The End Of Quality

QC 1I’m a sentimental guy, so it was with much sadness that a few weeks ago I was informed that my comic shop was closing down! NOOOOOO! Um, yes actually. Quality Comics in the middle of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia will be no more. Christmas Eve is its last day, and they are having a 50% off everything sale to get rid of the stock. Most of its gone, but I managed to pick up a few Trades, such as Nextwave Vol. 2, Losers Vol. 1 and  more. I wanted a cool bust, but all the good ones went quick, not surprisingly. 

QC 2I’ve been going there since it opened 18 years ago. I saw an ad on TV (a DC Comics one they ordered from Previews and just gave to the TV station) but it worked. It’s had a few owners since then and I’ve  been friendly with them all, as well as the staff. I’m disappointed its closing as all the previous owners have managed to make $ from it. But in the comics biz, your heart has to be in it and you have to know the industry somewhat. It’s not like any other retail shop. For many years, QC was virtually a monopoly, but now Empire Toys, Comic Zone and Borders all sell comics – and they’re all on the same street! (I wouldn’t recommend shopping at Borders though, as their prices are much higher) So I took some photos to honour the passing of a great influence on my life. QC formed my comics passion in its early stages, for myself and my brother, and has been a great introduction to a few friends who have since picked up the habit. It never had the best shop frontage, with its set of stairs leading in to the unknown, but the basement shop was cavernous. Plus it was nestled between an Oxfam shop and a modeling agency, so it smelled like incense and you’d occasionally get a glimpse of a perty gal. Unfortunately, its prime real estate. Its rent has just gone up by 30%, making their weekly rent more than my monthly salary. There has been some interest from prospective buyers, but nothing concrete. If I had the money, I’d definitely snap it up. It’s a sad day, but in this climate of buying Trades from book shops, or on-line, I guess it’s not the end of the world. So here’s my pictorial ode to Quality anyway. I shall miss you.

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Flash Fanatic

flashgordon alexrossSo apparently Frank Miller’s next film project after The Spirit, which opens on Christmas Day, will be Buck Rogers. That’s not very exciting really. The Sin City and 300 creator has a deft visual hand to be sure, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to box office mojo. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Spirit doesn’t set cinema screens ablaze, and if it doesn’t maybe he won’t get Buck Rogers after all.

A better choice would be Flash Gordon. He’s not as old as the Buckster, but is much more recognisable. (Even if non-geeks do confuse him with DC’s The Flash). The 1980 film starring Sam Jones and Timothy Dalton was glorious, especially with the unforgettable Queen soundtrack. Plus the classic character is on a high at the moment. Superstar painter Alex Ross is a fan and even helped BifBangPow! with their Series 2 figures based on the film, which you can pre-order now.

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There’s also the excellent new series by Ardden Entertainment. The next issue, #4 is out next month and features Flash, Prince Thun, and the blonde Arborian ranger Eldun invading the Hawk Men’s floating prison city  to rescue Dr. Zarkov. It also features Prince Barin in the icy land of Frigia and Dale and Ming getting a little too cosy.

Really, Flash Gordon is begging for a film re-make. Just not by Frank Miller.