Due to the fact that Monday was considered a holiday by many (no idea what “Cinco de Julio” is supposed to be, weird), comic books did not arrive in North American retail establishments on Wednesday, as they normally do. Don’t get all caught up on the “why,” because when you have a godless monopoly like Diamond Distributors keeping an entire industry in a stranglehold, it’ll just give you a headache to try and contemplate the madness.
Instead, let’s look at some things we’ve learned of late … oh, and we’ll try to keep it as “sequential art” focused as possible, while avoiding really stupid/dangerous things like Michael Steele or Mel Gibson or losing the weapons from the Israeli prime minister’s security staff, because most people want an escape in comics. So let’s get away …
- Convention partyman and all around swell guy Josh Blaylock is in the news because Devil’s Due’s ditching Diamond. Why?
“For almost over a year Devil’s Due has been in an unworkable situation wherein Diamond garnishes our revenues to pay back returns and fees it claims are owed from 2008 and 2009, making it impossible for us to keep up with payments to talent, printers, and other expenses while maintaining a stable business,” said Josh Blaylock, president of Devil’s Due, who was forced to wind down the company’s publishing rather than ramp up as it originally planned to do when hit with a rough economy in 2008. “We’ve exhausted every resource to get on track, with a primary focus on catching up with talent payments first and foremost, but when Diamond controls the money flow, that becomes impossible.”
I’ve said this many times — Diamond is a bad thing, for comics, for the industry, for America. Just like Micro$oft. However, just like Micro$oft, it’s too entrenched to do anything about it. I don’t know the specifics of the situation with Devil’s Due — the last thing I actively remember saying about them was, “Hey, IDW completely snaked those Hasbro licenses from them, those poor bastards,” and then noticing that a pal of mine had moved on to greener pastures — but I will say I’m curious to see what Blaylock will do instead. Approach retailers individually? Brutal. Go digital? Half-baked. If Haven Distributors (who?) does right by them, it’ll be good to see, but I’m interested to see how … you know what, I’m interested in Haven altogether. I think I’m gonna have to cover them.
- Speaking of “Partyman,” despite his delusions about the internet being “over,” did or did not Prince bring it and make you sign for it with his 1989 Batman soundtrack? Jack Nicholson and that song were made for one another, and I still find myself humming “The Arms of Orion” randomly in life.
- Neil Gaiman said vampires are “everywhere, they’re like cockroaches.” He whacked plans to write a vampire novel, despite the fact that it likely could have netted him a fleet of Brinks trucks hauling cash to his door. You know what that’s called, people? Integrity. Also, he’s already got a decent chunk of cash, so it’s not like he’ll go hungry over this. Vampires are on my list of “things that make my eyes glaze over the second I see them,” alongside Nazis, pirates, zombies and the ludicrous idea that there’s a country called “Canada.” You’re not fooling anybody, Northern Minnesota!
- Apparently, all it takes is a trip to storage to leave me talking to pieces of plastic and metal for a half hour. I don’t need your pity.
- When even noted feminist Gloria Steinem chimes in, chances are this “Wonder Woman Gets Pants” thing has gone too far. Spoiler alert: Steinem hates it, but just a little more than Bryan Hibbs did. “Just like Superman.” For shame …
- Real life wall crawling. In your face, radioactive spiders!
- While we’re at it, what kinds of sneakers would Namor wear? Probably these — Geekologie is hilarious.
- Back to things Spider-related, we all now know Andrew Garfield is the new Peter Parker in the Sam Raimi-free reboot, “directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt.” I only ask one thing: that he be funny. Lots of people liked Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. I was not one of them. An unfunny Spidey is like a lap dance from a hermaphrodite, in my mind — sure, all the basics may be there, but it’s just not right somehow.
I’ve never seen Garfield’s work, so I just hope he can nail “awkward charm,” “bookish smarts” and “fast-paced wit in costume” properly, since that’s about 90% of why I can even tolerate Spider-Man, a property I’ve found middling at best most of the time.
- George Lucas needs to lighten up and get over himself already.
- Finally, in “Adaptation Differs From The Source Material” news, the trailer for Red is nothing like the tense, mean-spirited Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner comic book … and I think that’s a good thing. The movie seems to be a wholly different story, more of a farce with fun, familiar faces, whereas the book would have been a great one-shot, hour long episode on SyFy. Both are good for their respective milieu but Red the movie works better as a movie (i.e. “an investment from the producers and the studio intended to reap profit”) than the comic book. Plus, Ellis still gets a fat check. Just like Wanted, except the movie was actually vastly superior to the annoying, hateful comic version. Everybody wins, right?
Play nice, kids. See you with a commentary track … maybe Sunday. Maybe Monday. Hard to say.
Playing (Music): “My Time” by Gilbert Forte feat. STSdevil's due, diamond, lightsabers, prince, Red, spider-man, The Pantsening