The Good, The Bad & This Kid: "State of Love & Trust"

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means two things: Itís time for even more Americans to get fat, and itís time for the holidays. With the holidays, comes the shopping. If youíre like me, you hate shopping, itís on your list of ďthings that make me want to pull an Ernest Hemingway.Ē However, the last few years holiday shopping has been made much easier via the internet. The internet gives a big ďF YouĒ to the mall and other places of holiday vomit. Donít want to stand in line next to a whiny little kid with a cold and his mom whose too doped up to give a shit? Then you donít have to! Do you have a comic fan on your list, but the geeky guy at the comic shop gives you hives? Have no fear, GBK is here. With the holidays in full swing, Iíve decided to name some of my favorite online comic retailers. Let the shopping frenzy begin.

The internet has made shopping simpler, but not really. Sure you can shop from the comfort of your piss stained boxers, but finding a good site is harder than it sounds. Thatís why Iím here (Iím really just trying to get through my ďHoliday Spirit of GivingĒ as quickly as possible). Iíve bought plenty of comics from the web, but before I hit ďPlace Order,Ē I did a little research. Well, consider this column your one-stop research center for online comic buying. Iím only going to name the sites Iíve actually bought something off of, but there are a bunch more out there. Maybe next season Iíll have a larger list.

First up, Things From Another World . This site is a virtual cornucopia of geek merchandise. Not only do they sell the monthly comics, but they have a very, very large selection of Graphic Novels. Thatís not all, they also have a very impressive collection of apparel, toys, and one hell of a movie section. In fact, their movie collection puts most movie retailers to shame. So, if youíre looking for selection, then TFAW is the place to go. That is, if you donít mind fairly expensive shipping rates. Shipping rates aside, TFAW is the site that all other comic sites wish they were. Theyíve got a very easy to use search feature and the layout is great. They also have a very cool Wish List feature. Iíve ordered from them a few times and Iíve never had a problem. My orders arrived when they were supposed to or a few days sooner. In the interest of fairness, however I feel compelled to pass on a complaint from a friend of mine. He ordered a graphic novel, and when it arrived the top corner was bent. He e-mailed them back, and they told him to send it back, and theyíll send him another copy. So, their customer support is pretty good too. Since the shipping rates are so high, Iím going to give this site a **** out of five bullets.

Next up, weíve got Midtown Comics. Midtown is a comic retailer based in New York, itís basically the Mecca of comic book stores (donít let people tell you itís Jay & Silent Bobís Secret Stash). Midtown is much like TFAW, they sell monthly titles, along with a large GN selection. The difference is, Midtown has a subscription feature. Just about any comic that comes out regularly, you can subscribe to and theyíll mail it to you as soon as they receive it. I havenít signed up for this feature, but the premise is pretty cool. The other difference between Midtown and TFAW is the selection. Midtown, in my opinion, has a smaller selection of graphic novels. They also donít sell movies or that much apparel. The main similarity between the two is the high shipping cost. Midtown is a cool site, and they get all the monthlies every Wednesday, but they still get a *** out of five bullets.

Another online comic retailer Iíve ordered from, is MyComicShop.com. If youíre looking for back issues, look no further. This place has one hell of an inventory of new and old comics. Itís ran by Lone Star comics, which is a retailer out of, you guessed it, Texas. Itís really no surprise that their back issue inventory is so large, everything is bigger in Texas (sorry, couldnít resist). They also have a fairly good Graphic Novel collection. Like Midtown, My Comic Shop also has a subscription feature. Though, Midtownís is a little easier to navigate. The thing that really sets My Comic Shop apart from the competition is the fact that they have sales, every week. Also, they offer flat rate shipping, which means you pay one price no matter the size of your order. Thatís great if youíve ordered a lot of stuff, but if youíve ordered just one or two comics it probably wonít be worth it. Still, their selection of back issues is not the be played with, especially since they always have some cool sales on their back issues. Since their graphic novel selection isnít that great, and since they donít offer sales on their graphic novels, Iím forced to give them another **** out of five bullets.

The last site isnít really a comic retailer, in fact they sell just about everything and anything you could possibly want. Amazon.com is the webís largest retailer. They sell books, movies, music, clothing, electronics, small Korean children, sporting goods and so much more. They also have a fairly good sized collection of Graphic Novels. Really, I donít need to push this site. If youíre looking for a GN for someone on your list (or yourself you greedy bastard), then try Amazon first. You could probably do most of your shopping there. Amazon offers editor reviews, along with customer reviews for just about every book they own. They also have lower prices and if you order more then $25 dollars you could get free shipping. So, of course, Amazon.com gets a damn ***** out of five bullets. It really isnít a fair fight.

Even though the only site to receive a perfect five of five (dammit, now Iíve got that damn Faith line from Buffy in my head) was Amazon, I still recommend shopping at the other sites. They are specialized in comic books, and could use the moolah. I really hope this list was helpful for all you Holiday shoppers out there.

The Good

Welcome to The Good, your home for comic book goodness. This weekís comic worth reading is Grumpy Old Monsters from IDW publishing. Itís a new comic series about classic monsters as senior citizens. Damn good stuff. Itís written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, the people who brought you Titan A.E. The art is handled by Guillermo Mendoza and Paco Cavero, and what great cartoonish art it is. I recommend you buy this comic. All the sites I listed in the column, sans Amazon, still have copies of this book, so you have no excuses.

Enjoy the Holiday shopping everyone, donít get hurt out there. If you get hurt, who will read my column? Remember, the Holidays are about giving, so give me some damn feedback! ĎTil next timeÖ

-Josh ďIt was a damn freezerĒ Stone

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