Wednesday, December 23, 2009

some links for the holidays

Since it´s going to be a few days till we get our presents ( my sister will visit us on the second day of Christmas ) I thought it´s time for another link post. These days can get pretty long especially if you are waiting for your newest comic order.

In most cases I myself get to read the links after I post them since I haven´t got the time to do it before.

DC redefines it´s Co - Features

One of the constant topics of 2009 was the increase from 2.99 to 3.99 on certain books. It has been the topics of many posts on this blog since I still don´t get any review copies from MARVEL or DC and have to buy them all by myself. In times of economical crisis where - for instance - the car industry is lowering prices and showering the customers with tons of incentives the comic industry is going the other way. If your consumers have less money the reasonable thing to do would be to lower prices.

Instead the big two opted for commiting slow financial suicide of which they will both see the effects about now. Marvel moreso than DC as Marvel´s policy so far has been " Let´s see how much money we can get from a single reader ". DC has followed the policy of adding value to the books with the heftier price tag through their Co - Features something I´m familiar with from my youth since it´s a policy that´s still being put to practice in Germany right now.

I can´t say how successful they were but as somebody who read three books that included them I can say that I liked the idea. And judging from Dan Didio new plans there must be some credit there. Now what are the changes and how will they affect ME ( which is the only important part ) ?

BOOSTER GOLD and DOOM PATROL will both loose their co - feature and go back to 2.99. Which means that I will continue to read BOOSTER GOLD for less money now and DOOM PATROL will be dropped from my reading list. I wasn´t that big a fan of BLUE BEETLE and to be honest the series has seen better art. So I was reading it mainly for the BOOSTER GOLD part. As for the new DOOM PATROL book the only reason to get this book - at least - was the METAL MEN back up story. As the art team is heading to new projects ( which sadly are not mentioned ) there was no sense in continuing the METAL MEN co - feature without them.

Thankfully for those poor readers who missed them collections will be available in the not too distant future.

TEEN TITANS on the other hand will keep it´s co - feature but like on JSA ALL STARS and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA they will go from stories focussing on one character to rotating story arcs about different members. Now if you have heard enough about me and want to know how your pull list is going to be affected you can read it here :

  • all about the changes in DC`s co - features

  • All in all I have to say that DC´s model looks much more successful than Marvel´s policy in that departement.

    Superman and Ali back in the ring

    No, there will be no sequel rather than a reprint of the legendary 1978 team up of the century of Krypton´s last son and the greatest boxer of all time.

    For all those readers that read it when it first came out this is a chance to get a new copy since the old one has been almost read to death. And for all those unfamiliar with the book ( and those who didn´t believe such a book really existed ) here is your chance to see why Neal Adams will always be one of comic´s greatest.

    There will be two editions : one hardcover with a new Neal Adams cover and bonus material and one hardcover in the original tabloid size which will be the one I will be going for - IF I can afford it. Otherwise I will have to wait for the softcover edition of this landmark comic.

    Now the icing on the cake would be a german edition since this is a comic you can give away as a present ( I already have one person in mind ) but since PANINI usually tries to offer their readers the good stuff chances are good. Here´s the link :

  • Superman vs Muhammed Ali finally sees a new printing

  • MARVEL gives away free comic

    And it has nothing to do with Free Comic Book Day......okay, not really since they are starting a few months before. Okay, what´s it all about ? It´s called MARVEL´S GREATEST COMICS and it´s a campaign to get new readers for their best titles by offering the first issue for 1 buck.

    And to start it all of the first issue, THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ( coming out on March 3rd ) will be totally free. The following titles will be CAPTAIN AMERICA 1, WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ 1, THOR 1 and PUNISHER MAX 1.

    Now at first the idea of getting a one dollar comic from MARVEL for one buck with the first one being absolutely free sounded really good I first thought the news was about a new weekly series. DC has tried to get a successful weekly series ever since their initial success of 52 but so far they have only met with failure. Because for me you need three things to have a weekly comic that sells like cupcakes :

    1. cheap - you can`t sell a weekly comic for the same amount as your regular comics if you want them to sell. If a reader has to choose between a weekly comic and a monthly comic from the top writer and top artist and they cost the same he´ll always go for the monthly comic. Except if the weekly comic has good talent which brings us to

    2. good - if you only have a lower price point without offering some really good art and story your weekly comic won`t sell much. We saw this with Marvel´s 99 cent line where the only comic that had good sales numbers was UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER - MAN. Which coincidentially was the only book with a good story and good art.

    I´m not saying that you have to have ALL your top people working on the weekly comic but you have to include one or two a - listers if you want to sell it.

    Marvel used to know this when they published MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS because they always had one main feature to hook the readers, one good feature that was stand - alone or just a few issues long and then some other stuff. You need one good series to give the readers something to come back for.

    Now what is the third thing ? It has to be

    3. available - the best comic is worth nothing if people can´t buy it. And with people I don´t mean the ones that are already reading comics. You have to reach the other half. With something like a cheap weekly comic that has some top artists you need to go big. Go outside the comicshop ghettos to the shopping malls, the seven elevens, the newsstands at the train stations, the bookshops, the coffe shops....hell, even the barber shops if you can. As long as you don´t step outside your usual outlets your success will be limited.

    Anyway, since Marvel´s new campaign is NOT about weekly comics I have to say that we will just have to wait and see.

    I think a lot of people will go for these first issues ( especially the free one ) but the question is how many will then go and buy the following issues. It´s a good idea to get new readers but I think it will only work if the first issue really has a hook. At least it shows that Marvel is trying something even if the new HOUSE OF IDEAS seems to be the marketing departement and not the creative departement. You can make your own conclusions about what that means. Here are the details and the publishing schedule for

  • Marvel´s greatest comics


    Is anybody left who reads HULK ? After the fiasko of issue 600 I dropped it from my pull list even if I´m still reading my brothers issues. It´s that whole " train wreck appeal " where you know something will crash and burn in the worst way possible but you still can´t help watching. Marvel used this effect very efficiently in Warren Ellis THUNDERBOLTS where you knew from the start that it will end terribly. But it was such bittersweet joy to watch it all go down in flames. It´s also the big pull on DARK AVENGERS. We all know Norman Osborn will crack. The question is when and how.

    Now if you manage to produce this train wreck IN your book that can be a good thing. If your book IS the train wreck that sucks.

    Still in their " event for events sake " phase Marvel is launching FALL OF THE HULKS and I fear with such high calibre artists like John Romita Jr involved I won´t get around reading a few issues. It has even be announced that the always elusive Paul Pelletier will become the new regular artist of HULK. Which usually means six issues. Anyway, here are some interviews with the creative people involved which I haven´t read myself yet so there may be some spoilers involved :

    Interview with Jeph Loeb, Greg Pak and Jeff Parker Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

  • interview with Paul Pelletier


    The new BATMAN & ROBIN book has also disappeared from my pull list - at least till Frank Quietely comes back. I don´t know if I will try to get the other issues in trade or just wait for the german publication but here are two interviews with Mr. Morrison of which the first one might be a bit old but since I haven´t posted it yet.....

  • morrison talks batman part 1

  • morrison talks batman part 2


    Yes, there are still some X - Men related issues in this blog. After the end of Joss Whedon and Sean Cassadays run on ASTONISHING X - MEN there was no x - book I was reading on a regular basis. Right now I´m following the exploits of Marvel`s merry mutants in the german edition but that´s all. Now back in the day UNCANNY X - MEN was the top title of Marvel so for all those who haven´t read enough about it here´s a new interview with John Byrne. I know he gets a lot of flack because of the things he says but credit where credit´s due and I have to say I still like to read his new stuff.

    Staying on the subject of all things Dark Phoenix here´s an interesting article about the possibility of getting better superhero comics through the Dark Phoenix saga that compares the way writers, artists and editors worked together at that time. Something that´s lacking from today´s comic industry. In some cases you even might think that there are no editors involved at all. Anyway, interesting stuff by Justin Zyduck.

    And since we are on the topic of the best X - Men ever let´s hear it from the other side. Chris Claremont´s new series X - MEN FOREVER is a series I wanted to write about but so far I haven´t gotten around to do it. I bought the first six issues but because Tom Grummet only does the occassional issue now and then i will get the following issues in trade - or the german translation. Anyway, here are some interviews about the series which contain a few spoilers :

  • chris claremont on x - men forever part 1

  • chris claremont on x - men forever part 2

  • chris claremont on x - men forever part 3

  • Graeme on X-Men Forever

  • More stuff

    More creators talking this time from THE COMICS JOURNAL in the form of a conversation between Dave Gibbons and Frank Quitely and a conversation between Matt Fraction and Denny O´Neil

    Another thing that´s hard to come by are tutorials by comic pros so here is an article about coloring comics by Chris Sotomayor

    Also since no link post would be complete without the obligatory top list of comic things here are the top 75 most iconic DC covers of all time.

    Last but not least here´s a newsflash from tv Guide Magazine about BATTLESTAR GALAKTIKA´s Katee Sackhoff a.k.a. Starbuck new comic series .

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

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  • The bill of rights is just a piece of paper. It burns like everything else.

    1 comment:

    Jupiter Family said...

    Happy New Year !!!

    2010 New Year's Fireworks show