§ Samurai Comics in Phoenix will be receiving comics ordered by bankrupt chain Atomic, according to an article surveying the retailing landscape. Owner Mike Banks said they will work with customers, Diamond, and other local shops to make sure that Atomic customers get their comics. “We’re looking at establishing a temporary spot in the East Valley where customers of the Mesa and Chandler Atomic Comics can come to get their new comics,” Banks told Vaneta Rogers. “Our Central Phoenix and West Valley location will have plenty of comics on hand to service those customers from the Paradise Valley and Metrocenter Atomic Comics locations.”
Other retailers cautioned not to take the end pf Atomic as a sign for other stores:
“I think there’s a tendency for people to jump to conclusions when individual businesses fail,” Field said. “The last three years have been a challenge for anyone who owns a business, whether it’s in the comic book business or not. And the fact that we are a very small industry, a less than $1 billion industry, makes things that much more difficult. There’s no room for error.”
Banks called the end of Atomic’s business “worrisome,” but agreed with Field that it’s not necessarily indicative of an end to the comic retailing business. “I don’t think this is a comic book industry issue alone, but is something small businesses across America are facing,” he said. “I would urge everyone to shop locally and try to help keep small businesses in your community afloat.”
No room for error.
§ Artist Marguerite Van Cook analyzes the Lee/Kirby/Marvel legal battles in terms of commerce and capitalism:
Another aspect of this debate, which has become so reductive in its claims of creative primacy, suggests that the idea is the only criteria for original creation. Even if hypothetically Lee originated characters, I would argue that where there is no previous model then the artist creates the image and reifies a concept. If there is no model to work from, then one must create the original figure, which henceforth will become that model. Pushed to a logical limit, one could point to the fact that though Bernini did not originate the myth of Apollo and Daphne, he certainly produced his original sculpture. His rendering of the narrative is creatively unique.
§ Finally, while we didn’t expect Chris Ware to rise to Grant Morrison’s bait, TCJ’s Dan Nadel picks up the gloves:
Seriously. I will admit, as Morrison totally predicted (tra la la, we’re all pretty predictable), that I found Supergods mostly not so great. Not because I didn’t understand what he was trying to do (Superheroes as modern myth; how the genre can have personal meaning) — I did. I even fully go in for the idea that there’s great life in the genre and that fantastic work has been and will be made. And on some subjects Morrison is great. His explanations of what makes Jim Starlin, Don McGregor, and other writers of the 1970s great is smart and concise. And his description of Image Comics and its place in the larger culture is the best I’ve ever read. But too often it comes back to new age silliness (Captain Marvel as “alchemical” hero) and self aggrandization (his relative fame, his oedipus complex with Moore) and then, finally, a long patch where he reels off his fave superhero movies (he was the only guy that liked Daredevil! Cool!). It is also is a book profoundly ignorant and dismissive of the actual circumstances under which his favorite toys were created, and fate of the toymakers. That said, I think it’s especially ironic that in the interview he randomly harps on Chris Ware and, TCJ (of course he’s right, we are smart asses) in economic/class terms. For someone so interested in class and vibes and making the world a better place, one might ask: Gee, Grant, what have you done to help out the economic situations of creators whose shoulders you stand on? Oh right. Nothing.
Nadel calls Morrison “out of touch,” and it is a bit dispiriting to see both Morrison and Moore expressing such apathy for anything that isn’t their own hobby horse. But heck, they have earned the right to be cranky old men.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.