Being married to a comic book collector and reviewer, we do have regular conversations about popular or interesting comics he comes across. Some of these are hard copy books available in the comic book stores some are web series or digital books. One such conversation got my mind going about the overall comics industry and the future of hard copy comics.
I was at the last Charlotte Comicon and overheard a couple of dealers telling an attendee about their store in Concord, NC. Bear in mind that for the first few years since I returned to Charlotte, comic stores north of uptown simply didn't exist. Now it seems that there has been an explosion of new stores in the past few years. Chances are, you've seen it in your area as well, as the demand for comics facilitates new outlets for comics and merchandise around them.
When I was younger, like I imagine most of you, I was into role-playing games. I limited myself to super-hero RPGs, primarily the Marvel Super-Heroes Game, although most of the campaigns we played had very little to do with the Marvel Universe. I tried to get into the Mayfair DC Heroes RPG, but it hit just too late in my development, and without enough of a social circle to get a good campaign together.
Chicago cartoonist Ed Siemienkowicz is fighting the battle of his life yet again. A little over two years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which it seemed like he had pretty well beaten by having part of his pancreas, intestines and lymph nodes removed. Then it came back and his entire pancreas was removed. Now it's back again and Ed is in the fight of his life yet again. He has documented part of his battle over on his crowdfunding page, Team Ed. This article about Ed is in three parts, my personal feelings about Ed and his battle, how you can help, and a soapbox.
Canadian comic artist Gisèle Lagacé, known most recently for her work on Jem And The Holograms, Archie Meets The Ramones and Betty Boop, was scheduled to be at Artist's Alley and the IDW table at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend. Unfortunately, she won't be there due to problems she encountered at the US Border with Canada. Here is the full recounting she shared on her Facebook page.
We get a lot of press releases about Kickstarters, and for the most part we pass them by. If we posted every Kickstarter, the site would fill up pretty fast. Sure, maybe we should be a little more fair, but the comics section of Needless Essentials Online is where we share a love of the
Alterna Comics is trying to draw in new readers with one of the oldest business tactics, lowering cost. I'm not mentioning prices, because that is a different issue. Alterna is lowering their costs by using cheaper paper, specifically newsprint. This has the dual effect of sparking nostalgia for those of us that get a kick out of the smell of newsprint. Newsprint also has a unique look that modern paper just doesn't have. However, due to this reduced printing cost, Alterna's cover prices are very noticeable for how low they are. Is it a good strategy? It is if the books are good.
Let's set the stage for this week's Review of Old Comics. In 1992, Jim Shooter had been ousted as Editor-In-Chief of Valiant Comics. A year later, he founded Defiant Comics in the crowded direct market of the 1990s. To stand apart, it was decided that the first issue of their flagship series, Plasm, was to be produced as a trading card set. When the cards were put into binder pages, they would reveal the complete story. Due to varying allotment, gaining the entire story proved difficult. There was a print version made available through Diamond Comic Distributor's catalog, Previews, but aside from that, readers had to wait until it was collected in Warriors Of Plasm: The Collected Edition.
The Comic Lover's Wife is back, this time just with a question that has nagged at her brain for a while. Hopefully it can generate some discussion between you and your friends not into comics and provoke some thought.
I'm resurrecting another favorite old series of mine, Elementals, by Bill Willingham. This time it's an issue that I remember being exceptionally good. Will this be another case of memory being fooled by a more critical eye years later? Let's have a look.
Sequart's latest contribution to comics scholarship is The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer. This is a subject that has been touched on in the past in various outlets for comics journalism, but never comprehensively. The British Invasion looks to be a serious effort to not only tell the story of the early careers of these three writers, but the lasting effect they have had on the comics medium.
Black Mask Studios sent us a preview of next week's Kim & Kim #1, which is part of a huge push of new titles that they're making this year. There looks to be a lot of anticipation for this title, so seeing it arrive in the inbox was a real treat. How does it live up to the anticipation?