Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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I read the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker. It was OK, but there were a lot of references in it that I suspected were to other Star Wars novels that I hadn't read.  (Which I more or less confirmed talking to Bill about it.)  

I heard that fan reaction to the novelization of The Force Awakens was so negative that they made sure to throw in some "DVD-style extras" into the novelization of The Last Jedi. I bought both The Last Jedi as well as The Rise of Skywalker, but The Force Awakens was such a nothing burger I haven't read the next two yet. I will read "Williams Shakespeare's" The Force Doth Awaken, Jedi the Last and The Merry Rise of Skywalker (now that the latter has been released) as a trilogy first before I read the adaptations.

Lee, over at Newsorama they have two stories

One has the titles ending in October as: Batgirl, Batman and the Outsiders, and Justice League Odyssey.

The other has the titles ending in November as: Hawkman, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad, Hellblazer, and Young Justice. Also maybe Aquaman,DC has neither confirmed nor denied it.

Lee Houston, Junior said:

Not sure if this is the right spot to post this, but can anyone confirm or deny that DC is planning to cancel both Batgirl AND Hawkman?

It's bad enough that my local comic book store has yet to make formal arrangements with the new distributor since DC left Diamond (the owners are thinking of retiring/closing down the store and don't want to deal with the hassles involved if they do) but I'm not reading that many books to begin with so to lose two more...

Thanks for the info Travis, but that brings my loss count to FOUR with JL Odyssey and Young Justice!

By the end of the year, the only DCs I'll have left are Wonder Woman and the Legion, depending upon whether or not they do something (good) with the Justice Society and what, if anything, might be replacing the cancellations.

And my local store has announced that they will at least finish out 2020 because they've already got too many books on order as it is. But still no word on if/when that will include DCs, let alone if they'll stay in business come 2021.

I recently dropped all five of the DC titles I had been reading (Far Sector, Ra's al Ghul, Shazam!,  Green Lantern and LSH). Yesterday I speculated that DC would virtually abandon comics printed on paper in 2021. (I have heard a rumor that they will print paper copies only for titles which sell a certain threshold in digital format.) If they do quit publishing new comics, I (for one) will find it a relief. That way, I can concentrate on archival collections (assuming they continue to print those) without having to worry about "missing" anything.

Just curious, were not liking Far Sector?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I recently dropped all five of the DC titles I had been reading (Far Sector, Ra's al Ghul, Shazam!,  Green Lantern and LSH). Yesterday I speculated that DC would virtually abandon comics printed on paper in 2021. (I have heard a rumor that they will print paper copies only for titles which sell a certain threshold in digital format.) If they do quit publishing new comics, I (for one) will find it a relief. That way, I can concentrate on archival collections (assuming they continue to print those) without having to worry about "missing" anything.

MAESTRO #1: There was a time when Peter david was my favorite comic book writer. then "funny" became "silly" and I became convinced he was incapable of writing serious stories anymore. Future Imperfect was one of his best [non-silly] stories, and this new series is its prequel. In short, it is everything I hoped it would be (i.e., non-silly). Peter David also wrote Hulk's The End, and next issue apparently folds those two disparate continuities into a single timeline. I'm looking forward to it. Recommended.

THE POWER OF SHAZAM! - BOOK ONE: IN THE BEGINNING: This is the first of (it is to be hoped) a series of HCs collecting the Jerry Ordway/Peter Krause series in its entirety. When this collection was first solicited, I was disappointed that Jerry Ordway's 1994 painted graphic novel of the same name was included. I pre-ordered it, anyway, because, although I already have the HC graphic novel, The Power of Shazam! is one of my favorite (and dare I say the best?) DC series of the '90s. 

As I suspected, the paper stock used for the new collection, while perfect for the "flat" presentation of the periodical series, does not reproduce the painted art of the original graphic novel well at all. (The latter ideally requires slick, glossy paper stock.) I'm not going to kick too much, though; it's nice that everything from the beginning (up though issue #12, plus a short story from Superman/Batman Magazine #4 (which I have not seen) is included. If you are a reader who don't already own the original graphic novel (or one to whom paper stock doesn't matter all that much), this collection is ideal. 

Plus, Ordway's introduction provides loads of behind-the-scenes insights I had previously not been privy to. Recommended. 

GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS OMNIBUS: First of all, let me admit that I am thrilled with the idea of shelving this volume next to the Golden Age Green Arrow Omnibus Vol. 1. this volume includes not only The Longbow Hunters (only the second series to have been presented in then then-new "Dark Knight" format"), but also the first 50 issues of the ongoing series, plus the GA story from Secret Origins #38. Unlike, as with The Powers of Shazam! collection above, I am happy to report this volume includes the mini-series/graphic novel which launched the ongoing series because this entire volume is presented on slick, glossy paper. 

I was a big fan of Mike Grell's Jon Sable, and I was deliriously exited to read his take on Green Arrow. I rerad the first dozen of so issues of the ongoing, then I did something really stupid: I stopped reading. At the time Grell was writing Green Arrow, First Comics was still publishing Jon Sable. If Grell was gong to be writing anything, I wanted it to be Jon Sable (at that time subtitled "Return of the Hunter"), so I decided not to support Green Arrow... even though it was a series i enjoyed. Fortuitously, I was able to fill all of the Grell issues of GA I had missed a couple of years at a quarter sale. I read them all in quick succession, so I know what I have to look forward to in this volume. 

As with The Power of Shazam!, the introduction (by Mike Grell) and the afterword (by series editor Mike Gold) provide loads of behind-the-scenes insights I had previously not been privy to. Recommended.

Should read: "Were you not liking Far Sector"

The Baron said:

Just curious, were not liking Far Sector?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I recently dropped all five of the DC titles I had been reading (Far Sector, Ra's al Ghul, Shazam!,  Green Lantern and LSH). Yesterday I speculated that DC would virtually abandon comics printed on paper in 2021. (I have heard a rumor that they will print paper copies only for titles which sell a certain threshold in digital format.) If they do quit publishing new comics, I (for one) will find it a relief. That way, I can concentrate on archival collections (assuming they continue to print those) without having to worry about "missing" anything.

While I have no problem with the basic concept of digital comics (although sometimes double page spreads are hard to read on my Kindle), the thing that bugs me most about the format is why does a company charge the same price for a brand new issue?

Considering there is no printing, distribution, and whatever other traditional expenses are involved in print, shouldn't the digital copies be less than a paper copy?

My post this afternoon on another thread:

If DC and others move to digital for monthly comics (with later softcover/hardcover collections) they had better be prepared to cut the issue prices. They would be avoiding the costs of printing and distribution, so shouldn't expect to charge three to five dollars per issue. Failing to cut the prices is a recipe for failure.

I’ve long thought that the price of comic books is outrageous.  In 1966, for instance, I spent 12 cents for a comic.  Today, the price is $3.99.  Adjusting for inflation it should only cost around one dollar.  Comics, or the standard 32 page comic, are pricing themselves out of existence.  When I was in high school in the early 70s I bought 50-60 comics a month.  I was not a rich kid!  Today, 50 comics would be almost $200.  That seems like a lot of money.

”Well, that’s okay, comics aren’t just for kids anymore.”  Yeah, been there, heard that.  Let’s be frank, without an influx of new readers, the industry we love, and in my case have loved for almost 60 years, is dying.  I think price is a big issue.  There are lots of things out there that deliver better value.

I don't know who said it first, but it’s been remarked that the industry was in big trouble when the cost of a comic book started to exceed that of a candy bar.  I can buy a candy bar for around a dollar, coincidently what the cost of a comic book should be.  Granted, candy bars have been downsized, and I’d swear they are nowhere near as tasty as when I was eight, which is why today if I’m going to “spend” the calories on a candy bar, I usually spend more for a premium bar.  

All published materials have gone up in price faster than inflation, that’s true.  But digital may not be the answer entirely.  The article at this link https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0812/e-books-vs.-print-... explains that the cost savings may not be as great as we think.  There are unique costs associated with digital.  I have no idea how accurate the information is, but the reality may be that digital may not save the industry — or at least the part represented by monthly comic books.

Having said that now I’ll make the opposite argument.  I was back in the college classroom this week (after a bizarre spring semester spent on-line).  For years I have tried to find digital options for my students to save them some money on their textbooks  A digital book (to use for the semester) costs maybe $35 but a (new) print edition may be $200.  Sadly, after the semester their access to it disappears.  But, who knows, maybe digital could save the industry and lower the cost for (established and new) readers.

Looking at the history of Action Comics (on GCD) it started out at 68 pages, then 60, then 52, then 44, sticking with the ten-cent price.

If we go back to when comics went to 36 pages (not all story) for 10 cents, we're looking at 1954. An inflation calculator tells me that 10 cents in 1954 would be 96 cents in 2020, which fits with what you said.

I remember, though, that the cost of paper went up higher than the rate of inflation when the comic prices started increasing dramatically. Holding the prices artificially low for so long wound up hurting comics when they weren't worth the shelf space to newsstands. Part of the higher costs today is the higher quality of paper and coloring demanded by what's left of the customer base. Also, a passing potential reader can't just wander past a newsstand and be attracted to a comic book cover. The would have to wander into a comic book store, if they can find one. If they can't make digital work it may be all over.

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