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A. Heathen

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Unless Grant Morrison is writing something, I'll continue my previous commitment to DC, which is not bothering with anything unrelated to Grant Morrison.

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The Batman's Grave #2-Wow, that was almost like someone writing a parody of a Warren Ellis comic book. That would have to be one of the very worst comics I read in 2019.

After an ambiguous, but somewhat promising, start on this mini-series, Ellis exemplifies all the worst traits to be found in an Ellis comic. All the positives from the first issue were lost in this one.

There are about five pages total with dialogue.

Alfred acts as if he cannot take this story seriously anymore.

The ending is just random. Last issue ended with a nice cliffhanger to make the reader want to come back. This issue ended as if Ellis finally fell asleep writing the script.

It makes me want to very much avoid this comic going forward. I know this is a twelve-issue book, and I may be hasty to damn it so badly, but Ellis may be working to top his Legends of the Dark Knight misfire. Regardless of it becomes a work of staggering genius, Ellis completely lost me with this horrible issue, because I will not spend another $4 for fear that more of the comics will read as poorly as this one.

(After this and the three books I read from Marvel this week, I am really beginning to understand why I decided to read very few comics now.)

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I saved the better comics for last.

Far Sector #1 (by N.K. Jemisin)-I enjoyed this. It was very well written. This is Jemisin's first comic book work, and many times a prose fiction writer attempts to write a comic book, and it takes them a while to learn the new artform. Jemisin came across as a veteran of comics. In fact, this issue read better than some of her prose short fiction. Jemisin continues to show her forte for world-building, and it is an interesting world she has created. I enjoyed the bits of socio-political commentary about our world that she included the best, although the book is more than just a political metaphor.

I would say it is one of the better Green Lantern related comics in years, if it wasn't for Morrison writing Green Lantern currently.

The Dollhouse Family #1 (by Mike Carey)-That was quite good. At times, it compared favourably to the Unwritten or Lucifer. I'm glad I picked it up and will continue to look forward to where this is going.

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18 hours ago, Christian said:

I will not spend another $4 for fear that more of the comics will read as poorly as this one.

 

Let's see....4 by 12 is $48. I am sure the trade will be less than half of that

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39 minutes ago, Lou K said:

Let's see....4 by 12 is $48. I am sure the trade will be less than half of that

And that's why no bastard buys comics anymore, innit?

(The shit comics might have something to do with it as well, of course, but look at some of the mind numbing drivel that was being collected by idiots during the early '90s collector boom...)

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I believe that price is definitely the biggest reason that comic sales continue to decline.

Kids used to be the biggest market for comics. Most kids don't have an extra $4 that they can spend on one comic book.

Meanwhile, the average age of the majority of today's comic book audience is mid-30s to early-50s.

The publishers had it much easier in the early-1990s too, because kids will pretty much think anything is cool if their buddies are in to it. Plus, the speculators were easy to please, since those people were mostly illiterate and didn't even care about the story, so long as they expected to retire early by buying ten copies of most books.

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2 hours ago, dogpoet said:

And that's why no bastard buys comics anymore, innit?

 

It is definitely a reason I do not collect as many titles, or try out new ones that I may be iffy on. Back in the day not everything was collected, so you almost had to grab the floppies. Nowadays it seems everything is collected, so sometimes it is better to just wait.

Of course, we have better print methods, better paper quality, etc. But some stories are just shit.

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I have an inkling that improved print technology is part of the problem: it's certainly hiking the prices. I wonder if going back to flexographic printing on cheap paper would drop the prices a couple of dollars?

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Most of the comic companies have gone to using the cheaper paper stock for their covers that they use on the interior pages, and they didn't bother to lower the costs.

There is one smaller comic company (Alterna Comics) which is using the really cheap paper stock and only charging $1.99 per book. So, it's definitely possible.

However, you have to wonder how that may effect sales. No one except the most diehard comic fan is buying that companies' books. Some readers may be turned off by a comic which looks to be the same paper stock as a newspaper.

I mean, I'm pretty sure the paper stock was higher in the mid-1990s, when mainstream comics were printed on that glossy paper.

They are charging a bit above the inflation rate, as a Marvel Comic was $2 in 1996, and checking the inflation rate, it should be roughly $3.25 in 2019 after inflation.

I'm wondering if comic companies have raised their prices a bit above inflation due to losing readers though. Sometimes if a business is doing worse, it will raise the prices, to gouge the loyal customers it does have in order to make an up extra profit from lost overall sales.

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Low, Low Woods #1, by Carmen Maria Mochado, was so good. If the quality of this first issue continues, we might just have an early contender for best of 2020....if I manage to remember it a year from now, which I probably won't.

As someone whose family comes from Allentown, Pennsylvania (my grandfather was born there), I can say that it's a pretty believable depiction of a mining town in Pennsylvania.

It has more of a weird and dark vibe to it, rather than being outright horror (at least with this first issue).

I am quite impressed with Mochado's comic debut. If you're familiar with her excellent prose fiction, this comic stands up well.

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Soon as I saw that otw home from work, I went full goofy Macguire dance. 

 

Maybe he can grovel to Alan Horn (since he came to DC under his WB tenure) for a job at Disney before Iger leaves (but not before the latter blackballs him)

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Strange Adventures #1-I don't know, this didn't grip me immediately the way his Mr. Miracle series did (or Vision). It's a bit trying too hard to be like Mr. Miracle, I think. Only, the premise isn't as interesting to me as Mr. Miracle. A twelve-part series is a lot of invest in to this book after the first issue, unlike with Mr. Miracle (or Vision) where I was willing to stick with King no matter how long it took. I think I'll wait and if I hear really good things, I'll probably look in to the Trade also.

I did like how King's writing style changed so greatly, between the pulp-inspired bombastic scenes taking place on Rann versus the dreary, everyday scenes in our world. King did a really good job with that. If only the plot gripped me more, like the themes King was working with in Mr. Miracle.

At first, I thought that Adam Strange's Rann adventures were just the character's imaginings, and it was going to be revealed that Adam Strange was considered a "war hero" in Afghanistan or Iraq. I think that might have been a stronger direction.

I keep getting teased with these deconstructions of the Adam Strange character, only to have it pulled away. I remember the Andy Diggle Adam Strange series for a while back now, where Diggle was playing with the idea that Adam Strange really did just imagine/hallucinate his time on Rann. I thought that was really moving somewhere interesting, but it was just a tease.

There really may not be enough in the concept of Adam Strange to get more than something like the one-shot by Grand Morrison in a more modern and complex time, as opposed to during the Silver Age.

The plot of Strange Adventures feels like something I've seen before, and twelve issues just seems far too long to drag out this type of plot. If there is a chance that Adam Strange really won't be exonerated, then I'd be more interested, but I can't see DC allowing even a minor superhero character like Adam Strange to be tore down like that. I might be wrong, of course (it's given the Black Label logo, which means it might not even be canon), but I won't bet eleven more issues worth on that.

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