Comic Report: Final Faction #1

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Recently we took a look at Churro, the flying chihuahua with guns from the Final Faction toyline. In case you missed it, Final Faction is a toyline exclusive to Dollar Tree stores in the US and Poundland in the UK. Inspired by the 1980s version of G.I. Joe and similar action figures, the line’s gimmick is a series of accessory packs used by the heroic Final Faction and the evil invading alien Karn for control of Earth’s resources. Churro is a chihuahua with a canine mech suit, the FD-O, that you can attach various weapons to, but the human and alien figures have those as well. There are also a set of vehicles and robots for the heroes while the villains’ troop builders come in the form of synthoid robots.

On my last shopping trip I went to see if there were any more accessory packs that might work for the FD-O in case I wanted to alter Churro’s load out now and then for display, since it’s the only thing in the line that interest me. I saw some that I want to look into online to make sure they’re compatible (I saw one that was actually reviewed on the FD-O and I may end up getting it, giving it VTOL engine wings and machine guns) but what surprised me was a comic book based on the toyline. I mean, that’s nothing new. Over at my other site I review comics on the daily, sometimes twice a day, and between regular and pack-in minicomics I’m certainly used to it. I just wasn’t expecting it for the $1.50 toyline. So I figured I’d check out the first issue at least and see if it’s any good. Plus it’s the origin so we get to see how best doggy got his robot. And I have a review format that I use on my other website for the deeper reviews (you’ve seen it here during filler posts), but there will be spoilers for this comic. I mean, it’s for your kids. Were you going to read it? If you’re like me, probably.

I wonder what the first faction was?

Final Faction #1

Dollar Tree (2022)

“First Impact”

WRITER: Toby Osborne

ARTIST: Chris Rarrinan

INK ASSIST: Luis Rivera

COLORIST: Mimi Simon

LETTERERS: John Heebink & Mike Manley

SPOOF AD PAGE ARTIST: Pete McDonnell

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Quick Report: Prepping Comics For Unloading

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Last week I mentioned that my local comic store (the one I used to go to when I could buy new comics) might be willing to take some of my old comics or at least help me get rid of them. So for this week I wanted to get the process started. I have three shopping bags filled with comics and this week I wanted to get the first bag ready to be brought over. The project was to mark down all the comics in that bag I wanted to sell, make a last decision if they were going (two ended up staying for the time being), and get them into a disposable bag to bring over. I’m listing them on Google Sheets so I can access it outside the house. I just have to download it to my phone. Whatever he can’t use I’ll add to the Clutter For Sale page, where a few comics are already listed, until I get a better idea. I still need to figure out what to do with the untranslated manga and even some of the translated ones and American graphic novels.

Sadly I had trouble sleeping the night before so I didn’t have time to complete this assignment by post time. None of them were priced in case he can’t use them (since the store needs to make a profit I don’t expect to get the full current market price, but it beats keeping them here where I’m not making any money out of them and they’re cluttering things up) and I still have two small stacks of comics to list so I know what I’m bringing. I can’t bring them to the store until later in the week anyway so I have plenty of time to get the rest of this done, and I’m going to try to do that before the week is out. I’ll keep you updated on what happens next as this is part of the comic organizing mega-project.

Quick Report: A Chance To Unload Some Comics

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It may be strange for someone trying to unload way too many comics to then go out and get new comics, even on Free Comic Book Day. For the uninitiated, Free Comic Book Day is when publishers release a special free comic to get readers into the comic store to check out their stuff and hopefully boost the comic stores with potential buyers either for the stuff being previewed or by going through comics on the shelves and in back issue boxes as well as buying other merchandise the store carries. Sadly the comic store pays for these “free” comics so over at my storytelling discussion site I push for people to buy something while they are there. I practice what I preach and bought some stuff while I was there, comics I wanted to fill holes in my collection that I feel comfortable getting because I’ve opened some space with more space opening to come.

I also had another reason for going…to get out of the house! I’ve been cooped up here between various medical issues I’ve had and brought up on this site, the pandemic and associated lockdowns, and just not having any money. Actually the reason was to go to my favorite comic store and ask the owner, whom I have a friendly acquaintance with, about advice to sell those comics I’ve been pairing down. I was hoping he might point me somewhere but he mentioned he might buy them off of me himself if they’re what he needs. So I need to put at least one set together to show him, which I have some time for as he has a few others he’s looking through at the moment.

The plan is to take one of the bags I have with comics for sale, price them for the Clutter For Sale section just in case I can sell through here or just to have prices on hand if he suggests another avenue, and then bring that bag to him to go through. Maybe there’s something he can sell and if not he can point me to another way to get rid of them. At this point I just want to get some of these shopping bags off of the floor and put them away for their intended use…as bags for when I go shopping. I want to get a good price because I need the money but right now I really want to clear out the clutter so I can’t be too pedantic about it and I went to this store for years (I probably even bought a lot of these comics through him or the previous store I went to before it closed) so I trust him to not do me wrong. I’m only going to bring one bag at a time to not overwhelm him with comics because there really are a looooootttttt of comics. I’ll let you know what happens.

Seeking A Comic Price Guide

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This is what I posted to my Twitter feed. (My official Twitter is for my main website; The Clutter Reports being a side project it doesn’t have its own Twitter.) Let me back up a bit and explain where this comes from, but that’s this week’s topic.

The plan this week was to price up a bunch of my comics and put them on the Clutter For Sale page. Given my low reader count the odds of selling it there are quite low. The two sales I’ve made are a fluke and I know it. I want to be able to list them on other services where I have a better chance of selling them. Also, it’s a list for myself of what I have to sell and what they might be worth selling for. However, to sell any of them anywhere I want to find out what they’re worth. While part of me wants to sell them for what I paid them for, that’s kind of silly when I really need the money. Not to mention that some comics may have gone down in value rather than up so if I price them too high they won’t sell, while if I sell them too low I lose out on money I could really use.

For this I need a price guide. Note that it’s a guide. It’s not a given that it will sell at the price they list and it does depend on condition, though most of my comics are in very good condition at least. So I went searching around, using a few different search engines in the hopes of finding something that would give me some prices to go by. You’d think with all the websites out there I’d find a few, average the prices listed between the sites, and come up with a fair price based on the condition of the comic. As you can guess from that tweet, I was not successful.

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Quick Report: Update On The Comics Project

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The report may be quick but this project took all day. If you’ve been here long enough you’ve already been exposed to the “mega project” of organizing and cutting down my comic book collection. Well, that tied into the project I really wanted to do this week: getting these comics out from under my art corner desk. I’ve grown tired of the limited foot room since I can’t put my feet through this particular stack of comics. I’ve pulled a number of comics from my collection and I was hoping there would be room to finally put those comics into those drawers.

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Quick Report: Listing Comics For Sale

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I’m not going to get rid of the comics unless I can sell them off. So this week I started listing comics on the Clutter For Sale section’s comic page. I actually had a few up there I didn’t realize I had already priced. I was going with the “new comic every day” plan but this week had numerous stop gaps and while I tried I fell a bit short. So yesterday I popped a whole bunch on there. Apparently I also need to add to the books for sale section and I though I had gotten them all. I must have lost some when I reorganized the section so I’ll have to fix that.

I’m actually low on long-term projects. The comics I do almost every day as far as going over them. The books I only get to read a chapter a week. The Transformers reviews may bring bonus traffic to the site (now that one I have completed of the ones I’ve gone over) but that’s not the mission of the site and it’s not like I couldn’t organize better. Plus I’d like to sell some of the ones already on the toy page before building that pile any further. And I just noticed one figure I didn’t list like a dummy so I need to fix that.

Now I have to see what the new computer can run software wise and what I actually need. That’ll be “fun”. The real clutter is my schedule. This is what I need to work on the most as far as getting my life back on track but that’s actually harder than you think. I’m also taking on another video project that requires specific artwork. Timing is probably my biggest barrier for anything. That and figuring out how to get rid of stuff I can’t just throw away. The work goes on. Advice is welcome.

Comic Organizing Mega Project: Sort To Sell

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More of a quick report this week but the project did take all week to do. Granted it’s only because of other projects I had to do. This is an old picture but I broke out the sorting table and organized the piles (well, three bags) of comics I plan to sell. I want to look up what they’re worth and slowly add them to the comics for sale section of the site. I put them in a better order to post them to the section, using the same layout I use in my regular comic collection (like combining titles of the same continuity: i.e. DC universe, Marvel universe, Elementals universe, franchise, etc.)

I have two more comic I know are going into the pile after I review them over the next two weeks and there may well be more in the future, but I do plan to do a comic a day minimum (though we know how my plans work out) if I can and add them to the sale section, so keep an eye out in case one you might be interested in shows up. By the way I’m STILL finding comics in the wrong order but at least it’s not as bad as it was and adjusting is easier than before this megaproject began. This is still far from being done.

Book Report: Spider-Man–Carnage In New York

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While comics being turned into movies and TV shows are nothing new I wonder how many people realize that even prose has seen superheroes cross over from the panel to the text? Here at The Clutter Reports I’ve already reviewed The Death & Life Of Superman by comic writer and novelist Roger Stern. I have very few prose stories based on the DC and Marvel heroes but most of them are DC, mainly Superman and Batman. (I also reviewed a “Which Way” gamebook starring Superman.) I only have one Marvel novel, a co-authorship between a comic writer and a novelist.

In the 1990s Marvel published a series of novels starring their superheroes through Byron Press, one written by another crossmedia writer, Peter David, focused on a character he knew very well, the Incredible Hulk. David Michellie is mostly known for his run on Iron Man in the comics but did spend some time on The Amazing Spider-Man so he does know the character. (I do not know if there was a novel about Iron Man but if there is I hope he worked on it.) Aiding him was novelist Dean Wesley Smith. Together they penned a story about Carnage, an offshoot of Venom. Venom has a long backstory even before Marvel tried to fill out the symbiote race. Symbiotes are goo-like beings that bond with hosts, forming a sort of costume and granting the host special abilities while symbiote feeds on his I think adrenaline and sometimes uses the host to feed on other lifeforms. Carnage is a spawn of that symbiote that found a willing host in mass murderer Cletus Kasaday, forming a bond so perfect Carnage speaks in “I/me/my” rather than “we/our”. He is one of if not the most dangerous foe in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, making him a good choice for this novel.

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Comics & Cardbacks: An Actual Cleaning Project

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Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve actually done one of these, hasn’t it? Between computer issues and time I haven’t been able to work on a day-long anti-clutter project. So this week I was lucky to actually be able to work on one. At issue was the set of cardbacks left over from a previous organizing project. I cleaned out the folder box but there was another set of these and I thought I’d go over them at the same time. Then the delays happened. No delays this week.

You’re probably wondering why I save cardbacks from the various Transformers figures. Perhaps you don’t remember the days of tech specs on Transformers figures, something that’s fallen out of fashion for various reasons. One of them was the need for multi-language packaging at one point. When that ended they never really went back to the old spec cards, something you’d clip off of the back of the packaging. These would include the character’s personalities and stats. While Hasbro has included this in packaging the old tech specs remained at a set size (sometimes reduced for smaller figures) but that doesn’t exist anymore. It had been a goal of mine to create new tech spec designs, but with the internet serving as a way to find examples and information I don’t really have to have this big pile of cardboard. So this week I planned to cut that down a little.

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Comic Book Report: Star Trek–The Mirror Universe Saga

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Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga trade paperback

DC Comics (June 1991)

collects Star Trek issues #9-19 (December 1984-July, 1985)

WRITER: Mike W. Barr

PENCILER: Tom Sutton

INKER; Ricardo Villagran

COLORIST: Michele Wolfman

LETTERER: John Costanza

These issues of DC’s first series of Star Trek comics ran into a slight problem. They came out around the time of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, in which the ending would lead right into the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, a whole two years to wait to resolve the events of the previous movie. And yet somehow the writers of the comic, Mike Barr for this story (he was also one of the editors according to comics.org), had to keep the adventures of the crew going without interfering with the next movie. Admittedly they may not have been as successful in hindsight, but these are the only comics I have from this period so I could be wrong. Crafting a good story on the other hand was a success so take the victory you can on this one.

The “Mirror Universe” dates back to the classic Star Trek episode “Mirror Mirror”, in which a transporter accident switches Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura with their counterparts in a reverse dimension, where things are similar but not exact. In this universe the Federation is replaced with an Empire and are very cruel. This allowed the other actors (although Spock is still mostly Spock, just with a nasty streak) a chance to do something a bit different and the episode is a favorite among fans. There’s also a running gag in sci-fi fan circles that Mirror Spock’s goatee has become a symbol for evil universe counterparts.

I don’t have the individual issues but I did get this trade collection for the entire eight chapter story, originally subtitled “New Frontiers”. At the end of the article I’ll link to the individual reviews I did of each issue for my other site. This is an overview of the arc and a review of the trade collection.

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