Month: May 2012

Is it Hollywood validation or just exposure?

In a recent blog post, Image Publisher Eric Stephenson looks at the sales figures for the four Robert Kirkman books released each month (The Walking Dead, Thief of Thieves, Invincible, Super Dinosaur), and notices that The Walking Dead and Thief of Thieves are selling much better than Invincible and Super Dinosaur.  He believes that this increase in sales is due to the two properties being attached to AMC shows.  As you know, The Walking Dead has finished two seasons, and as you probably didn’t know, Thief of Thieves has been optioned by AMC.  Now, I don’t dispute that connection to AMC and popularity of The Walking Dead show has boosted sales.  What I’m disputing is the why this is bad.

Here’s a bit of what Eric Stephenson has to say:

There are way worse problems to have, obviously, and I’m not complaining, but it is a little disconcerting that the dividing line between The Walking Dead and Thief of Thieves and Invincible and Super Dinosaur is the attention the former two titles have received from Hollywood. Is that a good thing for those books? Absolutely. But it’s a bad thing for comics as a whole, when we sit back and let mainstream popularity guide how we as industry order and sell comics and how we as a community buy and collect comics. In essence, we wait for someone outside comics to tell us something is worthwhile before accepting it ourselves.

Now, I’m not an industry insider or anything, and maybe my cynicism is still asleep in bed, but is it possible, just maybe the sales bumps are not due to comic fans that now believe these books are okay to buy because there is now a show based on them, but instead from people exposed to these books for the first time because of the show.  Image has succeeded where the Big 2 usually fails, and has actually gotten a bump in sales from a movie or show.   But, maybe Stephenson has some polling statistics that back up his beliefs as to why more people are buying those books, but it is too simplistic of a view to take without any solid stats.  (more…)

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Superman contiues his dickish ways

Found this little gem in issue #64 of All Star Comics from 1977.

Seriously, the kid asks Superman if his father has the right to hit him, and Superman’s answer is basically “yes, so long as he doesn’t injure you.”  So, Superman is okay with hitting kids.  Of course, this was pre-New 52 Superman.  Hell, this is pre-Crisis Superman.  So, it’s possible that Superman currently does not condone violence against kids, but we’ve seen nothing to confirm this.

But man, Superman is a dick.

On a random issue of X-Force

One of the perks of having spent far too much money on accumulating an impressive (I think) collection of X-Family comics is that whenever I’m in the mood to read something random there’s probably an issue I either haven’t read at all or at least haven’t in so long that it once again seems new.  A few days ago I decided to pull a couple random issues of the original X-Force just before the Phalanx Covenant and give them a look.  One of them was issue 37.

Besides my initial comment on how ridiculously thin Cannonball’s flight jacket seems to be (even the padding is paper thin, according to that rip), I realized that this lone issue of X-Force was a good demonstration on some of the details of the mid-90’s X-Men books (or the major comic companies in general, really) that have since been forgotten and swept over.

So that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

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1997 is going to be HUGE!!!

A lost part of mid-90’s Marvel was the Bullpen Bulletins that used up 2 pages of a comic to let Marvel try to promote itself.  Back then it was easier to do what can now be done with a click of a button, namely getting sales pitches directly to fans.

As I read through X-Men #64 (cover date May, 1997) I found myself intrigued by the Bulletins promoting its upcoming books for 1997, which “promis[ed] to be a terrific year for Marvel’s ever-engrossing line of comics.”

And just what books did this page-long article excitedly promote for 1997?

  • Man-Thing
  • Star Trek: What If?
  • Alpha Flight
  • Excalibur
  • Ka-Zar
  • Deadpool (before he was HUGE)
  • Incredible Hulk
  • Thunderbolts
  • Venom
  • Killraven
  • Crimson Dawn
  • Hellfire Club: Inner Circle
  • Hercules: Heart of Chaos
  • Whatever might have Black Widow and Moon Knight (no title given)
  • Generation X
  • X-Force
  • Maverick
  • X-Factor
  • Ka-Zar
  • Kingpin
  • Silver Surfer
  • A new Conan project in the works

Now these aren’t actual promotions, but rather various editors and artists saying that they are excited about these namedrops.  And they even tossed in a picture of Venom from the cover of Venom: License to Kill #3 that I find so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it.

That’s right.  Venom with guns and pouches.

It’s hard to believe that the company had just declared bankruptcy five months earlier.

(And before you call me out on it, I know this wasn’t the reason for that.)

Around the Web

This month’s “Around the Web” features a comic called The Poperty of Hate.  I couldn’t find an actual name for whoever is writing and drawing this comic.  Just the username “Mod.”  Which is sad, because I would love to acknowledge whoever is creating this imaginative, little comic.

There’s not a whole lot of story to summarize.  This being with a television for a head named “RGB” recruits a child to be a hero.  They pass through a doorway in the sky into a…unique world.  In this world, ideas like lies and doubts have become creatures.  Their peacefulness is interrupted when they are attacked by a set of scratchy lines.  And that’s where the series leaves off.

I know I’m doing a horrible job describing it, but you really need to take a look at it yourself.  The charm of this comic really is within the art.  And I really don’t have much else to say about it.  There’s just something about this comic that I like, but can’t quite put my finger on it.

I think you should check it out.

DC Nation – 5/26/12

Welcome to this week’s edition of DC Nation.  Today’s episode of Green Lantern is titled “Homecoming.”  The Red Lanterns arrive at Oa.  Today’s episode of Young Justice is titled “Beneath.”  The Alpha Team heads to Bialya to investigate Boom Tube usage, while Jamie Reyes looks for his friend.  The short segments include a profile of Animal Man (might be a repeat), part one of an Atom cartoon, and a new Super Best Friends Forever cartoon.

Green Lantern:  The Animated Series – “Homecoming”
Hal and Razer fly off to implement their plan, while Kilowog tries to buy them some time.  Atrocitus, aboard the Interceptor, arrive at Oa.  Using Aya, they trick their way onto Oa.  Hal Jordan wakes up to find himself on Earth, where he sees Carol.  Atrocitus and his forces land on Oa, and attack some Guardians.  Hal is having dinner with Carol, but seems a bit out of it and doesn’t remember what has been going on.  Kilowog does his best to fight off the Red Lantern armada.  Carol tries to make Hal remember being a Green Lantern by going to Ferris Air and showing him his Lantern.  This causes Hal to remember.  Razer and He went to Zamaron to ask the Star Sapphires for help.  Hal convinces them to teleport him back to Earth, despite of the possible consequences.  Hal kisses Carol, and flies off.  While fighting, Kilowog experiences a power boost.  This cam from the presence of the Blue Lantern Saint Walker.  Along with Saint Walker, Mogo joins the fight against the armada.  Atrocitus and his group are able to overpower Salaak, and get to the Guardians.  However, Hal Jordan is there waiting for them.  Hal tells Atrocitus that he’s right to feel rage towards the Guardians, but what he’s doing is wrong.  Drusa is attempting to delete Aya’s higher functions when Razer teleports in and saves her.  Using Saint Walker to boost Mogo’s power, they are able to stop the armada.  Hal is fighting Atrocitus, while the Guardians watch.  Hal is able to overcome Atrocitus.  Hal tries to reason with Zilius Zox.  The Guardians promise to make restitution in the Forgotten Zone.  Zilius agrees, as Atrocitus is taken to the prison.  Razer avoids the question of how he got to Oa so quickly.  The Guardians go to thank Hal, but he flies back to Earth.  (more…)