What if the surprise villain in the new Fantastic Four movie is just a completely faithful adaptation of the Impossible Man?

§ January 28th, 2015 § Filed under fantastic four, retailing § 8 Comments

So I put it in my Twitter feed, I put on my store’s website, I put it on the store’s Facebook page, so what the heck, let’s put it here, too:


My first response upon cracking open the case of these Dancing Groots was “oh no, they have ‘try me’ buttons” which means I can expect to hear these every single day for what little remains of the rest of my life. And then the thought occurred to me “I wonder what it would sound like if I pressed all of the buttons at more or less the same time,” quickly followed by the idea that I should take a video of it and share it in all the places listed previously. And thus, there it is…the Camarillo Local Groots Choir, performing just for you.

In other news, there’s buzz about for the new Fantastic Four trailer, mostly because we’ve been hearing terrible things about changes made to the concept that strayed perhaps too far from its comic book origins, and this is our first look at what the filmmakers were actually doing. And…well, it at least seems like it will look nice. Some have noted that the trailer seems a mite too serious for something that’s called the “Fantastic Four,” but the more somber tone does differentiate itself from the previous FF movies. Plus, it now looks like a highbrow sci-fi movie rather than just another superhero film, which I find a bit more interesting, and perhaps more in line with the actual origins of the comics. Well, okay, maybe not the “highbrow” part, but you know what I mean.

As for the reported changes in the FF’s origin….I don’t know, I think so long as we end up with something approximating the characters and relationships we know from the comics, it almost doesn’t matter how they start out. It’s almost enough that the receive their abilities from scientific misadventure, which is close enough. (And most people going to see the movie won’t notice or care that the origin’s been fiddled with.) At any rate, the trailer did its job: it’s piqued my interest in a film I was somewhat indifferent/mildly negative about. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to someday have an actual Doctor Doom in a Fantastic Four film who was Reed’s college roommate who blew up his own face in a failed experiment and later got armor from monks, but there’s always the next reboot in, like, four or five years from now.

Meanwhile, Giant Robot Mike devastates the city.

§ January 26th, 2015 § Filed under retailing § 2 Comments

So folks have asked how I feel about the two big events forthcoming from DC and Marvel — DC’s Convergence, in which they replace all of the regular series with two-part semi-out of continuity mini-series for two months, and Marvel’s Secret Wars, apparently leading into a line-wide reboot of of their titles — and my somewhat sarcastic and wearied response was “picked a great time to open a store.”

Wearied because my initial reactions were “how am I going to order these” and “will my comic saver customers want all these Convergence tie-ins even with the characters they normally follow” and “oh boy, more first issue Marvels” and so on and so forth. Like I also said on the Twitterings, while Fan Mike is intrigued and wants to see what happens, Retailer Mike is dreading having to decide on numbers for these things.

Now, particularly in the case of the Convergence event, it’s late enough in the process that we have information on what actual titles are going to be released but early enough that I can still get feedback from my customer base on what titles they’d actually be most interested in. Specifically, I can directly ask my pull list customers which titles they’d want for sure. I’ve already had a few check in with their Convergence lists, so with any luck I’ll have the comic saver situation under control. I’d like to make the assumption that because they get, say, Flash in their pulls, they’ll want the Flash-related Convergence tie-ins…but they may not, because they’re outside the continuity of the regular series. And rack sales will be quite the trick to figure out, too.

Despite my initial response regarding the timing of these events vis-à-vis the opening of my shop, I’m actually in a pretty good position. I’m just starting out at a new, smaller store, so I don’t have the large customer base that I did (at least, not yet!). Ordering mistakes are thus at a reduced scale…if I order a comic thinking it will sell to a significant portion of my customer base, but it turns out to only appeal to a couple of folks…well, at my previous place of employment, that could have been an expensive bust of dozens of unsold comics, because I would have had to order more to anticipate what might have been demand from our many customers. But, since I’m at the smaller shop, my financial loss would theoretically have been less. It would still suck, but just not as badly, being stiffed with only a relative handful of copies I’ve ordered for the shelf versus how ever many I might have ordered for the other store.

Also, I’m paying very close attention to my order numbers and sales, and keeping tabs on what’s increasing, what’s descreasing, what my customers care about and what they don’t. Not that I didn’t do that at the old job, but we had years of sales histories to go on, and a fair amount of stability/predictability. In my new position I have to not only go by my weeks of sales histories, but also keep an eye on new customer growth and attendant product demands. I think I have a pretty good handle on what numbers I’ll need on these Convergence books, so I’m not really anticipating the scenario of taking a huge hit on any misordered books. I’m sure I’ll not get the numbers exactly…even with planning ahead, I may pull some of these books on spec for comic saver customers who don’t want them and they’ll be returned to the shelf, but I’m reasonably certain I’m not going to take a bath on these. Maybe a quick rinse.

Marvel’s reboot is still a little ways off, so I have more time to agonize over it. Likely it’ll lead into a wall of new first issues, and I think by this time we’re all old hands at dealing with new Marvel #1s. Once we get a little closer to the main event, I’ll have a better idea how many new Avengers-related titles I’ll be dealing with.

Anyway, Fan Mike needs to make sure he orders one of each cover for the Swamp Thing Convergence tie-in, and Retailer Mike better get his money for ‘em.

The end at last.

§ January 23rd, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 10 Comments

Here it is, the last installment of looking back at your predictions for 2014! And if you want the fun to repeat next year, give me your 2015 comic industry predictions!

• • •

Ed 208 gives me 15 seconds to comply with

“1. Saga increases in popularity, leading to a boost in merchandise sales (especially to teens) and discussions with HBO/Netflix about a series (most likely animation).”

Saga definitely has been doing quite well, with the collected editions requiring constant reorder, both at my former place of employment and in my current digs. The only merchandise I can think of would be t-shirts, and while I don’t have any numbers on how those are doing, I suspect they’re not doing too badly. As noted in a previous prediction post, the creators of Saga don’t seem to be pursuing any media adaptations at this time…which doesn’t mean people aren’t knockin’ their doors down to get the rights.

“2. Either Marvel or Image will release a digital-only series that is a huge success critically, though not financially.”

I honestly don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the digital side of things, which I realize is a huge blind spot of mine. But, that said, I don’t think either company released a digital-only series (or digital-first then print-shortly-thereafter) series, or if they did, it didn’t make a big enough splash for a dopey ol’ Luddite like me to notice. If this didn’t happen, it’s only a matter of time before it does, and I’m guessing the scenario of critical-but-not-financial success is a likely possibility.

“3. DC, in an attempt to imitate Marvel’s success with diversity, will introduce a new series focusing on LGBT character(s). It will not be handled well, or received kindly by DC’s audience.”

We’ve had Batwoman for a few years now, which hasn’t been a bad comic even given the unfortunate creative conflicts, but aside from some supporting characters in Gail Simone’s Batgirl, and the return of Alan Scott’s boyfriend in Earth 2, I can’t think of too many other LGBT characters being in the forefront. Well, there was this, speaking of Batgirl and of stories not being handled or received well, which does have me wondering what they’re going to do when it comes time to reprint that in a collected edition. Preface it with the apology, maybe?

• • •

MikeyWayne waxes eloquently with

“1. DC Comics will reduce its publishing line to three ‘families': Batman, Justice League & Green Lantern. Two remaining Superman books, Flash, GA and WW get a ‘Justice League’ heading, and everything else in the DCU is canceled in the DC Implosionary Spectacular of 2014.”

This is almost frighteningly plausible, even if it didn’t happen. And with the demise of nearly all the Green Lantern books, that’s one less franchise for DC to stand on. Let’s see what happens after DC’s Convergence event.

“2. Multiversity WILL come out! (I can dream, can’t I?)”

DING DING DING your dreams have come true!

“3. Image Comics increases market share, primarily at the expense of DC, to become the true No. 3 publisher and the best creators continue to flock to them.”

Discussed previously, Image has been hovering around the 10% mark, but DC and Marvel’s marketshares seem to be them pushing each other back and forth, more than seeing attrition due to the smaller publishers. But I’m sure that’s a factor, if even a small one.

• • •

HoorayforGooba! cheers

“Rocket Raccoon spin-off live-action TV show. Book it.”

We’re getting a Guardians of the Galaxy animated series in 2015…that’s close! (And regardless…Rocket will always be animated, unless live raccoon training has made some leaps and bounds I’m not aware of!)

• • •

Former Employee Nathan dares darken my doorstep with

“1. We will see an issue number with *two* decimal points. Possibly something like 5.2.1, but more likely something like 5.1.NOW. This will be the last straw for Mike Sterling.”

I think I stopped counting the number of “last straws” the industry has given me a couple of decades ago.

“2. There will continue to be an uncomfortably antagonistic relationship between The Big Two and fans about what The Big Two think fans want and what fans think they want. Image will continue to, by and large, prove them both wrong.”

That’s been the case for years and likely won’t change. “WE WANT THIS!” is shouted, and they are given [this] and then it doesn’t sell. Ah well. And while Image has had some successes, there has been more than one release from them where I couldn’t move any issues, so they don’t have the magic formula either.

“3. IDW will do a massive, line-wide crossover of every single one of its licensed properties.”

Well, maybe technically, if you do the ol’ “the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossed over with Archie, Archie met the Punisher, Punisher met the X-Men, X-Men met Star Trek, therefore Star Trek and TMNT are connected” thing. But an actual official crossover with everyone all mixed together into the same mess? Well, they’ve come close (there was that X-Files crossover with other IDW licensed properties earlier in the year, and the Cartoon Network thing that just happened), but nothing completely comprehensive.

• • •

Ryan Q says that he’ll be true with

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America will be underwhelming in the box office. While the X-Men: DOTFP and Amazing Spider-Man will be box office hit.”

I looked up the numbers, and while nobody did Avengers Movie money, nobody suffered too much, it looks like. From Box Office Mojo, the total takes (domestic and international) were as follows:

Guardians of the Galaxy: $772,772,112

X-Men Days of Future Past: $748,121,534

Captain America The Winter Soldier: $714,083,572

Amazing Spider-Man 2: $708,982,323

Geez. Hey, Marvel, can I borrow five bucks?

“Marvel will relaunch Captain America, Iron, Fantastic Four books.”

Two out of three ain’t bad!

“Robin will return this year.”

Looks like Robin returned in a comic from the last shipping date of last year…or did he?

• • •

There’s no getting away from Employee Aaron as he asks

“My one prediction on comic books for this year is that Pre-New 52 Lobo will Hunt Down This new glow-face Lobo and after a few issues of beatdowns and maiming Pre-52 Lobo will feed this imposter to his space Dolphins.”

Almost the opposite, my mustachioed friend. The New 52 Lobo almost immediately did away with the previous Lobo, which kind of surprised me…I was expecting some kind of “LOBO VERSUS LOBO” event that would drag on for too long. The brevity of the encounter was sort of refreshing.

• • •

Dhaamin thus spake

“1. Marvel will realise why ‘Hawkeye’ is successful and bring out more solo titles with great talent behind them creating stories with a defined style and sense of direction without having to succumb to a universe shaking cross over every other month.”

We did have a couple of titles following the Hawkeye “formula,” most notably She-Hulk, and surprisingly Moon Knight, but that seems more the exception than the rule.

“2. Scott Snyder will finally hint at maybe working with Image or another Indie label.”

He definitely turned up at Image with Wytches, which did quite well for itself.

• • •

My friend Sam stayed just the same with

“1. Due to either delays or cancellation, Hawkguy won’t make it to #25. If it does, it will be a completely different direction and creative team resulting from Fraction’s total break with Marvel.”

Still waiting on 22 to come out!

“2. 2 more avengers books will start at #1, possibly to replace books that are ending at #30 given Marvel’s apparent new Logan’s Run series length policy.”

We had Captain America and the Mighty Avengers start last year, so I guess that counts. And the new Uncanny Avengers #1 was solicited late last year, so that almost counts, maybe. Then the one based on the cartoon had a new #1, and another Secret Avengers #1, and I’m not even counting the intentional Avengers mini-series…I’m calling that a “hit.”

“3. After the Deluxe Color HCs, Oni will re-release Scott Pilgrim starting at the beginning in yet another format, be it color TPB, omnibus or ‘artist’s edition’.”

Didn’t happen last year, but it’ll come this year or next, I’m sure.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald deserves a break today with

“1. Multiversity won’t actually come out this year, to the surprise of no-one.”

Surprise!

“2. Guardians Of the Galaxy will do very badly, mainly due to Marvel/Disney not knowing what sort of promotional strategy to formulate. As a result Ant-Man will be pushed back to the end of 2015. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will offset the losses, but Kevin Feige will rethink Phase Three. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D will be renewed by the skin of its teeth, and the start of the second season will bring a bit more of the crazy that the first season lacked. Marvel will also aggressively pursue TV projects, but their animation division will gradually falter and die.”

Guardians did well, which did come as a bit of a surprise to a lot of us, I think. That “Marvel” brand can get butts into movie seats. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by all accounts did improve this season, but I fell behind due to opening the new store, so I can’t verify this myself. Marvel certainly has plenty of other TV projects coming, including the aforementioned animated GOTG, so they seem to be keeping things going so far.

“3. On the DC side, Arrow will get more into the super powers end of things, but the Flash and Constantine pilots will not be picked up. The DC animation division will feel the loss of [Bruce Timm] seriously this year, and the projects that go ahead will be wretched examples. Expect a New 52 culling more savage than any before, but equal numbers of new books to make up for the cancellations. Expect additional alternate strategies beyond the weeklies. People will begin to see tonal shifts in the books, but the bigger shift won’t come until 2015 as DC heads into the last full year of the New 52. Month 52 of the New 52 will be the last of it…but it won’t presage a 2016 return of the old universe(s) but a drastic change of approach to the comics market. We will see signs of this through 2014.”

That’s about six predictions squeezed in there, you sneaky guy, but let me see if I can hit ‘em all.

3a) Yes, more crazy superhero action in Arrow. This is a good thing.

3b) Flash picked up, a huge success; Constantine picked up, may or may not be cancelled now, I have no idea at this point.

3c) DC’s animated projects have been about at the same level as before in quality, if not in quantity…if you didn’t like them before, you don’t like ‘em know, and the other way around as well. Animated TV shows seem to have been put aside for live-action, though they did just announce an animated Vixen series for online viewing, if I recall correctly.

3d) A bunch of New 52 titles were announced as cancelled at the very end of 2014, and we won’t know what’s replacing them ’til after Convergence, I think.

3e) Not really much in the way of new alternative publishing strategies, beyond what they were already doing with digital-first titles and the Earth One series of original graphic novels.

3f) Not sure what signs of future strategies we’re seeing if any yet, beyond the willingness to do near-full culls of once popular franchises (like Green Lantern). It is interesting to note that we are getting a short-lived return to pre-New 52 continuity with these Convergence mini-series, but whether that’s just the intended temporary publishing stopgap for DC’s move to the west coast, or a way to test the waters for a possible line-wide rollback, remains to be seen.

“Also, I forgot my usual Squirrel Girl mention. She’ll turn up in Agents Of SHIELD and end up having fun times with Fitz, who’ll be revealed as a furry.”

One more, eh? That’s okay, since it’s about Squirrel Girl. I do wonder when she’ll make her live action debut. It’s gotta happen, right? Maybe it’ll be post-credits sequence in the forthcoming film Howard the Duck: Age of Doctor Bong.

• • •

And that’s that, my look back at your 2014 predictions. Sorry it took so long, but at least I got to end it with a reference to Doctor Bong, so it was worth the trip.

Next week: no predictions! Not a one!

I am really really tired and almost put off this post, but would like to finish the prediction coverage before 2016.

§ January 21st, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

Nearly done looking back at your predictions, and still gathering 2015 comic industry predictions!

Let’s go!

• • •

PabloV, AKA one of my commenters, relayed

“1) Peter Parker will be back, which will collide with Otto’s Spidey. But sales for Superior Spider-Man will still be good, so somehow, both characters will fill the role of the friendly neighborhood. And Amazing Spider-Man title comes back with Peter of course, in time for the movie.”

Pretty much what happened, though aside from a couple of follow-up issues, the actual Superior Spider-Man didn’t stick around, which surprised me. The SSM character is involved in the current “Spider-Verse” thing, though.

“2) 2014 will be the Bendis’ year in Marvel. Some of the events will be written by him and he will have three titles by himself. Of course, some of these titles will suck, some will be fine.”

He’s on Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, so there you go. As to the actual quality of said titles…it’s not my cup of tea, but others really like it, so suckage or lack thereof is up to you. As far as I can remember, the only “event” as such that he wrote was the Guardians/X-Men crossover.

“3) Guardians of The Galaxy will be a, surprisingly, good movie (not as GREAT as Avengers, Dark Knight etc but still decent). People who didn’t believe in this movie will change their names to RockyRacconRulz or GROOTGROUPIE87.”

It was a good movie, I thought. I didn’t keep track of any name changes, however, aside from my brief flirtation as “Draxster.”

• • •

ArghSims arghed

“1) WINTER SOLDIER and DAYS OF FUTURE PAST will both be well received films, by both comics fans and general movie goers. Brubaker, Claremont and the artists will get “Thanks” credits, and hopefully some bucks.”

Ed Brubaker got a story credit on the Cap sequel, and I don’t remember if he got any kind of creator credit, but Chris Claremont and Len Wein have actual cameos in the X-Men film! (I remember thinking as I sat there in the theater…”wait, was that Len Wein?”)

“2) THE BRAVE AND THE MOLD, a Batman-Swamp Thing team up series written by Mike Sterling, will be the surprise hit of Summer 2014.”

Only in my mind, ArghSims, only in my mind.

• • •

Tim B. naturally stated

“There will continue to be Doom Patrol & Kamandi shaped holes in DC’s output.”

The Doom Patrol did pop up in Justice League #30 (after some brief references in previous issues from the end of 2013). Kamandi remains AWOL, far as I know unless he had a cameo or something in one of the twelve other Batman titles I didn’t follow.

“The Superman/Batman film villain will be Darkseid, announced at/first preview footage at Comic-Con 2014, a week or so before Guardians of the Galaxy film is released, people accuse DC of just ripping off Thanos. Kirby’s ghost’s eyes roll for the rest of 2014 and well into 2015…”

Didn’t happen, but not an unlikely scenario.

• • •

The Mutt barked

“2014 will see a Godzilla comic book and a Pacific Rim comic book leading to a major cross-over event.”

Well, Del Toro is all for it, because of course he is, he’s all for everything, but outside of fanfiction and Photoshopping, nothin’ doin’ yet.

• • •

Sespus healed our negativity with

“My fellow commenters will have a lot of gloom-and-doom predictions having to do with movies, but the 2014’s comic book movies will actually do just fine.”

Yeah, most of them actually did okay. And by “okay” I mean “more money than I’ll ever see in ten lifetimes.”

• • •

Adam Farrar sees far with

“1) Due to slipping sales, IDW will relaunch its primary GI Joe titles (GI Joe v3, GI Joe Special Missions v2, and the already ended Cobra Files). Larry Hama’s GI Joe A Real American Hero will soldier on to the continued enjoyment of myself and a little over 7,000 other people.”

G.I. Joe was relaunched, and Real American Hero is continuing. A gold star for you!

“2) Marvel will launch ‘Savage Hulk’ a series like their ‘Avenging Spider-Man’ and ‘Savage Wolverine” featuring rotating creators telling whatever stories they see fit. The first story arc will be by Jim Starlin.”

There was such a series, but it was seemingly canned after only six issues. Starlin was planned to do a storyline for the title, but was instead moved to its own mini-series Thanos Vs. Hulk, which was probably a good idea.

• • •

MrJM jammed in

“1) Mike will have a happy birthday on March 13.”

Yeah, it was okay.

“2) Marvel won’t do right by Jack Kirby.”

Surprisingly, a settlement was reached between Disney/Marvel and the Kirby estate, and if Jack Kirby’s foremost proponent says that Jack ‘n’ Roz would have been “real, real, real happy” with the results, then we can safely assume things went well.

“3) I will continue to search for superhero comics that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with my teen-aged nephew and niece.”

BAM.

• • •

rook017 checkmates us with

“1. Bendis and Johns will form their own company. They will create their own universe and write everything.”

Not yet. Probably the next move for both of them once they’re out of favor at their respective companies. …Not being negative or critical, honestly, it’s just no one stays on top at either company forever. I can think of more than one Giant Comics Creator who seemed immortal and unstoppable who ended up scrambling for whatever work they could get. Honestly, though, Johns seems like he’d just do TV full-time if comics go south for him.

“2. A major comic book movie starring a woman will be announced. Reaction will be ‘How can SHE get her own movie before Wonder Woman or Black Widow???'”

I’m sure that was the reaction to Captain Marvel though that seems to be the reaction to any movie announcement, superhero or not.

“3. Progressive Ruin will split off to form several blogs (Daily Mike Sterling, More Progressive Ruin, Mike Sterling’s Progressive Runes) forcing followers to read several blogs to get all the scoops. Readers drop off, forcing a reboot which makes no one happy.”

I think I aged three years just reading that.

• • •

Rob S. robs the spotlight with

“1. Archie is going to land another serious creative team on another of its Red Circle titles.”

They did announce creative teams, and I’m assuming they’re serious, especially since it’s Dark Circle now, instead of Red Circle. You can read about the teams here.

“2. We’ll see hints of missing characters like Wally West and Donna Troy in DC books before 2014 is out, but their first real appearance of any note won’t be until 2015.”

Wally actually does appear in mid-2014. Donna Troy apparently was mentioned in issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws early on in the New 52 relaunch, when they were still frantically trying to figure out what was in the new continuity and what wasn’t. It was eventually decided that prior Teen Titans teams hadn’t existed, and Troy’s existence was retconned out of the retcon, as it were. She apparently returned in the last issue of Wonder Woman for 2014, but we’ll get more of her over this coming year, which surely will please everyone.

“3. Dark Horse will announce a couple of new big license to partially take the place of Star Wars.”

No one thing seems intended to be the replacement for Star Wars, as far as I can tell. Which is good, since putting all your eggs into one licensed basket is a bad idea, in case some giant international company comes along to buy a comic book publisher, and then buys the property that you licensed to make comics from, and then takes away your license to give it to the comic company they actually own, but what are the chances of that happening?

• • •

NeverAsk asks

“1. Multiple writer changes on Fantastic Four, with each one promising to ‘bring the focus back to the family.'”

The creative team has remained mostly stable, though apparently they’re canning the series due to sales, and not because a movie studio that Disney doesn’t own is exploiting the property.

“2. Deadpool will kill the Marvel Universe again. Or marry it. Maybe both.”

Deadpool did get married, but just to one person, not the entire Marvel Universe. Pretty much the entire MarvU did show up as guests, however.

“3. Archie comics? Still awesome.”

Are they still publishing Afterlife with Archie? And also publishing Sabrina? Then yes, they’re still awesome.

• • •

Next: Mike looks at your predictions, the final chapter! Honest!

Don’t complain that I spoiled the post-credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy…you’ve had your chance to see it.

§ January 19th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Welcome to part four of looking back at your predictions for 2014, my five remaining readers! And if you five haven’t added your 2015 comic industry predictions to the pile, then get crackin’.

• • •

jobcab taxis in with

“1. Marvel will officially yank the Star Wars license away from Dark Horse”

I think I may have heard a little something about that recently.

“2. For his 50th anniversary, Daredevil will regain his sight.”

Not that I’ve seen (click) but I’ve been reading the regular Daredevil series this year and it didn’t happen there. …In fact, how many stories have there been about Daredevil getting his sight back? I can think of…two, maybe?

EDIT: Tim O’Neil tells me Daredevil was temporarily re-sighted in last month’s issue of Iron Man.

“3. Galactus’ new herald will be H.E.R.B.I.E. And it will be awesome.”

While that would be the ultimate expression of the menace of H.E.R.B.I.E., sadly I don’t think that happened anywhere except in our dreams, joecab. I did peek at the Wikipedia entry for our favorite little helper robot to see what’s been going on, and there it was I learned that a “deactivated H.E.R.B.I.E.” was in the extended version of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie. First, I was surprised there even was an extended version of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie (soon to be known as “the good Fantastic Four movie), but second, and more importantly, we were this close to having live-action H.E.R.B.I.E. and that’s a darn shame.

• • •

Jeff R. gets jazzy with the following predictions:

“1.) Guardians of the Galaxy will be a colossal flop.”

Well, hate to tell you this….

“2.) The Legion of Super-Heroes will have an ongoing book again by the end of the year.”

The Legion did pop up in Justice League United near the end of 2014, but nothing about a new title yet. I hope they follow my suggestions.

“3.) The First issue of Mage:The Hero Denied will at least have been solicited by the end of the year.”

That would have been nice…I’m a big fan of Mage.

Let’s see…the first series, “The Hero Discovered,” ran from 1984 to 1986. Eleven years later, in 1997, “The Hero Defined” started up, running ’til 1999. Sixteen years on, no word on when the third series will debut. Hopefully someday soon!

• • •

Jerry Smith rigged these forecasts:

“DC’s move to the West Coast will result in a massive loss of employees who don’t want to move, streamlining their editorial process and letting Marvel have their pick of editors/employees. DC books will not improve in quality.”

Haven’t seen any news on any DC employee attrition, but I think it’s too soon to tell. Let’s keep an eye on this for 2015.

EDIT: Tim O’Neil tells me that Tom Brevoort has mentioned Marvel’s hiring of some ex-DC employees.

“Captain America II will make back its money but not be a critical success.”

According to that link in my responses to Jeff, the second Cap film was the third-highest grossing flick of the year, which ain’t too shabby. And over on the Rotten Tomatoes tote board, it has a 89% positive reviewer rating, so it did surprisingly well. To be frank, I expected a second Cap film to be okay, but it actually was really, really good. And not just “good for a superhero movie,” but just plain good.

“Marvel will launch a team of gay Avengers. The book will be called Gay Avengers.”

That would have been absolutely amazing, if only to hear The Usual Suspects get their knickers in knots over it. I bet I could totally sell a comic called Gay Avengers.

• • •

Mike Loughlin lines up the following:

“With Jeff Parker on board, DC will release more comics that aren’t super serious and over-the-top violent. They’ll get acclaim from discerning readers and sales will plummet.”

Parker’s Aquaman is doing okay, I think…and DC did release other somewhat gentler in-universe comics (like Gotham Academy) which is selling…well, not great, but it has its audience.

“DC will release a New Gods series. It won’t be very good.”

Not really a standalone series, but we did get a New Gods/Green Lantern crossover event that probably would have been well-served by maybe being only half as long. And, to be honest, it didn’t really do a lot to sell anyone on the New Gods concept. …Kinda like the Legion of Super-Heroes, maybe the New Gods/Fourth World stuff needs to just go away for a while and let everyone kind of forget about and / or stop being sick of them.

“The next Marvel character to be killed will be The Punisher. Again.”

Well, Wolverine. You were close!

• • •

Luke trusts his feelings with

“Comics mergers – somewhere in and among Image, IDW, Boom, Dynamite, Devil’s Due etc, there will be some consolidation, acquisition or the like.”

IDW absorbed Top Shelf, which surprised the heck out of me, but that was early 2015. Ah, what the heck, close enough.

• • •

vester is very invested in these forecasts:

“1) As DC’s moving west, people who will say ‘no’ will be in Marvel.”

Like I said before, it may be too early to determine the full results of this movie. Let’s see what happens this year.

“2) More Batman-related and Avengers titles.”

This is what we call in the biz a “gimme.” Not that a lot of them have done that well or are doing that well, but they’re there filling up shelf space that “Worthwhile Artistic Comics #1″ could have used, and that’s the important thing.

“3) Image Comics sales will totally surpass the Big Two at the end of the year.”

On an individual basis, I certainly wish several Marvel and DC titles would sell as well as Walking Dead or Saga, but for every Image that sells great, there are a half-dozen or more that, shall we say, appeal to a more select audience and don’t move as many copies. As I covered in one of the previous four hundred entries of my 2014 prediction coverage, Image has been hovering around 10% marketshare so it’s not doing too badly for itself.

• • •

Mike Nielsen improves his ratings with

“1) Showcase Presents Tomahawk will appear. I’ve only predicted it every year since you started doing this, I’ll be right sometime.”

We did get Showcase Presents Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew…that’s close, right?

• • •

Crowded House didn’t dream it’s over with:

“1. At some point, Superman gets his red shorts back.”

I’m assuming you meant in New 52 continuity, because in, like, merchandising and the Adventures of Superman out-of-continuity comics, he totally had his red shorts. But no, we’re still stuck with that dumb super-armor, which is a shame because the actual Superman comics have been pretty good lately.

“2. The Ancient Ones awake from their slumber and consume the world in one gulp. Darkness is everywhere, all is lost, the people cry out in despair cursing a god who will not listen to their prayers. There is nothing to be done, all of humanity is doomed, its last days of existence weeping at the hours lost, the stories never again to be told, the memories that will fade into nothingness with nothing to mark their passing. There is no more, there is no more.”

Yeah, my birthday was pretty rough this year.

“3. Sonic Disruptors #8 is finally released.”

Hey, we finally got some of Joe Kubert’s Redeemer…anything’s possible!

• • •

An Anchor at Bay goes overboard with

“1. del Toro will announce that the Justice League Dark script has been finalized and will start shooting in 2015.”

I will not believe in a del Toro Justice League Dark movie until I’ve bought my ticket for it and am sitting in a movie theater waiting for it to start. And maybe not even then.

“2. Constantine and Swamp Thing will develop a strong sense of trust and become best friends finally.”

That would be like those 1970s Tom and Jerry cartoons where now suddenly they’re pals and they go on adventures together and are no longer trying to murder each other, and that would be terrible.

“3. John Constantine will quit smoking but replace his habit with hallucinogenic tubers.”

Just had to check some recent appearances, and he’s still smoking! Kind of surprised, actually. Does he smoke in the TV show, because I still haven’t seen the darned thing.

• • •

Xanadude takes my breath and leaves me blind with

“1) a second Wonder Woman title will launch, focusing on supervillains, SciFi, Steve Trevor/ARGUS. azarello will continue the current Ww title by not acknowledging it.”

There was a second WW title, Sensation Comics, reprinting digital first (mostly) non-continuity comics, which of course the writers of the New 52 series wouldn’t acknowledge (but probably should have followed its lead).

“2) the Miracle man monthly floppy will undersell, while everyone buys the tpbs”

I’m not sure how well it’s selling overall, but the comic was beginning to improve in sales slightly at my shop, though Marvel’s doing its best to kill the series, it feels like.

“3) the new Ms Marvel will sell poorly and also be accused of being culturally insensitive by the left and pushing a radical Muslim agenda by the right”

It’s selling not badly, and to some acclaim, but there will always be that segment of the population that fears something because it focuses on a person/culture That Isn’t Like Them. And to them we say “suck it up, you wieners.”

• • •

amrothery ventures in with

“1. By the end of the year, Marvel will have produced ZERO issues of Walt Disney Comics and Stories or Uncle $crooge.”

Exactly right, sir! Though I would give anything to have that Gladstone Gander/Longshot battle committed to four-color immortality.

“2. The Fantagraphics reprints of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will continue as scheduled.”

Also correct, and God bless ‘em for these things of beauty.

• • •

Derooftrouser…um, gets his pants on the…ceiling? — with:

“1. The sequel to Man of Steel will not be inspired by the All-Star series or be called ‘The Goddamn Batman vs Superman’.”

If it’s not inspired by this comic, then what are we even doing as a people.

“2. Neither will it feature The Rock as Swamp Thing, to lead into the Justice League Dark movie.”

I am oddly okay with the Rock as Swamp Thing.

“3. Still no news on ‘The Spirit 2: Spirit vs Shadow’.”

Please do not tease me with such beauty.

• • •

Mike Zeidler sidles in with

“1. DC launches a digital only, non-continuity DC COMICS PRESENTS to fulfill monthly Time-Warner quotas for copyright renewals.”

That’s not a bad idea. So it’ll probably never happen.

“2. FISHNETS AHOY launches, with art by Robert Wilson IV”

If I can’t have Brian Bolland on art for this Zatanna/Black Canary comic I’ve been demanding, it looks like Robert Wilson IV wouldn’t be a bad second choice.

“3. Mike Sterling tries to review the super-long everything cut of the WATCHMEN movie but is stymied by all DVDs turning to dust at the same time.”

I had this out in my “rewatch soon” pile, but then, um, I opened a store. I had a movie out from Netflix since the first week of November that I finally watched this past Saturday night. I went to go see the third Hobbit movie last week, a good month or so after it opened. This is the time I have for movie watching. …But I owe you that review, and someday I will get to it.

• • •

rubber cat bounces these off of me:

“1. The year passes by with no mention of Carrie Kelley in the Batman books”

She was primarily in Batman and Robin, right? Some Googling about seems to show that she was written out of the ongoing plot a while back, in favor of focusing the book on the return of Damien Wayne. However, there seems to have been some casting rumors regarding this character for the forthcoming Batman Vs. Superman Guest-Starring Everyone Else While We’re At It, so if she turns up, look for her back in the comics again.

“2. Marvel announces Howard the Duck reboot scheduled to hit theaters 2017″

A strangely prescient prediction, given the surprise cameo at after the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s probably still going to be a long time before any studio executive puts his signature on a Howard the Duck movie approval, but I can see Howard popping up here and there in forthcoming Marvel movies.

“3. The Gotham TV series does decent in the ratings but isn’t a big hit.”

It actually looks like Gotham is doing pretty well for itself…I think it’s safe to say it’s a hit. It’s certainly very divisive…some of you love it, some of you hate it. I only caught about five minutes of it, but maybe I’ll catch it on DVD, once they invent the 72-hour day.

• • •

That’s enough typity-typing for me for today…be back soon with more prediction coverage!

I apologize for this taking forever.

§ January 16th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

This is taking a lot longer than I was planning, friends, for which I apologize…real-life type stuff has been occupying my time, not leaving a lot of room for these more labor-intensive posts. Thanks for being patient.

Anyway, here we are at part three of looking back at your predictions for 2014, so let’s see how far we get this time.

Don’t forget to add your 2015 comic industry predictions to the list, too!

• • •

Michael Grabowski gets a hold of me with the following:

“DC’s September 2014 line-wide event will include multiple comics vital to the big story that are available only digitally at first, with a printed trade collection made available several months later.”

DC wasn’t quite ready to make that jump yet…and I suspect the industry will have to be in drastically different shape to move the publishing focus that much over to digital. Not looking forward to that, frankly.

“DC will scale back its serial comics publishing schedule by cutting low-selling titles and not replacing them with new ones, and by introducing serial OGN trades (starting with Batman) that tie into ongoing continuity.”

Well, DC did cut a bunch of titles recently just prior to this whole “Convergence” hoohar, but I think the “New 52″-mandated number of titles will hold sway for at least a while longer. Serial trades (probably in that $9.99 thin TPB format DC uses) is a likely destination for the periodical market, though, I would think.

• • •

Roel Torres rolls out the following:

“1) The best stories will come from Image. The worst stories will come from DC. Marvel will stay the course and be fine in general.”

That’s all subjective, so there’s no real way to claim hit or miss on this. But people certainly act like DC Comics are, to use a phrase I’ve used in the past, “made of Hitler” based on all the hate DC seems to get. Well, yeah, DC brings it on itself sometimes, but every company has their moments, good and bad. DC’s just the online world’s whipping boy at the moment, like Marvel was not too long ago.

But really, the best company is IDW based solely on their Popeye reprints.

“2) There will be more comic book movie fatigue.”

This year, I think it’s more like pre-fatigue, with DC and Marvel unveiling slates of films taking us a decade or so into the future and everything thinking “holy crap, that’s a lot of superhero movies.” And that’s not even including all the TV shows currently running and about to be unleashed soon. I can’t even keep up with the ones on the air now, and that includes a TV show based on a spin-off character from my favorite comic book series that I still have yet to watch.

“3) I will spend all year hoping that the industry will stop cranking out dark and serious stories, and get back to fun and cheerful ones at some point.”

Well, you have to tell me…did you spend all year doing that? I think there are some fun comics out there still!

• • •

Chance pulls the following out of the community chest:

“1. Elfquest returns, edgier and more Now! than ever before.”

Hey, it did come back! Don’t know that it’s “edgier,” but it’s here!

“2. The Walking Dead will end.”

Still the most popular anything in the history of everything. That spin-off TV series feels like “one season only,” though; “The Walking Dead in Wonderland” they could call it.

“3. Deadpool/Punisher/Wolverine team-up miniseries called ‘Marvel Makes Money.'”

The judges would also accept “Marvel Hits Diminishing Returns on These Characters…Again.”

• • •

Snark Shark bites off more than he can chew with

“1) The New DC will continue to SUCK.”

Now, now, it occasionally blew, too. (Now click here.) OKAY EVERYONE RELAX IT WAS A JOKE – I enjoyed plenty of books from DC, so I don’t think, quality wise, they’re on average better or worse than Marvel. Everyone’s mileage varies.

• • •

Stevonicus predicticuses

“Dark Horse and Archie’s superhero line relaunches will both breach the Diamond Top 50 with multiple titles each.”

Sadly, not even close, as far as I can tell. Well, there was only one Archie superhero series out that I can recall, and, okay, it was in the Top 300 for March, but only barely. The other superhero books are coming this year, and we’ll see how they do…but it’s a tough market to crack.

“Valiant will crossover with Dynamite’s Gold Key properties.”

Honestly surprised we didn’t see this. Just a matter of time, most likely.

“Charles Soule will continue to absorb the chi of comic writers past and present, and will soon write 2/3rds of all superhero comics, half of the Archie titles and at least five weekly indie books.”

I’d have been totally okay with this. As it is, the guy’s apparently invented the 40 hour day just to do what he’s been doing.

• • •

The Prankster pulled the following:

“1. One of the recent new Image books will be optioned as a movie. I’m guessing Saga because I think with Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming new Star Wars movie that space opera will be hot, but The Manhattan Projects is a likely contender as well.”

A quick look seems to show Mark Millar’s MPH and Starlight have been optioned, which should come as no surprise as Millar seems to have his foot in Hollywood’s door in regards to most of his comics now, anyway.

According to the Wiki Saga is not intended for adaptation into other media by the creators. But aside from that I’d be surprised if most comics didn’t get studios sniffing around for the next Walking Dead or Avengers.

“2. Harras and Didio will finally get the boot from DC editorial (or leave ‘voluntarily’).”

They’re still hanging in there, far as I can tell.

“3. Hot new superhero look for 2014: SWEATERVESTS.”

There’s only one true sweatervest superhero, and that man is:

urkelvest

• • •

googum googummed

“1. I’m guessing a mild implosion of licensed titles. I thought there was a fair amount of churn for those anyway; but I think a lot of the books that don’t make the top 300 will quietly disappear. Dynamite and IDW might cancel a bunch, and Marvel will ditch anything non-Disney that they might have to pay for.”

Not any kind of big die-off that I noticed…like you said, they come and they go. In fact, one or two came back that kind of surprised me, like Lone Ranger. Marvel still seems to being doing a few licensed books, like their original graphic novels based on Revenge and Once Upon A Time (well, okay, the latter didn’t come out this year, but they announced a new one, I believe).

“2. Someone–maybe 2000 AD?–decides to try the $1.99 price point, like Fell did. With a proven name like Ellis or character like Dredd, it’d be a slimmer book but could move some sales. (New characters or creators trying it, hit or miss!)”

It seems to me a couple of small publishers tried this, but I can’t recall who did on what titles which should show you how well it went over. Interestingly, Marvel has tried out a $1.99 anti-bullying Avengers book which came out last week, and that seemed to sell better than I was expecting.

“3. Long shot: DC decides to go nuts in shoring up their new 52 titles. Instead of another Batman book, or old standby, they do what some hoped they were going to do in the first place and go for variety. Maybe even a romance book this time around!”

Almost the opposite. They are trying the occasional oddball title, but nothing’s really sticking. And one of the old standbys, Green Lantern, is losing several periodical members of the franchise due to cancellation, so that’s one less publishing crutch for DC to lean on.

• • •

I’m sorry, dave, but I’m afraid I have to look at your predictions:

“1. DC will regain some fans’ goodwill with its weekly Batman book, which will be great, along with the Five Years Later stuff. (I say that as a consumer currently purchasing zero New52 books).”

Batman Eternal has been pretty great, hasn’t it? And reaction has been positive! New 52 Futures End doesn’t have quite the same traction…it took me a while to get into it, personally, but it seems to be slowly gathering a readership again after dipping pretty low after its debut. Earth 2 Worlds End is the weakest creatively of DC’s weekly series, but the following on that seems to be pretty strong as well.

“2. Dynamite will crossover its Gold Key line of characters in the Summer with Valiant and it’ll be a smashing fun success.”

Like I said an entry or two back, really surprised this didn’t happen yet.

“3. The Ultimate Universe will still be around, and Miracleman will show up.”

Yeah, the Ultimate Universe is just barely hanging in these, primarily as a support system for the new Spider-Man Miles Morales. A Miracleman appearance would be just what was needed to perk things up a bit, but I’m going to guess the character ain’t goin’ nowhere else in the Marvel Universe until the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman Miracleman story is good and completed.

• • •

kid nicky ain’t kiddin’ with

“1. More creators will leave DC due to poor treatment by editorial, sales for DC titles will remain about the same.”

I was trying to think of any specific blow-ups this year, but most of the examples I was able to turn up were from 2013 or before. I’m sure someone wasn’t happy and split DC because of editorial issues in 2014. Sales for DC seem to be steady, as you suggest…there was a sizable bump in September for the 3D covers, as expected.

“2. The big 2 and maybe Image will really be pushing digital over floppies for monthly issues. They’ll still MAKE floppies, but they’ll be like tapes in 1993. Floppy sales will be an afterthought from Marvel and DC because even if digital sales aren’t beating physical sales yet (and I have no idea if they are) the focus will be on pushing the consumer to a future that the publishers want.”

I think it’s still a little early for companies to be throwing all their digital eggs into the online basket just yet. I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy to do that, and cut out all that messy “printing on actual paper” stuff and its attendant costs, but old people like me still want their funnybooks on stapled-together pieces of dead trees.

“3. Even though Batista wins the world title at Wrestlemania and Disney uses that for promotion, Guardians of the Galaxy will be the first Marvel Studios movie that doesn’t wow. I’m not saying it will bomb, but it’ll be the first that proves you can’t just base a movie on ANY comic and get a blockbuster. People like us can handle Groot and Rocket Raccoon, but John and Jane Public will laugh. Unfortunately this means Warner Bros. never makes a Space Cabby movie.”

I think we were all surprised by how well Guardians went over, and by the fact Groot and Rocket Raccoon are now much beloved. I have Groot and Rocket cardboard standees in the window of my store, and I promise you, everyone from tiny children to little old ladies get a kick out of seeing them there.

But don’t dismiss the idea of an eventual Space Cabby movie…even if it’s a fanfilm by S.C.’s biggest fan!

• • •

The King of the Moon doth decree

“An Octobot containing Peter Parker’s consciousness will restore Peters mind to his body in time for the premiere of a amazing Spider-Man 2″

Pretty sure that wasn’t exactly what happened, but Peter Parker was back as Spider-Man for a brand new Amazing Spider-Man #1 and, yes, for the premiere a few days later for the silver screen debut of Amazing Spider-Man 2.

• • •

Max pushes it to the limit with

“1) Marvel will open (or announce the opening of) a chain of brand-dedicated stores.”

There are already Disney stores, so that’ll probably be good enough.

“2) Comixology will face its first real contender in the digital comics market, and it will be from an entity that we haven’t even heard about yet.”

Its first real contender was Amazon, who bought them, so that was that, I guess.

“3) Warner Bros. will shut down “DC Entertainment” and ‘relaunch’ it as ‘WB Superheroes Bedsheets ‘n Stuff.’ Or something. :)”

I’d be down with some Swamp Thing sheets.

• • •

That’s enough for now…to be continued shortly!

I try to come up with a gag or reference for each of your names, I really do.

§ January 14th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

So before I get into part two of revisiting your predictions for 2014, Interstate Shogun did check in to follow up on his personal prediction from last year, so be sure to give it a read.

And again, add your 2015 comic industry predictions to the pile for me to go through next year, assuming I survive that long.

ONWARD:

Brian blessed us with the following fortunes:

“1. DC will follow Marvel’s recent lead of stopping sales of periodical ‘floppies’ on the newsstand & in bookstores, leading to the collapse of that classic practice industrywide within a few years.”

You know, I haven’t the foggiest. I suppose I’d have heard about it if DC pulled out of newsstand distribution. I do suppose bookstore distribution of comic periodicals is probably on its way out, as you suggest, unless some drastic format change comes to make carrying these things worth everyone’s time, versus just going trade paperback/hardcover only in those stores.

“2. Marvel will continue to spread into different genres in movies & television by having as its second show on ABC a comedy: DAMAGE CONTROL, positioned as ‘blue collar S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and taking advantage of the fans’ zeitgeist over the damage done in big-budget superhero films.”

Given one of the complaints about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (does the TV show actually have all the little periods in the title? I’m too lazy to Google it up and check) is that precious few recognizable Marvel heroes pop up in the show, and all the ones you would want to see are Silver Screen Only, a Damage Control TV show might be even more frustrating. That said, I’m surprised that Damage Control hasn’t popped up in some form somewhere, as a humorous side-plot in one of Marvel’s TV shows or movies. Or maybe it has…I’m so far behind on my TV watching, you guys.

“3. DC’s move to California will lead to a demarcation of NYCC and SDCC as the de facto ‘Marvel Convention’ and ‘DC Convention’ as the two are able to pull out all the stops at the two close-to-home genre extravaganzas while the other would have to travel cross-country.”

Too soon to tell about this, I think. I will have to plan to make my Camarillo comic show the “Sterling Silver Comics Con,” however.

• • •

Andrew Leal loyally revealed

“1. IDW’s Rocky and Bullwinkle comic (HOORAY) will either a) bring joy into many hearts and surpass previous achievements in the art of comic book punnery or b) single-handedly re-ignite the Cold War, break off friendly relations with Canada, and cause certain right-wing pundits to decry a dog legally owning a small child.”

Well, I think people decried the Sherman and Peabody movie, but that’s probably not what you meant. I liked the Rocky and Bullwinkle comic, anyway!

“2. The success of BATMAN 66 will lead to SUPERMAN ’52, and the long-awaited Aunt Harriet/Professor Pepperwinkle cross-over.”

We got Wonder Woman ’77, so there’s hope yet!

“3. In the wake of DC UNIVERSE ONLINE and MARVEL HEROES, Classic Media and Sony will launch DATELINE: HARVEYVILLE. At last, you can raid Richie Rich’s vaults as Little Audrey, go PVP as either Baby Huey or Little Lotta, and see the epic carnage of the all-star battle against a rampaging Stumbo.”

Sadly, didn’t happen. But let’s be honest, would there be anything better than playing as Little Lotta, destroying everything in your path? …Well, maybe playing at Hot Stuff and shooting everyone with your flame-throwing pitchfork.

• • •

Robert in New Orleans jazzes things up with

“1. By the end of 2014, every issue Marvel Comics publishes will have a ‘#1’ on the cover somewhere.”

If not now, then soon.

“2. At the end of 2014, Doc Ock’s mind will still control Peter Parker’s body.”

Not in regular continuity, but Superior Spider-Man is running around in this Spider-Verse storyline, if I recall correctly

“3. Swamp Thing will continue to be appear in comics throughout 2014, but midway through the year his own title will be relaunched with a new ‘#1’ and a new title: Swamp Bat.”

Just barely…Swampy’s title is ending soon, but I think he’ll still be in Justice League Dark. And don’t say “Swamp Bat” so loud…DC might hear you.

• • •

William Burns turns up the heat with

“1. Without JH Williams’s involvement, Batwoman will be cancelled.”

Cancelled it is, though even with J.H. Williams, Batwoman wasn’t selling all that great, far as I could tell. I mean, I liked it, but I’m a person of refined tastes, as you know.

“2. Hoping to follow up on Kevin Keller’s success, Archie Comics will introduce a transgender character.”

It really feels like that I’ve read something along these lines, though maybe I’m misremembering. It really does say something about how far Archie has come to see this as an absolute possibility. My Googling did nothing, alas, except turn up a lot of anti-Archie blogging from folks who can’t stand the idea of anyone not like them being treated as actual human beings worthy of respect, which is a little sad. Anyway, if it hasn’t happened yet, I’m sure Archie will do it soon.

“3. ‘Judge Parker: The Eduardo Barreto Years’ archival reprint is announced, to the delight of breast fans everywhere.”

Not yet it seems. I remember being disappointed to find out Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez was leaving Atari Force, only to find out his replacement, Eduardo Barreto, wasn’t half-bad his own self. Quite the talented fella, that Eduardo.

• • •

Mike Baehr bears down with

“1. Amazon will make an aggressive move to try and take dominance of the digital comics market away from comiXology”

I’d say Amazon buying comiXology qualifies.

“2. More examples of monstrous behavior by individuals in the industry will come to light, followed by more half-assed insincere apologies and lack of real consequences beyond internet scolding; relatedly, the glass ceiling in editorial at Marvel & DC will remain intact”

Sadly, probably all still true, though in one case this year an actual permanent-seeming consequence did arise in response to deplorable behavior.

And as far as glass ceilings go, so long as events like this continue to garner positive response, those ceilings can’t go uncracked for long. Let’s hope, anyway.

“3. Dan Clowes and Charlie Kaufman begin co-writing a screenplay about a plagiarizing movie star”

A plagiarizing movie star? That’s too crazy…who’d ever believe it?

“Bonus 2015 prediction: Jaime Hernandez sweeps all the applicable major comics awards for the collection of The Love Bunglers (out this Spring, cough cough)”

Featured as a Best Book over at Publisher’s Weekly, so that’s something! Though frankly Jaime and Gilbert should be winning all the awards all the time.

• • •

demoncat4 pays tribute to his previous three lives with

“after forever evil dc will do a crossover where all the bad guys vanish and the heroes deal with a dc universe of no evil.”

That would have been kind of hilarious, but did not come to pass, really. The Multiversity entry The Just was kind of like that, with the superpowered sons and daughters of superheroes trying to carry on a mock-superheroic tradition in world where all adversity had been long ago been conquered by their parents.

“2 marvel will wind up bringing a new rom back to their comics.”

I bet if Marvel could somehow clear up the Rom rights, a new Rom series would be kind of cool, actually. Nothing yet, though!

“more comic industry bad behavior at cons will come to light with more top names confessing and trying to say sorry.”

Nothing specific about con behavior I can recall, but I haven’t been keeping track, either. But in general…yeah, there’s a lot of behavior out there that people need to feel apologetic for, but probably don’t, and more’s the pity.

• • •

Erik…uh, Erik, um…look, I can’t have a joke for every name:

“DC’s New 52 status quo will continue to be trashed online, will sell just fine. I will continue to read the trades at the local library and be glad I spent my money on worthwhile things, like candy and cigarettes.”

Some New 52 sells okay, some does not (hence the recent cancellation of a dozen books), and DC’s always getting trashed online regardless of what they’re doing, so What Can You Do? I have no idea how you’ve been spending your money over the last year, though, so you’ll have to tell us. (NOTE TO SELF: carry candy and cigarettes at the new shop)

• • •

Bully stuffs us all with love by predicting

“The Punisher will shoot someone.”

If by “shoot” you mean “hug” then…no, not in the slightest. If you did mean “shoot,” then, well, whoa nelly did he ever.

• • •

See you next time, with more semi-researched responses to your forecasts!

Your 2014 Predictions, Part One of Too Many.

§ January 12th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Okay, sorry for the delay in getting started on these…between car trouble, being ill, and, oh, running a store, I’ve not had a whole lot of time or energy to tackle looking back at your predictions for 2014. But now that I’m tanned (not true), rested (really not true) and ready (generally not true at any time), let’s get started!

(And in the meantime, don’t forget to add to my woes early next year by contributing your 2015 predictions, even if some of you are kind of violating the spirit of the “three predictions” limit, you wily scamps.)

• • •

Tom Cherry pits the following against me:

“Little Dot, Little Lotta, and Jackie Jokers won’t be making their big comic book comebacks in 2014 and the world will be poorer for it!”

Sadly, no Littles of the Dot or Lotta kind seemed to make an appearance, though I’m doing brisk trade in old copies of those at my shop. Now, that Jackie Jokers jerk, we’re better off without. Just look at the guy.

• • •

ExistentialMan precedes my essence with

“1) Image will surpass 10% market share for at least four months during 2014.”

Looking at Diamond’s charts for the last year…Image did break the monthly 10% market share barrier a couple of times in dollar sales, and over a half-dozen times in units moved, so there you go!

“2) Adult Mike Sterling will draw a capybara that actually looks like a capybara :P”

Oh how dare you, sir, disparaging five-year-old Mike’s expert illustration of the world’s largest rodent. However, only a couple of months ago you asked for a modern capybara drawing from my creaky, liver-spotted hands and baby, I delivered.

• • •

Adam ribs me with

“1) A comic book movie will come out that doesn’t spur interest in the comic books beyond a few people buying the graphic novel that contains the story on which the film is based.”

I would say Sin City: A Dame to Kill For but I don’t know that inspired anybody to do anything except say “okay, no more films in this style.”

“2) The comics industry will collapse, along with all other industries, when the world burns as it falls into the sun. The cries of humanity will go unheard, the throne in Heaven sits empty and naught but darkness will follow the flames that engulf the human race.”

I did my best, Adam, but alas the industry’s still here. Maybe this year!

“3) Fantagraphics will continue to not announce Nancy vol 3.”

It came in just under the wire!

• • •

Kid Kyoto challenges protocol with

“1-Price war in digital comics, collections going for as low as $1 as publishers race to cash in on their backlists and ween people away from pirates.”

I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to digital comics, because things that are different frighten me, but it seems to me there were a lot of pals on Twitter ballyhooing lots of crazy sales for lots of digital funnybooks, so some kind of pricing competition was going on it seems.

“2-SUPERMAN KILLS! In a totally edgy story line which hasn’t been done since the late 80s!”

They kind of did that in the New 52 Justice League, didn’t they? Some villain got control of Superman and flash-fried somebody with his heat vision? And didn’t that Super-Doomsday storyline result in a Doomsday-possessed Superman takin’ some folks out? I don’t know, they play pretty loose with the whole “Superman doesn’t kill” thing. I don’t know that a “SUPERMAN KILLS!” story would stick out that much.

Well, aside from that Man of Steel movie from 2013, I guess.

“3-Bat books make up 50% of the New 52, X books make up 505 of the Marvel universe. Or has this already happened?”

Not yet. We’ll see what DC replaces those dozen or so cancelled books with. And Marvel will probably focus on flooding the market with titles based on the movies they own over movies licensed to other studios.

• • •

Interstate Shogun connects me to the following questions

“1. Every issue of Sandman Overture will be delayed, causing the 6 issue series to stretch into the middle of 2015 and everyone will forget what the heck is going on. But it won’t stop DC from collecting the first 3 issues into a trade, hardback and Absolute Edition. Action figures, statues and other tchotchkes will abound as well.”

Sandman Overture is still in progress, so a most palpable hit, sit. Surprised I haven’t seen a whole lot of tie-ins so far, but with two issues to go we’ve got, oh, eight to nine months’s time to get out more of those limited edition thingies. There was a $300 Sandman chess set in the last Previews…does that count?

“2. At Marvel, by next fall at least half of the NOW! line that isn’t X/Avengers/Spidey related will fold. I mean, does anyone really think a Black Widow comic will run long term? She Hulk? I like the characters but I’ve been burned too many times with cancellations.”

Yeah, She-Hulk got canned (a good comic kinda blindsided by a fill-in artist that the folks reading the comic didn’t care for…lost a bunch of pull-list people with that), and Black Widow is still hanging in there, I think. The Ultimates relaunch didn’t do much…we still have Spider-Man, but Ultimates is outta here. And we lost at least one X-book…All-New X-Factor is done. Most surprisingly, though I guess not so much if you consider the reasons, Marvel ending Fantastic Four allegedly because they don’t have the movie rights is…well, allegedly a thing, I guess. I mean, at least the Big Two are making some minor attempts at publishing titles that aren’t part of their First Tier Characters, but yeah, it does result in a high fatality rate.

“3. On a personal collecting note, Marvel will no longer hold the lions share of my new comic collecting, falling into more of an even split between Image and Dark Horse, with 1 or 2 DC thrown in (the above mentioned Sandman and Astro City). I’ll post an update on this in a year. As much as I want to try out new stuff (although “new” is a very relative term when your dealing with legacy characters that are 50 years old and older) new books are just too expensive and publishers futz around too much with early cancellations and just plain crap storytelling. 2013 saw a big drop in my pull list compared to the previous year. I get me new books once a month now and it hasn’t made a difference.”

Having spied on Interstate Shogun for the past year, let me answer this for him…oh, okay, I’m just kidding. He can answer himself if he’d like!

• • •

My old friend Pal Cully causes problems with

“1. Joe Matt will return to comics with a book produced using only semen.”

CULLY, NO. BAD CULLY.

“2. Marvel remembers that they skipped the Hulk’s 50th birthday.”

HULK SMASH PUNY BELATED BIRTHDAY CARD BOUGHT AT ALBERTSONS.

“3. Pet trees that look like Groot become popular.”

Post-Christmas streets, littered with abandoned baby Groot trees discarded by children already bored with their gifts.

• • •

LondonKdS rails me with

“One of the Big Two will kill off a well-known character, and at least one generalist news publication will report it as a culturally significant moment instead of a publicity stunt that will result in a resurrection about a year later. As a result, Mike will again have to give naive people who think they need to purchase something that will become a hallowed artifact The Talk.”

There was one death in comics that captured the imaginations and dominated sales, and that, of course, was the death of Dum Dum Dugan in Original Sin. Oh, and Wolverine apparently “died” too, but honestly, no one’s buying that for a minute. I’m sure it probably made the news here and there, but I think the general populace has now been sufficiently trained into realizing the storytelling device/gimmick these things are.

• • •

Okay, that’s going to have to be it for today. Come back tomorrow for part 2 of about 19 of “Mike Drives Away All His Readers!”

Spoilers for Miracleman #14, probably.

§ January 7th, 2015 § Filed under miraclemarvelman § 11 Comments

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (1/9/15): Newsarama just ran an article on the situation that cites me, including the extra bit of info that I didn’t mention here, that the missing text will be sent to retailers, somehow. (I talked about that on my Twitter account, but wasn’t yet clear on how the text was going to be distributed.)

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (1/8/15): Apparently there was a miscommunication somewhere, as replacements aren’t on their way, since Marvel has opted not to replace this issue with a corrected edition. Digital copies have apparently been fixed, however, and it will be corrected in the eventual hardcover/paperback collections. …Well, it was nice selling the print editions of the individual comics while it lasted.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed by Diamond that replacement copies are on the way, with the error corrected.

(ORIGINAL POST FROM 1/7/15 FOLLOWS:)

Well, hopefully Marvel will be going back to print on Miracleman #14 to release corrected editions, because certain word balloons on page 15 that originally looked like this in the original 1988 Eclipse comic:


…now look like this in the Marvel reprint out this week:


…though you can read the dialogue from those balloons on the original artwork pages in the comic’s backmatter:


It wasn’t just that panel; all the black word balloons on that page lost their lettering. Well, not “lost,” exactly…at first glance I thought the balloons were entirely black, but upon looking at the scans I can see the lettering is there, just miscolored to the point of illegibility.

Now, mistakes happen, I know, and I realize 1) it’s going to cost a lot, and 2) it’ll suck for everyone involved to bite the bullet on this, but I really do hope Marvel does fix this error with a new printing of the comic. After going through all this trouble to get this material back into the marketplace, it would be a shame to have something like this mar the rerelease. Maybe they can save a few cents by not polybagging the corrected version.

Everyone loves pancakes.

§ January 6th, 2015 § Filed under pal plugging, sir-links-a-lot § 2 Comments

  • I’m still gathering comic industry predictions for 2015 in the comments for yesterday’s post…get yours in while the getting’s good, or something like that.
  • Longtime ProgRuin reader/commenter Walaka dropped by my store recently and reveals all the sordid details right here!
  • Internet pal Karla has a Kickstarter for her forthcoming children’s book that’s not for children Inspector Pancakes Helps the President of France Solve the White Orchid Murders. I contributed, because I must see the finished product. Hopefully you can contribute, too.

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