Thursday, November 7, 2013


THE UNEXPECTED (DC/ Vertigo, 2013; Softcover)

Collects The Unexpected No. 1 and Ghosts No. 1 (cover dates December, 2011- December, 2012)

Writers: Paul Pope, David Lapham, Dave Gibbons, Cecil Castellucci, Mary H.K. Choi, Josh Dysart, Al Ewing, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Alex Grecian, Selwyn Sefu Hinds, Geoff Johns, Mat Johnson, Neil Kleid, Joe Kubert, Toby Litt,, Jeffrey Rotter, G. Willow Wilson, Gilbert Hernandez, and Brian Wood

Artists: Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, Lelio Bonaccorso, Mark Buckingham, Emily Carroll, Denys B. Cowan, Farel Dalrymple, Rufus Dayglo, Rahsan Ekedal, Phil Jimenez, Joe Kubert, David Lapham, Jeff Lemire, John McCrea, Amy Reeder, Robbi Rodriguez, Victor Santos, Jill Thompson, Don Hudson, Gilbert Hernandez, and Andy Lanning.
Colorists: Lovern Kindzierski, Angus McKie, Chris Chuckry, Andrew Dalhouse, Andrew Elder, Lee Loughridge, Dave McCaig, Cris Peter, and Jose Villarrubia

This collects both 80 page one-shots, and it is all over the place in terms of quality. This follows the EC anthology style tradition of late '60s/early '70s DC Horror/mystery titles, albeit with a modern twist. A “fresh coat of paint”, if you will.

Dave Gibbons turns in a great story in The Great Karlini. The legendary Joe Kubert's last work, The Boy And The Old Man, is presented here in it's rough penciled form. Kubert had a long, storied career at DC, and it is nice that he was able to do good work until the end. Look Alive is probably the freshest take on the undead that I've read in years. I had lots of fun reading that story.

Most of the stories have their tongue firmly planted in cheek, making the occasional violence and mild gore somewhat endearing. I really like well done Horror anthology stuff, and this book hits the mark for the most part.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- DC's trade paperbacks of modern material are pretty darned nice these days.

DVD-style Extras included in this book: The Unexpected #1 variant by Michael Wm. Kaluta.
Ghosts #1 variant by Phil Jimenez & Andrew Dalhouse
The Great Karlini breakdown by Dave Gibbons. (2 pages)
The Great Karlini pencils by Dave Gibbons. (2 pages)

Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. Good weight glossy coated stock paper, perfect for material with modern computer coloring. I am so glad that Vertigo is done passing off that recycled toilet paper in their books.

Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound trade paperback.

Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxlike lamination which will provide years of enjoyment.


  1. I was with you until the pandering instocktrades.scum ads.
    Buy local.

    Wait, what?
    Buy local.
    Don't know how to find a comic store near you?

  2. Instocktrades.scum ads...?
    Wow. Buy local is a nice idea, but sometimes the reality of my financial situation has to take precedence over the kumbayah idea of my supporting local businesses.
    The fact of the matter is, I could either keep buying from my local comic shop, and getting a 20% discount, and wasting a ton of time and gas getting back and forth, or I could save 52%, get free shipping, and actually be able to afford this insane hobby, instead of being squeezed out of it by $5.00 a pop floppies.
    I'm sorry that I just can't afford to "Buy local" anymore, but there it is....It's either get out entirely, or stay in as best I can by making shopping choices. I don't think coming here and attacking Kris is the best strategy for attracting new customers to your shop. The comic shop with the snarky employee is a stereotype, but one rooted firmly in reality, which is another reason that I shop online now.
    Blogs like this drum up interest in comics, which could only be helpful in sending customers your way.

  3. I have to agree with Dan. I spend over $5000 per year on trades and as much as I like the LCS, I'm not about to give them and extra thousand plus per year over the discount already in place. I would be more than happy to shop at the LCS if I could get 52% (It's actually 50% off plus 2% more for being a regular) off new Marvel omnibus's and Masterworks, etc there during the first week of release. I can think of 2 online retailers (not including Crapazon) that offer those deals. In Stock Trades packs their books so well I have never had a problem with damaged books and I don't have to worry about the books being fondled by browsers. I just don't understand how comic shops can stay afloat by offering little to no discount. I would think it would just drive the customer away and onto the internet. I guess I would shop at the LCS if the discount was closer to that of the online stores.

  4. In Stock Trades is a valued site sponsor with great customer service. I agree, there is no way that I could afford to buy as many books as I do if I paid full retail for them. One could argue that I help the folks who work on these books by buying them online, because I can buy far MORE of them. Their royalties off of these books are the same if I pay $48 for a Marvel Omnibus or if I paid $106 at a shop (full cover price plus sales tax.).

    It all boils down to arguments of convenience, really. Does anyone care about hurting the Post Office when they pay their bills online? No, they don't. People do what is right for them, and everyone likes to save money on things, be it a few dimes by paying their bills online or saving large chunks of money buying collected editions at In Stock Trades. And the world goes round...

  5. I buy almost all my stuff online. I go to a store when I'm trying to find an old trade. - steve

  6. I also only buy from InStockTrades and have been doing so for almost a decade now. All books 40-50% off, free shipping, no sales tax - IST is even cheaper than my local USED bookstore.

    I miss buying books from comic shops - I love being able to browse and walk out with books right there, and if I had to pay a little bit more to do so I definitely would, but we are talking about a HUGE price point chasm here that makes anyone who buys trades and hardcovers from comic shops nothing but fools.