Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alex's White Whale, Part Two...and a Segue

Before I start in on this post, I'd like to draw your attention to a couple of things. First, check out our shiny new poll, right up there at the top of the page. It's shiny! And new!

Please do take a second to vote, then swing on back here for the rest of this post. Oh, and, from now on, we'll be featuring a new poll every week or so (well, that is, until we just run out of ideas for topics--which could be in about a month, so don't get your hopes up too high). But, hey! If you have any suggestions for new poll ideas, leave 'em in the comments! (We want your comments. We need your comments. Well, really we just crave validation, but still...)

And the second new and shiny I'd like to draw your attention to is the little Graveyard Book countdown widget in the post below, there. The Graveyard Book is Neil Gaiman's latest novel, and it's out next week. Being big Gaiman fans, we here at Exfanding can't wait for the release.

[Rumors of me being a big Gaiman fan are grossly exaggerated and erroneous. -Nathaniel]

So now we have a countdown clock. And when it runs down, doomsday will be upon us. Or, the book will come out, and we'll be able to read it. Either way, though, it'll be an interesting day.

Anywho, now that I've left you hanging for a bit, it's time we return to White Whale chasing. And, in order to do so, I'm going to start by cheating. You see, whereas Ahab had his one, big honkin' whale to chase, I have two. What that says about me, I'm not sure. But I am sure that it can't be good.

Or healthy.

But whatever. If you're a collector (of anything, really), then you know what it's like to chase down an item for years and never seem to get your hands on it. For me, the item that has eluded me longest is Marvel Comics' Daredevil issue number 1.

Now, Daredevil is not my favorite comics character. That distinction belongs to DC's Batman (whom I still plan on becoming when I grow up, mind you). But, Daredevil is my favorite Marvel character, and his first appearance in Daredevil #1 is, while certainly not cheap, somewhat...affordable. Kind of. And, it is certainly possible to attain said White Whale in pretty decent condition without having to take out a loan.

I don't want to go on forever about this, but I will tell you about the one time I held DD #1 in my hands. It was at a local convention, and the price tag was $400. Anyone in the know realizes that's not too bad for this particular book. And, this book was in pretty good shape--I'd try to grade it for you, but honestly I have no idea how to do so.

In any case, there it was, in all its glory...and in my hands. And I had the cash on hand to buy it. And I decided against it. Now, this was about four years ago, and it was the first time I had ever seen the book in person. And, as I tend to do, I had a little conversation with myself.

"Self," I said, "this is it. Your tireless (at that point) year-long hunt is finally over." Then, that tiny, little part of my brain that still has some common sense left in it decided to chime in.

"$400?!" it cried. "You're nuts. That's a whole car payment and food for a week. Jerk."

Then, that not-so-reasonable (other 95%) part of my brain started to cave in, since that side of my brain is fickle and weak. And, finally, I (along with all parts of my brain) decided against making the purchase. And the conciliatory stuff came with it: "Put this one back," said my stupid, stupid conscience, "It'll be OK. And, hey, you're sure to find another one really soon."


Well, long story short, it's now four years later and I am still Daredevil 1-less.

But that's quite enough of that. My second White Whale is even more elusive than my first. If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you know I am a huge fan of Eric Powell's brilliant comic series, The Goon.

I've managed to collect all of the issues and trades and, really, everything that goes along with this great series. Actually, it's the one and only comic book I make an effort to support in all media in which it appears. What I don't have, though, is a full page piece of Eric Powell Goon art.

That stuff is downright expensive. As you may know, I have a fledgling collection of comics art (check it out here). And, as you'll see, there is one piece of actual Goon comic art (yep, the original art from a page in the comic!)

But, as you surely noticed, it's really like a quarter page drawing. And you don't even want to get me started on how long that particular piece took to acquire.

So now, I am on the hunt for a full page of Goon art. And, I'd like to invite you all along for the chase. This coming weekend, I will be at the Baltimore Comic Con.

And I will be on the lookout for Goon art. And, maybe, a Daredevil 1, though I'm sure if I actually do encounter either of these things, I'll have to Sophie's Choice it.

No matter what happens, though, fearless Exfanding readers, I will let you all in on it, and next week, when I (hopefully) return safe and sound from the Con...I'll exfand upon my tale.

And, maybe, just maybe, it will no longer be one of pity and woe.

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