Friday, August 28, 2009

Top 10 Preorders at Rogues Gallery 9/2/09

A much, much smaller week this time out... not much from Marvel or DC's big crossovers (Dark Reign and Blackest Night, respectively) and not many "heavy hitter" books. My favorite new book of the year (Chew) is shipping this week, though.

This doesn't measure sales, just pre-sales, as we see how many subscribers had preordered on various titles, just to gauge relative interest levels.

1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
2. Batman
3. All Blackest Night
4. Deadpool
5. Justice League Cry For Justice (tie)
5. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (tie)
5. Wednesday Comics (tie)
6. Marvel Zombies Return
7. Agents Of Atlas (tie)
7. Exiles (tie)
7. Immortal Weapons (tie)
7. Northlanders (tie)
8. All BPRD & Hellboy (tie)
8. Boys (tie)
8. Cable (tie)
8. Incognito (tie)
8. Invincible Iron Man (tie)
8. Star Wars Invasion (tie)
8. Supergirl (tie)
9. Batman Confidential (tie)
9. Doctor Who Ongoing (tie)
9. Irredeemable (tie)
9. Resurrection (tie)
10. Chew (tie)
10. DMZ trades (tie)
10. Ghost Riders Heavens On Fire (tie)

And Tied For 11th Place: Army Of Darkness #24, Authority #14, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep #3, Jonah Hex #47 & The Good The Bad & The Ugly #3.

Last week was a much bigger week... in fact, the tie for 11th place numbers last week were the same as the numbers for the number 5 slot this week. And two of the 11th place-holders this week actually have *zero* shelf sales, as they've sold so poorly over the last couple years that we've had to cut them back to subscriber-only and special-order books.

As with last week, the licensed books have higher preorders and lower shelf sales. This wasn't always true of Buffy, but it has become so in the last few months. We sell 50% less of that book now than we did at its outset. However, even after more than two years of sales, the book continues to sell better than any other licensed book we've ever had.

I generally just include the "all" numbers in with the totals, but I thought it'd be interesting to see that this week, the third place number is "anything with Blackest Night in it" (even the final issue of a miniseries not a ton of folks have been following, although in fairness, I expect a fair amount of those to go back to the shelf) rather than any specific comic. Judging by the sales, "Event fatigue" is not as prevalent as many might claim. My theory is that "event fatigue" should more accurately be called "buyer's remorse" as it doesn't really stop folks from buying (and being excited by) the next big event. And in many cases, those who gripe about event comics will also reminisce fondly about Civil War, Final Crisis and other events later on.

No real anomalies for us this week. We sell fairly well on Incognito, Northlanders, Agents of Atlas, which I think of more as "buzz" books, but I believe those are holding up relatively well on the sales charts as well nationwide.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekly Comics for August 26, 2009

28 Days Later #1 (I was not a fan of the movie sequel 28 Weeks Later, but I would have been if it had been more like this comic. The art is terrific, the new characters interesting and it's a good sequel to what happened in the movie.)

Avengers The Initiative #27 (Needs more New Warriors, less D-grade Dazzler bad guys and random invasion of the extradimensional Civil War prison. Remains a very uneven book, occasionally very good but often just mediocre)

Batman and Robin #3 (Undeniably well-executed, but not engaging me on that gut level this issue. It may be the incoming art change already dampening my enthusiasm for the book)

Beta Ray Bill Godhunter #3 (Solid wrap-up to a very impressive miniseries, looking forward to S.W.O.R.D. and Gillen's Thor)

Dead Run #3 (I've got a big fondness for post-apocalyptic stories, and this is a good one. This time out, it's the post-apocalyptic settlement and its bizarre laws, and I liked Cosby's version of this post-apocalyptic trope)

Detective Comics #856 (The art is gorgeous, I like the character and the supporting cast, but I have absolutely no idea what's going on here, and after three issues, I feel like I should)

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (War of Kings ripples nicely here, as it did in Nova, and allows Abnett and Lanning to set up another interesting story going forward)

Incredible Hercules #133 (I like Cho, but I really missed the Hercules replaces Thor story in this issue - a split story format would probably have been better)

Incredible Hulk #601 (I've sort of tuned out of Skaar and Hulk, but I wanted to see what Pak would do with the character. I like this new de-Hulked Banner, who reminds me of the West Coast Avengers incarnation of Hank Pym, but I honestly couldn't care less about Skaar at this point)

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #54 (Pure joy in Spider-Man form, Tobin has always been doing good stuff on Marvel Adventures but setting up a continuing status quo has raised the book to a new level. Best Spidey on the stands? Quite possibly)

New Mutants #4 (Good God, we're still fighting Legion, one of the most boring characters in the X-Universe. Decent, but my enthusiasm is wavering)

Nova #28 (The resolution of the expansive Nova Corps story is a satisfying evolution of the status quo, the fights are fun and Abnett and Lanning continue to define Marvel's space characters in the most interesting way I've seen)

Underground #2 (Some really tense, claustrophobic action and some of the most believable crime drama I've seen in comics - definitely worth checking out when it hits, this was an advance look)

Unknown #4 (Really strong ending, and I'm glad that we're going to get a sequel to one of the best detective stories I've read this year)

Usagi Yojimbo #122 (A nice self-contained tale of Usagi finding shelter and helping out those who need him. You'd think this kind of thing would get it old, but it never does)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Can She Be A First Grader Already?

First day of first grade. And before we know it, Aaron will be getting bigger and going to school too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Top 10 Preorders at Rogues Gallery 8/26/09

Not sure if I'll maintain this as a weekly thing or not, but I thought it was interesting to look and see how many subscribers had preordered on various titles, just to gauge relative interest levels.

1. Green Lantern #45
2. Batman And Robin #3
3. Dark Avengers #8
4. Dark Tower The Fall Of Gilead #4
5. Blackest Night Titans #1
6. Star Wars Legacy #23 (tie)
6. New Avengers #56 (tie)
7. Detective Comics #856
8. Dark Wolverine #77 (tie)
8. Anita Blake LC Necromancer #4 (tie)
9. X-Force #18
10. Deadpool #14 (tie)
10. Flash Rebirth #4 (tie)

And Tied For 11th Place: Guardians Of The Galaxy #17, Nova #28, Teen Titans #74 & Wednesday Comics #8.

In general, higher preorders means higher sales, but not always. Licensed books like Anita Blake, Star Wars Legacy and Dark Tower won't sell that much higher than their preorders, at least at this point in their run, although Dark Tower in particular was a sales-off-the-rack monster early on. Green Lantern, Dark Avengers and Blackest Night Titans all benefit from huge interest in their crossovers.

The order numbers on Green Lantern and Batman and Robin are pretty much identical, and will more than likely generate strong shelf sales and eventually reorders.

Guardians and Nova are probably the anomalies for my shop, as I expect they're much lower on the charts than the others here at most stores across the country, judging by the sales charts posted on ICV2 and The Beat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weekly Comics for August 19, 2009

Batgirl #1 (Thrilled with who's behind the cowl. The actual issue is merely OK, it has some clunky writing and art at times, but I'm happy enough with the reveal to keep reading)

Brave and the Bold #26 (Xombi was one of my favorite Milestone books, a Vertigo-esque gem that far too many people missed. I'd love to get some new stories, and this is a good start, with Xombi's creator returning to write him teaming up with the Spectre against a serial killing ghost)

Monsters Inc. #1 (This is written by my good friend Paul Benjamin, but if I didn't like it, I would have just quietly not mentioned it here. Fortunately? I *loved* it. He and Amy Mebberson really capture the vibe of the movie and the status quo at the end, it's a fun done-in-one story and as good a comics sequel to Monsters, Inc. as the Waid-penned Incredibles comic is to The Incredibles)

The Unwritten #3 (Missed this one last week. And it's great. Carey and Gross have reminded me why I loved so much of Vertigo's output up until recently, and I hope that this is a big success.)

X-Men Legacy #227 (Great issue. If you'd told me that the X-Book most like the X-Men that I loved would feature Rogue, Gambit and Whedon's Danger robot, I would have told you you were crazy, but this is just a great X-Book, and a really good single issue of it)

Wednesday Night Linkblogging

Project Waldo: Nate Simpson liveblogs creating a comic. And it's *gorgeous* (hat tip to Brandon Graham for the link)

Cameron Stewart earns free drinks with an iPhone and some of his art used without permission

Greg Rucka talks with Laura Hudson about Stumptown, one of my most-anticipated series of 2009.

Marvel 70th Anniversary/Cover Meme from Stuart Immonen, via Graeme McMillan - and there goes the rest of my night

Cool? Zombie bar opens in Minneapolis. Cooler? (for me) My sister, brother-in-law and nephews live there. So this is definitely on the menu for a visit at some point.

Don't be a mean GM. Legally, it can have consequences. Like hammer face-beatings, apparently.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Funny... and yet...

It'd be a lot funnier if I didn't think so many people across the country actually, un-ironically, believe this.

From Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone:

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

Barack Hussein Obama, natural born Kenyan socialist, usurper of the American presidency and “Trojan Horse of Islam,” possessed of a “deep seated hatred of white people” and with the aid of his media “brownshirts,” is embarking on a Nazi-styled eugenics campaign to grant “death panels” the authority to “pull the plug on grandma” and “redistribute the wealth” otherwise required to sustain her “unproductive” life as “reparations”. Failure to halt his “government takeover” — with assault rifles if necessary — will lead inexorably to future generations having to “wait in line for, I dunno, toilet paper.”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New movie from Richard Kelly

Try to forget Southland Tales

Is it cynical of me to think that 99% of the time, this movie ends really early? "You'll be given a payment of one million -- wow, you pushed that button fast."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weekly Comics for August 12, 2009

Batman #689 (Great use of the new Batmobile, and I'm digging the Two-Face/Penguin turf war and the look at Dick Grayson as a different kind of Batman)

BPRD 1947 #2 (Gorgeous art, creepy settings, great characters... BPRD is great as always)

Days Missing #1 (A compelling little sci-fi thinkpiece by Phil Hester... the lettering is sometimes hard to read, but I like this opening issue quite a bit)

Hellboy The Wild Hunt #5 (Hooray! The hiatus is over, the punching of bad guys commences again and Duncan Fegredo's artwork is magnificent)

House of M: Masters of Evil #1 (In general, I care so little about what happened during House of M, but as long as Christos Gage is writing these, I'll be reading them. This time, we see what happens when the non-mutant bad guys organize)

Incredible Hercules #132 (Hercules joins up with the Asgardians, and it's a ton of fun to read)

The Killer #9 (Beautifully illustrated, hauntingly captivating, this remains a favorite. The life of a professional killer as I've never seen it done before)

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4 (Good conclusion to a really fun miniseries, and it looks like there's more coming next year)

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #53 (Paul Tobin relaunches the book, in a way, with a brand new supporting cast member, the addition of Gwen Stacy, a nifty use of an unexpected X-Men character and terrific art by Mateo Lolli... check it out if you're not digging the Amazing stuff, or hell, even if you are)

Marvel Adventures Super-Heroes #14 (Featuring Hawkeye (not Ronin), so I picked it up, and Tobin and David Baldeon don't disappoint. The Hulk robber trick is a neat idea, the Blonde Phantom a good co-star and it reads like a fun issue of Marvel Team-Up)

Red Robin #3 (After really enjoying the first two issues, this one was a bit of a let down, and the artwork looked extremely shaky)

Robotika: For A Few Rubles More #1-2 (Great futurepunk samurai/western fiction with stunning artwork, glad to see this one back on track)

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 (It's got all the usual flaws of Millar's work, but all the strengths as well, and when that includes great action sequences with Carlos Pacheco art, and it all takes place in the nihilistic Ultimate universe, I can enjoy it quite a bit. The Red Skull twist doesn't bother me either, as I prefer my Ultimate universe different from the mainline, and this is definitely different, and an interesting take on Cap's nemesis)

Friday, August 07, 2009

RIP John Hughes

John Hughes was a *huge* influence on me as a high schooler. I'm pretty sure he was the first filmmaker I recognized by name. It would be years until I realized how much of a fan I was of James Cameron, John McTiernan, Ridley Scott or even Martin Scorsese. But I knew who John Hughes was after I went and saw Breakfast Club (as part of a double-feature, at a drive-in, along with Beverly Hills Cop) with my older cousin Cindy in California, who was awesome for taking me and my sister to see those movies when we were young teens.

I had seen Sixteen Candles before that, of course, but it was never my favorite of Hughes's movies. It remains the one I've only seen a couple of times, whereas I know Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles by heart.

After Planes, Tranes and Automobiles, Hughes directed She's Having a Baby (pretty terrible, as I recall), Uncle Buck (watchable but forgettable) and Curly Sue (haven't seen, but I hear... not great things). Still, five of the most formative comedies of my youth in four years (1984-1987)? Not bad.

And that's only the stuff he wrote *and* directed. Among the stuff he wrote, we've got Mr. Mom, Vacation, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. It's true that as time went on, he started doing increasingly worse sequels to Vacation, then birthed the horrible Beethoven and Home Alone series, and his work in the past few years has included Flubber and Maid in Manhattan, so... in all honesty, the odds that he was ever going to make another movie I wanted to see were shockingly low.

But the guy's work was hugely influential on me as a teenager, and a half-dozen of his movies remain some of my absolute favorites.

I took dates to see Ferris Bueller, Some Kind of Wonderful and Pretty in Pink. I barely remember the girls... but I still remember the movies.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Weekly Comics for August 5, 2009

Agents of Atlas #9 (I've been enjoying the Dark Reign Agents of Atlas, but these last couple issues seem to have kicked into the same gear I enjoyed in the miniseries, and the "Terror of the Jade Claw" has real potential)

Captain America Reborn #2 (It's well-crafted and all, but the "unstuck in time" stuff with Steve Rogers seems a jarring fit with the world Brubaker has created, and I find myself increasingly tuning out of the book)

Chew #3 (Amelia Plintz is another great character with another weird "power" and Chew continues to look like the book to beat for the "Best New Title of 2009")

Superman World of New Krypton #6 (There's a reverse Star Trek rule going on with me and this book... I like the odd-numbered issues, and I'm a little cooler on the even numbered ones)

War of Kings #6 (Another big setup for more cosmic Marvel stuff done very well by Abnett, Lanning and company)

Witchfinder: In The Service of Angels #2 (Like somebody mixed up the best parts of British Victorian adventure and Hellboy... good stuff)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Is anybody else feeling like maybe the world is in a death spiral of doom and gloom?

In the past few weeks, several of my friends have lost their jobs. Great jobs, jobs that they loved, and jobs that they were great at and worked hard at. Meanwhile, the shitheels who got us into this mess are making huge bonuses and continue to run the government.

I know of several friends who are dealing with the insanity of our current health insurance "system" and yet it seems that actual reform is being tied up by a congress largely bought and paid for by the various health insurance lobbies.

And pretty much every day, someone is posting on the Internet about how the direct market, the industry that *I work in*, is either dead and/or dying.

Combine with all the usual human foibles and bullshit that shows up daily on the news, and I'm even finding it hard to laugh along with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report anymore. These days, it's more like dark humor about how fucked up the whole thing has gotten.

I would like for a lot of really good things to happen to the various people in my life, and a lot of very bad things to happen to the corrupt mother-fuckers who run our country (and the corporations who own them). Just putting that out there for the universe to process.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sketches from San Diego 2009

Not too many sketches this year, but the ones I got I'm very happy with. The first three are in Katy's new sketchbook, started at San Diego last year.

Mark and Abby from Love and Capes by Thom Zahler:

Hawkman by Chris Giarrusso:

Bone (and Ted) by Jeff Smith:

This one is the lone addition to the theme sketchbook this year. I'm a big fan of Ullman's work, and I hadn't ever met him, so it was a really pleasant surprise to see him in Artist's Alley. Not only is this a great sketch, I also picked up his hardcover full-color artbook Atom Bomb Bikini, which I highly recommend. You can see more from Rob at his website.

Pirate Girl by Rob Ullman:

And this was the lone addition to my regular sketchbook. I forgot to buy Samnee's sketchbook from him when I got this, and never ran into him at the show again.

Iron Fist by Chris Samnee: