Gemr – The Comics Code Authority: How One Man Nearly Killed Comic Books

In my latest article for Gemr.com I look at how one man, psychiatrist Frederic Wertham, almost destroyed the then booming comic book industry overnight.

While he didn’t quite manage to do that, many publishers had to close, hundreds of people lost their livelihoods and the effects were felt for decades afterwards.

It’s a fascinating, sad, somewhat scary story of a determined man with an idea and public hysteria. I hope you enjoy.

Read the full article at Gemr.com

ChronicleChamber.com Merch

As some of you may know, I started the Phantom phan site, ChronicleChamber.com, all the way back in 2006. I ran the site pretty much by myself until 2018, when I made the decision to stay in the UK.

The Phantom, sadly, has basically no presence in the UK, so it made sense to hand the reigns over to those who were in a better place to continue delivering Phantom content. Thus, the current runners of the site stepped in.

Some pretty cool stuff happened during that 10 year run though; not only was it the biggest (and, if I say so myself, best) Phantom website out there, we also started up X-Band, the worlds first, and so far only, Phantom-dedicated podcast.

We also started regular phan meetings at conventions such as Supanova and the Phantom Preservation Project, which aims to archive and preserve all Phantom-based material that has been released but is not longer in publication, such as newspaper articles, fan club newsletters, old music and so on. I’m really proud of what myself and the others achieved in that time.

Well, the other day I received a package that contained some brilliant gifts. Those currently running the site have taken it from strength to strength and one of the things they’ve done is produce ChronicleChamber.com t-shirts and stickers to give away at cons to help promote the site. Kindly, they sent a bunch my way!

I absolutely love these, and they are going to have a very special place in my collection. It’s thirteen years since I started ChronicleChamber.com, and even though I’m not working on it myself any more it makes me extremely proud to know it’s still going so strong!

But enough from me, check the goodies out below!

Gemr.com – Should you Buy Comics in Single Issues or Wait for Trades?

My latest article for Gemr.com looks at a question that many comic fans have asked before; is it better to buy single issue comics or wait for the collected edition? It’s a question I’ve mentioned a little previously here on Collectorized and one that I really think deserves to be discussed more, especially as people’s relationship with comics and how they want to consume them changes.

It’s also probably my longest article to date, so that’s cool. Please, head over and have a read. 😀

Read the full article on Gemr.com‘s blog

Gemr – The Many Guises of Doctor Strange

My latest article for Gemr.com is all about my favorite Marvel hero, Doctor Strange. The article focuses on the various costumes the good Doctor has had over the years and the reasons behind the changes, be they for story or editorial reasons.

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Portsmouth Comic Con, 2019

This weekend was the second Comic Con in Portsmouth, England. Last year’s con was a huge success and sold out, so it wasn’t a surprise that a second was announced. This year, however, the organisers made sure to make it bigger and better!

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Graphic Action Comics, My First Comic Shop, Has Closed

Comic book retail has a long history of being a hard business. You don’t go into it to make money, you do it for the love of the medium. For 24 years Graphic Action Comics in Newcastle, NSW, Australia had been fighting the good fight. At the start of this month the store closed its doors for the final time.

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The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List

Recently I picked up the magazine The 100 Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time! magazine from Future Publishing. I thought it’d be interesting to go through the magazine and see which ones I’d read and which ones I needed to. The magazine was very well written with some really thoughtful commentary on the books presented within resulting in my “to read” list gaining quite a few additions.

While the magazine covered many great graphic novels – and indeed you’d need a slew of magazines to cover all the graphic novels that you should read in a lifetime – there were of course a few of my personal favourites left off. Thus, I thought I’d write up my own list.

Continue reading “The 10 Best Graphic Novels NOT in the 100 Greatest List”

The Issue With Variants

Variant covers for comic book issues have been a staple of the industry for some time now. The first comic book to have a variant cover was 1986’s The Man of Steel #1While there were technically variants before this, they were all due to small differences such as distributor logo. Man of Steel #1 was the first to receive variant artwork, which is what variants are mostly known for nowadays.

Variants played something of a not unsubstantial role in the “spectator boom” of comics in the 1990’s. There are a lot of pieces to the spectator boom puzzle which I won’t go into here, but if you’re interested you can read this great article by Michael McCallum on ComicBooked.com.

To give a brief history of the boom, people suddenly got the idea that buying a comic and holding on to it for 10, 20, or 50 years would eventually put their kids through university or pay off their house. Big firms such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times wrote articles about the possible future value of these once unpalatable items and so people started buying comics by the armful.

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Moving From Single Issue Comics To Collected Editions

Recently I had let go of my first love; comic books. I had been reading comics pretty much continuously for 24 years, most of that with a monthly standing order at my local comic store. Comics were my favourite hobby, my addiction. When something is that big a part of your life for that long a time it is very hard to let go. However, I was not prepared to give up on the comic book medium completely. No, siree! If monthly comics were no longer practical, then I was going to do the next best thing; I was going to move to collected editions!

However, it was not just a quick switch. I had to prepare! Remember, this was a 24 year habit I was moving away from. Certain “i”s had to be crossed and “t”s needed to be dotted. Here’s what I did to ready myself for the big change.

Continue reading “Moving From Single Issue Comics To Collected Editions”