Monday, October 1, 2018

Comic Haul 9/29 - Saluki Con

It's year two for the Saluki Con, and I attended the con with a friend of mine and ran into even more friends at the convention when I got inside. It was a very good show and a lot better than I was expecting, to be completely honest. Check out what I got!

I missed the con last year (then called the Eclipse Con to coincide with the 2017 solar eclipse) but managed to make this one, and I'm so glad I did. The Saluki Con was held in Carbondale, IL at the SIU Student Center about 15 minutes from my house. Normally when I go to conventions it's an all-day thing. This time, however, it was extremely close to home. Definitely a welcome change.

As you might expect from the con being in Carbondale, my local comic shop from Carbondale Campus Comics was set up there. My good friend Dan Brown [Twitter | Blog] who typically goes to conventions with me was actually working the con with my other friend Mike, who owns Campus Comics.

Attendance seemed pretty good. Lots of vendors, lots of people, and a lot of good things to look at and buy. And speaking of things to buy, maybe I should get on with showing the haul from the con. I haven't changed out the bags and boards on all the following books yet because I ran out of boards, so some of these might look a little rough. Anyway, here we go.

The first table I bought anything from was from a vendor named Justin Mosley with Wayne Kent Comics. He had tables and tables of boxes full of $1 books, and they were full of great titles. The thing that really caught my eye at his booth was this Greg Horn variant of the Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special on the wall behind him. The comic is supposedly limited to 1,000 copies, so it's fairly rare, but not impossibly rare. He had an $80 price tag on it, and I kind of hesitated about it because I didn't bring a ton of money with me to the con, but I did really want it. Without me even trying to haggle, he said he would give it to me for $60 and give me the stack of $1 comics I had pulled out of the boxes for free. You can't beat that!

These were the books he gave me for free. I think these comics are worth more than $1 each, honestly. I grabbed Iron Man #230 (which is a part of the Armor Wars story I'd like to put together), and Fantastic Four #348, #349, #398, and #399. I've been wanting these holofoil issues of Fantastic Four for a while, but online they're a bit more than I'd like to pay for a gimmick cover. I'm missing the final issue of that holofoil set, so I guess I'll have to suck it up and pay the online price for it.

While I was at that table, a friend of mine who was also at the con called me on the phone and told me that he had found a lot of carded Toy Biz Marvel Super Heroes action figures at a table. I made my way over there and took a look. The vendor had a lot of them, and I had a lot of the figures he was selling already, but I did find these two in the top row. The Thor figure is one I have only seen once before and the card on it was demolished, so I figured this would be one I'd have a hard time finding. The Doctor Octopus figure I had seen before, several times actually, but I always passed on it for one reason or another.

He had $20 each on them, which is about $5 more than I'm used to paying for these. I asked him if he would take $30 for the pair (meaning they would be $15 each) and he looked at them for a second and said that he'd take $15 for the Doctor Octopus but he'd have to stay firm on the Thor. I was okay with that; the Thor had a really nice card and I hadn't seen it often. He also had an opened Green Goblin figure which I grabbed for $3. The one I have from my childhood has his left arm completely broken off.

The Iron Man shown here actually came from the previous vendor's table. My childhood Iron Man is missing his arm braces, so I have this one for now until I find one boxed in better condition, which I'll then open this one. He only had $5 on this, too. I guess it makes sense because the card and bubble are really thrashed.

Then it was time to head to the booth run by my friend Scott Reed [Facebook | Website] of Burg Comics. He runs the convention in Harrisburg, IL that I went to and wrote about near the end of August. This time I bought Daredevil #111, which is the first appearance of Silver Samurai. This is a comic that has been on my wishlist online for a long, long time. I never end up pulling the trigger on it because it's usually a decent amount of money, and when I buy books online, I like to buy a lot of them for really cheap. Can't do that if my online budget is consumed from mostly one book. Here, however, it was right in front of me, and it was only $20.

Another great comic I bought from Scott is Star Wars #68 with an iconic Boba Fett cover. This comic typically goes anywhere online from $30 to $70 raw. Scott had a $15 price tag on it and gave me this and the Daredevil issue for $30 total. Scott is the man.

Then I met a super friendly vendor named Jack Thomas from Fortress Comics, which operates out of Clarksville, TN. This man is the ultimate salesman, let me tell you. He had his books very visibly priced, but he told me to not pay attention to those prices. He told me that while they typically go for what they're marked at, that they're his books and he can charge what he wants. When I type that, it sounds bad. What I'm trying to say is that, for instance, it might sell elsewhere for $30, but it's his book, so he's going to charge $15 for it to make a sale, and that's exactly what he did. I picked up this Incredible Hulk Annual #6 and this incredibly iconic cover (to me, at least) Iron Man #182. I don't think I have ever encountered Jack at any of the conventions I've attended. Maybe he'll start showing up at more. If you meet this guy somewhere, get ready to interact with one of the most personable and charismatic people you're likely to meet in the comic scene.

At another table, which I didn't catch their store name if they had one, I went though their boxes and pulled out these books. I'm a sucker for holograms, so I got this Adventures of Superman #505 with holographic fireworks for $2. Also got this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mighty Mutanimals #2 for $2, but it's not what I thought it was. I thought it was #2 to the series I have #1 of, but it's actually part of a whole other nine issue series. So I guess I have to start getting those now. An aside, this vendor had some pretty insane prices. Like, in a bad way, though. Their wall books seemed to be a bit overpriced, in my opinion.

Then while looking at that table, I happened to glance up and saw this beautiful Captain Marvel wall scroll across the room. I can't read the artist's signature or I'd tell you who it's by. I don't think the booth selling it was the person who created the art. Though I did read online that they, "have an art studio in which a group of friends get together and apply [their] own artwork" onto things such as wall scrolls. The vendor's name was Melissa Jeronimo, though I can't find any online store to link you to. Anyway, you might know I love Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel and you probably don't know I teared up when I watched the trailer for the upcoming movie, so this is something I had to own. There was also a really good Harley Quinn wall scroll that my one of my friends bought that I also wanted, but I only have so much wall space.

After that I counted up my funds and made one last trip to the original booth I started at, Wayne Kent Comics. I thumbed through a lot of the boxes and decided to finally start going down the Marvel Comics Presents hole. I got 17 issues of that, Infinite Crisis #2 (because it has Power Girl on it), Wolverine #43, #46, and #49, Marvel Super-Heroes Summer 1992 (because it has an unpublished Ms. Marvel story in it), Flash #80 (because it has a foil cover), Red Sonja #13 (because it has a Frank Cho cover), Prophet #1 (because I like crap old Image books), and Marvel Tales #124. All of these were $1 each. For curiosity sake, I just added up the cost from My Comic Shop of every comic I bought from this vendor, and had I bought these same books online, it would have cost me $101.54. That's insane.

Finally, I grabbed this Danger Girl figure I spotted earlier. I don't know if I'll ever be able to find the other characters, but this is at least a start. I was looking at the back of the package before I took the picture and remembered that I used to have one of the figures on the back. I had completely forgotten about that. The vendors actually used to be regulars at my Toys "R" Us before it closed. We recognized each other and talked a bit about the fall of TRU. They said I should have cosplayed as a sad Toys "R" Us employee. Not a bad idea, actually.

Before I wrap this up, I would like to tell a brief story about my friend Jimmy real quick.

I met Jimmy a while back. He was a regular customer at my Toys "R" Us and then he eventually started working there. Jimmy and I share a lot of the same interests, especially when it comes to comics from our youth. He too understands the appeal of a hologram comic cover from the 90s. Anyway, while I go to five or six conventions a year, Jimmy hasn't been able to go to any convention in many years. I don't think he's been able to go to one as long as I've known him, now that I think about it. He usually can't go because of a confluence of factors, but this time he was finally able to because the Saluki Con was about a half hour drive from his house.

Jimmy is the biggest Power Rangers fan I know. When a lot of people, myself included, think of Power Rangers, they immediately think of the original series we got back in 1993 and that's all they're familiar with. Maybe they otherwise know the one series that was on TV when they were a kid, but they typically aren't extremely knowledgeable about the franchise as a whole. However Jimmy, in my mind, is the authority on all things Power Rangers.

Jimmy (right) and his friend Chris meet some Rangers!
Attending the Saluki Con were two Power Rangers. I wasn't familiar with them, but Jimmy... Jimmy knew exactly who they were, and he was extremely excited that they were going to be there. These aren't the first Rangers he has met, but that didn't affect his excitement one bit. He got his picture taken with them and you can easily see how thrilled he is to be there. I asked him if he was okay with me putting the photo here in this article, and thankfully he was. I just wanted you to see how happy this man is in this moment. The smile on his face. It's a really sweet picture.

After leaving the con and heading back to my car, I noticed Jimmy putting his things away in his trunk. You could still see the excitement on his face as he was beaming the whole time he was getting in his car. It really made me smile and think about how excited Jimmy was in that moment. He got to go to his first comic convention in a long time, and not only that, but he got to meet Brennan Mejia and Alison MacInnis. Had this convention not been so close to his home, I doubt Jimmy would have been able to go.

He told me later that he had smiled so much on that day that his face hurt, and that was something he hadn't had happen in a long time. That's what I want to leave you with this time. The mental image of an adult man who had such a good time with his friends and experiencing the convention and all it had to offer that he couldn't help but smile to the point of his face hurting. Being an adult can be hard. There's a lot of things to worry about. But thinking back to when you were a kid, and you had no worries. No problems. That time of your life is special, and it's what you relive every time you go to one of these conventions. And that smile you see up there? That's a direct result of Jimmy attending this particular convention.

So well done, Saluki Con. Well done.

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