When you’re surrounded by all the big-ticket items like celebrity autographs and replica light sabers, a convention like Salt Lake Comic Con can feel like a place where your wallet goes to shrivel up and die. But fear not — there are hidden treasures on the convention floor that cost you almost nothing.
They’re called "quarter bins" — boxes of discounted comic books that are typically a little older or less well known. With issues typically ranging from 25 cents to a dollar, the bins are a great way to spend relatively little on the chance of discovering a cool comic. At the FanX comic convention in April, I came across a "Fantastic Four" comic that pitted the super-powered family against an enormous T-Rex right on the cover; you don’t see a comic like that and not pay 50 cents for it.
Salt Lake Comic ConThe second annual event will draw together fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror and other genres.
Where » Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City
When » Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 4-6
Hours » 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; floor opens an hour earlier for Gold and VIP passholders
Admission » $60 for a basic three-day multipass; $25 for Thursday only; $35 for Friday only; $40 for Saturday only. Gold and VIP packages also available, as well as discounts for buying in advance. Go to saltlakecomiccon.com for details.
But you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and the sea of comics that fill the bins can feel a little intimidating — so which ones are worth your quarters? To help you out, we asked the staff at several local comic book stores about which comics you should keep an eye out for, and why they think these comics are cool.
Mind that some of these comics may have mature content.
David Landa of Dr. Volt’s Comics, 2043 E. 3300 South in Millcreek
Star Wars Legacy »Set 140 years after the Battle of Yavin [the destruction of the first Death Star]. The series follows Cade Skywalker, a descendent of Luke. Cade abandons his family Jedi traditions to roam the galaxy as a force-empowered bounty hunter. This book has great stories and incredible visuals from the future of the Star Wars universe.
Thunderbolts » Through the many iterations of this team, one thing stays consistent — villains seeking fame, revenge and redemption. The current series involves villains who are given a chance to do good things as part of a government super team. This is a great book where you can see the most dysfunctional people try to team up and do the one thing they have never done, trying to help out.
The Authority » This book follows a team of gritty superheroes who are going to protect the world, whether the world wants it or not. "The Authority" holds a dark mirror up to the traditional comic super-team; having the characters solve the absurd superhero problems in a more conventional and realistic manner while maintaining the bombastic fun of traditional comics.
Greg Gage of Black Cat Comics, 2261 Highland Drive, Salt Lake City
Doom 2099 #4 » The series chronicles the adventures of fan favorite villain Doctor Doom in the far future. It’s one of the titles of the late, lamented 2099 line of comics from Marvel, which is actually making a comeback with the best selling "Spider-Man 2099" title that is on issue #2.
Rex Mundi #5 » The original comic book miniseries, written by Arvid Nelson, is a murder mystery set in a magic 1930s Paris where kings and popes are still in power. The comic chronicles the alternate past of the Catholic church, rife with occult and mystery themes, published by Dark Horse Comics.
Deadman #1 » The comic is from DC’s Vertigo imprint. It is a mature readers book written by horror legend Bruce Jones about Brandon Cayce, a man who is killed in a plane wreck that his brother deliberately caused. Brandon has to confront the riddles of life and death, and the woman he loved, to figure out how to prevent his own demise.
Kiley Wachs of Night-Flight Comics, 6222 S. State St. in Murray
Top 10 #1 » Predating "Powers," by Brain Michael Bendis, "Top 10" follows the story of super cops investigating super-human related crimes, with plenty of Easter eggs throughout. Plus, it’s written by Alan Moore, the acclaimed writer of "Watchmen," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," "Swamp Thing" and "V for Vendetta," to name a few.
Hulk: The End » Written by one of Hulk’s best writers, Peter David. "The End" is a tale about the very last Hulk story, his last battle ever, in which Bruce Banner is the last man on Earth in the far future. Spoiler alert: there are giant cockroaches!
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