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  1. #1
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    Default Reading random comics

    I have a lot of comics. Many I've only read once. Many I haven't read. I constantly have various reading projects going on, so I'm always dipping into the back issues. But I know it's only a limited subset. Some will fall through the cracks. Some I'd enjoy if I ever got to them. So, to mitigate the effect of comics being forgotten in my long boxes, I am going to read random comics.

    Aiming for 1 everyday, to the extent time permits. I choose a random rack, then a random box, then a random portion of the box, then reach in. (Thanks to random.org for providing a great approximation of true randomness.)

    Anybody else interested in joining along and reading some of their random comics? I figure I'll try to post about what I read. In this thread if it generates interest. Or I may just mix it into what classic comics I've read lately.

    Tonight, I start with rack 2, box 10, a little over halfway through. And lo and behold:
    The Spectre #9 from 1987. By Moench & Morrow. Let's see how it is.
    formerly coke & comics

    Sleepwalker is Sandman done right. ~Tadhg

  2. #2
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    I haven't read a lot of Spectre. I picked up the first trade of the Ostrander run years ago and loved it. As they have never (for reasons beyond me) put the rest in trade, I began slowly but surely seeking out the back issues, intending to read the whole series once I did. The project continues. I recall from the introduction to the trade a debate Ostrander had had about how to write Spectre, and whether it was possible to keep the stories interesting without depowering him.

    Moench had obviously found not, and issue 9 of this series features a greatly depowered Spectre, reduced to "the most powerful spirit on earth". Bonded with Corrigan (or perhaps a manifestation of Corrigan's soul?) he hunts down murderers. In this issue, he gains power apparently from spirit-sex with Madame Xanadu, who spends the whole issue quite naked (surprisingly so for a comic without any "mature reader" warnings on the cover), and has decided to use his psychic powers to hunt murderers before they murder a la Minority Report. The issue spends time on the victims and killers to be, before seeing Spectre dispense his often lethal prejustice. Disturbed by the morality of this, Corrigan tries to kill himself and so Spectre, but fails, and the comic ends with an excellent discussion between Corrigan and Spectre on the morality of this prejustice system, offering no easy answers. All in all a good issue.

    If I had this whole series, I may read it. As it is, I only have sporadic issues, 4 being the earliest. And thus it's a series I may overlook except for a random number generator telling me to pull it out of a box.
    formerly coke & comics

    Sleepwalker is Sandman done right. ~Tadhg

  3. #3
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    I just looked it up on GCD and I think I might have to give this series a try: haven't read much of the Spectre, but I like the supernatural stuff, Moench was always a reliable writer, and with artists like Gene Colan and Gray Morrow this has to be worth a look at the very least.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JKCarrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N View Post
    In this issue, he gains power apparently from spirit-sex with Madame Xanadu, who spends the whole issue quite naked (surprisingly so for a comic without any "mature reader" warnings on the cover),
    I remember there was a minor uproar about this at the time. Apparently, it was a production error -- if you look at the "nude" scenes, it appears the wisps of green smoke were supposed to cover her naughty bits, but the outlines of her body showed right through. Oops!

    I really enjoyed the Moench/Morrow issues, but lost interest when they changed artists and made the book more action-oriented somewhere in the teens.
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  5. #5
    COMIC BOOK HISTORIAN dogwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N View Post
    I have a lot of comics. Many I've only read once. Many I haven't read. I constantly have various reading projects going on, so I'm always dipping into the back issues. But I know it's only a limited subset. Some will fall through the cracks. Some I'd enjoy if I ever got to them. So, to mitigate the effect of comics being forgotten in my long boxes, I am going to read random comics.

    Aiming for 1 everyday, to the extent time permits. I choose a random rack, then a random box, then a random portion of the box, then reach in. (Thanks to random.org for providing a great approximation of true randomness.)

    Anybody else interested in joining along and reading some of their random comics? I figure I'll try to post about what I read. In this thread if it generates interest. Or I may just mix it into what classic comics I've read lately.

    Tonight, I start with rack 2, box 10, a little over halfway through. And lo and behold:
    The Spectre #9 from 1987. By Moench & Morrow. Let's see how it is.

    out curiosity are your comics in any kind of particular order???
    R.I.P. CARMINE!

  6. #6
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogwelder View Post
    out curiosity are your comics in any kind of particular order???
    Yeah, they are broken into categories (Archie, Avengers, Batman... Tick, Transformers, X-Men), then alphabetical, then by issue.
    formerly coke & comics

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  7. #7
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    I'll give this thread a few days. If others don't want to jump on the random comics bandwagon, I'll just post about my random comics in the "what have you read lately" thread. I don't want to seem narcissistic.

    In the meantime, today's random comic is Birds of Prey #36, by Chuck Dixon and James Fry, from 2001.

    I was a big fan of the early issues of Birds of Prey, and those first 20 or so issues are on my list of things to eventually reread. I recall this being solid work by Dixon/Land. (This was Land before he decided it was more profitable to never actually draw anything). But those early issues had an interesting dynamic that Oracle and Black Canary had never met, but were nonetheless becoming close. (I read this years before I ever found comic forums, so I had no personal experience to connect to this relationship.) With that dynamic gone, the series lost what made it special, and I slowly lost interest. But because of my buying habits at the time, I still have issue 36, around 16 issues after the last one I really liked.

    This is a tie-in to the Last Laugh miniseries, in which Joker is dying and has plans to do something or another. In this issue, Black Canary battles Joker and a mess of supervillains, some of whom have been Jokerized. She holds her own impressively. The issue features little to complain about, but also little to justify an entire post dedicated to it. All in all, a pretty unremarkable comic.
    formerly coke & comics

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  8. #8
    COMIC BOOK HISTORIAN dogwelder's Avatar
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    cool...gotcha method now.

    except for friday i read 4 hours of comics every night.

    knowing where all my comics are in every box i decide if i wanna read marvel, dc, or other publishers.

    if i pick say....dc i try to find a run of comics i read monthly and pull out a 4 or 5 year run to finally read straight thru.
    i have no rhyme or reason except what my gut tells me.

    sometimes i pull out a run and 3 issues in i lose the feel...then i go and try another. it happened this week when i pulled out the hourman run from the late 90's and wondered why i bought them in the first place. they sucked.

    i then went with the jla from 2002-2006 and plowed thru them .

    i have know idea what i'll read tomorrow night....it keeps me guessing.
    R.I.P. CARMINE!

  9. #9
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    This is a fun concept and it'll help add a little variety to my 2013 reading list, today I picked at random Incredible Hulk #340 by Peter David and with art by Todd McFarlane. PAD is one of my favorite writers and his work on the Hulk is my favorite section of his career. While this isn't one of my favorite issues of his run it's probably one of the more famous as it pits the Hulk against Wolverine. I tended to like PAD's Hulk the most when it toyed with more cerebral or science fiction ideas like in his Maestro story but he does a straight up super hero smack down pretty well too.

  10. #10
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    This morning before heading off to work, I rolled the die again and found my way into one of my boxes of comics to get rid of. As I have a lot of comics, many of which I don't need. I found Spawn: The Dark Ages #2. I only have a few issues of Spawn and the only Spawn I have actually read is where he crossed over with Batman. But I saw the movie many years ago, and recall really loving his cape in the movie.

    This comic is by Brian Holguin, who I am unfamiliar with, and Liam McCormack-Sharp, who I generally like. The comic is almost entirely splash pages, and thus comes off as short. For that, there are one hell of a lot of characters, and it is somewhat disjointed. Perhaps having read #1 would help (I don't seem to own it), but I have my doubts.

    The narrator of the story goes by the Black Knight. And then we have Hellspawn (these I think are the same person). And Merlin, who I think is going to mentor Spawn. But he's only on a page. We have a cruel baron who abuses the country he controls. There is a young boy Pevvyn, hoping for a hero to save them. The baron's wife Eloise is sick. There are the three dark sisters, largely naked but without lady bits. The comic ends with Spawn confronting these sisters.

    We also get the origin of Spawn, that a sinful knight had gone on the Crusades to redeem himself, and was sure the many infidels he killed would win him a place in heaven. Instead he got sent to hell, and there made a warrior of hell and sent back to earth.

    Perhaps this issue would make more sense in context, but for now I think I'm content to keep it in the box of comics to get rid of.
    formerly coke & comics

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  11. #11
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    I think I got a copy of that Spawn issue, or one like it, with the Medieval Spawn action figure as a kid; I loved the toys but never really got into the comics.

    For my pick today I pulled out Beauty and the Beast #2 and as it was part of a mini series I figured I might as well just read the whole thing straight through rather than just a single issue in the middle. I'm not huge X-Men fan, but I've always loved the Beast, so it's no surprise to find this in my collection though frankly I had forgotten I even owned it and for the life of me I can't remember the last time I even re-read it. Still, this was a fun book by Ann Nocenti and has a great mix of action and romance which typically isn't a genre I seek out in comics.

  12. #12
    *blink* Chris N's Avatar
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    X-Statix #26 by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred

    I think the Milligan/Allred X-Force is among the best superhero comics I ever read. But I am yet to go back and reread it since it came out. That is something I will rectify someday soon though. Meanwhile, I gave the final issue a reread. Excellent way to end the series, and makes a nice bookend with the first issue (at least my recollection of the first issue; it has been many years).
    formerly coke & comics

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  13. #13
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    Todays draw was the Argonauts #4, and for completion's sake 1-3 as well. Published by Eternity comics in 1989 and written by Bill Spangler and penciled by Patrick Olliffe. This book was like the Challengers of the Unknown 80's style as it has little of the sense of hope or sense of pure excitement that the Challengers had but the action was good and although a bit of a downer tonally the themes did give one pause.

    It's not a bad book, but it isn't really on of my favorites either.

  14. #14
    Cute.5 Aaron King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris N View Post
    X-Statix #26 by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred

    I think the Milligan/Allred X-Force is among the best superhero comics I ever read. But I am yet to go back and reread it since it came out. That is something I will rectify someday soon though. Meanwhile, I gave the final issue a reread. Excellent way to end the series, and makes a nice bookend with the first issue (at least my recollection of the first issue; it has been many years).
    One of my favorite comics ever. I wrote my undergrad capstone paper about it.
    All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo

  15. #15
    Mark Brodersen hondobrode's Avatar
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    I don't have the entire run, but some scattered issues of that Spectre run and remembered liking it, though honestly, I'm a sucker for the character.

    Never dug Spawn.

    X-Statix - Yeah. Good stuff indeed. One of the best things from Marvel turn of the century.

    BTW Chris, I like the idea. I have a lot of stuff I'm in the middle of sorting and cataloging now and will also jump in and add an issue a day or so as I can. Sometimes it can give surprising insight.
    I am what I am and that's all what I am

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