Saturday, August 30, 2008

Amazon Leaks?

Some or all of these may be the inadvertent leaks that Amazon often provides of upcoming trades and hardcovers coming out from the big two (with another few thrown in for good measure):



The DC Comics Library entry that sites "Various" for creators is DC COMICS LIBRARY: BATMAN: THE ANNUALS. The DC Comics Library entry that credits Jim Shooter & Curt Swan is DC COMICS LIBRARY: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF FERRO LAD.

All cited Amazon entries ship in 2009 to be relatively sure they haven't likely appeared in Previews yet. An overwhelming majority are February 2009 or later.

There's a little something for everyone in the advance solicited offerings. Don't like super-heroes? Well, there are new offerings from Chris Ware, Tony Millionaire, Lynda Barry, Tom Spurgeon, Anders Nilsen & Wilfred Santiago.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Deppey's Insistence That The Direct Market Causes All Woe

Dirk Deppey...dear Lord, there is no problem that he can't try to pin on the Direct Market.

Regarding Virgin's collapse, more than a few watchers have indicated they don't think the DM is to blame. Tom Spurgeon was one of those watchers...and Deppey quoted the following from Spurgeon's site:


I would be hesitant to put all of the blame for Virgin’s predicament or even a significant amount of blame on the Direct Market of comic book and specialty shops. I would point to a broader reason: they didn’t make comics that a lot of people wanted. Certainly the DM is calcified to an unbelievable degree. Not only is it absolutely conditioned to sell American mainstream superhero comic books, it’s at the point where it’s becoming more and more defined by its ability to sell certain books of that type rather than all of them. You can count the successful crasher to that particular party on one hand.

At the same time, Virgin certainly seemed to offer bookstore-ready books in addition to comics. Since I don’t recall the books setting the world on fire any more than the comic books, and without some inside knowledge of the company that tells me they were banking on serial comics sales to the exclusion of any other revenue stream, it’s hard for me to say that it’s the market rather than the works themselves that were at fault.

Deppey's response?

I would dispute this to the extent that I’ve never actually seen a Virgin TPB in a chain bookstore — and I keep a regular watch on the shelves of my local Borders and Barnes & Noble branches — so while I’m not privy to the company’s marketing tactics, it seems to me that either they never really had a proper mass-market strategy in place, or said strategy was so badly bungled that it effectively left the company at the mercy of the Direct Market by omission.

Doesn't that effectively admit that overall incompetence, not the DM, was what led to the downfall? Or am I misunderstanding things?

In Case You Missed It Before...

Patch of Orange has some really kickass designs made for a pitch. Here's a sampling of them:


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Maybe Instead Of Speechifying... Part Deux


Mike Sterling over on Progressive Ruin brought up the Walking Dead:


The first volume, reprinting the initial issues of one of Image Comics' precious few success stories in recent memory. The keystone of a whole series of paperback books reprinting this popular series. A series that recently released its 50th issue to much attention.

The first volume, unavailable. For most of the summer.

I had a number of customers looking to start reading Walking Dead, having heard the hype and read the reviews/interviews and so on. Normally, that first volume is an easy sell...it's only $9.99, and it has a lot of good word of mouth, so it doesn't take much to get someone to try it out. But it's only an easy sell if I have any to sell. And because I haven't had any copies to sell, those are lost sales. I've plenty of volumes 2 through 8, but a new reader's not going to want to jump in with the second volume. S/he wants to start from the beginning, and if I don't have the beginning, I don't have that new reader.

I dunno, Robert...maybe instead of shooting off some crackpot shit that you maybe gave two minutes thought before yelling action at your camera (for no apparent reason because you were the director and cast)...you should have been working on resolving this type of problem.

You know...so that retailers like Sterling would have copies of the first trade around when your perennially late product had its landmark 50th issue.

I could be wrong. I'm just passionate about this and I'm trying to save the industry...from your attention deficit disorder. ;)



FYI: as far as I know, Mr. Sterling isn't bringing this up with the intention of having it used as evidence that Kirkman needs to spend more time straightening his own shit out instead of making sweeping generalizations about how people should work or thinking ideas he came up with during one session on the crapper might save comic books. That's just me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dark Superman?

By now, everyone has read that the WB's Jeff Robinov said they were going to make a whole slew of super-hero movies that would be as dark as the characters will allow.

When I first read that, I thought, "well, so much for that summit with the comic book creators!" Clearly, Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns wouldn't say you have to make Superman dark (unless they were suggesting an Icon movie, instead...that would kick all kinds of ass, IMO).

But I've realized over the last few days that it was a knee-jerk reaction based on reading a quote that can be interpreted many ways. After catching Kevin Melrose link to an MTV Splash Page* talking to comic book creators about the announcement, I'd have to say I'm in the Seagle/Waid camp.


“Heroic struggles are basically all dark in tone. The idea of ‘villains’ implies something bad happening to good people most of the time, and that’s dark. Heroes look brighter emerging from dire consequence successfully,” said Seagle.

...

“I [focused] on the part where they’ll make the films as dark as the characters allow us to go,” (Waid) said. “Hopefully they realize that Superman is not a dark character, but that doesn’t mean the story can’t be darker or more threatening."

If you think about it, Singer's movie was kind of dark...and I don't just mean the muted colors of the costume. When Routh gets his ass handed to him on an island of Kryptonite, it certainly is a dire consequence that he emerges from successfully.

Wait a minute...maybe this dark thing still is bad...

*Congrats to Rick Marshall for signing on with MTV Splash Page. Great guy. Glad he wasn't searching for a new gig for too long.

STREET KINGS on DVD? Why Bother?

Just saw the commercial for STREET KINGS coming out on DVD. Isn't it great when they think it's perfectly fine to spoil the whole plot of the movie by telling you in the commercial who the real antagonist is, when you're supposed to be trying to figure that out for the first 2/3rds of the flick?

Anyway...here's the review I ran when it was out in the theaters.



A third party review:



And details on Hugh Laurie's man-crush on Keanu Reeves:

The Downfall Of Virgin Comics



Reposting a comment I left regarding Virgin Comics' demise over on Brian Hibbs blog:

I had confidence Virgin was trying to get it right when they paired Ritchie with Diggle and Woo with Ennis. Gameskeeper only caught my eye because of Ritchie...and kept my wallet because of Diggle & Mukesh (sp?).

But I always thought it was a risky situation because they had to be paying names like Ritchie, Woo & Cage pretty well...and not shortchanging Diggle, Ennis or Carey, either. It occurred to me that they might be relying on some sort of multimedia deal that they'd participate in to make a profit.


You'd think that Virgin would have been smart enough to try to get the word out and make sure their stuff got in front of a motivated audience.
Thankfully, I'll always have the Ritchie/Diggle/Singh Gameskeeper. I await the day that Jason Statham tries to do an Eastern European accent to get the starring role in the film.
It should, also, be noted that they, also, did plenty of variant covers. John Cassaday contributed a lot of them to the Gamekeeper series. Yet more expenses that wouldn't seem to do them any favors with the bookstore crowd they were talking about.

And for Pete's sake...couldn't they have run a promo in Virgin Stores where any purchase of a Guy Ritchie, Nicholas Cage or John Woo DVD netted you a free comic (two if you bought FACE/OFF, obviously)? ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SCHWAPP!!!@TheMovies: REDBELT

Now that it is out on DVD, I thought re-running this review was worthwhile:

Scott Kurtz: Must Be An Artist, Cuz He's No Merchant (Update: and hatin' on Mile High Comics)

My review of Scott Kurtz, the PVPOnline merchant:

Ordered the t-shirt on July 4th. Didn't think it was insane to hope I'd have it in advance of the Batman movie.

I e-mailed on August 6th, when I remembered, "hey...didn't I order a goofy shirt? where the hell is it?"

It was delivered on August 25th.

As of yet, I have not gotten a single response to my e-mail or an explanation of why it took so long for this shirt to be delivered. I'm guessing the merchant may have held off on contacting me before the extremely late shipping as to not give me the chance to cancel the order.

If I ever get a response, I'm pursuing returning for full refund due to the extremely late delivery and piss-poor service.

Can You Really Call Yourself The Funniest?

Found on the internet as one podcast's description of their own product:

XXXXXXXXXXX is the funniest comic book talk show on the web. Each week, the hosts take you through the biggest and best comics on the rack.
Really? I've consumed a few episodes and it REALLY REALLY isn't the funniest. But that's about personal tastes, clearly. Now, if they said it was one of the funniest or just a funny comic book talk show, I could understand. Still might not agree, but I could understand. Going ahead and claiming your own stuff to be the funniest, rather than simply quoting a review or even a fan, is just all kinds of wrong, IMO.

Following All The Other Blogs...50 Best

The 50 Best Things in Comics (not in order of importance):

  1. Paris Cullins on Blue Beetle
  2. Paris Cullins on Blue Devil
  3. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run
  4. Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
  5. Alan Moore & David Gibbons Watchmen
  6. Having been able to read "mature" comics when I was a young lad (even if that meant buying Lords of the Ultra Realm...both mini-series)
  7. Grant Morrison's JLA
  8. Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire JUSTICE LEAGUE/JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
  9. Martian Manhunter's rebirth under Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire
  10. Bob Fingerman's MINIMUM WAGE
  11. Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways
  12. Christopher Priest & M.D. Bright's QUANTUM & WOODY
  13. The Kenner Super Powers action figures
  14. Classic Brave & the Bold (when it was a Batman team-up book)
  15. DC Comics Presents (when it was a Superman team-up book)
  16. Infinity Inc, especially when Todd McFarlane was on the book
  17. The strides made in coloring/printing that allowed for better production values
  18. The ENTIRE Milestone line
  19. But especially ICON
  20. Bill Willingham's FABLES
  21. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  22. Scott McCloud's UNDERSTANDING COMICS
  23. Classic Denny O'Neill Batman and his stewardship of the franchise later
  24. Mark Gruenwald's SQUADRON SUPREME
  25. Jason's THE LEFT BANK GANG
  26. Marv Wolfman and George Perez's Crisis on Infinite Earths
  27. Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow
  28. The days you could buy new comics 4 for $3
  29. The days you could find stuff like DC First Issue Specials starring Creeper or Dr. Fate for a quarter
  30. The JMS run on Amazing Spider-Man before The Other happened
  31. Peter David's run on Incredible Hulk
  32. The first half of the Bendis/Bagley run on Ultimate Spider-Man
  33. Screw you all: the post-Batman run of JLDetroit (Vibe should have a case in the Bat Cave)
  34. Los Bros Hernandez LOVE & ROCKETS
  35. Grant Morrison's early run on Doom Patrol
  36. Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli's BATMAN: YEAR ONE
  37. Ostrander's SUICIDE SQUAD
  38. Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon's PREACHER
  39. Frank Miller's SIN CITY
  40. The Brubaker/Fraction collaboration on IMMORTAL IRON FIST
  41. Andy Diggle & Pascal Ferry's ADAM STRANGE mini.
  42. Brian Michael Bendis' FORTUNE & GLORY
  43. Craig Thompson's GOODBYE, CHUNKY RICE
  44. The everlovin', blue-eyed BEST SHOTS crew
  45. The outstanding people I've met and called friends that came out of a love for comic books (names withheld in order to spare them guilt by association)
  46. Mark Waid & Alex Ross' KINGDOM COME
  47. Peter Tomasi's BLACK ADAM: THE DARK AGE
  48. The Waid/Morrison/Rucka/Johns collabo: 52
  49. Too much of Geoff Johns' DC work to name; but I'll go with most of his FLASH run
  50. Judd Winick's ADVENTURES OF BARRY WEEN, BOY GENIUS

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just So I Don't Go 0-For-Monday...

Busy day out in the real world today, so I didn't really have time to blog much today.

So I decided I'd throw a poll up. Which are you enjoying more: Final Crisis or Secret Invasion?

Before the events came out, I didn't even really think that'd be a hard call to make personally. Oh how things good in concept aren't always so good in execution...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It Ain't Comics, But It Passes The Time...



The kid in the red shirt is just sick.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ladies Of X-MEN Redesigns


Redesigns done by Joëlle Jones (Twelve Reasons Why I Love Her GN and the upcoming You Have Killed Me GN and, from Token (Minx Graphic Novels)).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Madness? THIS IS THE POUND!!!


Found at B3TA.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SpringfieldPunx Watchmen Desktop


Go check out the site for more Simpsons versions of comic book characters.

The Dodson X-Men Cover Progression




(The color version might not be the final colors, as I believe Terry has said they were whipped up for the Previews deadline and will be improved)

Todd Nauck WildGuard Sketch


I've only recently come to realize how great the man's pencils are. I never got into Young Justice and I thought his work on FN Spider-Man was good, but he's now in the rarefied list of artists I'd pay for a sketch from.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When Corporations Demand Rewrites...

You've gotta check out the next two panels over at Simulated Comic Product.

The Magical Kingdom's SIN CITY

You can check out more over at Not A Fishing Lure.

Covers Are Getting Pretty Bad...

Man, covers are getting to be more and more unrelated to anything that happens in the books they're on:

HULK #8 Written by JEPH LOEB Penciled by ART ADAMS & FRANK CHO 50/50 Covers by Art Adams & FRANK CHO Variant Cover by SAL BUSCEMA Looking to make a bombastically brilliant book? Here's what ya do: Have JEPH LOEB whip up two heaping helpings of Hulk. Get ART ADAMS to draw HULK vs. the maximum amount of WENDIGO monsters allowed on paper. Then get FRANK CHO to draw RULK whupping up on the gorgeous LADY LIBERATORS. Put both tales together, call the whole thing HULK #8. Bring to boil and serve. 32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
The cover is so detached from anything happening in the book that I almost didn't notice how horrendous the solicit was. ALMOST.

Sort of unrelated, but not worthy of a separate post:

SQUADRON SUPREME #5
Written by HOWARD CHAYKIN
Penciled by MARCO TURINI
Cover by GREG LAND
“POWER TO THE PEOPLE”
Nick Fury lost everything the day his Ultimates turned their backs on him, handing him to the Squadron Supreme. But Fury is finding that some old soldier’s habits die hard—and when four fantastically transformed astronauts go public with their powers, Fury makes a move toward a new superhuman vanguard...all this, and a classic Squadron member returns! Part 5 (of 6)
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
Dear God, Chaykin is just writing Marvel analogs into the Squadron Supreme universe now? He knows this isn't an Ultimates book, right?

Wow...So Much To Bitch About In DC Solicits

And I Used To Bitch About Marvel's "Classified" Solicits...

DC just spoils the hell out of their product this month. From the reveal of who joins the Secret Six before the first issue could hit the stands to someone being made into the next Magog, it's just ridiculous. There's even a Bat character death (or is it two?) that seems to be spoiled.

I find especially funny that they spoil the mystery of who is returning to the Titans from the prior issue. As if Winick's run needs more obstacles than...well...his writing of late.

But They Thought This Was Too Big To Spoil?

Gog rewards those he deems fit. Starman has regained his sanity, Sandman his sleep, Dr. Mid-Nite his sight, Damage his pride and Citizen Steel...? What "wish" will the indestructible hero be granted? And more importantly, what drawbacks do these wishes come with? Plus, Starman's true mission is revealed!
Let me get this straight. Who becomes the new Magog? Eh, not important...throw it in the solicit. What wish Citizen Steel will make? WHAT? You better hold that fucker back! Yessirree, Bob!

Too Slow To Do Both Covers Now?

Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

I can be understanding of the interiors bit. But having to drop one of the two covers? Really? Not enough time for essentially a part of a splash page that doesn't have to fit perfectly into the narrative? Lame...

Maybe Instead Of Speechifying...

From Brian Hibbs over at CBR:

However, for publishers other than Marvel and DC, we don't have a FOC, which means we're on the hook for that material. Further complicating this is that not all publishers are producing work on a timely basis, and Diamond allows them some 60-90 days leeway; and for a brokered publisher like, say, Image, it's up to that publisher to decide what the "grace period" actually is. For example, this week we're receiving "The Walking Dead" #51. But the current "Previews" catalog is soliciting "The Walking Dead" #57. That means there are six issues of that series in the pipeline. While it is possible that Image will make the "late" issues returnable, it's pretty rare that this actually happens.

Maybe Monsieur Kirkman needs to be working on fixing his issues with late product?

Monday, August 18, 2008

This Isn't Normally My Thing...

Page Six over at the NY Post had the following blind item:

WHICH hunk in a summer movie is a violent, closeted homosexual? The heartthrob snuck into his ex's apartment a few months ago and raped him so violently, the ex ended up in the hospital - and the actor paid him $500,000 to keep his mouth shut.

My bet? Brendan Fraser. Some are guessing Spider-Man's Harry Osbourne, James Franco.

And, for record, I reviewed their movies this summer...so that's why I'm bothering to discuss it here.

In Case You Missed It

Movie Reviews From Late Last Week:

Kurtz Anti-Critic Diatribe Discussion:
The Kirkman-As-Comic-Book-Unabomber Manifesto:
Various Kibbles & Bits:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kirkman WordBalloon & A Twitter Discussion

Listening to the unabridged version of Kirkman's Manifesto and then his WordBalloon interview with John Siuntres(both actually in John's Kirkman episode), I started Twittering in the middle of my workout at the gym. In the midst of it, Jamaal Thomas (of the mighty Funny Book Babylon) started Twittering about the same and sparked a bit of a debate about it. I had so much fun that it's one of the few times I was glad someone had conflicting opinion. ;)

Kevin Huxford khuxford Wait, Kirkman wants the big two to focus on teens? Do we really think it's too complex for literate teens now? khuxford Wow, nice job, CBR: you edited out the part where Kirkman concedes that maybe some wouldn't be happier his way. khuxford Ok, CBR, maybe it balances out: edited out that big two might be treating creators too nice and paying too much, also.

khuxford Wait, Kirkman says you have to jump in, then says there's nothing wrong with doing both? This is PR BS. khuxford Tackle one problem at a time, but you choose content for kids before figuring out how to get to them? Ugh. khuxford Kirkman is just rambling, modifying stances on the fly. You shouldn't be spitballing without forethought at this level. khuxford Ugh! How does Kirkman miss the idea that mature books were fine for him at 14? It's not complexity that is the issue. khuxford Wait. Name creators can go back to big two if creator stuff fails? For chump change after big two go unknowns? Argh! Par133852_normaljamaal30 @khuxford I think that a lot of people forget that creators are not scholars or p/r people. There's bound to be some inconsistencies jamaal30 This wordballoon w/ kirkman is interesting.. I don't think that he's effectively communicating his 'take the plunge' point

khuxford It's a shame that everyone will try Destroyer Max and Killraven instead of his stuff because he's not all in. khuxford @Jamaal30 it isn't just inconsistent: he directly contradicts himself every few minutes. 180 degree differences. khuxford @Jamaal30 you have to admit: @johnwordballoon pressed for depth in Kirkman's answers like you wanted on Van Sciver. :) jamaal30 @khuxford from what I'm hearing, he's presenting arguments, and backing down when confronted with facts that undermine it jamaal30 @khuxford and I don't know if we're listening to the same podcasr, but I feel like he's making a pretty coherent argument jamaal30 @khuxford it's not a perfect argument, but that's the nature if all big picture theories

jamaal30 @khuxford he did a great job khuxford @Jamaal30 I heard him say leave WFH completely, then backed off, then said you can't give reader Spidey and other 2 pick jamaal30 @khuxford When he was tallking about Spidey, he was contrasting it w/ Invincible. jamaal30 @khuxford If you give a reader a choice between two similar books, it's likely that they'll choose the most familiar one jamaal30 In comparison, if you have say, one of hickman's WFH books vs. one of his Image books, the differences are more pronounced jamaal30 not to mention the fact that he was talking about an ideal (do all creator owned), while acknowledging that one cant generalize

khuxford @Jamaal30 props for using "American exceptionalism" in comic book podcast. If I had a group podcast, FBB'd be the model. khuxford @jamaal30 Funny, he didn't say Invincible that I remember. I still contend that people are watering down what he said when praising it. khuxford @jamaal30 You're coming up with an explanation like you're trying to win a No Prize. ;) He contradicted himself all over the place. jamaal30 @khuxford you're holding him to a ridiculously high standard, like he's a politician or a ceo. i just dont think the 'contradictions' matter khuxford @jamaal30 They do. How do you expect to have your ideas treated seriously when you put so little thought into them? khuxford @jamaal30 The contradictions, also, matter if you can't actually pull one coherent message out, instead of 3-4 competing ideas. jamaal30 He does have a coherent message - creators should do more creator-owned work, particularly if they've been contemplating it. jamaal30 All the other stuff is window dressing. Btw, being treated seriously by who? Us? Bendis? I don't think mid tier guys are dismissing him khuxford @jamaal30 First they have to drop all WFH, then they don't, then having choice of WFH or CO will always have fans buy the WFH khuxford @jamaal30 DC & Marvel have to go all unknowns and do all kid appropriate, then name creators can still do WFH there, then big two can do... khuxford @jamaal30 mature lines or graphic novels of their "all kid appropriate" characters. Where are the artists in this? jamaal30 @khuxford He's trying to explain that the risk of going CO isn't as high as they might think. So if people want to go back, they can jamaal30 @khuxford Yeah, the second part of his argument relates to his theories about the future of the industry and the audience khuxford @jamaal30 That's one of the umpteen different versions of his idea he runs through. It's the one you picked out of the many. khuxford @jamaal30 But he contradicts himself all over the place, leaving no clear, definitive position. jamaal30 it isnt really convincing b/c he has no real business experience, but i think lots of comic fans have serious status quo bias khuxford @jamaal30 Yeah, but he means for that argument to be used in conjunction with the 1st one, yet they don't match up at all. jamaal30 I think that he has a pretty clear position - one about the creators, one about the business. khuxford @jamaal30 Umm...pretty sure Kirkman said this argument was for top flight creators. Mentioned that midtier might not be good enough. jamaal30 All of the things that you wrote as 'contradictions' were his efforts to refine his argument, or illustrate that the transition is less jamaal30 painful than people think it is. so he says, you dont have to look at being the writer/artist on ASM as the pinnacle of your career jamaal30 after listening to the interview, i really dont agree with you re top flight creators khuxford @jamaal30 All due respect, no they weren't. Each "refinement" contradicted the prior one & often backtracked to an earlier "unrefined" point khuxford @jamaal30 The conversation that has started is great, but I'm saying he should have "refined" his ideas before popping off at the mouth. jamaal30 maybe he'll hire a speechwriter next time jamaal30 @khuxford His inability to properly articulate his ideas doesn't mean that we should completely dismiss them. I dont want to play gotcha khuxford @jamaal30 I just have an anti-pollyanna bias. Kirkman's argument is like Trump saying, "you too can make millions in real estate!" khuxford @jamaal30 Well, you missed it. He spoke of how some writers are middle of the road and get jobs more through history with editors. jamaal30 @khuxford But you too can make millions in real estate. khuxford @jamaal30 And he argued that all the people who get so much freedom at DC & Marvel should go creator-owned. Those are top flight only. jamaal30 @khuxford This whole thing is aimed at guys like him, but I guess we can agree to disagree on that. khuxford @jamaal30 Ha! But it's as much the lottery ticket shot as John devil advocate'd Kirkman's creator owned argument. ;) khuxford @jamaal30 I gotcha. I just feel it goes beyond communication issues to failure of critical thinking. khuxford @jamaal30 and his lack of forethought/consistency makes me think he spouted it out quickly for the attention rather than the mission khuxford @jamaal30 Anyway, sorry to make you feel like I'm trying to play gotcha

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bob Fingerman Is Back!

Where did he go, you say? Well...I don't know. He's been a busy man with writing prose work (BOTTOMFEEDER was amazing) and then the HC graphic novel, RECESS PIECES (damn funny read), last year.

But IDW is bringing him back for serialized work and I'm thrilled!

Without further ado, a preview page Bob shared of FROM THE ASHES #1:


San Giacomo's BND Editorial @ Newsarama

Mike San Giacomo is taking some shots from pro-BND readers over on Newsarama that, largely, hold no merit (the shots, not the readers). I was going to respond over there, but I got long-winded enough that I felt it wasn't appropriate to basically blog in the comments section. So I brought it here.

First, the comments that triggered my response:

RJT wrote:

Honestly? You've read all the Clone saga issues, the horrid Howard Mackie-John Byrne issues, and you honestly are dropping the book now? Because it feels like "things don't count"? Spider-man is a fictional character, and everything that happens to him is fictional. It all "counts", or none of it "counts". What a ridiculous statement.

I don't think you should buy any comic that you don't want to, but this wringing of the hands and "oh, precious continuity" seems a bit much.

evilGonz wrote:

@RJT: I'm 100% with you.

Clearly, dropping ASM was a big decision for the writer, partly fueled by not enjoying BND. But the article leads us to believe this decision comes only because he was not enjoying BND, which would therefore make it (gasp!) worse than *anything* since issue 1. And yet the article betrays other reasons why the title was dropped. He was older, he was (clearly) bitter about OMD (which I understand), and how knows what else? So doing our ooh's and aahhh's and look-quesada-told-you-so's at him dropping ASM after 550+ issues is just a little inane, and becomes the focal point of an article that I was hoping would be a bit more objective (just a bit).

In other words, RJT, I'm 100% with you.


How does someone giving a book 18 issues before dropping it a sign of being clearly bitter? And objective? IT'S AN EDITORIAL!!!! DO YOU NOT GET THAT EDITORIALS AND REVIEWS ARE NOT OBJECTIVE THINGS???

Some of the readers are missing his point: the stories feel vapid and insubstantial to him. On top of that, he seems to find the way BND was launched and its failure to demonstrate being part of the larger Marvel U to imply that things might not be as they seem. So it is hard for him to muster interest in stories he thinks will be retconned or explained away in a matter of months (as part of a plan).

And all stories count or none count? No...when companies tell you that stories never happened, were just a dream sequence or have been wiped from the memory of every fictional character so as to have no impact on them...a story can "not count". Now, if you enjoyed them originally, you'll still have those happy memories.

But if you're not thrilled by a story that appears to have no long term bearing on the character, why bother buying it?

There are really two reasons people buy their franchise super-hero books:

1. For good, entertaining stories.
2. To find out what happens to the characters.

If a book isn't doing it for you on #1, you might keep buying it for #2. I know I've had trouble dropping a book because I just needed to know what happened with the characters I like (Winick's Outsiders & Lieberman's Martian Manhunter come to mind).It's that soap-opera-like addiction.

But when you get the feeling that there's really nothing of consequence happening in the books or that everything will be wiped out again soon, #2 doesn't push you to buy the book anymore.

And that, folks, is what I think San Giacomo is trying to say. He ain't bitter. He ain't taking his books too seriously, either. He has an opinion that he is entitled to and one that doesn't resemble what the peanut gallery are trying to ridicule him for.