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CSBG Archive

Flippin’ through Previews – December 2012

Boy, Previews #291 has some lousy covers. Look below the cut to see one of them!

Seriously, Previews? This is your main cover this month?

Dark Horse:

I forgot to mention this last month, but Dark Horse does it again on the page soliciting Star Wars #2 (page 36). “Brian Wood! Alex Ross!” shouts the text above the cover image. Poor Carlos D’Anda, who’s actually, you know, drawing the book. He’s just a chump! (13 February)

Amala’s Blade #0 on page 40 is a reprint from Dark Horse Presents, but if you haven’t read it, it’s a neat little story with good art. It’s nice that it’s going to be an ongoing. (27 February)

The surprised monkey is the best

John Layman and Sam Kieth’s Aliens: Inhuman Condition gets a hardcover on page 41 for 11 bucks. This was also serialized in Dark Horse Presents, and it was … okay. The story wasn’t great, and Kieth’s art fluctuated from really good to sloppy, but it might read better in one sitting rather than in serial format. It’s not a bad deal, however. (10 April)

There’s a hardcover of Matt Kindt’s Mind Mgmt on page 46. This is a pretty keen series, and it’s a pretty good value – 20 bucks for 200 pages. You ought to be getting Matt Kindt comics anyway, so why not get this one? (3 April)

DC:

So DC is launching the stupidly-titled Justice League of America’s Vibe on page 87 (and Scipio, not surprisingly, rejoiced), and they have some fun with it in the solicitations, stating that it’s not a typo and that the most unlikely JLA member is getting his own book. But here’s the thing: Why is Vibe the most unlikely member of the Justice League? He has decent powers, after all. Sure, he was created as an ethnic stereotype, but if we look at from a standpoint of powers, he’s a more likely member than a guy who shoots arrows, right? I’m not a huge fan of Vibe, but the dude is superpowered. (20 February)

Poor Vibe, getting disrespected like that!

Batman #17 (page 98): “Batman and The Joker face off one last time!” Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Yeah, okay, DC. (13 February)

On pages 112 and 113, we get the seventeenth issues of Animal Man and Swamp Thing. These are the final two issues of “Rotworld.” Sweet fancy Moses, how long has this danged story arc been going on? If there’s one thing really, really bad about the DCnU (and I know there are many things wrong with it), it’s this idea of having giant, sprawling crossovers that never. freakin’. END. Jeebus, DC. (6 February)

I know Legends of the Dark Knight are digital first, but I don’t roll that way, so I’m looking forward to issue #5 (page 127), which stars Slam Bradley! Whoo-hoo, Slam Bradley! (6 February)

DC finally gets around to releasing a softcover trade of Batman on page 128. That means that 18 issues of the ongoing series will be out before issues #1-7 get collected in a reasonably-priced collection. Well done, DC. Sheesh. (20 March)

I will probably skip The Jack Kirby Omnibus volume 2 on page 131 for now, but that’s an odd grab-bag of comics, ain’t it? Black Magic, Kung Fu Fighter, Super Powers … yeah. I’m a bit confused by the fact that Kirby doesn’t do all the art. Did they just want to collect an entire group, and if Kirby didn’t do all the art, they added the issues in between the ones he did? I imagine that’s it. (17 April)

Whenever DC offers Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, the collected edition (page 131), I think about getting it. I already own both stories collected within, though, so it’s a tough sell. These are pretty cool stories, though, with early Mignola and very nice Eduardo Barretto artwork. (6 March)

It’s 50 bucks, but I really ought to get Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition on page 132. Marshal Law is one of those comics that I’ve always heard good things about (most recently from Chad Nevett, who really digs it), but I’ve never gotten, mainly because I don’t know where to look – single issues are hard to find, and I don’t know if they’ve been collected or if those trades are still in print. This is a good place to start, I reckon! (17 April)

He is the law! - wait, is that the right tag line?

There’s the final issue of Hellblazer on page 143. Too bad. I wish more people bought this comic, especially because Milligan’s run has been really, really good. (20 February)

Is this the first time Joe the Barbarian has been offered in softcover (page 144)? Odd. This isn’t Morrison’s best work, but it’s not bad, and Sean Murphy’s art is tremendous. All for 20 bucks! (6 March)

IDW:

There’s a new Ghostbusters series on page 155, with four new characters. I don’t know if it will be any good, but it’s always fun to shake things up a little!

The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom gets a hardcover on page 159. This is a pretty good series with really nice art by Chris Samnee. On the same page, we get The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror by Roger Langridge and J. Bone. I really dig that IDW is getting really good talent on these Rocketeer comics!

Look out, Mr. Rocketeer person!

The first five issues of John Layman and John McCrea’s Mars Attacks gets a trade on page 167. This is wildly fun, ridiculously violent comic, and both creators have a lot of fun with it.

Kill Shakespeare is back on page 173 with a five-issue sequel. Considering how good the first series was, I’ll be all over this one!

Image:

Andy Diggle and Jock team up again for Snapshot, about a hipster (he works at a San Francisco comic book store, for crying out loud) who finds a cell phone full of photographs of murder victims. So, yeah, someone is going to want that back. It sounds and looks pretty keen. (6 February)

I don’t have much interest in Ravine by Stjepan Sejic, but it’s pretty cool that he’s doing a nice graphic novel and Top Cow is selling it for 10 bucks. That’s good value, and Sejic, while doing that whole “fully painted” thing that I don’t love, is a lot better at it than most. (13 February)

Dude likes chicks with wings wearing armor - whattayagonnado?

The solicitation for Uncanny Skullkickers #1 (page 198) is pretty funny: “A bold new direction! A perfect jumping-on point! A newly added adjective! Our nineteenth issue, but also a new issue #1! It’s all here, people! Don’t make us use more exclamation marks!!” A postscript adds: “Retailers: Rack the comic beside other ‘Uncanny’ comics you may have hanging around and sell a ton of comics. Do it.” I enjoy that. It actually takes on some added poignancy when you consider that writer Jim Zub recently broke down how hard it is to make a living doing creator-owned comics. Or, you know, buy a meal. (27 February)

Glory #33 (page 209) says that it’s the “penultimate” issue of the Keatinge/Campbell run. That’s kind of sad. It’s been a very good comic, and I don’t know if the book is continuing with a new creative team or if it’s getting cancelled. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. (27 February)

Marvel:

I don’t know if you noticed, but Steve Wacker thought my comments about Marvel’s solicitations last month were pretty funny, especially the ones I made about Hawkeye‘s, which weren’t flattering. He shared it with the dude who actually wrote the text, and they had a good laugh about it. I really don’t have anything against Wacker, even if it seems I do. I just think Marvel’s “frat-boy” solicitations aren’t all that clever, although I do appreciate them having fun with it. I still don’t know why Wacker spends so much time trolling the Internet when he has a real job, but that’s neither here nor there. Will I have anything derisive to say about Marvel’s solicits this time around? Stay tuned!!!!

I mentioned last week that I wasn’t sure that Will Sliney was ready to work for Marvel, but the three pages of Fearless Defenders (page 12-14) that we see are pretty good. Maybe I was wrong. I’m certainly willing to admit it, so I guess I’ll see when the book actually ships!

See, I enjoy the solicitation for Young Avengers #2 (page 31): “[M]uch more from Marvel’s most critically acclaimed book. Yes, we’re saying it’s critically acclaimed and it’s not even out yet.” I like that because it’s self-deprecating, and I enjoy self-deprecating humor.

X-Men Legacy #6 has a cool cover (page 50):

I didn't know he had the Highlander in there with him

That is all.

Man, there’s just not a lot in the Marvel trade paperback section that’s leaping out at me. I’m going to get some of them, but nothing makes me want to go nuts about it. Odd. Let’s move on!

One of Kelly Thompson’s favorite recent comics, Princeless, gets a new volume on page 226 from Action Lab Entertainment. I didn’t love the first volume as much as she did (I’m certainly not the target audience), but it was okay. I’m sure my daughter will like it in a few years. But there’s a new series, so if you’re interested, check it out!

Cavewoman: Oasis #1 from Amryl Entertainment (page 230):

What. the. fuck.

No. Just no.

Archaia has a fancy new section beginning on page 235, which is fine. There’s a letter from the president, too, which is also fine. But I hope this means that they’ll actually release some of these comics. A few of the ones he mentions in his letter have not yet come out, despite being solicited a long time ago, and Archaia has always had issues with shipping problems. It’s a shame, because they often have really good comics, but when they don’t actually show up, it’s frustrating. Come on, Archaia – get your books out in a timely manner!

Bongo Comics offers Mylo Xyloto #1 on page 258, which is the comics adaptation of the Coldplay album. Yes, it really is. I gave up on Coldplay after X&Y, not because I didn’t like the album, but because it seemed like Coldplay was destined to be a band that never really changed, so if I wanted to hear their music, I could listen to the three albums I already owned (this is the same reason I gave up on Lenny Kravitz after Circus). But if you bought Mylo Xyloto the album and are interested in seeing a comics adaptation of it, here’s your chance!

This the variant, because of course there are variants

Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos have a new series (well, two issues) called Fairy Quest from Boom! on page 265. It sounds like a total rip-off of Fables, but that’s okay. I don’t like Ramos’ artwork, but I am glad that Jenkins is getting to do this, because it seems he’s been Marvel’s whipping boy for so long – “Hey, we have a shitty idea we need turned into a four-issue series – where’s Jenkins?” – that it’s nice he’s getting to write something that’s his.

On page 280, we get Red Team #1, the new series by Garth Ennis from Dynamite. It’s about a group of cops who decide to start killing bad guys. Oh dear. I will give pretty much anything Ennis writes a chance, so I’ll be checking this out. I hope it’s more like The Shadow than Jennifer Blood.

Matt Wagner really enjoys origin stories, it seems, so on page 282 we get The Shadow: Year One. I might have to check this out.

Omnibus Press has an interesting project on page 313: Gabba Gabba Hey: The Ramones Graphic Novel. I’ve never been all that interested in the Ramones, but this might be kind of neat.

Yes, I don't like the Ramones. So sue me!

There’s a spin-off of The Sixth Gun on page 315 from Oni. It’s a mini-series about the various cronies of General Hume, and it’s drawn by Brian Churilla, so it will look good. I didn’t think there would be a clamor for a spin-off, but what the heck, right? I’m looking forward to it!

Speaking of Brian Churilla, The Secret History of D.B. Cooper gets a hardcover volume on page 317, and while it’s certainly worth a look, 30 bucks is a bit much. But if you’re in the mood, go for it. It’s a very interesting project that died too soon!

SelfMadeHero has a couple of interesting books on page 323. First up is Black Paths, which is about an odd episode in history following World War I, when an Italian idealist took over a city in the disintegrated Austrian-Hungarian empire and tried to turn it into a utopia. Yeah, it didn’t go well. Meanwhile, they also have Hairshirt by Pat McEown, who might be best known (maybe?) for drawing Grendel back in the day. It’s a story about two ex-lovers who meet again but find they might not be able to rekindle what they had. I guess it’s been out for a while, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still pick it up!

You can pick up Alien: The Illustrated Story, “artist’s edition” for $75 on page 328 from Titan Books. When I reviewed the “regular” edition, a few people mentioned in the comments how amazing the artist’s edition looked, but that’s pretty steep. I just you should know about it, though!

Top Shelf has a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book called Nemo: Heart of Ice. I’m glad that Moore and O’Neill keep doing these, even if none have been quite as good as the first series. But I’ll certainly pick that sucker up!

I'm sure this will sell better than Before Watchmen, right?

Valiant continues to solicit trade paperbacks, and I continue to be interested in them. This time around is Bloodshot volume 1 (page 337), which despite the terrible, terrible, so-very-1990s name, sounds pretty keen. On the same page, they have a trade of Ninjak, which I’m really tempted to get because it has Joey Q. art from 1994. Does anyone own the original issues? Is this as Nineties as it sounds? If so, I must have it!!!!

On page 346, Viz offers the first six volumes of Saturn Apartments in anticipation of the final volume coming in May. I really ought to read Saturn Apartments, oughtn’t I? My manga reading has slipped recently as series have ended and I haven’t picked anything else up.

Nothing is really grabbing me in the “Books” section of Previews, so let’s call it a day. As always, I encourage you to dig deeper into the catalog to find things beyond the Big Two. There are a lot of good comics out there, after all!

80 Comments

I think they mean Vibe is the least likely Justice League member to get his own series.

Legion apparently also has Charlie Sheen and Boromir in his head.

Where are these comments from Wacker? I guess I missed this one!

Michael: Yeah, and Darth Vader. I’m sure the others are from pop culture, too, but the Highlander one jumped out at me.

Leonard: Wacker made some comments on Twitter, but that was a month ago, so I didn’t feel like finding them. They weren’t exactly mean, just along the lines of “Oh, that guy doesn’t like the Hawkeye solicits and thinks we’re smug! Ha ha!” I’m not on Twitter, so I didn’t respond. I doubt if I would have anyway – if he wants to make fun of me, he’s more than welcome.

Thanks,
I just seems like an odd thing to do. You think he would be a much busier person.

” But if you bought Mylo Xyloto the album and are interested in seeing a comics adaptation of it, here’s your chance. ”

I liked the album, but I have absolutely no idea how they’ll translate it into a non-auditory medium with anything more than a flimsy connection to the audio. I suppose you could do it about a girl who dreams of paradise, but other than branding, what’s the point of connecting that to the Coldplay songs? And even if it’s for the purposes of branding, how many Coldplay fans are going to go out and buy Coldplay-stamped comics, and how many comic book readers who don’t care about Coldplay are going to have any interest in this? Is there a significant overlap between Coldplay fans and readers of mainstream Western comic books?

Wow…so not only did they create Vibe as a total stereotype. Then animate him in that style for their DC Nation short. Now they give a book with him looking like “Talon meets Golden Eagle in a power pose from the Cosmic Boy mini series” … Newer fans might not get the last 2 references but I know Travis, Neil, Loren, Greg and other long timers will…

As far as Marvel goes, I know Avergers Assemble is collected this month with Bendis undoing a bunch of the cosmic work of DnA… Has anyone explained how Star-Lord and Thanos came back after the end of Thanos Imperative? Did Bendis even try? I know Loeb has “promised” to explain the Nova part in his “Sam Alexander” book… but I am still too mad to even pay attention to that one….

Princeless is definitely going on my sister’s reading list….

I had those Ninjaks back when they first came out and the art was awesome. I completely forget what the story was, but a British ninja is a decent idea.

Hey, Greg, a quick note on Ravine, which had some errors in the solicit info. I’m actually co-writing with Sejic, the page count is 160, and the price is $14.99.

And, if I do say so, it’s the most amazing artwork Sejic has ever produced. There’s already fan site here:

http://wolverinebs.wix.com/ravine

Thanks for the mention.

” … how many Coldplay fans are going to go out and buy Coldplay-stamped comics, and how many comic book readers who don’t care about Coldplay are going to have any interest in this?”

I wouldn’t call myself a Coldplay fan by any stretch, though I do like a couple of their songs. What I like a lot, though, is that cover. So for me at least, the Coldplay connection doesn’t matter a whole lot.

Tom Fitzpatrick

December 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Still NO Quantum & Woody from Valiant? What’s the hell’s the matter with these people?!?

Haven’t seen any new The Secret History lately. I forget what issue # was the last one. That’s how long ago it’s been.

Nothing seems to jump out at me either, save for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo. (Please people, no finding nemo jokes!) Is it a one-shot or what?

Is that new Bloodshot v. 1 9.99 like I heard the nuValiant trades were all going to be? Cuz I only got issue 1, but it was pretty neat. Missed the rest, but I’ll probably go for the trade.

I think my sister liked Ninjak back in the day, and she also liked that era Wolverine, so make of that what you will.

I totally get what Daryll is saying about Vibe. That’s awesome!

Marshal Law kicks ass. Would you do me the favor of telling me what the solicit says the book contains? I’ll tell you if it’s worth whatever the price is.

Don’t like the Ramones. How ’bout you’re dead to me, huh?! (But that book looks…bad. There’s a Ramones collection from a while back that had 2-3 discs and a GN in it with a lot of Fantagraphics type artists that I wish I owned. That looks neater than this.)

Pat McEown was the artist on one of the stories in the original run of Dark Horse Presents, in one of their 100 issues (there were 5. Plus the 100-0 issue from Hero Illustrated.). Bird Dog is a great little story of pining over a lost love, with lots of attractive ladies drawn in it. Story’s by some Ed Brubaker guy that I hope went on to do more stuff ;) I would not have guessed that artist did Grendel. I must seek that out.

I hope Legion from XMen Legacy meets up with Peter Stanchek from Harbinger. That would be awesome, but the letterer would go insane.

Glory’s penultimate issue? Fuck, that’s horrible news. I love that comic. Love love love it. Even if it gets a new team, i’m supremely bummed. Keatinge/Campbell have been awesome.

” I wouldn’t call myself a Coldplay fan by any stretch, though I do like a couple of their songs. What I like a lot, though, is that cover. So for me at least, the Coldplay connection doesn’t matter a whole lot. ”

Coincidentally, Fallout Boy tried their own self-promotion vehicle comic book with a robot girl protagonist;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_Out_Toy_Works

re: Tom Fitz – I think Valiant is waiting to see how the digital numbers on Quantum & Woody pan out before reprinting them.

I thought Vibe’s breakdancing ability was a more prominent characteristic than his ethnicity.

I am SO with you on the decompression of both Animal Man and Swamp Thing. A year and a half for one storyline!!! WTF???? Its never f*#king ending!! I here I thought Snyder’s year long Batman storyline was bad!! Lemire is a great writer, so it reads well. But lets mover on already! Lets hope JLD doesn’t have the same problem (but I don’t have high hopes!)

Man, Ravine looks terrific.

Dear guy who writes this column,
If me responding to silly stuff on the internet is “trolling’…aren’t you just “trolling” Previews? I was more laughing at your inability to take a joke.

And the idea that the comments are “frat boy”ish is ridiculous just on the face of it. My apologies for not taking Previews copy or recaps seriously enough for you. I find it all a little overwrought, to be honest.

SW

Ron: Thanks for the note about Ravine. I hope it does well, even though it doesn’t really seem like my thing.

Tom: It appears that the Nemo book is just a one-shot. It’s 48 pages, but the solicit doesn’t say anything about it being the first of X parts.

Travis: Sorry, the Bloodshot trade is $14.99. I guess they figure they’ve already hooked people with other 10-dollar trades, so it’s time to raise the prices!

The Marshal Law book contains: Marshal Law #1-6, Fear and Loathing, Marshal Law Takes Manhattan, Kingdom of the Blind, The Hateful Dead, Super Babylon, and Secret Tribunal. 480 pages in full color!

Yeah, Pat McEown did the “War Child” part of Grendel after it moved to Dark Horse. A bit of an odd story, but the art is really good.

Stephen: Well, sure, if you want to call this trolling. You just seem to turn up in strange places, which is what I meant. I’m not sure what you mean by an inability to take a joke. I didn’t think the Hawkeye solicit was funny, and I thought it was a bit smug. I did think the Young Avengers solicit was funny, and I said so. I certainly don’t mind that Marvel doesn’t take the solicits all that seriously (although I don’t like the bullet point format, but that’s just a personal preference), because you’re right, they shouldn’t be, but I do wish there would be a bit more information in them than self-congratulations. For instance, since we’re talking about Hawkeye, the solicit this month says “Valentine’s Day with THE heartthrob of the Marvel Universe? This will be … confusing. Xoxo, Hawkeye.” I have no idea what the issue is about, and I wish I did. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks so, and most people will never read Marvel solicitations and will just walk into their stores in February and buy it because it’s a Marvel book and it has a cool cover. Beats me. I’m just writing what I feel.

And I wish you’d look at the top of the column and see that my name is Greg. I use my real name because I stand behind everything I write and don’t have anything to hide. Please, call me Greg. We’re all friends here!

YES! Absolutely get that MARSHAL LAW book! Most definitely worth the $50.
One of the greatest comics ever made!

I don’t know about the 90s stuff, but the new Valiant stuff has been fantastic.

also, X&Y sucked because it changed Coldplay’s sound. It turned them boring milquetoast rock. This genereration’s U2

I like the X-Men Legacy cover. Just noticed Wu-Tang (Protect Ya Neck)

Damn, I’m only missing about 2 issues out of that Marshal Law thing, Super Babylon and Secret Tribunal. Dammit! Does it say if there are any neat extras (sketchbooks, that sorta thing?). That’ll decide it for me.

And I believe it is Fear and Loathing:Marshal Law Takes Manhattan. Don’t forget your colon!

Greg, just because someone’s name is on a column, or a comic, doesn’t mean they had anything to do with said column, or comic. *ahem*

But I looked back on last month’s Flippin’ to see exactly how that Hawkeye solicit was phrased.

“Cherry’s got a gun. And she looks good in it. Hawkeye gets distracted. Just like you are right now.”

The first 2 sentences make no sense together. As our pal Buttler said, is she a human cannonball?

And to deny the “frat boy” quality of that text combined with that image is ridiculous. “Duh, purty girl, me buy comic with sexy chick on it!”

Add that to the frat boy quality of the title in question (I’m guessing that’s the same woman that Hawkeye fucked in issue 3, where “the girl” likes him…because of his car? How is that not a frat boy fantasy? “My dad OWNS a dealership!”), with the annoying “bro” guys, the hot young protege that you KNOW Hawkeye’s going to end up fucking, and the brain dead quality of the protagonist (seriously, how is Hawkeye still alive when he’s so fucking stupid?).

The conclusion is that I’ve been wasting my money on Hawkeye, and if the next issue pisses me off anywhere near as much as the last one did, I’m done with the title. Fucking video tape.

God forbid solicitations tell you a little of what an issue’s about, or the recap page, y’know, recap something. Instead it’s “This is Clint. Jeremy Renner played him in the movie, so you’ll buy this book because you wish you were that cool. He has bows and arrows! And he’s great with boats!”

I’ll give Marvel this: Hawkeye is provoking a reaction in me.

The interesting thing about The Secret History of D.B. Cooper is that the comic is right now in a digital bundle (here: http://groupees.com/opb ) It’s pay what you want, $1 minimum and get #1-#4. #5 will be added when they reach 500 bundles sold, which shouldn’t be a problem as they are at 281 right now.
So they went from this generous offer to a $30 dollar hardcover? The ways of Oni Press marketing are strange.

(I’m with Travis on the Ramones issue – not liking them is a serious crime (not even Blitzkrieg Bop?!). I’m sending a lawyer strike team. Prepare to get served, Mr Burgas!)

Dear Stephen,

I agree with Greg about the Frat Boy humor. But I suppose you know your audience. Perhaps your audience is more adolescent (or even more juvenile) than I suspected. But that audience doesn’t include me, or the folks I know down at the comic shop.

I recognize “frat boy” as a term meant to be derisive and dismissive about something you don’t like (and a term that encapsulates what I guess must be unresolved college issues), but to call anything about Hawkeye “frat boy” is to appear ridiculous.

I’ve taken an irreverent tone in my solicits for years. My job (along with Matt and Hawkeye associate editor Sana Amanat) is to make a book stand out in a catalog filled with thousands upon thousands of options.

And in this case it seems to have worked. Sorry.

You’re free not to order the book based on whatever arbitrary, personal objections you make up from month to month, but you can’t then try and claim that “comics should be good”. That doesn’t really seem that’s really your concern…killing all sense of fun is.

SW

Travis,

A super hero comic shouldn’t get you this upset. You are free to drop Hawkeye with my blessing. I’d prefer it actually.

SW

Marshall Law is a wonderful “cult” book. It jumped from publisher to publisher in the 80s and 90s. I even have the magazine size issue from Toxic Press (I think that was the publisher) The first run was from Marvel’s Epic line so it is mildly amusing to see DC put it out. Since it came out before the internet, it was always a surprise, to me, when and where it would come out. It was The Boys before The Boys and a wonderful over the top parody at times.
It’s worth it just because you will probably never find all of these issues in the bins.
I’m getting because I could never find the second issue of Secret Tribunal, and I would love to reread the issues without pulling everything.

You’re free not to order the book based on whatever arbitrary, personal objections you make up from month to month, but you can’t then try and claim that “comics should be good”. That doesn’t really seem that’s really your concern…killing all sense of fun is.

Wow, I don’t really follow backroom stuff and don’t know who this wacker is, though I gather from context that he’s an editor of some kind, but that is the most condescending and outright dickish paragraph I’ve read in some time. It does go some way to explaining what the root of the problem may be–besides the answer he gives, that is, which is that if anyone ever has any objections to editorial content, it’s just arbitrary objections they make up to get themselves worked up rather than anything objectionable in the content itself. If you’re offended by anything in a Marvel comic or solicit, it’s just because you want to be offended, not because anything is offensive ever.

“Marvel Comics: Because Fuck You, That’s Why.” would be a pretty charming slogan, actually.

Some Stupid Japanese Name

December 2, 2012 at 10:20 am

I like this Marvel editor guy!
From the “I’m going to pretend that I’ve so little interest in the person I’m going out of my way to respond to* that I’m going to act like I don’t know his name” swagger to the “I don’t want you as a customer” declaration, I completely love him. It’s so Rock N Roll (a Completely Different thing than Frat Boy, I assure you) and not at all cliche!

Maybe the problem is that to…jeez, I just can’t seem to remember his name…The Editor, it’s just a super hero comic. To fans of the character though, it’s an incredibly disappointing portrayal of something they hold dear. It could certainly be argued that grown men should be above such things, but I think I’ve read it somewhere that it is these same grown men providing the meager life support that is keeping the industry alive, diminished as it is. But, you know, it’s totally Rock N Roll to abhor those that support you.

*I am basing this solely on my personal experience of not really seeing the name Steve Wacker around these parts before now. I apologize if I am incorrect and just never noticed his name previously in the comments section of the various Comics Should Be Good posts.

Yours Truly,
Paul Sutton
xxx ooo

Hee…I rest my case.

Anyhoo, If you’re at the point where even solicits get you this upset, it might be time step away is all. That just seems healthy to me, but your mileage etc…

(and sorry about the name thing. I know more than one guy posts here and I’ve gone by the name in the header previously and been told I was wrong, so…I can’t tell for sure.)

SW

Some Stupid Japanese Name

December 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

Ah! The absolutely adorable internet tactic of “I’m not going to address any points of arguable debate that have been presented and just repeat what I’ve stated before because if I state something often enough there is a chance that it will become fact.”

Dear Mr Wacker, as you appear to be reading these comments I might as well have my say. Hawkeye is one of the few Marvel books that I currently enjoy; I congratulate you and all those involved in its production. It is a book I will be getting regardless of how you solicit it, but I feel you do a disservice to the book with the juvenile promotion. It is a quality book and I feel you could attract more readers by treating the book with respect and highlighting its quality, rather than your current attempts to appeal giggling morons. That’s just my two cents. I hope you continue to produce this book well into the future, and I hope it continues to be a high quality book.

Yours, Stephen

Oh brother….I’m not even sure what the debate is. That you and others are angry (or choose your emotion) about Hawkeye’s solicit copy?

I’m at peace with that. It’s okay. I wouldn’t let it get you this uptight, but that’s me.

Be good,
SW

Thanks, Stephen…

What “juvenile promotion” are you talking about? Matt’s solicit copy?

No offense, and I appreciate the kind words as it’s a good book by some creators working their butts off, but I tend to trust Matt’s instincts over random people on internets. This much drama over solicit copy doesn’t worry me, I’m more fascinated with this little debate in a train wreck sort of way given the venom that quickly appeared.

Greg and some others here are very concerned about apparently about people walking around the streets thinking they’re too hip or “smug” (or who used to be in fraternities apparently), but as I’m over 15 I tend to not to get to bent out of shape about that kind of thing. I’m not a huge fan of derisive labels in the first place.

We’re just trying to entertain you. It’s a comic, not a challenge.

And again, though, thanks for the kind words.
SW

Ugh, this conversation is what’s killing all sense of fun.

I agree wholeheartedly Darren.

Stephen: That’s cool – we’ll just have to agree to disagree. That’s why we’re all different, after all.

To be fair, if there’s one thing Greg hates, it’s fun. And humor. OK, two things.

I wonder why Stephen Wacker gets so angry about what people say on the internet.

Greg, I mean no offense by any of this and this is just one quiet man’s opinion but your columns have become a real bummer to me over the years.
This situation with Wacker being a highlight of my problems. Your columns poke and make fun of comics at a weekly basis. You shrug it off like it’s never a big deal and it’s not offensive for you to say such things cause it’s only your opinion. That’s fine. You can do whatever you’d like on your own columns obviously. Where it gets frustrating is when someone turns the tables on you they all of the sudden become a terrible beast monster. Sure, Wacker said some unflattering things to you but you say incredibly unflattering things to people week in week out. It seems like simple common knowledge but if you don’t want anything unflattering said about you don’t say anything unflattering about anyone else.
Comics are fun. I love them. I read hundreds and hundreds of them every week (I own a store). If comics are no longer fun for you, just don’t read them. I don’t know why you always have to focus on the negative (something which has been your main focus as the years have waned on).
Anyway, sorry if this is all just a waste of your time. I’ll sign out with just saying, negativity breeds negativity. And that’s just a bummer. I wish your columns were fun again.

Wow, I love when people take things way too seriously and post on comic book blog comment pages about how the writers on said blog are…taking things too seriously. Thanks for sucking the fun out of a tongue-in-cheek comment and conversation, d-bag.

Eric: Hey, I don’t take offense. Why would I?

I don’t agree with you, but that’s fine. I’m always amazed by people who think I’m too negative, because I don’t think I am. Again, if you think so, okay, but while I’m writing my posts, I don’t think I am. I never said Wacker was a horrible person for tweeting about me – in fact, I wrote if he wants to make fun of me, he’s welcome to. Believe me, people have said far more unflattering things about me than what Wacker tweeted, and that’s fine. I don’t know why you think I’m being “offensive” – if I am, then I am sorry, because I don’t like to offend people, but I don’t even think Wacker would say I’m being offensive (well, maybe he would). But I’ve never had a problem with people saying horrible things about me. I try to debate with them, and if they want that, I’m perfectly happy to do so.

I will continue to “make fun” of comics, however, because I write reviews. I don’t think it’s making fun of comics when comics are published with obvious spelling mistakes, or with bad dialogue, or with plots that make no sense. Comics creators and editors put the work out there, so they should be able to take it. Just like if someone picks on me for my opinions, I should be able to defend what I said and I shouldn’t get in a snit. I’m publishing something, and if people want to jump all over it, that’s fine. I just find it difficult to believe sometimes that some of the stuff actually gets published, because it doesn’t seem very professional. I’ll give you an example – last summer, I made a big deal out of the misspelling of “prophecy” in Fear Itself #1, and yes, I made fun of the writer, letterer, and editor of the book, because nobody caught it. Tom Brevoort came by here and tore me a new one, because I just didn’t understand what an editor’s job is. I said if the editor’s first job is not to actually edit, then I don’t care what their other jobs are. Then, in issue #7, they made the exact same mistake, and I laughed and laughed. So, yeah, sometimes they deserve to be mocked. Sorry.

Comics are incredibly fun for me to read. I love comics, and I love proselytizing about my favorite comics. I try not to read comics that I don’t like. But for the first DCnU issues or the Marvel NOW! comics, I’m able to read them for free, so I do. Not all of them are going to be good, and I’m not going to bullshit that just because a writer worked really hard on it or the editor had to work through a weekend or something like that. But just because I think All-New X-Men was ridiculous or everyone in the Fantastic Four acted like idiots doesn’t mean I hate comics.

I apologize if my columns aren’t fun for you anymore, and I’m not saying that to be snarky – I really mean it. The next time Chew or The Sixth Gun or Godland or Mars Attacks or Glory or Hellblazer or one of my other favorite comics comes out, I hope you read my review of it, because I’m sure I’ll be gushing about it!

Well said, Greg. Well said.

Appreciate the write back. There’s no denying you’re a good writer and I agree with the majority of what you said back to me, so all’s well and good in my world. I was mostly just writing in to put my two cents out there that Wacker is not this huge evil asshole that these comments seem to be labeling him as. He certainly came across badly at points, but too an extent people are missing what he’s actually saying because it’s kind of coated in rudeness.
Of course I would never expect you to stop calling mistakes and other things that you didn’t enjoy out in your columns. And I’m right there with ya when it comes to just how often comics have mistakes in the dialogue balloons (I’m always really curious as to who this comes down to).
The mocking part is where I’m just never going to be on the same page as you. It’s just useless. Absolutely useless and it makes those employing it come off rather nastily, which is why people always say you’re so negative if you’re curious. It pretty much comes down to that.
And I know you dig comics cause you dig a majority of the ones I do. It’s why I was drawn to your stuff in the first place. There’s just so much negativity recently it’s almost overshadowing the rest of the good stuff you have too say. It’s tough. You certainly haven’t lost me as a reader yet (nor should you really fret much if that day ever comes) but I’m just not as excited to see what you happened to grab this week at the shop, which is a bummer.

Eric: Yeah, I don’t think Wacker is an evil asshole, either. We just disagree!

Thanks for the clarification, and I do apologize for being snotty. I know, with me, that’s it’s a lot of frustration, and that comes out rather spitefully. I read some really great comics, even some from the Big Two, and I just wonder why they can’t all be that way. When I read comics by people whose work I’ve really loved in the past – and Fraction is one of those writers – that seem so wrong-headed, I get frustrated, and then I start mocking. Just so you know where it’s coming from. I certainly don’t do it just to be mean.

I really want to read all the Marvel NOW! books, though, even though they bring it out of me!!!! Thanks for the feedback, because I really do appreciate it.

Could Justice League of America’s Vibe be a top 20 series? It’s ((painfully) obviously) tied to the new Justice League series, which is sure to be a top seller. It’s got Johns as the co-writer for at least the first issue, and Johns was able to get Aquaman into the top 10. It’s co-written by a guy who’s involved in the Arrow tv show, which is a breakout hit by CW standards. It stars a character who had his own DC Nation shorts. And, hey, it’s drawn by Pete Woods, which is never a bad thing.

Rotworld is finally ending? I never thought I’d see the day. I actually made it a point to complain about the length of that plot thread in the online survey Neilsen posted in June. Obviously, my comment made no difference, but at least it’s on file somewhere.

From what I’ve read, Glory will be ending after the Keatinge/Campbell run wraps. I just ordered the first trade today, so I’m clearly part of the problem. Sorry, guys.

Mike del Mundo is kicking so much ass on those X-Men Legacy covers. Is it too much to ask for him to start doing variants for every series, like Skottie Young?

William O'Brien

December 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Stephen Wacker gets in one of these long comment thread arguments every few weeks or so, but it’s the *bloggers* who get overwrought and take things too seriously. Right.

Wacker isn’t evil, but damn it, if you don’t like his books, you can **** off. As soon as someone mentions droppinga book he does, he will tell you to leave and never come back.

I still don’t understand it, and I’ve asked him directly (via Bleeding Cool forums), he defended it as not responding seriously to non serious posts. But it doesn’t seem to work that way.

Blah, now I’ll get flamed too.

Ian: I’m never going to blame people for waiting for the trade (well, not seriously – I might joke about it!), and I wish companies could figure out a better way to see if trade sales will make the books more viable when combined with the single issues. That would be nice.

Del Mundo is a very good cover artist, isn’t he? I don’t get variants, but that’s not a bad idea.

Was Del Mundo responsible for the X-Men Legacy #1 cover? Because that was the first comic in ages that I bought solely because I liked the cover so much. Granted, I ended up liking the story inside, too. But the cover was fantastic.

Andrew Collins — I’ m the d-bag? You got me on that one. It’s a strange world you live in.

I wouldn’t say Greg is negative on comics at all. I’m reading Chew and Sixth Gun partially, and Atomic Robo entirely, due to his constant praise for them.

That said, he is an indie snob (sorry Greg)!

Nothing really jumping out at me that I have to get in the column this month. Well, the Sixth Gun mini, but that doesn’t count.

Hasn’t Snapshot been in the works for years? I seem to remember it being mentioned when Diggle was first coming on Daredevil. It probably would be something I’d try, but I don’t really like it when comics have comics stores etc. in them. I find it all a bit meta. That said, The Losers by the same team was fun. I totally forgot about it when voting for my top ten. I’m not sure if it would have made it, but I wish I had considered it.

@Eric Hawk — I’m sure Andrew will correct me if I’m wrong, but based on your comment and Andrew’s, I think Andrew was referring to someone else in this thread. It just happened that your comment was right above Andrew’s.

If Andrew was referring to you, I think he was being a bit harsh.

Anyway, I think Buttler (as is his wont) sums things up quite nicely. And all the things I was going to say I won’t bother.

Except this:

Wacker gave me his blessing to drop Hawkeye! Oh joy! I’m the happiest little boy in the world!

So from Greg’s response, I gather that the problem is mainly one of blog titling.

It shouldn’t be called “Comics Should Be Good”, it should really be “Marvel Comics Should (in most cases) Be Summarily Dismissed Because I Really Like a Bunch of Indie Comics Better. (Did I mention I’m into Indie Comics? INDIE COMICS!! Look At Me!!)”

Would someone here tell this guy he’s ‘hip already!? It’s consuming him and making him fear guys from “fraternities’! He sees them around every corner.

I stand by my original point that if even the solicit copy of comics are getting you peeved, it might be time to step away.

SW

PS: Sorry to have to ban you from Hawkeye, Travis, but is better for everyone this way. Have a good day!

Stephen: Wow. Just wow. Let’s review: I mentioned last month that I didn’t like the humor in the Hawkeye solicits because it sounded smug. You had fun with that on Twitter. Fine. I mentioned it here because I thought it was interesting that you had time to find references to Hawkeye and make fun of it. I was probably a little bit of a jerk, but I don’t think I was too bad – maybe you do. You respond, I respond, and then I say that I’m perfectly happy leaving it at that because maybe our senses of humor are just different. There’s nothing wrong with that – I think solicit information is for one thing, you disagree, and it’s your toy, so I guess you know better than I do. Now, suddenly, this is a referendum on the comics I buy and how I’m such a hipster because I don’t like everything Marvel publishes? Wow. I don’t know how you got there, but wow. And, in case you still aren’t sure, I have bought every issue of Hawkeye so far, so the solicit information didn’t piss me off to the point that I didn’t want to buy it, as you imply. I don’t love Hawkeye, but I’ve liked the first four issues, even though the latest one was the worst one. I don’t understand you at all.

But hey, that’s fine. Once again, I’m willing to agree to disagree. If you think I hate Marvel even though I bought every issue of Avengers Academy and thought it was a completely overlooked gem, thought the issue of Thunderbolts where the team watches a certain someone fight two giant sharks is one of the best of the year, constantly praise Peter David’s X-Factor, have actually gotten the first two issues of Deadpool because it’s so damned funny, love David Aja’s artwork on Hawkeye, think the new Journey into Mystery is amazing, enjoyed the first issue of X-Men Legacy very much, and am really looking forward to Young Avengers, well, be my guest. Your thinking is wrong, but go ahead.

Obviously, you’re reading my comments to other people about things that bother me and believe this has moved past me not liking the solicit for Hawkeye. That’s way beyond the purview of this post, though, which is to highlight cool stuff in Previews that people might miss because their store might not pre-order it. If you want, please contact me and we can do a nice interview about Marvel’s editing, as that is your area of expertise. We can even be jerks to each other, if you like, as long as we’re both honest! I will explain to you why I don’t love every single title that Marvel publishes, and you can explain to me why I’m wrong. It will be awesome!

Greg: Don’t take this as a dis, because I’m a fan of your writing (please do more of the Comics You Should Own stuff), but I think you’ve been doing a lot of “I don’t like this bit so everyone involved must be stupid” recently and to me it comes across as a bit whiny. Especially the “one typo means editors are not working” thing, which according my modest experience in magazine publishing is totally off base.

But I’m looking forward to the SW interview! Hopefully he bites.

entzauberung: Hmmm. I really don’t think I’ve been doing that kind of complaining a lot recently, but I will try to catch myself if I have been. I know I joke about it every once in a while, but I didn’t think it was more obnoxious recently. I apologize if it has been.

As for the editors – I forgive typos all the time, and occasionally I’ll even point out a typo and write that it’s no big deal. The biggest problem I have with editing at the Big Two is I honestly don’t know what they do – even Kelly’s interview last week with an actual Marvel editor didn’t tell me too much – and no one wants to tell. I do get bent out of shape when it’s a willful ignorance of how to spell something or not knowing which word to use, but that’s what I think of when I think of editing – going over a script more than once to see if there are any mistakes. Sure, you can miss something, but there seems to be more problems than can be explained by just missing something. But that’s just me. I’ll try not to poke fun at editors too much going forward.

I’m working on a new post of Comics You Should Own, but it’s about Sandman, and it’s taking me a long time. Man, that thing is massive! But it should be here soon.

“that’s what I think of when I think of editing – going over a script more than once to see if there are any mistakes”

From what I know of editing in major companies, they have a broader role than that. But hell, I’m no expert either.

“I’m working on a new post of Comics You Should Own, but it’s about Sandman, and it’s taking me a long time. Man, that thing is massive! But it should be here soon.”

Great! My favourite comic ever. My personal view is that everyone who thinks the personal trajectory of Morpheus is the interesting thing of that series is reading it wrong. Will be interesting to see what you have to say about it.

That last sentence was really not well edited :) but I think the message got through

Why is everyone so damn sensitive latey. The only stuff on the blog I feel has gotten has gotten extremely negative and cynical has been Chad Nevett’s but I don’t feel Greg’s has at all. Does it have some bite? Sure, but so do a lot of critics. It’s never quite snarky, antagonistic or below the belt. Cut him some slack

entzauberung: Oh, yeah, I know their role is broader than that, but as I noted above, that should be someone’s first role – making sure the printed work is as mistake-free as possible. I know they do a lot of other things, and there are associate editors and such, but that seems like it should be their primary function, or at least a very important one!

As for my post about Sandman … well, it’s going to be different, I’ll tell you that much. I’m not sure if people will like it, but it’s going to be different! :)

T.: I don’t think I’ve been too negative or cynical recently either, and I’m actually surprised that some people are saying I have been. I will watch it, but if I’m writing something and I don’t think I’m being negative, I don’t know how I’ll know! We shall see – there are more Marvel books coming this week, so who knows what I’ll think! :)

Ooo, looking forward to a Sandman Comics You Should Own Post. I haven’t read Sandman yet, but have decided I really should read it soon.

Only this morning I was looking at the trades on Amazon. They are about £125 from the main Amazon store in the UK though which is crazy. They are $125 in US so should be £80.

How well you sell it may swing whether I buy it and in which format Greg. The pressure is on!

Rolacka: GAAAA!!!! So much pressure!!!!!

HA!! Not another guy who can do everybody else’s job better! Where do they make you guys?A factory somewhere?

I just can’t imagine why an interview with Greg Burgas justifying my job doesn’t sound enticing! Seems like a great platform!

Marvel editors have given hundreds of these sort of process interviews, though, if you’re really interested. (I don’t carry links around with me, but I’ve done them for this very site if you really want to look for them.)

Greg, I am unsurprised you went for the cliche “Steve attacks negative reviews of his books” schtick as that’s pretty obviously untrue and not the issue in the least. i don’t think you hate Marvel Comics, I do think you are–like a lot of entitled fans– knee-jerkily dismissive, though.

The ORIGINAL issue was your lack of imagination when it comes to solicit copy and the posing-as-criticism “frat boy” comment.

I know that’s aimed squarely at what you imagine editorial is made up of, but it’s a projection on your part and is pretty blatantly misguided…and Sana is a woman, just so you know. She was the one I was laughing about you with on Twitter as she usually writes the solicits. (We’re laughing about it now to be honest.). I’ve asked her to get creative with the solicits and the recap copy and she’s done it masterfully, I think. it definitely fits the tone of the book.

Look it’s your blog and you can do what you want, but I do sort of cringe when i see people pretend to be positive forces when really they revel and bathe in easy negativity to impress the online “I’m so over it”- machine.

I get that it’s not “cool” on comic book internet to praise Marvel too much (and we certainly give plenty of ammo), but again, when you’re at the point when even solicits are making you sore, maybe just focus on the good stuff elsewhere.

I mean you’re into Indie comics, right? Am I right?

SW

Also, Sandman is my favorite comic ever.

Ever?

EV-ER!

SW

I agree with everything everyone says–except for Steve.

I also love frat boys. Yum.

Stephen: Again, wow. I never said I could do your job better. Never. I have no interest in doing your job. I have no idea where you got that idea. I gather from your defensive attitude that if we buy comics, we’re supposed to consume them completely uncritically and be happy that the creators deign to create them. If I spot a mistake, I’m going to mention it. To go back to the previous example, if no one knows how to spell “prophecy” and Brevoort yells at me for pointing it out and then everyone makes the same mistake, I’m going to mock. If it’s not your job to catch spelling mistakes, fine. But you guys are professionals. Shouldn’t you care if you let spelling mistakes go through, even if they’re typographical errors (and that wasn’t, as it was spelled incorrectly throughout the book)? I guess not, because if someone points it out, you guys come down on him and take him to task for not supporting comics unequivocally. I don’t turn off my brain when I read comics, and it’s kind of insulting that you think I should. “Read Hawkeye, everyone! Don’t worry about the lack of logic! IT’S AWESOME!!!!!!!”

I imagine you don’t have time to read my weekly reviews, and that’s cool. But to say I’m knee-jerkily dismissive is utter bullshit. I spend a lot of time thinking about things before I’m dismissive!!!! I try very hard to discuss why I don’t like a comic instead of simply ravaging it. Do I write snarkily sometimes? Of course I do. But when I ripped apart Fantastic Four #1, I didn’t just say “This sucks, man,” because that would be dismissive. I tried to write about why I thought the characters were acting like idiots based on their entire history. If you guys are going to pretend that everything matters, then readers are, too. I have tried for years to explain clearly why I don’t like something and why I like something. I have never said, “Well, this is from Marvel, so of course it sucks” or “Hey, Wacker edited this, so of course it sucks.” I never claim these Previews posts are criticism – how can I criticize a book based on the solicit text? All I said was that I thought you were doing yourself a disservice by writing them that way. Apparently other people agree with me. You don’t. THAT’S OKAY!!!!

I don’t have any idea why you think it’s not “cool” to praise Marvel. I don’t even know what that means. Once again, I don’t have any problem praising Marvel WHEN THE COMICS ARE GOOD. I actually like the talent on Marvel’s books more than on DC’s, but that’s neither here nor there. I tend to like independent comics a bit better, yes, because I don’t think Marvel or DC gives the creators enough freedom. I’m very sad that the Matt Fraction I love from Casanova (yes, I know it’s a Marvel book now, but it doesn’t count) isn’t the same one who writes for Marvel, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of his Marvel work. I’m bummed out that Marvel double-ships their books so that their great artists can’t last very long on a comic before they need a break. But through it all, I find Marvel comics that I love. If you didn’t read all the ones I listed above, well, that’s too bad. I have never dismissed an entire company’s output because it wasn’t “cool” or for any other reason. You’re thinking of David Brothers!

Your scornful attitude notwithstanding, my offer still stands. Let me know! :)

Sana: I do apologize for calling you a dude. I just glanced at Twitter last month and didn’t take long enough to check. So, sorry. I totally suck!

@Eric
What Travis said. I was referencing Wacker’s comments not yours. Unfortunate timing all around.

I had no idea that Marvel was “just trying to entertain” us with solicit text. I was under the mistaken impression that I read Previews to figure out what I wanted to buy. Marvel’s clearly doing just fine without me, because they don’t want to tell me anything about books I might be interested in. This is what I learned this week in Flippin’ Through Previews. Thanks for starting this incredible train wreck, Greg!

Craig, good advertising entertains and informs.

Here…just imagine another company doing the same thing. I’ll wait…

See, now you like it!

SW

You’ve got a real persecution complex going on here SW.

How is this: We like comics, we like Marvel, but we don’t have to like every single thing that they do, and if you are aggressive to every single comment that is slightly negative, you’ll only chase people away. Oh I know, we’re welcome to leave, you love to show how much you don’t care.

Stephen Wacker gets in one of these long comment thread arguments every few weeks or so, but it’s the *bloggers* who get overwrought and take things too seriously. Right.

“Every few weeks”? Wait, so he takes time off from these arguments? I just thought at any given time he was engaged in one of these flame wars.

A guy that works at one of the biggest comic companies in the world, whose name people in Argentina -like me- recognizes, writes as if he was a 12 years old snotty kid who owns more toys than you. I mean, I don’t know the writer of this column from nothing, and he sometimes takes himself too seriously too, but, c’mon, he’s writing a blog! about comics! who do you expect him to be, Jorge Luis Borges?

Internet. Millions of people inside a room, sitting around a table, talking at the same time.

A few points, in order that they appear in the column…

*I disagree that Green Arrow is less likely than Vibe to get his own series, because one of GA’s major character trait is that he’s a bit of a loner. So it makes perfect sense that he would have solo adventures. I confess that I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a single comic with Vibe in it, but if there’s no standing character trait for him that he does anything outside of the league, than I think that would qualify him as being unlikely to get his own series.

*It seems poetic that the final issue of Hellblazer gets solicited the week before Karen Berger announces her resignation from Vertigo. The first “Vertigo” comic was arguably Alanm Moore’s Swamp Thing run, and Berger started editing the book less than a year before Constantine’s first appearance. That was a little over 28 years ago. While DC maintains that Vertigo is not done, The line has now lost Berger, Hellblazer, Scalped, and Sweet Tooth in about a six month span. It’s pretty difficult to see how it will keep going, or if DC even would want it to at this point. And while I admit that I certainly don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors, it’s pretty difficult to not blame the Didio/Johns/Lee/Harras leadership of the New 52 for the demise of Vertigo (and Wildstorm). As recently as 7-8 years ago, DC had the most diverse publishing slate in the industry, with arguably the best books and the most elite talent. Now, They’re on the verge of being strictly super-heroes with barely a handful of elite creators. What the hell are they doing? Is there anyone out there who thinks the decision to move Constantine back to the main DCU wasn’t the catalyst for Berger’s resignation?

*That X-Men Legacy cover really is fantastic. Did anyone notice that the Doop speak caption says “yoso?” Anyone know what that means?

*Coldplay… Well, it’s unfortunate that you quit with X & Y, as their next album, Viva la Vida is their best. While it’s certainly Coldplay, the album is just as obviously the work of Brian Eno. If you’re a fan of Eno’s best stuff (Talking Heads: Remain in Light, David Bowie: Low, U2: Achtung Baby), then I’d highly recommend Viva la Vida. While it’s not quite as good as those career highlights, it’s unmistakably the work of the same guy. Coldplay has done this weird thing post-Parachutes where every other album has been good. A Rush of Blood to the Head was an arguable masterpiece, then X & Y was wretched, as though they spent an entire album just trying to rewrite “The Scientist.” Viva la Vida was fantastic, and sounded like a sonic reaction to the boringness and faux melancholia of X & Y. Then Mylo Xyloto just tried to recreate it’s style (without bringing Eno back to produce), and failed miserably. What’s interesting here is that Coldplay seem hyper-aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and are actively trying to respond to them with each album. But they often go about it in the wrong way. Hopefully the next album will be great again.

*Yikes, how do you not like the Ramones? I can understand the thought that they get boring and don’t have much diversity in their sound, but the early stuff is so exciting. Have you seen the scene in Royal Tenenbaums that uses the Ramones song “Judy is a Punk?” It’s one of my favorite musical film moments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtT0d4m0ErY

*I do own the first few issues of the original Ninjak series, and they are pretty nice. Quesada only did the art for the first 2 or 3 issues, but those issues do look fantastic. For as large as Quesada’s legacy looms over the industry in many ways, it’s sad that he really didn’t draw all that many comics. He was a damn good artist back in the mid-90s, with great cover designs, innovative page layouts, expressive characterization, and nice stylized action sequences. Those early Ninjaks aren’t amazing, but they’re certainly good comics.

*As for the whole debate in the comics section about Greg’s relationship with the Big Two… I guess I see both sides. I don’t find Greg too negative, and the Big Two usually deserve about 90% of the shots taken at them. But I also think they both still produce some great comics occasionally (Marvel certainly more than DC right now), and one has to be careful in becoming overly dismissive of them. From what I’ve seen so far, Marvel Now has been quite good and well conceived (unlike the New 52, though Marvel had that failure to learn from). But people also have to understand that one of the chief jobs of a piece of writing is to be read. Humor and snark go a long way to helping writing find an audience. While I think Greg usually has good taste and well-conceived opinions, I also think his writing is entertaining and humorous, and that does matter when deciding who to read.

Third Man: Good point about Green Arrow and solo series, but I was talking about being a member of the League itself, and your observation kind of makes my point for me. If GA is such a loner, he’d be a less likely member than Vibe! I haven’t read much with Vibe – the final four issues of the original Justice League – but he did seem like a kind of a jerk. But he was also created to be in the League – he wasn’t created separately and then enlisted into the League.

Berger’s resignation … yeah, I’ve reading a lot about it, and I think it might signal the coup de grace to Vertigo. We’ll see, but the way DiDio and his ilk are plundering it, I can’t imagine it’s going to last long. Why wouldn’t you go to Image if you have an idea for a creator-owned series?

Maybe I’ll have to check out Viva la Vida. I don’t think I hate X&Y as much as you do, but it’s a far cry from A Rush of Blood to the Head. They just seemed like they had found their niche and they would never get out of it. That’s fine, but it didn’t interest me, because I had plenty of their songs to listen to. But maybe …

It’s probably more just never being interested in the Ramones. I was too young to catch them the first time around, and by the time I was old enough to think about listening to my “own” music, I was far more into progressive 1970s stuff than punk. By the time I got (marginally) interested in punk, I was much more interested in 1980s punk – Fugazi and 7 Seconds and such. But I’ve never been a big punk fan, so while I guess it’s a bit of a stretch to say I don’t like the Ramones, it’s just that whenever I’ve heard a Ramones song, I’ve kind of said, “Yeah, whatever.” They don’t impress me. Such is life!

Thanks for the nice words. I always try to entertain, and while I know I’m snarky sometimes, I hope I do it with a good sense of humor about it!

I don’t want to sound bitter, but we’ve been yet able to get Diamond to distribute a single one of our titles, yet something like “Cavewoman” Diamond will carry?

Lordy.

Pj: Jesus, that sucks. I have no idea how some of the books get into Previews and how some are left out. It’s too arcane for me!

It’s all right. Just wait until you they get the packet for “Omega Comics Presents The Ample-Bosomed Ladies of the Round Table.” It’s a sure-fire winner.

Wow, Greg, you displayes the patience of a saint replying to um certain comments here. I somehow missed this last month but the reference to it in this month’s Flippin’ intrigued me, yikes this was a cluster fudge just as promised. Mr Wacker may not be an *evil* asshole but he did a good impression of a common or garden one here, still all is well now! Hey, did you ever get that interview? ;-)

Hal: No, Wacker never took me up on the offer. I wasn’t expecting him to, but it would have been fun!

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