Monday, July 07, 2008

What I’m Getting Thursday

This is a nice breather week after last week’s mass amount of books due to a shipping snafu. Also a five week shipping month also allows for a little bit of breathing room and a long week since we had the Fourth of July holiday.

I only have one small thought that I have mentioned before, but I still think it is something to consider and that is how long the print media will last. We have seen the sales of CDs slide as the ability to download single songs has become the more popular way of enjoying the music you want to listen too. How much longer before more and more of the print media for comics disappears? Web comics are all over the place and often are very enjoyable and high quality, but I believe almost all are offered for free. DC has Zuda up and running and they are paying some monies to providers, but it is not a lot of money. Marvel is charging a flat monthly fee for access to a large amount of their material (I wonder if creators see any cut of that or not). Bottom line is that if all of this material is offered for free online, how will the creators make money? Can this translate to publishing success?

It is an interesting time as there is a transitional period going on. My generation is most likely to ignore web comics and their ilk altogether and look only for the printed material. The next generation looks to web comics for additional entertainment, but still loves the printed page. The generation after that, will they care about the printed page? If no, will they pay for the downloaded comic?

I certainly don’t have the answers, but believe that the market place will have to be very adept and nimble to react and survive what is coming. Also creators need to make sure their contracts protect them from exploitation of their work in all forms in the future.

Action #867 – Last issue was a great issue and Johns and Frank are in the middle of an incredible run on this book. Superman in Action comics has never been better in decades. The hype “In "Brainiac," Part 2 of 4, Brainiac arrives in Earth's orbit as the specter of death begins to close in on Superman. The Man of Steel has fought Brainiac many times before, but he's utterly unprepared for his old foe this time. And if that weren't enough, thousands of invader probes have been launched with the sole mission of destroying all technology on Earth! Dramatic changes are ahead for Superman, and it all starts with this attack!”

Batman Confidential #19 – This has been an arc that is both fun and telling a good story, with some great art by Kevin McGuire. The insides “Batgirl and Catwoman keep crossing paths and wrestling over a notebook stolen from Commissioner Gordon. But who's the mysterious third party involved? And where's he pointing that big gun?”

Booster Gold #1,000,000 – I get a kick out of what they have been doing with this series, I hope the new permanent creative team can keep up all the good work that has been done on this series. What’s inside “Meet the greatest time-traveling hero of the year 1,000,000 A.D. – PETER PLATINUM! Lost in time, Booster Gold is confronted by a hero a million times more self-involved than himself. But if Booster does find his way back to the present, Batman will be waiting for him.”

Detective #846 – This issue Detective now is being advertised as part of the “Batman RIP” storyline. I’m curious to see how the outside parts of this story will be laid out. The company line “A "Batman: R.I.P." issue — and part 1 of the 5-part story "The Return of Hush!" Readers who were surprised by Catwoman's return last month haven't see anything yet as Hush makes a dramatic return to the life of Batman. What will this mean for Bruce Wayne? This epic story kicks off the countdown to DETECTIVE #850!”

Final Crisis: Requiem – This issue gives us a full issue focus on the death of the Martian Manhunter. I understand Grant’s purpose in dispatching such a big name with only giving it a few panels, but I’m still not sure I agree with his decision. The word “A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who's been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying”

Green Arrow/Black Canary #10 – This book started out so great and has fizzled as the “Search for Connor” story is dragging out way too long. The hype “Speedy and the shady Dodger are up against the League of Assassins by themselves — until Batman joins in. And along the way, the Dark Knight lets them in on Ra's al Ghul's involvement in the assassination attempt on Connor Hawke!”

Joker’s Asylum: The Penguin – I enjoyed the issue featuring the Joker and this issue is by one of my favorite writers Jason Aaron, so it should be good. What’s inside “Each issue tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of the Dark Knight's greatest adversaries. And all the stories are narrated by the Asylum's leading homicidal maniac — The Joker!” That was the worst hype I have read in a long time.

Justice Society of America #17 – The whole Gog saga has been very interesting. I’m just a sucker for JSA stuff. The word “In Part 2 of "Gog," the Justice Society of America is split down the middle as their allegiance to the being known as Gog has disrupted the team. Are Gog's motives on the level, or is it all some insidious plot to destroy mankind?”

Trinity #6 – DC is just using the same blurb over and over again for Trinity. I would think that a weekly series you would really want to hype it up a lot more. Such as issue #6 “Now Konvict has been defeated, but what comes next for DC’s big 3. Where did Konvict come from, what happened to his sidekick? Also how does our mysterious Tarot card reader tie-into the series and Gangbuster?!?. Instead we get “In month two of TRINITY, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — alongside their Justice League teammates — cross paths with the mysterious Konvikt and learn more about their fated connection within the DC Universe!”

Wonder Woman #22 – Finally I’m looking forward to the next issue of Wonder Woman and what a great cover. This series has picked up with this arc. The company line “"Ends of the Earth" Part 3 of 4! Trapped on a world where her powers have betrayed her and brutal combat rules the day, Wonder Woman struggles to survive long enough to complete her unholy quest. But will victory cost Wonder Woman her soul? Featuring the long-awaited return of some of the most savage characters in DCU history, not to mention all-out war between Diana's Gorilla Knights and the Department of Metahuman Affairs!”

Guardians of the Galaxy #3 – This has been an excellent launch of a new series and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have continued to be one of the best writing teams in the industry. The hype “Beware The Return Of…Starhawk! First It Was The Recovery Of A Ceratin World-Famous Shield…And Now The Enigmatic Starhawk Reigns Death From Above! How And Why Is This Original Guardian Of The Galaxy Here In Our Reality, And What Does His Ominous Arrival Mean For Our Motley Crew Of Freedom Fighters? The Mysteries Continue To Deepen..”

Iron Man Legacy of Doom #4 (of 4) – This book has been entertaining, but is a throwback to a different era, which is both good and bad. The company line “It all comes down to this! The true motive for Dr. Doom seeking Iron Man’s aid comes to light at last, revealing a threat unlike any the Armored Avenger has faced before. Tony Stark, now partnered with his most dangerous foe, wrestles with impossible choices, even questioning the beliefs that form the very core of his being. And the decisions he makes will determine the fate of every man, woman and child on Earth. The stunning conclusion to The Camelot Trilogy will rock your world--literally!”

Nova #15 – Those same guys who do GOTG, also bring us Nova. The Galactus adventure has been a very good arc, in one of Marvel’s best series. What’s inside “Face-to-really-big-face with Galactus! He’s attempted to save evacuees, he’s tried to bring down a horrifying serial killer, he’s even gone one-on-one with the Silver Surfer…but now our lone space cop must take his plight directly to the Big G himself! But the question is: will this universal force of nature even listen?”

Secret Invasion #4 (of 8) – Shhh…it’s a Secret Invasion. Marvel’s blockbuster sales hit rolls on. The hype “The world has turned upside down! The Skrulls have taken the Earth as part of their empire, the Avengers and Initiative are scattered...but there are two people who want some answers. One has a hammer and one has a shield.”

Ultimate Origins #2 (of 5) – Why does Marvel insist on not advertising how long their mini-series are? I got sucked in by buying issue #1, but I will play along for another issue. The word “Revealed: The secret history of the Ultimate Universe! For the first time in 70 years, a strange object within Project Pegasus has awoken -- as bit by fascinating bit, the long buried mysteries are being exposed! Journey back to World War II, and discover that the deadliest threat to young Steve Rogers was not the Nazis, but an ancient threat from worlds beyond! The dream team of Brian Michael Bendis (SECRET INVASION) and Butch Guice (CAPTAIN AMERICA,) continue the Ultimate series of the year that is a must-read lead-in to ULTIMATUM!”

Young X-Men #4 – This book is on the cutting edge, the edge of being cut from my list. I want to see the first arc finish out as I like writer Marc Guggenheim, but so far this series has been really reading like it is in a different reality from any other x-book I read. The hype “It’s the Young X-Men vs. the Hellfire Club! Will the kids survive? Marc Guggenheim (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE, Eli Stone) and Yanick Paquette (ULTIMATE X-MEN) pack more surprises than you can handle into this issue. Do not miss this!”

I Kill Giants #1 (of 7) – Two things sold this book to me, the premise and the cover. The hype “Barbara Thorson is your new hero: A quick-witted, sharp-tongued fifth grader who isn’t afraid of anything. Why would she be..? After all, she’s the only girl in school who carries a Norse war hammer in her purse and kills giants for a living… At least, that’s what she’ll tell you…but where does the fantasy end and reality begin in the heart of this troubled girl? And what if she’s telling the truth?”

BPRD The Warning #1 (of 5) – I have really been looking forward to the next chapter as this series is building up to a huge event. The company line “The team rushes to track down the mysterious gentleman who's been appearing in Liz's visions, as a slew of old enemies--from frog creatures, to the Black Flame, to the last remnants of Hyperborea--menace the Bureau from all sides in a catastrophic escalation to Armageddon.”

Goon #26 – The Goon is looking to take back his town. You have to love the cover to this issue. The hype “Buzzard must exploit an inside source to discover what the thing is that calls itself Labrazio, and determine if they've any hope of defeating it as the tension between the Goon and Labrazio gangs erupts into an all out war.”

Dead, She Said #2 (of 3) – Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson pencil and inks. That’s all you need to really say, except the first issue was great as our now dead detective is trying to solve his murder. What’s inside “Detective Coogan is dead and falling a part fast. Now he is not only in a race to solve his own murder, but in a race to save his body before he falls apart. Wrightson and Niles continue unraveling the strangest Horror Noir series of all-time as Dr. Baxter finally reveals what he's been hiding that was worth killing for. Bugs, Broads and Bizarre Action are the game of this game.”

Wolfskin Annual – I was going to skip the Warren Ellis barbarian one-shot, but it is a lighter week, so what the heck. The hype “Before history was recorded in stone and ink, some men wrote it in blood. This all-new color Annual is the perfect way to hone your senses for the new Wolfskin series that begins this summer! In the world of the First Century, where broadswords, warhammers and warriors abound, a man's worth is measured by the swiftness of his reflexes and his preparedness to kill. From the far North, the roaming Wolfskin is a mercenary of unequaled might, dedicated to delivering the souls of his enemies to a blood-thirsty God. After travelling through the wooded realm of the sexy Feral Girl, Wolfskin has arrived in a bustling coastal community, where merchants and seafarers have transformed a primitive village into an economic paradise. But the architects of the seaport's prosperity wear the brands of criminals, and only Wolfskin suspects that behind the veneer of the town's thriving commerce lies a secret most vile. The tattooed Algizmen, disowned by the Gods themselves, know that Wolfskin must be destroyed before the contents of the mysterious casks that have brought the seaport its wealth are exposed! Just as they've done with the hit series Gravel, Warren Ellis as plotmaster and Mike Wolfer on script assist have teamed up to create an immersive world drawn by stellar newcomer Gianluca Pagliarani.” Longest hype of the week award and I stopped reading it after about one line.

As I said a relatively light week for me which is good as I have a very busy week-end. Once a year my wife and I throw a blow out party at our house and have at least 50 guests. This year it is July 12, e-mail if you want to come. We supply sodas, beer, hot dogs, hamburgers, deep fried turkey and more.

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