Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Atomic Romance Implosion

Well folks, I knew it was coming and I bet you did too. The wife and I had the talk… the talk that I’m spending too much money on comics (and other related stuff), which, alas is true. With the new baby and our saving goals for the family, I need to drastically reduce my cash outlay at the comic store by about half.

It’s funny because I was thinking about doing a post about how comics were too expensive nowadays and how the days of getting a weekly stack of comics are just about gone unless you’ve got a lot of disposable income. It wasn’t long ago that trades were a viable option and in some case they still are but the price has jumped on these books too especially Marvels. Thirty bucks for the Invaders volume 2, Sorry I just couldn’t swing that and what’s with all the hardcovers? (Hey Marvel, maybe this why your income is down on the publishing side) And now the price on regular comics has really gotten out of hand for me. I have to create a budget and I must stick to it. That means if the comic is four F-ing dollars an issue, it better be dam good from day one or I’m dropping it posthaste. Gone are the days when I’ll stick around to see if it improves because I’d rather spend my meager funds on something that’s stellar out of the gate.

I feel bad because I have this urge to buy a lot, because I want to have the sense that I’m a part of something. I’m “participating” in geek culture. By cutting down my number of books, it “seems like I’m losing out because comics are really what I’m interested in. Plus, I’ll have nothing to talk about on my blog. I do remind myself though, that times are tough and I’ve got a decent job. So I shouldn’t be such a whinny bitch. I bet there are plenty of people in the world that would love to have this as their only problem. What I need to do is start hitting the library and actually review the few comics I’ll still be following to stay relevant.

Here’s my initial list of cancellations submitted to the Comic Store yesterday. I’m sure I’ll add more

I was kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space, Platinum Studios
Actually, this is a rather cute title from both the art and the writing perspectives. If I were a female high schooler I’d sure share this with my Girlfriend… but I’m an older white dude and so I like my lesbian pirate action a little more in the adult, Heavy Metal realm.

Battlestar Galatica (All Titles), Dynamite Entertainment
What’s funny about this is that my comic book store just forgot to put the BSG comics in my box and after a few months went by, I realized that I didn’t really care. I added this to cancel list merely as a formality.

Project Superpowers, Dynamite Entertainment
I am really interested in the old Golden Age Characters that are part of this series (as some of them were quite popular in their day) and I was also quite excited by Alex Ross’ designs but actually this title has been rather boring. All the great heroes pop out of thin air after being are stuck in jar for decades? Oh come on… The action just starts up without any frame of reference for just whom these guys are. There needed to be more of an introduction to the world that these forgotten characters inhabit. See Miracle Man or the Twelve on how to revive long lost superheroes. Also, the internal art isn’t living up to the Ross covers. Sound familiar… Earth X cough, cough…

Wrath of the Titans, Blue Water
I think this title is over anyway but just incase. I didn’t like the manga-ish art and the subpar coloring job. If a comic has Ray Harryhausen’s name on it, the artwork should match his style.

Next Issue Project, Image
Actually the first title in this series was quite good. Kinda like a cross between and indie book and Bronze Age comic. It’s just too expensive for me continue with right now. If an affordable trade shows up at some point, I may purchase it or at least borrow it.

The Dead Rider, Dark Horse
This thing is seems to be published so sporadically that I don’t remember what going on from issue to issue so it’s gone.

Lone Ranger, Dynamite Entertainment
This is a well-written comic, but I guess I’m just more of a revisionist western type of guy so it’s Jonah Hex for me.

Buckaroo Banzi, Moonstone
This is an OK series; I suppose I’m just not as excited about the main character as I thought I was.

Love and Rockets: New Stories, Fantagraphics
I’m an old school Love and Rocket fan. I’m just bailing on this before I have a chance to see it to save some cash.

Reign in Hell, DC comics
If your going to have folks just standing around hell talking about what their gonna do, then have Neil Gaiman or Mike Carey write it or don’t bother.

Night of the Living Dead, Avatar
I just wanted the one-shot. I’m just making sure that they didn’t sign me up for a regular series.

She Buccaneer, Great Big Comics.
Great concept and a great main character but this title needs better plotting. At Four bucks a pop it should be a superior product and right now it’s merely a B-movie.

Super World, Near Mint Press
Something I signed up for a long time ago that never showed up. Just making sure it never does at this point.

Storming Paradise, Wildstorm
The premise of this title is very intriguing, it’s actually something I’ve given some thought to. So, when Wildstorm announced that they were doing a WWII invasion of Japan alternate history comic, I was pretty stoked. The problem is Storming Paradise isn’t focusing on the things I’m interested in, such as things like the experimental jet aircraft built by the Japanese that would have factored into any invasion battles or the Russian invasion of Hokkaido. I might still pick up the next issue as it’s a good title but if I can’t, no worries.

The Age of the Sentry, Marvel
I like the silver age aesthetic of this comic but it hasn’t come out yet so it’s gone. Plus I really disliked the last Sentry mini.

Criminal Macabre, Dark Horse
Good stuff but if I’m not reading it, I don’t know what I’m missing right?

Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, Dynamite Entertainment
I picked this up out of nostalgia for the 80s. It’s OK but with a smaller budget I need bigger laughs to keep going with it.

No Hero, Avatar
This is actually a really interesting psychedelic superhero offering from avatar. No complaints here. I hope I can pick up as trade during a sale someday.

The Station, Boom Studios
A crime comic in space? That’s what the station offers with a murder scenario on the international space station. It isn’t out yet that’s why I dropped it. I’ve been burned a few times with some of Boom’s titles not living up to the hype so I guess it’s better to wait and see if the buzz is good for this book, besides Boom’s trades tend to be more economical anyway.

Streets of Glory, Avatar
One western too many I guess.

Savage Tales, Dynamite Entertainment
One of the things that’s been bugging me about the Red Sonja title is that it’s supposed to set during the Hyborian Age, which I fined a very compelling fantasy world, but Dynamite has been keeping her travels very vague as to where she is. Sonja is just in some generic medieval land rather than the time of Conan. I like the character so much and that’s what keeps me coming back to her own title, but Savage Tales with its McMagic world stories about other guys? No thanks anymore.

Salem: Queen of Thorns, Boom Studios
I thought I would be in the mood for a good Salem witch horror story. I guess I’m not. If you are, check it out it’s just not my bag of chips at this point.

Anna Mercury, Avatar.
I picked this one up for the art, which is great. I’m just not into Warren Ellis’s sci-fi premise that’s presented in this title. Maybe She reminds me of too many other sci-fi action heroines like UltraViolet and Aeon Flux.



Don Snabulus said...

Parenthood means some sacrifice for sure. However, it sounds like there was some dead weight to unload as well. If you don't have time to read it, maybe it isn't worth your $$$$ anyway.

With your remaining budget, you are now challenged to ferret out the wheat from the chaff and that should lead to some good reviews, posts, etc.

Besides, kids are more important than blogs and comics put together.

Dean Wormer said...

Thus Swinebread singlehandedly brings the comics industry to it's knees.

The library carries a lot of trades and classic stuff. I just read through all the Dark Horse alien and alien v predator stuff by checking them out there.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Reminds me of my promise to stop buying music-related equipment. It held true for a couple of years at least...

Dr. Zaius said...

Buckaroo Banzi!??!? But he's cool!

rob! said...

wow, you do buy a lot of comics! that was your DROP LIST? i don't buy that many new titles in a month!

one things the comics industry is going to have to deal with is are these ridiculous prices. i don't ridiculous as in writers and artists shouldn't get royalties and stuff, but ridiculous in that $4 for a book you'll read in about five minutes just isn't economically feasible for most people.

when i was a kid, comics were generally around 50 cents, and candy bars were around 40 cents. in the 20 years since, comics are around $3 a pop and candy bars are around...60 cents.

i know the costs of each business are vastly different, but Big Candy realized you'll never get people to purchase your throwaway item if you price it too high. comics have forgotten this.

a mom wanting to buy her kid a comic book to shut him the hell up during a long car ride shouldn't have to drop $3.50 to do so.

i still like to read AR even if you don't talk about current comics. howabout more pics of Dr. Gumby and Aquaman?

ladybug said...

I'm with Rob...comics are WAY overpriced...reflecting the move from "kid" pricing to the Adult Collector pricing. Besides...where are you gonna put all that stuff? You may need a whole house just for that :P

Arkonbey said...

Dean's right? What will the industry do without your monthly infusion of cash?

Dr. Z: Buckaroo Banzai IS cool. The comic, I feel however, is neither exceptionally drawn nor written. It isn't bad, per se, but not-good enough to make BB feel like a second string introduction.

I've cut down to PS 238 ($2.99! What IS up with the prices these days?) and the occasional TBP

Randal Graves said...

Man, that stuff is expensive nowadays. I thought it was bad when I had to shell out $1.25 for Punisher War Journal. I'm going to stick with the coke habit instead.

Stephen said...

i know ur pain

Stephen said...

i know ur pain

Stephen said...

i know ur pain

pidomon said...

all the hardcovers from the big 2 publishers are aimed at the bookmarket. Warp up crap in a fancy package, throw it against the wall and see what stinks errrr sticks

dont bother with reign in hell what a convoluted piece of dung

and if there something you cant live without there are plenty of internet sites that offer stuff at a discount (not sure what you are getting at your local shop)

Swinebread said...

Snab – When you’re right, you’re right. I think there was just a kinda shopping joy from picking up comics regardless of quality. Kids are more important than anything.

Dean – Heh heh, I wish I could bring it to it’s knees at least to get them to listen for a little while.

Hey dean a review of the Alien comics would be great hint, hint!

Moody – somehow I see comics as being cheaper than music equipment but the same premise applies.

Dr. Zaius – He is… but Jonah Hex is cooler…

Rob! – you are so right. Comics really aren’t for kids anymore because they can’t afford to buy them. The companies are killing themselves with such high-priced books thus lowering the readership.

“when i was a kid, comics were generally around 50 cents, and candy bars were around 40 cents. in the 20 years since, comics are around $3 a pop and candy bars are around...60 cents.” I knew something was wrong!

Thanks for the support! I try to keep it interesting.

LB – Don’t remide me that I have to make more room for my comics! I’ll make a library someday damit!

Arkonbey – heh heh, I hope they wished their books were better priced.

BB comic maybe is too little to late maybe… kinda like those Babylon 5 shows that came later.
Sorry about getting you to buy War is Hell.. That turned out to be not so good.

Stephen – We all feel it.

Stephen – We all feel it.

Stephen – We all feel it.

Eaglewing said...

Its sad that comics have almost priced themselves right out of the market. I guess everything is going up in price from gas to food to movies, etc, but for an industry that's never been exactly healthy, they sure make it hard to support the interest, and really hard to support new titles at these prices.

Good luck with the dropped list and the belt tightening.

Swinebread said...

Yeah, it really is amazing that the comic companies can;t see the forrest through the trees. The hard you make it for folks to buh the less folks will buy.

Glad to see you back EW.

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