-I'm disappointed that no one is talking about the upcoming "Doubtful Guest" film adaptation. Is this old news? Or do comics bloggers not care about Edward Gorey? I remember the comics cognoscenti claiming Gorey as one of our own back in my younger days. Has that been abandoned now? Do people no longer feel the need to draft Gorey into the ranks of cartoonists now that there's so much high quality work being released on a weekly basis? Really, think about that. 10 years ago we were lucky to get a few decent pamphlets every month. Now there are at least 2-3 decent GNs every week. When Darcy Sullivan wrote in The Comics Journal* about "desperately" searching the comics store for something to buy, I knew what he was talking about. These days, there's a long list of things I intend to buy one of these days: Buddha, Late Bloomer, Terr'ble Thompson, Klezmer....
But I'd still take Gorey over all those talented cartoonists, even Tezuka. So why aren't you people upset that there's going to be a muppet-ized version of "The Doubtful Guest?"
*In the same issue there's also a long article by Heidi Mickey D which I haven't read in forever. I should do that later today.
-Ominous musings on DC's upcoming World War III event. It's been pretty quiet on the fanboy outrage front for a few weeks, but there seems to be potential here. I can't help but view this in the light of the recent news about DC's waning sales or maybe this anecdote. Sadly, though, I think that the real reason for declining sales at DC isn't revulsion to violence or extreme continuity, but the lack of Big Events at DC over the past few months. Mainstream comic sales appear to be a zero sum game. Marvel's increased sales, driven by a Big Event, came at DC's expense. Now DC is about to pull out its own Big Event, which will apparently be stretched out over the course of a year via Countdown. Marvel's got a few Modest Events planned, but I think the lure of DC's Extreme Multiverse Continuity Wars will beat out Marvel's Hulk Smash Everything and Where Have All the X-Children Gone.
-While on this subject, I noticed this comment from self-professed "comics historian" Alan Kistler:
"I think what DC should really do is get in gear about A, having everyone agree on what is now in and out of continuity and B, when they publish TPBs, don’t be afraid to maybe do the smallest amoung of editing to keep a story in continuity.What do I mean by that? Simple. In INFINITE CRISIS #7, Wildcat mentioned remembering Superman of Earth-2. Then DC decided they weren’t gonna have the JSA remember their Earth-2 lives. So when the hardcover trade for INFINITE CRISIS came out, they just rewrote Wildcat’s line so that he was just mentioning how this older guy looked a lot like Superman. Did it chance the story? Not at all. It just took away a remark that no longer made sense in continuity.
That’s all you have to do. Start publishing trades of older stories that are still in continuity and if you need to do some minor editing here and there, just put a 'REDUX' label on the cover so that continuity purists will know what they’re getting into. Also, that way it’d be easier for more casual readers who wanted to get deeped into the mythology to know which trades are in continuity or not when they go to BORDERS and want to add to their bookshelves."
Holy fuck, is that the worst idea I've ever heard. DC and Marvel are already competing for the same 300,000 or so readers. Like I said the other day, I suspect the poor bookstore sales of Spider-Man relative to Naruto is the baffling array of choices on bookstore shelves. This would make things even worse, limiting growth to those predisposed to liking stupid continuity drivel. I figure that the continuity fiends make up, at best, about 20% of Marvel/DC's current readership. Catering to these lunatics will drive away big chunks of the remaining 80%. There's a reason why Dazzler c. 1980 sold more than Civil War c. now.