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.

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    Nick said...

    Welcome back! And thanks for that picture of Christina idea who she is, but the picture's quite nice.

    SUBZERO said...

    Christina Hendricks is on the tv show MAD MEN that won a Screen Actors Guild Award this year. It´s not shown in Germany ( yet ! ) but she has been in a few other tv shows ( also not shown in Germany like FIREFLY or KEVIN HILL.

    For more info :

    Anonymous said...

    Sorry for off topic, but 2012 is close, is this really matter?

    SUBZERO said...

    Not really sure what you´re referring to. This post was written on February the 16th 2009. So ?

    Anonymous said...

    thanks for post.This article translate for me, my friend Marko
    greetings from Camp from Thailand