Archive | November, 2016

Mixing your comics with your politics

18 Nov

When Before Watchmen happened, Alan Moore had one of his infamous rants. At one point during the hoopla, he stated that those fans who purchased Before Watchmen should no longer purchase his books, because they weren’t HIS fans. Some stood by him and others lamented that the Bearded Wizard had finally lost his mind. I was saddened by this. I supported Alan Moore’s contention that the books shouldn’t be published, because the original story was his, and his story was finished. On the other hand, I couldn’t fault DC. For good or ill, the characters are theirs and businesses produce material to meet demand. I did not approve however of his discounting of his fans. Case and point, I LOVE Moore’s work and have purchased much of it, from a variety of companies he has worked for (including his new novel), but I am also a fan of the characters of Watchmen. (In full disclosure: I eventually read most of Before Watchmen upon finding the issues in discount bins or what not). But I respected his point.
Why bring this up now? Several comic book creators have came out and announced their intent to boycott states that voted “red” this election cycle. I do NOT approve of this and find it reprehensible. Moore’s complaint, at least, was based upon his works and a personal argument he had with the publisher. These creators, including George Perez who I have always loved, however are judging fans based on a political concern. And worse, a political concern the fans may not have supported. A “deep blue” fan might live in a red state and be surrounded by red states. These creators are pushing their fans in this situation aside because of something that the fans cannot help. Moore had the decency to judge fans based on something they controlled: if YOU purchased Before Watchmen, he did not want your support in the future. Meanwhile, Perez and Ramos are blaming many fans they have throughout the southern states, Midwest states, rustbelt states, etc. I find this to be ludicrous.
They could have gone the respectable route: they could ask for “red” fans to not purchase their works, like Moore did. But instead, they are going to vilify entire regions of the country and pretend their importance will make a difference. I have attended MANY conventions throughout the southeast and been to many stores throughout the country. At no point have I been fortunate enough yet to meet with them. But at this point, I won’t worry about it.
Finally, if they really are so serious about this issue, why not respectfully request their publishers not even publish their books in red states? If we are so deplorable by our very nature, why let us peons purchase their books in the first place? Bottom line: we fans aren’t good enough to be in their presence but our money is. They need not worry: they will get neither from me. And in closing, I didn’t vote for Trump, nor am I excited about the prospect of a Trump presidency. But I am VERY TIRED of everyone in the media blaming me because this candidate or that candidate lost.

Rebirth Round 1

11 Nov

We are now in the fifth month of DC’s Rebirth initiative.  The New 52, which had opened to financial success, had alienated many longtime DC readers.  Though I was extremely disappointed in the line overall, I stuck with the New 52 and enjoyed many individual titles, from each launch period.  After five years, though, DC decided the best way to reconnect with their fans was to begin to bring back much of the classic DCU, while not destroying the foundation of the reboot.  Sales have been stellar, pushing DC into the number 1 spot for the last several months.  But is this a better foundation of titles than the New 52 or are we setting up for another big fall a few months down the line?

Personally, I have enjoyed almost all of the titles and have tried the vast majority of the titles that have been published.  Batman, DC’s regular benchmark title, has lost Scott Snyder who dominated the New 52, month in and month out.  And yet, in spite of this, the new Rebirth Batman title has also been a huge success for DC.  The story of the Gothams was high octane, superhero melodrama.  And though I didn’t enjoy the Night of the Monsters crossover as much, the Suicide Squad story seems to have returned the title to its rightful spot in the DC pantheon.  Detective Comics, a title that floundered from writer to writer in the previous series, has similarly experienced great success.  The initial storyline, based around a secret military unit based off of Batman’s tech and training, was exciting and created a new status quo for the Bat-Family.  And its second solo storyline looks to continue this excitement.  And for those of us who loved Scott Snyder’s Batman can take heart as his All Star Batman title has been his typical, crazy but fun ride.  The only complaint I have about it is that it is a rare title that only ships once a month.

The Superman titles are similarly experiencing some of the most fun stories they have seen in a while.  Specifically, the Superman title might be the best it has been years.  Having “my Superman” back and experiencing the trials of father-hood have been fantastic.  And though Kon-El, by Karl Kesel, will always be my Superboy, Jonathon has been a joy to read about.  I especially loved the two part love letter to the New Frontier, which just wrapped up.  Dan Jurgens has been writing Superman over in Action Comics.  Hopefully, everyone is familiar with Jurgens’s Superman work.  And though I don’t think it has been as exciting, it has been reestablishing Superman’s role in Metropolis.  He has placed the “real Lois” back at the Daily Planet, and he is now playing with Geoff Johns’s idea of Lex Luthor being the replacement of Darkseid. It boggles the mind.

I hope to have more to say about the relaunch over the next few days.  Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern titles, and more have similar successes to look at.  Meanwhile, DC Entertainment has diversified their publishing line with a renewed focus on the Hannah Barbara characters and new line called Young Animal which reminds me of the classic Vertigo concept.  But the bottom line is, even though DC upset many fans over the last few years, Rebirth really seems to be living up to its name.  The price drop for almost all of DC’s titles to $2.99 and the 2x monthly shipping seems to be working.  The company seems to be sitting at the best spot it has been in years.  Keep it up!