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Monday, December 29, 2003

 
The Monday Briefing -- Hello, good morning and welcome to The Monday Briefing. I used to do this regularly as a column at Comic Book Galaxy and on the former incarnation of this weblog. Let's see if we can justify the title today, despite having been sick all weekend and maybe catching a total of four hours of sleep since Friday.

All My Rage

Firstly, if you missed it over the weekend, stop by my fill-in All the Rage column at Silver Bullet Comics. I had a blast writing this last week, and hopefully you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I especially loved the front-page description on the Silver Bullet home page:

In the most unexpected return to SBC ever, Alan David Doane, fresh off his blogsite, fills in for the last Rage of 2003. And if you've been shocked and awed by past fill-in installments, you ain't seen nothin' yet. This is gonzo-style, fear-and-loathing, chaos-in-the-streets rumoring-mongering. But please, please, don't forget the Rumor Barrier, and to shield the eyes of the young or faint of heart.

The first lengthy reaction I received was this one:

You magnificent bastard. Nice job.

I have no idea whether or not Whedon writing NXM will boost sales
all that much. On one hand it seems like a sure thing--maybe in the
bookstore market--but I don't see the sales going above 150k just because
comics are so damn hard to find.


That reminded me of something that I neglected to include in the column, which is my theory of why Marvel thinks it could sell over a quarter of a million copies monthly of a Whedon-scripted New X-Men.

My best guess is that they're combining Batman: Hush numbers with whatever percentage of Buffy fans they think are out there that are willing to buy comic books. In no way do I believe that 300,000 people would buy Joss Whedon's New X-Men. Maybe if it was manga. And not about the X-Men. And not by Joss Whedon. And not published by Marvel.

The other interesting Whedon/New X-Men-related item of some interest is the introduction to the Fray trade paperback. In it, Whedon expounds at length on his love of X-Men. One wonders if it was written at a time when Whedon either already knew he was going to agree to a deal with Marvel or was at least giving it serious consideration. Clearly, though, the guy loves X-Men, and if he commits to the book for a long run (and can keep a schedule), the series might possibly sustain the Morrison-era numbers and probably improve on them, as long as we segued directly from Morrison to Whedon. Any Chuck Austen arcs would stain the franchise Morrison created beyond repair, and you might as well do a new #1 at that point. Of course, I am of the opinion that if Frank Quitely had been able to sustain on the book, Morrison's would have been selling twice as many copies as it did. Just saying.

Thanks to all for the positive reaction to the column.

Linkin' Park

A few days ago, I asked folks to link to the ADD Blog if they enjoy it. I'm very, very grateful for the positive reception the blog has gotten, but I would love it if it had as many readers as the late, lamented Comic Book Galaxy did. I'd say I'm about halfway there, and I'd love to spread the word. I just want to thank a few people that have picked up the ball and run with it:

Clay Harrison
Dave Barnes
Álvaro Pons

If you link to the ADD Blog, preferably using the ADD Blog graphic, let me know and I'll give you a plug right here.

2003: The Best in X -- Paul O'Brien is much more patient and understanding than I could ever be. His ongoing dedication to reading and reviewing virtually every X-Men comic is impressive, certainly moreso than most of the comics he has to read as a result. Over the weekend he posted his year-end assessment of the X-Books, and it should give the wise comics reader insight into just how awful most of the franchise is.

Bill Sherman has also posted his thoughts on some of his favourite superhero miniseries of 2003.

Stalking AK -- The guy who used to write Title Bout for Movie Poop Shoot digs up an old issue of Comics Interview and finds some relevant quotes that apply to the industry today.

Your Moment of Snark -- Johanna Draper Carlson's January Previews comments are up, and of particular note are the Snarky Comments along the right side of the page, where she makes some points that are funny 'cuz they're true.

More Best of 2003 -- The Ninth Art crew has issued their Lighthouse Awards, with notable winners including Sleeper by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and Paul Hornschemeier, whose work deserves all the recognition it can get.

Shipping Nooz

It's a mystery to me why new comics won't appear in stores this week until Friday, December 2nd, but here's a list of titles you should be on the lookout for:

DC COMICS

EMPIRE #6 (Of 6) (MR) $2.50 -- Well, last issue's surprise revelations were actually surprising, and even more surprising was that the impact of the reveal was not diminished by the years-long hiatus this series experienced. There's every reason to think #6 will be as tense and dramatic as the rest of the series, and if you've not been reading this, I would definitely recommend ordering the inevitible trade collection. Good stuff, and a fairly unique and downbeat take on superpowered goings-on.

PLANETARY #18 $2.95 -- My e-mail tells me not everyone feels this title has picked up where it left off a couple of years ago, but I think it's as good as it ever was, and very probably one of Warren Ellis's greatest achievements.

AMERICA'S BEST COMICS

SMAX #4 (Of 5) $2.95 -- Speaking of great achievements, Smax was one of the best Alan Moore efforts in years, a worthy successor to the excellent Top Ten, and not at all what you'd expect it to be if you're judging it by its covers.

ALTERNATIVE COMICS

PEANUTBUTTER & JEREMY BEST BOOK EVER TP $14.95 -- A near-tragic printing error prevented pristine, goft-worthy copies of this from being ready in time for the holidays. But now that it's done right and in stores this week, I hope you'll pick this up, and get an extra for a child in your life. Great, all-ages appropriate stuff about a cat who believes it works in an office and the mean crow who makes its life just a little bit more difficult. A surreal, joyous celebration of comics and creativity.

That's it, have a great Monday.

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