Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tales From The Comic Box #3

I was sitting in The Comic Box as I do today on every other Sunday, trying to think of what to write about this time around. I do these posts for the people who read comics and for those who want to get an understanding of all the hype. So, I could talk about one of the very stereotypical customers that visit the store, or I could write about the fact that DC Comics has put a beatdown on Marvel that they may never recover from thaks to "Infinite Crisis".

I'll do the "Infinite Crisis" thing. The customer scared me so much that after two hours, I don't want to relive it. Trust me on this. He's a nice guy...They make the best serial killers.

Comic conventions are becoming the norm now as the place where comics and the genre get their props and the public gets to see what all the fuss is all about. Over the weekend was WonderCon, where fans get to meet up with the publishers of the books and find out what will happen to their favorite charaters in the next few months. DC, who has been dominating the sales with "I.C.", announced that they had planned everything that has been haaping now in their books for the past three years and have set up plans for their books that will last until 2008, no matter who is writing or drawing them, but putting the best people for the job. Marvel Comics, the home of Spider-Man, had no presence at the convention, yet one of their writers, Peter David, did announce that he did recieve an exclucive contract with the company.

In the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the Rock, "Son, you ain't showed me a damn thing."

Working in a comic book store is a little bit different than working in a regular book store, as what we sell for the most part is magazines that come out every week, which makes up for the brunt of sales in the store. In the past few months at the Comic Box, we've seen Marvel comics selling at a regular pace, but DC has been selling out constantly, even with second printings, which Marvel stopped doing sometime ago. The sales of "I.C." have done very well with us, and all associated books have been good sellers, even lower selling comics such as "Aquaman" since tying in with it. For those of you not in the know, "Infinite Crisis" is a sort of sequel to a mini series from over twenty years ago called "Crisis on Infinite Worlds" where DC cleaned up years of continutity mess where you had two Superman, two Batmen, multiple earths and broke it down to one universe. Now, the universes are looking to come back. Trust's hard to explain here. Wait until there's a mass paperback for "I.C." and read it then. The new siries is a great read and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Marvel has a mini coming out this summer called "Civil War" which all the Marvel heroes take sides after it is revealed that a secret team has been working without the knowlege of the others in trying to save the world and now sides will be made up, which will mean hero verus hero. Now, as a faithful comic reader, it feels like Marvel is trying to one up DC with their own, as comic hyperbolie goes, an "Earth shattering event!" I wish Marvel well with it and I'll check it out, but I think I'll stick with DC.

DC is one of the very first comic companies and have been doing it since 1936. On that reputation, they have contracted the best writers in the industry to work for them and to bring their heroes and villians up to date, all while keeping their characters reader friendly and mass marketable for films, television and other mediums. With "Superman Returns" coming to screens in June, it helps that they should be able to bring in folks who only know Superman from the films or "Smallville" and let them know the original source. Marvel however, seems to be taking a backwards leap with "Civil War" and forgetting that their characters have lives beyond the printed page with the Spider-Man, X-Men and Blade movies. In fact, Blade was a much smaller Marvel hero before his big scren debut, and yet has only been featured in a few comics, other than his own which never made it past twelve issues.

I know there are fans of Marvel out there, jokingly called "zombies" ( which has now become a comic book in which Captain America, the Fantasic Four and others have become...ugggh, zombies) who will want to argue with me that they are in the right and they love what's going on with them being the more aggressive company. I'll admit they have some good books, but not enough for me to continuously read them and not be confused about what's going on. DC it seems, is reaching out for all the angles- the casual reader and the hard core fan- at once. They're doing very well for us now, and I hope, well enough to keep us in business for a few more years.

I'm dedicating this post to Mark Evanier, who was supposed to go to WonderCon, but is in the hospital for cellulitis this weekend. I hope you get better and get better food, my friend.

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