Thursday 20 August 2009

There's been

a certain amount of consternation in comics circles over this news, whereby it's been revealed that there won't be a new delivery of comics from Diamond (the one and only comics distributor) in the week between Christmas and New Year because of the way the holidays fall in the US and UPS deliveries and some other boring shit. Tom Spurgeon points out that there might be lost sales and resultant cashflow issues for comic shops, and something of a glut of new comics the week after.

My immediate reaction, considering my current slight disillusion with comics, was, great! A week off from the comic shop! In fact, I'm thinking of campaigning for more 'skip weeks'. The way comics publishers' schedules work, there's always at least one week a month where there are less comics coming out, and those that are coming out are either utterly run of the mill or out-and-out pigeon shit. So let's skip those weeks too! Not just in terms of customers not visiting comic shops, but Diamond not shipping any comics, and indeed publishers (and let's face it, we're talking Marvel and DC here) not publishing any comics! Just think: the mean average of comics' artistic worth – the good to shit ratio – would improve dramatically. We'd have fewer rubbish comics. Result!

Well it's a nice idea.

Those Christmas in-between weeks are always a bit odd. You don't tend to get any 'big' comics coming out that week. I seem to recall DC throwing the odd short 'event' into that week; some sci-fi take on their characters around the millennium? Does that ring any bells for anyone? (Is there anybody out there...?) And comic shops tend to be pretty quiet; a lot of customers will obviously be away. It's a strange, half-dead week of mundane comics. And now it's completely dead. So it goes.

This week's comics

Here's wot I got:

Daredevil #500 (Geof Darrow Variant Cover)
Dark Reign Hood #4 (of 5)
Ex Machina #44
Stand American Nightmares #5
Unthinkable #4
X-Men Legacy #227

An admirably short list, I'm sure you'll agree. It's a brave new world of restraint. The age of comics austerity, if you will. Of those, Daredevil #500 is Ed Brubaker's final issue, and thus my final issue too. None of incoming writer Andy Diggle's stuff's ever much grabbed me, and I need to cut back, so so long Matt Murdock. I'll also be bidding farewell to The Stand. Despite my problems with its past tense captions, I've liked the last few issues, but we're now moving past my favourite part of the King book, and it's still a top-of-the-pile comic, so sayonara Stu, Frannie et al.

Astonishingly, my local comic shop had the latest issue of Unthinkable (a great idea for a comic, but shoddily executed and, in my experience anyway, badly distributed), just a single solitary issue, so I had to grab it, if only to ruin some other customer's day. Bastard.

I passed on the following:

Big Questions #12
Blackest Night Superman #1
Invincible #65
Superman Annual #14

Big Questions I may pick up at some point down the line. I like Anders Nilsen a lot, but periodically is probably not the best way to appreciate this story, and I missed the first five or so issues anyway. A collection I would definitely acquire. Blackest Night Superman... I'm not digging the whole Blackest Night event as much as I hoped, so these spin-off miniseries are becoming less attractive. Superman Annual I flicked through, but it ended with a superhero crying a single tear. Fuck that shit. I've seen enough sobbing superheroes from DC to last me a fucking lifetime. Enough with the fucking blubbing. Man up, bitches. As for Invincible, I started picking it up again with the done-in-one crossover issue #60, stuck with it a few more to see what developed, was rewarded with some impressive gore, but it looks like business as usual now. End of.

And yes, I did get a variant of Daredevil #500. But it was only a quid more. And it's Geof Darrow. It's allowed. Look:


Wednesday 19 August 2009

One thing I am going to do,

or at least try to do, is buy fewer comics. This is another 'phase' that comics fans go through periodically, traditionally referred to as "cutting back". It's usually sparked by disenchantment, or lack of funds, or both, as in my case. Comics right now are pretty bloody expensive. With the way the exchange rate is, and with more and more comics being priced at $3.99, you're talking an average of nearly three quid a comic. Doesn't sound a lot in isolation, but if you're buying five, maybe ten comics a week... it adds up. And that's without the occasional graphic novel thrown in.

So yes. Fewer comics. But speaking of graphic novels, I finally caved and bought a copy of Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter adaptation (a.k.a. Point Blank). I've been wanting to read the original anyway, and Cooke is a great artist/writer, and I was up in London, and Gosh had some signed bookplate editions left, and I got a discount, and... and I guess I'm just going to have to deal with the past tense captions thing (see previous posts). It may well make more sense, be less jarring in The Hunter than in The Stand. I can see how that might be the case. I'll find out.

Nice looking book though.

Tuesday 18 August 2009


following this blog regularly – if there is anyone following this blog, regularly or otherwise – might notice it hasn't been updated in a while. Couple of reasons for this:

1) I've been on holiday. Oh, lovely, thanks for asking.

2) I've gone off comics.

Now, point one I'd imagine will be taken as read. Everyone needs a holiday now and again. Point two, however, is slightly trickier. Kind of negates the whole raison d'etre of the blog, n'est-ce pas? Well, yes and no. Note the "mostly" in the sub-header, but also understand that all comics "enthusiasts" go through periods where comics just aren't doing it for them, for whatever reason. At the moment, for example, I'm bang into novels, first editions and the like. And comics usually suffer when compared to a really good novel (the likes of Asterios Polyp aside). I'll still buy comics, probably on a weekly basis, but I won't enjoy them as much as I have previously.

But don't worry. I'm sure it'll pass. It usually does.

Unless, of course, it doesn't.