Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2014 took place at the Phoenix Convention Center last weekend, January 24-26. I represented BOOM! Studios at our booth, along with writers Paul Jenkins (“Deathmatch,” “Inhumans”) & Eric M. Esquivel (“Bravest Warriors,” “Loki: Ragnarok and Roll”) and artists Wook-Jin Hunter Clark (“Adventure Time: Flip Side,” “Megagogo”) & Missy Pena (“Bravest Warriors”), plus BOOM!’s Marketing Assistant, Stephanie Hocutt. They’re all awesome people! Below are some memories from throughout the weekend.

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2013 is here and I wanted to show off my favorite three Christmas gifts from my mom and dad — I think they’ve come to accept I’m a grown man-child.

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1) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series DVD Box Set — Man, I really, really wanted this but didn’t have the dough to put down on it. At San Diego Comic-Con this year, I went to the SHOUT! Factory booth to purchase the Con exclusive set, but they were sold out by Sunday afternoon. Suck! Thankfully, mom and dad delivered and I felt like an 8 year old at 28.Yes, many of the episodes are horrendous, but it’s a time capsule thing for me, and the fight scenes aren’t that bad. Plus, the little one gives it her attention.

2) Turtles Forever DVD — I hadn’t seen the entire thing online, waiting for a DVD release. This is a must-see for every kind of TMNT fan. So well done.

3) Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation Season 1 DVD — Don’t judge me, but yes I asked for this. I’ve heard it’s one of the worst shows in all of geek culture, let alone the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I had to find out for myself. It does look terrible, though.

This is all stuff I really, really wanted but couldn’t shell out the cash for. I lucked out and received other cool stuff, like new shoes and clothes, but these were the fun presents! Thanks mom and dad, and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

In “Comics Were Bought” I show off my weekly comics swag! I may not get health insurance, but managing a comic book store has its advantages — like being able to read anything in the store without having to buy it. Still, there are some comics I can’t live without and I’ll be showcasing them here each week. To find out what I read, too, check out the “Comics Were Read” archive. Tell me what you brought home with you this week in the comments!

WHAT I BOUGHT

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1) X-Men Comics — “Uncanny X-Force” #35: This goes down as one of the best X-runs of all-time. “All New X-Men” #4: The issue we’ve been waiting for — Cyclops vs. Cyclops, and the payoff lived up to the hype. “Wolverine and the X-Men” #22: This has been a strange arc, but I’m sticking with it as a series. “X-Factor” #249: With Peter David writing, it’s one of the most consistently solid, and most under-appreciated, X-titles of all-time.

2) “X-O Manowar” #8 & “Harbinger” #7 — “X-O” is laying out the groundwork for “Planet Death,” and “Harbinger’s” introduction of a classic character was handled most excellently.

3) “The Black Beetle” #0 & “Saga” #8 x2 — I’m a fan of Francesco Francavilla’s artwork and have no problem supporting his creator owned miniseries. I bought two copies of “Saga” because the lady is collecting it, too. Holy hell is it good.

4) “Super Dinosaur” #16 — I wish this series existed when I was a kid — it brings me back to simpler times. Plus, it’s a fun one for the kiddo.

5) “Cursed Pirate Girl” HC — After covering Archaia Entertainment’s “World Building” panel at Comic Con International in San Diego in July, I’ve been looking forward to this release. Haven’t read it yet, but the art is amazing and it’s one the little lady can have when she’s older.

6) “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics” vol. 3 TPB (not pictured) — Picked this one up late since the store didn’t get it until Friday. You know me and the TMNT by now.

I had my sights on more, but last week was so huge I needed to pull back this time around.

WHAT THE LADY READ
Yes, I’m one of the lucky men out there whose lady also reads comics. Here’s what she checked out this week: “All New X-Men” #4, “Batwoman” #15, “Birds of Prey” #15, “Catwoman” #15, “Executive Assistant Assassins” #6, “Executive Assistant Iris” vol. 3 #1, “Grimm Fairy Tales” #80, “Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood” #4, “Pantha” #5, “Rachel Rising” #13, “Saga” #8, “Star Trek: 100 Page Spectacular Winter 2012.” “Supergirl” #15, “Sword of Sorcery Featuring Amethyst” #3 & “Vampirella” #25.

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WHAT THE KIDDO READ
I try bringing a comic or two home for my little Monster to enjoy. Usually I’ll just read it to her, but if she really takes to it, I’ll buy it for her, too. This week she checked out “Super Dinosaur” #16 & “Bravest Warriors” #3. The “Cursed Pirate Girl” HC will be hers one day when she’s old enough.

IF I HAD THE MONEY
In comic shops our eyes are always bigger than our wallets can afford, so here’s a list of stuff this week I would have purchased, funds allowing: “Pirate Eye” #1, “Iron, Or The War After” HC, “Number 13” #1, “Birds of Prey” #15, “Catwoman” #15, “Nightwing” #15, “Supergirl” #15, “Sword of Sorcery Featuring Amethyst” #3, “Star Trek: 100 Page Spectacular Winter 2012,” “Transfusion” #2, “All New X-Men” #4 variant, “Avengers” #2, “Avengers Arena” #2, “Indestructible Hulk” #2 & “Thor God of Thunder” #3.

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IF I WERE A COMPLETIST & HAD THE MONEY
Tragically, real life doesn’t allow us to have everything, so here’s a list of stuff I’d have bought this week (and why)  if I were a well-funded completist: “Red Hood And The Outlaws” #15 (“Death of the Family”), “Astonishing X-Men” #57 (Iceman) & “Cable and X-Force” #2 (Forge).

In “Comics Were Bought” I show off my weekly comics swag! I may not get health insurance, but managing a comic book store has its advantages — like being able to read anything in the store without having to buy it. Still, there are some comics I can’t live without and I’ll be showcasing them here each week. To find out what I read, too, check out the “Comics Were Read” archive. Tell me what you brought home with you this week in the comments!

WHAT I BOUGHT

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1) “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #17 x3 — If you haven’t been reading the new Turtles, I recommend jumping on here. The TMNT take a sci-fi turn, like in the original series and “TMNT Adventures.” Then the Neutrinos are introduced to our green quartet!

2) “Bloodshot” #6 & “Archer & Armstrong” #5 x2 — The new Valiant is blowing me away, and with the Eternal Warrior showing up in “A&A” and some fucking awesome killer moves in “Bloodshot,” these are great additions to the growing collection.

3) “Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E.” #15 & “Conan the Barbarian” #11 — I’m going to miss “Frankenstein” when it ends next issue, and Brian Wood’s “Conan” run has been one of my favorite books of 2012.

4) “Mega Man” #20 x2 — I have no excuse for this one. I’m kind of a Mega Man completist.

5) “COBRA: The Last Laugh” HC — If there’s only one G.I. Joe story you read in your entire life, let it be this one. Seriously — it’s edge of your seat suspense in an espionage scenario. After reading this, the phrase “Yo Joe” will never mean the same to you again.

6) “Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics 1979-1981” HC — This is one both the lady and I can enjoy, and I’m a sucker for this old stuff in a nice HC.

7) “Kamandi by Jack Kirby” vol. 2 HC & “Tarzan: The Russ Manning Years” vol. 1 HC — Again, cool old stuff collected in HC. This wraps Kirby’s “Komandi” run, and the artwork in the “Tarzan” book rivals any of its genre today. Plus, dinosaurs!

Luckily, Santa came early for Andy!

WHAT THE LADY READ
Yes, I’m one of the lucky men out there whose lady also reads comics. Here’s what she checked out this week: “Ame-Comi Girls Featuring Duela Dent” #3, “Batgirl” #15, “Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends” #24, “Orchid” #11, “Saucer Country” #10 & “Suicide Squad” #15.

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WHAT THE KIDDO READ
I try bringing a comic or two home for my little Monster to enjoy. Usually I’ll just read it to her, but if she really takes to it, I’ll buy it for her, too. This week she checked out “Monsters, Inc.” #1.

IF I HAD THE MONEY
In comic shops our eyes are always bigger than our wallets can afford, so here’s a list of stuff this week I would have purchased, funds allowing: “Avengers Arena” #1, “Cable and X-Force” #1, “Batman” #15, “Batman and Robin” #15, “Clone” #2, “Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night: Final Night” #1, “Fantastic Four” #2, “Fear Agent” vol. 1 HC, “Ferals” vol. 1 HC, “Grandville Bete Noir” HC, “It Girl and the Atomics” #5, “Mega Man” vol. 4 TPB: “Spiritus Ex Machina,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” vol. 1 Omnibus & “To Hell You Ride” #1.

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IF I WERE A COMPLETIST & HAD THE MONEY
Tragically, real life doesn’t allow us to have everything, so here’s a list of stuff I’d have bought this week (and why)  if I were a well-funded completist: “Dark Avengers” #184 (Jeff Parker’s “Thunderbolts” run), “Ravagers” #7 (Ravager), “Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises” #4 (sword and sorcery), “Suicide Squad” #15 (“Death of the Family” tie-in) & “Superboy” #15 (Supergirl).

In “Comics Were Bought” I show off my weekly comics swag! I may not get health insurance, but managing a comic book store has its advantages — like being able to read anything in the store without having to buy it. Still, there are some comics I can’t live without and I’ll be showcasing them here each week. To find out what I read, too, check out the “Comics Were Read” archive. Tell me what you brought home with you this week in the comments!

WHAT I BOUGHT

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1) “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” vol. 1 TPB & “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics” #6 — I’ve never read these old “Tales” stories, so the Turtles geek in me is pumped to give them a go. The “Classics” issue is an all Michaelangelo issue from back in the day. While I appreciate the effort to reprint the original TMNT comics in color, the coloring itself isn’t as great as it should be. Passable, but the effort these comics deserve is lacking.

2) “All-New X-Men” #3 & “X-Factor” #248 — Two of the best X-comics on the shelves right now. “X-Factor” has been consistently good for a long, long time and I have almost all of them.

3) “Animal Man” #15, “Swamp Thing” #15 & “Legends of the Dark Knight” #3 — The “Rotworld” story continues in both “AM” & “ST” with some cool guest appearances, most notably Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. I don’t usually collect “Dark Knight,” but this issue features Steve Niles writing and Trevor Hairsine on art — I love Hairsine’s style and him drawing Batman is a must-own.

4) “Haunted Horror” #2, “Shadowman” #2 & “Fairest” #10 — “Haunted Horror” is awesome because it reprints classic ’50s comics that were impossible to find previously, or if they could be found it was in a $50 hardcover. Not here, as each issue is over 40 pages of full-color, ad-free story for only $4. Sold! I’m buying every Valiant title so far as each has blown my feeble expectations to hell, and as long as Adam Hughes keeps creating sexy covers for “Fairest,” I’ll keep buying them.

5) “Great Pacific” #2 — This one was purchased for the lady. I’m reading it too, and liking it, but not enough to own. I dig the message, though.

WHAT THE LADY READ
Yes, I’m one of the lucky men out there whose lady also reads comics. Here’s what she checked out this week: “All-New X-Men” #3, “Dark Shadows/Vampirella” #5, “Garfield” #8, “Great Pacific” #2, “I Love Trouble” #1, “Red She-Hulk” #60, “Soulfire” #3 & “Worlds Finest” #7.

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WHAT THE KIDDO READ
I try bringing a comic or two home for my little Monster to enjoy. Usually I’ll just read it to her, but if she really takes to it, I’ll buy it for her, too. This week she checked out “Simpsons Winter Wingding” #7 & “Garfield” #8. She usually loves “The Simpsons” so this was a safe choice. I have no idea if she liked “Garfield” or not — The Mom reads her that one.

IF I HAD THE MONEY
In comic shops our eyes are always bigger than our wallets can afford, so here’s a list of stuff this week I would have purchased, funds allowing: “Avengers” #1, “Battle Beasts” vol. 1 TPB, “Butcher Baker Righteous Maker” HC, “Detective Comics” #15, “Ferals” #11, “Hellboy in Hell” #1, “Storm Dogs” #2 & “Thunderbolts” #1.

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IF I WERE A COMPLETIST & HAD THE MONEY
Tragically, real life doesn’t allow us to have everything, so here’s a list of stuff I’d have bought this week (and why)  if I were a well-funded completist: “Avenging Spider-Man #15 (Devil Dinosaur/Savage Land), “Lord of the Jungle” #10 (Tarzan) & “Red Sonja” #72 (Sword & Sorcery).

“Comics Were Bought” is a new thing I’ll be doing here at NPR, showing off my weekly comics swag! I may not get health insurance, but managing a comic book store has its advantages — like being able to read anything in the store without having to buy it. Still, there are some comics I can’t live without and I’ll be showcasing them here each week. To find out what I read, too, check out the “Comics Were Read” archive. Tell me what you brought home with you this week in the comments!

WHAT I BOUGHT
“My Little Pony” #1, “Aquaman” #14, “Talon” #2, “Uncanny Avengers” #2, “All-New X-Men” #2, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #16 covers A, B & C and the “Diosamante” HC. Check out a gallery of close ups below.

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1) “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #16 x3 — When it comes to the TMNT, I’m a sucker completist. Plus, all 3 of these covers are badass — especially the Ross Campbell variant. I own some of his original artwork from IDW’s “Micro-Series: Leonardo” one-shot.

2) “All-New X-Men” #2 & “Uncanny Avengers” #2 — These are the main two X-books at the moment, featuring some of my favorite characters like Iceman and Havok. Plus with creative teams like Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen and Rick Remender & John Cassaday, I’m willing to drop the coin on these two.

3) “Aquaman” #14 & “Talon” #2 — I’ve been buying “Aquaman” from the beginning because it’s awesome, and I’ve taken to Calvin Rose, AKA Talon.

4) “My Little Pony” #1 — This is for my daughter. What, you didn’t think I was a Bronie, did you? You sick fuck.

5) “Diosamante” HC — Two proper nouns for you: Alejandro Jodorowsky & Humanoids, Inc. This combination never disappoints and the artwork in this book is insane. Thumb through it at your local comic shop, or check out a preview here.

WHAT THE LADY READ
Yes, I’m one of the lucky men out there whose lady also reads comics. Here’s what she checked out this week: “All-New X-Men” #2, “Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre” #4, “Futurama” #64 & “Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood” #3.

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WHAT THE KIDDO READ
Sometimes I’ll bring a comic or two home for my little Monster to enjoy. Usually I’ll just read it to her, but if she really takes to it, I’ll buy it for her, too. This week she checked out “My Little Pony” #1. I showed her the cover and she smiled, so we’re off to a good start.

IF I HAD THE MONEY
In comic shops our eyes are always bigger than our wallets can afford, so here’s a list of stuff this week I would have purchased, funds allowing: “Joe Kubert Presents” #2, “Justice League Dark” #14, “Prophet” #31, “Astonishing X-Men Annual” #1, “Ghost” #2, “Planetoid” #4, “Prophecy” #5, “Savage Hawkman” #14, “Teen Titans” #14, “Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots” #1 & “Star Bright and the Looking Glass” HC.

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Yesterday I attended Long Beach Comic Con 2012 in Long Beach, CA and had a surprisingly enjoyable time. I went two years ago on Halloween day and to call it dead would be an understatement, and I only went this year to cover a panel for CBR. Honestly, the expectation going in was to leave within an hour after the panel wrapped, but I ended up staying until around 5pm. It was a lot of fun! The convention floor was full of people and the vendors section was much more complete from two years ago.

I didn’t plan to buy anything, but ended up haggling with a number of vendors and walked home with a bunch of cool stuff, mostly for my little lady. I spent more than I should have, but it’s justified by my bargaining saving $40 off the purchased items’ asking prices. Check out the big photo below of everything purchased and the gallery with individual item shots (click photos to enlarge).

1) Sailor Moon Wall Scroll — This thing is huge and totally awesome for the room of an almost 2 year old Sailor Moon fan.

2) Sailor Moon Hair Bows — Because why not?

3) Vampirella Print by Ken Meyer Jr. — Ken newly moved to L.A. and has written for my site ComicAttack.net since its inception in 2009, and only at this show did we finally get the chance to meet in person. Had to support him and my wife loves Vampirella — he even personalized it to her!

4) Goldar & X-Factor Iceman Action Figures — These were both for me. A Goldar action figure from the original Power Rangers for $10 in the box? Yes! An Iceman figure I didn’t yet own talked down to $10 from $15? Yes!

5) Trini Doll & Baboo Action Figure — OK, so these are “kind of” for me, but I bought them for my daughter who’s still too small to actually play with them yet. That’s OK — we’ll hold onto both for her over the next couple years. I only picked up the Baboo because it was cheap ($7 still in the box!) and Trini needed someone to beat up.

6) The Lion King Board Game — The lady and I are on a board game kick and this one seemed like a worthy addition with a cheap price tag. It’s near complete, only missing 3 irrelevant pieces, and my daughter can play it with us in just a few years, too.

7) “Tigger the Movie” & “Muppets From Space” VHS — Yes, my household is only one of four in America that still has a VHS player. My lady and I love finding old VHS tapes for $1 and these two are solid additions for the kiddo’s growing library.

8) 22 Kids Books — Oh man. I didn’t actually buy these at the Con, but at a $1 used book store across the street from the Convention Center. That’s right — each of these books were only $1! My daughter loves the Little Golden Books, and so do I considering they’re quick reads. I actually put back half of the stack I picked out because it was too heavy to carry. “Tarzan” was for me, but all the rest belong to my little Monster! Check out the old school “Dinosaurs” book. So awesome!