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AAAAAUGH! It’s terrifying! Demon! Sorcerer
Well, okay, Charles Schulz just gave Snoopy a speech balloon instead of a word balloon, which he did once or twice over the years. I think we can cut the man some slack. But still, this is the sort of thing that always stops me dead with its…wrongness, somehow. There’s a measure of communication between human and animal characters in Peanuts, of course, but never do the animals explicitly “speak” to any of the children (unless there’s something I missed).
However, there is a strip later in the volume where I spotted the above panel (The Complete Peanuts: 1985-1986) in which Marcie calls Snoopy by the name of “The Lone Beagle,” a sobriquet Snoopy used to refer to himself during one of his flights of fancy in the previous days’ strips. At first I believed it could only have been communicated to Marcie via direct speech. Then again, perhaps Marcie was able to infer the name by observing Snoopy’s acting-out of his fantasy, which opens up yet more questions regarding Snoopy’s undoglike behavior and its general acceptance in the Peanuts universe, but perhaps that’s far enough down that rabbit hole.
In other news:
- There’s some interesting stuff going on between Fantagraphics and Dave Sim regarding the possibility of new packaging of Cerebus material being covered by the Moment of Cerebus site. No idea if it’ll ever happen, but it sure is fascinating reading the back-and-forth of what would be required to make such a project materialize.
This is all in response to Sim’s statement in the last issue of Glamourpuss that he’s pretty much done with comics, and how some folks responding with the desire for him to be able to continue producing work. One of my readers asked for my thoughts on the matter, particularly from the retail end, and…well, heck, let’s just do it here instead of putting it off for another day.
Now, I liked Glamourpuss. Its weird combination of fashion parody and comic strip history was a little mindboggling, but it worked, somehow, and kept me entertained through its entire run. It started off with having me wonder what Dave was up to, and as time went on, I realized the only real answer to that was “Dave was doing something I find entertaining and informative” and that was good enough for me.
It started off relatively well as far as sales go, too…I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but if memory serves it was selling at respectable indie title levels. But, as time wore on, sales did drop, until we had just a couple of holdouts still hanging on and reading the book ’til the end. I don’t know if those readers who dropped the book were expecting Cerebus II and didn’t get it, were looking forward to new Sim material and just didn’t care for it, or just stopped buying comics entirely (a sadly realistic possibility). It’s just the simple fact that Not Everything Catches On, and I’m sorry this didn’t go as well as it did for Dave, and I certainly don’t want him to leave the industry (though I couldn’t blame him if he did).
I think he a good job promoting Glamourpuss, sending out promotional copies (I still treasure my signed copy of #1), calling stores personally (alas, he got our answering machine…when I called him back, I got his voice mail, answered by “Glamourpuss” herself!), his crazy variant covers (“zombie” variants, and variants featuring his Zatanna parody), and free overships of issues (which sometimes sold for us!). This certainly ensured good sales early on, but obviously their effectiveness wore off as time passed.
Now, did I do enough to promote Glamourpuss at the shop? As a funnybook seller, it’s my job to be an advocate for every comic for, you know, the customers I think would enjoy said comic. I can’t shout out across the shop “I think everyone will enjoy this issue of Swamp Thing!” as much as I’d like to, simply because I know it’s not for everybody. And Glamourpuss was always bit of a hard sell. I mean, it was easy (if a little nutty) to describe to people, but hard to find the people who might be interested in such a thing. And given the number of comics we carry and the number of customers with differing tastes that we have and simply given the number of hours in the day, sometimes the most advocacy I can give a comic is just making sure it’s visible on the rack, and occasionally pointing it out to people I think would like it.
I mean, I did what I could. I bought it, I enjoyed it, we carried it at the shop, I occasionally discussed it with folks, but if I could save every comic I liked from cancellation singlehandedly, Jupiter would still be on the stands.
- Pal Jim is still blogging Hellblazer comics in his extremely intelligent and captivating way over at The Laughing Magician. He’s up to issue #3…only 292 issues (at press time), plus all those annuals and tie-ins, to go, Jim!
- Well, well, well…look who’s back. …It’s Adam at Comics Make No Sense! The People have demanded that he revive his fun-filled weblog, and lo, it has come to pass. Go make the man feel welcome!
- Bully, Schrodinger’s Bull Who Is Simultaneously Little and Stuffed, brings us a Ten of a Kind featuring really, really angry folks on comic book covers…which ends in the only way it can, with comics’ greatest symbol of unrestrained rage.
- Look at what was in our pog haul. JUST LOOK AT IT.
- Pal Jim use big brain to talk smart about John Constantine, with an in-depth look at Hellblazer #1.
- Pal Andrew use big brain to talk smart about comic book crossover events, in the context of his latest choice for “Nobody’s Favorites.” You know, I remember liking the comic discussed at the time, but it has been nearly a quarter-century since it came out. After all, I read these comics and didn’t respond negatively to them back then.
- Amid use cartoony brain to post about William A. Emmons, “The Disney Animator Who Almost Was.” Mr. Emmons was only at Disney for a few months in the 1940s, but at the time wrote a bit about his experience in a letter to his sister, reproduced at that link. A fascinating inside look at the early days of Disney.
- Mike use small brain and post about comic pogs over on his other woefully misguided website. I know you folks like it when I post about Death of Superman on this site, so here you go.
- Pal Dorian use floppy brain to post Flop.
REMINDER: today is the day that Swamp Thing and Animal Man finally meet (after that sorta fake-out in the Animal Man annual), kicking off that “Rotworld” crossover hoohar in their twelfth issues. …They meet, they fight until they realize they’re on the same side, and then they team up and fly off into space to fight Galactus. It’s totally awesome. (You can see the diptych image from both covers on this page.)
Also out this week is Spawn #222, which will not only kick off a whole new round of people saying “oh, Spawn, that’s still coming out?” but also gives us another Spidey-tweaking cover to join last month’s:
Specifically, Amazing Fantasy #15
and Amazing Spider-Man #316
, respectively. …I don’t know, I kinda think these are funny, especially with that “SPAWN IS AMAZING” cover coming out the same week as The Amazing Spider-Man
In other news:
Don’t forget that tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, and I’ve written about it plenty in the past, so click on that “free comic book day” tag on this post (or just click here) to see what I’ve said in previous years. I’ve been spending the last few days preparing for this Saturday, sorting out our comics into the prepackaged age-appropriate baggies (you can read about that particular strategy here) and planning out whatever sales and such we’re going to have that same day.
This year we ordered even more comics than in previous years, particularly since we had really upped our orders last year and we were still mostly through our FCBD stock halfway through the day. I’ll let you know how we did this time around!
Oh, and formerly employee Aaron and his lovely wife (and part-time employee) Kempo will be gracing us with their presence and helping out at the shop that day, since I guess this year they’ll be able to make it. I mean, they claim they had something more important to do on Free Comic Book Day last year, but pffft, whatever.
So, Free Comic Book Day…get yerself to a funnybook emporium and help yourself to some freebies. I recommend the Donald Duck Family comic from Fantagraphics…I think that one was my favorite from this year’s batch. For reviews of most of this year’s offerings, I pass you along to pal Dorian.
• • •
In other news:
- Andrew isn’t just a pal and a fellow Bureau Chief and one of my co-writers on Write More Good(still available, still funny!), but he’s one of my favorite comics ‘n’ pop culture commentators as well. He’s celebrating the sixth anniversary of his weblog Armagideon Time this week, and he’s still one of the best writers in our particular cultural niche. …That’s a “damning with faint praise” compliment if ever there was one, but he is darned good, and if you aren’t reading him yet, get started already!
- Hey, Daniel Butler, artist of Copernicus Jones and my swanky new Twitter icon, now has a t-shirt shop. With monster shirts. You like monsters, right? Of course you do. Go check it out.
- PALS LOOK AT PREVIEWS: Dorian has his monthly installment of Previews for Gays, and Dave has his own Previews overview as well, and I’m glad Dave tackled that “NERD? I prefer the term Intellectual Badass” t-shirt, because frankly, my brain locked up pondering the damned thing.
- And what the heck, here are more plugs for books: Matt Wilson‘s Supervillain Handbook is out and totally orderable by clicking on this thing here:
I read his self-published version a couple of years ago, and it’s a hoot.
Also, She Died in Terrebone, the excellent year-long webcomic by Kevin Church and T.J. Kirsch, is now available in a single volume, and it’s a bargain at only ten bucks.
- Bully flips for Batman. And let’s be honest…who doesn’t?
Here’s an awesome image of some green friends of ours, drawn on green paper by pal Casie:
In a fair and just world, this would be the cast of…I don’t know, a third Expendables
movie, maybe? The Exgreenables
? The Verdant Dozen (Give or Take A Couple)
In other green news:
- Hey, Spencer is back and he’s reviewin’ the funnybooks! Stop by and say hello!
- And now, Crying Miracleman (or “Marvelman,” if you prefer): pencils and inks by Rick Veitch.
- Ragnell examines that latest issue of Wonder Woman that’s riled up some folks recently.
- The hospitals of New York, as presented by Marvel Comics.
- This is one of my favorite books by these guys…like pal Dorian, I’m very surprised it hasn’t become a movie yet.
- Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull That Walks Like A Little Stuffed Bull, presents a post with a series of images that, when taken all in one sitting, will drive you insane. You may not make it past the splash page for the story “Discos and Dungeons.”
- My favorite April Fool’s gag this year…or is it? (I mean, is it a gag, not is it my favorite, which it is. My favorite, that is.)
- That one National Lampoon cover must surely be one of the most mimicked in publishing history…and our little stuffed pal Bully gathers together several examples from the funnybook world.
- Discussing this particular Nobody’s Favorite Alpha Flight character started a brief discussion among a few pals of mine about the early issues of that series and its focus on “body horror”-type stories. Probably an essay in there somewhere, should I ever find the time.
- Dr. Polite Scott takes a look at one of the few Curt Swan-drawn PSAs from Silver Age DC Comics…the article includes links to the other two Swan PSAs.
- So they announced the soundtrack listing for the Avengers movie, and lo, there was a wailing despair heard across the land. I don’t know, the soundtrack doesn’t look that bad.
- Pal Andrew’s latest Nobody’s Favorites entry is a comic that absolutely is no one’s favorite comic. NO ONE. If you say this is your favorite comic, you’re wrong.
- It’s a new Previews for Gays from pal Dorian, which, in a way, brought about Dor’s latest Paperback Book Club post.
- I may be soon getting my hands on an issue of Teen-In that will fit right in with this collection of groovy comic covers, courtesy a certain little stuffed bull of some note.
- Hey, Mark Waid has a free short digital comic, illustrated by Jeremy Rock, available for download on his site. It’s got zombies in it…NO WAIT, DON’T RUN AWAY it’s actually a good little story.
- Related: the fellows at the CO2 Comics Blog just posted the first part of a history of comics printing, with an eye on the incorporation of digital delivery.
- Also, don’t forget to read these web comics: Copernicus Jones, and Awesome Hospital, and Boldly Gone, and The Rack, and The Line, and Rose Madder, and then maybe come by the store and let me sell you some comics printed on dead trees, too. I’d like to think there’s still room for both paper comics and those newfangled space age comics you crazy kids all read on your iKindles and your Nookpads.
1. So it would appear to be that the mystery caricature on the cover of Spoof #3 is apparently Tom Jones, based on some of the images I’ve been sent, and the fact that the editor of the book, Roy Thomas, seems to think it’s him, too. Close enough for horseshoes, my friends.
And anyway, we ended up selling that copy of Spoof on Saturday. The mystery was exchanged for about seven bucks.
2. Lost a couple of big names from the comics/sci-fi world just recently: Golden Age great Sheldon Moldoff, and the man who gave Star Wars its look, artist Ralph McQuarrie. My condolences to their families and friends.
3. Pal Dave gives you the latest installment of This Used to Be The Future…funnybook sci-fi, 1960s-style!
4. Pals Dorian and Ken unleash another installment of In A World, their monthly review of the newest movie trailers. This is one of my favorite things. Also [SPOILER] The Lorax appears to be an unholy abomination.
Ah, how could I have forgotten CRANIUS:
When wondering about how many “classic villains” Swamp Thing actually had
, I totally
forgot about Cranius, the most Un of all the Un-Men, until my blogging brother Tim O’Neil
was good enough to remind me
of our brain-handed friend.
Don’t worry…I’m not going to get all Cranius-crazy on you again, but yeah…the return of Cranius. Wouldn’t that be something if that were the case?
Anyway, in some site news…I almost decided to fix the commenting settings to require names and email addresses from folks who want to leave a comment, but decided I didn’t want to inconvenience everyone. Besides, it’s not as if someone couldn’t stick a fake email address in there or anything. However, I can ban IP addresses…I don’t want to, and hopefully I won’t have to.
Enough about that…let’s get to some more entertaining stuff:
- Happy Birthday, Superman!
- Here are some Frank Frazetta-inspired Cerebus drawings by Dave Sim…including a interesting color commission that sort of expresses Dave’s feelings about superheroes.
- Finally, one of these “Keep Calm” things that I actually like…almost certainly because it features a certain Little Stuffed Bull of some note.
- Andrew picked a good’un for the latest installment of Nobody’s Favorites…but mostly I’m just jealous of that post title that I wish I’d thought of first.
- And now, some “Then…KOREA” pics.
First, from the aforementioned Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, comes this slightly revamped version of a post of his from a couple of days ago:
From the equally aforementioned Andrew comes this shocking tale of an evening’s festivities gone horribly wrong:
And the esteemed Dr. K has this, a tale of tragedy:
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