Hi Comic Shop Friends! Happy start of tax season! May the tax fairy bring you a refund, and you get to spend it in the shop!

John Dudas has been working through a few new collections (and is picking up another one in Erie, PA), so there are many new Modern keys on the wall. You all cleaned out half of it at the last Late Nite Comics! He’s been restocking and adding new books as he goes.

John Shearer and Kevin have been trucking through sorting and checking the collections too, and Kyle and I have been pricing and putting out tons of new back issues! The newest stuff is labeled on the boxes on the statue case, so come in and check them out.

MARVEL COMICS

Sinister has been battling the X-Men for over a decade, but now it seems that his secret schemes are paying off, and all his darkest dreams are coming true. Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Lucas Werneck start off the Sins of Sinister X-event that continues in Storm and the Brotherhood of Mutants, Nightcrawlers, and Immoral X-Men.

DC COMICS

From G. Willow Wilson and Jamie McKelvie comes the next One Bad Day. This time Catwoman is planning a heist to reclaim an item from her past, one that is now being auctioned off for way more than it was worth when in her mother’s possession. Batman tries to stop her from impeding his investigation, but she’ll do anything to steal it back, even tangle with the mysterious Forger.

Another Lazarus Planet one-shot! We Once Were Gods has four vignettes featuring Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and the Shazam Family as the Lazarus rain continues to affect all beings on Earth, human and extraordinary. Written by Francis Manapul, Dan Watters, Philip Kennedy Johnson, and Josie Campbell, with art by Francis Manapul, Max Dunbar, Jack Herbert, and Caitlin Yarsky, these stories continue the Lazarus Planet epic, and continue on in upcoming issues of Dawn of DC, and Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods.

SMALL PRESS

The follow-up to TMNT: The Last Ronin, Lost Years follows Michelangelo during the years when he only had Master Splinter’s journal and the need for vengeance. Original miniseries writers Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz team up with artist Ben Bishop to reveal the lost adventures of the Last Ronin. And it’s both a prequel and a sequel! In the present, Casey Marie Jones has become a new master to some adorable baby turtles to train the next generation of Ninja Turtles!

Inferno Girl Red is a new three-part mini set in the Massive-Verse from Erica D’urso and Mat Groom. Cássia Costa is moving to a new place, Apex City, with her mom and starting at a new school, but the big changes don’t end there. They’re just getting settled when an ancient cult rips the city out of the universe and casts it into darkness. Now the stories she heard about Inferno Girl Red are becoming her new reality, and Cássia has to embrace a secret legacy and find the courage to become a light of hope in the dark.

Look, it’s a new Darkwing Duck comic, what else do I need to say? Written by Amanda Deibert with art by Carlo Lauro. He is the terror that flaps in the night.

I haven’t bought an Archie comic since I was a kid, but they got me with the Mad Max: Fury Road (Best action film ever!) description and the most hardcore Josie and the Pussycats! Written by Aubrey Sitterson with art by Jed Dougherty. Pick it up, it’s fun.

First, here is some not-so-fun news from John:

“Unfortunately, Inflation has come to the comic book shop. Starting on February 13th, Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop will no longer be offering a 10% discount to file customers. This is not a decision we came to lightly. We are very much a “The Buck Stops Here” type of operation, but we thought we would give some insight about how we came to this conclusion.

  1. This decision is a direct result of the increased cost of shipping as well as the cost of getting comic books from three distributors, as well as a handful of publishers. At the start of 2020, all books came through Diamond Comics Distributors, and our discount reflected that. By the third quarter of 2021, Marvel Comics started coming through Penguin Random House, and DC Comics through Lunar Distributions, while most other products still come from Diamond. We also order directly through numerous other publishers, such as Scholastic and Simon and Schuster.
  2. After reviewing our books for 2022, the cost of goods has gone up 14%; in some cases, such as Diamond, the cost of shipping can be an additional 15%. Diamond’s shipping practices are near criminal, and an unrelated example is a pack of 100 backer boards costing $6.00 just to ship, which is why we use BCW when possible.
  3. In addition to the cost of goods, the cost of processing those shipments has gone up. More staff is needed to check in the books from the three major distributors each week to get them into your file. Publishers do not have a universal ordering and invoicing system. Each week, we must deal with multiple shipments arriving on different (sometimes random) days and format them into our system to prepare them for you on Wednesday. We need to be able to pay our staff competitive wages to make sure they stick around to keep this process operational.
  4. We love our customer base, and we want to continue to provide a full-service comic book shop. Many things we do are not cost-effective, but we do them anyway to get the books you are looking for into your hands whenever we can. We know that this mentality is also healthier for our big picture.
  5. We are waiting a month to make this change so that everyone has time to adjust their file accordingly. They do not need to feel that they ordered a book under the impression it was discounted when it will not be. It also gives everyone time to find a different service elsewhere if they feel they need to financially, and we understand that. We do, however, believe we provide the best service possible and are worth the discount elimination.
  6. We likely should have done this at the beginning of last year, but we tried to make it work for one more year. Healthy back issues sales at the beginning of 2022 helped us to hold off on this decision, but as the market has cooled a bit and we have a clear picture of 2022 in its entirety, it is time to go forward.
  7. To be clear, we are not in any trouble of going out of business; we are, in fact, doing this to keep ahead of this situation. We have been around for over 32 years, and we have gotten good at seeing the writing on the wall. From Marvel’s near bankruptcy in 1996 to the global financial crisis of 2008 to the pandemic of 2020, we have figured out a way to stay viable by responding to the state of the industry and the market.”

And now, onto the fun news!

This Thursday, January 19th, from 8 pm to midnight, it’s Late Nite Comics! We’ll have 50% off back issues (not including wall books) and SEVENTY long boxes of 50-cent comics! Marvel! DC! Small Press and Indie! This is the last chance for these books before they make their way into retirement at Uncle Todd’s farm in PA! Refreshments will be served, and we’ll be spinning vinyl!

And speaking of back issues: John has been putting new wall books out from some new collections, and there are a bunch of new back issue boxes on the table. We’ve added three new dollar boxes to check out, and Ben added even more discount graphic novels!

Just in time for the new trailer drop!

Look at this precious lil baby! He comes with all his choking hazards! So tiny! So cute!

And here’s The Mandalorian Season Three trailer if you haven’t checked it out yet:

MARVEL COMICS

We had Ant-Man; now, from writer Al Ewing and artist Kasia Nie, it’s time for the Wasp! Janet Van Dyne and her stepdaughter and fellow Wasp, Nadia, are threatened by an old enemy who may not be fully in control. Now the two women must confront the ghosts in their shared history to solve this mystery.

Marvel Tales spotlights fan-favorite characters, features timeless stories, and highlights talent from Marvel’s past in each issue. Issue #1 is Avengers Two: Wonder Man and the Beast #1-3, written by Roger Stern with art by Mark Bagley, first published in 2000. A buddy story set in California, as Beast tags along with Wonder Man while he tries to pick up the pieces of his life and make amends. His return to L.A. is not unnoticed by former adversaries, and trouble begins when the Living Colossus attacks the city. Can these two save the city while burying the ghosts of Wonder Man’s past?

DC COMICS

Bane broke the Bat, but he’s also a broken man. Living as a wrestler, he relives his greatest accomplishment every night by defeating someone dressed like Batman, but his past haunts him. When he hears that the drug Venom is back, he will do whatever he needs to shut down the facility for good and make sure that no one else is poisoned by the drug that controlled his life. Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter expand on the regrets and hopes of the legendary villain.

The world of Superman is changed forever in Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton. Written by Nicole Maines, C.S. Pacat, Frank Barbiere, and Leah Williams, with art by Skylar Patridge, Scott Godlewski, Sami Basri, and Marguerite Sauvage, this collection of vignettes from in and around Lazarus Planet finds the Earth’s protectors from Krypton hit hard. Dreamer’s visions may guide the heroes to victory. Jonathan Kent is having a bad day with the effects of the Lazarus Volcano. Mercy Graves is transformed and is forced to fight beasts with knife tails. Power Girl must free herself from the out-of-control Omen.

Celebrate with writer Tom Taylor and artists Bruno Redondo, Rick Leonardi, Scott McDaniel, Mikel Janin, and Javier Fernandez as Nightwing hits the milestone issue #100! Take a look back through the decades at what made Nightwing a beloved hero, and then, with Heartless creating a lair in Bludhaven, Nightwing sets up a headquarters of his own, with the help of some friends of course.

SMALL PRESS COMICS

Based on a true story? The Maniac of New York has finally been stopped. As the city celebrates, Detective Zelda Pettione tries to move on, but her life is suddenly so empty she almost wishes the Maniac was back. But be careful what you wish for. Writer Elliott Kalan and artist Andrea Mutti return, bringing with them a new Maniac!

New Image nine-issue mini-series, Immortal Sergeant, from Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura, begins on the eve of Jim Sargent’s unwelcome retirement. Grizzled, hard-drinking detective Sarge catches a break on the murder case that has haunted him, but now he’s forced to drag his son Michael along, or risk losing the lead.

Hey Comic Shop Friends!

We’ve been doing some new year cleaning and rearranging here at the shop, so come take a look at our re-done graphic novel wall! Ben’s been pulling out discount graphic novels, and everything has been labeled with new shelf tags. We also made space for a Staff Picks shelf!

I sold my first pick, Red Room, the first full day the new shelf was up. We’ll rotate these frequently, so take a look and pick up something new!

We also moved all the Local Comics together on the back wall display. They’re faced out and easier to browse! We welcome any local comic writers and artists who want to sell their books to bring them in.

Lastly, Late Nite Comics is back on Thursday, January 19th, 8pm to midnight! We’ll be open late and John just announced that back issues will be 50% off! (Sorry, no wall books included.) And 70, yes SEVENTY, long boxes of 50 cent stock will be out! Marvel, DC, and Small Press! These are books you’ll never get to dig through again, as they’re headed out to Uncle Tom’s Farm in PA soon! Also, refreshments!

It’s always a good time, and you never know what you’ll find in those discount boxes!

MARVEL COMICS

Approved by the Time Variance Authority, written by Paul Levitz, with art by Alan Davis, The Avengers: War Across Time #1 features the classic Avengers following Avengers #11. The Hulk is rampaging on the streets of New York City, but how is he connected to Kang the Conqueror? This is the start of a centuries-spanning showdown with Kang the Conqueror and the Avengers of different times.

Is he a man or a monster… or is he both? It’s the facsimile edition of Incredible Hulk #1 from 1962!

DC COMICS

Following the explosive events of Batman Vs. Robin #4, Lazarus Planet: Alpha one-shot, written by Mark Waid with art by Riccardo Federici, starts the DC Universe Lazarus Planet event. The Lazarus volcano has erupted, and as the chemicals rain across Earth, chaos begins as people develop new abilities, and those with already-extraordinary abilities change. Damian Wayne sends a distress call asking all who hear it to join him in the ruins of the Hall of Justice to help save the world. With a backup Monkey Prince story from Gene Luen Yang and Billy Tan. Could Monkey Prince hold the fate of all life in his hands?

Alan Burnett and Paul Dini return once more to the world of Batman: The Animated Series with the start of Season Three of Batman: The Adventures Continue. Locked in Blackgate Penitentiary, Muscle is being targeted by assassins before he can make a deal with Gotham City police. Batman needs to protect him, but the criminal underbelly of Gotham is one step ahead.

Reprinting Flash #123 from 1961, Barry Allen tears a hole between realities and ends up on Earth-Two. Before heading home, he has to help Jay Garrick with a trio of terrors: the Thinker, the Fiddler, and the Shade.

SMALL PRESS

We have three new Image #1s this week, and it looks like they are all back ordered already, so grab them quickly if you want them!

Kelly Thompson has an all-new Image series, Black Cloak, with art by Meredith McClaren. Described as Blade Runner mixed with Saga, this sci-fi/fantasy is set in the last city in the world, Kiros, as two Black Cloaks try to solve the murder of a royal and two others before the conflict tears the city apart. This first issue is triple length!

Rebooting his own work, Mark Millar brings back Nemesis with artist Jorge Jimenez. #1 of the new mini-series sees Nemesis kidnapping L.A.’s gang leaders and forcing them into a fight to the death. That’s just the start of the plans he’s been making for twenty years. And in seven days the city will find out why.

A new two-part mini-series, Spawn: Unwanted Violence, written by Todd McFarlane and art by Mike Del Mundo. Tracking down The Freak to enlist his expertise in extracting the location of File F, Spawn is forced to confront the very nature of good and evil when he witnesses an act of violence that he cannot ignore.

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