Sunday, December 31, 2006
10. Peter David’s X-Factor and Fallen Angel: Despite almost losing my faith in comics this year, books like X-Factor and Fallen Angel kept me going back to my local retailer in hopes of perfect shipping that week. Often overlooked, David’s take on X-Factor is the most well crafted X-title being published today. With superb scripting and a realistic bent on this group of outcasts, this is the book I have to read. David’s Fallen Angel is another title that has grown and evolved into the thriller it is today. While others speculate on the book’s ties to Supergirl, I enjoy it for what it is- quality entertainment.
9. Grant Morrison on All-Star Superman and Batman: Another creator that made me very happy this year is Morrison. I loved his irreverent take on Superman, but was especially thrilled with the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson that he crafted. Sheer genius. Over in Batman, Morrison tied up loose ends by making an Elseworlds tale about him and Talia having a son into a stark reality. Once again I found myself drawn to the humanity of Bruce Wayne that lies in such dichotomy to the Dark Knight. I can hardly wait for more.
8. Daredevil: Ed Brubaker is most certainly the magnificent bastard that my husband has termed him to be. Brubaker’s work on Daredevil has been nothing short of brilliance. The way he crafted the tale of Matt’s stint in prison woven through Foggy’s certain demise left me awestruck. You definitely get your money’s worth when you pick up Daredevil. The art is absolutely fantastic as well, with Michael Lark holding down his end of the deal with ease.
7. Dynamite Entertainment gives great entertainment: I fell in love with several of Dynamite’s titles this year. Lone Ranger is the best western I have read in years. The gorgeous art and excellent scripting take my breath away. I also enjoyed John Layman’s take on Xena- perfection. My favorite has to be Red Sonja. I have longed to see someone take on my favorite red-headed warrior for quite some time. The latest storyline featuring Kulan Gath and flashbacks to Sonja’s terrible childhood is excellent. Other then grumbling about the variant covers, I can’t say anything bad about Dynamite’s titles.
6. 52: What a grand experiment this has been. Never in a million years did I think DC could pull it off, but here I sit today, with 34 weeks worth of the book on my desk. I have to give a great deal of respect to DC for making a commitment and pulling it off with quality writing and great art. As the story draws me further in, the only question I have left is this- when are they going to do it again?
5. Virgin Comics enters market: The new flavor that Virgin Comics has brought to the comic book industry is just what we needed. I love the Eastern feel of the books, and appreciate the opportunity to see creators that are new to me presenting quality product. Snakewoman and Devi are my favorites so far, with Seven Brothers not far behind. I have happily given up several Marvel titles to be able to afford the exquisite productions that Virgin has to offer. I am crossing my fingers for even more greatness in 2007, and am feverishly hoping that my local retailer will finally cave in and order more then my one copy.
4. ComicSpace: This is an idea I wish I would have thought of. Though it is still new, the opportunity for networking here is endless. I like Warren Ellis’ take on it as an exchange of business cards. I also appreciate the fact that I have been able to reconnect with old friends while meeting new ones. As this entity evolves, I will happily go with it.
3. High quality Vertigo titles: This year Vertigo gets my vote for best “group” producing comics today. As an adult reader, I appreciate the desire for different flavors. Each month I find myself breathlessly awaiting ALL these titles: 100 Bullets, American Virgin, Fables, Jack of Fables, Loveless, Hellblazer, and Y The Last Man. Each comic brings something unique and compelling to the table both story wise and art wise. When I read Loveless, my heart fills with pain while 100 Bullets makes me want to solve the mystery contained therein. Yes, I really wanted to know who killed the men in Y The Last Man. It really made me curious, which is what I want in a book. Enough schlock already, let me go read a Vertigo book. I know that I can rely on fantastic quality and dependable deadlines. I feel like these books are written just for me.
2. The fellowship I had at Emerald City Comicon and Seattle Comicard Show: Smaller shows get a bad rap, and it is about time someone stood up and cried bulls#*t. These smaller, high quality shows have given me a great deal of opportunity to make new friends, renew old friendships, and find great deals. I have had so much fun at both the ECCC and Comicard show that I will make time in my schedule any day for another one. Where else can you find yourself in a bar at midnight with Adam Hughes, Tony Harris, Jim Demonakos, and Sean Phillips, with Rick Remender talking about his room service order? Amazing.
1. Manhunter gets a reprieve: This may seem like a small thing for most of you, but for me it was vindication. A title I have loved from issue one is brought back from certain death and now shows signs of thriving. Amen! Writer Marc Andreyko spins a gorgeous tale, and with the new creative team of Javier Pina and Robin Riggs backing him, this book seems destined to break the cancellation curse. This is the one example I can think of where the readers talked and the company listened. Thank you for that.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Without further ado, I want to address the BAD. This includes comics, events, and disasters. Let’s get ugly, shall we?
10. Bruce Jones on Nightwing and Deadman: Of all the One Year Later titles, Nightwing disappointed me the most. The only thing I didn’t hate is the art. Making Dick a mindless stud and aping the bad in Jason Todd to the point he was more hated then a Seahawks fan at a New England game just further diluted my enjoyment. Yikes. Deadman was another disaster for me- a Vertigo book that showed no cohesiveness and imagination. I hated every minute of both books and dropped Deadman like a bad habit. If not for Marv Wolfman taking over Nightwing, that book would have gone the way of the do-do for me as well.
9. Extreme Lateness on All Star Batman and Robin: Not only was this book hard to follow, but it also seemed to disappear before the readers could make sense of it. In an interview over at Newsarama, artist Jim Lee came clean about his lack of follow through, proving that those involved in the business side should stay out of the artistic portion of the program. Cough. Quesada. Cough.
8. Strangers in Paradise Ending: Not only am I disappointed that Strangers in Paradise is ending; I am also saddened at how rushed and non-emotional the issues leading up to the end have been. My idol Terry Moore’s heart isn’t in it anymore. At least I have the memories.
7. Only ONE issue of Liberty Meadows this year: Paging the marvelous Frank Cho! I know you are busy working at Marvel, but I miss Brandy and Frank. I cry at the thought of no Oscar or Dean. It shatters me that one of my favorite titles isn’t there anymore. Please Frank, bring it back!
6. Deaths of Noted Creators: This has been a tough year in that we lost great creators that were so seminal and original. Without a doubt, they are irreplaceable. Rest in Peace Dave Cockrum, Frank Burnley, and Mart Nodell. Our thoughts and prayers are with your families.
5. Wizard Magazine: Between the horrible nightmare of the year-end awards and the slobbering fanboy mentality of said creation, I can’t stand reading Wizard. It used to be the bible of the industry for news and entertainment. Now it is a parody of it’s former self. Maybe some of the personnel changes will put it back on track, but for now it is just plain sad.
4. Bad vibes about harassment and feminism on the internet: I have never seen fans so divided as I have witnessed this year on the internet. The women in blogging are pissed as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. The men in blogging are a bit frightened and confused. It doesn’t make for much cohesiveness. Women in the industry have come forward with sad tales that have garnered both sympathy and ridicule. That age old battle of the sexes is alive and well here in the computer age and doesn’t appear to be leaving anytime soon.
3. Civil War: You knew I wasn’t going to leave this off, didn’t you? The nightmare that is Marvel’s hyped event of the year is still going strong into 2007. From changing characters into murky shells of their former selves to chronic lateness and random excuses, Civil War is the most talked about event other then sexism. I am sure Marvel loves the publicity, but for me it is just painful. Tripe dressed up in a pretty package is still tripe.
2. Chronic Lateness of Wonder Woman: Between trying to start a letter writing campaign to guessing when the books will finally come out, I have just about given up on seeing another issue of a book that I should be thrilled about. Wonder Woman has been my favorite female character since I was 6, and I still love her dearly. She is a role model of strength and beauty to me, and that will never change. Not being able to read about her and enjoy a book has really been a suckfest of major proportions.
1. Diamond Comics screwing my local retailer over: Over the last few months, I have been at my wits end trying to make just one stop a week to my local comic book retailer. Unfortunately it hasn’t been easy. Diamond is a monopoly that doesn’t care about the “end user” or their customers. It has been a hard lesson to learn, and one that has left me cold. If not for the support and comments made by my friends here on the blogosphere, I probably would have given up on comics all together. I am praying for a turnaround of service and quality, but I am not holding my breath.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Please help me out if you can. I have questions and a great deal of trepidation.
Will I lose my old entries?
Do I have to get a google account?
How does the beta work with Flickr?
What exactly happens and how long does it take?
I would like to convert this weekend but am feeling pretty chicken about it. Any help you could give me would be appreciated.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
At any rate, here is my list of books for the week.
52 Week 34
Blue Beetle #10
Connor Hawke Dragon's Blood #2 (of 6)
Detective Comics #827
Flash The Fastest Man Alive #7
Jack of Fables #6
JSA Classified #20
Justice #9 (of 12)
Justice League of America #5
Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #25
Superman Batman #31
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #6 (of 8)
Age of Bronze #24 (pictured)
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures #3 (of 12)
Astonishing X-Men #19
Black Panther #23
Immortal Iron Fist #2
Hellstorm Son of Satan #3 (of 5)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #37
Ultimate Power #3 (of 9)
Wolverine Origins #9
That's the list. Unfortunately, the wonderful Lisa has let me know that there is shipping issues on the West coast as a container was lost, holding up several titles. Yippee. Thank you for the information, it is a lifesaver!
Have a wonderful evening!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
We have all kinds of family and friend functions the next few days, so I will be taking a couple of days off here. I will be back sometime after recovering from all the food and drink I partake in.
A Happy Holiday to you and yours from Jim and I!
Friday, December 22, 2006
"Chad Spano of Comic Lair on Shipping ReliefGet Product to Comic Stores on Tuesday
December 20, 2006
Chad Spano of Comic Lair in Trenton, New Jersey has suggestions to alleviate Wednesday hassles for comic retailers -- ship for arrival a day earlier is one of them:
I am writing regarding the many problems I am experiencing with regard to delivery of merchandise from Diamond and to make some suggestions for possible solutions to the problems many industry retailers seem to be experiencing. Every Wednesday has become a very stressful day, filled with consistent delivery problems. I have spoken with my Diamond rep on more than one occasion and was told that only multi-store accounts can have their product delivered on Tuesdays.
The reason I am bring this subject to light is because recently Diamond made some suggestions on how to receive your product at an earlier time on Wednesday. Their suggestions were: 1) Have your merchandise held at the UPS center for pick-up earlier on Wednesday, or 2) Get a UPS mailbox and have the items sent there, which of course increases the financial burden on the retailer. The "solutions" being offered by Diamond amount to nothing more than passing the burden of responsibility for timely delivery from them to the retailers.
The fact that retailers are being forced to deal with UPS exclusively is also a problem. UPS is a company with its own set of financial and logistical problems, all affecting the retailer's bottom line. As UPS raises shipping rates, retailer profit margins go down. In addition, retailers are forced to tolerate the ongoing problems related to UPS shipping and late/damaged deliveries, without being offered any alternate shipping options, such as other carriers. This could potentially improve the situation dramatically for both the retailers and Diamond, from both a cost and service viewpoint.
One proposed solution would be to offer pickup points where retailers could pick up their merchandise as early as they wanted on Wednesdays, thereby eliminating the UPS shipping and damaged merchandise problems permanently.
Another option, and one that should already be offered, is shipping via other services, like FedEx and USPS, who could potentially provide better service at a cheaper cost.
A third potential solution would be to give retailers the option to have their weekly orders shipped on Tuesday, with the condition that nothing is to be sold until Wednesday. The response from Diamond will probably be that there are many retailers who will begin selling the day the product is delivered, but that could be handled by implementing a rule which states that if you are caught selling on Tuesday, you would lose this early shipping option permanently. I do not know if something like this is even possible logistically for Diamond and the manufacturers who distribute through them, but I do think it is time for Diamond to help retailers find solutions to the problems they are experiencing.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com."
It is fascinating to see that other retailers are dealing with similar situations and trying to find solutions. The wonderful Lisa from Sequentially Speaking: comic book conversations is also a retailer, and she has had many fantastic suggestions as well.
What I want for Christmas this year is for Diamond to get it's customer service back. The Grinch went and took it away, and I am hoping that Santa brings it back. Heh.
That's it for tonight. Just musing about Diamond and their shipping issues like a broken record.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Over at Newsarama, there are several great Wonder Woman-related articles to read and savor. I have been in bliss with the great selection of stories. It gives me hope that Wonder Woman will get more focus in the Spring... and it's about damn time.
Next up is a fantastic interview with the incomparable Drew Johnson on his pencilling chores.
Bringing home the joy is an article about an upcoming mini-series titled Amazons Attack. Writer Will Pfeifer spills the goods here. To add to the excitement, Pete Woods is doing the art. Yay! This is great news.
So take a seat, get comfortable and have a fun read. It is definitely like Christmas coming early!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Hopefully it won't come to that.
I stand by my belief that it is a temporary fix and that by next week things will be back to the normal mess, so I am keeping the letters here on my desk to take in next week. Cross your fingers for the best, but know that I am prepared for the worst!
For a person done with their Christmas shopping, I have sure procrastinated on wrapping. I am very bad at it, and end up taping the crap out of each package. I have a hard time measuring the paper, and because I am left handed, I end up cutting the edges unevenly. It is a disaster. The worse news is that Jim claims to be worse at it then I am. Yikes.
I really need to wrap presents, but I am too tired. I am putting in heavy hours at work and have had a great deal of stress there that I can't share about. Things are set to improve, but I fear I will be working quite a bit in the interim. At least I know that I have four day weeks the next two. That will help a bunch.
Otherwise, life is good. The comics came in perfectly this week and I am done Christmas shopping. I have a few days left to wrap, and my cards are long done. It is just a matter of figuring out where to go on what days that is left, so I am very lucky.
Have a wonderful evening! I am off to go relax a bit, and hopefully get a good night's sleep before tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Here is the letter I am handing out tomorrow.
Dear Ron’s Customer:
As you know, the last six weeks out of eight, there have been shipping problems that have caused us as comic book readers to not be able to get our product in a timely fashion. Because of this, I know several of you have had to shuffle your schedule or just do without a book you may have bought if it were presented the day you expected it.
If you are concerned like I am, please send an e-mail or letter to Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. and let them know that you are unhappy. I have at present sent two letters and plan to continue to barrage them with correspondence until the problem is corrected.It is not fair to us that we cannot get our goods in a timely fashion, and it is certainly not fair to Ron’s as a business. Please let your voice be heard.
Contact information for Diamond is:
Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
1966 Greenspring Drive, Suite 300
Timonium, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 560-7100
E-mail address: email@example.com
They will get your letter, call, or e-mail, and they will have no choice but to respond.
If you have any questions, please contact us at HeidiDC@aol.com.
Together we can make a difference.
James and Heidi Meeley
I am going to get as many customers in town to send Diamond letters or e-mails. Between my hubby and myself, we are going to contact all our friends that are readers, and we are going to spend time around the shop tomorrow networking. If my lone voice isn't enough to make Diamond stand up and take notice, we are going to find strength in numbers.
What do you think?
Monday, December 18, 2006
I hate to be pessimistic, but after last week's delayed shipping, I am very concerned half the books aren't going to show up again. In fairness, I am going to list everything I HOPE shows up, that would be on my normal pull list.
Here we go!
Rex Mundi #3 (pictured)
52 Week 33
Birds of Prey #101
Ion #9 (of 12)
Man Called Kev #5 (of 5)
Secret Six #6 (of 6)- wow, I feel satanic typing that!
Teen Titans #42
Y The Last Man #52
Bomb Queen Vol 2 #3
Darkness Level 0
Cable Deadpool #35
Ms. Marvel #10
She-Hulk 2 #14
Ultimate Spider-Man #103
Union Jack #4 (of 4)
John Woo's Seven Brothers #3
Lone Ranger #3
Ramayan 3392 AD #4
Red Sonja #17
That is it for the list. Tomorrow night I will reveal to you my latest scheme to get Diamond to pay attention to my local retailer's woes, and you can give me feedback.
Have a wonderful Monday!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The Trials of Shazam #4 (of 12): Gee, I guess it is “pick on Winick Week” here at Comics Fairplay, as Trials is another one of his titles. I am enjoying the modern spin on the Gods that imbue the Marvels with their powers, but I am flummoxed at the lack of experience Freddy Freeman seems to be showing. Is it a whole “re-learning your powers” kind of thing? I am entranced at the evolution of Howard Porter’s art since his JLA days. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was a completely different artist, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. Grade: B.
X-Factor #14: This is my favorite X-title along with New X-Men. Peter David is in his element, reveling in the uniqueness of the characters and their “stand alone” status in the Marvel Universe. While events are happening in a peripheral way around the team, David doesn’t have to bow to editorial and change the story to suit a certain current big event. I am also basking in the afterglow of the Samson sessions, so I am particularly thrilled by this title. Grade: A.
New X-Men #33: Craig Kyle and Chris Yost are the writing team supreme in this new storyline of New X-Men titled “Mercury Rising”. Along with skilled art by Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco, this book shows no signs of slowing down or giving us a chance to catch our breath. Between the evolution of X-23 and her team members in the “Junior” squad, there is plenty of pathos to go around. I appreciate that the creative team has been able to establish a sense of individuality around this team that harkens to the current X-Factor book. Grade: A.
Infinite Holiday Special: After last week’s Marvel Holiday debacle, I was extremely hesitant to pick up DC’s version of the book. I had to talk myself into it, and am now sitting here quite pleased with myself. The book costs $4.99 and is actually worth every penny. There are seven individual tales, and each one is excellent. This book reminded me of the old school holiday specials from DC that always resonated so well with me. It was always a treat to pick up a DC Holiday book then, and it is today. Grade: A.
Girls #20: The Luna Brothers don’t give the readers a single second of comfort and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In this cleverly executed horror tale, the reader has no idea what is coming next, and the Luna’s keep upping the ante in violence and shock. As the girls continue to multiply and the community further divides, one can feel that the climax is at hand. The only thing that makes me sad is that this book is only 24 issues long, so it will be ending soon. If you haven’t been reading Girls, you are missing out on clever, well done horror. Grade: A.
Ultimate X-Men #77: The last page of this book shocked the heck out of me. After being a bit disillusioned with this title, Robert Kirkham has upped the ante, drawing me back in. All I can say is “I can’t believe he went there”. Wow. Grade: B.
Wonder Man #1 (of 5): I was expecting a certain typical type of Wonder Man story when I bought this book, and it shocked me to find a whole new angle courtesy of Peter David and Andrew Currie. I am cautiously enjoying this mini-series and plan to pick up issue two to see what new surprises the creative team throw at me. Grade: B-.
Robin #157: Robin is a title that I keep trying to talk myself into dropping, but each issue is good enough to draw me back in. Having Tim back in the fold of the city of Gotham and the watchful eye of Alfred and Bruce has made me a fan of the book again. I also appreciate the new feel of the book courtesy of a newfound confidence that Tim has, which surfaced underneath the sorrow and regrets of a life that has suffered entirely too much loss. I can’t stop myself from enjoying a truly quality book. Grade: B.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
At any rate, we had a wonderful day today of eating out, visiting friends, and coming home to play on the computer. We are having way too much fun on ComicSpace, meeting people and reconnecting with old friends. It is definitely addicting, and I am trying to have self control to not look at it during work hours!
Over at Seven Hells!, Devon has a great entry about Blackhawk and an imaginary conversation with his creators that left me rolling. Go check it out!
At Sequentially Speaking, Lisa makes a great point about the dirth of Civil War related titles coming out next week. If I was getting the entire saga, I would be furious that seven books are coming out at once. Why Marvel can't spread it out is beyond me. Last month my retailer had the same problem.
Over at Polite Dissent, Dr. Scott is presenting a really fun advent calendar of sorts- a chance to see some old school Christmas-themed covers and hear his thoughts. I am loving this!
The always amazing Loren at One Diverse Comic Book Nation takes a look at "When Fanboys Attack with his eminently logical view of all things comic book. Loren gets it.
New friend Amanda over at Lit(erature) Chick does a great review of Blood Diamond. It really makes me want to go see the movie!
Poor Laura is not able to stay at her house because of the horrific wind storm that hit the Northwest a couple of nights ago. My parents are in a similar situation, and I am praying for their safety and the ability to return to their homes soon. Go check out Laura's updates at Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog for details.
Does anyone know where my friend Pamela's blog Comic Book Wife has gone? Is she alright? If anyone knows, let me know. I am very concerned!
That is it for the evening! I am going to go try and talk my husband into watching one of the Netflix we have had sitting around for the last month without watching. We are obviously missing the point of it by keeping DVD's for over a month.
Take care! Have a wonderful evening!
Friday, December 15, 2006
That is the ONE BOOK I really wanted to see.
That just figures.
I have no idea how to get ahold of one locally, and the Diamond Representative didn't call my retailer back.
I know that this is not going to ruin my life but it sure is irritating.
I guess I will be trying to find an internet comic book company to purchase a copy of 100 Bullets from after work. Yay.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Here is what I have discovered.
There were four boxes total that shipped from the Torrance, California facility on December 11. They tracked fine into West Sacramento, California, but only two continued on to Roseburg, Oregon and on upwards to the final destination. The other two boxes went to Phoenix, Arizona and had to be re-routed. Those are the boxes that are nowhere in sight.
I also checked on some older shipments, and it seems that the West Sacramento facility is a common denominator in shipping problems. Part of the shipments make it to the correct truck while the rest are incorrectly sent to Phoenix. This is a chronic issue.
I called UPS and they said that since I wasn't the vendor or the receiver that I couldn't be given information or be allowed to contact the representative on this issue. My store owner or a representative of Diamond has to do so.
So it is a UPS problem to a point. My bad.
The issue at hand is that the quality control at West Sacramento is terrible and people need to be let go. The other issue is that supposedly UPS has received NO complaints from either vendor or end user. I am hoping to correct that as of tomorrow.
Keep your fingers crossed, okay? I want to be part of the solution rather then a random whiner who does nothing to fix the problem. Hopefully my shop owner will be amenable.
Evidently, issue #5 has been re-solicited and is supposed to ship March 14 now. What is scary is that back on August 29, I guessed the dates that Allan Heinberg's run would actually ship, and it is even worse then I predicted! I thought that surely issue five would ship at the end of January, but I was wrong.
The good news in this whole thing is that issue six is being solicited for March 28. I actually believe this could happen. With writer Jodi Picoult and fantastic personal favorite artist Drew Johnson at the helm, my sense of security feels like returning instead of screaming for cover. This gives me hope that DC and it's powers-that-be saw a major problem and tried to correct it by bringing Johnson back on board. Thank God.
At any rate, my cynicism isn't rooted in issue six at all; it is issue five I am having serious doubts about. If that issue actually ships on March 14, then I feel good that six will be right behind it. If not, it will be another disapointment, which is something I am becoming very familiar with!
Go check out the full DC solicitations over at Comic Book Resources.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"December 13, 2006
Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc.
1966 Greenspring Drive
Timonium, MD 21093
Dear Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc.,
For the second time in a month I find myself compelled to communicate with you. For the last SIX out of EIGHT weeks, my local comic book retailer, Ron’s Coin and Collectibles of Yakima, Washington, has not received their orders on time, or has only received partial shipments. Once again, your company is blaming UPS without taking action. Nothing has changed since I wrote my first letter, and I am beginning to suspect it won’t change after this one either.
So why I am writing to you? Because I want you to know how much the lack of service is inconveniencing me, as well as turning my beloved hobby into a liability instead of the joy it used to be. I dread every Wednesday now because I KNOW I am going to walk into Ron’s and there are going to be problems. You have made each week a scheduling nightmare for me. I have a busy career filled with many obligations. I can’t just drop everything I am doing to go pick up books that should have been there.
As a result of this, my retailer is losing money. When I don’t have time to go back to the shop, they don’t get paid for the books that they have already written a check for. Interestingly, the owner of the shop informs me that not once has UPS not brought the box with the COD slip on it, ensuring that they are paying for merchandise they haven’t even received. How ridiculous is that? How can my retailer hope to stay in business when this keeps happening?
I have come to the conclusion that Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc. does not care about its customers or the end user. It is disheartening to see that your company is a soulless corporate machine whose only interest is the bottom line. If indeed you did care, this would not continue to happen. Because of your lack of courtesy and professionalism I am ready to drop comics altogether.
Why did I bother to send a second letter that will get a lot of lip service but maybe just one week of results? I want Diamond to know that I am really angry and disapointed. I want to point out that my retailer is losing money. Heck, I guess I want action that isn't going to happen.
I can see it now- "Heidi Meeley fought the big distributor and the big distributor won".
At least I had to try.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
With all this non-commital attitude going around, and a bit of embarassment thrown in for good measure, I am curious to know why the rest of you signed up?
The reason I did is simple: networking and friendship with folks with similar interests. I have already been pleasantly surprised to find several people I had met briefly or had small exchanges with on board there. It is a great opportunity to get back in touch with some wonderful people.
Another reason I signed up is to be able to follow the creative comings and goings of the industry. Seeing both businesses and individual creators there is a revelation. I have found so many new sites to go check out. I have also found out about some talented people out there.
Lastly, I signed up as a fan who wants to mingle with other fans. I have resisted My Space for a long time based on the fact that I was worried about the size and breadth of it all. ComicSpace fills that void for me.
That is my two cents. What about the rest of you?
Monday, December 11, 2006
My heart goes out to those who were close to Mr. Nodell. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I take comfort in the fact that he will always be remembered with great respect and appreciation.
Comics lost a great person on Saturday. Just check out the gorgeous cover for All American #19 to see what I mean.
At any rate, there are so many great comic books shipping this week that I am a bit beside myself. Here is the grand old list!
100 Bullets #79- YAY! My favorite book is coming out this week!
52 Week 3
Ex Machina #25
Firestorm the Nuclear Man #32
Gen 13 #3
Green Arrow #69
Green Lantern Corps #7
Justice League of America #4
Martian Manhunter #5 (of 8) - this is my make or break issue!
Stormwatch PHD #2
Tales of the Unexpected #3 (of 8)- LOVE this book!
Trials of Shazam #4 (of 12)
Battle Pope #12
Girls #20- issue 24 is the last, so we are hitting the climax soon.
Hunter Killer #10
Exiles Annual #1
Fantastic Four The End #3 (of 6)
New X-Men #33- both of my favorite X-titles are coming out this week!
Ultimate X-Men #77
Wonder Man #1 (of 5)- giving it a try...
X-23 Target X #1 (of 5)- another one I am trying...
X-factor #14- my other favorite X-title!
X-Men Phoenix Warsong #4 (of 5)
Fallen Angel #11- see excellent cover pictured!
What a wonderful week ! I am crossing my fingers everything ships okay so I can have these books in my hot little hands on Wednesday!
Have a wonderful evening!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Justice Society of America #1- Other then Manhunter, this is a highly anticipated book for me. New characters Maxine Hunkel and Starman are especially compelling. I appreciate the reinvigoration of the greatest team to exist, and feel that the historical value is well in hand with Geoff Johns at the helm. We must never forget where we came from, you know? I was a bit disgruntled at the attitude Wildcat displayed and felt it was out of character, but am willing to see where his story takes him. The art by Dale Eaglesham and Art Thibert was beautiful. I couldn’t find much to complain about, so why bother to nitpick to find it? Grade: A.
Welcome To Tranquility #1- This is the last of the Wildstorm reboots to make an appearance, and the one I have had my eye on. With Gail Simone on scripting duties, and an interesting concept, there was a great deal to look forward to. A town where super villains and super heroes can live in peace in their twilight years is an amazing concept to be sure. I will confess to being a tad bit let down, but I wonder how much that has to do with my expectations. The scripting was good, and the art by Neil Googe was interesting. His ability to change from old school to new school style is a gift. The bottom line is that I felt this book is good, and I plan to continue getting it, but I felt like a little something was missing. My hope is that certain thing materializes down the road. Grade: B.
Witchblade #102- My first problem is that the book is two month late. This means that I can’t remember the details of what has occurred before with as much clarity as I would like. The other problem I have is that when a book is late, there should be a special reason why that makes up for it. The good news is that Ron Marz’ script is great. The bad news is there wasn’t anything extra that made me think the wait was worth it. As Sara gets ready to hand off the Witchblade to a new bearer, this is a crucial time for the book. To see it get so far behind schedule is disheartening and doesn’t bode well for the future of my continued readership. Grade: C.
Marvel Holiday Special: This waste of my #3.99 irritates me. I couldn’t even read the damn thing because it didn’t flow worth a nickel. I shouldn’t be so mean, but I am really upset. Grade: F.
Nightwing #127- Yay! Marv Wolfman has saved this title from become extinct at my house. With a great story line and some nail biting moments, Wolfman has made the character recognizable again. Bruce Jones’ take had me so bitter that I didn’t think my expectations could be met. Thank Goodness I was wrong. Disgruntled ex-readers, take my word for it- you can pick up the title again. All is forgiven. Grade: B.
Outsiders #43- FINALLY this story arc ends. It is about flipping time, because I was going to drop the book. Next issue promises to explain the changes wrought by One Year Later so I will stay around to figure out the “whys” and the “wherefores”. If that doesn’t meet my satisfaction, this book is done. Grade: D+
Uncanny X-Men #481: Rise and Fall of the Shiar Empire starts to really heat up. Ed Brubaker is doing a killer job of redefining the team, with clever use of longtime characters and a more familiar approach to the Shiar. The guy has done his research, and it shows. For nail biting action and great dialogue, this is the place to be. Can Brubaker do no wrong? It seems so. Grade: B+.
New Excalibur #14- This issue was so out of character that I could scarcely believe it. While I enjoyed the art by Jim Califiore, I was really put off by the basic character portrayal therein. I wish I could say I liked it, but it was just okay, bordering on poor. Sorry! Grade: D.
Strangers in Paradise #86- The issue I have been dreading. That is the bad thing about ending a series- plots must be woven together and must end. There must be resolution. Do I like how things are going? Not at all. Am I going to buy the last four issues? Definitely. I might as well close my eyes and try not to look too close, kind of like riding a roller coaster and not enjoying going upside down. Grade: B-.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
In sad news, 2 Guys Buying Comics is closing their doors. I am going to miss going there for irreverent, clever musings about the industry and the books being produced. Let's have a moment of silence and cross our fingers that Chris and Randy make a comeback someday. The saving grace is that Chris will at least be around over at Ye Olde Comic Book Blogge, and he has promised to contribute there a bit.
At Seven Hells!, Devon gives me the nicest compliment. It made me blush and really made my day, well actually it made my week. Seven Hells! is a site I really like and respect so I am super thrilled.
It is snowing here again, sending more of the white stuff to cover the earth. I have had snow in my yard and everywhere else for that matter since November 29, and it shows no signs of stopping. It may be hell to drive on but at least it looks pretty!
That's it for this morning. Have a great day! I hope to see you at ComicSpace!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Continue reading below for the drama.
I cry foul as of now.
Yes, one notices that Power Girl has gotten her boobies. The cut out in her chest area would make that obvious, no matter what the angle. The thing people aren't talking about is this: at the same angle, Mr. Terrific's package is on pretty fine display as well. Does that mean that the cover is double sexist? Is this a sign of the apocalypse?
In my mind this is a simple homage to the cover of All Star Squadron #1. That particular cover was also given tribute to on the cover of Alter Ego #32.
No one cried foul then, but I guess that is because there were only men pictured at the table then. From where I see it, I felt Power Girl's chest was pretty tame compared to other versions I have seen.
I choose to take this as a tribute to the great cover done by Rich Burchett and not to read more into it then needs be done. That is my two cents and my final word on the subject.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I have some links of interest I would like to bring to your attention. Some you may have seen and loved already; others may be new. Bear with me as I go down the line.
The coolest thing going is Redhead Fangirl's favorite redhead's countdown. Every day this month she is featuring a different redhead of note. This is really excellent reading, so go check it out!
Over at Spandex Justice, Vincent muses about "Miss Martian or When Artists Go Wrong". He makes some good points. As a longtime Titans fan, I really appreciate his insight.
Lisa at Sequentially Speaking gives us the lowdown about late books and how late they really are. It is a post I really appreciate, as I know I am not the only customer who walks into a shop and can't believe how late something is but not be able to back up exactly HOW LATE. She also points out a nudity slip in her post "Full Monty". Grown ups run over there and get informed so you know what the kiddies might see! I was shocked with Marvel's blatant panel!
Loren at One Diverse Comic Book Nation has a great weekly feature where he names his week's haul and gives pre-purchasing opinions about titles of interest. I love this, and am hooked- every week I will be sneaking over and taking a look.
Ink Destroyed My Brush is a favorite blog of mine. Charles has a great review of DC's New Frontier. Take a look- it is very concise and informative.
I should have went over to Comics Should Be Good before I did my Wizard rant. The esteemed Greg Burgas has his take on the Wizard Year End awards, and his is much better then mine. Take a look to see the wit and intelligence. As someone who has been fortunate enough to meet Greg, I really appreciate his opinion.
I am in blogoverse heaven tonight reading all this great material. It is nice to know there are so many quality, diverse people out there making their opinions known and letting the rest of us in on the great and not-so-great books and goings on in the comic universe.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
It is a prettty straight-forward week for me comic book-wise, with mostly DC and Marvel books. I am kind of disapointed because I was hoping for at least one Virgin Comics title this week.
Here is the list!
52 Week 31
Desolation Jones #8
Detective Comics #826
Jonah Hex #14
Justice Society of America #1
Manhunter #26- YAY!!
Sachs and Violens TP - pictured here, old school goodness from Peter David and George Perez with a mature readers label!
Doctor Strange Oath #3
Irredeemable Ant-Man #3
Marvel Holiday Special
New Excalibur #14
Uncanny X-Men #481
White Tiger #2 (of 6)
Strangers in Paradise #86
That's the works, folks. I am hoping for good quality reading, so cross your fingers with me!
Have a wonderful evening!
Monday, December 04, 2006
The first award featured is “Man of the Year”. My first thought when seeing that Wizard has a man of the year is this: Where is the Woman of the Year? Did Wizard think no one was qualified in that category, or is Man of the Year supposed to cover both sexes??? My second thought was: Why Joe Quesada? Is it a way to pay for all the advertising Marvel did? Is it because longtime Wizard staffers are drinking buddies with Joey da Q? Maybe they see something I don’t see.
Quesada does his job, and I concede that he has been instrumental in reinvigorating the post-Bob Harras Marvel, but it ends there for me. Quesada has done a great job of networking through the years, and backs it up with hard work, but in my mind it still comes down to just that: Networking. Back in the day, Quesada and then-partner Jimmy Palmiotti came to Marvel and gave the fans Marvel Knights. That was a beautiful, blazing success. That is when Quesada AND Palmiotti should have been “Persons of the Year”.
To laud a guy for Civil War and being able to pick talent is like giving your kids an increase in allowance for getting all their chores done. It is his JOB. My other concern was Quesada’s choice of wardrobe for said pictures featured in the magazine. I wish he would have combed his hair and dressed up a bit, as most people being given awards and featured in magazines would do so. That is a minor quibble, but one none the less.
I can hear you now- ok Smarty, who would you have picked?? I have some choices as well. I would have considered Dark Horse Comics and Mike Richardson for one. What a year they have had, with a 10th anniversary celebration, an incredible run on Conan, the Star Wars line, Steve Niles books, upcoming Sin City 2, and new, interesting creator-owned titles.
There is also Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns, and Dan Didio, not necessarily in that order. What about this for a radical idea: make a site like Newsarama or Comic Book Resources, or the bloggers on the internet “Person of the Year”? Just a thought.
The next award selected is “Event of the Year”, which went to Civil War. Since it’s no secret how I feel about Civil War, you know I disagreed with this one. In my mind, the event of the year has been 52. DC has done a great job of getting the book out on time, and the talent involved is topnotch, which leads me to “Editor of the Year”, which went to Tom Brevoort. No offense, but Stephen Wacker, who has just left DC for Marvel deserves that honor.
“Artist of the Year” went to Steve McNiven. I have nothing bad to say about McNiven, as I think he is an excellent artist and an all-around nice guy. I just wish that Wizard would have mixed it up a bit, and not focused so heavily on Civil War in so many categories. A lower profile person I would have liked to see honored is Eduardo Risso. His work on 100 Bullets astonishes me every issue. Another favorite of mine is Pia Guerra of Y The Last Man. I know that these artists are lower profile, but it would be nice to see more on and of them in future issues of Wizard. I did like Wizard’s choice of Shane Davis as up and comer. His work on Mystery In Space is amazing.
“Single Issue of The Year” went to New Avengers #22, the spotlight on Luke Cage. As a fan of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, I appreciate the sentiment, but am surprised to find this is Wizard’s pick. Yet another Civil War tie-in takes a prize! How about a “Born in the Battlefield” issue of Conan? Birds of Prey #100? Y The Last Man #50? All-Star Superman #2, 3, or 4? I’m just saying…
“Breakout Talent of the Year” went to Charlie Huston, whose excellent work on Moon Knight has attracted many fans. While I appreciate the sentiment, I think runner-up Matt Fraction was a better choice. His Casanova is superb, and Punisher War Journal #1 and Immortal Iron Fist #1 back up his skills.
52 won “Boldest Move of the Year” and that is a hard one to argue. Having a weekly title has spoiled me. I also agree that Brian K. Vaughan is a great choice for “Writer of the Year”, though my first thought would have been to Ed Brubaker. His takes on Daredevil and Captain America have me mesmerized, and I adore his new creator-owned book Criminal. That is why I was pleasantly surprised that Daredevil took the title “Book of the Year”. These three categories didn’t upset me, because they were such palate cleansers after the first several awards.
“Hero of the Year” went to Superman. Huh? As much as I loved Morrison and Quietly’s All Star title, I didn’t think his other appearances merited it. Let’s go for the long shot- Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man. He has had a crazy year, and his appearances in 52 continue to intrigue me. Throw Ralph a bone, already!
J.G. Jones won “Cover Artist of the Year”. While this felt right to me, my first thought wasn’t “Congratulations”! It was this: Thank God it wasn’t Michael Turner. Sad, huh?
“Villain of the Year” went to The Governor from The Walking Dead. Sad to say, I have no clue who this character is, or if he is indeed the baddest of the bad, so I can’t judge. I just know that my first thought for this award was the “Girls” of the Luna Brothers title of the same name.
B.P.R.D: The Universal Machine won “Mini-Series of the Year”. This is yet another one I am not qualified to respond to as I didn’t read the book. Hell, I just would have voted for “CSI: Dying In The Gutters” and left it at that. Smooth.
Rounding out the awards was “Movie of the Year”, “Television Series of the Year”, “Animated Series of the Year” and “Video Game of the Year”. Well, this is a problem for me, because I hadn’t seen most of the winners. In the movie category, The Descent was the winner. I didn’t see that particular flick, so my vote would have been for Clerks 2. As for television shows, I loved Blade on Spike, so that would be my easy pick. I don’t watch Lost or Battlestar Galactica, which I know is sacrilege. The only animated series I have seen is Justice League Unlimited, which won that category, so I would agree there. To add insult to injury, I don’t play video games, so I don’t feel qualified to speak on this category. Yikes.
My bottom line on the Wizard awards is mixed. I am pissed about a “Man of the Year” award. Where is the “Woman of the Year” award for my girl Gail Simone? The woman wrote Birds of Prey, Atom, and Secret Six without batting an eyelash. Quality and class equal an award for Simone. Either change the name of the award or pick a lady as well. God knows, I would volunteer to help out.
With the personnel changes at Wizard, maybe an influx of new blood is the best thing that can happen. God knows we need a fresh approach on an old school, played-out magazine. Ten years ago, Wizard was the first thing I read the minute it came out. Now I read it whenever I exhaust all other available reading materials. That is a sad but true reality.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Deathblow #2- People are screwing with Michael Cray, and I for one, couldn’t be happier. This means that his vengeance will be much sweeter then before. Set up in a fake life, and being led around by IO, it is only a matter of time before Deathblow gets to some serious butt kicking. Brian Azzarello maintains his place on my list of favorite writers for this one. Grade: A
Ultimate Power #2- Sorry to say, this title is still just lukewarm for me. The premise is interesting, and having the “Ultimate” universe meet up with Squadron Supreme is sweet, but we haven’t hit that high note. So far there has been a lot of fighting and banter, but it hasn’t gotten to the good stuff. Hopefully the set up of the last page means that Bendis is upping the ante. My other fervent wish is that Greg Land would go back to a more raw style and quit light boarding so much. It makes for pretty but boring art. Grade: C-
The Immortal Iron Fist #1- The best new book I am reading. Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction have come up with a ferociously entrancing concept, and the art by David Aja brings it home. I get chills looking at the first splash page. This is the real deal, kiddies. Pick up a copy and enjoy. Grade: A
Wetworks #3- Mayday, mayday! We’re losing her, Captain! I still like the concept of Wetworks, but Whilce Portacio’s art and the drab storyline are losing me fast. I want to love this book but just can’t. Grade: C-
Ion #8 – God help me, I am enjoying the story but really hating the art. Kyle Rayner is a favorite male character of mine, and his metamorphosis has been fascinating to behold, but the art in previous issues, and here ruins it for me. Paging Darryl Banks!! Grade: B
Green Lantern #15- Geoff Johns is succeeding at doing the impossible- he is making me enjoy Hal Jordan again. I didn’t think it was possible, but this current story is a dazzling display of what makes Johns DC’s writer of note. If the book can keep on schedule, I will stay on board. Grade: B
Batman #659- Reunited and it feels so good! John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, the team supreme on old school Spectre, are back together telling a gripping and creepy story. I was reticent about someone filling in for Morrison and Kubert, but this is the perfect medicine to cure what ails. Grade: B+
Hence no blogging for a couple of days.
The good news is that I feel much better today.
The bad news is that I didn't get any of my intended blogging done.
Quick Take Reviews are on the way, and hopefully a return to normalcy with tomorrow.