Monthly archives: December, 2009

Batman Returns. Again.

pirate batmanIf you didn’t read USA Today this morning, I don’t blame you, but you missed out on some interesting (see: not interesting) news.

Bruce Wayne is coming back! Kind of.

In the “Who Didn’t See This Coming?” department, I’d say this ranks right up there with Hulk Hogan coming out of retirement as soon as his bank account dipped below twenty bucks.

Here’s some info on the Return of Bruce Wayne series, set to hit shelves in a six-issue miniseries starting in April (written by Grant Morrison with each issue featuring a new artist), according to Newsarama:

[Morrison] also revealed some of the settings of the series, including the Late-Paleolithic Era (Caveman/Viking Batman), a Pilgrim-era Gotham (Witch-hunter Batman), a Pirate Batman, a “western” style Gotham with Cowboy Batman, and a Noir Private Investigator Batman. Morrison, agian to, calls this story ” Bruce Wayne’s ultimate challenge — Batman vs. history itself!”

That sounds perfect for Grant Morrison. That guy sure loves his freaked-out gobbledygook!

Now I just wonder what they’re going to do with the new Batman, Dick Grayson. Here’s hoping he commits self-kill out of shame, so that his name doesn’t get dragged through any more of this shit.

DC’s New Earth One Line

I’m not sure if I’m just cynical or if there really is a lack of interesting comics news out there of late.  It’s probably a mix of both, but DC’s recent announcement of a new Earth One line is a welcome bit of good news among the daily fluff.  This will be done through a series of graphic novels by some of their big name creators in a new continuity.  Geoff Johns and Gary Frank will launch Batman.  J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis will be handling Superman.  In each case they will be a new retelling of each character’s origin stories.

I really like the potential of this.  The fact that they will be in a graphic novel format means they will be able to debut in bookstores at the same time as the usual comic shops.  There will be no waiting for the trade here.  It is a ideal format to appeal to new readers.  The fact is it’s just not easy to get potential new costumers to seek out a comic book store.   (more…)

Chewing on the right price

In line with my previous post about Marvel’s current pricing schemes Bleeding Cool had a short but entertaining break down of the value of of the Dark Avengers annual that came out this week with the hefty $4.99 price tag.  I do kind of feel bad for the talent involved in that Dark Avengers book.  It is not up to them what price goes on the book, but they end up looking bad when people like me scoff at the price.   I’m a long time fan of Chris Bachalo, the artist on the annual, going back to his days at Vertigo (I still wish he stayed there), but even that is not enough to get me to look past the price tag.  The Bleeding Cool post also mentions the recently released trade that collects the first five issues of the series Chew from Image.  At $9.99, it is the polar opposite of the over priced Marvel books, perhaps even under priced as they could have charged a few dollars more and it would still be a great price.

Chew has been a rare success story for a small press book. (more…)

Topping the lists

DC’s November sales once again dominated the Diamond top ten list.  Comic Chron has the lists of the Diamond top ten for both comics and trades.  Marvel still won out in sales thanks in part to their books carry the $3.99 price tag.  This is one of things that bothers me about Marvel of late.  The jump to $3.99 has lead to fewer sales but the price increase compensates for the loss in actual sales numbers.  Essentially the people willing to shell out the higher price now carry more of the burden of the sales.  This would not be so bad if Marvel fallowed DC’s pattern of having most of their $3.99 books have backup features, which increases the page count  with new material giving more value for what the consumer will pay.  Some of Marvel’s books have done this, such as the Incredible Hulk, but their top books still carry the lower page count.  I realize this is a typical business practice and it is certainly not exclusive to comics, but it takes advantage of the most loyal readers without generating new costumers.  DC seems to genuinely care about their fans and what they have to pay.  That is at least showing in the latest sales numbers even though Marvel is taking in more money.  My hope is Marvel will eventually fall in line with DC’s more fan friendly practices. (more…)

Nostalgia and Fatigue

The much hyped Image United was released last week.  I must admit I was a fan of the crazy Image era of the early nineties. So I was intrigued by the idea of the Image founders, minus Jim Lee, each drawing their own characters with Robert Kirkman writing.  I expected some early nineties nostalgia with this and that is exactly what I got.  Even with Kirkman writing it had the same strengths and weaknesses of the classic Image books.  The plot is thin the art is crazy and all over the place, thanks to Rob Liefeld doing the layouts, but it has all the silly fun energy of the days when the art came before the writing.   This is not a book that is going to win over new fans as the bar for writing is much higher now then when Image first launched.  In a somewhat ironic comparison it is everything that Kirkman’s Walking Dead is not.  I can’t imagine recommending this to a fan of the Walking Dead as they would likely feel insulted by the storytelling.  I would only recommend this book purely for the nineties nostalgia .

Event Fatigue