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In case you were wondering, new comics are on schedule for the regular Wednesday release this week. And, as you’ve probably heard, Diamond is distributing no comics during the week between Christmas and the New Year. However, if your retailer remembered (like…ahem…I almost didn’t) to get themselves on Santa’s Nice List, your local funnybook shop should have Blackest Night #6 for sale during that dead week, a full week earlier than those other naughty shops. You might want to pop into the shop that week anyway, because there may be a sale or three going on to make up for the lack of new books.
In a way, I’m sort of looking forward to a skip week where I don’t have to pull comic savers or redo the racks or anything. At last, I’ll have time to brush up on my breakdancing skills for the big year-end competition, Employee Aaron will have time to drag a comb through his hair, and Employee Timmy will, I don’t know, do something British, I guess…have bangers and mash or queue up somewhere, or something like that.
So here are a few of the comics that are coming our way this week that I feel like saying something about:
- Angel Annual #1 & Angel: Only Human #5 – Is it just me, or are there suddenly more Angel comics than the market can really bear right now? At the very least, I’d like to see an end to comic adaptations of the television episodes since the target audience probably already owns them on DVD and the comic versions just feel a bit like grabbing that audience’s money just because they can. Or maybe those fans are clamoring for comic adaptations for episodes, so what do I know?
- Archie #604 – It seemed for a while that interest was going to dip in this “Archie Marries Anything with A Pulse” series of stories, once people finally caught on it was an “imaginary” story presenting possible futures for the red-haired boy and his lady pals. However, sales did go back up, and I’ve had to place reorders a number of times for some installments. Part 3 seems to keep selling out, for some reason.
- Bart Simpson Comics #51 – After last issue’s tour de farce (hey, get it, get it? You see what I did there?) featuring cover-to-cover Sergio Aragones, this issue features Sergio on his regular short feature “Maggie’s Crib,” with other creators filling out the rest of the book. The Simpsons comics tend to be pretty solid, so don’t let less Sergio scare you off from trying the book.
- Black Widow and the Marvel Girls #2 – Talking with pal Dorian about this the other day…that Marvel is apparently putting out a lot of Black Widow comics right now so that they’ll have Black Widow trade paperbacks available for sale to tie into the character’s appearance in the Iron Man 2 movie. We both noted that we’re not seeing enough emphasis on War Machine, since it’s that character’s appearance in the trailer people seem to be getting excited about.
- Captain America Reborn: Who Will Wield The Shield one-shot – I haven’t been keeping up…isn’t this spinning out of the last issue of the Captain America: Reborn mini? The as-yet-unreleased issue?
- Ender’s Game: Command School #4 and Ender’s Shadow: Command School #4 – not sure why we needed two concurrently-running Ender’s Game comics, but there they are.
- Hellboy: Bride of Hell one-shot – drawn by Richard Corben. Man, I do love Corben’s Hellboy art.
- Image United #2 – I mentioned on the Twitter that the first issue of this series didn’t do so hot for us, which resulted in a really defensive response from Image Fan #1 telling me the comic did great, it sold 50,000 copies, so in conclusion, shut up. Well, yeah, I’m sure Image printed 50,000 copies and sold them to stores. And I’m sure some stores did gangbusters on them. But our store, and a few other stores I’ve been in contact with…yeah, they just kinda sat there. The “bonus variant extra whatever” cover by Jim Lee was the variant cover that sold the best. Even the Spawn cover and the Witchblade cover barely moved any copies. That the Shadowhawk cover didn’t move one copy at all came as little surprise.
I mean, nothing against the comic. I like the idea of it, with the Image creators each contributing the artwork for their own characters in this crossover. Kudos to them on the amount of work and planning that went into making this possible. Just…well, no one’s terribly interested in it in our neck of the woods. Hey, sorry, not everything can be a hit.
- Iron Man Vs. Whiplash #2 – Guys, I’m telling you, Whiplashmania is going to hit our country like never before once people see him in the Iron Man sequel. Men will tremble, women will faint, and anyone left standing will be pounding on our doors insisting on every single copy of every Whiplash appearance be presented to them immediately.
…Okay, I shouldn’t joke, because I can guarantee there’s this one guy who comes to our shop who will start asking for Whiplash appearances once the movie is a little closer to opening.
- Punishermax #1 2nd printing – This comic is really taking off, and it really is good. Hope a 2nd printing of #2 is coming soon, because we can sure use those, too. Hey, for once Marvel’s 2nd printings are coming in handy.
- Wall-E #1 – Sure, #0 was depressing, but it was a cute depressing, and I suppose I’ll be back for this issue.
Still messing around with comments. General reaction from you folks and from Employee Aaron is that they would miss having the comments on the old posts, so…just for you guys, I’m going to attempt to use the new commenting system that’s replacing Haloscan. I’ll be messing around with the settings and trying to make it as close as I can to how things worked before, but it won’t be exactly the same, I’m afraid. And I’m told it’s going to take a while before all the old comments are converted over to the new system, but new posts on the site (like this very one here) should have the new comments system in place. Try it out, let me know how you like it.
I’m really kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I’m not terribly enthused about the new system, but I (and apparently, a number of you) still want my old comments around. However, I still want the simplicity of a basic commenting system, without all the bells and whistles. I’m happy with my telegraph, I can’t see any reason to use one of those newfangled telley-phones.
So that’s what I spent my blogging time doing tonight…screwing around with templates and settings and all that hoohar. I’ll try to get back to talking about comics tomorrow.
Oh, we did sell a full run of the ’70s Black Lightning series on Saturday. That was pretty awesome.
PLANS HIS EMPIRE
from Nancy Dreams & Schemes (1990)
Just testing something.
EDIT: I’ve had to do away with the old commenting system, as the company that owns it is forcing a replacement with a new system that, from all appearances, seems to be more trouble than it’s worth. Thus, for the time being, I’m using Blogger’s built-in comment system since 1) it’s the least trouble for me to install, and 2) they’re not charging me for the privilege, like the other guys are. So that’s what we’ve got here now, at least until I finally move to WordPress, someday. Plus, there are still some formatting issues I’m working on, but I’ll get to that when it’s not nearing midnight on a Friday.
Anyway, I backed up all of the site’s original comments, so while you can’t see them any more, I’ll be able to treasure them forever in the privacy of my home.
Er, that’s a bit creepy. Sorry about that.
From the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Make ’em Laugh,” a Roseanne Barr parody spanking Robin:
The character is comedienne/TV sitcom star Lisa Lorraine, who, under the mind control of the Joker, has become the supervillain named in dialogue as “Mighty Mom,” and named in the end credits as “Rolling Pin.”
The voice of the character is a fairly spot-on imitation of Roseanne’s, to the point where at first, just for a moment, I thought maybe Roseanne herself did the deed. But 1) this is hardly a flattering parody, and 2) I think I would have heard about it before this. And, in fact, it was Andrea Martin who voiced Lorraine.
This episode also features the voicework of comedian Richard Jeni, who sadly left us too soon.
Anyway, when Lorraine first shows up in costume, she takes both Batman and Robin out immediately. With her mop. I can totally picture Roseanne being able to do that. I hope director Christopher Nolan keeps this episode, and the possibility of casting Roseanne, in mind when he starts to put together his next Batman movie.
In honor of the release of Eric Powell
‘s newest comic book, Chimichanga
, Employee Aaron had a chimichanga for lunch. No, he didn’t eat the comic, he had a chimichanga from the bar ‘n’ grill down the street, but if had
eaten the comic, it would have looked like the above. LOOK AND LEARN, FRIENDS.
Anyway, it’s a fine comic, and you all should buy it. Not eat it. Well, okay, eat it if you want, just give me your money for it first.
In other news:
- Who likes the free comics? You like the free comics!
First, it’s the long-awaited third installment of the world’s greatest comic about a Luchador gorillia scientist/surf-guitarist, El Gorgo! Available in multiple downloadable formats, and it’s all completely free! (And here are number one and number two, if you need to catch up!) It’s comics as God intended, so go read ’em already!
Second…”What? ‘Second,’ you say? But Mike, surely El Gorgo #3 is more free comics than we sinful, miserable comic readers deserve! Can there possibly be more?” Why, yes…yes, indeed, my friends, there are more free comics to be had from your special internet friends Chris Sims and Matt Digges at Action Age Comics: it’s The Christmas Chronicles of Solomon Stone, available, like its spiritual brother El Gorgo, in many a download friendly format. And did I say it was all for…FREE? Because it surely is.
- My friends, prepare for genius: Bully the Little Stuffed Bull in “Bully of the Lantern Corps” – may be too cute for the cuteness-appreciation impaired. All the hoopla surrounding the Blackest Night event, all the effort we had to put into obtaining and distributing the plastic rings…it was all worth it for this.
- A big “huzzah” to our pal Gilbert Hernandez, upon his becoming a Rasmuson Fellow and scoring a $50,000 grant. Drinks are on you, buddy!
- E-mailed to me by everyone on planet Earth, which should probably tell me something: construct your own Sluggo papercraft toy. (Superdeformed Darth is kind of cool, too.)
from the Wolverine Comic Images card set (1988)
Some things happening in the online world of comics and love:
Popeye speaks truth, from E.C. Segar’s Popeye
Vol. 4, available from Fantagraphics at finer stores everywhere. Comics don’t get much better than this.
Anyway, in the “if it’s not one thing, it’s another” department: after the website outage last week, I started having intermittent connectivity problems with my ISP this weekend, and I ended up spending time trying to get that resolved instead of working up a post for today. Yes, I know, I’m a terrible blogger. So let me just get a site note or two posted for today, and hopefully things will be back to normal soon.
- A friend of mine on the Twitter referred to me by the user name of “progressiveruin” instead of the name I’ve actually been using (which, oddly enough, is my actual name of “mikesterling”). However, once I saw it, I thought “well, better grab it while it’s available,” so yes, there is now a “progressiveruin” account on Twitter. Currently it’s just an autofeed for new posts on the site so you won’t miss brilliant content like today’s, plus the occasional announcement, but maybe I’ll think of something else to do with it soon. Hey, it’s free, what the hell.
- Speaking of the Twitter, let me remind you again that I’m still contributing to that Fake AP Stylebook thingie. It’s a magical world of wonder and beauty, so please visit.
- You know, for what was basically a simple post about a Batman cartoon, I’ve been getting a lot of discussion on the topic of Batman’s gun usage. Hey, who knew?
On a related note, did people really hate the Batman: Year Two series that much? I thought it was okay at the time, though I have to admit it’s probably been a decade or so since I’ve last read it. And, yeah, Greg brings up a good point about how messed up it is.
- For the love of all that is good and holy, buy stuff through my Amazon links. Especially expensive stuff. Hey, I’m sure your Grandma needs three or four iPods, so get buyin’.
- Er, yeah, comics:
Punishermax #2 – Great comic, but still hate the name. Steve Dillon is probably my favorite Punisher artist, and Jason Aaron is almost out-Ennis-ing Garth Ennis on this.
Citizen Rex #6 – I love these short-run comics Gilbert Hernandez has been doing (this last one with brother Mario). Can’t wait for the next one!
R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 – Have now heard several people who picked up the previous issue for the Blackest Night tie-in describe how surprised they were at how much they liked the comic. Good, because it is a fine comic, despite my own less-than-enthused response to the ongoing Starro storyline. But hopefully some folks will stick around for more issues past the tie-in (though I haven’t seen any recent back issue movement, which may not bode well for new readers, especially on a comic that just started).
- And…er, well, that’s it, really. How are you doing?
…from the Batman: The Animated Series episode “The Terrible Trio.” Enjoy!
I know, we’ve seen Batman using guns before…he packed some heat back in the Golden Age (an era later revisited in the recent Batman/Doc Savage
special), and in Final Crisis
(used as a last resort), and even in the Animated DC-verse (in the very first Batman Beyond
, where Batman uses a gun to defend himself when his aged and battered body fails him). Oh, and then there’s the Tim Burton Batman, whose Batmobile has machine guns built into the front of the car. And I’m sure there are plenty of other instances I’m not remembering at the moment.
Still, given Batman’s usual attitude regarding gun use, Bruce casually using a firearm for sport, as seen in this cartoon, feels a bit…out of character. Okay, Bruce’s parents were offed by a mugger with a pistol, not a shotgun, and Bruce is shooting skeet, not hunting The Most Dangerous Game or anything. And it’s Bruce using a gun as part of his rich sporting playboy disguise, not Batman trying to mow down the Penguin. But still, yeah, Bruce Wayne with a gun. Just struck me as a bit weird.
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