Oh, hey, comics…they still publish those?

§ November 11th, 2010 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, peanuts, retailing, this week's comics § 7 Comments

So apparently what the people want is creepy hobo Charlie Brown, judging by the linkage and traffic I’ve been receiving lately. Thanks for encouraging my behavior, Other Internet Sites, though sadly I don’t have much else in the vagrant Peanuts character vein. However, it does remind me that I haven’t mentioned pal Nat‘s new book The Peanuts Collection, a neat compilation of photos and replica tchotchkes (like trading cards, rare booklets, cels, and such. He brought a copy by for me to poke through, and it’s certainly a neat and beautifully-done package. No Hobo Charlie Brown that I noticed, but you should probably buy a copy anyway, courtesy this little box here:

In other non-Peanuts news, people have been sending me the link to Our Valued Customers, a collection of one-panel cartoons presenting things said by customers and Overheard at The Comic Shop. Reminded me a bit of that mini-comic I did back in ’96, and posted here on my site, though my examples are more general “everyone’s heard ’em” quotes, and Our Valued Customers’ examples are more of the frothing-at-the-mouth type. As has been noted by a pal of mine, I’m not sure I’d draw actual caricatures of my customers and post them online, but hell, I can enjoy ’em and not have to worry about taking the heat if any of them find out. (Though, as I admit in that old post, one person in my mini, aside from the self-portrait, was an intended caricature…she hasn’t come back and killed me in the 14 years since, so I think I’m safe. …So far.)

In other news, some new comics came out this week:

  • The new Smurfs volume The Smurf King is out…still the same complaint about the lettering I had last time, but that still remains really my only complaint. Some fine, funny, witty cartooning that holds up all these decades later. Don’t dismiss it just because of the ’80s cartoon show…this is genuinely classic stuff.
  • Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6 – I think maybe if the only superhero comics I’d read from now on were ones written by Grant Morrison, I’d probably be okay with that. I get all the wonderfully strange and inventive and near-celebratory superheroic storytelling that I want from his comics, compared to some other titles where it just feels like pages are getting filled. In this particular case, it’s a shame about the series’ timing, but still remains a satisfyingly odd exploration of the history of Batman and a solid chapter in Morrison’s ongoing Bat-saga.
  • Glamourpuss #16 – I’m the only person still reading this at our shop. I’m still enjoying it. Not even quite sure how or why I’m enjoying it, but Sim’s goofy combo of fashion industry parody and in-depth examinations of classic comic artists still keeps my attention.
  • Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #4 – I’m a sucker for still getting this. I just really like the Green Lantern concept, so I’m an easy mark.
  • Comic Book Guy The Comic Book #5 – End of the series, kind of wish there was more actual Comic Book Guy action throughout the story, but still a funny parade of knocks on the comics industry and the folks who enable it. In-jokey, but not overly so.
  • Muppet Sherlock Holmes #3 – The parody Muppet minis aren’t as strong as the ongoing Muppet Show series, which means they’re only excellent instead of perfect. Plus, I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and parodies, so this is right up my alley.
  • Hellblazer: City of Demons #3 – Really have no idea why this didn’t just run in the regular series. It’s not a bad comic by any means, but the market doesn’t really need two Hellblazer comics on the stands at the same time. Nor does it need three Wolverine titles, but I think I’ve mentioned that enough.
  • The Incredible Hulks #616 – I was kinda hard on this title last time, since the proliferation of Hulk characters (hence the title change) was wearing on me a bit, but I find myself enjoying Bruce Banner/the Hulk’s responses to the situations they’re finding themselves in. But I’m pretty much ready to be done with the whole Sons of the Hulk thing.
  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 – Okay, first, it’s a pain in the butt to type all those periods in that name. Second, I may have mocked this comic a little in the past, but the fact that Nick Spencer, the man currently writing the fantastic Jimmy Olsen back-up in Action Comics, is also writing this is very positive sign. It’s still an uphill battle, trying to get people invested in yet another new revival superhero series, but maybe it’ll actually have a chance if the writing is strong.
  • Dungeons & Dragons #1 – By all accounts, a good comic, I’m hearing. Yes, everyone is completely surprised by this fact. The retailer incentive variant had a cover that resembled the old D&D adventure modules from TSR, and even included an actual playable adventure that wasn’t in the regular version. IDW has this habit of making the incentive editions the cool thing that might actually sell well, instead of making the regularly-available issue awesome. Don’t put that photo cover of handsome bastard 1960s William Shatner on your variant, put him on your regular Star Trek cover…and don’t make just the variant D&D book look like a module, make ’em all look like that. That variant grabbed the eye of everyone who looked at it, far more than the generic fantasy covers of the regular editions that simply blend in on the rack.
  • Avengers: Children’s Crusade #3, Avengers Prime #4, New Avengers #6, I Am An Avenger #4, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1 – sigh.
  • Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali hardcovers – one version is at the original “treasury edition” size, the other at the standard comic book size (but containing additional unpublished art), and I’m unclear, since they arrived shrinkwrapped…are they both recolored by Neal Adams’ studio? If so, that’s a shame, but the fact remains that this really is one of the greatest Superman stories of all time, and if you can’t get your mitts on the original, I’d recommend the treasury-sized hardcover over the smaller one, regardless of the extra material. This comic needs to be read BIG.

7 Responses to “Oh, hey, comics…they still publish those?”

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    Mike, you are not alone in your Glamourpuss enjoyment.

    I did prefer when the historical part was about comparing and contrasting art styles and tracing the back-and-forth influence, instead of the scandal-related stuff it’s been lately.

    Except for the stuff about how wild Margaret Mitchell was, that was wicked cool.

  • rob! says:

    This comic needs to be read BIG.

    Yes, yes, yes, and again YES.

  • Andres says:

    RE: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 I’ve thought about (not seriously) dropping R.E.B.E.L.S. because of all the periods I have to type every time I write something like “This week’s R.E.B.E.L.S. was great!!!”

  • I snagged a copy of the Deluxe (small) Edition of SvsMA for myself as I was shelving the books on Tuesday night, and last night, I cracked the shrinkwrap and reread it for the first time since … oh, quite possibly 1978. I had been waxing enthusiastic about this tale for years, and I was, on some level, afraid that it might succumb to the familiar phenomenon of “This Was Cool When I Was 14 But Oh My Gods It’s Embarrassing Now.”

    It did not.

    This tale, despite its absurd title and conceit, REMAINS one of the finest Superman stories ever told.

    and the recoloring is gorgeous. Don’t let that hold you back.

    As for T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents — that’s one of those titles that, before now, I’ve only ever experienced second-hand, through descriptions in histories of the genre and entries in comic book encyclopedias. The concept fascinated me, but despite my curiosity, I’ve never shelled out for the expensive, hard-to-find archive volumes, and I’ve never read any of the revivals.

    Until this one.

    I really, really enjoyed it. It doesn’t demand a familiarity with the original comics, but it does take the classic premise and runs with it. The idea of a black ops/special forces agency with high-visibility costumed characters as their Big Guns is intriguing, especially if they make it clear that the Big Guns aren’t the ONLY agents, but the new series takes it to its logical conclusion by — oh, jeez, I just deleted a paragraph of spoilers.

    Suffice it to say, for those who haven’t read it: the new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents takes the distinctly DC concept of the “Legacy Character” and adds a very disturbing twist to it.

  • philip says:

    Is there a better URL than “aaugh.com”? I don’t believe there is.

    Sorely tempted by the Supes/Ali reprint. My old copy smells like a litter box.

  • DanielT says:

    Until a few months ago, I had worked in a comic store for 15 years (although only one shift a week for the past 10). Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) I don’t recall hearing anything like the stuff in Our Valued Customers, though I certainly can believe they’re all true.

    Looking at your stuff, Mike, the one thing on there that always made me grind my teeth was the “There’s no price so it must be free” one. Though that was half at the customer and half at the publisher for not putting a price on it.

  • Cole Moore Odell says:

    I buy my comics at a general toy store owned by a non-comics guy in his 50s. Yesterday, the assistant manager in charge of the comics section was out, so the owner rang me up. He raised his eyebrow at the King Smurf comic in my stack. When I mentioned that my 7-year-old really likes it, he replied, “I keep forgetting you have a wife and kids. You know…a lot of you guys don’t date.”