small update and a goodbye…

no update in a long time but i felt the need to put something down even tho know there are not would i would call regular readers to this blog.

After a nice upswing, things are settling down nicely into a funk again. Work, home…there is no real escape or release; just an attempt to get through the day and get to the next one.

i did get a little puppy recently; she’s a sweetheart but still a very active puppy so we have a lot of training still to do. ill have to post some pics and videos because she is really cute 🙂

i’ve had many cool additions to the comic collection and i will eventually get around to another post. Besides friday night game night with my friends, my comic collection is the only other thing that brings me any joy. it’s very transparent that it something that i can focus on and control so i cling to it. Sometimes i wish i didn’t know anything about psychology…sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

also, i’ve recently fallen in love with Bob’s Burger’s…it didn’t click when i watched it when it premiered but now i’m hooked.

finally, i lost a dear friend last week. When i first moved to Fresno in 1989 i didn’t know anyone. the two people i spent the most time with Joe and Brice became my best friends and are still 2 people i’ve known’ longer than most. Brice moved across country a while back and we lost touch but he would always pop in every so often just to let us know he was still alive; he always called my mom Mom Two and we treated him like the member of the family he was.

Brice’s car ran off the road around 4 in the morning and since he was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the car and killed. A friend sent me a link to the story and it was the first thing i got to read monday morning. I then got to try to fake care about car dealers and their inability to print their god damned loan documents all week.

I’m going to miss you, Brice. I’m sorry i wasn’t a better friend.

as always, thanks for reading.

jeff stiefer
Aug 31, 2013

collection update 4, part 1

Well my little collection is growing and growing! (its almost like i was building stock for a future store or something… 😉 When i re-started the collection late last year, i had one short box and one long box. The current state of affairs are a little bigger…

The current state of the collection

the collection: 3-3-13

Probably the biggest news in Marvel recently were the events of the end of The Amazing Spider-Man. With the normal practice of releasing variant covers for big events jacked up to 11 due to the one-two punch of the end of the series and the ‘death’ of Peter Parker, there were plenty of alternate covers and expensive ‘incentive’ editions for collectors.

Besides the 700th issue there were four ‘regular’ (ie: under $50) alternate covers to the book that I was able to find as a collection on eBay for a reasonable price before they were released. Soon after they actually came out the same set of five covers tripled in price on ebay.

ASM - The End

The Amazing Spider-Man, lead-up to #700 + alt covers

I wanted to have them professionally graded and encapsulated but a small flaw on each of the spines would ensure the higher grade that would be needed to justify the extra expense of the grading process would not be achieved; Without that high 9.8 or 9.9 grading there would be no purpose since why buy a lower grade when there are higher grades available?

On the top row is the run-up to the final issue – 698-700 – and the big revelation of Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus now sharing Parker’s body through a last ditch brain transfer from a dying Octatius.

Its a story that has fans sharply divided but im liking it so far as it has transitioned into the new title, The Superior Spider-Man which Octavius swore he would become; a better, smarter, SUPERIOR version of the web-slinging wall-crawler he’s now forced to be.

superior sm

The Superior Spider-man #1

Dan Slott, the writer that has taken Peter Parker/Spider-Man through the last 5 years of stories has taken a lot of shit for his direction on the book but you cant say he’s a boring writer!

Midtown Comics was offering copies of Superior SM #1 signed by Slott and i had to grab a pair; one first printing, one second.

SSM 1 signed

Superior Spider-man #1 – Signed by writer Dan Slott

Dan Slott autograph

Dan Slott autograph

Incidentally, these are the first autographed comics that are “certified” that i have acquired; the other ones i have had signed personally at conventions but it was before the days of certifying convention autographs.

and just cause i love redheads, here is a recent purchase featuring a cute-as-hell Mary-Jane… 🙂

I love this cover

I love this cover…i love redheads

Two of the hallmarks of the Marvel Now relaunch for me have been the striking covers and the writers making me care about characters i have previously disregarded. Case in point – The Mighty Thor and Hawkeye. Ive never disliked these characters, but they have never really done much for me. Not true with these Marvel Now relaunches. Both series boast striking artwork, amazing covers and engaging stories – Hawkeye especially is surprisingly low-key and personal. What does a non-superpowered Avenger do on his downtime anyway?

More cool covers from series i didn't care for before

More cool covers from series i didn’t care for before

Another thing Marvel has been doing a lot of are connecting covers. The first two of Thor create a cool 2-cover piece of art…

Thor #1-2 joined covers

Thor #1-2 joined covers

In the realm of cool covers and normally unexplored books, the Young Avengers book is off to a great start so far. I picked up an ebay auction for all four ‘regular’ covers for the first issue which included the blank convention cover, the Skottie Young (which i was getting anyway: see below) and a cover by Scott Pilgrim artist/creator Brian Lee O’Malley that i really liked…

Young Avengers #1 covers

Young Avengers #1 covers

X-Men: Legacy pre-Marvel Now was mostly focused on Rogue but this new re-launch has Prof. Xaiver’s son Legion in the spotlight as he comes to terms with his awesome, reality-altering abilities, splintered personality and his place in a world where his father was struck down by an insane Cyclops, all but destroying any hope for the dream of human-mutant co-existence.

X-Men Legacy covers

X-Men Legacy covers

I’m still warming to this book but now that he is interacting with the rest of the x-Men again, it’s starting to turn into an interesting series.

Marvel is keeping with the release of a Skottie Young baby cover variant for each Marvel Now launch title and there have been some really cool releases.

Skottie Young Covers

Some of my favorite Skottie Young Marvel Now covers

I’ve pretty much collected all the ones that are already out but with more new titles launching for the next few months, the project is not over yet! Some really cute ones on the way, too!

….next time, part two featuring the All New X-Men, the replacement to the Fantastic Four and a bunch of independent releases including Morning Glories, It Girl! and newcomers to the collection and really good series, Ghostbusters and Adventure Time!