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Thoughts on the Fantastic Four Death…

I’ll eventually review the issue in question (I’m thinking of just doing a big ol’ review on Hickman’s whole run), but I just wanted to make a note about the death in today’s Fantastic Four #587 (don’t read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled about who dies in the issue)…
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Couple Pieces of Housecleaning…

Here’s a couple of bits o’ business I figured here is as good a place to address as any.

First off, commenter T. wanted me to link to this piece on Kerry Callen’s blog where he mixes the stories of DC during the 1960s (wacky weird stuff happening to the heroes) with the stories of Marvel at the same time (melodrama).

Very cute stuff.

Secondly, Manny Aguilera sent me a finished piece of his Deadman meets the Ghostbusters for this month’s Reader Art Gallery, but I didn’t see the attachment before I put the gallery up.

So here it is, in its finished glory…

Check out Manny’s website here.

Thoughts on the Latest Addition to Wizard’s Family of Comic Cons

Don MacPherson has an interesting editorial up about the news that Wizard has purchased another convention to add to the 10 cons they already had in their Wizard World family of conventions.

Do you agree with Don’s reservations?

Thoughts on Jeff Parker Being the New Thunderbolts Writer

Boy, talk about being torn!

Andy Diggle is doing fabulous work on Thunderbolts right now, so it’s a shame to see him go, but Jeff Parker is a very good comic book writer, as well, so I guess it is good news!

It’s a BIT of a shame, though, to see Parker seemingly taking over Diggle’s story rather than starting his own (Ellis started fresh with his run, as did Diggle).

Still, it’s nice to see the book maintain a strong continuity of top level writers working on it.

Did I miss the reason why Diggle is leaving? Did he get a new book that I don’t remember (besides Daredevil, as I would imagine he can write at least two books a month)?

Thoughts on Marvel’s Purchase of Marvelman

It’s rare to see a news story this big that has such a gaping hole in what most fans want to know about the story.

Marvel now, apparently, owns the rights to Marvelman, after working out a deal with Mick Anglo, creator of Marvelman.

That, in and of itself, is notable, of course.

However, the thing everyone really wants to know is what this means for the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stories, and Marvel, reasonably enough, has been mum on that.

So we have this weird situation where we have a “big” story, but no one knows the key part of the story.

Because while, sure, it’s big news for Marvel to now have Marvelman, but if you don’t have the Moore or Gaiman stories, it’s sort of like announcing that you have Morpheus, but not the rights to print Gaiman’s Sandman or Rorschach, but not the rights to print Watchmen, or V, but not the rights to print V for Vendetta, etc.

There are a lot of various people who need to give their permission to have these old issues reprinted, and while I am sure that when all is said and done, we WILL see those earlier issues (especially the Gaiman/Buckingham issues), it’s interesting to note that we haven’t heard word of it yet.

Thoughts on TV Advertising of Comics

Don MacPherson has an interesting post looking at Radical Comics’ new comic book, Incarnate, which is written by Gene Simmons’ son, Nick, and was promoted on the Simmons family reality show, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, as well as on A&E’s website.

Thoughts on News Made Public on People’s Blogs/Twitter

The previous post reminded me of another thing I meant to talk about awhile ago.

The internet is an awesome place for comic book creators to interact with their fans. It’s neat that they can share stuff with fans – their insight into the books they are making, news about their upcoming work, etc.

However, if you are interacting with people publicly, you have to understand that if you say something newsworthy, it not only WILL be spread around, there really is nothing wrong with the fact that it is spread around.

If you post on your twitter account, “Hey guys, I’m the new writer on Teen Titans!” then that will make the rounds of the comic blogosphere, and it likely will end up at a place like CBR’s Robot 6 comic news blog or wherever (heck, maybe even on Comics Should Be Good!).

There’s nothing wrong with that.

If you were not supposed to tell anyone that you are the new writer on Teen Titans, then I’m sorry that you’re going to get yelled at for announcing it too early, but come on, how the heck can you blame a news site for running news?

If the end result is that less comic book professionals will be willing to share info with the public, then yeah, that’s too bad, but I don’t think you can (or rather, you should) blame the news sites for such a thing. If the information is publicly available, then the information is publicly available. There’s nothing wrong with posting publicly available information if it is newsworthy, like, say, Warren Ellis posting on his Twitter account that Planetary is finished.

Thoughts on Using Other People’s Twitter Posts

I see that using other people’s twitter posts has become a bit of an issue after Tom Brevoort noted that he was irked that a Blog@Newsarama post consisted of basically just a collection of C.B. Cebulski Twitter posts.

Regarding Twitter, first off, Twitter is a collection of mini-blog posts. That’s really all it is. It’s a quicker way of making ultra short blog posts (and replies to other people’s posts). I’ve seen some people try to argue that Twitter is more akin to a casual conversation, to which I say, only in the sense that a blog post is akin to a casual conversation. Twitter is just mini blog posts (or mini message board posts, whatever comparison you want to use). In all three cases, your Twitter posts, your blog posts and your forum posts, you’re talking about writings that are your intellectual property, no matter how short in length they might be.

That said, when it comes to citing Twitter posts, if you think of them as blog posts, it really makes it a lot simpler.

To wit, no one cares if you quote a hundred words from a blog post (with a link to the blog post you’re quoting, of course), because that’s just fair use.

However, if you posted an entire blog post without the blogger’s permission, I think we’d all agree that that is not good, right? That’s not fair use.

That was Brevoort’s complaint in this instance. If you collect a pile of CB Cebulski’s Twitter posts on how to break into the comic industry and post them as a piece “How to break into the comic industry,” you’ve basically just posted an entire blog post of Cebulski’s.

Now, as to this particular matter, David Pepose apparently asked for Cebulksi’s permission before doing the post. If so, then there’s no problem. Brevoort has even said that yes, there’s no issue if the person gives permission for you to republish their stuff in that manner.

So, really, this seems to be a pretty simple situation to me.

If you quote a public Twitter post that’s newsworthy (like Warren Ellis talking about Planetary being finished), then fine.

If you quote a whole pile of someone’s Twitter posts without permission (particularly if they are written like Cebulski’s, where it’s clear that it is all part of one larger piece – “how to break into the comic industry”), then not fine.

If you quote a whole pile of someone’s Twitter posts WITH permission, then fine.

I think that’s about that.

Thoughts on Andy Diggle, Exclusivity and Timing

If you can find it (lord knows I’m not going to go through the effort to look for it), you’ll see discussions between me and various people back in late 2004/early 2005 about what Andy Diggle should do after his awesome Adam Strange mini-series was ruined by being forced to tie-in with an Infinite Crisis lead-in.

At the time, it was interesting to note that the consensus (well, the consensus among the people I was talking with) was that his best fit, if he wanted to move into superhero territory, was to follow Brian Michael Bendis on Daredevil. However, even then, Ed Brubaker was rumored to be getting that gig (it is simply astonishing how long Brubaker was rumored to be following Bendis on Daredevil. He did not take over until 2006, but I assure you, it was already being talked about like a sure thing in late 2004).

But what was seen as a bit of a foregone conclusion at the time was that Diggle definitely should (and would) move to Marvel Comics when his exclusive contract expired at the end of 2005.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum Continue Reading »

Thoughts on the Search for the Next Sorcerer Supreme

I find it pretty amusing that Marvel is actually doing stuff like “Odds on who will be the next Sorcerer Supreme,” because, really, folks, and I mean this with absolutely zero disrespect to Brian Michael Bendis, but come on, the guy doesn’t go by what “makes sense” for stuff like this. He goes by what he thinks makes for the most interesting story. Which is perfectly fine, of course, but it’s just funny to do “odds” as if there is some rhyme and reason to the decision who is the next Sorcerer Supreme, like “Ah, yes, that makes sense!” besides “wouldn’t it be interesting if Character X was Sorcerer Supreme?”

NYCC Thoughts on Immonen’s Next Move

I have recently been bemoaning the artwork on New Avengers, so to learn that Stuart Immonen, only one of my favorite artists in all of comics, is going to be the next artist on the title, well, I quite reasonably am extremely excited!

Not only is Immonen a great artist, but he’s also timely, so that helps the book’s schedule. I only wish he was doing the book for the big 50th issue this month!

NYCC Thoughts on Hickman’s Fantastic Four

When I featured Jonathan Hickman on a Month of Writing Stars, I noted that he was likely to soon be too famous for such a feature, and unsurprisingly, a week or so later, it was announced that he is going to be following Mark Millar on the Fantastic Four!

This is great news, as the Fantastic Four is the exact type of series that plays to Hickman’s inventive nature.

Dale Eaglesham is a capable partner for him on the book.

I look forward to the run a good deal (and I await learning where Millar and Hitch will end up)!

Thoughts on the $3.99 Standard Comic Book…

After thinking about it a bit more, I actually think that Marvel MAY actually be handling this situation as well as they can handle it.

Note the stress of the word “may.”

Brian Hibbs recently wrote a great column about possible price increases and the possible market reaction, and I found myself absolutely agreeing with him.

There are a few points at play here:

1. Marvel and DC feel as though they NEED $4 comic books right now. Last month, issue sales were down from a year ago, but the actual dollar intake by the companies was UP, so they were actually making more money now than they were a year ago. Why? Because their highest selling titles were $4 (Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, plus others).

2. Standard economic theory is that you charge more for the lower selling products, because the higher selling products sell enough to pay for the lower price point. Meanwhile, the lower selling products usually have a cult following who will support the niche product at a higher price point (for a time, at least). To wit, Marvel Illustrated comics. Shanower and Young’s Wizard of Oz looks AMAZING, but come on, it’s a niche product, so Marvel is charging more money for it.

3. However, an across-the-board $4 price point would likely not work right now. Hibbs notes the same thing I’ve noticed – fans will not pay $4 for, say, a third X-Men comic book. Or a third Batman comic book, etc. Perhaps $3.50, but not $4 (by the by, I disagree about $3.10 or $3.25 being a viable price point – fans are irked by price increases PERIOD, so there’s no point in doing it if it is not going to significantly affect your return – I think $3.50 achieves that, though).

4. That said, what fans WILL pay $4 for is the “important” comic books. You see this right now with Secret Invasion. If the content is “key” to the shared universe, then readers do not seem to mind the extra buck. Hibbs notes this with his costumers, and I concur from what I’ve seen.

5. So therefore, Marvel APPEARS to be handling this the way Hibbs thinks works – they’re charging a dollar more for the books that they know the fans will buy anyways because of the content. A new Avengers book by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato? That’s going to sell. Jeph Loeb’s Hulk? It’s going to sell. $3 or $4 is likely not going to make a marked difference. $4 for, say, Green Lantern Corps or Young X-Men IS.

So while this definitely sucks, I think Marvel is probably handling it as well as they can right now with the current market.

Thoughts on the Current Heroclix Situation…

So what does the closing of Wizkids actually mean for the Heroclix brand?

Does this mean that it is simply just going to continue under the “Topps” name now?

Anyone out there actually play Heroclix? Heroclix has always struck me as a neat little game, but I’ve never actually played myself, so I was wondering if there are any players out there who are into it. It seems pretty popular, as far as I can tell.

Thoughts on the new Black Panther…

According to Marvel.com (and an article in the Washington Post), Marvel is introducing a brand-new female Black Panther.

Reginald Hudlin is still writing the book.

I think that what we have here is a clever way of Marvel ending the Black Panther/Storm marriage. If T’Challa is killed and replaced by a female Black Panther, then you have Storm now free and clear of the marriage without a divorce, and you still have a Black Panther. And, to boot, you get a FEMALE Black Panther, which is an interesting twist (and, of course, you can always bring T’Challa back in the future, only now he can’t be married to Storm for some reason – maybe it’s T’Challa from the past or whatever).

However, the only way this works is if the new Black Panther is NOT Storm. If it IS Storm, then while that’s certainly a clever enough idea, I don’t think that really does anything for Storm. If it is T’Challa’s sister (introduced by Hudlin, no less), then it is a very clever idea by Marvel.

Can’t wait ’til we find out which one it is.


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