Free and Cheap Comics

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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:01 am

Image has a 50% off sale until 12/2. Enter "image" at checkout.

A few of my favorites:

Chew: Supernatural buddy-cop comedy involving characters with food-based psychic powers.

Autumnlands: Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey's riff on Kamandi, featuring a world of anthropomorphic animals and magic.

Rat Queens: A smartass take on a D&D-style setting starring a team of female adventurers.

Trees: Warren Ellis and Jason Howard's series about a world after an alien apocalypse.

The Fuse: Police procedural set on a space station.

I've also heard good things about Lazarus, Outcast, and They're Not Like Us, but I haven't read them.

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Thad
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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:09 pm

Comixology is running a deal called 12 Days of Comics where they give away a free comic every day.

If you don't have a Comixology account, Amazon's just integrated it with your Amazon account, too.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Mothra » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:10 pm

Is Trees good? Or is it just vague and strange? I was curious about that one.

Picked up a few random comics in a dollar bin, including an issue of X-Files Season 10 (Mulder escapes from a basement, confronts captor, then captor is killed just as he starts to unveil the great big mystery... I mean, that's what I imagine X-Files is at its worst), an issue of Doom Patrol (literally nothing happens, then we see the Doom Patrol resolve to Do A Thing in the last page), and two issues of Gail Simone's Birds of Prey, where Black Canary fights a ninja named White Canary and wins when she uses her screaming powers.

Comics are terrible.

Also found that there's a new Squirrel Girl, only its been renumbered back to #1, so there's now two Squirrel Girl #1's released in the same year. In it, they recap everything and start talking about mutants/inhumans and I'm like uhhh ohhhhh

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:34 pm

Mothra wrote:Is Trees good? Or is it just vague and strange? I was curious about that one.


Well, it's a comic written by Warren Ellis, so it's jam-packed with neat ideas and colorful characters and will probably just end for no reason after the first 15-20 issues.

Mothra wrote:Also found that there's a new Squirrel Girl, only its been renumbered back to #1, so there's now two Squirrel Girl #1's released in the same year.


They've had some good fun making fun of that, though.

Mothra wrote:In it, they recap everything and start talking about mutants/inhumans and I'm like uhhh ohhhhh


I thought it was pretty funny when her mom explained that she's not sure how she got her powers but she's definitely not a mutant and that statement is legally binding.

Issue 2 was great. She gets trapped back in time in the 1960's. It's always a little weird dealing with Marvel's sliding timescale and the idea that there were no superheroes in the 1960's, but it's still a really fun story.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby zaratustra » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:12 am

Mothra wrote:Is Trees good? Or is it just vague and strange?


Yes.

OK sorry.

It's a bit... overambitious I guess. There's like four or five different stories being told at the same time and they're super-decompressed and I really think it'd all just fit better as a book.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:03 pm

Aw man, it's another Humble Image Bundle.

There's a lot of good stuff in there. The $20 tier gets you the first arc of Bitch Planet and the first 47 issues of Invincible. That's a pretty great deal.

Middle tier's got the first arc of Injection by Ellis and Shalvey, the first arc of Trees (that thing again!) by Ellis and Howard, a single issue of Rat Queens, and some other stuff. But even at the intro tier, you get the first Wytches arc (which is pretty great), Sunstone (if you're into softcore S&M), and a bunch of other stuff I haven't read but hear good things about.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:44 am

IDW Mature Readers sale.

The Parker series is pretty great. I hear good things about Infinite Kung Fu. From Hell is a classic but I don't know if I'd recommend it on a tablet; the two-page spreads are a pretty essential part of the experience.

Most books are DRM-free. Lost Girls isn't; not sure why, but anyway you probably don't want Lost Girls. If you're looking for porn, Chester 5000 is three bucks, and is a much better comic than Lost Girls.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Kayma » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:52 am

My shop has had a giant hardcover of Lost Girls behind the counter for as long as I can remember. I threaten to buy it one in awhile.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:47 pm

Image Eisner Nominees sale.

Lots of great stuff in there. I haven't kept tabs on Invincible in ages but I like the first few books, anyway. Autumnlands and Bitch Planet are a couple of current favorites. I thought the first volume of Southern Bastards was excellent but it was a pretty rough read and I don't think I'm in a hurry to get the second one.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Wed May 25, 2016 12:44 am

Oh hey, there's a bundle at a site called Groupees with some great shit in it, from multiple publishers.

$5 gets you The Fuse, Locke & Key, and Chew, which are all fucking fantastic. $12 gets you the first Parker book, which I've been talking up in our various conversations about the late Darwyn Cooke, and Saga, which is one of my favorites of the past few years.

There's some pretty great stuff at the $25 tier (Ragnarok is awesome, and the complete Rocketeer has definitely caught my eye), but there's one thing that's got me a little wary: some of these books are only available in EPUB and PDF, no CBZ. Why no CBZ? It's especially weird with books like Locke & Key, which I know for a fact have good CBZ versions, because I have read them.

Anyway, what I think I'm gonna do is kick in at the $5 level and see how the PDF's look. (I've been meaning to read Revival.) If they're good, I'll go ahead and throw in another $20, and report back.

EDIT: I had an update a minute ago saying that the quality of the files is lousy, but I may walk that back. They look awful on my desktop readers but maybe not so bad on my tablet; could be a problem with the software on my desktop. I'll update when I can make a better call.

EDIT 2: Okay, the EPUBs are pretty poor-quality but the PDF's aren't bad. Revival (Image) looks great in Perfect Viewer; A Boy and a Girl (Oni) has some blurring when it's zoomed to fullscreen but it's perfectly decent. I think I probably will go ahead and spring for the Rocketeer level.

And it turns out you can gift the ones you don't want, too, so I'll probably put the ones I've already got up on offer in the Redundant Key Giveaway thread later.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:39 am

You know, it would be easier to figure out what comics in the Humble Ghostbusters Bundle I don't already have if they were collections like the last Humble Ghostbusters Bundle instead of single issues.

...and yeah at some point I really need to post that list of comics I want to gift from that Groupees bundle. I'll get to it, guys.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:20 am

Okay, so it's been a bit, but here's a partial list of books from the Groupees Bundle of Independents that I've already got or otherwise wouldn't mind parting with (I'll add more later; there are a lot). Let me know if any of you guys want any of these.

The Boys vol 1, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
A pretty nasty sendup of the superhero genre starring a Simon Pegg lookalike, who joins a group dedicated to getting revenge on superheroes because superheroes are assholes. It's not my cuppa; I quit reading after issue 2, which features a scene where a Justice League analogue won't let a Wonder Woman analogue join the team until she has sex with them. It is not for me. But if you want a merciless superhero parody, this is one. And if you dig Garth Ennis, this is very, very Garth Ennis.

Chew vol 1, by John Layman and Rob Guillory.
One of my favorites. A dystopian supernatural buddy-cop comedy. Following a bird-flu epidemic (which may have been a false flag by the government), poultry is outlawed. The FDA (which has supplanted the FBI) enlists the aid of Tony Chu, a man who can read memories from anything he eats. By the end of the first issue, he's forced to (reluctantly) resort to cannibalism to solve a case; hilarity ensues.

Locke & Key vols 1 & 2, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
Another great damn comic. It's a supernatural horror book, and it starts out pretty rough, with a rape, a murder, and a very disquieting couple of villains. From there, our major characters, three siblings (two high-school-aged and one younger), move to their father's mysterious old house in the country, where they discover secrets that are both wonderful and terrifying. It never stops breaking your heart, but it is a legitimately wonderful character study, about childhood, growing up, family, friends, honor, heroism, grief, and coping.

Parker vols 1 & 2, by Darwyn Cooke, based on the novels by Donald E Westlake under pen name Richard Stark.
Here's what I said about the series a few weeks ago, following Cooke's tragic and sudden death:

Thad wrote:For those not familiar, Parker is a classic series of crime fiction that started back in 1959; the books have been adapted to film multiple times but with the title changed at the author's request. (Point Blank and Payback are both adaptations of The Hunter.)

Cooke's adaptations (the first of which was done with author Donald E Westlake's collaboration prior to his death) take an interesting tack; they're monochromatic (first book all in blues, second all in yellows, etc.) and alternate between comics pages and illustrated prose. It's striking and it's different and I really like it; one of these days I'll get around to reading the last two.


I'm not quite sure how the "Gift" button works on Groupees; I'm guessing I fill in an E-Mail address and then you get a link which asks you to sign up for an account, but I don't know for sure. PM me your E-Mail, let me know what you want, and I'll hit the Gift button and see how it works.

More to come.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:53 am

Saga vol 1, by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
The other day I was in the comic shop and I overheard the guy behind the counter telling a customer, "Yeah, I think it's the best comic currently being published." I thought, "Unless he's talking about Squirrel Girl, he's wrong." I listened a little more, realized he was talking about Saga, and decided okay, he's got a point.

Image is putting out a slew of really, really good books right now. The Walking Dead blazed that trail a decade ago, and then Saga came along and opened the floodgates. If you'll pardon the mixed metaphor.

Saga's a space opera. Two races are at war. A POW, Marko, and his jailer, Alana, fall in love; they escape together and have a baby. Their union and child are seen as a threat by the powers-that-be, who don't want the war to end. So Alana, Marko, and Hazel go on the run, pursued by such colorful characters as Prince Robot IV (a member of both the royal family and a race of aliens with TV's for heads) and the Will (a bounty hunter with a giant blue hairless cat; the cat can tell when people are lying). It's also very NSFW -- remember the comic that Comixology wouldn't put on the iBooks store because of an on-panel gay facial? This was it. (No, the book's not porn. But it's got scenes that are pornographic. And a few that are just gross, like the naked giant with his naked giant scrotum.)

I've spoken about Saga at some more length in a blog post called Saga: Sexy, Funny, Thrilling, and Sad, back in '13. (Warning: contains some spoilers, including the death of a supporting character.)


Saga's still ongoing and it's still great. I think it's probably going to be one of those books like Sandman, that continues to print and sell long after it's finished, continues to serve as a lot of people's entry point into comics, and is remembered as possibly the best book of its decade.

Anyway, Saga vol 1; let me know if you want it.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:12 am

Oh snap, there's a Dark Horse bundle on.

I guess this isn't the first Humble Bundle they've participated in; I remember commenting on their Crime Does Not Pay reprints. (I do not care for the colors.) And I wanna say I've seen Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai in one of these before, maybe? But mostly they don't do the DRM-free thing (at least, last I checked), so this is a good chance to get some DRM-free Dark Horse comics.

Anyway. There's some good shit in this one. Busiek and Nord's Conan is solid. (Their reprints of '70's Marvel Conan, on the other hand, are another example of a reprint collection with colors that offend my sensibilities.) I remember the Mass Effect comics being pretty fucking aggressively mediocre, too. Milk and Cheese is a classic, and The Goon is pretty good. I haven't read Yokai but I sure do love me some Usagi Yojimbo.

Also, nobody's taken me up on any of the books I mentioned in the last two posts; if anybody wants any of them, PM me your E-Mail and I'll gift them to you.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:57 pm

Jack Kirby's adaptation of The Prisoner.

Kirby completed the pencils on the first issue; the inks and letters aren't all there and color work was never started.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:15 am

Happy Banned Books Week! There's another Banned Books Bundle this year, mostly comics and comic-adjacent prose.

If I have a gripe, it's that I've already bought half this stuff in previous bundles. Oh look, it's Saga, Sunstone, and Barefoot Gen again.

Still, there's plenty of good stuff in there I don't already have. I might go ahead and buy it anyway, even with the redundant stuff.

And if you don't have these comics, they're well worth getting. Saga is a modern classic, and The Love Bunglers is probably the best comic I've read in the past decade; Jaime Hernandez outdid himself, and that's a high fucking bar.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:59 am

And the new Humble Bundle is Transformers.

I'm not gonna lie: I did not care for the Infiltration-Escalation-Devastation-Revelation run, and the reason I hung on through that whole series was that it was running concurrently with the Spotlight series, which was good. And then All Hail Megatron started out and was great at first but then got fucking stupid at the end, and I quit reading.

So don't buy the set for Infiltration and Devastation, is what I'm saying.

But.

From what I understand, it actually got really good right after I quit reading. It split into two series, More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise (Robots in Disguise was later retitled just "Transformers", because a new cartoon came out under the RiD title). I haven't heard much about RiD, but Chris Sims described MtMtE as "the single best comic book on the stands." And while Sims is given to hyperbole, he and I often like the same things. So I may be willing to give this bundle a shot based on that recommendation.

The bundle also includes the recent Transformers vs. GI Joe series, which has gotten rave reviews all over the place. I haven't read it but I fucking love everything about the faux-1980's art style.

There's some other GI Joe stuff in there, and also Action Man at the $8 tier. And at the $15 tier you get the Cobra Civil War, the first two issues of the relaunched ROM series, and the Revolution crossover that ties all the various Hasbro properties into a single universe.

(Sadly, Jem and My Little Pony are still separate universes, and nobody seems to remember COPS at all.)

I don't know much about any of that stuff, but Revolution Prelude is free on IDW's site if you want to check it out before throwing down the extra $7. I'll probably end up at least checking out the $8 tier for Transformers vs. GI Joe.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:01 am

I remembered I'd gotten the first couple volumes each of More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise in a previous bundle. (It was the bundle with the shitty downloads; either ridiculously oversized PDF's or noticeably low-quality CBZ's. The nice thing is that, while not all of the downloads from that original bundle have been replaced with better files, MtMtE and RiD have, presumably because they keep showing up in other bundles, such as the current one.)

I think they're pretty great, and I recommend them. I'll probably write more about them later, but the setup is this: the war's over, the Autobots won, and the comic splits into two separate series: More than Meets the Eye, where Rodimus travels the galaxy searching for a MacGuffin with a crew of misfits and has a series of wacky misadventures, and Robots in Disguise, where Bumblebee takes over the leadership of Cybertron and tries to figure out how to restore civilization after a four-million-year war, and negotiate peace not just between Autobots and Decepticons, but also with neutral Transformers who never chose a side and hate both factions for the whole four-million-year-war thing. I'm enjoying both quite a bit so far.

I also read the free preview issue for Revolution, and...nah, not for me; just another giant fucking crossover. Though I do kinda like that the humans view Optimus Prime as a sanctimonious, condescending asshole.

So I wound up putting up $8 for the middle tier in the current bundle.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:59 am

Doctor Who by Titan Comics bundle, the first entry of which is for some reason a comic that was originally published by IDW.

It looks like a pretty good, meaty set if you're into Ten and Eleven. Plus Twelve at the $15 level. And The Forgotten is pretty good and features the first ten Doctors but suffers near the end when it loses artist Pia Guerra.

But as far as the books I'm most interested? Well, I've been meaning to read The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who (by Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton), but a one-shot's not worth eight bucks. And I've also been interested in checking out some of the early Doctors' miniseries, like Three (by Cornell and Christopher Jones), Four, Eight, and Nine, but the bundle's only got the first issue of each of those. Which would be fine if they were all done-in-one stories, but of course they're not; each one is the first part of an arc. I don't want a sampler of a bunch of #1's, I'd like complete stories, thanks.

As far as complete stories, there's plenty there for Ten and Eleven, and some Twelve too, and the Forgotten. There's some good stuff in there. But for me it's mostly stuff I already have, stuff I'm not interested, and a bunch of first issues with no followup, so I probably won't be getting this bundle.

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Re: Free and Cheap Comics

Postby Thad » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:12 am

New Valiant Humble Bundle. I've been meaning to pick up Faith, and I don't have Archer & Armstrong vol 4, so those are probably enough to justify the purchase. But it looks like everything in there is new stuff that wasn't in the last Valiant bundle I got, which is nice; a lot of these bundles tend to double-dip with books that have already been in previous bundles.

Disappointed by lack of Quantum and Woody, but "disappointed by lack of Quantum and Woody" has been my emotional state for most of the past 18 years.

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