THE WEB-STIR #2: WHAT ARE COMICS FOR?

What are comics for? That might seem an odd question but stick with me. Are they for entertainment? Are they for education? Are they for investment purposes? Well, I would say probably a bit of all three but mainly they are for entertainment.

One of the most common questions we get asked in Wow shops is what is your most valuable comic? It’s such a disappointing question. Surely the question to ask is what is your best and most enjoyable comic? It’s the view of all of us at Wow Comix that first and foremost comics are to be read and enjoyed, not bagged, boarded and, put away untouched, unread and unloved.

Tasty comics!

Why should it matter? Well one reason is that when people lose sight of the real purpose of something there is a danger that the thing they love gets taken over by people who do not love it and just want to make a few quid out of it.

During the 1990s comics became almost self-destructive, the US comics industry started and fuelled a massive speculator frenzy with comic books. It was the time when the multiple variant cover was introduced. Could that be anything more than a cynical ploy to get you the reader to buy lots of copies of the same comic? It was the time when multiple titles featuring the same character or spin off titles appeared. Why on earth would you want 12 titles featuring the X-Men or Batman each month? Surely fewer titles of a better quality would make the comic industry more sustainable? It was the time of new “hot” writers and artists and people were encouraged to buy anything with their name on it. It was when “creators” names started to appear on the cover. Not something the previous generation ever needed. People were tricked in to thinking that anything by these guys would one day be worth a fortune, which we now know was not the case.

The 90s were a strange time for the comic industry

The speculator boom was unsustainable. People believed that buying multiple copies of the same comic was a great idea because one day they would be worth a fortune, ignoring the fundamental stupidity of the argument. What makes comics valuable is their condition, their desirability and above all else their rarity. Think about it logically and the stupidity of the argument becomes evident. If there are millions of copies of a comic available then they are by definition not rare. If they are not rare then lots of people have got them and they are largely worthless. That is what happened to the speculator boom of the 1990s. Once people woke up to the fact that they were buying loads of copies that they could not get rid of then they stopped buying. Publishers and comic shops who had themselves invested and speculated that the boom would continue suddenly-found themselves over committed, and their customer base drying up. Publishers and retailers went to the wall. All because they had turned what was “entertainment” into perceived investment, when there was no real value to it.

This was the start of a decline in comic sales from which the industry has never recovered. American comic book sales now are a fraction of what they were 20 years ago. The same with British comics. There are few titles published now and sales of those that do survive are a fraction of what sold years ago. When you take out Beano and 2000AD there is not much left now. The same argument as to value applies to British comics as much as to American comics. Never a week goes by when we are not offered a collection of 2000AD. Generally, people believe that because they are old, they are valuable but so many were produced that there are still thousands in circulation which makes each individual copy worth very little.

They may not have the highest value, but annuals are a great value way of starting your journey in the comic world!

So, what am I saying here? That you should not look to make money on your old comics? Absolutely not. However, what I do believe is that you should buy them for the right reasons. Don’t buy them because you think they will be worth something one day. Buy them because you want to read them and because a well-written and well-drawn comic can be fantastic entertainment. Whilst the mainstream comics are, in my personal view, going through a bit of a rubbish period at the moment, there are still some great stories coming from DC and Marvel. If you are more adventurous look at some of the independent labels where there are brilliant and innovative titles being published. That should be your starting point, buy them to read them.

Comics should entertain and, in some cases, educate as well by turning the spotlight on the issues of the day. It’s all-too easy to jump on a band wagon and push out loads of comics with covers in celebration of Pride or Black Lives Matter. What is much harder to do is to produce comics that focus on issues that impact on real lives in a subtle but impactful way. Good writers can do that without having to make it gimmicky. Think back on what Lee and Kirby did back in the 1960s in the pages of early Marvel. Yes, they may be a bit dated now, but they covered topics such as racism, feminism, corruption and drug abuse. They were dealt with in a sensitive and informative way. They supported things like the civil rights movement.

Green Lantern & Green Arrows team-up is hailed as a game changer for comic books.

DC did a fantastic job in O’Neil and Adams Green Lantern & Green Arrow issues 85 and 86 where they turned the spotlight on a serious and growing drug addiction problem in America. It is possible to tackle important issues whilst being entertaining at the same time. Ironically those issues are some of the most sought-after and valuable of the period. Mint copies go for high prices. It is true that most comics are not worth very much and few retain their value, let alone significantly increase in value. Where we do see prices going up are for key issues where a new or important character or major plot point is introduced. These can be valuable but you can’t predict what will be a key issue in advance. Who would have thought that the New Mutants 98 would have become much sought after? It was a mediocre comic living on borrowed time and yet now it goes for high prices. Why? Well because it introduced a number of characters including a fairly pedestrian assassin but who changed out of all recognition over the years to become the one and only Deadpool we all know and love. It made that comic worth very much more than it otherwise would have been. Probably no one at the time it came out thought it would be worth much and probably few people bought multiple copies.

So, what is a comic for? All of the above but mainly just get it for the fun of it and spend a short while in a different world enjoying a good read.


John Webster

03/06/22




Pre-order of the Week – Dark Crisis: The Deadly Green #1

There are some great titles due for release this October, including the return of Silver Age Miracleman, a brand new Spider-Man run from Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, and Gotham City: Year One from Tom King, to name but just a few!

However our pick this week is the 48-page one-shot, Dark Crisis: The Deadly Green #1, written by Joshua Williamson, Dan Waters, Ram V, and Alex Paknadel with art by Daniel Bayliss. What a lineup! Check out the covers below!

Nice! But what’s it all about?


“Superman and Swamp Thing uncover the secrets of the Great Darkness! During the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, Swamp Thing encountered and formed a truce with the Great Darkness, but this ancient force has been awakened by Pariah and now its influence is felt across the Multiverse. Now the Avatar of the Green must work together with new allies to investigate how far the Great Darkness has spread and why it would work with Pariah. If they want to stop the Great Darkness from swallowing the Green, they need some extra help…ENTER: SUPER SWAMP THING.

Why ‘Pick of the Week?’


The original 1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths is an absolute classic, not just to us obviously, but for countless comic fans around the globe, setting the bar for big comic cross-over events ever since! And the way it’s being revisited in Dark Crisis is lining up to be another crazy action-packed and fun saga by the time it finishes in December. In The Deadly Green we will see Swamp Thing teaming up with Superman (sold) to finally try and solve the mystery of the Great Darkness.

Now, we don’t often say things like this… but, one of the slightly more disappointing aspects of the original Crisis was, of course, the lack of Swamp Thing. He did have a cameo tie-in alongside John Constantine in Swamp Thing #46 by Dick Giordano. (Actually thinking back, that’s a really great issue where Swamp Thing first learns of the Mulitiverse) but we all would have loved to see more of him in the main event!

So, in a nutshell, it’s great to have more Swamp Thing in the mix for all the Crisis fans out there, and a special mention to Ram V who is on this issue. His recent ‘The Swamp Thing‘ run was something to behold and fast became a bit of a customer favorite in our stores, and those are the reasons why we’ve stamped this for our pre-order pick of the week!

Pre-order it HERE



1991: My Year of the Beano!

Every comic collector starts somewhere. Mine began in February 1991 when I found a copy of an old Beano annual from 1982 hiding on a shelf at home. No idea why it was there. Neither of my parents have ever been into comics so it remains a mystery. But that moment of discovery has stayed with me. A boring Saturday afternoon was supercharged by the arrival of Dennis the Menace and Mini the Minx. I was nine years old and so were they. We became immediate friends. 

I bought my first weekly issue later that week. Number 2537. I’ve had to do some detecting here, as while I still have the fabled comic, the front page has long since been lost. Cover price 26p, a significant dent in my pocket money. I would have to forgo some sweets to afford his habit. That alone proves how much I instantly liked it because up until then nothing excited me more than sweets. It was a big decision, one encouraged by my mum. Anything to reduce my sweet intake. (I would grow hyperactive on too many e-numbers.) 

Actually its 2539 pictured, but you get the drift.

It seems I’d chosen the perfect time to become a Beano fan. Two weeks later Dennis the Menace turned 40 years old and the comic celebrated with a poster magazine and a selection of reprints from throughout Dennis’s Menacing career. I was hooked. Fortunately, there was a glut of Beano products out that year. On top of the weekly, and the yearly annual, there were comic libraries, poster magazines, summer specials, and sticker albums. My pocket money couldn’t cope, so negotiates were opened for a raise. The big wash-up after Sunday lunch became my duty. Every pot and spoon bought more tat and merch. My bedroom turned black and red. Menace colors. 

After a year, I branched out. Asterix and Tintin, a few Gerry Anderson revival comics but the Beano remained supreme. Boot sales were a good source of back issues and old annuals. At my peak, I must have had over five hundred comics. My first great comic collection. 

The good stuff!

Then one day, I saw my first X-men comic. America came muscling in and Dennis and Mini were out, Wolverine and then Batman were in. The Beano’s were swept aside.

And so, it remained. Until 2021 at the height of Covid, when everything was shut and comics were hard to come by, I bought a Beano comic from the supermarket. £2.99 now. Would I have to give up beer to keep up this habit? Fortunately, my washing-up rates have increased enough to cover both, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed it. 

Re-reading some of those old 1991 Beano’s (I kept a few favorites), there’s not much for adult heads to enjoy. Affection and nostalgia aside, Dennis does come across as a bully to modern eyes, and the corporal punishment that ended every miss-adventure was dated even then.

But the modern Beano felt evolved, diverse and I confess, very funny. There are plenty of newer characters, representing modern Britain, and the A-listers, Dennis, Mini, Roger the Dodger and The Bash Street Kids are all still there and on top form. I think part of the reason of the Beano is still going today is down to this core group of characters. They’re all the same age as the target audience in the same way that Desperate Dan from the Dandy is not.

The art is consistently good (we now have writer/art credits) and the writing is often surreal and clever. I also liked the way the characters shared their universe more. They’d all turn up in each other’s stories and occasionally an entire issue would be based on a big shared adventure. Reading this Beano is like joining a cool gang.

Then Covid ended and I had to grow up again but I thoroughly enjoyed my few months with the new Beano. I’m glad it still survives and is in such good hands. And if I’m ever threatened with a boring Saturday afternoon, I know it’s still out there if I need it.

Finally, back to issue 2537. The front cover may be gone but the rest of it remains, a bit tattered and torn but a survivor of countless purges, teenage indifference, and at least six house moves. 

“Keep everything,” my dad would say. “You’ll want it when you’re older.” Good advice, and easily ignored. But in this case, I listened. It lives on, boarded and bagged and much loved. The one that started it all.


Written by Ross Kelly. 

August 2022.


Don’t miss out on the British Comic Fest in Stockport on Saturday 20th August! FREE ENTRY ALL DAY!



Ten DC and Marvel comic series starting this October that you might want to check out!

October seems to always be a hot month for new comic series kicking off, and this year seems no different. Here we highlight ten new series from Marvel and DC (in no particular order) which are kicking off pre-halloween 2022. And whats more all are available to pre-order now on our store right now!

What are you most looking forward to reading? Let us know in the comments!


Miracleman: The Silver Age #1


Up first is the title our own Mr Webster is most excited about, and that’s the return of Silver Age Miracleman of course!

“Young Miracleman – the lost member of the Miracleman Family – is back! His last memories were of a 1963 world of joy and innocence. Now, he’s been thrust into the 21st century, where his best friends have become gods and monsters. Remastered with stunning new artwork by Mark Buckingham! Including material originally presented in MIRACLEMAN (1985) #23, plus bonus content.”


Spider-Man #1


Dan Slott and Mark Bagley bring us Spider-Man #1 this October. The stakes are high, “The End of the Spider-Verse” is here!

“Spidey’s 60th Anniversary is no joke as two of the most legendary Spider-Creators are working together on Spidey for the first time and you know it’s going to be one for the record books!”


The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #1


Yes! It’s back! The fan’s voices have been heard and a new series is dropping in October! Certainly one of the surprise hits of recent years, Scooby and Batman never fail to entertain all ages, in a team-up that has been described by Wow Comix staff as “Essential stuff”!

An odd thriller pulls Batman, Robin, the Batmen of All Nations, Scooby, and the gang right into a jet-setting race to among the most haunted locations on Earth. Even scarier, the path leads straight to Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Assassins!


Gotham City: Year One #1


Tom King has been in sensational form recently (See Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow) which only adds to the anticipation for Gotham City: Year One.

“Superstar creators Tom King and Phil Hester team up for the first time to tell the definitive origin of Gotham City: how it became the cesspool of violence and corruption it is today, and how it harbored and then unleashed the sin that led to the rise of the Dark Knight.”


Harley Quinn: The Animated Series: Legion Of Bats! #1


“When last we checked in with Harley Quinn, she ate, she banged, and she killed—but now it’s time for something a little different. Fresh out of the events of Harley Quinn: The Animated Series season 3, Harley has found herself a part of a highly unlikely team—the Bat-Family! Meanwhile, Poison Ivy has found herself prepping for her new job—leader of the Legion of Doom! But while Harley and Ivy adjust to their respective new roles, a ghost from Ivy’s past enters the fray and threatens the relationship between everyone’s favorite clown/plant couple!”


The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #1

Those who were disappointed to see the recent ongoing Joker series canceled will be happy to find some more clown crusades on the way in October!


From the twisted minds of Matthew Rosenberg (Task Force Z, What’s the Furthest Place from Here?) and Carmine Di Giandomenico (Batman: The Knight) comes a violent, mind-bending new series that picks up from the cataclysmic end of The Joker and follows the mayhem across the United States.


Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1

For those who like their Spidey with a bit more attitude, this might be for you…

A revolutionary dark take on Spider-Man begins here! What is reality and what is dream? What is science and what is magic? At the intersection of all of this stands the Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man.


Wakanda #1

“THE BLACK PANTHER IS NO LONGER WELCOME IN WAKANDA! Who is this proud nation without its king? This exciting new miniseries answers that question as each issue spotlights a different fan-favorite Wakandan character. First up: Shuri proves that being without the Black Panther doesn’t mean Wakanda is without heroes to protect it—and that there is a reason she too once wielded the power. Plus, part one of the “History of the Black Panthers” backup story, providing for the first time anywhere a definitive overview of every Wakandan who has ever held the mantle of the Black Panther!”


PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL: BROTHER #1 


“Lady Bullseye failed. Lord Deathstrike failed. Every assassin sent to kill Frank fails. The leaders of the underworld crime bosses, heads of terrorist organizations, and even a corrupt government or two come together to solve the growing problem of Frank Castle. Sharing intel, resources, and money, a collective underworld puts out a contract to kill Frank eligible for anyone: assassins, mercenaries or smalltown crooks. The news ripples through the shadows of the world: $500 million to the person who takes down the Punisher. But there’s one face from his past…who’s in this hunt for more than money”


Star Wars: The High Republic #1


“A new chapter begins for Star Wars: The High Republic! One hundred and fifty years before the fall of Starlight, another beacon burns bright in the galaxy, a beacon of faith and spirituality. Jedha. The Pilgrim Moon. The Kyber Heart. But tensions are rising in the holy city and dark days are to come. Jedi Vildar Mac, a Jedi safe and secure in who he is and what he could be, arrives as Jedha’s fragile peace begins to crumble… But a nightmare awaits…a nameless terror that will become the stuff of legend…”


Thats it for our top ten new comic series starting in October. You can find plenty more new and vintage comics over on the website now! And to keep up with all the latest comic releases, and enter our weekly FREE COMIC GIVEAWAYS simply head on over and follow our Facebook page!


Wow Comix Presents – British Comic Fest 2022! – Stockport Merseyway Shopping Centre – Saturday, August 20th

That’s right folks, if you didn’t know already, we here at Wow Comix LOVE British Comics! And we know we are far from alone, as so many of you have previously attended our Beano days at one of our stores before, it was always a no-brainer to do something like it again! So here it is, Saturday, 20th of August! Mark it down!

British Comic Fest is a free-to-the-public Comic Convention presented by Wow Comix Event in association with the Merseyway Shopping Centre. There will be free activities, trader stalls, and a chance to meet artists and writers from the nation’s favorite comics!

To keep up with the goings-on in the lead-up to the event, make sure you are following our socials! In particular, our events page for the British Comic Fan Fest, Which you can find here!, our Wow Comix Stockport Facebook page! and you can get further updates from Wow Comix World on Facebook and Twitter!

Let’s take a look at who we have announced so far!


Nigel Parkinson

Well, we could not have a British Comics Fan event without Nigel Parkinson could we?!

Nigel is of course the very popular artist of Dennis The Menace and we are delighted to announce he will be attending Beano Fan Fest in August.

If you are looking for a unique gift how about some original artwork from a British comics legend!


Lew Stringer

Come along and meet Lew Stringer. Lew is one of the legends of the British comic industry, having produced hundreds of fantastic cartoon strips in a career spanning four decades. His work has regularly appeared in Beano and Dandy. Lew is also the creator of such fondly remembered characters as Combat Colin (for Marvel UK) and Brickman.


Laura Howell

We are pleased to announce that appearing at British Fan Fest is Laura Howell.

In 2006 Laura became the first woman to draw for the Beano and is currently the artist in charge of everyone’s favorite pigtailed powerhouse, Minnie the Minx. She has also drawn and written for many publications including Viz, The Dandy and comic adaptations of Angry Birds.


Steve Yeowell

We are absolutely delighted to announce that British Comics legend Steve Yeowell will be joining us for British Comic Fest on Saturday 20 August.

Steve’s first professional work was with Grant Morrison on licensed toy series “Zoids” in the pages of Marvel UK weekly Spiderman and Zoids before moving on to 2000AD where he drew the superhero series Zenith. He has also worked on Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter and many other strips for 2000AD.

His American work includes Batman, Legends of the Dark Knight for DC Comics, where he has also drawn among others The Atom and The Invisibles. For Marvel he drew Skrull Kill Krew.


Nika Nartova

We are very pleased to say that artist Nika Nartova will be joining British comic Fan Fest. Nika regularly works as the colourist on Dennis The Menace as well as Beano covers and various other strips in the comic.

Nika is based in Liverpool and has worked as colourist for Nigel Parkinson for over 15 years. Come along and see her super fast colouring style at work.


Marc Jackson

Joining Beano Fan Fest is the creator of Beano character Lenny The Lettuce, our good friend Mr Marc Jackson.

Marc is well known to many within the comic industry and fandom for his many quirky characters, his work on Beano, and as an undiscovered rap star!!

Marc is also the creative mind behind Macc-Pow comic arts festival which will be happening soon. Check the Macc-Pow pages for full details of guests and events and start times.


Brian M. Clark and John JJ Jackson

Come and meet the wonderful Brian m. Clark and John Jackson, who are the guys behind The Mancunian, Manchester’s very own superhero! They will be launching the latest issue and have done a wonderful surprise comic strip just for us. See below!


We have more announcements on the way so keep one eye open! We also have some trader tables available! If you would like to book one, please email info@wowcomix.com!

Hopefully we will see you there!


Gotta Eat ‘Em All! Part 2: The World of Vintage Pokemon Crockery & Cutlery


In our last visit to the world of meal-related Pokemon items, we looked at a few of the most notable examples of Pokemon lunch boxes. In this second part of “Gotta Eat ‘Em All” we’ll be taking a peek at a variety of crockery and cutlery products released during the late 1990s and early 00s, featuring dishes, eggcups, utensils and more!

As the Pokemon phenomenon took over the globe, a range of different lifestyle and homeware brands produced Pokemon-themed food and drink items. A number of these items were originally sold as full meal-time sets, however in the years since have become more commonly available on the collectors markets to be purchased individually, although some complete sets can still be found. UK based lifestyle retailers Presence have been selling a variety of plastic Pokemon crockery since the 90’s, primarily in meal time set form with the Ash-centric set below being one of the most popular. They continue to sell children’s meal time sets today, such as the more recent Generation VI set also pictured.




Another UK-based company who dabbled in the production of Pokemon meal sets were Wade, a ceramics company hailing from the home of British pottery, Stoke-On-Trent in Staffordshire. Wade manufactured a small handful of breakfast sets that included Pokemon-themed plates, bowls, mugs and (most importantly in my opinion, as someone who very much appreciates a nice boiled egg) eggcups. Their designs consisted primarily of the key characters from the early series of the Pokemon anime, with Ash, Brock, Misty and Pikachu at the forefront of the products.



As well as handling licensing for a very wide variety of other Pokemon products, the franchise’s Japanese advertising agency JR Kikaku licensed the likeness of numerous Pokemon characters to many different companies to use on meal-time products that were primarily made of Melamine (a nitrogen-based compound often used in plastic dishware and utensils) during the start of the worldwide Pokemon phenomenon. Like the ranges put out by Presence (which also featured some Melamine-based products), these often consisted of full sets of mealtime items (plates, dishes, cutlery) along with singular items.



Along with producing lunch boxes as mentioned in part one of this blog, Tupperware also produced plastic cereal bowls and tumblers in the early 00’s, which came with plastic lids should you want to eat your cereal on the go.



Their designs featured a variety of older Pokemon as well as new Pokemon (at the time) that were introduced in the Johto-based Generation II games and anime. As well as the cereal bowls and cups, Tupperware also produced handy cereal storer/dispensers, which featured the evolutionary lines of Pikachu and Chikorita.



Along with the other Pokemon-themed cups and mugs that were included in the meal time sets above, a number of different plastic tumblers with straws were also produced, although manufacturer details on the majority of them are fairly scarce other than them being licensed by Nintendo. A selection of tumblers were produced that featured Ash on the transparent part of the tumbler and were topped with lids featuring plastic models of Pokemon such as Pikachu and Charmander, although a rarer Poliwhirl-topped tumbler was also produced.



Interestingly, versions of these tumblers without the Pokemon model-topped lids were also produced, with just a plain red or blue lid and a straw. What the cause of this difference in design was is unknown, but it could be a case of the Ash-themed cups being produced in greater numbers than the Pokemon-topped lids. As well as the traditionally-shaped cups and tumblers, a variety of 3D Pokemon-shaped sipper bottles with straws were also available. Pikachu and Meowth were-commonly-seen designs however Squirtle and a much rarer Clefairy bottle were also available. These bottles were filled (in a slightly disturbing fashion) by unscrewing part of the featured Pokemon’s head and pouring in whichever beverage took your fancy. Although, seeing as removable parts on children’s products such as these can easily be misplaced, I do dread to think how many decapitated plastic Pokemon may be lurking at the back of kitchen cupboards across the world…



Of course, this by no means a comprehensive list of all Pokemon-themed crockery and cutlery, as you could probably write an extremely long book cataloging even just the mugs featuring the various characters from the Pokemon world that have been produced over the past 25 years, let alone any other products in the mountain of meal time merchandise that is now available. I do hope however that the handful of items featured here may have brought back some fond memories of enjoying a refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon in a Charmander-topped bottle, or dipping soldiers (thinly cut strips of toasted bread, for our non-UK readers) into a nice runny egg that is held safe and sound by your favourite Pikachu egg cup. Or perhaps, if you have yet to add any Pokemon crockery to your collection, it may have inspired you to see if there are any mugs or plates out there that take your fancy, whether that be purely for display purposes or to throw a Pokemon-themed dinner party. Who says fun crockery and cutlery has to just be for kids?

Written By Emily Carney

Sources and Further Reading:

Presence – https://presencedirect.com/

Wade – https://www.wade.co.uk/

Tupperware – https://www.tupperware.com/

The Pop Insider – Pokemon Merch: Toynk Celebrates Pokemon’s 25th Anniversary With New Merch Collection –