Saturday, February 28, 2009

THEM OR US - the big scandal

Finally I can write a new post even if it isn´t my long anticipated big TEEN TITANS post. For a few days I have wanted to post this but other things came up and at least I have a good excuse - or at least an excuse.

First of I was a bit sick the last few days. My unemployment solicitation has been finally approved : that´s the good news. The unemployment office has not accepted the fact that my mother is not part of our household thus reducing my HARTZ IV once again well below the minimum : that´s the bad part. My mother says that the important part is that I´m again on health care but I´m just sick of working my ass off for an alimony. Okay, it´s more than last time...ten bucks more I could spend on comics.

But I mean I´m doing everything that the unemployment office wants from me. Can´t I at least get what the politicians proclaim is the absolute minimum to exist ? Why do I only get a third of that ( or not even that much ) while our government is giving billions to banks who flushed their money down the toilet so they can give their managers who caused our current crisis big paychecks ? From now on it´s quid pro quo with me. Anyway, finally the money for the last three months has arrived.

Yes, it really took the unemployment office three months to ask for some documents I had with me the first day I solicited my HARTZ IV ( or in my case I only get HA I ) and to make up their mind that after asking me the same thing three times deciding that they didn´t believe me and to just ignore everything I told them. Why do they even bother to ask in the first place ? Because the longer it takes for the solicitations the longer it takes for you to get your money. Who knows what they do with our money while we wait.

And of course the longer it takes for jobless people to get approved the longer they can keep them out of the statistics. I mean if they have already given up on getting people a job the least they can do is make the statistics look nice so our puppet governeur Angela Merktnix looks good. This week I watched the speech of the new president elect Barrack Obama and I was almost in tears. It´s like Amerika is the real world and Germany is Bizarroworld.

Man, the way this is going Germany is going to be a third world country in three years tops.

So, I finally got some money and I went to Ludwigsburg to buy some long overdue stuff : a calendar for the studio, an ink cartridge for the printer so I can finally write some job applications and some razors so I could finally shave today. But as always I caught a bit of a cold while being outside - or rather the cold I already had worsened.

I also was staying up till the wee hours in the morning the last few days and sleeping very sporadically. I hope that when my mother is in Spain again ( beginning Monday ) I can return to a regular schedule. Now that the first step with the unemployment office is finished I hope I can sleep better. So in the last days there was always something coming up so I didn´t get to start on the TEEN TITANS post. I´m still re - reading the John Byrne DOOM PATROL issues and I still enjoy them. I know it´s not the most popular take on the team but being unfamiliar with all the previous incarnations I found it very entertaining.

Speaking of John Byrne I forgot to mention that I haven´t had a chance to check out his work on STAR TREK. He´s doing some of the new comics for the franchise and now that I have a bit more comic spending money I could buy some issues. While being in Ludwigsburg I wanted to buy the new volumes of CASE CLOSED but I only found one shop that had the missing numbers and they didn´t have volume 53 which is the one after the last I read 52. Again with the 52. Anyway, I will have to order it through amazon or from a comic shop.

I wanted to buy the volumes to see if there was something new I could write about the book after my first post about it. There is a discussion on a german comic message board right now ( which in light of my next topic is kind of funny because the guy who started it all has been compared to Frederic Wertham )that german comicblogs write waaaay too much about american comics and american superhero comics in general and not enough about french BDs or manga and although I don´t think that is true with my blog I COULD write a bit more about european comics. I mean having more access to that kind of graphic literature I should spotlight it from time to time for all my readers who don´t know the stuff.

What do you think ? Do you want to read more about comics outside of the general mainstream ?

One of the reasons I don´t write that much about BDs is that right now I still have to pay the comics I review or write about myself so I wanted to use the opportunity to remind everybody out there that they can send me review copies. So to MARVEL, DC, Image, Dark Horse and all the other publishers out there : you can send me your stuff. I won´t be offended if you send me the ULTIMATE NEW FRONTIER DELUXE HARDCOVER or something. Promise. Of course this also goes for small publishers. Just send me the stuff you want to pimp.

So, what else was up ? Another big thing was DIE ODER WIR ( Them or Us ) the brainchild of Alligatorfarm mastermind Karl Nagel which is a new newspaper sized comic magazine printed on newspaper for 99 cents. Yes, that´s right. The general idea is that most comics in Germany are too expensive ( true that ), are printed on quality paper you don´t really need ( true that ) and with way too intellectual stuff ( double true ). Comics in Germany are almost exclusively done for collectors which is one of the main reasons why the german comic market is not well.

So Karl Nagel, publisher of the PERRY comics

based on the german science fiction cult pulp magazine PERRY RHODAN

has decided to produce what we really need : cheap comic trash entertainment for the masses. Especially in Germany the cultural aspects of art are taken way too serious even if everybody knows that the really fun things are the trashy things done for satirical or entertainment purposes only. Now four months ago the zero issue of DIE ODER WIR was published as a free comic but issue 1 - which was released just a few days ago - may very well be the end of the new comic magazine.

One of the newsstands distributors was not sure if it was okay to distribute the thing and contacted a lawyer who said that the comic is endangering and corrupting the youth. What people outside Germany don´t know is that there is still a lot of censorship left over from the Third Reich. Back then it was done to eliminate " anti arian culture " now it is done to " protect innocent youths ". Basically it´s still the same thing only now they have an excuse to tell you what to read, listen, watch and even think. But I already wrote about that at length in a few other posts so I won´t go into the details now. Well, the important thing is that many newsstand owners got wind of the whole thing and were afraid to display the comic.

They had ordered it but they didn´t put it on display so the clients couldn´t buy it. Which means that the first issue may well be the last. Since it´s waaay too expensive to start a lawsuit the first idea Karl Nagl had was to destroy the remaining copies of issue one. Which is what the newsstands will do as well - at least officially. I have heard somewhere that because it´s too expensive to have the unsold copies shipped back normally they just get thrown into the trash. Only that there are some newsstands that just say they destroyed them while selling them behind the back of the publishers.

And since the first issue is sure to become a collectors item many newsstand owners are going to make a lot of money with that. Of course there are some newsstands who still sell the issue like any other publication they get. I bought a copy at the newsstand at the train station in Ludwigsburg which usually doesn´t have a big selection of comics. I mean they have the newest issue of HORRORSCHOCKER usually one or two months after the other newsstands. But they had the issue. Maybe because it had the newspaper size. Who knows ?

At the moment the remaining issues haven´t been destroyed and Karl Nagel is trying to find a solution. Maybe some kind of mail order service for a higher price or selling the next issue through other outlets than comic shops or newsstans. What´s so depressing sbout the whole scandal is that for ONCE somebody wants to produce cheap comics for the masses in Germany and it all crashes and burns very quickly. POWER FREAKS all over again. By the way the whole thing started because of the cover that shows a student with a gun about to shoot a teacher. Okay, not the most tame cover image but I have seen worse on some comics or magazines.

It is a current topic and where will this all end when we can´t even treat this subjects ? Ignoring it won´t help to solve the problem. Maybe Germany only wants comics that are afraid to stick the finger where it hurts. On the other side this comic was started to offend by catering to the basest instincts and if starting a scandal was the goal it has suceeded on all levels. Again, I didn´t get to the TEEN TITANS but I think I will now read the first issue of DIE ODER WIR before taking a nap. Here are some related links :

  • issue 1 announcement

  • review of issue 1 from the FAZ

  • latest news about issue 1

  • the message board thread

  • Karl Nagel blog

  • Alligator Farm homepage

  • New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    John Byrne appreciating Tuesday

    Today I spent a lot of time with my comic collection. After the crushing experience of selling some of my comics to the comic shop I frequent for......well, measly 20 bucks I have decided to try the marketplace in the PANINI message board to peddle my stuff.

    Since I did get less than 50 cents for the comics I sold to the comic shop I think it would be better to first try to sell them online. If I can get at least 1 buck per comic that is twice as much as I get from the shop. And any comics that are unsellable online I can still bring to the comic shop. I´m not sure if anyone wants the issues I´m trying to get rid of - especially those old issues of SPIDERMAN CHAPTER ONE, ASSASIN SCHOOL, SHI and some issues of TERRA OSCURA....well, you know the drill.

    It´s harder to select the parts of my comic collection I want to get rid of now that I know that I probably won´t get enough to buy a chewing gum for a comic. And I have more comics in my collection than I thought I had. Stuff I totally forgot. But somehow I can´t give them away - they are like my kids. My own flesh and blood. One of the reasons why I avoid doing stuff like this where I have to pull out a lot of my comic collection are the looks I get from my mother. You can see that she thinks : It´s all trash. Someday when he sleeps I´m going to throw it all away. Ah, the love of a mother. Nothing has destroyed as many comic collections.

    So Today I´m going to start a new thread at the message board to see if anybody´s interested. Like I said I was going through my comic collection which meant bringing all the comic boxes I have stored in the basement up, looking them through and deciding which to keep and which to get rid of. I also rearranged some of the boxes to get all the HULK issues ( well, most of them ) in one box as well as most of the TITANS issues.

    Previously I had taken the John Byrne issues and the Dale Keown issues where I can easily reach them so I can read them whenever I want. But the fact is that I never got around to it so I decided to put them all together so I can find them when I need them. As for the TITANS issues - I had totally forgotten how many restarts the book has had over the years. If you think trying to follow THE LEGION is difficult you can try to figure out TITANS continuity with TITANS, THE TITANS, TEEN TITANS, NEW TITANS, NEW TEEN TITANS, TEAM TITANS, TITANS TOTAL SELLOUT, TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS and so on. Some of the titles even have two or three volumes.

    But we will get to my big TITANS post at another time I´m afraid. So today I had to haul all my comic boxes upstairs only to bring them back to the basement again which is the only sport I practice at the moment. No, really, that´s my only exercise. The good thing is that I finally found a few things I was looking for. One of the things was MARVEL FANFARE 11 which is the second part of the BLACK WIDOW story by George Perez. I was sure that I bought issue 11 at the Comicboerse in Stuttgart but at that time I had totally forgotten where I had put issue 10.

    It´s the classic case where each time I find one of the issues I have totally forgotten where I put the other issue. And every time I tell myself : I´m going to put the issue I have somewhere I can remember later. And it never fails. Whenever I find the other issue I have totally forgotten where that special place is where I put the other issue. Well, now I have them both together in one place. I just don´t know if I have issue 12 somewhere. But right now I don´t care.

    The other good thing is that I put some things together like all the NEXUS issues with the other comics by Steve Rude like THE MOTH or the CAPTAIN AMERICA and SPIDER - MAN miniseries he did. Did you know he did an issue of TEEN TITANS ? I also found the JLA / DOOM PATROL issues by John Byrne I wanted to re - read for quite some time. Every time I had to look for some comics in the comic boxes I have upstairs I was looking for those issues but I just couldn´t find them. Well, now I know that was because they weren´t upstairs at all.

    I know what you´re thinking right now : why would anyone even buy the JLA / DOOM PATROL issues least of all read them ? Twice ? What can I say ? If you are a regular reader you might remember that I already wrote that I still have a soft spot for John Byrne in my comic collecting heart. All right, there are some comics he did that I´m trying to get rid of right now like ( as I already mentioned ) SPIDER - MAN CHAPTER ONE but I still find some of his stuff highly entertaining. It may not be hip to today´s comic reading audience but to an old geezer like me that´s not as important as being able to tell an entertaining story.

    In fact I have the trade of the issues he did for JLA CLASSIFIED ( I think they were the last issues of the title ) in my comic box at the comic shop. Anyway, now I can read them again. Staying on the subject of John Byrne ( I think I have already lost my complete readership right now ) one of the things I now have upstairs is the complete collection of NEXT MEN one of the best books by John Byrne ever. Sadly the series was cancelled before it´s intended finale so we will never find out what his plans were. But it was one hell of a ride.

    If you haven´t read the series you should definitely check them out as some of the issues have been collected to trade since. In the series John´s different art style began to show where he went into a more realistic style to better transport the subject matter. What I have always liked about John Byrne is that he is always different in each book he does. Unless he does two books at the same time.....yes, he is one of the few artists who can pull that off......his style is different on each new book. Like the art on DEMON is not exactly the same as on DOOM PATROL.

    The art on JLA is also different even if it´s the prologue to the DOOM PATROL series. A fact that went totally over the head of the comic reading community in Germany. It is one of the big mysteries how anybody reading comics for more than two years cannot come to the conclusion that if a certain creative team does a story in JLA guest starring a new team that´s scheduled to get it´s own series afterwards - well, that the story in JLA has to be the lead - in to the new series. Sounds obvious to me but apparently I was the only one in Germany.

    Well, anyway, the one thing I really would like to see is a new edition of the SUPERMAN issues John Byrne did that were totally changed by the inker. I mean if you are the artist you draw the pages. And if you are the inker then you just do the inks. But changing the art and doing more work than you´re getting paid for just to feed your ego ? I´ll never understand that. The job of an inker is to support the artists and let him shine. Not tweaking his art to what you think it should look like.

    And did I mention that it is MORE work ? Work you don´t get paid for ? So, that´s what I would like to see from DC. Because I saw some original pages in a n issue of DOLMEN and it looks much more emotional and more dynamic than after the inks.

    That being said I will now go to the message borad to post my new treat to sell my comics. And read some John Byrne stuff later on. And hopefully I will get to my big TEEN TITANS post next time. For real.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN  : top ten posts / more posts of interest

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    public service

    Yesterday I was at the comic news sites to catch up to what´s going on in comics but it seems most news are from the New York Comic Con and I´m not so interested in con gossip.

    I like to wait and see what really comes out. Because you can´t always rely on things that are announced. When HUSH was announced I wasn´t sold on the idea of Jim Lee being able to do a monthly series...which quickly changed when I heard that he had already three issues under his belt when the announcement was made. And we all know that this one surprised all comic people because while the story wasn´t as good as expected the art delivered in every aspect.

    On the other side when the ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN was announced it sounded like the best thing ever since now Frank Miller had entered the project and clearly the schedule would be no problem since Jim Lee had shown he could do it. Well, that turned out to be a whole different beast. I mean I really enjoy the series - and not only for pissing off millions of readers. But when it was announced as a book about Robin doing the Batman experience at the height of Batman´s career with the addition of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl and all the other DC females Jim Lee didn´t get to draw in HUSH...I just expected something else.

    So you can´t always believe the hype and not everything turns out how we first figure when it´s announced. Remember how much hype was involved with Joe Madureiras´ULTIMATES story ?

    I still have to check out the german message boards but first I wanted to follow up the announcements I made in my last post.

    The new link on the blog is COLLECTED EDITION and I think it´s going to become a really important resource for comic readers in the next months. As I said in my last post it´s all about the trades but I wanted to elaborate a bit about what that means. On the site you find the latest trade news about which trades are out, the changes that have been made in content or discounts.

    What I like especially is that the reviews have a warning if there are spoilers, it is also noted if the trade contains all the individual issue covers as well as links to amazon where you can buy the trade ( which is not THAT important if you are outside of the US ). That´s one feature I have to see if I can add that to my blog. Seeing as I´m also going away from single issue reviews and more to the storyarc / run reviews that would be cool.

    The reviews are always interesting to read, full with background info ( like where the story ties into the respective comic universe ) since there are always readers not familiar with the characters and they give you an good idea what the trade is all about. In short : everything you need to know.

    Another thing is the 14th International Comic Salon de Granada that takes place from the 5th to the 8th March this year.

    The first bad news is that Orson Scott Card will not be attending due to health problems :


    Today, Tuesday February 17, 2009, at 18:00 we received a mail from Kristine Card, Orson Scott Card's wife, reported that Orson Scott Card has spent all weekend in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital due to heart problems. Today the situation is stabilized and is not afraid for his life, but it must begin a process of stabilization and initiate a treatment that will prevent Mr. Card from traveling for several weeks (the doctor has forbidden displacement ).

    Orson Scott Card has expressed regret at not being able to attend the XIV International Comic Salon in Granada.

    E-Veleta regrets this fact, mainly concerned about the health of his genius and wishes speedy recovery. Once this has occurred they consider inviting them ( Mr. and Mrs Card ) to subsequent editions of the Chamber Comic de Granada.

    I hope it´s not as bad as it sounds and that he recovers soon. The rest of the guest list includes Adam Kubert, Howard Chaykin, Pascual Ferry and Carlos Pacheco so there are still some high caliber artists on the convention.

    Tickets are 3,5 EURO ( but you will get a gift too as long as supplies last ) and opening hours are Thursday 12:00 - 20:00 and Friday till Sunday 11:00 - 20:00

  • guest list

  • You can find all the important info ( like how to get there ) on their website :

  • official homepage

  • english version

  • So that´s all for now. At the moment I´m reading the TEEN TITANS issues and man, am I glad I didn´t kick the book from my pull list although it got pretty bad for a time. We had lots of artists in quick intervalls ( always announced as the new regular artist....which mostly meant three issues ) each new one worse than the one before. I mean we even had Rob Liefeld on the book ! Although that might not have been so bad since there seem to be tons of comic readers who really dig him.

    If you don´t believe me just head over to MIKE STERLING´S PROGRESSIVE RUIN ( it´s in the link section ) and read the comments on his posts about YOUNGBLOOD in lieu of the upcoming YOUNGBLOOOD The Movie. Anyway, they even had three or four different artists on one issue of TEEN TITANS and I´m really glad they kept the one I liked. But more about that in my next post. I´m pretty tired right now, so I´m going to take a nap before heading to the message boards.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • Monday, February 16, 2009

    in our last episode

    Some of you may have noticed that it has been two weeks since my last post. That´s because I didn´t have internet access the last two weeks.

    And it wasn´t because I was sick ( although I have the flu at the moment ) or a natural catastrophe. Despite the fact that most germans seem to forget that it gets really, really cold at the same time each year - just before Fasching which is the german version of Halloween - and are always surprised by the heavy snowfalls it is not so bad in this neck of the woods.

    No, we - meaning the whole Ruiz household - were hit by a rather unnatural disaster in the form of renovations ordained by my mother. Yes, she decided we needed a new kitchen which in itself is okay. But of course this means we have to get new tiles for the kitchen because they have to be the same as in the other rooms.

    Wouldn´t be that dramatic but of course my mother has rather quaint ideas about how long it takes to do an entire room so she tells the guy who does the new tiles to start with......the living room. Therefore we have to take out all the stuff of the living room and put it into the kitchen and the room where I sleep. But on top of that my mother suddenly realizes that if he finishes the living room he can´t do the kitchen on time.

    Which in turn means emptying the kitchen and putting all the stuff from the kitchen into the room where I sleep, my brothers room and the room we use as the studio.

    So all the stuff gets crammed into the room where I write the blog and of course the computer gets pushed into a corner with all the other stuff blocking the access to it. Now that´s not so important since the internet cable doesn´t reach the computer anymore and there is no room to work at the computer anyway.

    So I had to climb our sofa every time I went to bed the last two weeks and we had to put the tv from the other rooms to the living room and back. For a period I even had to take turns sleeping in my bed with my mother since we had to put her bed away. We couldn´t use the kitchen for two weeks so we only could use the pizza cooking thing and mostly had to get our food from the Döner shop or the grilled chicken express. We had the fridge in my brothers room which was kind of weird. I still find myself going to his room whenever I´m hungry or thirsty. Or maybe I´m just looking for snacks.

    On Saturday the kitchen was almost finished so we could put some of the stuff back into the it. Of course my brother used the opportunity to change the computer desk with the glass desk even if we didn´t have enough room to do it. Through sheer luck, magic and the genius of spanish engineering we somehow managed it ( I still think it´s physically impossible ) but I missed the first hour of the Screen Actor´s Guild Awards because of it.

    It will still take a few days ( I would guess two more weeks ) before the living room is finished and everything is back to normal again - or what passes as normal around here. At least I can work on the computer again.

    The last two weeks were kind of strange because you become quite dependant of the internet. I re - read a lot of comics because I have a new bookshelf in the studio. Or rather an old one. Namely the one that used to be in the sleeping room where now stands the furniture where my mother used to keep the pans and cauldrons....or whatever you call them. So I have put all the MODERN MASTERS, the MONOGRAFICOS DOLMEN and other books about comics in my new bookshelf. One of the things I found out is that I have no idea where I put two of my DC COMICS GUIDE TO books.

    I know I had all three of them : THE DC GUIDE TO WRITING COMICS, THE DC GUIDE TO DRAWING COMICS and THE DC GUIDE TO INKING COMICS. And the only one I found was the DRAWING COMICS one. I just hope that it eventually turns up while I´m going through my comic collection to see which stuff I´m keeping and what I´m getting rid of. Although I may have to re - think this plan.

    Today I was at the comic shop ( more about that later ) and for all the comics I brought them last time I only got 20 bucks. Which must have been 50 cents per issue or less. I mean I took the money because every cent counts right now and I really wanted to get rid of the comics. But really, only twenty bucks ? I had all the 13 issues of the FLASH THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE in that as well as the first 12 issues of RED SONYA ( issue 0 included ) with some variant covers by Arthur Adams, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes and even George Perez ! And I mean I didn´t like it but now that there is a new SECRET SIX series coming out you can´t tell me that there is no demand for the last miniseries - the complete miniseries !

    No, I definitely have to think about it again before picking the stuff I´m getting rid off. I need more space, I could use some money and there are just dozens of comics I really hate and I´m never going to read again even if I get to live a hundred years. The thing is that I know I might get more money peddling my stuff on message boards - I´m just too lazy to open a thread, do all the updates and then send the stuff. And you also have to pay the postage and stuff.

    So just bringing the stuff to the comic shop where I have to go every month anyway won´t give me a big revenue but it´s not as much work. I just don´t know. I´m probably just going to do it step - by - step. But I won´t get rid of a lot of stuff that was on my list. I was thinking about selling all the FALLEN ANGEL stuff I have. But with less than 50 cent per issue it´s just not worth it. So I will probably keep most of my stuff for now. Maybe I will do a more thorough evaluation of my comic collection when prices are up.

    Back to the things I found out : number two is the reason why I don´t re - read more comics. It´s a simple question of accessibility. And I´m not talking about the stories being " accessible " but the fact that it is hard to read your comics again if you can´t reach them. The thing with my comic collection is that it´s like a complicated, intricate puzzle. I´m always adapting to my surroundings and putting my comics within arms reach.

    The only problem with that is that whenever I´m finished with that and have - again - grown accustomed to the new layout of the room my brother has to rearrange all the furniture and it´s Goobye comic books. All the furniture has been moved to prevent me from reaching the comics which start to collect dust because I can´t move them anymore. So they stay where they are and I have to find new space for the new comics. The cicle begins again addding layer upon layer of filed and stacked comics.

    Which is one of the reasons why it´s so difficult to go over my comic collection. It´s not just in one place. It is where ever I can squeeze some comics in. Which in turn makes going through the comics a thrilling adventure because I always find comics I had forgotten.

    So, I have re - read some of my comics but I´m still rearranging the trades in my new bookshelf. I will have to see if I can´t change some of the trades there with the ones I now have in the sleeping room but I will have to wait to do that till I can do it without climbing over the sofa.

    Wow, this post gets longer and longer even though I just wanted to do a quick post that I´m back - again. As I mentioned earlier I was at the comic shop Today where I immediatelly reinvested the 20 extra bucks into comics. This time I took all the ECHO issues, the USAGI YOJIMBO, the TEEN TITANS ( 12 issues which means I can read a full year´s worth, yay ! ) and some new issues of SAVAGE DRAGON, FANTASTIC FOUR, GREEN LANTERN and the first issue of DARK AVENGERS. Which by the way has 32 pages of story and a 8 page back up story but we´ll see how long that lasts.

    I´m not sure how long MARVEL is going to keep the 32 pages for 3.99. I don´t expect the back up stories to last very long. That´s probably just the icing on the cake for the transition but after a few months that is going to vanish very quick. I might be wrong about this prediction but I think we can count ourselves lucky if we get 32 pages for more than a year.

    It´s always the same no matter if it´s comics or m & m´s. First they increase the price while putting more m & m´s into the package ( or more pages in the comic ), than they stay that way for a while and when you have finally become comfortable with it they go back to the old format with the new price. It has worked that way in the past and it will continue this way into the future.

    In a market that has forgotten how to attract more readers ( without alienating the old ones I mean ) and that is always cannibalizing it´s audience the bubble keeps building till it suddenly pops - to the surprise of all involved.

    I mean as long as people are supporting the new prices they will continue to climb which would be good for independent publishers if DIAMOND hadn´t raised the bar for per - item - revenue. If the mainstream publishers were to raise their prices to 3.99 while the independent publishers could stay at 3.50 this would be the first time when independent comics cost less than mainstream comics.

    But that´s probably too good to be true. Anyway, speaking about independent publishers one of the things I re - read are the FUTURE COMICS books METALLIX, FREEMIND and DEATHMASK and I have to find out if the company still exists. And if they ever finished the FREEMIND movie.

    Okay, this has become longer than I intended and I´m probably boring you to death already so it´s time to mention two more things before I wrap this up ( and can go to watch SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and LOST ) :

    First there is a new link on the blog to the excellent blog COLLECTED EDITIONS which is - as the name says - all about waiting for the trade.

    Just Today I have banished THUNDERBOLTS from my pull list because I have to cut down on books and this is one of the titles I have to continue in the trade format. It´s probably not going to be the last one ( especailly since INCREDIBLE HERKULES has vanished mysteriously from my pull list while I was in Spain ) and if you also have to switch to trades or want to read about more cool trades that is the site for you. But I´m going to do a feature about it as soon as I have had the time to read more entries. Just wanted to announce it.

    The other thing is that from the 5th to 8th of March the 2009 edition of the Salon de Granada opens the convention season in Spain.

    I can´t say much about it since I have never been there but I just wanted to announce it. I will also give more detailed info about it as soon as I can but because I suspect you can´t find this info on COMICGATE or the other news sites ( it was posted last Wednesday on one of my links exchange partners YO DIGO NO but I only read it Yesterday ) I wanted to write about it as soon as possible.

    I still have a lot of catching up ahead of me - I haven´t been to any of the comic news sites so far - but next time we will continue with more USAGI YOJIMBO, ECHO or even more DARK AVENGERS ( hopefully ) as well as more detailed info about my new link partner and the Salon de Granada.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest

  • Monday, February 02, 2009

    new feature

    This weekend after two months I finally received a letter from the unemployment office which to my chagrin did not contain the expected notification if my solicitation for receiving financial support has been approved but rather more questions about the same thing as in the last letter. And they asked for more documents and papers.......effing bureaucrats.

    I swear Gemany has the most bureaucracy in the whole world. Today I wrote a reply and I hope that it won´t take forever to get this whole thing wrapped up. Understandably I wasn´t in the mood to write many posts since then ( especially if it means that my wonderful MADMAN post won´t be on the first page anymore ) but there are a few things I wanted to mention. I´m not one who posts much in the departement of news because I used to think that readers who are interested in that stuff can get that information much quicker and with more hard facts on other news sites.

    Well, Yesterday I was over at COMICGATE reading their WELT AM DRAHT news section because I wanted to read the coverage of the french comic convention in Angouleme when I realized that I made the announcment about the HORST RELOADED blog ( Geier even used this title when he made the announcement on the german Comicforum - how cool is that ? ) almost a full week before they posted it. I also have mentioned the price increase from 2.99 to 3.99 that Marvel is implementing right now as well as the trouble with PREVIEWS upping the ante in respect for what articles in the catalogue have to create in revenue to stay in the catalogue at least one week before it was mentioned on Comicgate.

    So I think I´m going to write a bit more about such important news in the future. For my readers who regularly consult NEWSARAMA or COMIC BOOK RESOURCES it may be old news but my german readers will get the chance to read it a week before it´s mentioned on COMICGATE.

    Who knows ? If this is successful and turns into a regular thing maybe they will put the news on their blog earlier. I mean I´ve made them enough offers about translating parts of my blog for them - like my series about the comic conventions in Barcelona. Although it´s kind on unnerving if you have to give somebody the direction for a blog you have been writing for three years now. Especially if that person says he´s up to date on everything related to comics on the internet. " Wow, you got your own blog ? And how long have you been writing ? " Thanks.

    Anyway, this just reminds me that one of these days I have to post my " Why Wolverine has to be an ugly bridge troll " essay I wrote for them years ago and which to my knowledge never got posted on Comicgate.

    Speaking about announcing things before they are posted anywhere else there is a new podcast especially about the Legion of Super - Heroes called THE LEGION OF SUBSTITUTE PODCASTERS where you can find all the information about the Legion, it´s members, the creators involved and basically all things Legion. There are 17 episodes on the site so far which even cover the FINAL CRISIS : LEGION OF THREE WORLDS and SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER - HEROES storyarcs.

    Okay, as the title says : new feature. You may have noticed that I have added a new widget ( what we used to call gadget in the 80s ) to the blog. Last week I noticed that I now had a regular follower but since I had not added the necessary display for that I only noticed it on the dashboard for the blog. So now I have my first " official " regular follower. Well, I like to think that I had one or two regular readers before that - thanks to all my regular readers - but now I´ve got an official follower.

    Which I have to say sounds a bit like a cult. Beware of my follower you miserable unbelievers. Or is a follower more like a stalker. You have been followed. Anyway, since I´m not averse to the idea of world domination I´m sticking to the cult thing. My first official follower ( and hopefully just the first of millions ) is the writer of the fantastic blog WARREN PEACE SINGS THE BLUES whom I just recently wrote an e - mail about doing a link exchange.

    I don´t know if he misunderstood the e - mail I wrote or if he thought this would be a better way. In any case it prompted me to add the " follow this blog " feature which is awesome.

    I have no idea how it is different from the RSS feed but it´s just awesome. Every thing new and shiny is. Yes, I´m easily excited. Okay, that just sounds wrong on so many levels. Anyway, the new feature is now on the blog so you can become a follower if you want to support TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN. And if you don´t want any attention you can become an anonimous follower. No pressure there.

    Back to WARREN PEACE SINGS THE BLUES : it´s a blog about the kind of comics I don´t read or better the comics I used to read when I had more money. Yes, it´s all about the Benjamins. When I had more money I went to the comic shop more often and in between buying my usual mainstream comics from Marvel and DC I bought much more stuff from independent publishers. Right now I´m on a pretty tight budget and with the backlog of almost one year these are the comics that fall to the wayside.

    Apart from Terry Moore´s ECHO, Erik Larsen´s SAVAGE DRAGON, Stan Sakai´s USAGI YOJIMBO and Jim Balent´s TAROT there are no independent books I can follow.

    So it´s nice to have the possibility to read about that part of the comic industry on WARREN PEACE SINGS THE BLUES. That way I could find out that new material has been released by LOVE AND ROCKETS creators Jame and Gilbert Hernandez in the form of LOVE AND ROCKETS : NEW STORIES 1 as well as SPEAK OF THE DEVIL by Gilbert Hernandez alone. I prefer the works they do together because the solo comics from Gilbert have too much drama and are waaaay too heavy for me.

    Okay, time to wrap up this post that has become longer then I expected. Check out WARREN PEACE SINGS THE BLUES and head over to COMICGATE or directly to WELT AM DRAHT if you want to read about Angouleme. There are links to the english version of the Angouleme website as well as links to other blog who covered the event. For me as someone who doesn´t read many french or belgian comics it´s not that interesting. I find most franco - belgian comics deliver in the art departement but fail where the story is concerned. And as mentioned I read more stuff when I had a bigger budget to spend. I think one thing all comic readers have to face is cutting down on the number of comics they buy.

    Which may not be as big a problem as we think because the new policy of PREVIEWS could mean the end of the direct market and the end of many indie publishers.

    New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest