Insideman’s Pull List™ Hardcover, Graphic Novel & Manga Picks for 5.2.12

This week is so VERY weird. Normally when “Trade Waiters” like me have a light week, the “singles” collectors are inundated with product. Not so this week. Plus it was the first Wednesday of the month, which normally means DUMP WEEK in any comic book reading country. But this week was small on both ends of the collecting spectrum. (Last week was light too.)

The Avengers Film– Friend or Foe to Comic Shops?

And next week (5.9.12) looks to have just a normal amount of singles product from the Big Two (Marvel & DC)– with LOTS of independent titles… But below average numbers, again, for Trade & Hardcover collections.

You know what this makes me do? Shudder to my very core.

God helps us all when the inevitable Dump Week arrives on May 16th or May 23rd. (Or maybe both.) May is one of those weird months with FIVE Wednesdays… Or in comic collector parlance, 5 shipping weeks. Seems the Powers That Be decided that May 2nd was this month’s week to ship ultra light. (Normally on 5 Wednesday Ship Months, it’s the last Wednesday that’s light… But whatever.)

Or maybe most of the companies decided to steer clear of May 2nd because it was two days before The Avengers appears in US theaters. See, I would’ve thought this week would have been heavy… To take advantage of the film’s buzz and Free Comic Book Day occurring May 5th. What better week to dump product?

But if the publishers really did steer clear of The Avengers premiering in the States, thinking that comic book nerds would be too busy going to cinemas than comic book stores… Well, if that doesn’t tell you that Superhero Films do LITTLE IF ANYTHING to drive people into comic book stores– then nothing ever will.

Tired of seeing this massively photoshopped image yet? Me too. But for some reason, when my retailer offered a generous discount on the Art of The Avengers Slipcase Hardcover, I bit.

Now this is a first. I have never even contemplated purchasing a MOVIE Art Book. And yes, fans of such works, I am sure they are usually gorgeous and filled with wonderful images and insight into the process of filmmaking. But c’mon, I am in the Film and TV business. I have held tons of different types of concept art in my very own hands. I have watched (usually in awe) as sets (as nice as any house) were built from different drawings and paintings. But buying one of these books? Well, it’s sort of like working at an Ice Cream store all day and then going home and eating it for dinner.

I already know how this stuff is done. And every time I watch a movie, I have to push all that shit OUT of my mind so I can attempt to enjoy the damn thing. (Especially when the CGI or other effects are rendered poorly.)

Still, I’ll admit to being as giddy as a schoolboy (Sorry, Dickens) over seeing The Avengers movie (tomorrow at 12:30pm) and the fanboy inside me is interested in seeing it just enough to also want to know how Joss Whedon & Crew did what they did.

American Vampire Vol 2 – Own The Hardcover
Animal Man Vol 1 The Hunt
Avengers Art of Avengers Slipcase HC – HOT Pick of the Week!
Avengers Assemble Vol 3
Batman and Robin Vol 3 Batman Robin Must Die – Own The Hardcover
Best of Archie Comics Vol 1 – Already buying Hardcover collections…
Dogs of Mars
Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Vol 3
Fallen Words
Fear Itself Youth In Revolt HC – The never-ending cash grab…
Fracture Vol 1
GI Joe Retaliation Movie Prequel
Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters Vol 3
Grimm Fairy Tales Vol 11
Joe Golem and the Drowning City III HCProse with Mignola Art
Justice League Vol 1 Origin HC – This Week’s POS*
Locke & Key Vol 4 Keys To The Kingdom – Own The Hardcover
Marksmen Vol 1
Marvel Super Heroes vs Villains Pop Up Book
Marvel’s Avengers Prelude Fury’s Big Week
Nether World
Planet of the Apes Vol 2
Red Light
Roger Langridge’s Snarked Vol 1
Sandman Vol 9 The Kindly Ones (New Edition)
Spirit World HC
Star Trek Classics Vol 3 Encounters with the Unknown
Tanpopo Collection Vol 1 HC

Ai Ore Vol 5
Hana Kimi 3-in-1 Edition Vol 2
Naruto Vol 56
Pokemon Black & White Vol 7
Skip Beat 3-in-1 Vol 2

Hey Kids, Look! It’s the 90s… All over again!

Let’s be blunt. DC Comics New 52 was supposed to be a fresh start for the company… An abrupt Hail Mary, last-ditch effort to become the best (and best-selling) comic book company again.

But the thing that kept nagging at me– DC was essentially using the same creators on these “new” titles… Creators both good and bad. Shuffling a bad writer to a different book doesn’t immediately improve their ability to tell a story. A mediocre artist doesn’t suddenly learn how to draw because they are drawing a different superhero.

I had a girlfriend once who always had a shit storm swirling around her. Didn’t matter what job she had, how successful her personal or professional lives were– there was always a huge problem with something. Then she made a unilateral decision to move out of the country. Not to another state. Out of the country. I told her if she moved away carrying the same baggage and attitudes that had always shaped her daily life– all she would successfully accomplish is moving 6,500 miles to be in the same shit storm, just with a different view.

And that’s exactly what DC did, with a couple of minor changes here and there… Few for the better. Like most desperate moves, DC’s plan was poorly devised. Initial fan enthusiasm has turned to major apathy– with many wishing for the “old days”… Or worse, not giving a shit enough to care either way.

No DC book– no matter how bad or good it is– is more representative of the shoddy rebirth that is DC’s New 52 than Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League Volume 1: Origin hardcover. Shallow, snarky “wink-wink” dialogue and poor characterizations. Plodding plots with little substance or consequence. Plug ‘n play superheroes for a plug ‘n play age.

And as “purty” as Jim Lee’s art can be at times, his style choices here mirror the stilted sameness that affects every level of this comic. I know Lee can draw striking images, at times– but I see little or no artistic growth here… Little or no effort to make Justice League rise above the feel of an average “great looking” comic.

DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio made it clear from the beginning that DC had every intention of going after Marvel’s top spot in the industry… But no one, myself included, would have guessed that goal would include aping all of Marvel’s mistakes as well.

Far too many bitter, lonely people begrudge and belittle success in this country. I have no problem with somebody wanting to be #1 at anything. It’s hunger like this that makes individuals achieve great things. But turning DC into a clone of Marvel– at a time when the House of Ideas is arguably at its worst? That’s not true ambition. That’s plagiarism… And stupid plagiarism at that.

Just like I told my girlfriend many years ago, if I moved to a different country– I’d strive to be as introspective as possible and do away with everything that was wrong with me and forge a better, more attractive person. After all, you’re moving to a country where virtually no one knows you. If people ask what you do, you could say, “I’m an international spy!” and no one would know better.

DC could have done the same thing. Most fans were wide open and ready for a change… Ready to see a major comic book company step up and do something different.

Whether some lamented the coming changes or not, even the most vocal detractors felt the New 52 was a ballsy move. But somewhere along the way, DC lost the plot to their bold idea. The New 52 should never have been about beating or becoming Marvel. The New 52 should have been about making better comic books.

Fans aren’t stupid. If DC’s comics truly were better than the competition, then the intrepid, curious readers who flocked to the first few issues of the New DC would have stayed and vehemently derided every Marvel Zombie for their myopic devotion to a creatively bankrupt publisher.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, many bought into the bombast and buzz– only to find the New Emporers were the same as the Old Emporers– and they weren’t wearing any clothes either. Grand ideas and ambitious plans were poorly executed… And after the dust settled, many readers were cursing themselves for buying into the hype. Because, in the end, the hype was what hype almost always is– empty and bereft of any true substance. In a world filled with lost opportunities, DC’s New 52 is a classic.

Congrats, DC! You wanted to be Marvel? You are.

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9 Responses to Insideman’s Pull List™ Hardcover, Graphic Novel & Manga Picks for 5.2.12

  1. M. Fewko says:

    I’m a bit giddy to see it as well. I hear nothing but good of it.

    I’ve never bought movie art books (but animes yeah). I guess my AKIRA CLUB book counts since its a film…

  2. kurumais says:

    i never had a movie art book either but someone gave me the art of captain america as a gift i love it i might get the avengers
    the movie was nothing but super hero heaven btw

  3. NicktheStick says:

    Whether it’s singles or trades, I am okay with light weeks at the moment. As for the movie not generating book sales… now this may be an anomaly however, I was only in my comic shop today for about an hour and a half as FCBD was ending and I heard so, and I mean SO many people looking for Avengers things. Now I don’t know how many of them were current readers, new readers. Likely a bit of both from what I could tell/what my LCS owner tells me. And that was just for the time that I was in the store. I asked one of my friends that works there if he had been getting a lot of people asking for Avengers things and he sighed and rolled his eyes. The was because he was simply just sick of letting people know about the Avengers books, or more likely Ultimate since the movies are based more off of the Ultimate Universe.

    As for the Avengers art book, I think it would be cool to have, but there are way more different art books and regular trades that I would want before that one. And over the moon to have Justice League be this weeks POS because it really is. It was pretty bad. I wasn’t even paying to read it and I had to stop after issue 4ish? just because I couldn’t take the story anymore. Also, I just do not like Jim Lee’s artwork in this book. I prefer his X-men and Batman Hush compared to this. There seemed to be and emphasis and emotion to his art in the past, this just looks like he has been doing way to much concept art for all the different things he is supposed to be running. Probably going to get slack for the Lee thing but.. Oh well.

    • ed2962 says:

      I “sorta” agree to an extent about Lee’s work here. I think it’s still good and is the best thing about the new Justice League, but it’s not his best work. His Batman for DC stuff exceeds his JL art so far.

  4. ed2962 says:

    Cool column. I’m going to try to go into the Avengers movie with an open mind. I’m not expecting Citizen Kane, I just want to have a good time.

  5. ed2962 says:

    I was going to post this link in the Open Thread, but it might be more appropriate here. It’s a comics review show where they talk about the Wonder Woman revamp specifically and the 52 in general. The guy who was a lapsed reader felt that he was still being excluded by DC’s approach. That it was still the same creators writing for the same fans

  6. kurumais says:

    questions for all those who have read the justice league. do you like any of the leaguers ? do you think any of the leaguers like each other?

  7. Blanchard says:

    Too be honest, the comics that I have liked from the new 52 (Batman, Batwoman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man) could have happened without relaunching the entire line. Overall, I think the entire project has sent DC back into the dark ages of comics aka the 90’s.

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