Monday, June 23, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

June seemed to just fly by to me. This week we have a rare almost even split week, with all three of the categories of DC. Independents and Marvel all being almost equally represented.

I liked using this post as a commentary/rant post also when I have a topic and this week I will provide a quote from Neal Adams:

“Our business must focus a broader audience or we will be shaved to a smaller and smaller audience. The Jim Lee Batman sold to a broad audience and maintained this audience through 12 issues.

What this broad appeal series does and can do is bring new and extra audiences into the market. Joe tells Tom, Tom tells Frank and Frank for the first time in 15 years goes to a comic book shop to buy Batman.

What's bad? Bad is tons of spin-off titles that sell ten thousand copies.

This only appeals to our limited inbred community of fans that actually have 30 to 70 bucks a week to buy comics.

This group is a rapidly narrowing group.

We must make newsworthy, well crafted product. Product that will attract outside readers. A broad range of readers and we must reach out to these readers.

We think the Jim Lee/Jeph Loeb Batman was a big success and puffed out our comics community chest. But outside the community, I saw nothing.

My own Batman reprints are a good example.

Are they advertised to the general public? The battle over the new seps, finally turned positive, but this was an inner industry bit of business did DC present this as a premiere product to the general public? No, they printed 5000 copies and they were shocked when they sold out in days and they had to print more.

Did the general public know of this product? Would they want to have known? Would they buy if they knew?

If a promotion worked, how many copies at $50 per pop could DC have sold? How many old/new customers would have come into comic book stores to buy it and other product.

It's not me, folks. I'm immaterial, 3 near legendary books of works on Batman, a world-wide icon namely, Batman. What's the potential?

Marvel's Ultimates by Bryan Hitch talked about on TV and radio. Worth talking about? Sales would increase 10 fold and those same people will buy other product.

We need a broader audience, not narrower!


Sincerely and with respect, Neal Adams”

I happen to agree with Neal, we need a broader audience. Secret Invasion and the almost what 100 tie-ins is only draining money from the same small hard cover audience. The Legion of Three Worlds, while a dream project to a big Legion fan like me, is wasting Johns and Perez on a project that has a limited audience.

Personally I believe the direct market is one of the things that maybe actually killing monthly comics. The idea of non-returnable books causes too many books to have self fulfilling prophecies. With times so tight a retailer can’t gamble on almost any book, so they will order so tight some comics never even see the rack.

Also if anyone thinks that printed entertainment media is here to stay forever, think again. It is a reducing market. My generation and my children will want books, but will the next generation or the one after that give a damn?

Batman Gotham After Midnite #2 (of 12) – I’m a sucker for Steve Niles work and Kelly Jones’ Batman is an unreal exaggeration and an acquired taste, but I love it. The hype The Batman has been ambushed by a gang of thugs who want only one thing: the death of the Dark Knight Detective. But there is more to this nefarious plan than it seems. For at the stroke of midnight, the mysterious monster behind this gang wants to strike fear into the hearts of all the citizens of Gotham City!”

Demo TP – I missed this material by Brain Wood and Becky Cloonan, but have become a fan of both the writer and artist, so I’m looking forward to seeing this book. The company line “The Eisner-nominated and critically acclaimed series of self-contained short stories by writer Brian Wood (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS) and artist Becky Cloonan (AMERICAN VIRGIN) arrives in a new edition. Twelve stories of conflicted teens grappling with love, loss, and the joy of finding your own way in life make DEMO a graphic novel not to be missed.”

Final Crisis #2 (of 7) – I really enjoyed issue #1 and I’m looking forward to issue #2. No matter what I really believe this story will be, in the final analysis it will best be judged as a whole. The word “Meet Japan's number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation! See Earth's superheroes mourn one of their oldest allies! Witness costumed criminals sinking to new depths of cowardice and depravity as Libra takes things too far! Uncover the doomsday secrets of the poisoned city of Blüdhaven! Learn the shocking identity of the prime suspect in the murder of a god! And read on if you dare as Batman becomes the first of Earth's champions to face the Fallen of Apokolips. All this and a spectacular return from the dead...”

Green Lantern #32 – I have read a lot of grumbling about a re-telling of Hal’s origin that did not need to be redone and I can understand that viewpoint. From my perspective Johns is having a seminal run on this book, so getting his re-telling of Hal’s beginnings is fine by me. What’s inside “SECRET ORIGIN PART 4! Sinestro has been sent to Earth on a sacred mission, one that this new rookie Hal Jordan is getting in the way with. Plus, one of Hal Jordan's first enemies is born as a bizarre experiment backfires and another is unknowingly stalked for his connection to the Blackest Night!”

Superman #677 – James Robinson comes aboard as writer. I’m really happy to see James Robinson back in the DCU as he has always been a very strong writer. This issue contains James Robinson (Starman, The Golden Age) arrives as the new ongoing writer of SUPERMAN as changes abound in the life of the Man of Steel! A frighteningly powerful new presence declares Metropolis his, a monster strikes the harbor of the City of Tomorrow, Green Lantern guest-stars for a unique game of fetch, and the Science Police arrive on the scene. And this is only issue one of the new run!”

Tangent Comics TP Volume #3 – One day I will get around to re-reading these trades. This trade has Collecting more of DC's Tangent titles, including TANGENT COMICS: SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, JOKER'S WILD, JLA, TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN, POWERGIRL, NIGHTWING NIGHTFORCE and TRIALS OF THE FLASH!”

Teen Titans #60 – The Terror Titans arc has been the best arc on this book in a long time. I’m curious to see how this ends and what comes next. The hype It's the final battle against the Terror Titans! With the true nature of the Clock King revealed, how can the Teen Titans possibly hope to prevail? And, when all is said and done, who will still be Teen Titans?”

Trinity #4 – This has been a decent series at the start, but it feels a little pedestrian at this point for a 52 issue story. The company lineThe lead feature explores the unusual bond — and importance — of DC's top three characters, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as a mysterious dream links them together and may prophesy important changes in their trinity!” MEMO TO DC – A weekly book demands some new hype every week.

Captain America #39 – No matter how well written this book is or is not, my question every time an issue is announced “Will anything happen in this issue?” The word “Okay, what the heck is going on here? Is that two guys in Captain America outfits? Yeah, it is. More than that, we cannot say. The epic Death of Captain America continues in Part Three of "The Man Who Bought America" by the acclaimed team of Brubaker and Epting.”

Daredevil #108 – Last issue was great. The old Gotham Central team has started a good tale that appears to be about Matt Murdock lawyer as much as Daredevil. What’s inside “Matt Murdock throws himself into what is probably a losing case, a last-minute death-penalty appeal...while Dakota North and Daredevil discover people are willing to kill to keep them from pursuing this investigation. But is it the mob...or the government? The multiple-Eisner-nominated team of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark is joined by the acclaimed Greg Rucka co-writing!”

Iron Fist #16 – I’m not even sure why I’m buying this book. The hype “In the wake of THE SEVEN CAPITAL CITIES OF HEAVEN, Danny Rand has been busy reinventing and rebuilding his life. Who is he, as a man? As a hero? What does the Iron Fist legacy really mean in this day and age? Where does Danny Rand go next? And just what exactly is up with him and Misty? Are they, like, a thing, or, or what? And why might the 33 candles on Danny’s cake mean the end for the Immortal Iron Fist?” After all Brubaker and Fraction did for this book, there leaving hurts this book a lot.

Mighty Avengers #15 – The Secret Invasion has been weak, but the background stories in Mighty and New Avengers have been entertaining for the most part. The hype “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO-----? Rewinding the clock to Avengers Dissassembled we reveal how one of the main players in SECRET INVASION was replaced by a Skrull and what the fallout has been. A major SECRET INVASION chapter is here! Oh, but you want to know exactly who we're talking about right? Spoilers, dude!” Side note these covers are direct light boxes from classic covers and there is no credit given to the original artist. That sucks.

Marvel Masterworks Volume 98 Tales of Suspense – This is the old Atlas era material. The contents “It seems you just can't scare the love of a good 80-foot thing from another dimension out of a Marvel Masterworks fan. We're not one to argue with anyone whose postal code reads Unknownable Beyond - so with regrets to the mailman, prepare your post office box for the likes of Sporr, Gor-Kill, Elektro, the Colossus, Metallo and Kraa the Unhuman! This collection from the beyond is full of more amazing monster firsts than Masterworks we've yet imagined, and there's no evidence better than the first-ever father/son space-monster invasion. Yes, it's none other than the fan-favorite Goom, and Googam, Son of Goom! Complemented by tales of thrilling suspense and sci-fi from Marvel Founding Fathers Steve Ditko and Don Heck, there's a something for anyone and everyone looking for a break from the bounds of reality in TALES OF SUSPENSE! Collecting TALES OF SUSPENSE #11-20.”

New Avengers #42 – The word “THE EMPIRE part 3. For 42 issues readers of New Avengers have wondered, who caused the breakout in New Avengers #1 and why? And how was this the real start of the SECRET INVASION? Find out right here!! Special guest artist Jim Cheung returns to these pages for this shocking story.” I must have been sleeping – Empire Part 3, has this been one continuous story in this book since Secret Invasion?

Thunderbolts #121 – This it the last Warren Ellis issue on this series. I have enjoyed Thunderbolts under the pen of Mr. Ellis once I got past the inane concept of Harry Osborne running the team. The hype “As the quartet of villainous telepaths in the basement of Thunderbolts Mountain delivers their final assault against the T-Bolts team, Norman Osborn's already fragile psyche may have cracked for the last time. The Goblin is ready to emerge!”

Ultimate Spider-Man #123 – The hype “Venom returns in part 1 of “War of the Symbiotes”! When Spidey’s most fearsome foe strikes, it looks bad for the outmatched web-slinger, but Silver Sable and her Wild Pack may turn the tide! Have they come to save Spider-Man or is their motive something more sinister? Plus: this story adapts, expands and incorporates the hit Ultimate Spider-Man video game (which Brian Michael Bendis just happened to co-write) into Ultimate Spider-Man continuity! So be like Venom and return to ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to find out why folks like Wizard are saying it’s “the best Spider-book on the stands right now.” It’s the best Spider-book on the stands because the regular book no longer exists for me.

Ultimates 3 #4 (of 5) – It is almost tradition now that this book be ridiculously late. The difference is no one really gives a damn about this series. I think I only get so I can complain about it. The company line “"Who rules the Savage Land? Who could possibly challenge Magneto's authority? How about the Ultimates with special guest Wolverine! Plus: back in NYC, the Wasp makes a discovery that will change everything! The most-talked-about series from superstars Jeph Loeb, Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner charges toward Ultimatum!"”

Uncanny X-Men #499 – The last issue from the feeling groovy story line. I’m almost done with X-Men, we will see if Fraction joining with Bru can make this book work again or not. What’s inside “X-Men: Divided We Stand comes to its shocking conclusion! Cyclops and Emma come face to face against former allies. Colossus, Wolverine and Nightcrawler scramble to get out of Russia alive. Witness the new status quo for the X-Men that will define their future!”

X-Men First Class #13 – I love this book; it is a breath of fresh air to read it every month. The hype “With every news story of the uncanny new people inhabiting our world, more Homo Sapiens grow fearful of a planet dominated by mutants. When really they should be worrying about an Earth dominated by robots! What should you really fear- an X-Man or... a MACHINE MAN?”

X-Men Legacy #213 – In some ways I enjoy this book more then any other x-book as it feels self-contained. Of course I have read where it will cross-over into Wolverine Origins soon. The word “Xavier traces his history and the history of the X-Men to the core. What he finds will shock you. And what do Rogue, Gambit and Sebastian Shaw have to do with it?”

BRPD Ectoplasmic Man One Shot – I have enjoyed BPRD 1946 and these one shot issues are great and fill in back stories and add additional depth to the characters, but I want to see the next BPRD mini-series soon as we had a cliff-hanger type ending. The hype “This one-shot comic tells the origin of Johann Kraus-corresponding with Johann's appearance in the 2008 feature film Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The Ectoplasmic Man is the ideal introduction to one of the most peculiar members of the remarkable Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.”

Conan the Commerian #0 – This is like zero issue week with the independents. What’s inside this 99 cent wonder, “Conan the Cimmerian #0 marks a transitional period in young Conan's life, as he spurns the magicians, turncoats, and legal trappings of the cities he's seen in order to return to the beloved northern frontiers of Cimmeria, where he was born and raised. It also marks a turning point in the artistic muscle that will fuel Conan's adventures throughout 2008 and beyond. Writer Timothy Truman and Argentine artist Toms Giorello are joined by renowned colorist Jos Villarrubia in this special issue, as they deliver their adaptation of Robert E. Howard's "Cimmeria" poem. And what's up with Conan? He fights for his life when he crosses paths with a pack of Vanir raiders on the Cimmerian border! Taking our brutal barbarian into his next exciting era!”

Pigeons from Hell #3 (of 4) – This has been an enjoyable and appropriately creepy little mini-series. The company line “After last issue's bloody surprises and frightening, new terrors, Claire and Janet follow a mysterious lawman away from the gore-filled plantation house to seek advice from a strange, obsessive-compulsive hermit. While they can't leave their friends (or what's left of them) behind for long, this may be their only chance at escape. Or maybe they'll just find a quick death, if they're lucky. Haunted by dangerous shape-shifting shadows, reanimated bodies of the dead, and the dark heart of the mansion itself, the panic-stricken twins would rather take a chance finding answers in the demented shack of a madman than spend another minute in the hell that still holds their friends captive! Written by celebrated horror author Joe R. Lansdale (writer of Bubbu Ho-Tep, Batman, Jonah Hex, Conan) Based on the classic horror story by Conan creator Robert E. Howard!”

Beyond Wonderland #0 (of 6) – I have hopes that this series will be good, but the zero issue from Zenoscope, while just a dollar are usually worthless. The hype “Months have passed since Calie Liddle returned from the terror that is Wonderland, months since that world took so much from her. Now jaded and bitter, Calie has moved far away from her hometown, attempting to lead a more normal existence in the city that never sleeps. With a different name and a new identity, Calie is just beginning to adjust to another life. But not every story has a happy ending as she soon realizes that things in her new life are not going to stay normal for very long… Something from Wonderland has found its way out and Calie knows that she could very well be the only one who has a chance to send it back to where it belongs. The much anticipated sequel to the smash hit series arrives this summer and this time around madness will reach well BEYOND WONDERLAND.”

Caliber #3 (of 5) – Radical comics have really impressed me on all the important fronts. First the quality of their products, well written and well drawn, next they show up on time. The hype “After gunning down Talbot's men, Arthur has fled Telacoma with Whitefeather in search of help and safe haven from the town overlord. Every hired gun has been sent to hunt Arthur down, but after weeks there has still been no success. With a price on their heads, Talbot has taken the matter in his own hands and locates the one man who is known around town for having the fastest draw and deadliest shot, Lance Lake. Now with Lance on their trail, it is only a matter of time before the duo are laid to rest in the cold white blanket of the snowy Telacoma countryside. With the cards clearly not stacked in their favor, do Arthur and Whitefeather stand a chance?"

Hercules #3 (of 5) – Another Radical Comics publication. This is a notch above Caliber in my opinion, making Radical two for two with very good books. The word “Three thousand two hundred years ago, the tyrannical King Cotys is determined to unite the quarrelsome tribes of Thrace into a single, belligerent nation. Cotys has hired Hercules and his fellow mercenaries to mould his troops into an invincible army of destruction. Now the training is over, and Hercules leads that army in a bloody war of attrition against Rhesus, Cotys's last significant foe. However, just as victory seems secure, it appears that treachery is afoot, and the potential consequences are dire, particularly for Hercules and his friends!"

No Hero #0 (of 7) – Now Avatar zero issues are actually meaningful as they are the first chapter of the story. It is maddening how different companies use zero issues. The hype “by Warren Ellis & Juan Jose Ryp The hottest series of the summer is beginning right now, as Ellis and Ryp unleash their next epic on the world! The superstar team that made Black Summer an instant fan-favorite are back and revolutionizing masked heroes yet again! Warren Ellis & Juan Jose Ryp have created an exciting new universe that explodes into action in this zero chapter. In 1966, a group of superhumans emerged in San Francisco, guided by the man whose unique new drugs gave them their incredible powers. Calling themselves The Levellers, this unified front stood against street crimes and corruption, in defense of their city against any and all assault. Years have passed, and we fast-forward through the tumultuous events of those early years to today, where the idealistic Levellers have gone through four incarnations to become The Front Line. But the team is not the only thing that's advanced over the years, and there are no easy victories when their luck finally begins to run out!”

My list was devastated this week due to what Diamond has described as mechanical difficulties encountered during transportation to the Memphis warehouse. I never understand why people can’t say what happened as opposed to giving us that type of double talk. My guess a truck broke down or some such thing, but just so say. Bottom line about 11 titles did not make that I would have gotten. So fate has dictated that Marvel has the most books from me for a week.

What I will miss this week due to this glitch is JSA Classified, Crossing Midnight, Jack of Fables, Madam Xanadu, Jack Hawksmoor, Fear Agent, 76, Proof, Neozoic and Stranded.


  1. The hype for X-Men First Class is really entertaining. X-Men FC and Ultimate Spidey are the only Marvel books I consistently like these days - and both are outside the normal continuity. Hm.

  2. Thanks very much Jim for the mention of Hercules: The Thracian Wars #3 and Caliber: First Canon of Justice #3