Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday, Issue 43

Welcome, one and all, to the last Wednesday of the comic book year.

Bwah-huh? What's that you say, Alex? But there's one more week left in the year! Yeah, about that. There is one more Wednesday left in the year, but not on the comic book calendar. What I mean is, after today, there are no new comic book releases until 2010.

The reason? Next week (that's the week between Christmas and New Year's, for anyone who might not own a calendar) is a comic book "skip" week. The first Well, certainly since I've been buying and reading comics.

Why is next week a comic book skip week? Because all the companies (well, okay, mostly Diamond) got together and decided will be. And so it will be. But, just as deaths in comics aren't actual deaths, next week's skip week isn't actually a, um, skip week.

You see, on Wednesday, December 30, there will be three titles that ship to your friendly neighborhood comics shop, and you can read all about them over at Diamond's Web site.

Now, I think (I. Think.) that those three titles will actually ship this week, but comics shops owners who will be receiving them had to first swear (to some kind of super hero-y oath, I'm sure) that they wouldn't sell the product until the week of the 30th.


So, the big questions are--who is going to make the journey to the shop for three books? And, is this a smart move? Well, being that one of the books is Blackest Night, I think it'll be interesting, but I honestly believe people are going to head to the shops and buy. I've talked to some retailers who say that week is a dead week, and others who say just the opposite. I guess it depends on the store.

The way I look at it, though, a lot of folks have that whole week off from work, and they're usually looking for A.) Something to do, B.) Time away from the family, or C.) A place to spend some Christmas money and/or cash in their gift certificates.

Now, the second question--is it a smart move? I dunno. I'm not a retailer, so I don't really know how it'll affect the shops. I'd imagine that not having to pay shipping for one week will be nice, and appreciated.

But, as Bleeding Cool writes, next week's skip week will wreak havoc on shops (and consumer's wallets) this week.

There's a metric ton of new product coming today--mostly trades and hardcovers and one omnibus--and that's just from Marvel. That's crazy. Consumers who are at their wallet's end after a tough holiday shopping season are not going to drop stupid amounts of money on comics today.

Once again, the industry manages to take one step forward, and two steps back.

Still, if you have some money just begging to be spent today, there are plenty of options available to make said money vanish into thin air. Instead of focusing on the single issues that come out today, though, here are a couple of trades that will warm your heart (not really) through the holiday weekend.

First up, in celebration of Brian Michael Bendis' first decade at Marvel, the publisher is releasing the Brian Michael Bendis: First 10 Years At Marvel trade paperback. Clocking in at a whopping 368 pages, and including some of Bendis' best single issue work at the company, the price tag on this book is $35.

Here's the (long) blurb from the House of Ideas:

Celebrating Brian Michael Bendis' 10th anniversary at Mighty Marvel! Writing as many as five Marvel titles simultaneously, Bendis has become one of the company's most prolific creators during the past decade; his multiple Eisner Awards testify to quality that rivals such quantity.

In 2000, the crime-noir veteran re-created Marvel's most vital character for modern audiences in Ultimate Spider-Man, harbinger of the growing Ultimate universe and still thriving as it eclipses 100 issues.

He shook the world of Daredevil by revealing the hero's secret identity, setting into motion storylines whose repercussions will far outlast his departure. He next de- and re-constructed the Avengers, paving the way for the House of M crossover, which rocked the foundations of the Marvel Universe.

And then he shook up the status quo again, unleashing a Secret Invasion of alien shapeshifters on the Marvel heroes.


Now, I own each and every one of these issues, and some of them in trade, so I won't be buying this bad boy today. But, if you're new to Marvel, and you've heard good things about this "Bendis Guy," then I'd suggest taking a peek at the trade.
Brian Michael Bendis: Ten YearsPersonally, Ultimate Spidey, issue 13, Daredevil, issue 65, and Alias, issue 10, are some of my very favorite mainstream comics from the past decade. Bendis has been Marvel's top guy, and with good reason, since 2000. His run on Daredevil with Alex Maleev is probably my favorite run on any super hero title ever, and it's one of the main reasons I've followed everything Bendis has ever written, and will continue to do so.

I think it's cool that Marvel is putting a book like this together, and I hope that DC takes note, and maybe releases a similar trade for Geoff Johns' work this decade.

Moving right along, we have the latest installments in Dark Horse's One Shot Wonders initiative. I've talked about this before, but OSW is, in my opinion, one of the better ideas of 2009. These are all self contained, done-in-one issues that are easily accessible to new readers, while still including stories that will interest long-time fans.

So far, these books have presented the best from both worlds, and I don't see why this week's offerings will be any different, especially since these are high profile titles with high profile creative teams.

Willow coverFirst up is Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow, one-shot, written by Joss Whedon and with art by Karl Moline. Anyone who's been reading this whole "Season 8" of Buffy in comics form knows that Whedon and company have been delivering the goods, month in and month out.

There are two covers to this issue--the one above is by Karl Moline, and the one below is by Jo Chen.

Willow variant coverAnd here's the blurb from Dark Horse:

Willow Rosenberg has worn many faces--a shy computer geek, a loyal friend, a passionate lover, a fierce Wiccan, and a dark Willow.

Now in Season Eight of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Buffy comics series, Willow's powers have grown exponentially. She can fly. Teleport. And may or may not be immortal.

All we know is that Willow went on a walkabout following the demise of Sunnydale, and she met a very sultry, extremely powerful serpent lady who seems to be the key to unraveling the mysteries of what Willow is, and will become.

Joss Whedon and his Fray co-creator Karl Moline reunite for this special one-shot!

And, as Dark Horse is so diligent about doing, here's a link to a free preview of the book.

Next, we have Hellboy: Bride of Hell, one-shot, featuring a Mike Mignola story and art by the great Richard Corben! These two were at the helm of one of my favorite series of the past couple of years--Hellboy: The Crooked Man--and anytime they get together on a book, horror fans should take note.

Hellboy: Bride of HellI continuously mention Hellboy here on Waiting for, and it's because Mignola's series is unlike anything else in comics. It's the perfect book to get that "civilian" friend of yours to read a comic, and to most likely stick around for a while.

Here's the blurb for the one-shot:

A year after their Eisner-nominated collaboration Hellboy: The Crooked Man, horror comics legends Corben and Mignola reunite!

A nineteen-year-old girl is kidnapped and Hellboy tracks her down to a remote clearing in France where she's about to be given to Asmodeus, in a strange tale of ghosts, demonic revenge, lost love, and King Solomon.

And that's all I've got for today. Like I said, there are plenty of books to choose from on this holiday week. So, what are you Waiting for?

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