(Just posted this on The Beguiling’s store blog, and I figured it earned a spot here too. Come hang out with webcomics people! It’ll be great!)

Graphically Speaking: Webcomics!
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
@ North York Central Library
http://www.keeptorontoreading.ca/events/graphically-speaking
TOTALLY FREE

As you might be aware, The Beguiling works really hard to keep books in stock (for you!) that aren’t offered through standard distribution channels. That includes minis and zines, it includes specialty books of interest to comics fans but not necessarily carried by Diamond, and it also includes print versions of popular online comics (generally referred to as ‘webcomics’). We do this because we like to sell things and make money, but also because we feel that a big part of being a comic book store is… wait for it… Selling Comic Books. And that means regardless of the format, or where they originally appeared. We like comics, we sell comics, and we’re happy to do it.

Over the past few years, more and more comics material has started to become available online. Granted, comics on the internet go back to more-or-less the first protocols for displaying graphics online (and even earlier if you count bbs’), but it’s really been in the past few years that comics specifically intended for the web have become viable, moneymaking enterprises for the folks that do them. Penny Arcade, PVP, Deisel Sweeties, Questionable Content, Wigu/Overcompensating, Achewood, and Toronto’s own Dinosaur Comics, are just a few examples of folks who are making a go of publishing online, and deriving their income from those pursuits.

But how are they doing it? And how does that affect us, a comic book store, the ‘middleman’ who’s being ‘skipped’ in this publishing model.

That’s what we’re going to discuss!

I (Christopher Butcher) am going to be interviewing 6 Toronto-area webcomics creators about what they publish, and how, and why. “Can you make money at this? How much? More importantly, do you even want to make money? What are the differences between between print and online as a medium? Is this your career, a hobby, or both? What would you recommend for someone interested in following in your footsteps?”

(I might pause between questions to let them answer… we’ll see)

And who are the fine webcomics creators who will be participating in this event?

Kate Beaton (History Comics)
http://harkavagrant.com/index.php

Willow Dawson (100 Mile House)
http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0/artist/320

Emily Horne (A Softer World)
http://www.asofterworld.com/

Brian McLachlan (The Princess Planet)
http://www.theprincessplanet.com/

Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics)
http://qwantz.com/

…and to be honest, likely a dozen other webcomicsy people will be in the audience (they travel in packs!). Books (where available) will be on hand for sale at the event, and all of the creators will be available following the discussion to chat with and sign for fans and attendees.

So come one, come all, to this rather interesting look at reading and creating work online! It’s all part of Toronto Public Library’s Keep Toronto Reading event, which I have to say, is pretty forward-thinking on their parts.

Best,

- Chris @ The Beguiling


Last week the nominees for the 2009 Shuster Awards were announced. The Shuster Awards started off as Canada’s fan-awards, with Canadian comics fans invited to vote on the nominees as selected by a committee. It looks like they’ve moved to a jurried award this year, I have no idea if that’s new or from previous years? I’m sure someone will be along momentarily to clarify.

At any rate, the Shusters tend to have a different focus than the recently-announced Doug Wright Awards, but I’ve been trying to figure out a way to delineate the differences between the two awards and their aims for the past 10 minutes, in a way that won’t offend one or both of the committees who put their respective awards together, and I can’t do it. I think the fact that none of the nominees on the Wright Awards list are on the Shuster List, or vice versa, except for Mariko Tamaki and Kate Beaton? That speaks for itself right there. Variety is the spice of life…

Anyway, congratulations to all of those nominated!

JOE SHUSTER AWARDS 2009 NOMINEES for Work Published in 2008

Artist/Dessinateur

* Marc Delafontaine – Les Nombrils, Tome 3 : Les liens de l’amitié (Dupuis)
* Dale Eaglesham – Justice Society of America #12, 14-15, 18-22 (DC Comics)
* David Finch – Ultimatum #1-2 (Marvel Comics)
* Karl Kerschl & Serge LaPointe – Teen Titans: Year One #1-6 (DC Comics)
* Jacques Lamontagne – Les Druides, Tome 4 : La Ronde des Géants (Soleil Productions)
* Steve McNiven – Amazing Spider-Man #546-548, Wolverine #66-70 (Marvel Comics)
* Steve Rolston – Emiko Superstar (DC/Minx), “Familiar” – House of Mystery #4 (DC/Vertigo), You Ain’t No Dancer #3 (New Reliable Press)
* Stephen Sadowski – Avengers/Invaders #1-7 (Marvel Comics/Dynamite Entertainment), Superpowers #0 (Dynamite Entertainment), Jack the Lantern: Ghosts #2 (Castle Rain Entertainment)

Cartoonist/Créateur

* Grégoire Bouchard – Vers les Mondes Lointains (Paquet)
* Darwyn Cooke – “Chapter X: The Greater Good” Justice League: The New Frontier Special #1, The Spirit #12 (DC Comics)
* Francis Descharnais – Burquette (Les 400 coups)
* Jean-Paul Eid – Des tondeuses et des hommes (La Pastèque)
* Michel Gagne – “The Saga of Rex” Chapter 4 – Flight Vol. 5 (Ballantyne Books)
* Faith Erin Hicks – The War at Ellsmere (Slave Labor Graphics)
* Jeff Lemire – Essex County Vol. 3: The Country Nurse (Top Shelf)
* Seth – “Thoreau MacDonald” Kramer’s Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press)
* Dave Sim – Glamourpuss #1-4, Judenhaas (Aardvark-Vanaheim)

Colourist/Dessinateur Couleur

* Jean-Francois Beaulieu – G.I. Joe: America’s Elite 31-36, Voltron: A Legend Forged 1 (Devil’s Due), Marvel Zombies 3 #1-3, Wonderful Wizard of OZ #1, X-Men: Divided We Stand #1, X-Men Legacy #215 (Marvel Comics)
* Blond – Team 14 #1 (Digital Webbing), Freshman: Summer Vacation Special #1, Magdalena/Daredevil #1, True Blood: The Great Revelation NN, Witchblade: Takeru Manga #11-12 (image/Top Cow), Ultimate Fantastic Four #50-59 (Marvel Comics), Beyond Wonderland #4, Grimm Fairy Tales 2008 Annual (Zenoscope)
* Chris Chuckry – Brave and the Bold #17-18, Countdown to Mystery #4-8, Simon Dark #4-7, Two Face: Year One #1-2 (DC Comics), Air 1-5 (DC/Vertigo), G.I. Joe #0 (Devil’s Due), Comic Book Tattoo (image), Amazing Spider-Man #546, 565-567, newuniversal: Shockfront #1-2, The Twelve #1-8 (Marvel Comics)
* Maryse Dubuc – Les Nombrils, Tome 3 : Les liens de l’amitié (Dupuis)
* Nathan Fairbairn – Fear Agent 21 (Dark Horse), Pilot Season: The Core #1 (image/Top Cow), Civil War: House of M #3, Guardians of the Galaxy #1-3, Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? NN, Wolverine: Origins #31, X-Men: Divided We Stand #2, X-Men: Kingbreaker #1, X-Men Legacy #217, X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1, 3, Young Avengers Presents #1 (Marvel Comics), Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen #3 (Oni Press)
* Lovern Kindzierski – Sandman: The Dream Hunters #1-2 (DC Comics), The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons #1-2Coraline (HarperCollins), Giant-Size Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics) (Devil’s Due),
* François Lapierre – “Gédéon et la bête du lac” Contes et légendes du Québec (Glénat Québec), Magasin général 4 (Casterman)
* Dave McCaig – Star Wars: Dark Times #11-12 (Dark Horse), Action Comics #861-863, Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge #1-3. Joker’s Asylum: The Penguin #1, JSA Classified #35-37 (DC Comics), Family Dynamic #1-2 House of Mystery #4, Northlanders #2-8, 11-2 (DC/Vertigo), Broken Trinity: Angelus #1, First Born: Aftermath #1, Pilot Season: The Core #1 (image/Top Cow), Fantastic Four Cosmic Size Special #1, Secret Invasion X-Men #1-4, Ultimate Iron Man II #3-5 (Marvel Comics), Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen #2 (Oni Press) (DC/Johnny DC),

Writer/Écrivain

* Ian Boothby – Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #14, Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2008, Futurama #35-39, Simpsons Comics #136, 141, 148, Simpsons Summer Shindig #1, Simpsons Super Spectacular #7 (Bongo Comics)
* Cecil Castellucci – Janes in Love (DC/Minx)
* Darwyn Cooke – “Dragster Riot starring Robin the Boy Wonder”, “Wonder Woman and Black Canary” Justice League: The New Frontier Special #1, Superman Confidential 11 (DC Comics)
* Maryse Dubuc – Les Nombrils, Tome 3 : Les liens de l’amitié (Dupuis)
* Ray Fawkes – The Apocalipstix (Oni Press)
* François Lapierre – “Gédéon et la bête du lac” Contes et légendes du Québec (Glénat Québec)
* Mariko Tamaki – Emiko Superstar (DC/Minx), Skim (Groundwood Books)
* J. Torres – The Family Dynamic #1-3, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #11, 13, 17-19, Teen Titans Go! #51-55 (DC/Johnny DC), Wonder Girl #5-6 (DC Comics)

Cover/Couverture

* Adrian Alphona – Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Season Two #1 Variant (Marvel Comics)
* Darwyn Cooke – The Spirit #12 (DC Comics)
* Marc Delafontaine – Les Nombrils, Tome 3 : Les liens de l’amitié (Dupuis)
* Dale Eaglesham – Justice Society of America #14 Variant (DC Comics)
* David Finch -Amazing Spider-Man #572 Variant (Marvel Comics)
* Philippe Girard – Les Ravins (Mécanique Générale)
* Niko Henrichon – Hostile Tome 1 (Dupuis)
* Steve McNiven – Kick-Ass #1 Variant (Marvel Comics)
* Dean Motter – Mister X: The Condemned #1 (Dark Horse)
* David Sim – Glamourpuss #4 Zombie Variant (Aardvark-Vanaheim)

Webcomics/Bandes Dessinées Web

* Kate Beaton – Hark! A Vagrant http://harkavagrant.com
* Michael Cho – Papercut http://www.transmission-x.com/_papercut
* Lar De Souza & Ryan Sohmer – Least I Could Do http://www.leasticoulddo.com / Looking for Grouphttp://www.lfgcomic.com/
* Kathryn & Stuart Immonen – Moving Pictures http://www.immonen.ca/comics
* Karl Kerschl – The Abominable Charles Christopher http://www.abominable.cc
* Gisele Lagace – Menage A 3 http://www.menagea3.net/
* Ramón K. Pérez– Kukuburi http://www.kukuburi.com / Butternut Squash (w/Robert Coughler) http://www.butternutsquash.net
* Cameron Stewart – Sin Titulo http://www.sintitulocomic.com/

Publisher/Éditeur

* Aardvark-Vanaheim
* Arcana Studio
* Conundrum Press
* Drawn & Quarterly
* La Pastèque
* Les 400 Coups/Mécanique Générale
* Red 5 Comics
* Udon Entertainment

All of this information and much, much more available at http://joeshusterawards.com/.

- Christopher


http://pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/2009/04/01/big-numbers-to-conclude/

Heidi’s April Fool’s joke this year was Simon The Biz Bisley finishing up the last 7 issues of Big Numbers. At least that’s how I heard it second-hand at work. I actually thought that was kind of cool–I’ve always really liked Bisley’s artwork, though I have to say I don’t think he’s ever really stretched himself, or produced a consistant body of work up to his potential. I never heard the second part of Heidi’s little joke, that it’d be Akiva “Batman and Robin” Goldsman taking over from Moore’s plots. That would’ve ruined the illusion I guess.

Still, I know Biz can just draw whatever the hell he wants for the rest of his career, but yeah… I’d love for him to try and tackle something really ambitious. I guess that was the joke though? That would never really happen.

- Christopher


 

Why, what's this event at the refence library?

Why, what's this event at the refence library?

 That was a lovely little surprise today. :)

- Chris


 

chassis_colour_weiringoI was talking a lot of shit yesterday (a lot of shit…) but the one thing that I stand behind is that I could’ve coloured Astro Boy better than that. I was digging through old discs today and found some of my old colouring work. I found a piece that I was particularly proud of, a try-out for CHASSIS, over top of Mike Weiringo’s art. So I thought I’d share. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see the full-size.

Tear me to pieces in the comment section if you like. :)

- Chris


Previews Due: 11:59pm, March 31
Previews Done: 11:59pm, March 31

Now I have to do all the supplemental ordering that comes with Previews. Urgh. Next month: Do Previews before the day of, do not schedule meeting on same day.

- Chris


So that was ridiculous eh? Well we’re only 178 pages through the catalogue, 200+ to go. Let’s just take a second to slam a Red Bull, shall we?

There we go.

8:49pm: Page 178: bahahaha. Now you can own an action figure of sad little Wolverine Teen, trying to figure out what the hell those are coming out of his hands. WOLVERTEEN’S ANGSTY AWAKENING. Is it slash? Is it an action figure? No, it’s a mini-mate, the Go-Bots of miniature figures. Comes in a set with Wolverine in Cowboy Hat, Wolverine from Mark Millar’s dark future, and BWS Wolverine-all-hairy-in-a-metal-diaper. At least it is only $16?

8:50pm: Is making fun of Wizard still funny at this point, or is it cruel? Because I’m up for either. You know, I’m Game. But I just want to make sure I’m being P.C. about all of this.

8:54pm: Oo… Anime Insider. Wait, if I order 10,000 copies of a magazine that I know isn’t coming out, does that still count as maxing out my Diamond Discount?

8:56pm: Dave Sim is mocking superheroes in glamourpuss now. And doing an examination of the arrival of Stan Drake on the photorealism in the early 50s. Is “incongruous” a word he just doesn’t know? Is it a feminine word, and therefore he refused to learn it?

8:59pm: Terry Moore’s ECHO — the sales on that kind of bottomed out on that for us around issue 7, but since then it’s been climbing every month. We’re almost back up to first-issue numbers, which is pretty good.

Also digging this REMAKE book from Adhouse… Sort of like Astro Boy by Rodney Greenblat as a mini-comic. Looking forward to it.

Holy shit, only 2 listings for Slave Labor this month, and they’re reoffers of Nightmares & Fairy Tales.  Luckily there’s a full page ad here with more order codes, but a good reminder that I need to put together an order for those guys.

Oh, the Public Enemy Graphic Novel. You are awesome.

9:04pm: My brother loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic from Archie when he was a kid. I think it’s actually kind of cool that they’re releasing them as a trade. He wasn’t a big comics guy, but he did like 3 or 4 of them if they were around and TMNT was second only to Defiant’s GOOD GUYS. Make of that what you will?

9:06pm: Second FREAKANGELS collection. That one is the best-selling (for us) Ellis collection in years… I wonder what that says about alternate distribution methods eh?

9:09pm: There’s seriously another LEPRECHAUN comic? That’s fucked up.

9:11pm: Holy shit there’s a WARLOCK comic too? My eyes usually just glaze over when I get to Bluewater, I must not have been paying attention for the last few months… It looks like I didn’t order it, which is good. Heh. WARLOCK is the film from my youth that I bring up most often, because I point out to my married, kid-having friends, that if they don’t baptize their child the Warlock will boil the fat off of it and use the fat to make a flying potion. 

If you haven’t seen Warlock, that’s a pretty fucked-up thing to say to someone about their newborn child.

9:19pm: Those Disney Comics from Boom did much, much better than we were expecting. We did a reasonable order on it, and we sold more than half of our Incredibles and all of our Muppet Shows. Cool stuff. I’m going to go bump the orders for the rest of it. That said, I’ve got no idea if any of it is going to kids or not.

9:21pm: Page 226 is the full-page XERIC ad, which includes some neat looking books again. I wanna give props to Box Brown’s Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing which I read and enjoyed, and Pope Hats by Ethan Rilly, which I also read and enjoyed. Box Brown’s book is in the Previews coming out tomorrow, make sure to order one!

9:24pm: Maybe I’m going to hell for this, maybe not, but Alex Ross’ Buck Rogers design actually looks pretty cool. For 25 cents I’ll give BUCK ROGERS #0 a shot.

9:27pm: Also trending upwards? Garth Ennis’ BATTLEFIELDS. Although “The Tankies” sounds a bit ridiculous as a title. I’m sure it’s Very British though.

9:33pm: New Seth book! GEORGE SPROT 1894-1975, all of the stuff that ran in the Times, and much more. Cool.

9:34pm: I am super-into this manga biographyof the Dalai Lama on page 252. I am there, this looks just utterly wonderful. It is published by “Emotional Content”. NICE.

9:35pm: Congratulations! You get your first image of the Previews:

 

Jiro Taniguchi's Distant Neighborhood. Published by Fanfare.

Jiro Taniguchi's Distant Neighborhood. Published by Fanfare.

Buy it!

9:42pm: The Fantagraphics section is like a little Oasis in the middle of the Previews. It’s lovely. New graphic novel from Jason (LOW MOON from The Times), new comics from Linda Medley and Jordan Crane, a new MOME. Good stuff.

Oh and look! It’s the two graphic novels by Toronto Comic Arts Festival Guests Of Honour Emmanuel Guibert and Derek Kirk Kim! Innnnteresting. Guibert’s THE PHOTOGRAPHER and Kim’s THE ETERNAL SMILE are both excellent works, worth putting on your shelf. Don’t miss’em.

9:46pm: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s softcore vamporn for ladies, now in convenient manga format! DARK HUNTERS was all over NYCC this year, kind of making everyone glance askew at the busty belly-shirt wearing cardboard cutouts that dotted the show. Heh.

9:48pm: Oh look, PEDRO & ME got a much-needed new cover! And just in time for the film biography of Pedro Zamora’s life. Good stuff, Henry Holt.

9:50pm: I love Optimus Prime as much as the next 30-something year old, but why is IDW doing a children’s picture book featuring a deptiction of the character that is from my childhood, and not the kids who are watching Transformers today? Makes no sense to me.

Speaking of which, a double page spread of Transformers products followed by a double page spread of GI Joe products is very weird to me. I can’t explain it, it’s just like… yeah. This is my childhood, and it’s weird to see it on the page again.

Actually, ignore everything I just said. The ASTRO BOY Movie Prequel cover is just bizarre looking and a much stranger interpretation of someone’s childhood hero than Transformers or Gi Joe…

 

Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground #1

Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground #1

Dude.

Also, what’s with the colouring? Did someone just find the airbrush tool?

Man, I know I sound like I’m being a huge asshole to IDW here, and I don’t mean to be–I think they’re actually a really good company. But… Yowza. That is an awful image. I haven’t coloured anything in years and I know I could do better.

9:59pm: Okay, wait, here we go. Same page (266) as AmerAstro Boy up there, is SWORD OF MY MOUTH #1 by Toronto creators Jim Munroe and Shannon Gerard. A great looking book, from two great creators, both of whom live within 10 blocks of the store (I think)… Thanks IDW for putting out cool books like this! And it got a Staff Pick and a Certified Cool too, which is good on Diamond. FROM THE ASHES #1 by Fingerman also looks kinda neat. His kids vs. zombies story, Recess Pieces, was awesome. Hopefully this is as good.

10:04pm: Holy shit there’s a DOCTOR WHO one-shot (THE TIME MACHINATIONS) by Paul Grist? I wish I cared about Doctor Who in the slightest! But man, do we have a lot of Paul Grist fans at the store!

OH MY GOD IT’S 10:04 AND THIS SHIT IS DUE IN 2 HOURS.

10:07pm: I’m pretty happy to see a second volume of WONTON SOUP come out. Oni Launched a bunch of really awesome series-oriented graphic novels 2 years ago this summer, and this is the first one that’s managed a second volume. It was a tasty read, and I’m looking forward to another serving…

(pun, edited)

10:10pm: Huh, new Mazzuccelli graphic novel. I honestly thought we’d never see one. If anyone from Pantheon/Random House Canada is reading, I wouldn’t turn down an advance copy. JUST SAYING.

10:12pm: Two pages for Tokyopop eh? How the might have fallen. Still, this is probably their strongest solicit month in a long time… TAKERU OPERAN SUSANOH SWORD OF THE DEVIL has a pretty cool looking cover, I’d read that. And they’re finally bringing GRAVITATION back into print in omnibus volumes, so that’s kinda cool. Still: Sigh.\

10:14pm: Every one of Top Shelf’s books looks awesome in its own way. I invite you to check them all out.

10:15pm: I am seriously running out of time here, shit, but this is the month that UDON launches their line of kids manga. I’ve gotten to read all of this stuff too, it’s actually really solid and fun, and totally appropriate for kids 6-12. I know there’ve been some reviews that have popped up already, check them out if you’re in the market for comics for kids.

OH MAN, the first two books in the Viz section are CHILDREN OF THE SEA VOL 1 by Daisuke Igarashi, whose work I’ve been wanting to read in English forever, and NAOKI URASAWA’S 20TH CENTURY BOYS VOL 3, and the first volume of that kicked ass. Yes! Good comics! To get me through the end of the section…!

10:19pm: DETROIT METAL CITY

mm08_dmc20manga20cover

Come on, how can you NOT want to read that, it’s ridiculous.

Okay, that’s where I’m going to stop because if I don’t I’m not going to get this done before 11:59pm, and me ordering the books from the Previews is far more important than talking about ordering the books from the Previews.

Anyway, thanks for everyone who read along and enjoyed this! Maybe I’ll do it next month OH WAIT THAT WILL BE 10 DAYS BEFORE TCAF AND I WILL BE INSANE, PERHAPS NOT.

Love,

- Christopher


Have you always wanted to know what it was like to be a comics retailer on the day that the PREVIEWS catalogue is due and it’s 2:47pm and you haven’t even looked inside yet? NOW YOU CAN. In a… surprising… experiment for this website, I’m going to liveblog my reactions to the March 2009 PREVIEWS catalogue (for comics and graphic novels and stuff scheduled to ship starting in May, 2009). It’s due today at Midnight and I foolishly called a TCAF meeting for 5:30pm today! Let’s see what happens!

2:48pm: SPAWN. Talk about your auspicious debuts! At least it’s not a toy? Anyway, apparently SPAWN: Architects of Fear is the long-awaited sequel to SPAWN: SIMONY. I have not heard of this. Auspicious debut.

2:50pm: I dunno if it’s just me, but I can’t remember the last time I read one of the articles in the front of PREVIEWS.

2:51pm: Exception to the rule: I really like seeing my Free Comic Book Day book in the little spread of FCBD books.

2:52pm: DARK HORSE! PIXU looks great, man. I was totally surprised to hear that DH picked up this one, but happy to hear it. It’s already a great couple of comics, it’s going to be an outstanding book. New issue of Buffy, which is our highest-ordered floppy comic of any given month, I think. BUFFY: Holy shit, it sells a lot. Still.

2:56pm: Almost didn’t realize that new Lobster Johnston book was a novel, and not just a comic with a pulp novel-styled cover. Crisis averted.

2:58pm: I’m not sure that anyone still cares about ALIENS comic books, but I’ll give the first issue a shot.

3:00pm: That BEANWORLD hc sold fantastically well for us, we actually sold out in under a month for what I thought was a generous order. Cool stuff. And look at that, a new version of CAGES on the opposite page. I hope the binding on this one is a bit better than the last HC edition. I loved that last edition (it’s the one I’ve got) but man, you hold that thing the wrong way for a few minutes and the binding just cracks.

3:02pm: So far, the recession hasn’t hurt the sales of prestige-edition books, but I guess we’re going to test that with this MARTHA WASHINGTON hard cover. Pardon me for being a jerk, but maybe this is the kind of thing that would’ve sold REALLY WELL during all that Watchmen hoopla? You know, the dude who did the book that WATCHMEN was based on, and the dude who did the book that the director of WATCHMEN directed before this one? No? Anyone?

3:09pm: New Usagi trade is always nice. Not really sure what to make of these Neil Gaiman Presents novels… We’re cutting back on prose here at the store, but Gaiman tends to have a real following that would likely extend to his favourite prose. We’ll give it a go. Also? VAMPIRE DANCE: As high-concepts go, vampires vs. neo-nazis isn’t bad at all.

3:13pm: Whoo, new Blade of the Immortal!

3:22pm: Digging into the stand-alone-for-this-month DC catalogue. If I can editorialize for a moment, I think we all know that comics, hell all literature, is not “essential”. Food, water, shelter, love. Essential. Comic books? Not so much. But within the context of comics, or more approrpiately superhero comics, certain books can seem “essential”. Like being a Spider-Man fan, and needing to pick up New Avengers to see all of the surprising developments with the character that happened there, that sort of thing. Using that scale, I can successfully say that FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN #1, where we find out what happened to “The Human Flame” after Final Crisis,  is about as essential has stepping on a rusty nail. Awful.

3:29pm: I’m with Spurge, why the hell does Mark Waid on Batman need to be a one-shot? There are like 5 regular Batman books, you couldn’t slot a Mark Wait two-parter in there anywhere? (Batman in Barcelona: Dragon’s Knight #1)

3:32pm: Props to DC for bringing Supergirl back into the mainstream continuity of the Superman books., our sales are close to double what they were before the New Krypton stuff.

3:33pm: Not being a dick here, but I could swear that Booster Gold was cancelled. But no, here it is with a Keith Giffen fill-in issue. HUH.

3:37pm: Does the dude who lays out DC’s section of the Previews just hate alphabetizing things? 

Green Arrow & Black Canary #20
The Flash Rebirth #2
Jonah Hex #43
Mighty #4
Green Lantern Corps #36

What the fuck man?

3:40pm: Because I ordered more of THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN than POWER GIRL, am I: a) sexist, b) sexist and a prime example of the sexism in comics, or c) counting on DC to keep one of these first issues in print should I need more, but not the other? Phrase your answer in the form of a bitter polemic.

3:45pm: Comic that I am fucking shocked is selling as well as it is: R.E.B.E.L.S. I had to reorder! Both issues! Apparently it’s really, really good. Good for you, creative team!

3:49pm: I think assuming that Andy Kubert will get the second half of that Neil Gaiman story done by July, in time for this hardcover edition, is wishful thinking. I kind of feel like the whole Andy-Kubert-exclusive-at-DC thing was Joe Quesada playing a practical joke on DC. What did he do, 150 pages of comics total in 2 years? Totally fucked the schedule on Morrison’s Batman and gave us Tony Daniel? TONY DANIEL!? Well-played, Mr. Quesada.

3:52pm: Kind of annoyed that DC opted to reprint the existing Hitman collections, and not just go for omnibus editions. 

3:54pm: I actually like the look of the DC kids stuff, though it’s odd to see STORMWATCH PHD and CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY on facing pages. Speaking of Stormwatch PHD, I remember Leandro Fernandez absolutely Kicking Ass on Queen & Country back in the day, but that art excerpt from Stormwatch looks awful. Is that actually his stuff? What happened there? Yikes.

4:04pm: Yeah, see, there we go! SLEEPER SEASON ONE! Take Sleeper vol 1 & 2, put it in one book, and knock $5 off of the total price. Good call DC Collections dept!

4:07pm: Holy shit there is a comic called KILLAPALOOZA. Trevor Hairsine too. Nice.

4:09pm: I am happy with myself that I had no reaction to the STARCRAFT comic book. Looks like I finally kicked that particular addiction.

4:12pm: Alright THE UNWRITTEN by Mike Carey, I shall give you the benefit of the doubt and order a bunch of your first issue priced at only a dollar. But I would double that number again if Yoko Shimizu did the interior art as well. JUST SAYING.

4:13pm: Hah. ABSOLUTE DEATH HC. I just gotta say, it shouldn’t take Neil Gaiman being pissy on his blog for DC’s Collections department to pull their heads out and keep to a consistant format for their prestige releases.  Particularly for Gaiman’s work. That said, speaking as a retailer who has sold a lot of $99 slipcase’d books, I am really happy that Gaiman got pissy at DC on his blog, because hey, another $99 slipcase’d book!

4:21pm: Man, Jeff Lemire’s artwork (THE NOBODY HC) really looks like it’s just slapping the Vertigo house-style across the face, doesn’t it? Like just having it’s way with it. Heh.

4:23pm: Are you fucking kidding me? The prop replica of all of the Green Lantern rings (all the different coloured rings from the new prism of lanterns)? RINGS ARE REMOVABLE BUT ARE PROP REPLICAS ONLY AND ARE NOT MEANT TO BE WORN. $250. Sorry to get all ‘internet’ on you here, but EPIC. FAIL.

…and that’s DC done. Way to go out on a low-note.

4:27pm: Image! OLYMPUS looks kind of neat actually. Interesting art, not sure if it’s pretty enough for comics fans, but it is nice-looking. I’ll give it a go. Spawn. Youngblood. More Liefeld. New Tennapel graphic novel, I wonder how he’s going to turn THIS one into a paean to the healing power of Christ?

4:31pm: Sure, why not steal the Marvel Digest design for your G-MAN trade paperback. Marvel stole it from Tokyopop in the first place…

4:32pm: If Kyle Baker is reading this, Kyle? Why is there a trade paperback collection of issues #1-4 of SPECIAL FORCES when that series is apparently a six-issue mini series?

4:34pm: There’s seriously a thousand-page Walking Dead book coming out, collecting issues 1-48. Huh.

4:35pm: Huh, Dead@17 is at Image now? Had no idea. Glad to have an omnibus collection though.

4:37pm: Huh, looks like Image is going to keep the first 5 POWERS trades after all, new printing of volume 1.

4:48pm: Got a little distracted there. Big-ups to EVIL AND MALICE SAVE THE WORLD on page 165. I coloured this, back in the day, and it’s a great series for all ages, particularly girls. If you like me or this site, then order one of these and support my friend Jimmie Robinson.

4:50pm: Ah. Marvel. Alright. Apparently “THE WORLD STILL NEEDS THE NEW MUTANTS”. “Disagree.” “Circle gets the square!”

4:52pm: Doesn’t the HALO UPRISING HC presuppose that the fourth issue will ever, ever come out?

No Idea what “RIFTWAR” is, I imagine a popular sci-fi novel series. Meh. You know what I’d read though? RIFTS comics. The old Palladium game. That was fun. Who owns the license to that? Is it BOOM? I imagine it would be BOOM. Hey Church, why don’t you pitch Ross on a RIFTS comic?

4:55pm: Heh, Lockjaw and The Pet Avengers. That is actually kind of amazing. Props for Speedball’s tabbycat.

4:56pm: I can’t help but feel like Roy Thomas’ TROJAN WAR #1 isn’t going to be nearly gay enough. All the naked dudes are drawn in shadow (in the middle of the day).

4:58pm: “Spider-Man: The Short Halloween” actually wins funniest title of the month, so far. 

5:00pm: Heh, I think the DARK REIGN YOUNG AVENGERS should have lesbians. Are lesbians the dark reflection of gay dudes? Or is that sexist too? What’s the dark reflection of gay teenagers? Gay teenagers that have killed themselves? Also, wait, the Dark Avengers are bad guys that are pretending to be Avengers. But these are kids pretending to be bad guys but calling themselves Young Avengers. So would that make two of the characters gay guys PRETENDING to be “Ex-Gay”? But aren’t all of the Ex-Gay’s just pretending anyway? Fuck it, too complicated. I’m not ordering this one.

5:12pm: And, done Marvel. It turns out I am not that interested in Marvel. Gotta take a little break, be back in an hour or two to do the back-half of Previews. Actually, I’ll put that in a separate post. Thanks for reading along…!

- Christopher