Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Monday, December 29, 2008

Caleb Vs Val

I'm not going to weigh in much on the discussion, as Caleb is a friend and I backed off nitpicking Val's stuff.

But I will point out the irony of this talk about deleting supportive posts from the comments section (which I'm 100% sure hasn't happened in this case), given what happened in the blog where Val suggested I was someone who might stalk and assault comic book professionals at a convention.

Well, Now The Mainstream Moviegoer Has Spoken

There's been much complaining about The Spirit since the first images and trailers started coming out. But it had come largely from the comic book community and revolved around how much it seemed to become THE SIN CITY SPIRIT, rather than resembling anything Will Eisner ever did.

That sort of thing doesn't bother the mainstream moviegoer, though. So, what did they think of the film? Box Office Mojo has how they expressed their opinion with their dollars:

Also opening, The Spirit drew a piddling estimated $6.5 million over the weekend on around 2,600 screens at 2,509 theaters for $10.4 million in four days. Brandishing the style of Sin City and 300 in its ads and little else, the comic book movie was less-attended than The Shadow and The Phantom.

Damn shame, Frank. You done fucked up real good when you do worse than The Shadow and The Phantom.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Dec 10th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 12/10/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
2. Final Crisis #5
3. Punisher War Zone #2
4. Justice League of America #27
5. Captain Britain and MI13 #8
6. Final Crisis Revelations #4
7. Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1
8. Amazing Spider-man #580
9. Watchmen #1
10. Civil War House of M #4


1. The customers are generally excited about Dark Reign.
2. Delays hurt this one (besides any storytelling problems)
3. People dig this one.
4. meh, we'll see if the gimick helps sales stay up.
7. YAY!
9. I guess at this point, it means we are officially in a fever for this product!

1. Seems to be something you're either very excited about or looking to tar and feather the EiC for, with very few people in the middle.
2. There's so much that can be claimed to have hurt this book, with the two mentioned being in that long list.
4. Read the issue. McDuffie did the same job introducing the Milestone characters into the DCU that you'd expect from a work-for-hire hack, rather than someone who has a care. The issue read pretty bad, IMO, and I doubt is getting many new fans for the introduced characters.
7. Yay? What's got you so excited there, Lee?

RichAndMark.com's Crazy Christmas Cracker Carol

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I had the privilege of seeing an advanced screening of the new Brad Pitt/David Fincher movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

This is probably the first movie since Amelie or Big Fish that I would simply call beautiful. It tells a strange, inspirational love story. Much like Amelie, love story means more than romance. Similar to Big Fish, the path is paved with bits of fairy tale. This film, at its heart, is about the love of life. And really, isn't that what many of the best movies convey to the audience?

I spent time during the movie wondering what the greater purpose this movie was supposed to serve. What was its message? But then it hit me that it had been subtly showing the audience, rather than beating us over the head with it.

Through the fantastic, Fincher and Pitt show us that life can be a rich, rewarding and, yes, beautiful experience, despite or because of our struggles to live it. The world is seen through such innocent eyes, even when it is at its most cruel. Benjamin seems to be a character that chooses to find the good in even a bad situation.

His sense of wonder infects the viewer and leaves you thinking about how you view the world after you've left the theater. And really, isn't that what many of the best movies do?

The IGN Batman RIP Wrap Up

First, I have to say that it says a lot about the current state of comics when an interview with a DC Bat Editor is surrounded by a background made up of exclusively Marvel super-heroes.

But on to the actual wrap-up...

"IGN Comics: Were you worried at all about having to roll some of these stories out before RIP concluded, or was that a necessary evil from a publishing standpoint? Marts: It was a combination of it being a necessary evil, but it was also intentional on our parts, in that we wanted it to tell some stories that took place after #681 so readers got an indication of where things were headed, and to suggest an idea of threat or a sense of doom that might be on the horizon."

I can appreciate how Mike Marts thought it could create that sense of doom, but I don't think it really did. He spoke earlier about getting the same excitement reading Grant's planned story that he felt as a kid reading comics. I just think most of the audience is too hardened to fall back into that sense of wonder. We're too cynical about death in comics to ever really feel a sense of anything like doom from the implication of a character's passing, either.

IGN Comics: Keeping track of how the timelines of each monthly book line up in the greater scheme of things is tricky enough as a reader, and I imagine it would be even more difficult as an editor. How do you go about keeping track of how each book lines up with the others without getting a giant headache? Marts: It is a tricky job. On the one hand, you've got a group of books that are a family of titles, such as the Batman family of titles. In this event, we were trying to involve all the books and have them be a part of this major event. At the same time, you want all the books to sort of stand on their own and have their own distinct voices, and allow the creators to tell their own stories. I think the RIP tie-ins that we did this past year succeeded in maintaining that distinct voice for each title while also tying into the family feel of it.

Mission not accomplished, seeing as how the tie-ins had very little that tied them in and several pieces that contradicted RIP.

Now, I really like the books Mike Marts has been a part of putting together over the years. But this has to one of the most unintentionally funny statements I've seen an editor have to make:

As far as the precise continuity and figuring out where each story takes place, we know that almost all of our readers have been with us for a while, and all our readers are intelligent. And we don't want to really insult our readers by banging them over the head with a precise timeline of "this is when this happens, and this is when that happens." For the most part, we figure that they'll be able to situate the stories where they feel comfortable situating them in their heads. But the whole time we have a solid idea of what storyline takes place first and in what order. For the most part, if we can release them in a chronological fashion, and have them come out according to when the stories take place, great. But in the cases where that's not a possibility, we leave it up to the readers to figure out how best to fit it in.

Precise continuity wasn't given in order to avoid insulting the readers? Right. More like Grant Morrison didn't layout the precise timing for them and they're as lost trying to figure it out as the readers are.

I can't bring myself to read much more of Marts having to put a happy spin on this stuff. I look forward to future projects that Marts shepherds at DC that better reflect what he's capable of.

This Christmas...

...remember the less fortunate.

Who Clusterfucks The Watchmen?

Judge Gary Feess, that's who.

After saying that the issues surrounding rights to a Watchmen movie between 20th Century Fox & Warner Bros could only be resolved by trial, the judge changes his mind and delivers a decision on Christmas Eve of all times. The judge decided that Fox definitely has a copyright interest in the film.

While both sides were encouraged to begin negotiations to resolve this, it is still possible that Warner Bros will seek an appeal.

Here comes all the fanboy outrage, again, directed at 20th Century Fox for no particularly good reason. ;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thundercats Movie?

(ok, not really...but it's worth watching this fake trailer)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Sure Someone Hasn't Seen This Before

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tale Of The Battling Exclusives

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Newsarama published an article with an "exclusive" preview of Aspen Comics latest Soulfire offering:

Then, later on Wednesday, CBR published their "exclusive" preview:

I believe CBR has two pages different from what Newsarama has, but it is a weak way to claim an exclusive, IMO.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The "Fuck You Man" As Riddler?

There are reports that Eddie Murphy will be cast as the Riddler for Christopher Nolan's third Batman movie.

There's no way that turns out to be true, though. If this, of all the rumors, winds up being the true one...it's just sad.

Much Ado About A Non-Upskirt

The blogosphere is railing against the above image as sexualizing a teenage girl through an upskirt image.

Have these people never been to a high school football game? This is as upskirt as watching the cheerleaders do all their somewhat-acrobatic moves.

But more directly to the superhero costume design: who really thinks of the super-heroine skirt as a true, functional skirt? It is just flair for the costume. What is under the skirt is just as much panties as what Wonder Woman wears or early Robin wore.

Sometimes, I feel like certain folks want to see an offense where there is none, just so they can fire off some righteous indignation.

(FYI: this is the blog that brought the whole thing to my attention)

Monday, December 15, 2008


It isn't embeddable yet, but over on MySpace, 20th Century Fox has made the new trailer available. This seems to be the way tentpole movies debut their trailer: tack it on to a big Friday release and then throw it online the following Monday.

You'll have to add the movie's profile as a friend in order to see it, but you can find it here.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Dec 4th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 12/4/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

Sorry, everyone for the late post this week. One day shorter in the week and business in the store created a very hectic week for me.

1. Batman #682
2. Batman #681
3. Secret Invasion #8
4. X-Men Noir #1
5. Haunted Tank #1
6. Sandman: The Dream Hunters #2
7. Amazing Spider-Man #579
8. X-Infernus #1
9. Justice Society #21
10. Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1


1&2: Media exposure baby. Seriously, I would love if Marvel and DC would start advertising on tv with a nice comic shop locator ride on!

3. It is important to note that last week's issue of Batman performed better than the end of Marvel's big event. Some will think this is attrition, but believe or not we don't see too much attrition in event books, even late ones like Final Crisis perform well and consistently. The big push here was the Batman story made it into the news.

4&8. Yup, people will buy the X-Men regardless of what it is.

5. Surprise of the week. Solid, fun, and funny book (although I am unsure as to whether or not it was supposed to be funny or if my twisted brain made it funny), it may have had something to do with me talking it up. ; )

10. Hellboy has been a big performer at this store. We are just now figuring out what numbers of it will sell here, it may become a repeat performer.

1 & 2. Ugh. I'd be afraid that those sales would mean we'd see more stories like BATMAN R.I.P., but most of my problems with the arc were very Grant-Morrison-specific, thus unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

4 & 8. I haven't seen a copy of these yet, but I'd like to hope there is some quality behind them in addition to having the X-MEN name slapped across them. Lee's comment doesn't leave me with much hope, though.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Least Exclusive Ever Called Exclusive

Over on the CBR front page:

Now, let's check the time-stamp in the story:

11:07 AM PST

That's 2:07 PM EST.

Now, let's check the time-stamp in the Willingham interview over on Newsarama:

1:21 PM EST

That's 10:21 AM PST.

So, not only was it NOT an exclusive interview, but it was posted as being exclusive after an interview with Willingham was already published on a competitor's site.

BOOM! Studios Holiday Party

Women of DC: Huntress Design By The Dodsons

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jay Leno Weekdays @ 10pm?

According to the NY Times, Jay Leno will be seen at 10pm Eastern & Pacific every weeknight starting in 2009.


This basically means 5 less TV shows (scripted or "reality) a season. This means less slots for shows like LIFE, JOURNEY MAN and MY OWN WORST ENEMY to via for. I doubt that it means less derivative product (it won't automatically shrink the Law & Order franchise, for instance).

Less original product and less jobs.

Verily, this doth suck.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Uncanny X-Men 504: Terry Dodson Pencil Page One

As always, the provided images come from the Terry Dodson fan group on Yahoo.

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Nov 26th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/26/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Batman #681
2. Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1
3. Captain America #44
4. Hulk #8
5. Ultimate Spider-Man #128
6. Superman #682
7. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes #1
8. Nova #19
9. Secret Invasion: Inhumans #4
10. Secret Invasion: X-Men #4

A normal week with normal sales sees the usual suspects for the most part.

1. Media bump pushed this one over the top and required a fairly hefty reorder after a Friday Sell out!

2. Good to see this selling strong from the get go. The first series was a bit of a slow starter. I think the key difference here is that the core comic audience seems to like the book, so even though we get the My Chemical Romance fans a month or two behind the book, it sells strong on the release and then has legs. This is the kind of comic I like. I will probably have multiple facing for the book just like an Event or a Stephen King book.

7. I chalk this up to my customer base being weird. ;)

I'll toss in a few of my own comments later. It's been a hectic week, filled with attempts to become gainfully employed again and dealing with traffic court issues. Should be much more active again soon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Want To See A Spoilery Cover?

Secret Invasion #8 isn't out in American stores until tomorrow, I believe, due to the holiday. But there's already a scan of the wrap-around cover for New Avengers #50 that is displayed in the last issue of SI.

Since Blogger can't do breaks, I'll just link to the Photobucket account it was found under. You click, you've spoiled yourself, not I.

If You're In The Santa Barbara Area

Please go out and support the Hoffmans in their recovery from severe burns that have them still in the ICU and the complete loss of their home.

(poster by Kevin Church)

Bridges Byrned & Re-Byrned

John L. Byrne apparently likes to make it challenging for him to find a friendly face to give him a job, as he kind of offers a bit of snark about what Marvel should do and, conversely, what they'll most likely do in 2009:

As the new year approaches, it occurs to me there are some things I'd like to
see -- and most pointedly not see -- from the Condo of Concept.

• No new X-titles

• No recycling of 20 and 30 year old storylines

• No more "writing for the trade", which also means…

• No stories that run more than 3 issues

• No pinup covers

• No fake deaths

• No real deaths

• No breaking of the status quo by the latest flavor of the month

Of course, even as late as they are with most of their product, this is
December, so at least the first few months of 2009 are probably in the
drawer. How many of these challenges have already been lost, d'you


Since They Like Copy & Paste So Much...

Over on the Bendis Boards, Brian is apparently very happy with the regime change at Blog@Newsarama. Calls the old guard "self important whiners of the cut and paste", which I think is more than a little unfair.

One of his fans isn't as enthusiastically behind the new blogging gang:

I think the blog's off to a great start, but at the same time, those Best Shots reviewers who are part of the new crew kind of lower the bar when it comes to writing about comics. Those Best Shots reviews are generally poorly written, full of unsubstantiated opinions, and in need of a spellchecker.

Temporarily forgetting the fact that he did little to substantiate his own opinion of the Best Shots crew, I really find that particular complaint (unsubstantiated opinion) incredibly unlikely to have much basis in fact. I think too many people slough off the opinions of others as wrong or unfounded when they're just simply different.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Nov 19th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/19/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Ender's Game: Battle School #2
2. Supergirl # 35
3. Fantastic Four #561
4. Avengers Invaders #6
5. Pax Romana#4
6. Goon #30

7. X-Men Legacy #218
8. Uncanny X-Men #504
9. Robin #180
10. Ex Machina #39


Another lite week lets some smaller titles shine.

1. I am blaming this firmly on college kids. I know I read the book in college and that age seems to have an affinity for the series.

2. NEW KRYPTON effect... see if it lasts. I know I was upset by yet another round of Kara's origin, we'll see if readers feel as upset about it.

5. We love Hickman and so do our customers. Can't wait to see what Secret Warriors does.

7. The story is pretty solid so both Legacy and Origins saw bumps during this arc.

9. RIP fever after effects.
1. I'd like to know how well the book is selling in more "progressive" (read: liberal) areas.

2. I haven't noticed a big backlash from the kryptonite poisoning gimmick. Looks like people are giving them room to work on their new angle.

3. That came out again? And non-pull-list people are buying it? Shocking.

5. I guess I need to check out more of his work. I tend to come late to the party on critically successful Image books.

9. Yet, the "tie-ins" really had nothing to do with RIP. Certainly people buying this issue already realized by now?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Shock & Awe Hits Blog@Newsarama

After a whole bunch of talk across the blogosphere about Blog@Newsarama V1 breaking off to go back on their own, Blog@ V2 debuted today...and hit the ground running.

I liked JK Parkin and the gang a lot, but, also, have a fondness for the new gang. Hopefully, the relaunch will help quiet all the outsiders that want to spin what happened into a much worse situation than it was.

Middleton's Final Vixen Cover

Update: Maybe They'll Mass Mail An Apology....

Well, looks like over the weekend, the CBLDF inadvertently e-mailed (in at least triplicate, at this point) their entire previous donor mailing list.

What's to apologize for? Well...everyone is listed in the TO section. This means everyone's e-mail address has been passed out to a whole host of people, which brings concerns of having your address harvested for spamming. Let's hope it doesn't become one of those annoying situations where everyone replies all...

Update: So far, so good...no reply-to-all e-mails. But the real test is when the work week starts...

Update 2: And here's the apology:

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund apologizes to our supporters for an email that was sent last Friday which did not blind the email addresses of its recipients. This error occurred during a test of new software we were evaluating. The CBLDF deeply regrets the error.

We remain committed to the privacy of our supporters and are working to ensure that such an error does not happen again.

Thank you for your understanding, and your continued support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Irony: the original mistake wound up in my inbox, but apparently the thrice-sent e-mail with all the addresses visible was enough to trigger CBLDF e-mails getting routed to my spam folder.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tyler Perry: Busted By Union

OK. So the news hit on Wednesday, but I was waiting on a key piece of information before I'd be ready to talk about it here.

Nikki Finke has the best coverage, for the most part, but had missed one key point: what happened to the fired writers?

It took a weekend of Google alerts, but I found out that they received a financial settlement from Tyler Perry's company for an undisclosed amount. I imagine that it will include residuals for the episodes they already completed work on, but can't say for certain.

So, Mr. Tyler "I'm not Disney/I haven't seen one thin dime" Perry fought the WGA...and the WGA won. On a Thanksgiving weekend that was hard to find things to be thankful for on a personal level, this managed to make it on to that unfortunately short list.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Really Suck At These Things...

But when the app is using SHAZAM in a manner that seems like it is meant to call to mind the Whiz/DC Comics franchise, is there some way DC has a case against them?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Final Verdict: Bendis Right, Kirkman Wrong

Todd Allen has a piece over on Publisher's Weekly that does all the math and comes to the basic conclusion that Kirkman's contention that good money can be made going creator-owned is, at best, very shaky.

Edit: OOPS...of course good money can be made. I meant his contention that it is so likely to be a substitute or improvement upon the money creators make on work-for-hire books at the Big Two.

How Will They Know?

From Geoff Boucher's HERO COMPLEX over on the LA Times website:

GB: There's wildly mixed levels of excitement about webcomics. Some people shrug, others see the future, albeit one that may be difficult to monetize. There's also the huge bookstore market now for trade paperbacks, hardcovers, etc. Talk a bit about format and the future -- what is the comic book of the future?

DD: Realistically speaking -- and this is just my opinion -- we're in the pamphlet periodical format right now and we're going to stay in that for the foreseeable future. Primarily for the reason that our consumer audience is accustomed to that, understands it and they are driven by the collectible nature of it historically. It's something you buy, something you own, something you possess. As new readers come in we will address their styles and their understandings. As people get more comfortable with reading material online, we will turn toward that expectation. There is a great improvement and growth in bookstore market and that is a key area. So we have three delivery systems: Online, in periodicals and in bookstores. Realistically, one of those could collapse and we could still be strong but it does require an adjustment in who and how you sell to them. No matter what, our future is in great characters in great stories created by great talent.

As far as I know, the only real online DC Comics material is all illegal scans found on bittorrent sites. So, I'm a bit perplexed at how they're supposed to know that people are more comfortable reading material online if they're not testing the waters similar to Marvel Comics' ironically named DCU (Digital Comics Unlimited) offering.

Surveys will only tell you so much. I know they've used some online surveys regarding such things, but we're talking about the same readers that make basement dwelling titles sound like they're in the top ten and top ten titles sound like they're in danger of cancellation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Batman: Arkham Asylum Teaser Trailer

Wonder If This Will Appear In Blackest Night...

From the Rock of Ages arc in JLA #12

Fake Art Adams? Try Fake Mike Choi!

As Rich Johnston reported over on Lying in the Gutters, Jeff Henzel had been going around pretending to be Art Adams. Or, more likely, "Jeff Henzel" was passing off work by other artists as Art Adams. See, Rich's research basically indicates that "Jeff Henzel" is "Joshua Hoopes", the man who had been having artists across the world provide him with artwork that he'd then sell to comic book companies that thought he was the artist, rather than a middleman.

If you're a writer trying to break in and find it difficult to find a collaborator who will take a 50/50 split rather than upfront cash, this is one of the reasons why.

Rich noted that it was entirely likely that "Jeff/Josh" would turn up elsewhere trying to swindle more people.

Well, he didn't have to turn up again...he already has a different artist's work that he's trying to pass off as his own to get gigs.

Apparently, "Sleepbringer" on the Digital Webbing message boards posted looking for an artist and heard from "Jeff". He gave a link to his "online portfolio". Pretty familiar looking, eh? Lot of Mike Choi stuff there.

Now, mind you, the contact probably happened before Rich's latest coverage where he let "Jeff" know the jig was up and that the world would know. But it was quite possibly sent after "Jeff" figured out who Rich really was.

This is a guy that, after being pretty much a well known swindler as "Josh Hoopes", still gave out the name for payments to be sent to. It is entirely possible this guy is going to keep using the "Jeff Henzel" name awhile longer. I certainly have no doubt he'll try to pass off work again, unless it becomes about as well known as the Mike Choi'sFake Art Adams fiasco.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Friday, November 21, 2008

ABC Cancels Three Primetime Shows

ABC has announced, for all intents and purposes, that they have canceled Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone.

Both Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money were hurt by the WGA strike shortening their initial seasons. Dirty Sexy Money has had a very lackluster second season that couldn't seem to capture any of what it had going for it last year. Pushing Daisies started off slow this season but seemed to be hitting its creative stride in the most recent episodes. One of the problems for PD appears to have been an effects-heavy budget.

It is quite possible that, without the WGA strike, Eli Stone may have never gotten a shot at airing on ABC. It's break came from the fact that the networks had no remaining new episodes of the shows they originally intended for their line-up. Still, it might have gotten a chance as a summer program to see if it could find an audience.

I can't comment on the quality of Eli Stone, as I never wound up watching it. But, until Nikki Finke's editorializing, I heard only good things about the show and I have no doubt that Marc Guggenheim was putting together an excellent show.

Is Dan Didio On Speaking Terms With...Dan Didio?

From Newsarama.com:

We’re still locking down the writer on the Oracle miniseries, but Battle for the Cowl will be written and drawn by Tony Daniel, which we’re very excited about. This is the first time Tony’s written in a while, and he’s just champing at the bit to be able to do this, and we’re excited that he’s on the series.

From Hero Complex on the LA Times website:

Dan Didio: The first thing we’re going to see is called “Battle for the Cowl,” that’s going to be a book that features nearly every member of the Batman family

GB: Even Ace the Bat-Hound?

DD: [Laughs] Probably. We have a writer-artist team on this right now that’s scouring every book possible to see what they can include in these two-page spreads they want to build of all the characters that inhabit the Batman universe.

Unless Tony Daniel has MPD, there's no way I can see him referred to as "they" and "team". What's the deal?

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 5

THE RACK: Don't Forget About The Hoffmans

Make sure to check out THE RACK, by Kevin Church & Benjamin Birdie. Why? Because they make sure to stop what they're doing to take time to ask people to help a friend.

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Nov 12th, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/12/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

1. Amazing Spider-Man #577
2. The Stand: Captain Trips #3
3. Batman: Cacophony #1
4. Action Comics #871
5. Nightwing #150
6. Wolverine #69
7. Detective Comics #850
8. BPRD: The Warning #5
9. Green Lantern Corps #30
10. Dark Tower: Treachery #3


It was a light week and rain on Friday and Saturday hurt our sales a bit. The new store is on one of those "main street" type strips next to Duke Campus. It is not a mall or a shopping center with a major draw so the weather can have adverse effects on foot traffic into the store. That is what happens when a large group of your clientele is vehicleless and the rest thinks it will be too hard to park... although when the weather is bad Ninth St suddenly becomes an easy place to park.

1. Stupid Spider-Man all over the place. As mentioned in the comments last week, yes the creative team does play a part in this, but natural attrition has not happened since New Ways to Die ended. Seems like a lot of the One More Day haters may have just liked what the end result was after all.

3. Little disappointing. The art is hurting this one big time, I am hearing a lot of gripes in the stores.

4. New Krypton is a success!!! Action is in the top ten.

3. Yeah, that's what happens when you're so desperate to make a splash that you let Kevin Smith have his neighborhood pal (Walt Flanagan) draw the mini-series. Saw that coming from the moment the project was announced. I'm not trying to dump on Flanagan completely, but if he's not close friends with Smith, he doesn't get a gig with DC Comics, let alone a crack at one of the "trinity". It is not a good sign for the health of a publisher and the quality of their product when they're flailing blindly to try to get back in the win column.

4. I'd be interested to see if the New Krypton tide really lifts all boats. Action Comics is the easy sell, with Johns & Frank. Robinson's first arc on Superman was shaky and Sterling Gates is still largely an unknown quantity on Supergirl.

5. Nightwing "goes out" with a bang.

6. Is this still the Millar/McNiven run? I really meant to pick their run up, but missed the 3rd issue, I think, and never went back. I'll probably snag the trade.

Your thoughts? And, as always, if any retailer wants to be added to the column, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Newsarama: Still Need Google To Search It?

So I was chatting with a friend online regarding some of Dan Didio's recent decisions regarding the DC publishing schedule. The friend says that Didio came off looking like a complete asshole in the last column where he answered questions on Newsarama.com. I remember him having some bad news, but not coming off like an ass.

So I search for Dan Didio and I get this:

1...2...3...3....3...THREE TOTAL RESULTS.

Do a quick Google search of Newsarama.com for Dan Didio?

Searching Dan Didio on the site itself pulls up a total of 3 hits...but Google puts the pertinent articles right at the top?

Other blogs (like The Beat) have already covered how Newsarama and CBR are much closer in hit levels since the redesign. I still say the fall can be blamed on the move to Pluck and comments on front page articles instead of threads. The old style was much more conducive to readers linking back to notable bits on the site, without any particular benefit to be found in the new.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 4

Josh Middleton's Supergirl 38 Finished Cover

Uncanny X-Men 504: Terry Dodson Inked Page One

As always, the provided images come from the Terry Dodson fan group on Yahoo.

You're Entering The Tyler Perry All Spin Zone

Tyler Perry gave an exclusive interview to Sistas Talking Tyler Perry. I have to say that his answers don't pass the smell test:

Yolanda Ro: One question, that the readers are asking, is why wouldn't someone in your financial position, at the very least, provide the writers with health care insurance?

Tyler Perry: I don't want people to think I'm walking around with $300 million and won't give people health insurance. There are all these articles about me making $200 million from "House of Payne" but that's not true. I haven't gotten one dime off the show--not one thin dime. Nobody writes you a check for $200 million. TBS doesn't have a contract to write me a check for $200 million. It could take up to 5 years for "House of Payne" to make that amount of money. But the initial investment had to be made by me. Every dime that has been put into "House of Payne", to pay the actors and writers, have come from me doing plays and movies; from black folk who have been with me all the time. The writers knew that I even went into my own personal checking account and gave all 300 employees $1000 bonuses for Christmas.

That's just ludicrous. There's no way House of Payne is airing on TBS for free...which means he's not telling the truth. With the number of episodes it has aired, money has certainly come in from the show itself to pay the ongoing expenses. As far as the upfront costs to have started putting the show together before he had a deal with TBS, that's a case of him getting credit for what he's supposed to do. If you want to have your own production company, you're putting the money up. If you want to have your own studio, you're putting the money up. You get to reap the lion share of the profits, but you don't get to cry "poor me" along the way. Especially since he never seemed to cry poor on any of the movies he's produced from his plays.

Tyler Perry: This is what I was trying to get WGA to understand with the deal; I'm not Disney, and I'm not CNN. This is me, by myself. I'm one man with 300 employees. The deal they wanted me to sign was a deal I couldn't afford. And the moment I refused to sign, the very next day, there were all these articles printed about me being a "union-buster". The next day they were calling me racist and picketing outside the party. They waited right until the party to picket, thinking they had me over a barrel, and that I would cave in, but I don't give into extortion. If it had not been for the NAACP stepping in, things would have gotten really ugly. Originally WGA tried to get the NAACP on their side but it didn't work out that way.

By the way, he acknowledges later that he has deals with all of the other unions. Not crying too poor for that, eh? He just feels his writers aren't worth as much because he's previously done all of his writing, in my opinion. Since these are his creations that they're playing with, he feels as though they're not doing enough work to justify the compensation they should be getting.

By the way: extortion? Please. You use all legal advantages you have in negotiation. Where else should they have picketed? Where else would be effective?

Yolanda Ro: Did you ever promise the writers benefits, residuals, or union contracts once the show took off? Tyler Perry: No. They were never promised anything. What was said to them is "here's the deal--The show is a non-union show". Each writer made six figures for less than nine months of work. Every time they wrote a script they received between $7,000-$10,000; In addition they were also receiving a paid salary by the week. Furthermore, WGA did not call me, I called them. It was 'me' making that move. I called them 5 months ago to begin negotiating a deal. These writers clearly knew that. I have deals with every union except WGA and I was trying to get into WGA because I wanted better writers--and because I was working too hard. I had to outline the show, tell them what I wanted, give them ideas, and then rewrite the script. It was taking 16-18 hours for them to write the show. The actors were frustrated, the crew was frustrated, everybody was frustrated because we would go in to shoot the show, but the script was bad. So I made it through that first year but I told them " I can't do this anymore". After I began negotiations with WGA, I didn't threaten to fire them. I just told them they were going to have to get on their job and step up their game.

I find it hard to believe that the WGA would be trying to press their case with the state labor board if Perry was truly trying to get things rolling with the union. Hard to make a case that someone fired workers for attempting to organize if they were welcoming the union.

Yolanda Ro: Can you address the accusations that you are racist, and also the rumors that you replaced the four black writers with white writers? Tyler Perry: That's not true. I let go of four writers in LA but I kept three writers in Atlanta--two are white and one is black. I hired four new black writers; One of them was Myra J from the Tom Joyner Show. When she came to work for me the union originally told her, since she hadn't done anything in four years, she could work for me. But once she came to work they began sending these harassing letters saying she had better not work for me. I sit here and look at these people knowing that they've never been able to do anything...knowing that I gave them their first opportunity, and for these four black writers to call me racist...it's ridiculous.

Ugh. No, no one called him racist in that way. What they suggested was that he was taking advantage of their being black because he knew that it is often harder for black writers to find work.

And their first opportunity? Some of those fired (if not all) were WGA members. In order to become a member, you have to have sold a script at the very least. You can't enter until you're doing work and as soon as you're doing work, you need to enter. Of course, his basically saying they should be grateful that he ever gave them a job is right in line with the accusations of the writers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 3

Tonight in Los Angeles: Comic Film Nerds & Comics On Comics

In a communique from Chris Mancini (of Comedy Film Nerds):

Exult in the glory of live comedy! Comedy Film Nerds and Comics on Comics will engage in a symphony of hilarity for your pleasure, this Wednesday (November 19), at Dream World Comics.

And it's free! What's not to love about film nerds Jackie Kashian, Chris Mancini, and Mike Schmidt appearing with Marc Guggenheim (Amazing Spider-Man, Young X-Men, Eli Stone, the upcoming Green Lantern movie) with host Juan-Manuel Rocha? Especially when it's free.

Dream World Comics is located at 12400 W. Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles. The show begins at 8 p.m.

and admission is free, so show up early to grab a good seat!
Chris Mancini
As someone who's enjoyed several video podcasts by Comics On Comics and Chris Mancini's short film work, I highly recommend getting out to attend if you're in the area.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's Going On At DC?

Rich's LitG this week seems to be pointing at Dan Didio as the source of a lot of disgruntlement for the writers at DC.

Making Grant Morrison change the ending to Final Crisis that is, supposedly, exactly what was approved at the beginning (have some doubts on that one)?
Writers having to put their own stories on hold because of the Final Crisis changes?
Having a stand-up shouting match with James Robinson (who, IMO, is writing like a guy back from Hollywood that thinks comic book scripts are kids' stuff)?
Winding up with Tony Daniel on your big follow-up to BATMAN R.I.P. (any bets on whether this winds up worse than Countdown: Arena?)?

I have no idea what is actually going on, but it doesn't look good for DC at all.

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 2

UPDATE 2: Pray For Carla & Lance Hoffman

If you read Blog@Newsarama with any regularity, you've undoubtedly read many pieces by Carla Hoffman. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her or her husband, Lance, at a convention, but it is easy to tell from the way she conducts herself online that she's one of those people that you're better off for meeting or spending time around.

She & her husband were overcome by a flash fire when trying to get away from the Tea Fire in the Santa Barbara area of California. After suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns over much of their bodies, the couple managed to drive themselves (!!!!) to help & safety. They had to be sedated into unconsciousness while the doctors let the swelling for their severe burns subside. They're in stable condition now, but recovery (to whatever extent one can recover from an event like this) will be long and difficult process.

JK Parkin is providing updates as he gets them. There is talk of starting up a fund to help them out. I encourage you all to keep up with the news on this and make any kind of contribution you can. If everyone who reads blog at just skipped a few comic books for the month and sent that money to help them instead, even that slight donation could add up and make a difference.

In the meantime, if you believe in a higher power, ask it to send whatever help it can to the Hoffmans. Please.

UPDATE: JK Parkin has shared the news that the Montecito Fire Department has set up a fund for Lance & Carla.

UPDATE 2: A friend of the Hoffmans has provided a method to contribute via PayPal. There's, also, a group set up on Facebook for updates. For those with an aversion to Facebook, Kevin Church has the latest update on his blog.

UPDATE: Not To Harp, But...

Who's this new Vixen and why did they make her replacement a white woman?


That's supposed to be...

Ah, fuck it.

UPDATE: Just to kill the whole "Mari has always been relatively light-skinned" argument:

Of course, there's, also, the currently published Vixen mini-series that displays her as intended:

So why is it that whoever is coloring Howard Porter and Ed Benes seem intent on making her so many shades lighter to practically lose any visual clue of her ethnicity?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why I'll Miss MAD TV Pt 1

If you haven't already heard, this will be the last season of MAD TV. Sure, it wasn't as good as it used to be, but it's been the best Saturday night sketch comedy show for a few years (which is, admittedly, faint praise).

So I'm going to share a few bits from the show that made me laugh over the years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DC Comics Epic Synergy Fail

That Blue Beetle? Canceled.

This Blue Beetle? Just got major exposure in the debut episode of the latest Batman cartoon.

You know, it isn't like the Blue Beetle series was kid-unfriendly. They couldn't just wait a few months more?