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28 April 2017

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 04282017

(The Savage Dragon #34 1996.  Cover by Erik Larsen.  Stolen from Cover Browser.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 04282017.

"The takeaway here, as I see it, as that there is no lack of customers for periodical comics, and there’s no lack of passion and energy for the format, and that there is no indication that “casual” readers won’t be interested in purchasing periodical comics (A big chunk of those “Saga” readers, like the “Sandman” wave that happened two decades before, are not normal and traditional “Wednesday Warriors”, yet there are still stoked to buy periodical comics!) – but that Marvel (and DC, largely) have harmed their own sales and chased their own customers away. There’s a problem when I sell 160 “Saga” and 16 copies of “ASM”… but this is problem of Marvel’s making over the accumulation of time." -Brian Hibbs.
  • Guys guys guys guys guys guys guys guys guys!!!  The world is spinning at 1000 miles per hour and we are all going to die!  The future's so bright I gotta wear a radiation suit!  Doomed!  Doomed!  What can save us?  Comics?  Don't be ridiculous.  Of course not.  Nothing will save us.  There is nothing left to do but, ya know, whatever you feel like doing I guess. Me?  I'm going to go to the Fluke Mini-Comics and Zine Festival in Athens GA this Saturday, April 29th.  It's going to be great.  Robert Newsome, Patrick Dean and other people will be there.  Other people!  Come find my table.  I probably won't be at said table.  I'll be walking around blabbing my mouth off about professional wresting or guitars or some other nonsense but that's okay.  Just leave a huge stack of cash on my table and take whatever you want.  It's gonna be great I tells ya.  I can't wait to hear about how great you think I am.  Thanks in advance! 

  • Hey.  Are you super depressed about the world and clinging to comics as your chance for escape and/or inspiration?  Well good news, comics are super depressing too!  One of the things about comics currently giving me the sweet sweet butt hurt is Marvel's new "Digital Edition" policy.  To explain why this bothers me so much let's go back to my tender youth, way back to the year 2012 when the first The Avengers movie was on the big screen and the Avengers vs X-Men (AvsX) miniseries was on the comics stands.  At that point about the only mainstream comic I was reading was Savage Dragon but my daughter was just getting into comics.  She liked The Avengers movie ans she loved old X-Men comics so we bought AvsX.  It came with something that was new to me, the Digital Edition codes.  You could redeem these codes and read the comic you bought online or on your cell pad pod phone. You could also link your Marvel account up with a Comixology account and read them in the Comixology app.  It was around this time that the family first got cell pad pod phones so my daughter and I really dove into the Comixology app thanks to the digital codes.  The best thing was that I could buy the paper comic (because I'm an old man who loves paper) but my kid could read the same comic digitally without me buying two copies.  This.  THIS.  THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE PREVIOUS TEN YEARS got me back into going to the comic shop, starting back a "pull list" and buying ongoing Wednesday floppy comics again.  My daughter and I bought stacks of them.  And thanks to the digital codes we could read them anywhere any time.  And if the last comic we read made us curious about something we could pull up related issues on the Comixology app and buy those too!  (You can't do that anymore by the way.  Amazon killed the store feature in the Comixology app because they hate making money or something.  Again, always be super depressed.)  So yeah, it was good times.  It was a brilliant offering from Marvel and I spent years yelling at other publishers to follow suit.  Only Dark Horse tried.  DC offered a version where the comic with a digital code costed more.  That was stupid and awful and embarrassing for everyone.  But the Marvel deal was good and like all good things some stupid jerks would eventually decide to make it go away.  Recently Marvel has replaced their Digital Editions with a digital code where YOU DO NOT GET THE COMIC YOU PAID FOR.  Under the previous system, if you bought five Marvel comics in one week you got a code for each of those five comics you paid for. Now, you do not get the comic you paid for.  Instead each week's shipment of Marvel comics all have the same three promotional comics.  So, if you bought five Marvel comics, you just got three digital comics, none of which are the comic you paid for.  Let me say that part again; in the past, if you bought 100  Marvel comics you got 100 digital comics.  Today, if you buy 100 Marvel comics in one week you get three digital comics.  The digital comics in question are generally the first issue of something that has recently been collected in a trade paperback.  So these comics are not a promotional tool for you to buy more digital comics, or to return to your comics shop and add a comic to your "pull list".  These are comics promoting you to by a trade paperback. Or, to put it another way, if you are a regular Marvel customer, these are comics you already own. This my friends, is a situation I refer to as total bullshit. So, here's the thing;  Marvel, I love you.  I love your nutts.  You are a big part of my life.  For years and years.  Stop making it so hard to be your customer. 
  • Sigh.
  • And again with the Marvel... Let me just say this as open advice for all creators; Take risks.  Be bold.  Shake things up.  Challenge your audience.  But remember, if you have to explain it, you probably already failed.  And, more importantly, remember that you do not get to tell your customers how they should feel about it
  • Again with the Marvel part 3;  Every time I read an article like this it occurs to me that we are just one Disney executive saying, "Wait, we still publish paper comic books?" on a conference call away from the whole freaking  business being tossed into the crapper or the top characters licensed out to the highest bidder.  A publisher that is not Marvel now publishes the Frozen comics.  If Marvel can't be trusted to make money off the Frozen phenomenon why would you trust them to be able to make any money off Ant-Man or Doctor Strange?  Because they did six decades ago?  Good luck with that answer on the next investors call. 
  • Also, FDR Democrat Steve Rogers forever. 
  • Can there still be good news in comics?  Can there still be something to get excited about?  Yes.  Yes there can.  I'm excited about Alterna Comics' new line of newsprint comics for several reasons.  For one thing, they're gonna be super cheap with a $1.50 cover price.  And one of the series, Amazing Age, is created by pals Jeremy Massie and Matthew David Smith.  I checked out that comic in its original webcomic form and liked it a lot.  Those bros are the solidest of bros so I'm excited for what I believe is going to be a breakout book appealing to a new audience that may have missed their other stuff.   And, arguably most importantly, Smith has confirmed that the newsprint in his comp copies smells great.  The books start rolling out next week.  I'm not familiar with many of the other creators but at $1.50 I'm sure to check them out. 
  • Hey.  Do you like comics?  Do you like guitars?  Do you like comics that are guitars?  I recently built a Stratocaster using the Carmine Infantino drawn issues 14 and 15 of the original Star Wars comics.  It's probably the coolest guitar on Earth.  Maybe you wanna check it out. 
  • When it's time to comics we will always comics hard.
  • It was twenty five years ago several days ago Sergeant Malibu told his band to play.
  • Tom Scioli's new Princess webcomic is pretty rad.  Also, that Transformers vs. G.I.Joe The Movie comic he made is bonknanners
  • Ain't no party like a wizard battle party cause a wizard battle party don't stop until one of them dies and the other wizard creates a hyper sigil making people focus on the number of rapes in the other wizard's comics instead of their valuable contributions to the medium. 
  • And finally... Francis gave up candy for your sins.

  • Remember pals, life is hard.  Never stop running unless it's to pick up a friend.  Read comics and chew Glorp every day and you'll keep on livin' until you're dead. 
Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. I write comics.  Do you make comics?  Maybe you should hire me to write comics. 
p.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.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too.  I guess it's a law or something.

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