Posted by: Brian Hibbs on January 18, 2012
I feel fairly awful because I really didn’t want to post anything anywhere on SOPA-protest day, but I also really really want to tell you about a comic I truly enjoyed, and since I’ve been so crappy in saying anything about any comic for the last few weeks (seriously, mid-November through to February is terrible for me because I’m so stupidly busy at the whole “owning your own retail business” thing from the holidays and year-end work), if I don’t write it today, I don’t write it at all this week.
So, join me below the jump?
JUSTICE LEAGUE #5: After what I thought was a really weak start, I think each issue of JL has gotten better than the last, and this issue is… is… er, is not here?
I feel like one of those cartoons where someone get’s so mad that their head transforms into an old-timey whistle, and steam flies out of their ears.
My first point of frustration is that this is THE best-selling DCnu title, and the one that DC should be going to measures up to and including sending the marketing team to individually hand-deliver copies to stores if needed. If one of the already-cancelled books like MISTER TERRIFIC ships a week late, “it doesn’t matter”, but JL #5 would have been my single number one dollar item of the week, and is a large traffic driver.
Second, it makes me a liar, even indirectly — I’ve really been stressing to local consumers that DC books now have ACTUAL ship weeks these days, I had to explain a lot right during the 5th week hole. And this claim was especially repeated with JL (and it’s funky start pattern) — “JUSTICE LEAGUE *IS* a third week book!”. Except now it’s not.
Third, it totally screws up FOC, which are placed 3 weeks before print date, and thus is meant to give us the first week sales patterns on books before we order the next one. Now we’ll have to order #6 without that information. That’s very very messed up.
Fourth, DC HAS NOT SAID ANYTHING through established communication channels. Well, unless you count those bullshit tweets insisting the book was shipping on time, despite not being on anyone’s invoice, which were then retracted. They certainly didn’t bother to tell any retailer in any official way (I’m looking at the last two weeks of DIRECT CHANNEL [DC's retailer newsletter], and the best they did was to slide the new shipdate into a story about JL#1 getting a sixth printing), nor is there anything out there for consumers either on the Source, or on any of the “major news sites”. Where is the explanation, where is the apology?
Fifth, of course it has to happen with on the book by the Chief Creative Officer, and the Co-Publisher — two people who probably can not be removed from the book or even penalized in any way. Way to provide the best possible example.
(And if you’re one of those darling little apologists who want to bray “give Jim Lee a break, he just had a baby”, let me point you to Jim’s tweet on 12/27 [how the hell do you find a permalink from Twitter?!?!?] that says “Introing our newest creation-River Charlotte Lee!7.10# She waited til my deadline was done! Mom
@joke2far doing great http://pic.twitter.com/iZQHe85y” which would indicate to me, at least, the birth did NOT interfere.)
(Congrats on the birth, by the way, Jim — children are a blessing, and I hope River has a long and wonderful life!)
Clearly, life will go on, and the sun will rise, despite comic books being late, but I’m pretty appalled they couldn’t even make it a full year before they blew it. And on this book, of all books.
And for the comic that actually arrived…
PROPHET #21: Wowsers, I haven’t read such a good debut in a very long time. It’s very Heavy Metal Sans Titties — maybe “Conan meets Ringworld”? And it’s smart, and world buildy, and challenging, and yet totally action-packed and forward-sprinting. I haven’t liked a comic as much as this one since XOMBI #1, and, unlike that one, the sales threshold is unlikely to cancel it by #6 (I hope at least!)
The bad news is that the West Coast (I think.. at least three stores in California…) got allocated to 90% of their orders, and I don’t see the balance on next week’s invoice, so you might have to wait until your store gets the (already announced) second printing — I’ve got twice my initials coming as a reorder next week (though how those all fill when I’m *not* getting the balance due of my allocation is a wonderful Mystery of Diamond Comics) — but this is a comic that you VERY much want.
As always, what do you think?