Thursday, December 02, 2010

DC Comics: Exactly How Many Cooks Do They Need?

DC just announced the promotion of Eddie Berganza to Executive Editor.

That's on top of Didio & Lee being co-publishers. And Geoff Johns having his fancy title & Hollywood focus.

If you'll recall, Executive Editor was the position filled by Dan Didio for years when DC didn't have an Editor-in-Chief and only one man (Paul Levitz) as Publisher.

But now they have two men filling the Publisher role, another man in the previously-unfilled EiC role and yet another in the Executive Editor spot (which has not, to my knowledge, existed simultaneously with an EiC previously at the company).

The need for all of these high management positions escapes me at first glance. It seems to be a sign of bloat.

I wrote the proceeding paragraphs at least 24 hours ago. Now I've read (oddly on CBR and NOT on Newsarama) that Mark Chiarello was announced as a new VP at DC...and I think it's absolutely outstanding news, with no negatives to be found. Does that make me (more of) a hypocrite (than usual)?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

JMS, Guggenheim & Acton Comics

Death: What Happens To Some Pitches
Rich Johnston did a little interview with Marc Guggenheim to help promote his new book, Halycon. In it, he addressed some of the rumors that had surrounded his leaving Action Comics before he really got started.

A few interesting notes:
  1. Guggenheim, like JMS before him, stresses in his response that the two never talked about the situation. This is arguing against a straw man: no part of the rumors have anything to do with the two parties having words at all. When you refute an accusation that isn't being made, it implies you're doing so because you can't directly refute what's actually being said.
  2. In not being able to personally attest that no mandate was requested that Superman not appear elsewhere, he basically indicates that the pitch JMS made more or less requires Joe getting Kal-El all to himself. It's almost as if Guggenheim is saying, "I'm sure JMS is telling the truth when he says he never specifically asked for control of Superman...he let his pitch do the asking."
  3. The official version of Guggenheim leaving Action Comics said his pitch turned into something that he felt he wasn't the best writer for. Guggenheim's answer seems to suggest that Superman being out of Action happened sometime between his being picked for Action and JMS being announced on Superman. So HIS pitch was something else before editorial informed him that Superman would be confined to his self-titled monthly. 
  4. The pitch that he wound up not fitting was what was a mix of him trying to make lemonade out of the situation and taking editorial direction. "In fact, I'd worked out a whole story that would lead up to Superman's triumphant return to Metropolis -- in it's darkest hour, natch -- that turned his absence into a virtue. But then, as these things often happen, discussions ensued and ideas evolved and the focus started to fall more on Lex and the story started to become more about Lex's quest for a Black Ring... and I realized that while the story had become extremely cool, it had also evolved itself out of my wheelhouse." See right there? His own pitch, even after the JMS developments, was to focus on setting up Metropolis's darkest hour, not so much Luthor's jaunt across the globe and universe trying to find a black ring. Writers don't generally pitch something out of their own wheelhouse, but have feedback from above that steadily pushes it out. 
  5. It would seem that what led Guggenheim to not be a part of Action Comics was a combination of JMS taking advantage of his position in pitching an angle that required his owning Superman and editorial having strong feelings about what they wanted the title to be used for after the Kryptonian was subtracted from the mix. Which, when you boil things down, just reduces to Guggenheim being off the title because DC Comics kept changing the circumstances around the assignment until he was no longer comfortable with it. The discussion of the rumors have always seemed to center around it being JMS's fault, but that's ignoring that he only has the power to make a pitch, not accept the pitch and, by doing so, put limitations on the work of others. When you factor into it that Guggenheim seems to have been happy enough to stay on the title without Kal-El, the driving factor in his leaving would seem to be editorial taking even more of the freedom to tell his story away. 
But what's the point of the rumors if there's no malice behind the story?

It looks to me like Straczynski had a genuine idea that he wanted to execute. DC had an earnest desire to let him take a crack at it in hopes that it would move units. Guggenheim was still able to have enough enthusiasm to keep bouncing around ideas on where to go. Then DC seemed to want to hedge their bets by using Action to accomplish some other goal besides just telling interesting stories. 

Given the sales on the traditional Superman titles in the recent past when they didn't have Superman in them, you can't blame them for possibly having thought, "if we're going to risk pissing away money on the book, we can at least do so in a way that maybe helps re-establish a historically important supporting cast member while hopefully telling good stories." It's obviously a shitty spot for Guggenheim to have been caught up in, but the kind of bad situation that happens to good creators all the time. Tough decisions are made every day that pull sweet gigs out from under freelancers. I guess you could say the silver lining here is that it happened to a creator that is so successful in other avenues that he could afford to bow out of the project, rather than suffer from working on stories he had no interest in or having his reputation tainted by such stories that he felt ill-suited for. 

The surprise for me is that Cornell seems to have been given so much of the direction he's working on. He's still executing it in a very entertaining fashion, as even Guggenheim seems to agree. But I was more inclined to think he came up with much closer to 100% than it turns out. 

The way that both JMS and Guggenheim devote so much energy to denying that they ever talked about this leads me to feel that there may have been some degree of a debate or power struggle...SOMETHING that would explain their need to create a straw man here. But there's no way of confirming that happened right now and it's not likely to be a "sexy" enough story to encourage the effort it would take to dig it up. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mr. Anonymous No More!

Don't get excited. I mean that in the "Spider-Man No More" way, not as an indication that the formerly anonymous source stands revealed.

My insider has indicated that, for reasons I won't share for fear they might lead him to be identified, they will no longer be able to provide SCHWAPP!!! with privileged info. They may have told me this today, the last time I ran info from them or at any time in between.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


(or why I hope the CGI is still being tweaked in a movie I'm otherwise fairly excited to see)

The Internet Is A Powerful Tool

You should always be careful what you ask for.

The other day, I linked to where Marvel Editor Axel Alonso compared Age of X to Curse of the Mutants, rather than Second Coming. In the comments/board section of that same article, I found the following request by a fan:

On a more constructive note have you guys at Marvel ever though about doing something similar to what Top Cow did and let the fans vote on what ongoing series they would like to see.

Now, keep in mind, this is the thread born from a regular feature that interviews Alonso and Tom Brevoort. In the thread itself, someone using the account "stephen wacker" is seen participating.

And around noon on Monday? We get a poll asking readers to decide which of two Deadpool series survives. When Rob Liefeld indicates one of them was already scheduled to end at its twelfth issue. Meaning there could be such a quick turnaround time of Saturday to noon Monday, seeing as how the poll was folly, as its results aren't public and it is tied to a decision already made.

Or, of course, it could have been an idea earlier than that. But you never know. So be careful out there...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Lantern Trailer Hits Web

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Damnable Comparisons

So, over in the T&A column on CBR, Axel Alonso said the following about the new AGE OF X event:

This is an instance where a writer – Mike Carey – had an idea big enough that his editor – Daniel Ketchum – thought we should huddle up to discuss it. Upon review, David Gabriel and I realized we were looking at a tight and focused event, more along the lines of "Curse of the Mutants" than, say, "Second Coming." It's a big story, but it doesn't cut across lot of titles and it definitely won't outstay its welcome.

Aside from the big numbers on the X-Men #1 issue, has Curse of the Mutants been that strong in sales that you'd want to compare a new project to it? I don't know and can't be arsed to look it up. I just know everything I heard about no one wanting to be involved in that top-down project. If I were Carey, I'd be a bit offended to have my idea compared to Curse of the Mutants. Wouldn't you?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why I'd Doubt JMS's Explanations

(Editor's Note: yes, a string of JMS posts. I've been rather sporadic in updating this blog, but, when I do work on it, I shoot out a bunch of posts about a subject I'm passionate about. One thing I'm always passionate about: railing against bullshit when I feel someone's trying to shove a steaming pile in my direction. {sniff sniff} Whattaya know? I do believe I smell some...)

So, JMS has been giving more reactions to the news of him leaving monthly books to focus on Superman: Earth One (and possibly other self-contained projects). And, to my mind, he is giving people more reason to doubt his word on the whole thing each time he grants an interview.

Why is that, you say?


On Newsarama, JMS said on Friday, regarding Brave & The Bold:

I filled in a bit on The Brave and the Bold to kind of get my sea legs in the DC Universe.

And on CBR:

I came to DC primarily to do "Superman: Earth One," and filled out the time on "The Brave and the Bold."

Back in January on CBR, JMS sang a different tune about the series:

When we last spoke, you said you've told DC that by the end of 2010, "The Brave and The Bold" will be somewhere in the top 20 or 30 books and that you have a plan to make that happen. Can you share any details about how this will happen?
Step 1 is to build up the credibility of the book as something other than an oddity. We've made some good progress in that area, given the majority of the reviews and attention the book is now getting from critics and the blogosphere.
Step 2 is to start upping the ante, taking some real chances with the storytelling, getting more experimental.
Step 3 is a secret. I've talked about it with [DCU Executive Editor] Dan DiDio, and he's on board. It's our Manhattan Project, for lack of a better term. If we pull it off, it'll draw enough attention to bring the book the rest of the way up.
So, he was making declarations about how he'd turn his feet-wetting, fill-in book a Top 30 title...and he needed to get his sea legs in the DC Universe when the main focus of his hire was just Superman: Earth One, which is not set in that universe. Coupling a series you're just passing time on with bold claims of sales success you plan on having due to a secret master plan you've cooked up makes no sense, unless, possibly, if your name is Mark Millar.

He, also, contradicts himself on the matter of Wonder Woman, in my opinion, in his interview with Newsarama...and manages to do it all in one answer:

Nrama: Was this connected to recent delays on your comics?
JMS: No. First, there's only been one delay on Superman due to a recurring lung infection that has, happily, been resolved once and for all. There were no delays on Wonder Woman, and before the B&B hiatus, all of those issues came out on time.
Once the decision was made to shift me from the monthlies a few weeks ago, they put out the word that the next Wonder Woman issue would be pushed, but that was just to buy time to find a new writer to finish the story.
If your scripts were coming in on time, why is an issue that you should have handed in the script for long ago pushed "to find a new writer"? Where is the logic to that? Are you suggesting DC wants to scrap a perfectly good script that they surely paid for so they can have the new writer re-write it from your plots, JMS? Or are you, as I suspect, just trying to hide your repeated lateness issues behind excuses that insult the intelligence of the readers?

Let me say again, the answer boils down to this: he had no delays on Wonder Woman, but DC is delaying it because they needed to find a writer who would have nothing to do with contributing to the actual issue in question.

If the issue was held for any other reason than lateness on someone's part, the only explanation I can think of is that, contrary to public statements thus far, they plan on trying to condense the conclusion to the JMS storyline so they can bring in a new permanent writer sooner. If that is the case, then his "I had no delays on Wonder Woman" is accurate, but his explanation for the issue getting pushed back is a lie of omission.

Let's not ignore that he talks about Brave & The Bold going on a hiatus that was never announced that I can find. You know, he wasn't late on anything with the just took an unannounced break that had nothing to do with his timeliness. If you can find where it was announced, I welcome a link to it in the comments, dear readers.

What we seem to be seeing here, folks, is a pattern of inconsistency. Which is to say a pattern of making up excuses on the fly that seem to forget that Al Gore invented the internet, which allows us compare what you're spitting out now with previous statements and other known facts. Making up excuses is, also, known as bullshitting.

If you're going to follow J. Michael Straczynski's spin-filled statements and interviews on this subject, may I suggest you wear your high waters? Because he's shoveling on the readers pretty deep.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Earth One OGNs: Is Serialization After-The-Fact Completely Dead Now?

So, we all know that JMS had that famous statement at a SDCCI panel that he later chastised bloggers for getting wrong (when they didn't) about Superman: Earth One debuting as an OGN, being serialized afterwards, collected again and then further volumes debuting in serialized, non-OGN format.

DC attempted to address the tempest-in-a-teapot, but, as David Brothers pointed out, they seemed to sidestep directly answering whether the project would ever be broken into single issues.

I'm guessing that the reported success of the initial volume rules that out or at least tables it for the time being. As a huge proponent of OGNs, I'm glad for their apparent win here. As someone who'd have died of curiosity had he been born, instead, as a cat, I'm saddened that the OGN's performance likely means never knowing for certain whether there was anything to JMS's misstep.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

JMS: The Half-Term Governor Of Monthly Comics

So...anyone else embarrassed at this point to have rallied to JMS's side in the One More Day fiasco?

After publicly stating that he nearly requested his name be removed from OMD, it seemed the reaction from a lot of fans was "fuck yeah, JMS, you tell 'em!" Who knew it was more about being a prima donna or diva?

Since that, he left Thor because, after asking for and getting 6 issues without tying into a Big Event (TM), Marvel eventually needed the series to tie-in. And that was just too much to ask of JMS...and he blew that popsicle stand.

Leaving his last ongoing Marvel title made him pretty much full-time DC. That led to some more fun.

After the decision to relaunch the Red Circle characters in the Brave And The Bold title, going so far as several completed scripts and, apparently, completed artwork, he told DC Comics he couldn't do it and that he needed to do it as a separate event. He no longer wanted to do it that way, so he pretty much unilaterally decided it wouldn't be done that way. That is, if you believe his version of the story.

He gets put on Superman. has some really interesting rumors about it. Ones that, despite JMS protesting, appear to be quite nearly spot-on. This involves the idea that he required control of Superman, pulling him from his second monthly title and other regular books. This effectively ran Marc Guggenheim off the book. Given that the Superman books without Superman for a year had significantly dropped in sales, I really don't buy that DC Comics decided on their own that a pitch to have Action Comics star Lex Luthor with no Superman was the way to go (note: I'm glad that it worked out this way, because I'm loving Paul Cornell's run).

No, it seems much more likely that DC Comics was so excited about the idea of JMS bringing attention and sales to the Superman title that they were willing to give him control of the character and try out a creative pitch for a Superman-less Action. Even if it meant pulling the rug out from under a previously committed writer (Guggenheim) and replacing him with another (Cornell).

JMS was, also, put on Wonder Woman. While there are no rumors about the circumstances around that and no second series to be intruded upon, it does seem like he was given just as absolute control over her. One can't say that her lack of appearances elsewhere are a result of a requirement on the writer's part, it does present itself as a possibility, based on the rumored issues with Superman.

Then came the reader reaction to the directions JMS took two of DC's flagship characters. It wasn't good, but DC had committed themselves firmly to the story arcs that JMS laid out. I mean a serious deluge of PR. Pushing for coverage in major news outlets. With Superman, apparent attempts to coordinate with areas of the country that he'd be walking through for additional press. It'd be extremely difficult to extricate themselves from that without it being a major embarrassment.

What adds insult to injury? That JMS don't work cheap, as far as I can tell, and the books ain't selling.

But the news isn't all dire. The Superman: Earth One project debuts to a lot of press coverage and...shock...sales to match.

Enter the reality: the best way to get through this is to have talented, more affordable talent finish out the directions of Superman & Wonder Woman, while moving JMS over to a property that might just sell enough to justify his pay rate: his Superman: Earth One project. Seems like an excellent job of making the best of a bad situation.

But, you may ask, how does this cast JMS in a prima-donna/diva light?

Well, I believe he leaked the move to to try to get ahead of the news. Why do I think he leaked it? I love Rich Johnston as much as the next guy (or probably more, given how many bash him), but the fact that JMS chose and only to give a statement to regarding the move seems like one hand washing the other: Rich runs his leak (that frames the move to be about the future of publishing and NOT about sales not meriting his pay rate on the monthlies) and JMS will give him an exclusive statement on the issue later (one where he frames himself as it all being about the craft, indicating he's leaving substantial money on the table).

(Update: Rich Johnston, in the comments below, refutes my theory that JMS leaked the info to him and gave him the exclusive response afterward as part of a quid pro quo. It doesn't negate the overall idea that JMS, to some extent, used his statement to to spin the news.)

Just to be clear: I don't posit that theory in any way to knock Rich for it. Johnston often cries the loudest that he's not a journalist. There's been evidence of posting rumors/scoops on his site that were actually PR folks using him to generate buzz. He's there to generate hits and disseminate info that his audience wants to read. So I wouldn't fault him for agreeing to such an arrangement. I, also, don't doubt that he approached DC for a reaction, with both he and JMS being reasonably certain they wouldn't have an official one.

In JMS's official statement, he even appears to manage to blame his artist, Chris Weston, for the delays regarding The Twelve. But, you know, that's almost not worth noting, given all of his other incidents.

God help DC Comics if the future installments of Superman: Earth One don't sell similarly to the first one.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

UPDATE: It's With Sadness That I Point This Out

Update: On Newsarama's Twitter feed, the following was posted:

We're sorry about the batspoiler guys. Mainstream media had already gone wide w/ it & we had to have a direct hl for our synd. partners.
11:42 PM Nov 3rd via Echofon

Followed up later with:

@tonywolfness Still, next time hopefully I won't personally be out, and be able to work w/Mike on a mainstream AND spoiler-free HL -Lucas
about 6 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to tonywolfness
I don't see how needing a direct headline for syndication partners changes next time. I don't see how one benefits from alienating your direct readers to satisfy syndication partners when, eventually, you tend to lose syndication partners when you lose standing/credibility in your niche coverage area with readers. If the site keeps offending the sensibilities of its readers, they go elsewhere. If they go elsewhere, their coverage starts lacking from one cause or another (less standing with the publishers, best contributors find work at a more visible/better paying site, etc).

I, also, don't see how indicating it is a crap shoot dependent on which editor has the "keys to the car" on a given Wednesday that decides whether spoiler etiquette is followed provides real comfort to the readers, either.


From 3:00am EST on 11/4/2010

So much of my comic-book-geekdom is tied to Newsarama. It was the first comic book site I frequented. It's the only commercial comic book site I've ever written for (and, hey, they even paid me SOME of the time).

But since Matt Brady left, it has not been the same.

Michael Doran (the top dog there, as far as matters like this are concerned) put up a "story" about the developments in Batman & Robin #16 at around 9am this morning. The TITLE of the story was a big, huge, honking spoiler.

The comment thread is, no lie, about 67% (24 out of 35 posts) filled with people complaining about the fact that Newsarama posted spoilers with no warning, particularly right in the title. The first complaint was the third comment in. 

Guess when they fixed it? As of 2:43am, THEY HAVEN'T. 

Three of the better responses from readers:

Re: (Big Spoiler Article Title I'm Not Reprinting Here)
by TheTwelfthDoctor » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:32 pm
Good thing I managed to read Batman and Robin #16 before coming here! I can't believe that after all these complaints, Newsarama still hasn't bothered to change the stupid spoiler headline. I know this site has become a complete joke compared to what it used to be, but COME ON...

Re: (Nope, Still Not Reprinting)
by Adam G » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:50 pm
I have to say this is all messed up. I was waiting to read this issue after I read The Return Of Bruce Wayne #6. Just because the books were released out of order does not mean I have to read them out of order. I buy them the day they come out but I do have some sort of self control and can wait while avoiding spoilers.
I go to CBR, notice in the title that something happens and I stay away from the article, I come here and see the spoiler in the headline. Very poor on your part Newsarama. I used to love this site and I think by posting the spoiler in the headline was some sort of last ditch effort to keep some readers.
Sad thing is, this has probably brought the most comments this site has seen in a while and not one was from you guys saying your were sorry

Re: (Notice I've Managed Not To Spoil It)
by skywatcher » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:00 pm
Yes, it's a sign of how far the site has fallen that no one from the staff has monitored the responses to this news item. It's a bit late to do anything about it now, but a simple admission from Mike Doran (who has been around since Newsarama's original inception) that he made a mistake with the headline might have gone some way toward healing the damage.
Poor show, Newsarama.

Yeah, pretty poor show.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Booze & Banter W/ Palmiotti, Connor, Johnson, Bradstreet & Jane

Years ago, I bid on the Quesada lunch at NYCC (also for Hero Initiative) just for the splash it would have made. It was not very long after Mr. Anonymous gave me spoilers for Secret Invasion due to being incensed by the "marvel_b0y" viral campaign. I wasn't so much excited about the opportunity to talk with Mr. Quesada as I was interested in it generating some additional attention for the site while donating to an excellent cause.

You know what I'd gladly bid on for the sheer enjoyment of the meeting?

Join funnyman and writer Jimmy Palmiotti along with Amanda Connor, Tom Jane, Tim Bradstreet, and the Rev. Dave Johnson for conversation and cocktails at Long Beach’s Gladstone’s Restaurant, near The Long Beach Convention Center, Friday, October 29, 5 -7pm to help raise money for Hero Initiative.

Amanda Connor of Power Girl and Supergirl, actor Tom Jane of The Punisher, Boogie Nights, Thin Red Line and HBO’s current dark comedy Hung, Eisner Award-nominated illustrator Tim Bradstreet, and one of the finest cover designers ever, The Reverend Dave Johnson, will join Jimmy Palmiotti in one room talking about what drives them in this industry…and what drives them crazy in the industry. Who knows where the conversation will go? This is a private party YOU do not want to miss.

This thing here? If I could make it to Cali and had the slightest amount of scratch to put together, I'd be intent on winning that for the experience. Just Jimmy & Amanda would seem to be a damned interesting hang. Adding the others? An intimidatingly interesting hang (intimidating in as much as there'd be an overload of "interesting"). 

It's kinda odd that they refer to Jimmy as a "funnyman". He's got quite a sense of humor, but I'm used to seeing the term only attached to stand-up comics and the like. Maybe Mr. Palmiotti has been hitting open mic nights at Florida comedy clubs? ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Note To Comic Book PR Staff

It's great when you hit your press list to see who is going to be at the convention. That's a nice touch.

When your query is answered in the affirmative, responding "Huxford for the win!" (or, you know, the applicable name)? 

As I had to debate making it to the convention (sadly settling on sitting it out), the enthusiastic response from that publisher's publicity team was responsible for my waffling several times towards the "I'm going" side of my mental struggle. I guarantee that it would have caused me to make a special effort to cover them. Definitely adds positively to that touch. Hell, it could have been a standard response for all I know, but it still had the desired effect. You could tell me it was a form response, but, given the infectious enthusiasm displayed by this company's PR team/individual in the past, I'd be inclined to think it was heartfelt and it being a "form" was just an attempt to "work smarter, not harder" rather than evidence of being disingenuous. 

I won't call out the team or individual I'm praising here. I've praised them in the past and they'll know I'm referring to them if they see this. I sometimes worry that someone within the industry will get judged negatively for showing me a kindness, so I'd prefer to err on the side of caution (as paranoid as I'm aware that sounds).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"We Thought, 'Why Does Every Indy Book Have To Be Rated R?'"


All indie books are rated R, just like there is no long form, thoughtful criticism of deserving comic books or graphic novels out there.

None of these exist.

They are like the Easter Bunny.

Or like Santa Claus.

(I know a male-friendly lesbian, so it doesn't fit here)

They are figments of your fucking imagination.

Pay no attention to the links to purchase below.

Perhaps Bendis is just shocked that no one has been brave or pioneering enough to do an all ages indie book with such a small company like Marvel supporting them?

All ball busting aside, it is great that two big name professionals are directing some attention to all ages work. If I were a bigger fan of POWERS, I might be pissed that the team is putting another project in the way of what was supposed to be an ongoing series they relaunched together. But it's still nice that they're doing this.

A friend of mine pointed out that the quote referenced in the title of this entry rubbed him the wrong way. It seemed to him that Bendis was trying to claim that they were working in uncharted territory here. Perhaps that colored the way I read the quote, as well.

If Bendis was thinking more along the lines of "why does every indy book from best selling creators" or "...from my circle of friends", he might be more accurate (even though MICE TEMPLAR is probably as all ages as MOUSE GUARD). But then his answer might be that all ages books are more often a labor of love than a financially successful endeavor, at least or especially in the direct market. 

I'm sure he's hopeful that it sells really well on the strength of the names involved, but will still be content if the project doesn't succeed financially, as long as he feels it succeeded creatively. If that's the case, I really do applaud him for it, despite what you may think from the tone of most of this entry.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

PR: Goes BOOM!

For Immediate Release:



Thursday, October 7th, 10am PST – Los Angeles, CA, / NYC, NY / Fort Wayne, IN – BOOM! Studios proudly adds MyDigitalComics ( as another venue to bring you some of the finest, award-winning BOOM! Studios comics digitally this fall. Take your digital comics anywhere as MyDigitalComics offers BOOM! Studios' comics online through MyDigitalComics new page flipper format that fans everywhere can read on a either Mac or PC! MyDigitalComics now makes it easier than ever to read your favorite BOOM! Studios titles!

MyDigitalComics launches its partnership with BOOM! today with some of BOOM!’s most recent top-selling comics, such as 28 DAYS LATER, DIE HARD, the Eisner Award-nominated graphic translation of Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, as well as BOOM!’s bestselling original Mark Waid penned Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated IRREDEEMABLE, companion series INCORRUPTIBLE, and supernatural thriller THE UNKNOWN among a host of others.

All BOOM! Studios single issue digital comics are priced at $1.99 with the first half of each series’ first issue available to download for free.

“BOOM! Studios is always looking to further our commitment to getting our comics and graphic novels into the hands of fans everywhere ,” said BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “This new agreement with MyDigitalComics only shows how strong the commitment to our fans is. BOOM! Studios publishes some of the most diverse comics out there, and the addition of MyDigitalComics shows that we have the most diverse options for new and old fans alike to experience our comics digitally.”

Fans of BOOM! Studios should also be aware that the entire BOOM! Studios backlist will be released through MyDigitalComics in the coming months, so make sure to frequent to keep up to date with all the latest BOOM! Studios digital releases.

MyDigitalComics' groundbreaking association with online print retailers Discount Comic Book Service (DCBS) and InStockTrades also allows fans an immediate opportunity to buy print versions of their favorite BOOM! titles at a price point sure to excite readers!

BOOM! Studios’ addition of MyDigitalComics ( as a digital distributor of a BOOM! Studios front and backlist comes soon after BOOM!’s summer 2010 release of the BOOM! Studios Comics App on the iPad and iPhone, developed in partnership with comiXology, which came in at #7 in all ebook free app downloads on the day of release, coming right behind Marvel's app. MyDigitalComics joins a growing list of digital distributors such as comiXology, iVerse,, and Panelfly, offering BOOM! Studios publications digitally and extending BOOM!’s commitment to reach comic fans everywhere.

Long a leader in the digital comics space, BOOM! Studios shocked the comics industry in early 2008 with the first day-and-date print and digital release of their comic book NORTH WIND, in partnership with MySpace.  BOOM! is also noted as one of the first comic book publishers to make their comics available through mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android mobile devices.

Along with an aggressive digital distribution strategy, BOOM! Studios also has some of the most varied and diverse print distribution of any comic book publishing company. This past spring, BOOM! Studios announced that Haven Distributors would be carrying the full line of BOOM! Studios and BOOM Kids! new releases to the direct market. In the Summer of 2009, BOOM! Studios announced mass market distribution deals with Simon & Schuster and HarperCollinsCanada, with Simon & Schuster distributing BOOM! Studios and BOOM Kids! lines of graphic novels in the United States and HarperCollinsCanada distributing in Canada.

In the Spring of 2009, BOOM! announced a newsstand distribution deal for their BOOM Kids! line through Kable Distribution Services, Inc., best known amongst comic book fans for distributing Archie Comics throughout North America in the United States and Canada.

The entire BOOM! Studios and BOOM Kids! line of publications are also offered in the direct market by Diamond Comics Distributors and Haven Distributors
About BOOM! Studios:
BOOM! Studios (, 2009 "Best Publisher" of the year, generates a wide-ranging catalog of multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic books and graphic novels featuring some of the industry’s top talent, including Philip K. Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, 20th Century Fox's 28 DAYS LATER and DIE HARD, The Henson Company's FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. This fall sees BOOM! teaming up with the legendary Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics’ characters Spider-Man, The Hulk, and The X-Men for a line of original superhero series, the legend’s first new superhero creations in nearly 20 years. BOOM!'s youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, is an undisputed industry leader publishing Disney/Pixar's THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney's THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.

About MyDigitalComics:
An up and comer in the digital comics market place, MyDigitalComics (, provides fans a digital option for their comics and offers titles in PDF, CBZ, and page flipper formats. MDC works in affiliation with Discount Comic Book Service ( DCBS is one of the nation’s largest comics retailers and its sister store, InStockTrades (, is a mainstay of the collected edition market, keeping over 11,000 individual trade paperback and hardcover titles in stock.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Respecting Sources

It should go without saying that inside/confidential sources are respected and protected. But after seeing feel the need to spell it out, let me make it clear.

If you have any information you want to get out to the people, I don't give up sources or bow to pressure. I'm not afraid of being burnt or blacklisted. I don't worry that an unflattering but true story will kill my chances at having a project published somewhere down the line. I couldn't be plied or bought into giving up source by the carrot or the stick.

If you have something truly newsworthy, I'm interested.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Bendis Reaction

I've seen some criticism of my reaction to Bendis calling Dirk Deppey's claims about blackballing "paranoia".

The most common complaint isn't that I said he was lying (which, I guess, is tacit approval of calling it such). No, it is the complaint that I said he needs to put "more of an effort into his work than it appears he currently is" if his true issue is that he wants more in-depth/long-form reviewing of his work. This has been labeled a personal attack and that I have an ax to grind.

I don't know Bendis. I don't have any web cams set up in his residence to see how much he is applying himself or a chip in his head to feed me data about the effort he is making.

What I do know is that the type of reviewing he was suggesting didn't exist is out there already and much easier to find than he's suggesting, if you're not just looking via Google alerts set for your name and the projects you're working on. He couldn't have spent as much time ever looking for such work as he spends discussing and dissecting a Howard Stern show. But he wanted to state to the world that the comic book industry is nigh perfect but for the lacking of deeper reviews and real journalism.

What I do know is that the current output coming from Bendis gives the appearance that he's not challenging himself. He looks like he has fallen into formula and into pushing out mediocre work to satisfy demand. The work gives the appearance that he's not challenging himself, not even with Scarlet. Maybe I have a higher opinion of his talents, but even with trying to write a book where he's breaking the fourth wall (admittedly not in his comfort zone), he doesn't seem to be applying himself to the best of his abilities. His work isn't reflecting the talent he has proven himself to have in the past, so I'd chalk that up to a lack of effort.

Whether you consider me to be a legitimate critic or not (I don't really care to argue for or against the label), you're kidding yourself if you think that critics don't point out a perceived lack of effort from an artist. An Ebert or Travers will certainly point out if they feel like an actor sleepwalked through their role or a director didn't bring their "A" game. If you want to take exception with the phrasing, that's fine...but with the type of observation tucked away in that phrasing? You're wrong.

As far as a personal ax to grind? I don't have one. There are several ways Bendis conducts himself that I don't like or admire. I think the way he handles his forum stunts his growth, because it surrounds him with far too many people who will blindly praise him and stroke his ego (and, as it appears to be part of an attempt to model himself after Stern, this may be intentional). Knowing what I've heard through back channels about his reaction to criticism of his work from outlets (be it their writers or just reader comments), I get the impression that he can be petty, which doesn't endear him to me.

But when he comes out with broad generalizations about coverage of his industry? When there are a ton of people I respect and/or am friendly with that he painted with that broad brush? When I know he's aware of the ways his employer stunts the growth of the legitimate journalism side of things? I get livid.

I have no personal experience with Bendis to have an ax to grind because of. If there were reason for anyone to have an ax, it would be from Bendis towards me for the Secret Invasion spoilers, which probably played some role in my rarely-used BenBo account being banned and his eventually blocking me from following his Twitter account. Which, for the record, don't generate an ax for me to grind: both steps just make it slightly more difficult to grab news generated from either.

For the record, I've had some sincere regret for the SI spoilers. As marvel_b0y faded from faded from memory, I lamented that sharing that information may have significantly reduced the impact of the first issue of the event for many readers. As wrong as I felt Marvel's viral marketing attempt was (whether they started or merely co-opted marvel_b0y), I didn't feel good about the possibility that some readers didn't enjoy the issue as intended and that Bendis might not have gotten the exact credit he deserved from the readership for it. That's why it was relatively easy for a third party to convince me to not directly run the next batch of SI spoilers and why I didn't run the Secret Avengers lineup months before the first issue hit, much to the chagrin of some spoiler-starved readers.

But I have no regrets due to any burning or blackballing. Not that it didn't have either of those effects on me; I just couldn't care less if it did. My problem with the way publishers lord access over the sites covering them is how they punish large groups rather than individuals. There was a time where people would watch 60 MINUTES on CBS and wonder, "damn, why'd they even agree to interview with Morley Safer/Mike Wallace/Ed Bradley? Haven't they watched the show before?" The guilty sat down to interviews they probably shouldn't have agreed to do. But no one expected that should mean the company would drop CBS from their press release list, ban them from their press conference or never advertise with them again. Or cut off all media completely.

But that's what Marvel did with review PDF access when someone leaked ads for Secret Avengers and OMIT on to the internet. They shut down the review PDF system for everyone. They didn't just limit it to more trusted sources (though there was no way of knowing whether the leak came from a retailer or a reviewer). They didn't decide to make PDFs without ads available (which, personally speaking, should have been the norm to begin with). An advertisement from a book was shared publicly a day or two early, so they pulled all access to reviewable product from all outlets.

It was fear of Newsarama receiving unjust punishment from Marvel for my disagreement with two of their writers that led me to quit working for the site for a long period of time. I was an unpaid contributor who had a personal disagreement, but Matt Brady or Troy Brownfield were going to suffer for my free expression? Someone's actual livelihood might be impacted because Marvel might be less friendly with access as long as I was there? Fuck that.

Bendis knows that is the reality and he should damn well know that the industry isn't so big that you'll always be able to find a publisher for your news article if it is good enough. Hell, the comic book industry isn't even big enough that insiders feel they can feed much information without it tracking back to them and hurting their career. Then again, he made such vague statements (that he says detractors misread, while supporters are adding all kinds of non-existent detail to) that one wonders if his point wasn't just to create a shitstorm that his name was at the center of. Scour his Twitter and message boards as I have, there doesn't seem to be an indication of what type of journalism he's looking for. A retrospective on an artist's career? That's the hard/long-form journalism we're missing? C'mon, that can't be it.

I'm interested to hear what some of you readers/lurkers think. Was pointing out a perceived lack of effort and desire to see more praise on Bendis' part truly a "personal attack" that "you wouldn't see a real critic make"? I don't care if you have to reply on a borrowed computer using your worst enemy's severed hand, I'd like to hear what you think. Hell, it doesn't even have to be in this comments section. Just work my name or the site name into the discussion so I have a hope of pulling it up through a Google alert to get the feedback.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Be A Hero


Help support The Hero Initiative by using your Ralphs, Food4Less, and Cala/Bell rewards card

Comic fans, its your turn to help comic creators!

Monday, September 27, 2010 - Mark Waid and The Hero Initiative want comic fans to rise up and be a hero! If you live in California, Nevada, Illinois, and Indiana, sign up your Ralphs, Food4Less, Cala Foods or Bell Markets rewards card with the “Community Contributions” program and the next time you shop using your rewards card you'll be helping comic book creators in need of emergency medical aid, financial support, and other necessities. It's never been easier to be a hero!

As part of the “Community Contributions” program, Ralphs, Food4Less, Cala Foods and Bell Markets will make a donation to The Hero Initiative every time you shop with your rewards card. Not only are you saving money but you're saving lives.

Here's how you too can become a hero!:

1) Log onto your and sign into your rewards account. If you don't have a account sign up, it's free and it saves you cash!

2) After signing in, click on the following link:
or if that doesn't work try the second link blow:

3) Fill out the information form including The Hero Initiative NPO# and corporate name:
NPO#: 80680
Corporate Name: A Commitment To Our Roots.

4) Start shopping!

If you've already signed up but it's been more than a year, sign up again! Every Sept 1st “Community Contributions” are reset which means if you're not sure your purchasing power is helping The Hero Initiative, now's the time to find out!

So tell your family, friends, comic shop acquaintances, Mark Waid is looking for heroes! Sign up those rewards cards and shop at your local Ralphs, Food4Less, Cala Foods and/or Bell Markets to help The Hero Initiative and uphold a tradition of generosity towards comic creators in need of medical, financial, and moral support.

To find your local Ralphs use the Ralphs Store Locator.

To find your local Food4Less use the Food4Less Store Locator.

About The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative ( is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.

About BOOM! Studios
BOOM! Studios ( 2009 "Best Publisher" of the year, generates a wide-ranging catalog of multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic books and graphic novels featuring some of the industry’s top talent, including Philip K. Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, 20th Century Fox's 28 DAYS LATER and DIE HARD, The Henson Company's FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. This fall sees BOOM! teaming up with the legendary Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics’ characters Spider-Man, The Hulk, and The X-Men for a line of original superhero series, the legend’s first new superhero creations in nearly 20 years. BOOM!'s youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, is an undisputed industry leader publishing Disney/Pixar's THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney's THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Did I Say Dishonest?

So, Dirk Deppey had the following to say regarding Brian Michael Bendis' call to hard comic book journalism:

As anyone who’s ever worked for The Comics Journal will tell you, practicing real journalism will get you blackballed in no time. Specifically: It will get you blackballed by Brian Michael Bendis’ employer in no time.

The response from Bendis? "Paranoia. another excuse."

Really? C'mon. Someone from Marvel's offices have called to threaten sites over bad reviews, let alone unflattering reporting. Rumors say a well-known weekly feature (in a Cup) switched sites in part because they got mad that a creator independently offered up info in an interview (that was run) that the publisher had supplied previously under terms of an embargo.

Thing is: I'm 99.99% certain Bendis knows enough about the stuff that goes on between Marvel & the sites that profit from covering Marvel to know that what Deppey says is NOT paranoia. So he's crossed over into flat out lying.

He could have left it alone, but insisted on addressing it with a false accusation of paranoia. It just gives further support to this being about Bendis wanting long form praise of his work and less instances of snark about it. The way to go about it is putting more of an effort into his work than it appears he currently is, not decrying the work ethic and integrity of everyone else and supporting it with bullshit.

Dishonest, Hypocritical Bendis: Addendum

Bendis is breaking his hand patting himself on the back for the reaction he's gotten from "thin-skinned" reviewers and journalists.

Here's an example:

The un-ironic way in which thin-skinned reviewers got mad at me for wondering why reviewers are so thin skinned is probably my favorite thing ever calling for less snark and more thoughtful reviews and hard journalism, he's made broad, uninformed generalizations and focusing most of his effort on jabbing insults at his targets. He gave so little time and effort in composing his thoughts on the matter that he's having to spend a lot of time...criticizing others for not seeming to comprehend what he said. He knew so little about what is actually out there that it wasn't long into his starting the "discussion" that he was presented with a laundry list of examples that satisfied exactly what, in theory, he was looking for (only in theory, because, as previously stated, he's largely looking for long-form, verbal fellatio from reviewers).

When even the creators supposedly calling for deeper stuff from comic book "journalists" are doing so through trading in the same snark that the readership seems to respond to (as evidenced by hits and their own snarky comments that hurt the po' widdle feewings of big time writers), can you seriously expect a productive discourse? Or respect the creator who is essentially saying we should get off the momma jokes because he just got off of yours?

(1. Yes, I know that continuing to talk about this in aggravated fashion feeds what amounts to trolling from him. 2. I know that isn't Bendis in the picture. 3. I like a lot of his work and actually like HIM whenever I see him speak about the medium at conventions, rather than his online antics. 4. I'm sure there are people who know me that have said they like me more when we hang out than they like my online antics.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bendis Is Being A Dishonest Hypocrite

So...Bendis is lamenting the lack of more in-depth reviews & real journalism covering comic books.

Bendis fails to see the irony present in his statements, and that is that he probably wants HIS comics to be reviewed and dissected like the work of Alan Moore. Which they clearly aren't. And it pains me to say that, because the last thing I want to do is compliment the work of Alan Moore, in light of all his recent moaning.

It's laughable to see Bendis and, on occasion, Quesada, plead for more journalism because they'll shut down and cut off any site that writes something that doesn't conform to their agenda. Just ask . . . anybody with a site.

The man is exactly the fragile ego/high profile creator that sites have to treat with kid gloves in order to maintain access to. Hell, if readers can leave scathing comments right under an interview with him on your site, he's that much less likely to consent to speak with you if he has a choice.

That's a huge part of the problem.

"Comics journalism", as is commercially viable, hinges on access to creators. When some of those bigger names (companies or individuals) are divas who will punish a whole site for how they allow readers to participate or maybe the opinion of a single contributor, exactly where do you expect "hard journalism" to appear? The sites that have the resources and contacts to throw at such an undertaking would be blacklisted before you blink an eye.

Hard hitting journalism would have examined some of the accusations about the workplace environment that Valerie D'Orazio's memoirs detail...or even some of the stuff the DC Comics Insider said. Sure, the insider made some claims you wouldn't want to reprint without corroboration (and some that you wouldn't run even then). But 99% of sites that cover comic books pretended it didn't exist, going so far as to delete message board threads that linked to the claims.

Hard hitting journalism would have gotten even the biggest sites shut off from DC Comics access. Quite honestly, it would probably have resulted in even Marvel shrinking away from the site, rather than feed the popularity of a site that is sure to focus the same attention on them when the time comes.

If even one blogger did that kind of "hard hitting journalism", it'd probably be the one and only major story they ever had. Most pros that work with the Big Two wouldn't be prone to interview with them for fear of it hurting their ability to get work. This isn't a big enough industry that you can count on another story within six months that could be culled from "confidential sources". This industry has secrets, but not enough really gripping ones to generate regular material from. Well, not that I'm aware of...and if I was aware of 'em, I guess they wouldn't be secrets.

As far as more in-depth reviews? Let's be honest: Bendis (nor most other creators) wants more detailed reviews that pick apart their work, just longer verbal fellatio (ala the Alan Moore treatment). Never mind that, as long as serialization is the norm, in-depth reviewing is going to be rare. Twenty-two pages can only be poured over so much and going back to review a six issue arc will lose out to reviewing new material nine times out of ten.

But, you know, let's blame the quality of people covering the material. Clearly, there aren't enough people with the quality of writing about the industry exactly the way Bendis wants and never the way he doesn't. Wouldn't we all be better off if that wasn't the case?

I wish there was more hard journalism in comic book coverage. But I can say that, because I'm not someone who would turn around and refuse to talk to a site because the company I work for doesn't like them anymore or because I don't like something they published. And if I was that sort of person, I wouldn't call for that coverage, pretending that I've never given shit to anyone over what has been written on their site (even by a reader in their comments section).

Why? Because, on this subject, at least, I'm not a dishonest hypocrite.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How Bad Is It?

I don't know. When a comic book company can't publish a decent comic book (DC Universe Online: Legends) tying into their own licensed video game (DC Universe Online), I'd say it is fucking terrible.

I put it down after that bit. I might pick it back up for the pure schadenfreude aspects, but I'm in no rush.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mike Norton: One Reason To Be At The Chicago Comicon

Mike Norton's a great guy, from all accounts. But his sketches at this year's Wizard World: Chicago?


It's the first thing that has made me wish I was there so far. I'd have loved to snag a sketch.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mini Mr. Anonymous Update

Mr. A hit me with two quick things:

1. Assuming his TV development gig doesn't get in the way, Jeph Loeb is STILL set to take over the Marvel cosmic books. I know: folks thought that was just completely bad info and I thought that things must have changed. But, no, things were just delayed for some reason.

And a reminder: Mr. A's whole point of getting the news out on the cosmic takeover was in hopes that fan response might kill it before it got started. While to some that might just sound like a convenient method to explain it away if it never comes to pass, I assure you that it's his honest position. If he wasn't spoiling out of frustration with bad decisions and moves, he'd have been trying to get something from me out of the deal and/or hitting me with spoilers on a much more frequent basis.

2. Completely unsolicited (I swear!), he offered up: JMS is childish and unprofessional. He had more specific comments about him shared in our conversation, but he didn't specify those having his blessing for publication. I'd e-mail JMS to confirm that he is childish and unprofessional, but I don't have his e-mail and, well, his reaction to being in the news recently might be all the confirmation we here at SCHWAPP!!! need. ;)

Top 5 Other Things That JMS Recalls Incorrectly

A reader e-mailed me the following. Wish I could take credit.

#5: The Telepath arc of Babylon 5 didn't suck.

#4: Wonder Woman is an Amazonian princess, as opposed to a member of Prince's band.

#3: Superman on walkabout is a new idea. Since Superman splits after every major event for a little alone time (see Infinite Crisis, 52, etc.).

#2: One More Day.

#1: Norman Osborn fucking Gwen Stacy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

JMS Upset At Folks Quoting Him Accurately

From Rich Johnston's

Could somebody do me a favor and pass this on to the folks who have been saying that I announced that plans for the OGN Earth One series have been changed? It’s not what I said but it’s all over the net and nobody checks with me to confirm… what was said before going out with these stories?
In brief…I was asked about the format of the graphic novels, was it going to be single issues collected as is the rule or a straight-up GN, to which I said it was a novel, unlike B&B [Brave And The Bold], which was single issues gathered into a hardcover (thus trying to promote the book, which is coming out this week), having a little fun with it when the fan said he was confused, and I said I was too. That was it. Somehow these two statements concerning two different books got conflated into one.
The one has nothing to do with the other.
The bolded part is new, while the rest had been previously shared. Well, new to being publicly reproduced from the e-mails, as I'm sure it was in what The Beat and Robot Six received.

Now, thanks to Nathan in the comments section of the previous, here is the transcript of what he said from DC's podcast of the panel:

Q: With your Superman: Earth One story, is that going to be like an ongoing graphic novel series, or is it just going to be one and done, or do you have plans for other Superman graphic novels, if this is a one and done?
A: What they're going to do is, as I understand it, first the graphic novel will come out in hardcover, then it will come out in individual issues, then more issues will follow to be gathered together in graphic novels.
Q: So, it's going to be graphic novel hardcover first, then single issues recollected, then single issues again?
A: Correct. As I understand it.
Q: That's extremely confusing.
A: You and me both.
If I had his e-mail address, I might contact him to ask that he listen to the recording of what he said before responding indignantly about being misquoted and not approached to get it right (whereas his version of "right" would obviously be wrong).

Earth One OGNs Update

So, DC's official response (given to Heidi & JK Parkin) to the questions about whether they've given up on Earth One as OGNs is:

"Our plans regarding the EARTH ONE line of original graphic novels have not changed - they will serve as new, unique and compelling reinterpretations of our key characters in original graphic novel form, by some of the biggest names and brightest stars in the industry."
-- Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publishers

Then JMS contacts Robot Six to clarify:

This was the actual exchange, as I remember it.
Someone asked me on the panel if Superman Earth One was only coming out as a hardcover or as issues at the same time or afterward. I said, as near as I can remember it, "This is coming out first in hardcover, unlike B&B, which is single issues collected into a hardcover" (which I slipped in to promote the book, which is coming out I think this week or next week). So it went in both directions, which prompted the fan to note, "I'm confused," and I joked back, "So am I."
That was the entirety of the exchange. Basically, the two different subjects got conflated in the hurry to transcribe what was being said, so they got lumped into one sentence.

OK. So we've at least confirmed that the first volume will experience "retro serialization" (credit to Johanna). Beyond that, we haven't really gotten a whole heckuva lot out of anyone about this.

Some questions that still need answering:

  1. How are they dealing with making an OGN (which should be a seamless story from cover to cover) work with retro serialization? Which format will experience some sacrifice: the OGN by needing artificial breaks for eventual single issues or the single issues for having no natural breaks to end on?
  2. What exactly is/was the intended production schedule for this? Because, if you're publishing HC and then serializing afterward (and then possibly doing softcover), there'd seem to be the potential for built-in delays between new volumes. It doesn't seem likely that the second volume of the OGN will hit shelves before the last issue of the serialization does (or even softcover trade).
  3. Was "retro serialization" honestly part of the original plan? Because answers from the talent in their AICN interview certainly didn't seem to reflect that. They were asked whether they thought OGNs might be signaling the end of monthlies and never once brought up serialization plans, which would have been a strong, direct, silencing answer. 
I'm sure there are more questions (like how DC felt their official non-answer was worth giving), but those three are a good start.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

DC'S Earth One Books No Longer OGNs?

Man, I can't believe I missed this and had to have it pointed out by a friend.

From CBR:
The last question went to Straczynski. The fan asked whether the writer plans on continuing the "Earth One" stories. The writer revealed that the hardcover release will be followed up with by single issues, which will later be collected.
Apparently, after the first Earth One Superman OGN, following volumes will be serialized in comic book form and then collected. So...the OGN/bookstore thing goes flying away before it even gets started.

Were pre-orders that low? Are the folks at DC that lacking in testicular fortitude that they can't wait to see how it performs for a bit before announcing a switch to serialized-into-collected traditional publishing?

How hard is it to at least wait until you're coming close to the time where you have to solicit the work from the second volume before you reveal to the world that you have no faith in this OGN idea?

There's phrasing at Newsarama that makes it sound possible that they're talking about publishing the OGN, publishing as single issues and then collecting it again (maybe with added material or something?), but that sounds about as unlikely as it sounds stupid.
Last question concerns the format of Earth One, which JMS reports will come out as a hardcover, then individual issues, then be collected again. Fan: "That's extremely confusing." "To both of us," JMS said with a chuckle.
I don't know. I was impressed that they were going to try this OGN thing for awhile, with their most marketable characters in an interesting project. But if they're ready to bail out on it before it has even hit shelves, that says more negative about DC as a publisher than the initial plan said positively about them.

Friday, July 30, 2010

(Alleged) Rise Of The Apes Set Pic

I don't see the big deal that led the studios to contact Just Jared & to pull down the images/links, personally. I'll keep it up until I receive a cease & desist request, so save it if you want to be able to see it tomorrow.

I don't know that I'm all that excited in this prequel/reboot, but the image doesn't make me any less interested. suggests they think the attempts to pull the image are over concerns that it makes the film just look silly. I don't see how that's anymore true here than with any other behind-the-scenes pic from a movie using motion capture. Which is to say: it's nearly impossible to believe this pic is damaging, but that the studios are just trying to control the release for the sake of control, to protect an exclusive promised to some other publication or to generate a tempest in a teapot over the whole thing that leads to free publicity.