Tag Archives: buffy the vampire slayer

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

GENZERO_001_COVER-A_MOONEYWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Faith #2 (Valiant) – I really can’t say enough about how much I’m enjoying this series. If you’re not reading it you’re missing out on one of the best comics from any publisher being released right now. Faith is a series that’s fun, that has a more positive outlook on things and takes some very light jabs at industry tropes. And it’s visually stunning.

Action Comics #962 (DC Comics) – It’s not often that I read a comic where Superman feels like he’s actually in a fight for his life, so watching the Man Of Steel in a rematch against Doomsday has been incredibly fun – even if the chances of him losing are nil.

Blue Beetle Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – I recently dug out the pre-New 52 run featuring Jaime Reyes, and wondered why I never read the series through the New 52 iteration. With how easy many of the Rebirth comics have been for new readers, I’m looking forward to this.

Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – A new series from Valiant? Don’t mind if I do.

Northguard #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – An incredibly underrated publisher, Chapterhouse have some fantastic series on the racks, one of which, Captain Canuck is a genuine pleasure to read. I’m excited for this spin off series that I know very little about (which is deliberate on my part), because based on Chapterhouse’s track record, this promises to be a blast.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Pretty Deadly TP Vol. 2 (Image Comics) – The first volume of Pretty Deadly was a dark, poetic, bloody journey that featured one of the best creative teams in comics…period. The second arc here is collected for those that missed out on the single issues (or just loved it so much that the trade is worthy of purchasing) and features more striking images from Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire’s colours with a hypnotic script by Kelly Sue DeConnick that will put you in the good kind of trance that makes Pretty Deadly a difficult title to put down.

Island #10 (Image Comics) – Anthologies tend to be hit and miss but not Island. Emma Rios and Brandon Graham have opened the creative floodgates by curating a slew of material from both artists more well known and those perhaps yet to be discovered by a wider audience. It’s also refreshing in that each and every issue of Island defines variety in covering a wide array of genres and material.

Faith #2 (Valiant) – It’s a very warming feeling to remember that Faith has her own ongoing series. Jody Houser provides such a great voice for Faith, blending her pop culture quips with dramatic moments. Maintaing the back and forth art style of Pere Perez during the present time and Marguerite Sauvage doing Faith’s fantasies from the mini series is an extra nice touch and has been played with wonderfully so far.

Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – Straight from the pages of Harbinger comes a new team of super powered teens. Minus the Imperium title, there hasn’t been much explored in the Harbinger side of the Valiant universe recently besides a few appearances here and there in other titles so it will be very interesting to see what Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela have prepared. This has a very New Mutants type appearance featuring a younger group of misfits so the parallels between characters will be very intriguing to see in how it will be presented.

Sombra #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue of Sombra was a fairly solid introduction to this story of a DEA agent about to throw herself into the middle of a tense situation with the Mexican Cartel. With the introductory exposition out of the way, hopefully being thrown further into the fire is something on Justin Jordan’s mind. Raul Trevino’s photo realistic backgrounds with the shadowy but bright colours of Juan Useche really paint an uncomfortable tone, especially with how the violence felt so sudden in the first issue.

 

Shay

Top Pick: Alena (Dark Horse) – This is a great time to get on board with this horror comic treasure. This TP gives you the whole story so that you’e all caught up before it becomes a live action Swedish horror film. There’s mean girls, a best friend who had been dead for a year and lots of murder an blood.

Batgirl #2 (DC Comics) – This issue should be packed with enough kick ass girl power to wipe the taste of the Killing Joke out of your mouth and combined with last weeks Birds of Prey get you back on team Babs.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer , Season 10, #30 (Dark Horse) – All good things must come to an end and Season 10 off BTVS is no exception. Issue #330 ends this killer story arc and will remind us all why we keep reading and still enjoy watching the reruns.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Generation Zero #1 (Valiant) – I’ve been waiting for this series since it was announced and wondering when we’d next see Generation Zero since last we saw them (during Harbinger Wars?). I’m hoping for a new take on the New Mutants formula, and honestly that’s what I expect. It’s also an area Marvel has dropped the ball on, so glad to see Valiant picking it up and running with it.

Atomic Robo and the Temple of Od #1 (IDW Publishing) – It’s new Atomic Robo, really nuff said when it comes to why you should be checking this series out. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any volume of the series released. It’s always packed with action and humor, and constantly entertains.

The Hellblazer #1 (DC Comics) – I’m intrigued as to what version of John Constantine we’ll be getting. The Rebirth issue gave me some hope, but the real test is with this first issue.

Northguard #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – Putting out fun, positive, superhero comics with lots of action and humor. I can’t wait to check out this new series which we got a tease of in their Summer Special.

The Revisionist #3 (Aftershock Comics) – Time traveling fun action. It’s entertainment for a genre that lends itself to all sorts of madness and interesting twists.

 

Around the Tubes

The Ultimates #5 variantIt’s new comic book day tomorrow! What are folks looking forward to? Any comics that have you really excited? Sound off in the comments.

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

iO9 – The Most Jaw-Dropping Cosplay From Wondercon 2016 – Some awesome cosplay.

The Beat – The Battle of 2017 Could Be Disney v Comic-Con – Let the con wars begin!

Alex De Campi – Do Not Let This World Cause Your Steps to Falter – Well worth a read.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Angela: Queen of Hel #6

CBR – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #25

CBR – Dept. H #1

BlogCritics – Persia Blues Vol. 1 and 2

CBR – The Ultimates #5

Retro Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #1 The Long Way Home Pt 1

BTVS Season 8 #1So we wanted to try something new…or rather something vintage at Graphic Policy.  Comics as a medium have become a growing force in popular culture, enjoyed by people of many ages. Collectors can attest to their admiration for how the medium has changed visually, narrative-wise and so on over the years. In the spirit of this admiration we are very proud to introduce the Retro Review. An occasional curating of some classic or forgotten gems over the years, dusted off favourites, served up on tap and presented for analysis.

One of the landmark pop cultural icons of the 90s was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, originally a kitschy movie which debuted 1992 about a vally-girl heroine turned warrior against the forces of darkness. Buffy the Vampire introduced the  archetype of the subverted damsel in distressed turned chosen one. Though not presented exactly to her creator Joss Whedon’s initial expectations, the concept found its fullest expression and enjoyed its greatest success during its seven season television adaption which ran from to 1997-2003. The series end was book-ended with a seismic shift in the series mythos when Buffy makes the choice to share her power with other women around the world.

Flash forward five years to 2008 and the story has found its continuation albeit in comic form courtesy of Dark Horse comics.  Penned as Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. We see the titular heroine in her brave new status quo. Both Buffy and her peers now find themselves holding the reigns of what once the Watcher’s Council. Adopting the operations and agenda of the now defunct organization, the Scoobies (as they are affectionately called by the fandom) have moved forward with their own vision. A vision where power is more distributed and things are less well…patriarchal.  Instead of one chosen slayer (or two thanks to the hiccups of seasons 2-7) there are now an estimated 1800 Slayers working with mentors in squads worldwide fighting the good fight.

A few fan favourites return as we get a look into their new operation and status quo. The Nick Fury-esque Xander Harris coordinates with Buffy remotely as she takes a squad of freshly called slayers to investigate a new seemingly demonic mystery. The team has a mixed roster of Watchers (but don’t call them that) mystics and slayers.  The story is subtitled “the Long Way Home” and is narrated by Buffy who shares her longing for her home Sunnydale, simpler times and perhaps hesitation at her station in this new landscape.

Buffy

Speaking of Sunnydale, the US military makes takes an active interest into matters as they happen upon the Sunnydale crater (Sunnydale was destroyed in the series finale). General Voll laments at the sheer destructive power that Buffy has wrought on the world, and tacitly rebrands intelligence of Buffy’s slayer squads as terroristic “cells”.  Sunnydale has always interested me, the theatre for most of the supernatural drama Buffy and her friends have endured, the longstanding nonchalance or perhaps ignorance of its citizens (with regard to its danger and weirdness) has been a striking and mostly unaddressed facet of the TV series (until season 7) since its beginning. Seeing the immensity of the crater, you realize it is truly emblematic of the consequence of its supernatural ignorance.

SD Crater

 

It is nice to see a military / government response to this new world order Buffy has spearheaded. It is an intriguing and organic thematic flourish from Season 4’s introduction of the Initiative. The raised profile of Buffy’s organization is poised to redefine human/ superhuman relations in the Buffyverse and raise the stakes for the time being. I always felt there was not enough of this element on the show and I was happy to see it explored in this series extension.

A long time Scooby villain re-emerges from the crater as with whom General makes a strategic partnership with. This villain is revealed to be the witch Amy Madison the military’s apparent answer to Buffy and company’s seeming threat and beachhead into the world of the supernatural. Those who know this carry may smell a grudge match on the horizon which stirs anticipation for issue 2.

Amy

I have written elsewhere of the risk of cross media integration, and this series is a strong successful example of that.  The tone and humour of the TV series carries over seamlessly into the comic and as strange as it sounds you really feel as though you are reading an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lastly there is a lot to be said for the art. Georges Jeanty has an incredible knack for capturing the likeness of the characters we know and love. His covers are also vivid, and worthy of being a poster on any superfan’s wall.   The promises of the new medium also built up anticipation for the series at the time. BTVS has been known it’s schnazzy special effects. The venture into the comic platform seemed poised to lift the lid of that. Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 8 was an exciting time indeed.

Final Thoughts

5 years seems to be the magic number for this franchise. We saw a cross media jump from film to TV in the interim of 1992-97. And another from TV to comics from 2003-2008. Perhaps when (or if) this comic series wraps up we’ll see another such leap. Perhaps a Netflix reboot?…please? Joss willing of course.

 

Writer: Joss Whedon, Artist: Georges Jeanty

Story 9: Art: 10 Overall 9.5  Recommendation: Buy (And Cherish)

NYCC 2015: Faith Erin Hicks Pens All-New Buffy Tale for Young Readers

As revealed at the Dark Horse: CLASSIFIED! panel at New York Comic Con 2015, Dark Horse will deliver a new original graphic novel series titled Buffy: The High School Years, executive produced by Joss Whedon. The first volume will be written by Eisner Award–winning author Faith Erin Hicks with artist Yishan Li. Together they’re bringing the angst, the action, and the cool to Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Set during Season 1 of the television series, Buffy: The High School Years—Freaks & Geeks delivers classic Slayer action! Moving to a new school and making new friends will create enough anxiety for any teenage girl. But when you’re Buffy Summers, a vampire slayer—the Chosen One (with all that entails)—building a new life can be overwhelming.

A group of nerdy vampires, shunned by their cooler brethren, decide to climb the vampire social ladder by taking out the Slayer. They play on Buffy’s insecurities, wearing her down until she is full-on distracted by the mental warfare. But in addition to her Watcher, Giles, this Slayer has a couple of new friends, Willow and Xander, to cheer her on . . . except, of course, when they’re not getting along.

Buffy: The High School Years—Freaks & Geeks is in stores June 15, 2016.

Buffy The High School Year

Unboxing: Nerd Block Classic’s July 2015 Mystery Box

Nerd Block‘s Classic July 2015 release has arrived and here’s what you can find inside. The theme for this month is “Humanity’s Last Hope” so you can expect a lot of anime related items, including items from Buffy, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ghostbusters, Age of Ultron, and Transformers!

Teen Movies that got Us Through the 90s

Bbuffyeing a teenager in the 90s was a total drag! Cell phones were only available to the elite, you couldn’t download music off the internet, and there wasn’t such thing as Facebook or Instagram. Luckily for us, we had some of the greatest movies ever made to keep us entertained. I mean, nowadays, teen movies are either based off of a sci-fi or fantasy book series or sequels from an ‘06 dance movie that just won’t die. From lowly underdogs to peppy popular girls, these movies and their characters got us through some tough times.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

This isn’t your average teenage movie! Buffy was not only a pretty cheerleader, but also a butt kicking slayer. Though the movie was admittedly average, it later became a hit TV show for many years in the late 90s. Did we mention how hot Luke Perry looked in that movie?

cluelessClueless (1995)

Clueless was the ultimate teen movie of the 90s. Cher was a teenage queen in all her iconic outfits from the plaid suit to that slinky white dress. She had the coolest friends, the coolest car, went to the coolest parties, but she made us relate with her love life woes. Plus she taught all the girls around the country how to say things like, “Whatever” and “As if!”

the craftThe Craft (1996)

Being the outcast has never been so cool! This movie was about four friends who are witches. Together they unlock their powers and use them to get revenge on their enemies. Trouble arises when one of the girls wants even more power. She convinces the others to join her in taking down the one who is the strongest of the bunch which ends in a dangerous showdown. Because of this movie, 90s girls everywhere were fascinated with witchcraft and the goth life whether they showed it or not!

romeo & julietRomeo + Juliet (1996)

A classic love story retold to a modern audience about teen love and angst. Sure Leonardo Di Caprio had other starring roles before, but this movie is what really turned the key to every teenage girl’s hearts. Thanks to him, it made required English reading almost worth it!

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997)

romy and michelleSo this movie doesn’t actually feature teenagers, but there sure are enough high school flashbacks to make any teenage girl relate. Two best friends are invited back to their high school reunion, but realize how un-cool they actually were and still are. They make up some crazy lie to try to convince everyone that they’re not the same losers they used to be which backfires on them. In the end, they realize that it’s more important to be true to oneself and to be a good friend than to gain the respect of those who don’t matter, giving all the awkward girls hope for the future!

never been kissedNever Been Kissed (1999)

In this movie, Drew Barrymore played a nerdy teen who grew up to be a nerdy woman working at a newspaper, who was assigned to infiltrate the local high school and dig out any dirt in the teenage world. She starts out as a hopeless underdog, but with the help of her naturally cool brother, she becomes the coolest girl in school. In the end, she’s faced with making the choice between maintaining popularity and standing up for her beliefs. Her final decision is what leads her to find true love.

she's all thatShe’s All That (1999)

Another classic underdog tale, it’s a movie about the most popular boy in school who is challenged with turning the geekiest girl in school into a prom queen in just a few short weeks. However, he learns that the challenge is much more difficult when she rejects initial advances towards her. When she finally gives in, they begin to build a connection and long story short, Freddie Prinze, Jr. was hot.

10 things I hate about you10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Based off Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, this movie features just about every type of teen from the high school social ladder. Two love stories are explored side by side when the shy kid at school seeks the help of a rebel bad boy to help him get the popular girl, whose sister is an independent feminist. It’s got JGL who is now a full-fledged hottie, and the incomparable Heath Ledger who, through this movie, lands on the radar of every teenage girl. Did we mention there’s a musical performance in it to?

empire recordsEmpire Records

The 90s sparked another indie revolution with ideologies shifting to pushing aside conformity, fighting the man, and doing what makes you happy. This popular teen film completely captures that spirit when a small record store is in the process of being purchased by a corporate chain. The teen employees begin devising a plan to make enough money to save the store while in the midst of a plethora of social and personal issues. The store makes a last ditch effort to come up with the funds by hosting a fundraiser/party at the store. In the end, the teens get to hold on to their dream and if that’s not 90s enough for you, then I don’t know what is.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, maybe it’s time to call up some old friends for a sleepover! What was your favorite 90s teen movie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post was written by Kelvin of Pure Costumes, the site where you can find anything and everything when it comes to dressing up as someone else.

By The Numbers: January 2015

By The Numbers: January 2015

Welcome readers for the first article in a new series at Graphics Policy!  Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money!  What does your money tell them?  What does it tell us as fans?  What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out?  What are the trends?  What looks good?  What looks rough?

All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.

Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor.  He’s worked in the industry for 5 years but grew up reading comics.  He loves the format deeply and spends way too much time concerned that his favorite books will be cancelled.  He intends to use these articles to help as therapy for his OCD.  He also releases comics now and then and has a weekly column right here at Graphics Policy where he talks about whatever takes his fancy.

Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the Death of Superman. He is a writer and editor for GrayHaven Comics, in addition to his day job. He started out as a DC Zombie, but has broadened his tastes to Marvel and indie books in recent years. He follows the comic sales charts obsessively, primarily to cheer on Magneto’s steady hold each month.

All sales figures retrieved from ICv2.com

What Went Well

Glenn:  Well obviously the big debut and the big story this month is Marvel new Star Wars title which sold just over an astounding 985 thousand copies.  I don’t recall a Marvel book selling that well since the Obama, Amazing issue and I don’t think it did those kind of numbers right away.

This property is obviously back at Marvel who had in initially in the 70’s after being a solid backbone of Dark Horse for 20 years or so.  I don’t think the Dark Horse versions of the Star Wars comics ever broke 6 figures.  Why do you think that is here?

Ray:  I agree, this is just incredible. I think the Obama issue sold something in the 350K range, and that was a cultural event. This is probably the highest sales for any comic since the 90s. The big question, of course, is how it holds up from here, but the early rumors is that #2 sold over 200K. That would put it in a position to regularly be the top selling comic on the stands.

I think the big x-factor here is probably the sense of a new beginning. This is no longer expanded universe stuff, catering to an audience of die-hards following the complex continuity of the books and comics. This is the start of a new era, where the story of the original characters will continue in the movies. I think it felt much more important to the larger Star Wars fandom at large. I think the comic benefitted from that a lot, as well as the huge creative team and glut of variant covers, of course. It’s pretty much a perfect storm for massive success.

Another big success story for Marvel is Thor. This seems to be a rare case of a new status quo actually delivering a lasting sales change. The combination of buzz for the new female Thor and the continued excellence of the Aaron run has turned this into the second-highest selling Marvel Universe series, only behind Amazing Spider-man.

It’s a smaller-scale success, of course, but I feel like the debut of Jonathan Hickman’s The Dying and the Dead is noteworthy as well. Launching with 32K for a creator-owned book is pretty impressive in the superhero-dominated top 100.

I feel like the news is a bit more mixed for this month’s other four big Marvel debuts, though.

Glenn:  Yeah, it seems the big media push they gave the new Thor paid off.  This is likely why they have also decided to do a whole team of female Avenger’s.

It doesn’t seem like it’s paid off as well on the new Captain America but we’ll get there.

It seems like Hickman has now become a name that sells on its own.  I mean he’s been one of Marvel’s big names the last few years now, he actually made the Fantastic Four sell better than it has for like…years.  I’m not surprised his creator owned stuff would do well, he’s on the same level as Snyder who seemingly will get a big debut with Wytches.

Batman, Amazing and Walking Dead seem to be the reliable sellers for their respective companies.  It seems that concerns that Superior sales wouldn’t carry over to a Peter Parker led book but it seems those fears at least have been quelled but I’m sure Spider-Verse has helped there.

I think it should be noted that currently, Walking Dead is the cheapest book in the top ten and two of those books in the top ten were 4.99, which to me, could be a scary sign of things to come.

A new launch this month was Ant Man which debuted at number 7 with just over 70 thousand copies sold.  I’m not expected this to last up there, to be honest.   Even with the movie coming out.

Ray:  All-New Captain America did fall pretty hard right off the bat. I don’t think Remender’s style is really clicking with what the public expects a Cap comic to be, but this did make up for some of the slipping sales of the previous run. I think the timing of this run, with Sam Wilson debuting as Cap and then promptly being inverted to be evil, took a lot of the wind out of its sales.

Ant-Man debuted impressively for what it was, for sure. I think the critical acclaim might help it to keep some of its momentum, at least a bit longer than some books. It’s interesting that it debuted roughly in the same level as Uncanny Avengers, another big launch this month. I expect both of them to drop a good deal next month, just based on the pattern for Marvel relaunches lately.

One of Marvel’s most significant debuts this month was the weekly series “Wolverines“. This is their first foray into weeklies, as well as the first weekly comic priced at $3.99 besides the unconventional “Wednesday Comics“. It debuts in the top ten – and then promptly slips hard the same month, with #2 landing at #25 and out of the top 30 by #4. By the end of its first month – all ordered at the same time – it’s selling well below Batman: Eternal, which is almost a year in. If I was Marvel, I’d be pretty worried about what this looks like once orders get adjusted for the following months.

Glenn:  Well to me, since Brubaker left and really since Bucky stopped being Captain America, the book has struggled.  When you had Death Of Cap, obviously that was a big thing but then the book sold continuously well.  It just seems to be one of those nuts that overall are hard to crack, like Fantastic Four or Superman.  By all intents and purposes, those books SHOULD sell but for some reason or another they’re (at best) middle of the road.

Yeah no doubt.  I kind of made the joke that by killing Wolverine, Marvel have only made him stronger.  Overall they’re still coming out because instead of one Wolverine book that sells like 50-70 k or whatever, you have 4 so overall they’re ahead.

Squirrel Girl seems to have had a solid launch too for a D list (being generous) character.  Maybe because of her exposure on Bendis Avenger’s run but I think that’ll be short lived too.

One of the big surprises is having the Star Trek/Planet Of The Apes mini do so well.  I can’t remember what the Doctor Who crossover sold but I think this is a pretty solid debut.

Ray:  Squirrel Girl is a big question mark. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one is closer to the mark in terms of demand than some of the other debuts, and so it starts lower but might hold better. I assume Marvel is trying for the same audience that is buying Ms. Marvel, and it’s not a bad idea. Of course, next month will tell the tale.

I’m pretty sure that is a very impressive debut for a licensed comic. One factor that might have helped it is that it’s one of the seven books that were sold on New Year’s Eve. Those tend to be ordered heavily because casual readers might take a chance on them during an unusually small week.

Steady books/books in the middle

Ray:  The first thing I notice is that comedy is still doing well. Harley Quinn, of course, is probably the most surprising big hit out of DC in years, and is still hanging around just below the top ten. Not a surprise this creative team is getting a new book and a spin-off in June. And Rocket Raccoon is hanging around in the upper 30s, about 40 spots before the other Guardians spin-offs. I expect to see more of this type of book from the companies.

Wonder Woman had a brief peak when the Finches landed on the title, but now it’s selling at about the same level as the end of the Azzarello run with far weaker response. DC has to be a bit worried about that one.

I’m surprised SHIELD fell this far with its second issue, from a top ten debut. I’m less surprised by the drops for Angela and Spider-man & the X-men, as those two seemed like they were dropped with relatively little fanfare. It’s a bit surreal to see an Angela comic in the top 50 again, heh.

Glenn:  I actually thought that they might be looking at the people buying Harley Quinn, the success of that book may be the oddest thing to happen in years.

Wonder Woman will be definitely one to watch, I think.  I mean the Azzarello run wasn’t a best seller but it was extremely stable.  Putting Finch on will definitely keep those sales but like you said, the critical response has been less than generous.  If Finch can stay on schedule, it may be fine but its likely to face a creative overall after Convergence I’d say.

SHIELD is kind of something with a specific hook.  It’s a kind of fringe book that don’t tend to stay stable long at the big two.  It kind of makes you wonder that if the same premise and writer had been done at Image how it would have performed in the current market.

I think a lot of the success of ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ has to attributed to Jason Aaron, now he’s gone and they’re trying to shoe horn Spider-Man in, I think this is the kind of response the current comic market will give you.  I’m as big a Spidey fan as anyone but I’m not picking up this book, it seems to be a bit of a hail Mary to me.

A lot of indie/creator owned books seem to stabilize very quickly.  They might not do as big number as say Amazing or Batman but the audience seems more dedicated.  No one can overlook the success of Star Wars this month but as you said, its set to lose like 700 thousand sales in one issue.  It seems like most Image or Dark Horse or whoever books obviously launch a lot lower but suffer less of a drop.

Green Lantern and Green Arrow have both seen better days at DC but both are stable sellers.  Of course, we’ve found out recently that Green Arrow is set for another creative change which I believe is the 5th since the new 52 launch 3 years ago.

Ray:  I think it’s actually six creative changes. All but one of them (the acclaimed Lemire/Sorrentino run) have only lasted one arc. And that’s not counting Judd Winick’s one-off. This title has been in creative flux since moment one. With Green Lantern, I think this is sort of course correction after they lost their A-list creator in Johns. The line will be paring back to only three books come June, which seems like a smart move.

Looking at the other weeklies for DC, it’s a world between Eternal and these books. Futures End is sort of a mid-level performer, but World’s End is really sinking fast. It probably doesn’t help that the title lost its chief architect right before the weekly began, with Tom Taylor leaving the line.

I must say, I’m sad to see three of my favorite Bat-books, Gotham Academy, Gotham By Midnight, and the short-lived Arkham Manor sinking out of the top 100 so quickly. These are clever, unique books, but they don’t seem to be reaping the benefit that Bat-titles seem to get.

This is where we start to see a lot of lower-tier books from Marvel and DC that just aren’t finding their footing, unfortunately. And I think the fact that Hulk’s main title is selling scarcely 1K more than Magneto’s solo book is testament to the diminishing returns we’re seeing with Marvel’s frequent relaunches. I’m interested to see if Secret Wars and the likely relaunch that follows will turn this around, or if we’ll continue to see the huge starts and huge drops. Marvel has developed a strategy of using tons of variant covers and mainstream press to launch huge, but it doesn’t seem to be carrying over past the first month or two.

Glenn:  This to me presents two very big problems in this market at the moment.  Firstly, people say they want something a little different/off-beat but when they deliver, it doesn’t seem that the market indicates the demand.

The second problem is like you mentioned, diminishing returns.  Back in the day, a relaunch was a big, big deal but 30’s-50’s, especially in terms of Marvel are rare.  It just seems to be relaunch, boom, sink, relaunch and so on and so on.

The Danger Zone

Glenn: This may sound a bit random but I noticed Halo on the charts, near the bottom.  I remember when this property was a big deal at Marvel, it seems to have fallen in a major way.

Then again, outside of the monster hit that it was Star Wars, it seems a very bad time for properties in the industry.  A lot of them are scarping around the low end of 5 figures.  Most of them are even being outsold by creator owned.  It doesn’t seem that properties like Star Trek, Doctor Who, Tomb Raider and more have a place in today’s market.

It also looks to me that Constantine is now down to the level ‘Hellblazer’ was at during its Vertigo days.  It’s due for a rebranding following Convergence though.

I would think that Bucky would be performing better given the fact that this title is essentially a follow on from ‘Original Sin’ and he was in a movie a lot of people went to see.

Ray: I also forgot Marvel was even putting out Halo comics, to be honest. And outside of Star Wars, as you said, it seems very hard for licensed comics to get any traction. Besides that and the Star Trek/Apes crossover, the next one down is My Little Pony all the way at 119, and that’s clearly an unconventional mix of fanbases driving it. Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover are hanging around the mid-130s. It seems like there’s a lot of problems getting a significant portion of the original fan base to check out the comic.

Constantine fell to earth rather quickly. I’m not surprised they’re relaunching it – it was the lowest-selling un-cancelled DC book for a while, before the Earth 2 tie-in briefly boosted its sales. While the relaunch should help, I wonder if the character is just a bit too unconventional to sell to a wide superhero audience.

With Bucky’s book, I think this is just a mismatch of property and comic. Original Sin was rather poorly received, and it has an odd concept with Bucky in space fighting aliens. I think if they launched a spy comic starring the Winter Soldier that resembled the movie more, they might have done better.

Two comics that jump out at me are Klarion at 225 and Star-Spangled War Stories at 245. For main-line DC comics only a few issues in, that’s shocking. It’s interesting that DC’s experiments in unconventional, non-superhero comics like these are landing with such a thud, but they seem to be doubling down on this type of book with the June relaunch. What is their plan to make things like Prez, Doomed, Bizarro, and Omega Men succeed, when they’ve had such trouble recently?

Glenn:  I think they’re going to be looking to replicate the success they’ve had with Harley but to me, that might be lightning in a bottle.

Again, at least they’re trying new things, which is fans say they want but sales prove different.

It’ll be an interesting summer at both companies, for sure.

Coming up next month

Ray: Looking ahead to next month, it’s sort of the calm before the storm. Next month’s chart will have a few interesting points, though. We’ve got the launch of Grant Morrison’s first Image ongoing, The Nameless. Marvel is bringing us the next Star Wars launch in Darth Vader, plus the internet phenomenon of Spider-Gwen makes its ongoing debut. Those will probably be dueling for #1. There’s also the launch of Silk, a more controversial character that Marvel has a lot of faith in. It’ll be interesting to see how those books shake up the charts.

Glenn: It should be the debut of Wytches on the sales chart, I believe.  I think this one might be one of the big winners from the company.  You’re right though, the majority of books will be treading water sales wise until we get our annual huge shake up.  Most of the ones to watch next month will be the indie books.  I’m personally hoping that Nailbiter can gain a stronger following over time.  Once upon a time, Walking Dead was down that part of the charts too.

Enjoyed what you read?  Let us know and follow us on Twitter @glenn_matchett & @raygoldfield

 

 

 

 

Around the Tubes

Time is running out… for 2014. What do you think were your favorite comics of the last year? Find out ours on January 1!

Around the Tubes

The Washington Post – Nerd culture gains the world and in 2014, recovers some of its lost soul – Interesting read. Not sure if we agree with the lost soul part…

Lifehacker – Five Best Desktop Comic Book Readers – A handy list.

GamePolitics – FBI Investigating Christmas Day Attacks on PSN, Xbox Live – Good!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Batman Annual #3

CBR – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #10

Talking Comics – Rasputin #3

Tree City Comic Con Gone Wild

Nicholas Brendon MugshotSounds like there might be some pretty wild comic conventions going on in Idaho. Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was detained in Boise, Idaho on Friday night. The actor was picked up on suspicion of damaging property and resisting arrest. It all resulted in his spending several hours in jail. The actor was in town for the Tree City Comic Con which is taking place this weekend October 17 and 18.

The police received a call around 9:30pm about a disturbance in a hotel lobby. That disturbance involved Brendon and hotel staff. When the police arrive the actor showed “signs of intoxication” and “repeatedly refused officers’ commands to stay seated while officers tried to speak with witnesses.”

Brendon then tried to walk away which resulted in his being arrested for resisting and obstruction. The actor is also accused of breaking a decorative dish and they asked to press charges. All of those are misdemeanors. He was released on a $600 bond after 6 a.m. on Saturday.

This isn’t the first time the actor has been arrested. In March 2010, he was arrested on similar charges. For that he received a 1-year suspended sentence and 36 months of probation and was ordered to perform state highway work for 10 days.

Fashion Spotlight: Blood Drive 2003, Our Favorite Restaurant, and Go Hogs

Ript Apparel has three designs today for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Blood Drive 2003, Our Favorite Restaurant, and Go Hogs from TeeMagnet, thisisjonturner, and CatchABrick will be for sale on September 14, 2014 only!

Blood Drive 2003 by TeeMagnet

Blood Drive 2003

Our Favorite Restaurant by thisisjonturner

Our Favorite Restaurant

Go Hogs by CatchABrick

Go Hogs

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