A movie you’re tired of hearing about, an event you’re hopefully anticipating, and a comic you probably bought.

§ April 8th, 2016 § Filed under free comic book day, movie reviews, retailing, star wars § 3 Comments

So anyway:

  • I’ve been putting off any kind of review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of a New Film Franchise, We Hope simply because at this point, what’s to add, really. I liked it fine: I thought it was a valid and interesting interpretation of these characters, though I do understand the larger context complaints about tone and accessibility to younger potential viewers. Just taken as a film on its own terms, outside the criticisms of “I didn’t want this movie, I wanted a different movie,” it’s no better or worse than most big-budget blockbuster films. It’s certainly better made than the mishmash of Age of Ultron, and at least seems to have a vision and a point of view. Maybe not the vision or point of view people necessarily wanted, but I think there was some depth to the proceedings that made it worthwhile viewing, at least to me.

    Yes, sure, I’d love to have a bright, cheery Superman movie. At least we’re getting a bright, cheery Batman movie (in the form of Lego Batman, guest-starring Superman!). But at least I think we can all agree that Wonder Woman was pretty great. And Lex is a hoot.

    Here’s a review by pal Ragnell that I pretty much agree with.

  • Free Comic Book Day plans are still coming along, and if you missed my announcement about my special guest that day, well feast your peepers on this. I don’t really have a lot of prep to do, as I’m not doing the age-appropriate packaging like I used to do…just setting ’em up on tables for free perusal works fine, and stretches supply out a bit longer. I certainly don’t have the same worries I did about getting a turnout at my new shop that I did prior to last year’s FCBD, given how things worked out. If anything, I’m hoping for a larger turnout.

    I am a little annoyed that the special FCBD retail shopping bags haven’t shipped out yet…you know, those white plastic bags with the logo on ’em. That was a good advertising tool, and if I don’t get them until a week or two prior to the event, a fat lot of good that’ll do me. I contacted my distributor, and even they don’t seem to know when they’re getting to me. In the meantime, I’m passing out the bookmarks and the flyers I did get, and I’ll have some specially-printed Sterling Silver Comics-specific flyers to give away as well.

    Just so long as I don’t have the stoned guy cycling around my storefront chatting people up about Herman Hesse again. That’s a Free Comic Book Day repeat I’d rather avoid.

  • Haven’t really done a market report of late, I realize, but did want to note that the newest Star Wars spinoff, Poe Dameron, has sold quite well. Star Wars comic sales are still very strong, though they have softened slightly, now that they’ve been around a while and the new movie’s come and gone. But, with Force Awakens now available on home video and with hype beginning to build on the forthcoming Rogue One, maybe interest will rise again. It sure did for Poe Dameron, as I said, which I’m sure probably caught some folks at Disney by surprise just how much interest there is in the character. The strong creative team (Charles Soule and Phil Noto) and the accompanying freebie buttons and lithographs didn’t hurt.

    We’ll see how sales go on next week’s arrival of the long-delayed C-3PO one-shot.

How can we miss you when you won’t go away?

§ April 6th, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion § 3 Comments

Over at Trouble with Comics, the question this week is “what are your three favorite resurrections in comics?” Turns out two of my picks are related to two of my answers from last week’s “favorite deaths” question. GO FIGURE.

Anyhoo, once again, I’m sorry for the week of light content. Just had some full days in (cough) The Real World lately, but I’m not goin’ anywhere!

If only I had this comic back in February.

§ April 4th, 2016 § Filed under freak out § 6 Comments


THE HATE CUPIDS

 
 

THE HATE CUPIDS

 
 

THE HATE CUPIDS

 
 
 

from Thrill-O-Rama #1 (1965)

I’m more of a non-graphic, G-rated designer.

§ April 1st, 2016 § Filed under free comic book day, self-promotion, sterling silver comics § 3 Comments

So I posted my Free Comic Book Day announcement in various places (such as my store’s site) yesterday, and thought I’d post it here, too (click to super-size):

fcbdflyer1
Yup, Jaime’s going to have to put up with my shenanigans for a few hours that day, but hopefully enough of you fine folks will drop by to balance out my behavior. Also, that wasn’t the first version of the flyer I posted…I originally posted my initial attempt on Twitter with the comment “I’M NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER,” but fortunately Twitter pal Robb stepped in and said “…BUT I AM!” and knocked everything into the decent shape you see above.

Also, I’ve contributed once again to Question Time over there at Trouble with Comics, answering the query regarding my favorite three deaths. In comics, that is. I don’t suppose any of my answers will be any surprise, though I feel bad that I forgot about the one that made fellow Troublemaker Joe’s #3.

Well hello.

§ March 30th, 2016 § Filed under found art § 7 Comments

hithere1

hithere2

hithere3

Hit the road, Jack.

§ March 28th, 2016 § Filed under batman § 20 Comments

Among other announcements at last weekend’s Wondercon, DC is apparently going to reveal the Joker’s real name in the forthcoming Justice League #50. They hinted at its reveal before, earlier in the storyline, and you can see those specific panels at that link where Batman learns the name, but we, the readers, are kept in the dark.

Now, assuming it’s not a big ol’ fake-out, it still seems kind of weird. As Twitter pal nicknewt newted…er, noted, “There’s two possible outcomes of revealing the Joker’s real name: 1: Someone we never heard of, thus anticlimactic / And 2) an existing character, which is dumb as [fudge].” My response was that it could be some heretofore unrevealed relative of Bruce Wayne, which, if I may opine briefly, would also be a dumb as [fudge] option. Given Batman’s reaction to the revelation of the name, it’s clearly got to mean something, but…well, I don’t know. We’ll see in two or three months, whenever Justice League #50 actually does show up.

And that’s the weird bit…the reason it feels like some kind of fake-out or doomed-for-the-reset-button reveal is because it is happening in Justice League, and not one of the main Batman books. Unless, as I also mentioned on the Twitterers, this is some kind of “Wolverine’s Origin” deal where the movie studios were going to reveal their own version of the formerly-secret information and it was in the comic company’s best interest to do it themselves in whatever title was convenient before it was done for them. I mean, I’m not sure what film or TV project could theoretically have done this. Maybe some throwaway line in Suicide Squad? Something they’re leading up to in Gotham?

The one time they almost got a real name to stick to the Joker was in the first Tim Burton Batman film, where he was given the name Jack Napier (a play, I think, on “jackanapes,” which is clever). The name ended up being used in the animated series (where I believe it was eventually revealed as an alias), and eventually faded away, finally unable to counter the decades of inertia of a nameless Joker. I noted, ugh, 11 years ago that the one remnant of that particular bit of the character’s history is that “Jack” (or something similar) is now sort-of the go-to name whenever the Joker’s past starts getting thrown around. (Interestingly, if a bit awkwardly, Alan Moore in The Killing Joke avoids mentioning his real name at all in the flashback scenes.)

Like I said, I’m still convinced this is a fake-out of some kind, but it got folks talking about their comics, so, hey, a win for DC. I personally think that would undermine the Joker’s power as a character, by nailing down this agent of chaos to a specific history, when he’s more effective as just this wild monster that came from nowhere to counter Batman’s need for order. It doesn’t matter who he was, just what he is, and (presumably) making a Shocking Reveal out of his true history may bump up sales and interest in the short run, but won’t really add anything in the long run. Then again, if DC really is sticking with it and (almost more importantly) if the tie-in media runs with it, the Joker’s real name could be with us for while…at least, until that previously-mentioned decades of inertia wipes it away once more.

Here’s that link I promised you.

§ March 23rd, 2016 § Filed under self-promotion § No Comments

The Trouble with Comics Question of the Week, focused on the state of newspaper strips and featuring my typical overlong response, is now live for your perusal. Enjoy, won’t you?

Entering Low Content Mode.

§ March 22nd, 2016 § Filed under low content mode § 1 Comment

Taking the week off from the site, and I’ll be back next Monday. Thanks for understanding.

In the meantime, you can hear Gerry Conway answer my silly question on the latest episode of War Rocket Ajax, and the new Question of the Week featuring my response should be posted at Trouble with Comics any time now. (I’ll update this post when it does.)

And, of course, you’ll likely see me popping off on the Twitterers.

See you soon.

Really, it’s a fun comic. You should read it.

§ March 17th, 2016 § Filed under collecting, superman § 15 Comments

superman389cvr
So here’s a Superman comic that I bought off the stands way back in 1983. That’s a scan of the actual comic, straight out of my collection, up there. There’s nothing particularly of-note about it, as individual issues go. It’s not a key issue, no first appearances (aside from Superman’s “brother,” whom I believe is never seen again), not particularly scarce by any means. Just your plain ol’ Superman comic, with a dime-a-dozen Gil Kane cover, and yet another art job, the latest in a string of hundreds of assignments on the character, from Curt Swan. Another story by Cary Bates (plot only this time, scripted by Paul Kupperberg).

So, you know, nothing special…

…we thought at the time.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to wander into a local newsstand (or even my own store, though that dispels the nostalgia somewhat) and be able to pick up a new Superman comic, with another wonderful Gil Kane cover like the one above, with more beautiful Curt Swan art, written by either Cary Bates or Paul Kupperberg…or, you know, both. Or with Kurt Schaffenberger art. Or with Elliot S! Maggin scripts.

Or…well, you get the idea. The Superman comics were always just sort of there, but looking back at them today, knowing that exact style of Superman comic will likely never return…well, they all seem a little more special now.

Even the ones where Superman meets a brother he didn’t know he had. No, really. And his brother’s a secret agent! It’s all pretty awesome.

EDIT: See the comments for more comic book appearances of Superman’s brother.

I’ve been thinking about these panels ever since I first came across them a few days ago.

§ March 14th, 2016 § Filed under captain america § 6 Comments

From Captain America #237 (December 1979) by Chris Claremont, Roger McKenzie, Sal Buscema, and Don Perlin…here’s a great panel transition aided by some timely (heh) and gratuitous logo insertion:

cap237a

cap237b
Nazis…YOU’VE JUST BEEN CAPTAIN AMERICA-ED.

Seems like we don’t see the ol’ “character logo inserted into dialogue/captions” as much as we used to. Yeah, the recent issue of Action has the Superman “S” as a graphic element in Clark’s caption boxes, but that’s not the same as him shouting “THIS IS A JOB FOR SUPERMAN” and the “Superman” in the word balloon is represented by the actual Superman logo.

Then again, maybe I’m just not reading the right comics. Anyone else spotted any in-dialogue use of superhero logo iconography lately? …There’s a question you probably don’t get asked often enough.

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