Marvel 70th Anniversary Frame variants

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ASM601_70thFRAMEWhat a disappointment.  When Marvel first started promoting their 70th Anniversary (despite more dubious math) I was very excited.  I knew some cool things (like The Marvels Project) were planned, but what immediately came to mind was the prospect of another set of Anniversary covers in the same style as the 25th Anniversary books I have such fond memories of.  A few months back, these “frame” style covers were confirmed and the artwork was revealed.  The frame is honestly a great image by Jim Cheung and works as a fitting homage to the original.

asm282A few weeks later, we started to see some of the specific cover artwork that was to be used.  While they were pretty hit or miss for me, there are definitely some that I would like to own.  At the same time we started seeing these, Marvel also revealed a set of regular covers for the same books, meaning these would be variants of some nature.  Disappointing, but I assumed the best and these would be what are called 50/50 variants, meaning an equal number of each cover would ship to stores.

Marvel_70th_FrameAs August is the pinnacle of the 70th Anniversary celebration, this is the month we’ll finally be seeing these books on the shelves.  Next Wednesday is the first comic book day of the month and the first of these issues will ship Amazing Spider-Man 601 (which should be a lot of fun, 600 was great), Black Panther 7, Exiles 5, Hulk 13, and Invincible Iron Man 16.  Well, I just learned that the “frame” cover is an incentive variant, so it well ship in some < 50/50 ratio.  This means the books will carry a higher price tag at most stores (Midtown Comics has them listed at $7 before their typical 15% discount) and will be more difficult to find.

asm282So I think I’m out for these.  I’m assuming stores are going to have issues getting them, keeping them in stock and pricing them.  Couple that with the fact that I’m not even that crazy about the artwork (I think I just really preferred the portrait style of the originals) and it’s just not worth it at all.  Part of what was so great and memorable about the 25th Anniversary books was that they were on every title in the publishing line, every single one.  It was a complete set that looked great on the shelves at the time.  I realize 1986 was a time before cover variants and incentives and collector speculation ravaged the hobby I love, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed.  The custom MLD variants help though!


MLB All-Star voting is a shameful sham

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Kevin and I got into a heated discussion about the nature of MLB All-Star voting last week after learning that Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez was currently 6th in voting among National League  outfielders.  We agree that this is a travesty as Ibanez has incredible numbers in several statistical categories, but the nature of the voting system just seems to lend itself entirely to this kind of injustice.

Ibanez’s ranking may have to do with his transition from the American to National Leagues, but this hardly seems to hurt big name players who seem to get a free trip to the All-Star game every year, even when they aren’t actively playing (I’m looking squarely at you Manny Ramirez).

It generally seems like current season numbers are largely ignored. Part of this is due to the fact that voters at the ballpark have no practical access to stats while voting. It’s interesting to note that neither Jimmy Rollins or Ryan Howard went in their MVP years as starters.  Also, the Phillies were on the road until this past weekend, so it should be interesting to see if any of the rankings change once the team returns home and local fans can vote at the park.

Voting ends Thursday July 2nd, 2009.


Worst Gift Ever

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I’m sure many people would say the ugly sweater is one of the worst gifts to receive.  I disagree for many reasons.  First of all, people have ugly sweater parties.  Its not like you would want to go out and buy a sweater for said party.  If you received one at any point as a gift, you are golden.   Read more of this article »