Four star review of Alpha Flight v4 #1 in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1682

Comics Buyer’s Guide #1682
Oct 2011

The venerable Comics Buyer’s Guide is one of the first and one of the last printed magazines covering comics, fandom and conventions. Starting in 1971, it claims to be “the longest-running English-language periodical reporting on the American comic book industry.” It ran as a weekly (!) for many years before returning to its current monthly format. In an era where comic fans are easily connected to comic book industry info via the Internet, it’s hard to believe there’s still a printed magazine covering convention listings and fanzines and running tiny classified ads, yet it endures. Alpha Flight v4 #1 was reviewed in this issue, featuring appearances of the entire team on the cover and some interior panels.

Although this issue carries a cover date of Oct 2011, it was actually published on 8/17/11, fully two months after the Alpha Flight v4 #1 was released on 6/15/11. In fact, issue #3 had already been published the previous week. The production cycle of periodicals just can’t keep up the way online reviews can – in comparison, issue #1 had over a dozen reviews posted online within just a few days.


Click on the page above to zoom onto the review.

In the section, “Comics Reviews!”, subsection, “Mainstream Comics Reviews”, the very first comic reviewed is Alpha Flight v4 #1. A full reproduction of the cover is shown, along with a few panels featuring Marrina and Guardian battling Attuma in Vancouver. The review is written by the reviewer’s reviewer, Martin Gray, and is quite positive, even ending with the unknowingly woeful call “Can anyone say ‘ongoing’?”

Click to enlarge

In the section, “Auction News and Market Trends”, a full column by comic shop owner John Tinkess of Another Dimension in Calgary, AB also shows the cover of Alpha Flight v4 #1 as his main illustration. He mentions in his article a general summary of June sales and points out:

Alpha Flight #1 also enjoyed a spectacular debut, although it looks as if it might be selling better here in Canada than it is in the U.S. Some of our customers see it as a point of national pride to support Canada’s only super-team.

He also includes a section “Top comics for June” and Alpha Flight v4 #1 is listed! One can’t help but read this and fly back in time to when the Byrne/Mantlo-era Alpha Flight was a top ten book in the Direct Market and boy, is it amazing to see this kind of thing again. For one brief moment, we had all the glory again in the pages of Comics Buyer’s Guide – which I’m sure will still be around to publish a review of the first issue of Alpha Flight volume 5!

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8 Responses to “Four star review of Alpha Flight v4 #1 in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1682”

  1. flightpath07 / dredd sweet Says:

    That’s cool to see.

    “it looks as if it might be selling better here in Canada than it is in the U.S.” – Numbers, or precentages, i wonder? I would expect the percentages to be much higher in Canada, of course! If there were actually more literal issues sold in Canada than in the US, that isn’t good, and just magnifies the stereotype that Americans don’t care about anything beyind their own borders.

    • rplass Says:

      I agree that there was likely a significant “Canadian Pride” factor that helped sales in Canada but I’m skeptical that an anti-Canadian bias on the part of xenophobic comic fans from the US exists. Personally, I’ve been interested in Alpha Flight because of its Canadian nature, not in spite of it.

  2. flightpath07 / dredd sweet Says:

    Well, wasnt talking specifically in comics, just the general stereotype. For instance, we Canadians learn about the USA in school to some degree, while on tv (or in other media) we see no ability of Americans to answer even the simplest questions about Canada. Doesnt mean everybody down south knows nothing about us, but it does enforce that stereotype that Canadians are brought up with. Stereotypes are usually partially true, partially false. Obviously, especially on an awesome site such as this, the bias against Canadian superheroes will not exist, as if it did then this site would not exist. Again, it was just more a comment on the general stereotype than it was on anything else.

    • rplass Says:

      Sales in Canada were understandably robust for a Canadian-themed book and that’s how I prefer to frame his comments. You can read into it as some sort of excuse to bash the USA if you want, but all that does is perpetuate yet another stereotype: the love/hate relationship with the USA which makes Canadians so insufferable. Oh, and for the record, I can name all 34 Canadian provinces by heart.

  3. flightpath07 / dredd sweet Says:

    “You can read into it as some sort of excuse to bash the USA if you want”

    Hm – don’t believe I was doing that; apologies if i was perceived as doing that, though.

  4. flightpath07 / dredd sweet Says:

    lol. You are aware that we Canadians don’t water down our beer, right? ;)

  5. Phil Says:

    What’s a Canada?

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