When Twitter was first invented, I doubt anyone wondered much what type of psychological impact the site would have on its users. From that first day in 2006, when tweets primarily originated from narcissistic attention hogs who couldn’t wait to inform their followers every time they stopped to eat or take a shit– the social media hotspot has gone through innumerable permutations.
As the user-base expanded, corporations quickly boarded the Twitter train– while other individuals used the platform to become famous or to promote their brands to an even wider base of fawning sycophants. There were a lot of casualties along the way too, as some low-life corporations, “D” List celebrities, disgraced politicians and public figures all desperately jumped on Twitter in sad attempts to reignite their failing careers or refurbish their tarnished reputations… Only to find that many of the nerds still living in their parents’ basements really could be cruel motherfuckers.
Which brings me to the latest incarnation of the Twitterverse. If you look carefully and read certain people’s Twitter feeds in chronological order… You can actually see an electronic Rorschach Test being performed by people who have NO IDEA that they are giving up the innermost workings of their psyches.
Don’t believe me? Read DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio’s Twitter Feed… Or Spider-Man writer Dan Slott’s… But make sure you do it late at night– so you can get the full impact of how they choose to reveal the experiences they’ve had during a particular day. There’s no psychology degree or fancy interpretations needed. Just read. You’ll see what they think about the world or other pop culture touchstones… How they interact with fans (and detractors) alike– and, most importantly, how they feel about their own creativity– or the creators they are in charge of shepherding.
You’ll find out how Didio feels about the Batwoman creator change… Or whether Slott was bowled over by (what I thought was) a decidedly mediocre Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot… Or whether Didio enjoys one of the most brilliantly conceived Television Shows of all time, Breaking Bad. (Fun Fact: Apparently, after three separate tries– he just doesn’t get what genius creator Vince Gilligan was attempting to do with the series.)
And I am not singling out either creator because I have been critical of them in the past. They just fit the bill if you’re interested in entering the psyche of some comic book creators… Since they rarely seem incapable of staying off the Net. Enjoy the revelations. I guarantee you will understand DC’s New 52 and “Superior” Spider-Man a lot better after giving their feeds a “look-see” for a week (or less).
Adventure Time Vol 2 Mathematical Edition HC – Awesome!
Ame-Comi Girls Vol 1 – Recommended
Archie 1000-Page Comics Extravaganza – Super Thick Digest? Yuck!
Art of Akaneiro HC
Button Man Get Harry Ex
Classic Era Of American Comics
Criminal Macabre Final Night The 30 Days Of Night Crossover
Crypt Of Horror Vol 19
Cyber Force Rebirth Vol 1
Dark Tower Gunslinger Last Shots – Why is this only available as a TP?
DmC Devil May Cry Chronicles Of Vergil HC
Doc Savage Double Novel Volume 68 – Recommended
Doctor Who Cyberman Bust And Book Kit SC
Doctor Who Prisoners Of Time Vol 2
Eerie Archives Vol 14 HC – Recommended
Harbinger Vol 3 Harbinger Wars
Hip Flask Unnatural Selection 10th Anni Elephantmen Edition – Own it
Judge Dredd Trifecta – This Week’s POS*!
Justice League Vol 2 The Villains Journey – Own the Hardcover
Justice League Vol 3 Throne Of Atlantis HC
Legend of Oz Wicked West Vol 1 – Oh no…
Legends Of The Dark Knight Jim Aparo Vol 2 HC – Recommended
Magic Wind Vol 2 Claws
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man Digest Vol 4 – No digests!
MMW Atlas Era Tales To Astonish Vol 1
Pippi Longstocking Volume 2 Pippi Fixes Everything HC
reacher Book 2 – Read ’em already
Project Luna 1947
Red She-Hulk Vol 2 Route 616
Shadow Double Novel Vol 76
Shazam Vol 1 HC – Ack!
S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. (New Print) – Read it already
Sin Titulo HC
Slaine Time Killer
Soho Dives Soho Divas – Bought the Hardcover! Recommended
Soho Dives Soho Divas Limited Edition HC – Looks VERY cool!
Spawn Origins Vol 19
Spider-Man 2099 Vol 2 – I don’t remember this series as fondly as others…
Spider Master Of Men HC – I don’t read any Moonstone books!
Star Trek The Original Topps Trading Card Series HC
Stardoll Vol 1 Secrets And Dreams
Stardoll Vol 1 Secrets And Dreams HC
Strontium Dog Digest Portrait Of A Mutant
Thunderbolts Vol 2 Red Scare
Ultimate Comics Divided We Fall United We Stand – Own the Hardcover
Walking Dead 100 Project – For charity! Recommended
Walking Dead Vol 1 Rise of the Governor (Prose) – Own the HC
Warhammer 40K Betrayer
Warhammer 40K Lords Of Mars HC
What If AvX
Young Marvel Little X-Men Little Avengers Big Trouble
Are You Alice Vol 2
Betrayal Knows My Name Vol 6
Bokurano Ours Vol 9
Bride’s Story Vol 5 HC
Genshiken Second Season Vol 3
Hana Kimi 3-in-1 Edition Vol 6
My Neighbor Totoro Novel
My Neighbor Totoro Picture Book HC (New Edition)
Ooku The Inner Chambers Vol 8
Sailor Moon Kodansha Edition Box Set #1 – Own them already
Sherlock Bones Vol 1
Soul Eater Vol 16
Tropic Of The Sea – Manga Pick of the Week!
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Vol 1 – Recommended
I’m not here to bury Judge Dredd. In fact, I love the irascible bastard. And I have no reason to believe this week’s release, Judge Dredd Trifecta, is anything but great… Especially given Locusmortis positive review in his latest Previews Hits and Misses™ column.
So if I love Dredd and enjoy the character’s comics immensely– then what’s this book doing being featured as This Week’s POS*? Call it guilt by association– or bad timing. In any case, as much as I love Judge Dredd– I loathe 2000AD’s Trade Paperback release schedule for same. (Or for that matter, their release pattern for their other great series, like Slaine, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper, etc.) To understand where I am coming from, there’s Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files, Judge Dredd Restricted Case Files and a seeming huge number of standalone Volumes… Leaving me constantly confused by which story is which– and whether a new book contains previously released material I’ve already purchased.
Confused fans like me can take some solace in the NUMBERED Judge Dredd Complete Case Files editions coming from the UK… And now also published as US Editions. But there’s a problem here too: Let’s say I’m a HUGE Dredd fan (easy to say, since I’ve already noted I am) and I no longer want to wait for only one new reprint volume to be released ever year in the States…What the hell am I supposed to do? (Here’s some background: Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files Vol 5 came out in the US in June 2012… With only Vol 6 seeing release in 2013… And another (Vol 7) supposedly coming sometime in 2014.)
It all just makes me think I joined this particular circus way too late… If I wait for this once a year schedule (assuming the US volumes continue once every year), I could be dead before I reach the end. So what if I defect to the UK Editions of the Judge Dredd Complete Case Files? Some of the early UK trades seem out of print (or, at least, not carried by the comic shops I deal with). Some also seem mega-expensive. Do the UK Case Files and the US Editions even carry the exact same content? I’ve seen reports of differing page counts for different volumes. And yes, the info is coming from Amazon (hardly the Library of Congress), but the differentiation is still enough to make me wonder.)
And what about all the separate Judge Dredd volumes I’ve purchased… One would think all these standalone trades will eventually see reprint in The Complete Case Files series, right? (But maybe The Restricted Files series won’t be in The Complete Case Files collections since The Restricted Files cover only Dredd Specials & Annuals?) I did not purchase Judge Dredd Trifecta for this exact confusion. (And boy, I wanted to.) I know Locusmortis expertly explained this particular book’s place in the Dredd canon (It’s a crossover!)… But how am I, as a Johnny-Come-Lately reader, supposed to truly understand the significance? If I read this story arc, am I going to spoil something I’ll eventually read about in the The Complete Case Files books years from now?
Plus I’m really not in the mood to double buy any more comics– especially if I can stop myself from making the mistake in advance. I love supporting the medium in any country but not so much that I want to keep purchasing the same Dredd stories over and over. They’re really great, but come on. Anyway, after all this… I think you can sense and understand my frustration. This is yet another one of those This Week’s POS* columns which have nothing to do with content– but everything to do with confusing repackaging of original comic book material and some hefty cover prices.
Oh, that’s the last thing I wanted to mention. The UK printed standalone volumes are getting far too pricey in the States… And just like US comics, the costs keep creeping up. This latest collection, Trifecta, is $31.99 USD– which is still lots of cash, even if the book does feature some color and is a Hardcover. The last Restricted Files (Vol 4, non-hardcover) rang in at an astonishing $34.99 USD. Adding more fuel to the fire? The US versions of Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files– with almost twice as many pages– sport a cover price of only $19.99. Huh?!
Until I get some kind of an answer on this, I can’t help but put my Dredd habit on hold. I dearly want to read the series from the beginning to the end– but there has to be a sane way to do it without applying for a second mortgage and repeatedly buying the same story arcs over and over.
Mike Carey is one strange bird. I don’t mean personally. (I don’t know him.) I mean he’s strange because of his output… How some of it can be unbelievably brilliant and other stuff can come off as rudderless and mundane– smacking of importance the projects just don’t deserve.
In reality, when I really think about the criticism I just levied, I realize the “ups and downs” in Carey’s oeuvre are perfectly OK. Carey is like the rest of us– he’s only human… And some of his ideas have to be better than others. Not every thought can be a gem… Or even a diamond in the rough.
Thankfully, The Unwritten is Carey’s comic book masterpiece. It’s so good, if he never did another thing but write this series (and just this series) for the rest of his life– I would be perfectly fine with that. Of course, if you’re Carey and you’re reading this– you probably just threw up in your mouth a little. NO creator wants to think of themselves as a “one trick pony”– they all like to think they have more to offer than just that one idea.
Relax, Carey-lovers. I’m not describing your man as such a “one-off” creator. (Although I doubt, at the end, J.R.R. Tolkien minded being known as the guy who created The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings. It’s nice to be known for something.) No, I’m just stating I wouldn’t mind it if Carey wrote The Unwritten forever– because if he did, I would buy it.
That’s really about the highest praise I think I could give any creator or their work.
The other thing I really like about Carey: He doesn’t mind sharing credit with his artist, Peter Gross. The artist told our own Tommy Devine that he and Carey prefer equal billing on the book. That’s very cool… Since I can tell you from first hand experience we writers don’t like giving up any credit we don’t have to– primarily because our Agents, Managers, Publishers and ancillary partners (like TV Networks and Movie Studios) all like to act like they deserve a bit of the credit too and are more than happy to try to steal it. Remember the recent row between The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore? That shit’s the norm.
So it’s nice to see Carey & Gross enjoying creating together. The Unwritten is so flawless, you can really tell both men have an equally heavy stake in the work– another reason this comic book is so damn special.
I’m not going to bore you with the plot of The Unwritten Original Graphic Novel. Just be glad it’s here and enjoy it. The Carey/Gross combo is at its creative peak right now.
100 Ghosts A Gallery of Harmless Haunts HC
All New X-Men Vol 3 Out of Their Depth HC
Angel & Faith Vol 4 Death & Consequences – Recommended
Arrow Vol 1
Barracuda In The Attic HC
Batwoman Vol 2 To Drown The World – Own the Hardcover
Batwoman Vol 3 Worlds Finest HC
Bomb Queen Vol 3 Deluxe Edition HC – Recommended
Classic Popeye Vol 2 HC
Comix Retrospective Spiegelman HC
Conan Phenomenon – Looks interesting
Five Ghosts Vol 1 Haunting Of Fabian Grey
Fortunately The Milk – No thanks!
Glamourama The Pin Up Art Carlos Valenzuela
High Fidelity Art Of Jim Flora
Hoodlum Vol 1 Under The Thumb
Inhumans Origin Of Inhumans – Read it
Iron Man Epic Collection Enemy Within
Joe Hill’s The Cape Deluxe Edition HC – Own both books already
Madwoman of the Sacred Heart HC – Own the 1st Print HC
MMW Daredevil Vol 7 HC
Morning Glories Vol 2 Deluxe Edition HC
Reggie 12 HC
Romeo And Juliet (Candlewick Edition)
Romeo And Juliet HC (Candlewick Edition)
School Spirits HC
Secret Society of Super Villains Vol 1
Sixth Gun Vol 5 – Recommended
Smash Vol 1 Trial By Fire
Smoke Ashes HC (Limited Edition)
Star Trek Best Of Klingons
Star Trek Newspaper Strips Vol 2 1981 – 1983 HC
Star Trek Original Topps Trading Card Series HC
Star Wars Dark Times Vol 6 Fire Carrier
Star Wars Legacy Vol 2 HC
Star Wars Vol 1 In The Shadow Of Yavin
Stormwatch Vol 3 Betrayal
Stuff Of Legend Vol 4 Toy Collector
Stumptown Vol 2 HC – Recommended
Technopriests Supreme Collection HC – Own the Trades
TMNT Classics Vol 6
Transformers Robots In Disguise Vol 4
Tripwire 21st Anniversary Special
Unwritten Tommy Taylor And The Ship That Sank Twice HC – Hot Pick of the Week!
Walking Dead Spanish Edition Vol 1 – ¿Por qué tardaste tanto?
Warhammer 40K Space Marines Omnibus
We Won’t See Auschwitz
Witches Wicked Wild And Wonderful
Wolverine The Return Of Weapon X
World Of Warcraft Pearl Of Pandaria
Arisa Vol 11
Infernal Devices Clockwork Prince Vol 2
Sailor Moon Short Stories Vol 1
Neil Young’s Greendale was soclose to being This Week’s POS*!
So you might be wondering why it’s the Hot Pick of the Week! instead. It’s simple: I don’t want the POS post to always be a bait and switch… A column that says, “This book really isn’t a POS– it just exemplifies a policy or problem at publisher I would like to emphasize.” That kind of convoluted thinking could get old really quick. (And maybe it already has… Since I used the technique again in the 9.25.13 section of this very column.)
Anyway, to be clear: Greendale by writer Joshua Dysart and IMJ Favorite™ comic book artist Cliff Chiang is a fantastic book. A triumph of an OGN (Original Graphic Novel). The whole thing is based on rocker Neil Young’s album (and film). It’s a wonderful story, intriguing, heartfelt and suspenseful… And, as usual, Chiang’s art is gorgeous. The original Hardcover edition was a triumph of design and function– getting across the tale’s mood before you even cracked on the book. (As of this writing, Amazon still has four copies of the hardcover left… I would snag one of those if I could.)
Before I go one paragraph further, I should also mention the magnificent color palette for the story is provided by frequent Hellboy/B.P.R.D./Conan The Barbarian colorist Dave Stewart— in a rare outside color gig for a publisher other than Dark Horse Comics. And even casual Pull List reader should know I have a huge Geek Crush on Mr. Stewart and his masterful work.
So why, oh why, did Greendale almost get painted red by my POS* Brush? It’s simple. DC Comics’ Hardcover and Trade policy SUCKS DICK. I’ve mentioned it before. Locusmortis has called them out for it too. Seriously, it really does suck. I don’t understand how Marvel, Dark Horse, Image (and a host of smaller Independent publishers) can bring out Hardcover collections of ALL their books almost immediately… But DC Comics released the Greendale Hardcover back in May/June 2010 but couldn’t be bothered to release the softcover until OVER THREE YEARS LATER?!
Yah, that bullshit deserves ALL CAPS.
Softcovers serve a huge purpose. Since they cost less than the hardbacks, many more people can afford Trades (or are willing to afford them since they are cheaper). By not releasing softcovers earlier… By waiting FOREVER to reprint other series into collections… DC Comics finds themselves willfully screwing over a huge segment of current comic book collectors.
The din over DC’s neglecting Trade-waiters had reached such a fever pitch that Co-Publisher Dan Didio was forced to address it– a couple of years ago. At the time, he seemed to promise DC would get better at releasing their monthly comics as collections… Making sure Trade/Hardcover fans were better cared for. But nothing really happened. As an avowed Trade-waiter, I watched closely… And if Didio did one damn thing about the issue, I didn’t notice it.
Was it an oversight? DC’s New 52 comic line relaunch suddenly demanding his full attention? That can’t be right… Didio seems to be on Twitter [see “The Key to the Creative Mind?” editorial opinion/commentary above] far too much nowadays to be swamped by his Co-Publisher’s duties. So if he isn’t overworked by new responsibilities… What did he mean when he seemed to intimate DC would get better at publishing Hardcovers and Trades in a timely fashion? Did he mean anything… Or did he simply say whatever he needed to say to that particular questioner at that particular time to make it seem like he gave a shit?
Because I can tell you this: Since Didio made those comments, I see nothing that tells me DC did change their reprint policies– or is even ready to change them. And I can tell you I’m not going to fold and start buying singles. Virtually every other comic book publisher has proven the monthly comic/hardcover/trade paperback model works. So what’s DC’s aversion to it? Collections sell better on the heels of recent series publication and the publicity that goes with a book hitting comic shops on a monthly basis.
And before somebody brings out this worn-out “defense”: Quick Trade or Hardcover reprints do not cannibalize single comic sales… Because, mainly, Trade-waiters like me refuse to buy monthlies. Don’t reprint a certain series? Ok. Fine. That sucks, but I’ll just go buy something else from some other company.
Amazing. Here I am again— begging a goddamn corporation to set things right so I can throw more money at them. *Jeez*
Avengers Arena Vol 2 Game On
Avengers Iron Man First Sign
Best of Milligan & McCarthy HC
Boxers And Saints Boxed Set
BPRD 1948 – Recommended
Classics Illustrated Vol 10 Murders Rue Morgue
Classics Illustrated Vol 10 Murders Rue Morgue HC
Crusade Vol 1 Simoun Dja
Cyborg 009 HC
Diesel Sweeties Vol 1 I’m A Rocker I Rock Out
Disney Fairies Vol 12 Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure
East Of West Vol 1 – Recommended
Endangered Weapon B
Essential Avengers Vol 9
Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me HC (Expanded)
Fanboys Vs Zombies Vol 3
Five Weapons Making The Grade – Recommended
Green Arrow Vol 3 Harrow
Halloween Legion The Great Goblin Invasion
Hellraiser Dark Watch Vol 1
Hypernaturals Vol 2
Illustrated British Classics King Solomon’s Mine
Indestructible Hulk Vol 2 Gods And Monsters HC – Recommended
Inhumans By Paul Jenkins And Jae Lee HC – Own the Trade
Iron Man By Kurt Busiek And Sean Chen Omnibus HC – Aack!
Judge Dredd Day Of Chaos Endgame
Kiss Greatest Hits Vol 4
Little Fish A Memoir HC
Little Tommy Lost Vol 1
Lucky Luke Vol 35 Singing Wire
Lucky Luke Vol 36 Daltons Redeem Themselves
Mission In A Bottle
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Vol 2
Neil Young’s Greendale – Hot Pick of the Week!
P. Craig Russell’s Opera Adaptations HC Set
Rasl Complete HC
Rex Libris Vol 1
Rex Libris Vol 2 Book Of Monsters
Robocop (New Print)
Scorpion Vol 2 The Devil In The Vatican
Shield By Steranko Complete Collection – Read it already
Slaine The King (New Print)
Star Trek The Art Of Juan Ortiz HC
Star Wars Legacy Vol 2 HC
Stitched Vol 2
Street Fighter Origins Akuma HC
Summit Of The Gods Vol 4
Superior Spider-Man Vol 1 HC – Bought the Trades
Supurbia Vol 2 – Was not impressed with Vol 1…
Thorgal Vol 10 The Sun Sword
Ultimate Comics X-Men By Brian Wood Vol 2
Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol 1 HC (New Print)
Warhammer 40K Death Of Integrity
Warhammer 40K Priests Of Mars
Warhammer Orion Tears Of Isha
Wayne Shelton Vol 1 The Mission
Wolverine and X-Men By Jason Aaron Vol 6
Wonder Woman Vol 2 Guts – Own the Hardcover
Wonder Woman Vol 3 Iron HC
07-Ghost Vol 6
Arata The Legend Vol 15
Blade of the Immortal Vol 27 Mist Spiders Web
Hayate The Combat Butler Vol 22
His Favorite Vol 5
Little Tommy Lost Vol 1
Oreimo Vol 4
Sleeping Moon Vol 2
Street Fighter Classic Vol 1 Hadoken HC
Street Fighter Origins Akuma HC
Young Miss Holmes Collected Vol 3
Zero’s Familiar Omnibus Vol 2