Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006: The Top Ten in BAD

It’s that time again, when we reflect on the good, the bad, and the anticipation for 2007. God knows this was a year filled with controversy and problems, as well as fresh and exciting events. It definitely wasn’t boring.

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.


Unknown said...

Bruce Jones on Nightwing and Deadman

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true! I don't know what DC was doing there. It's like they said, "Hey, let's take one of our most beloved we were afraid to kill in Infinite Crisis for fear of backlash...and give him a writer that can't seem to get a handle of who Dick is." Thank GOD for Wolfman! I'm not one to rant about creators, but, seriously...if he was on Nightwing any longer, I would have dropped it from my pull list and that would have made me very sad.

Happy New Year, Heidi!

Unknown said...

Oh, and Civil War...I can take the lateness, but the whole thing has gotten so contrived and heavy that I can't think of one single way this thing will end that will make the Marvel Universe a place I would want to visit every month for a long, sustained time. But, given that I'm getting over 20 books a week, maybe that's a good thing.

Carl said...

Welp, during the 'great hiatus' of 6 months without being to keep up save for like maybe 2 or 3 books, I couldn't keep up with Nightwing.
Glad I missed them now.

And I read one issue of Vertigo's "Deadman" in the preview box and said it was crap and never touched it again. I got mad when I saw the real Deadman on the cover of one of the issues. "Oh, going to try to suck me in now, eh?" Too late!

And while I have made it up with my dealer Scott and his followers as we non-conformists among the group like to call them "The Uncanny YES-Men" (I personally title them "The Barely Canny AssKiss-Men" myself) I still haven't bought a comic since Nov. And they still say Civil War is the greatest event in current Marvel history and Joe Q saved the industry. I guess if sucking in newbies (that will drop the books after CW is over) and alienating your loyal fan base by damaging the MU nearly beyond repart is a good thing.... then, Joe Q is a saint and CW is better The Watchmen, V For Vendetta, The Dark Knight Returns and such are merely shadows in its wake.

Let's see the other points besides 10. and 3.

9. I hate All-Star B&R, simply, the Batman acts more like Marv from Sin City (one of my most beloved characters of all time) and not like The Dark Knight.

8. Never read it, sorry.

7. Welp, I just found LM and read the two books earlier this year. Seems like Cho does care about it as much as we do.

6. Horrible year for comic legends and legacy. I even had one friend that I never knew paid to attention to comics email me and ask if I heard about Cockrum's passing.

5. Wizard began as fun and sometimes their price guides were so off as to be hilarious. But, they have degenerated into mostly the equivalent of Entertainment Tonight and become popular (read mostly Marvel here) people in comics's bitch.

4. Welp, I despise feminists that use that term and philosophy to hide their hatred of men. Any true feminist doesn't hate men, but sure as hell won't take any bs from them. I'm afraid Heidi, a lot of mainstream women have been conned into thinking feminist means being a shrill, rude bitch just as men have been conned into either acting like liberal activist rebels with out a clue or jock/thug/gansta culture (if you can call it that). I have never seen a time period with so many zombies who have been brain-washed into how to be in life, especially the ones with politically correct filters and yell out negative reactions to anything that counters their programming.

2. Gave up on WW. I get the book for my girls when it comes out, but anticipate or look forward to it? Nope.

1. Diamond is really a front for SPECTRE, the old James Bond nemesis. Get it, "Diamonds Are Forever"? And so will your books, forever late and there's nothing you can do to stop us, Mr. Bond, MU-HA-HA-HA-HAAA!!!

Welp, I'm going to the Read More Comics New Year's Eve sale/party tomorrow, details and pictures later. Happy New Year Heidi and James!

Carl said...

Oops, that should have read:

"Cho apparently does NOT care about LM as much as us"...

Melchior del Darién said...

Happy New Year, Heidi!

Even though I can't dispute what you've said about Civil War, I'm still reading (and enjoying) it ...

I agree with all of your other items, especially numbers 6, 5, and 2.

On WW, your statement is very well-phrased:

Not being able to read about her and enjoy a book has really been a suckfest of major proportions.

I heartily concur.

Heidi Meeley said...

Loren, bless you for agreeing. I was so disgusted by what Jones was doing with Dick that I was about ready to hop a plane, find him and have a little discussion about character over ego.

The best thing about Civil War for me is the opportunity to drop Marvel titles so I can pick up other ones. It sounds like you are in the same boat!

Happy New Year to you as well! Take care!

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, this is why you are the real deal. Jim read me your comments while I was puttering around the house and I laughed my ass off because you were so correct. Between you and Loren, you made my day.

Happy New Year Carl! Bless your heart.

Heidi Meeley said...

Melchior, Wonder Woman's lateness is making a nice girl like myself into a raving you-know-what, so I am happy to see you are in agreement. It is like a black hole of ugliness and garbage to be jacked around like we have.

It is okay to like Civil War, it just isn't my cup of tea. I was doing pretty well until Clone Thor and Sue and Reed. After that, it was done for me.

Take care and don't work too hard! I have missed you!

Heidi Meeley said...

Scott- Good Point with Warlord. I think I am in such denial about the crapfest there that I have blacked it out.

Yikes, Bruce Jones really did stink up the DCU this year. My heart weeps.

Happy New Year to you and your lovely wife, Scott!

Carl said...

Thanks Heidi, I feel that the worst thing you can be is *not* entertaining. Especially using satire to sting the backside of the not-so-good, the bad and just plain-lazy of the comics world.

And I read the first issue of Warlord, I nominate it for the worst 'bad-taste-in-mouth' insult return/revision of 2005/2006. I believe since the original run and the still-in-canon sequels ended, Warlord fans have been constantly screwed. Please kick Bruce Jones to the curb in 2007 comic industry, thank you...

Lisa said...

All-Star Anything was bad this year. Superman was late early on, got back on track, and then derailed again. AS Batman & Robin had only one issue even show up in 2006 - that's something DC should be completely ashamed of and discontinue the title until the book's team get's their heads on straight. I'm already expecting that All-Star Wonderwoman will be the same--a book that is beautiful but rarely seen. Maybe they should just call it the "Really Late" line instead of "All Star."

The regular WW title gets under my skin too. We used to sell only a handfull of issues back in the previous run, until the whole pre-crisis and crisis events - then we were selling 3-4 times what we'd been before. Many people wanted to stick with the title once it restarted, but then lost interest once they saw that it wasn't coming out. We do still sell better than we did pre crisis, but with each issue the numbers go down a bit more.

Civil War sells like gangbusters, even though we saw a big drop once it started to run late. Still, it's one of our top selling comics. But, with each issue more and more people say they're disapointed and hope that Marvel really pulls it out in the next issue. I'm reserving my opinion until the end - it started OK, and then was only ok after that. Hopefully they can pull it out in the end.

Anonymous said...

I echo your criticism of the habitual lateness of so many titles. Late titles have always been a problem to some extent, but it seems 2006 had wayyyy more than its share. In fact, I covered some of the same "BAD" things in my own list:

So it looks like many of us are feeling blue about the same things!

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl- I am really glad that Scott mentioned Warlord. I had blocked out that monstrosity. I was reading over at The Beat about DC sales figures, and it is very obvious that the fans really wanted a Warlord series by initial numbers. The sad reality is that the book didn't work and now it is cancelled.


Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa, it is so funny that the All-Star titles have had nothing but bad vibes from the start. With the exception of the Superman title which I am really enjoying while trying not to think of Frank's slowness, it has been ugly. I really hope that DC cooperates with Adam Hughes on the WW title and waits until it is done to solicit it. He was very upfront about his speed, and I hope that they work around it to make the scheduling fair for retailers and the fans.

The Wonder Woman lateness makes me want to cry. I had so many people at my shop excited about the book and now it's just a joke. All I can hope at this point is that the Picoult run is good and gets back on a regular schedule.

As for Civil War, I just can't bring myself to continue to support it. I tried to not get upset, but the story just doesn't work for me. I know that people say it's because I am "old school" and so be it. The only way I can vote is with my dollars, and with the tight allocation of issue 6 coming out, it is probably a good thing I don't want it as there aren't enough copies to go around. I enjoyed the fact that Brian Hibbs called on other retailers to not put the book out until the full allocation was out and asked reviewers to not touch the book for an additional week. Its ballsy.

You will have to let me know what you think of Civil War when it is all in the can. I am really curious!

Take care!

Heidi Meeley said...

Mark- thank you for the link! I followed it over there and am glad to know where to link you at. Your sentiments echoed mine in quite a few points. I really appreciate that!

I will be back to keep visiting. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks Heidi! I appreciate you adding my link. I've done the same for you on my site.

I'd been trying to post to your blog for some time, and just today figured out the whole Google account thing (since that's the only way a non-Blogger visitor can post). Anyway, thanks....and glad to be here!

Heidi Meeley said...

Mark, the whole having to have a google e-mail account is a difficult hurdle to say the least. That is why I waited so long to switch to the new blogger format. I was scared of the new format and didn't want to have to get a new e-mail address. I finally caved in and am mostly happy I did...

I added your link tonight! I am glad to have it! I have a lot of fun reading your stuff!

Jason said...

i thought my friend and i were the only ones who felt that way about "CIVIL WAR"!!!! crap and shock for shock's sake. the ultimates is far superior. you just made the love list :) for this. happy new year!