I recently had the craziest exchange with someone on Twitter… But I’m gonna let that slide for a week… while I get a couple of other thoughts out of the way.
Superior Slump? Here’s something that keeps tugging at my brain stem: Has anyone noticed how all of Breezy Brian Michael Bendis’ Marvel Now X-Men comics are getting the royal Hardcover treatment at Marvel… But Dumpy Dan Slott’s supposed runaway hit Superior Spider-Man is being reprinted– at least initially– in a series of low-cost Trade Paperbacks?
Wonder why that is? Marvel never, ever seems to pass on an opportunity to gouge the faithful… And there was a time when anything plastered with “SPIDER-MAN” got the deluxe hardcover treatment– no matter how lame it was. But all we’re getting on this front is a (belated) Superior Spider-Man hardcover (featuring Amazing Spider-Man #698 – #700 and Superior #1 – 5) coming in mid-September… After TWO of the aforementioned softcover trades have already been released.
This is the kind of “Grade B” treatment usually reserved for Marvel’s 2nd and 3rd tier characters… And writers. Could it be that Marvel is finally starting to wake up to just how badly Slott is screwing their most popular character?
If not– then why not print hardcovers first? I will accept any theories from you… Except ones that act like Marvel decided to save comic book fans some money by foregoing Superior Spider-Man Hardcovers to release the cheaper Trade versions– cause that’s not why this happened. Nah… There’s something else going on here. If you think you’ve figured it out, please let me know.
Side Note: Next week will mark what would have been Jack “King” Kirby’s 96th birthday! If you know of a wonderful horizontal art piece by the King that will look smashing under next week’s IMJ Open Thread™ banner– please shoot me a link pronto to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Screw Part Deux? Finally, I don’t know what to do with my past love for John Romita Jr. It’s just lying out there somewhere, irreparably burnt and screaming to be flushed down life’s toilet so it will be forgotten… Like all the other fond memories of my youth that have bit me in the ass and ridiculed me for loving them in first place. In truth, I’ve always loved Romita Senior’s style much more… But have also always appreciated the son for making his own way in comics– despite the heavy expectations of excellence that came with his family surname.
Sadly, JRjr apparently continues to pencil whatever shit script Mark Millar emails him (and pencil it extremely poorly too). He also seems perfectly happy with the subject matter as well– and the quality of work Millar’s screed inspires from his pencils. So happy, apparently, that Junior keeps accepting other assignments which help spread his talent so thin– he’s producing slipshod art that looks like the kind of horrid shit you would expect from a beginning comic book artist… Not a seasoned veteran who has produced thousands of awesome pages of art.
Say goodbye to my love and respect for John Romita Jr. In truth, it died somewhere shortly after the release of the first Kick Ass mini-series… Right around the time Jose and I infamously criticized (in a podcast, for over twenty minutes) a simple two-page Hulk spread the artist drew in a Bendis Avengers comic.
I dared use the “hack” word then. Unfortunately, it still applies now.
Comic books can make you laugh or cry… They can make your blood run fast with excitement and they can make your head feel as if it’s about to pop off your neck… Especially when the books suck and you realize you’ve just spent a lot of your hard-earned money on a piece of trash.
Confession Time: That last feeling is one of the main reasons Inveterate Media Junkies exists. When I first got back into comics, I was amazed at the huge amount of money I was wasting by taking the ass-kissing comic book reviews at such sites as Newsarama and CBR as gospel. I didn’t mind spending almost any amount on any comic book graphic novel… They could be high-priced or cheap… I just had one major condition: I wanted to buy the good stuff.
And when I realized there was no website consistently providing fans with the unbiased info they needed to make informed buying decisions– so they could enjoy the best the entertainment industry had to offer— the seed was planted to start a site that would one day do that.
With all that in mind (goddamn, I’m wordy), I present Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Softcover Omnibus with Slipcase as my Hot Pick of the Week! It’s actually two omnibi (reprinting every SiP comic ever published) enclosed in a fantastic illustrated slipcase. You can buy the edition directly from Terry for $100.00. (You’ll also get a free print with your order– and, quite possibly, the most CAREFUL SHIPPING ever by a conscientious creator.)
Most importantly, you’ll also get one of the greatest independent comics ever created. Strangers in Paradise will make you laugh and cry… And cause your pulse to quicken with excitement… Just like any of the best written and drawn comics always do. And the only time this comic will cause you to get angry or depressed? When you’re at the end and realize the series is almost over.
Believe me… I know spending $100 USD on anything is no laughing matter. But for what you get here, it’s a helluva deal. (You can also find this slipcase at certain retailers for as much as 30% Off.) And while you may be doing your best to beat the heat as you read this, the cold and the holidays are right around the corner… And I can’t think of any well-rounded comic book fan who won’t be smiling from ear-to-ear when they realize the Strangers in Paradise Softcover Omnibus with Slipcase is their gift for being good all year.
Or you can secretly buy it for yourself– then give it to them. They’ll be happy to share the experience with you (SiP is that kind of thing)… And you’ll still get cool points for “giving” such an awesome gift.
American Comic Book Book Chronicles 1950s HC
Anna And Froga I Dunno What Do You Want To Do HC
Art of Zenescope Limited Edition Slipcase HC – This Week’s POS!
Avengers Complete Collection By Geoff Johns Vol 2
Berkeleyworks Breathed Bloom County & Beyond HC
Big Nate Here Goes Nothing
Bluesy Lucy Existential Chronicles HC
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland
Captain Atom Vol 2 Genesis
Chew Vol 7 Bad Apples – Recommended
DC Super Heroes Batman Catwomans Classroom YR
DC Super Heroes Batman Robins First Flight YR
DC Super Heroes Wonder Woman Creature Of Chaos YR
DC Universe Presents Vol 2 Vandal Savage
Danger Girl G.I. Joe HC (Red Label Edition)
Deadpool Vol 2 Soul Hunter – Recommended
Devil’s Panties Vol 1
Devil’s Panties Vol 2
Doc Savage Double Novel Vol 27 SC (Bama Variant)
Dragon Age Vol 3 Until We Sleep HC
Fantastic Four Vol 2 Road Trip Now
G.I. Joe Complete Collection Volume 1 HC (Red Label Edition)
Green Lantern Sector 2814 -Read ’em already…
Marvel 1602 10th Anniversary Edition HC – Not that impressive…
Marvel Heroes & Villains Poster Collection
Mighty Thor Omnibus Vol 2 HC – Recommended
Mo And Joe Fighting Together Forever
New Avengers By Brian Michael Bendis Vol 5 – Own the HC
Nexus Vol 3 Omnibus – Own the Hardcovers
Nudnik Revealed HC
Power Rangers Megaforce Vol 3 Panic In The Parade
Power Rangers Megaforce Vol 3 Panic In The Parade HC
Savage Sword Of Conan Vol 14
Shadow Double Novel Vol 75
Spider-Man Dying Wish – Own it
Star Wars Omnibus Knights of the Old Republic Vol 1
Strangers In Paradise SC Omnibus Slipcase Edition – This Week’s Hot Pick
Superior Spider-Man Vol 2 Troubled Mind Now
TEotFW (The End of the Fucking World) – Fantagraphics can be so tiring…
Warhammer 40K The Mark Of Calth
World Of Warcraft Bloodsworn HC
X-O Manowar Vol 3 Planet Death
Zig And Wikki Something Ate My Homework
Battle Angel Alita Last Order Vol 2 Omnibus
Ikigami Ultimate Limit Vol 9
Kingdom Hearts II Vol 2
No 6 Vol 2
Pandora Hearts Vol 17
If you look closely at my Insideman’s Pull List™ notations every week, you might have noticed I don’t like Zenescope comics. Please note I didn’t come by this feeling lightly. In fact, up until about sixteen months ago, I had purchased every single trade paperback the company offered– spending hundreds of dollars in the process.
Then, after only sporadically reading the first few volumes of Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales– I sat down and decided to read over 20 of their trades in a row. I got through 13 of them before I realized there was no way the stories were going to get any better. When I think back, I can sort of remember giving up all hope around Volume 7 of Grimm Fairy Tales. That’s about the same time I opted to check out their other books– like The Piper, Salem’s Daughter, the various Alice in Wonderland series and 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad… To see if any of them could redeem my discouraging experiences.
Sadly, they ALL sucked… Every last one of them.
Trying to tell you which ones were better than others (and why) would be a thankless task… Something akin to comparing the stank of different piles of shit– and that’s a fruitless, stupid exercise I refuse to participate in.
Mainly because (let’s be honest here) these comics don’t exist to stimulate your brain or bewitch you with unbelievable tales of action and awesome derring-do. They’re little more than puberty-related wank mags… Or as close to wank mags as comics can get without actually being porn themselves.
Now, what’s even worse… They pretty much fail at this suspect task as well. Those “gorgeous” covers you see on many of their comics? The art inside is not usually drawn by the artists who illustrate the different comics’ exteriors. No, those covers are there just to bait you… To get you to overspend on a piece of trash that revels in its’ own mediocrity and trashiness.
And that’s what I assume you will be getting if you are one of the 750 people alive in this world who purchase this unfortunate monstrosity. I’ll never know, because I refuse to purchase it myself. (I promise I’ve given Zenescope all the cash I ever plan to.) But since I have purchased several dozen of their trades (and read many of them), I can pretty much guarantee what’s inside the 200 page Art of Zenescope Limited Edition Slipcase Hardcover… And at $89.99 retail, I can also tell you it ain’t worth the price… Even if they also include a limited edition print in the package.
Run far away before you succumb to your inner immature fanboy and buy something you will absolutely regret later. The idea that anyone would buy Zenescope’s piece of shit– when they could buy Terry Moore’s awesome Strangers in Paradise Omnibus Slipcase in the same week is mind-boggling… Especially when you realize that Mr. Moore draws some of the most beautiful, sexy and natural-looking women in the world too.