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Wednesday, November 17, 2004
New Comics Day Makes Me Sad...
...because each box I open is a testament to what's gone wrong with the comics industry.
--Spider-Man: India with such authentic Hindi names as Pravitar Prabhakar, Uncle Bhim, Aunt Maya and Meera Jain, I've decided that the optimum way to read this comic is aloud in a Peter Sellers-esque "Indian" accent. It's a little too earnest for me to think that they were deliberately trying to create an offensive comic, but was there no one along this comics route to the stand that had the common sense to say "Y'know, it's probably not really a good idea to publish this."
Oh, and for you Spidey purists out there, the death of "Uncle Bhim" has nothing to do with "Pravitar" shirking his duty to society. And without his guilt over his role in the death of his uncle, it just isn't Spider-Man.
--Space Ghost is an excellent example of what is wrong with comics. It's taking a silly character intended to entertain children, and grafting a violent and mature story onto it that is totally inappropriate to the character. This, ladies and gentlemen, is apparently what comic fans want, and that makes me both sad and angry. If sales in our shop are typical, expect to hear a "sold out" annoucement from DC any day now.
And, for the record, I really want to hear some of the people complaining about the violence and "inappropriate" material in Identity Crisis to get on their moral high horse about this comic too. Somehow, though, I doubt that will happen. And before anyone accuses me of hypocrisy because I complain about inappropriate content in this comic, but not in Identity Crisis, I'm willing to forgive IC because it's at least done well. Space Ghost is not. The violence in IC is in service to the story. In Space Ghost it's clearly only there to make Space Ghost "kewl."
--I'd like to read the new issue of Robin, if only because Pete is a fan of the Batgirl comic and the two books are crossing over, but the art in this latest issue made my eyes bleed.
--The Secret War tie-in issue of The Pulse basically consists of Jessica Jones standing around for twenty-two pages looking confused while incomprehensible things happen. So, it's an accurate representation of what it's like for readers trying to figure out what the hell is supposed to be happening in Secret War.
--Speaking of Secret War, I was wondering aloud why they keep going back to press on that book, despite the fact that lack of availability on earlier issues hasn't hurt sales on later issues, while books like Madrox and Strange have had their sales hurt on second and third issues because we can't get any more copies of the first issue in. Than Mike reminded me that Secret War is $3.99 an issue. Mystery solved.
--This week's new issue of Comic Book Marketplace has a cover feature on "Comics Fighting Hate." I'm guessing that the work of Mike S. Miller won't be discussed.
--The Wildstorm Winter Special might as well have been titled the Wildstorm "We Paid For These Comics, We May As Well Publish Them" Special I'm positive that both of the Authority stories in here were initially solicited in the ill-fated Authority: Widescreen book.
--The second issue of Devil Due's Defex came in. Some time back I got a call from our Diamond rep, telling me that the original solicitation for the book, which indicated that there were two covers that had to be ordered separately was in error, and there was in fact only one cover. He wanted to know if I wanted to cancel our orders for the second cover, or convert them to orders for the first cover. Well, the first issue either hadn't come out yet, or had just come out, so I told him to convert the orders, guessing that if we thought we could order X copies of each cover, we could probably sell X+X copies all together. Well, having seen sales on the first issue, and seen how the second issue sold today (probably 90% of sales on all our Devil's Due title occur in the first week of release, and at least 75% of those sales are on new comics day), I probably should have just cancelled the order and saved the store that money. Lesson learned on future Devil's Due releases not tied into a toy-line, though.
--I'm a big ol' 'mo, and even I want the Bettie Page playing cards.
--It came in last week, but it's worth mentioning today. Traditionally Dark Horse's kids movie tie-in comics have sold poorly for us, but we seemed to have confidence in their adaptation of The Incredibles and we ordered a good amount of them. We sold out last week. In support of my theory that kids only want super-hero comics when there is a tie-in to other media, not a single kid who has come in looking for Incredibles comics since we've sold out has even considered looking at any of the other kid-friendly comics I've pointed them towards.
It's also worth noting that a good percentage of the non comics buying public (in other words, most people) seem to be under the impression that the movie was based on an existing comic.
--Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes starring Ken Ryker as Captain America
(Yeah, I know very few of you understood that joke, but I'm betting that those of you who did got a good laugh out of it...)