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Just a quick email this week reaffirming stuff we’ve already told you about, along with a few new developments. 


Here’s the featured new releases coming out this Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

First up, we’re here to talk about Donny Cates work at Marvel. (again.) Donny has two great runs going on right now at Marvel, with Doctor Strange and Damnation, as well as a breakout run on Thanos. 

This week we’ve got a new issue of Doctor Strange that ties directly into Damnation.

Damnation is only a four issue mini-series, with two issues out already. It’s got some minor tie-ins but you’re really good to enjoy the story by just reading Doctor Strange and the mini. Talk to any staff member in the shop and they’ll sell you on the purchase. We all love it. 

For the record, if you want to read Cates run from the beginning, start with issue #381. Marvel is in a nonstop reprinting mode on these books, so grab them when you see them. 

Cates other hot book is Thanos, and the third printing of issue #14 comes out this week. Cates started that title with issue #13. These books are being reprinted regularly as well. 

Cates is signed up to write a Cosmic Ghost Rider spin-off series, as well as a regular writing stint on Venom. It’s cool to have such a great writer on two big movie properties in 2018. 

For what it’s worth, Banner Hulk returns in Avengers #684 in ‘No Surrender’ part ten. 

The New Mutants movie has been delayed until next February, (word is it wasn’t scary enough) but that isn’t stopping Matt Rosenberg from launching his new creepy New Mutants Dead Souls mini series. 

Matt Rosenberg sold me on this series when we spoke with him in Portland. He says the New Mutants has been his dream project since he was a kid, and that it’ll show in the story. We talked about the characters for awhile and he really seemed energized.

Oh yeah, here’s that trailer. See it next February I guess!

Another book we shouldn’t have to sell you on is Mister Miracle, now in it’s 7th issue. 

Written by Tom King, this issue brings in Big Barda’s old crew, the Female Furies. Now, thanks to DC Superhero Girls, even my six year old daughter knows who they are. She’s not reading this book though, as it skews a bit more adult. Like King’s Omega Men, it analyzes war, torture and let’s even say family. Oh yeah, and suicide.  Entertainment Weekly says “by far the best comic on the stands right now.”

We’ve also got a FREE comic book for you this week, to tie into Syfy’s new Krypton series.

The show starts on March 21st next Wednesday. We’ve got hundreds of these books to give away so don’t sweat it!

I just flipped through our final book of the week and it turned out great. Puerto Rico Strong is an anthology supporting disaster relief from Hurricane Maria. All profits will go to relief and rebuilding in Puerto Rico. Many creators in this book are Puerto Rican as well.

For those who were wondering, we sold out of tickets to the Jim Steranko Dinner in three days! Thanks to all who signed up and supported this event! Remember, Jim will still be around all Free Comic Book Day Weekend!

We are also doing a little in-store event on Saturday, March 24th, Independent Comics Day. We’ve got 20 boxes of 50 cent indies to put out, many of which have never been looked at before. We will also have 50% of small press back issues, 20% off small press graphic novels, and some other cool stuff to give away to help you explore the word of comics outside of the big two!

Mark your calendar, stop by and spend some money, we’ve got a to pay for!

We are happy to announce that we have comics legend and all around renaissance man Jim Steranko coming out for Free Comic Book Day 2018 at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop! 

With his core of comic book work being at Marvel from 1966-1970, the influences of Steranko’s style can still be felt today. Steranko’s art added graphic design, surrealism, pop art, psychedelia, and optic art while maintaining a cool-jazz hi-fi hipness. Known mostly for his groundbreaking work in Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD and continuing into his iconic storyline in Captain America 110-111 and 113, he later went on to redesign the X-Men logo during his two issues on the title, 50 and 51. He has also contributed numerous pieces of cover art that have been reimagined often over the past five decades. 

So, why Jim Steranko?

  • It’s been a bucket list item for me to have him in the shop for years. I’m obsessed with late 60’s and early 70’s Marvel. To an extent, I am a Marvel Zombie. 
  • In addition to his comic work, many other elements of Steranko’s life are fascinating. He was an escape artist, a magician. He developed the conceptual art and look for Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark in just four images. He is a comics historian, and was editor of FOOM (Friends Of Old Marvel) Magazine back in the 70’s, as well as publishing two books on the history of golden age comics. He is considered the preeminent cover artist for Shadow pulp novels. These are all pop culture things I care about and that have had numerous ramifications in my life.  

  • As Stan Lee gets older, it makes me realize how important it is to get to see these creators while we can. JIm has fascinating stories of working with Lee, Kirby and all the greats. 
  • Speaking of Kirby, Jack based many of his characters on real people, and his creation Mister Miracle was inspired by Steranko. 
  • From his background, he is a consummate showman, and this shows in his public appearances. You don’t just get an autograph, you get the full Steranko experience when you see him. 
  • Steranko will have two important covers coming out in April, a limited ‘sketch’ cover for Captain America #700 and the 1970’s variant on the upcoming Action Comics #1000. We will ensure we have stacks of these books for sale at cover price. I thought it would be cool to say you got Action #1000 featuring Superman signed by Steranko in Cleveland. I really like Captain America too. 
  • He called me “Amigo” in an email. 

Jim will be around for all aspects of Free Comic Book Day this year, on both the midnight and day events on May 4th and 5th. He will be signing in the main FCBD room on Friday night from 10pm to 2am, then in the foyer next to the shop on Saturday from 10am to 7pm. This year’s art show theme will have a Steranko theme. We hope the Rust Belt Monsters can make it out for a Steranko inspired mural as well. 

JIm charges $20 for a signature, but in true CNJ fashion we figured out a way to smooth that out. We have gotten copies of two of his best graphic novels for a great price. Captain America Marvel Masterworks volume three, which contains his full iconic storyline (including some of  Kirby’s finest work on Cap as well), and X-Men Masterworks volume five, which contains both X-Men issues as well as additional material. These books both retail for $24.99 apiece and we’ll have them for only $10 each.  


For the fans that want to go above and beyond, we are trying something new. We are hosting a “My Dinner With Steranko” event on Friday night from 7pm to 9pm at a nearby restaurant before FCBD kicks in at 10pm. This is a ticketed event, and there are only 25 openings.

Tickets cost $150, and for that you get:

  • A SHIELD Omnibus Containing all of Jim’s Nick Fury work, including all of Kirby’s as well. (retail price $99.00)
  • A copy of the aforementioned Captain America volume three Marvel Masterwork. (retail price $24.99)
  • two signatures from JIm on any two items that you want. (retail price $40)
  • Buffet dinner and non alcoholics drinks, tip included. (you’ve got to buy your own alcohol Amigo)
  • Q-A with JIm conducted by me, as well as time for questions from attendees. 
  • Social time with Jim, before and after dinner. 
  • At the end, a group photo will be taken with everyone and Steranko. (Historically, no photos are allowed to by taken of him. This has been going on since his stage days and is part of the legend he has created. He rarely agrees to photos but in this case he said it was appropriate.) We will email you a copy of the photo post event. 

I’ve never done something like this before, but suffice it to say that when you buy into it, you’re helping to finance his visit and therefore helping everyone else out on FCBD by helping to bring him here. Please contact the shop to buy a ticket if you’re interested, they’re on sale starting…now. 

So there it is. We’re really big on finding ways for our older customers to enjoy their hobby through feelings of nostalgia, while also providing our newer customers with a chance to explore different parts of the culture and its rich history. I think we hit the mark on this decision and that it’s going to be a really memorable Free Comic Book Day. 

(and a pretty cool one too)

Here’s the featured new releases coming out this Wednesday, March 7th, 2018


First up is the much anticipated Oblivion Song #1, the new comic from Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman!

“A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years, they gave up. Nathan Cole…won’t. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those still living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe…Nathan is looking for something else? Why can’t he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?”

Kirkman made a pretty classy move by sending out advanced copies of issues #1-4 to all retailers so they could order with confidence. 

Since new material from Kirkman is pretty rare we’ve decided to put a copy of issue #1 into every file that gets Walking Dead. Please let us know if you enjoy it and would like it added to your file! You will not automatically get issue #2.

Next up is another great indie from Image, Gideon Falls #1 by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, who have worked together in mainstream comics on Old Man Logan and Green Arrow.

“The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake.”

We’re excited they finally have a project together without the boundaries of working for the big two. 

Speaking of the big two, over at Marvel we’ve got a pretty fun week. Marvel spun out a bit after the launch of Legacy but I’m honestly reading more Marvel Comics than I have in years. 

Amazing Spider-Man #797 is the official start of “Go Down Swinging”, Dan Slott’s final story arc on the book that will culminate with issue #800.

In case you haven’t heard, the original Green Goblin Norman Osborn has merged with the Carnage Symbiote to create the new threat of RED GOBLIN!.

Captain America by Waid and Samnee is also really good, coming from a biased point of view obviously. This issue leads up to #700 which will have a great new Waid story where he repurposes old Jack Kirby artwork into a new story!

I love this run but I’m also excited that Ta-Nehisi Coates is taking over soon and that he understands the responsibility that comes with it. Here’s an article on that!  

I have to admit I’m just reading through his Black Panther run for the first time and it is engaging. Seeing the movie made me want to read comics! It worked!

With the reappearance of the Infinity Stones, the race to collect them is on! Check out Infinity Countdown #1 this week. 

Here’s an article worth reading about who’s got the stones (pun) at this point. 

Also, we’re going to sell out so I’m hard-pressed to mention it, but Doctor Strange Damnation is the coolest, and issue #2 is out this week. Vegas went to hell, now it got puked back up, and very little has changed. Wong’s assembled a rag-tag team of heroes to save Stephen. This is the stuff I love. Look for the trade or add the book to your file. It’s only four issues. 

This week also starts the $1.00 Venom True Believer books, with reprints of classic issues in Venom history starting with Amazing Spider-Man #300 by Todd McFarlane. Look for them all month.

Here’s the teaser trailer:

It’s gotten mixed reviews in the shop but I believe in Tom Hardy. (Dunkirk!)


This weekend is also Cleveland ConCoction which is a home-grown convention that branches out of comics and into a little of everything else. The convention has moved out to Aurora this year.

Founder Stan Paulson has this to say:

“Heading into its 5th successful year, Cleveland ConCoction is a multi-genre sci-fi/fantasy/pop-culture/gaming little-bit-of-everything mashup convention unlike anything else in the immediate Cleveland area. This all fan-run, member and volunteer-supported, totally 501(c)3 non-profit Con is being held March 9-11, 2018 and features a wide variety of panels, cosplay, music, gaming, authors, artists, and vendors. This year the Con theme is “Heroes Vs. House” mashing up Superhero fun with a classic SchoolHouse Rock vibe. While in previous years ConCoction had been held at the Airport Sheraton, parking issues mandated a change of scenery, so this year it has moved to the Bertram Inn and Conference Center in Aurora, Ohio.

A lot of our customers put a great deal of work into this event, and we’ve had fun in years past. It feels like to never closes over three days, and that’s a compliment.

Another cool event this weekend will be the Cleveland Public Libraries Coffee and Comics lecture at Rising Star Coffee this Saturday morning at 10am.

Sequoia Bostick and Amalia DeGirolamo will be there discussing the process of creating their local independent Comics Anthology Vagabond Comics. If you’re a local creator, I’d have to think this one is a must. The class is in the Roastery at 3617 Walton Road. (Don’t make the same mistake I did and go to the shop in Hingetown.) These classes are in a really cool factory space, free coffee too. I’m going.

On a personal note:

We haven’t had a decent email in two weeks because we’ve been quite busy. I was elected to the ComicsPro Board of Directors in Portland Oregon, and I’ll serve a three-year term.

ComicsPro in a nonprofit trade association representing over 250 comic shops across the country with a handful overseas. Their mission is:


  • to help to develop better marketing and daily business practices for comic book retailers
  • to improve the condition of their industry by educating the public about comic books in general
  • to provide a voice for independent comic book retailers


Jim and I also spent a lot of time in Portland networking with publishers to help us create events for you year round. 

My wife and I were also invited out to Menlo Park in California for this year’s Facebook Small Business Council meeting. We met business’ from across the US who were awesome at whatever they did and learned a lot about what’s to come from Instagram and Facebook. We also met Mark Zuckerberg for the first time. Very focused and personable guy. 

But now we’re back, and it’s time to start planning FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018! (Spoiler Alert: we’re gonna nail it this year.)

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