Random LinkBlogging

Update: Congratulations, Jane and Paul!

Greg Morrow realizes how strong a force habit can be. He’s dropping the Flash because the stories are disappointing, but he can’t remember the last time they were actually good.

The other day, I was remembering the good old days on Usenet, when everyone loved Mark Waid’s Flash stories (before the evil twin and the Speed Force running on twue wove). Then I realized just how long ago that was… What’s the opposite of the Flash? I feel like that, with everything around me moving faster and faster.

Matt High agrees with Brian Hibbs (column link no longer available) that the comic market has distributor competition… but only for graphic novels.

One recent example is a discussion on the CBIA board a month ago, where one retailer said “Hey, don’t forget to order the latest Bone trade paperback, which only appeared in the Diamond weekly update, and not in the Diamond Previews catalog”. Half a dozen retailers replied back immediately with, “Yeah, we’ve actually had that book in stock for weeks now, ordering it from Baker and Taylor, and we’ve restocked it repeatedly already. Anyone who’s waited to order it through Diamond missed the boat.”

Everyone, including myself, was lamenting the death of virtually every comic book direct market distributor, leading to a de-facto monopoly of comic book distribution in America. But very people were noticing that a new form of competition was growing outside the direct market, as mainstream book distributors gained a tiny toehold in the comics market, and have been edging into Diamond’s territory little by little ever since…. graphic novel sales have shifted so strongly (and probably irrevocably) away from Diamond to the mainstream (in terms of distribution, that is).

If you scroll down to the photo gallery in this piece on the recent Phoenix Comic-Con, you would be forgiven for thinking that all comic pros wear grey shirts and are balding.

Update: What is wrong with people? No more TV ads for sugared cereal? No more crappy licensed products, like Mario Bros. cereal? Sounds like someone wants to try and turn cutting costs into a PR plus.

9 Responses to “Random LinkBlogging”

  1. Dennis Culver Says:

    Hey Johanna, thanks for mentioning UNDERCARD!

    Just to let you know, we’re putting this out in a very limited quantity with a cardstock cover so that makes it a little spendier, but it’s absolutelt worth it.


  2. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Dennis — those are the kinds of details that help make the price more understandable.

  3. david brothers Says:

    The opposite of The Flash, power-wise, is The Turtle! He can steal kinetic energy from things around him, effectively slowing time to the point that he can move at normal speed. Otherwise, life is a blur.

    Sorry, I’m a Flash fan who is trying very, very hard to like the post-Johns Flash. I may end up going the same way that Greg did if it doesn’t pick up soon. It’s just kind of hard to follow up “Rogue War” with, uh, “The Adventures of Surly Bart & His Idiot Friend.”

  4. Johanna Says:

    Has there ever been a modern age Turtle story? I’d heard of him, but I got the impression he was way long ago.

  5. david brothers Says:

    Yep! Johns did a one-off story about him. I don’t know the issue number, only that it was post-Blitz and pre-Wally and Linda hooking back up. It’s in the “Secret of Barry Allen” TPB.

    Wally is in the police station being questioned by two detectives (Morillo and Chyre) on exactly why the breaks went out on a police vehicle he serviced… when that vehicle belongs to the wife of Hunter “Zoom” Zolomon, particularly since Zoom caused the miscarriage and almost death of his wife. The cops smell “revenge” but can’t prove anything.

    Wally’s hanging out and suddenly everything slows down to null. He thinks, “Aw, crap, the speed force kicked in. As if this wasn’t taking long enough…” before he realizes that he isn’t doing it. Time is still going. The Turtle froze everyone in town except Wally due to the speed force. Even better: that means Wally can only move about as fast as a normal person. He mentions how much it sucks having to put the costume on at normal speed. He feels like a normal guy.

    The Turtle’s in Keystone and explains that he can permanently absorb energy as well as stealing it. King of like a kinetic energy vampire, I guess, but with less biting. They do the super-hero fighty-talky thing and Wally makes it back in time for the cops to not even notice that he’s gone.

    I hadn’t realized it until now, but it also answers the question of relative time when speeding. Wally says that he can “zone out” and make distances that should seem like days go by in an instant.

    I think that The Turtle is one of the few DC villains to have aged in real time (though there’s some plot devicery going on here I think), along with The Mist out of Starman. That’s kind of cool.

    DC needs to print more of the latest Flash series in trade. I’ve got all the Johns run, I think three Waid trades, and that’s it. I want the Messner-Loebs run and all the rest of it.

  6. Johanna Says:

    So is the Turtle in jail? And did Wally gimmick the brakes? (It used to be that that question was unthinkable, but I no longer know what the current writers think is appropriate for their “heroes” to do.)

  7. david brothers Says:

    Yeah, he took the Turtle back to Iron Heights.

    And technically, Wally did gimmick the brakes. What actually happened was that he was looking for the missing piece of the brakes (he was working in an auto-body shop for police) when a news report came in on the Penguin being in Keystone. He dashes off to see to that and forgets about the brake piece in the excitement.

    However, the first thing he does is tell his boss that he made “a horrible mistake” and then go and tell the cops exactly what went down.

    Johns has said that part of his run on Flash was about making Wally into the “moral center” of the DCU, a guy who would do his best to do right at all times and for the right reasons. I kind of agree. He’s a good hero.

    Johns on Flash:

    In my eyes, Wally West grew into the moral center of the DCU in Identity Crisis,” Johns said. “I think his ideals of what being the Flash means are so high in his head, he’s aspiring and succeeding in living up to them. He wants everyone to get along and more than anything he believes they can. Even if the betrayal of Batman is revealed.”

    It’s interesting to compare this to Wally early in the series, since he was kind of self-centered.

  8. Johanna Says:

    That does sound interesting… although I always liked that Wally was devil-may-care. He seemed authentically young to me, instead of some 50-year-old’s idea of what the young people were like. (Like in the Silver Age.)

  9. Dan Coyle Says:

    I thought Wally was devil-may-care, but still moral. Waid pushed him towards being more moral, however, and smoothed out the rough edges (though not, thankfully, making him more bland as a result, just as complex yet different). Er, more to the point, Wally grew up a little.

    IIRC, Pat McGreal and Ron Lim did a funny Flash fill-in about the Turtle time traveling. Brian Augustyn and Ty Templeton did a nice Turtle story as part of the Silver Age event.




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