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§ August 3rd, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 19 Comments

Reader Leroy had a question in response to yesterday’s post:

“…Do the ‘Deadpool’ books sell as well for you guys as Marvel claims they are across the country?”

“…I just keep finding it harder and harder to believe so MANY ‘Pool books are being supported by such a fragile market. It’s just hard to believe, seeing as though the character made a brief, mostly-horrible appearance in the “Wolverine” movie, he’s suddenly seen such a huge resurgence, which I assume will only peak and crumble once Deadpool sooner than later has his own movie. And is this trend in your opinion caused by people STILL thinking they can retire on comic books sparked by movie interest?”

I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but in general, as each new Deadpool series appeared on the stands, sales dipped slightly across all the series across the board. Not at first…sales were reasonably consistent and stable, if not high. Deadpool was in the lower-middle tier of sales for us, but in recent months it’s dipped lower than even that. A major problem is that as each new Deadpool title (or any other new title that effectively duplicates an already existing series) is released, there’s not suddenly another 30,000 new readers entering the marketplace to read that comic. It’s the 30,000 people already reading the one (or two, or four) Deadpool comics that suddenly have to decide to 1) ignore the new title and just keep reading what they’re already reading, 2) expand their comic budget to add yet another series to their regular reads; 3) stop reading another title to make room for this new title, or 4) decide that it’s too much to keep up with, and drop most of them, if not all. For a while, we seemed to be experiencing more of #2, but #4 is on the rise, it appears.

And if you’re curious, the multiple Avengers titles are going through #2, since it’s all Fresh and New…er, relatively speaking…but I suspect we’ll be going through #4 soon enough, with sales shaking out so that the comic actually called The Avengers will be the top seller, with the other titles selling only about a half or a third as much. I hope not…as a funnybook seller, I want every comic to sell lots and lots of copies, and for our customers to shove tons of money our way in order to buy them all, but realistically, something usually has to give. (I’ve written before on the topic of different sales levels for what are essentially the same books.)

As for movie interest sparking interest in Deadpool…there was some excitement for a while over the possibility of a forthcoming Deadpool movie, but mostly among the already-converted. If/when an actual movie actually approaches release, we may get some increased sales from new readers curious about the character…though, depending on the advertising blitz and the public’s reaction to it, I’m thinking those new readers may simply come from people already buying comics and not, um, “civilians,” I guess.

At this point in time, I don’t think too many people are buying movie-related comics in the hopes that they’d be good investments. I’m sure some people are (like the fellow who bought all our copies of Amazing Spider-Man #252, the first appearance of the black costume, in anticipation of the third Spider-Man film), but a lot of the interest in the comics spurred on by movies seems to be genuine interest from curiosity, not from financial concerns. Like I’ve said plenty of times before, that curiosity is usually satisfied by the actual film, rendering the comics redundant.

Well, that was a lot to write, considering I was just planning on slumming it today. Ah, well. I hope that sort of answers your question, Leroy. If you (or anyone else) have any questions or need for clarification, hie yourself hither to my comments.

Overall, this is an awesome Joker splash page…

§ August 1st, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 4 Comments

…featuring the Harlequin of Hate squaring off against the Scarecrow:

…but the best part of it is this absolutely terrifying gun:

There’s some nightmare fuel for you tonight, folks.

from The Joker #8 (July-Aug 1976) by Elliot S! Maggin, Irv Novick and Tex Blaisdell

I’m pretty sure I’d have the same reaction.

§ July 27th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 6 Comments

from Zoo Funnies #2 (December 1945)

Waddling awkwardly into your unquiet dreams.

§ July 25th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 7 Comments

from Zoo Funnies #2 (December 1945)

Another stunning conclusion from Tales of the Ironic Marquee.

§ July 21st, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 8 Comments

Okay, maybe that’s really more “descriptive” than “ironic,” but it’s all about the marketing, man.

Sometimes you just need a cosmically-attuned Albert Einstein to come in and straighten everything out.

§ July 20th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 12 Comments

from DC Challenge #6 (April 1986) by Elliot S! Maggin, Dan Jurgens & Larry Mahlstedt

Long day, short post.

§ July 15th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 7 Comments

There’s likely going to be a lot of piling-on of Superman #701 today (which is why I posted my main complaint yesterday to beat the rush), so I’m just going to drop this link here to Elliot S! Maggin’s “Must There Be A Superman” as that appears to have at least some thematic relation to Supes’ current saga.

Now, I didn’t hate the comic…there’s the germ of a good idea here, and there were a couple of nice moments, but Superman comes off a bit too jerky for my tastes. Also, I thought Superman was keeping himself literally “grounded,” walking across the country and eschewing flight as a travel option. At least, that was the impression I got from the publicity, but he gets a couple of flights in there. Straight up in the air, sure, but our boy Supes is still flying.

On the other hand, J. Michael Straczynski’s work on the new Brave and the Bold (#35, art by Jesus Saiz) with the Legion of Substitute Heroes and the Inferior 5 was actually pretty good. Amusing, some clever time-travel shenanigans, and no heavy-handed moral like in previous JMS B&Bs.

The new Simpsons spin-off mini-series Comic Book Guy started up this week, and that was a lot of fun…the multiple covers wrapped around the book parodying various comics were a nice surprise. That Crisis on Infinite Earths one is the best. The “nerd knowledge” requirement is actually fairly low, with the gags remaining funny even if you aren’t familiar with all the specific comics references.

And if you were one of the four people still waiting for the latest comic book series based on the Wild Cards novels, The Hard Call, to finally wrap up…well, #6 is on the stands and waiting for your cold, hard cash, friends. ‘Course, I’m going to have to go back and reread the previous five, because I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what happened in those earlier installments.

I liked some bits of Superman #701…

§ July 14th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 11 Comments

…and then there was this bit which seemed awfully un-Superman-ish:

from Superman #701 (Sept 2010) by J. Michael Straczynski, Eddie Barrows & J.P. Mayer

Since when does Superman think it’s too bad some folks aren’t dead?

(Kevin Church has more to say.)

Well, they have photos. That proves it.

§ July 14th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 8 Comments

ad from Space Warp (Summer 1979)

The world is a little less cranky.

§ July 13th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 3 Comments

from American Splendor #15 (1990) by Harvey Pekar & Mark Zingarelli

It’s seems weird that the comics industry will no longer have a Harvey Pekar roaming its edges, occasionally writing some comics, complaining about not making enough money at it, while still gifting us with low-key stories of humorous observations, of found beauty…and of trying to save a buck. God bless that man.

Internet pal Dave posted a nice appreciation of the man, and Tom Spurgeon has a brief initial reaction which should be replaced by a full obituary at some point today. And I may have written a small tribute to him in Monday’s News Briefs at The Bureau Chiefs.

And here are Pekar’s appearances on David Letterman’s talk show which are so hilariously awkward, and the exact opposite of the typical showbiz shilling that these shows are created to facilitate. Letterman never could get a handle on this guy.

So long, Harvey, and thanks for all the good work you’ve given us over the years. You really were an original.

• • •

In other news:

  • Kevin Church and Tracie Mauk have unleashed a new webcomic upon an unsuspecting world: FIGHT!. WARNING: comic may contain fighting.
  • You know, I’d like to start a comic book empire! Thankfully Don Rico drew a comic explaining exactly how to do that. My favorite bit is on page 2, where it’s explained that you shouldn’t build your empire on superheroes, but on another particular genre entirely. BONUS: Sergio Aragones name-check!
  • Andrew has wrapped up his series of Atari 2600 reminisces and has moved on to the Sega Genesis. Nothing to do with comics, really, but Andrew’s a smart and witty writer, and as someone who also had a Genesis, I’m looking forward to future installments.

    And this is as good a place as any to announce this…after countless hours of grueling behind-the-scenes negotiations (“Hey, Mike, you wanna take it over?” “Yeah, sure, what the hell”), I will be continuing Andrew’s “Growing Up 2600” here on my site. Should start up soon, though I probably won’t do it on a weekly basis like Andrew did, and I’m sure I won’t be nearly as in-depth and societal context-aware, but hopefully you folks will tolerate my occasional classic video game blathering.

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