Posts Tagged ‘DC’

Yeah, an iPad has all kinds of bells and whistles-- but can it fit on a Spinner Rack?

The SAVIOR or the DEVIL… Depending on who you ask.

Apple may take a 30% vig on those millions of applications offered for sale in their APPS Store– but they earn PENNIES for each iTunes track or “album” purchased. This is well-known. Why is Apple willing to do this? Because they want to sell more iPods. They are willing to have the iTunes store “break even” (I’m sure it does better than that) to make the majority of their ca$h on their hardware.

Apples used the “pennies per track’ defense fighting the Music Industry… Whose major players insisted that they be allowed to up the price of individual songs from .99 cents to $1.29. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was afraid he would sell

Ice will tell you it's ALWAYS been "All about the Benjamins"

less iPods because of the price increase. This was also the same reason Amazon fought the book distributors over selling Digital eBooks for more than $9.99. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos worried he’d sell less Kindle eReaders. Jobs would be having this exact BATTLE with book publishers now that Apple has released the iPad– except Bezos already lost.

Neither titan had to worry. Digital content prices went up and their hardware sales still increased… As more and more consumers decided to indulge in the new gadgets.

Unfortunately, it seems that many Comic Book Store Owners are under the pie-in-the-sky impression that Marvel, DC and the other comic book publishers will somehow use this new platform to aid their retail stores. Some retailers are so deluded, they’ve actually convinced themselves that the major 2 comic publishers (Marvel & DC) will use digital comic delivery as a means to “help” them “recruit” new customers for their comic stores.

And maybe they will– initially– if it makes the right economic sense for them. But if Marvel & DC can make more money on digital comics by foregoing all PHYSICAL distribution– meaning every single “Brick & Mortar” comic store would go “poof”… They would do so tomorrow in a gnat’s heartbeat.

We’re all dealing with DISNEY now. The same Disney that opens retail stores by the thousands, then runs the same stores into the ground– and closes 3/4 of them tomorrow without batting an eye. (That’s how little something like retail sales means to Disney’s massive bottom line.)

Disney entering the comic game– coupled with the SUPERHERO MOVIE BOOM– has finally awakened Time-Warner… And they are suddenly treating DC like a more significant Corporate Cog. In fact, given recent rumors, I can easily predict that DC Comics will be moving their headquarters to Los Angeles any day now. Disney Studios has lots of land and lots of cash to build more buildings.

HOPE YOU LIKE DRIVING IN RUSH HOUR, DC EMPLOYEES!

Former DC Publisher Paul Levitz was the linchpin in keeping the old comics distribution paradigm alive. Since he’s not there anymore– and since the SUPERHERO MOVIE Can no longer be ignored… Everything is going to change. Things will change so much– that I’m afraid a previously unreleased, unpublished Warren Ellis Hellblazer comic finally seeing print is not going to make up for all wacky new stuff we’ll be forced to do if we want to keep reading these things.

Luckily for me (and every other retailer and collector)– most of this (except DC’s cross-country move) is a ways away from now.

Which is good for me, as I simply refuse to read comics on a computer or any other electronic gizmo. (I can barely stand to view short comic book previews on a LCD screen of any kind… So digital comics are definitely out for me as a reading option.) I like the tactile sensation of holding a book. I like being able to bury my nose in the paper pages (unless the book was printed in China of course).

But I’m an old man by today’s standards. Sooner than I’d like, kids will grow up not knowing what paper periodicals are.

Many comics have long been printed as loss leaders for merchandising sales anyway. I once had a DC Bigwig tell me that the Wonder

It's "Do or Die" with the Benjamins.

Woman comic hadn’t made any real profit (or had lost money) since the ’60′s… But DC couldn’t afford to stop publishing it because of the huge yearly windfall they received from merchandising the only RECOGNIZABLE Female Superhero. DC felt (and rightly so), that if they didn’t show they were making the effort to publish at least one MONTHLY Wonder Woman comic– that they would seem to be abandoning the character… And they would severely harm Wonder Woman’s merchandising potential.

As stated above, Brick & Mortar Comic Book Stores will CEASE to EXIST (as we know them) if the Big Two decide one day to go all digital, all the time.

But I don’t need to tell retailers any of this. The smart ones already get it. DISNEY could care less about them– and will violently jilt every comic book retailer the MINUTE they figure out how to make more money on comics utilizing the DIGITAL MEDIUM.

As costs for physical distribution– including gas, paper, ink and other essential materials continues to rise– comics (especially floppies) will eventually price themselves out of the market. (Hell, they’re almost there now.)

I’m not relishing this occurring in the least. But it WILL happen.

Pissed off about comic book quality now? Wait until you have to spend $80 of your own paper and printer ink to print out some great comic you’ve just read on your iPad… Because one day soon– that’s the only way that– you’ll be able to hold a new paper “comic book” in your hands.

I see only one silver lining to comics entering this new digital age. At least people won’t be paying exorbitant amounts to CGC to “slab” their new comics before they even read them. No physical comics– no new books smothered in an unnecessary protective plastic shell. Sorry fans that favor idiotic wastes of time, natural resources and collector’s money!  No more slabs for you!

But then again,  if you bought into the overly hyped marketed “necessity” of CGC grading– without questioning why you should have to pay someone else to grade your comics… Then reading a comic on an iPad probably seems “cool” right about now.

A NEW WEEKLY FEATURE

Since I am a 99.9% “Wait for the Hardcover or the Trade Paperback” kind of guy, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and let you know what I’m buying every week. Since people keep asking why I buy so many books every week, I expect all you floppy readers to tell me what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong… And I may even chime in on occasion and defend my choices. Not that a personal preference should need defending, mind you…

I might also point out why I am not buying some stuff as well… And the list may also generate a rant or expose a pet peeve– like this week’s list did for me!

Let’s start with this week’s RANT: This week sees Marvel releasing  FOUR X-men reprint volumes. Can you tell me why? There’s no special event or movie on the horizon. No significance to these books being reprinted now. So it was just greed, right? Or maybe incompetence? Or both?

Or worse– the just didn’t give a flying fig at all about their retailers or their customers. (That’s a whole other post that I promise to write.)

By the way– the 2 X-Men hardcovers are woefully OVERPRICED. You can purchase a copy of the X-MenL Phoenix Saga in TRADE PAPERBACK for at least half what this hardcover costs. And the original floppies for the X-Men: Mutant Genesis storyline are available at most comic stores for 50¢ eachor less!

THIS WEEK’S HARDCOVERS, GRAPHIC NOVELS & MANGA

Archie: Pureheart The Powerful (There’s a limit to even my Archie love!)
Army of Darkness  League of Light (Let’s compare and contrast the stories written in this volume (including one scribed by Elliott Serrano) to Elliott’s hip, funny, solo turn in Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama TPB that arrived last week, shall we?)
Azrael Death’s Dark Knight
Batman Whatever Happened To the Caped Crusader (Already have the HC)
Complete Jon Sable Freelance Omnibus Vol 1 (After Grell’s excellent “Ashes to Ashes” Jon Sable GN, this is a must!)
Doc Savage Double Novel Vol 39 (Personal fave. Love all their pulp reprints! YOU should read Doc Savage!)

One of the BEST BUYS every month. MORE BANG for your Entertainment Dollar!javascript:;

Flight Vol 7
Four Eyes Forged in Flames
(Did I screw up by not purchasing this?)
Hulk Fall Of The Hulks Red Hulk (Already have the HC)
JSA Vs. Kobra
Marvel Masterworks Mighty Thor Vol 1 SC
(Don’t go here. If I bought all these, I’d need a wing to house my books!)

Marvels Project Birth Of Super Heroes HC (I greatly preferred the cool looking Human Torch “variant” cover!)

Torch & Subby: Together Again for the very FIRST TIME!

Mondo Urbano
Neil Gaiman Dangerous Alphabet

Night of the Living Trekkies
(Looked interesting or Fun… maybe)
Shadow Double Novel Vol 40 (Great book… But I stick with Doc Savage and The Avenger)
Shermans Lagoon Discover Your Immer Hermit Crab
Showcase Presents Sgt. Rock Vol 3 (See “…would need a library wing ” statement above)
Siege Battlefield HC (Yes, I know. But sometimes I have to buy stuff I don’t want because of what I do.)
Star Trek DS9 Fools Gold (Ack! Didn’t watch the show)
Super Pro KO Vol 1
Superman Whatever Happened to Man of Tomorrow
(Already have the HC)
Thundra King of Congo Archives Vol 1 HC (Looks cool but not for me…)
Usagi Yojimbo Vol 24 Return of Black Soul (Read Vol 23 with the intention of buying all of them– sadly unimpressed)
Valentine Reloaded
Vampire Tales Vol 1
(I have a big soft spot for Marvel’s B&W Mags from the 70′s. Great stories + nudity!)
Walking Dead Vol 12 Life Among Them
Women of Marvel Celebrating Seven Decades HandBook)
(Nope)
Woman of Marvel Celebrating Seven Decades (Random stories thrown together just because they feature women? Nope)
X-Men Dark Phoenix Saga HC (1st random X-men reprint. Horribly OVERPRICED)

Ugh! The first 9 1/2 MILLION TIMES Marvel printed this story wasn't enough?!

X-Men Mutant Genesis Premiere HC (2nd random X-men reprint of the week. You can buy ORIGINAL FLOPPIES for 50¢ each!)
X-Men Powerless (3rd random X-men reprint of the week)
X-Men We Are X-Men (4th random X-men reprint of the week)

MANGA
D.Gray Man Vol 18
Hikaru no Go Vol 20
JoJo Bizarre Adventure Vol 15
Kaze Hikaru Vol 18
Rosario + Vampire Season II Vol 2
Skip Beat! Vol 21
Slam Dunk Vol 11

Bakuman Vol 1 comes out next week! I hear it’s going to rock!

ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME?!?

Your looking AWFULLY SINEWY, Mr. Reynolds!

HONEST TO FRICKIN’ GOD…

My first reaction when I saw this was somebody had pasted Ryan Reynold’s head on top of an illustration from the medical text, GRAY’S ANATOMY… Then PAINTED IT GREEN.

GETTING A SENSE OF DEJA VU YET?

The first and the best! Move over, GL!


“JEFF PARKER LEAVES MARVEL FOR CANCELING HIS BOOKS”

DC exclusively hires the powerhouse writer to replace Tony Daniel on Batman and to revitalize the JLA.

Suck on that, Fanboys!

The man’s writing is near-genius level.

THE NEXT CONTROVERSIAL WONDER WOMAN REDESIGN J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI HASN’T TOLD YOU ABOUT!

Wonder Woman Hits Middle Age and Discovers Comfort Food

OK. People HATE the new costume. People LOVE the new costume… and let’s be blunt, most people couldn’t give a shit about the new costume.

Let’s forget all about the new pants and the 1980′s Dazzler Disco Jacket and that JMS has forced young Diana to undergo very painful breast reduction surgery.

Lets forget all about the new origin where Wonder Woman apparently is created out of can of Play-Doh– instead of lump of natural clay.

Instead, let me ask you a question. Wonder Woman is an ICON. Wonder Woman is THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE FEMALE SUPER-HERO IN THE WORLD… So if Wonder Woman did NOT exist… What current SUPER-HERO could step in to fill the vacuum?

(Please note: the first ten posts that reference a tit joke followed by a picture of Power Girl will be shamefully deleted. However, interesting cross-dresser ideas with be considered.)

Thanks for the Mammaries!

DEFINITELY Eisner Award Worthy!

I wanted to bring this review of Neil Young’s Greendale Hardcover over from my original post on CCW*TV.

I’m not planning on doing this very often– but I really liked this book.

Previous readers: Please note I have added a lot of extra opinion and content in this revised review.

For about three years, I was the main Film Critic for a major film magazine– so I’m fairly certain I know how to write an interesting review with ruining your experience WITHOUT SPOILERS.

So that will be the way I will attempt to write my reviews.

If there are MAJOR SPOILERS I will always try to warn you!

Just finished Neil Young’s Greendale Hardcover… and I loved it.

Never been a huge fan of Neil Young (have to side with Ronnie Van Zant and his “Sweet Home Alabama” description of Neil). So I was very skeptical– wondering what I was about to get into– when I read Neil’s one paragraph blurb in the front of the book… Where he basically professes to not know exactly what his story is about.

The internal alarm bells began ringing immediately.

Neil needs to lay off the peyote– or any other hallucinogen he might be partaking in… Because Joshua Dysart writes an unbelievably compelling, intelligent, multi-layered narrative. I understood it perfectly (at least how I believe I was meant to understand and relate to the story). There were several spots where the narrative could have easy derailed and devolved into pedantic preachy bullshit– but Dysart ALWAYS resists the urge to slide into easy clichés or quirky, unintelligible storytelling.

Cliff Chiang’s art is wonderful. Each line is meticulously considered– without ever seeming mechanical. Chiang somehow makes his art flow seamlessly with the quietude the story demands. Dave Stewart’s coloring is perfection as usual.

MY ONLY BEEF

I did not like that one of the characters looked exactly like a younger version of Neil Young. I understood the conceit behind it– but the appearance of Neil’s famous mug dragged me out of the story almost every time his character appeared. That’s a very minor slag though. Once you accept the vanity (whether someone insisted on this or it was just a loving homage from the comic’s creators) it is relatively easy to just forget about this misstep and move on.

The book design is impeccable. It is one of the few times in recent memory that I felt like I was holding a piece of printed art that had not just NEEDLESSLY DESTROYED hundreds of trees to exist… This feeling is VERY IMPORTANT given the storyline.

I really admire seeing this kind of awareness from Book Designer. Book Design is an art. And it is apparent this designer was quite aware of the story inside–- even when deciding on what paper stock to use for the book’s interior and exterior pages.

Overall, I loved Neil Young’s Greendale. Maybe even more so because I wasn’t expecting to. Would definitely recommend this work to anyone who is in the mood to read a GREAT GRAPHIC NOVEL.

Sure, you could read a Deadpool Hardcover (or something like it) instead. Free world. But you would really be making a decision between reading a wonderful modern-day fairytale or reading a piece of mainstream mutant corporate crap. Your choice.

Just another day at the office for the Odinson!

 

Yeah, I’m one of those guys.

I normally wait for the Hardcovers and Trade Paperbacks– rather than purchase floppies. (For the uninitiated– “floppy” is one of the current terms used to describe comics that a printed and released monthly.)

So why do I buy these sometimes-more-expensive versions of “regular” comics?

As I’ve gotten older (get used to that word, you’ll be hearing “older” being used as an excuse a lot if you decide to stick here)– I feel like I maul my regular comics. They’re too thin and too flimsy for my huge hands. Hardcovers (my format of choice) are much sturdier and often come over-sized– which makes it more fun to look at the art (you can see all the details without bending the book in half) and it’s easier to read the words (cue Craig Ferguson’s “Geriatric Voice” here). Trade Paperbacks (or Graphic Novels) are cheaper versions of Hardcovers– so they are normally smaller in size. (Gee, how did I figure THAT out?) I can maul their flimsier covers almost as easily as I can a floppy’s cover. So, if I had to choose– I’d choose to purchase a Hardcover any day.

I know a lot of Pro (term used loosely) Comic Book writers feel like you aren’t supporting them if you aren’t supporting their floppy. I have one phrase for them: “DVR TV Viewing”. Now all the major TV Networks and Cable Channels count displaced viewership– or people who watch a TV show on their DVRs an hour, a day or a week later– as part of that specific show’s rating. Often this DVR Viewership adds significantly to the overall viewership total… And these increased ratings can often make or break a television series.

If stodgy, monolithic Television Networks are savvy enough to factor in this “fractured” viewing pattern– comic book companies are smart enough to factor in the amount of money they make on reprinting floppies as Hardcovers and Trade Paperbacks. If you write comics and you can’t make a case for your title’s profitability by emphasizing HC and GN sales– then, guess what? Your title sells very poorly.

Plus, I have an extra hard time with the “you’re not supporting me” mantra when I PAY for my comics every week. I don’t download my comics off the internet for free. I have never downloaded my comics off the internet for free. (It’s a simple rule I have: If I were still writing comics (and never say “never” concerning that for the future)– it would drive me nuts if more “fans” were reading my book for free than paying for it.

So I pay for all my books. I blog about and promote good comics to my friends… Shouldn’t I be able to do this guilt free?

Oh, you Whiny Bastards.

Because of my hectic schedule (you’ll see a lot of 3am posts on here), I like reading Hardcovers because I can wait and read several in one sitting. (I also don’t have to take each book out of a bag & board– which is how I stored my floppies when I collected them. This is an amazing time-saver.) This way, if one of the Big Two (Marvel and DC) decide to run one of their huge EVENT stories that cross-over into 20 different comic books, I can sit down and read them all. As long as I am patient up front and allow the books to “collect”– I don’t have to wait months to read the end of a story. Hardcovers are normally released in a much quicker pattern than floppies– which are normally released only once a month.

I read “some” comic book news but I am not fazed by the info contained therein (“spoilers”). To be quite frank, I don’t commit a lot of this “news” to “long-term” memory anyway (unless it concerns a friend or Yes– even an enemy)… So I find I remember very few of the “spoilers” when I actually sit down and read my books. “Spoilers” are overrated anyway. Every comic book nerd knew by Wednesday morning– before they arrived at their local comic shop to pick up their weekly “fix” (new comics are normally released every Wednesday)– that Captain America had been assassinated in Captain America #25.

Because I wait to buy Hardcovers and Trade Paperbacks, it is much more likely that I will have forgotten salient plot points when I read these story lines 4 to 6 months later… Much more likely than the person who reads a specific comic related news story (like the “Death of Captain America”) on a Wednesday morning and then reads the comic that same Wednesday afternoon. So, I can still participate in comic fan sites– without really caring who lives or dies or has an arm chopped off… Because everything that happens in comics is temporary anyway. (Google “Wonder Woman’s New Costume” on the net or go to the CCW*TV Blog and view their “Last Rants” on the subject if you don’t believe me.) And anyway, the minute a new creative team takes over a book or a new EIC (Editor-in-Chief) assumes the top editorial spot at a company– the entire product line’s creative direction can be put into play.

So don’t HATE on the Hardcover or the Trade Reader. They are simply exercising their right to consume comics in a different form that you (much like someone might buy Hair Spray rather than Hair Gel). We all get to the same point eventually… And if we PAY for our books, we’re all supporting the same medium too.

Lesson to Learn? (If any?) Nobody likes a Whiny Bastard.