Epilogue – Week of March 16th

I finally had a chance to read The Arcane Awakening – Book Two. Before reading my “review” I’d encourage you to re-read my impressions after reading Book One. I want to be very fair and balanced in my review. Not just because I know the author of the book, but because comic book reviews tend to be histrionic.

First, the book is accessible. One of my biggest complaints with comic books is that they very infrequently allow you to jump into a series at any point. I can distinctly remember starting to read Action Comics and thinking, “What is going on?”

Even when I read comics with my kids, unless it’s a self-contained comic (one story, one issue), they are usually asking, “Dad, why is Donald a spy?” or “Why is Superman mad?”

The Arcane Awakening – Book Two (AA-B2) is accessible to any reader – even if you haven’t read the first book. Why? Because the inside of the cover provides a prologue of what has already happened. I believe that the best comics always do this. AA-B2 devotes the entire inside cover to catching readers up. It’s a decision that is both brilliant as a device to helper readers and a device to help sell more books.

One of my major pet peeves is when comics mishandle the pacing of a story. DC’s Identity Crisis is the story I always think of when the pacing is good or bad. Issue #1 was fast paced and exciting. Issues two through seven felt like they dragged on with the ending to the story jammed into the final few panels.

AA-B2 is fast paced. It doesn’t feel as if panels are clogged up with filler. As a reader, I sometimes felt that it was too fast-paced – but I’ll reserve complaining about the fast-pace until the next book. Fast-paced is a great quality for a book…as long as it pays off.

I found myself asking questions, but in an excited way. I want to know, “What happens next?” or “Why are they doing that?” I’ll only be disappointed if my questions aren’t answered. The Arcane Awakening can’t pull a Lost on me.

New Artist
This is probably an individual comic reader preference. I can understand why some readers wouldn’t like it. But I like seeing new artists on projects. I was excited to see a change. The first book featured Jacob Crippen Jacob Crippen and now Keith Grachow has taken over for the second book. They both have different styles, but both artists have served the stories very well. Listing any pro’s and con’s would be silly. Both are great artists. It would be like arguing over two great ice cream flavors. Both are good and the argument is very subjective.

Between work, family, this site, and everything else I try (and often fail) to cram into my life I often score things on a very simple criteria – Did I just waste my time? After reading AA-B2 I didn’t feel as if I had wasted my time.

The Arcane Awakening – Book Two is a fast-paced, interesting story filled with unique characters. It avoids the sophomore slump and serves both as a worthy sequel to Book One and an excellent set-up to the next story.

Last week featured some Class A figures, this week features a Class A Red #113. Doesn’t seem as fun, does it?

If that DB #1 has a smashed face, then it’s worth the $20 opening bid – and maybe the BIN.
This would need a lot of smashed faces.
Not bad if you’re looking to pick-up some figures.
Stupid price. But what are those odd Flesh figures? And the odd Purple one?
– You get Big Daddy and Twinface, I’d argue that makes the entire auction worth $9.99.
And it makes this auction a steal.
– If you write “The box is in poor shape and does have a lot of overall weakness and wear,” then don’t set this price.
With that price, the last thing that guy needs is a quarter to provide scale.
I was going to say this was an ok lot, but I’m sure the Reserve price is $274.
Is it bad I didn’t want to turn my head and figure out if I needed anything?
If I kept a list of firsts, then this would be my first $0.09 auction.
The real question, “How much are you willing to spend on a Ashura-Bull?”
This picture always makes me think of this picture. I don’t know why.
How did this get a bid? How?
– If I consider how long it took to find my window box and given this one’s condition, its pretty hard to knock the price tag.
But fuck this guy. Am I right?
– I like big lots (and I cannot lie), but this guy broke up this lot and this lot perfectly.

I think I see one seller dying to get into the tournament. Sorry. You’ll have to wait until next week. Thanks to last week’s play-in game we have our match-up set. Remember, you can vote can in the upper right hand corner.

Without any further ado, the 7th AOTW match-up of 2014.


Maybe I’m getting soft. If I’m being really honest, then maybe I’ve always been a softy.

Maybe it’s just starting to come through again. Take the 55 seconds (if you haven’t already) and watch this video.

I think the easy reaction is to feel happy for the kid. Or maybe even a little sad too. I watched it a couple times. I realized it made me feel hopeful.

I bitch and complain. I see lots of shit and sometimes I feel surrounded by shit, but there are still good people – lots of them: that kid, the people that organized it, the people that cheered, and even the people that felt something when they watched the video. It’s nice to feel like there are still lots of good people out there.

Which is why I also feel bad about the next part of the Epilogue. I’m following up that video and epiphany with what you see below. Whatever. I’m a work in progress. I’m also a slave to what the people really want. What does everybody want?

(I wish I had an Al Snow gif right now.)

One last push. Please take a chance on The Arcane Awakening. As M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors we waste lots of money. You might as well waste some of that money on some good books and on some good guys.

And I’m sure contacting Mess Bucket Comics on Twitter or Facebook could get you a discount. (Of course I have no authority to say that – but try!)

The Arcane Awakening – Book One

The Arcane Awakening – Book Two

  1. #1 by Jet-Mech on March 21, 2014 - 9:08 am

    If you’re selling a 28-pack with a 163 in the tray, every space might be filled, but the figures are obviously not all original to the packaging. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider it complete.

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