DC Comics will release Batman Vol. 1 Omnibus hardcover this October. Written by Scott Snyder and the drawing by Greg Capullo, it collects issues #1 through #33 of Batman and will retail for $125.
DC Comics is releasing a special 14-volume boxed set of hardcover books chronicling Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC’s massive event of the 1980s. The set will weigh 28 pounds and will retail for $500. DC is releasing the box set on November 12, 2019.
Tom King, DC Comics’ top writer, took to Twitter Sunday to do a little comic book gatekeeping. Here’s the tweet:
This tweet bothered me. First of all, he began by saying comics aren’t for everyone. What a depressing thing to read. It wasn’t said by someone who doesn’t understand or know anything about comics. No, it was said by the best writer in the medium.
Comics are everyone
I hate the old negative stereotype that comic consumers are pathetic man-babies who live in their mother’s basement. That’s not at all how I see the consumers of comics. I won’t even watch The Big Bang Theory because it bases its comedy on the hackneyed belief comics are for nerds. I reject that.
The last comic book convention I attended was the inaugural Awesome Con held in nearby Washington DC. Tom King was there selling his novel, A Once Crowded Sky. I went back to buy a copy after walking the sales floor, but he had already sold out. 🙁
Tom had to see what I saw: a large, diverse crowd of people. There looked to be as many women there as men. People were there with their children. I didn’t see a bunch of basement dwelling nerds struggling mightily to be heard. I saw normal people.
Comic creators don’t exist to recognize and amplify the voices of nerds. On the contrary, they exist to create entertaining stories.
If someone is struggling to be heard, they need to see a therapist or a member of the clergy. They need to go to church or join a cult.
Comics is not the medium for outcasts, nerds, and outsiders
Comics are no more the medium of outcasts, nerds, and outsiders than movies and TV are. Much like a well-made movie or TV show, a well made comic is for anyone.
Could you imagine David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners for HBO’s Game of Thrones, saying their television show isn’t for everyone, that it’s for nerds who don’t fit in? No, I can’t either.
It would be like John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens saying watching the NFL isn’t for everyone. To watch football, you need to be a jock, preferably one who played football at least at the high school level. At the bare minimum, you should be able to bench 225 pounds at least 15 times. He wouldn’t say that because it would be stupid. That’s because the NFL markets itself for everyone. They don’t gatekeep to stop non-jocks from watching football.
The comic book industry is dying
This type of thinking in comics has to stop. There are many reasons the comic book industry is dying. Making books specifically for nerds is not a way to keep it afloat. I’m not even sure Tom King really thinks this. I don’t detect that type of thinking from his books. He seems focused on creating interesting and compelling stories. As a consumer, his books are the type I like to spend money on.
Wizkids, maker of collectible miniature games, has released images of some of the 2016 HeroClix convention exclusives. Included in the offerings is Batman with Bomb. From the Wizkids HeroClix website:
Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb… and you are going to want to get rid of this bomb— pass off the Bomb dial hot-potato-style until one unlucky figure goes BOOM! Batman with Bomb is available for $15.00 while supplies last!
I have never played HeroClix, but I have purchased a few of the figures. I like to buy things that I can place on a shelf and collect dust. When I noticed the quality of the paint jobs dropping, I stopped buying them.
Looking at the image of Batman with Bomb, either the quality of the paint job on HeroClix figures has gotten better, or they are dedicating hours of painting time to their prototypes. What are the chances when buying this set on eBay, the figure will look like this?
I think the chances are quite low.
The Wall Street Journal published a book review of Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics. The “review” is written by Tim Marchman, a baseball writer who used to work for the now-defunct New York Sun newspaper. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book review published by The Wall Street Journal, so maybe this is normal, but the article doesn’t really deal with the book being reviewed but instead focuses on how awful both Marvel and DC are.
After reading Marchman’s article, I know less about Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics than I knew before.
Marchman doesn’t just go after the Big Two in comics publishing, he takes personal cheap shots at some of the people working in the field of superhero comics. For example, writer J. Michael Straczynski:
The first issues of “Before Watchmen” will be published next month. Among the writers working on it is former He-Man scripter J. Michael Straczynski, who once penned a comic in which Spider-Man sold his marriage to the devil. (This is the rough equivalent of having Z-movie director Uwe Boll film a studio-funded prequel to Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.”)
That’s how Marchman defines Straczynski, that he’s the former writer of He-Man? The man has done so much more that. In fact, before reading this article, I hadn’t even known he once wrote He-Man cartoons. Why would I? Checking Wikipedia, it appears Straczynski wrote nine He-Man episodes. In comparison, Straczynski created the science fiction TV series Babylon 5 and wrote 92 of its 110 episodes. The show won two Emmy Awards and two Hugo Awards. Not a word about that, no, instead Marchman goes with He-Man, evidently Straczynski’s first job in television. Classy.
What’s even more ridiculous than the He-Man reference is the bit about Straczynski writing a comic where Spider-Man sold his marriage to the devil. Though technically Straczynski was the writer of said storyline, it wasn’t his idea. He was very vocal about the fact that he hated the premise and went so far as to try to get his name removed from the final issues. Either Marchman didn’t know this or chose to ignore it when throwing Straczynski under the bus.
Either Marchman is ignorant or dishonest. Considering that he wrote the article for The Wall Street Journal, one of the country’s most respected newspapers, I don’t know which is worse.
DC Comics began their massive relaunch yesterday with the publican of Justice League #1, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee. The relaunch is aimed at getting people back into reading superhero comic books. The theory is that if you reboot each book in the DC Universe to issue #1, lapsed readers will flock to their local comic book shop and buy an armload of DC Comics.
I’m literally not buying it.
There’s no denying that comic books as an entertainment medium have lots of problems these days. The main problem, the problem that compounds all other problems, is the price.
Comics are too expensive
Justice League #1 has a cover price of $3.99. That’s way too much money for a comic book that takes about five minutes to read. If comic publishers want to charge $3.99 for a comic book, they need to make comic books that are worth $3.99 a pop. So far, they haven’t been able to do that.