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“That’s a naked ass right next to my kid’s face”
Derek is back at his local comic book shop, Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, and this month he’s talking with customers and employees about returns. This is not about customers being unhappy with their purchases and then coming back into the shop to demand their money back. By “returns,” Derek is referring to the various titles, characters, and events that are making reappearances after years of silence or of being out of currency. This is an appropriate topic because over the past year there have been a number of works that have come back or that have been reassertion themselves in new forms. For example, they get the conversation going, surprisingly enough, with a discussion of Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage, which came back through Image Comics last year. The people who were there to talk with Derek — Krystle, Shea, Craig, Matthew, and Michael — were divided on this title, with some appreciating it, some not liking it, and one or two not even knowing what it is. But the conversation soon turns to more popular mainstream books that have been reappearing on the shelves, such as the new Star Wars comics published through (and returning to) Marvel. This leads to a brief discussion among the participants of other Marvel characters who are once again getting more panel space, such as Howard the Duck. While almost everyone there likes Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’s new series, Derek is the odd man out because Howard’s heavy-handed insertion into the Marvel Universe is not to his liking, and he sees the new premise as an easy and predictable ploy. But they discuss other returns as well, such as the Big Two’s return to universe-altering events, Convergence and Secret Wars; old titles coming back after Convergence but with very different creators, such as Gene Luen Yang (Superman), Ming Doyle (Constantine: The Hellblazer), and Sonny Liew (Dr. Fate); AiT/Planet Lar’s Astronauts in Trouble coming out from Image (although Derek can’t remember the title, for some reason); reprints of famous underground comix coming out in (expensive) collections from Fantagraphics; and more terror from Junji Ito in the form of Fragments of Horror and the new deluxe edition of Gyo. Of course, there are a lot of returns that the guys didn’t get around to discussing — David Lapham’s Stray Bullets from last year, the recently announced second issue of Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer, and old characters coming back to the Valiant universe — but there’s only so much you can pack into an on-location show before the shop has to close.
And be sure to return next month for another on-location show during Free Comic Book Day!