“BRIAAAAANNNNN!!!” [shakes fist]

§ August 13th, 2018 § Filed under collecting, Uncategorized § 4 Comments

So this Twitter discussion with Pal Andrew got me nostalgic, in a way, for my days of comic collecting just prior to my frequenting dens of iniquity, er, I mean, comic shops…well, okay, same difference. Anyway, I was thinking back to my comic buying progression, from occasional purchases from grocery stores and newsstands, to buying those three-packs of Star Wars comics at Toys ‘R’ Us, to digging through stacks of old comics at used bookstores, to making the rounds on my bicycle of all the local convenience stores and that one nearby grocery store.

It was one day in 1983, while going to one of those convenience stores that was a little farther afield trying to track down an issue of something or other, that I ran into a friend of mine from school. I told him what I was up to, and he said “oh, you should check out Ralph’s Comic Corner, it’s a comic book store in Ventura, they should have what you’re looking for,” and thus did my long association with that store begin, leading to my evenual employment there, and of course to opening up my own store. So, should anyone ever ask how I ended up in my current situation, you can blame old schoolmate Brian Lindquist, wherever he may be now.

Not to say that Ralph’s was my first-ever comic shop. I visited one in Simi Valley prior to that, after having seen an ad or a coupon or something cluing me into its existence. That was a slightly further trek to make than the relative closeness of Ventura, so we didn’t go to that store very often (I think ultimately only about a half-dozen times, at most, including that one time I met Chris Claremont).

But, as I was saying, before delving deep into the world of THE DIRECT MARKET and all its horrors, I had various places around town that I’d hit up for comics, some relatively close, some requiring a little more of a journey, and you’d have to check them most of them out on a pretty regular basis to make sure you were seeing all the newest releases. The aformentioned grocery store usually had a pretty good selection, and, especially during the summer, more than once I’d show up on New Arrival Day just a little too early only to see the uncut bundles of comics sitting in a cart, waiting for some probably overworked employee to finally find the time to open ’em up and toss them on the rack.

The one place that was more of a “last resort” was a convenience store that was a little farther away than the rest, so I didn’t go there too often, especially since they inexplicably charged tax on comics (something that periodicals weren’t subject to in Califoria at the time), and even worse, sometimes the comics would have a price sticker directly affixed to the front covers! Eep! On the other hand, that particular shop was the one place I ever saw the Superman Spectacular out in the wild, which is still one of my favorite Superman stories, so I can’t think of it with too much disdain.

The best place in town to get comics was a place deep in Oxnard called the Strand Newsstand, which had pretty much everything. Tons of magazines, lots of paperback books, the extensive porn wing, and, of course, multiple spinner racks of comical books. Once I started going there (and we went there weekly, both my dad and I), my need to circulate amongst the other convenience stories pretty much declined (though I’d still pop in once in a while to tide me over between Strand visits). The weird thing about this newsstand, which has me wondering about their distributor situation, is that they’d occasional get stuff that primarily would go through the comic shop direct market. PC Comics, such as Groo and the Berni Wrightson Master of the Macabre, I found there. Fanzines like The Comic Reader. The first issue of Don Rosa’s Comics & Stories. The Comics Journal. And they seemed to get things a little bit earlier than my other funnybook sources, too.

Whatever the reason for their comic stocking advantages, this store became the place for me to get my regular comics fix…even after discovering Ralph’s Comic Corner, this place was still closer to us and I split my purchases between both shops. Eventually, I did more or less fully migrate over to just buying from Ralph’s, especially once I started seeking out back issues.

A lot of those places I used to buy from have since closed up shop, or stopped carrying comics…presumably for reasons unrelated to my no longer visiting them. It’s certainly a lot easier for me now to stay on top of gathering the comics I want to read, since all I have to do is wait for them to show up at my store after I order them. (I mean, theoretically, given the usual vagaries of our supplier.) Definitely more convenient, but somewhat…lacking in the mystery and excitement I used to feel traveling from shop to shop wondering what will be there, what new comic will I discover, what new stories will I hardly be able to wait to get home to read.

Yes, I know Tumbleweeds is done.

§ August 10th, 2018 § Filed under all star batman, comic strips, popeye § 9 Comments

So Dave Carter of Earth sez in response to my last post, he sez

“I wonder if kids these days get exposed to Popeye like we did when we were young? I mainly learned the basics of Popeye mythology (Popeye, Olive, Swee’Pea, Bluto/Brutus, Wimpy, spinach, etc.) though the cartoon, which ran on a local UHF station. But I’m not aware of any way a kid these days would encounter Popeye unless it is purposely placed in front of them by an adult-type.”

…And yeah, that was something I was wondering about myself the other day. Well, in sort of a roundabout way, I suppose. I was wondering if we would ever see, arising from the newspaper funny pages, a strip that would achieve the near-universal recognition and/or influence of, like, Garfield, or Peanuts, or Dilbert, or even Popeye.

I mean, sure, it’s not like the strips can’t be found, and even if people don’t have newspaper subscriptions, which nowadays is more and more likely, the comics can always be found online at the various syndication websites. But there that requires readers to go and seek the strips out, versus the strips coming into your home every day with the latest copy of the Oxnard Press-Courier (or your local equivalent). Neqr effortless daily access for readers of all ages compared to a readership comprised of at least slightly tech-savvy folks (or at least with tech-savvy relatives to show ’em how to get the new Marvin)…there’s going to be some attrition.

And not to mention selection…the latter group won’t be getting the full page or two of every strip in the paper, where they’ll at least be aware of Tumbleweeds, probably spending the couple of seconds to read it even if they don’t like it. Instead they’d likely pick and choose which strips they want to follow…no inadvertently scanning over strips they didn’t want to read, no basic knowledge of the strips they don’t see.

I’m making a lot of assumptions here. My thesis here essentially boils down to “comic strips aren’t the universal experience they used to be,” which I don’t think can be too heavily argued against, even if the reasons for this are up for debate. Is there going to be another licensing juggernaut like Garfield that spawns out of the traditional newspaper strip format? Or even from web-only strips? Surely there will be some marketing success with other strips, but only if they make it into other media, and not nearly on the scale of a slothful orange cat or a neighborhood filled with neurotic children.

Anyway, we were talking about Popeye. Popeye, of course, was immensely popular nearly from the get-go, with his introduction in the comic strip in 1929, and the famous cartoons, and, inexplicably, the chicken restaurant (RIP that tie-in license, by the way). But now, in 2018, like Dave said above, it seems like the number of opportunties for kids to learn about Popeye are drastically reduced.

The comic strip runs reruns of old Bud Sagendorf dailies, while still producing new Sunday strips by Hy Eisman. I don’t know how many subscribing papers Popeye has, but it can’t be too many, possibly only a fraction of the number it held in its heyday. You know, like almost every other strip.

The cartoons, which seemed ubiquitous on TV in my youth, have been relegated to the specialty channels. Not sure how often they’re shown, or what the viewership is, but certainly the numbers are lower there too.

And I don’t know how many kids are stumbling across the Official YouTube Popeye Channel…maybe some, I’m sure. Oh, and don’t forget the popular attraction in Malta built around the still-standing sets for the 1980 Popeye movie that starred Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.

I admit some bias…I don’t see Popeye on TV or in the paper or just by happenstance over the course of my day (well, yes, except at the store), so I’m assuming nobody does. When I see anything Popeye-related, it’s when I seek it out…like renting the archival DVDs of the original cartoons from Netflix, or watching, like I did very recently, that 1980 live action adaptation (short review: beautifully designed, wondefully cast, stupefyingly presented), or buying a specific issue off the eBay.

As it turns out, when I received that very Popeye comic in the mail at the shop, my niece (who used to be the 10-year-old niece I’d occasionally mention on this site and who is now my 21-year-old niece, in case you needed another shove towards the grave) happened to stop by to say hello. I said “hey, look what I got in the mail!” and she replied “hey, Popeye!” so she definitely knew who the character was. A while later, thinking about what Dave said, I asked her about how she knew about Popeye. Her reply was that, when she was younger, her dad’s parents would sometimes let her read her dad’s comics from when he was a kid, which included the adventures of our favorite gazookus which hates all palookas. And she would see Popeye cartoons on the very same cable network I’d linked above while pooh-poohing its viewership.

So, you know, it’s Popeye. He’s too tough to be forgotten, and he’ll find a way to connect with kids somehow. Maybe the audiences aren’t are huge and widespread as they once were, and it’s not as easy to just happen across any of his material, but he and Olive and Wimpy and Bluto (and Brutus) are all still hanging in there, waiting for that next child eventually to discover what E.C. Segar created for all of us so long ago.

I would absolutely wear Charlton-branded clothing if such a thing existed.

§ August 8th, 2018 § Filed under charlton, popeye § 4 Comments

So anyway, I came across a picture of this cover somewhere online and decided right then and there I had to have it:


Now, I may have mentioned at some point that I’m a fan of the Charlton Comics era of Popeye comics, from the late ’60s into the ’70s, and I tend to keep ’em for myself on the rare occasion one happens my way in a collection. However, this issue, I just couldn’t wait for the tides to drop one on my shores…I sailed out into the internets and netted my very own copy.

What I was hoping for was what was seemingly implied on the cover…”the story of Popeye” as in “the life story” with at least several pages devoted to his adventures when he looked like this:


Alas, ’twas not the case, which means this comic I talked about a while back still stands as the only definitive fictional biography of the one-eyed (or is he) sailor man.

What we actually get in this here funnybook is a little more literal delivery on the cover blurb, in which the actual origins of Popeye in the comic strips is explained:


…and briefly mentions the supporting characters;


…but it sort of glosses over the fact that Popeye had appeared in a strip that had already been running about ten years by the time he showed up. And that Olive wasn’t just “there at the beginning” of Popeye’s introduction, but preceding his appearance entirely. Darn your lackadaisical scholarship, nearly-50-year-old Charlton comic!

The Bluto/Brutus name mix-up is referenced:


…though the name “Bluto” isn’t actually mentioned, but I’m sure a kid interested enough in Popeye to read comics about him probably knew it from the original cartoons.

After another page covering more characters and relationships (such as Wimpy, and the Jeep), we get this great full-page splash of artist George Wildman drawing himself surrounded by the various denizens of this series of Popeye:


…wearing of course the official Charlton Comics work shirt issued to all employees of the company at the time. Writer Joe Gill even gets a namecheck for himself in there, which is a nice reminder that this comic wasn’t the one-man show I’d assumed. And that’s pretty much it for “The Story of Popeye,” as the next three pages are a short…um, well, Popeye story where Brutus abducts Olive and Popeye goes to the rescue and there’s fisticuffs and mayhem and it’s pretty much just a small, simple quintessential example of what Pipeye, Peepeye, Poopeye and Pupeye’s uncle is all about.

Again, that last splash is a wonderful drawing…I’ve written before about how the Charlton Popeye will, despite its apparent simplicity, occasionally surprise you with its artistry. I was hoping there would be some eventual comprehensive reprinting of this run, like the recently concluded IDW series featuring the Bud Sagendorf comics, but I guess there just isn’t enough money in it. That’s a shame, because the world could always use more recovery of classic cartooning, and not just have it relegated to the forgotten back issue bins and dusty attics of history where only oddballs like me can appreciate it.
 
 

from Popeye #108 (June 1971) by Joe Gill and George Wildman

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ August 6th, 2018 § Filed under End of Civilization § 3 Comments

Make Civilization End Again with this great new batch of goodies that you can find in the latest Diamond Previews! Grab your own copy of the August 2018 edition and follow along:

p. 44 – Dead Rabbit #1:


Not the sequel to Fatal Attraction, where a zombie rabbit gets his revenge, I’m afraid I have to report.
 
 
p. 109 – The Seeds #3:


This is a great comic! I’ve really been pushing it on everybody. In fact, you could say I’ve been…PUSHIN’ TOO HARD:


 
 
p. 114 – Ralph Breaks The Internet — Click Start: Choose Your Own Internet Adventure HC:


Sheesh, yeah, right, what’s Ralph going to do? Break the internet more? “Oh no, there are more women-hating weirdos on Twitter? DARN IT RALPH.”
 
 
p. 123 – Death Orb #1:


This certainly was some advance marketing:


 
 
p. 129 – Game of Thrones Targaryen Throne Replica:


I didn’t know that throne was carved out of Vasquez Rocks.
 
 
p. 138 – Tales from Vader’s Castle #1:


“THANK YOU, DARTH VADER, BUT OUR PRINCESS IS IN AN[joke cut for obviousness…for once]
 
 
p. 190 – Rainbow Brite #1:


Let me guess…creeps are complaining that this character is no longer as sexy as she used to be too.
 
 
p. 280 – Snoopy Boogie Down! TP:


I am actually thrilled that a book with that cover, with Snoopy dressed like that, with the encouragement that he should in fact “boogie down,” is coming out in the Year of Our Lord 2018. Bless these folks.
 
 
p. 322 – Star Wars Lando’s Luck HC:


“So I understand that Lando’s luck…works every t[also cut for obviousness]
 
 
p. 323 – Star Wars Be More Vader HC & Be More Yoda HC:


Looking forward to Be More R2-D2 [be more potty-mouthed, take no crap from anyone], Be More Lobot [be quiet and awesome], Be More Ugnaught [self-explanatory], and Be More Watto [oooh, maybe not].
 
 
p. 324 – Bath Time with Aquaman Bath Book:


“Make some room, my friend, Aquaman is joining you in that bathtub!”

“Um, look, I’m just trying to read Of Mice and Men and Robots here, could you maybe not…”

“Here I come! Mind the splashing!”

“SIGH. Okay, fine, but the walrus stays out.”

“…Not Tusky!”
 
 
p. 354 – Lost in Space Countdown to Danger Vol. 1:


What’s with this “volume one” business? They should just put all the books out simultaneously so we can binge-read them over a weekend and then spoil it for people who have families and jobs.
 
 
p. 370 – Wonder Woman Mad Libs:

“Okay, I need a noun.”

“Aquarium!”

“And an adjective.”

“Scary!”

“Great. Now I need an example of the oppressive patriarchy against which we sisters must always struggle.”

“Hoo boy, where do I start?”
 
 
p. 401 – Make A Nerdy Living:


GOT THAT COVERED, THANKS.
 
 
p. M17 – Legends in 3D Movie Watchmen Rorschach Half-Scale Bust:


“What’s that mushroom cloud of smoke rising up over there in England’s direction?”

“Oh, just Alan Moore’s head exploding.”

“…Again?”
 
 
p. M77 – Garfield 400% B@arbrick:


I hope he’s just inexplicably changed in the actual comic strip to look like this. Would people just, you know, accept it? “Gotta have my Garfield…wait, he looks different. Huh. Well, as long as he still hates Mondays.”
 
 
DC Previews p. 4 – Batman Blank Comic #1:


“And then Batman and Catwoman kiss, and then they’re married, and then they have lots of kids, and then they….”

“Uh, Mike? What are you doing? Are you…drawing in that comic book?”

“NO, SHUT UP.”
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 3 – Spider-Geddon #1:


“Uh oh, looks like trouble! I’m…spider-geddon out of here!”

— why Mike isn’t allowed to write comic books
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 18 – Infinity Wars Sleepwalker #1 & #2:


If anyone can do Sandman done right, it’s Chad Bowers and Chris Sims! Don’t disappoint me, boys!

They might want to avoid reissuing some of those Golden Age Wonder Woman comics right now, too.

§ August 3rd, 2018 § Filed under big red cheese, racial sensitivity § 10 Comments

So the word I got in an email from DC Comics this week was that the recently-announced collection of the Golden Age Captain Marvel story Monster Society of Evil, slated for release next Feburary, was cancelled. This is the second time in recent years DC canned a planned release of this story, as a hardcover solicited in mid 2009 was also taken off the schedule shortly thereafter. The reason given this time was “due to concerns over its contents,” or in other words “we don’t want news items about racism in Shazam comics during the month lead-up to the Shazam movie.”

And yes, there are some…unfortunate caricatures in this particular run of the Big Red Cheese’s adventures, as I recall. I did get a chance to read this story myself quite a while back, in an oversized slipcased hardcover reprint from 1989 loaned to me by a friend:


…That picture was taken from a recent eBay listing, by the way, where you can find several copies of the book for prices ranging from hundreds of dollars to too many hundreds of dollars.

Anyway, back to the racism. It’s hard to say outright that “oh yeah hey this story is great well you know except for that whole Steamboat business” because, well, c’mon. You can look at it as a historical artifact, a “product of its time” as they say (though real world events should tell you that time isn’t nearly as far away as people would like to think). I know it’s been suggested that it be released with some ginormous disclaimer on the book warning about the racial shenanigans therein (as has been done with the past with other archival comics and cartoon reissues on DVD), which would allow the publisher to cover its corporate butt while still making their mon–er, I mean, still preserving classic material for future generations. I know the earlier DC Archives reprints of Captain Marvel Stories had their fair share of similar problems, but, yeah, they didn’t come out with a multimillion dollar movie hot on their heels.

It’s also been suggested some other publisher take on the project so that DC doesn’t take the heat, but…yeah, if someone’s going to make a big public stink about it, it’s not going to matter whose business name is on the spine or how big the disclaimer is.

Anyway, it’s probably all just as well. I get why DC wouldn’t want to risk the bad publicity, and there are plenty of stories from the same period by the same creators that aren’t, you know, afflicted with related subject matter.There’s lots of later material, too…at the very least, let’s get color reissues of those E. Nelson Bridwell/Don Newton stories from the late ’70s/early ’80s:


I mean, they just fight Satan in those…that wouldn’t stir up any trouble, surely.

Oh nothing, just an amazing splash page penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko.

§ August 1st, 2018 § Filed under jack kirby § 8 Comments


 
 

From Tales to Astonish #13 (November 1960), reprinted in Chamber of Darkness #7 (October 1970)

By Jove, more Jupiter comics!

§ July 30th, 2018 § Filed under indies, pal plugging § 2 Comments

So I’ve written about Jason Sandberg’s Jupiter before, a wonderful black and white comic that ran in the 1990s and was alas too beautiful for this world, disappearing from the racks in too short of a time.

Here’s the good news: that Sandberg fella is bringing Jupiter back, in digital comics form!


Clicking that cover (or the sidebar ad, if you’re a person that still visits my website directly and also a person that still reads comic blogs, will whisk you away tp Comixology, where you can obtain issue #0. This collection is a compilation of several of the one-page gag strips and some of the longer features from that original series, giving you an idea of what to expect when new Jupiter material starts being released. Yes, that’s right, I said new, and it’s about darn time. I missed this comic and I’m so glad to have it back.

Anyway, here are some samples, including a couple of the one-pagers:

…and some excerpts from the longer stories:

NOTE: none of the Pelasgus stories (which I go on about at length in that older post of mine) are featured, though Pelasgus does make the occasional cameo in a couple of the strips. (Maybe a later collection, hmmmmm?)

Also, full disclosure: Jason and I became online pals quite a while back, and I’ve occasionally plugged his work here (and about which you can learn more at his site), and he’s sent me various print projects of his over the years to distribute at both my previous place of employment and my current one. He’s a good guy and I’m happy to promote his work. I’m especially happy to promote the return of Jupiter, which had been one of my favorites back in the ’90s, and sure to be one of my favorites of the ’10s and hopefully many years beyond.

Digesting these giants.

§ July 27th, 2018 § Filed under dc comics § 2 Comments


So I finally got my mitts on those Walmart-exclusive DC Giants, which I’d talked about a few days back where I kept calling them “digests” for some reason. Thanks to Twitter pal Greg, who took pity upon my predicament and mailed me his set once he was done with them. And once I’m done with them, I’ll probably pass ’em along to nieces and nephews.

Anyway, first off, there are certainly not digest-sized, but the same dimensions as a standard comic book, if a bit thicker. Plus, I like the semi-retro “100-PAGE GIANT” banner across the cover. Slick covers, square binding, nice paper stock (more matte-feeling than the paper DC usually uses on their periodicals…it’s like the paper stock they used on this week’s Flash, if you picked that up). Each story is fronted by a page with the character logo and a brief text introduction, and followed by another page with text previewing the next chapter and reminding readers to be back in a month for the next exciting installment!

It’s a good mix of recent-ish stories (which you can see listed here). Each contains a new story, but the only one I’ve read so far is the Batman one, part one of a two-parter by Jimmy Palmiotti and Patch Zircher, which squeezes quite a bit into just 12 pages while still remaining a solidly entertaining an interesting story, setting up quite the mystery that, given the vagaries of distribution at my local Walmarts (i.e. none, apparently) I’ll have to wait and read the conclusion when it’s eventually reprinted in something for the direct comics market. At 100 pages for five bucks, it’s quite the deal…I know if I was a kid that happened across these in a department store, I’d be thrilled.

It’s a solid effort at outreach by DC, and I hope in continues. I know they have longterm plans for these (judging by the 12-part serial that’ll start in the third issue of the Batman giant), which with any luck won’t be undermined by display and supply issues. I suppose younger kids are less uptight about not getting every single part of a story (“said Mike, who is not a parent of small children”) but only getting a story piecemeal can be frustrating. And Walmart isn’t a comic shop…this is just one more item filling shelf space and I don’t imagine they’re particularly incentivized to upkeep this product line beyond the bare minimum of “put ’em out when we get ’em.” Worries about Walmart and other chain stores carrying new comic stock are mostly unfounded for that reason…they’re not mainline items, people working these stores aren’t going to focus their energies on a $5 comic when they could be selling a $50 video game. They’re not going to replace a good comic shop…or even my comic shop for that matter. But there’s always the chance they could make new fans of the actual experience of reading comics, not just watching the movies, which is the one thing this industry desperately needs.

Well, the superhero comics industry, anyway. Raina Telgemeier comics are doin’ just fine.

I’ve typed an awful lot over the last couple of weeks…

§ July 25th, 2018 § Filed under swamp thing § 2 Comments

…so today I’ll just remind you to head to your local comics emporium and pick up this week’s new release of Scooby-Doo Team-Up #40, guest-starring Swamp Thing:


That is indeed Swamp Thing, cute little pug nose an’ all. (Why, that makes my Twitter avatar almost canon!) Anyway, this issue will make you long-time Swampy fans very happy, I think.

Also look for Swamp Thing in this week’s debut of Justice League Dark as well! Two covers to choose from, both prominently featuring that muck-encrusted mockery of a man. (Or be like me…don’t choose, just get ’em both!)

MIKE VS. TWITTER.

§ July 23rd, 2018 § Filed under big red cheese, blogging about blogging is a sin, retailing § 9 Comments

So the other day, a small gag occurred to me that I felt I should post on Twitter, and that gag was this:


Those of you who know me, or have at least read me for a while, know that’s a very Mike joke for me to make. Anyway, I thought it was cute, a silly gag, not a great one, that maybe my Twitter pals would get a chuckle out of, given most of them are comics-savvy and would understand the joke.

Well, for some reason, this tweet has received more “retweets” and “faves” than anything I’ve ever posted on the Twitterers before, outside of my contributions to Fake AP Stylebook. I don’t know if it counts as “going viral,” but by my supremely low standards it’s at least a very minor virus, perhaps only a slight infection. Regardless, it’s received far more attention than I would have thought..perhaps because of the timing with the release of the Shazam! movie trailer (more on that later in the post).

As per usual, whenever something I’ve written makes it outside the usual circle of “People Who’ve Learned to Tolerate Mike and His ‘Writing,'” I get to hear from people who don’t seem to..quite get the humor, which, okay, in all fairness maybe they’re trying to be funny back at me and I’m too lame to grok their superior hilarious commentary. Like, there seem to be more than a few folks who appear to believe that I’m…actually going to do this to some poor bastard stuck behind a window selling tickets? C’mon, son, I’ve worked retail for a living for decades, I’m not going to do that to my counter-jockeying brothers and sisters.

Then there’s the one fella who seemed to get, like, pissed off that I didn’t seem to realize that the Big Red Cheese isn’t actually called “Captain Marvel” anymore, but “Shazam,” thus invalidating my gag. Look, pal, read this post from about three years ago (near the middle somewhere) where I complain about the name change at length. TL;DR version: if they had to change the name, they should’a called him “Captain Shazam.”

There were some actual funny responses, which I always appreciate. Pals Ian and Myles were tuned into the same strange frequency with their replies:

(excerpt of the accompanying image…see his tweet for the full thing)


And this response made me MAL (“MAL” of course being the popular internet acronym all the kids use for “Make Audible Laughter”):


But Angel pretty much sums it all up with:


Oh, Angel, my friend, my blog here is pretty much my 15-year-long effort at trying to annoy as many people as possible. That tweet’s only the very tippiest-tip of that iceberg.

To those of you sick of seeing that tweet pop up in your feeds…I’m very, very sorry. And I’m sorry that it’s here again on my personal blogging website that you’ve surfed to on the World Wide Web.

• • •

Speaking on being annoyed on Twitter, someone drive-by hit one of my tweets on the whole “Wedding of Batman” thing (which I wrote about on my site here and here), where I said I felt for the stores that ordered huge numbers on #50 expecting the event but getting no event, while simultaneously being relieved that I appeared to order the exact number. Said drive-by-er’ reply was, in effect, “looks like you should have ordered more, dummy” with an excerpt of some article from somewhere talking about how that issue of Batman sold anyway, regardless of how things turned out. Of course, he went back into my Twitter timeline, past my own follow-up tweet where I stated “yes, of course it sold, it’s #50 of Batman, dur hey” so he could snark at me.

Well, let me tell you something, my retailing expert friend…I ordered a good number of these Batman #50s. Didn’t go overboard, didn’t have any kind of in-store event planned or anything…just lots of copies to put on the shelves. I had plenty pulled aside for the pull list customers, I had lots of walk-ins, I had plenty of phone calls from folks desperately seeking copies…and after that initial week or two of sales were over, I had exactly one copy left. That one copy, as I type this, is still on the shelf, even after having a particularly healthy and busy week at the shop…probably one of the biggest non-Free Comic Book Day weeks I’ve had this year. Lots of people coming in and out the door, calling the shop, etc., but none of whom needed that last copy of Batman #50 on my rack.

Basically, I ordered Batman #50 almost perfectly. I had almost the exact number of copies I needed to meet immediate demand. Now, that’s not to say someone won’t rush in demanding any and all copies of #50 when I get into the shop on Monday, but for the initial sales window for a new comic (which is primarily its first week of release), I exactly, save for that one remainder, met my local demand. So, no, person on Twitter I muted almost immediately because you seriously cheesed my crackers, I didn’t need to order more, because I ordered just right, thank you very much.

Sorry to go on about this, but the one thing that really makes me angry regarding store stuff is when other people, especially people who don’t know what they’re talking about, try to condescendingly tell me how to do my job. Also, when people seal their comic bags with tape. SO. ANGRY.

• • •

Oh, right, I was going to say something about the Shazam! trailer. Don’t have much to say, really…looks like it’ll be fun, despite my issues with Cap not being called “Cap” anymore. Also, it’s very much the “modern” take on the character, where Cap…er, Shazam is simply Billy in a grown-up body, as opposed to the “classic” version where Billy Batson and Captain Marvel were more or less treated as different people, and even referred to each other as such. Well, I suppose the classic version might have been a little too strange for modern audiences…the Big-starring-Tom-Hanks formula would more likely meet modern expectations for this particular premise. But I’ve gotta say…seeing Billy shout “SHAZAM!” and then transform…that was pretty great to witness in live action.

I’ve got a few old Captain Marvel entries from, egads, 2005 that I’ll need to clean up and link back to in a current post, so someone remind me to do that before the movie comes out.

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