13 : CBSI WRITER WARS : Ask Carl Landers by Joshua Schendel






Dear Carl Landers,


I have my eye set on purchasing a CGC 9.6 rated issue of “Saga” #1 at my LCS.  Do you have any suggestions for convincing my wife that it is in our family’s best interest to make this purchase?




Strictly Anonymous


Dear Strictly Anonymous,


A “Saga” #1 is a pricy acquisition.  Justifying its purchase can be confounded by its original $2.99 cover price and the fact that its creators are hesitant to option it for adaptation.  And those current market values! Talk about sticker shock! These speedbumps could make anyone wonder if this book is worth the leap of faith. As to your question…it is said that “love conquers all,” so hopefully you have an understanding spouse who will embrace your passion for modern blue chip comic investments.  In lieu of that, consider going through her college era stuff and see what you can dig up. Guilt trips, when done in a loving manner, never, ever backfire. For example, a reader of mine once found a 2005 calendar of “hot fraternity men” from his wife’s college days featuring an ex-boyfriend. Maybe you can find something similar.  Good luck!




Dear Carl,


I wish people would stop getting so hung up on keys or variant covers that I clearly do not own.  Instead, I wish people would want more of the things I have plenty of, like my stack of blank covers to “Star Wars: Shattered Empire” #1.  First, it’s a good story. Second, the cover is blank, so anyone can draw anything they want in there. It doesn’t even have to be Star Wars related.  You could draw Garfield in there if you really wanted to. I feel like these issues sell themselves. How many can I sign you up for?




Phoenix, AR


Dear Phoenix,


I’m driving into a tunnel and will have to call you back.




Dear Carl,


My friend and I founded the local chapter of the Artgerm Fan Club.  We agree on all things, including the soul-lifting beauty that are Artgerm’s variant covers.  Yesterday, my world was turned upside down when he made the outrageous claim that the Artgerm covers of the “Batgirl (Vol. 2) #12” era are superior to his current work (e.g “Supergirl” #12, see Figure 1, below)!  Superior? As if his work could be ranked? Everyone knows his covers are all equally good.


Fig. 1: Two Equally Good Covers

Fortunately, after drawing up a few spreadsheets, drinking a Mountain Dew Kickstart, and pestering my coworkers into taking an impromptu survey, I was able to prove to a statistically significant degree (p > 0.05) that he was wrong and I was right.  How would you advise I rub my clearly superior argument in his face?




Tampa, FL


Dear Tampa,


Thanks for writing.  I reached out to Stanley “Artgerm” Lau to discuss your findings.  After a brief argument regarding my bonafides (he mistakenly thought I was related to some other advice columnist), we assessed your problem. Neither of us are confident you can reject the null hypothesis.  He pointed out that the p-value does not suggest any level of confidence in the results. Also, we wondered if your survey really had a high enough sample size to warrant your conclusions. Now, you and I both know that all Artgerm covers are created equally, and are equally soul stirring; however, given the above foundational flaws, perhaps you should consider agreeing to disagree with your friend?




Dear Carl Landers:


I run a strict DC-only household.  Despite this, my son does not embrace my love of DC super heroes!  Instead of wearing the Superman or Batman capes I special ordered, he runs around with a large tupperware lid attached to his wrist and pretends it’s Captain America’s shield.  Yes, it’s adorable when he throws it around the backyard and fights off “the bad guys,” but my patience with his life choices is running thin. Please advise.


–DC Fan in D.C.


Dear DC Fan:


Seek professional help.


Carl Landers has no experience as a therapist.  Do not write comic book speculation-related questions to Carl at askcarllanders@gmail.com as this email address does not exist. If this email address existed, Carl would treat each letter writer with the dignity and respect he and/or she deserved.

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