Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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I think the current biweekly books are: Batman, Detective Comics, Flash, Justice League, Green Lanterns, Harley Quinn, Justice League, and Wonder Woman.  I'm pretty sure the only books that are $2.99 these days are the New Age of DC books, and kids' books like Scooby-Doo Team-Up. 

...I think most, if not all, contemporary Sunday strips have disposable/throwaway panels - even in more than one version of disposability, I believe.

  For example, IIRC, GARFIELD on Sundays has been presented in full three-tiers manner, 2/3 manner with the top tier gone, and 8/9ths manner, with the first 2/3 of the top kept, but not the last 1/3-panel.

  I seem to recall reading that another reason for Sunday toppers in the pre-television era was a desire on the part of the Hearst chain of newspapers to inflate the number of Sunday strips they could point to in their advertising - " Get your Sunday full color Hearst comic section with 40 strips! ", not " 20 strips! ", so to speak.

I've noticed that in many cases the Sunday strips' panel-width seems to be designed so that they can be arranged vertically (2/3 width) so that an editor can place other features to their side without shrinking them.

With or without the logo, the Sunday Doonesbury is 8 panels long online, but only the last 6 make it into the papers.

...Yes, Richard, I've noted that some strips, that have even-sized panels, get arranged vertically in what I call the " flapjacks/ double cheeseburger " mode...Garfield is one that often seems to show up in Sunday that way. I just didn't get into that.
Lee, are you saying that no papers whatsoever run Sunday Doonesbury in the right-hand size? I have wondered whether there are any newspapers which run Sunday Spider-Man in its full three tiers, with the endlessly repeated 6 or so Romita-drawn top tiers explaining the origin, showing a friends 'n' foes gallery, etcetera.

I see the Spidey strip online - That gallery, and occasional flashbacks in the strip, show the Green Goblin. The strip started when the Norman Osbourne Goblin - and Gwen Stacy - were dead. Has Gwen ever been referenced in the strip? I would guess not.

...Have DC's $3.99 titles all universally switched the standard number of story pages to 22 pages while the $2.99 titles have remained at 20 story pages? I think they might have.

  Does anybody here besides me get the present-day DC LOONEY TOONS title? I have a question to ask regarding it.

Man of Steel #6: Aside from Jonathan speaking a phrase that a ten year old never would (referring to the Teen Titans as "the gold standard of group dynamics" or something very similar), I thought this was a pretty good issue. No, I did not read these in the order they were published--I've already read Superman 51 and Action Comics 1001. But it does set up the current storyline with Lois and Jonathan following Zor-El around the universe. I thought it read smoothly, even with an extra-precocious Jonathan.

Supergirl #21: Mark Andreyko and Kevin Maguire become the new creative team. When I think of Mark Andreyko, I think of comic books that most people like, but I find underwhelming. So it was really Maguire who brought me to this book, and it was pretty good. He does make the most of his "good at facial expressions" reputation here.

The Question #14: Yes, this it the "one of these things is not like the other", as it's from the late 80's, and once again, I read this out of order from the other issues. The Question has been buried up to his neck by bad guys, literally, for 72 hours. It's a really good psychological issue, showing how mentally tough Vic Sage is, and how weak his captors are. Like the other issues I've read of this series, this is a mature-reader's masterpiece.

Emerkeith, et al:

I cannot attest to the editorial policies of every individual newspaper, but online sources like Go Comics reveals that some strips do have what I call a logo panel as well as an extra panel or two that are not always part of the print Sunday Funnies presentation.

In Doonesbury's case, Go Comics has never posted the logo panel, but does show the other 8 in two columns of 4 panels each so you can read the entire sequence as originally intended, although the first two are usually just a prelude to the main focus of the other 6.

Wiley is intentionally drawing his Sunday strips (Non Sequitur and Homer) in the flapjack format.

Beyond that, your paper and web surfing may vary.

There will always be good, mainstream superhero comics. Sturgeon’s Law notwithstanding, there’s always going to be something I’m interested in. But I am completely out of room for comic book storage. Truthfully, I’ve been out of room for some time now. It’s not even a question of consolidation; I need to quit buying new comics. To that end, I’ve made some hard decisions lately.

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (or, if you prefer, #646): Another $6 comic. I’ve often thought about what price point is too much to pay for new comics. I think six bucks is definitely on the far side of that line. Tom Brevoort expresses the opinion that “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”; for me it was “Out of sight, out of mind.” There are a few niggling little things about issue #1 that caught my eye. The first was Reed Richard’s beard. I have very little grey in my hair (honestly!) but my beard went completely grey years ago. With as much grey as Mr. Fantastic has on his head, I cannot believe his beard is brown.

Second, since when can Johnny Storm sing? I’ve read a lot of Fantastic Four in my life, and I can remember him playing the guitar… once… but never singing. I’m willing to chalk these things up to artistic license, however, but when Reed sets off his signal over Earth it appears in the sky so that it would be backwards to anyone looking at it. Is that a metaphor? No matter. I wasn’t impressed enough to come back for issue #2.

SUPERMAN #2: The entire Earth is sucked into the Phantom Zone and this development doesn’t affect every single title in the DCU? Not that I’m really calling for such a thing, but come on! I will continue to read this until the conclusion of the first story, then I’m out.

SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1: This one-shot lead-in to four new series is highly reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s original Sandman #1. (I really liked the phrase “titles martyred to retcon… ereased but unforgotten.”) I never really warmed up to the “Danial” Sandman, though. Now he’s gone. Well, reality survived without the first Morpheus for the better part of the 20th century, I’m sure we can do without Danial in the 21st as well. I’m (mildly) interested in two of the new series (The Dreaming and House of Whispers), but I have no interest in Lucifer or Books of Magic whatsoever. What this one-shot is more likely to inspire me to read is Sandman: Overture or the recently released House of Secrets omnibus.

STRANGERS IN PARADISE #5: I won’t be dropping SiP, of course. I’m not crazy.


This is the issue that introduces supporting character Chester Williams. Chester is kind of a hippie botanist who finds one of the Swamp Things tubers in the swamp. He gives slices to two of his acquaintances to ingest. The good person has a good trip and the bad person has a bad trip. Ultimately, Chester decides not to find out whether he himself is “good” or “bad.” One of Chester’s books is “A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.” I never read that, but I have read some Carlos Castenada. I always thought of Chester as a one-time character, but Rick Veitch brought him back as a regular.

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – OCTOBER 1931: Harold Gray introduces Mr. and Mrs. Terrace, whose baby was kidnapped. Their maid, Mrs. Cunning, was the woman who recognized Pat from the back of (what turned out to be her husband’s) taxi last week. For some inexplicable reason, the Terraces (they’re pretty stupid) have entrusted the investigation of their little girl’s disappearance to Mrs. Cunning. It was, of course, Mrs. Cunning who kidnapped the baby in the first place. She slipped the child to her husband, who left it in the cab to make a phone call. When he returned, the cab had been stolen. The cab was later found abandoned, but without the baby.

Mr. and Mrs. Cunning scout the neighborhood until they spot Pat through a window, they engage a somewhat shady lawyer to get a search warrant, but when they arrive, Pat is nowhere to be found. (Dr. Lens is away at the time.) Later, Annie retrieves Pat from her hiding place, Sandy’s dog house.

The crooks are none too smart, either. Ironically, the husband, Al, refuses to go ahead with the ransom plot until they have the girl because t wouldn’t be “honest.” They show up one day pretending to be Pat’s parents, but Pat rejects them. Annie trips them up with a simple trick, and Dr. Lens throws them out. Mr. and Mrs. Cunning can’t agree on how to proceed. They try to kidnap her again, but sandy fouls that up for them.

One day, Annie sees Mrs. Cunning on the street and trails her to her home. Then she follows her to a drugstore, where she uses the public telephone to make a call. Annie is friendly with the soda jerk, and asks him to eavesdrop next time. He gets the phone number Cunning gave the operator to dial, and from that Annie gets the address. Cunning had been calling the Terraces to report her progress. Annie takes a cab by the address and there she sees Mrs. Cunning, in her maid’s uniform, coming outside to pick up the newspaper.

It’s too much for Annie to figure out, so she decides to sit tight and see what happens.

I think Chester was also around for more of Moore's run, too. And he just was revealed to be Shaggy's uncle in Scooby-Doo Team-Up, which is perfect.

Other things: I've no problems with all of the DCU titles not being thrown into the Phantom Zone for a while, despite what's happening in Superman. I prefer that my comics don't line up  in lockstep like that -- I enjoy Coney Island Harley Quinn, for example, but never want to have to reconcile her with Suicide Squad Harley -- and for all of the duration of the Superman story, this whole event might only last a day or two in story time. I'm fine with it being glossed over or mentioned in passing until we see how it turns out. 

Likewise, I'm happy to learn that Johnny Storm is a good singer. It seems totally in line with his character. And I love that Sue thinks that she's better, but no one else does. That was one of my favorite parts of a somewhat underwhelming comic. 

And oh, man, The Question 14 is one of my favorite issues of that run. Simply outstanding. 

Oh, and I forgot the reason why I came back to this thread in the first place... I realized that in the last month or so, Titans has been "promoted" to a biweekly book, so it can be added to the list I provided above. 

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