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bralinator

Lenticular covers are the new chromium covers

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bralinator
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  • What Comic Didn't Work for You This Week?

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    I've been enjoying the two Starlin collections of Warlock and Captain Marvel immensely.



    You know what this forum needs more of?

    COMIC BOOK CRITIQUE!

    I miss when comic fans REALLY talked about comics! What did you read, but didn't work for you and why? The art? The writing? The characterizations? The price? The editing? The colors? There's already a thread about praising good material, and I've picked up books from what I've seen written about there, but what about words of warning to our fellow comic fans? There's only so much time and money.

    Some people may feel that criticism is not welcome, that these forums should always be about positivity, but I can tell you that any creator or business welcomes legit criticism for various reasons, and we know there are some industry involved participants on these very forums. To criticize something, means you cared enough to write or share that criticism - this medium should mean enough to us to be willing to criticize it.

    Criticism lets you see things in a different light. Everyone should have a different viewpoint—one which you might never have considered before. Criticism helps us to see things from a different perspective, hence raising awareness. Criticism is a form of honesty. I actually prefer to talk with someone who openly shares what he/she thinks rather than someone who thinks the same thoughts BUT keeps it to him/herself. Criticism helps people improve.

    If you want to stick with all-positive comics discussions, jump over to this thread, but if you've been investing in a title that just isn't working for you, why not let us know here so we can check it out ourselves, avoid it also, or try to persuade you why we think you've made a mistake, or just ignore it.

    +++++++++++


    Here are two titles that I wish I hadn't kept buying before I had already bought several issues of before I got around to reading them:

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    Man-Thing by R. L. Stine ($3.99)
    I haven't gotten through all 5 issues of this mini yet, but what I've seen so far is a story that’s lacking strong characters, a clear plot, and a reason to exist at all. The art is good, but I am not impressed with the inner monologue of the protagonist. It was never necessary back when Steve Gerber was helming this intriguing character (the two volume Epic trades are worth your time). Stine gave Man-Thing the ability to think and speak like Ted Sallis, thereby removing the essence of what made this anti-hero unique. He also offers no explanation how Man-Thing suddenly regained consciousness and speech - without having a mouth or having done so in 40 years! Did RL Stine not know how this character worked?The origin story is a sham compared to what Gerry Conway and Len Wein did back in '71. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a nostalgia trip or just a parody, but either way, this is an #epicfail on every level and I will never read another Man-Thing comic by Stine.

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    (She-)Hulk by Mariko Tamaki ($3.99)
    I'm very fond of She-Hulk. Ever since John Byrne took over the character and made her the fun-loving hero who broke the 4th wall before Deadpool was even an idea, I was hooked. I actually have that complete run and the essential of SSH. That version of the character is long gone. Dan Slott did a pretty good run a few years ago, which I have in trades, and the Charles Soule version a few years ago didn't impress me much, but this 2017 version is just awful. Jennifer is struggling to recover from the aftermath of having a near death experience and learning that her cousin Bruce Banner was murdered by Hawkeye during Civil War II, this series is set-up to tell her painful story about the psychological trauma of being a superhero, and literally nothing has happened for several issues. The renderings are clunky, static, and lack detail. The proportions are all over the map and the villains look very goofy and not at all menacing. The color is actually well done, however. The story so far is miserable. Even the Bendis-y dialogue is cringy. Not at all like Tamaki's 'Supergirl: Being Super.' You hardly ever see She-Hulk in her heroic form in the series, and when you do it's a last-panel jip. Marvel has transformed a sexy, fun, confident female hero into a self-loathing, one-dimensional, boring character. The only bright spots are the sitcom stereotypical gay, interracial couple and, well... that's pretty much it.

    I'm done. No more pre-ordering of this title.

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    (D.M. me and I will send you issues 1-8 for FREE plus the cost of S&H if I can't recover any of my investment and they don't sell on eBay.)
  • Re: Episode 1621 Talkback - Comic Talk - Improv Edition


    You may not see skin - but not everyone can say that. Because it's what they see in the mirror or on their hands, etc. They have to see it. Every day. And there are people who don't ever let you forget that you have that skin. Like the guy who called me a spic without knowing who I was or hearing me speak or anything. In one second, because he was trying to set me up for a mugging or something, he knew because of how I look.

    So yes. Not giving a shit? It is a privilege. That's what people mean when they say you don't know what it's like. Even I thought I could avoid that. I've been proven wrong enough times to know that 'not seeing skin' is a luxury others can't afford.
    Want to see what privileges you might qualify for? How about “two-parent privilege?” If you were raised by a mom and dad, you entered adulthood with more privileges than anyone else in American society, irrespective of race, ethnicity or sex. Any concern about “Asian privilege?” They exceed all other races in American schools on IQ tests, on credit scores and several other positive parameters.

    And still, given similar scholastic and extracurricular records, one’s chances of being accepted into a prestigious college are considerably greater if one is a member of a minority. So maybe there's a “minority privilege.” Worried about that too, or just whites?

    And the biggest privilege of all is “American privilege.” Unless you or your family make some big mistakes, the greatest privilege of all is to be an American. That’s why much of the world wants to live in America. Our society and our culture is a mixture of people with differing levels of talent, skills, industry, motivation and opportunity. Anyone promoting a sense of entitlement among the “have-nots,” and favoring the displacement of responsibility to others or the culture at large for ones fate, where the “not so successful” blame their unhappiness on those more successful is misguided and promoting ideas devoid of personal responsibility or any sense of self reliance.

    I'm very sorry someone called you a name and thought about mugging you. All colors of people get mugged. All colors of people called names. All people deserve to be heard and represented. Not shouted down because they don't have the right privilege or understand how entitled you think they are or are not.
  • Re: Episode 1679 Talkback - Off the Racks: Doomsday Clock #1


    If a contract over Watchmen doesn't involve returning the rights to Moore and Gibbons, Alan isn’t going to be interested. DC knows this. They do their due diligence anyway, and offer him gobs of money, even though they know he isn’t going to take it. Dave was being practical, knowing they will never get the rights back, and decided to try to get whatever he could out of it. And I have absolutely no problem with that. Alan doesn’t care about the money; he just wants the rights back. He knows he'll never get them back, but he is in a position in life where he can afford to tell DC to shove off. And I have absolutely no problem with that either. It’s just a shame they’ve lost a friendship over the issue. Same thing happened with Moore and Alan Davis over Captain Britain because of the Miracleman snafu.

    I'm not reading Doomsday Clock. Not because of any indignence on Alan’s behalf, I'm just not interested.
    Apparently the deal DC offered was gobs of money and the rights back if Moore allowed them to do the prequels and sequel.

    Alan Moore from the Wired.com article above:

    “They offered me the rights to Watchmen back, if I would agree to some dopey prequels and sequel”

    He turned them down. His prerogative. I am more in line with Gibbons, besides the characters are all essentially anagrams of DC owned Charlton characters in the first place. I’ve come to believe that the pragmatic decision would be to have begun negotiating from that DC offer Moore refers to in the Wired article.

    As for the DC (Doomsday Clock) series, I was so impressed with Rebirth #1 and this premise that I’m on board until it falls off the rails.
  • Re: Candidates For The Cancellation Calvacade

    The November direct market sales numbers are here! Check out the top ten comics for the month. Looks like DC is the big winner, still dominating with Batman, but Marvel (barely) managed to get a couple of titles into the top ten. They are clearly struggling and it shows:

    1 Doomsday Clock #1 ($4.99 regular edition) sold 119,412 copies
    2 Doomsday Clock #1 ($5.99 lenticular edition) sold 119,231 copies
    3 Batman Who Laughs #1 sold 105,183 copies
    4 Batman Lost #1 sold 101,267 copies
    5 Batman #35 sold 97,459 copies
    6 Batman #34 sold 96,676 copies
    7 Batman The Devastator #1 sold 94,496 copies
    8 Captain America #695 sold 87,101 copies
    9 Batman Annual #2 sold 75,928 copies
    10 Star Wars #38 sold 73,885 copies

    Doomsday Clock and DC's continuing Batman-related event during the Justice League movie's release month combined to give DC its strongest month of 2017 by far in November, outstripping its previous November (which also had five shipping weeks) by 21%. That's a major deal, and a reversal after a long string of comparatives against Rebirth months since we're now able to make comparisons with the 2016 months where Rebirth issues were no longer returnable. This was enough to give the Direct Market (DM) its second-best month of 2017. However, overall comic book unit sales were down 13.28% compared to last year.

    The regular and lenticular editions of Doomsday Clock were counted separately due to the price difference, however, if we combined those into one slot, that would simply bump up Justice League #32 (followed closely by Justice League #33), and wouldn't change the DC / Marvel top-ten ratio at all.

    Notably at Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man is dropping fast. It didn't even crack the top 20 this month, coming in at rank #23 with 56,179 copies sold. It's seen worse in recent years, but that's nearly half the 110,349 copies it moved last month with issue #789 (Legacy numbering) and a 5% drop from issue #32 in September. Those variant sales gimmicks can't last forever. Even Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows outsold the main title. Is Dan Slott's seven-year tenure on Marvel's flagship title finally beginning to get stale for longtime readers? He isn't going anywhere anytime soon. We'll see how far he lasts beyond the milestone issue #800.

    A brief explanation of the following data: the first number in parenthesis is the actual ranking on the month’s Top 300 sales charts; next is the first percentage quote which is the drop (or rise) in sales from the previous issue, and the second percentage quote is the movement over six months or six issues (or, if the book has been around for less that that time, since the first issue*).

    Raw data for the Top Six Losers at DC for ONovember:

    1 Imaginary Fiends #1 - 9,604 (206), (n/a), (n/a)
    2 New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 - 9,415 (207), (n/a), (n/a)
    3 Bug The Adventures of Forager #5 - 9,043 (213), (-10%), (-50%)
    4 Astro City #49 - 8,938 (216), (-5%), (-4%)
    5 Dastardly and Muttley #3 - 6,416 (255), (-25%), (-53%)
    6 Scooby Doo Team Up #32 - 5,207 (283), (-10%), (-9%)

    All of these books are below the ONCE-presumed DC cancellation point (10,000 copies). Scooby-Doo Team-Up's performance is directly tied to the members of the team-up. It goes up and down. It dropped 10% from last month, but with it going up and down like it does, it was only down 9% from issue #26 from 6 months ago. The other Hanna-Barbera books are mini-series and DC probably doesn't expect much. As for DC superhero fare, Blue Beetle only sold 9,667 issues in November. I expect it to be cancelled before any of those listed above, for various reasons. The first being that the next DC crossovers will combine DC and Young Animal titles in 2018. I would bet that DC wants to take a 'wait and see' attitude until they get those sales numbers.


    Meanwhile, over at Marvel they still haven't stopped the bleeding:

    1 Secret Warriors #9 - 9,323 (209), (-6%), (-54%)
    2 America #9 - 8,360 (225), (-68%), (-48 %)
    3 Monsters Unleashed #8 - 7,406 (239), (-73%), (-46%)
    4 Black Panther Prelude #2 - 6,991 (244), (-18%), (-18%)
    5 Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Series #5 - 6,824 (246), (-2%), (-49%)
    6 Zombies Assemble 2 #4 - 4,943 (277), (-8%), (-51%)

    These poor sales had better be a wake up call for Marvel, and soon. Entertainment Weekly is trying to help Marvel/Disney stop the bleeding on one of their biggest failures by calling America Chavez the "Superhero of the Year!" It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. If the drop off for America Chavez looks odd, that's because it is. The first issue back in March 2017 sold 43,592 copies in the DM. Issue #2 dropped expectedly to 23,987 copies. This month it's down to 8,360 copies, but last month, issue #8 sold an astounding 26,531 copies! That's nearly 10% more than its second issue. The previous month's issue (#7) only sold 9,137 copies. What kind of shenanigans was Marvel running on America Chavez in October you ask? Did lenticular Legacy cover gimmicks really push the book so high or did retailers have to order a certain number of them to get special variants? Either way, I still expect this book will end at issue #12.

    I suspect a similar fate for Secret Warriors, and would guess that Monsters Unleashed is ending soon as well. When Cullen Bunn originally announced he was doing that series, Marvel PR told us it was only planned to go 5 issues. That obviously changed, but the sales weren't anything worth touting, so I don't know exactly why the original plan has changed. Writer Justin Jordan takes over the title this month with issue #9. I'm wondering if it will make it past issue #10.

    All of these books mentioned are selling below 10K copies. That used to be the threshold that DC used to cancel books, and that was back then Marvel's threshold was more like 20K. However, even the critically acclaimed* Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 barely stayed above that level this month, selling only 10,003 copies in the DM, coming in at at slot #197 on the November sales chart. It's pretty much a crap-shoot these days to figure out what will trigger a cancellation. It appears that taking up shelf-space at the LCS is more important than putting a failing book out of our misery :)

    On the indie side, Image's Walking Dead landed at the #14 slot in November with issue #173 selling 64,228 copies (only 3 copies less than it sold in October 2017). Since no one has been commenting on the indie charts/titles, I wasn't motivated to include them this time.

    Thoughts?

    Reference numbers provided by Comichron.com.
  • Re: Episode 1679 Talkback - Off the Racks: Doomsday Clock #1

    Thanks for another timely episode guys! However, I got the feeling that only @pants seemed excited by the prospect and execution of this maxi-series. Everyone else seemed nonplus, troubled, or only mildly intrigued. I hope this maxi-series turns out to impress all of us. I too loved the art and I am intrigued by the premise.

    I was surprised no one mentioned that in the very first panel of Doomsday Clock #1 we see a narration caption that reads, “November 22nd, 1992… or maybe it’s the 23rd,” giving readers a starting point for the story being told. This date puts the start of Doomsday Clock right at the release of one of DC Comics' most well-known storylines, Superman #75. This connection gives the title "Doomsday Clock" a whole different meaning, perhaps referring to the villain Doomsday, and to the death of Superman, and ultimately to the death of “hope” in the DC universe. Would like to know @Adam_Murdough's thoughts on that.

    It’s been established that in the Watchmen universe that DC Comics characters exist as fictional characters in comic books, just like our reality.

    Here’s an excerpt by Night Owl aka Hollis Mason from his autobiography 'Under The Hood,' found in Watchmen #1,
    “For me, it all started in 1938, the year they invented the super-hero. I was too old for comic books when the first issue of Action Comics came out … but from the moment I set eyes on it I only had eyes for the Superman story. Here was something that presented the basic morality of the pulps without all their darkness and ambiguity...”

    I’m convinced that the era that the Doomsday Clock series takes place in is a major plot point of this maxi-series.