web stats

CSBG Archive

Flippin’ through Previews – November 2010

Where can you find comics? In Previews, of course! This month: Is it the worst idea ever on the cover of Previews? Could be …

It's time for Spock Rage!

Seriously – a crossover with all the IDW “universes” – G. I. Joe, Star Trek, Transformers, and Ghostbusters – getting invaded by zombies? Sweet fancy Moses.

Dark Horse:

As you know, I get my Hellboy in Giant-Sized Chunks, so Hellboy: The Sleeping and the Dead (page 28) is not on my order list, but the solicitation is quite odd. It makes a big deal that Mignola is teaming up with Scott Hampton, as if everyone has been clamoring for that collaboration for years and it’s finally happening. Is that true? Have people been clamoring for it? I mean, Hampton’s a good artist, and I’m sure this will be a fun tale, but Mignola HASN’T teamed up with a lot more artists than he HAS, so why is this one special? Next: The long-awaited collaboration between Mike Mignola and Kim Deitch! It’s just weird to make such a big deal about it. (5 January)

I mentioned that Finder had been picked up by Dark Horse, and they’re reprinting the entire series in trade, with the first one showing up on page 46. I also mentioned I wasn’t the biggest fan of Carla Speed McNeil’s sci-fi epic, although the trade she gave me at San Diego this summer (“Dream Sequence”) is actually pretty good. I will say, however, that if you’ve ever been interested in this but haven’t gotten it, this is 616 pages for 25 bucks, and that ain’t a bad deal at all. Plus, it’s all trippy and shit. (16 March)

I just learned what a Gelaskin is (sue me – I don’t care about protecting my phone and I don’t own a Kindle and/or iPad), and I have no interest in them, but the Umbrella Academy one on page 52 is pretty darned cool. (22 December)

I'd totally get the ladies if I had this!

DC:

At the beginning of the DC section, there’s a letter (read: propaganda) from the co-publishers discussing the price drop. It would make Goebbels happy, I tell you that much. The text begins with the announcement that DC is dropping prices … but, of course, neglects to mention the loss of two pages of story. Throughout, DC uses the “32-page comic” template, ignoring that 32 pages means 22 pages of story, and now it will mean 20 pages of story. Jim Lee, worried about the “long term health” of the industry, says DC is willing to take a “financial risk” so that readers won’t abandon the art form. They listened to fans and retailers who told them that $3.99 for 32 pages was too expensive. “Fans were becomingly increasingly reluctant to sample new titles and long term fans were beginning to abandon titles and characters that they’d collected for years,” says Danny D. He also says they are committed to the $2.99 price … for a few years, of course, until they raise prices to $3.99 and keep the stories at 20 pages.

Phew, that’s quite a letter. It’s bullshit, but it’s quite a letter. DC isn’t losing readers because of price, DC is losing readers because people don’t want to read crappy comics and new readers aren’t coming into the market. As Kelly just showed (as have others, as she pointed out in her first post), many people who don’t read comics would be perfectly happy to do so, but DC (and Marvel, of course) have no interest in trying new things to get their product into new hands. Reverting to a $2.99 price point and cutting two pages of story is not unlike the boy sticking his thumb in the dike. Comics will survive, of course, but not because DC takes this courageous stand.

But hey, I bet they have comics for sale!

I probably won’t buy Weird Worlds #1 (page 67), but it’s not a bad idea. Three stories, 10 pages each (and yet, the solicitation claims this is “40 pages” – what could the other 10 pages be????), six issues. When the trade comes out, I hope they’re all collected separately, so I can get the Kevin Maguire story all by itself! (5 January)

Hey, that's not a terrible logo cover!

Batman: Europa #1 cracks me up (page 70). DC makes a big deal about it being Jim Lee’s return to Batman, but it’s Giuseppe Camuncoli laying out the pages and Lee painting them. Which sounds neat, but he’s also only doing the first issue of the four-issue mini-series. So while that’s pretty neat, it’s not like it’s Jim Lee being, you know, JIM LEE!!!!! (5 January)

You know what the difference between DC and Marvel is, right now? I direct you to the solicitation for The Flash #10 (page 87). It reads: “The new speedster known as Hot Pursuit has arrived on his Cosmic Motorcycle …” If that’s in a Marvel book written by Jason Aaron or Kieron Gillen or Matt Fraction or Greg Pak/Fred van Lente, it sounds awesome. If it’s in a DC book written by Geoff Johns, I just wonder when he’s A) going to start slaughtering people; or B) get decapitated. Is it just me? (26 January)

One of the problems (or, if you’re Travis, one of the benefits) with these “logo” covers is that you’re really aware of the boobies, because so many of the characters seem to jumping/flying/running/levitating at you:

I'm just doing this to piss Kelly off!

Wow, on page 103 a full-color Suicide Squad trade gets offered, a while after DC pulled the Showcase volume. This collects issues #1-8 of the series plus Secret Origins #14. I said it when the Showcase volume was offered and I’ll say it again: This is a really good series. Check this out! Only 20 bucks! (9 February)

Wildstorm still has its separate section, but it’s not called Wildstorm anymore. Just in case you were wondering what would change when the imprint went away. I guess what’s changed is that they’re totally committed to adapting every video game they can think of to comics – there’s an Authority trade, Victorian Undead II, and that vampires in Rome book (Ides of Blood) … and six video game books (unless that vampires in Rome book is also somehow tied into a game – I can’t remember). So there you have it!

Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly are back with The New York Five, now under the Vertigo label (page 114). I skipped the first one and I’ll skip this one, but you might like it! (26 January)

I know it will be cool-looking!

Eric Shanower draws Fables #101 (page 115). That’s awfully cool. (19 January)

Jill Thompson has another Little Endless Storybook on page 116 called Delirium’s Party. Delirium throws a party for Despair to cheer her up. Hijinks ensue, presumably. Dang, this will look cool, won’t it? (9 March)

They sure are cute!

If you waited for the trade of Daytripper, it’s on page 118. Twenty dollars for ten issues – that ain’t bad. I really can’t recommend it enough. (2 February)

Speaking of 20-dollar trades for 10 issues, Human Target: Second Chances, collecting issues #1-10 of the late, lamented series, is offered on page 119. Will DC collect the rest of the series? Only time will tell, as Asia once sang. (16 February)

IDW:

Oh, wait, it’s FIVE different IDW “universes” converging, as page 138 tells us: The Zombies vs. Robots “universe” invades the other four. On page 139, Chris Ryall, Chief Creative Officer for IDW, talks “Infestation,” and says, “It all started with us thinking ‘you know what would never work? Yeah, let’s find a way to make that work” and building it into what you have here.” Our Dread Lord and Master needs to come up with a term for this sort of thing: Drunken Guys at the Tilted Kilt Idea? (Here, I’ll do the Image Search for you.) Sitting Around Playing Halo and Smoking Bud Idea? Anyway, this is what happens when people who have bad ideas are in a position to put those ideas into practice. It’s not limited to Marvel and DC!!!! But maybe it will be awesome, right?

Fallen Angel returns with a new mini-series on page 143. That’s cool to see. Plus, you can get the second Omnibus, collecting the balance of the IDW series so far. 360 pages for 25 dollars! Quality comics all around!

If I cared, I would find the post that Brian did about Sean Murphy, because he featured some of Off-Road, the comic he wrote and drew. Now IDW is publishing it and slapping a measly $17.99-price tag on it. I remember thinking this looked cool lo those many years ago when Brian showed some pages, so I’ll be all over this like Charlie Sheen on a coked-up hooker.

Image:

Who is Jake Ellis? (page 164) sounds neat. It’s about a “spy-for-hire” (how does that work?) named Jon Moore who’s so good because of Jake Ellis, a “psychic man” only Jon can see. So he can get out of all sorts of pickles because Jake is telling him where all the bad guys are. My definition of “awesome” might be different than yours, but that sounds awesome. And it’s written by Nathan Edmondson, who’s pretty good, and drawn by Tonci Zonjic, who’s quite good. Sign me up! (5 January)

Yay, spy comics!

Over on page 172, we get Memoir #1, which is written by Ben McCool and drawn by Nikki Cook. Everyone in a small town wakes up one morning and has no idea who they are or what has happened to them. Only one man knows!!!!! What could be going on? Well, I suppose we’ll just have to find out, won’t we? (19 January)

Image decides to reprint every issue of The Walking Dead and have it come out weekly beginning in January. I don’t really have a problem with that, but they’re not dropping the price – each issue is still $2.99. Why would you buy it in this format when you can get it so many other cool formats? Especially if it’s the same price as the originals? It seems quite strange.

I dare not say anything bad about Top Cow, but I’m confused with the solicitation for the Magdalena trade paperback on page 202. “The Magdalena has been the official protector and warrior of the Catholic Church for over two thousand years,” it claims. Um, what? The Catholic Church didn’t exist 2000 years ago. In fact, if you believe in the Bible, Jesus barely existed 2000 years ago – he would have been no older than 16 or so. Does this series take place in the future? It’s weird. (19 January)

Marvel:

The solicitation for Age of X: Alpha #1 (page 1) is puzzling. Apparently, this is the next big mutant event, yet they don’t have an artist yet? What? Second: “Mutantkind’s final war starts here.” So how many “final wars” is this now? I lost count around the 14th. Wake me when this is over.

As always, I hate to agree with Kelly, because she’s such an icky girl, but the cover of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #152 is a perfect example of what she’s talking about. J. Scott Campbell’s ugly art graces the cover, and of course the Black Cat is falling out of her suit (see it below!). I’m not as bent out of shape about that as Kelly gets – I’m more annoyed that Campbell keeps getting work – but what’s weird is that if you’re an icky girl and you want to read a comic, this would probably be a good one for you – Sara Pichelli, the interior artist, IS a girl, after all, and her art is very good and “girl-friendly.” But then you get that fugly cover and you pass by. People who bitch at Kelly for bringing this up are missing the cognitive dissonance between the cover and the interior art. I don’t like using a different cover artist than the interior artist, but if Marvel and DC are going to do that, it would be nice if they could at least try to match them up better. But I don’t give a crap about this comic anyway, so whatever. (26 January)

I know other people have mentioned the cover of Thunderstrike #3 (page 25), but damn, that’s some awesome hair (5 January):

Dang, I wish I could get a cut like that!

I’ve been disappointed with Travel Foreman’s new style on interior art, but he’s gotten really good at covers, as Loki #4 (page 26) shows (26 January):

Don't screw with Loki, fools!

Daredevil: Reborn (page 43): Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!!! (5 January)

So, I’d really like to get Wolverine and Jubilee (page 58), because I dig me some Jubilee (don’t judge me!). It’s written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn by Phil Noto, so it should be pretty good. Then I read the solicitation and remembered that Jubilee was a vampire. Yuck. Pass. (Although, how cool was it that in that Outsiders one-shot that tied into the Return of Bruce Wayne thing, Mike Barr simply ignored Looker’s vampiric stuff, returning her to her old-school glory? When I write the X-Men – my e-mail is on the site, Joey Q! – I will simply change Jubilee back to normal, non-vampiric and mutantly-powered, and offer absolutely no explanation for it. That’s how it should be done!) (5 January)

As awful as the usual Greg Land covers are, the cover of Uncanny X-Men #532 (page 61) might set a new standard. What’s Emma doing? Stripping? Why? WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY?!?!?!?!? (26 January)

Don't even get me started on that face!

I like how in the solicitation for X-Factor #213 (page 65), the text reads “One member leaves …” as if it’s a big secret, and right above it, the cover shows Darwin walking off. Excellent secret-keeping, Marvel! (5 January)

Casanova begins a new arc on page 68. According to the solicitation, it’s “never” been “understood!” Well, I remember when it came out, and it seemed that plenty of people understood it, including dumb old me. It’s a bit complicated, but it’s not like learning Finnish or anything.

Seeing the two covers of the Avengers hardcover and the New Avengers hardcover (pages 85 and 86) cracks me up:

I suppose that’s planned, because if it’s not, that’s some lazy placement of Wolverine. At least Romita tries to hide Spider-Man on the first one so that it’s not that obviously dumb that he’s on both teams. (26 and 12 January)

On page 101, you can order the fourth volume of Joe Kelly’s Deadpool. Interestingly enough, I haven’t really been to impressed with this series, even though most people say it’s the only time Deadpool has been good. (19 January)

Push your fear down as we venture into the back of the book! It’s okay!

There are a couple of interesting things from SLG on page 212. In the Young Adult category, we have Pepper Penwell and the Land Creature of Monster Lake, in which a teenaged detective solves a mystery, and then we have Strongman volume 2: Oaxaca Tapout by Charles Soule and Allen Gladfelter. I thought volume 1 wasn’t bad, and Gladfelter is an artist who deserves more attention, so this might be something you want to check out. Or maybe not. That’s what freedom is all about!!!!

Oh, Antarctic Press (page 216) … you always make me chuckle, don’t you:

Come on - that's funny stuff!

Page 239 has the first trade of Dracula: The Company of Monsters from Boom! Boom! always offers these trades before the arcs are complete, so I can’t completely recommend this (there’s still one issue left), but it’s not bad so far.

I began reprinting the solicitation text from each issue of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (page 244) because they were so goofy, but this month’s isn’t too impressive: “A thunder god falls to earth. A trickster god demands that Raven Hex be his mistress. Salem is cut off from the rest of the world. Tarot and her mother are imprisoned. A lone Graveyard Guardian with a legendary hammer in his hands sets off on a fatal quest to take on a God.” It doesn’t sound too wacky, but according to Chris Sims, who has inexplicably read more issues of Tarot than is probably healthy, the “Graveyard Guardian,” a.k.a. The Skeleton Man, is the worst hero in history, so this might have potential.

The Boys reaches issue #50 on page 250. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider its dicey beginnings at DC.

Also from Dynamite on page 251, a new Sherlock Holmes mini-series appears … and it’s a “Year One” thing. That might be interesting.

I can earn my “I Hate Man Comics” badge, because the first thing I thought of when I saw the cover of Kevin Smith’s Kato #10 (yes, that’s the actual title) on page 254 is WWKT – What Would Kelly Think? She’d probably go blind with rage, but I just wondered – would the male Kato ever be featured on a cover in exactly the same pose with exactly the same injuries? I doubt it.

I mean, come on, I'm a knuckle-dragging moron, and I know that's idiotic!

The Lone Ranger #25 (page 256) finishes the series. I just re-read most of the issues, and it’s very cool to read them all at once, because it really does feel like a classic Sergio Leone Western. I’ll miss it.

Drawn & Quarterly has Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine on page 260. The only thing I’ve ever read by Tomine is Shortcomings, which was technically good but fairly unpleasant. According to the solicitation, this has a far different tone, so I’ll probably check it out.

Nick Bertozzi has a new book from First Second called Lewis & Clark, which is, shockingly enough, about Lewis and Clark. I know – wild! Bertozzi is always worth a look, so I’ll have to see what’s what with this.

Moonstone continues to overturn rocks from the 1930s and find pulp heroes underneath that they can turn into comics! On page 277, we get The Spider #1, which might be pretty cool. It appears there’s a back-up story starring Operator 5, about whom I’ve been interested since reading Jess Nevins’ essay about him in the back of Incognito a while ago.

It's Breretonny goodness!

Olympian Publishing has a couple of fascinating projects on page 278 that I hope are good. Cursed Pirate Girl gets a collected edition, and I absolutely love Jeremy Bastian’s art, so I’m keen to check this out even though it’s a bit spendy (20 dollars for 112 pages). Then, below that, we get Michael Zulli’s The Fracture of the Universal Boy (subtitled “A Symbolist Manifesto”). It’s a semi-autobiographical story twenty years in the making, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

Dang, that's a gorgeous cover

On page 280, Oni Press offers Ghost Projekt in hardcover for 20 bucks, which isn’t a bad deal. The final issue has yet to come out, so I’m not sure how it will end, but so far, it’s really good.

Villard Books has a nifty project on page 298: Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey by GB Tran. Tran is a very good creator and a hell of a nice guy, and this story about his trip to Vietnam to find out about his past sounds pretty neat.

Tran totally rocks!

J. Scott Campbell really likes this pose:

What's really dumb about this is that, technically, the building is flat and her pose is even more awkward because of that Zenescope has a niche, and they mine it for all it's worth!

In the book/magazine section, Back Issue #46 has “The Greatest Stories Never Told,” a bunch of articles about comics that were never published. I always like shit like that.

I guess that’s a good place to finish this journey through Previews. Get pre-ordering, people! Don’t count on your local shoppe to get it for you!

56 Comments

Is it the worst idea ever on the cover of Previews?

It could be an Image crossover, versus zombies and vampires.

Looks like it’s going to get much easier to drop a lot of comics from my pull box next year. DC was already walking a line, but those lame logo covers just sealed the deal, except maybe Secret Six.

Spider Jerusalem

October 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm

“You know what the difference between DC and Marvel is, right now? I direct you to the solicitation for The Flash #10 (page 87). It reads: “The new speedster known as Hot Pursuit has arrived on his Cosmic Motorcycle …” If that’s in a Marvel book written by Jason Aaron or Kieron Gillen or Matt Fraction or Greg Pak/Fred van Lente, it sounds awesome. If it’s in a DC book written by Geoff Johns, I just wonder when he’s A) going to start slaughtering people; or B) get decapitated. Is it just me? (26 January)”

LOVE IT. <3

My big picks for the November catalogue:
Ant-Man & the Wasp #3
Astonishing Thor #2
Batman, Incorporated #3
Deadpool MAX #4
Fantastic Four #597
Justice Society of America #47
Magneto
Mice Templar Vol. 3 #2
Secret Warriors #24
Scalped Vol. 7: Rez Blues
Superboy #3
Sweet Tooth #17
Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8
Ultimate Captain America #1
Ultimate Thor #4
Uncanny X-Force #4
Unwritten #21
Wolverine #5

I’m very sad to see THE LONE RANGER go. Maybe we’ll get a big ol’ omnibus edition of some kind that will let people read the whole thing at one sitting.

I’m even sadder to see all those crappy GREEN HORNET comics that don’t look interesting at all. No, wait, I’m mostly just annoyed over that.

THE SPIDER looks promising though. I keep hoping someone will find a way to make that series work in comics.

Aw, c’mon. Couldn’t it just turn out to be a fun crossover not meant to be taken very seriously?

And not surprisingly, the most impressive cleavage belongs to Power Girl. It’s kind of amazing that DC managed to get a character who is actually known for big boobs. I mean, most of the women characters are drawn that way, but Power Girl now MUST be drawn that way.

Yeah, I’ve pretty much bailed from DC and Marvel monthlies, except for Secret Six.

My biggest fault with the Campbell USM cover is less that it’s exploitative and whatnot, and more that it shares a common failing with a lot of other covers, in that it doesn’t tell you what the story is about (other than the character on the cover presumably being in the comic), doesn’t jump out in any way, shape or form, and is generally poorly crafted. Quite often we get far too many poor covers that don’t match the quality of the interiors. That’s why companies generally hire guys like Quitely, WIlliams III, and Jean to do the covers for them.

The zombie crossover idea is more lazy and uninspired than anything else: although the idea of Ghostbusters fighting zombies is pretty cool.

Ethan: I suppose it could be a fun crossover, but it just feels like they’re going to take it very seriously. Abnett and Lanning (who are writing it) tend to take things seriously, too (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), so I fear it. It would be a lot more fun if they just went nuts with it, but it doesn’t feel that way.

I’m with you on the Joe Kelly Deadpool thing, Greg. I’ve been reading the new trades, and it’s good don’t get me wrong, but so far I’ve enjoyed Nicieza’s run on Cable/Deadpool far more.

Re: Geoff Johns writing about a cosmic motorcycle
In my mind the big difference between DC and Marvel is that Marvel would make the cosmic motorcycle awesome and fun and DC would try to take it seriously.

Excited about the Casanova trade.
And putting Batman Inc at $2.99 has convinced me to get it in singles.

Also, how many of the ‘Iconic’ covers actually feature Iconic characters?
Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman (kinda arguable with the new costume) fair enough.
You could even count Captain Marvel, Aquaman, Doc Savage and The Spirit if you were feeling generous.
But then you get covers with Steel, Wondergirl, Starman & Congorrila, Azrael, The Outsiders, Red and Yellow Lanterns, THUNDER Agents and REBELS to name a few.
I thought they had more big names but this kinda put everything in perspective.

I was super psyched when I first heard about the IDW Infestation crossover, because I thought it would involve all four of those properties fighting alongside each other in some completely insane Cartoon All-Stars dimension. But apparently the zombie virus just hops between realities. So this means no Spock vs Shockwave logic battles or transforming Ecto-1.

Sigh. A man can dream.

FINDER! finderfinderfinderfinderfinderfinder. *Happy Dance*

Got the first self-published trade on a whim, but getting the rest has been a pain in the ass. Glad Dark Horse picked it up. It deserved wider distribution than it was getting.

I already have the original Casanova singles, but I want this new trade. But, I’d prefer a hardcover collecting the first two arcs, instead! And they will probably publish one, won’t they? Won’t they!?!?

As usual, too many comics I want, most likely. Every month is a fight to determine what I can live without. The Daytripper trade is a for-sure, but will I have to choose between other stuff? Sophie’s choice was easier, c’mon.

Oh lord, boobies!

*passes out*

I’ll be back later, just wanted to thank you for that.

And on that Spider cover: Alice Cooper IS the Spider!

I’m with you on Deadpool. I bought the first trade of Kelly’s run (Classic Deadpool Volume 2) and enjoyed it, but not enough to buy the second one.

That Loki cover is awesome.

Check the floor and call a coroner cause I think that cleavage montage killed Kelly stone dead.

Hot Pursuit…?!?!
…ugh…
Just based on the sad, sad choice of name alone, my vote is for decapitation.

“I dare not say anything bad about Top Cow”

Why not?

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Does anybody know anything about PUNISHERMAX # 10 & 11? They’re kinda late.

I wonder if Michael Zulli is ever going to finish off his PUMA BLUES series? I dug that series back in the day.

I really hope Kelly doesn’t have a stroke reading this. Boobs don’t bother me as they seem to do her, but I really, really would like to see a normal-sized pair for a change. Do Zatanna’s look abnormally-shaped to you, or is it just me?

I’ve seen worse Greg Land covers (and I don’t hate him like everyone else seems to, anyway). I guess if he had to show somebody stripping, it should be Emma. At least it’s in character for her.

I would be interested in a Kathryn Immonen book about Jubilee, but I don’t want her as a vampire, either. What happened? The last time I saw her she was in New Warriors, and she had super-strength instead of her traditional powers. I wish we could have the old Jubilee back, too.

Fracture Of The Universal Boy– I hope that guy’s okay. It looks like he’s had a few too many of those poppies.

Yeah, but if that cosmic motorcycle showed up in Doom Patrol it would be fun…

There’s a lot of shit that bugs me about Greg Land’s ” art “, but even getting past the obvious ( re: tracing/plagiarizing, lifeless figures, limited faces and bodies, T&A ) what always sticks in my craw is the way he draws Emma. She’s supposed to be an ice queen, dammit! She’s not going to act flirty and seductive unless it’s a means to an end, and certainly not posing like a pin-up gal. Frank Quitely demonstrated this with his New X-Men 116 cover, because while his Emma was scantly clad, the expression on her face was one of bemusement and contempt.

Travis: You’re welcome. I hope you read the alt-text.

WhoJackie: I dare not say anything bad about Top Cow because recently, when I gave a positive review to one of their trades, I almost gave Ron Marz an aneurysm thanks to one brief comment about Top Cow’s usual output. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t liked the comic.

Tom: I haven’t seen PunisherMax solicited recently, so I’m not sure what the hold-up is.

So I just came to, and read the alt text. I hope Kelly doesn’t hate me!

Considering the surprisingly light tone in The Flash, I think Hot Pursuit might be goofy enough to be fun.

Maybe Hot Pursuit would be fun, Debaser. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt because you’re an awesome Pixies song. To me, though, Hot Pursuit on his Cosmic Motorcycle sounds like (and forgive me for my non pc-ness) a stereotypical … well, let’s just say it sounds like he should be with Extrano, okay? I think you’re right though, that someone at Marvel could make it work better (it sounds like it’d fit into Aaron’s GR run).

Back to the top, for my giant babble fest: Star Trek/zombies works because Shatner already is a zombie. Oh, snap!

Hellboy, I think Mignola/Scott Hampton sounds cool. S. Hampton did that “Sleeping” arc in Batman LDK, right? And I got excited when you said Mignola/Kim Deitch, until I realized you just made it up :(

From what I saw about Weird Worlds on bleeding cool, Maguire’s story was plotted as a 12 issue story, and just recently did WW become a 6 issue series. Oops.

It’s disturbing that I know all those characters by their boobies. The Birds of Prey one threw me until I also saw the fishnets, and knew it was Black Canary. But Zatanna’s and Phantom Girl’s look a little…off.

New York Five — I’ll wait and hope the library gets this too (that’s where I read NY4, and all the other Minx books. Is that the only place they sold?)

Human Target, cool. However, I’m only missing a few issues of the Milligan series. At that amount of issues, there should need only be one more collection.

Walking Dead reprint every issue weekly, hm. Interesting. Maybe it’d get people who will dig the series to go to the comic store every week. Otherwise I don’t see that it’s that great an idea. I gotta read the dollar reprint of #1 before I watch episode 1 of the series…

Oh Greg, don’t you know the Catholic Church existed before Jesus? Just because it doesn’t make sense that way… There’s probably some bs justification in a Dan Brown book or something.

(don’t talk about Top Cow. like how, on my cursory skimming, it appears that the Genius issue in that sampler is the SAME as the one shot published a few years back. Y’know, that I bought BACK THEN. Let’s not get Ron Marz to turn the heat on us, though, or you’ll have to erase these posts, right…)

Oh, and “icky girl”? Redundant.

That Thunderstrike hair is like something from Mega Man or Dragon Ball Z or something. Sweet.

Daredevil Reborn? They aren’t even pretending that these characters aren’t coming back, huh?

I dunno, with that creative team, Wolverine and Jubilee might be good.

Emma’s not stripping, she’s just trying to figure out what to do with that lace strap, since she can’t tie it with her buh-zooms so large. *passes out again* I agree with Neil that Land’s expressions for her don’t work the way that Quitely cover did.

Those Avengers covers were the first issue covers, but I didn’t realize that Wolverine was in the same position on both. Jeez.

Joe Kelly Deadpool sounds ok, from what I’ve read of it. Am I the only one that needs flash cards to keep Joe Kelly and Joe Casey straight? It’s not just me, is it?

On that Tarot thing, it sounds too tame for that book. As an aside, I turned on the local college radio station the other morning, and they were interviewing Sims. I couldn’t remember where I knew his name from at first, then they mentioned some comics writing of his, and I went ah! He sounds like a cool guy.

See, the male Kato would be in that same position, and Green Hornet would be rubbing some lotion on him. Chk-a-chk-a-bwow.

Cool looking Zulli book. I hope that with this Vertigo Resurrected stuff (haven’t gotten the first one, was it any good?), they finally print any of that Swamp Thing meets Jesus story that Veitch and Zulli did for what would have been, iirc, ST 87 or 88. From what I heard, Zulli had all but 3 pages done. And Veitch was supposedly never going to work for DC again…

I think that’s all. I’ma go look at boobies again. Maybe it’ll help this f@#%@ing sinus headache I’ve got. Owie.

The Spider pulps are AWESOME. It’s probably the most batsh*t character I’ve read from that era.
There were much weirder concepts, but the Spider character is written pretty consistently as psychotically addicted to violence. Thru the lens of 50 years, it’s really pretty funny.

Actually Zatanna’s boobs always look like that. I think its something about the costume or her bra. I do believe its intentional.

I’m definitely getting The New York Five in singles. The New York Four was pretty fantastic, and I was hoping the sequel would see the light of day after Minx folded.

The DC product I’m most looking forward to, though? Young Justice! That’s sure to be a fun read, and Mike Norton seems to be pushing his art in some dynamic ways.

I read a version of Off-Road online a few years ago, and Murphy’s been on my radar ever since. I’ll definitely pick up the trade.

The layout of that Uncanny X-Men cover isn’t bad at all, but then there’s the actual artwork…

There are two issues of Vertigo Resurrected in December and none in January? Strange.

That Sarah Palin vs. The World cover is awesome.

Travis: I’m fairly certain – without actually checking – that the Genius issue in the trade is different from the Pilot Season one of a few years ago. It’s issue #2, if you will. I thought – again, I’m not checking – that the old one threw us more into the middle of the story, and this one fills it out a bit more. Maybe I will have to dig through the long boxes to check.

I met Sims briefly in San Diego this year, and he does seem like a cool guy. More jovial than I am, which is saying something.

I would love it if DC had the onions to publish that Swamp Thing story. I doubt they will, though.

funkygreenjerusalem

October 31, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I’m getting a feeling Greg doesn’t like DC…

DC isn’t losing readers because of price, DC is losing readers because people don’t want to read crappy comics and new readers aren’t coming into the market.

Except that their sales went down after the price rise, not before.

As Kelly just showed (as have others, as she pointed out in her first post), many people who don’t read comics would be perfectly happy to do so, but DC (and Marvel, of course) have no interest in trying new things to get their product into new hands

Whilst Kelly is a smart person, there’s a difference between being a blogger and being a retailer, and retailers have been saying on their blogs and on message boards that they have lost sales due to the price rises.

If that’s in a Marvel book written by Jason Aaron or Kieron Gillen or Matt Fraction or Greg Pak/Fred van Lente, it sounds awesome. If it’s in a DC book written by Geoff Johns, I just wonder when he’s A) going to start slaughtering people; or B) get decapitated. Is it just me? (26 January)

It’s just you – unless the current Flash series takes a dramatic turn, it’s been more fun and all ages than any book written recently by those Marvel writers.

I guess what’s changed is that they’re totally committed to adapting every video game they can think of to comics

Gears Of War was one of the best selling comics of last year.

Christ knows whose buying them, but people are.

That means DC are bringing people into the market – which you say they aren’t.

Just not the sorts of new readers you want them to bring in?

Anyway, this is what happens when people who have bad ideas are in a position to put those ideas into practice. It’s not limited to Marvel and DC!!!! But maybe it will be awesome, right?

Again, it’s not my cup of tea at all, but I bet this will sell gangbusters for them.

Why would you buy it in this format when you can get it so many other cool formats? Especially if it’s the same price as the originals? It seems quite strange.

The usual logic of comics does not apply to the works of Robert Kirkman – why should it start now?

This will probably sell quite well.

I’m not as bent out of shape about that as Kelly gets – I’m more annoyed that Campbell keeps getting work – but what’s weird is that if you’re an icky girl and you want to read a comic, this would probably be a good one for you – Sara Pichelli, the interior artist, IS a girl, after all, and her art is very good and “girl-friendly.” But then you get that fugly cover and you pass by.

But do people pass it by?

They wouldn’t keep giving Campbell the work if he didn’t boost sales – the question is, would Sara Pichelli’s work boost them?

-FunkyGreenApologist

FGJ: I don’t really care one way or another about DC. If they have good books, I’ll read them.

Sales might have gone down after the price rise (you know me and my utter lack of research), but I wonder how many other factors are involved. This just seems like a knee-jerk reaction, especially with the fewer story pages. And have retailers lost Marvel sales? I don’t know – Marvel is plowing along with $3.99 books, so something is working for them. Why would DC be affected and not Marvel? Is it because the stories are crappy but people can justify spending 3 bucks on them but not 4? Again, I don’t know.

I bow to your knowledge of the current Flash series.

I didn’t really make a judgment on the video game comics – I was just pointing it out. I’m with you – I have no idea who’s buying them, but more power to them if they sell. David Lapham is writing one of them – good for him! But do you know if they’re new comic book readers or just comic book readers who happen to play video games? I don’t have any idea if the video game books are bringing in new readers.

Re: Campbell – I have no idea if he boosts sales. And I don’t know if females would pass it by, although I suspect they would. My point is that hard-core Ultimate Spider-Man fans will buy the book no matter who’s doing the cover (wouldn’t they?), so why make the cover artist clash so much with the interior artist?

Go to the beach, man! It’s springtime!

funkygreenjerusalem

October 31, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I don’t really care one way or another about DC. If they have good books, I’ll read them.

I know, you just do seem a bit harsher on DC.

And have retailers lost Marvel sales? I don’t know – Marvel is plowing along with $3.99 books, so something is working for them. Why would DC be affected and not Marvel? Is it because the stories are crappy but people can justify spending 3 bucks on them but not 4? Again, I don’t know.

I think both have – didn’t everyone’s sales go down the past couple of months?

Marvel have said they weren’t going to keep $3.99 books coming, but then, in true Marvel fashion, have.
I’d say Marvel have lost sales, but again in true Marvel fashion, can’t actually convince the suits that lower sales with higher revenue is better than higher sales for the same revenue.
Either way, they felt the need to make it look like they were dropping sales, even if they weren’t.
(And also, whilst never justifying their four buck books, went on the attack about DC dropping two pages).

I bow to your knowledge of the current Flash series.

It’s annoying – it’s the book everyone says they wish DC/Johns would do, but lots of people have given up on him.
It’s awesome!

David Lapham is writing one of them – good for him! But do you know if they’re new comic book readers or just comic book readers who happen to play video games?

I assume there must be new readers in there – adaptations aren’t usually as good as original comics, so why would you read them?
I was tempted by the Lapham one, because it was Lapham, but just couldn’t bring myself to shell out for it.

Go to the beach, man! It’s springtime!

I would, except it’s 2pm on Monday!
I live in the future, remember!
Also, after a brilliant weekend of weather, it’s pretty drab and wet out today – stupid Spring, never able to decide whether it wants to be winter or summer.
(But if it had to rain, I’m glad it was on Monday and not weekend. Though to be fair, after going to a ‘zombie ball’ on Saturday night, I did waste most of Sunday with a sensitive head).

Yeah, the cover just made me roll my eyes.

Can’t say I much care about other artists doing Hellboy or not, per se. I suppose I’ll still get it, though lately HB and BPRD are startng to wane.

I guess John Byrne’s been converted to the Dark Side – he is now allowing for incentive alternate covers on his books (JBNM and Jurassic Park have B&W variants- funny, seeing how JBNM #2 is pretty much half B&W as it is – page 152-53), and I haven’t heard his grumblings of them using his ALPHA FLIGHT #12 cover as reference / influence for GI JOE: COBRA #12 (Page 146). Wonder how big the checks IDW is writing are, there….

RE: The Walking Dead weekly reprints- they’ll soak sucker reatilers and customers for whatever price they can, Greg. I’m hoping retailers will actually use their brain and instead order the DEADWORLD omnibus from IDW (page 160), or Brian Keene’s THE LAST ZOMBIE TPB (Antarctic Press, page 217) just to have something different, as many of them are probably sitting on unsold WALKING DEAD TPBs as it is, and frankly, both Gary Reed and Brian Keene are better writers than Kirkman.

I wonder if Hatcher is getting the SHERLOCK HOLMES YEAR ONE series from DYNAMITE (page 251).

funkygreenjerusalem

October 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I’m hoping retailers will actually use their brain and instead order the DEADWORLD omnibus from IDW (page 160), or Brian Keene’s THE LAST ZOMBIE TPB (Antarctic Press, page 217) just to have something different, as many of them are probably sitting on unsold WALKING DEAD TPBs as it is, and frankly, both Gary Reed and Brian Keene are better writers than Kirkman.

But neither of those will sell as well.

And retailers are there to make money!

I’m certain that you are incorrect that the $3.99 price was not costing DC readers. I would have enjoyed the MLJ comic reintroductions, but the price per issue was too high. I also was interested in Time Masters, Adventure, and Legion of SuperHeroes—but bypassed them all due to price.

I’ve bought some alternative titles at $2.99 in their place, but I’ve also been able to reduce my weekly ‘addiction’ thanks to my unwillingness to buy comics at that high price-point….

Price matters to those of us who have less disposable income!

TonyJazz: Sure, price matters. The way DC was doing it, though – with back-up stories – meant people were actually getting more for the four dollars than they were for Marvel’s stuff. 30 pages of story for $3.99 is better, if we’re dealing with price per page, than 22 pages for $2.99. Psychologically, of course, the $3.99 price point was a bit of a shock, especially if the back-up stories were lousy.

My point, again, is that DC didn’t seem to actually do any research into it. They equated $3.99 with their sales dropping and acted quickly. That’s fine and all, but what will happen when people start wondering why their stories are shorter (I know, it’s only two pages, but still)? Will there be an outcry then? We shall see …

funkygreenjerusalem

November 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

My point, again, is that DC didn’t seem to actually do any research into it.

What’s this based on?

They matched price with Marvel, sales went down, and retailers have been vocal that it was the price point.

We don’t know what went on behind the scenes.

As they are dropping two pages – obviously they’ve looked into the costing.

They equated $3.99 with their sales dropping and acted quickly.

So did Marvel – the difference is DC said it was due to consumer/retailer feedback, but Marvel said they were doing it because their digital sales are so strong, they didn’t need to charge extra.
Then made absolutely no changes in the month they said they would.
I would’ve thought that would gather more scathing comments than DC telling everyone their plan, and then sticking to it.

That’s fine and all, but what will happen when people start wondering why their stories are shorter (I know, it’s only two pages, but still)? Will there be an outcry then? We shall see …

As for losing two pages – Robert Kirkman has pointed out that Invincible has been 20 pages for years and no one noticed, and that most of his Marvel books were 20 pages and no one noticed.

Steven Grant once wrote a column on CBR about how 22 pages was an arbitrary number picked to justify a price hike years ago, and it’s actually a hard number for a writer to plot out an issue to in terms of pacing.

Calm down, it will all be okay.

Funky:

“Neither of those will sell as well… and retailers are there to make money!”

Any retailer worth their salt can sell either of those just as well as they can TWD, they just have to *work* in order to do so.

After all Brian Keene is one of the premier horror writers of this decade, and is the writer the New York Times, Fangoria, and the History Channel all have credited as the person most responsible for the zombie craze resurgence in modern day pop culture.

Then, you’ve got Gary Reed and Company’s DEADWORLD, which was the preeminent zombie comic from 1987-1999 before it had to go on hiatus due to the financial distress Caliber press was in (caused frankly in part by Image’s business practices) and arguably should have been collected by Image (seeing as Gary had a LONG history with Image and with McFarlane specifically), long before Kirkman’s concept was ever even accepted. And it’s got the additional selling point of being developed into a movie franchise to be released in 2011. Do you want to be the Johnny Come Lately who’s buying a comic whose story you can watch for free every week on TV, or do you want to buy the collection that leads into the movie before the movie comes out and be one of the ‘cool kids’ that was in on the hip product before the masses?

It’s all about how you want to spin and market the product, Funky.

“As for losing two pages – Robert Kirkman has pointed out that Invincible has been 20 pages for years and no one noticed.”

No one noticed? Sorry, but I know of at least four readers out of my LCS alone who cut Invincible (and I believe Astonishing Wolf-Man also) in part because of lesser page counts. He simply didn’t get a mass hysteria bitchfest out of online fandom because he didn’t make a big deal out of it, the way DC and Marvel are trying to spin things.

funkygreenjerusalem

November 2, 2010 at 1:28 am

Any retailer worth their salt can sell either of those just as well as they can TWD, they just have to *work* in order to do so.

If you can find one retailer who is selling those books as well TWD, I’ll shake their hand.

But I don’t believe they exist, because TWD is already being sold to readers by blogs, reviews, message boards, Robert Kirkman, Image and other comic reading friends, before people even get to the retailer.

After all Brian Keene is one of the premier horror writers of this decade, and is the writer the New York Times, Fangoria, and the History Channel all have credited as the person most responsible for the zombie craze resurgence in modern day pop culture.

Good for them.

It was actually 28 Days Later, followed quickly by Hollywood with the Dawn Of The Dead Remake – but good for them for spinning an article out of it.

Credit him all you want, those are the two films that kicked it off in a big way, and I don’t believe he was involved in either of them.

Do you want to be the Johnny Come Lately who’s buying a comic whose story you can watch for free every week on TV, or do you want to buy the collection that leads into the movie before the movie comes out and be one of the ‘cool kids’ that was in on the hip product before the masses?

I don’t think people think that way before buying something.

Walking Dead is a proven product that continually grows in readers – that says to other people who might be interested that it must be quality, or at least have something else to keep people with it, so they check it out.
They like it, and then the cycle continues.

You can play armchair ‘knowing how it should be’, but that’s how it is.

Sorry, but I know of at least four readers out of my LCS alone who cut Invincible (and I believe Astonishing Wolf-Man also) in part because of lesser page counts.

Look at the sales on his books – that’s an aberration, not the norm.

It’s pretty stupid as well ‘I’m really enjoying this book, but it’s got two pages less now, so I’ll never read it again!’

“why make the cover artist clash so much with the interior artist?”

Because as you said regular Ult. Spidey readers will pick it up anyway – casual readers aren’t going to be tempted by generic house style art on the cover – but maybe a name artist like Campbell will do the trick. There are still folks who buy books solely for the covers (I’m not one of them, by the way).

And if Emma’s pulling on that cord wouldn’t that be her tightening the corset, rather than stripping?

Andrew: I just assumed she was untying it. I could be wrong. But now you’ve made me look at that cover far more than I wanted to!!!!! :)

Yeah, I was wrong about the Genius issue in the Top Cow sampler thing. I think I was thrown off because page one features some art from the pilot season issue. So my apologies to Top Cow on that one.

Of course, if they got their pilot season series going within, oh, a year of when the pilot season issues come out, maybe our old man memories wouldn’t forget them…

And about lower page counts: Cerebus was 20 pages of story and art for YEARS, while other books were 24, down to 22. Cerebus also had lots of back matter in most issues as well. Granted, there were other reasons people dropped that book, but if page count was the “reason” (or the “reason” to drop any book…)…

Companies do this all the time. Ice cream containers used to be a half gallon, now most are 48 or 56 oz. And me being American, I don’t know how that translates to less ice cream for the same amount of money :)

Y’know, I just read some Deadworld last night, along with the Walking Dead #1. I dug them both, but given that the Walking Dead actually is appearing in other media, that’s why there’s a big media push to feature that book in stores. Whenever Deadworld actually makes it to the big screen, I’m sure the book will appear in stores more. As an aside, I just recently saw that the first big Deadworld collection was in a local Barnes and Noble, along with, I’m sure, Walking Dead books. Of course, since bookstores get things on a returnable basis, they can order whatever they damn well want and not care if it actually sells. Not like a comics store owner, who’s gambling his/her own money on whether or not a book will sell. I’m sure that all the teenage kids will go “cool, Deadworld, premier zombie series of the 80s and 90s! and zombies by Brian Keene, author I’ve never heard of! YES!”. No, wait, they’ll go “Walking Dead, that bitching show on TV!” (Do the kids still say “bitching”?)

I know, you just do seem a bit harsher on DC.

I don’t think that’s a sign of unfair bias though. DC is much more incompetently run on many levels, so when looking at things objectively one simply must be harsher on DC. If he treated DC and Marvel with equal scorn then I’d accuse him of being unfairly biased on behalf of DC because DC is clearly much more of a disgusting mess, not to mention a lot more disgusting in their story content.

That should have read “confusing mess” rather than “disgusting mess.”

funkygreenjerusalem

November 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I don’t think that’s a sign of unfair bias though. DC is much more incompetently run on many levels, so when looking at things objectively one simply must be harsher on DC. If he treated DC and Marvel with equal scorn then I’d accuse him of being unfairly biased on behalf of DC because DC is clearly much more of a disgusting mess, not to mention a lot more disgusting in their story content.

For starters, DC has just had a massive shift in who runs it, and how it is run, so it’s a bit rough to judge them on that – it’s like blaming Dan Buckley for thing Bill Jemas did.

Secondly, the issue Greg is giving them big grief over is an issue where DC have clearly done a better job than Marvel.
Retailers across the net have been crying out to cut prices back to $3 instead of $4.
Both companies said they would change prices in Jan, DC saying they would drop two pages.
Greg is all over DC saying they did this without any research, and it’s not the reason their sales are down – even though sales for both companies have gone down since it happened.

Following on, in January, DC’s comics in the solicitations are back to where they were before the price rise, and Marvel’s haven’t dropped at all – and now Tom Brevoort is saying that it’s fans and reporters faults for thinking this, it’s not what they said they would be doing.

This would be more believable to me if Marvel had done anything – be it a press release or an interview – to clear up ‘misconceptions’ before people realised this wasn’t what Marvel was doing.

So it does seem to be a bias to accuse DC of acting without thinking, and not doing research, when it appears they have, and not only that, Marvel was willing to let everyone think they were doing the same, up until the moment it was revealed they weren’t.

Greg has his pet reasons for why DC books don’t sell, but that’s twice as much bullshit as he calls on DC’s reasoning for dropping prices – there’s clear evidence they are telling the truth, his evidence is that Kelly agrees with him.

Moving on:
As always, it’s a total crock that DC are much more disgusting in their stories than Marvel is.

I read DC books way more than Marvel – despite the pre-conceptions, DC’s are much easier to follow and much less likely to crossover into an unrelated book or crossover, and even with Batman, make it clear which book about a character is the one to be following – and even by reading much more DC, I don’t see this violence of disgust that everyone goes on about – it’s been years since Identity Crisis, and that load of bollocks seems to be gone.
Even when I have seen a scan on a blog decrying violence – including this one – read the issue, and the impact is much lessened by what happens before and afterwards.
Citizen Steel’s family getting massacred in JSA – which made Greg Hatcher drop it – was overly violent. But, the follow up issues dealt with this, and it’s as much a founding part of the character as Bruce Wayne watching his parents get killed, or Peter Parker failing to act so that his uncle got killed.

Much like with Marvel – if you ignore that Namor #1, which was him on his quest to get a severed head, ignore that Cat issue of Arsenal.
Some things are clearly going to be shit, so why hold the entire company to blame for that?

Go read Johns’ The Flash.
Skip Rebirth – although again, internet reaction was much more over the top to violence in that comic than there was actual violence.
Read The Flash, and tell me if from the five issues out, it’s fair to assume that someone will get decapitated or go on a massacre?
Fractions had hints at teenagers having group sex in his X-Men, Bendis has had a character get ripped in half in Siege, Aaron has people get killed all through his books, and Pak/Van Lente have running jokes in Hercules about how poorly he treats women he has sex with.
Now, ignoring that damn near everyone one of them has their ongoing story lines end in a crossover, why is it better to assume that their books will sound awesome, yet when it’s Johns, it’s going to be an icky bloodbath?

I’m not saying I don’t like those writer works – I’m not a fan of Bendis, and Gillien isn’t on there because I haven’t read his Marvel work* – but the rest I enjoy and try to read, just that I think Marvel does much the same, yet its getting glossed over in favour of slagging DC.

*He’s not been as good as Fraction was at Image, and Fraction’s work took a hit quality wise when he went to Marvel, so I’m not sure if I see the point in trying it out.

While I won’t address everything Funky does, I have to say, I ASSUME that DC was looking for a while into dropping prices and page counts, and let the writers and artists know ahead of time “hey, starting January you have less pages to work with”. Since Marvel announced a few hours after DC their “price change”, it came off as unplanned, and the whole “digital sales” stuff was confusing, what I read about anyway.

Especially since, oh, a week or 2 before the price change announcement, (I think) Dan Buckley (or some Marvel bigwig) said that the 3.99 price point was good and given the talent it’s worth the money, blah blah I’m paraphrasing. (I saw this on Robot 6). Since that quote made it sound like Marvel was sticking with the 3.99, the announcement that week or so later made me go Huh?

I think DC acknowledged that while they might not have lost enough sales to lose money (I assume that if they sold x amount at 2.99, and y amount at 3.99, they were hoping that y times 3.99 was equal to or more than x times 2.99), the amount of “good will” lost by the 3.99 price point was enough to hurt sales long term. And to me, that’s smart thinking on the company’s part.

And since I’m losing interest in the argument myself, let me say that the Steel family’s death in JSA wasn’t bad to me due to the violence, but to the fact that it was a bunch of @$$%^ing Nazis that did it. Are there no other villains in the world, or are Nazis just “safe” villains?

If Johns’ Flash is more like Stars and STRIPE, I should start picking it up. I think he probably does get unfairly pegged as being a hack writer, or relying on certain violent tropes, etc, and from what I’ve read, he’s actually a decent writer.

I think T will agree with me that it’s all Meltzer’s fault. or Loeb. ;)

FGJ: Sure, I make assumptions all the time. Everyone does. My biggest problem with the letter is that they’re being disingenuous about dropping two pages and claiming the issues are “32 pages long.” Hey, go nuts and drop your prices – that’s great. But don’t act like you’re being all magnanimous and taking a huge financial hit to bring us comics we want to read. If it didn’t work financially, they wouldn’t do it. According to them, $2.99 for 22 pages of story doesn’t work anymore. Raising prices didn’t work, so they cut the page count. That’s fine and all, but the fact remains that the comics will be shorter.

As for why DC has fallen behind … maybe lots of DC books are great and maybe lots of Marvel books are drenched in violence. The only DC book I read regularly, as you know, is Secret Six, which is probably the most disturbingly violent book from the Big Two right now. So it’s not the violence, it’s the context. I don’t read the big Marvel books that are drenched in violence, so I don’t comment about them. I honestly don’t know why DC has fallen so far behind Marvel. I don’t even know if it’s true, because sales figures are notoriously hard to find. I just think it’s stupid to blame a simple price increase. If DC wanted to stick it to Marvel, they would raise the price to $3.25 or $3.50, keep the same number of pages, and trumpet that fact. To congratulate themselves on lowering the price without mentioning the reduction in page numbers is annoying, at the very least.

I don’t have any pet reasons for why DC doesn’t sell – I don’t have any reasons why comics in general don’t sell. Kelly’s point, and anyone else’s point who gives comics to people who don’t regularly read them, is that there’s a huge potential audience that DC and Marvel completely ignore. DC and Marvel care only about a shrinking market of aging readers, and if putting a finger in the dike and dropping the price and cutting page counts is the way to cling to those readers, have fun with that.

funkygreenjerusalem

November 3, 2010 at 5:01 am

Sure, I make assumptions all the time. Everyone does.

Before I saw you were going to post this, I was going to post a disclaimer stating I’d realised the stupidity of saying you had a bias in a column which is your opinions on Previews – clearly, you can have any bias you want!

Also, I forgot my own bias, and also that although I live in the future, comics come out a day later – I see reviews and critical/fan reaction before they come out.
Which is why it’s easy for me to forget that GAY FOR JUSTICE happened.
I only thought DC had left it’s Identity Crisis days behind – clearly they didn’t.
I do believe though, that with Johns in an editorial over sight role, and Bob Harras as EIC – a polite way of saying with Didio moved further away from book content – that there will be less gratuitous violence in the books.

My personal suggestion is that everyone runs out and buys Superman/Batman #77, where Supergirl and Damian team-up on Halloween.
It was a really fun book – good plot, pretty funny, the art was cartoony and fun, and Damian and Supergirl were hilarious in their bickering.
I’ve not even heard of, let alone read, anything by Josh Williamson before, but I’ll definitely check his stuff out, and Alé Garza avoids his previous T&A tendancies for the most part – the exception being at a Halloween party, some girls in the background are wearing quite revealing clothes, but y’know, that’s how girls dress at Halloween – except for Supergirl, who is dressed in a big pink puffy bunny suit.
If that book was to get a boost sales, or even sell out, a message would be sent to DC that this is the sort of comic people want.
That’s my suggestion for making DC less violent with the new editorial regime.
(And also, maybe we’d get to see more of Damian as Lil’Matches Malone).

My biggest problem with the letter is that they’re being disingenuous about dropping two pages and claiming the issues are “32 pages long.”

But they, and every other publisher, has always claimed that whether a story has 20 or 24 pages.
They all say ’32 pages’.

Hey, go nuts and drop your prices – that’s great. But don’t act like you’re being all magnanimous and taking a huge financial hit to bring us comics we want to read. If it didn’t work financially, they wouldn’t do it. According to them, $2.99 for 22 pages of story doesn’t work anymore.

Probably they can do it fine, but their suits saw Marvel suits do it – and Marvel said they did it to ‘maximize profits’ – and so DC suits told them to do it.

I’m still absolutely puzzled as to why you are angry at a company tooting their own horn about dropping prices.
You are angry about a company marketing it’s business decision, done to try and get readers back on board.
That doesn’t make sense – they are doing it to get readers back, so of course they are going to make noise about it.

It’s less your annoyed at them – I’m more caught off guard that you seem so keen to jump on DC for announcing they are lowering their prices, and not at Marvel who raised prices, didn’t add content, then announced they were lowering prices, and once it was noticed they weren’t lowering prices, are claiming it was a lie that they were ever going to.
Not even a comment that it’s odd they waited a fortnight before denying it?

Raising prices didn’t work, so they cut the page count. That’s fine and all, but the fact remains that the comics will be shorter.

That’s probably the only way they could talk the suits into lowering prices – by making cuts elsewhere.
Accountants like to see the departments that do stuff make even token efforts on their behalf.

And as Kirkman has said, he did it so that it was an issue less a year that his artist had to draw, so they could stick to a schedule and still have lives.

Personally, do I think it’s odd that the amount is two pages? Yes.
But do I care? No.
The vast bulk of writers – even top one’s – pad their comics these days.

Go through most issues you’ve got that are 22 pages, even of your favourite series, and I bet most of them wouldn’t suffer with two pages cut – some would even benefit.

Don’t get me wrong, if all the comics start feeling shorter or sucking, I’ll be screaming, or typing furiously, for their heads.
On the other hand, Goodwin and Simonson’s Manhunter and early Grimjack stories take twice as long to read as some 22 page comics, and they were only 8 pages a chapter.

I just think it’s stupid to blame a simple price increase.

Prices went up, by a third of what they were, and in the next couple of months, single issue sales went right down.

Retailers were asking both company to drop the prices back.

Brian Hibbs wrote columns about it on CBR.
Then he wrote a column saying how happy he was that they were dropping – his complaint being that it wasn’t getting done sooner.

To be so dismissive on the effect of the price rise is quite odd – it clearly had an effect.

. If DC wanted to stick it to Marvel, they would raise the price to $3.25 or $3.50, keep the same number of pages, and trumpet that fact.

These price rises went in to effect because Marvel wanted to ‘maximize profit’ – reading not too far into it, they wanted to boost their worth for the Disney sale.
Look back over that year, and they did a lot of stunts – including endless anniversary specials and flooding the market, to get their quarterly profits up.

Ergo, there was no need for the price increase.

Sales went down when comics cracked the $3.00 wall.

Why would DC take the chance on not lowering their prices back to what they were?
Why would you be happier if it was $3.50?

To congratulate themselves on lowering the price without mentioning the reduction in page numbers is annoying, at the very least.

It’s a marketing press release.
You don’t mention the downsides when selling something.

I don’t have any pet reasons for why DC doesn’t sell – I don’t have any reasons why comics in general don’t sell.

You just think it’s bullshit that DC lost readers due to a price rise?

Kelly’s point, and anyone else’s point who gives comics to people who don’t regularly read them, is that there’s a huge potential audience that DC and Marvel completely ignore.

All American publishers only seem to ignore the bulk of the ‘potential audience’ if that’s the case – those two sell the most, and it’s a pitiful amount in a country with 300million, even more so when you consider they are one of the main sources of comics for the non-European western world (yay the commonwealth!), it’s even worse.
But no one else is doing that much of a better job – Fantagraphics and D&Q have the odd crossover hit, but so does DC with it’s Vertigo books and video game adaptations – which you are also down on.
(Quality wise I don’t disagree with you on the latter one, but they do sell).

DC and Marvel care only about a shrinking market of aging readers, and if putting a finger in the dike and dropping the price and cutting page counts is the way to cling to those readers, have fun with that.

They raised prices, then lost sales, so they lowered prices back, then issued a press release.

Two pages are gone – annoying, but if it cuts overhead, and helps keep schedules on track, on books I like to read, I really don’t see the harm.
Bringing in the flaws of the market that every company mentioned on this list is doing very little about is all well and good, but that makes it even odder to single DC out.

And go on, check out Superman/Batman #77 – it’ll still be on the shelf.
You’ll dig it.

Also, I forgot my own bias, and also that although I live in the future, comics come out a day later – I see reviews and critical/fan reaction before they come out.
Which is why it’s easy for me to forget that GAY FOR JUSTICE happened.
I only thought DC had left it’s Identity Crisis days behind – clearly they didn’t.
I do believe though, that with Johns in an editorial over sight role, and Bob Harras as EIC – a polite way of saying with Didio moved further away from book content – that there will be less gratuitous violence in the books.

Maybe so, but with Harras in charge of content now, I’m sure it’ll just get worse in a different way. According to interviews with many of the people who wrote under his editorial oversight, his golden rule was “Never give readers any answers EVER. Just more questions.” He felt if readers ever got answers they’d lose interest, so his priority was to make all stories as labyrinthine and confusing as possible to create a neverending mystery, answering questions with more questions while no one ever knew the endgame, even the creators. I’ve read some 90s X-books in trade recently and man were they bad. Given how confusing and impenetrable DC books currently are, he’s really the worst guy to put in charge.

As always, it’s a total crock that DC are much more disgusting in their stories than Marvel is.

Marvel can be as disgustingly violent as DC, as evidenced by Sentry ripping people apart, but not with the frequency and sheer tastelessness regularly seen in a DC book. I can’t think of a mainstream, high profile character or team at Marvel subjected to the repeated abuse DC has done to Teen Titans for example. Starting with Infinity Crisis, past and current members seem to exist just to get mauled. The level of cannon fodder of old, unpopular characters is also much worse at DC. I can remember cannon fodder in series like Civil War and Ellis’s Thunderbolts, but nowhere near the frequency I’ve seen at DC. Cyborg’s team getting massacred in Winick’s Titans relaunch, all the people slaughtered in Infinite Crisis and Countdown to Final Crisis (where whole planets got slaughtered), all the people slaughtered by Superboy Prime over the years, Cry for Justice, the last Spectre series by Dave Lapham, the abuse of Stephanie Brown the first time she died, the body count of the Joker, all the security staff or bystanders always shown getting slaughtered whenever Geoff Johns has a villain appear for a 2-3 page sequence (for example, in the Geoff Johns books I’ve read, whenever a villain is escaping prison, said villain ALWAYS slaughters the security staff. Never a bloodless escape and rarely a solitary person). I saw a recent 5-page preview of a Green Lantern issue, where Sinestro and Atrocitus pop up on a crime scene. As I read the preview, I thought to myself, I bet Johns shows the bad guys slaughter some people needlessly before the scene ends, just to remind us, you know, that these guys are badass. Like clockwork, Atrocitus incinerates a busload of people alive:
http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album_view.php?gid=2586&page=4

Maybe i just have bad luck and happen to keep coming across DC comics like this, but almost every time I try one it has needlessly disgusting scenes like that that don’t really serve the story.

It’s gotten so bad that when fans were angry at Dan Didio at a recent convention for replacing Wally West with Barry Allen, Didio’s serious response was, “Hey, be grateful! At least we didn’t kill him.” Think about how bad it gets and what a knee-jerk reaction violence is for your stories when you expect people to be pleasantly surprised and grateful that you didn’t kill a character.

DC comics are much more disgusting in story content than Marvel.

I read DC books way more than Marvel – despite the pre-conceptions, DC’s are much easier to follow

See, that’s the trick, you said it yourself…you find DC comics much easier to follow precisely BECAUSE you read way more of them than Marvel.

FGJ: Actually, you have a point about Marvel. I haven’t been paying as much attention to what they’re doing with their prices, so I missed ranting about them. But they’re just as silly as DC is.

Mary Perkins on stage vol 8 from Classic Comics Press. One of the best books in the previews.

Funky & Travis:

I said ‘in part’, meaning page count and price was a factor, but not the sole factor, of why Kirkman’s (or anyone’s) books are being dropped. And okay, So Cerebus was 20-22 pages – again nobody was making a big to do about adding / cutting back pages for price points, either.

“What’s the big deal then?” The big deal is Marvel and DC are whining about it. “See, we upped the price but gave you more story pages, but you didn’t like that, so now we’ll cut the prices down but cut the story pages…” If they’d just kept their mouths shut, most people wouldn’t have noticed.

As far as the whoile Keene/ Reed/Kirkman thing, Keene precluded 28 DAYS later by four months with his first award winning short fic featuring zombies, and his first novel THE RISING (which won a Bram Stoker Award), was accepted by his publisher in January 2002 (2 months before 28 DAYS LATER was released) and released in April 2003, six months prior to the release of TWD in October 2003.

So yeah, Keene was all there in the thick of it, and technically first all the way around, and I’d still give Reed more credit, seeing as he was the force that kept the genre alive for most of the 90s.

Now, why is TWD a TV series while THE RISING and DEADWORLD have been shambling along like the undead in development hell in the film end of the industry dating back to 2004? Well, did it ever occur to you that maybe the producers of TWD saw that these two projects were hitting roadblocks, and thought it might be a wiser choice to aim for television? There’s a lot more television networks out there than there are film distributors, after all. Hollywood’s a fickle business, and people look at different media represntation in extremely different viewpoints.

I was, admittedly, attempting to bust your chops. I’m trying to learn from the cool kids like apodaca and T how to be witty and sarcastic. :)

From what I’ve seen, I haven’t seen Marvel or DC “whining” about dropping page counts. I’m not even sure Marvel is cutting page counts, as it seems Marvel doesn’t know what they’re doing. It seems to me that, in DC’s case in particular, they’re prudently being rather quiet but up front about it. The first stories I saw had almost the same wording as the letter Greg quotes from above, and the next press release I saw, it matter of factly stated what books would be 2.99 for 20 pages. As I said before, companies do this all the time by decreasing the product they provide while keeping the price the same.

On your point with Kirkman’s books and their page counts, I would think that page counts would have to be the main factor in dropping the book. “I like this book but they are giving me less of it, so I’m dropping it.” Silly reasoning, but it makes some sense. Otherwise it’s like the old joke “this food is terrible, I can’t stand it, and the portions are too small”.

And apparently there weren’t any zombie stories, movies, comics, etc before Walking Dead other than Keene and Deadworld. (that’s the sarcastic me again)

As I said, I read and liked Deadworld, and according to the Image/Desperado series, towards the end of the 90s and volume 2 of Deadworld, they were working towards producing a Deadworld movie. (I’m not sure when Gary Reed got involved with the book, as it started out from Arrow comics (iirc), and Vince Locke was involved from the start.)

It is odd that Vince Locke has been involved with a successful movie (A History of Violence, don’tcha know), and can’t get Deadworld anywhere. I suppose DC was involved, in part, with the movie deal for AHoV, and Deadworld is coming from small press comics.

So yeah, price changes/page counts and the whining involved seems to come more from the fans, and Louis prefers the zombie stories of Brian “that guy I’ve never heard of” Keene and Deadworld to the Walking Dead. But TWD actually sells more.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives