Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett finds a successor to Marvel's Oz books, a different Doctor Who TV Guide, and two new anti-bullying comics.
For months I've been mourning the end of Marvel's series of adaptations of the Oz books by L. Frank Baum (the ones currently in the public domain anyway), by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young. Not because they were "good comics for kids" or provided much needed "diversity" to the field but because they were some of the best comics being published. It was one of my flat out favorite comics, one that month after month I legitimately looked forward to reading. And while I really wish Marvel would spend a little of their Disney money to obtain the rights so Shanower and Young could adapt the rest of the Oz books, I’m not exactly holding my breath. They have Original Sin spin-offs to publish.
Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--The Things I Don't Know"), seeing it as yet another sign of mainstream America’s growing acceptance (or at least acknowledgement of the existence) of the show. The cover I posted was definitely used, it was on my subscribers copy, but while on my weekly pilgrimage to Kroger's I found this, which appears to be a "variant." The one at our nation's checkout counters features the same photo of Peter Capaldi, but it's condensed roughly by half and it's now sharing the space on more or less equal terms with text heralding the story "TV's Highest Paid Stars," a subject that is undoubtedly of much more interest to mainstream Americans.
And while as previously established I can be magnificent in my obliviousness, I did notice something substantially different about recent issues of TV Guide; they were quite a bit smaller. And after a bit of an internet search I found my confirmation in the article "TV Guide Shrinking Magazine in Major Redesign" by James Crugnate on the website The Wrap. I had assumed that it was a cost cutting measure, you know, the way the standard comic book has been whittled down inch by inch over the years to reach its current meager dimensions. But no, it's reduction in size (it's now 7 by 10 inches, or slightly wider than a modern comic) probably has more to do with the fact that it's now "roughly the size of an iPad" according to Guide spokesman Howard Polskin. Which is significant seeing as how the tablet is the principal way the current generation watches television, and if TV Guide is going to continue they'll have to appeal more to them and less to guys like me. And maybe it provides us with a new selling point--"comic books, approximately the size of an iPad."
Bullying is one of my more regularly ridden hobby horses here (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Bully For You"), and I reserve the right to revisit the issue because while I wasn't physically bullied all that much growing up, it happened just often enough to firmly establish that anyone could do anything to me at any time without fear of repercussions. And if you think that someone ever really gets over that, well, I'm a man in my 50's and I'm still waiting for Peter Parker to kick Flash Thompson's ass. So naturally the other thing that caught my attention about this issue of TV Guide was the full page ad on its inside back cover for "Speak Up Week," this year's event for Cartoon Network's "Stop Bullying Speak Up" promotion.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by ICv2 on August 26, 2014 @ 11:26 pm CT
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