Dec 31, 2014

Going Through Boxes 1: Licensed Comics

Lately I've been organising my comic collection. Here's a photo to show you some of my setup.

So, why don't we take a look through one of my short boxes full of comic books and see what's inside. Then we can discuss some of the random bullshit I own.

The box we'll go through is LC-1. My naming scheme is pretty simple. The M boxes are full of Marvel comics. The LC boxes are full of licensed comics.

Each short box can hold about 100 issues when they're bagged and boarded. Or, knowing the way I pack those motherfuckers in there, the box could have nearly 120 issues. But we'll go through series-by-series, rather than looking at individual comics.

So what's inside?

Let's start at the top with...

I've only got two issues of Adventures of Bayou Billy (there's only 5 issues in the series in total). Bayou Billy is one of only a handful of licensed computer game comics out there, and like most of them this one is from Archie comics. It's freakin' awful and I don't think I'll bother with getting the 3 issues I don't have.


Air Raiders! Woo! I've got a complete collection of Air Raiders -- all 5 issues. It's... okay. The world is kinda interesting -- with air being rationed by the evil overlords who our heroes have to fight. But at some point you kinda get tired of them inserting the word 'air' into mudane, everyday things. Just because the air is being rationed doesn't mean you have to sell 'air burgers' guys.


Animax is one of the more obscure and weird licensed comics in my collection. I've got all 4 issues of the series. I totally recommend it. It's a really weird little piece of ephemera. It's basically a perfect 1980s toy and toy comic -- but it came too late, and didn't have the budget to make it big. So what you're left with is four relatively weird, almost surreal issues of a really obscure comic.

I loved them when I was a kid, still love them now.


Battle Beasts was another minor toyline from the 1980s. Its only American fiction was this comic series from Blackthorne comics. Finding these in the box was a kind of delight. I've had issue 4 of Battle Beasts since the early 1990s, when I was first starting to build my comic collection. But I'd completely forgotten that I'd gotten issues 1 and 2 since then. Man. I really need to get issue 3 of this series.

It's an okay comic -- but it really feels like it was only just hitting its stride when it got cancelled. Issue 4 is definitely the best of the three I have.

Man, I still can't believe how good Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book is. It's really freakin' good. I only have 2 issues out of 15, but damn. I need more. MORE I TELS YA!

I have about 40 issues of Conan the Barbarian. They're freakin' awesome. I totally recommend this book. There's three things to recommend it:
1) It's the most masculine comic ever! It's badass!
2) A lot of the issues were drawn by John Buscema -- but unlike his superhero work, it's a John Buscema who actually gave a shit. They're freakin' awesome.
3) Conan hates sorcerers.

My comics are mostly second hand -- and mostly readers. (A reader is a comic book that's not in investment condition, but which is okay to read) As you can tell by my copy of the first issue of the Conan The Barbarian movie adaptation. This is part of a two issue series. I don't think I'll bother with issue 2.

You know, I never noticed until now that Conan and his friends are emerging from a giant vagina portal. That's neat. Maybe that's why the previous owner decided to draw hair all over Conan.

On the other hand, I DO have both issues of Conan the Destroyer... so go figure there.

 COPS! Man. This comic series really wowed me as a kid. I only had like 3 issues, but I loved the hell out of them. The comic doesn't really stand up to scrutiny as an adult -- but I have a fondness for it. I have all 15 issues in the series. My favourite ones are the ones where a rogue COP goes around robbing banks using a robot elephant with a vacuum suction device in its trunk.

 Why don't I have more issues of Count Duckula? I had the whole lot when I was a kid. Oh yeah -- I think I gave all my other issues of Duckula to my sister one Christmas as part of a nostalgia gift for her. That's also why I don't have stuff like Care Bears in this box any more.

The Duckula comic is pretty okay. My favourite part is the Danger Mouse backups.

There's only 3 issues of Dino Riders.  I have two. This is one of those comics that seemed to end far too soon. It's one of the first series that made me realise how unforgiving comic collecting could be. The story was getting really dark and weird and awesome by issue 3.

I have basically no comics left over from my childhood -- I basically read them until they fell apart. Part of collecting for me is an endless quest to get back those comics. Man. I really need to get a copy of issue 3.


Annnnd last of all we have G.I. Joe! I've got about 80 to 100 issues of the original 155 issue run. The first 50 issues are where most of my gaps are -- because I've got the Marvel TPBs of those issues. G.I. Joe is a really good comic -- up to a point. See, the book's biggest problem in the early issues was that the villains were all much more interesting and engaging characters than the heroes.

That would have been okay, except writer Larry Hama just went ahead and, one-by-one, made all the villains into heroes -- or killed them all off. By the time Zartan, and Storm Shadow and Destro are no longer really antagonists for the G.I. Joes and he's resorting to making Firefly into a badass ninja, you know the book has no more life left, despite it limping on for another 20 or 30 issues. I would recommend just reading the first 100 issues and leaving it at that.

Well that's it for this box! I'm sure I'll do another catalogue article in the future, Although these things could get insanely long. Hopefully every box has some nice 30 or 40 issue runs like this one did to keep the number of series to go through down.

--Andrew S.
(If you want more detail about any of the individual series I've shown off here, feel free to ask me.)

1 comment:

  1. Wow - nice collection though if these are readers why spend so much money/effort on bagging and boarding them?
    Do you also bag and board all comics, even recent ones like phantom?