My regular comic store, Comic Quest, didn’t get any copies of Peter David’s Spike: Old Times. Yesterday I checked at Comics Toons and Toys. They were also sold out. Today I started looking around more of the Orange County area.

First step: Mile High Comics. I figured it was a long shot, since they’re the most well-known comic store on the internet, but I wasn’t in a hurry to read it, and it would save me the trouble of driving around the county. Naturally, they didn’t have it.

So I started calling stores I knew. As I was about to start, I noticed an email on SuperHeroNews saying, “Mile High Comics in LA, burned down last night, more information as we get it.” The first store on my list was Netherworld Comics, which used to be a Mile High store, but is in Garden Grove, not Los Angeles. Their phone isn’t picking up. And they’re still listed as an affiliate on Mile High’s website. And there aren’t any other Mile High stores in southern California. This doesn’t look good for Netherworld. Edit Sep. 7: Yes, it was them []. Figures. I’d only been in there a couple of times, but it was a nice store.

Okaaay… Next step: Diamond’s Comic Shop Locator. Unfortunately it only lets you search by ZIP code, and only shows the nearest three. Since I’d already been to two of the stores, I only got one phone number out of it. No luck there.

Time to do it the old-fashioned way: the phone book. (Katie remarked, “There’s nothing wrong with being old-fashioned, especially about a book called Old Times.”) There are surprisingly few comic stores in central Orange County. I only got three more numbers out of it, and one of them specializes in vintage comics. Not surprisingly, none of them had any copies either. (One offered to order it for me, but I simply declined rather than pointing out that it was already sold out at both the publisher and distributor.)

Next stop: eBay…

OK, I have officially changed my mind about the four covers for Angel: The Curse #1.

If they weren’t publishing alternate covers, there’s no way they would have used a fully-painted picture of the puppet Angel. Update: Scan added.

Cover for Angel: The Curse #1

The guy at the comic store said, “of all the people who had it on their pull list, I figured you’d appreciate this one the most.” Good call!

Two bits of news on some of the less conventional “Angels” of comics.

Fallen Angel artwork by J.K. WoodwardWriter Jeff Mariotte reports that Joss Whedon and Fox have approved a second Angel comic book miniseries to come out late this year, which may interest fans of the show who want to know what happened after the final episode:

While The Curse is strictly an Angel solo story with the other characters just showing up in flashback, this one will include most of the gang (those who survived NFA, anyway)—although some of them in unexpected ways. More than that I will not say. It’s the only approved, official continuation of the TV series, though

Meanwhile, Peter David has confirmed that the new artist on Fallen Angel is J.K. Woodward, and posted this sample of his art style. This isn’t just a cover—this is what the interior art will look like!

You know, I should have made the connection when Fallen Angel moved to IDW that it’s the same publisher that picked up the Angel (as in the vampire with a soul™ from the Buffy-verse) license. And I should have remembered that Peter David is writing a Spike one-shot comic book that should be out soon (August, apparently).

So it really shouldn’t surprise me that Spike: Old Times will feature a full-page ad for the new Fallen Angel series.

A new Angel comic book mini-series (from IDW, rather than Dark Horse), Angel: The Curse, picks up after the end of the TV series.

In this first issue of a new Angel tale, Angel has survived the conclusion of his TV show and finds himself in a mysterious Romanian forest. There, his search for the Gypsy tribe that cursed him years ago takes a turn for the worse.

I suspect we’ll get a “once out of the pit…” explanation (i.e. no explanation at all) and the cliffhanger’s resolution will remain open for Joss to deal with in a movie-of-the-week or something.

But what galls me is that the book is supposed to have four covers. OK, one variant every once in a while is nice, and I can even go for Dark Horse’s early efforts to have one drawn cover and one photo cover to get the newsstand audience (is there such a thing anymore?)… but the only reason to do four covers for one book is to get collectors to buy four copies. It was an insulting gimmick in the early 1990s, and it annoys me that the practice never quite went away. Worse, TV Guide took it mainstream. I guess we’ll know we’re in trouble when Time or National Geographic starts doing multiple collectors’ covers.