September 30, 2009
The Weekly Crisis writes about taking the suitcase test (figuring out what you really need to buy or keep based on what you’d put in a suitcase for a long trip) and applying it to comic books. It’s an interesting way to look at a hobby dominated by completism and collecting for collecting’s sake. I’ve been doing something similar over the last couple of years, with two major changes to my buying habits.
The biggest decision for me was to stop buying event books just because they were events.
I understand the desire to read everything “important” and keep up with the universe. My DC reading practically started with Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I read a lot during the event-heavy 1990s. But after 10 years of annual crossovers, I found myself sick of them. I got sucked back in with the buildup to Infinite Crisis in 2005, but after the weekly Countdown to Infinite Crisis I realized I needed to focus on books I actually liked.
So I bought Final Crisis because it looked interesting and Rogues’ Revenge because I couldn’t pass up Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins on the Flash’s Rogues. I skipped Final Crisis: Revelations, and I’ve skipped Blackest Night so far, because the stories just didn’t appeal to me.
The only exception I’ve made so far is Legion of Three Worlds, and that’s because I run a Flash site and it featured the return of Kid Flash.
I’ve also started taking how far behind I am on reading a series as a measure of how interested I am in it.
- Am I a few weeks behind? No biggie.
- Waiting for a story arc to finish? Maybe I should start buying it in trades instead.
- A couple of months behind? Time to catch up and see If I really care.
- 6 months behind or longer? It’s probably time to drop it.
I’ve dropped several series based on this criteria…and I still haven’t gotten around to reading the issues I’d bought before dropping them. I can’t quite bring myself to drop Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though, even though I’m 8 months behind.
At this point I’m reading 12 more-or-less monthly series: 7 ongoing and 5 miniseries. It’s manageable, except when I’m really busy, and keeps my monthly budget around $40 to 50.
What to Keep?
I’ve got my comics buying habits sorted out at this point, but the hard part is figuring out what to keep. The last time I moved, I set myself a goal of having fewer long boxes of comics the next time I moved. Unfortunately I haven’t really gotten around to (a) sorting and (b) actually selling much.
I did, however, put some boxes in storage, and it’s been enlightening to compare the items I’ve gone back for (Girl Genius trades, for instance), the items I keep meaning to go back for when I have time to read them (Sandman), and the items that I just haven’t thought about.
So I guess my suitcase criteria would be reread and research. Anything I’m likely to reread stays. Anything that I may need as reference material for my website stays. (Unfortunately that means I have to keep Countdown for now.) I’m not willing to toss the rest of it just yet, though, which is why I have 15 or 16 long boxes.
Eventually, though, I’ll go through them all and make some decisions.
September 29, 2009
The Source has posted some Flash sketches by Francis Manapul. They look great, and IMO should reassure fans who have been apprehensive about his selection as artist on the new series. Manapul plans to ink and watercolor the art himself, similar to the style he’s using for Adventure Comics.
The artist adds some new wrinkles to the Flash transition timeline:
These were done a while back near the end of my Legion run. I tried to make a go at the Flash and these were the sketches I did as a pitch to try and get the book. It was nixed as Geoff and I decided to do Adventure Comics (which I love and will miss very much). However the opportunity to get on the scarlett speedster arose and so here we are.
That would have been about a year ago, right? Flash: Rebirth would have been announced, but not solicited, with people speculating that it would start anywhere from January to March (it ended up launching in April). I suppose if Flash: Rebirth had been 6 issues starting in January and stayed on time, DC could have launched a Flash ongoing series in July — right around the time that they launched Adventure Comics. Hmm…
It’s a light week for the Flash. I’m not even 100% certain that Wally West or Bart Allen will appear in this issue of Blackest Night: Titans, so it may just be Jay Garrick in JSA.
Justice Society of America #31
Written by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
Magog and Wildcat square off as the team traitor involved in the attack on a fellow JSAer is revealed! It all leads to greater tension and permanent rifts within the most storied Super Hero team of all time! Clearly, this was an inside job, and though they may not realize it now, the damage to the group is deeper than any of them suspects.
On sale September 30 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Blackest Night: Titans #2
Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter
Variant cover by Brian Haberlin
Titan-on-Titan violence! Black Lantern Hawk has his talons set for the female Hawk and Dove! Meanwhile, Red Star faces a frightful family reunion with Black Lanterns Pantha and Wildebeest, and Donna Troy faces her worst possible nightmare! Plus, Black Lantern Terra terrorizes Beast Boy! Continuing the 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Brian Haberlin).
On sale September 30 · 2 of 3 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
September 28, 2009
In the latest 10 Answers with Dan Didio (it’s now 10 questions every week instead of 20 questions every 2 weeks), Dan Didio answers some questions about the upcoming Kid Flash series being written by Sterling Gates.
Launch date: “somewhere around April or May of next year. It will launch about a month after the launch of the new Flash book.” Note: Last we heard, Flash was going to launch in March 2010, which would place it a month after the planned end of Blackest Night: Flash
Artist: “I’ve got a couple of artists who are under consideration,” but right now they’re focused on coordinating stories.
He also reiterates what Geoff Johns has previously said about the Flash and Kid Flash books being aligned much in the same way that Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are aligned.
There are, of course, 9 more questions and answers in the original article, including some interesting remarks on solicitations and spoilers.
(Thanks to @SpeedsterSite for the link)
Devin “The Flash” Johnson sent in these photos of himself in different Flash costumes, worked into the form of comic book covers.
(Click each image to enlarge)
He also sent in this image, featuring some topical humor: Read the rest of this entry »
September 27, 2009
I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am disappointed. According to DC’s website, Flash: Rebirth #5 is now scheduled for October 28, 2009, rather than October 14. The conclusion is still scheduled for November 25, which is just one week before the scheduled launch of Blackest Night: The Flash on December 2.
I hope they can complete this miniseries before the next one starts. And if they do push it back, I really hope they still launch Blackest Night: Flash in December.
Update October 8: It’s been delayed another week.
Update: Several delays later, it’s now set for November 18.
Some weekend linkblogging…
Incoming Justice League writer James Robinson will include a speedster on the roster.
Yes. I’m talking to Geoff [Johns] about which one it will be. I just have to make sure that everyone at DC is happy with the choice. But there’s a definitely one I have in mind, and I think you’ll all find it an interesting choice.
Blackest Night editor Eddie Berganza contrasts Black Lanterns against Zombies.
The Flash: Rebirth team of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver are both on the WonderCon 2010 Guest List.
Apparently Mark Waid isn’t evil anymore, judging by the new website www.markwaidwasevil.com.
High Five! Comics has invented the world’s fastest drink: the Scarlet Speedster. In true Flash fashion, though, it’s not the first drink to ride the lightning! They’ve also put together a list of the top 10 “Most Ridiculous Villains We Could Think Of”. Two Flash villains — the Turtle and Double Down — make the cut alongside such classics as Starro the Conqueror, Polka Dot Man, and Turner D. Century. (I am not making this up.)
Titans Tower Monitor Room has put together a list of Top 20 Iconic Titans Covers.
Comics and Geeks is tempted by the Uni-Formz Flash action figures.
Fanboy Power Hour looks back at DC Comics Presents #1, the first half of one of the classic Superman-Flash races.
Update: Crimson lightning ponders Wally West’s Last Stand.
Update: Today’s random flashback post on my other blog is a scan of a rather hilarious public service announcement from the 1960s, BEM: Ladies’ Man.
September 26, 2009
Hmm, I wonder how many newsstands displayed these books next to each other:
An explanation: A while back, I stumbled across a mention of Smash Comics, a series from Quality Comics that ran more or less concurrently with the more familiar Flash Comics. Just for kicks, I searched the Grand Comics Database (which is where I got the cover images) for Crash Comics, and found Crash Comics Adventures, which ran for 5 issues in 1940 before spinning off a series on the original Cat-Man. So the three books would have been on sale at the same time!
I couldn’t find any other books with the same pattern in the title. The GCD does substring matches, and “ash comics” only brought up variations on these three series. Though it did remind me that DC resurrected the Smash Comics title for one chapter of the 1999 The Justice Society Returns! event.
Originally posted at K-Squared Ramblings
September 25, 2009
Note: The discussion is from 2007, and while the Silver Age material has gotten a fifth archive volume, three Showcase books and the start of a Chronicles line, the situation for the Golden Age Flash books has not changed.
Newsarama reports that during the Q&A part of the DC Nation panel at this weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con, a fan asked:
Are there more Legion, Flash or Justice League Archives coming? [VP of Sales Bob] Wayne said that when you get up to the issues that can be affordably bought by collectors the demand for the Archive Editions goes down.
Okay, this might apply to the Silver-Age material. The four Flash Archives books so far are up to Flash #132 (1962). When I was tracking down back-issues in the #133–140 range (the contents of a hypothetical book 5) around 2000 or so, I seem to remember finding reasonably good copies in the $5-15 range. (Better copies, of course, run into triple digits.) Note: Since this was originaly posted, volume 5 has been released.
But there’s still 8 years of Golden-Age material to cover, from 1942–1949: more than 75% of Jay Garrick’s solo run. And those books are much harder to find, with battered readers’ copies often selling for $40–150.
Moreover, those 8 years include the first appearances of every major Golden-Age Flash villain. Read the rest of this entry »