Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To that dude I hate: I HATE YOU

You just had to linger around and bug me over the course of nearly two hours while we processed our late shipment from last week because YOU HAD to have your copies of Brave & The Bold and Superman/Supergirl. AND THAT WAS ALL YOU BOUGHT.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Henchmen Tryouts

Like any good villain, I figure it's about time I actually hired me a minion. Someone who can communicate my displeasure with the sheer stupidity that hits me every day with such a blunt force trauma that it's amazing I'm still alive. Someone I can count on. Someone I can trust. So it is with great pleasure and evil that I introduce:
otherwise known as Jim.
The rest of you have a long way to go if you hope to match his standing in the ranks of the evil empire. But if you do so desire, feel free to send a resume and list of evil references and we can see about getting you in.

Lost & Found: Blacksad

Blacksad is one of those books that I really really really wish will be reprinted in english soon, because more people in the states need to experience it. And I say experience because once you finish reading it you should come to one realization: this is how good comics are done.
Scratch that. This is how beautifully awesome comics are done and this should be considered a zenith in comic book production.
Written by Juan Diaz Canales with beautiful art by Juanjo Guardino, Blacksad is a series of crime noir stories starring anthropomorphic animals. In general I'm not drawn into a series just because it utilizes anthropomorphic animals as a stylistic choice. I know many people actually are and this may enchance your desire to read it, and it may also turn you off from it. The thing about Blacksad is that it truly is a unique approach that enchances the story. Gardino's ability to bring out a character's true personality using a specific species and then beautifully emoting them is nothing short of fantastic.
If you like crime noir stories, this is for you. As far as modern crime noir comics go, you can't really find many people doing it on this level besides Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. If you like humour and great characterization, this is for you. If you like beautifully painted artwork, you need to own this. I can read this book and then just look at it again and again to just take in the art. Very cinematic, very detailed, and very thoughtful. The only other current artists in the industry that can truly captivate me with their facial expressions include:
-Carla Speed McNeil
-Steve Dillon
-Kevin Maguire
-John Cassaday
-Darick Robertson
And I would have to put Guardino pretty far up there. Actually, I don't know if I put him above McNeil, she's friggin' awesome. Hmm, I'm forgetting some people too. Damn yeah, Eric Powell, for sure. Screw it, ya get the point though. Being able to strike emotional cords through facial features is a key skill many comic book artists never peg down, and Guardino nails it.

Now the crap news. Apparently the english translations published through Ibooks a few years back are going for very large amounts of money. Actually, I'm going to look right now andSWEET BABEH JESUS.........vol 1 goes for $74 used on Amazon o.0

It's a 54pg soft cover book so, uh......yeah, that may keep people from really bothering >_<

And this is why I need to be in charge of shit. Time to reprint these suckers and start expanding everyones minds. Because I kid you not, if I didn't have my copies I would probably save the money up and pay that insane price. And as broke as I may be, I just can't think about selling these. So if you ever have the chance and you just magically come upon some of these, for the love of all that is good in life do yourself a favor and pick them up.



Friday, December 26, 2008

A sad Christmas

It was kind of a sucky one in the first place, and then the last thing I saw before going to bed was news of Eartha Kitt's passing. And really, that's all sorts of depressing.

Here's to hoping for a better year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Primate(s) of the Moment

Let it not be said I am completely without the holiday spirit.

And now I resume plotting Santa's trajectory course after the missiles hit.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I Want For Christmas pt5



Hurm not much posting as of late, sorry. Between work, snow, this cold, and some other crap, just no time for updating.

I make up for it with this.

Santa don't mess around

Friday, December 19, 2008

How much customer service is too much?

I was reading another blog where the writer was pointing out her annoyance at a comic store employee asking her if she needed help. And I am more inclined to side with the writer, mostly because the guy did sound kinda dumb. On the flip side of that, I wonder how often people take into consideration the fact that we are working a retail job and that more often than not the management/ownership wants the employees to ask people if they need help.

There are different degrees of this, to be sure. I always try to say hello right as soon a person comes in, and after a while ask if they need any help. Of course, a lot of the time I am straight up ignored when I say hello, so my inclination to ask if they need help is not so great. Sometimes, people just need to be left alone. Then you have the people who obviously need help because they keep putting stuff in the wrong place. But y'know, they don't think they need your help. Then you have people who can perfectly navigate the store or are just obviously browsing.

It is, however, our job to see if you need any help. So I am always interested to hear people complain about comic employees asking. I try to take into account some additional factors though. Honestly, sometimes comic employees do go a little gaga over female customers. A manager of mine from a while back would even go so far as to interrupt me if I was helping a cute girl and interject himself into the conversation. I understand that female customers may feel very apprehensive about the store employee trying to help them. I like to think I don't try this shit, but to be honest I would prefer to help a female customer over a fanboy who wants to complain about the Hulk movies or some shit. So hopefully that doesn't just come off as me wanting to only help cute girls, and more like a sane preference.

It always strikes me as just a poor choice to not have any female employees. Straight up, I believe it helps to create a better atmosphere and a more comfortable shopping experience for everyone. But the female employee needs to be prepared for the fanboy interaction. Cause the fact of the matter is the unwashed masses are going to notice her and are definitely going to behave differently.

But how much help is too much help? I try to only ever ask once, and then go back to work. But then I read reviews online that complain about the clerk not prying himself away from the counter. Was this me? Was this someone else? We have a staff of 6, so hell it could be anyone either being lazy or just taking a break. There is no way to tell exactly how people are going to perceive you and interact with you. I've had people wait at the register as I am filing books, and they never ask for help. Then they look pissed, and I just have to think "Look hey I'm the only one here, I'm doing multiple jobs at once, is it really that hard to just ask me for help?" Of course, I can't actually say that.

Then you have someone come in and compliment you for making the store a comfortable environment for them, like I did yesterday. And this person was someone I would not describe as a fanboy but just someone who greatly enjoy comics. So hey, we must be doing something right some of the time.

I pretty much find retail solace in the idea that you just ain't gonna make everybody happy, so you might as well just accept people having something negative to say and do your best to keep the happy ones happy.

And it will all be moot anyways once I finish construction on the mighty mecha-gorilla army.

I'm adding missile wrist launchers to their design, I think. Because that shit is tight.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I Want for Christmas pt4

Cursed Skull of Ultimate Power. Can transform your darkest wishes into reality and doubles as a paperweight. $24.99 at Target.

And the winner (s)....

Looks like the vast majority of my evil armies will consist of gorillas. Robots and sexy sexy spy ladies came in at a tie.

I think to make everyone happy (but mostly me), I'll just go the giant mecha-gorilla robot doom machines piloted by sexy sexy spy ladies route.

I can smell the nations burning now......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Escort Service

"Back in my day, you had to pick up a phone to get a prostitute."

This was actually a great conversation with an actual connection to Fantagraphics, but I figure that sentence alone without any further context was fairly awesome.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I want for Christmas pt3

I don't know what it does, but I know I need like 5 of 'em. Just so I can totally mess with whoever is gonna try and disarm the doomsday device. I'll be all like, psych! wrong one FAIL CLOUD

What I want for Christmas p2

Oh my yes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is it me or...

Does it feel like Marvel is kinda, I don't know, totally sabotaging themselves in what is currently a horrible economy? Over the past 3 weeks, it has become very obvious that both major companies are bumping up titles to $3.99.

However, DC seems to be spreading it a little bit more across their entire catalog. Just today, I rang up a large amount of customers that were all DC and a roughly equal amount who are all Marvel. And of the customers who had an equal sized pile, lets say a dozen books or so, the DC fans spent much less cash.

On the shipping list for this week, only 3 titles were $3.99 from DC:
-Final Crisis
-FC: Revelations
-Mirrors Edge
And really, who the hell is buying Mirrors Edge, so I'm just gonna count that as 2.

On the Marvel side, you had:
-Adam Legend of the Blue Marvel
-Astonishing X-Men Ghost Boxes
-Big Hero 6
-Marvel Apes
-Marvel Illustrated
-Punisher War Zone
-Secret invasion Dark Reign
-Wolverine 1-shot o'crap
-Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Now granted, that's an eclectic batch from Marvel and not all Marvel fans are getting all of that.
And yes, DC just shoved a crapload of $3.99 specials down our throats with all the JSA 1-shots. But, after looking at the invoices, it's definitely Marvel showing this trend at it's strongest.

Long term, this has the stink of Marvel trying to destroy the single issue monthly business. And granted, that piece of the pie chart is shrinking and GNs & TPBs are a strong and always growing market. Not to mention the online stuff, which is honestly a smart move and new creative ground to move into.


There will always be people who want single issue comics, on a monthly basis. It is what the industry grew from, and it is hardwired into peoples heads. To ignore and abuse the potential for sales is just friggin' stupid. But, this is the comic book industry we are talking about. Fuckin' lobotomized sloths could do a better job at the Diamond shipping warehouses. ROB LIEFELD CONTINUES TO GET WORK. So obviously, shit ain't gonna be working at full speed and probably never will.

The thing is, if DC marketing plays its cards right, they have the potential to pick up a lot of those monthly sales. And Dark Horse and Image have a huuuuuuge opportunity here for new readership. And it's not gonna be for whatever reason Kirkman thinks about creative blah blah blah. That sounds all neat and promising, but honestly it comes down to how much money is going to be saved during a time of economic crisis. Even if I just follow the trends at our store and not assume it's playing the same way nationwide, Marvel is going to take a huge sales hit. At least 5 customers of ours have made a dramatic switch into just DC comics. If I offer them new alternatives at a basic $2.99 price point, they may even try the new Atomic Robo or the Boys. And hey, THEY DID.

Maybe I'm not reading any marketing/industry blogs. Maybe I'm too godamned busy running the store. But it feels like none of this stuff is really popping up in a real discussion, or at least not in a forum where people can actually see it. And if they are, cool, I'll shut up completely and read what you send me. But in the meantime, here are two more points of interest:

-Why does every damn book have to be on glossy paper? Would it not cut costs to drop down to newsprint? This would do 2 things as I see it. First, it would ideally cut down production costs that could be passed down to the readers. Second, it has the potential to bump up the secondary market value of modern comics. Because all those glossy stock books are gonna be easier to find down the road here, and none of them are really going to go up in value if everyone has clean copies of them. And if people want clean copies of the books, they could spend that on nice collected reproductions. Heeeeeeey there's that GN/TPB money you assholes wanted!

-Reinstate the single GN style releases for over hyped yet apparently demanded creative teams, therefore restoring the regular monthly schedule of books. You want a Mark Millar/Jim Lee/Steve McNiven/Frank Millar/Steve Skroce/Geof Darrow/Bryan Hitch/Kubert Bros/WHOEVER THE HELL book that will never be on time? Release it as an original GN and get all the hype you want ready for the book stores and mass market.

The supplementary plan I have for that one is WHY DON'T YOU STOP PAYING THE ASSHOLES WHO DON'T DESERVE A LUCRATIVE CONTRACT? Divide that money up to pay the GOOD talent (MARCOS MARTIN, PEOPLE) and pass the savings down to readers. Implement a punishment system. You can't meet a reasonable deadline or schedule? THEN WE WON'T HIRE YOU. This will support the monthly structure AND motivate the release of original GNs so these twits can be paid even though they need to learn something about work ethics.
And I don't care if that seems ranty or unfair. Fantastic Four and Wolverine, TWO OF MARVEL'S FLAGSHIP TITLES, are both horribly late and look at who's at the helm there. I have little sympathy for a man who wrote a story where a man named Shaft (Who I just propose we change his name to Dildo and be done with it) fought the reanimated corpses of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

So yes. Rant is done. Ideas? Comments? Death threats?

Found some good links and actual discussion. Still, I want to see more.
The way I see it, we shouldn't have to take the stance that maybe some books shouldn't exist simply because we can't afford them. They shouldn't exist because they are CRAP, but I'm not prepared to trust anyone in marketing or editing to decide such a thing. It's a decision based on sales, sadly. So to be fair, I still believe we need to even the playing field by dropping the production costs with only a few possible exceptions.

And another random thought. You notice how some art, such as Kirby, just looks fantastic on newsprint? John Severin? Steve Ditko? This would be an interesting test for modern artists, I think.

What I want for Christmas pt1

So many death ray models to choose from...

Think I'll take all of them.
And hell yes throw in a Tesla coil in like every room of the evil lair. I don't care if it ain't practical.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life vs Me: FIGHT

Round one!

Winner: LIFE!

Round 2: FIGHT!

Winner: LIFE!

Life moves on to the next round!

While I go hire a new trainer to whip me up into fighting shape

You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Here comes the Starfish.

Who is da Starfish? I am da Starfish.

Posting here is a little more random since I'm doing a secondary blog for the hell of it.

Check out http://heyeverybodyitsstarro.blogspot.com/ if you have the time or like evil tyrant starfish creatures from space.

Which should include all of you, cause c'mon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Forgot about this

Last week, a fella came in and looked at our shirts for sale. We have a large variety of shirts hanging from the high walls in the store, so we use a stick to pull them down. So this guy had me pulling shirts down for while, and kept asking what I thought his niece would like. Seeing how I don't actually know her, I tried to ask what type of stuff she likes.
"Oh she likes all sorts of stuff."

"Uhm, well, do you know if she likes a certain character or does she like fantasy or anything like that?"

"Oh, what's that shirt there?"
[I pull down an orange womens jersey with Snoopy on it]

"It's Snoopy, from Peanuts"
[I then flip the shirt to show a big number 5 on the back, and he says...]
"OH! She loves the number 5!"

.........I really must be missing something or.....she just really likes the number 5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Primate(s) of the Moment: Mikhlo, Igor and Peotr

Pic from http://woldenworks.blogspot.com/

I would feel that smug too if I had my own Russian ape army. *sigh*Seriously, WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE STORIES WITH THEM? Art from http://sopesope.blogspot.com/

Mr. Pauncholito.......Mr. Pauncholito has an odd photo album.

It was gonna be a bad day, until I saw this.

The fact of the matter is, I'm pretty drunk right now

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So....you want me off the planet, is what you're saying?

Looks like the S.S.O.D. (Space Station Of Doom) is the number one choice. Now, would you consider installing an aquarium full of sharks in a orbital platform tacky?