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?