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I have no idea if Gilgamesh II is even still available.

§ June 8th, 2020 § Filed under dc comics, fakeapstylebook, real world stuff, retailing § 10 Comments

So…it still feels weird to be writing about comics right now. Things continue to be in a huge state of upheaval, folks are remaining angry (and rightfully so) and even as changes to the system are appearing to be slowly progressing, the pushback is still hurting folks and costing lives. If you wish to contribute to resources helping out Black people, this list is a good place to start (which also includes support for the gay and transgendered). There may be organizations local to you that could use help as well. I know wallets are pretty much emptied after months of state shutdowns, and you might not be able to donate. At the very least, promote resources like those linked above, and be vocal in your support of those in need of it.

• • •

So the comic news that’s kinda hard to ignore even with everything else going on is the fact that DC Comics is bailing entirely on Diamond Comics as a distributor of its product.

Okay, when DC decided to start distributing their items through a couple of other sources during Diamond’s shutdown, I figured things were going to change for the industry. Mostly I thought we’d see a lot more publishers, mostly indie types, deciding to either split from Diamond themselves, or at least wholesale their items directly to retailers in addition to offering them through the usual system. Mostly, I anticipated having to go through a half-dozen catalogues and cut separate checks to everyone every week, like The Good Ol’ Days. However, I didn’t anticipate DC leaving Diamond entirely. That came as bit of a shock.

Still not sure what the ultimate impact of this will be to the industry as a whole, or to me personally. I mean, aside from not knowing when the new DCs will arrive each week. Hard to meet DC’s new Tuesday on-sale time when I don’t get the books ’til a few hours before closing that day. The actual process of ordering from this other distributor is fairly easy, and I noticed they changed the user interface to make things more organized and convenient. Items don’t always get listed in alphabetical order, which I would prefer, but they weren’t at Diamond either so I’ll live. [EDIT: Oh wait, now that I look at the new distributor’s website with newly cleared vision, following the most recent eyeball procedure, I can see there are teeny tiny buttons that let me change the ordering of the lists. NEVER MIND]

Plus, I’ve yet to experience a single damage or shortage on DC product from this other distributor, so that’s a nice change. I am curious about backlist titles, as so far the only older items the new distributor has is whatever they had come in since they started shipping out DC books to retailers in April. I presume eventually more books (and older comics) will move over there, but far as I can tell I can still order that product from Diamond. Wonder how long that’ll last? Will DC buy it all back from Diamond to move to their other outlets, or is Diamond going to be stuck trying to sell those Gilgamesh II graphic novels ’til the end of time?

Also of concern is the financial impact on Diamond. With the loss of one of its two biggest vendors, that’s gotta cause the ol’ pursestrings to be tightened a little. I presume that means fewer employees manning phones and packing/shipping product, but there’s also less product to be packed/shipping, so maybe it’ll all balance out? I suspect we’ll see soon enough. I know Diamond told retailers directly that losing one vendor, even a large one like DC, is something they could ride out, and I can believe it. So long as Marvel doesn’t Heroes World-it again and also depart, I suspect we’ll still have Diamond to kick around a while longer.

On the personal side of things, my business has been doing…okay so far now that I’ve been able to reopen. Most days have been having normal business, though my Wednesdays have been pretty short of what they once were. Almost by necessity, since new comic shipments are only a fraction of what they once were, and Marvel’s only shipping a handful of titles every other week. As my former boss Ralph once told me, decades ago, “as Marvel goes, so goes the industry,” and it certainly feels like it’s Marvel that drives the folks in the door each week for their fix. Anything else can wait ’til it’s convenient to show up, but the new Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man must be bought right away.

The big question coming up is Batman #92, which prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns was The Big In-Demand Comic, what with that issue’s focus on the new villain Punchline. I’d actually ordered quite a bit on that, expecting a rush, plus having to meet the demands of advance requests for multiple copies, etc. Now I’m wondering it that same demand has maintained itself over our extended break? I’m curious to see. I’ve also noticed a decrease in Random Hot Books, where there’s one comic nobody expected, or ordered a lot of, that suddenly everyone wants so they can flip it on eBay or whatever. Last week was the first example of this in a while (the “B” cover for most recent installment of Blackwood, selling for around $30 online the day of release). Oh, this crazy business.

• • •

In other news, Fake AP Stylebook has come back for the nonce, in our time of greatest need. Yes, I’m writing for it again. Probably not getting another book deal out of this comeback, but that’s okay, we’re doing it out of love. And bitterness. And just pure, unadulterated sarcasm. Anyway, no one stopped us, so it’s back. We regret nothing.

No, seriously, you need at LEAST three copies.

§ September 21st, 2011 § Filed under fakeapstylebook, question time, self-promotion § 12 Comments

So, yeah, sorry about that post yesterday. I really meant to keep it short, honest, but, you know, get me talking about Swamp Thing, and look what happens. But at least I do it here, where you all have avenues of escape, and not at the store, where I could possibly corner some poor bastard and discuss Patchwork Man continuity for half an hour.

I answered a couple of questions in yesterday’s comments already, but let me address a couple more here today:

Dwayne the Canoe Guy asks:

“I saw today that is selling a discount subscription to Swamp Thing and recently featured Justice League. Tanga normally discounts boardgames & novelty electronics. Does this discounting indicate that DC is desperate?”

I’d say the fact that DC restarted all their books with new #1s was already a pretty good sign of desperation. But no, offering cheap subscriptions to comics on a discount deal site sounds more like loss-leading promotion than “oh dear God someone please buy our comics.” It’s just another venue to hawk their wares, rather than just pushing their offerings through the usual places.

eee-gah wants to know, in response to my slightly snarky comment about blood ‘n’ guts in DC’s superhero books:

“Has anyone ever complained to you at the shop about the level of gore in a random DC book?”

No, not really “complained” as such. The few people who have noted it usually do so with a sense of…bemusement. Like, “oh, look what DC did THIS time.” But I haven’t had any angry parents stomp into the store and gripe that their precious Little Billy picked up a copy of Teen Titans: Risk – A Call to Arms #1 and was offended by all the violence therein. But I have had a parent complain about Lesbian Batwoman, so I guess I know where the lines are drawn in our neighborhood.

Also…it’s been a while since this happened, but I always like to mention that one mother who complained that the Spider-Man comics her son was reading were “too sexy.” Specifically, the Steve Ditko Spider-Man comics her son was reading in reprints. That’s probably the one and only time that particular complaint was leveled at Ditko’s Spidey.

• • •

Okay, so you’ve read Fake AP Stylebook, you’ve bought your mandatory three copies per household of the Fake AP Stylebook book Write More Good, and maybe some of you are following our lonely, lonely Twitter feed The Content Farm. Now, The Bureau Chiefs bring you…Fake Pew Research, featuring improbable statistics for an intractable society.

Anyway, as pal Dave L. so accurately puts it, it’s just another goofy thing we’re doing to make each other laugh, and hopefully it’ll make some of you laugh too.


§ October 25th, 2010 § Filed under fakeapstylebook § 11 Comments

So some of you folks might remember that I’m a member of The Bureau Chiefs, that gaggle of bloggers, professors, and rapper-lawyers responsible for Fake AP Stylebook, the popular and hopefully humorous Twitter feed. And some of you may also recall that, as a result of that feed, we got a book deal.

Well, now I am finally allowed to announce that the book, titled Write More Good, will be out in April 2011 from Three Rivers Press. And it’s not just a transcript of jokes from the Twitter feed, though a few of those are there — the majority of the book is all new material. Plus, the foreword to the book is by legendary film critic (and Fake AP Stylebook fan) Roger Ebert, which I think is pretty darn cool.

The book is not yet available for preorder from the usual places, but I’ll let you know when it is.

By the way, speaking of the Twitter feed, it just hit its one year anniversary, so we’re having a contest, sponsored by Zazzle (which is also offering 10% off anything from our Zazzle store through the end of November if you use the super-secret code FAKEAPZAZZLE during your purchase).

Please excuse the commercial interruption, pals, but I’m pretty excited about all this and I’ve been dying to share it with you. (Also, I came up with the title for the book, which the Bureau Chiefs gang and the publisher all liked, so I’m pretty proud of that, too!)