Friday, November 28, 2008

Maybe I don't have my finger on the pulse of awesome, but...

Ok, again, maybe this counts more as fanboy ranting. But I swear by the unholy retail gods, if they would actually fricking make these things THEY WOULD SELL. And not just to me! It is my belief that instead of giving us another run of Superman/Batman figures, DC Direct could make a unique and successful ongoing series of special over sized figures. What would this series of over sized figures be? DC MONSTERS

Think of it. A series of DC's greatest creatures in rough scale with the average DC direct figure! Wave one could include:
Starro the Conqueror-Includes bendable arms (interior wire design?) that can hold other DC direct figures. Also comes with 5 or 6 mini-starros that fit over other DC direct figure heads. Other options could include a see-through eye in the center so you can look through it and a way to clasp the arms around your head so it doubles as a Halloween costume. Chemo (Classic or Modern)-Could simply be a figure done with the same paint design of the OMAC figures (clear green with bubbles). However, a solid figure with goo inside would be interesting. Comes with the option to open a hole in his head to drop mini-dc figures in (quarter inch versions of Metal Men? Aqualass?). A Base made up of the rubble of Bludhaven would be good for the articulated version. Brother Eye Satellite - Not much needed, just maybe make it able to float via a base stick. Little points of articulation needed, maybe some rotation points for his different layers. Can come with a half human/half OMAC figure (someone morphing into an OMAC). A classic Brother Eye would be good, but I would figure they would want to include that in a Kirby Style OMAC 2 pack. True Scale Doomsday- The sculpt of the last figure was great, but needs to be at least as big as Mongul from Infinite Crisis line. Throw in the restraint cuffs from his first appearance or a broken Highway sign for Metropolis.

Plop $24.99-$34.99 on these guys and I guarantee sales.

I've had customers list ideas off to me as well, including:

-Brimstone-Would be good if they can use the same flame material that was used on Firestorm's head.
-Mogo w/Bzzd- Really not much but a cool looking globe. If feeling generous, include Bolphunga or Children of the White Lobe. Perhaps a mini-Ranx.
-Arkillo of the Sinestro Corp. In scale with Kilowog would be great. Could be selling tons of Sinestro Corp aliens now if they bothered to make them =/ -True Form Parallax-Possibly include Ganthet or a Parallax/Kyle Rayner hybrid.
-Titano-Nothing says sales like a giant Gorilla with light up green eyes.

-Chang Tzu-With articulated arms and legs. -Monsieur Mallah & The Brain -General Eiling as The General-Includes some over sized guns, and maybe removable limbs for regeneration fun. -True size Grodd in Scott Kollins style

-The 4 Horsemen
-Lady Styxx -Solaris the Tyrant Sun -Kirby style Etrigan w/ Baytor or /Klarion & Teekle -Over sized Anti-Monitor -'90's style Metallo


And many more I can't remember. But you get the gist. Any other suggestions?

Possibly the greatest thing in the history of greatness and things


Looking upon this, I feel as if I have reached a new level of comic nirvana.

Truly, J. Bone is a god amongst mortals.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Do you ever wonder what it was like during the meeting where they decided to publish Giant-Size Man-Thing? Because I do. Perhaps too often.

"Ok, we got Giant-Size Spidey! Giant-Size Defenders! Giant-Size Avengers! What next?"

>Many seconds of silent thought<


>Seconds pass. Giggling can be heard in the background<

"Right. GO WITH IT."


"Damn skippy, we gotta see if we can get away with this one!"

"But...I was just kid-"


And then comic history was made.

The end.

Primate of the moment

So when Marvel Apes first came into the store, we had plenty of customers who just didn't get it. Many are unaware of the time honored tradition of parading assorted primates through comics in an attempt to boost sales. Check this link for more background on the subject, and for some awesome covers:

Now I don't really care if anyone considers this to be an illogical marketing strategy. The very idea that an editor sat down and decided that more monkeys=yay is just AWESOME. Not awesome. AWESOME, in caps. Because straight up, you put a gorilla in something and most likely you will have my undivided attention.

Which is why I believe it's time to educate people on the wonderful selection of comic book primates available. And by educate, I mean pick a monkey, link a wikipedia entry, and then post a crapton of pictures with comments. Because honestly, people have probably already tried to do this and it's not like you'll voluntarily read 5 paragraphs about Angel & The Ape. LET US BEGIN.


Arthur Adams' awesomeness can often be measured by how many apes he draws. And believe me, IT'S A LOT.

Pensive Grodd is pensive.
.....Christopher Grodd Columbus. CHRISTOPHER GRODD COLUMBUS.
Respect that Powers Boothe gained after accepting the role of Gorilla Grodd? ELEVENTY BAJILLION POINTS.
Watch out Barry, he's been shuffling his feet on the carpet for like an hour!
OH SNAP! Oh....actual snap..... sorry Hunter.....
Also? Telepathic. EAT IT, DR. ZAIUS.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

But perhaps I've said too much

God I loved this show.

Evil real estate

Trying to figure out the best solution here. I mean if you're gonna go about the destruction of life, liberty, and all that jazz, then you really need an operational headquarters. And my current house is just too small to hide the doomsday cannon and I can forget about having henchmen tryouts here. It's not like you can just look up Craigslist for Evil Lairs, although I did find this:

So that just means I gotta build it myself, but where? So many choices.

Can always go the space station route. Which is handy cause A)the world will always know you can strike at any time from above and B) it makes it tough for asshole solicitors to bug you.
You can always go the usual space donut design, or the bulkier fortress of doom design.
The added bonus, of course, would be if your space fortress can transform for some wtfpwn action.

The arctic fortress option is interesting as well. The harsh condition keeps the riffraff out, but it might be a little easy for the world governments to find. Best to make sure to paint it white. The main problem is that red & blue douche is always flying around that area. Lead shielding will have to be a requirement.

The underground bunker option is enticing, although a bit claustrophobic. I don't know if i could put up with that many henchpeoples stuffed in there like sardines. And a little light from time to time wouldn't hurt. I mean, Lord of Darkness and all, but c'mon. Need a little vitamin D.

Now the Mt. Doom option is always nice, just for the sheer *holyshit!* you get from annoying do-gooders. All that lava tends to make anyone nervous, but I'm sure you get used to it after living there for a while. Not a big fan of that dry heat type of lifestyle, but as long as the hideout itself has AC I'm good2go.

The jungle option, not so crazy about. Sure it's usually hard to find and half the death traps are practically built in for you before you arrive, but hot and humid? Bleh.

Your own personal country has a nice "Screw you, world" feel to it. But again, makes for one big target.

Regardless of where the damn thing is built, it's gonna be a bitch finding a good interior decorator.....

And the winner of the voting battle royale

The Cybertronian Sledgehammer!
3 votes for Devastator, 2 for Voltron, and 1 for Bauer. Not bad.

But he's a good sport, and took his competition to a pub afterwards for some fun.

Jack Bauer not available, presumably because he was kidnapped and tortured again.

Lil Devastator by Matt Moylan,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I....I think I need that

Man, and that guy looks like he's just having a blast.

Possibly the only helpful advise you'll ever need

Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it."


And that's what life thought about me today


By Moritat

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rant! Dead ahead Captain!

So every now and then while talking to customers, the subject of creative dream teams tends to pop up. I've noticed it a lot lately due to titles being late or certain projects just having creative teams that seemed mismatched or rushed. And there are numerous industry factors that need to be taken into account. Creative schedules come into conflict, people are sick or injured, and so on. But with the amount of books that have these problems, it's natural for people to start to think about what creative alternatives there might be.

While there are a plethora of great teams working in the market today, it just feels like there is a lack of truly innovative and well grouped collaborative projects. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would disagree, because c'mon, we have such teams like Miller/Lee, Bendis/Yu, Millar/Hitch(CURSE YOU), Millar/McNiven(YOU HEARD ME THE FIRST TIME DAMMIT), and blah blah blah yakkity smakkity. You get the gist. I'm sure many people think we are at a fantastic point in the history of comics.

I get this feeling of stagnation though, not just as a retailer who is forced to look at the Previews catalog every month but also from talking to my customers week after week. People are trying to save money these days, and the numbers ain't what they used to be. Amazing Spider-man used to sell over 100+ copies in the store, and for the past 6 months I haven't been able to move 50 copies an issue. This is probably the most brutal example, considering that essentially Amazing Spider-Man is 3 titles in one seeing how it ships 3 times a month and Friendly Neighborhood & Sensational Spider-Man no longer exist. If we were to merge the numbers of all three titles from a few years back we were easily selling 200+ a month on Spidey titles. Well over a 40% drop =/

People just seem to be looking for something with a bit more substance and a bit less gimmick and flash. I guess this could be said most of the time, but it just feels a little bit more relevant to me right now as I look at our shelves. For our store Amazing Spider-Man has suffered a horrible loss of sales. Fantastic Four by Millar/Hitch has lost about 20% of it's sales from the previous creative team. Trinity looses an average of 5 readers a week. In contrast, the Incredible Hercules is holding strong at 50+ copies. Hercules is beating Spider-Man for us on a monthly basis. HERCULES. And hey, I love that title. Fred Van Lente is awesome beyond awesome. People are actually taking notice of a book with a good writer who is consistent, on time, and offers new and interesting stories with strong characterization.

Now when people think of potential dream teams, they usually stick to the big sale guns. Miller, Millar, Bendis, Straczynki, Lee, Morrison, Loeb, McFarlane, Liefeld and pretty much whomever else Wizard tells you. This is essentially the marketing reasoning behind the All Star, Marvel Knights, and Ultimate titles. It's also the logic that brings in writers from Hollywood and novels. And I can't argue with all of it. We've also gotten Ennis/Dillon Punisher, Morrison/Quitely Superman, Jenkins/Lee Sentry, Bendis/Bagley Spider-Man, Christopher Priest Black Panther, and many more.

One of the fun things to do though with customers is to try and actually think of new potential teams to put on mainstream titles that may not be entirely obvious. They're purely pipe dreams, and maybe a little depressing in the long run. And I know some people would interpret it as fanboys being fanboys and thinking we can make better decisions than editorial or marketing. But hey, we're all geeks and it's just good fun to get the ideas out there. Here's a list of some of my dream projects, with a few mixed in from talks with customers:

-Fantastic Four written by Jeff Parker with art by Ladronn

Now if you haven't read the Agents of Atlas or the Marvel Adventures Avengers, you need to do yourself a favor and go grab them. For a perfect mixture of humor, big adventure, great character and plot, and the crazy science fun you expect from an FF story Parker is the man. I really can't think of many people in the industry who can deliver all of this in such a complete package as he can. And the great thing is, you don't even really notice it. You're just so busy having fun, that it all subtly creeps in.

And maybe a gorilla with a gun isn't exactly the best example of subtle....

But HOT DAMN is that good comics.

And seriously. If you saw a painted Ladronn cover and opened the book to find actual Ladronn interiors, would you actually say no? Because then you surely do not know the meaning of joy. Hell, his straight up pencils back from the days of the Joe Casey run of Cable are more than enough for me. Not a coincidence that was perhaps the best Cable arc to date.

-All Star Wonder Woman by Michael Avon Oeming & Frank Cho
So here's the deal with this choice. I know we have an All Star WW to look forward to that will be written & drawn by Adam Hughes, which I consider to be a huge amount of fan service. Don't get me wrong, I think his art is beautiful actually. But I figure why not get someone who is obviously passionate about mythology and let them really sink their teeth into a character whose history is rich with it? The key example for Oeming isn't necessarily his work on Hammer of the Gods (which I did enjoy), but the much more obvious Thor.

A perfect melding of the traditional mythology and the storied comic mythology with epic action to boot? Yup, Oeming. As for Cho? Yes, it's still fan service. But hell, why not get the guy who bases the majority of his women off of Lynda Carter anyway? Seems kinda like the obvious marketing choice. Seriously, the first major promotional pic released to any mainstream exposure with Cho going all out with a slightly Carter WW? It will generate interest and sales. Perhaps we could even be treated to some of Cho's finer line work. And it's an All Star title, so late schedules are to be expected.

-Dr. Strange written by Neil Gaiman with art by Jae Lee or Guy Davis as back up
I actually don't even think I really have to explain this one. Gaiman's Eternals was an odd project because even though he obviously had a passion for the source material, his established fan base did not. Very few Sandman readers wanted to bother with that book. So, why not offer him something a little bit more up his stylistic alley? And Jae Lee was born to draw the character. His work throughout the Sentry just had this dark foreboding dream state to it. With the progress he's made artistically since then and the colorist complementing his work on Dark Tower, this would be a masterpiece. Could you imagine him attempting a Ditko tribute? Davis is just a solid fall back for nice detailed supernatural work. His work on BPRD has been astounding and disturbing at the same time.So that's a start, there certainly are more projects that have come up. And maybe I'll get to posting them down the road. But I was actually hoping for some comments on what people would like to see themselves.