We welcome Julie from Villains in Pants Comics tonight.
Being a fan of comics has many different facets, and almost everyone has a slightly unique perspective on the medium. Some people just love stories and read their comics while eating Cheetos leaving glops of orange crumbs all over the cover. Some people are interested in having a tangible long-term investment and cannot imagine touching their books outside of a bag and board. Others are a blend of the two extremes. I am definitely somewhere in the middle, you can decide for yourself if I lean one way or the other. I would submit that my desire to collect comics is an expression of my awe and gratitude for these conglomerations of story and art.
I say all this because I want to give you a frame of reference for my opinions. My article is designed to give perspective on the perceived quality of current comics and investment potential. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment on this page with your opinion about these books or recommendations for books you would like to see in the article in the future.
**WARNING** There are likely spoilers. Read these books before proceeding if that sort of thing may be problematic.
Review: So many pages should be posters that go on my wall…if I had more walls. This book makes me feel things I never believed possible, i.e. somehow I have serious empathy for an ambulance. It’s by far the best thing I have read in a long time. Totally accessible despite being completely weird, which is a rare combination and takes a lot of talent to pull off. Another thing I love about this book is that it is written very much for the single issue reader. After issue 3 I can confirm that this is my favorite ongoing right now. Maybe one of my favorites of all time. We’ll see how it ends.
Investment Potential: As good as this is, I don’t think the ceiling is very high. If there are new characters introduced, those issues may have some long term investment potential. The quality is such that I would be surprised to see these sitting in a dollar bin, and I suspect they will retain at least cover price.
Review: This is such an interesting concept, but the storytelling and art is disappointing. It’s difficult at best to distinguish between characters. A mixture of the monochromatic coloring and inconsistent penciling of characters makes the story more confusing than it needs to be.
The other problem that was glaringly obvious to me and apparently was missed by the editor is that in this story, which is over 20 years in the future, there is no indication that technology, style, or anything else that is an eternal symbol of cultural evolution has progressed past 2016. Either the editor and artist thought this was alternative modern history and the writer didn’t get the message, or the writer was not clear in communicating that this story takes place in the future. There are other story design faux pas, for example, why in the world is this poorly funded and seemingly starving group of insurgents so difficult for the US government to take on? This comic is okay, mainly due to the strength of the entertaining concept, but misses the opportunity to be good or great. I think this may be an unfortunate victim of subjugation to a mini-series. If there is an alternate dimension where this gets a do-over, I would strongly suggest a 30 to 60 issue series to let the concepts simmer and reach full potential.
Investment Potential: There is some buzz around the internet and on various Podcasts about this series. Personally, I don’t see why this is getting critical acclaim, so maybe it is worth checking out for yourself to determine if my opinion is unduly negative. There is also the fact that this is a small print run from Boom Studios so it may be a good short-term flip. I definitely do not foresee any investment potential whatsoever for the long-term.
Review: This comic is exactly what you would expect and want if you are a fan of the Alias comic or the Jessica Jones Netflix Show. Jessica is the self-loathing and often times vulgar reluctant hero in the story and the art. Bendis has come a long way from his Alias days with regard to his ability to succinctly tell a story. The art is perfectly dark and gritty. There is also a lot here for fans of the Marvel Universe at large who can handle the adult content. This is actually one of the most impressive aspects of this comic. Fans of the show will no doubt appreciate this comic even though they won’t understand the snippets of reference to events solely occurring in Marvel comics at this point. These “insider” type garnishments are cleverly placed for notation by true believers without pandering and are not necessary parts for understanding the story otherwise.
Investment Potential: There are two big positives for potential value of this book. The first is the popularity of the Netflix Marvel shows currently. These series’ have been great in terms of quality, and I think there is potential for many more seasons of not only Jessica Jones but also Cage. The second aspect that could boost value is despite being popular, it seems like Jessica Jones comic book is flying slightly below the hype radar. Maybe the expectation was so accurately met with this comic that no one sees the need to discuss it? It will be telling to see the sales numbers. There is also a heavy emphasis in the first two issues on Danielle Cage, who seems to have a growing role in the Marvel Universe. I predict issue #1 will have a moderate ceiling (similar to Alias #1), and I would keep an eye on future issues with Danielle and her origin story becoming Captain America. Also, on a slightly related note Pulse #13 is Danielle’s 1st appearance and is at cover or lower. There are no CGC copies in the Census at this time. Grabbing one of these right now could be a big pay-off.
I am a comic book fan and collector (I guess that’s obvious). I was turned onto comics about 20 years ago when my juvenile delinquent friends let me read their Preacher comics. I didn’t read anything mainstream until the early 2000’s when Ennis started writing Punisher. Then I started reading everything. My favorite superhero is Martian Manhunter, and I love Valiant comics. I worked in an LCS for 3 years from 2003-2006, but now I have a “real” aka boring job that actually pays the bills and is funding the start-up of VIP Comics.
I own half of a small but growing comic book business called Villains In Pants Comics (VIP Comics). We specialize in rare comics regardless of value. Our goal is eventually to be the go-to vendor for comics that are nearly or completely impossible to buy anywhere else. We have an eBay store VIP Comics, and we also sell at local events like conventions and festivals- basically anywhere that will let us set up shop. Most of our books are sold to other retailers, but there is no requirement for someone to be an LCS or online vendor to purchase our inventory. That just happens to be the clientele we attract at this point. Eventually, we would like to expand to an ordering service available to retailers similar to Diamond but exclusively dealing with back-issue, out-of-print, and indie comics.