We had a huge Kibbles ‘n’ Bits for the day but the browser ate it…so…

§ Tom Spurgeon delivers his own pep talk for the comics troops:

The first and most important reason why I’m hopeful for comics in a deepening recession is that comics is as great and valuable and deserving of attention as any popular art form out there right now, and better than most of them.

It’s absolutely true that if the current economic crisis deepens and widens to a certain point, no one will care about new comic books, comic strips or editorial cartoons. But I think it’s also true that if the economic crisis deepens to a certain point, no one will care about new movies, TV shows, movie or prose, either.


He reserves his harshest words for Steven Grant’s recent assessment of 2008 as a “dreary” year in comics, and I tend to agree. That said, if you’re looking at the world of the Big Two then dreariness might be a logical reaction. Also, 2008 wasn’t as good a year for original, groundbreaking comics as 2007 — almost every book that realy got me excited was a reissue, a translation or a Volume 2. But, in general, yeah, comics have never been healthier.

§ Speaking of dreary, Marc-Oliver Frisch looks at the state of Marvel and their recent event strategy:

Marvel are also evidently looking to tie their line of books more closely together, which is puzzling. If there’s one thing they’ve done much better than DC over the past eight years, it’s that they’ve been taking care to keep their books self-contained and accessible. With “Dark Reign,” though, that seems to be changing, and I don’t think it’s a very smart idea at all. Don’t get me wrong: They’ve got a lot of promising new titles coming up – I absolutely applaud Marvel for hiring fresh voices like Jonathan Hickman, Andy Diggle, Jeff Parker and Matt Fraction. But then again, I’m not very interested in reading material from them that plays a supporting role to what feels like the nineteenth monthly Avengers title cooked up by Brian Michael Bendis – especially a Brian Michael Bendis whose creative faculties seem to be in a recession so deep as to rival that of Iceland.


§ Some will find Geoff Boucher’s highly evenhanded profile of Radical Comics’s Barry Levine dreary, but it’s a good look at a publishing model that has had a lot of ups and downs in recent years.

§ If you understand this, you are a geek.

1 COMMENT

  1. It amuses me how so many people reacting to Grant’s “dreary” comment assert that he’s talking solely about Marvel & DC, when it’s clear from context he’s talking about everyone.

  2. i soon all anyone will be able to afford is comics.

    And instead, they’ll spend their money on a lovefilm membership – if you’ve got nothing to do because are unemployed, it’s far better value.

    If I had no money, there’s no way on earth I pay £2.50 for a comic that takes 3 minutes to read. I bet on a cost/hit ratio, cocaine is a better buy.

    In regards to Marc-Oliver’s comments, I too am baffled by the punisher relaunch, it’s the same premise that was rejected by the market in the last volume.

  3. i soon all anyone will be able to afford is comics.

    And instead, they’ll spend their money on a lovefilm membership – if you’ve got nothing to do because are unemployed, it’s far better value.

    If I had no money, there’s no way on earth I pay £2.50 for a comic that takes 3 minutes to read. I bet on a cost/hit ratio, cocaine is a better buy.

    In regards to Marc-Oliver’s comments, I too am baffled by the punisher relaunch, it’s the same premise that was rejected by the market in the last volume.

  4. Wow… that timeline flowchart is fascinating… No, I don’t understand most of it, aside from parsing what its function is, but it’s still neat to look at.

    Aren’t most TV shows free? (Well, aside from the cost of electricity and the television set.)

    And comics are free. Just go to your local public library. Check under 741.5 in the Dewey Decimal System, or if they are hip and with it, there might be a “GN” section. They don’t carry comics? Politely remind them of the medium’s rich and cultured history, the influence of comics on American and world culture, and the fact that comics are a great way to lure reluctant readers into the library, which will increase the library’s circulation figures. Which, in turn, can be used to justify greater budgets. Volunteer your expertise, and perhaps a few volumes from your own collection.

  5. That should read: Marvel *is* also evidently looking to tie *its* line of books… blah blah blah.

    Someone should publish a style guide for bloggers.

  6. “That should read: Marvel *is* also evidently looking to tie *its* line of books… blah blah blah.”

    Isn’t Marc in Germany? I’ve noticed a lot of British writers using wording that refers to corporations like a group instead of a singular entity. Maybe that carries over to the rest of Europe.

  7. “Isn’t Marc in Germany? I’ve noticed a lot of British writers using wording that refers to corporations like a group instead of a singular entity. Maybe that carries over to the rest of Europe.”

    It carries over to me, certainly, because I’ve been stealing all the good bits from Paul O’Brien since I started writing on comics in Inklish. Why stick to one national style if you can pick and choose?

  8. Only vaguely apropos: After watching bloggers-of-merit whom I respect use differing numbers of “l”s in words that have “cancel” as their base over the past few weeks, I finally looked it up today, only to find that either spelling is appropriate. Which, for some reason, made me hate all of you. Just for a minute.