On The Shelves: 3/1/06

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My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 3/1/06. The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]


Infinite Crisis #5 (Don’t hate. At least not until you read it!)
Corporate Ninja #2, $2.95
Vaistron #4, $2.95

I think I remember Corporate Ninja #1 being a fun read, but it was a bit ago, so I’m not positive. I’ll give it a flip-through, though. Vaistron continues to be the most “I never thought I’d be reading this” comic on my pull list.

Sonic X #1 (AA), $2.25
Sonic X #2 (AA), $2.25
Sonic X #3 (Of 4) (AA), $2.25

Sonic editor Mike Pellerito participated on my all-ages panel on Sunday and was a pretty cool guy with a strong handle on the industry. Between him and Tania Del Rio, there’s some good energy pumping through Archie’s old veins and if they ever get the digest/TPB thing figured out, it’d be huge for them.

War Of The Worlds Second Wave #1, $2.99

I have a review copy of War of the Worlds sitting on top of my overflowing to-read pile. At a glance, it looks pretty.

Soulsearchers #76, $2.50

So, how long before Claypool throws in the towel? Considering their virtually non-existent presence in the direct market, if Diamond stopped listing them, would it really matter? I mean, with Peter David writing the series, you’d think they’d be able to move at least a thousand copies via an e-commerce option. Of course, that would require them to bring their web site at least into the early 90s, if not the 21st century.

Bettie Page Sticker Bathing Suit Die Cut Sticker, $2.50
BPRD Embroidered Patch (AA), $4.99
BPRD Embroidered Patch (AA), $4.99
Classic Comic Characters Ser 1 Hellboy Statue (resolicited), $49.95
Disney Princess Figures Ser 5 Gacha Capsule Asst, AR
Emily The Strange Candy Bar Asst (AA), AR
Goon Shot Glass #2 Nortons Pub (AA), $5.99
Space Thing Figure, $17.99
Tim Burton Sticker Four Pack (AA), $5.99
Weta Venatosaur Skull, $30.00

Merchandising is a beautiful thing. And profitable, too.

Aquaman Sword Of Atlantis #40, $2.99
Batman Annual #25, $4.99
Detective Comics #817, $2.50
Ex Machina #18, $2.99
Infinite Crisis #5 (Of 7), $3.99
Jonah Hex #5, $2.99

It’s One Year Later time, as Detective Comics rejoins my pull list in giddy anticipation of some newly entertaining Batman stories. After the last issue of Batman, I want to flip through the Annual to see how they handle what appears to be one of the biggest cop-outs ever. Jason Todd comes back from the dead and starts doing what Batman won’t, except for when it counts, leaving the Joker alive the first time around after beating him senseless with a lead pipe a while back, but threatening to kill him here. So what does Winick do? He has Batman accidentally (?) kill Jason Todd to prevent him from killing the Joker. WTF? And no, I refuse to put a spoiler warning on that because it’s crappy storytelling. You can’t spoil crappy stories. The rumors around Infinite Crisis‘ delays are interesting, what with drastic storyline adjustments and now reports that George Perez is doing the art for #6. Certainly doesn’t give one confidence in their ability to pull off 52, does it? What’s the difference between this new Aquaman and the just relaunched Warlord series? Besides the whole water thing. Warlord #1 is still on my to-read pile, so I’m not sure what it’s like yet.

Elsinore #4 (Of 9), $3.25
How To Self Publish Comics #1 (Of 4), $4.95

Yay, Elsinore is back! I believe there’s a TPB of the first 3 or 4 issues coming out pretty quickly, too. In light of the Speakeasy fiasco — as in complete failure, no winners, unlike the NY Comic-Con, which had both winners and losers; capiche? — Blaylock’s How-To may be a surprise sellout as many aspiring indies decide that maybe Sal Abbinanti had the right idea and attempt to emulate him. I wonder if the value of licenses and Alex Ross covers get their own chapters?

Complete Jon Sable Freelance Vol 4 TPB, $19.99
Fallen Angel Idw #3 (Of 5), $3.99

I may start picking up these Jon Sable TPBs. Something about the visuals of that series always appealed to me. And I’m guessing Fallen Angel‘s “(of 5)” notation is simply an indication of how it was originally solicited and not a belated decision to not make it an ongoing after all.

Ant #4, $2.99
Fear Agent #3, $2.99
Godland #8, $2.99
NYC Mech Beta Love #5 (Of 6), $2.99

I was IMing about Ant‘s appeal to Image publisher Erik Larsen with someone the other day, and he noted that it’s probably because Ant‘s an homage to Larsen’s Spider-Man run. I suggested it was because it is a bit of a throwback to Image’s heyday. These are diplomatic interpretations of what we actually said, of course. Three cheers for Fear Agent and NYC Mech: Beta Love, two of the best series Image is publishing right now, and a pip pip for G0DLAND, which is an entertaining bit of fluff that I added to my pull list on the strength of its first TPB.

Dark Mists #3 (Of 4)(resolicited), $3.50

I started reading this when it was published by AP Comics, and I was so impressed with the Markosia team at the Con — Harry Markos and Chuck Satterlee, primarily — that I’m going to pick up their continuation of it. Assuming it’s not already in the goody bag of comics they hooked me up with, that is. (Which, no, is not what impressed me. Damn cynics!)

Daughters Of The Dragon #2 (Of 6), $2.99
Next Wave #2, $2.99
Secret War HC, $29.99
X-Factor #4, $2.99

Whomever buys the Secret War HC is truly killing comics. That mini-series redefined “suck”. Daughters of the Dragon #1 was good fun, and the Daughters of the Dragon: Deadly Hands reprint of their early adventures was nostaglia nirvana. The art’s a bit over the top, but it fits the tone of the book, so I’m fine with it. Ditto NextWave and X-Factor, which were both pleasant surprises.

Beowulf #7 Altered States, $2.99

I truly feel bad for all of the people who got screwed over by the Speakeasy collapse, creators and freelancers alike. Except for Vito Delsante, who comes off as either incredibly disingenuous or incredibly naive in his interview over at the Pulse: “I had met with Adam during Toy Fair, which was literally two weeks ago, and at that time, everything was still good, as far as I knew.” Is there really anyone out there who was remotely familiar with Speakeasy’s circumstances over the past few months that didn’t see this coming? One of the best quotes I’ve seen in the coverage so far came from CBR:

Regarding the partnership with Ardustry Entertainment and where it currently stands, CBR News spoke with Ardustry’s Wayne Williams, who handles Business Affairs for the company, on Monday evening. Williams told CBR News, “We had an option to buy Speakeasy Comics, subject to due diligence, but we did not move forward.” He noted that Ardustry did not issue any press releases about the deal.

Due diligence. It’s a term more creators need to memorize and adopt as a mantra. It’s one thing to say you were hoping for the best, but to be caught as off-guard by it all as Delsante seemingly was simply blows my mind. I mean, the dude accepted an editorial position and responsibilities for their non-existent PR, was all over the internet defending their controversial moves at the end of the year, and he works in one of NYC’s biggest comics shops. How could he have not seen this coming?

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10 thoughts on “On The Shelves: 3/1/06

  1. I’ve got a question for you; how could you have not noticed when you crossed the line from being a journalist to just being a dick?

    The guy lost his publisher, one of his jobs, and probably some money too. Maybe you could try to be a little understanding, or at least just shut up?

  2. Honestly, I’m a bit more sympathetic to the creators who weren’t running around the internet playing cheerleader for Speakeasy, denying reality simply because they had a project coming out through them. That said, I actually did realize I was being a bit too harsh on Delsante and offered up an apology in the post just above this one.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, though. And I’m looking forward to your post explaining what you saw a little while back that made you think Speakeasy was going to be “just fine as a company.” Be curious to know if your orders for their titles reflected that positive outlook, too.

  3. “The guy lost his publisher, one of his jobs, and probably some money too. Maybe you could try to be a little understanding, or at least just shut up?”

    That’s pretty unfair, and unrealistic Chris. You know it, so what’s your take on it?

  4. Maybe we should all take a queue from the defunct comic company and speak-easy…or get liquored up.

    BaDum Cha!

    Meanwhile – I think you went a little fanboy berserker rage over the whole Jason Todd thing. There’s no clear evidence that JT was killed.

    I enjoyed the annual but hated having to accept Crisis and multiple earths as a plausible explanation for him coming back from the dead.

    On Earth Maher. Jason Todd is still dead but Pedro comes back from the dead to ruin Judd Winick’s career.

  5. Who said I wasn’t a fanboy? I’m entitled to a little berserker rage now and then! And I’ve since read the Annual and thought it sucked, too. Would have been better off leaving his return a mystery, IMO.

    Thank god for OYL. Hopefully Jason is the other Nightwing running around NYC and I won’t have to read about him again.

  6. “Who said I wasn’t a fanboy? I’m entitled to a little berserker rage now and then!”

    Perhaps ironically, that also sums up your responses to Speakeasy since they announced they were ceasing publishing.

    Honestly, you’re just a nerd on a vendetta who has used ‘entitled’ in a very telling way. It’s kind of sad that you aren’t aware of your behaviour, considering you’ve demonstrated some measure of talent so far at newsgathering. At any rate, I’ve posted explaining both what I knew and my professional commitment to Speakeasy. Considering your ‘coverage’ so far, I’m not overly confident in your ability to parse any of what I’ve written but I hope you give it a shot. It’ll distract you from being indignant about collectible card games for a little while.

  7. “just a nerd on a vendetta”

    Considering your friendship with Fortier, and your position as a retailer with a bit of influence, I’ll take any insults from you with a grain of salt. (Agendaless? Not so much.) Unlike most of the people you’re used to dealing with in the industry, I don’t really care what your opinion of me is. There’s no vendetta here as I’ve neither lost anything nor have anything to gain from the situation. I’m simply covering a story, one which no one but Rich Johnston paid any attention to in the beginning, and in his case, it was handed to him with a bit of spin by your friend, Fortier.

    As for the CCG comment, it’s about what I’d expect coming from you, a weak attempt at an insult based on your own narrow-minded views on the comics industry. As you get older, and a bit more life experience under your belt, I truly hope you’re able to broaden your horizons. For your own sake.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Of course, Guy, you’re also friends and coworkers at Pop Culture Shock with some creators that got screwed by Speakeasy.

    Just saying–it seems like everyone talking about this story has some horse in the race, or at least a pony or something else small and horse-like that runs.

    The whole thing that makes me laugh about the situation is seeing Mike S. Miller saying he wishes them the best and all that in the Newsarama thread on Speakeasy’s demise, considering how Lamp-Post/Alias’s attempt at getting all the books they printed under the Alias banner impacted the printing costs for those previously going through Lamp Post (but, hey, that’s my pony/horse/zebra).

  9. Ed: True, and I’ve been clear here on the blog, several times, that my initial interest in the story came from wondering about Elk’s Run’s fate. My actual coverage of the story, though, hasn’t focused solely on ER, and the most recent article didn’t mention it beyond a reference to Fialkov’s blog, where I first saw the announcement. Unlike Butcher, I have no business partnership with Fialkov and company — Rodriguez’ The Hive isn’t making either of us any money, so I have trouble equating that relationship with the Beguiling’s “Preferred Retailer” status that required them to carry everything Speakeasy published — and no vested interest in seeing Elk’s Run succeed, beyond being a fan who wants to finish reading the story. I get what you’re saying here, but there’s a definite difference.

    And yeah, Miller’s logorrhea is impressive; he seems to like the taste of his foot. I have to say, though, that I wasn’t ever expecting Alias to outlast Speakeasy, even with the Lamppost shafting.

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