Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yesterday's Comics 

Boom Studios sent out some preview copies of the new Steve Niles and Nat Jones comic Giant Monster, and I was one of the folks who got one. Now, to be perfectly upfront, I haven't really been taken with much of Steve Niles' work in the past. It's not that the works of his I read were bad, they just weren't my thing. So I wasn't quite sure what I was going to make of this book.
It's fun. I giggled at several points. It's big, mad, stupid carnage with a giant monster on a rampage eating people and wrecking things. And Niles is able to straddle that line between silly and horrific quite well in this book. Yeah I laughed at the wholesale slaughter, because a giant monster eating people is something I find funny. But the horror of the situation comes through as well.
Credit for that goes as much to Nat Jones as Niles. Jones gives the monster a disquieting and unsettling appearance, based on the terrible transformation undergone by the man who becomes the giant monster.
My only gripe is that the book is too short. The story ends half-way through and we have to wait for the conclusion. It would be a more satisfying read in one big chunk.

Speaking of Steve Niles and horror comics, the most recent issue of Comic Buyers Guide came out yesterday, and as usual, it said much about CBG. It was the horror comics issue, so of course Batman was on the cover. And above the picture of Batman was a banner which read "Exclusive Interview with Batman writer Steve Niles!"
Well, yes, technically I suppose that is true, he has written a Batman comic. But that's not really what he's known for. And if you wanted to use his name to sell your magazine, you might have wanted to emphasize the works he's built his fanbase and reputation on. But then, I don't give a damn about how much CGC-graded comics sell for on eBay, so I'm not the target audience for CBG.

Apparently slapping Seth Green's name on your comic is only good for two issues of sales, if the sharp decline in interest in Freshmen at our store is any indication.

I had one of those people looking for super-hero merchandise but not comics the other day. Conversation went largely like this:
"Do you have any Wonder Woman action figures?"
Not at the moment, no.
"Any pins or buttons with her on them?"
Sorry, no.
"Any posters?"
I may have a door poster for about $20.
"Nah, that's too expensive. How about any puzzles or games?"
Er, no.
"Hmmm. Say, you sell comic books, don't you?"
Well, yeah. We're a comic book store.
"Was there ever a Wonder Woman comic?"

The first batch of Go!Comi books reached the store yesterday, and I liked what I saw. Production values were nice. Paper was crisp and white, art reproduction was good, lettering was clear and easy to read, translation (at my brief glance) was free of typos and spelling mistakes. All in all, just a good package. I'm glad to see that newer manga publishers are still striving for good quality products, unlike some publishers who put out work during the initial manga boom who didn't give a damn about quality and put out books on bad paper, full of terrible spelling and grammar errors. Or, ahem, one or two of the "established" manga publishers for whom quality of product is largely an afterthought.
Plus, Cantarella and Crossroad look really, really good.

Head-scratching publisher move of the day has to go to IDW, who put out an introductory priced Transformers comic (with variant covers...) that doesn't actually have any giant robots in it. Oh sure, there's a talking car and an evil plane, but neither of them turns into a big freaking robot.

Something Mike and I discussed: these rumors that DC is going to kill Wonder Woman in Infinite Crisis. I seriously doubt it. Killing off a major character and replacing them with the former sidekick in a book with the words "Infinite" and "Crisis" in the title very much has a "been there, done that" feel. And in the particular case of Wonder Woman, I'd be very surprised if the Moulton estate doesn't have some sort of clause in their contract with DC stipulating that Wonder Woman is Diana Prince.
Likewise, Warner Brother's licensing and marketing departments would have a fit if anything other than a cosmetic change happened to Batman or Superman, so don't expect major changes there either.


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