Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 26

Holy cats!

We've reached the half-year marker! When did that happen?! Twenty six weeks into 2010, and so far, this year's off to a better start than last year. I'm certainly in a much better place professionally now as compared to this time last year.

Plus, I'm happier and more pleasant. Just ask Nathaniel how much I've improved in the pleasantness department. There's decidedly 12% more pleasantness emanating from me these days.

I swear.

Comics-wise, much has changed in the past six months. What a weird sentence. I just went back to read it, and it just sounds funny. And fluffy. "...much has changed..." Sounds like a bad voiceover for a late-80s cartoon remake of something.

"Since King Harold's evil brother Willem took control of the realm, much has changed...MUCH HAS CHANGED, INDEED."

What? Stop pretending that you don't know what I'm talking about. It's true, though. That much has changed, comics-wise, in the past six months. Marvel and DC both have dedicated digital storefronts, the iPad launched and showed us all the future, and Bruce Wayne returned!

Okay, well, maybe that last part hasn't happened yet. But it's about to happen. You can tell. And, uh, I think he's a pirate now. I forget.

Anyway, so, yeah, big goings-on in the world of capes, tights, and crossover event thingies. The biggest--aside from the surge of digital distribution, I mean--is the new paradigm shift in the pricing of print comics.

Which, I think, has quite a lot to do with the surge of digital distribution, actually.

Most books today are %3.99--it's a fact, and there's no way we're ever going to see comics under $2.50 again. Heck, $2.99 is pretty far back in the rear view at this point.

We're also seeing many more $4.99 books, and as sales figures have shown, fans are still buying the books.

I think we've all said the following (or we've all heard someone else say it)--"If you had told me X years ago that a comic book would be $4.99, I'd say you're nuts and the industry must be just as nutty."

Well, sir.

$4.99 is the new $2.99, and "dollar books" are as anachronistic as Dick Tracy in the Sunday paper. And that's about as anachronistic as they come, folks.

Still, the publishers know that fans will pay the price, and the fact that we now have more options than ever when it comes to owning these stories--single issues, trades, hardcovers, deluxe hardcovers, digital versions, etc.--is obviously a factor when it comes to pricing single issues.

A floppy comic is essentially dead after six days.

If it sits on a retailer's shelf through the weekend, he or she might as well use it as kindling. We all know that's just the way of things in comics; no need to scream about it here.

Still, there's plenty of good stuff out there, and I have to admit that it's frustrating not being able to buy everything I'd like to read. Sure, I do okay and I purchase WAY too many comics each month, but there's still plenty that I'd like to read.

Ah, well.

That's a topic for another day, I suppose. For now, let's talk about this latest batch of comic-y goodness, set to ship to stores today. It's a light week--probably because of the coming US holiday--but I still managed to find something to buy.

I have an eclectic mix today, so let's get right to it. First up, we have the Deluxe Edition of one of DC's very best comics of the past year. From writer Greg Rucka and artists JH Williams III, Batwoman: Elegy ships today.
The art is stunning--unlike anything else in mainstream comics over the last decade, and Rucka's story is solid and entertaining.

It's up for Eisner Awards, critics have fallen in love, and--I'm proud to say--we were one of the first blogs to jump on the bandwagon for this book. There's no chance I won't be picking this up today. Or whenever my shop actually gets the book.

My store has had some problems lately with hardcovers shipping past their solicited date for some reason. Anyway, if you like comics, please buy this. Here's the blurb from DC:

In her first hardcover, collecting tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #854-860, Batwoman battles a madwoman known only as Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable! Batwoman must stop Alice from unleashing a toxic death cloud over all of Gotham City — but Alice has more up her sleeve than just poison, and Batwoman's life will never ever be the same.

Next up, we have a book I know nothing about, save for what Marvel's website has told me. The Death of Dracula, issue one, comes out today,'m assuming it has Dracula in it.


Now, I do know that Marvel has some major plans for a whole, vampires vs. the Marvel Universe thing coming up soon, so this might be a prelude to that. Either way, it's Dracula, so I'm gonna give it a shot.
Here's the pun-tastic blurb from Marvel:

He is the legendary Lord of the Vampires. Dracula. Who would dare attempt to overthrow him? Only Dracula's son Xarus, a ruthless and clever upstart with the bold ambition to unite all the world's vampire sects under one flag.

But Xarus's older brother Janus isn't sure he likes the idea of a new regime and seeks allies to oppose Xarus. The ultimate battle to control Earth's Creatures of the Night unfolds, with the future of the vampire race – and possibly the Marvel Universe – at stake."

And, finally today, we have a bit of an odd choice. I've talked about my (some would call it strange) loyalty to Wizard magazine before. While it's true that I tend to read indy books, I still like a healthy helping of mainstream-y super hero stuff, and Wizard hits that nerve quite well.
More than that, though, is the fact that when I first started reading comics, I stumbled across the big "zero issue" of Wizard magazine, and being a newbie, it was just this treasure trove of new and wonderful. So you can say I have a soft spot for the mag, despite its tendency towards potty humor.

Anyway, today's issue 228 is a bit of a special edition, as Marvel writer/comics superstar/movie god Mark Millar will be guest editing the book. I like Millar's writing, I think he's funny, and I'm interested in what's gonna happen with this book.

So, there. Here's the blurb from Wizard:

Superstar writer Mark Millar takes over Wizard Magazine! The best-selling Scottish scribe behind Ultimates, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Civil War and Kick-Ass comes on board as guest editor—and brings a host of his fan-favorite A-list creators along with him!

Millar will interview ""Green Hornet"" star Seth Rogen, answer your fan mail and serve up an exclusive preview of his brand-new creator-owned project from Marvel/Icon...and that's just for starters!

Don't miss out on this must-have Millarverse collectible ish with appearances and interviews with the biggest comic book and Hollywood stars around today!

Like I said, I'm interested.

And that's all I've got for today. How 'bout you? What are you Waiting for?

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