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Venom’s 30th Anniversary

It's been thirty-three years since the:
First appearance
As "The Alien Costume":
The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984)

Venom has been sweeping across the Marvel Universe, and this May, Marvel will mark the occasion of the symbiote’s epic 30th anniversary!

Since VENOM’s explosive 150th issue featuring the return of Eddie Brock, the Marvel Universe has been building to a celebration of all things Venom, including all-new adventures for the symbiote!

To help readers sort out where the Venom trail started and where Eddie Brock’s story is headed, Marvel is excited to reveal its WEB OF VENOM map: a 20 x 13 laminated poster featuring a dynamic new image by superstar artist Clayton Crain, designed to show how the seeds for the milestone 30th anniversary have been planted across the Marvel Universe for the past year in epic stories such as EDGE OF VENOMVERSE, VENOMVERSE, VENOM INC, the upcoming POISON X and more!

Prepare for a big Venom-inspired year, as this is just the beginning of surprises and announcements that fans can look forward to as part of Venom’s 30th anniversary celebration – and you won’t want to miss what’s coming!

Look for Marvel’s WEB OF VENOM map, in comic shops January 31st!

First appearance
As "The Alien Costume":
The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984)

As Venom:
(Cameo Appearance)
The Amazing Spider-Man #299 (April 1988)
(Full Appearance)
The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988)[1]

Created by
Randy Schueller (original costume idea)
David Michelinie
Mike Zeck
Todd McFarlane

#news #comicbooks #anniversary #Venom #comic #books

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I have found many small business, Homemaker, craft maker, Handmade Jewelers, Book sellers, Gift sellers, T shirt designers are unable to sell there products directly online! Here few ecommerce website like ebay, etsy give an online store but they having…

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The Dark Story Of Diamond Distributors: The Company That Controls Your Comics

How do comic books arrive on the shelves of your favorite retailer? Do comic elves deliver the singles every week before the dawn rises? Does each company send an unmarked van full of their newest issues to every store in America? No, just like every mass produced piece of ephemera, there’s a distribution model in place for comic books. It turns out that the industry’s sole distributor, Diamond, is incredibly bad for the comic book world.

The dark story of Diamond Distributors begins in 1982, when Steve Geppi began buying up independent comic book distributors, creating a Diamond Distributors monopoly that would eventually end up shaping the comic book industry for decades.

So, why is Diamond Distributors bad? Don’t they help put out comics on a weekly basis? In the grand scheme of things, Diamond is helping everyone in nerd culture get what they want, but it’s never good when one company is allowed to make decisions for an entire business landscape, especially when the nature of that business is changing rapidly thanks to the ever-shifting prospects of digital publishing.

If you’re looking to learn more about how your favorite comics are released upon the world, or if you’re just trying to learn some facts about Diamond Distributors, let's take a deep dive into the surprisingly dark world of comic book distribution. Be warned, you'll probably want to scream into a pillow (or the closest muffling item at your disposal) at least once.

Diamond didn’t corner the market through its love of the industry, or by selling products they felt best represented their company; they did it with cold, hard cash. After establishing themselves in the early '80s, Diamond hired an accounting firm and a “no nonsense” CPA to keep the company on track. The CPA, Chuck Parker, didn't care about comics. He could have been working for a construction cone distribution company, and his business strategy would have been functionally the same.

His one and only goal was to make the company as much money as possible. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make a lot of money, but when commerce and art mix, someone is bound to get hurt. It's never the numbers guy. Parker, and others at Diamond, used huge amounts of capital to ensure that they had the biggest, best infrastructure of any comic book distributor.

During Diamond’s rise to power, other (somewhat) business savvy comic book fans were inspired, and felt they could do a better job at distributing comics to stores because of their love of the art. That turned out to not be the case. Many of the upstart distributors were out of their depth, and quickly folded. If the failing distributors had any significant backstock, space, or anything worth buying, Diamond bought them up at what one can assume was a very "reasonable" rate.
How Did Diamond Corner The Market?
Distributors that didn’t fold due to their business inadequacy were crippled by Marvel and DC offering Diamond better trade terms, which more than likely included price breaks and incentives due to their efficiency and the size of their operation. Smaller distributors, who weren’t given the same breaks as Diamond, couldn’t compete and either shut down or were bought up, making Diamond the only business in town.

Diamond Makes It Impossible For Small Creators To Get Into Stores

If you’ve managed to rise through the comic book hierarchy and have your work picked up by any company with name recognition (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image), then you don’t have to worry whether or not Diamond will distribute your work. Or, at the very least, you don’t have to worry about dealing with them on a face-to-face basis, because someone else can do that for you. But if you’re an independent publisher, or you’re just trying to get your small print comic into stores, then you’re in for an uphill battle.

In 2009, Diamond increased its order minimums from $1,500 to $2,500, meaning that a book has to make at least $2,500 in revenue to even be listed in Diamond’s preview catalogue. If you’re a first time publisher, or if your book is so small the possibility of making that much money short term isn’t realistic, then you’re out of luck with comic shops. The only other route is to personally visit shops with your book, and convincing them to take a chance on selling it.

When the change to their order minimums was announced, a spokesperson for Diamond stated, “That does not mean that Diamond is going to cancel or not carry books which appear in the Previews but do not reach the benchmark. But it does mean that if you have a line of books which consistently do not meet that mark, you will not be getting your books listed in the Previews for long.”

If your book doesn’t sell the required $2,500 from the jump, then your following effort either won’t get distribution, or you’re going to have to jump through promotional (and kind of degrading) hoops to get your next book on the shelves.

They Are An Actual Monopoly
Small artists who have to deal with Diamond have obviously had negative experiences with the company, but they've got to be the only folks who complain about the distributor, right? No way. On the opposite end of the spectrum from DIY artists are the stores who buy their product from Diamond. Because the distributor is the only company they can buy from, there’s no one else they can give their business to when an order is wrong or something is damaged. They just have to live with it, because there’s no other option.

By the mid-90s, Diamond gained such a stranglehold on the comic book industry, the Federal government couldn’t deny something seemed fishy about their business practices. Specifically, that whole thing about Diamond buying up all of their competitors until they were the only game in town ("town" here means "the entire United States"). In 1997, the U.S. Justice Department launched an antitrust investigation into the alleged monopoly of Diamond. After a three year investigation, they decided no further action needed to be taken.

See, while the company did indeed hold a monopoly on singles comic books in North America, they didn’t hold a monopoly on book distribution. Diamond founder and CEO Steve Geppi later noted how the company worked closely with the DOJ to delve into the comic book industry. He said, “We were confident that we had conducted our business in a fair and ethical manner and that the DOJ would concur. Now, over three years later, they have finished an exhaustive look at not just Diamond, but the entire comic book industry, and have agreed with us that there is no cause for action. Obviously, we felt that was the case all along, and we're pleased with the Department's decision."

Even though the DOJ decided to drop their investigation into the company, they still made it common knowledge that Diamond does in fact have a monopoly on the industry. If they don’t want to work with a specific bookstore, then they can do anything in their power to make the lives of the employees of said shop a living hell. In 2015, Mimi Cruz, the manager of Night Flight Comics in Salt Lake City, detailed how the monopoly was still wrecking sales for both publishers and booksellers by either mishandling orders, or simply not fulfilling requests they agreed upon.

In a lengthy blog post, she wrote, “We all suffer the negative results of that monopoly with increasingly poor service. It is harmful to the commerce of our industry as a whole.” If only there was a second, or (dare to dream) a third distribution company.

Diamond Can Essentially Cancel Titles It Doesn't Like
When you’re the only game in town, you get to make the rules. And if the person in charge is a prude (or worried about being able to sell as many comics to as wide an audience as possible), then you’re going to have to deal with a good amount of rules.

From the 1960s to the '80s, the Comic Code Authority worked in a similar way to the MPAA. They gave notes on the content of a comic book, decide what could and couldn’t be printed, and set a series of changing rules for the entire comic book industry. Throughout the decades, the amount of sex and violence allowed in comic books changed, and by the '80s you had artists like Frank Miller straight-up murdering characters in his books, rendering the code useless. This didn’t sit well with Diamond.

In 1986, Miracleman #9 depicted the graphic birth of a child. The book’s publisher, Eclipse, received some negative mail on the subject. The negative press wouldn’t have been a big deal, but the issue was exacerbated by Steve Geppi, CEO of Diamond Comics, who told his retail clients they needed to complain to publishers about their lack of censorship, specifically in the case of Miracleman.

Geppi then went on a crusade against Miracleman. He even brought it up during a television interview, freaking out Marvel and DC and forcing them to create their own codes of conduct. It almost ended the run of Miracleman, and destroyed a healthy source of income for Eclipse comics.

Why was this kind of activity tolerated? Admittedly, a distributor can be a powerful ally or foe, but they don’t make the product. In fact, they need to product to survive. If Marvel and DC would have just told Geppi to relax (or worked together to figure out an alternate means of distribution), then the idea of a middle man being able to say which comics can exist and which cannot wouldn’t be such a frightening and realistic possibility.

They Make It Impossible To Get An Accurate Read On Their Sales
For some reason, it’s almost impossible to get an accurate count of worldwide comic book sales. You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, since there is essentially one distribution house that calculates orders, files them, and then sends out the product. However, funny book sales numbers are as mysterious as Wolverine’s backstory.

Out of motivations either as Machiavellian as a desire to control which books sell by creating the illusion of higher sales, or as simple as not wanting to let their internal numbers out into the world, Diamond only recently started giving out sales details. They still don’t put out hard numbers, but rather a top 300 list of titles based on the amount of books ordered, instead of the actual number of copies sold in stores.

It would be a little extra work to reach out to clients and find out what sold in which markets each month, but wouldn’t you think that’s exactly what a giant company like Diamond would want to do? Not only would it help them keep track of what’s actually selling, but their clients would probably love getting a little one-on-one time with their distributor.

To make things even more confusing, there’s the question of digital comic sales, which Diamond doesn’t even seem to keep track of. If they do, they aren’t sharing their numbers. Digital sales account for a fraction of tactile sales, but it's another situation where Diamond could turn itself from villain to hero by simply providing some numbers to the people who need them. They could help customers, booksellers, and publishers make more informed decisions about what they respectively purchase and create.

The numbers game Diamond plays isn’t out of the ordinary for the distributor, but it’s still disappointing to know they think they can do whatever they want. That extends to hiding numbers which should be pubic knowledge. Now more than ever, it's important to have transparency in the comic book industry.

#news #politics #monopoly #money #comic #books #comicbooks

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How To Create A Comic Book

From Concept to Distribution

Creating a comic book is a much more complicated process than people expect. It's much more than writing a script and drawing the images. There are many steps the mainstream comic book goes through and it can take an army of workers to produce. From idea to press, we'll take a look at what goes into creating a comic book so that you can know what to expect when creating your own.

Every comic book starts with this. It might be a question like "I wonder what would happen if a Native American warrior met a space alien." It might be a concept like time travel. It might be based on a character – like Captain Jaberwocky, the man with a monster trapped inside! All of these could easily be the basis of a comic book.

02 of 10 Writer/Story:
This person, or group of people, creates the overall story and dialogue of the comic book. It could easily be that this person came up with the idea or concept on their own, but that isn't always the case. This person will give the basic structure, rhythm, setting, characters, and plot to the comic book. Sometimes the story will be completely fleshed out, with instructions as to specific comic panels and characters. Other times, the writer may give a basic plot, coming back later to add the appropriate dialogs.

03 of 10 Penciler:
Once the story or plot is finished, it goes onto the penciler. Like its name suggests, this person uses a pencil to create the art that goes with the story. It is done in pencil so the artist can fix mistakes or change things on the fly. This person is responsible for the overall look of the comic and is a vital piece of the process, as most comic books are often judged solely on their artwork.

04 of 10 Inker:
This person takes the pencils of the artist and takes them to a final piece of artwork. They go over the pencil lines in black ink and add depth to the art, giving it a more of a three-dimensional look. The ​inker is also doing a couple of other things, making it easy to copy and color, as sometimes the pencils can be rather rough. Some pencilers will do this themselves, but it takes a different kind of skill set than the penciler uses. Although sometimes referred to as a glorified tracer, the inker is a vital piece of the process, giving the art a finished and completed look and is an artist in their own right.

05 of 10 Colorist:
The colorist adds color, lighting, and shading to the inks of the comic book. Special attention to detail is critical here because if the colorist doesn't use the right colors, people will notice. If a character's hair is brown in one scene, then blonde in another, people will be confused. A good colorist will take an inked page and transform it into something that truly has life in it. It should be noted that some people have opted to forgo this part of the process, some to save money, others to get a certain look to them. Although most do not sell as well as a fully colored comic, many ​can, such as Image Comics, "The Walking Dead."​

06 of 10 Letterer:
Without words to convey the story, your readers may very well be lost. During this stage of comic production, the letterer adds the words, sound effects, titles, captions, word bubbles, and thought bubbles. Some creators do this by hand with the aide of an Ames Guide and T-Square, but most people do this via computers.

07 of 10 Editorial:
Throughout this process, the editor oversees production quality. If something is wrong, they get the creator or another person to fix the mistake, sometimes even doing it themselves. The editor is the last line of defense for finding errors and ensuring that it is a quality comic book.

08 of 10:Printing/Publishing:
Once the comic book is finished, it is time to print it out. Typically this is in print, but sometimes it will be digitally. A printer is selected and paid for a certain amount of comics. Sometimes as quickly as a few weeks, the comic book can be printed and ready for sale.

09 of 10 Marketing:
Once a comic is ready for sale, and often before it is even finished, it's time to get the word out. Press releases to websites and magazines as well as advertising in those as well will help get the word out. Review copies, when ready, can be sent to reviewers, if the comic is good, it can often get a head start with the buzz generated by the internet.

10 of 10 Distributing:
You need a way to get your comic to the masses. The most common one is Diamond Comics, pretty much the distributor to retailers. The submission process is tricky, and you need to make sales quick, but it can be worth it to get your comic out to retailers. Other avenues would be going to comic book conventions, which happen all over the world. You can build a website to sell and ship them via mail and even foot slog it out to comic book stores and see if they will sell it too.

#comic #books #educational #business #help #money #creating #artist #writer

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Comic Books 101

A Brief History of Comic Books and an Overview of Comic Formats
The comic book as we know it today is a softcover magazine of sequential artwork (a number of pictures in order) and words that when used together tell a story. The cover is usually a glossy paper with the interior of a higher quality paper with the consistency of newspaper. The spine is usually held together by staples.

Comic books today cover a variety of subjects. There are horror, fantasy, sci-fi, crime, real life, and many other subjects that comic books cover.

The subject most comic books have become known for is superheroes.

The origin of the word Comic book comes from the comic strips that generally ran in newspapers. Some argue, however, that the comic in its purest form has been seen in early cultures, such as Egyptian wall art and prehistoric man cave paintings. The word, "Comics," is still associated with both comic books, comic strips, and even comedians.

Comic books were first introduced in America in 1896 when publishers started producing collected groups of comic strips from newspapers. The collections did very well and prompted the publishers to come up with new stories and characters in this format. The reused content from the newspapers eventually gave way to new and original content that became the American comic book.

Everything changed with Action Comics #1. This comic book introduced us to the character Superman in the year 1938.

The character and comic was extremely successful and paved the way for future comic book publishers and new heroes such as we have today.


The term, “comic,” has been used for many different things and continues to evolve to this day. Here are a few of the different formats:

Comic Book – As described above, this is what the current term refers to in most circles.

Comic Strip – This is what you would find in a newspaper such as Garfield, or Dilbert and what was originally referred to with the term, “comic.”

Graphic Novel – This thicker, and glue bound book is seeing a great amount of success today. This format has been used by some publishers to help distinguish the content from comics with more mature subjects and content matter. Lately, the graphic novel has seen a large amount of success by collecting a comic series, allowing purchasers to read a whole comic story in one sitting. Although still not as popular as the regular comic book, the Graphic Novel has been outpacing comic books in terms of annual sales growth.

Webcomics – This term is being used to describe both comic strips and comic books that can be found on the Internet. Many are smaller endeavors by people who just want to find a creative outlet, but others have turned their webcomics into successful industries such as Player Vs. Player, Penny Arcade, Order Of The Stick, and Ctrl, Alt, Del.

The comic book world has its own slang and jargon just like any other hobby. Here are some must-know terms for getting into comic books. The links will take you to more information.

Grade – The condition that a comic book is in.

Graphic Novel – A thicker glue-bound comic book that is often a collection of other comic books or a stand alone story.

Mylar Bag – A protective plastic bag designed to protect a comic book.

Comic Book Board – A thin piece of cardboard that is slipped behind a comic book in a mylar bag to keep the comic book from bending.

Comic Box – A cardboard box designed to hold comic books.

Subscription – Publishers and comic book stores often offer monthly subscriptions to different comic books. Like a magazine subscription.

Price Guide – A resource used to determine the value of a comic book.

Indy – A term used for, “independent,” often referring to comic books not published by the mainstream press.

Collecting comic books is an inherent part of buying comic books. Once you start to buy comics and amass a certain amount, you have a collection. The depths of which you go to collect and protect that collection can be widely different. Collecting comic books can be a fun hobby and generally consists of buying, selling, and protecting your collection.

There are many ways to acquire comic books.

The easiest comic book to find is going to be the newer ones. The most likely source of comics is to find a local comic book store and find what you like. You can also find new comics at large, “one-stop shopping,” stores, toy stores, bookstores, and some corner markets.

If you are looking for older comics, you also have many options. Most comic book stores carry some type of back issues. You can also find older comics on auction sites like Ebay, and Heritage Comics. Also look in newspaper ads or online posting sites like


Selling your own personal collection can be a difficult choice. If you get to that point, knowing when and where to sell your comics can be key. The first thing you must know is the grade (condition) of your comics. Once you do, you can be on your way.

Next, you need to decide on where to sell your collection. An obvious choice would be a comic book shop, but they will not be able to offer you what they are actually worth, as they need to make a profit as well.

You can also try to sell them on auction sites, but be warned, you need to make sure you are very forthcoming about the condition know how to protect your comic books during shipment.

A great article about selling your comics:​ Selling a comic book collection.


There are generally two basic camps when it comes to protecting your comics.

The entertainment collector and the investing collector are those two. The entertainment collector buys comics just for the stories and doesn’t really care about what happens to their comics afterward. The investing collector buys comic books just for their monetary value.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, buying comics for pleasure and wanting to protect their future value. The basic protection is putting them in mylar plastic bags with slim cardboard boards to keep them from bending. After this, they can be stored in a cardboard box designed just for comic books. All of these can be bought at your local comic book store.

Top Comics/Popular Comics

There have been many comic book characters since comic books first started to be printed. Some have lasted the test of time and still continue to be popular today. Listed are a group of popular comic books and characters according to genre.


Wonder Woman
The X-Men
The JLA (Justice League of America)
The Fantastic Four
Captain America
Green Lantern


Jonah Hex


The Waking Dead
Land of the Dead


Red Sonja


Y The Last Man
Star Wars


GI Joe


There have been many different publishers of comic books over the years, but two publishers have risen to the top in the comic book world, taking up almost 80-90% of the market. These two publishers are Marvel and DC Comics and are often referred to as, “The Big Two.” They also have some of the most widely known characters in all of comics. Recently, other publishers have started to make a strong presence and although they still only make up a small part of the market, they are continuing to grow and become a greater part of the comic book world and have helped push the boundaries of comic book content and creator owned content.

There are basically four types of publishers.

1. Main Publishers

Definition of Main Publishers – These publishers have been around for quite some time and have developed a large following of fans due to their amount of popular characters.

Main Publishers
Marvel – X-Men, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain America, The Avengers
DC – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, The Flash, The JLA, Teen Titans

2. Small Publishers

Definition of Smaller Publishers – These publishers are smaller in nature but attract many creators due to the fact that they can have much more control over the characters they create. They won’t offer as many comics as the larger publishers, but that doesn’t mean the quality will be any less.

Smaller Publishers
Image – Godland, The Waking Dead, Invincible,
Dark Horse – Sin City, Hellboy, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Conan
IDW – 30 Days of Night, Fallen Angel, Criminal Macabre
Archie Comics – Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica
Disney Comics – Mickey Mouse, Scrooge, Pluto

3. Independent Publishers

Definition of Independent Publishers – These publishers are usually on the fringe of popular culture. Almost all are creator owned (the creator keeps the rights to the characters and stories they create), and some of the topics may contain mature content.

Independent Publishers
Kitchen Sink Press
Top Shelf

4. Self-Publishers

Definition of Self-Publishers – These publishers are generally run by the people who make the comic books. They handle most if not all of the duties of making the comics, from writing, and art to publishing and press. The quality can vary drastically from publisher to publisher and the fan base is usually local. Due to the internet, however, many of these self-publishers have been able to market their comics to many others. Some have even found some success with self-publishing such as American Splendor (now with DC), Shi, and Cerebrus.

Self Publishers
Chibi Comics
Halloween Man
Altered Fates
Coffeegirl Productions
Prize Fighter Press
Crusade Fine Arts

#comic #books #history #educational #reading #collecting #news

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Nostalgia Ink expands to larger downtown Jackson storefront

JACKSON, MI - Some of the first customers in Nostalgia Ink's new storefront on Monday, Sept. 18 were Skott Jimenez and his 2-year-old son Torrin. The pair browsed through a stack of comic books - their weekly ritual.

Nostalgia Ink has an estimated 50,000 comic books. And it now has room for even more.

Moving from the roughly 2,000-square-foot space at 135 E. Michigan Ave., the new storefront opened Monday around the corner at the 3,200-square-foot space at 139 S. Mechanic St., owner Tim Stairs said.
Anderson Printing previously occupied the space.

"We've been growing our gaming community and the space we've been operating out of is not spacious enough for events," Stairs said. "We found ourselves under promoting things because we didn't want to have to turn people away."

Besides comic books, the store is a hub for fans of Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons and other games. A large room in the back of the new store is dedicated to hosting regular events for players. Visit Nostalgia Ink's Facebook page for event details.

Comic books start at 25 cents, including DC and Marvel comics as well as pieces from independent publishers. Also popular are the trade paperbacks, Stairs said, which encompass a series of comic books into one publication.

Nostalgia Ink opened in 1984 at 145 S. Mechanic St. before moving to the E. Michigan Avenue location in the late 1980s. Stairs took over the business in 2013. He hopes to expand the space to 6,000 square feet by taking over the unoccupied space next door.

It's open from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

While the store only has two employees, loyal customers have helped the business make its move during the past month. Saturday, Sept. 16 was the last day for the old store.

"People come in here and they're happy, they're excited, they're comfortable. Not a lot of stress to deal with," Stairs said. "It's better than working for someone else. It's hard to call it a job, working around stuff people love."

#news #comicbooks #books #comics #store #NostalgiaInk #Jackson

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Rare comic showing Superman's 1st appearance to be auctioned

A well-preserved issue of the 1938 comic book that first featured Superman is heading to the auction block.

Profiles in History announced Friday that it will sell a copy of Action Comics #1 at a Dec. 19 auction in Los Angeles. The comic, which features Superman hoisting a car over his head on its cover, is expected to sell for between $800,000 to $1.2 million.

The auction house says the comic is in its original condition and has been rated in fine/very fine condition.

The sale comes a few months before the 80th anniversary of Superman's debut.

The auction features other Superman memorabilia, including a costume worn by actor Christopher Reeve in 1983's "Superman III."

The Man of Steel is back on the big screen this week in "Justice League."

#news #auction #Superman #1938 #first #appearance #rare #comic #book

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Happy Thanksgiving

#Thanksgiving #2017 #comic #books #Turkeyman

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