BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH

It’s a bad time for established power structures, folks. Actually, for whatever reason “Beware the Ides of March” always reminds me of Jhonen Vasquez’ Johnny The Homicidal Maniac. I can’t remember which issue it is, but Johnny is unleashing the horror of knowledge on young Squee, and he utters the phrase “There’s so much to be afraid of.” So while you’re being wary of ides, here are some other, terrifying things to anticipate… with dread!

Artemis replaces Diana as Wonder WomanFEAR #1: The worst thing about The Death Of Superman wasn’t actually The Death Of Superman. Sure, it was a little purile and they had to ignore logic in order to make the story work, but as a rollicking yarn with a brutally depressing ending, it was alright. No, the thing that was truly, utterly terrible about The Death Of Superman was the onslaught of similar, attention-seeking moves that followed.

We’re going to break Batman’s spine! And replace him with a new Batman!

Like Wonder Woman? Too fucking bad, she’s been replaced by a younger version with bigger boobs!

Your Green Lantern is now a psychopath. Instead, here’s a new one. We just killed his girlfriend!

WE CUT OFF AQUAMAN’S HAND!!! Uh, anybody? Hello? Doesn’t anybody care?

…and so on. So yeah, now that we have The Death Of Captain America, I’m not so much fearful of the return to speculator-driven comics, I’m more worried about the Spider-Man and Power Pack Public Service Announcement comics going from them warning kids about the danger of child abuse to Spidey actually fiddling with the Power Pack. Fuck, I bet that’d make headlines on CNN.

FEAR #2: Soon all blogs will be link-blogs, and then what will they link to? I got a press release today about AOL’s new comics link blog, Comics Alliance. It seems to be 50% reworded press releases, 45% linking to other sites, and 5% original content (though the hot topless dudes are always appreciated). That’s pretty close to the Newsarama and The Beat mixes, with Journalista being 95% linking and Comics Reporter sitting at around 75% linking, and these are more or less the most popular comics blogs out there. The other thing is, whenever anyone at more-or-less any blog or site comes up with a decent piece of original content or thinking, everyone links it. Who linkblogs the linkbloggers? THEY DO. Spurgeon called it at San Diego, what the ‘comics internet’ needs more of is actual content; Jog can’t do it all by himself. Get to work, people!

Rival Schools Fan YaoiFEAR #3: What if the second floor of the store caves in? I’m up here like 50 hours a week. We just put up two more bookcases of manga here at The Beguiling. 80cm Billy bookcases, making for another 40 linear feet of manga. ***Slurp*** The manga ate that up like it was there all along. They’re releasing like 2 and a half  feet of manga a week. A week. This place is solidly built, but how are we supposed to deal with that? Start “not carrying” certain series? Poppycock! But… It is worrying. As is every creak in the floor.

Also, I counted? I think there are now 225 different Yaoi titles in print. YEAH. So much for that “niche”. All your shelf space are belong to boys humping boys. Be afraid.

FEAR #4: No one has good information. The one thing I took away from the New York Comic Con is that no one’s information about the comics industry and its future is any better than anyone else’s. Some people have more, some people have less, some people are knowledgable in different areas, but no one has the ‘key’. The entire industry is operating on a lot of best guesses. I don’t know about you, but I find that terrifying.

It does level the playing field a little though.

So, BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH and the ides of the rest of the year for that matter. And feel free to tell me what’s scaring you, these days.

– Christopher

15 thoughts on “BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH”

  1. Yeah, Fear #3 is no joke. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of comic stores which were almost bursting with books. But The Beguiling was just unbelievable. And it’s been about 18 months since I saw the place; where exactly you found room for 18 months worth of additional books (and/or two more shelves) is baffling.

    Maybe the solution is to just start (very carefully…) using the stacks of books to prop up the ceiling? 🙂

  2. FEAR #3: What if the second floor of the store caves in? I’m up here like 50 hours a week.
    LOL!!
    🙂
    I can just picture this happening. It’s almost a comedy moment, if it weren’t so possibly true. I can remember when Manga only held about one bookshelf. Then one day I come in ,and BAM!! almost the whole floor…

  3. Matt- We’re actually replacing certain slower-selling areas with the high-turn-over stuff. We’re going to keep as much product, just display it a little differently.

    Jason- That’s the price you pay for success!

    Kai- Hey buddy, I know it’s tough when the Rival Schools attempted-rape scene gives you wood and you thought you weren’t like that, but that’s no reason to take it out on me.

    Dirk- Mouhahaha.

    Jerry- It is pretty good eh? Thanks to Heidi for that one!

    – Chris

  4. I’m conflicted because I found “All your shelf space are belong to boys humping boys.” REALLY FUNNY and then saw that pic and wanted to close my eyes and Alt-Tab away quickly cause it disturbs me.

  5. We’re having the same problem at the Reed College Comic Book Reading Room — except that none of it gets sold, it just keeps accumulating! We are almost running out of places to put bookshelves, and our linear-feet-accumulation rate isn’t slowing down anytime soon, especially when there’s so much manga to get, and it’s so comparatively cheap per linear inch.

  6. Mike- It’s a great picture, that’s for sure.

    Newsarama- Whoo! I’m quotable!

    Leigh- I empathise, but I only wish we only had to make the books accessibly for reading, rather than retail. There are so many display and sales concerns involved with racking the books too… Ah well. I guess we all just get bigger spaces, next.

    Kevin- Wait, WAS or IS? Because I think it IS. 🙂

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