Monday, September 24, 2012

Hail The Victor! (Quick, Get On His Good Side!)

It's funny how Hollywood news sites change their tone when they see who the winner of a dispute is.

When Tony Moore initially sued Robert Kirkman, I don't recall there being a lot of bias in the reporting. They treated it as a serious challenge that might have merits.

Now that the lawsuit is settled with Kirkman apparently retaining control?

Not so unbiased.

Look at the phrasing of the opening line:

Kirkman settles litigation with a childhood friend who was trying to grab co-control over the lucrative zombie franchise.

Then there are the additional lines that are too cute, not by half, but by three-quarters, as they find ways to jam in "walking", "dead" and "killing".

The smoke has cleared with Kirkman emerging victorious in Hollywood's eyes. Let the treating of the plaintiff's cause as frivolous commence!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Marvel Cinematic Universe Collection: Amazon's Customer Service Win

This morning, I woke up to the following e-mail from Amazon:

Dear Customer,  
We're writing to let you know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One-Avengers Assembled Collection will not be released by Marvel as originally expected. Instead, Marvel is planning to offer a similar collection in new packaging. The new collection will include the original titles offered with the first version of the item, and is expected to be available in the spring of 2013. To make this easy for you, we updated your order for the original collection and will ship the new collection when it becomes available. The price of the new collection will be the same as the original collection.  
To show our appreciation for your understanding, we are providing you with a promo code to receive a free copy of Marvel's The Avengers (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging). To be eligible, you must have placed your order between June 1, 2012 and August 28, 2012. Any cancelled orders are not eligible to receive the free copy. Codes must be redeemed by October 15, 2012.

So, while the huge collection with whatever changed case is delayed for two seasons, I'm getting the crown jewel for free on its release.

If you pre-ordered the collection between the dates mentioned at Amazon, scour your e-mail to make sure you don't miss out.

Friday, August 17, 2012

An Exercise In Ethics

I stumbled on to ComicMix republishing the list of folks that donated (through The Hero Initiative) to help Robert Washington III's family in paying his funeral costs.

I remember it being a subject that many commercially successful websites that cover comic books covered. Many have themselves or contributors in that list, but there are some that are conspicuous in their absence.

I share the link above so that, if you're so inclined, you can reference the list versus a site you may have frequented that generated content and hits by covering it, but appear to not have donated a single penny.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bleeding Hypocrisy

I've recently left the Bleeding Cool forums. I'm not trying to bring all of that here.

What I will bring is that, in defense of the criticism he received from myself and others, Rich Johnston took a swing at Newsarama:

As long as I'm happy with the article, yes. I can only write Bleeding Cool for an audience of one, that's how I've always worked. Once I start doing Top Tens you know I've stopped. 
Sometimes I do write articles to wind people up, but only because they are bad jokes. Bendis' Dialogue Tics for example.

Funny that.

Ten Horrible Histories Songs
Top Ten Couples In Comics (contributor, posted by him)
Top Ten Superhero Teams (contributor)
Top Ten Most Ridiculous Movie Posters At Cannes This Year (contributor)
Top Ten Best Films Of All Time, According To Hundreds Of Film Directors And Critics (contributor)
Top Ten Horrific Reasons To Love WonderCon
Top Ten Comic Girlfriends… And Boyfriends (contributor)
(Top Ten) Best Reviewed Films Of 2011 Vs. The Most Pirated (contributor)
John Waters Top Ten Favourite Films Of 2011 (contributor)
Tom Huxley’s Top Ten Comics Of The Decade (contributor)
Bleeding Cool’s Top Ten British Comics Of The Decade
Top Ten Tips To Blag Your Way Into San Diego
Top Ten Picks For Frightfest, With Trailers (contributor)
Top Ten British Christmas Telly – Rich’s Choice
Grace Randolph’s Stacktastic! (Top Ten) Death(s), The Gift That Keeps On Giving (contributor)

I think that's more than sufficient back up (and that's not counting the (at least twice monthly) sales charts). While not all are his, Rich is the king of content on that site: if he didn't want Top Ten lists, they wouldn't be there and, indeed, he has directly published a number that he didn't write.

The knock on Top Ten lists is that they're lazy click bait. Everyone employs them from time to time. No one judges a site if they're rare, so long as you don't pretend you're above it.

I can't find a context for what Rich is saying he will have stopped once he resorts to Top Tens, but it's obvious that, whatever it is, he stopped years ago.

Oh, and lest it be misinterpreted: I'm not defending Newsarama. Despite knowing and respecting several people there, I don't believe Mark Waid was off the mark when he pegged them as the new Wizard. Sad how the once mighty continue to fall so far.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tasteless Critics

There are some folks that are taking shots at the recently deceased Joe Kubert over his participation in Before Watchmen. These are people that can't just be respectful for 24 hours before taking a shot.

One of them is Alan David Doane, who has compared Kubert's participation in BW to Joe Paterno's covering for a child molester on his Tumblr and on Twitter.

He feels that Kubert is lesser for having accepted a paycheck for a legally fine, morally debatable project.

Funny that it comes from a man advertising a payday loan site:

Those predatory loans that are technically legal (in some states, at least), but morally reprehensible (hence the term "predatory" involved in their classification).

He's a douche...and a hypocritical one at that.

Regardless of what you think of Before Watchmen, Joe Kubert deserves better than people taking cheap shots at him like this. Shame on folks that find themselves incapable of paying him any respect.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Need Geek-Friendly Wall Coverings?

Posters on sale over at (20% off). Didn't expect to see a selection of comic book ones, but, when I did, I figured I'd share the info.

Justice League - 52
Justice League -...
34 in. x 22 in.
Buy This at

Personally, I don't have a spot at home to start throwing these sorts of posters up, as I have no mancave and our spare room is set up for the mothers to visit. So I'll likely be grabbing something more like this:

Starry Night, c. 1889
Starry Night, c....
Vincent van Gogh
Buy This at

But more power to those of you that can let your geek flag wave. Oh...and all of the above have affiliate links in them. If you're against that sort of thing, just type into your browser. ;)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another Misappropriation of Crowd-Funding

How often does this happen?

Nick Lopez (the "project director) is trying to solicit $4500 to do a graphic novel "what if" where Mace Windu survives and teaches Luke, instead of Obi Wan, I gather.

That strike anyone else as...I dunno...problematic?

$4500 seems like more than the simple cost of materials for a graphic novel, unless it is much larger than your average GN.

In addition to that, some of the rewards are 11x17 posters from his Etsy store. Like this one:

Sure seems like a screen grab from Empire that is just run through a filter, no?

I believe he's well aware of the violation his work effects, as I found the following on the FB page for this project:

When confronted with the appearance of this project, Nick Lopez responded with the following:

Actually, as the project video states, creating a comic book is very costly. Some could cost $100 to $300 per page. Our story is a 4 part series. Each of the 4 chapters is at least 15 pages in length. At the very least each page will cost up to $80 to make. So if you do the math... $80 x (15 pages x 4 chapters)... it comes out to about $4800. So that's the minimum cost of producing this project.
As I said in response, I don't think boards and tools add up to $80/page, so that still leaves someone profiting off this project. It doesn't matter if it is just that he's paying someone else to draw it and then soliciting people to advance purchase the work (as the minimum "donation" gets the first two chapters of the project (which makes you wonder what happens with the third and fourth)), as it still is a violation of the Lucas rights.

Somehow, I doubt this is the only fan project that winds up trying to bend or ignore the law when it comes to crowd-funding. Anyone else have examples?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

UPDATE: How NOT To Demonstrate Accountability

Original Story July 16, 2012 8:52pm EDT:

Over on BleedingCool, a freelancer made a pretty big mistake covering the Firefly 10th Anniversary Reunion Press Conference.

Kate Kotler reported that Joss Whedon made a serious statement about continuing the franchise by doing a reboot.

I have been unable to find a single soul other than Ms. Kotler who thought this was the case. Her own editor, Brendon Connelly, originally ran it correctly as an article stating that Whedon had a snarky/sarcastic response about doing it. But she pushed on (allegedly with the support of Rich Johnston) to report her version.

That version stood up as an article for three days, as Brendon allowed her the opportunity to back it up.

During this time, she claimed she was in active communication with Debbie Myers (of The Science Channel) in her attempts to confirm it. The three days ended with the indication being that she was not once in touch with her beyond being directed to schedule an appointment with her assistance as the press conference broke up.

She blamed her equipment, saying her recorder broke down, when video and audio of the whole thing was available online within nine (9) hours of her article posting. She had over two (2) full days to see that how she recalled events happening (she says her notes eventually didn't fit what was recorded as happening, demonstrating sloppiness) was incorrect.

In the end, when she finally admitted her mistake 72 hours later, she said the following:

I strongly believe that the mark of character is the ability for an individual to stand up and honestly admit when they are wrong and have made a mistake. That is what I am here to do today.

I thought that took the cake. But then I saw the following exchange on Twitter:

Seriously? She objects (and continues to object when people call her on it) to having her own Twitter account tagged to her work, wanting the heat for her mistake (and that was hardly heat there) to go to the BleedingCool account, instead.

"I understand you're mad about the article, but could you make sure to blame the people I wrote the inaccurate article for instead? Kthnx!"

That about sums up the whole crazy ride.

UPDATE July 17, 2012 9:28pm EDT: Oh Lord, she gets even more ridiculous.

I feel a little like that there are a lot of people who were just waiting to take shots at me, when/if I was caught in a situation where I fucked up.

Being spectacularly wrong and refusing to acknowledge it for three days happened because people were rooting for it and waiting for it. She's running from the "innerwebs" to avoid seeing people take shots at her for her mistake, which is probably about the only reasonable response I've seen from her. Of course, until she actually takes an honest and sincere bit of responsibility for her error, I'd rather she have to take her lumps, but avoiding her "bad press" is generally a health approach.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hypocrisy Sparkles (or "Hypocrisy & Stances on Creators' Rights")

So, news came out that JMS is partnering with Image Comics.

You know...the same JMS that Eric Stephenson, Image Comics publisher, railed against after the writer put both feet in his mouth when he chose to defend Before Watchmen in saying:

"Did Alan Moore get a crummy contract? Yes. So has everyone at this table. Worse was Siegal and Shuster. Worse was a lot of people."
Making that statement was going far beyond just participating in the project, as well as being patently ridiculous. It is, also, diametrically opposed to Stephenson's stand on the project and the larger issue of creators' rights.

So, shouldn't Stephenson then politely rebuffed the approach of the writer looking for a home for his own projects? Wouldn't that have been the principled stand to take?

Well, I thought that prior to going to Stephenson's blog to look up his response to JMS's idiocy. Which is when I found him piggybacking on Joe Keatinge's announced Thanos mini to push Keatinge's current and Jim Starlin's previous Image work, without once touching on the fact that Starlin indicates he created Thanos before being contracted for it and is not properly compensated for the character's continued use in comics or any other media.

Why no position on Marvel's continued use of a character without properly compensating the creator (never mind changing the character without the creator's approval)? It was a different time? Other creators have been screwed over far worse? Or, perhaps, was the public reaction more about seizing on the moment to turn it into marketing for your company?

I'd really like to know.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Alan Moore & Before Watchmen

If you personally think Moore & Gibbons have been screwed over by not getting the WATCHMEN rights back by now, I respect that. If it leads you to want nothing to do with the BEFORE WATCHMEN project, I respect that.

If you think that WATCHMEN was a perfectly contained story that having more work done on ruins and feel the need to protest BEFORE WATCHMEN on that basis, you completely lose me. Prior to the relationship souring, Moore added more story via the RPG supplement and indicated he could be interested in doing a Minutemen story. But, beyond that, one's own personal entertainment preference is NOT reasonable basis to demand a story not be printed and condemn those involved (as publisher, creator or consumer). But if that opinion leads you to want nothing to do with the project? I respect that.

If you condemn the whole thing because the creators should be working on something of their own creation (which is not inherently tied to the ethical argument), you've lost me. If that is why you want nothing to do with the project? Whatever works for you.

If your argument is ethical (creator rights), rant on. If you consume any of the works where other creators are considered as having been screwed (much of the Marvel & DC libraries), you look a little silly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

PROMETHEUS: Picking Apart A Picking Apart

I was listening to the great Comedy Film Nerds podcast on the ride home today, when I heard them discuss Prometheus...and wanted to hurt my iPod because of where they complained about things that weren't entirely legit.

I'm not talking about the nitpicks, like complaining about the accents of Elba and Rapace. Anything I offer here is purely from observing the movie, not listening to interviews or reading fan speculation.

Let's dig right in.

Needless to say, there will be spoilers.


(clicky the SPOILERS! for the rest)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Not To Be A Naysayer...

A lot of hay is being made out of May 2012 outperforming May 2011 by about 40% in comic sales.

May 2011? Four Wednesdays.
May 2012? Five Wednesdays.

May 2011? Fear Itself (built off of Captain America & Thor) and Flashpoint, two underwhelming and underperforming "events in name only".
May 2012? Sure, the renewed DC...but, also, the bi-weekly shipping AvX event, plus a fight book spinoff.

Are we really thrilled by a 40% jump, when nearly 20% should have simply come from the calendar (5th week) and a good deal of the rest seems to come from the "let them eat cake" event from Marvel and the remnants of DC's "hail mary" relaunch?

Help A Creator In Need

Renae De Liz (the woman who put together the WOMANTHOLOGY Kickstarter project) is in the CCU of a hospital, slowly recovering. It's one of those catastrophic illness situations, where modern medicine in America can ensure your biological survival, but, without insurance, can lead to your financial downfall.

They're not 100% asking for donations, but, if you can spare something, her husband says they'd greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The World Will Bleed - Ian Brill's Dracula (PR)

For Immediate Release:
Tonci Zonjic, Rahsan Ekedal, Declan Shalvey, and Gabriel Hardman bring you Dracula like you’ve never seen him before!
Available in select retail stores and exclusively on comiXology

June 8th 2012 – Los Angeles – When Ian Brill set out to write a new vision of Dracula, he called on some of the greatest talents in comics to bring it to life —Tonci Zonjic (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?), Rahsan Ekedal (ECHOES, SOLOMN KANE), Declan Shalvey (THUNDERBOLTS, 28 DAYS LATER), and Gabriel Hardman (HULK, BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES). This June 13th, comic fans everywhere can find DRACULA WORLD ORDER at select retailers across the North America and exclusively worldwide digitally on comiXology across their entire platform including iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and the web.

Following in the foot steps of Sam Humphries’ OUR LOVE IS REAL and SACRIFICE, Ian Brill’s DRACULA WORLD ORDER is self-published by the author and is offered digitally on comiXology while at the same time a very limited 300 copy print run will be available from these retailers:

·      4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
·      Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, CA
·      The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada
·      Collector's Paradise in Winnetka and Pasadena, CA
·      Comix Experience in San Francisco, CA
·      Desert Island in Brooklyn, NY
·      Laughing Ogre Comics in Lansdowne, VA, Fairfax, VA and Columbus, OH
·      Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, CA
·      Midtown Comics in New York City, NY
·      Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman, OK
·      It can also be purchased online from Things From Another World (

Featuring an all star cast of today’s best artists and written by Ian Brill, DRACULA WORLD ORDER tells the story of how the greatest villain of all, Count Dracula, takes advantage of a world on the brink of economic collapse. In a world where the top 1% of the population are vampires, the rest of the human race are prisoners…or the 1%’s next meal. Dracula’s own son Alexandru leads the 99% in rebellion against the Vampire elite – in a battle that will leave you breathless.

Within four startling chapters Tonci Zonjic (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?), Rahsan Ekedal (ECHOES, SOLOMN KANE), Declan Shalvey (THUNDERBOLTS, 28 DAYS LATER), and Gabriel Hardman (HULK, BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) bring their amazing talents to Brill’s story. With Zonjic, Jordie Bellaire (BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, FANTASTIC FOUR), and Stephen Downer (DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS, DRACULA THE UNCONQUERED) bring searing color art, with the amazing Josh Krach lettering the book. All of this under an amazing cover by Shalvey and Bellaire.

Advance praise for DRACULA WORLD ORDER:

“This would be incredibly cool even if it didn't have some of my favorite artists working! Brill is making one of those books that get me excited about comics, and I would like to read a lot more of this. Read DWO and spread the word, this is the real deal!” says Jeff Parker, writer of HULK and THUNDERBOLTS.

Brill will be celebrating the release of DRACULA WORLD ORDER is dual signings on the release date.  He will be at Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, CA from 12-2 and Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka, CA from 5-8.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Experiment Of Sorts

American History X
Pulp Fiction
The cover to FLASH #9

All things with images of male rape.

C'mon, look at it...

Held down on the left...

Held down on the right...

Held at knife point and held down from behind...

Then there's the full cover with the titling...

Which all combines for:

I'd be interested how many folks can't "unsee" that perspective on the cover now.

Look, I'm sure it wasn't intentional or desired...and it takes some finagling to see it this way. But the elements are there and I thought it'd be funny to share.

Until next time, when we go over the cover where Dreamgirl lures Brainaic 5 into being tentacle raped...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

AQUAMAN Subscriptions Saved

I might have missed it being stated elsewhere, but after Didio hinted that there might be a change as to whether the Aquaman subscription was being killed, I can confirm it is no longer the case.

I called the company that handles the subscriptions and they indicated that, not only was the cancellation reversed, but subscribers would be getting an extra issue tacked on to their subscription to make up for the confusion.

Interestingly enough, when I asked them about the Green Lantern: New Guardians sub I had a letter telling me was being moved to GLC, they could find no record that GL:NG was having its subscriptions cut off. They're going to look into it to make sure, but it might well be another book that is surviving, albeit due to a miscommunication, rather than a change in plans.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Give To Tony DeZuniga

As has been reported elsewhere and, again, recently by Neal Adams on, Tony DeZuniga, legendary comic book artist largely responsible for the Jonah Hex we know and love, is in dire straits and in need of medical care he cannot readily afford.

Donations are requested to be sent to via PayPal (which deposits into his daughter's account, to pass along to her parents for the medical bills).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Avengers Movie For Kirby Fans

There's a lot of talk about boycotting The Avengers movie by comic book fans, out of respect for how Jack THE KING Kirby wasn't treated/compensated/credited fairly by Marvel.

Let's all be honest with each other...

Comic book fans are a small subset of the audience for this movie.
Fans that have declared they will boycott are a small subset of that small subset.
Fans that will actually follow through are a small subset of a small subset of that small subset.

How badly will this really punish Marvel? I mean, if you're dedicated to it, I doff my cap to you and admire you. If you're honest, you'll know you're really accomplishing little more than making sure to put your principles in action, which is a worthwhile goal on its own.

Wouldn't it be great, though, if all the people that find it difficult to resist summer blockbuster crack had an option?

Is there no one that can arrange for some sort of donation vehicle that can funnel money directly to the Kirby family? Perhaps a "sin tax" of a few dollars per ticket or DVD bought, which would be more than the average per ticket compensation they'd have seen if Marvel and Stan Lee didn't wrong The King?

Barring that, I'd encourage all those that love Kirby's contributions but can't resist the siren's call of the movies to at least make a donation to The Hero Initiative to help other creators still with us that might not have been compensated properly in their career or, for some other reason, have fallen on hard times now.

Even if you just contribute $2 per ticket and $5 per DVD/Blu-Ray/permanent digital copy, you'd be making a difference and, maybe, help assuage a bit of your feeling dirty.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If You Like Music*...

...allow me to heartily endorse the following site:

Adrian: "I'm not expecting critical fucking acclaim...just let me know you give a shit."

How could you not click over there so fast that you risk injuring a digit? ;) Seriously, though, he's a passionate audiophile. Give it a read.

*I, however, hate music. It's all rubbish that assails my senses like nails on chalkboard. Though this could be due to only having listened to the stylings of Nails on Chalkboard, including several of their live albums. Maybe I should research this music thing a bit more...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dueling Justice League Teams? Or Dueling Batmen?

DC has seemed to pride themselves on consistency of editorial message with their relaunch. There's supposed to be great continuity.

Of course, that's questionable, as Justice League's opening arc, set five years ago, appears to conflict with other titles running at the same point in the timeline. But that's the sort of thing that can get overlooked.

Titles that are in the same line try to keep a pretty tight relationship. We've had Frankenstein and OMAC crossover, while Swamp Thing and Animal Man have been swapping background info in prep for their crossover. The Bat family is crossing over shortly. For some reason, Stormwatch, Grifter and Superman are all going to throw their lot in together on a Daemonite arc.

But the one place we don't seem to have continuity is in the Justice League franchise.

In the top right, you'll see a page from Justice League International, where Batman is clearly shown to be a member of the team. He's been in the whole time and rather publicly, too.

So why did Geoff Johns write the following exchange into Justice League?

He's a member of the team he calls a joke. It has only ever existed with him as a member in the current continuity. In fact, he's had chances where he could have let it crumble on its own, but he fought to keep them together. There's no one else as Batman in the current continuity and, even if there were, it'd seem silly for him to have one of his incorporated bunch on the team, but still deride the whole function.

So what's the deal? Johns and his editor can't really be that ignorant of the character's membership on the team he's actually shitting on, can they? I mean, he's on covers, for fuck's sake.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recaps Vs Reviews Ep 1

A while back, I asked if you'd all like me to review the reviewers. One of my biggest concerns was that recaps were masquerading as reviews. Having been a reviewer, I know the challenges of trying to discuss episodic entertainment while trying to avoid directly giving out a lot of the details (both in an effort to avoid spoilers or to be read/valued simply as Cliff Notes).

I embark on this journey not to shit on anyone doing reviews out there, but to encourage them to up their game. I'll state at the start that I'm unlikely to cast this eye towards BEST SHOTS, as I have friends there and I can't ensure impartiality.

For today's ep, I take a look at Jonathan Williams over at

His "review" of Superboy is four paragraphs, two of which are pure recap. In what is left, he reviews the character and concept, not the actual issue. The "review" doesn't truly aspire to be anything more than your average fan on a forum talking about his favorite characters.

Line most worthy of being included in something called a review:

"Some of his actions are certainly un-hero like but we can see the hints of the hero deep inside, especially with his care of the scientist and meta-human Caitlin Fairchild."

What he writes about Resurrection Man is even less of a review. Let's do the math:

 5 total paragraphs
-3 recap paragraphs
-1 paragraph suitable for the solicitation blurb (read the first paragraph of his "review")1 paragraph of indeterminate content that you might argue is review-ish

Again, what passes for the review in the entry is largely passing out general comments on the run of the book so far and hopes for the future issues being better.

Line most worthy of being included in something called a review: 

(space left blank intentionally)

The lack of meat for me to go through here leaves me feeling a bit too much like a recapper for my tastes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Any Other Examples?

I didn't put up my previous post purely to take a shot at one individual, even if I did need to vent about my personal experience in order to finally let it go.

It was meant to be the start of a dialogue. Unfortunately, I've not always been the savviest person when it comes to timing and made my post on the eve of a pretty big comic book convention. So, now that some of you have settled back in from the news, do any of you have any solid examples of where you feel that the lines have been egregiously blurred?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Won't Go Home Again

David Brothers ripped Newsarama pretty badly a month or so ago. While I don't agree with all of his points on the matter that led to the 'Rama editorial, I do tend to agree with a lot of what he's said about problems there and with comics journalism in general.

Allow me to put a finer point on it.

When the BLACKEST NIGHT finale came out, Newsarama wanted to do a feature article where as many Best Shots members as possible would contribute their review. Troy Brownfield had moved over to running Blog@, while David Pepose had taken over Best Shots. Due to scheduling concerns, Lucas Siegel was going to be handling the article on the day of release.

I had my review in hours before the article would run...yet my review was nowhere to be found in the article. Come to find out later that a fellow contributor had their review dropped, too.

We happened to be the only two voices in the crowd that had written negative reviews about the finale.

At the time, Lucas Siegel was actively pitching comic book work. I know for a fact that one of the publishers he was pitching to was DC.

To his credit, David offered to run the long review with day-after-release shorter reviews or with the Monday Best Shots column, but I really had no interest at that point. I didn't stop contributing to the site immediately, though I wish I had, since I wound up taking out a good deal of this frustration on Pepose at a later date (sorry, again, sir).

It should be noted: David Pepose made it clear that he disagreed with my conclusion that my review was left out due to the opinion expressed within it.

Brothers' piece and/or the comment thread it generated takes broad shots at members of the comics journalism community pitching while they're covering it. I can tell you that, despite later work towards careers writing comic books, neither Matt Brady or Troy Brownfield ever bumped my work or tried to dissuade me from a negative review (even with the headaches I would often cause Brady). I'd take a bullet for either of them. David Pepose never did such things, either, but I'm not aware of whether he plans on pursuing that sort of career and, if I'd worked under his lead longer, would probably feel the same about blocking the path between him and a gun.

I happen to very much enjoy the work of Marc Bernadin, who often positively covered DC Comics (Warner Bros) while writing for Entertainment Weekly (Warner Bros) before writing for WildStorm (Warner Bros). I wouldn't question the honesty of any of his work just because of that chain of events, nor do I feel it is fair to make assumptions about anyone in a similar position.

While I feel that pitching interests of "comic book journalists" can be a concern, I find the active pitching by site editors to be a larger one...dwarfed only by so many of the sites being beholden to the big publishers (for "exclusives" and "previews" to generate their income) that they make wholesale changes to how they do business. Articles blending right into message boards and comment sections become links to forums become suggestions that you friend them on Facebook and comment there, with the initial impetus for the movement being that publishers and creators didn't like seeing people criticizing them or their product right under their interview.

If not for the great friendships I forged along the way, I swear I'd wish I never wound up on the "professional" coverage side of the divide. Once you've seen behind the curtain, it all starts to lose its magic. And once you see how the sausage is made, it starts to turn your stomach.

Monday, March 12, 2012

DC Cutting Back On Subscriptions?

Heidi MacDonald's THE BEAT has noticed that DC has dropped the number of titles that they offer for subscription on their site. I posted the following as a comment there, but since it is something I've attempted to call attention to a number of times here, I figured I'd slap it in its own blog entry:

Funny, just about a week ago, they offered a drastically reduced subscription to Aquaman through Tanga. It was $11 for a full year. I've been skipping that book, but got sucked into subscribing at that price. I've linked to a screen cap of the offering if anyone doubts it. I've kind of wondered how happy retail partners would be about them offering a decent section of their books at a 67+% discount (and no tax). BATMAN, BATMAN & ROBIN and BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT ($12) have all been offered (I don't recall DETECTIVE making it on the site yet). JUSTICE LEAGUE, GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS have, also, been offered.

I know the argument for the 30-35% discount not being an instance of them competing with the DM is based around the inconsistent delivery dates and possible damage, but doubling that discount (which is something no retailer can match) has to open that back up to concern, no?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Editor Antics

A certain Marvel has been trolling the interwebs of late. If you mention his name (once, not even three times), he seems to appear...and trolls.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around it a bit.

Forgetting the right/wrong of the debate, I'm trying to think about ramifications of it and, indeed, the thought process behind it.

There are few people more critical of that editor's behavior than me. Yet I don't find myself moved to take action on it beyond a few responses on message boards. I couldn't blame someone else for dropping a book he edits as a statement on how they feel about his behavior.

But for as much as his performance is based on the success of the book, his contribution to the actual end-product is minimal when compared to the writer and artists. On this more than other potential boycotts, I'd be ever aware that dropping the book would hurt innocents. I feel like publishers would take a loss of sales on a title as far more reflective of interest in a character or creator than ever pin it on the staff.

But, again, I'm not moved to boycott. Which is odd, because I'm normally one to take a principled stand over things that even friends of mine would call trivial. Quite honestly, if this was the talent on the book, I'd probably be telling my retailer, on every trip to the counter, "I'm not buying _____ because _____ is being a flaming asshole."

The flip side, though, is that I don't see what positive development this behavior brings. It's a shock jock angle, but, with the individual keeping the antics to the free internet and only contributing a tame column to his books, where does it benefit the company or the product? If you've ever watched Howard Stern's biopic, they boil down the commercial viability of the shock jock approach by going over the survey results that show haters tune in even more faithfully than the fans, because they need to hear what outrageous thing is said next. But, again, this absurd behavior isn't happening where he'd be rewarded for bringing the extra attention and it doesn't seem to translate to that much additional attention to the good product his office is generating.

I think the net results of his performance art, if anything, will lead to a slight decline in his readership, but not so much as to be a major concern. But I could be wrong...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Not This Time, Tanga!

You already set me up with BATMAN and BATMAN & ROBIN, Tanga. Expecting me to fall for this offer is foolhardy at best, even at $11.99.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Damn You, Tanga!

I'd quit Aquaman. The same "water/fish/etc" jokes were getting used repeatedly and I felt like it was more to take aim at fans to make fun of them rather than make them laugh. I generally like the character and this is the first time I can recall dropping a Johns book.

But then Tanga went and threw it up as an $11 subscription.

At least I don't have to feel as guilty about this one, as I'd not have been buying it at the LCS currently.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Kirkman Manifesto: Fuck Over Your Friends?

Wow. Tony Moore is suing Robert Kirkman because, he alleges, his old friend duped him into an agreement that put control of their Walking Dead property in Kirkman's hands, with little of the promised monies making their way to Moore and absolutely no access to the books to insure honest profit-sharing.

Don't write for the corporations, but profit like them by screwing over others.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Moore Should Have Known Better...Maybe

Each time Rich Johnston trots out talk of the WATCHMEN contract, I get a reader (I know, I was shocked that I still had any, too) pointing out to me that some of his statements about graphic novels in print are false.

To wit:

No one has ever cited that Marvel collected the Dark Phoenix Saga in trade in 1984 (wikipedia is wrong about the first version; the first was in '84 with a Sienkevich cover). And that went into multiple printings. Marvel also released their "graphic novels" (Death of Captain Marvel, etc.) to bookstores, and those had more than one printing. In the '70s and early '80s, Marvel did a number of bookstore books (Origins of Marvel Comics, Son of Origins, Bring on the Bad Guys, etc.).

By the time Watchmen came out in September of 1986, Marvel had done upwards of 22 of the Marvel Graphic Novels.
DC put out its first collection of RONIN the same month that Watchmen ended.
So, there were graphic novels in print and previously serialized monthly works that were put into continuously reprinted trade 1-2 years before WATCHMEN saw publication.

I'm not necessarily saying Gibbons and Moore went into this with eyes wide open, but that half the shutting would be due to their own lack of observing the market. I still don't like the deal and think that rights should revert to them, but I no longer have as solid an objective case for it as I once used to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Is My Confidence Lacking?

Green Arrow has a pilot in production for The CW, per The Hollywood Reporter:

Arrow, based on DC Comics' long-running Green Arrow, revolves around the hooded super hero, a wealthy playboy by day who secretly saves the city by night using his enhanced arrows.

The hourlong drama is a modern retelling of the legendary comics character and hails from Green Lantern duoGreg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, who will executive produce and pen the project alongside Fringe co-EPAndrew Kreisberg, with whom they worked on Eli Stone.

1. I'd probably have preferred that SuperMax movie that was running around the 'net awhile back. This most likely means the chances are even slimmer.
1a. I'd like to remind you that "preferred" is relative. As in I might prefer to be punched in the gut than kicked in the junk...
2. The team that brought you Green Lantern? Obviously, this amazing project can't come soon enough.
3. Kreisberg? Really? And, again, this team all worked together on that bastion of TV success, ELI STONE?

I wish them well, but the track record is distinctly lacking.

Evidence That 2012 Is, Indeed, The End Of Times

Someone is trying to get a HONEY BADGER DON'T GIVE A SHIT TV show on the air.

Just shoot me now.

Monday, January 02, 2012

I'd Buy Any Amanda Conner Project

Yup...any project...