M’s Spot™ – The Tricky Business of Love & Hate

Some Stream of Conscious Love & Hate

As some of you know, the Inveterate Media Junkies site and podcasts can be wrongfully accused, at times, of being nothing but hate-filled. With that in mind, I’ll be going to out of my way to show some love at the end of this article– but only after first delving into some hate as well. You know what? Hate is such a strong word. How about I use “Rage” instead? Or better yet, how about I show some ATOMIC RAGE for Eric Powell? (More of that at the end, too.)

First up, DC Comics and their upcoming Flashpoint “event”. I don’t know what to be enraged about more: the $3.99 price tag for each book in the core series or the 15 mini-series and the (as of yet) unannounced number of one-shot tie-in comics. When I hear about all that alone, my Money Bone starts to hurt (and yours too, I would imagine).

But wait, there’s more! Along with Flashpoint, DC’s also releasing War of the Green Lanterns and Reign of Doomsday. It’s little something to drain everyone’s bank accounts.

And how is DC going to make room for such a marvelous, extravagant expansion of their comic book line? By cutting titles, that’s how… Everything must go! It’s already solicited that Azrael, Batman: Streets Of Gotham and Batman Confidential are ending soon. It’s also been recently announced that in order to make room for the Flashpoint minis, DC will be canceling Outsiders, Freedom Fighters, Doom Patrol, Rebels and JSA All Stars. I’m left wondering what they are going to do with all those creators now that their titles have been canceled. Are they going to force them to write one of the minis or tie ins? Or are they going to shit-can them just as easily as they did to their titles? [Editor’s note: It does look like that at least some of the creators whose books were recently canceled will be working on Flashpoint minis and one shots in some fashion.]

Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of this trash heap. Did you know that DC’s “mature” imprint, Vertigo, will no longer be producing new Original Graphic Novels (OGNs)  for the foreseeable future? Instead, Vertigo will be sticking with monthly on-going titles. Why? Because the OGNs are supposedly not profitable. On top of this, if NEW monthly on-going Vertigo titles don’t create a high enough profit margin, the company will no longer pay royalties for the title’s trade sales… Which is the money Indie creators live for. Wasn’t DC supposed to be the mainstream company who respected their creators just a little bit more? Looks like things are changing… And not for the better. Rest in pieces, Vertigo.

Next up, Marvel Comics– who are reportedly looking to reign in their “event” plans (compared to DC)… But that doesn’t mean they stray far from my bullshit detector. The two things Marvel’s non event/event Fear Itself has going for it: It’s not written by Brian Michael Bendis… And Stuart Immonen is the artist. Other than that, I couldn’t give two shits. Oh, and sticking with the topic of “fear”, Marvel announced they will be killing a character every quarter to ride the success of Fantastic Four #587. Mickey? Help us!

What does it say about a company creatively– when the only thing they can dream up to increase sales and gain some cheap publicity is to start killing off characters? Events are bad enough, especially when you think of how uneventful some of them can be. Now we’re liable to be inundated with comics promising that “This is the story that changes everything!”, when we all know nothing ever really changes in superhero comics.

Gimmicks like these poly-bagged sacks of crap only suck the fun out of the escapism that comic books usually provide. These stunts also cheapen the stories and turn them into something that is only done for dollars and cents. In good conscience, I cannot support this. When you look at something like Amazing Spider-man’s Death of Gwen Stacy storyline– and you read the letters columns in those old issues– writer Gerry Conway tells you the story led them to Gwen’s death. This is an instance of a story naturally moving in its’ own direction– not a death that was mandated by the sales department or corporate accountants.

Speaking of Spider-Man: Why do Spectacular Spider-Man #1000 and Wolverine #1000 even exist… Other than to piss me off? What is the deal with Marvel’s numbering policy anyway… Only made worse when you look at what they are doing with the Thor books? The current storyline of the Thor comic will continue in The Mighty Thor with a shiny new #1– inexplicably in the middle of Matt Fraction’s run. Thor will then be renamed Journey into Mystery and keep the original numbering– except it isn’t that title’s original numbering because they are only counting the issues of JiM where Thor appeared those many, many years ago. Confused? You should be, but don’t come crying to me when Journey into Mystery #700 comes out. In a polybag.

Finally, I’d like to send some massive love and a fond farewell to the Creators Front for Diversity in Comics. We hardly knew ye. Founded by Goon creator Eric Powell, the Creators Front asked a simple question in video form and did so in a hilarious manner. Maybe if more people responded in the way artist Tony Harris did, we wouldn’t be killing characters every quarter.

“Fuck anybody who had a problem with this video. Thin skinned, shit-Faces. Get a life. have any of you nay-Sayers EVER read a Powell Comic??!?!? Did I even have to ask that question?!!?!? It was truthiness, wrapped in Satire. And you can ALL quote me on that.”

The truth hurts. doesn’t it?

MSpot can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/TheMSpot
On Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-M-Spot
On his blog at: http://themspot1313.wordpress.com/
And on the Inveterate Media Junkies website in the comments section
This entry was posted in BIG PROBLEM, Comic Book Cancellation, Comic Cancellation, Comics Commentary, Commentary, Controversy, Crap, DC Comics, DC/Vertigo, Death, Geek Culture, IMJ REGULAR FEATURE, IMJ REGULAR FEATURES, Inveterate Media Junkies™ Exclusive, Inveterate Media Junkies™ Monthly Column, Inveterate Media Junkies™ Regular Feature, M's Spot, Marvel Comics, Opinion, Vertigo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to M’s Spot™ – The Tricky Business of Love & Hate

  1. Flopside says:

    I guess when they said they were done with events they weren’t lol. Siege was suppose to be the one that ended all events. On the DC side they just had one of the biggest ones yet with Blackest Night why not tell good separate stories. If we want huge events there is always JLA and Avenger books.

    • J. says:

      Hey Flopside. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for all the great comments you have been posting in the last couple of days. I hope you continue to do so.

      But ya, events are coming back in a big way. Sales numbers have been down GREATLY since DC and Marvel’s last events ended. I don’t think MORE events is the way to get the sales figures up. Writing GOOD STORIES is the way to the the numbers up. I believe that’s why indies have been doing so well lately.

      • (mguy1977) Matthew Guy says:

        Well I am getting Flashpoint, Flash & the two Superman related minis that it ties into (I am a Superman fan so that is my Kryptonite — curiousity). Fear Itself can live in the past right along w/ FDRs speech. LONG LIVE FDR (and if you dont know who FDR is, crack open a US history book people). War of the Green Lanterns wait for tpb, I can wait til late 2012 or early 2013 no rush. I want more good stories & taking my DC cheerleader hat off for a minute — it is indies & Vertigo/Icon that get me most excited story wise for the long term — Fables, Scalped, Walking Dead, Criminal, Hellboy Library Ed., Locke & Key & Stumptown among others. Maybe the big two should look into cloning into their mainstream universe w/ the indie writers/artists they keep snatching away from their indie projects pick their brain and let Grant Morrison write Vertigo books ie Joe the Barbarian & leave Batman to the REAL writers — that make sense, common sense that is. Just a suggestion. Puts DC cheerleader hat back on.

        Matthew

        • locusmortis says:

          These “events” may be what pushes me off the single monthly comic habit completely. I’m down to about 15 titles at the moment from around 40 titles a month in late 2009. From the titles I’m getting at the moment DC is cancelling Doom Patrol and Rebels and Godland and Echo are both coming to a natural end in 2 issues time.

          From a positive side I am getting 2/3 manga titles a month and 1 omnibus or large hardcover. However these are not as convenient from a cashflow point of view as monthly comics as some months you get a glut and some months a dearth and the higher per unit cost means that some months I decide not to get titles in order to keep in budget.

    • Insideman says:

      I also want to thank you for posting Flopside. If you have any cool, smart friends who might enjoy Inveterate Media Junkies– please let them in on the secret.

      We welcome ALL fun, considered and intelligent commentary.

  2. Deemar says:

    It’s the ATTACK of the 90s!

    Spotty good points all around. As soon as the return of polybags happened I knew the end was nigh.

  3. ed2962 says:

    “No more events” Right after Seige we got Shadowland. Marvel said it wasn’t “really” an event BUT fans saw it was produced and marketed exactly as if it WERE an event! Needless tie-in and everything! Announcing Fear Itself they said, “We took a year off from events…” Really?! When? How come no one noticed? It’s like that old saying, “Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s rain.”

  4. Rob-ot says:

    The impending death of the Vertigo line brings me great sadness :(
    How can they not be paying royalties on the trades, when so many vertigo books find their audience in trade? Fucking pricks.
    Flashpoint… 15 minis? I’ll read whatever book Manapul is drawing and leave it at that.
    And don’t get me started on marvels numbering system. It’s completely fucked. At least they are giving old readers and completists great excuses to cap off runs on books that have been disappointing them month after month.

  5. hackslash2020 says:

    I started reading comics during Secret Invasion. Got a lot of those stories in tpb and then I got and buy even more Civil War trades up to Secret War and Avengers Dissasembled. I picked up probably 9 out of 10 single issues that had the Dark Reign banner on them. I was quite unsatisfied when that was finished but ofcourse I had to get the whole story and thats why we all had to go and buy Siege…which was weak too…so for me No More Events…If Fear Itself turns out to be ok…I might pick up the main story in Trade but I am not paying 4 bucks an issue..It was around the time that Dark Reign was halfway done that I found Jose & the CCW shows on the Youtube and I learned quickly WHY Dark Reign sucked…I now know of plenty of good other comics out there..and still Marvel titles like Thunderbolts, Heroes for Hire and even Avengers Academy are really enjoyable…but plenty of reasons for me/us to stay away from any Marvel event.

  6. mattcd42 (wednesday's serial) says:

    Hey M great article, it really outlines the stuff that does catch my ire in the industry right now. Whatever happened to quality books making good sales and working with that right?

    I’m majorly pissed for the cancellation of Rebels, and for that I swear I won’t be picking up any Flash point titles.

    Also hearing what is happening with Vertigo breaks my heart, it was the one little corner of the mainstream publishing side that industry wise I could turn a blind eye to because they’d do the right thing. No more I guess. I can’t say I’d drop buying Vertigo books that would be an outright lie, but I’ll be turning to Image Dark Horse and more indy publishers for the kind of titles I looked to Vertigo for.

    I starting to feel like comic creators need to go on strike, this is getting ridiculous.

  7. Heck says:

    It’s sickening that they are letting VERTIGO fall like this. Most of the books I buy are from that side of the spectrum. With the success of indie comics like ‘Scott Pilgrim’ and ‘Walking Dead’, you’d think that DC would be strengthening their VERTIGO line and making room for new realms and ideas. Green Lantern and Batman can only go so far.

    I won’t be buying any of the FLASHPOINT books. Usually I would have bought the Superman one, but considering that this is a Geoff Johns-lead event, Kal will most likely be reduced to scum on Hal Jordan’s boot. I don’t really have any iota of interest in reading Johns’ overblown fan fiction.

  8. TheMSpot says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Here some other points that I wanted to touch on, but wasn’t sure how to work them into this post:
    -Marvel Point One is a joke. If your someone who buys from the direct market and your not already buying those books I don’t see how one 2.99 issue is going to entice you to buy a series that’s 10, 20, or 30 issues in. I know these books are marketed for new readers, but nowhere has Marvel made a effort to market these books outside the direct market to new readers. I don’t see how a recap issue that also kicks off a new story line is going to have much meaning to a new reader. So, who are these Point One Books for? These books are to see whether a 2.99 book can sell just a well as the 3.99 ones.
    -I don’t like the fact that Spider-Man and Superman have been pretty much taken off the table. I really don’t have a response to that that’s just how I feel.
    -Next up, Marvel’s shitty press releases. Marvel put out a press release for Avenger’s Academy Giant Size with 70 pages of story priced at 7.99, and saying it was the best value on the market when Superman 80 Page Giant was released at the time of the press release for 5.99.
    -Last but not least, fuck Dan Slott. Not just only for previous comments but for a recent one of saying that you can’t have subplot in comics because they get spoiled on the Internet. I really hope the rumors are true that he’s not going to be on Spider-Man past April.

    Thanks again. :)

    Winning! :)

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