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 talks about things he doesn't want running around his reality unaccompanied, what's next, and the problem with New Krypton.
I didn't see Watchmen last week but the guys from Super-Fly Comics & Games did. Staff members were in attendance both Thursday and Friday nights, handing out store coupons giving customers 20% off their next purchase (a sneaky way of getting them to visit us at least twice) and pamphlets promoting DC's After Watchmen What's Next? program. 400 of them were distributed and we've already started to see some of the coupons start to come back.
I don't think I'll be seeing Watchmen at all, well, no more than I already have anyway; on top of all of the clips and viral video stuff someone posted the entire title sequence online. I've managed to read a good cross section of the reviews and even woke up early enough Sunday morning to hear Joel Siegel refer to the film as "soft core porn", none of which altered my initial opinion. That being there are just some things I don't want running around my reality unaccompanied.
As I previously put into evidence I'm a huge Astro Boy fan but thanks to the Ain't It Cool News anime page I saw things no fan ever should. Like a clip from a live action (you read that right) Japanese B&W Astro Boy TV series which looked like something I dreamt under the influence of antihistamines. Or creepier by far images of a "Astro Kid" costume -- for a grown man, which reminded me of a Vigilante story Alan Moore wrote where a prostitute claimed one of her customers liked her to dress up like Astro Boy. Which, in an extremely roundabout way puts me back on topic, which is, what exactly is next?
For instance; no one else seems to have mentioned it but Time-Warner Cable is selling those Watchmen motion comics on one of their premium channels for $1.99 each. I suppose the idea of your customers being able to get a copy of the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man (with voices and music) on their TV's for less than what you're charging must fill some retailers with dread.
But I just don't see that happening. I don't see either Marvel or DC spending money on a pilot program, the same way I don't see sufficient number of people wanting to watch comics on their TV's (though let's see how well the Watchmen ones do). As someone who grew listening and reading along to the Marvel Comics/Golden Records Comic Book & Records I just don't see Motion Comics being anything more than another novelty.
On the other hand it has occurred to me there is someone who might love them; kids. Both Time-Warner and Disney have in their archives thousands upon thousands of comic book pages featuring their classic characters that are essentially worthless in North America*. But if they added voices and music but kept the word balloons, suddenly they've have a educational tool that would also help promote characters they find hard selling to today's kids.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what's next either, but there are a couple of recent developments that fill me with hope:
This summer: Batman And Robin by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.
And now that Art Adams is now exclusive to DC I'm one step closer to seeing my dream of All-Star Detective Chimp And Rex The Wonder Dog become a reality. Did I mention Lady Blackhawk would be their chauffeur/ bodyguard? Yeah, Lady Blackhawk would be their chauffeur/bodyguard.
Nobody wants to like the current Superman comics more than me and I have to admit except for a couple of quibbles (Breast Implant Cat Grant). I've enjoyed the James Robinson version of the character. But I really don't think he knows what he's done by enlarging the bottled city of Kandor, a.k.a. New Krypton.
Nowadays DC characters go to hell so often you'd think there was a regular shuttle service but when I were a lad heroes would regularly spend weekends in the 30th century of the Legion of Superheroes or Atlantis or Kandor, last remnant of the planet Krypton. I don't know if I can accurately tell you how important Kandor was for kids like me; it was both a piece of the past and everything we wanted our future to be. And we waited for the day when Superman would find a way to free its citizens for its prison.
And now it's just another city full of fascist bastard Supermen. Gee, thanks James.
* Last week I confessed that I'd been downloading the Dell Four Color series and I can tell you first hand there's some top-notch material featuring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Andy Panda and Oswald The Rabbit (Disney, you bought Oswald, do you ever plan on actually doing something with him?), just sitting there, waiting.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back 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 March 11, 2009 @ 11:44 pm CT