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Reading in the Present – Matthew Rosenberg’s We Can Never Go Home (Mystery Solved …)

Which is better: an unsigned first printing or an autographed third printing? Why I ask this question will be clear in a few.

I have one of those #NerdConfessions to make. I have what can only be described as a lackadaisical approach to boarding and bagging my comics. Usually what happens is that I wait until a pile gets about a foot high, and then I get motivated to bag and board ’em before an accident happens–and yes, unfortunately, they do.

So yesterday I decided to take a break from my weekly comic book readings, and do some bagging; plus I figured I might get some ideas for future blogs. As I worked down the pile I hit my copies of ‘We Can Never Go Home,’ issues 1 – 4.

I am sad to say that I missed this one when it first came out–it happens to the best of us. It wasn’t until about issue 3 that I got wind of this, and got stuck with the only options of buying second and third printings for issues 1 and 2. I hated that.

Also, I usually bypass reprints, and hold out for the trade; but I heard this was really good, so I caved in for the buy. Not only that, I have some sort of compulsive disorder that compels me to double up on issue 1s and 2s when I think something is gonna be really good–something to do with an innate fear of losing or damaging one copy, so I need a backup (yup, I am ripe for #PsychoNerd Analysis).

I was glad I bought ’em. Anything with an 80s setting, pretty much easily wins my heart; plus this was really good.

But, ’nuff said, an extraordinary read! Pick it up if you haven’t. You won’t regret it.

Now back to the bagging and boarding episode:

Right after I bag my first copy of issue one, I grab the second, and notice what appears to be an ink stain on the bottom left. Now I am like, “WTF, how did that happen.” However, upon closer inspection–my aging eyesight just isn’t what it was–I make out the ink stain to actually be two signed initials ‘M’ and ‘R’ with a number ’15’ right next to them. Immediately, this makes me feel better, but only a bit. Why?

I exclusively buy my comics from Midtown Comics in NYC (except for the occasional back issue miss that they no longer have in stock); and any one who shops there, knows that when they sell signed copies, they bag and board them with a shiny certificate of authenticity. Now I’m like, “Oh man … I got gypped. WTF, where’s my certificate of authenticity?”

Next, this Friday morning, I go to work. Then around 11:00 AM, I take a coffee break, head to Midtown Comics to clear up this most important matter, and to pick up a few things I missed.

At the shop, I grab my back issues, head to the counter, and ask the always helpful and friendly Midtown Comics staff (no names since I’m not sure if they are cool with me revealing their secret identities), “Dude, did you have a Matthew Rosenberg signing here not too long ago?” He looks down at me, and says, “Uh, nope.” Then I say, “Well I got a signed copy of the third printing of ‘We Can Never Go Home’ issue number 1, and I didn’t get a certificate.” He then goes, “Can’t help you, he never signed any here.” Then the other Midtown Comics guy pipes in, “You know some of these writers sneak in their signatures when they stop by to browse. They just grab a few off the rack, and sign away without telling us.”

So now I don’t know if what I have is genuine. My only course of action is to tweet Matthew Rosenberg, and hope that he will confirm or deny the sig. If, and when, I find out, I’ll update this post.

p.s., as I continued my conversation, the Midtown folks told me that back in the day, before Scott Snyder was big, he used to come in and sneak in his sig on the Detective Comics he penned. Can I be so lucky? Probably not, but I’m checking anyway.

p.s. again, confirmed around 1:30 AM this morning on 10/10/15.  It’s the real deal.  And NO, I ain’t selling it!


And lastly, some quotes (after all that is the main purpose of this site):

“If you want to be a real dick, sometimes you have to beat up a few nerds. It’s a hard lesson to learn.”

“I am not going to go fight people while wearing a bathing suit and fishnets.”

“I think we got in a fight, I left for two hours, and you drank all our beer, and fucked a hooker.”


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