Thursday, November 08, 2007
November 8th's Meanwhile, in Las Vegas...
This week’s Las Vegas Weekly comics column takes a look at Kazimir Strzepek’s The Mourning Star, which you really ought to read. The Mourning Star that is. Not the column. Well, actually, you should read the column too. I mean, that’s why I linked to it.
And speaking of links…
Aaaa! Man, that is one crazy-looking, scary-ass image! I suppose that’s appropriate though, given the subject matter.
Once I recovered from my initial horror and revulsion though, the second thing I thought of when I saw that image was how weird the very existence of variant covers are from a business standpoint. I understand they drive sales up, but, at the same time, the company is essentially paying two different people to provide the covers for a single issue, so, whatever the sales ultimately are, they spent twice as much as they would have if they just paid Jim Lee to draw the cover, instead of Jim Lee and Neal Adams.
Why is DC spending their money like this, particularly since a) Goddam Batman and Robin, the Goddam Boy Wonder is already one of their best-selling goddam titles and b) investing in variant cover schemes only encourages a collector’s mentality and speculation in the Direct Market, which history seems to indicate isn’t healthy for either the market or its leaders like DC?
Why not just have one Jim Lee-drawn cover on this issue, and pay Adams to provide covers for some other Batman-related books that won’t be anywhere near as high-selling as this one will be already? For example, why not put Adams on the covers for the “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” crossover in the Bat-books? That would have gave slow/hurried/lazy artists like Tony S. Daniel more time to make the interiors of his Bat-book good instead of having to waste time drawing a pretty generic Batman-on-improbable-gargoyle cover, and likely have boosted sales of each installment of the crossover. Adams art, even just covers, is pretty damn rare these days, after all, and he’s closely associated with Bat-characters Ra’s al Ghul and Talia.
Or if DC doesn’t want to abandon the asinine drive-sales-up-artificially-with-variants-and-damn-the-consequences schemes, why not at least apply it to the lower-selling Bat-books? Like, Batman #670 could have had the Daniel cover and an Adams variant, inflating sales for that book (and then the Detective, Nightwing and Robin, the last two of which sell dismally), instead of making sure All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder sells 90,000 copies instead of 80,000?
Fellow “Best Shots” shooter and controversial Fox Sports soccer writer Jamie Trecker has a new (prose) book out, entitled Love and Blood: At the World Cup with the Footballers, Fans, and Freaks. Here’s an article on Jamie and his book in The Chicago Reader, here’s the publisher’s page (featuring more info and an excerpt), and I understand you can impulse buy books right off the Internet now through sites like this one.
Is it the book any good? Well, I’m only on page 50 so far, but, well, I’m on page 50 of a book about World Cup soccer, and considering the part of my brain where any interest at all in sports would lie was long ago devoted instead to comics trivia, Jamie’s definitely doing something right with his writing. So far, the book’s as much a memoir of his experiences covering the Cup and a recent history of American soccer as it is sports writing. The narrative is fast moving and written in an engaging style.
Given the fact that Jamie and I are on the same comics review team, feel free to take this recommendation with a grain of salt if you like, but I’m enjoying it, so I imagine readers with any interest at all in soccer and/or sports will love it.
Megan Palmer’s song “Deadman” probably isn’t about Boston Brand, but you can listen to it (and two other songs) at her myspace page and decide for yourself. If you like what you hear there, her new album will be available through local label Sunken Treasure Records (from the makers of donewaiting.com!) shortly. Alternately, if you live in Columbus, you can check her out live and snag a copy for yourself at Andyman’s Treehouse November 15-17th.