I went to a comic show, and all I got was this stack of comic books...
A little background: there's a comics and card show roughly every three to four weeks here at one of the local sports complexes. It's usually the same dealers who show up, with what seems to be only a very gradual turnover in stock. Twice a year, there's a larger version of the thing, held more centrally, with various out-of-town dealers showing up, along with a few people who don't do this for a living. Bottom line for me: more people's boxes to go through, and a greater likelihood that I'll find something interesting.
Sadly, I found only two of the Alex Toth stories that I've been hunting for: "The Alien Within Me", from House of Mystery #196 (reprinted from My Greatest Adventure #60) and "The Case of the Haunted Horse", from Detective Comics #444 (reprinted from Dale Evans #9). Two down, so many more left to find.
Toth story aside, the House of Mystery also has lovely works by Gray Morrow, Nick Cardy, and Gil Kane, with a nice Neal Adams cover serving as the cherry on the cake. Oh, yeah!
I added four more of the DC 100 Page Super Spectaculars to my pile, including the aforementioned Detective Comics #444. Incidentally, the lead story in this issue was part of a multi-issue serial in which one of the Batman's adversaries framed him for murdering a love interest. Echoes of current storylines abound...
Next up is Superman (first series) #245, reprinting a full-length Luthor-and-Brainiac team-up from a few years before, plus an assortment of reprints to fill out the remaining seventy pages. Mac Raboy on Kid Eternity, Fox/Kane/Anderson on the Atom, Infantino on Super-Chief, plus Air Wave and Hawkman features... do you begin to see why I like these 100-pagers so much?
Unexpected #158 and #159: 200 pages of delightful gruesomeness, 25 short stories in all. I'm particularly impressed with ones drawn by Mort Meskin - I'll have to track down a bibliography in time for the next show I go to. I'm surprised that I haven't noticed his work before this, but it appears that Meskin worked primarily on genre features (horror, adventure, etc.), just as Toth did. As a result, his name and body of work aren't as widely known as those of his contemporaries who worked on the super-hero strips.
On the subject of adventure features, I picked up a pair of beautiful Chaykin jobs, Nick Fury and Dominic Fortune, in issues of Marvel Spotlight and Marvel Premiere respectively. The artwork on these is magnificent, and I highly recommend them. (While you're at it, see if you can track down the first two issues of the Scorpion series that Chaykin did for Atlas Comics. You'll definitely be doing yourself a favour.)
Another thing that I lucked out on: all but one issue from Walt Simonson's recent turn on 'Orion'. I've sung Walt's praises before (and once again, DC published a now-out-of-print trade paperback called 'The Art of Walter Simonson' a while back that's well worth the hunt). This recent work shows that he's still a got a fantastic design sense and a wonderfully creative mind. I think that Jack would have been very pleased.
What else, what else? Doug Wildey's Rio. Assorted issues from Matt Wagner's 'Mage: The Hero Defined' series, Bendis' 'Powers' book, Straczynski's 'Rising Stars', and Alan Moore's 'Promethea' and 'Top 10' books. Several bat-books that tied into the Last Laugh storyline, plus a few Batman - Gotham Knights issues, a couple of Sandman spin-offs, and other odds and sods.
The final tally: sixty-five books for sixty bucks.
All told, it was a pretty good day.