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Hibbs remembers reviews, sure, faintly

Brian Hibbs

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?




16 Responses to “ Hibbs remembers reviews, sure, faintly ”

  1. If you click on the time a tweet was posted, it will bring you to a new page with just that tweet on it.

  2. Re: twitter permalinks … They are rather obfuscated in the new site design. Click on a tweet to show the expanded version and then click “Details”.

  3. Prophet lived up to my every expectation and having recently read Old City Blues I am eagerly awaiting some of the upcoming artists (including Brandon himself).

  4. As only a consumer, I cannot imagine how you feel about the Justice League late shipment. I hope for your and other retailers’ sake that this is remedied for #6. It has been nice to know that DC books will be there on a specific day. And I hope Prophet is still at my store when I get there in about an hour.

  5. I ordered Prophet after Warren Ellis showered it with praise on his blog. I also just saw that there are going to be new Supreme issues from scripts Moore had in the can at the time. Unfortunately it seems they’ll be drawn by Larsen, but I’ve suffered through worse art for Moore’s stories. What other Liefeld properties are being brought back and by who?

  6. @Ralh Haring

    Glory is going to make a comeback, too, drawn by Ross Campbell. Campbell is another indie favorite, particularly for how he draws women. It’s a bold choice for a character like Glory, but I think it will only work out well.

  7. I totally understand your frustration on DC missing the Justice League ship date. I know retailers are already a bit behind the 8 ball even on the best weeks, so not having your best seller must be awful. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be upset DC didn’t communicate the delay. Hopefully they do better from here. Ship dates are a very important piece for comics and an industry leader adhering to them can only help everyone out.

  8. “What other Liefeld properties are being brought back and by who?”

    Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell are doing Glory.

    I thought Supreme was being done by Erik Larsen…?

    google says Tim Seeley and Franchesco Gaston (? not familiar names) are doing … Bloodstrike(?). Blood will be struck, supposedly. (Liefeld is busy doing Deathstroke for DC, I thought; Deathstroke; he strokes death to completion, presumably).

    I’m planning on checking out Haunt– supposedly Joe Casey and Nathan Fox are doing something worth a look, there. I’ve never really been on the same wavelength as Casey, pretty much, but what the hell. might be in the same vein. FYI.

  9. Any guesses on how long Liefeld will let his comic company be successful without getting jealous, getting involved, and ruining it for everybody a la Joe Casey’s youngblood

  10. Update: Haunt > Prophet, but Prophet’s pretty decent.

  11. Brian-

    Thanks for clearly articulating the retailer viewpoint on the Justice League #5 shipping change. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else address what is really an actual issue this week. (While I’ve seen plenty of commentary on the new DC logo- so much smoke, no fire?? Really???)

    I really don’t understand what DC is doing with regards to the JL ship date slip- it is obvious a one week slip at this point is not due to creator issues by something more like contracts with the printer and/or last minute scheduling mishaps- so why not get out in front of it?

    Especially after the failed twitter posts– that looked like DC had no idea, and then someone read the actual invoice for the week. I’m sure there’s a normal-ish explanation- why not get it out instead of ignoring it and letting the retailers take the hit?
    It is a shockingly bad PR move at a time when DC should be focused on nothing but positives. Strange.

    Prophet #21 though? You’re right, Excellent. But I’d say it is more “Conan meets Heavy Metal” or even “Cable meets Conan meets(original)Planet of the Apes” over including Ringworld.

  12. Finally! A new Abhay review!

  13. Almost feel bad saying it but I thought the coloring on the digital preview of Prophet was much better than the actual print book. It may just come down to taste but I’ll probably buy the dig. copy of 1 as well to see which I stick with going forward. Was it just me?

  14. @J_Smitty_: Damn it, I admit it–I almost bought a copy to check that out! Instead, I grabbed the first copy of the Casey/Fox Haunt which was quite good but didn’t grab me quite as much as Prophet (though Fox’s work is STELLAR).

  15. “Heavy Metal sans titties”?

    While there clearly were no titties to be found, there was a creature with a giant vagina head with whom the lead character mates. At one point, it appeared as though the giant vagina head was enjoying a post coital smoke, with the implication that the lead character had just fucked the giant vagina head in it’s giant vagina mouth. While that didn’t actually occur, (as the mating consisted of the vagina headed creature carving something out of the lead character’s chest), the insinuation was intentional.

    Thanks, but no thanks. This is not for me.

  16. I have to amend my previous comment. I went back to re-read this comic and the lead character and the thing with the vagina head did in fact “do the deed.” The artwork was so sloppy, I couldn’t really tell what was going on, but the alien removed her clothes and afterwards, the lead character was putting his clothes back on. On top of that, I realized that the lower caste drones and “breeders” have penis heads.

    This book is all kinds of wrong.

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