Hmmm ...1) I just re-read 'Ubik' by PK Dick and think that just might be my favortie novel of his. Just jammed with great ideas.2) Any comment on the new Supergirl team, or the emphasis to unify the 3 Super-titles?3) Do you think the buzz is sooooo dead on 'Heroes' that it will die a ratings death next season?Anjhttp://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/
I picked up Twilight recently to see what all the fuss was about, and the fact that I found it in the Children's litt area of my local bookstore got me thinking about that classification. Most of the time adults won't be bothered to even glance at the children's shelves in their bookstores, they immediately assume that this book is accessible only for kids, and that it will be too shallow for them. On the other hand, I think when publishers choose to put a book in the children's category, they really mean to say that it's not only accessible to adults, but to children too. It's fun to see that in comics this schism is a bit more subdued, with books such as Marvel Adventures, or even Owly, getting recognition as good comics, period. With all that, though, I still feel a bit weird reading children's litt (I spent a month reading His Dark Materials, and I could feel the stares). What's your take on that?
Do you think the new media approach to comics can help the Big Two maintain their older readership?It looks like, done right, this could give the older folks access to a virtual collection. This plays more to the on-demand mentality that continues to grow, and takes care of the never-ending "clutter" effect that inevitably comes from years of collecting floppies.
"1) I just re-read 'Ubik' by PK Dick"I absolutely love Philip K. Dick. Need to read more books by him!"2) Any comment on the new Supergirl team, or the emphasis to unify the 3 Super-titles?"I think that Jamal Igle is a very talented artist and I'm glad he's getting a chance to headline a book like this. I also think that Geoff Johns -- far more than Grant Morrison (who is talented nonetheless) -- is the "glue" to the DC Universe at the moment, and any attempt to unify the Superman books with him involved is a good thing. "3) Do you think the buzz is sooooo dead on 'Heroes' that it will die a ratings death next season?"I think it will be allowed to hop along one or two more seasons than will be necessary. But they're doing this with a lot of the shows, in my opinion.
"I still feel a bit weird reading children's litt (I spent a month reading His Dark Materials, and I could feel the stares). What's your take on that?"I would like to read more current kids books in general -- picture books, etc -- because I think there is a lot of good stuff being put out in that genre. But yeah, I do feel a little weird buying it. But now that I have a little nephew, I can sort of finesse it & give him the books when he's older.
"Do you think the new media approach to comics can help the Big Two maintain their older readership?"It will help maintain a portion of their older readership -- but probably not the ones who got into serious comic collecting not only for the stories but for the physicality of collecting & amassing these books. For some people -- Wimbledon Green, for instance -- it's not just about the stories, it's about the collection itself. And digital will never feel the same to them as that collection.That said, there is a new generation of "packrat" who are addicted with amassing (legally and/or illegally) huge amounts of digital content.
What's your take on the "superstar" creators that the Big 2 put on properties for 6, 12, or 24 issue runs then bounce over to other titles. I feel in the short-term it's probably good for a sales spike, but what about the long-term health of those properties and potential audience weariness with the creators?
Well, since you asked. I'll hype MailCon. Here are the rules. Here is the first winner.
Whatever happened to Hart Fisher? I'd like to hear his take on Joey Q.'s Marvel.
"It will help maintain a portion of their older readership -- but probably not the ones who got into serious comic collecting not only for the stories but for the physicality of collecting & amassing these books."Oh sure. It's definitely not a big enough audience for that to be a primary focus, but maybe more of a way to market it to the older set over time. I get the "physicality" idea, but that does change over time for some. Got a more involved job, a family, less free time (& space) and what was once a charming and comforting collectible set-aside becomes an unmanageable mess.
"What's your take on the "superstar" creators that the Big 2 put on properties for 6, 12, or 24 issue runs then bounce over to other titles."I think that superstar creators -- or any creators -- doing long runs on books like they did in the 80s and 90s is going to be more of a rarity.Which is not to say it doesn't happen -- case in point Brubaker on Captain America.And you're right, I think there was something about having that consistency and continuity on a title that helps retain loyal fans.But I think part of it is that (and I could be off base) with the issue of creator's rights (and subsequent movie rights, etc), a bunch of creators don't want to toil away at a book for 4 years when they don't own any of it. So they tell 2-4 good arcs, the arcs get traded up, and then they are on to the next thing.But in the case of some DCU books like Flash, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, Robin, etc it's more like pulling out and plugging in teams left & right to see what sticks. And that really hurts reader loyalty, and makes them wary.
"1) I just re-read 'Ubik' by PK Dick"I absolutely love Philip K. Dick. Need to read more books by him! I love his stuff. The whole 'what is reality', 'are humans automatons', 'let's do drugs' stuff are underlying themes. But his books are littered with ideas that each could have been a novel.I also recommend 'The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch' and 'Flow my tears the policeman said'.It is a shame that the movies based on his novels are usually awful, Blade Runner being the exception ... although it doesn't follow the book exactly.Anjhttp://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/
"Got a more involved job, a family, less free time (& space) and what was once a charming and comforting collectible set-aside becomes an unmanageable mess."it sometimes becomes unmanageable even when you resolve to just buy a few comics a week!
"...it's more like pulling out and plugging in teams left & right to see what sticks. And that really hurts reader loyalty, and makes them wary."It hurts reader loyalty in the fact that there is an incoherent direction. But look at the paper-thin concepts to begin with. Robin is the further adventures of a sidekick who’s written like a teenagers/young adult instead of a kid. Supergirl looks like soft-core porn with an impenetrable backstory. My seven-year-old daughter is creeped out by it and won’t buy it any more whenever I give her comic money. And Birds of Prey of the Flash? I haven’t seen a copy on the stands of either in about four years.What’ll keep loyalty by actually reducing each concept down to its core and reinventing it from the ground up with a solid creative vision. And I don’t mean Grant Morrison schlepping his ideas of on someone else. It’s going to take a long hard look from the top to figure out exactly WHAT it is that they’re publishing. WHO the characters are. WHAT the best stories are (or story singular, some concepts just shouldn’t be beaten into the ground). And even in the case of serial and formula fiction, what approaches will be the most sustainable over the long run.For my entire life, DC has always read like a superhero universe full of legacy and was too scared to actually explore that legacy where it counts in characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. The perpetual “10 years ago” timeline just doesn’t work when you read comics for 25 years (and yeah, yeah, licensing restrictions and all that, but really, the market for licensed material is so vastly different than the market for the comics themselves, who cares?). And if DC isn’t going to pay off on their vague sense of generational momentum, then they should reinvent it all from the ground up like they did in the Silver Age with sci-fi, or the Modern Age with the pseudo-realism. Throw each current concept out, and re-launch it at its thematic core.I guess what I’m getting at is that DC especially, but Marvel to a smaller degree, need a strong sense of purpose and focus in their INDIVIDUAL titles. Strong individual titles will lead to a strong line of publishing that’s easier to sell and easier to adapt and license elsewhere. It’s like politics. It comes from the bottom up, not from the top down.Once that’s done, we’ll have more palatable projects for Hollywood and other media, and a groundswell support with grow. Quality and consistency are required. Didn’t DC learn anything from the 90’s? Those long-run superstar writers were grown over 5-10 years on titles that did all of the above. Now it’s just a Crisis in Infinite Publishing.In the end, it doesn’t matter to me as a reader. I buy superhero comics for the kids, not for me. I prefer my superheroes in movies and TV. But in comics, I find it better to buy graphic novels or read webcomics that don’t have all those issues.
"And if DC isn’t going to pay off on their vague sense of generational momentum, then they should reinvent it all from the ground up like they did in the Silver Age with sci-fi, or the Modern Age with the pseudo-realism. Throw each current concept out, and re-launch it at its thematic core."--I agreeI know this sounds like blasphemy to some people, but I totally wouldn't mind it if they just rebooted some or all of the DCU and started from scratch. At least like an Ultimate Universe type thing. Which was *sort* of what the All-Star line was about, but...something monthly & regular. Even Justice League Unlimited was great in this respect.
3) Her-who's?2) I liked this recent Supergirl arc a lot actually!1) Ubik is the best Dick I've read.Also-- people feel ashamed about reading YA books? YA is like, the only genre undergoing interesting growth right now. Adult lit is all crummy genre pop (This lawyer will solve that murder!) & MacSweeny's middle-brow.
2) I liked this recent Supergirl arc a lot actually! I did as well. I thought Puckett rehabilitated her character and made her likeable again. She was never likeable, and pretty detestable, in Joe Kelly's run.I am looking forward to the Gates/Igle run.Anjhttp://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/
if they ever make a Preacher movie, who should play Jesse? Cassidy? Tulip?* Arseface?*Katie Sackoff
one other idea--Barack Obama has mentioned he grew up reading Spider-Man and Conan comics. might this be the first (fingers crossed) president who has ever read comic books?
"if they ever make a Preacher movie, who should play Jesse? Cassidy? Tulip?* Arseface?"Jesse: Jason PriestlyCassidy: Luke PerryTulip: Shannen DohertyArseface: I'm not going to go there
Things are good here ... getting over the second straight underwhelming season finale from Doctor Who, planning my one-day Comic Con excursion next week, mulling over a roadie to L.A. to see Super Troopers shadowcasted ...
And re: Heroes, anything will be better than last year's debacle. But the advance images of Evil Sexy ClaireBear don't hurt the show's chances.
Man in the High Castle is one of my favorite Dick novels.
"Arseface: I'm not going to go there"...but I will: Tori Spelling. ^_^
There is no way in hell that Twilight should be in a Children's section. Adolescent/teen readers, sure, but if it's shelved next to The Runaway Bunny and Hop on Pop then that store is doing a major disservice to its customers.
As a former bookseller with FOUR Harry Potter Midnight Madness parties under my belt (with a photo in the NY Times)...Many adults enjoy Young Adult and Children's fantasy and science fiction because it is not as dark and because there is usually a happy ending of some sort. Recommend "Hero", "M is for Magic" and "Interworld" by Neil Gaiman, and the new Peter David book "Mascot".Also, remember that the Golden Age of Science Fiction is ten years old.
But the advance images of Evil Sexy ClaireBear don't hurt the show's chances.Okay, I don't want to be an uninformed whiner but can you really write a sentence like that without including a little linkage? :)
We've already had a black president who read comics: Bill Clinton. Somewhere in the weekly papers of President Clinton is a transcript of his visit to Detroit, where he tells of his selling a trunkfull of old comics on the sidewalk, like lemonade.Also, Ronald Reagan stated that the comicstrips were the first part of the newspaper he read every morning.
http://frwebgate6.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=556332160961+0+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve"Remarks at the Summer Jobs Conference in Arlington, VirginiaApril 14, 1993""When I was 13, I made a very foolish short-term business investment: I set up a comic book stand and sold two trunks full of comic books. Made more money than I had ever had in my life. But if I had saved those trunks, they’d be worth $100,000 today. [Laughter]"Oh... and I sold a copy of Watchmen to John McCain. Used the "Time 100" citation. Nice guy.
I just finished reading Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick, and while I was slow to get into it, after the nuclear holocaust things really picked up. Hoppy Harrington for president!He... uh... made me write that.I enjoyed Chris Claremont's overly expository dialogue in the third volume of The New Mutants Classic series much more than I do the sub-Joss Whedon ironic dialogue writers seem to be trying to do today. Whedon and his writers did it well on Buffy, but I'm tired of comic book writers- I'm not going to name them but some of them are top top people- giving their characters the same "voice." Must everyone speak only in pop culture references and snark?Did the Scream series force all of fiction to become ironic? I long for Claremont's verbose sincerity like never before.I think Dan Didio or whoever said it a couple of weeks ago that people demand close continuity and tightly-knit company-wide storytelling was absolutely wrong. Or however it was parsed in the aftermath of that big Infinite debacle or whatever.Cases in point? The All Star series. Both of them. If you put someone like Frank Miller or Alan Moore (not that he'd do this now) or a top artist like John Cassaday or Jim Lee or even J. Scott Campbell on a book people are going to buy it regardless of its continuity status. That's why I think they need to get back to some basic storytelling- do that thing where they drop the crossovers for a year or two, tell shorter completed stories but use some top talents to rebuild reader interest.I think they're really missing the boat here on how to get the numbers up and generate some shortterm excitement that leads to long-term readership health. They have to re-engage the readers in the characters themselves and burying them in a giant epic isn't the way to do it.Maybe the overhead would be too high on this because of the paychecks and because it doesn't seem to self-justify in the greedy way trying to get each reader to buy 20 comics every month to get one meta-story does. But I think it's the right thing to do in the face of the law of deminishing returns is catching up to them... And there are too many other more interesting and viable entertainment alternatives that are ultimately cheaper.And aesthetically better.Like Philip K. Dick's novels. Or the Batman movies. Or... certain manga series starring two young women both named Nana.The end.
Is there ever gonna be a cure for bargain bin addiction? I had hoped to at least read through all the recent runs I had neglected due to busy schedules and deadlines while I was upstate this weekend, but managed to get through about 30 books...most of which were backissues I got at the last Big Apple. And I still have 5 long boxes to read! I need AA for comics...I did read through my Red Sonjas, though, figuring their sparse dialogue would make them quicker reads. Next, I'll try to bang out DMZ...And my Facebook status is currently enraged that someone took the stray kitten we were prepping to take in as well as his bed and food bowl (the bed which we found by a nearby garbage can).
1. What got you reading comics?2. Food, I love to read about food.