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RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #280 on: September 30, 2011, 05:39:39 PM

That's true.  When you buy a tankoban for a manga, you're actually getting anywhere from 4-10 chapters of the story.  If it's a weekly series being collected, that averages out to about 18-25ish pages per chapter.  Now it's been a while since I've bought any comics, but I don't remember them being much more than 25-30 pages and those were on a monthly release.  Granted, American comics are a bit more involved since there is coloring involved versus the mostly black-and-white-with-screentones of manga, but still, as Lantyssa said, it seems you're getting more value for the tankoban ($9.99ish) than for an individual comic ($4ish) or a graphic novel ($12+??), even adjusting for the b/w vs. color issue..

I bolded the part I wasn't aware of.   Now it feels even more like a problem you see quite often in webcomics, an unwillingness to work for your market share.  I know I've seen some of you comic readers bitching that the big guys can't keep dates, yet Japan can push out weekly manga?  Really?  Marvel/ DC deserve to fail.

Coloring shouldn't take that much additional time.  They aren't using goddamn ink on board anymore  are they? If they are they're idiots and again, deserve to fail. 

The more I hear about comics the harder I laugh at how mismanaged an industry they are.
Oh yeah, the "Big Three" series - Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece - are all weekly series with the occasional hiatus or break for Golden Week, which is a huge holiday in Japan.  Actually, a good portion of manga series are weekly, with some bi-weekly and then others are monthly.  The monthly series tend to have about 2-3x more pages when they come out than the weekly series do (which makes sense).  For example, when Fullmetal Alchemist was being published monthly, the chapters were about 35-45 pages long and near the end, the mangaka was putting out chapters with 60+ pages. The final chapter was 111 pages long, IIRC.

Mangaka do have assistants to do certain tasks a lot of the time, especially if it's a hugely popular series, but that can't be any different than a comic having a writer, artist, inker (although I think a lot of colorists do this now), and a colorist.  Most mangaka do all the writing and artwork, then have assistants do inks and/or backgrounds or lettering, or something like that. 

Oh, and the distribution model in Japan is much different, with publishers like Weekly Shonen Jump putting out a phone book sized magazine which has dozens of different series all collected in it.  It's not one series-one publication/book like it is here in the US.  Also, I think the weekly publications are more like magazines or even hihger grade newsprint rather than all glossy pages.  Color pages are a huge plus when they do get added to the weekly release, but IIRC those color pages aren't included in color in the tankobans. 

DLRiley
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Reply #281 on: September 30, 2011, 05:48:59 PM

That's true.  When you buy a tankoban for a manga, you're actually getting anywhere from 4-10 chapters of the story.  If it's a weekly series being collected, that averages out to about 18-25ish pages per chapter.  Now it's been a while since I've bought any comics, but I don't remember them being much more than 25-30 pages and those were on a monthly release.  Granted, American comics are a bit more involved since there is coloring involved versus the mostly black-and-white-with-screentones of manga, but still, as Lantyssa said, it seems you're getting more value for the tankoban ($9.99ish) than for an individual comic ($4ish) or a graphic novel ($12+??), even adjusting for the b/w vs. color issue..

I bolded the part I wasn't aware of.   Now it feels even more like a problem you see quite often in webcomics, an unwillingness to work for your market share.  I know I've seen some of you comic readers bitching that the big guys can't keep dates, yet Japan can push out weekly manga?  Really?  Marvel/ DC deserve to fail.

Coloring shouldn't take that much additional time.  They aren't using goddamn ink on board anymore  are they? If they are they're idiots and again, deserve to fail. 

The more I hear about comics the harder I laugh at how mismanaged an industry they are.

Sadly even after dealing with the big barrier of "Comics are too expensive/too inaccessible to a generation that has access to content, often free content, over the web." your stuck with, "I don't have to read inside to tell you that One month is entirely too long to wait for 16 pages." Hey look we haven't even gotten to "comic books are retarded yet".
Fordel
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Reply #282 on: September 30, 2011, 07:08:16 PM

Isn't Japan just weird in general in that regard? Like, I mean they still have a magazine/print industry simply because Japan is oddly stubborn on these kind of things?

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
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Reply #283 on: September 30, 2011, 09:06:27 PM

Isn't Japan just weird in general in that regard? Like, I mean they still have a magazine/print industry simply because Japan is oddly stubborn on these kind of things?
It's not necessarily stubbornness. A lot of these comics are read while riding on the subway.
DLRiley
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Reply #284 on: September 30, 2011, 09:16:34 PM

Isn't Japan just weird in general in that regard? Like, I mean they still have a magazine/print industry simply because Japan is oddly stubborn on these kind of things?

Most of asia and to a lesser extent europe has a far greater appreciation for comics and animation. However they are the number 1 source for piracy, with web comics becoming increasingly the defacto format of korean manhwa artist. The Japanese comic industry is just bigger, mostly because of certain bans in place and hollywood and american television pretty much dominats the live action stuff.
RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #285 on: September 30, 2011, 09:49:27 PM

I was thinking of another difference between comics and manga tonight - the artist.  By that I mean - a mangaka draws ze's series and that's it.  If something happens to that mangaka, no one comes along and takes over the series, it just ends abruptly.  Or rather, I've not heard of any series taken over by another writer/artist before.  There are the occasional special celebration events where other artists draw a particular series main character(s) as a special gift of sorts, but a series is the creator's baby and they are the only one to handle it.

Contrast that with comics which always seem to be open to interpretation depending on which writer/artist team is working on a series at any one time.  Maybe creative team A writes the series very grimdark while the artist is hyper-realistic.  Creative team B may be more relaxed about what's going on, more humor and the art isn't as detailed.  While in another arc or even book, creative team C merges the humor with the hyper-realism.  Characters get make-overs, costume changes, new villains on a whim, it all depends on what the creative team and/or editors feel like doing that week.

I like the consistency of manga with the mangaka being in charge, but that means ze's the one driving things and the story can be all over the place and prejudices abound.  With comics, it's kind of nice to see writing and art changes because that can keep things fresh, but if there's no sense of internal consistency, it can just end up horrible.


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Reply #286 on: September 30, 2011, 10:15:39 PM

Inability to make dates is a pretty recent phenomenon in comics. Before the mid-90s or so I don't remember slipping dates ever really happening, the worst you would get is a fill-in artist.

I think the only reason so many comics miss dates is simply because they can. In the mid-90s the business became very artist and creator driven rather than property driven, and you had diva artists taking their sweet time doing anything while also dabbling in toys, video games, etc. You had stuff like Battle Chasers and Danger Girl putting out 1 issue in an 18 month span or some crazy shit like that, or Daredevil, a "monthly" series that shipped 5 or so in a year.

There is absolutely no reason that comics should be so often delayed. Writing a 22 page comic book should take virtually no time, and pencilling, while it takes longer, does not take 60 fucking days.

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Reply #287 on: September 30, 2011, 11:06:43 PM


There is absolutely no reason that comics should be so often delayed. Writing a 22 page comic book should take virtually no time, and pencilling, while it takes longer, does not take 60 fucking days.
It shouldn't if you actually know what it is you are doing, and have some modicum of skill and project management ability.
Fordel
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Reply #288 on: October 01, 2011, 01:34:50 AM

Isn't Japan just weird in general in that regard? Like, I mean they still have a magazine/print industry simply because Japan is oddly stubborn on these kind of things?
It's not necessarily stubbornness. A lot of these comics are read while riding on the subway.



I just would've thought they would be using their super advanced cellphones or whatever for that by now.

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
NowhereMan
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Reply #289 on: October 01, 2011, 04:52:00 AM

It shouldn't if you actually know what it is you are doing, and have some modicum of skill and project management ability.

It's really more a failing of the editorial department delays are typically either because they've got a prima donna writer/artist that has a dozen different projects and the actual comic they're doing is at the back of the pile and the editorial team aren't willing to just pull them for being unable to do the job (frequently because they're doing other stuff for the company and they're a big name and they'd rather talk about how they're on the title than actually pushing the fucking title.) or they get delayed because a few days before the publishing date the editorial team decides that Character X can't be used in this title because they want them for something else and the whole issue has to be redone from scratch or some shit.

The latter can happen quite a lot with smaller name teams because the editors feel entirely entitled to micromanage and tell them exactly what they can and can't do. They go to the other extreme with some big name teams that they like and will at times let them fuck over a lot of other teams because they decide they want to run stories with characters assigned to other titles and then drag out actually finishing arcs so planned stories in other titles have to get pushed back and/or filler stories stuck in.

Really the management of the comics industry is terrible, it's filled with a lot of people that grew up with the industry in the 90's and remember the good old days and desperately want to recapture them. Unfortunately they can't really figure out how to do it and seem to be stuck with trying new ways of doing all the same stuff that's been successful in the past but either can't think of anything new or (more likely) aren't willing to actually do anything revolutionary because it would be too much work/risk. The problem is while they're circling the drain as an industry at the moment they're also keeping afloat and keeping themselves and others employed. The point at which things will get desperate enough that they'll be forced to revolutionise is going to be just after they have enough time/money/audience interest left to actually succeed at it.

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koro
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Reply #290 on: October 01, 2011, 05:44:56 AM

Inability to make dates is a pretty recent phenomenon in comics. Before the mid-90s or so I don't remember slipping dates ever really happening, the worst you would get is a fill-in artist.

If Jim Shooter is to be believed, Marvel in the '70s when he was still getting into the business was an absolute clusterfuck of missed deadlines and late releases. It got better for a while and then went all to shit again. But yeah, slipped dates at the rate we have nowadays is pretty new. How long have we been waiting for that last Ultimates release? Or the end of that Wolverine vs. Hulk stuff?
Merusk
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Reply #291 on: October 01, 2011, 06:56:22 AM

The only people who truly give a fuck about the artist in American comics are the 40-year-old neckbeards.  Ask anyone not into comics or only tangentially interested who these people are and you'll get blank looks.  I have to go and look them up every time you guys mention a name and I'm geek enough to actually be in this discussion.

Not to mention that the art styles aren't all that different.

Trying to gain a wider audience means hit those damn dates, fuck the prima donnas.  There's always a shit-ton of people with talent willing to get into the market and looking for a break, give it to one of them.   But again this is a problem that will not be resolved because despite saying otherwise the editors and companies are perfectly happy with the status quo.

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Lantyssa
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Reply #292 on: October 01, 2011, 07:20:20 AM

Print comics should learn something from web comics... people don't care if your stuff is good.  They care that you put it out on time.  (And that it's cheap.)

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
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Reply #293 on: October 01, 2011, 09:41:58 AM

Western comics were the industry that debated for a long time if graphic novels were a valid way forward while manga undercut their market. The focus of DC and Marvel have been on the 32 / 28 / 24 page comic for so long that the industry can't think past it. There are some exceptions - Wonder Woman comics sell badly but Wonder Woman TPBs and merchandise sells very well - but the very idea of moving away from the print comic and into something different is just a bridge too far.

Comics used to miss dates all the time in the 1970s / 80s, but it meant less when there wasn't an ongoing story and a reprint issue could go out.

I've been reading MightyGodKing's reviews of the DC nu52 to get a view of the titles. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 are here for your enlightenment. One particular idiot moment that popped out for me was:

Quote
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1: The cliffhanger of this book is Two-Face demanding that now he be called “One-Face.” (Also he is the Hulk, it looks like.)

THAT'S the best you can do on a reboot launch title? Crapify an existing character who has the potential to be interesting? And that's the problem - 90% of the nu52 titles sounded lame and have delivered worse.

Certainly not worth a major relaunch of DCs titles to deliver such mediocrity and a failure that resonate through the industry for a while to come.

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Reply #294 on: October 01, 2011, 10:26:13 AM

Quote
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1: The cliffhanger of this book is Two-Face demanding that now he be called “One-Face.” (Also he is the Hulk, it looks like.)

THAT'S the best you can do on a reboot launch title? Crapify an existing character who has the potential to be interesting? And that's the problem - 90% of the nu52 titles sounded lame and have delivered worse.

Certainly not worth a major relaunch of DCs titles to deliver such mediocrity and a failure that resonate through the industry for a while to come.

That was also the 4th or 5th Batman title to relaunch and by far the weakest. The other Batman issues had much better new #1's.

It looked like "One-Face" is hyped up on Venom, which would be fine if they hadn't already used a similar story in the Arkham Asylum videogame.
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Reply #295 on: October 01, 2011, 12:27:42 PM

That was also the 4th or 5th Batman title to relaunch and by far the weakest. The other Batman issues had much better new #1's.

It looked like "One-Face" is hyped up on Venom, which would be fine if they hadn't already used a similar story in the Arkham Asylum videogame.

Or in fact Knight Fall.

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DLRiley
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Reply #296 on: October 01, 2011, 12:36:01 PM

Isn't Japan just weird in general in that regard? Like, I mean they still have a magazine/print industry simply because Japan is oddly stubborn on these kind of things?
It's not necessarily stubbornness. A lot of these comics are read while riding on the subway.



I just would've thought they would be using their super advanced cellphones or whatever for that by now.

There industry is just as uncomfortable and conservative when it comes to online vs print content. Its the major bane of the Japanese manga industry that is lord behold seeing a decline in people buying manga.
Khaldun
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Reply #297 on: October 02, 2011, 06:25:11 PM

Completely hilarious fanboy defense of the consistent wonderfulness of the new 52 (and yes, it is apparently completely serious) in response to a mostly negative review at Comics Should Be Good:

"Peter Milligan is one of the best writers the comic industry has ever produced, and you give him basically nada for Red Lanterns. Sir, if a cosmic powered cat that vomits blood and is powered by rage is not comic book material for you, then I don’t know what is. "
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Reply #298 on: October 16, 2011, 08:48:22 PM

The price thing is a key, along with quality. In the late 80s and early 90s when I was buying comics with my allowance that I got for helping around the house, I was able to go to the comics shop in the city every week or two and buy anywhere from 1-2 inches of comics - and up to 3 or 4" when I picked up a lay-by (layaway?) And I wasn't exactly rich or super-well off as a kid. Now I'm an adult with more disposable income than ever - especially compared to being a teenager, but the comics prices have risen to be way out of proportion to the time passed.

As mentioned by others, I can buy novels/DVDs/Blu-Rays for close to the price of one comic, and even 360/PS3 games for the price of 2-3 comics. Steam sales? And so forth - the value just isn't there for the price. It's even worse when you compare it to other media. The other media which comics are forced to compete with.


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Fordel
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Reply #299 on: October 16, 2011, 09:12:14 PM

Yea, the last steam sale I got Arkham Asylum for like 5 dollars, I don't think that would actually buy me a Batman Comic anymore would it?

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
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Reply #300 on: October 18, 2011, 07:50:52 AM

Comixology does have Steam-like discount deals though not often enough. The recent run of Iron Fist (which was good--Brubaker writing) was 99 cents an issue a couple days ago.

Didio and Lee continue to just be face-palmy every time they appear in public to talk about this whole thing. The company's publications have been "thinned" to only the "most iconic and important characters", says Jim Lee.

Right, like Red Hood, Resurrection Man, Grifter, Voodoo, OMAC, the Blackhawks, Batwing, etc.

Most of the visual redesigns were intended, says Didio, to reduce confusion about similar looking characters. Like King Shark looked too much like THE Shark before, and now they're clearly different.. Oh, dear, I bet that really was keeping new readers away. Phew.
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Reply #301 on: October 19, 2011, 05:22:29 AM

How many Batman-clone characters do they have?

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Khaldun
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Reply #302 on: October 20, 2011, 09:30:05 PM

Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwing, Red Hood, Robin, Red Robin, Batwoman. I dunno if the other two Batgirls (Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown) exist in the reboot. Then there's Grant Morrison's other "global Batmen" that were part of Batman, Inc. but I dunno also if they still exist (Knight and Squire, Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, etc.) Probably if Batwing has made it into the reboot.
Fordel
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Reply #303 on: October 21, 2011, 09:28:55 AM

The only Batgirl now is Barbara, because having more then one Batgirl would be CONFUSING according to DC.  why so serious?

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
Khaldun
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Reply #304 on: October 21, 2011, 10:06:06 AM

I'm sure that sooner or later Cain and Brown will show up as some kind of characters, though.

I stuck with very little in week 2 of the reboot out of the very little I started with. Animal Man, Demon Knights, Batwoman, Snyder's Batman, Wonder Woman, Action. About what I was buying before in terms of amounts, so I'm not a loss but not a gain. I'm pretty tentative with Animal Man and even Batwoman, partly because I think they'll read better in trade. Wonder Woman is authentically the most interesting take on the character since Greg Rucka did the book, and has some possible creative legs on it even when the current team moves on. Morrison's Action I like better for the idea of it than the execution. I tried issue #2 of Stormwatch and hated it much more than the first one. There is no way that makes sense as a story happening in the same universe as the other stuff. Read JL #2 in the story: five-years-later Superman appears to be a serious dick, which strikes me as a curious choice for the reboot especially since Morrison is writing him five-years-earlier as a devil-may-care madcap adventurer.  Makes me wonder if Superasshole is connected to the way Snyder is going to do the character in his flick.

I simply refuse to believe that in six months, DC is going to have held on to *any* new readers it might have gained.
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Reply #305 on: January 05, 2012, 08:04:59 AM

Well, I might have been wrong, it appears. So far the New 52 books are apparently selling at least marginally better than pre-relaunch books, and in a few cases, substantially or even massively better. Johns and Lee's Justice League, for example, is a huge sales juggernaut. Only three or four New 52 books are outright sales flops (Savage Hawkman, Men of War) though many aren't really reaching any new audiences beyond the dwindling core of comics-shops regulars. What the relaunch has accomplished at least is to pull that core decisively away from Marvel's books, which are really taking a pounding.

Still, it's only five months later, it'll be interesting to see one year in where things are standing. But Justice League and a few others honestly seem to have pulled in some new readers. And there are books in the New 52 that I genuinely like and that seem authentically new in mood or approach. Azzarello and Chiang's Wonder Woman is a really striking new direction for the character that I think is sustainable--pulls her into Greek mythology in a much darker and more visceral form. Lemire's Swamp Thing and Animal Man are great, moody stuff. Demon Knights has been fun, gutsy, amusing.

I'm not wild about the slow pace of Morrison's Action Comics, but it's still an interesting attempt to channel the energy of the very early Superman comics into the present. Scott Snyder's Batman is fantastic, even better than the work he was doing with the character before the relaunch--he's adding some elements to the Batman mythos that I think will endure. (And I see a really oddball connection developing to the Jonah Hex book, All-Star Western, which is also kind of good.)

Batwoman and Flash have both been artistic showcases. I'm not very wild about the storytelling Williams is doing on Batwoman--the latest issue had a very unpleasant cross-cutting between a lesbian sex scene and Batwoman's female sidekick getting violently beaten to death by a thug that I think would have gotten any other creator lambasted up and down the Internets, but Williams (and Rucka, when he was working with him) has built enough feminist cred to forestall that reaction for now.

Other books remain terrible. I still don't like Justice League at all: it's loud, brash, obvious, kind of unpleasant.
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Reply #306 on: January 05, 2012, 07:01:57 PM

Thanks for the update. I wondered how this was going past the initial backlash.

DLRiley
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Reply #307 on: January 06, 2012, 07:53:09 AM

So Marvel shall reboot in 10,9...
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Reply #308 on: January 06, 2012, 07:28:03 PM

If it's getting more readers, then great.  I have a great local comic store that's been around at least since the late 80's, maybe I should drop by and grab those Grant Morrison Action Comics, been a fan of his since Animal Man.
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Reply #309 on: January 06, 2012, 08:39:49 PM

If this is the way to go, why not do away with continuity altogether.  Doesn't seem to hurt Batman.

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Reply #310 on: January 08, 2012, 01:46:01 AM

The price thing is a key, along with quality. In the late 80s and early 90s when I was buying comics with my allowance that I got for helping around the house, I was able to go to the comics shop in the city every week or two and buy anywhere from 1-2 inches of comics - and up to 3 or 4" when I picked up a lay-by (layaway?) And I wasn't exactly rich or super-well off as a kid. Now I'm an adult with more disposable income than ever - especially compared to being a teenager, but the comics prices have risen to be way out of proportion to the time passed.

As mentioned by others, I can buy novels/DVDs/Blu-Rays for close to the price of one comic, and even 360/PS3 games for the price of 2-3 comics. Steam sales? And so forth - the value just isn't there for the price. It's even worse when you compare it to other media. The other media which comics are forced to compete with.

I stopped buying comics when my week's pull broke the $75.00 mark and wouldn't give me enough reading material to last a half hour. That was about a decade ago. Of course being able to download them for free as cbr and cbz files the day after they hit the street helps a lot.

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Reply #311 on: January 08, 2012, 06:04:39 PM

Yeah, I'm still big on 'drop continuity, just hire great writers and artists' as a thought. There were in the last few years about five versions of Thor on the stands and they were all pretty great *except* for the 'official in-continuity' title, which has actually been shit, from one mediocre writer (JMS) and one pretty good one (Matt Fraction). The 'in-continuity' event comics of the last four years have blown chunks from both companies.

That said, the new 52 is not a commercial bomb. Nor, I have to confess, is it totally an aesthetic bomb either, because there are some pretty good titles in there that really do represent a nice change in mood. Most of them I'd say 'read 'em in the trade' if you're not taking angry.bob's approach.
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Reply #312 on: January 12, 2012, 01:23:28 PM

Ah, the axe falls: Men of War, Hawk & Dove, Mister Terrific, Blackhawks, OMAC and Static Shock all cancelled at their eighth issues. I have no idea why Savage Hawkman, Voodoo or Red Hood and the Outlaws survived that purge, as they also apparently have very small readerships and no buzz whatsoever. (Well, Red Hood and Voodoo have negative buzz.)

However, I gotta give DC this much: they're not just cancelling them and calling it a day. They're launching a wave of replacement books, several of which look interesting:

Batman, Incorporated. Carries over Morrison's book from before the reboot, slightly altered to fit the new continuity.
Earth 2. The Justice Society returns.
World's Finest. Huntress and Power Girl from Earth 2 are stuck on Earth 1, have misadventures as they try to find a way home. (This makes the decision to reboot "Karen Starr", Power Girl's civilian ID, as a non-superpowered friend-with-benefits for Mister Terrific a genuinely peculiar idea.)
Dial H. This is the big surprise--it's a comic written by CHINA MIEVILLE, that takes the old very kid-friendly concept of a dial that can make you a random superhero and does some rather less kid-friendly things with it.
GI Combat. I have no idea why they're doing another war comic given that Men of War and Blackhawks bombed.
The Ravagers. A spin-off from the not-very-successful Teen Titans reboot. Kind of odd.
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Reply #313 on: January 13, 2012, 04:02:32 PM

Once again, China Mieville.

Certainly seems to have gotten DC favorable coverage again in the MSM. Marvel's editorial staff must be totally stunned at this point about their inability to get traction for their books by comparison. Certainly has something to do with the over-Bendisizing of the company's main projects, and also the degree to which many of their main titles have very visibly tried to soft-reboot characters so that they're more like their movie counterparts.
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Reply #314 on: January 13, 2012, 11:04:26 PM

Marvel doesn't really care about the comics. They are kicking DC's arse with their movies and know it, which has associated merchandising benefits.

I'll look to pick up the first TPB of China Mieville's "Dial H" when it is available, pending the reviews.

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