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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 31st, 2013 § Filed under End of Civilization § 18 Comments

Oh, hey! Didn’t see you there! I’m just sittin’ here paging through my copy of Diamond Previews (February 2013 edition) and seeing what swell new items catch my eye! In fact, I list a few of them here…why don’t you grab your own copy of Previews and follow along?

p. 81 – WTF April:


So one of the Big Two companies is doing a month-long promotion called “What The [Expletive] April.” I am looking forward to “MILF March” featuring all the superheroes’ mothers.

p. 152 – Man of Steel Superman 1:6 Scale Iconic Statue:


Whoa, hold up, let’s not jump the gun on using the word “iconic” there, friends.

p. 154 – Aardman Batman and Robin (Classic) Action Figure 2-Pack:


I have no idea what possessed anybody to even suggest this be done, but I’m glad they did.

JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE:

p. 244 – Sesame Street #1 Imagination:


“One of these things is not like the other / One of these things just doesn’t belong” is what I shall sing to the children as I show them the five variant covers on the first issue, and I shall judge them by the cover they single out, oh yes.

p. 253 – Archie #643 Archie Meets Glee, Part 3:


So is this actually published by Archie, or is Fox publishing comic books just that happen to look like Archie? I’m not sure anymore.

p. 372 – Did I Do That? The Best (And Worst) of the ’90s SC:


Nostalgia for the ’90s? Already? I can’t imagine anyone having…


…um…


…YEAH OKAY, FINE.

p. 382 – Star Wars “Wraith Ring” Black T-Shirt:


Wait just a second, Previews…are you trying to tell me there are nerd-centric t-shirts that come in black? The devil you say!

p. 384 – Shawarma T-Shirt:


Oh, you have a lot to answer for, Joss Whedon.

p. 385 – Cross-Processed T-Shirt:


So let’s see here…about that “#hipster” tag. Is it saying that Spider-Man is a hipster? That the person wearing the shirt is a hipster by virtue of being a Spider-Man fan? That the person wearing the shirt is a hipster because he recognizes the incongruity of Spider-Man and a Twitter-esque “#hipster” tag and thus is wearing the shirt ironically? That the actual name under which the shirt is being marketed is kind of a stretch, and that somehow incorporating the term “octothorpe” would not only be more accurate than “cross,” a Doctor Octopus reference could probably be squeezed in there too since we’re all about the Doc Ock right now.

Shorter version: it’s like the people responsible for the 1960s Teen Titans comics traveled to the future to design this shirt.

p. 399 – R2-D2 Tinned Mints:


I had all kinds of jokes for this, and believe you me, “NOT A SEX TOY” is the least offensive of them.

p. 414 – Giant Microbes:


Hey, wait just a moment…wasn’t that middle dude in the second row in Prometheus?

p. 420 – Puppet Master 1/1-Scale Replica:


When I was but a young Mikester, maybe about four or five or so, I had a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll and, on occasion, just having it in my room would scare the hell out of me.

…So basically if I’d had these Puppet Master dolls at age five, I probably would have had a heart attack.

p. 422 – Star Wars Darth Malgus Mini-Bust:


Now that Disney owns both Star Wars and Marvel, I guess it was only a matter of time before Doctor Doom got lightsabers.

p. 427 – Star Wars Boba Fett Silicone Ice Tray:


I hear they skipped making the Ice Planet of Hoth Ice Tray because, you know, anyone who has a fridge with a built-in ice crusher can do that.

p. 435 – Bruce Lee HD Masterpiece Action Figure:


“BRUUUUCE! You left your Fists of Fury all over the living room floor! Can you pick those up, please?”

“OKAY, MA! Sorry, Ma!”

“And put away your Head of Vague Irritation, too…I don’t like they way it looks at me.”

“Okay, Ma, geez!”

p. 447 – Happy Man Corkscrew:


Man, this Se7en merchandise has taken a weird turn.

p. 462 – The Beatles Yellow Submarine Monopoly:


Do not pass the sky of blue, do not find the sea of green.

p. 462 – Dungeons & Dragons Clue:


“The Beholder…killed Mr. Koboldy in the torture chamber…with the polearm.” “Can Beholders even use polearms?” “SHHH!”

p. 470 – Jedi Junkies DVD:


This hard-hitting documentary examines the impact of death sticks on the Force-using populace. Is your padawan hooked?

p. 470 – Repligator DVD:


I suspect the gator head wouldn’t be a problem for some of those folks out there.

p. 471 – The Complete Space: 1999 Megaset 30th Anniversary Edition:


Oh, I sure do remember all those great episodes of Space: 1999, where Commander Koenig would complain about President Clinton, and they’d all gather around and play the station’s Sega Dreamcast, and they’d download stuff from Napster, and Dr. Russell was hooked on The Sopranos. Man, that Space: 1999 was a good show.

MIKE’S PSYCHIC POWERS – REVEALED!

§ January 28th, 2013 § Filed under retailing § 11 Comments

So one of the great challenges in the world of funnybook retail is trying to figure out how the comics you are ordering right now are going to actually sell when they come out two or three months from now. Now, if you’ve been keeping track, you should have months, if not years, of sales data available to you at your shop, not to mention your general “feel” for customer interest and reactions, to help gauge how any particular comic is going to sell. On top of this, Marvel, DC, and other publishers allow retailers to adjust their initial order numbers on items a couple of weeks prior to their release.

Even so, there’s a bit of guesswork involved, particularly when it comes to new title launches and relaunches and, especially of late, line-wide company reboots. DC’s “New 52″ relaunch was a bit worrisome, given the number of new-ish properties with no reliable or recent sales data, but DC offering retailer returns on about two-thirds of the titles afforded us the ability to err on the side of caution. And, as it turned out, we needn’t have worried, as the media coverage and customer interest and the sheer novelty of it all ensured sell-outs on just about everything.

The Marvel NOW! relaunches, which, unlike their DC counterparts, are being rolled out over several months, which perhaps cost them the “feeding frenzy” sales advantage of ALL NEW #1S ALL THE TIME ON THE SHELF RIGHT NOW!!! that gave the New 52 that solid kick in the pants. Of course, Marvel’s making up for it by putting out some of these new titles freakin’ weekly, but I’ve complained about that already. The ordering on these was a little tricky as well, combining sales histories with the possible sales bump from having a new #1, as well as considering creator involved, et cetera et cetera. Most times I ordered dead on (like for the Avengers or All-New X-Men), some titles didn’t do quite as well as I hoped (like Avengers Arena), and some titles didn’t change their sales levels at all (lookin’ at you, Iron Man).

And then there are the titles where I ordered crazy numbers, hoping 1) customer interest would lead to high sales at least on the first issue, and 2) premium sales on the assorted “limited” variant covers would help subsidize the higher order numbers. In this case, I’m specifically thinking of Superior Spider-Man, where, after selling all the variant covers at certain price levels, I only had to sell a relative handful of the regular cover to break even…and in fact, at this point I’ve sold enough of this comic that I could throw away the copies I have left and still show a significant profit (and much more profit than I would have made if I’d just ordered the exact number I’d actually sold). There are a couple of other forthcoming titles we’re trying this same sales strategy on, with Uncanny X-Men likely to follow suit, and Guardians of the Galaxy which, um, well, we’ll see how that one goes.

And then there’s basing your orders on a dream.

Perhaps I should explain that a bit.

So a few months ago, IDW’s My Little Pony comic turned up in the order forms, with multiple covers and limited edition variants and all that hoohar. We ordered a certain number…high for what was nominally a “kids” comic, but high enough to account for the cross-market interest in the property. And that’s where we let the number sit.

It had been at the back of my mind that maybe the number we ordered wasn’t enough, but I had other store stuff to worry about, and I didn’t particularly dwell on it or anything.

And then one night I had a dream. And in this dream, I was at the shop, looking at the sales of My Little Pony #1, and how quickly it had sold out, and I was lamenting how I didn’t raise the orders when I had the chance, the stupid thing had multiple covers on it, didn’t I realize people were going to want to buy full sets of all the covers? Plus, the Bronies. THINK OF THE BRONIES.

I awoke from this horrible nightmare, immediately sitting straight up and gasping for breath, heart racing, just like people never do when waking from nightmares except in movies, but that dream brought my concerns about the My Little Pony orders to the forefront of my thoughts. Yeah, there are multiple covers, and this is just the thing where the fans would buy one of each cover, and besides, this pony thing’s huge, it may be worth the risk to order crazy numbers on this thing. And, after talking it over with folks at the shop, and putting out feelers for customer interest, when it came time to do the couple-o-weeks-prior-to-release adjustments, crazy numbers were placed, nearly quadrupling our original order.

I have to admit, when the My Little Pony #1 finally showed up at the shop, I looked at the towering stack I pulled out of the shipping carton and thought “what have I done?” But I racked the things, separating out each cover to hold its own slot, and hoped for the best.

And I am happy to report, after pulling the #1 for back issues after its new shelf sales cycle (usually a month, though I left MLP #1 on the rack for a couple of extra weeks), all I had left from my initial triple-digit order was about a half-dozen copies. Heeding my dream warning paid off!

Okay, basing orders on dreams is likely not a solid business practice, but in this case it certainly made me reconsider something I’d otherwise put on the backburner. Would I have been as intent on increasing orders if I hadn’t had that dream-experience of being so disappointed in not getting enough copies in the shop? Maybe, maybe not…probably having the actual order-adjustment right in front of me may have triggered something. But in this case, if I may quote Adam West as Bruce Wayne: “Of what use is a dream, if not a blueprint for courageous action?”

So there you go…your pal Mike had a dream about My Little Ponies. That’s probably better than my usual work dreams about having to move comic boxes from our old store into our new store (something I did back in 1997), or dreaming about having to move our entire current store into our old, old, circa 1990 location (about 1/8th the size of where we’re at now), but it’s still a My Little Pony dream, though I’m sure none of you will make fun of me for it.

So I got my hands…

§ January 25th, 2013 § Filed under other swamp creatures § 6 Comments

…on the first volume of Roy Thomas Presents The Heap:


…and I haven’t had a chance to do more than skim through it yet, but production values are nice, with color reproductions of the original printed pages cleaned up about as well as you can hope for, and it’s certainly cheaper than buying the original comics. So, yes, I talked myself into getting this series of books, if only because I foresaw Future-Mike haunting Future-eBay and dropping many Future-credits trying to get copies of these on the secondary market, and I would prefer that whatever remains of Future-Mike’s luxurious mane of hair not go entirely gray.

Also, you can probably guess what went through my mind when I saw this panel:


Doing this site has really affected my responses to comics, sometimes.

Oh, nothing…

§ January 23rd, 2013 § Filed under low content mode, sir-links-a-lot § 3 Comments

…just Kyle Baker putting a whole bunch of his comics on his site for you to read for free.

Seriously, Cowboy Wallyread it.

To whom does this mysterious torso belong?

§ January 22nd, 2013 § Filed under low content mode, pal plugging § 6 Comments

WHO INDEED?


I suppose those of you who have not yet transcended desktop or laptop computing could just hover your pointer-mouse-thingie over the image and see the URL that’s linked there, but what’s the fun in that? Don’t ask, just click it and enjoy a swell pic by Jon Wolter.

In which your pal lets you know he’s going to be taking it easy for a few days.

§ January 21st, 2013 § Filed under low content mode § 6 Comments

So I finally got my mitts on my very own copy of Four Color Fear, Fantagraphics’ collection of 1950s horror comics, and I think I’ve already decided these two panels (featuring what an unwanted zombie house guest does to torment his hosts) are my favorite so far:


In fact, as I was looking up the Fantagraphics link for the book, I discovered that the preview PDF file you can download from there has the very story those panels are from! So Geez Louise, go check it out already.

Anyway, just checking in here today to let you know that I’m going to be in Low Content Mode for the next few days. “Like you’re not already, Mr. Reduced-Blogging-Schedule?” Yeah, I know…and I’ll thank you not to mock my fine family name of Reduced-Blogging-Schedule and its proud history. But it just means I’ll probably just be image-heavy the rest of the week, with less of my blather spoiling things. Things will be back to normal, or whatever passes for it, soon. Mark my words, though…I’m still here, keeping my eye on you. Yes, you. I see what you’re doing. Stop that!

SAVE VS. SLUGGO.

§ January 18th, 2013 § Filed under gaming, nancy, sluggo § 5 Comments

So pal Andres points out this eBay auction to me on the Twitters, and I think “I really shouldn’t try to bid on that, I need to save money,” and “I really shouldn’t try to bid on that, I’ve got enough junk in the house for the creditors to haul out after I’m dead,” and “what’s my eBay password again, I need to go bid on that.”

As it turned out, the auction got too rich for my blood…well, actually, I put in one bid and I was busy working when the auction ended and thus couldn’t enter that last second bidding war which is always so much fun on the eBay. Ah, well, at least I have these images liberated from said eBay auction to remind me of that ship which passed me in the night:


Yes, that’s right, only the Nancy and Sluggo Game dares to bring you an “infinity cover” on its lid. (Not to mention the omnipresent “three rocks.”) This game is produced by Milton Bradley, and has a 1944 copyright notice. The cover appears to be genuine Ernie Bushmiller (there’s his signature, though that doesn’t always mean anything), while the images on the board inside:


…appear to be just slightly off-model, as if traced from original panels, or simply done from scratch by artists at the game company. It’s hard to say without having the actual board right in front of me. As for the game proper, it’s all pretty basic, rolling the die and moving the pieces around the board, gaining advantages or penalties based on what’s in the square you land on, in case you were wondering what a “board game” was like. It’s just that there’s nothing specifically Nancy or Sluggo-ish about the game itself, beyond the imagery. It’s not like you’re moving a Sluggo piece around the board, and lose a turn every time you land on a square containing a hammock or a harmonica…though that‘s within spitting distance of a Nancy and Sluggo role playing game, and I’m not sure the world is quite that ready for such a wonderful thing to exist. (If you’re wondering…yes, the Nancy and Sluggo role playing game would have Gelatinous Cubes in it.)

Speaking of the game pieces, here’s a shot of them from that auction, along with what I’m presuming to be the original die:


Man, they’re just round wood thingies. They don’t even have pictures of the Nancy cast or anything: “HA HA you have to be Pee Wee!” “Dash it all!” Okay, I know it was wartime, and Nancy and Sluggo face decals had to be conserved for the war effort, but still, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

A brief Googling didn’t bring me much more information about this, though to be honest I’m not sure what more there is to know. Board Game Geek didn’t have a listing for it, though it did have a listing for the unofficial Scott McCloud creation 5 Card Nancy. And here’s a site with an archived description of the board game from an older eBay auction.

So sadly, I guess my ownership of this game simply wasn’t meant to be. …At least, not yet.

In which Mike goes on about this much longer than the, oh, 30 seconds he’ll need to fix the problem.

§ January 16th, 2013 § Filed under retailing § 12 Comments

So New Avengers #2 is out this week:


…and apparently since it was decided the best way to encourage sales on a brand new series, aside from cranking out issue after issue on a biweekly or even weekly basis, was to make sure the logo is as small and unreadable as possible, I’m going to have to make a shelf sign that presents the “NEW AVENGERS” name at a legible size so that it won’t get lost among all the other comics on the shelves.

I guess the “A” alone should be clue enough that this is an Avengers title, with the assumption being that Avengers fans will buy anything that says “Avengers” on it, even though in reality that isn’t the case and people are picky about which Avengers title they’ll read. But honestly, the new New Avengers logo hasn’t been around long enough to be instantly recognizable regardless of size; the comic is going to be on a wall with a whole lot of other comics and running that small a logo is going to make it disappear; also, that’s dumb and I hate it, just to sum things up on a reasonable note. But regardless, that seems like an odd choice to make there. I’m sure, of course, that there is a dissenting opinion on this matter, that this cover is great and a real attention-grabber, but it seems to me this isn’t the way to promote sales, particularly in a market built upon relaunch after relaunch and readers are just looking for reasons to not follow yet another title. Accidentally missing issue #2 of something and realizing they can live without that particular comic is certainly reason enough.

Another comic for which I had to throw up a “THIS IS THE TITLE OF THE COMIC THAT’S RACKED RIGHT NEAR THIS SIGN ON THE SHELF” sign was Uncanny Avengers #2, which looks like it’d be easy to spot, right? Well, I don’t know if it’s because of some kind of neutralizing effect that all those red concentric lines had, clouding minds or somehow merging into the rack’s scenery, but boy did I have to point out that particular comic to people who looked on the shelves specifically for that issue and couldn’t spot it.

I realize I’m probably being a bit hard on these funnybooks. A whole slew of new releases hit the shelves each week, every week, month after month, year after year, and cover design home runs aren’t going to be hit every time. After all, not every comic can be as eyegrabbing as this.

Okay, let’s wrap this sucker up: PART FOUR.

§ January 14th, 2013 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Responding to last year’s predictions. Asking for 2013 predictions. LET’S CONTINUE:

MrJM predicts

“In 2012, I will once again spend more money on hard liquor than on comic books.”

Oddly enough, once we opened the speakeasy in the back of the shop, so did we!

• • •

CW stated

“I predict Nickelodeon will debut an animated series based on the ‘Crossed’ comic books from Avatar Press.”

I can’t help but suspect that prediction was less than sincere. But I bet if someone ever does do a Crossed media adaptation, one of the comic’s fans will complain about how the movie/TV show/whatever isn’t nearly violent/gross enough.

• • •

Bear bared

“1. Bendis’ departure from the Avengers titles will result in a relaunch featuring the ‘classic’ line-up. This team will add new members swiftly, become a bloated mess, spawn many tie-ins and generally be met with a feeling of ‘Wow, never thought I’d miss Bendis.’ The titles will be relaunched again.”

Well, there certainly are a lot of Avengers titles. With a movie that made a billion and a half dollars, Marvel’s sure is gonna hitch a whole lot of four-color wagons to that star. In the meantime, it seems to be more or less continuing from where everything left off, just with the old issue numbers filed off and “#1″ stenciled in. I haven’t read them, but it’s Hickman on scripts and he ain’t bad from what I’ve read on other comics, so who knows. The main Avengers title is still the “here are the characters you’ve loved in movies, including Spider-Man and Wolverine” one, it looks like. It’s not quite a bloated mess yes, but give it time.

“2. The New 52 will continue. New titles will be added, old titles will be cancelled, and blogs will still be filled with commenters swearing the whole thing was a mistake and the old universe will return any day now.”

All true. Hell, in this comments section alone people are predicting the Old DCU’s return.

• • •

Bret jumps in with

“All political disputes will be decided by THUNDERDOME.”

This is the world I want to live in. Why the last election wasn’t Obama and Romney in heated battle with Tina Turner presiding, I have no idea.

“Comics will continue to shrink in market share and rise in price. Night of the Owls will not be very good.”

It looks like the comics market is more or less holding steady. Prices are very slowly creeping upwards, though. “Night of the Owls,” from all accounts, is highly regarded, but I haven’t had time to read it and judge myself, so maybe you’re right there, too!

“Avengers and the Dark Night Rises will unexpectedly cross over in the middle. No-one will know why.”

BANE: “You thing this gives you power over me?”

THOR: “No…I think this does!” (hits Bane with Mjolnir)

• • •

DavidG reveals

“Someone will do a massive crossover event in which the hook is the world is going to end in December 2012. The world will not actually end. The event will be lame, and all the new characters and reboots that come out of it will suck.”

I am really, honestly surprised this did not happen. I know December 2012 stuff was a plot point here and there in older comics, but I didn’t see anything dealing with it in, you know, real time.

• • •

Cole had a funny comment that I’m just going to link to here.

• • •

My old friend-in-real-life Batfatty contributes

“DC will stage a multi-universe, apocalyptic story all to retcon the editorial disaster of doing away with Batman’s outer underwear.”

Man, all I am picturing now is “CRISIS OF INFINITE UNDERPANTS” and Superman is wearing Batman’s black shorts and Batman is in Supes’ red shorts and it’s all very embarrassing.

• • •

Mike Zeidler reminds me

“Mike Sterling will finally get around to reviewing the ultra-special edition super-long director’s omnibus cut of the Watchmen movie.”

Er…no, not in 2012 I’m very sorry

• • •

Dwayne the canoe guy rows by with

“In All-Star Western we will see a story where Jonah Hex sires a bastard child for Harvey Dent’s ancestor, a storyline that was declined for Jonah Hex V2.”

I don’t think that happened, after some brief Googling (since I don’t follow the title), but maybe someone who knows can fill me in.

“Sluggo will be challenged to a deathmatch by Tubby. During the battle they will be struck by lightning as they fall into the lake and will emerge as the moss encrusted mockery of merged small boys known as Swamp Slubby. Little Lulu and Nancy will join forces and enlist the aid of Gyro Gearloose to help stop Swamp Slubby from killing Unca Scrooge, for whatever knows greed burns at Swamp Slubby’s TOUCH!”

This all absolutely happened, in House of Dell Comics #92.

“Also, the lost 192 minutes of the Jonah Hex film will be found and the movie will be recut and released by the Cohen Bros. The film will be a commercial and critical success and Megan Fox will appear for only ten seconds where she opens the door and Hex shoots her dead while saying ‘Yuh trade easy, woman.’ Crowds will cheer.”

Oh sweet jumping Judas on a pogo stick, 192 minutes is, like, what, eight, ten times the length of the actual film? Would it have killed them to shoot another, say, half-hour with Hex in a post-apocalyptic future? Were they afraid that would make it a bad movie?

• • •

Longtime customer of mine Rob foresees

“Doom & gloom variety: I predict that yet another title I really enjoy will be cancelled. Because that’s how I affect the comics industry. In the worst case version, it would be Sweet Tooth, which is one of my favorite books.”

Well, hate to tell you this, but, um, yeah.

“Hope & change variety: My one man crusade to get people to read more odd comics (usually from Fantagraphics) continues to pick up steam, helping Mike sell maybe 4 or 5 more volumes over the course of the year. Fine, in truth, they’ll probably all be bought by me.”

Oh, I’ll get your money.

• • •

Dave daves

“1) Image comics will rise in prominence and market share, led by Millar and Quitely’s Jupiter’s Children (the first issue of which will be in the Diamond Top 20) and supported by a number of high-quality under-the-radar comics that will finally start to catch on. Oh, and Walking Dead collections, which will continue to sell in huge numbers.”

Alas, that comic didn’t come out last year. Maybe this year! And while Image has certainly cranked out a lot of stuff, not a whole lot of it has really caught on. But Walking Dead certainly still is selling like gangbusters. (Though, come to think of it, how did Gang Busters sell?)

“2) DC will lower the standard price on their digital comics backlist (older than 1-year) to 99¢. Other publishers will follow, except (stubbornly) Marvel. Day-and-date digital comics will continue to be priced at cover price.”

I know one digital company regularly offers 99-cent sales on backlist comics, but that’s not a consistent thing. Day-and-dates, still at cover, I believe.

“My pie-in-the-sky prediction: Fantagraphics announces a Matt Howarth’s Complete Bugtown project, with chronological collections of Howarth’s Bugtown stuff in several huge (300-400 page) volumes.”

Not yet!

• • •

That Augie guy tries to muscle into my own website (hey, you got your own column!) with

“Oh, what the hell? This might be fun:”

It started out as fun, but I will never be free of these prediction posts. NEVER.

“Marvel or DC will go direct-digital with a comic that was unprofitable in print and had to be canceled, just to burn off the completed inventory and justify a collected edition. They’ll mess it all up completely, though, by charging digital buyers the full $2.99 or $3.99 cover price. It won’t sell, but the collected edition will still see print.”

…Not that I know about, but I expect this is an option the publishers are keeping in mind.

“The ‘Hawk and Dove’ TPB will include the 7th and 8th issues. (It’s due out in August, so there’s plenty of time to change its contents yet.)”

A HIT! It does indeed contain those two issues.

“A lower-priced iPad will be seen as a great boon to digital comics and sales will rise, though not exponentially. We’ll never know, though, since the publishers don’t divulge that information.”

Maybe not iPads, but there are quite a few lower-priced tablets competing with them…perhaps they are driving more comic sales, but like you say, who knows?

“Diamond won’t go bankrupt, though at least two major Steve Geppi-related Financial Difficulty stories this year will start raising that question again.”

Diamond’s still around…I haven’t heard any rumors along these lines recently, but maybe I just haven’t had my ear to the ground enough.

“Diamond Digital will flop and be canceled as a cost-cutting move, though Diamond will deny that reason.”

Diamond Digital is still hanging in there!

“DC and Marvel will cut costs by signing fewer exclusives and letting many of them lapse. A new rush of ‘mainstream’ creators will start creator-owned works at Image as a result. By this time next year, an entire wing of Image Comics will look like Marvel/DC 2010. Kirkman will grab at least three of those big names for Skybound.”

I haven’t heard much news on the exclusives front…at least, they don’t seem to be making as big a deal about them anymore. And there doesn’t seem to be a huge influx of Marvel/DC guys yet…at least, not enough to note it as a trend.

“I will write another 52 Pipeline columns.”

WRONG! You wrote 54! …Well, okay, technically, you did write 52…plus two extra. I guess I’ll let you have that one.

“The lack of diversity in superhero comics will continue to show itself, with no diabetic characters introduced in 2012.”

Not that we know of, at any rate. (Though I would bet money…well, someone else’s money…that it’s been done for some kind of educational comics, somewhere!)

“With the Avengers and Batman movies coming out this year, the Superman movie will be forgotten until it suddenly shows up one Friday night when nobody is looking. Only the nerds will skip ‘Brides Maids II’ or ‘Hangover III’ to see it.”

They wisely pushed it back a bit, so there’s a chance it won’t get lost in the hype for the other films. We can all enjoy shortsless Superman without being reminded we saw better movies just recently.

• • •

Adam Farrar reveals

“After Avengers vs. X-Men: Loeb will write a new on-going, probably Cable. The Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning cosmic stories (last seen as the two Annihilators mini-series which ended the last week of 2011) will not continue but be replaced with a new Nova series.”

There is a new Cable series, but not by Loeb. And there certainly is a new Nova ongoing, which I never would have predicted. That’s by Loeb.

“Some softball pitches to coordinate with the Avengers movie: Hawkeye will get an on-going title. Loki will get a mini-series that has nothing to do with the Journey to Mystery title.”

Well done on Hawkeye, no new Loki mini yet but it’s only a matter of time.

“DC will do an Amethyst title that will hopefully be all-ages and self-contained.”

Well…you were half-right.

“The relaunch of the Extreme titles will mean Alan Moore’s ‘Supreme: Story of the Year’ will finally be back in print.”

Would love to have Moore’s Supreme back in print. Sadly, it didn’t happen.

“The new Watchmen comics will be a huge financial success.”

More a so-so success, probably not worth the grief DC got over it.

“DC’s recruitment of Marvel’s creators from the 1990s will continue with new work from Danny Fingeroth, Terry Kavanagh”

Sadly, no…Danny’s doing his own thing, teaching comics writing and such, and Terry is apparently one of the folks behind this online game site.

• • •

Pal Andres sez, he sez

“DC’s $2.99 line will crack no later than mid-year.”

A couple of titles went from $2.99 to $3.99, and a few new titles started at the $3.99 price point, so the slow creep continues! …Andres also made a whole bunch of Doctor Who predictions that I’m pretty sure all came true.

• • •

Richard J. Marcej unveils

“DC will continue producing 52 separate monthly titles, canceling titles but quickly replacing them with new books that keep the total at 52.”

This is indeed what’s happening.

“In December DC will announce that starting in 2014 they’ll no longer be printing monthly comics but will instead produce 52 separate 80 page books (done in the same format as ‘Love & Rockets’) retailing each at $14.99. So the 52 different monthly titles will now be 52 weekly (one book a week) 80 page TPB.”

Not announced, but I can see this as a direction the publishers can go to get around the rising costs of monthly books. Assuming, of course, they don’t abandon print entirely and go straight to digital.

• • •

Señor Editor (AKA Professor Booty) edited

“Ghost Rider will be relaunched, with Johnny Blaze as the book’s protagonist.”

I’m very surprised we’ve gone this long without a Ghost Rider book. Give it more time.

“A new, rebooted and more realistic Wolverine movie will be in the works. Hugh Jackman won’t be starring as Wolverine this time, though.”

We’re still getting a Wolverine flick at some point, but Jackman remains the star. Good, I like him as Wolverine. It might be a bit weird if he’s still doing it when he’s, like, eighty.

“Much like in that one Brad Pitt movie, Mike Sterling will continue looking younger and younger and nobody will find it odd at all.”

Absolutely true.

“The Avengers books without Bendis won’t sell nearly as well.”

All the Avengers titles pretty much tanked in the final lead-up to the ends of the series in the face of Marvel Now, so it wouldn’t take much for them to sell better. And, by and large, they’re selling okay for now.

• • •

Rob S. had this to say:

“DC will announce the expansion of the Earth 2 books in the new 52 (currently Earth 2 and World’s Finest) to include a separate book set in the past, with superheroes fighting Nazis. It might or might not be called “All-Star Squadron.’”

I’d read that. Didn’t happen, but I’d read it.

“DC will slowly add more back-ups to its books (and raising the price to $3.99), including Green Lantern, Flash, and Justice League International.”

Like I said above, we’re getting the slow creep (Batman got the $3.99 w/backup treatment). Justice League International, alas, never had a chance to do so.

“More Milestone and Wildstorm properties are given a shot at a title. We’ll see Icon, Shadow Cabinet, and Zealot.”

…I’d love to see a new Icon series. But we did get Team 7, and Ravagers includes a Wildstorm character or two.

“Steph Brown and Cass Cain fans will continue to be disappointed and vocal. Heckler fans will continue to be disappointed and quiet.”

Fans are always disappointed. Except Heckler fans, who are just crazy.

“We’ll see a Wally West, Kyle Rayner, Connor Hawke team-up. Alternate Earth or DC Comics Presents reprint?”

Neither, I’m afraid!

• • •

Boosterific boosts

“Bah, I’m already over 2012! I’m skipping ahead to 2013: Progressive Ruin will run a fortnight’s worth of blog posts recapping the reviews for 2012 in a disorganized, rambling manner that will be equal parts un-illuminating and hilarious.”

Well, slightly less than a fortnight, anyway. And I’d like to think I’m a little illuminating, even if I’m not very bright.

• • •

Valdemiro gives us

“In 2012 Brian Michael Bendis finally collaborates with Kevin Maguire on the Avengers. They then create a headshot panel so beautiful it makes mere mortals weep.”

I’d like to see a Kevin Maguire Avengers series. Unfortunately, they’d just start yet another brand new Avengers series rather than put him on an already-going Avengers title.

• • •

Glitchy glitches

“DC will suddenly discover the pre-teen girl ‘princess’ market (possibly thanks to the Super Best Friends and Amethyst shorts). Because of this, editorial mandate revamps Starfire back to something closer to her animated Teen Titans persona.”

Hasn’t happened yet, but it really, really should.

“This also leads to a My Little Pony/DC cross over that just defied all forms of logic, but was very pastel.”

C’mon: “Comet the Superhorse meets My Little Pony!” It’s a natural!

• • •

Kid Kyoto isn’t kidding with

“DC will try a black and white manga-style phone book anthology with several 100 pages each month. The best series from that will then be colored and reprinted in TPBs.”

Another viable option for when the monthly 32-pagers go south. Hasn’t happened…yet.

“Real publishers like Scholastic Books will continue to make OGNs that outsell anything by DC or Marvel, mainstream comic fans will continue to ignore them.”

Yeah, probably.

“The EXTREME! Studios relaunch (Youngblood etc) will barely put out 3 issues before sinking quietly into the darkness.”

They’re all still hanging around, but just barely (despite critical acclaim for Prophet).

“The Superman film will bomb.”

Maybe next year.

“Superman will be back in his traditional suit about 15 minutes after the film closes.”

I expect that, too.

“New rumors of a Wonder Woman film which go no where.”

We can probably run with this prediction every year.

“The Avengers film will actually be quite good.”

I thought it was a lot of fun! I think a few others thought so as well.

• • •

Ben unleashes

“DC will announce that Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics will end in early 2013, the same month as Batman Incorporated v2 #12 ships. Morrison will simultaneously announce his retirement from writing comic books.”

We’re still a few months away from Batman Inc. #12, but Morrison is ending his runs on both titles this year (with Action imminent). I think he’s sticking around in comics, though…just not necessarily the superhero books.

“The Avengers movie will be mildly entertaining but strangely empty of any engaging emotional content, just like all of Marvel’s movies since Iron Man. The announcement of their post-Avengers movie slate is met by bewilderment (by comic fans) and blank stares (by the general public) as ‘big guns’ like Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy are rolled out.”

That certainly is a consistent criticism of the Marvel films…like I said, I did enjoy the Avengers film, but it’s definitely about as deep as a sidewalk puddle after a spring shower. And I think folks are probably okay with the new slate of Marvel films, though they really haven’t been trying to sell them to the public just yet. We’ll see when the films get a little closer to release.

“The Dark Knight Returns animated movie(s) will, like almost all of DC’s DVD movie fare, be entirely unsuitable for kids to watch. But…”

Yeah, that’s probably best with teens and older. But kids will love it just fine, I think!

“…DC will unexpectedly find a long-dormant property that hits big time with the (actual) kids, probably via the DC Nation slot on Cartoon Network. What the hell, lets just say Amethyst. My daughter would *love* that show.”

I think DC Nation has generally been well received, but I don’t know that anything’s really taken off as a “hit.” But that there’s even such a thing as an Amethyst animated short is a victory of some kind.

“China Mieville’s Dial H for Hero revival will be excellent and universally liked by the comics blogosphere, but commercially it will fail dismally and be canceled by issue 8.”

It’s not selling great, but it’s holding on, and people do seem to like it quite a bit.

“Dan Slott will replace Brian Michael Bendis on the Avengers books, as Bendis takes over Amazing Spider-Man. Marvel will continue to pimp the hell out of Matt Fraction despite the fact that (Casanova aside, though that doesn’t even really count) he has never written a good comic book for them.”

OUCH. I think Fraction’s been doing good work over there, at least on the titles of his I read (Fantastic Four, FF, and the very well-received Hawkeye). And there has been plenty of swapping around of writers on the Marvel books, but Slott is still riding that Spider-Man train…um, there’s probably a better way I could have put that.

“The Ultimate Comics ‘free download’ thing is a dismal failure (though we never hear about it) and the whole line is shuttered either in late 2012 or announced to in early 2013.”

I’m not even sure I know about the free download thing. But the Ultimate line is still around, somehow.

“Vertigo will announce that Hellblazer will end with #300 and the death of John Constantine.”

Yes, indeed. I don’t know if it’ll be Constantine’s death, but I think it’s likely…a kind of a final “screw you” to the character’s transfer to the DCU.

“And finally, Sony will release a ‘skin’ for DC Online that make it both bearable to look at and as though it was all drawn by Carmine Infantino. More a wish than a prediction really…”

Man, an Infantino-styled video game. That would be both awesome and strangely terrifying.

• • •

Neil brought forth

“Tony Daniel will be taken off Detective Comics, as they will have found someone even worse.”

DOUBLE-OUCH. He was off Detective with the #0/#12 issues, but I’ll have to let you decide if the new guy is worse. Daniel will be back as the new artist on Action after Morrison leaves.

• • •

random surfer goofyfooted

“Late Dec/early Jan: Mike Sterling will ask people for preditions for 2013. He will comment on the predictions made for 2012. He will say this one is stupid and/or pointless.”

Nope, I’d say you’re 100% on target.

• • •

OH THANK GOD I’m done, which I’m sure you’re all thinking, too. Tune in next year when I do it again, reacting to these 2013 predictions, because I’m stupid.

Thanks for contributing, everyone, and, especially, thanks for putting up with these endless posts. I appreciate the readership.

Frankly, writing those prediction-discussion posts was really biting into my Batman: Arkham City-playing time.

§ January 11th, 2013 § Filed under collecting, other swamp creatures, popeye § 5 Comments

I’m going to pick up on the prediction commentary next week, since both you and I can probably stand a break from it. But don’t forget to submit your own predictions for this coming year! And in other news, I am my own worst enemy.

In the meantime, I suggest you all run out to your local comics emporium and get yourself a copy of Classic Popeye #6, featuring one of those space-filling prose stories that I’m going to recommend you actually read:


…Not that it’s any pillar of originality or anything…you’ll see the ending coming almost just by looking at that title banner, but the interplay between sweetly devious Swee’Pea and the irascible Poopdeck Pappy is a lot of fun. …Speaking of that banner, is that great or what? It really did make me want to read the story, and now I want to go back and read those previous text pieces I’d ignored.

Also, completely unrelated to anything above, since I mentioned being tempted by those Roy Thomas Presents the Heap hardcovers (reprinting Golden Age stories of a proto-Swamp Thing)…yeah, that bullet was bitten and I put my orders in for all three. I am so, so weak. …I’m also thinking of finally getting around to finishing off my runs of books published by 1970s Atlas, because I don’t have enough comics just piled around the house. (Oddly enough, I was reinspired to do so by a customer of mine filling out his New Universe collection.)

Anyway, I hope you’ll forgive me my brief break in discussing your predictions…I’ll finish up next week. And besides, I posted every day this week so far…what kind of crazy person would post on a blog every day?

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