Tag Archives: vertigo

Demo-Graphics: The State of DC Entertainment

With San Diego Comic-Con about to begin we’re looking at the demographic data for various publishers and comics. We’ve already posted Facebook‘s general stats, and tomorrow will be Marvel, followed by Indie comics, and the industry as a whole. Up now is DC Entertainment.

This statistic breakdown, we’ve looked at terms like DC Comics and Vertigo Comics, but not specific comic series or characters. It’s a focus on DC Entertainment and its publishing imprints. Think of it as looking at the DC brand.

Facebook DC Comics Fan Population: Over 23,000,000 US

DC Comic’s stats have shifted in interesting ways since 2016. Last year the population stood at 11 million individuals, so the overall population has more than doubled. In 2015 it was 12 million and in 2014 it was 7.6 million.

In 2014 Spanish speakers accounted for 14.55%, 2015 it was 14.17%, and in 2015 it’s now 18.18% with 2 million individuals.

Gender and Age

In 2014, men accounted for 68.18% and women were 28.64% of the DC population. In 2015 men accounted for 73.33% and women were 27.50%. In 2016 56.36% of the population was male and 40% female.

This year, women account for 47.83% and men 52.17%.

And here’s the stats in a handy pie-chart.

When it comes to age and gender, things have changed a lot since last year. Women are a majority under the age of 18 and become the majority at a younger age.

Relationship Status

Everything has increased across the board and done so in an impressive way.

Education

Larger population everything again increases across the board.

Gender Interest

Though the populations have increased when it comes to percentages those interested in the same gender saw decreases when it comes to percentages.

Ethnicity

Populations grew overall compared to last year but percentages are a bit mixed. African Americans grew to 13.91% but Asian Americans and Hispanics both decreased when it comes to percent.

Generation

Again, an increase in population, not too shocking, but… Baby Boomers and Generation X decreased in percent and Millennials increased.

Come back tomorrow when we’ll look at stats for Marvel!

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Review: The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1

Ten short (from where I’m sitting, anyway) years ago John Ridley was far from a household name in the entertainment industry, yet alone an Oscar winner. That was well before 12 Years A Slave and American Crime, though, and now it’s a different story. A different world. Or is it?

Certainly Ridley returning to the only-slightly-fictionalized world of The American Way a decade after he and artist Georges Jeanty first created it is both a pleasant surprise as well as something of a coup for DC Comics‘ perpetually-struggling Vertigo label, but 10 years (or thereabouts) have passed in the four-color world, as well, and the opening salvo in the new six-part The American Way: Those Above And Those Below shows that they haven’t necessarily been kind to protagonist Jason Fisher, a.k.a. The New American, or his surviving former Civil Defense Corps teammates. As 1972 dawns, Fisher is cleaning up the Baltimore ghettos by means both direct and decidedly brutal, while Amber (Waves) Eaton has become a Weather Underground/SLA-style revolutionary, and Missy (Ole Miss) Devereaux, now married to the governor of Mississippi, is being maneuvered into political office in the same way George Wallace’s wife was when that miserable old racist bastard was term-limited out of office. We know the paths of these one-time “allies” in an officially-sanctioned US government PR sham operation are bound to converge, but how and why remains to be seen yet. This issue guarantees one thing, though — it will invariably be fascinating to see the chess pieces moved (or fall?) into place.

Tight, intricate plotting is a hallmark of all Ridley’s work, and if you haven’t read the first American Way series, rest easy: the basics of what happened in it are introduced into this one in a naturalistic, almost non-expository way that doesn’t hamper the forward momentum of the plot here in the least (and Vertigo has recently re-issued it in trade, as well, if you find yourself sufficiently motivated to see how it all began). The racial, economic, and social divisions explored with such candor last time out have clearly not improved and are certain to form this series’ thematic background, which should surprise no one, and while it can certainly be argued that Ridley is less than subtle in his proselytizing, it’s nevertheless effective and he at least uses his characters’ life circumstances to illustrate his points rather than taking the lazy and uninspired way out and simply utilizing them as authorial mouthpieces. The one potential “strike” against the relatively large ensemble cast on offer here is that Jason’s paralyzed Panther brother comes off as being more interesting and fully-rounded than does our titular hero himself, but hey — it’s part one, so we’ll see how all that goes.

Jeanty, for his part, absolutely nails it on the art in this book. Action scenes have a crisp and dynamic flow to them, lower-key “talky” segments remain visually interesting and employ inventive-without-being-ostentatious “camera” angles, subtleties of expression and body language are right on the money, and the period setting is evoked smoothly and authentically. Danny Miki‘s inks are faithful to the pencils in the best way, accentuating and enhancing detail without burying them under an extra layer of faux “style,” and Nick Filardi finishes everything off with expertly-chosen and highly atmospheric colors. “Cinematic” is not too shabby a shorthand description for this comic’s overall look, but it probably sells the effort by these firing-on-all-cylinders creators a bit short, truth be told. Maybe we should call it “Oscar-level cinematic” or something?

Still, it’s not a completely flawless effort : the decision (whether called for in the script or “ad-libbed” by the art team I have no idea) to slip a John Constantine doppleganger into the works for a panel threatens to take readers out of the book for a moment, it’s true, but what the hell — it’s high time he migrated back over to Vertigo by any means necessary, and if that’s the only gripe I’ve got, it’s a pretty small one. Almost seems petty to even bring it up. Still, in a comic that’s all about big (and, sadly, eternal) questions about race and class, a cheap (if admittedly fun) little aside like that stands out like a sore thumb and really does disrupt the rhythm of the storytelling, if only briefly.

Apart from that and the drug-pusher villain that Jason is out to take down being a bit too broad of a caricature (he’s also a cold-blooded killer who flat-out enjoys the taking of human life rather than viewing it as unfortunate reality of his chosen “profession”), though, there is very nearly flawless comic-booking going on in the pages of The American Way: Those Above And Those Below #1. Topical and provocative without being preachy, accessible to new readers without resorting to “info-dump” condescension, and smart without feeling the need to call attention to its own intelligence, this is supremely effective, thought-provoking, resonant stuff. I’m down for the whole ride — and I respectfully suggest that you should be, as well.

Story: John Ridley  Art: Georges Jeanty and Danny Miki
Story: 8.0  Art: 9.0  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

Preview: The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1

The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1

(W) John Ridley (A/CA) Georges Jeanty
In Shops: Jul 12, 2017
SRP: $3.99

It’s been a decade since the Civil Defense Corps was exposed as a fraud created by the U.S. Government for propaganda purposes. While most of the heroes who survived the catastrophe have retired or disappeared, the New American still carries on, trying to keep communities safe amid the social turmoil of the 1970s. But with the nation split in two over civil rights and the changing political landscape, this isn’t easy. Some of the American’s former colleagues are on opposite sides of the law: Amber Waves joined a group of domestic terrorists, while Missy, a.k.a. Ole Miss, has thrown her hat into the political ring. As the ground shifts beneath his feet and new threats arise, which side will the American choose? This sequel to the hit miniseries by the original team of writer John Ridley (Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave and creator of TV’s American Crime) and artist Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse) moves the story forward in history, factoring in how real-life events might be affected by the presence of superheroes, and how those events change the heroes in turn.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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.

Paul

Top Pick: Jean Grey #4 (Marvel) – Jean Grey is doing everything she can to see that she doesn’t suffer under the power of the Phoenix, like her “other” self did…and I am here for all of it! This has been a really great series with a strong lead character who isn’t taking crap from anyone, especially a cosmic fire bird. Her search for answers has been fun, and I am really looking to the inevitable showdown with the big bird itself.

Hulk #8 (Marvel) – This series has been a great read, following Jen as she struggled to keep her anger in check, but now that her Hulk has been released, it’s going to be more interesting to see how she learns to balance life as Jennifer and her new Hulk persona, or if one will take complete control. If you’re not already reading this book, I recommend jumping on board.

Weapon X #5 (Marvel) – This has been an exciting crossover with Old Man Logan, his team and Amadeus Cho. The team is tracking down the Weapon X program to shut it down for good, and along the way we’re getting some decent character interaction and action. I am excited to see if Weapon X’s ‘batch H’ prototype is released, because that will be a showdown not to be missed.

 

Brett

Top Pick: American Way: Those Above and Below #1 (Vertigo) – John Ridley is back and returns to the series he completed 10 years ago. It’s 1972 and tensions are rising in this heroes in the real world take that blew me away with its first issue.

Catalyst Prime: Accell #2 (Lion Forge Comics) – I loved the first issue and can’t wait to read the second. Just a lot of fun.

Centipede #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – I know this being on here might seem crazy, but the first issue is a lot of fun and hits the right buttons for us that grew up playing Atari.

Dark Days: The Casting #1 (DC Comics) – A bit heavier in DC lore than I like, but it’s setting up what feels like one hell of a mystery and one hell of a battle to come.

S##t and P##s (Retrofit Comics) – This indie publisher has never disappointed and this is no exception. A dark journey into a sewage processing plant built on top of the ruins of a failing civilization. The custodian of this horrid place encounters all types of things that should not be in this science fiction adventure.

Review: The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1

It’s been a decade since the Civil Defense Corps was exposed as a fraud created by the U.S. Government for propaganda purposes. While most of the heroes who survived the catastrophe have retired or disappeared, the New American still carries on, trying to keep communities safe amid the social turmoil of the 1970s. But with the nation split in two over civil rights and the changing political landscape, this isn’t easy. Some of the American’s former colleagues are on opposite sides of the law: Amber Waves joined a group of domestic terrorists, while Missy, a.k.a. Ole Miss, has thrown her hat into the political ring. As the ground shifts beneath his feet and new threats arise, which side will the American choose?

Unfortunately for me, I never read the original American Way series (though will be rectifying that soon). Even without that under my belt The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1 is a perfect introduction to the world dreamed up by writer John Ridley and artist Georges Jeanty.

Ridley is one of my favorite creators delivering thought provoking entertainment and some of the most layered and relevant television in recent years with American Crime. So, since the announcement of this series I’ve been awaiting its release to see what Ridley might deliver and much like that groundbreaking television work, the first issue lays the groundwork for what feels like what will be a comic series that will challenge the reader to not just be entertained but also think.

The American Way: Those Above and Those Below #1 moves the original story forward in history, factoring in how real-life events might be affected by the presence of superheroes, and how those events change the heroes in turn. Taking place in 1972 the time in American history is just as important as the characters. History is a character here and understanding where the United States was at the time helps. Weaving entertainment with real history and socio-political issues is something that Ridley excels at and this first issue is no exception.

As I said, I never read the original series, but this first issue is a perfect primer to catch up and learn about this world that I want to see more of. The characters are quickly and interestingly introduced enough that you can figure out personalities, backgrounds, and issues, and even the major events of the previous volume are touched upon enough that you feel like you have enough to work with. Those that have read the previous volume will of course have more to work with than newcomers but being new to this world doesn’t put you at a disadvantage.

Artist Georges Jeanty along with inker Danny Miki and colorist Nick Filardi delivers the art that matches Ridley’s fantsastic story. The trio are able to deliver a world where superheroes fit in, our world, just with people with powers. There’s a grittiness to it all and the use of coloring helps set the mood and action for each scene. Letterer Travis Lanham also helps set the mood with slight changes to the lettering that helps bring out the personality of each character.

An amazing beginning that has me excited to see what Ridley will deliver in the subsequent issues and a set up that feels like we’ll get the depth he’s delivered elsewhere in comic form. Absolutely amazing on every level and it matches my anticipation in every way.

Story: John Ridley Art: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Danny Miki Color: Nick Filardi Letters: Travis Lanham

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Lucifer #19

Lucifer #19

(W) Richard Kadrey (A/CA) Lee Garbett
In Shops: Jun 28, 2017
SRP: $3.99

This is it. As his enemies rally and Hell is divided, Lucifer initiates his final confrontation with the Presence-but, after everything, what if ultimate control of the universe comes down to a child’s game? And at the end of it all, lovers will reunite, happily or not.

Preview: Astro City #45

Astro City #45

(W) Kurt Busiek (A) Brent Eric Anderson (CA) Alex Ross
RATED T
In Shops: Jun 28, 2017
SRP: $3.99

“WHAT BROKE THE BROKEN MAN?” part one of two! Astro City’s tangled history of superheroes, music, counterculture, serpents and darkness comes to a head. Heroes are destroyed, minds are shattered…and an unlikely savior rises.

TV Review: Preacher S2E2 Mumbai Sky Tower

Preacher-PosterJesse, Tulip, and Cassidy track a lead from Heaven; the trio tries to learn more about the Cowboy’s identity and why he wants to kill them..

Preacher gives us a second episode in two days as the adventures of Tulip, Jesse, and Cassidy continues as they search for God which takes them to a familiar face.

The second episode does an excellent job of building upon the first explaining more of what we’ve seen and also keeping up the energy and craziness. One thing that has always stuck with me about the original comic series this show is based on is that so much of what is presented is over the top. Someone doesn’t get shot, their head explodes or jaw gets ripped off. That’s prevelant allowing the viewer to not take the show too serious. But, with that humor, there’s still a lot of depth.

This episode of course has characters on the journey that’s a search for God, but there’s some small nods like a sick child asking an angel his trick as to how he returns from being dead. There’s some interesting material to debate there. And moments like that are mixed in with long montages involving copious amounts of drugs and alcohol being consumed. There’s also some mocking gun culture in the beginning and the concept of folks being armed can stop a killer. For a show that has some puerile humor, there’s a lot to debate in this episode.

Of course the trio that anchors the show continues to shine with performances that are beyond fun and entertaining. There’s so much packed into this episode and the previous that this is probably one of the best season debuts I’ve seen of a series in a long time. It’s setup of what’s to come is done in a way that treats the audience intelligently and spread out throughout the two episodes. We get pieces of the puzzle that comes together by the end of the second.

Two episodes in and it’s already one impressive bloody debut and if it’s any indication what’s the come will be a wild ride that very well may push television. I’m beyond excited as the second season so far feels like it takes some of the best aspects of the first and giving us a cross country trip full of sex, violence, and insanity.

 

 

Overall Rating: 8.55

TV Review: Preacher S2E1 On the Road

Preacher-PosterJesse, Tulip, and Cassidy begin the search to find God; the trio realize that a killer cowboy from Hell is following them.

Preacher kicks of the second season with our trio taking a roadtrip with a goal of finding God. Though it’s been months since we last saw the series, it feels like it has been no time at all with slick violence, solid humor, and a direction that feels like it adhears a bit closer to the comics.

Full of humor Tulip, Jesse, and Cassidy, are a fun group that has a quirky tension about them and an interaction that feels super natural. That’s one of the things that has always stood out about the series, the fact all of the actors, no matter how small a role, feel like their interactions are natural in a way that’s rare in entertainment. There’s also a mission for the three that gives the series a bit more of a focus and direction and that direction is more like the comic series.

That’s something that I had an issue with when it came to the first season, the series veered from the comis which caught me off guard, but I eventually came to love the series. This first episode though gives us two aspects that are straight from the comics, the search for God and also the Saint of Killers who is on the warpath for the three.

The Saint of Killers brings the action and gives us a bloody surprise as his bullets fly and provides a style that feels like a Tarrantino film when it comes to the over the top violence. Heads explode. Jaws are blow out. Intestines are used to siphon gas. It’s over the top and slick.

Most importantly, it’s entertaining. Preacher feels like it hasn’t missed a beat at all and with the clear focus I’m excited to see where the series goes and what it mines for the second season. This is a hell of a start that gives us the beginning of what feels like one hell of a ride.

Overall Rating: 8.35

Preview: Everafter From The Pages of Fable #10

Everafter From The Pages of Fable #10

(W) Dave Justus (A) Travis Moore (CA) Tula Lotay
In Shops: Jun 07, 2017
SRP: $3.99

After Bobby Speckland’s rescue attempt takes a shocking turn, long years pass for the captives in the Cube-but a young leader emerges as a new generation of hostages comes of age in oppressive darkness. A quiet revolution simmers, and some surprising assistance may be the force that breaks the barrier to freedom once and for all.

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