The things I do for comics. Apparently, that includes choosing Monday night — of all nights! a night notorious for heavy traffic — to pick up my pre-ordered comics from Filbar’s Glorietta. Hyperventilating inside the van trapped in a monster gridlock somewhere in Taguig two hours after we left Makati, I realized my dumb mistake. But at least I got my comic book.
As it turned out, it was no ordinary book. A check at eBay will tell you Batman: Damned is anything but ordinary.
When it comes to comics, I consider myself more a reader than a collector. I pre-order an issue either because I like the character/s in it, or I’m a fan of the author/artist, or the pre-release blurb has somehow piqued my interest. I don’t buy an issue because I think it’d be worth big money in the future or because everybody’s talking about it.
When I pre-ordered Batman: Damned it was because it’s by Brian Azzarello and Jae Lee, and also because it’s the Dark Knight sharing pages with John Constantine, two of my favorite characters in comics. The fact that it’s the first issue under DC Black Label and is described as “supernatural horror” was a plus. Certainly, I had no idea it would generate so much hype that, less than a week after its release, a copy would be worth as much as $199.99 on eBay.
And now comic geeks on Facebook are describing Batman: Damned as their “early retirement.” Wow. Joking, perhaps, but with fingers firmly crossed, I bet.
Such a happy thought — that this issue could be worth a fortune years from now. Who knows? Maybe when I was losing my mind in that horrible Monday night rush hour traffic, I was actually securing for myself an early escape from the daily grind. Screw lottery, Batman is the way out…
For two days in less than a week I found myself splurging on comics. Couldn’t help it. The ads screamed “Sale!” and it was such a siren song for me — Solenn Heussaff inviting me to a private pool party. The flesh is weak, resistance is futile, yadada.
Last Friday night, at Glorietta 4, I celebrated the death of another workweek by digging through boxes and boxes of comics — Marvel, DC, Image, Boom, Dark Horse, what have you — at Planet X Comic Shop, which was having its 10th Anniversary Sale. (The sale was until Sunday, and on Saturday they had the likes of Leinil Francis Yu, Stephen Segovia and Carlo Pagulayan doing signings, but because I live faraway, I was only there Friday night.) It was exactly what I imagined myself doing weeks ago, when I first heard about the event, and I would’ve braved hell and high water to be there.
Digging through boxes of comics may sound like a simple task, but it still took me about an hour to choose what issues to purchase. The selection was just too awesome. Aside from the fat stacks of single issues, they also had TPBs at 30% to 50% off. Finally, after wrestling with indecision, I settled with the following:
Planet X damage was P700. Not really big money, but considering that days ago I spent almost P1,000 on comics at Collecticon 2018 in Megamall, then it really becomes a dent in the ol’ budget. I told myself to worry about that shit later.
The Collecticon loot:
And so my read pile got bigger while my wallet got thinner. Story of my nerd life. I emerged from Planet X thinking I should lie low and catch up on my reading. After all, I have to save up for November’s Komikon XIV where I expect National Bookstore to mark down their TPBs and HCs to as much as 80%. Now, that sounds like early Christmas shopping…
Call it coincidence: Hours after I weighed the pros and cons of throwing an old lady out of a moving van (couldn’t help it, she was being obnoxious, picking on a toddler who won’t stop crying), I saw Brie Larson punch one in the face. I cheered. And afterward I felt, well, happy.
I was — and still am — happy because the trailer for Captain Marvel has finally dropped, and it was an awesome trailer, up there with Avengers 4: Infinity War, and not because I loathe old people. And it’s not just me; the comments sections are fat with generally positive reviews. Captain Marvel, after all, could be the most anticipated MCU movie since Infinity War — thanks, in part, to that movie’s post-credit scene. You know, the one where Samuel Jackson yelps, “Mother…”
And so the long wait begins. On Facebook, trying to be cute, I wrote, “Can we skip all this Christmas nonsense and go straight to March 2019 already?” It was a joke, of course, as I dig the holidays — the cool weather and the 13th month cash and all that. But still, March 2019, the month Captain Marvel hits the cinemas, can’t come any sooner. Fingers crossed the wait will be worth it.