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Friday, March 03, 2006

Comics Buyer's Guide, published by F + W Publications, Inc., $5.99 per issue


Rather than reviewing a comic this time 'round, this review concerns a magazine about comic books. More to the point, a magazine covering the industry. I'm referring to Comics Buyer's Guide, the world's longest-running magazine about comics! And, what better place to cover it than in America's longest-running, syndicated comics-review column?

Besides being the oldest magazine covering the industry, CBG has probably come the farthest in production values. It started 35 years ago and was produced in and distributed from the basement of a teenage fan. But, why review such a publication? Well, let's start with the fact that the magazine produces over 2000 reviews per year of various comics, on the accurate premise that "there's a comic book for everyone". It's a great resource for finding books that are most likely to appeal to readers with specific interests. So, if you've never even read a comic, but like a particular genre of movies, television or books, you can probably get information on that genre in comics upon your first purchase of CBG.

Besides that, each issue is filled with various interesting articles on the industry and history of the industry by professionals in the field, as well as professional comics retailers.

Additionally, every issue features a price guide for back issues, with mini-reviews and snippets of even more history. If all of that weren't enough, CBG offers subscription rates that are less than half the regular cover price, a deal I'm about to dive into, myself.

Most of all, however, this column is about getting new readers interested in the medium of comic books. A publication like CBG can only help achieve such an end, either by expanding a non-comics reader's conception of what publications actually comprise the world of comics, or helping a comics fan relay such information to those non-readers, while enhancing their own experience.

Find it at comics shops, bookstores or at www.cbgxtra.com. P.S. - If you're a fan of Hastings stores, they nearly ALWAYS carry CBG.

Mark Allen