Clone Wars, Free Comic Book Day, and the shocking return of Sgt. Shark.

§ March 30th, 2009 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off on Clone Wars, Free Comic Book Day, and the shocking return of Sgt. Shark.

So my initial response to the new Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoons may have been a bit hasty. When I first saw the trailers for the theatrical release, I thought it looked terrible, with ugly character designs. Well, the humans still look a bit awkward, as CGI humans tend to, but…the look of the series has since grown on me.

And it’s more than just the look. While the feature film (actually, three or four episodes edited together, I believe) was a bit much to take at once, the episodic adventures, at about 20 minutes per, are just the right length. It’s the strongest aspects of Star Wars (the exciting action, the bizarre worlds and aliens) without the worst aspects (the unconvincing love stories, the attempts at expanding characterizations beyond two dimensions…or even one). It’s probably the most successful attempt yet at emulating the old movie serials that partially served as inspiration for this franchise.

Additionally, there’s the aspect of just when this series is taking place…between Episodes II and III. We know what happens in III (and in case you don’t — here come some SPOILERS): the clone army is given the command to kill all the Jedi, and Anakin finally gives in to the Dark Side of the Force. The impending sense of doom and irony pervades this series, as the Jedis are allied with the clone army, giving them advice, saving their lives, complimenting their skill, and so on…basically, the Jedi are feeding their own defeat.

And then there’s Anakin young Padawan in the series, Ahsoka, who…well, most Jedi meet their makers in Episode III, aside from Ben and Yoda, who go into hiding. I suppose Ahsoka could make it out alive, too…but dramatically, it would make the most sense for her to be killed by Anakin. Of course, this’ll never be shown, otherwise you’d have the parents of many a traumatized child writing in to Lucasfilm, but that’s my guess for the character’s eventual fate.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying Clone Wars, mostly for the action and visuals, but at least partially for the feeling of dread. Oh, and for that one scene where R2D2 fights to the death with an evil astromech unit. That was pretty awesome.

A couple of things about Free Comic Book Day:

EDIT: 0. Apparently the Free Comic Book Day site is coming up as a “reported attack site,” and even a Google search has the “this site may harm your computer” caveat attached to the results. No idea what’s going on, there, but I’m changing the link to the Wikipedia article for now.

1. Had a mom and her kid tell me they’re going to make a two hour drive to come to our shop for FCBD because 1) they weren’t happy with the event at their local stores, and 2) they’d heard and read good reviews about how we handled things. That’s pretty gratifying, though I suspect (judging by some of the things she mentioned — specifically, detailing how we distributed the books — and that she identified blogs as one of her sources) one of the “reviews” may have been my account of the event, so tooting my own horn has paid off, perhaps. But anyway, it’s a bit amusingly sad that an event designed for customer outreach can have the result of driving said customers away to other shops. That’s colloquially known as “Doing It Wrong.”

I suppose, technically, it is having the intended effect of getting people into shops, but still.

2. A few people still seem to think that FCBD is something that our store created and just our store is doing. I emphasize that it’s an industry-wide thing (theoretically) and that we’ll be giving away newly-publishd comics specifically provided by multiple publishers…and not just handing out books pulled from our bargain boxes (which some folks appear to think).

It’s not as many as in previous years, so word about the event is still spreading.

3. Still hearing too many people read the advertising tagline “1ST SATURDAY IN MAY” as “oh, it’ll be on May 1st.” I’m doing my darned best to correct everyone I hear saying that.

This week’s logo banner is brought to you by reader Matthew Allison, who also provided this terrifying callback to that Sgt. Shark ad I posted a couple of months ago:

Yes, the parrot does have an eyepatch.

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