Comics For all that I might say that I don't buy comics, here's the list of comics I'm currently buying regularly:

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Angel & Faith
Star Trek (the movie version with all its related spin-offs) (yes including Green Lantern)
Secret Wars
Lois & Clarke

We'll return to the bottom one shortly.

You'll notice the lack of Doctor Who: that's mainly because there are so many releases that to keep up with them all would be a messy and expensive business even though some of them are really good I hear. I'll be picking up George Mann's Eighth Doctor series though, for obvious reasons.

For a while I did collect the SHIELD comic, for about eight months, until it became clear that it was simply going to spend its issues recreating bits of the television series within the 616 utilising their versions of the characters who aren't really the ones from the television, however much they attempted to re-engineer them a bit. I'm replacing it with Devil Dinosaur and Moongirl.

Nothing about DC new 52 reboot has interested me. As a Who fan I understand and appreciate the notion of renewal but in the 52verse, DC seem to have taken a group of characters who through some strange alchemy have worked perfectly well for decades and survived through successive reboots which have still kept their core elements and after throwing all that out, from everything I've read, introduced shadows of them.

But Lois & Clarke does the interesting thing of bringing back the original Lane and Superman and put them in that universe, still trying to help but keeping under the radar. The first issue does a good job of explaining this status quo and of making us quite certain that these are people who existed pre-Flashpoint (the event which sparked the reboot).

The professional reviews seem to like it and judging by the comments underneath, more regular readers seem to appreciate the return of these characters, salivating at the suggestion that perhaps they'll end up replacing the version that's in the 52 however unlikely that is.  There's now the added problem that whenever there is a major disaster happening elsewhere, readers may wonder why this Kal-El doesn't pitch in.

They were reintroduced in the Counterpoint crossover event, a sort of parody of Secret Wars in which chunks of different realities appear on the same planet and the heroes therein fight each other, designed to cover publisher DC's house move to LA from New York and I realised as soon as I'd finished that opening issue that I wanted to read their first reappearance.


Comics chains no longer carry back issues. Neither Worlds Apart or my usual haunt Forbidden Planet keep issues older than at least three months outside of the inside of graphic novels or trade paperbacks.  Apparently its because comics simply don't sell after three months other than the big titles.  By then, people are simply waiting for the trades.

Options on Ebay and Amazon are expensive due to postage.

Then one of my contacts in Forbidden Planet pointed me towards Level Up, a games/music/comics shop in the basement of Grand Central Shopping Centre, the old Methodist Hall on Renshaw Street, the Liverpool equivalent of Affleck's Palace in Manchester.

It's basically perfect, everything you'd hope a comic shop would be, with its long boxes of back issues in the centre, older issues on the walls, retro games and dvds and well, yes, it's great.

Asking at the counter I was pointed to a long box containing complete sets and near the front were the Superman issues of Counterpoint at a price cheaper than they would have been on original retail.

Afterwards I promised I would talk about them on the internet and here I am plugging away.

Of course having read those back issues, I now realise I also need the main Counterpoint series to get the whole story and we're back to all the reasons I don't read too many comics.  But at least I know now where I might be able to buy them.

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