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17 July 2012

Random Mainstream Meltdown 07172012

Hey pals.  Why don't we talk for just a second about some random mainstream monthly periodical floppy comics that are lying about my house?  Yes, let's do that thing.

The Walking Dead #100 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and a bunch of other people.  Published by Image Comics.  $3.99.
So this comic is the biggest deal ever or at least since back in the days when comics sold in the millions.  Apparently it sold out of it's initial print run of close to 400,000 copies in a day or so.  Whoopeee!  When I was in the local comic shop  video game store that sells comics, I bought one and the bro dogger at the counter told me that there was a guy waiting at the door at their other (bigger) store and that he bought every copy.  Okay!  Suck on that recession!
I had not read any Walking Dead in a long time.  I found out about the comic through the book store market and the 1st thing I read was the 2nd trade paperback.  (Full disclosure:  As a book store manager I got a comp copy of the 2nd trade paperback for free.  It sat on my shelf for a few years before I read it because horror ain't my bag bro.  When I finally read it, I liked it but did not feel the need to catch up.  The the TV show came along and wango bango pow here we are.)  
I think that is how a lot of pre-TV show fans discovered the comic.  (Not through my long comp copy story but through the book store market.)   
I've talked about this a little bit before but to me the thing that is interesting about The Walking Dead phenomenon is that it really came from a different place.  Not a superhero comic.  Not a Marvel or DC comic.  Not even a color comic.  Not a comic the direct market pushed at first.  And its audience, which has become a television audience as well, has never really been the comics audience.  It is the horror audience.  And that audience is astounding.  That audience is huge.  That audience is the cute girls that read Sandman in the 90s and 00s, the spastic kid that drew Johnny The Homicidal Maniac in his high school notebook, the 20 something dude waiting in line for the midnight showing of Saw 37, the 30 something rockabilly dude with three different tattoos of monster themed hot rods, the 40 something lady reading 50 Shades of Grey....  That audience has a lot of buying power.  
Looking through this 100th issue of the comic I was very interested in the advertising in the comic.  It is not the ads you see in comics.  These are ads for horror related things for the horror buying customer.  That is smart.  I don't know who the credit for that goes to but someone in The Walking Dead/Image family knows which side gets the butter.  And I'm not going to go crazy patting Kirkman on the back for his amazing industry changing brilliance.  This is still genre fiction.  It is still a franchise about running away from zombies.  But yeah, let's at least give Image a high five for realizing that there are customers out there for more than just one genre.  That nerds come in many colors and costumes.
The comic itself is okay.  Part of the reason I bought it was because when I picked it up it felt really thick.  I was expecting something substantial.  But, reading it felt slight.  Not a lot happens in this thing.  It is mostly talking.  Or yelling expletives. And then some really brutal violence.  Like ya do.  I probably don't need any more of this comic in my life.  I enjoy the TV show plenty.  That is probably good enough for me.  But I'm not the horror fan audience that buys zombie toys and comics.  And apparently that audience is big enough that they don't need me.  Enjoy it folks. 

Earth 2 #3 by James Robinson, Nicola Scott and a whole bunch of other people.  Published by DC Comics.
I don't have much more to say about this comic than I said about issues 1 and 2 in my recent New 52 post.  I like it.  It is good.  Or, it's about as good as a DC Comic where you are establishing a new team made up of ancient characters can be.  Which is to say, it is about a million times better than Justice League.  I don't have this comic on my "pull list" or anything but so far I've bought all three issues.  The Nicola Scott art is what keeps me coming back.  Very solid.  I enjoy it.  And that Robinson guy is a okay too.  This Alan Scott Green Lantern is probably the first Green Lantern I've cared about on the page since Grant Morrison was writing JLA or since James Robinson was writing JSA.  Either way, the point is, this is the first DC team comic I've cared about in many many years.

Adventure Time #5 by Ryan North, Mike Holmes, Paul Pope, Georgia Roberson, Chris Roberson and a bunch of other people.  Published by Kaboom.
I wanted to write a longer review about the Adventure Time comic book series as a whole but I'm busy/tired/insert-excuse-here so we will just talk about the most recent issue.  I think it is the best so far anyway.  My family owns three copies of this comic.  I have the Dave Cooper HeroesCon variant cover (thanks Peagler's) which I happen to think is the undisputed current front runner for 2012 cover of the year.  My oldest daughter wanted the Eleanor Davis cover.  I think it is a close second for 2012 cover of the year.  And my youngest daughter had to have her own copy and she picked out what I think is the standard cover.  Which, is a pretty great cover too.
The comic is great.  The whole series is great.  I was a little worried with issue 1 because it was a bit too much like the TV show but by the time we get to issue 2 the collected cartoonist are cutting loose and having fun.  I think issue 5 is the best.  The main story is probably the least ambitious of the series so far but a slight cut back on action allows for a lot more laughs.  There is a part where BMO is talking about making a cupcake and says "I make baking".  My kids and I have been  calling the act of cooking "make baking" ever since.  "I love eating baking!" yells Jake.  Haw!  Comedy gold I tells ya.
This issue has a back up story by one of my favorite cartoonists, Paul Pope.  My five year old loves that story.  The art is off model but the dialog is perfect and Pope is playing around with some pretty far out ideas for a kids comic but it seems like the less sense these things make the more hilarious my kids think it is.
This comic has been so good.  Five issues in I can tell you that this comic has forced me to make more trips to comic book shops this year then I probably did in the past three years combined.  My kids demand to get this comic as soon as it comes out.  I've not been in this much of a hurry to get the next issue of a comic since I was buying Transformers, GI Joe and Star Wars off the spinner rack.

Marceline and the Scream Queens #1 by Meridith Gran, Jen Wang and a bunch of other people.  Published by Kaboom.
This is a solid comic.  Not quite as fun as the Adventure Time series but close.  The main thing dragging down the main story in this comic is that it is part one of a longer story and feels like it has a lot of set up.  I mean, the set up is super simple.  It's the same setup you have read a dozen or so times in various Archie comics where they put together a rock tour and rival characters have to get along to make it work.  That is if you have read that story in various Archie comics as many times as I have.  If not, then sorry for the spoiler.
There is nothing holding back the Jen Wang backup story though.  The art and lettering are great and the story does a perfect job of summing up in just eight pages everything that makes Marceline such a fun character.

Again I'm too insert-excuse-here to scan my own comics so I stole images from other websites.  Remember kids, whenever you steal you should link to the people you stole from.  Both on the net and in real life.  Here are the people I stole from for this post:
Thanks comics bros I don't know!


Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
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