Comic Fodder

The Signal Watch - Week 3/5/2009

DC Backs Off Dumb Decision, Makes Better Decision

I hadn't ordered the Final Crisis collection, in part because the solicitation for the collection, all that had been listed to be included in the collection were the 7 issues of Final Crisis, which... I have no idea who wasn't talking to who at DC, but anyone who had bothered to read Final Crisis should have known that the series was actually an 11-issue story as FC: Resist, FC: Submit and the two issues of Final Crisis: Superman Beyond were more than a bit integral to the story.

Happily, Robot 6 is reporting that somehow DC figured out that people wanted those items included (my guess is that they received complaints at WonderCon and/ or NY ComicCon). However, for some reason FC: Resist isn't included in the post.


Read up on it here.

What's so vexing is that it makes me realize how used to dumb decisions we've sort of become accustomed to when it comes to collected format comics. Did you enjoy Alex Ross's painted depictions of the JLA in "Justice"? Great! We'll take a few years to release it in hardcover collected formats, that serve neither the reader or retailer terribly well. And then make no move for either a super-prestige Absolute Edition so you can have a single copy (although you know its coming one day), or put it out in a trade collection in a timely fashion to reach those folks who said "I'll just wait for the trade", thus losing any buzz or residual effects of the heavy promotion on the series when it premiered a few years back.

DC has gotten much better about collections. A salute where a salute is due, but collecting EVERYTHING from Final Crisis in Morrison-approved order should have simply been one of the final steps on the Microsoft Project Gantt chart, anyway. Nobody would collect Watchmen, just leaving out issue 4 or 5, just for grins, would they?

Here's the thing: DC, we don't really care about the inner-workings of what it takes to go to press on this stuff, but when you make a flub like this, we sort of notice. I'm sure there are all kinds of actuarial tables used to figure out what is most cost-effective to publish. But @#$% that. You put it all together, put the price on it you need to show Levitz it made a profit, and we'll let you know if that was the right thing to do. I'm not tracking down three hard covers for this thing. Not after spending however much on the series and its ancillary titles.

Fanboy Wonder Back in Action

Our guy Fanboy Wonder is back and blogging. We've missed his insights and witticisms these many months. But we've got him back, so everyone click over and check in on our man.


STAPLE! this Weekend in Austin, Texas

I'm not a comic writer or artist, so Austin's STAPLE! event is a little outside of my realm, but this year the guests included two of my favorites. Chris Onstad of Achewood fame and one of comic's indie darlings, Jeffrey Brown.

Sadly, business travel and family related obligations (it's my Mum's birthday, and so the folks are coming to Austin to rock our faces off), I can't attend. Which... Man.

STAPLE is sponsored by hometown heroes Austin Books, one of the damn finest comic shops I've yet to see. So if you go, tell Brad that Ryan sent you. Then insist he start comping me on Superman comics.

STAPLE! is an event that's for self-publishers and the audience. And I don't have a good excuse, prior to this year, why I couldn't attend. So I was going to go this year. But fate took hold.

Anyway, hope you can go and have fun.


The eComics conversation continues apace, with announcements from Amazon today that they will make their eBooks cross-platform to the iPhone and Kindle (expect that Kindle to no longer be supported by 2012).

No huge surprise. I've covered this at length, and others are covering it better. But it was interesting that Quesada took a different tack than DC's John Cunningham and said he saw online comics growing the audience (hat tip to Robot 6).

I'm in agreement, and not just because I'm in a sunny mood. And I think DC and marvel will both be surprised to learn we like the comics as static images just fine, thanks. Sure, its tougher to protect your DRM when you're talking static images, etc... but, we're good. Thanks. Please stop animating the comics and reading the word bubbles aloud.

Man, "Motion Comics" like DC's Watchmen experiment are going to be the foil covers of 2018. Seriously.


There's no good way for this to come off right, but I completely forgot that the new crew at Blog@Newsarama was still functioning until Johanna made comment of their momentary disappearance. But I also spend about 1/5th of the time on Newsarama that Idid before the Imaginova buyout meant Newsarama would now do nothing but print press releases and make me sit through endless hours of Dan Didio repeating his own solicitations.

These days, it seems the actual comics-related interviews have all moved from the main page to Blog@, and nobody had figured out that its really hard to skim Blog@ when you have to scroll through a 10 minute conversation.

insert slow clap here.

So, what can we do for you, the reader?

Seriously. I'm asking. I know you're out there. I see the hit count, and I can hear you breathing. What are you looking for from us at (aka: Comic Fodder). More reviews? Is the Signal Watch column a train wreck? More long-form columns?

Spill it. We love feedback. We thrive on feedback. If its just talking comics and its not a conversation, I can go back to explaining the latest developments in Superman to my black lab. At least she's very cute (not that Travis isn't, but, you know...).

Help a couple of comic geeks out.

Questions? Comments? Hate mail?

Come on, I can take it.


Ryan is an Op/Ed columnist for Comic Fodder. He keeps his comics and himself in Austin, Texas where he manages the long running blog League of Melbotis.

He likes Superman.

You can reach Ryan (aka: The League) at

i typically read your reviews, so more could be a good thing. i also want you to start running entire posts in the RSS feed!!!! no more of this one sentence business. i also like it when you rag on Blog@... good times!

-- Posted by: Nick Marino at March 5, 2009 11:31 AM

Nick, I will pass along to Travis on the reviews. He's handling those, and as we think about expanding Comic Fodder, that's great to hear. I will share with Mac (who sets up stuff like RSS feeds) the comment about the one sentence feed.

And If I bag on Blog@, its in a Reverse Flash kind of way. I want them to be better, because I think they can be.

-- Posted by: Ryan at March 6, 2009 8:43 AM

Absolute Justice is solicited on Amazon for a September 2009 release - $99 but currently 33% off. That time frame is about right from the conclusion of the story (3 years). The hardcovers were a cash grab tho and I refused to even consider buying them - $20 for 4 issues? Come on. Given those took almost a year to come out, not surprised it took time for the trade.

Comic Fodder is fine as is - more often even. I like to see what other people think of the industry and goings on and such. Enjoy the reviews too. Unless I feel strongly about one written - pro or con - I don't feel a need to comment.

-- Posted by: David at March 10, 2009 11:33 AM