled Superman down to the essences of Truth, Justice and the American Way. I’ll accept that for now and will keep on reading.



Books of Magic #1 – Kat Howard (writer) Tom Fowler (illustrator) Jordan Boyd (colours) Todd Klein (letters). Tom told me he was going to be drawing this Sandman Universe title months ago but I had to keep the news secret and it was agony to do so. I am happy now to share with you my delight at seeing the book hit the racks. Tom was in high school when he first walked into Silver Snail Ottawa and showed me his sketchbook. I was amazed at how good his art was. I was particularly struck by his use of colour. When he told me that he hoped to have a career drawing comic books I knew that he would succeed and he’s proven time and again how good he is at telling a story using sequential art. My favourite character to come out of Sandman is Timothy Hunter and I read all of the first Books of Magic series. This new one is starting off excellently and is very new reader friendly. Tim first appeared in 1990 and I always thought that Harry Potter was a rip off of Neil Gaiman’s boy magician when I started reading J.K. Rowling’s books in 1997. I am happy to say the TomKat did a great job of bringing Tim back.


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