Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Recovering From New Comics Day 

I always hate it when comics get delayed a day, because it means I have a ten hour day to look forward to.

In any case, there wasn't too much to get excited about with this week's comics. Viz dropped nearly 30 manga titles this week, mostly the first installments of the Shojo Beat line. The only one I picked up was Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden, because it was Yuu Watase and I'm not going to miss out on that. I also grabbed Dead Boy Detectives, which I thought was amusing but felt a bit thin for $10. I also picked up Desire, and Pete, oddly enough, read it first thing. He liked it, and complained about my jokingly describing it as "porn." I also got the latest volumes of Fushigi Yugi and Inu Yasha, but I'm several volumes behind on reading those, so I didn't even bother to crack them open and peek inside.

I flipped through House of M, mostly to see if there was finally something happening in the title (there is, but it focuses on Wolverine...just what we needed, another comic head-lining Wolverine), and partly to see if the rumor about the completely unexpected, surprise shock ending was true. This was how the conversation went with Mike:
Dorian: So, do you want to know what the big ending to House of M is?
Mike: Sure, lay it on me, daddio!
D: (Ending revealed)
M: And?
D: No, no, that's it.
M: No, seriously, what's the big ending.
D: I guess Marvel thinks that is a big ending.

The universal reaction to the Crisis on Infinite Earths action figures was "I was thinking of buying one of those, but those paint jobs are terrible." Which is very frustrating and disappointing for DC Direct items. I don't think I've ever seen a set of figures from them that looked as sloppily done as these ones. I'm hoping that it's just a bad batch, and not a sign of things to come.
It does put me in mind, however, of one of the crueler jokes to have come up at the store recently. We were sort of wondering just why DC felt the need to make so damn many Legion of Super-Heroes action figures, apart from the fact that Legion fans seem willing to spend money on just about anything. Witness the insane number of volumes the Legion archive series is up to. The inevitable (for us, anyway) conclusion was that Legion fans demanded so many action figures because they needed the whole set of Legionaires, so that they could pose them all in front of a window, so that every time there is a lightning storm they could stand in front of that window, arms outstretched, a beatific smile on their faces, cats mewling about on the floor, as they hope against hope that somehow lightning will strike their action figures and transfer all the Legionaires powers into them...
(We really can be very mean when we want to be...)

The most frustrating thing about the day is coming to the realization of just how many hyper-sensitive parents we've been getting in the store lately, concerned about whether or not a super-hero comic is "appropriate" for the pre-teen children. Yesterday's anxiety was focused on Ultimate X-Men. I was busy helping another customer, so I was spared the brunt of it, which is probably good, as I suspect this would have been the customer to make me snap after a very difficult and stressful week. Because what I was on the verge of shouting, even after my brief involvement was "What! What kinds of things do you think are going to be in an X-Men comic! There's not going to be any gore or sex! For God's sake, if you let your kids watch the X-Men movie the comic is actually going to be tamer in comparison!"
And now I can't shake the desire to really, really want to know exactly what these people think they're going to find in comic books. I don't think I can let "inappropriate material" pass any more. I must know exactly what these people are concerned about finding in a comic book. I want them to explicitly articulate their fears to me, dammit!


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