Marvel, Zombies.

§ October 22nd, 2012 § Filed under marvel, television § 6 Comments

I’m currently reading Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe’s tell-all book about the history of the company and the personalities therein. Reading a handful of excerpts here ‘n’ there, such as this one over at The Comics Journal, finally got me to pick it up, and it’s been fascinating reading. I’m only up to about the early ’70s in the narrative, and boy howdy there’s a lotta drugs involved, but I am really looking forward to the material that covers what was going on with the company during my time as a funnybook salesman, starting with the big industry boom in the late 1980s.

That Comics Journal-ran excerpt covers a bit of that period, which is what probably finally convinced me to grab the book. I mean, there’s a quote from the editor of Secret Defenders describing the book as “that piece of shit,” which is both hilarious and, from a retailing standpoint, a wee bit annoying (as in “thanks for selling us a comic y’all really believed in,” even though I realize there may have been only so much even the editor could have done at that particular time in history). I’m kinda half-hoping the book would add to that title’s notoriety, and we’d have folks picking up back issues just out of curiosity just to see how bad it actually was for its own editor to say such things. No huge increase of back issue demand just yet! (Historically, this is the only issue of the series that anyone ever looks for…and I suspect demand will only increase as future Marvel flicks come along, presumably building on that character’s Avengers mid-credits cameo.)

Another comics-related-but-not-actually-comics thing I’ve been enjoying recently is season two of The Walking Dead, even though I’m not a reader of the comic it’s based on. Nothing against the comic, really, but I didn’t get into it early on, and suddenly there’s now seventeen trade paperbacks (or, alternatively, two huge omnibi) and I’m way behind, and I already read enough comics, and blah blah poor me life is hard. But the show is a lot of relatively-harrowing fun, and the zombies are suitably gross, and I like a lot of the actors. The show has yet to top the excellent series premiere, but the second season’s focus on the cast trying to make a home at the seemingly-safe farm, and its build-up to the apocalyptic season ending, made for some perfectly fine serialized horror storytelling.

Two other things about Walking Dead: 1. Every time I hear the main character’s name, I think of the cartoonist. 2. I wonder how soon after the TV show ends that the market will be flooded with all those different covers for the comic’s hundredth issue? I mean, those sold way above and beyond what the comic normally sells. (I remember discussing our ordering strategies on #100 as we were trying to decide our numbers…I argued for lots of copies of the $19.99 wraparound chromium cover variant as I figured that would do well for Internet sales. Everyone else thought I was crazy, but we ordered my recommended number anyway…only to have them sell completely out on the shelf in the shop within a couple of days of their release.)

6 Responses to “Marvel, Zombies.”

  • Corey says:

    I doubt we’ll even have to wait till the end of the
    TV show to see those #100 issues come flooding back onto the market. The current season is getting into Michonne and the Governor, which is probably the the comic’s most notorious storyline. So it’s reasonable to assume the franchise is about to peak in popularity, unless the show goes completely off the tracks and kills off Rick or something similarly shocking. I expect it won’t be long before all the speculators who dropped big money on back issues try to recoup some of their investment.

  • swamp mark says:

    Don’t know if you got to it yet,Mike,but enjoy the last episode of season 2.It’s all-out zombie fun,like playing a great video game!

  • Ryan says:

    Secret Defenders seemed like the coolest idea at the time. I had the one with Namorita and the Punisher fighting a big guy named Roadkill. I guess it was pretty lame, but I wonder if that concept could ever be good with better writing. Or does it defeat the purpose of a team book to have the team change every month?

  • The show doesn’t stick too much to the comic’s plot, so whenever you decide you wanna check out the comic (and it’s a really good series) you’ll have the advantage of not having things spoiled by the show!

  • Snark Shark says:

    I’m surprised there’s even ONE issue of SD anyone WANTS!

    it was hardly their worst series, but it was utterly pointless.

  • Robert in New Orleans says:

    I just checked out this Marvel book from the library and have read into the first section. It’s already more engaging and well written than the recent Superman history by Larry Tye. I don’t think it’s the subject matter that’s making the difference, but the writing styles. The Superman book is informative, but I think Howe has a better handle on the storytelling of his history.