Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yes Virgina kids really do read comics

I meant to post this earlier but didn't get a chance too due to the holidays.

I few days before Christmas I was trying to get some Christmas shopping done when I ran into my brother's wife and her two youngest brothers (they are around the age of 12)

at the store I noticed they had pretty big stand of comics (mostly Marvel) and I notice one of my brother's little brother in laws checking out the comics.

It made me think of all the talk about the fact that kids aren't reading comics we have all heard over the years and yet there you have it a kid reading comics.

eh, it was just a little something I found interesting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Alan Moore's got the Blues

Alan Moore signing at the release party for his new magazine

Get down Alan.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Indy Comic Book Week

I've been meaning to post about this for a while but for one reason or another I haven't had the chance to yet.

There currently is small movement to make the week of December 30 indy comics week.

The reason that week is picked is because Diamond the major distributor for comic books wont be shopping that week even though that been a pretty good week for some retailers, but Diamond says that during that time it's harder to get things shipped to some time zones during this time.

So the people behind Indy Comic book week thought this was a great time to push indy comics. They have called out for comic book creators to have something new to sell on that that and are also trying to get retailers to stock the indy books as that weeks new comics.

The ideal is that most of the time when you go into a comic book store the new comics section is usually mostly comics from the bigger comic book companies (Marvel and DC mainly) and this well provided at least on day of the year where when someone walks into a comic book store they will see a wall of titles from small publishers.

I think it's a great ideal, I personally would like to have something out for the event but the way things are going I probably wont have it done in time.

Giving that it's nearly the end of October, I'm sorry I didn't give creators who may run across this post more time, but you can create something (or already have something in the works) and get it printed in a quick in time, I say go for it. Though if any retailers see this there is still plenty of time to join in.

I wish these guys the best of luck. If you want more info check out their blog and site

oh here is a post form there blog with some promo videos for this event

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Viacom buys rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Peter Laird talk's a bit about why he sold the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on his blog.

Peter Laird basically says that selling the rights to the Turtles was always something he and Kevin Eastman had on the table since the TMNT height of fame if they ever ran into a deal they thought was good enough. But the real biggie, is that Laird states that he feels that he has been doing the Turtles for to long and wants to move on.

Creatively I can understand the last part, though part of me wonders couldn't he move on to do other things and still keep the rights to the turtles. That way if whatever he does after TMNT doesn't really hit or he feels a little bit of nostalgia he can always go back to the Turles.

But hey at a $60 million buyout I guess Peter Laird doesn't really have to worry about commercial success with whatever his next project will be.

With this deal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will now be part of the Nickelodeon brand (which is owned by Viacom)

As an 80's kid I was a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. Not only was I fan of the cartoon as a kid but TMNT was my gateway into Black & White indy comics. I think it's that later point that makes me a little mix on this news, TMNT has been one of the big success stories of indy comics and it's a little sad to see that the brand is no longer owned by the creators but it's also nice to see that someone's ideal can pay off so well for them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marvel's The Siege promo

Here a video of a preview Marvel comics showed retailers at the Diamond retailer summit of there next big cross over event

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Slippery Rock vs Keith Knight's KKK Chronicles

Yesterday I talked about the protest going on at Slippery Rock University over a K Chronicles strip.

Here is a video of news coverage on this incident.

I'm still surprised that a whole campus of college kids didn't get the point.

But it was mentioned in the video that there where a number of cases of racist at the school and because of that I wonder if problem isn't the kids not getting satire but the fact that everyone was still on edge for whatever happened at their school.

I can understand that happening. In fact I remember having a protest when I was in college, no over anything as stupid as this one. But the event that happened before we protest really had nothing to do with why we protest...it was more of the straw the broke the camels back scenario.

But in any case the kids should take off the nooses, someone may not get the satire and call you racist too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

K Chronicles...you know the K doesn't stand for Klan, right

Students at slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania are in an up roar about a comic strip that appeared in their school newspaper.

The protest is being lead by students in that school's chapter of the NAACP and the student group Black Action Society who are up set because of a panel in the strip which main character (an African-American) hanging form a noose.

Now I'm all for students fighting against racism but in this case. Here's the strip so you can see what I mean.

(you can click the image if you want to be taken to a bigger more readable version)

context is everything...yes the strip has a black hanging in a noose...But if one reads the words to the strip instead of just looking at the pictures (it's something one most do when reading a comic) it is clear that the strip is speaking out against the current racism we face in this day in age. Namely the racism that can be found in many of the protesters against Obama and the fact that when Black people point out racism we get blamed for playing the race card.

maybe the reason the students at Slipper Rock missed the message is because they aren't used to people tackling serious issues with humor or maybe it because humor is subjective or because satire is a form of humor many people don't get or they are victims of the dumbing down of America.

I think it should be pointed out that the cartoonist of the strip, Keith Knight is Black and the main character of K chronicles (and the guy being lynched in the first panel of the above strip) and you can get more info on him and the strips he does at his site, Kchronicles.com. He talks about this event in his blog section.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy National Comic Book Day

I was just made aware that today is National Comic Book day.

at least that what it says on holidayinsights.com

I would think that the comic book industry would really jump on this holiday the same way they have a big push for free comic book day. But the day has gone one with out much notice. though I am sure there is some comic book store out there taking advantage of this holiday, to push more comics or at least I hope there is.

though thinking about it for a second maybe this day would be better off if it was celebrated every 4th Wednesday of September instead of a set date because Wednesday's the day of the week new comics come in...though I guess it also smart not to have a day like this on the day that would already be your your heavy volume day and having something like this on what would a slower day may makes some sense.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

a new president has been named but who will be DC entertainment new publisher?

I didn't really think about it when the news was released but Diane Nelson was only named to be President for DC Entertainment but Paul Levitz was President & Publisher of DC. so who's going to be the new publisher?

odds are we will here the answer in a few weeks but until then lets speculate.

Nelson has praised the vertigo line so who knows maybe it will be Karen Berger or Shelly Bond if not either of them someone else that works in the Vertigo line.

Part of me wants it to be Bill Jemas just to see a large number of comic book fans head explode. I know a lot of fans didn't like him when he was publisher of Marvel but Marvel did put out some good comics during that time period and he turned marvel profitable after a period when they where going into the dumps.

but honestly I have a feeling they will pull someone that has publishing in magazine industry, like someone that worked in Time for kids. but that just a hunch that has no barrings in fact (like nothing any of the other guess in this post)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DC Entertainment

Last week Marvel made news with the fact that Disney has bought them.

This week DC is making news today by the fact that not only Warner Brothers is spinning DC comics off into it's own company called DC Entertainment. This company will of course focus on making comics but will work with other parts of Time Warner to make other media products based on DC's Characters. Y'know movies, video games, TV shows and stuff like that.

But the other big news is that DC Entertainment will be headed by a new president then Paul Levitz (who's been the head of DC since 2002.) The president of DC Entertainment will be Diane Nelson.

Diane Nelson is an executive at Time Warner Brand Management department where she handled the such brands as Harry Potter and she headed Warner's direct to dvd line Warner Premiere.

Paul Levitz will go back to what he did before he joined the business side of DC write for them. Paul Levitz will now be the writer of Adventure Comics writing the Legion of Superheroes (a group he was a writer of from 1974 to 1989)

Well I guess this means we will be seeing more movies, games, and shows based on DC characters in the future and with new leadership I am sure there will be some change in DC's comics.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse setting in a tree...M...E...R...G....E...R

It has just been released today that The Walt Disney Company has bought The Marvel Entertainment Company (Marvel Comics)

I was shocked when I first read the news.

But I think I can see some reason for the corporate take over.

Marvel has had a lot of success recently with their movies and the company does like to bring up the fact that they have loads of characters (5,000) which I am sure looks good to Disney since it this would be more sources of revenue for Disney which has seen a bit of a down turn recently (bad economy equals less people coming to their theme parks)

And on Marvel's end it makes since they would want to be bought by one of the worlds largest entertainment companies. Disney has master licensing and has many outlets they can put Marvel characters...or the current owners of Marvel just wanted to cash out.

Also oddly enough I guess this balances out the fact that Warner Bros owns DC comics

But know I wonder how will this effect both companies.

Will Disney change the way Marvel does business or impose creative control on the types of things Marvel can do?

Will Marvel now publish comics based on Disney characters?

I could also see DC using Marvel as a brand aimed at Teens. the way Disney is seen as a brand aimed at kids and family focused media and has the brand Miramax for movies that are aimed at adults and ESPN for sports fans.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking back at Warlock and the Infinity Watch

a while back I reread all my cloak and dagger comics and talked about them here. I realize this is something I may do time to time because comics are getting pricey and it's much cheaper to go back and reread things I haven't read in a long time. This time I reread Warlock and the Infinity Watch and much of the comics that tied into the book.

One of the first things I thought rereading this series was that I couldn't believe that I forgot how good it was. The title started out as Jim Starlin doing a Keith Giffen era of the Justice League type book since it's a team of oddballs stuck together in a team and their personalities clash for comic effect. Though the humorous tone only lasted in for the first half of the series or so.

also now that I look at it both teams where formed due to events in company wide big event cross overs, JLI form Legend and Warlock and the Infinity Watch from the Infinity Gauntlet.

The problem with Warlock and the Infinity Watch was that the titled was tied into the Infinity whatever series, so not only did you need to read the Infinity Gauntlet to understand why the team was formed (or at least read wiki page for the mini series) for the first 2 years of the title you would have to read extra miniseries (and each event added an extra title you needed to read) to understand whats going on.

At least that was the problem when the series just game out, but rereading it with when you have all of the books it's easy to spot another problem this series faced around the time of the Infinity Crusade cross over and the Thor/Strange/Warlock & crew cross over that followed it...the quality in the art slipped.

It's understandable that with deadlines from time to time an the art of an issue wont be as good as it should be since the artist rushed to get the book out on time. But at the time the book was rotating between to artist Angel Medina and Tom Grinberg.

I think in Grinberg's case he may have been trying a new style that was similar to the styles of the founders of image comics since that look was popular at the time.

the art picked backup when Pat Oliffe became the series artist at issue 29.

during the last year or so of the title Jim Starlin left the title to do a creator owned book at Malibu comics and John Arcudi took over as writer. John Arcudi run of the book was good but my only complainant was that he didn't seem to get the character Thanos right and reduced the character into your typical villain wanting revenge.

After reading the series one thing I can say is that I wouldn't mind seeing the character Maxam used again.


don't read if you want to find out the secret of Maxam by reading the comic and not some guy's blog post

ok here it is.

the character wasn't really developed much but a Black guy form the future sent to the past to stop the guy that will grow up to destroy worlds is an interesting base to start form. More so when it's revealed that the guy he must stop is currently a superhero.

though I realize that there may not be much demand for the character. For most of his run he had no memory of who he was and so the character was pretty much a blank slate (thought that worked fine for Wolverine) and I am sure many fans didn't like the character when it was revealed that he was sent to kill Adam Warlock. But I think the last part is what makes him interesting since it basically asked the question if you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler would you.

and that's where the character Maxam is at, sure as Adam Warlock he didn't do anything wrong and was in fact a good person...but Maxam lived through (or after I'm not sure) the horrors that he will cause later in life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 6 gimmick covers that should have been done during the 90's

Recently it seems like gimmick covers are making a comeback.

With marvel recently coming out with foilogram (foil + hologram) covers on the first issue of their relaunched ultimate comics and the fact that Marvel's VP of sales says "This is the 90's
done right
" I started to to think about gimmick covers on comics that came out when I was a kid and decided to list the top things I was surprise that actually never where used in gimmick covers.

this is my top list in no real order

6. Metal Letters for the comic's tittle.

why? During the 90's I notice a bit of clothing (usually Hats some t-shirts) that used metal (or something that looked metallic) was used for lettering. Now I'm not talking about metallic ink, which where actually used during the 90's gimmick boom, but actual metal letters pasted onto the comic.

5. tie dye comic book covers
well since we are talking about fashion form the 90's tie dye did make a come back around that time. It also has a bounces since tie dye was big in the 60's and 70's which works great since there is a segment of fans that always won't to back to the types of stories (or just the characters) that where around then.

4. motion cover
you remember getting cards usually in cracker jack or cereal boxes that when you moved the card side to side slightly the picture on the card would change.

I was always surprised that no one thought of using this for a comic book cover.

3. video game cover
OK, I don't mean video game on the level you would get on your xbox 360 or even SNES (or even NES) I was thinking over the type of game tiger direct made or nintendo's watch games.

2. scratch and sniff covers.
Scratch and Sniff stickers where big when I was a little kid growing up in the 80's. So the technically was there in the 90's to make scratch and sniff comic covers and at a reasonable price (unlike my video game cover ideal)

1. Spinners!!!
Your comic is staying still but the wheels keep spinning. Hey it works for cars!!!

Now giving there where so many gimmick covers on the comics that came out during the 90's I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of those ideals where actually used by some small company trying to get us gimmick crazed kids to buy their comic. if you know of any comic that used any of these ideals feel free to point them out to me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Director Angela Robinson to write DC's the Web

Angela Robinson, who directed Herbie: Fully loaded, shows for the L-word and directed and write D.E.B.S (both the short film and it's feature length movie) has been announced to write the new comic series The Web (featuring the character form Archie's Red Circle comics) the first issue will come out in September.

The book will also have a back up series featuring the hangman being written by John Rozum (former writer of Milestone's Xombie)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dwayne McDuffie fired off of JLA for telling fans the truth

It seems that writer Dwayne McDuffie has recently been let go from writing Justice League of America because he gave a little to much information about some of the things that go behind the scenes in the comic book biz.

almost a month after lying in the gutter collected a number of comments Mr. McDuffie posted on DC comics own message boards over a 2 year period when he talked about things like the stories he had to change because of editors, or the character he wanted was being used in another book etc.

it's a shame that DC decided to do this. He didn't say anything negative about DC comics or the editors he worked with, his comments where basically things like I had to cut this story short because we need the book to tie into a big event cross-over or I couldn't use this or that character because he or she or it was being used by someone else and so they where off limits.

The odd thing is that these comments where posted on DC's message board and so one would think that if they had a problem with him telling to much someone would have seen his post over the last 2 years and could have told him keep it down if they didn't want this type of info out.

I think JLA editors made a stupid decision to fire a talented writer for a dumb reason.

But on his board Dwayne is taking this all well he stats he has lots of work, with a number of other projects such as the TV show Ben 10 and a new Milestone project.

his says he is only sad that he doesn't get to finish is plans which included a JLA centered big event next year and his storyline with Black Canary.

I'm distressed by where I left Black Canary, as my intention was to use the current subplot to strengthen her character and relationships with the new membership

he was also sad over the fact that they finally gave him a regular artist for him to work with instead of the revolving door of artist he had one his run.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grant Morrison documentary

it seems that there is going to be a documentary done on comic book writer Grant Morrison coming out next year. You can see a trailer for the film below

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Looking back @ Cloak & Dagger

it's interesting when as an adult you go and look at something you liked as a kid.

I did this recently when I reread the issues I have of cloak and dagger (minus there stunt in strange tales) and man was I shock at all the stuff I didn't really pick up on as a kid.

for those who don't know Cloak & Dagger are Marvel Comic book characters that where two teenage runaways who get kidnapped and have a drug tested on them that ends up giving them superpowers.

Cloak is a guy wearing a cloak, he is basically a door way to a dark diminison where those who enter it are force to confront their greatest fears and/or the worst thing they have ever done and he can also teleport

Dagger shoots out daggers of light that basically make people feel shame and she can also heal people.

Cloak happens to be an African-American guy and Dagger a white girl.

the first thing I notice rereading these comics is that even thought the character are both around the same age (teenagers) Cloak is drawn to look much older (he looks like a guy in his 40's or 50's instead of being 16 or 17) which makes it look creepy that he is hanging out with a 16 year old even though the characters are the same age.

Next looking at there origin story, both kids are runaway who ended up in new york at same time and place, when Cloak first sees Dagger his first thought is that he should rob her because she looks rich (which she was) this only changed when someone else mugs her and he decides to rescue her.

and the racial uncomfort doesn't stop there. the title is full of saying things like dagger being pure of white light of good and cloak being said to be an evil force. basically white is good and black is bad, which doesn't come of well giving the race of the two characters.

as a kid I think I over looked all this because Dark characters are cool, and that was what Cloak came off as.

another thing as I pointed out Dagger's power is to make people feel shame (or to be correct over powered by it) in the book it is written that she is attacking people with goodness and that the bad people she attacks just can't handle it. But as I said the only thing that happens in the book is that those character feel guilt over what they did, but from the issues I read it doesn't look like anyone started to become a good person because they where hit by Dagger's daggers. So really even thought the book tries to play these characters powers as being connected to good and evil, it's really about fear and guilt.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama fights in an alien war and becames a barbarian,

we've already seen the president make guest appearances in Spider-Man, Savage Dragon and Youngblood comics as well as a few biography comics.

now Devil Due comics is getting into the game as they announced that they will release two comics starring the president of the united states.

Drafted: 100 days ties into the companies Drafted series in which earth is in a war with an alien race. in this one shot we will fallow the adventures of Obama...who because this story takes place in an alternate reality, isn't the president and he is also mute.

the other comic is Barack the Barbarian. Which kinda of takes the president and cast him in a Conan type figure. In this story Barack must save America which as been over taken by "overpaid despots of the time". Unlike the Drafted one shot this series is planned to be an ongoing comic book series.

my first reaction is that this is all going to far...but I have to be honest I may check out the Barack the Barbarian comic

Saturday, February 28, 2009

R.I.P Scans Daily

the livejournal group Scans Daily has been shout down due to them breaking livejournal's TOS

for those who don't know scans daily posted scans of comics books for the last 6 or so years. but they had a rule that someone couldn't post the entire comic (I think the rule was no more then half an issue can be posted on the site)

it seem like one of the property owners didn't like it and reported them for copyright violation. which is something that is in the companies right to do.

But giving that they had a rule not to post a full comic, their post where really survived as previews for comics. I know I have bought comics that I would have ignored because I read some parts of the comic on scans daily and I am sure their are others just like me. Now that they are gone that will be one less way for me to find some new comics that I may like.

though I guess on the flip side of the coin it also allowed me to know what comics not to pick up because they where crap

Saturday, February 21, 2009

some people in the comic iindustry think the kindle and similar tech will spell doom for comics

on Ad Age, their is a video featuring DC comics VP of advertising, John Cunningham saying that because comic book fans are early adopters of tech their market will be hit with a large number of their fan base going to things like the kindle or other ebook readers to get their comics.

It's clear by listening to him that he is both fearful of the ideal of losing their market...but honestly if the comic book publishers keep up with the new mediums they can SELL their comics they really shouldn't be worried.

That right instead of thinking this is doom for DC comics and other publishers I think this is time (past time really) that more publishers put out versions of their comics for things like the kindle. it's a new market that will lead to new sells as well as keep current sells study (every month the comic book market loose more and more fans, this can be a way to stop the lose or shrink it)

and if itunes is an example people will pay for content online

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Diamond NOT the end for the indy comic publishers

with the news of Diamond raising the amount of money comics need to make to be listed in their catalog, there has been a lot of talk about this being the death of the indy comic.

the reasoning behind the panic is because Diamond is the largest comic book distributor and pretty much every comic shop orders from them (mainly because they have exclusive distribution deals with Marvel and DC)

But even thought Diamond is the biggest game in town, doesn't mean their are other distributors out there with large reaches into the comic book market.

One distributor that has a bigger reach into the comic book market then people realize is Haven Distributors. Their catalog reaches 2300 comic book retailers.

Where as
going by information ICv2, diamond has an active customer base of 4300

Which makes Haven nearly half the size of Diamond in terms of the retailers that order form them. Not bad, giving that with the news of diamond changing their terms, in most likelihood Haven's numbers will grow.

and giving that a lot of comic shops only stick with Marvel and DC, the stores that order with Haven are the types of stores that have a good (or at least decent) amount of Indy comics. So even though you may not get your comic in diamond, by being in Haven you're more likely to be seen by the types of stores that will order your title(s)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Diamond makes policy changes that will have huge effect on smaller comic book publishers

Diamond has just raised it's threshold for minimum orders on the products they carry from $1500 to $2500 in whole sale orders.

This of course will effect many small publishers since they wont be able to meet the sales now need to keep their product in the diamond catalog.

it will also effect publishers who get by selling low volumes of reprinted stuff every month.

Diamond is also getting rid of the print version of their catalog for porn comic (and going to an online version)

not sure how much that's going to effect the industry because I didn't know they had this type of catalog.

it also seems that diamond is cutting the amount of time they give retailers to reorder periodicals (such as comics and magazines) to 60 days.