Bob Levin is back today with a review of a rather odd consumer reference, Fogel’s Underground Price & Grading Guide. An excerpt:

... [Isn’t] the collecting of UGs a blasphemous affront to the spirit of their creation? Cheap, trashy, mass-produced, they were meant for “the people” to paw through and drool over, between trips to the barricade, or while spaced out, stoned, on the water bed. To proclaim these books' worth diminished each time a page is turned seems a surrender to the capitalist lackey running dogs they warred against.

And once you have them, what do you do with them? Shelved, like rare books, they have no spines facing outward, trumpeting their envy-arousing, status conferring presence. I suppose you can follow the advice of the informational-like collaborative contribution to FUGG of Howard Gerber and Certified Guaranty Company: seal them in plastic and hang them on your walls. But then you might as well collect front covers only, which actually makes sense, for that would free the contents for the enjoyment for which they had been intended.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. Per the Wall Street Journal, Charlie Hebdo's owners plan to reinvest much of the magazine's profits back into the company after several recent employee disputes.

The Verge has a long true-crime story about comic books and con artists. I haven't been able to read this entire article yet, but it looks very promising.

—Interviews & Profiles. Oliver Ristau & Shawn Starr interview Alex Degan Degen, and the results are very funny and smart (it's okay to edit, though, guys).

—Reviews & Commentary: Sean T. Collins has a piece comparing the Hellboy Mignolaverse with the rest of superherodom at Grantland.

Rob Clough reviews Marc Bell's Stroppy.

The AV Club has an aggressively random guide to comics that will "get newcomers hooked."

Both the AV Club and The Guardian enthuse wildly about recent work by Ales Kot, in a way that seems out of proportion to me based on the only issue of his writing I've read (Material #1), but maybe this deserves more investigation.

—Misc. Tom Spurgeon has started a Patreon for a new monthly comics news magazine that will be affiliated with Comics Reporter, which I encourage everyone interested in comics to check out.


  1. R. Fiore says:

    If I may I would like to use this forum to make a statement of principle. When the second Captain America came out I was going to give it a pass. Then the reviews come out, it’s the greatest Marvel movie ever, you really have to see it. So I bite, and it’s okay. I’ve seen sticks of butter with more personality than Chris Evans, and I believe he’s someone who lived in the 1940s like I believe he’s a man from Mars, and at this time I can’t remember a single plot point except that the bad guy was Bucky Barnes, but there wasn’t much else to go see at that time, so I didn’t regret it. Next comes Guardians of the Galaxy, and what do I care about Guardians of the Galaxy, but again the reviews. A total departure for Marvel movies, the most fun you’ll have all summer. So I give in, and again it’s not bad. I can’t believe anyone could be so cruel as to make a grown man say “I’m Starlord,” and the characters are so undifferentiated that I’m not sure who is and is not a Guardian of the Galaxy (it’s like, he’s on the space ship so I guess he must be one of them), but I had a good enough time. Now the good review process has started again, and I want to state here unequivocally that I will be God damned if I will ever go up to a box office and say, “Give me one for Ant Man.” When they start doing Ant Man movies they’re just fucking with you. It means that someone in Hollywood bet someone else that he could slap “Marvel” on any piece of shit and sell tickets, and I do not want to be an accessory to his victory. I don’t care how many rave reviews it gets, I don’t care if the title character is played by Jesus Christ himself, I am not going to go out to see an Ant Man movie.

    Thank you.

  2. Tim Hodler says:

    I would watch an Ant-Man movie starring Jesus.

  3. Rob Clough says:

    “The Son Of Man In The Anthill”.

  4. What happened to Matt Seneca’s review of Archie #1?

  5. Dan Nadel says:

    It’ll be back tomorrow. Accidentally published it too early.

  6. Proverbs 6:6-8 says:

    “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”

    “Go to the ant”? “Bread in summer”? How much clearer does God’s instruction to you need to be?

  7. steven samuels says:

    I think the original director for the “Ant Man” movie is more responsible for its existence than Marvel itself is. He was more into it from the getgo than they were. For what its worth. For sure that’s probably the only film of this type one could say that about.

    I don’t know. Of course all these films are crap, but I think a story about a dude who shrinks is a lot less goofy than those two hour-plus slugfests with goofy-looking aliens.

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