Calibandar

Comics XIII

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My take on World of Wakanda is that there is an audience for it.  It's the current audience that's reading Black Panther already, and trying to exploit that shows the failure of a Marvel model: "Hey, if they like this book, they'll like a related book too!  See, it has Black Panther on the cover!"  Instead, the audience said "I can only afford one of these $3.99 or oversized $4.99 first issues" or even said "I liked this when it was just one thing, if I can't follow all of it I'll follow none of it."  The latter has ancedotally happened to Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan, who they are trying very hard to Make Happen with some success (more than Captain Marvel, arguably), but the previously steady if unspectacular sales have trended downward.  It still sells in trade...well, actually, the first volume sells, but people aren't coming back for the later ones.  The Deadpool spinoffs also failed, despite one of them actually being good; the Squadron Supreme expansions should have been minis from the start, but Marvel is unable to be honest about when something's a mini even though you can assume almost any niche book is, now, unless they desperately want to make it happen (again, Captain Marvel) or it has some remarkable outside market (Moon Girl selling via Scholastic).

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There's certainly a problem with Marvel's inability to admit when something is a limited series, but again, for me this speaks to clinging to the old models. These days, almost any series needs to be regarded as a limited series. 20 issues is regarded as a long run. Even on 'ongoing' titles like The Avengers, you can pretty much guarantee a major change of roster, creative team and/or other aspects of the status quo every year or so. Meanwhile, continuity becomes ever more convoluted as the publishing history of characters gets longer.

Both Marvel and DC need to acknowledge that titles no longer work in the way they used to, as part of the fact that the market no longer works as it used to. But they're afraid to, because 'limited series' don't appeal to that existing market they're still trying to exploit.

They need to stop pretending comics haven't changed since they were buying them instead of making them. The market is there. Every film adaptation shows that to be true. If even one person in every theatre that saw 'Wonder Woman' bought a comic book, the industry would be thriving. Why don't they? I contend it's because DC and Marvel aren't really trying to sell to them, because it would mean changing the way their industry works and they can't handle that much change. Even something as minor as allowing comic shops to return unsold copies would help. Properly marketing TPB and digital sales would be a bonus. They have to do something, because that comic shop market is unsustainable.

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Empowered Volume 10 came out and it was definitely worth the wait. A funny comic that takes an honest look at what being a superheroine would be like.

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Jerome Opena is taking a couple issues off on Seven To Eternity. This displeases me. The guy filling in isn't bad, but it definitely makes me appreciate Opena's art on that book even more. Still really digging that title though. Probably the book I look most foward to every month other than Saga. 

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I agree that looking at Marvel/DC the titles receive overhauls every couple of years so some kind of season format would be more appropriate. I recall Marvel claiming after one of their biannual rebrandings that all the creative teams had two year stories planned. That would have probably been a good thing allowing creators to tell a long story. Not sure it eer really happened though unless it wasHickman's Avengers, Slott's spidey or possibly Spencer's cap america.

It seems like DCs rebirth might be doing something similar. I think it's thw whole point of Ellis' Wildstorm comic.

Given the media it makes sense to quickly course correct if a title isn't working.

On 07/07/2017 at 7:51 AM, Nictarion said:

Jerome Opena is taking a couple issues off on Seven To Eternity. This displeases me. The guy filling in isn't bad, but it definitely makes me appreciate Opena's art on that book even more. Still really digging that title though. Probably the book I look most foward to every month other than Saga. 

That's a shame but I can see why it's happened as the book is being hindered by delays.

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Finally finished vol I of "Clean room" (wound up restarting) and it's certainly worthy of all the praise it gets around here. Oddly it was my watching of twin peaks from the start that got me to come back to the trade (just been busy and comics take the brunt of lost time) in the sense the red/curtained room really reminded me of clean room. Clearly different execution but they capture the otherness of the alien/demons/spirits incredibly well. As if it's really hard for those things to interact in any meaninful way because we percieve reality so differently.

That's what's great about clean room - the sense that while they appear to be aliens they could be anything else and that their invasion is almost imperceptible because they are operating on a different plane. It's a really cool idea and having pseudo-scientologists as our front-line defense is fun.

Honestly, it's like Gail Simone is a different writer here.I guess I've only read her superhero stuff but if this is how she handles indie then she needs to do more. This book is something a Grant Morrison fan (invisibles and the filth) could readily enjoy and I suspect most Morrison fans wouldn't think that.

Davis Hunt is a real talent. Such a good eye for designing truly disturbing and horrific imagery.

need to move the remainder of the series up my to read list. It's currently on hiatus right?

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^^^^^^

I just ordered the third trade (Waiting for the Stars to Fall) from Amazon. That covers issues #13-18. As near as I can tell it looks like there will be a break before the next big arc starts. 

 Agree with you regarding Simone. I enjoyed some of her older stuff, but she's taken it to another level with this book. This title is the feather in her cap. 

 Dig Hunt as well. Seems to me the two creators just vibe here, and when that happens you almost always get a superior product.

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On 22/07/2017 at 5:05 PM, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

^^^^^^

I just ordered the third trade (Waiting for the Stars to Fall) from Amazon. That covers issues #13-18. As near as I can tell it looks like there will be a break before the next big arc starts. 

 Agree with you regarding Simone. I enjoyed some of her older stuff, but she's taken it to another level with this book. This title is the feather in her cap. 

 Dig Hunt as well. Seems to me the two creators just vibe here, and when that happens you almost always get a superior product.

creator combos in comics are a thing to be cherished. Ellis and Hunt on paper should be equally/more entertaining than Simone/Hunt but I've yet to get into the "wildstorm" book. I think some of the best authors/artists are the ones that recognise a good partnership when it clicks.

It still strikes me as odd how Simone is the sole creator in the credits. It's fairly rare these days that the writers don't include the initial artist as a creator. Then again it may be that Simone has done the designs for the project and Hunt is interpreting it.

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Does anybody know when Clean Room season 2 is coming?

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On 27/07/2017 at 9:03 PM, Red Tiger said:

Does anybody know when Clean Room season 2 is coming?

Was having a look myself but came up with nothing. I guess/hope it's not until the artist is done with "The Wildstorm" but given that's 24 issues we'd have to hope he's only signed on for 6-12. I get the impression "the wildstorm" hasn't really taken off so he may not stay on for the full term. Then again, I'd be amazed if Marvel/DC/Image haven't tried to snap him up.

The artist for the last few issues does a good job of capturing Davis-Hunt's style. Uncannily similar in places (I think colourists these days can be almost like inkers and the same one has remained), but it lacks the overall details/layout. Still I'd stick with that artist if they can't get the original one back.

Volume 2 was also great. Pony man is a thing of nightmares. Sparks somehow manages to be cute/fragile and terrifying at the same time. I hope they dig into why Sparks could be exorcised. The leader of the bottled water company felt straight out of Preacher or one of Morrison's more twisted characters. Deeply unpleasant.

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

Was having a look myself but came up with nothing. I guess/hope it's not until the artist is done with "The Wildstorm" but given that's 24 issues we'd have to hope he's only signed on for 6-12. I get the impression "the wildstorm" hasn't really taken off so he may not stay on for the full term. Then again, I'd be amazed if Marvel/DC/Image haven't tried to snap him up.

The artist for the last few issues does a good job of capturing Davis-Hunt's style. Uncannily similar in places (I think colourists these days can be almost like inkers and the same one has remained), but it lacks the overall details/layout. Still I'd stick with that artist if they can't get the original one back.

Volume 2 was also great. Pony man is a thing of nightmares. Sparks somehow manages to be cute/fragile and terrifying at the same time. I hope they dig into why Sparks could be exorcised. The leader of the bottled water company felt straight out of Preacher or one of Morrison's more twisted characters. Deeply unpleasant.

Holy shit and how. Pony Man was Duncan's lover, right? I remember the visual, but not who he was before his maiming.

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2 hours ago, Red Tiger said:

Holy shit and how. Pony Man was Duncan's lover, right? I remember the visual, but not who he was before his maiming.

It turned my stomach again just checking up on who it was. It was just some banker who crossed "the surgeon". The threat was simply - that's the kind of shit I can do to your lover if you don't play ball. Don't really blame Duncan after that.

 

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30 minutes ago, red snow said:

It turned my stomach again just checking up on who it was. It was just some banker who crossed "the surgeon". The threat was simply - that's the kind of shit I can do to your lover if you don't play ball. Don't really blame Duncan after that.

 

Yep, that's right. 

Clean Room was an absolute darling of a series that reveals virtually everything, makes every panel relevant and makes rereading a pleasure. There are very few stories that are so tightly knit and have such a good voice as this. 

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4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Yep, that's right. 

Clean Room was an absolute darling of a series that reveals virtually everything, makes every panel relevant and makes rereading a pleasure. There are very few stories that are so tightly knit and have such a good voice as this. 

Seconded, strongly. My favorite comic of the past couple years. Thanks again for turning me on to it.

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1 minute ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

Seconded, strongly. My favorite comic of the past couple years. Thanks again for turning me on to it.

It was also apparently Gail Simone's favorite thing she's done, which is pretty cool. 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

It was also apparently Gail Simone's favorite thing she's done, which is pretty cool. 

She gave me Villains United many moons ago. Ever since i've been a fan of her.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

It was also apparently Gail Simone's favorite thing she's done, which is pretty cool. 

That's great to hear because I haven't read anything else by her that has come as close to this in quality. I'm pleased she enjoyed created as much as we all seem to reading it.

She certainly needs to do more projects she enjoys doing. I know I've become a "will check it out" the next time she announces a new book

I'm curious as to how long "clean room" had been sitting in her mind? It seems really well thought out so I'd be impressed if this was something recent she just threw down on paper. Then again. I'm not sure how healthy it is to have some of these plots/images sitting in one's head for long.

So, I'm pretty sure I'm being captain obvious here but all the parasites we've seen so far (haven't finished all the last volume yet) tend to be "male" or prefer to inhabit men. Some of the dialogue from the aliens often reads like drunken abusive men talking down to humans (where most of the characters are women). And the series has had several scenes/flashbacks where men are creepy/abusive to female characters that parallel the parasites. I'm sure there are other parallels/themes going on in the series but I sometimes get the impression the whole thing could be allegory for the shit many women have to put up with in their daily lives eg an ability to see what a given man is really like would be equal parts useful and terrifying. Some of you may have noticed other elements and convey it more clearly/strongly but having finished the second volume yesterday it was something that clicked into place for me. I wonder if Simone herself has said anything about inspiration and themes?

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