Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

A question for the ages, or at least for the week after Christmas

To wit, how do I spend all the Christmas gift certificates I got?

More precisely, do I spend them on stuff I was planning to get anyway, or wait on that and buy something that wasn’t on my short-term list?

It’s Hellboy, so of course there are snakes!

I have TPBs in a variety of series on my Amazon wish list (which doesn’t mean I’ll buy them on Amazon, but it’s an easy place to keep track) including Hellboy, Archer and Armstrong, Bombshells and Girl Genius. I have several books I consider a high priority, such as novels by friends of mine. So it would make sense to use the money on those.

But then again, since I’m going to get those items anyway, shouldn’t Christmas money go to stuff I want but wasn’t planning to buy soon? Then I’ll buy the regular stuff out of my regular fun-stuff allowance.

In this case, as in many others, it came down to “buy the big expensive stuff first.” My initial pick was the first Silver Age Batman Omnibus, which kicks off with Batwoman’s debut. I have mixed feelings about the buy as we’re sliding into the era of monsters and SF stories that made the New Look a welcome change. However there are still plenty of good stories in this volume, including some I’ve wanted to read for years, so I’m good.

(I’m a little less good that the last Golden Age omnibus ends about two years before this one starts and there’s no sign yet of DC plugging the gap with another GA hardcover. I suppose this could be shrewd marketing — the sense of a gap might increase demand — but more likely DC’s screwing up).

I also spent about thirty dollars on Love on the Racks, a book about romance comics. They were a big chunk of the market for a long time and I don’t know much about them so I’ve had my eye on the book for a while.Finally I got two smaller things that fell into the “going to get them anyway” category: Hellboy: The Return of Effie Kolb, a sequel to the excellent The Crooked Man, and a BluRay of the Fredric March version of 1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s an amazing film with a strong sexual undercurrent (it’s a pre-code movie) and an Oscar-winning performance from March.

Coupled with my pre-existing TBR pile and the booksale TYG and I went to this month, I’m in a rare state where I don’t feel the need to buy more entertainment materials. It’ll pass, but for the moment I’m good.

#SFWApro. Covers by Mike Mignola, Sheldon Moldoff, and John Romita


  1. I generally agree that you should go with the higher-priced items with those GCs. I got some Amazon GCs this year, and I may FINALLY get The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio, which has been on my list since 2014!

  2. Tim Rifenburg

    When it comes to gift cards, I always try to go for the things I had on my list that I really want to have. If I had a couple of cards to the same place, I would use them to shave off cost of a particular high-cost item. Most of my family realized a long time ago Amazon cards were easier. I keep the wish list current but most of my family just figure it is easier to have me pick out my own. Sometimes that is harder when I have multiple things that I wish to own.

  3. Der

    It’s been a while since I’ve had enough fun money to get something besides my main wishlist. I also use amazon to keep track and make lots of wishlists, but there is always one thing with more priority

    But if I had enough money to get my own things, then I usually use my giftcards to get things that sound interesting but I would never buy with my own money. Last time I got a comixology giftcard, and used it(I love physical books, but digital is good for the sales and to try different things) to get some star wars omnibus and other things that I would never have bought otherwise.

    Also, I just pounce on the things I know are scarce/used/out of print first, even if it’s not on my priority, because you never know when a 99 cents used book will become a 30 usd book

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