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So basically, if someone out there is trying to complete your set of all 5,000 copies of the Marvel Milestones Spider-Man statue from Art Asylum, you’d better cross production number 1213 off the list, because alas, it’s shuffled off this mortal coil. And it didn’t jump…it was pushed. By me. With a bulky ol’ Diamond shipping box I was hauling into the store and, not seeing where I was going, I accidentally knocked the poor statue off the counter upon which it sat and sent it to its doom.
The only somewhat good part of this is the fact that we acquired the statue as part of a collection, and we actually didn’t have that much money into it. But let me tell you, I’d much rather have sold that statue than swept it up.
The worst part: I can’t yell at an employee about it. The only person to yell at is me, and I can’t yell at me, I’m too wonderful.
Anyway, here are a couple of comics that came out this week:
Now I certainly would have preferred it if this issue, wrapping up the “First Lantern” storyline, had actually come out a couple of weeks ago, when the Green Lantern Corps
issue containing the first epilogue to said storyline did
ship, since that would have saved a whole lot of explaining that, no, I didn’t forget to order Green Lantern
#20, it’s late, it’s not my fault, it’s DC’s. Alternatively, I would have been okay with DC simply delaying GLC #20 ’til GL #20 finally was released, since DC obviously wasn’t shy about putting out Red Lanterns
#20 and Green Lantern: New Guardians
#20, also containing epilogues, this week as well, so what difference would one more
GL book have made?
As for the comic itself…it’s a nice send-off to the Geoff Johns era of the franchise, so if you didn’t like any of the GL comics that came before, you’re certainly not going to like this one. I’ve generally enjoyed the GL run over the last few years, myself, and I thought the different colored Lantern Corps was a fun concept. It would be nice to have just a plain ‘ol “Hal versus Goldface” story now, but I don’t know if we can go home again after years of GL Cosmicness.
One interesting bit of business in this comic is an interspersing of full pages of pull-quotes from various comic creators, filmmakers, pals and family members, all congratulating Johns on his GL run. Don’t know if I’ve seen that ever done in a comic before, particularly for someone who’s still alive, but, well, there it is. Looking forward to DC doing the same thing for Grant Morrison when he leaves Batman.
They certainly crammed a whole lot of stuff into this issue, along with a couple of nice surprises, so if you are a fan of the GL books, this actually is a satisfying ending to the last few years’ worth of storylines. But here’s hoping things are a little more…accessible in the GL books that follow.
I don’t read the Dark Horse Presents
anthology on a regular basis…I picked up the issues with the new Concrete
stories, which were eventually collected into a standalone comic that I could have waited for instead if I’d known that was coming. (I figured they would end up in one of the eventual Concrete
trade paperbacks, if anything.) Of late, I’ve been picking it up because of the new Nexus
stories, which I suppose may also be collected into their own comics or trades at some point, but I’m not taking the chance, because it’s Nexus
and there are few comics I love more than Nexus
I do read the rest of the comic, too, though like most anthologies, not everything is going to be to everyone’s taste. The other ongoing adventure serials don’t really do anything for me, but the more oddball stuff, like Shannon Wheeler’s “Villain House” and “Hunter Quaid: Armageddon Out of Here,” are a lot of fun. I do wish there was more Geof Darrow in these books aside from the spot drawings, however.
Ah, I see my paperwork requesting a Swamp Thing Versus Frankenstein cover has gone through. Excellent, excellent.
This is kind of what I wanted when I clamored all these years for Swamp Thing’s release from Vertigo’s mighty grip…more “Swampy Versus The DC Universe.” I suppose I should have specified which DC Universe (“not one hastily rebooted with an indeterminate history, please!”) but beggars can’t be choosers. Justice League Dark has, to the surprise of most everyone, turned out to be the best of the new comics with the words “Justice League” in the title, even though most people hate that title while realizing this is probably the only reason it hasn’t been cancelled yet. Well, that, and the fact the series itself is very enjoyable, nicely utilizing DC’s supernatural characters in a more superheroic context.
Believe it or not, I haven’t read this yet, because I’m spending my free time writing this post about it instead. There’s something somewhat self-defeating about that.
• • •
If you give a bull a comic, he’s going to post about it on his site, and that’s just what Bully T.L.S. Bull, Esq. did, discussing the comic in question and very kindly thanking me in this blog entry right here
. You’re very welcome, Bully!
Trying to get a read on Batman’s expression on the cover, there. Bemusement? Concern? Anger? Bewilderment? Who can say.
Anyway, this is a freebie book that should be available at your local funnybook slinger emporium, spotlighting DC’s back catalog of trade collections divided up by character, imprint, panicked line-wide relaunch, kid-friendly reading, et cetera. There’s even a section spotlighting graphic novels by Alan Moore, which probably thrills him to pieces.
Of note is a section devoted to “suggested reading order” for books featuring some of their major superhero characters, which is useful since I kinda lose the thread of the Batman continuity after Final Crisis. The Superman section appears to give up on continuity order about halfway through its list, placing New 52 reprints before, like, all the pre-New 52 Superman/Batman reprints, among other things, and lumping all the non-continuity-ish books like Red Son and All-Star Superman and Birthright at the end. Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali is also near the end of the suggested reading order, when in fact it should be first in line. Heck, it should be the only Superman comic you need to read.
At the end of this book are three “blank” pages with a “NOTES” heading, in case you need to jot down your thoughts and feelings about Superman: Earth One being placed in the “25 Essential Graphic Novels” section of this freebie. The notes pages are designed to look like original art boards, which is a little strange…make sure your notes don’t result in more than about nine panels per page; you’re not George Perez.
In conclusion…I like the cover. Ryan Sook did a good job. Even Superman’s new costume is almost bearable. But surely the Justice League has better things to do than waste their time reading comic books.
Also out this week:
Okay, I figure if they make at least two
more Smurfs movies, that should give us enough time, and the publisher enough incentive, to keep reprinting the Smurfs comics in U.S. editions ’til they’re caught up.
…I have big dreams.
I think what surprised me the most about this issue was despite the hoohar
over Carrie Kelley (Robin from Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
) making her first in-whatever-passes-for-DC-Universe-continuity appearance, there wasn’t an immediate rush on copies by folks looking to make a quick eBay buck. It’s selling…okay, like a normal issue of Batman and Robin
, without the recent sales bumps fed by “Death of a Family” and the death of Robin follow-up issues. I suppose in a few months, if Carrie Kelley sticks around (and that linked article explains that is the intent) sales will pick up on this issue. It helps that the Kelley material in the book is actually the best part, compared to the very odd Batman/Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. crossover that makes up the rest of the story. Always nice to see Frankenstein again, even if pitted against what feels like a strangely out-of-character-even-if
-grieving Batman. Interesting, even if it didn’t…feel right, you know?
This is the “DEMO” cover for the Mad Magazine variant for Batman
#19 (even says “DEMO” up in the corner, there), provided one per comic shop to allow interested parties to see the fold-in in action without daring to damage their rare collectible item. …Well, I have to admit, decades of funnybook-sellin’ have instilled in me a deep resistance to deliberately folding creases into a comic book cover, even on comics explicitly intended for that purpose. I suppose if I had
to, if someone insisted
on it, I, with tears in my eyes and a trembling hand, would fold the cover over to reveal Mr. Jaffee’s hidden image. Or I could just take that scan and do a little area selection/dragging to do the same thing on the store computer.
Judging at least by our store’s sales, most of the people who read Constantine
#1 came back for #2, either still in the “trying out the book” stage or, maybe, are attracted by the prospect of long-consigned to the Vertigo universe properties once again tied back into the DC Universe. The direction for the series seems to be tying itself together a little further…it’s a quest storyline, with John chasing down various pieces of a mystical artifact while running into a couple of old magical DC folks. It’s a stronger effort than the first issue, I think, presenting John trying to squeeze out of some tight spots with the gift of gab and a wee bit of magicking, which, you know, is pretty much what I want from a Constantine comic. And yes, I’m enjoying the novelty of the DCU tie-ins, too.
So after my recent Great B.P.R.D.
Reread Project (status: complete; next Great Reread Project yet to be decided) and the issue numbering concerns thereof
, I thought I should mention that this new Abe Sapien
#1, “An All New Ongoing Series” as it says there, is in fact, according to the inside front cover, #11 in the overall history of Abe Sapien solo series and / or one-shots. So:
Anyway, the series takes off from recent events in the B.P.R.D.
comics, following the even-further mutated Abe as he eludes his former pals at the Bureau. I don’t know if this is really a good jumping-on point for new readers…dialogue-driven exposition for recent Hellboy-Universe-Events-That-Don’t-Really-Involve-Hellboy, in particular Abe’s recent changes, catches folks up, but it seems more like preaching to the converted rather than its own thing. This may just be symptomatic of the series’ origins in B.P.R.D.
and the ongoing circumstances there, and it feels more like another B.P.R.D.
mini rather than an Abe Sapien solo title. We’ll see what happens once the series begins to form its own identity a few issues down the road.
As I said on Twitter
yesterday, I was bracing myself to read a Thanos story that didn’t involve Jim Starlin somehow, but so far Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi aren’t doing too bad a job telling the adventures of Li’l Thanos. It lacks the inherent weirdness of Starlin’s storytelling, and thus is a more conventional “here are the bad things that formed this bad guy” tale. Still, it’s a solid enough introduction to the character, and will likely make a nice trade paperback (or, more likely, hardcover) to sell to the curious once Marvel’s Phase Two films (presumably involving Thanos) start making more of an impact.
It’s Hulk versus Thor as drawn by Walt Simonson. If reading that sentence doesn’t make you immediately pull out your wallet and start throwing money at the computer screen, well, I don’t know that I can help you. But pick up that money and go throw it at Ye Olde Local Comic Booke Seller instead, because publishers getting Simonson to draw comics is a behavior I’d like to encourage. And things look like they really begin to pick up in Part the Second, so jump on now, he said like the funnybook salesman he is.
This is probably the first of the New 52 Swamp Thing
comics to feel like an old Swamp Thing
comic. In particular, like the Alan Moore or Rick Veitch issues where Swamp Thing would encounter some established bit of the DC Universe and we’re suddenly given a new and almost certainly creepy take on it. Well, that was then, this is now, and it’s hard to do a creepy take on a character like the Scarecrow when the trend lately in the Bat-books has been to make things especially weird and creepy in the first place. Instead, the fun here is in Swamp Thing’s reaction and interaction with the Scarecrow, rather than any kind of dramatic reinterpretation.
Also, new writer Charles Soule takes a few panels to explain the deal with Swamp Thing’s New 52 status quo, his relation to the previous Alec Holland-less Swamp Thing, recent events in the comic, and so on. Probably a good issue to sample if you’ve been tempted, but didn’t want to jump into the middle of the 300-part “Rotworld” crossover.
It’s Popeye and Barney Google! CRISIS OF GRANDPA’S INFINITE COMIC STRIPS! I actually didn’t get into this issue as much as past installments of this series…Barney Google isn’t a strip character for whom I have any particular affinity, and the horseracing gags weren’t really my thing. But, even an issue of Popeye
that doesn’t quite butter my bread is still a whole lot better than just about anything else, so I ain’t complainin’. Plus, series writer Roger Langridge takes on the art chores yet again and everything looks flawless and beautiful…and Langridge even gives us a boxing back-up story starring Swee’pea, and it’s plenty cute.
And for the digital comic inclined, there’s Task Force Rad Squad
. Click the link, pay what you want (or even nothing at all, but c’mon, give ‘em a buck at least) and download in your choice of format. It reminds me of late ’80s/early ’90s crazy indie comics…I sort of get a Tank Girl
vibe off it, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, it’s lots of fun packed into 36 pages, and you get a sizable preview prior to throwing your money down. Go check it out
, and tell ‘em Mike sent you. If they ask “who’s Mike?” just say “you know, Mike
” and that should do it.
So as Tim noted on the Twitters, reference is made in Green Lantern Corps #18 to a particular tragic event in John Stewart’s life that, in its original context of the Cosmic Odyssey mini-series, could not have happened as presented given the brave New 52 world that all the DC Universe comic books live in now. It probably doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine that said event could still have happened under some as-yet-untold new continuity circumstances, but until that tale is told, there it sits, a fossil of a shared universe that’s had its rooms torn down, rebuilt, or otherwise redecorated.
Also, I’m already a little tired of this “First Lantern” thing…the “here’s how your life could have been different” torture he’s putting characters through is already run to the ground. Plus, that’s not even considering the fact that your characters’ histories just went through a huge reboot anyway, so what’s at stake, really? …I’ve been generally enjoying the GL books as a whole enough to put up with this, I guess, but I’m ready for the story to progress.
Okay, everyone can come out of their homes…the Before Watchmen initiative is nearly over, though we still have an issue of Comedian to go, and there’s a missing-in-action epilogue that’s supposed to wrap all this up, though, technically, wouldn’t that epilogue just be Watchmen?
Amusingly, the Wikipedia entry on the series notes critical reaction to most of the titles, ranging from “mostly negative” to “mixed” to “mostly positive,” leaving out the possibly more accurate “entirely appalled” reflecting some commentators. Of the bunch, this series, Ozymandias, was probably the best, possibly because it was written by someone (Len Wein) who’d been involved in the original series. It’s certainly beautifully illustrated…that Jae Lee sure does draw purty. Of course, that’s all aside from the arguments of “was this trip really necessary?” (not really), and as far as sales go, it went from “strong interest from customers,” to “oh crap, there are a lot of these, aren’t there,” to “well that was several weeks without a new Before Watchmen, I guess I’m no longer interested in buying these” to becoming solid mid-range sellers. Not moving huge numbers, but okay, dependable numbers. When the solicitations for the reasonably-probable Before Watchmen 2 or After Watchmen eventually pop up in Previews, I’ll know what to order.
And over the course of the multiple series, we did get “THE SECRET ORIGIN OF RORSCHACH’S ‘END IS NIGH’ SIGN,” and thus did the event justify itself.
The previous series, Cargo of Doom, did only so-so for us, which surprised me considering the strength of its creative team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. I’m chalking that up to Too Many Rocketeer Comics Too Quickly, since we just came off that Rocketeer Adventures 2 anthology, whose sales weren’t even really a patch on the previous Adventures anthology. However, this series, by Roger Langridge and J. Bone, is receiving extra interest and pull-list adds from our customers. Hopefully I can talk some of them into checking out the previous mini, which is just as fun as this new series.
While I like Hollywood Horror, and I do love the work of Walt Simonson, I can’t say that the Simonson covers on this series are doing anything for me. While we’ve now seen that the Rocketeer franchise can succeed in storytelling without slavishly copying creator Dave Stevens (J. Bone’s looser, more cartoony style being a whole different world from Stevens’ more representational, yet still lively and fun, work), Simonson’s Rocketeer…I don’t know, just doesn’t feel right to me, both here and on the previous cover. I feel bad saying that, but it doesn’t say “Rocketeer” to me, like it’s not…”streamlined” enough or something. Or it’s the awkward figure posing. Man, I don’t know how to explain it. I mean, maybe it’s just me. Don’t pay any attention to all that…just buy the comic.
So it’s just plain ol’ Original Trilogy Star Wars action with no interminable ancient histories starring Darth Menacingname or future events with 70-year-old Luke, Leia and Han telling invading aliens to get off their space-lawns while their likely-to-be-retconned-out-of-existence children run around and fight battles and have romances with new Expanded Universe characters nobody cares about. And it’s a lot of fun, and requires no knowledge of Star Wars stuff beyond what you’ve seen in the films. And unsurprisingly, it’s the best selling Star Wars comic in years.
It’s probably doomed as soon as the comics license reverts to Marvel and the big Star Wars Episode 7 push begins, but I’ll happily enjoy it in the meantime.
So after one day, it’s probably too soon to tell how Justice League of America #1 is selling, though unsurprisingly it’s the California and the American flag covers that are the most in demand at our shop. Mostly I seem to be getting the incredulous “wait, they really did 53 covers on this thing?” response from customers, and who can blame them, really?
I did sell one of those complete factory packs of all 53 variants to a customer, and the retail price on those packs is like a $60 savings over buying each cover individually. In fact, when I was figuring out our wholesale costs on these things, it turns out the per-unit cost difference between buying Justice League of America #1s individually and getting them as part of that complete pack is…52 cents. DC’s really carrying that “New 52″ thing to the extreme.
Okay, it’s just a coincidence, based on our particular discount levels, but that was a good way to encourage retailers to carry all the covers by offering them at such a significant discount in that complete package. In fact, it was such a discount that I triple-checked the numbers to make sure I wasn’t making some kind of terrible mistake. (Yeah, yeah, “aside from ordering Justice League of America #1,” I know, wiseguys.)
Well, we’ll see if I have any specific requests or any odd trends of demand in the sale of this comic over the next week or so. Will everyone want that New Jersey variant? Will no one please buy the lonely, lonely Rhode Island variant? …I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
One of the things I’ve been sort of half-following over the years is what kind of language is becoming more acceptable in your more-or-less general audiences comic book. Having a character exclaim “Jesus Christ!” in your Green Lantern comic, as Kyle Rayner does in Green Lantern: New Guardians #17 (explicitly as an expression of shock, and not as someone using that as a proper name specifically to refer to Jesus as He pops up during a battle with, I don’t know, Goldface, though that would be pretty shocking in its own right) is probably not the sort of thing that would have flown under the purview of even the mostly-toothless Comics Code Authority as of a few years back. This isn’t the first example of this sort of religiously-themed exclamation I’ve noticed of late, and I don’t mention it out of some sense of prudery, but rather out of interest in what language is permissible and what companies believe their perceived audiences to be.
I think the first place I noticed language a little stronger beyond the usual “hells” and “damns” in your typical superhero book was during the Giffen/DeMatteis era Justice League, in which Guy Gardner says that he’s “pissed off.” (Clark Kent also dropped a “pissed off” in Action #838 back in 2006, which I’ve noted briefly on the site in the past, and I still don’t buy it as something he’d say.)
And of course, there’s this.
(Before you bring it up…I don’t consider the thing in All-Star Batman — you know what I’m talking about — to be part of the trend, as All-Star Batman was more of a special project than an example of a typical monthly superhero comic. God knows it wasn’t monthly.)
Speaking of hells and damns:
Well, this comic straight up gives you “fucking” on page one, a word you likely won’t be seeing in the ongoing DC Universe “New 52″ Constantine series that will be attempting to fill that Hellblazer-shaped hole on the stands.
It’s been a good run, Hellblazer, and I’m sorry to see you go. I bought your first issue off the rack back in the late ’80s, and I stayed with you all the way to the end. I’m still not sure how I feel about the wrap-up to your Vertigo run…I may need to go back and reread your last year or so and see how it all holds together…but I think it holds true to the character we’ve all known and followed for all these years.
Okay, enough talking directly to the comic book. It’s somewhat satisfying to have a complete set of Hellblazer, terrifying as it is to realize I read each issue, month by month, for its entire run. And I really don’t mind the existence of the DC Universe Constantine series…I’ve been enjoying the character’s involvement in the surprisingly entertaining Justice League Dark, and the announcement of Jeff Lemire joining Constantine as writer has only increased my interest. And after 300 issues of the Vertigo run and all that entails, I don’t mind a different direction for a while. It seems unlikely we’ll get 300 issues of Constantine, but I suspect I’ll enjoy it while it exists.
Also this week, we had Classic Popeye #7:
I’m sorry for all the swearing in this post, Popeye. I know you swore in your comics, too, but at least you had the class to use &@$*%! unlike poor ol’ classless me.
So if you’re on your way to your local funnybook store, let me warn you, there’s about one million new releases out this week, or at least it felt that way as I was breaking down the shipment Tuesday afternoon/evening. I mean, not even counting Marvel’s apparently weekly new titles I was complaining about a few days ago, there was a whole lotta stuff. And on top of that, due to the vagaries of shipping caused by the holidays at the end of the year, we also received next week’s comics which we’re to hold ’til the on-sale date of the 26th, so I’ve got to keep those stored away for a week while ignoring the cynical part of my brain that tells me all these titles I’m holding aside are probably already in the hands of somebody somewhere scanning away and uploading them to your torrents and your napsters and whatever other crazy things you kids use what with your portable phones and hip-computers and such.
But enough cynicism…here are a few things this week that bring me joy and good tidings:
Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948
– pretty much the only thing that got me out of bed and into work Tuesday (aside from, you know, having to do my job in order to get paid) was the knowledge that this would be waiting for me inside one of the Diamond boxes. It’s a great book…a perfect book. In an ideal world, this is what you’d find in hotel rooms instead of Gideon Bibles. This is far better than what the world deserves…well, I
deserve it, at any rate — I’m not sure about the rest of you. But you should get a copy anyway.
#5, reprinting in its entirety the original #5 from 1949, including the two page prose story filler that nobody read back then and nobody’s going to read now. That’s okay…it’s cover to cover comics aside from that, and at $3.99 retail that’s a bargain for this swell and densely-packed comic.
…Look, it’s can’t all
be high-falutin’ classic comic strip stuff. Sometimes I just want a goofy superhero comic filled with oddball ideas and fights, and Supreme
works just fine. It’s hard to imagine Supreme having a life after Alan Moore’s run, with its deconstructive self-awareness, but Erik Larsen has simply pulled it back to straightforward Silver Age-y action. Well, maybe with a little
self-aware poking at the genre, but it’s certainly more “let’s have fun” than Moore’s “let’s examine why this is fun while we’re having fun.” Um. Okay, something like that. Also, I wanted to note that I’m getting just the slightest “Howard the Duck” vibe off Squeak the Supremouse and his “trapped in a world he never made” predicament in the series, but if that’s just me, please ignore that I typed that.
Well, this is certainly my favorite comic of the week, a complete reprinting of the original Popeye
#1 published by Dell Comics in 1948. 48 pages of comics, plus inner covers and back cover plus a swell front cover, all filled with fights and jokes, which I know you people like, for only $3.99. Worth every single penny.
Mike Allred draws the new issue of Daredevil
, and…okay, don’t get me wrong, I think Daredevil
as written by Mark Waid is a great comic, and currently one of the best, if not the
best, Marvel has to offer right now. Even the non-Waid annual, which was written and drawn by Alan Davis, was a lot of fun. But there have been an awful lot
of Daredevil comics recently, and double-checking the invoices…sure enough, there have been three regular issues plus the annual released over the last five weeks. Of course, the indicia does
say “published Monthly except in May and August” but still, I don’t know you want to push your readers’ pocketbooks quite that much, especially with current economic conditions and with an audience base that’s looking for pretty much any reason to reduce their disposable income expenditures. Flooding the stands with consecutive issues of a series on what appears to be no set schedule is a good way to overwhelm your readership, and cause them to cut even titles they like if they think they can’t afford to keep up.
I mean, I get it. It’s a publishing and marketing strategy, designed to push other comics off the shelves, and force customers to devote more money to your popular “essential” titles while taking money away from your competitors’ titles (and hopefully not from too many of your own, though that inevitably happens). And it’s the kind of short term profiteering necessary in the current depressed comics marketplace, where you have to grab that money while it’s being shoved in your direction, as trying to build up a solid readership over an extended period of time takes, well, an extended period of time, and who has time to wait for that, amiright?
…That’s a long-winded way to say “I wish they’d stick to a schedule,” because cranking out a new issue of a series every one or two weeks causes my customers to increasingly groan “another new issue already?” even on titles they love. And that’s not an attitude anyone in this industry can afford to encourage.
Okay, wasn’t intending to rant about that. The new Daredevil is great. And let’s end this on an up note:
So this relaunch of Supreme
by Erik Larsen and Cory Hamscher, picking up from the Alan Moore run from a few years back, is a bit of a hidden gem, I think. It’s a hoot and half, despite that bloody cover I scanned up there which fits in fine in context, honest. There’s all kind of crazy stuff going on in this series, and Invincible
fans may want to pick up this particular issue. That the Moore issues which preceded this series are out of print and not always readily available in back issue bins is a shame, and may have hurt this restart’s chances with those stories being mostly out of memory. But, hell, just jump on in…it’s a lot of fun, and it’s not like you’ve read every single issue of, say, Batman
before you read your first Batman story. You’ll live.
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:
So we had that little Avengers Vs. X-Men release party thingie last night…that’s where we get special dispensation from Marvel ‘n’ Diamond to release the comic ahead of the normal Wednesday street date. Well, a whole four hours ahead, I guess, since technically I could have started selling all the week’s new comics the second Felix’s paws were pointed at the witching hour*, but frankly I’ve put in enough time at the shop lately. I needs my beauty sleep…I mean, really, have you seen me?
But away, we put out the AvX #1s, and moved quite a few, which kind of surprised me since our town tends to roll up the sidewalks once nighttime rolls around, but we had a bunch of folks stroll on in and a good time was had by all. And we had bit of a mini-sale, too, so it was definitely worth staying open a little later than we normally do on Tuesdays.
I was mostly still working on processing the new comics order and pulling for the comic savers, so I tended to let other folks at the shop handle the AvX crowd. But there were a couple of things about this week’s new comics I wanted to point out:
1. Looks like Marvel is moving toward that slightly less-slick/”self-cover” format on some of their books. It’s not quite the same as the paperstock of the interior pages, but the covers ain’t as slick as they used to be. It’s not like that for every Marvel this week, but it is for quite a few of them.
2. The third issue of that Avengers movie tie-in Fury’s Big Week is out this week…and for second there I thought all our copies were damaged and missing pages. But no, it’s 20 pages of comics, the covers…and no ads. A while back Johanna was wondering what happened to comic book ads, in which it seemed like all the ads in recent Marvel and DC comics were just house ads for other Marvel and DC comics. But Fury’s Big Week doesn’t even have those…it just does away with the extra non-story pages altogether and gives you a 20-page booklet. Were previous issues of this series like this, and I just didn’t notice it?
Anyway, I guess this is the next cost-cutting device in maintaining the monthly floppy format…just plain using less paper, since they’re not making any money selling ad space on the extra pages anyway.
3. Also, Dave Sim has a new issue of Glamourpuss out. I love this comic, but God help you if you try to explain to someone what it’s about, because they’ll just look at you funny.
4. Swamp Thing is also out this week, with New Swampy finally making his debut. …I think it was worth the wait, though I wish every issue were 64 pages long, no ads, and released weekly, which I think is an entirely reasonable and economically-sound demand.
Enough about new comics…let me talk very briefly about some old comics. Reader Tom asks
I’d be happy to see an update, however brief, on the Great Grendel reread you were doing a while back… they were favourite comics of mind but I’m not sure they’ve aged well.
Yeah, I have a bad habit of not following up on things like “I’M TOTALLY GOING TO REREAD ALL OF, SAY, JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE AND REPORT BACK TO YOU” because Mike of Bloggings Future occasionally doesn’t like being constrained by plans made by Mike of Bloggings Past and I just never get around to, you know, stuff.
But I did reread all the Matt Wagner-written Grendels, and the Four Devils, One Hell mini by James Robinson, and a few of the other minis…and pretty much got burnt out/lost interest at about the same point in the various 1990s Grendel minis as I did when they were originally coming out. The minis that came out after that (including 1999′s Devil Child, which I first read during this “great Grendel reread”) tied back in to the early Hunter Rose-era of Grendel, which I have far more interest in than the future-history storylines that occupied most of the ’90s issues. I did reread all those late ’90s/2000s Grendel, but I think I’ll probably never get around to reading those few minis that I skipped originally. Ah, well…it’s not like I haven’t read enough comics.
* Yes, I know on most Felix-style clocks the hands aren’t in the shape of Felix’s paws. But I wrote it and don’t feel like changing it. So there.
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