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I just kinda gave up putting “cite” tags around “Watchmen” halfway through, I was typing it so much.

§ September 1st, 2017 § Filed under watchmen § 3 Comments

I know we’re all supposed to be outraged at DC continuing to repurpose Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, but man, I just laugh and laugh and laugh at this:

…partially for the chutzpah…well, okay, mostly for the chutzpah of DC to even do this, and partially out of my own curiosity over how it’s even going to work, and partially out of my own misguided love for weird permutations of the original story, like, say, this toaster.

And seeing this cover finally got me to put together a gag involving that title “Doomsday Clock” and its superficial similarity to a particular piece of dialogue from a page in Preacher:

Ever since Doomsday Clock was announced, I had this stupid idea in my head. And now here it is, in all of yours.

Anyway, I have no idea how I’m going to order this. Well, that’s not entirely true, I do know how I’m going to order this, I’m just not sure how it’s going to sell. With that Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” associating DC’s use of lenticular covers with “special Watchmen tie-in events,” using lenticular covers for the Mr. Oz storyline coming up in Action Comics, where the Watchmen tie-in may not be as strong as had been presumed*, may lessen the sales boost said covers may give to Doomsday Clock.

Or I’m just overthinking it. While that Mr. Oz storyline may or may not have solid ties to the overarching Watchmen thing, Doomsday Clock is totally being pushed as “SUPERMAN VERSUS DOCTOR MANHATTAN” which should drive sales to even those folks who feel like they weren’t getting enough Watchmen content in that Action story. Boy, I’m sure assuming a lot about that Action comic I haven’t read yet.

At any rate, I’m reasonably certain sales will start out strong, but 12 issues over presumably a year (or a year-and-a-half, if not more) is a long stretch to keep interest up, even in something as wildly out there as a Watchmen/DCU crossover. There’s gonna be some attrition unless there’s a big sales-driving surprise partway through, and even then, who knows. There’s the kind of comics marketplace insight that keeps my two or three readers coming back.

I was looking back at some of my old Watchmen posts on this site, and from this entry in 2010 I quoted an excerpt from a DC press release:

“However, DC comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, ‘Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.’”

I don’t know what conversation DC had with Gibbons about this, but I’m sure any conversation with Moore probably ended with him slamming down his rotary phone after shouting “don’t call me again!”

I am curious as to what’s going to happen once DC no longer has this Watchmen subplot running through their series and special events. Will we finally get that epic multi-part storyline teaming up current Batman with Dark Knight Returns Batman? Then again, DC just wrapped Dark Knight III, and I think they’ve threatened a IV, so that franchise is still going on. Maybe…Rōnin joins the Titans? Angie Thriller becomes a…I don’t know, Indigo Lantern? Daniel from Sandman teams up with the Justice L…oh, wait.**

* I won’t “spoil” what Mr. Oz’s reveal might be, but you can Google around and see what people are assuming. Or look here on the Tweeters where I just straight up say it, back when it was still a crazy idea and not the likely correct one.

** Yes, I know they asked Neil Gaiman. Yes, I know Sandman is technically in the DC Universe. Let me have my little joke.

Was going to joke about newsstand reprintings of Watchmen with Dr. Manhattan having little bikini briefs edited in, but that’s probably what’ll happen in Rebirth.

§ March 15th, 2017 § Filed under publishing, retailing § 8 Comments

BobH has a few things on his mind, in reaction to my oddball analogy in a recent post:

“I wonder if, in retrospect, the direct/newsstand plan DC did was considered a success or a failure? The reprints lasted about 30 issues, which isn’t too bad, but they only added one other book to the plan, OUTSIDERS, and that one only lasted 8 issues into the reprints.”

Without going back and check exact dates on various titles (well, okay, I double-checked Omega Men) DC was experimenting quite a bit with “direct sales only” (i.e. only available in comic shops and your slightly more comprehensive newsstands*) titles in the early-to-mid 1980s. This was slightly before I entered into my lifetime of comics retailing, so I don’t have specifics on sales numbers and customer reactions and what have you to this turn of events, beyond anecdotes like BobH’s own. The “hardcover/softcover” plan, which, as previously described, was DC publishing stories in the direct market first, then reprinting them in their newsstand titles a year later, was a way for DC to establish a greater foothold in comic shops, using their biggest title (New Teen Titans) and the comic with a then still-strong fandom (Legion of Super-Heroes) while hopefully not abandoning their newsstand-only fans.

Now, was it a success? In the short term, if my memory of the sales charts in the Amazing Heroes magazine was correct, the direct-only NTT and LSH did sell quite well, and each series did last a long time (over 100 issues each, back in those “we don’t have to reboot a title every dozen issues” days), and the newsstand reprintings lasted about 3 years for the Titans, a little less for the Legion. I guess that’s not too bad on the newsstand reprints, though I suspect print runs were pretty low on those later issues. I wonder how many fans of either property bought both versions, just to keep their runs going? Even so, there must have been, at least for a time, enough people just buying the newsstand versions to keep them going even that long.

Also, was reminded of one of Marvel’s attempts (or only attempt? I’m drawing a blank) to duplicate the hardcover/softcover plan, the short-lived Dreadstar and Co.. That was a weird choice (an oddball creator-owned sci-fi book, though Marvel distributed other creator-owned books to newsstands, like Groo and Elfquest) though I don’t know that Marvel had enough big name direct-sales-only titles that would really fit this particular type of publishing/reprinting program.

“I always get the feeling that it ended up disrupting the momentum of TITANS and (especially) LSH, taking them from DC’s flagships to more fringe books. But I’m not sure how much of that was the publishing plan and how much was the quick change in artists (Perez only lasting two issues as full artist, three more as penciller and then gone, Giffen only two as penciller, three more co-plotting and then gone).”

At the very least, this seemed to be the beginning, or the middle-ing, of the abandonment of newsstands, by splintering the fandoms these titles in this way (in addition to the many direct-sales-only titles both Marvel and DC were producing). The newsstand reprints, though holding on for a while, were probably doomed to eventual cancellation as sales shifted toward comic shops and the folks who could only buy comics at newsstands were left behind. Widespread casual sales and awareness of these particular characters gave way to the “preaching to the converted” sales in the specialty comic shop, where people who were already comic fans were going anyway. …That’s a huge simplification (yes, of course there were some new people going to shops and discovering titles) but I think I’m reasonably on target.

Creative team changes probably didn’t help a whole lot in the direct market end of the equation, but New Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes still had some solid artwork even after the departure of the artists most associated with each title. I’m sure some people were disappointed and stopped reading, but these comics still remained quality titles for quite some time. Again, I wasn’t there at the time except as a reader/buyer of funnybooks, but my sense is that sales probably were still doing fine after losing part of the creative teams that started ’em all off.

My own memories of the time are a little hazy, what with being 48 years old now an’ all, but I suspect I can ask former boss Ralph how sales were going on these comics at the time. Lemme get back to you.

* A local newsstand I used to go to seemed to have a lot more comics than your usual supermarket and convenience store racks…I don’t know what distributor they used, but they’d often get comics earlier than your traditional outlets, and even carried ‘zines like The Comic Reader and various indie publishers, like Fantagraphics and PC Comics.

I kind of want “Watchmen Babies” from The Simpsons to be canon, too.

§ April 25th, 2016 § Filed under question time § 9 Comments

More As to your Qs:

Rich monkeys around with

“I’ve recently been doing some Watchmen research for an upcoming book. Other than the original Alan Moore series, the Zack Snyder film, Before Watchmen, the three RPG books, the New Frontiersman website, the viral videos made to promote the film, the mock New Frontiersman and Metro newspaper promos, the three video games, and the two Who’s Who in DC issues, do you know of any other in-universe Watchmen lore? I’m trying to be as all-encompassing as possible. Thanks!”

Well, that seems pretty comprehensive to me. I looked at my Watchmen Heroclix set in case there was any in-universe flavor text-type stuff, and no dice there. There’s also this card-game thing that I don’t own, but maybe there’s some supporting text there, too, maybe? I’m not sure. (Frankly, I didn’t know there were three video games, so I’m not as up on this stuff as I’d thought.)

A while back I did a post about this ad for what seems to have been an unauthorized RPG game and/or story. Like I said there, no idea if this was ever released in any form…and it wasn’t an official thingie anyway, but might make an interesting aside in your project.

Another interesting aside may be this “crossover” in The Question #17, which, again, isn’t technically “in-universe” but weirdly neat nonetheless.

The only other official addition to the in-universe narrative were those promo posters, which offered brief glimpses into the lives of various characters from the series. They were just single shots, and it wasn’t so much narrative as “here’s what THIS character is like!” but they were pretty cool just the same. They’ve been reprinted in the deluxe editions of the graphic novel, so those aren’t particularly obscure but easy to overlook.

Of course, there was also this, which is totally official in my personal head-canon.

• • •

Paul polls me with

“In this vital election year, would you vote for a Lex Luthor-Pete Ross ticket?”

This year especially, I’d almost prefer the Lex ‘n’ Pete power pair. VOTE LUTHOR: MAKE AMERICA MANIACALLY VILLAINOUS AGAIN

• • •

Mike wonders

Do you think the super-hero genre can continue to evolve? We’ve gone from good vs. evil to soap-opera to deconstruction/ post-modernism to reconstruction and everywhere in-between. We’ve been through parody, stories without any traditional costumes or physical action, super-heroes as metaphors, distillation to the lowest common denominator, and tributes to every previous era. Has the idea well run dry?

Ooh, I never want to say the well has run dry on any creative endeavor. You never know what the future will bring, in terms of new ideas brought by new creators to apply to the superhero field. Yes, there will always be some percentage of titles just running in place, or just filling a space on a rack or maintaining a trademark, but I think there’s still a good chance of a fresh perspective on that old genre. What the next permutation will be exactly, I have no idea, but I’m sure folks working on superhero comics in the 1940s could never have predicted what would come decades later.

• • •

Dan battles me with

“The main thing Ive been collecting the last year or so is back issues of Warren mags; Eerie, Creepy, Vampi, etc. I would love to hear your take on these. Did you read these when they were on the newsstand, how often do back issues come into the store, and any other thoughts or comments. Thanks!”

I never personally collected many of these, no, though I may have read a few too many issues of 1984/1994 when I was far too young to have those in my possession. I did however read reprints of Berni(e) Wrightson’s work from those early Creepy/Eerie mags, especially in that Pacific/Eclipse-published Berni Wrightson: Master of the Macabre mini-series. Beyond that, I never really got into them, even though it seems like, given the talent involved, they would have been right up my alley. Probably just one of those “well, I can’t collect everything” kind of deals.

At the new store (that would be Sterling Silver Comics, located in Camarillo, CA) I actually haven’t had too many of the Warren comics mags come through, though I did acquire a huge pile of Famous Monsters of Filmland which sold out in short order. The previous place of employment, on the other hand, had many Warren mags passing through over the decades, but then that shop’s been around longer and has had more opportunity to have those items show up. Ask me again in about 30 years and we’ll see if I’ve seen more Warren magazines in that time!

I should note that, after processing tons of these mags for sale over the years at that old job, I have gained a strong love for their cover blurbs.

Slightly after Before Watchmen.

§ June 11th, 2012 § Filed under retailing, watchmen § 10 Comments

So, when we were last talking about Before Watchmen, I posted a poll asking what some of you folks were planning to regarding the series…avoid it, try it out, steal it, whatever. Thus far, three-fifths of the respondents indicated that they would not buy it.

Now, that poll may not be entirely balanced…an online fandom interested enough in the matter to 1) read comic blogs and 2) vote in an online poll may be a little more aware of the situation and thus more inclined to skew negatively. But even those in-store customers of mine who don’t pay any attention to comics news outside of whatever happens to be in Comic Shop News that week (I assure you, such customers exist) are voting the way comic readers usually vote: with their wallets.

Now that I’ve had a few days of sales to see how things go, I can report that Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 has sold…okay. Not flying off the shelves in a Superman #75-esque frenzy of consumer demand, but moving along at a steady pace. From previous experience, I’m relatively certain once Minutemen #2 comes out, or even when the next series or two start up, we’ll get further requests for the initial releases. However, like I’d said before, we’ll see how it goes in the long run, if we’ll get consumer resistance once the series and issues start piling on.

I’ve only had a handful of customers at the shop bring up Alan Moore’s disdain for this project, and it was about 50/50 whether those particular folks picked up the book or not. And there are other reasons outside of creators’ rights issues why some customers may not be picking up the book: didn’t like the movie, didn’t care for the original comic, it’s been just plain too long since the original to care about prequels, still burnt out on Watchmen after the media saturation surrounding the film, or simply aren’t interested in a Watchmen comic not by Moore and Gibbons. But, like I said, it’s not like it’s not selling…it seems to be selling fine. It’s not a monster smash like Avengers Vs. X-Men, but I would have been surprised if it were.

I’m almost tempted to put up another poll, “Of those of you who said you wouldn’t buy Before Watchmen, how many of you bought it anyway” because c’mon, I know somebody did. And this is interesting: I usually get my share of Google referrals to my site from people looking to mooch uploaded scans of current comics, generally a few a day. But in the last week or so, I have been bombarded with searches from people looking for scans of Before Watchmen. Apparently, the demand is there to read it, just not pay for it.

Like the presumably-pseudonymous Interstate Shogun said in the comments, I’m also surprised it took DC this long to do more Watchmen comics. A few years back I swore up and down that if DC was going to do it, they’d do it when the movie came out just so they’d have more product to sell during the peak of interest in the property (aside from the misguided After Watchmen promotion, which tried to get Watchmen fans to sample similar books, such as…um, Identity Crisis and Batman: Hush). I wonder how Before Watchmen would have sold had it come out then? (I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a brand new one-shot comic adaptation of the film, distilling the movie, itself a paring/dumbing down of the original material, down to 64 pages or so.)

Now, about Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 itself…it wasn’t bad. Darwyn Cooke’s art is, as always, beautiful. The story is…well, if you wanted more action from the Golden Age characters in Watchmen, here you go. It all looks relatively surface-level, expanding on material already covered in necessary depth in the original book. Not terribly deep in the metacommentary department, as most of the points made about the genre are, again, repeated from the original, aside from the very opening pages of the comic, a seeming reaction to trying to tell this story under these particular circumstances. Alan Moore as the “guy [who] throws a wrench in the gears,” taking “away your understanding of the world you live in” — the superhero comics genre — and the folks who “search for the things that brought [them] happiness in the past” — the way superhero comics were before everyone thought imitating Watchmen was the way to go. And of course there’s Mason’s (Cooke’s) own reaction to trying to duplicate Moore and Gibbon’s style from the original.

…And this has been “Mike Overanalyzes A Dumb Ol’ Comic Book at Stupid O’Clock in the Morning.” Thanks for putting up with these rambling thoughts on the topic, folks, and I’ll see you again in a day or two.

Just a little before Before Watchmen.

§ June 4th, 2012 § Filed under reader participation, retailing, watchmen § 44 Comments

So I was talking with pal Dorian the other day about the impending release this Wednesday of Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1, and how I thought it, and the Before Watchmen project as a whole, were going to sell.

I think it’s going to sell great, at least at first. As I noted before, there may be a bunch of online outrage about it, but Internet reaction =/= instore sales. Plus, some of those people complaining about Before Watchmen are still going to buy it anyway, because of course they will. (Yes, yes, I know, not you…you don’t need to tell me so in the comments.)

I have been receiving several requests for the Before Watchmen books, as well as a number of comic-saver folks adding it to their pull lists, so, like I said, it should have a strong start, at first. Once we’re a month or two in, and people begin to realize “oh, man, this is like a half-dozen or so new mini-series I have to follow, isn’t it,” then we’ll start to see the sales attrition as the picking-and-choosing begins. (Or maybe the, I don’t know, Ozymandias series will be the Greatest Thing Ever and a sales juggernaut.) Of course, having the “Crimson Corsair” back-ups run through all the minis is a clever way of encouraging readers to get the whole enchilada rather than have missing chapters of that particular serial…assuming of course “Crimson Corsair” is enough of a draw.

I don’t expect a flop. There is enough curiosity out there in this project, even if it’s just “what the hell is DC doing?” disbelief, to drive initial sales. And believe it or not, there are still people who go to the comic shops who spend little or no time online perusing the comic news sites or message boards and will have no idea there’s any brouhaha at all about this Before Watchmen situation. They’ll just see the logo on the stands, think “huh, I remember reading Watchmen, that wasn’t half-bad” and throw the comic in their piles.

Anyway, having mocked the value of online reaction, I am now seeking…your online reaction, via that most most scientific method of pinning down the public’s opinion, the blog poll. I have quite a few options there, but I’m sure it’s not 100% comprehensive…if you have a write-in choice, just drop it in the comments.

Watchmen, Marvelman, and Moore.

§ July 22nd, 2010 § Filed under watchmen § 18 Comments

From this article, spotted on the Twitter:

“However, DC comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, ‘Watchmen is the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. Rest assured, DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.’”

1. Did DiDio and Lee say it simultaneously, in harmony? Did they sing it to the tune of “Money” from Cabaret?

2. Is this the first public statement that DC would be willing to do new Watchmen stories, whether or not Moore and Gibbons are involved? Because, dude, I’ve got one comic book story in me, and that story is Watchmen 2: Seymour Rising.

But seriously, if there were other statements along those lines in the past, I don’t recall them. Mostly I seem to remember “oh, we wouldn’t cheapen the original with spin-offs” or “if Moore and Gibbons ever want to come back, sure.” But this is the first time they said they’d be more to happy to publish Watchmen Two-in-One #1, Batman and the Comedian, by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, which I realize they didn’t actually say as such, but I think we can read between the lines, there.

Johanna Draper Carson had commented on her Twitter thingie about it, to which I responded, essentially, that if the Watchmen movie hadn’t killed sales on the graphic novel to the point that DC felt it was necessary to rebuild interest in the series via new material, that we’re probably safe from non-Moore/Gibbons follow-ups. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will never happen, but I think the time for it to happen was during the movie’s lifespan. Of course, we are talking about the comics industry, where barn doors are always closed after the horses have escaped, so new Watchmen material being produced years after its chance at getting as large a potential audience as possible wouldn’t surprise me.

Speaking of Alan Moore, guess who wasn’t mentioned once in this week’s Marvelman Primer? The one mention of Moore’s 1980s revival of the character is a passing mention from a full-page plug for Marvel’s 1950s Marvelman reprint projects:

“If you only know him from his dark, deconstructionist ’80s revival, then you don’t know Marvelman!”

Of course, that ignores the fact that the “dark, deconstructionist ’80s revival” is the Marvelman work most people are primarily curious about. The reprints of the ’50s stories are amusingly entertaining, granted, but it feels like treading water until the details are sorted out with getting those ’80s stories back in print.

Back to Moore…there are plenty of opportunities to bring him up, by the way: there’s a discussion of British comics publishing which mentions Warrior, the magazine where Marvelman’s revival originally appeared, but is not mentioned in the article at all. There’s another history specifically of Marvel’s forays into British comics, which cites their Captain Britain series and mentions creators such as Steve Parkhouse, Chris Claremont, Paul Neary and John Stokes, but does not mention Moore, who wrote what are probably the best-known and most sought-after of the UK-edition Captain Britain comics.

I have no idea how far along, if at all, Marvel is regarding the rerelease of the ’80s Marvelman work. If the answer is “not very,” then I suppose it’s in their best interest to deemphasize that particular run for the time being, especially if they have new material in the works of a different revival of the franchise. But the ’80s comics are very noticeable in their absence from a publication intended to be an overview and introduction to these characters, particularly when the detailed historical articles gloss right over their publications and the writer behind that relaunch.

Or maybe nobody else cares any more, Marvel feels no obligation to cater to that handful of folks who recall some short-run Marvelman series from 25 years ago, and only big ol’ nerds like me are getting all worked up about it. That too is a possibility.

Okay, I finally finishing watching the Watchmen DVD.

§ August 26th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen Comments Off on Okay, I finally finishing watching the Watchmen DVD.

While there were several things in the Watchmen that were changed from the comic, most didn’t bother me a whole lot. Particularly in the first half of the film, where most of the changes were done to streamline the story to keep the narrative under the three hour mark. And that’s fine.

But a couple of things did bug me quite a bit, like altering Rorschach’s final speech to the psychologist (a gutwrenching piece in the original), or Dr. Manhattan’s speech to Laurie about changing his mind about humanity (close to the original, but somehow simplified, “dumbed-down,” and less convincing), but the one omission that bothers me the most? Leaving out the final confrontation between Adrian and Manhattan:

The filmmakers at least recognized that the “nothing ever ends” line should be in the film, but as I complained last time, giving the line to another character to relate as something Manhattan “might say” sure undermines its impact.

Anyway, that was the one thing that really bothered me the most. Yes, more than changing the actual climax of the film, which I’ve already gone on about in that old review of mine. Sometimes the new ending bothers me, sometimes I get what they were trying to do…I have mixed feelings about it. But, eh, I’ll deal.

Also, not enough Seymour.

So, did any of you folks rewatch the Watchmen movie in its DVD release? Did you alter your opinions on the film at all?

In which Mike goes on about Watchmen…again. Plus, bonus features.

§ August 24th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen § 1 Comment

Watching the Watchmen film via Netflixxed DVD…turns out Netflix doesn’t have the half-hour longer “director’s cut” edition, so if I want to watch it, looks like I’ll have to buy it. Or wait for the Ultimate Edition that will have the all the stuff from the director’s cut, plus the Tales from the Black Freighter cartoon interwoven into the film, instead of having it in the standalone “what the hell does this have to do with Watchmen?” edition.

Anyway, here’s my original review, and if you folks follow my Twitter feed, you’ve seen a few of my reactions to the rewatching.

On the plus side: the whole sequence with Dr. Manhattan’s origin translates well, and I quite like the musical score for this portion of the film. And I still enjoy the portrayal of Rorschach.

On the…well, maybe not so much “negative” as it is “curious” – Manhattan dropping the “I can’t see the future because there’s probably going to be a nuclear war” problem into the narrative at the beginning of the film doesn’t feel right to me. I realize that they’re trying to emphasize the imminent danger of war looming over the world, but I’m pretty sure they’d established this fairly well even without moving this line forward in the story.

Also, giving Dr. Manhattan “psychic vision touch” to help trigger Laurie’s flashbacks seems a bit unnecessary. And that they never really justified why exactly Manhattan was toolin’ around in the altogether. Yeah, okay, we know that he wears progressively less clothing the more inhuman he becomes, but does that come across to anyone not familiar with the book? It doesn’t seem like there’s enough in-film material to establish that.

At one point on my Twitter, I say “The Watchmen movie is like watching a comic book version of the original story,” which seemed to strike a nerve with a few folks. Well, okay, with two people. But I think I was struck about how unsubtle and, frankly, dumbed-down this version of Watchmen is. That might just be an artifact of the director’s translation of the comic to film, where most things that seemed thoughtful and witty on the page just became sort of garish and foolish once you have real people in costumes acting it out on screen. And the decision to ramp up the sex and violence to make it seem more “mature,” I guess, just comes across like the “comics aren’t just for kids anymore” mantra of desperation that it is.

To reemphasize, I don’t hate the film. Again, to quote my Twitter, “I do like the WATCHMEN movie as an interesting but failed experiment in adaptation,” and I stand by that. I liked it more than I didn’t like it, and as I said in my previous review, it’s a fitting companion, but certainly no replacement, for the original story.

I’m only halfway through the rewatching, so my opinion may yet change…the film’s real problems seem to set in during the second half of the film, as I recall, so I may have a few more annoyances to pass along here. Consider yourself warned.

So remember that time when extradimensional demonic entity Trigon seduced the woman who would eventually become Raven’s mom by taking the form of Danny Elfman?

Not Blog X, which I’ve mentioned several times before for its ongoing and compelling examinations of ’90s X-Men comics, has since moved on to another kind of mutant: that being the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And not just any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ve written briefly before about the peculiarity of the Archie TMNT series, so I’m looking forward to Not Blog X’s new direction.

Running faster than the speed of light flattens Superman’s head:

One of my favorite webcomics is With Gusto, who has fun with old advertising images and clip art:

Go check it out…tell him I said “hey.”

images from Tales of the New Teen Titans #2 (July 1982) by Marv Wolfman, George Perez & Pablo Marcos, and Flash: Rebirth #3 (Aug 2009) by Geoff Johns & Ethan Van Sciver

The long-awaited Watchmen/A-Team crossover.

§ March 15th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen § 1 Comment

A commercial announcement or two, and some Watchmen sales talk.

§ March 10th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen Comments Off on A commercial announcement or two, and some Watchmen sales talk.

El Gorgo #2, the world’s only comic about a luchador gorilla scientist, is now out in stores…and also available as a free download from the official site in a variety of formats. However, I do recommend buying your own copies because, c’mon, you want to be seen strolling around town with a copy or three of this comic tucked under your arm. Men will cower, women will swoon!

Seriously though, this comic is a lot of fun. It’s an unpretentious, unabashedly goofy comic book that evokes the silliness of the Silver Age while still forging its own enjoyably peculiar path. El Gorgo is highly recommended!

Also, I’m selling a variety of items on the eBay to meet some expenses, with a few of those auctions ending this evening. If you want to help a pal out, and get some actual merchandise that I personally have touched with my own filthy, filthy hands, then please feel free to bid!

The first of DC’s “After Watchmen” dollar book promotions is due out this week, featuring issue #21 of Saga of the Swamp Thing. I’ve already discussed my thoughts on how this particular promotion will do, but I am curious to see how the Watchmen graphic novel will do this week, now that the film has been released and, traditionally, any sales bump that comics made into movies may have experienced tend to dissipate right about now. We did move an awful lot of copies over the weekend, which was a bit of a relief as, due to a reordering mix-up (and the fact that reorders over the last few weeks have been delayed due to Diamond moving warehouses), I accidentally doubled the number of copies I’d actually wanted for the movie’s opening. Thankfully that worked out, due to a combination of some increased demand over the last few days and the fact that I set up a small display of the books by the register for impulse sales.

Once Watchmen burn-out has set in, I expect the sales to drop like a stone on these things, but the real trick is whether or not that drop is temporary. Watchmen has always sold well, to the point where I kept thinking “okay, that’s it, everyone’s read Watchmen by now,” but then we’d sell more. It’s truly a perennial seller, still moving copies long after sales on flash-in-the-pan “hot” books like Civil War have dwindled down to relatively nothing. I’m hoping Watchmen will eventually recover from the post-movie dip, like Hellboy did for us after its films, and not simply continue to languish on the shelf like, say, Sin City or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.*

Of course, if sales on Watchmen are still up, up, up this week too, I’m not going to complain about being wrong. But eventually the movie-inspired sales bump will go away, and the question remains if and when the book will recover. I suppose it depends if the book’s reputation remains “greatest graphic novel ever” or if it transmutes to “oh, yeah, I saw that movie…boy, that was stupid.”

I’ve been meaning to link to this and just never got around to it, but so long as I’m talking about sales: Johanna compiles and examines Archie Comics’ sales for 2008. And I’m not just linking because I helped a little. (Very little!) The numbers are somehow both surprising and yet not totally unexpected, and you should go take a look.

* I should note the fact that Hellboy is still a Going Thing helps counter the impact of the movies. League is showing some stirrings of life in trade sales again, as a new installment approaches. If Sin City were to have a new series, its backlist might start moving again, too.

However, none of this bodes well for Watchmen, which won’t have any kind of follow-up installments. Presumably.

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