It ends with a hat.

§ November 18th, 2008 § Filed under triangle numbers Comments Off on It ends with a hat.

  • Here’s yet more on the topic of the Superman “triangle numbers” thing, this time from Tim O’Neil. He discusses the inherent downside in the interlocking continuity among the multiple Super-books, emphasized by the triangle numbering, which reduces the individuality of the titles and creative teams in favor of editorially-mandated crossover events/”sagas.”

    I was going to respond further, but too much of what I just tried to write seemed like it was duplicating what Tim was saying, and I don’t want to be That Guy, you know? I do want to make two points, though:

    1. When the interlocking Superbooks worked, they worked really well, and that was during the whole “Death/Return of Superman” storyline. Outside of the sensationalism and influx of magpies into the market looking to “invest” in a “collectible,” the actual serialized story generated genuine interest and excitement in at least our customers, and certainly in other readers elsewhere, I’m sure.

    Not disputing any of Tim’s points, here, mind you. I do agree that the tight continuity among the Super-books probably lasted far too long, as he says, in favor of DC’s hopes that they could get lightning to strike twice with later Superman “events.” I suppose one could argue that, during the industry’s lean times of the post-crash ’90s, that the serial nature of the titles was what was keeping the hardcore readers coming back, and DC couldn’t take the chance of losing what was left of their Superman readership by cutting that last incentive to keep reading. Just a little wild speculation, is all.

    2. I can see the current iteration of the “triangle numbers” on the Superman books having the primary effect of raising numbers on the Supergirl title. At our store, Supergirl generally sells about 2/3rds of the Superman titles. If the Superman readers decide they want to work Supergirl into their weekly Super-reading, and depending on just how tightly the Supergirl storylines are tied in with the Superman titles, I expect sales to eventually even out.

    Keeping Tim’s criticisms of the older Superman titles in mind, what this means for the actual content of the Supergirl comic, its individuality or lack thereof, remains to be seen. And given that a month in, we’ve already had those triangle numbers on two “specials,” I don’t know how many extra books Super-fans are going to want to put up with just to maintain an unbroken triangle chain.

    Anyway, Tim says he plans on saying more on the topic, so hopefully I didn’t step on any toes, here.

  • By the way, remember when the two Legion of Super-Heroes titles had “L numbers?”

    Related: remember when the Legion could support two monthly books?

  • I’m thinking about this triangle number thing way too much.
  • Pal Tom has been going through his Grimjack comics in chronological order, with commentary and images and gosh darn if it doesn’t make me want to pull out my Grimjacks and read them. Here’s part one, here’s part two, and the man owns a Munden’s Bar hat. A Munden’s Bar hat. He must know what he’s talking out.

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