So I’m still here … still collecting. There are a couple of things coming up that got me thinking about the Ultraverse again.
First off there is a panel at Wondercon celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ultraverse, featuring Dave Olbrich, Chris Ulm, Ross Richie, Aaron Lopresti and Terry Dodson.
And second, I managed to score tickets to Comic-Con again this year. This will be my fifth time going and I’m kind of hoping there will be some type of Ultraverse presence this time. I won’t be able to make it to Wondercon and the only other big convention I will hit this year is MegaCon.
So all that got me thinking about my collection. I only need a few more books, just the Firearm Ultra 5000 and a short stack of UPC variants. Time to get moving!
I’ve been looking for these for a while … signed books that were issued with certificates of authenticity from Malibu. So far I know of nine:
All New Exiles: Infinity, 1
Lord Pumpkin: 0
Prime: Infinity, 1
Rune vs. Venom: 1
The Lord Pumpkin is the only one that was issued pre-Black September. The others are all numbered to 2,000.
They are really nice looking books and certs. I pick one up whenever I see a copy selling for a few bucks.
While I’m at it … here are some Night Men. Um, Night Mans.
I’m getting a lot closer to a full set of UPC variants. Apart from the Firearm Ultra 5000 book, that is all I need to complete a full set of All Things Ultraverse. I think it is, anyway. I’ve seen a bunch of the UPCs I need on eBay but I just don’t want to pay more than $3 or $4 shipped so I’m just being patient. When I’m down to my last couple I’ll probably pay more.
Anyway, here are the first 10 Sludge books (still not sure if 11 and 12 have a UPC variant) and the Exiles.
The first Ultraverse card binder I found had a tear on the corner as if it had been chewed by chipmunks. I’ve been looking for a better one ever since and finally found it.
The box is a little rough; the outer wrap was torn (I took it all off) and there was a clear plastic cover that had yellowed over the years. But the binder itself is perfect, and it includes the two extra cards that you could only get with this package.
This is a pretty cool little catalog that a friend sent me. It’s from the early days of the Ultraverse, and solved the mystery for me about how a lot of things were distributed (such as watches, shirts, standees, etc.)
It’s a single sheet tri-folded, so I scanned in all six portions. Over the years I’ve collected just about everything here (I picked up the Malibu watch just last week) but now I have a couple more things to keep looking for (two-pocket folders, license plate holders, lithographs).
Click on the thumbnails to see. Enjoy!
Here’s another weird thing I got from eBay. It’s a mock-up for proposed Ultraverse advertising on city buses. It’s not very big, just a couple of inches tall and about seven inches wide.
Here’s how it was described in the auction:
A rare relic salvaged from the fallen Malibu Comics empire… When an ad agency was tasked with creating bus ads for the Ultraverse, they sent Malibu execs this mock-up of how the projected campaign would look.
Recovered from an ex-Malibu employee who was there.
Insanely rare. Only a handful ever made.
Here is a picture of an actual bus advertisement, courtesy of Ultraverse co-founder Tom Mason (he says it came from the advertising agency and is dated from 1994).
You can watch one of the buses in action (sort of) in the 1994 movie The Chase, starring Charlie Sheen. No, seriously, you can watch it on Youtube. At about the 10:50 mark you get a quick glimpse of this:
And at that point you really should quit watching.
I don’t know a heck of a lot about this. Here is what I do know.
- It’s a print.
- It appears to be art by Hardcase artist Jim Callahan.
- It is numbered 3 out of 100.
- It’s about the size of a regular sheet of paper.
- It has something to do with Wizard Magazine.
- I got it for cheep with some other stuff.
- I had lasagna for dinner.
You don’t see a lot of Ultraverse shirts for sale … I’m guessing they didn’t make very many. I have seen a few Prime shirts and a couple of white Ultraverse tees, but I had never seen a black one before. I bought this off eBay; the picture with the auction showed it still in a bag, so there was no way to know what was on the back.
I was pretty curious about the back. Was it a bigger logo? A cool image? A cover recreation?
Even though the shipping was $9 (for a shirt!) I bid a bit more than $10 and won.
It took about a week and I got the shirt. I opened it up.
This is the front.
And this is the back.
There is a pretty stout list of Ultraverse books that got the “creator autograph” treatment; some distributed by Malibu, some by Dynamic Forces and a few others including Catalyst and Atomic Comics. I’m putting a list together.
But I would put these books at the top of the list just for being cool. They are signed first issues of Strangers and Hardcase, but each certificate includes a hand-drawn sketch by artist Rick Hoberg (Strangers) and Jim Callahan (Hardcase). They are numbered to 200 but I don’t recall seeing these when they were released so I am not sure how they were distributed.
These are authentic. Says so right there. I even erased a tiny bit of one line to make sure it was an actual pencil sketch. Yep, authentic. Should have trusted the certificate.
I paid in the range of $20 each for these (they were in a lot with a few other things). The only difference between them is that the Hardcase book has a special sticker on its cheap plastic sleeve. I will probably take it out of there anyway and put it in a nice bag/board.