Awesome Con 2014 this weekend

ACDC_Exclusives_LogoAwesome Con, the Washington D.C. comic book and pop-culture convention, is this weekend. Like last year’s inaugural event, it’s being held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Unlike last year’s inaugural event, the price of admission is $30 a day.
Last year it was only $15 a day.

I was thinking about going this year, but not if it means paying twice as much as last year. That just seems wrong. Parking is around $25 near the convention center. That means it would cost Sheri and I $85 just to walk in the door and that doesn’t include overpriced food and drink. That also doesn’t include anything purchased in the dealer room.

It doesn’t seem like it would be worth it.

ComicsPRO responds to Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology

ComicsPRO, the trade organization dedicated to the progress and development of comic book retailers, has issued an official response to the Amazon Purchase of Comixology. This was posted on the ComicsPRO Facebook page:

There’s always a concern when a huge corporation that shows little need to turn a profit tries to convert a niche market into a commodity. Fortunately there is a tactile element to comics that no deep-discounting web entity will ever be able to replicate. So as long as there continues to be fans for the real thing, there will be comics and comic book stores.

The real thing? It doesn’t matter if a comic is created with dead trees or instead, with ones and zeros. A comic is a comic. To imply that a digital comic isn’t a real comic seems more than a little… silly.

We live in a digital world. It’s ironic that ComicsPRO issued this statement on Facebook, something that only exists digitally. There is no physical, or in ComicsPRO speak, “real” version of Facebook.

Personally, I don’t care who serves as the distributor of digital comics. Amazon, comiXology, Prodigy, CompuServe, or anyone else, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is the actual comic, not the mechanism used to deploy it. Amazon seems to do a fairly decent job distributing e-books. I can purchase an e-book on Amazon with one mouse click and read it seconds later on my Kindle, iPad, or on a desktop computer using a Kindle app.

I see no reason why Amazon can’t succeed at digitally distributing funny books.

Alex Ross does variant cover for ‘Life With Archie’

live-with-archie-alex-rossEvidently Archie Comics publishes more than one comic book series based on Archie and his friends. This July, there will be one less series in publication. Life With Archie, a series that takes place sometime in the future when Archie and his cohorts are grown-up and graduated, is coming to a close. Not only are they ending the series, they’re killing off Archie.

I don’t know how they’re doing it, killing off Archie, but my vote would be for Archie to contract Hepatitis C off a bus station restroom toilet seat. They could even work out a sponsorship deal with a company that makes those disposable paper toilet seat covers.

At least I’ve always assumed they were disposable.

To commemorate the final issue, and the death of its title character, Archie Comics commissioned various artists to do special covers. This cover by Alex Ross is kind of creepy. Archie looks like a serial killer, or worse, a Jimmy Buffett fan. Betty and Veronica look like are snarling at each other. Oddly enough, Jughead looks like the most normal person in the bunch.

Tasteless flyer promoting Capital City Comic Con offends the Internet

Organizers of Capital City Comic Con, scheduled to take place July 11-13 in Austin, Texas, created a bit of an Internet controversy this weekend when Richard Neal, a Dallas comic book store owner, tweeted a photo of a postcard-sized flyer sent to his shop, evidently by the con’s organizer. The flyer shows a close-up of Power Girl’s chest with the words, “Everything is BIGGER in Austin.”

Here’s the image tweeted by Neal:


As far as flyers go, it’s pretty dumb. It’s trying to play into the worn-out cliche that everything is bigger in Texas. As if people in Texas would appreciate this. They live in Texas. I’m pretty sure they know things in Texas are sized the same as they are elsewhere. Also, the flyer is obviously going for a cheap boob joke. Power Girl, first cousin of Superman, has large breasts. She wears a costume that, in my opinion, unnecessarily accentuates those large breasts. Of the people the Capital City Comic Con wants to attract to their convention, how many are into cheap boob jokes?

I think boob jokes are stupid. Mostly that’s because I’m not 14 years old.

As bad as the flyer is, the initial reaction by the Capital City Comic Con organizer was even worse. Here’s a screenshot from Facebook:

What a terrible response to legitimate criticism. According to a statement posted later on Facebook by the Capital City Comic Con organizer, both the person who created the flyer and the person who left that dismissive comment on Facebook, logged into the official Capital City Comic Con Facebook account, are no longer part of the convention staff.

I’m not sure I believe that. I have a feeling whoever posted the initial reaction to criticism is the same person who posted the apology. It seems far too convenient to say someone else posted it.

More facts emerge concerning sexualized cover of the Powerpuff Girls

Even though the Cartoon Network has decided not to publish Powerpuff Girls #6 with a special cover by artist Mimi Yoon, the controversy isn’t really going away. She posted about the matter on Facebook. From her post:

i am quite overwhelmed but will try to reply all of the supportive messages as soon as i can. and i will continue to create art embracing the beauty of women and femininity. i find all of the accusations for my Powerpuff Girls image sexualizing minors not only ridiculous but also embarrassing (for the accusers) and disturbing especially since it’s started by a person of such value as seen in the pictures below.

Who’s this person Mimi speaks of? A man named Dennis Barger.

He owns and operates a comic book shop in Michigan and also co-promotes Detroit Fanfare, an annual comic book convention. Dennis was evidently the first one to publicly criticize the cover art, saying among other things, that it was perverted.

What are the pictures Mimi referred to? Here’s one of them:


If this is truly the best of Detroit, than Motor City is doomed.

Dennis Barger is the one in the middle. It was taken, along with a whole bunch of other photos, at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Detroit.

Show me someone who goes to an establishment such as the Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club and poses for pictures with ladies in special comic book convention underwear, and I’ll show you someone who probably shouldn’t be weighing in on what’s perverted or inappropriately sexualized.

The Cartoon Network overreacted when they decided to cancel Mimi’s cover to Powerpuff Girls #6. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with the artwork. Contrary to what Dennis said on Facebook, there’s nothing perverted about it. Also, the cover was intended to be featured on a variant version of Powerpuff Girls #6, not the regular, “mass-market” version intended for readers of all ages. A variant is a special version intended for collectors, not children. Retailers sell variant versions for more than the suggested retail price, usually a lot more.

Yesterday, for some reason, Bleeding Cool published an open letter written by Dennis Barger. It begins by stating that children are the future, and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

Read it at your own risk.