Quite simply, this behavior has got to stop at Comic-Con. It should never be a sort of place where anyone, man or woman, feels unsafe or attacked either verbally or physically in any shape or form. There are those, sadly, who get off on this sort of behavior and assault, whether it’s to professional booth models, cosplayers or costumed women, or women who are just there to work. This is not acceptable behavior under any circumstance, no matter what you look like or how you’re dressed, whether you are in a Princess Leia slave girl outfit or business casual for running your booth.
There has been some discussion on the internet about how the big event titles are “really” doing for Marvel and DC. One take on it is while “Secret Invasion” has outsold “Final Crisis” at the retail level, “Final Crisis” has been selling better at the reader level. The support for this is people seeing more copies of “Secret Invasion” than “Final Crisis” still on the racks at local stores. While this is no doubt true at some stores, extrapolating that to “Final Crisis” outselling “Secret Invasion” at the reader level is questionable at best. We can look at the reorder activity for both titles for some limited visibility on how the earlier issues for those titles have been selling to readers. After all, retailers aren’t going to order more copies of a comic they already have an ample supply of sitting on the racks. While this isn’t as informative as having sell-through data, it is something we can do with the available data.
I mean, I want to buy some new alt or art comic book but there are none. I already have the new Crickets, I already have the new Injury, what else is there in the way of new alt comic books? I buy Criminal because it’s the closest thing to an art comic out there. And, well, cuz it’s really good. In fact, for me, the “artiest” comic out there these days is Punisher War Journal. It’s so eye-poppingly modern, post-modern, whatever, I can’t believe it. Who cares that it’s Punisher, just look at how shine-y and well made it is, the drawings just vibrate and push the action around. I really love it. It’s a well written, well drawn comic. I know, I know, it seems like I’m just being contrarian or something but I’m not. Really. Ask Dan.
So I went to the local comics shop last week hoping to buy two comics, with the faint glimmer of hope that I might buy three (I suspected, based on experience that the store doesn’t buy copies of Criminal for the shelf). I left the store having only bought a copy of Final Crisis #3. Based on this and previous expeditions to this store, I considered myself lucky to come away with even that. And it’s not like the other comic (Invincible Iron Man) was obscure or anything–it’s just that this is a store which basically requires you to set up a sub list in order to receive the comics you want to buy. I haven’t done that for a few reasons that I’ll explain at some point in the near future. (Short version: I’m trying out a mail order service.)
What prompted the decision to go off and work on those more dissonant pieces?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. It was more that a lot of anthologies were asking me to do different stuff, and I could never refuse, because I never like being left out [laughs]. I did the Drawn & Quarterly Showcase and Kramer’s Ergot and Mome.
In general, I can see what Fraction is aiming for with this overly verbose narration and inconsistent dialogue: he’s trying to evoke the timeless grandeur of an ancient myth, or at least a modern retelling of an ancient myth. Or, well, let’s be frank: he’s trying to be Neil Gaiman. And he’s failing, but there’s something instructive about the manner of his failure.
Take this page from Sandman #24. I chose this page in particular for two reasons: it depicts an incident in Norse mythology which is alluded to in Thor: Ages of Thunder (the allusion was what made me think Fraction was deliberately homaging Gaiman, though of course I could be wrong about that); and both the style and the content of the scene are extremely characteristic of Gaiman’s writing.