Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I'm not going to weigh in much on the discussion, as Caleb is a friend and I backed off nitpicking Val's stuff.
But I will point out the irony of this talk about deleting supportive posts from the comments section (which I'm 100% sure hasn't happened in this case), given what happened in the blog where Val suggested I was someone who might stalk and assault comic book professionals at a convention.
There's been much complaining about The Spirit since the first images and trailers started coming out. But it had come largely from the comic book community and revolved around how much it seemed to become THE SIN CITY SPIRIT, rather than resembling anything Will Eisner ever did.
That sort of thing doesn't bother the mainstream moviegoer, though. So, what did they think of the film? Box Office Mojo has how they expressed their opinion with their dollars:
Also opening, The Spirit drew a piddling estimated $6.5 million over the weekend on around 2,600 screens at 2,509 theaters for $10.4 million in four days. Brandishing the style of Sin City and 300 in its ads and little else, the comic book movie was less-attended than The Shadow and The Phantom.
Damn shame, Frank. You done fucked up real good when you do worse than The Shadow and The Phantom.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 12/10/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.
1. Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
2. Final Crisis #5
3. Punisher War Zone #2
4. Justice League of America #27
5. Captain Britain and MI13 #8
6. Final Crisis Revelations #4
7. Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1
8. Amazing Spider-man #580
9. Watchmen #1
10. Civil War House of M #4
1. The customers are generally excited about Dark Reign.
2. Delays hurt this one (besides any storytelling problems)
3. People dig this one.
4. meh, we'll see if the gimick helps sales stay up.
9. I guess at this point, it means we are officially in a fever for this product!
1. Seems to be something you're either very excited about or looking to tar and feather the EiC for, with very few people in the middle.
2. There's so much that can be claimed to have hurt this book, with the two mentioned being in that long list.
4. Read the issue. McDuffie did the same job introducing the Milestone characters into the DCU that you'd expect from a work-for-hire hack, rather than someone who has a care. The issue read pretty bad, IMO, and I doubt is getting many new fans for the introduced characters.
7. Yay? What's got you so excited there, Lee?
I had the privilege of seeing an advanced screening of the new Brad Pitt/David Fincher movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
This is probably the first movie since Amelie or Big Fish that I would simply call beautiful. It tells a strange, inspirational love story. Much like Amelie, love story means more than romance. Similar to Big Fish, the path is paved with bits of fairy tale. This film, at its heart, is about the love of life. And really, isn't that what many of the best movies convey to the audience?
I spent time during the movie wondering what the greater purpose this movie was supposed to serve. What was its message? But then it hit me that it had been subtly showing the audience, rather than beating us over the head with it.
Through the fantastic, Fincher and Pitt show us that life can be a rich, rewarding and, yes, beautiful experience, despite or because of our struggles to live it. The world is seen through such innocent eyes, even when it is at its most cruel. Benjamin seems to be a character that chooses to find the good in even a bad situation.
His sense of wonder infects the viewer and leaves you thinking about how you view the world after you've left the theater. And really, isn't that what many of the best movies do?
First, I have to say that it says a lot about the current state of comics when an interview with a DC Bat Editor is surrounded by a background made up of exclusively Marvel super-heroes.
But on to the actual wrap-up...
"IGN Comics: Were you worried at all about having to roll some of these stories out before RIP concluded, or was that a necessary evil from a publishing standpoint? Marts: It was a combination of it being a necessary evil, but it was also intentional on our parts, in that we wanted it to tell some stories that took place after #681 so readers got an indication of where things were headed, and to suggest an idea of threat or a sense of doom that might be on the horizon."
I can appreciate how Mike Marts thought it could create that sense of doom, but I don't think it really did. He spoke earlier about getting the same excitement reading Grant's planned story that he felt as a kid reading comics. I just think most of the audience is too hardened to fall back into that sense of wonder. We're too cynical about death in comics to ever really feel a sense of anything like doom from the implication of a character's passing, either.
IGN Comics: Keeping track of how the timelines of each monthly book line up in the greater scheme of things is tricky enough as a reader, and I imagine it would be even more difficult as an editor. How do you go about keeping track of how each book lines up with the others without getting a giant headache? Marts: It is a tricky job. On the one hand, you've got a group of books that are a family of titles, such as the Batman family of titles. In this event, we were trying to involve all the books and have them be a part of this major event. At the same time, you want all the books to sort of stand on their own and have their own distinct voices, and allow the creators to tell their own stories. I think the RIP tie-ins that we did this past year succeeded in maintaining that distinct voice for each title while also tying into the family feel of it.
Mission not accomplished, seeing as how the tie-ins had very little that tied them in and several pieces that contradicted RIP.
Now, I really like the books Mike Marts has been a part of putting together over the years. But this has to one of the most unintentionally funny statements I've seen an editor have to make:
As far as the precise continuity and figuring out where each story takes place, we know that almost all of our readers have been with us for a while, and all our readers are intelligent. And we don't want to really insult our readers by banging them over the head with a precise timeline of "this is when this happens, and this is when that happens." For the most part, we figure that they'll be able to situate the stories where they feel comfortable situating them in their heads. But the whole time we have a solid idea of what storyline takes place first and in what order. For the most part, if we can release them in a chronological fashion, and have them come out according to when the stories take place, great. But in the cases where that's not a possibility, we leave it up to the readers to figure out how best to fit it in.
Precise continuity wasn't given in order to avoid insulting the readers? Right. More like Grant Morrison didn't layout the precise timing for them and they're as lost trying to figure it out as the readers are.
I can't bring myself to read much more of Marts having to put a happy spin on this stuff. I look forward to future projects that Marts shepherds at DC that better reflect what he's capable of.
Judge Gary Feess, that's who.
After saying that the issues surrounding rights to a Watchmen movie between 20th Century Fox & Warner Bros could only be resolved by trial, the judge changes his mind and delivers a decision on Christmas Eve of all times. The judge decided that Fox definitely has a copyright interest in the film.
While both sides were encouraged to begin negotiations to resolve this, it is still possible that Warner Bros will seek an appeal.
Here comes all the fanboy outrage, again, directed at 20th Century Fox for no particularly good reason. ;)
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Newsarama published an article with an "exclusive" preview of Aspen Comics latest Soulfire offering:
Then, later on Wednesday, CBR published their "exclusive" preview:
I believe CBR has two pages different from what Newsarama has, but it is a weak way to claim an exclusive, IMO.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
There are reports that Eddie Murphy will be cast as the Riddler for Christopher Nolan's third Batman movie.
There's no way that turns out to be true, though. If this, of all the rumors, winds up being the true one...it's just sad.
The blogosphere is railing against the above image as sexualizing a teenage girl through an upskirt image.
Have these people never been to a high school football game? This is as upskirt as watching the cheerleaders do all their somewhat-acrobatic moves.
But more directly to the superhero costume design: who really thinks of the super-heroine skirt as a true, functional skirt? It is just flair for the costume. What is under the skirt is just as much panties as what Wonder Woman wears or early Robin wore.
Sometimes, I feel like certain folks want to see an offense where there is none, just so they can fire off some righteous indignation.
(FYI: this is the blog that brought the whole thing to my attention)
Monday, December 15, 2008
It isn't embeddable yet, but over on MySpace, 20th Century Fox has made the new trailer available. This seems to be the way tentpole movies debut their trailer: tack it on to a big Friday release and then throw it online the following Monday.
You'll have to add the movie's profile as a friend in order to see it, but you can find it here.
Friday, December 12, 2008
From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 12/4/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.
Sorry, everyone for the late post this week. One day shorter in the week and business in the store created a very hectic week for me.
1. Batman #682
2. Batman #681
3. Secret Invasion #8
4. X-Men Noir #1
5. Haunted Tank #1
6. Sandman: The Dream Hunters #2
7. Amazing Spider-Man #579
8. X-Infernus #1
9. Justice Society #21
10. Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1
1&2: Media exposure baby. Seriously, I would love if Marvel and DC would start advertising on tv with a nice comic shop locator ride on!
3. It is important to note that last week's issue of Batman performed better than the end of Marvel's big event. Some will think this is attrition, but believe or not we don't see too much attrition in event books, even late ones like Final Crisis perform well and consistently. The big push here was the Batman story made it into the news.
4&8. Yup, people will buy the X-Men regardless of what it is.
5. Surprise of the week. Solid, fun, and funny book (although I am unsure as to whether or not it was supposed to be funny or if my twisted brain made it funny), it may have had something to do with me talking it up. ; )
10. Hellboy has been a big performer at this store. We are just now figuring out what numbers of it will sell here, it may become a repeat performer.
1 & 2. Ugh. I'd be afraid that those sales would mean we'd see more stories like BATMAN R.I.P., but most of my problems with the arc were very Grant-Morrison-specific, thus unlikely to be repeated any time soon.
4 & 8. I haven't seen a copy of these yet, but I'd like to hope there is some quality behind them in addition to having the X-MEN name slapped across them. Lee's comment doesn't leave me with much hope, though.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Over on the CBR front page:
Now, let's check the time-stamp in the story:
11:07 AM PST
That's 2:07 PM EST.
Now, let's check the time-stamp in the Willingham interview over on Newsarama:
1:21 PM EST
That's 10:21 AM PST.
So, not only was it NOT an exclusive interview, but it was posted as being exclusive after an interview with Willingham was already published on a competitor's site.
Monday, December 08, 2008
According to the NY Times, Jay Leno will be seen at 10pm Eastern & Pacific every weeknight starting in 2009.
This basically means 5 less TV shows (scripted or "reality) a season. This means less slots for shows like LIFE, JOURNEY MAN and MY OWN WORST ENEMY to via for. I doubt that it means less derivative product (it won't automatically shrink the Law & Order franchise, for instance).
Less original product and less jobs.
Verily, this doth suck.
Friday, December 05, 2008
From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/26/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.
1. Batman #681
2. Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1
3. Captain America #44
4. Hulk #8
5. Ultimate Spider-Man #128
6. Superman #682
7. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes #1
8. Nova #19
9. Secret Invasion: Inhumans #4
10. Secret Invasion: X-Men #4
A normal week with normal sales sees the usual suspects for the most part.
1. Media bump pushed this one over the top and required a fairly hefty reorder after a Friday Sell out!
2. Good to see this selling strong from the get go. The first series was a bit of a slow starter. I think the key difference here is that the core comic audience seems to like the book, so even though we get the My Chemical Romance fans a month or two behind the book, it sells strong on the release and then has legs. This is the kind of comic I like. I will probably have multiple facing for the book just like an Event or a Stephen King book.
7. I chalk this up to my customer base being weird. ;)
I'll toss in a few of my own comments later. It's been a hectic week, filled with attempts to become gainfully employed again and dealing with traffic court issues. Should be much more active again soon.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Secret Invasion #8 isn't out in American stores until tomorrow, I believe, due to the holiday. But there's already a scan of the wrap-around cover for New Avengers #50 that is displayed in the last issue of SI.
Since Blogger can't do breaks, I'll just link to the Photobucket account it was found under. You click, you've spoiled yourself, not I.
Please go out and support the Hoffmans in their recovery from severe burns that have them still in the ICU and the complete loss of their home.
(poster by Kevin Church)
John L. Byrne apparently likes to make it challenging for him to find a friendly face to give him a job, as he kind of offers a bit of snark about what Marvel should do and, conversely, what they'll most likely do in 2009:
As the new year approaches, it occurs to me there are some things I'd like to
see -- and most pointedly not see -- from the Condo of Concept.
• No new X-titles
• No recycling of 20 and 30 year old storylines
• No more "writing for the trade", which also means…
• No stories that run more than 3 issues
• No pinup covers
• No fake deaths
• No real deaths
• No breaking of the status quo by the latest flavor of the month
Of course, even as late as they are with most of their product, this is
December, so at least the first few months of 2009 are probably in the
drawer. How many of these challenges have already been lost, d'you
Over on the Bendis Boards, Brian is apparently very happy with the regime change at Blog@Newsarama. Calls the old guard "self important whiners of the cut and paste", which I think is more than a little unfair.
One of his fans isn't as enthusiastically behind the new blogging gang:
I think the blog's off to a great start, but at the same time, those Best Shots reviewers who are part of the new crew kind of lower the bar when it comes to writing about comics. Those Best Shots reviews are generally poorly written, full of unsubstantiated opinions, and in need of a spellchecker.
Temporarily forgetting the fact that he did little to substantiate his own opinion of the Best Shots crew, I really find that particular complaint (unsubstantiated opinion) incredibly unlikely to have much basis in fact. I think too many people slough off the opinions of others as wrong or unfounded when they're just simply different.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 11/19/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.
1. Ender's Game: Battle School #21. I'd like to know how well the book is selling in more "progressive" (read: liberal) areas.
2. Supergirl # 35
3. Fantastic Four #561
4. Avengers Invaders #6
5. Pax Romana#4
6. Goon #30
7. X-Men Legacy #218
8. Uncanny X-Men #504
9. Robin #180
10. Ex Machina #39
Another lite week lets some smaller titles shine.
1. I am blaming this firmly on college kids. I know I read the book in college and that age seems to have an affinity for the series.
2. NEW KRYPTON effect... see if it lasts. I know I was upset by yet another round of Kara's origin, we'll see if readers feel as upset about it.
5. We love Hickman and so do our customers. Can't wait to see what Secret Warriors does.
7. The story is pretty solid so both Legacy and Origins saw bumps during this arc.
9. RIP fever after effects.
2. I haven't noticed a big backlash from the kryptonite poisoning gimmick. Looks like people are giving them room to work on their new angle.
3. That came out again? And non-pull-list people are buying it? Shocking.
5. I guess I need to check out more of his work. I tend to come late to the party on critically successful Image books.
9. Yet, the "tie-ins" really had nothing to do with RIP. Certainly people buying this issue already realized by now?
Monday, December 01, 2008
After a whole bunch of talk across the blogosphere about Blog@Newsarama V1 breaking off to go back on their own, Blog@ V2 debuted today...and hit the ground running.
I liked JK Parkin and the gang a lot, but, also, have a fondness for the new gang. Hopefully, the relaunch will help quiet all the outsiders that want to spin what happened into a much worse situation than it was.
Well, looks like over the weekend, the CBLDF inadvertently e-mailed (in at least triplicate, at this point) their entire previous donor mailing list.
What's to apologize for? Well...everyone is listed in the TO section. This means everyone's e-mail address has been passed out to a whole host of people, which brings concerns of having your address harvested for spamming. Let's hope it doesn't become one of those annoying situations where everyone replies all...
Update: So far, so good...no reply-to-all e-mails. But the real test is when the work week starts...
Update 2: And here's the apology:
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund apologizes to our supporters for an email that was sent last Friday which did not blind the email addresses of its recipients. This error occurred during a test of new software we were evaluating. The CBLDF deeply regrets the error.
We remain committed to the privacy of our supporters and are working to ensure that such an error does not happen again.
Thank you for your understanding, and your continued support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Irony: the original mistake wound up in my inbox, but apparently the thrice-sent e-mail with all the addresses visible was enough to trigger CBLDF e-mails getting routed to my spam folder.