This post won't contain any boasting about how fantastic a time I had at the Phoenix Comicon. I had a good time this year, but not a great time. There were scads of pop culture pushers, famous faces (Nichelle Nichols, Bruce Boxleitner, Garret Wang), artists, writers, and geek culture freaks of all ages. But something was off, something was missing for me this time around.
I didn't get enough
Last year and the year before, I got spoiled. Dealer Ed Robertson brought boxes jammed with old and newish comics priced at $1 buck each that would leave you breathless, and nearly penniless too. But not this year. Well, he did have dollar boxes. But they were filled with none of the books that I was interested in getting, which was something of a serious letdown.
Still, I was glad to get another chance to chat with Ed and his wife and grabbed a half-dozen of his dollar comics offerings for old time's sake. He also had a nicely priced copy of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 that I purchased ($10) from amongst his higher priced selections. It was also the first book I bought at the convention that was on my list.
I only spent two days at the con this year. Thursday had to be scratched for the Kings of the Mic concert in Tucson. In the time I had there, though, I managed to get my hands on all but two of the books on my list. The only ones I didn't buy were Hero for Hire #8 and Iron Fist #5. One dealer had a copy of the latter, but it was laughably overpriced at $50 dollars.
Thanks to more reasonably priced retailers (All About Comics, Graham Crackers, Harley Yee), I got copies of Iron Fist 3, 4 & 7, Hero for Hire #10 and Marvel Premiere 16 & 19. Finding those last two books enabled me to complete my Marvel Premiere run: Issues 15 through 25 feature the very the first Iron Fist stories.
At some point on Saturday, I also grabbed nice copies of issues 7, 8, 11 & 12 of the original Black Panther series. These were actually dollar offerings, too, but I scarcely remember who I bought 'em from. It could have been Ed. I recall taking another casual pass through his dollar boxes on Saturday. Oh, but there was one other guy who had about a dozen boxes--all of which contained books he priced at $1 dollar. So I'm gonna say that he was actually the source of these four books.
All in all, I left the con with a handful of nice books at very decent prices. But I also got to see some old acquaintances: Mike (the former owner of the gone-but-not-forgotten Atomic Comics, now immortalized in the movie Kick Butt) was there, as was Tom of Caveman Comics. Ol' Tom and I used to get into some of the best debates over social and political issues--and were right back at it again.
Yes, a good time was indeed had at Phoenix Comicon 13. But with next year's con already in mind, I'm looking for something more in the way of greatness.