The GeeksverseQuick Thoughts #1 – Polybags, Same Character – Two Publishers And More

Quick Thoughts #1 – Polybags, Same Character – Two Publishers And More
Published on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 by

This will start a semi-weekly (whenever I have enough random thoughts that don’t warrant their own column) feature. Just a collection of random thoughts about current events in the world of comics.

1) Marvel’s been polybagging some of their comics so you don’t know what cover you get when you buy it. I love this idea. It’ll keep the costs of the variants down at the point or purchase (the Campbell ‘Wolverine as Deadpool’ was already going for $70+ on the day it was out for sale) and it’ll be a guessing game. Makes it feel like Christmas.

And for the record, I’m 0 for 3 on the variant covers in the Ultimate polybags (Ultimate Spider-Man #160, Ultimates, Ultimate Hawkeye).

2) When a “big” name artist comes onto a book, it’s a selling point. It’s supposed to attract new readers and the fans of that artist to the new book. So what’s the point of hiring an artist on a book if he’s only going to do 2 or 3 issues and a fill-in does more (and ends up doing a better job due to practice)? DC advertised Dustin Nguyen on Batgirl and Pere Perez ended up doing most of the issues which ended up leading to him being the regular artist until it’s unfortunate canceling due to DCnU (or DC 2.0 as we call it around here). And Perez work was light years better then what Nguyen did.

Tom Raney on Avengers Academy, you better start churning out some issues. Sean Chen is ahead of you right now. And I like Raney over Chen, but I prefer having a regular artist on a book that is regularly on the book.

3) Which leads into this point. FIND A REGULAR ARTIST!!

Books like X-23 suffer because there isn’t a regular artist, each issue is by someone different. Fill-in artists happen. It’s a fact of life. But to have one every issue? Amazing Spider-Man’s increased publication schedule is starting to affect this. Originally there were three artists that would rotate every 4 issues or so. Now? Now it’s a new artist every issue it seems like.

This prevents a book from establishing an identity. A good story can survive bad art, but the art helps bring the story to life. Amazing Spider-Man can survive having a different artist every issue (or thereabouts). This is Spider-Man after all and the book has decades of history and loyalty.

X-23 suffers. Find a regular artist that will remain on the book and put out monthly product and the book will get better.

4) Dynamite Entertainment announced a Flash Gordon comic. That’s great, except Ardden is already publishing a Flash Gordon comic book.

Where is a Flash fan to go?

Licensed characters often vary from what was already established when they go to a new publisher. What happens when there are two versions being published at the same time?

Which is official? Dynamite’s John Carter of Mars series or Marvels?

5) R.A. Salvatore returns to comics and is doing a Drizzt mini-series that takes place between the first book of the Neverwinter trilogy, Gauntlgrym, and the second book, Neverwinter (yes, book two of the Neverwinter trilogy is called Neverwinter). How much of an impact will the comic have on the book? Will events in the comic influence the book?

I hope so. That could be the start of a really good way to help draw in new readers. Digital won’t do it, because it essentially ends up splitting the existing readership. But if you have a story that crosses over from comics to novels and need (should) pick up both to get the fully story?

Now that could work.

6) If you’ve noticed that I haven’t been doing any DC reviews the last couple of weeks, there’s a reason for that. With the new DC 2.0 coming next week, I just haven’t been picking up any DC books. I have no desire to see a rushed closure to storylines or storylines just end unfinished.

And my wallet is thanking me.

7) It appears that Stan Lee’s ‘universe’ of comics coming from Boom! are finished. That’s a shame. They weren’t the best books on the market but they were far from the worst. There was some interesting concepts in Starborn and the Traveler.

It makes me wonder how relevant new work from Lee really is? He’s a legend and the industry owes alot to him. But is he dated? Is it only a nostalgia factor that draws us to his work now? Does his creations stand up to the current crop of readers?

Do people that have no nostalgia-based connection to Lee like his current stuff?

8) Herc is being canceled. I wonder how much of an impact being “forced” into the Fear Itself crossover had on this?

The theory is that tieing a book into an event will help boost the books sales. But does this work for a book just being established? I don’t think so. It interupts the pace of the book as it’s drawing in it’s readers. It causes the writers to halt their plans and redo things so the crossover works. It doesn’t allow the book time to develop and stand on it’s own.

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