§ Geoff Boucher sits down with Dan DiDio for a concise talk on all the ch-changes with Batman and Superman, and the above upcoming Batman cover, which hints at a memorial for someone of some kind.
DD: Simultaneous to “Battle for the Cowl,” we’re going to be making changes in Superman’s world as well. Superman has been the star of “Action Comics” for its entire run, essentially, and he will be leaving it and handing it over to new characters. The only time he hasn’t appeared in the book, I believe, was after “The Death of Superman,” in those years. So this is a lot of fun for us. I think that’s going to get people excited and scratching their heads and wondering what’s going on. In his own book, “Superman,” there will be a dramatic turn as the hero leaves Earth and it seems like he’s leaving for good. We’ll follow his adventures in space more so than his adventures on Earth, and that’s a big and exciting thing. We’re also bringing back one of the old-time favorite titles of DC Comics, “Adventure Comics.”
§ Brian Hibbs reports that The Great Recession hasn’t yet hit sales at his shop, but there are many elements at play out there, including the continuing question of the viability of the periodical, and Marvel’s potential move into digital delivery:
I had an interesting conversation with a publisher the other day where he wondered out loud what would happen without the periodical in the superhero genre: could Marvel and DC switch to a GN-driven format for those characters?
I very much think that the answer to that is “No”. Oh, sure, you’ll always be able to sell an upscale format of an A-list creative team on A-list properties, but there are probably less than two dozen “A-list” creators, and far less than a dozen properties for whom that would be tenable. There would be a measurable market for an OGN of, say, Spider-Man. There is a much much smaller market for an OGN of Iron Man. And there’s effectively no audience for an OGN of, say, Ms. Marvel.
§ On a related note, Don MacPherson looks at what many have called a particularly unsatisfying chunk:
Marvel Comics came under fire a couple of weeks ago when it released Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1. Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Alan Davis and Adi Granov, the comic, priced at $3.99 US, featured only 16 pages worth of story, and the rest of the issue was fleshed out with “bonus material.” That material took the form of Ellis’s scripts and rough breakdowns from the artists. Fans were incensed, as the inflated cover price certainly didn’t seem merited. I bought and read the issue in question as well, and I have to agree.
§ This week’s generic “Graphic novels come of age” story comes courtesy of the Toledo Blade, and it’s a good blueprint for important themes, increasing sales, blah blah, but it also includes a cute cartoon by Svetlana Chmakova (above) setting it far above the pack.
The genre is “… one of the ‘hottest’ and most engaging contemporary art mediums currently stimulating widespread interest and dialogue,” writes Jacqueline S. Nathan, BGSU gallery director.
The exhibit isn’t all capes and fists nor endearing creatures with wide eyes. A variety of protagonists in decades-worth of original drawings by 14 storytellers are represented in these mostly black-and-white images. A copy of each artist’s book is displayed on pedestals adjacent to their drawings.
§ Here is one politician who REALLY reads comics: Rep. Jason Mumpower, expected to take over as speaker of the Tennessee State House.
His love of comic books — he has about 17,000 in his collection — also sets him apart. He calls himself a voracious reader, with more than 15 magazine subscriptions, and listens to books on tape on the 300-mile trip back to Bristol.
Bonus: Is Mumpower not the best name ever for a Bond villain?
§ Speaking of which, middling reviews and a vocabulary-building title did not prevent QUANTUM OF SOLACE from having a huge $70 mil opening, the biggest ever for a Bond movie.