Your 2014 Predictions, Part One of Too Many.

§ January 12th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Okay, sorry for the delay in getting started on these…between car trouble, being ill, and, oh, running a store, I’ve not had a whole lot of time or energy to tackle looking back at your predictions for 2014. But now that I’m tanned (not true), rested (really not true) and ready (generally not true at any time), let’s get started!

(And in the meantime, don’t forget to add to my woes early next year by contributing your 2015 predictions, even if some of you are kind of violating the spirit of the “three predictions” limit, you wily scamps.)

• • •

Tom Cherry pits the following against me:

“Little Dot, Little Lotta, and Jackie Jokers won’t be making their big comic book comebacks in 2014 and the world will be poorer for it!”

Sadly, no Littles of the Dot or Lotta kind seemed to make an appearance, though I’m doing brisk trade in old copies of those at my shop. Now, that Jackie Jokers jerk, we’re better off without. Just look at the guy.

• • •

ExistentialMan precedes my essence with

“1) Image will surpass 10% market share for at least four months during 2014.”

Looking at Diamond’s charts for the last year…Image did break the monthly 10% market share barrier a couple of times in dollar sales, and over a half-dozen times in units moved, so there you go!

“2) Adult Mike Sterling will draw a capybara that actually looks like a capybara :P”

Oh how dare you, sir, disparaging five-year-old Mike’s expert illustration of the world’s largest rodent. However, only a couple of months ago you asked for a modern capybara drawing from my creaky, liver-spotted hands and baby, I delivered.

• • •

Adam ribs me with

“1) A comic book movie will come out that doesn’t spur interest in the comic books beyond a few people buying the graphic novel that contains the story on which the film is based.”

I would say Sin City: A Dame to Kill For but I don’t know that inspired anybody to do anything except say “okay, no more films in this style.”

“2) The comics industry will collapse, along with all other industries, when the world burns as it falls into the sun. The cries of humanity will go unheard, the throne in Heaven sits empty and naught but darkness will follow the flames that engulf the human race.”

I did my best, Adam, but alas the industry’s still here. Maybe this year!

“3) Fantagraphics will continue to not announce Nancy vol 3.”

It came in just under the wire!

• • •

Kid Kyoto challenges protocol with

“1-Price war in digital comics, collections going for as low as $1 as publishers race to cash in on their backlists and ween people away from pirates.”

I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to digital comics, because things that are different frighten me, but it seems to me there were a lot of pals on Twitter ballyhooing lots of crazy sales for lots of digital funnybooks, so some kind of pricing competition was going on it seems.

“2-SUPERMAN KILLS! In a totally edgy story line which hasn’t been done since the late 80s!”

They kind of did that in the New 52 Justice League, didn’t they? Some villain got control of Superman and flash-fried somebody with his heat vision? And didn’t that Super-Doomsday storyline result in a Doomsday-possessed Superman takin’ some folks out? I don’t know, they play pretty loose with the whole “Superman doesn’t kill” thing. I don’t know that a “SUPERMAN KILLS!” story would stick out that much.

Well, aside from that Man of Steel movie from 2013, I guess.

“3-Bat books make up 50% of the New 52, X books make up 505 of the Marvel universe. Or has this already happened?”

Not yet. We’ll see what DC replaces those dozen or so cancelled books with. And Marvel will probably focus on flooding the market with titles based on the movies they own over movies licensed to other studios.

• • •

Interstate Shogun connects me to the following questions

“1. Every issue of Sandman Overture will be delayed, causing the 6 issue series to stretch into the middle of 2015 and everyone will forget what the heck is going on. But it won’t stop DC from collecting the first 3 issues into a trade, hardback and Absolute Edition. Action figures, statues and other tchotchkes will abound as well.”

Sandman Overture is still in progress, so a most palpable hit, sit. Surprised I haven’t seen a whole lot of tie-ins so far, but with two issues to go we’ve got, oh, eight to nine months’s time to get out more of those limited edition thingies. There was a $300 Sandman chess set in the last Previews…does that count?

“2. At Marvel, by next fall at least half of the NOW! line that isn’t X/Avengers/Spidey related will fold. I mean, does anyone really think a Black Widow comic will run long term? She Hulk? I like the characters but I’ve been burned too many times with cancellations.”

Yeah, She-Hulk got canned (a good comic kinda blindsided by a fill-in artist that the folks reading the comic didn’t care for…lost a bunch of pull-list people with that), and Black Widow is still hanging in there, I think. The Ultimates relaunch didn’t do much…we still have Spider-Man, but Ultimates is outta here. And we lost at least one X-book…All-New X-Factor is done. Most surprisingly, though I guess not so much if you consider the reasons, Marvel ending Fantastic Four allegedly because they don’t have the movie rights is…well, allegedly a thing, I guess. I mean, at least the Big Two are making some minor attempts at publishing titles that aren’t part of their First Tier Characters, but yeah, it does result in a high fatality rate.

“3. On a personal collecting note, Marvel will no longer hold the lions share of my new comic collecting, falling into more of an even split between Image and Dark Horse, with 1 or 2 DC thrown in (the above mentioned Sandman and Astro City). I’ll post an update on this in a year. As much as I want to try out new stuff (although “new” is a very relative term when your dealing with legacy characters that are 50 years old and older) new books are just too expensive and publishers futz around too much with early cancellations and just plain crap storytelling. 2013 saw a big drop in my pull list compared to the previous year. I get me new books once a month now and it hasn’t made a difference.”

Having spied on Interstate Shogun for the past year, let me answer this for him…oh, okay, I’m just kidding. He can answer himself if he’d like!

• • •

My old friend Pal Cully causes problems with

“1. Joe Matt will return to comics with a book produced using only semen.”


“2. Marvel remembers that they skipped the Hulk’s 50th birthday.”


“3. Pet trees that look like Groot become popular.”

Post-Christmas streets, littered with abandoned baby Groot trees discarded by children already bored with their gifts.

• • •

LondonKdS rails me with

“One of the Big Two will kill off a well-known character, and at least one generalist news publication will report it as a culturally significant moment instead of a publicity stunt that will result in a resurrection about a year later. As a result, Mike will again have to give naive people who think they need to purchase something that will become a hallowed artifact The Talk.”

There was one death in comics that captured the imaginations and dominated sales, and that, of course, was the death of Dum Dum Dugan in Original Sin. Oh, and Wolverine apparently “died” too, but honestly, no one’s buying that for a minute. I’m sure it probably made the news here and there, but I think the general populace has now been sufficiently trained into realizing the storytelling device/gimmick these things are.

• • •

Okay, that’s going to have to be it for today. Come back tomorrow for part 2 of about 19 of “Mike Drives Away All His Readers!”

8 Responses to “Your 2014 Predictions, Part One of Too Many.”

  • Adam says:

    I feel a little vindicated because I’m pretty sure I never saw a Nancy ANNOUNCEMENT! I even asked a couple of times (perhaps an annoying number of times?) on their Facebook. Then one day I’m looking at Amazon and “According to your interests you might like this maybe?” and boom, Nancy v3. So now I own it and it’s on the pile of comics that I should probably read, but new baby and yeah, I’ll never do anything on my own ever again.

    Still, I can remember one day walking into my mom’s crafts room, a room in which I was banned, and seeing on her wall an enormous collection of comic books. Old Pogos and Li’l Abners and Peanuts and, well, Wizard of Id and BC, but they can’t all be winners. So I look forward to, when my kid is old enough not to try and eat the pages, sitting down with her and reading some Carl Barks and Don Rosa* Donald Duck and Gottfriedson Mickey Mouse and Calvin and Hobbes and Krazy Kat and Nancy.

    *Is anyone else a little perturbed at how much bigger the Don Rosa books are than the Carl Barks books?

  • Linnen says:

    I love reading these each year! Thanks, Mike!

  • ExistentialMan says:

    That is one debonair capybara. I will never criticize your drawing skills again! I also appreciate your amazing prediction-follow-up abilities.

  • David Alexander McDonald says:

    I am sad that my entry into this came last in line, as this means waiting a while for the inevitable mockery.

    I kept to the three predictions! Well, in spirit. Kind of. Okay it was two groups of predictions and one sort of singular sensation third thingy that may not have been entirely serious.

  • LondonKdS says:

    Some of the UK media got pretty excited about the death of Archie Andrews, without bothering to point out that it was in what Silver Age DC would have called an imaginary story, Did any of the general public get excited around your store?

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    @Adam, my 10-year-old daughter loves reading the Barks Duck books Fantagraphics has been putting out. In fact, I’m jealous that she’s read all of them several times while I’m only half-way through them. I had prepped her some years ago by making my Gladstone albums and Gemstone Disney comics available to her, but more than the pleasure of reading those to her then is seeing her choose these books off my shelf to read to herself or her sister from time to time.

    The larger size of the Rosa books bugs me a little–makes ’em seem a little more snootily archival than a pleasant read, to me–but the art looks good in them. Rosa’s art often seems a bit more crowded to me so the bigger page gives it some room to breathe. But they’re just shy of seeming more imposing to me. And my daughter hasn’t yet picked one of them to read, either.

  • Interstate Shogun says:

    There were a lot of cancellations and books dropped for me this year. She Hulk, X Factor, Ultimates (although I only stuck with it til the end once I found out it was ending at #12) tried the Iron Fist book, hated it, dropped it. So Marvel still has the lead in my new collecting, but just barely.

    I thought for sure DC would be cashing in with Sandman stuff…maybe they are waiting for the finale to unleash the goods.

    your pal,
    Interstate Shogun

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”

    Oh, right. they made that, didn’t they?