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 all things Guardians of the Galaxy.

I finally got to take a few days off, not that I did anything that would be considered "interesting" to anyone else.  But then, I'm the kind of Comic Book Guy who considers driving somewhere, staying in a hotel and eating a few meals without worrying about either caloric content or cost a vacation.  One interesting thing did happen, interesting to me anyway.  I have been been a lifelong channel surfer; but me in a room with a set and a remote and I would invariably see what's on.  But after checking in at the hotel the first thing I did upon entering our room was to check the wifi, which I suppose means like the Millennials I'm primarily getting entertained via instant streaming.
So it's unfortunate that for our entire stay our "high speed internet" vacillated wildly between one and two bars before it finally crashed altogether and when we mentioned this to the hotel staff we were told "Well, it works for us."  Which as lame excuses for why the internet isn't working go ranks right up there with "I don't know what to tell you."  Which was offered up by the manager of a fast food place when I couldn’t take advantage of their wifi.  Apparently saying "I'm sorry" never occurred to her.  But I suppose what really proves that I've gone over to the other side is this went on for three days and I turned on the TV only once--after which I turned it off and went straight back to trying to stay online.
Of course being the possessor of a central nervous system one thing I did do was go see Guardians of the Galaxy, and like the majority of humanity I loved it.  Enough that I'm planning to go see it again today.  Naturally the day after it debuted the internet went into full Easter Egg Hunt overdrive mode; I usually prefer to let others do that some of thing for me.  But I must  was confess I was inappropriately proud that I had identified Quill's extraterrestrial one night stand as Bereet, the Kylorian "techno-artist" who initially appeared in the now sadly non-canonical stories in Rampaging Hulk magazine.  There's a photo circulating online of her wearing an actual alien outfit (though happily not the Roman Centurion Showgirl number she sported in the comics) instead of a t-shirt so I imagine she'll appear in a deleted scene on the DVD.
There's already an avalanche of merchandise with the promise of more to come not to mention an animated series (see "Marvel to Produce 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Animated Series") and they announced the sequel before it even opened.  But all that is old hat; what’s opening up new revenue streams is the soundtrack album, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1.  It's #1 on both the iTunes and Amazon digital album lists and #2 in Amazon’s overall CD sales--I bought a copy and I knew the songs long before they became "standards."  I liked them then, I like them now but I especially relish the idea that today's kids like them too.
Speaking of merchandise according to a piece by Marc Graser in Variety, "Guardians of the Galaxy Join ‘Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes’" the Guardians will be getting their very own Disney Infinity playset this fall (see “'Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes' Release Date”).  Which I'm mentioning because when I found this article online it was linked to a previous one also written by Graser, "Even Disney is Surprised by the Success of 'Disney Infinity.'"  After establishing that in its first year the game had generated more than $500M from the sale of 3 million + starter packs, SRP $75, it revealed some interesting factoids that I find relevant to our ongoing discussion about women and comics:
"– 45% of "Infinity's" players are female, higher than the 30% Disney had initially anticipated.  For "Skylanders," that number is closer to 20%."
"– Just as many teens and so-called "midnight moms," parents who play the game after their kids go to sleep, are actively playing "Infinity" as Disney's target audience of 6-12-year-olds."
"– Boys aren't showing signs of veering way from the girl characters in the game.  In fact," The Incredibles'" Violet and Mrs. Incredible have provided popular because of their super hero powers.  Disney expects "The Avengers'" Black Widow to have the same appeal."
And finally, there's this quote from John Vignocchi, executive producer of the game, "At first we were told we have to be careful with Rapunzel joining all of the male characters, but we've made the female characters so powerful… Boys don't mind playing with girl characters."
And, finally, I don't know why Marvel isn't making more of this but according to a piece by Kaleem Aftab that appeared in the UK’s The Independent "Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'" the actor is one of us.  He says as a kid when he won at Bingo he spent his winnings on comics, including an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy.  And while talking about how he turned what Aftab calls his "chubby frame" (personally I see nothing wrong with his original shape) into what People magazine is calling his "hot superhero bod," he reveals that:
"That is the way that I read comic books as a kid, I almost didn't read the stories, I would just focus on the male and female pictures and I would just copy the covers, I was fascinated with the way that these characters looked.  Just their bodies, not even their costumes or their guns or anything like that.  It was the muscle, the structure, the proportions.  I remember getting this Marvel how-to-draw kit and the aesthetics of their bodies was the thing that I was most captivated by.  So it made sense that when I started doing this role that that was the thing that I was most concerned with.  I need to look like a superhero."

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of