COMIC CON AND ON AND ON
Dear Valued Collectors,
The San Diego Comic Convention was as usual the high point of the 2003 convention season. I have been doing this show for about ten years now and have watched it grow and grow and grow. The show has doubled in size over the last few years and draws tremendous crowds of fans and professionals. It may be difficult for anybody who hasn’t been at the show to comprehend but there were over seventy thousand attendees at the convention this year.
I decided to bring a larger inventory than ever before. This year I brought seven boxes of moderately priced high, mid and low grade Silver Age and Bronze Age comics. Fans were gobbling them up as I sold through about a box and a half. Many customers were quite happy to see the variety of material at the convention. Many customers thought my company only sold high-ticket items because that is all they ever saw us with at the show. Of course this isn’t true, as we have thousands of comics under ten dollars. Titles like Sgt. Fury, Amazing Spider-Man, Tomb of Dracula,Incredible Hulk, Superman, Flash, Lois Lane and New Gods sold at a brisk pace.
Highlight sales from the convention included Superman #1 in G/VG Detective #1 in G, All Star #3 in VG+, Action #252 in VF+, Brave & Bold #28 in VF+, Journey into Mystery #83 in VF, a 35¢ variant Star Wars #1 in VF+, NM Spiderman 10, 12 and 17, two NM Spider-man #129s, 2 NM Hulk 181s and a large group of Mile High and San Francisco Actions and Detectives,
Overall a very healthy show and as you can see by the variety of books sold we have an extremely healthy market. I am pleased to report that number of sales and average price per sale were up this year over last. Important to note that while there were more pure investors at this convention the level of interest from pure collectors reading comics was also up.
HULK MOVIE REVIEW - by Ed Sanchez.
"Angst" Lee's HULK, less than incredible.
I've seen quite a bit of negative press for Ang Lee's Hulk and then I've seen some high praise for the same film and I think the truth lies somewhere in between. At it's heart The Incredible Hulk, based on the Marvel Comics character popularized by the successful Television series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of nuclear testing and the inner beast in all of us. The early comic book version concentrated on the struggle between man and his baser nature, and of course there was plenty of destruction unleashed by the creature. The television series budget dictated that the focus be on character, the angst-ridden doctor seeking a cure for the beast within. On the one hand, the comics could be just so much mindless mayhem at times but were fun while the show settled into a new-town/city-of-the-week format that became tedious at times. But this is not a review of either the comic or the television series.
Universal Studios, responsible for producing the great monster films of the 1930s and 40s has a long track record of putting out quality genre films and in terms of a quality product, this is no exception. The Hulk looks amazing! Industrial Light & Magic have once again done a fantastic job realizing a CG character, made all the more difficult this time around because he needed to live and breathe in real world settings. Now before I get death threats from Gollum fans let me just say that Gollum is a whole different type of creature with plenty of dialogue used to create a great character to complement the CG effects. The Hulk doesn't compare to that but it's perfect for what the character is. The filmmakers have carefully crafted a credible story for the hero, Doctor Bruce Banner (Eric Bana), and taken their time doing it. I seem to remember the original 1978 Superman film doing much the same to great effect as well as James Cameron's 1987 Aliens, where the Aliens didn't even make their appearance until an hour into the film. While those who entered hoping to see the mindless mayhem of some of the comic adventures or Lou Ferrigno running around in a bad wig and green make-up will be disappointed, those looking for something a little more intelligent may be pleasantly surprised. At least the effort to make something more intelligent should be applauded.
Director Ang Lee employs the use of some fancy editing and multiple split screens to keep things moving and looking different. Once again the effort to give audiences something different should be applauded. Lee is able to make the most of the action sequences and it's great to see the Hulk in action. The casting is also great here, with the tall Eric Bana as brooding Dr. Banner, haunted by a childhood trauma that manifests itself in the unbridled Gamma-fueled rage of the creature. Jennifer Connelly as Doctor Banner's on again off again girlfriend, Betty Ross, although underused especially considering that she's an academy award winning actress (see Halle Berry and X-Men), is fine though her character, always after Banner to share more of himself with her, is a bit weepy. Sam Elliot as General Ross is the perfect authority figure, complete with deep baritone and disapproving scowl. Nick Nolte as Bruce Banner's father is given some amazingly difficult dialogue to pull off but somehow his gravelly, gnarled, voice manages to pull the audience along even though I'm sure very few understood most of what old Nick was saying (including Nick). I also liked the soundtrack by perennial super-hero composer Danny Elfman. The effort to create something a bit different should be applauded here as well.
However, that is where the good ends and the bad starts. Josh Lucas' Major Glen Talbot is used only as a one-note villain with no depth and every hackneyed character motivation possible. There are too many lingering shots of nature and kaleidoscopic widescreen views of CG atoms and gamma radiation. This is where the eastern sensibility creeps into Lee's film intrusively and it is unfortunate that the only purpose it serves here is to slow down a film that could have used a bit quicker pacing. For all of the good things the film does, at the end it's just unfortunate that the movie really isn't much fun. There's no character in the film that seems to be having fun or is able to draw the audience into the movie. Where was Rick Jones? His was the young viewpoint in the comics and could have added the fun the movie was missing and brought the audience into it through his eyes.
Now for the ugly. The poodle, need I go on with that? Talbot limping about like some escaped emergency ward patient, and what was with his death scene shot? Nick Nolte taking a major hit from the Gamma Pipe in order to transform as Bruce did but then he doesn't turn into another Hulk! ? Very poorly done on these three points. The last 15 minutes of the movie seemed like something added on at the request of the studio because they needed a big action climax and it didn't make any sense at all. The preposterous notion that they would allow Bana's Dr. Banner to meet with the one man who could tick him off enough to become the Hulk again is compounded by the idea that after listening to what was going on, they made no effort to stop the conversation. Nolte's elder Dr. Banner actually chomps on an EM pulse cable while everyone just looks on! From there on it was apparent that the filmmakers were stretching things as far as even movie-logic would go. It just doesn't work.
Overall I though it was a decent film with many good scenes, but I was disappointed that it wasn't a lot more fun. It is, after all, supposed to be a summer movie.
Metropolis Collectibles, Inc.
All around swell guy!
Metropolis Collectibles, Inc.