Sunday, April 24, 2005

MicroCon Minnesota 2005

I've been to the past couple of FallCon's in St. Paul, but I've never gone to the MicroCon Comic Book Convention that is held in the spring, until today that is. They used to host it at some hotel's conference room so I always assumed there wasn't much there. This year, however, the location got changed to the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, and since I wasn't really doing anything I thought I'd go for the heck of it. It wasn't quite as big as the FallCon, but there was enough stuff there for me to spend money on. That and I got to meet and say hi to Brent Schoonover, one of the Viper family.

As I said, I did manage to spend a little chunk of change, but not as much as I thought I did (only a little over $50). What I was most stoked to get was the full Midnight Nation run for only $15. I've been loving every issue of J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank's Supreme Power so for a while now I've wanted to pick up their previous work which I luckily found on the cheap.

Also on the cheap I found a whole boat load of Superman Elseworlds prestige trades. I actually managed to pick up 7 of them, as well as the 3 issue Superman vs. Predator prestige format series. So far every X vs. Predator or X vs. Alien mini I've read has been crap, but at least the Superman vs. Predator mini has art by Alex Maleev so it'll be pretty to look at. What's interesting is the sheer number of Elseworlds Superman stories I found in the bargain bins. There weren't really any Elseworlds stories of other characters to be found anywhere (although I did find two Green Lantern ones).

What really got me, though, was that I found zero Batman Elseworlds comics. At past cons, there were usually tons of Batman Elseworlds comics to be had. My guess is that maybe they were kept out of the bargain bins this time because of the upcoming movie. I could see retailors holding on to all of their Batman stock in the hopes of selling a bunch of it the closer the movie gets to being released.

As for graphic novels, I picked up a fair share pretty much on a whim from a $1 per trade box. You can't really beat buying books for a dollar a piece, especially when the cover on most of them is between 10 and 20 bucks. In case anyone cares these are the ones I picked up: Terminator: Endgame, Aliens: Apocalypse, Aliens: Hive, Nevada (a Vertigo trade by Steve Gerber), The Truth, Spawn: Blood & Shadows, and Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein.

In keeping with picking up Straczynski material I also picked up the Rising Stars: Bright 3 issue miniseries. I figure I might as well start picking up the Rising Stars offshoot miniseries since I preordered the huge-ass hardcover that collects the entire series. From what I've heard, it's supposed to be great series and as far as I'm concerned Straczynski is a wonderfully gifted writer. I don't care if people hate his Spider-Man run, I still really dig everything he does. Personally I haven't read his Spider-Man stuff, but that's mostly because I'm not the biggest Spidey fan in the world and reading Ultimate Spider-Man is plenty for me.

Speaking of Spidey, I grabbed the 4 issue Spider-Man: India miniseries from some 3 for a buck boxes. I thought it was a novel idea, at least for Marvel, and the art looked pretty so for a buck and 33 cents I'd give it a try. A side note about this series: it must have sold abysmally since most of the retailors there had plenty of copies of it in their bargain bins.

Rounding out my comic buys were some random issues of stuff to fill in runs and a bunch of IDW titles. I don't know how that company stays afloat with their high cover prices. $3.99 an issue just seems like such a rip off so I've never bought an IDW title off the rack. When I see them in the dollar boxes I'll pick them up, but I sure as hell won't pay cover price. In my digging I found an entire run of 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow and Meeednight Pulp Presents Secret Skull. Steve Niles' writing has been hit or miss with me, but I love Templesmith's art so even if the story sucks at least it's fun to look at.

As for the toy haul for the day, I didn't actually get much. At past cons I've brought home tons of Todd McFarlane figures, but not this time. I only found one that wasn't horribly overpriced or that I didn't already have--Rasputin from the Movie Madness series. A great figure, and wonderfully priced at $3! Instead of McFarlane figures, I found some sweet bobbleheads and at $3 a piece, you couldn't go wrong. I grabbed a Joker one for me and a Superman and a Catwoman for Kristin. The Joker will go in my cube at work with all of my other toys.

In the end, I think it was worth driving 100 miles for, even if I was only there for a couple of hours. Outside of the dealers' stock and meeting with Brent, there wasn't a lot to do there and I'm sure if I would have stayed and dug through boxes even more that I'd have no doubt spent the rest of my money in one fashion or another.

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