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  • Three Wishes: Release These Comics!

    Three Wishes: Release These Comics!

    Having several friends who own or work in comic stores, I get a lot of good opportunities to talk about trends in the business. One thing I’ve heard almost universally over the last few years is that the comic book back issue market has completely tanked. Even though selling old comics is what the comic shop industry was built on, shop owners now have to turn to alternative sources of revenue like collectibles, toys, cards, clothing, and appearing on AMC network reality shows. With the exception of rare issues, first appearances, and other things that hold serious monetary value, there’s simply no need to hunt for back issues anymore. In the Oughts, publishers began to grow much more aggressive with their bookshelf program. What once had been reserved for “special” storylines or archival reprints soon began to apply to virtually every comic book published. Nowadays a reader can be fairly well assured that any comic book appearing on the shelf will see print in a paperback or hardcover...
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  • Craig Reade
    started a topic Jawbreakers

    Jawbreakers

    OK, someone explain this to me. The "reporting" on it has been horrible. As I get it, someone crowdfunded a comic, and now shops won't carry...
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  • Justice League: No Justice #1: Crazy Configurations and a Strong Start

    Justice League: No Justice #1: Crazy Configurations and a Strong Start

    Justice League: No Justice #1 (DC Comics)
    By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Francis Manapul, Hi-Fi, and AndWorld Design

    In the aftermath of Dark Nights: Metal, the Source Wall at the fringes of the DC Universe has been breached. From the cracks comes something dark, deadly, and dangerous… so dangerous that the insidious Brainiac has taken it upon himself to create a new Justice League from members of the old, some Titans, the Suicide Squad, and a few surprise guests. The four unconventional groups will have to work together against the threat of the Omega Titans, with all life in the universe hanging in the balance.

    On the surface, there are a lot of things about No Justice #1 you could be cynical about. The four teams Brainiac has assembled seem in some ways tailor-made to capitalize on characters that are in the zeitgeist right now, and outfitting each of the squads in color-coded uniforms could be taken as a plot to crank out a new...
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  • A New Kind of Comic Fan

    A New Kind of Comic Fan

    I have a confession to make.

    Those of you who have accumulated a few decades may find this familiar. When it comes to the kinds of media we consume, it evolves over time. There are similarities – if you live 4-Color culture, it’s a good bet that sci-fi, comics, board games, and other things in that realm have held your attention at various points. In my life, I’ve eagerly devoured sci-fi television, various novel series, comic books, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Firefly. City of Heroes and Guild Wars, Kerbal Space Program, various board games from Risk and Axis & Allies to Gloomhaven – specific things come and go, but they all seem to fall in the same wheel-house.

    I went through one of those evolutions about 7 years ago, when I gave up comic books.

    Don’t get me wrong – I still loved the medium, and I still considered myself a supporter. I spent about 10 years actively commentating on them, and supporting others doing the same thing – I couldn’t...
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  • Memories on the World of Magic: The Gathering

    Memories on the World of Magic: The Gathering

    I was introduced to Magic: The Gathering in Spring of 1995…and as I remember it, that was within just a few weeks of the end of the Revised ("3rd") Edition. I'd missed Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, and The Dark…and the then-current expansion was Fallen Empires.

    I was there for the arrival of 4th Edition, and the first new expansion I was there for was Ice Age. Shortly after, we got Chronicles, and I remember that the card I most wanted from that set was Chromium--the Elder Dragon. (Which I got in my first purchase of several boosters!) Those gave way to Homelands, which was the first/only set I ever got to get an entire booster box--I remember getting that as a Christmas present that year.

    I remember the release of Alliances, and Mirage…and remember being aware of Visions and then even Weatherlight…though as I recall it, I only got a few boosters of Alliances, and I think only a "starter deck" and a couple boosters of Mirage. (After...
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  • Blake M. Petit
    started a topic Back Issue Grail Hunts

    Back Issue Grail Hunts

    Back in the day, I carried around a list of back issues I needed to complete my collection. The hardest-to-find of those became Holy Grails, the thing...
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  • Free Comic Book Day Frenzy

    Free Comic Book Day Frenzy

    There are certain dates you spend all year waiting for: Christmas, Halloween, St. Crispin’s Day for an excuse to do that speech from Henry V to your English Lit students... but as a card-carrying nerd, there’s a day that has stood out to me for several years now as THE day, the one I’m waiting for, the experience around which the whole geek year revolves. The first Saturday in May, tomorrow, is Free Comic Book Day.

    It’s a simple enough concept: every year the comic book shops, distributors, and publishers of North America collaborate to give out thousands of free books to anyone who walks into a shop. Some of the books are new, some are reprints, some are samplers of a publisher’s various wares, some are used to launch upcoming titles or storylines. It’s a nice no-risk (for the customer) way to get people to try things out and see what’s what. Aside from the bigger titles that everyone knows about, over the years FCBD has helped introduced me to future favorites like Atomic...
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  • Blake M. Petit
    started a topic DC Nation #0

    DC Nation #0

    Anyone else pick this one up? The Tom King Batman story is still embedded into my brain -- that panel (you know which one) of the Joker is twisting my...
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  • Avengers #1: It's Been a While

    Avengers #1: It's Been a While

    It’s been a while.

    I’ve always been an Avengers fan, but it’s been a very long time -- nearly 200 issues, in fact -- since I’ve read an Avengers comic. Oh, I’ve read comics called “Avengers” in that time (and sometimes “New Avengers,” or “Avengers Academy,” or “Uncanny Avengers”) and some of them have been very good. But even the ones I’ve enjoyed have had a different feel, a different flavor. Some of them were close. But it was like drinking a Coke Zero when you really wanted a Coke. Even the best of runs since the infamous “Avengers Disassembled” began in issue #500 have felt… off.

    For a few pages, Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness’s Avengers #1 tasted wonderfully familiar.

    The centerpiece of the issue is a summit between Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Thor about whether it’s time to get the band back together. (Why, exactly, the band is broken up after their victorious finale in last week’s Avengers #690 is not adequately explained, but that’s a...
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  • The Adventures of Superdad

    The Adventures of Superdad

    After a prologue in Action Comics #1000, we stand here a few weeks before the Brian Michael Bendis era of Superman truly begins. As is to be expected, Bendis and DC have both played details of his story pretty close to the vest, aside from a little playful trolling and a reassurance that Bendis doesn’t want to just blow up what the previous creative teams did as they move on. I’m not here to speculate on what comes next, nor to plead with DC to keep things one way or another, but rather to talk about what those previous teams have done right, and why it has meant so much to me. I’m here to talk about Jon Kent.

    But first, let me backtrack. Although I was, of course, aware of the character as far back as I can remember, the first Superman story I ever bought new off the stands, eagerly awaiting each new chapter, was “Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite.” This 1990 storyline culminated in Superman #50, in which Clark Kent proposed to Lois Lane. So you see, while fifty years of comic...
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  • Free Comic Book Day plans?

    I'm so happy, guys -- Geek Christmas is almost here. FCBD is one of my favorite days of the year, and it barely has anything to do with the comics themselves...
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  • Welcome to Forgedby4.com!

    Welcome to Forgedby4.com!

    Now, let's talk about some things we love.

    You know that feeling you get right before you move in to a new house? That's kind of like what I am feeling now. The house is shiny and new and full of possibility. You just haven't moved any of your stuff in yet. That's kind of the state this site is in right now - full of possibility, but since it is brand new, it isn't quite home yet.

    To give you an idea of what you can expect in the coming days and weeks, Forgedby4.com (or Forged by 4 Colors, if you like) will become a place where you can read about a whole host of things related to could be called 4-Color Culture that we enjoy, and that we think you will enjoy too.

    The 4 Colors in our name refers to the 4 Color Process (also called process color printing). This printing process became synonymous with classic comic books that were printed on inexpensive newsprint. For those of us who have grown up or lived for a long time enjoying those 4-color classics (and...
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