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2011.11.29

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Sir,

I don't understand how you are so... throwback synonym for "awesome".

If ever afforded the opportunity, I want to buy you a beer. Hell, 2 beers.

(I'm not going to point out that lambasting the mainstream "comics Internet" is akin to biting the hand that feeds you, since it isn't entirely and since you probably get that a lot.)

A day doesn't go by that I don't think about how much I hatehateHATE that this wonderful medium is so poorly distributed, so poorly consumed and (often) so poorly created.

Goddamn.

This is what makes this my favorite comics blog: The wrathful, uncompromising lack of tolerance for mediocrity.

Man, you're just jealous because you'll never get to write a Human Torch back-up story.

I don't really understand arguments about sales numbers (a) because that stuff is so BORING so I don't understand why anyone wants to know for "entertainment purposes" but also (b) on the other hand, it seems like the worst case scenario of that information being analyzed is... market efficiency...?

That idea that "People might shift their money away from series perceived to be failing".. besides being improbable as you point out... I don't know that I understand anymore why this is a bad thing; maybe it's just me and I don't really root for comic underdogs the way i might have in days past though. I can imagine myself caring about that at one point in time, but right this second, I'm just fuzzy on why I should care.

Why is money re-allocating itself away from failing comics a negative scenario for anyone besides the talent linked to a downward-trending series? In a serial storytelling environment, why shouldn't fans be allowed to know that they've bet on a bad horse and let them switch horses onto a series that'll give them entertainment value over a longer period of time, or that willbe more likely to "matter more" to the shared universe they're investing their time and energy in? Why is it wrong for them to want to do that?

Sure, one can decry a market where some books "matter" and some "don't", and sales information might in some way reinforce that perception, the same way that the blockbuster mentality has effected how people watch movies. But a "this comic matters" market was created by the publishers themselves, by them knowingly playing to a speculator market they've prioritized over readers since hundreds had small faces.

And the benefits of that schema might detract from some creators but it accrues to other creators who I don't really see complaining about the game being rigged.

So I suppose I might just have a queasiness castigating fans for any behavior that resulted from publisher/creator behavior, however illegitimate...? Maybe that's just me.

Plus, I always get confused that... the presumption that analyzing sales estimate charts is a fan behavior, first and foremost, whereas... do retailers not care about sales estimates? Maybe they don't. I don't know anything about retailing, but... being able to evaluate demand not just in my store but nationwide seems like something I'd want to do every once in a while if I sold things. Anyways, Tom already thoroughly covered how fan interest in sales is only inconvenient when publishers and creators themselves aren't throwing parades for "books selling-out" or other marketing froo-hah. So.

So I'm probably repeating stuff everyone else has already said and wasting time. Oh well. In conclusion, the only comic I like is the Flash. He runs fast, which is pretty cool, and there are drawings of him running fast, that have a lot of lines in them.

The thing about it being useful to retailers is that it really only would be if a retailer was a complete moron and/or totally unaware of what his or her customers were buying for a nearly 3 month period. Nobody waits on the Beat's write-ups to find out which Image books are a hit and which aren't, or whether or not people are sticking with the latest iteration of Superman. That's information they get on the day to day without even attempting to seek it out. And even if they don't--if there really is some fantasy retailer who is so closed off that they have no idea which comics their customers are buying from them, retailers who forgot the titles of what they sell the minute after they sold a copy of them...that person isn't going to change what they do because of what the numbers for pre-orders might have been 3 months ago at other stores. Incompetence doesn't start at one end and then disappear just in time to prove the part of an argument that people want it to prove, and if our made-up retailer idiot is so dumb he can't figure out how many copies of Superman he's been selling, he's also too dumb to look at sales numbers and say "Hey, maybe I should order less Black Panther comics". Stupid is an all the time job, you don't clock in.

And on the rest of what you're saying--yes, totally. The only buying team left in the Big Two with any vocal power is the continuity people--that's who has been catered to, that's who the books are made to please. Those guys pay the bills for this part of the industry, turning on the Tucker Stone's of the world is a sure-fire way to go flat broke in a hot minute. Those rules weren't made by the consumer. They weren't made by the retailer either. That's all DC and Marvel. Passing the buck anywhere else is a joke.

This piece just makes me want to never read comics or anything about comics ever again

Man im diggin DD too but that is still entirely too much bitching about cynicism from a guy whose name appears on every issue of Irredeemable.

Like you can be the guy who pitches a fit about the guy getting his socks blown in the big-boys chair, or you can be the guy who serves his wife divorce papers on her sickbed. Nobody gets both.

Wow, you're from Helen? You're right, that is a fucked-up creepy town. I tried going there for Oktoberfest but the abandoned germanic theme-park vibe seriously creeped me out.

Helen is like Mountain Dew in that it proves, without exaggeration, that certain things are only tolerable if the participant suffers from a severe crystal meth addiction.

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