This is not the 2007 round-up.

§ January 4th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on This is not the 2007 round-up.

So, regarding the conclusion of the “One More Day” storyline in the Spider-Man line of funnybooks, in which most major changes in Spidey’s life, including his marriage, are wished away:

1. Pretty much universally reviled…most of my customers are reading it for the car-wreck aspect of it, or simply did not believe it was going to end the way it ended. And online reaction seems to be pretty negative as well…finally, online reaction and real world reaction jibe with each other.*

2. The actual writer credited with the script has been openly critical with how it was handled. (And had this just been a regular comic writer, and not a Big Name Writer Who’s Written TV Shows, Even, that Marvel is desperately trying to keep around, he’d probably be knocking on DC’s door right now looking for work as a result of that criticism.)

3. Was apparently put in place to do away with the much-maligned Spider-Man/Mary Jane marriage…well, “much maligned” in current Marvel chief editor Joe Quesada’s head, anyway, since, as I’ve noted before, most folks have seemed pretty okay with it.

4. Sets the stage for the “Brand New Day” relaunch of the Spider-Man franchise, which will be read by all the same people who already read Spider-Man comics, minus the few folks disgusted enough by how this last storyline was handled that they’ll drop the title.

5. Is almost guaranteed to be undone once Quesada is replaced, if not sooner.

So, in conclusion, these “One More Day” comics were dumb. I told you it’d be a groaner of a storyline. Spider-Man sells his soul** to the Devil to avoid personal responsibility. Another heroic triumph for our friendly neighborhood Webhead! Yay!

Also, while thinking about a 2007 wrap-up, which may or may not happen, I was looking at some sales figures:

Over the last year or so, Captain America had some pretty good sales. It was a solid mid-lister for us to begin with, but the Civil War tie-in issues the number of copies we were moving had about doubled.

Then of course there was the “Death of Cap” issue, which sold crazy numbers, and had high demand by not just comic fans but by the general public, driven into stores by mass media reporting…for about a month, anyway. Then sales dropped back down to about the Civil War tie-in levels, and have been dipping slightly each month since. I suspect the debut of the replacement Cap with the not terribly attractive new costume will temporarily bump sales up again.

So, while the Death of Cap brought new people into shops, it appears it didn’t keep them around. I do have more people buying Captain America than prior to the Civil War/death issues, but it’s the regular comic fans, the already-converted, who made room on their buylists or in their pocketbooks, who are picking it up. The new folks who got their copies have made their investment (currently selling for about $3 to $7 on the eBay, non-CGCed), and are secure in the knowledge that Marvel is no longer publishing comics about one of their flagship characters. Why would they come back and look for more issues? They have the last one, right?

Stephen King’s Dark Tower also had a lot of hype and real-world advertising, and started off strong. It actually ended relatively strong as well, though the number of copies we were moving by that point had dropped by about 50%. A lot of the new people coming to the shop specifically for Dark Tower dropped off right quick, not wanting to come in once a month to get the latest installment. I imagine most of them eventually decided it’d be easier to get a collection of all the issues off rather than get it pieced out to them. Or maybe they decided a representative issue or two was enough for their King collection. There is some back issue movement to folks coming in looking for issues now that the series is over, but it’s pretty slight.

And then there’s The Un-Men. Let me take you back to the early 1980s, with early 1980s Mikester, resplendent in his Dokken (“Rhymes with ‘Rockin'”) t-shirt and his gorgeous, shoulder-length golden hair, going to his local funnybook store to buy his Swamp Thing comic. The store gets in five copies. Early 1980s Mikester buys a copy. Another customer buys a copy. The last three go unsold, unsold, and languish in the back issue bins.

And that’s where we are with Un-Men today. I buy a copy. Customer Rob buys a copy. (Hi, Rob!) And the other three are unloved. Well, I think one of the employees gets it, too. Plus, my hair seems to have a lot more gray in it now. And my t-shirt now says “I listen to both kinds of music: ‘gangsta’ and ‘rap.'”

In other news:

* Unlike the online vs. real world reactions to, say, Countdown. Or All Star Batman.***

** Or “trades the perfect love of his marriage” or whatever. Still dumb.

*** Hey, I was going to get a mention of All Star Batman in here somewhere.

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