Just Newsprint
Issue #13

Table of Contents
01 Introduction
02 The Search is Almost Over
03 He is the Law!
04 Why No New Comics?
05 Top Ten List
06 Classic Commercial
07 A Comic To Sink Your Teeth Into
08 Tons of New Comics Added!
09 Comics and the Movies
10 Conclusion

Introduction
The steady growth of people reading this newsletter keeps going up! We are now nearing the amount of people who paid to see Steel! While this may not sound very good, it is better than our readership of a few months ago that was closer to the amount of people who admitted to paying money to see Steel, which was a far lower number. I can still remember those first few issues that had readerships that would be on par with the number of people who admitted to liking Steel, now that was low! Hopefully the numbers keep improving and maybe we can get up into the numbers of people who paid to see the last Pauly Shore movie, dare to dream!

The Search is Almost Over
Growing up, I went from Disney and other funny animal comics to superheroes. When I began reading superhero comics, it was usually Marvel Comics, but sometimes I would also read DC. Then as I went to more and more comic book shows, I was introduced to a new kind of comic book, independents! I soon fell in love with the independents and it is a love affair that continues to this day.

I can still remember when I really became a big fan. I was at a comic show and a dealer had tables of comic books that were only fifty cents each and five for two dollars. As I looked through the boxes, I found all kind of books that looked interesting and I tried them. Books like Grendel (including the Comico Primer issue, sorry but I sold it years ago), Mage, Southern Knights, Flaming Carrot and others. Since I had some money and they were cheap, I bought a ton of them.

This started my obsession on getting as many different independent comics as possible. As my collection grew, so did the market. Soon I realized that my chances of ever getting them all was near impossible. So I decided to clear down to a few boxes of my comics in my collection and get rid of all the books I probably wouldn't read again. I sold them for a tidy sum and just mainly kept some Independents and other books that I really enjoyed.

Well, I must have had a premonition or something because a month after I sold most of my collection, there was a small flood and where I stored the comics was hit. I would have lost it all. While I did lose some of the books I collected, many were still readable after being dried out or were spared by the plastic bags. But one series was ruined and until recently I was not able to replace them. A very rare series called Domino Chance, about a Cockroach, was ruined beyond repair. It hurt to throw these comics out.

After over a decade since losing these comics, I finally found a few issues of Domino Chance. A comic store in the area was closing their doors and having some very good sales on back issues, especially independents. As I was buying stock for the web site, I came across a few issues of Domino Chance! Finally I was able to reclaim a part of my collection that was missing! I now have hope that I will eventually find all the issues and complete my collection once more!


He is the Law!

One of the best and often overlooked comics of the 1980's is Judge Dredd! Ignore the later releases from companies like Quality, but go for the Eagle Comics versions! You can find these cheap (we sell them for a $1.00 each) and they are great reading! First off you get the gorgeous Brian Bolland covers and there are some beauties here! Not only did he do covers, but he also did some real nice interior artwork (not on all the issues). Add in the great, and I mean great, stories by Alan Grant and John Wagner and you have the making of a excellent comic book (oh no, I sound like Bill and Ted).

The first thing you must do before reading Judge Dredd is to erase any memories you have of the Sylvester Stallone movie. Hearing him say "Yo, I am the law" still scars me (People keep telling me he didn't say that, but I swear I hear it). Once you have done this, then you are ready to read the comics. They contain some of the funniest moments in comics with one of the best character ever, Otto Sump. This guy is a person who is always looking to make money and drives Judge Dredd batty! My favorite is the "Otto Sump's Get Ugly Clinics". Then there is Judge Death, who is quite the opposite. Add in some of the other recurring characters along with the many new nemesis and you have one fun book!

For anyone who is not familiar with the book, Judge Dredd is one of the Judges, who serve as Judge, Jury and executioner. He is the best of them and it is his job to keep peace in Mega City One (which is pretty much the whole Eastern Seaboard of the US). It is far into the future and people have little to do, so they get crazy. There are block riots, crazed killers and more and the judges need to keep this in check. But it isn't easy to keep the people happy and the judges aren't the most liked people. But as Judge Dredd says "Everyone is guilty of something".

Click above and you can go through a small gallery of some of the better covers from the Judge Dredd series. It is a great series and one I highly recommend!

Why No New Comics?
A question I get asked a few times a week is "Do I sell new comics and if I do, what is the discount rate?" Many times they tell me of a discount they found at another site and ask if I can match it or do better. I just politely tell them that I do not carry new comics and the discounts that some of these dealers offer is a good reason why. I have seen dealers offer as high as 35% and even heard as much as 40% discount on new comic books (I never found that person, but heard it from a few people). This is absurd! These people are making very little money and it wouldn't be worth the time.

Let us start with a little lesson in comic discounts. Diamond, the only real comic distributor, gives different levels of discounts, based on how much you sell. I think their highest is about 54-55%, but you have to order a huge amount to get this. The discount I used to get when I had a comic store was 50% on Marvel & DC Comics and 35-45% on independents, depending on the size of the company. So if I am giving a 35% discount, I would only be making a 15% profit on Marvel & DC and anywhere from 0-10% on independents. Then you have to factor in shipping costs. I estimated it out one time and the shipping costs that Diamond charged me would equate to about a 2% of the retail price. That would mean a comic book that retailed for $2.00 would cost me 4 cents to ship. So this would take my profit down to 13% on Marvel & DC and -2-8% on independents.

The only safe way to do this would be for the dealer to have the people pay upfront. You could ask for checks and money orders, but it would leave little time from when the customer gets the catalog to when they have to turn it in, when you factor in shipping time. Sure the orders can be done electronically, but they still need time to get the check to you. To eliminate this hassle, you can have them pay with credit card, but then you are losing another 1 1/2-3% credit card fee. So this can really cut into your profits.

So when you get down to it, you would be doing allot of work with the sending out orders, taking orders, filling out the orders for Diamond, etc... for a little bit of money. In order to do well enough, you would need a large volume of customers and then you would need to hire help, more expenses. We haven't even factored in the costs of your website, your internet provider, shipping supplies and other expenses. So all in all, it seems like allot of work for a little money.

I am sure some of the big guys do well, but for a little guy, there is no way I could offer a discount to attract people without making little if any money. That is why I stick with just back issues. I can find them affordably at comic shows and such and sell them for a nice profit. Sure, I don't do the volume that some of these new comic dealers do, but my profit margin is much greater and I don't have to rely on Diamond to ship books to me on time, in good condition and give me what I order. When I last dealt with them, they were pretty bad about forgetting books, running short on books or sending me stuff late. I don't want to apologize for someone else's mistakes, I can make enough on my own.

Top Ten List
Since I actually got a fair amount of feedback from my articles on comics and video games (when I say a fair amount, that means I needed at least two hands to count them all), I decided to dedicate this Top Ten List to it. So here is my list of the my Top Ten favorite Super Hero based games! Keep in mind that I haven't played all of them, so not all of them can be included.

10. Scott Adams Marvel Adventures-Scott Adams did a few of these adventure games featuring the Marvel characters like the Hulk and Spiderman and while they are very dated, they were the first computer games starring these characters and I am the nostalgic type.
09. Silver Surfer-This different game was released for the Nintendo and was quite fun. Nothing great, but you got to be the Silver Surfer and that alone is worth something.
08. X-Men-Another of the four player battlefests! This time you get to fight as the X-Men characters and there were quite a few to choose from!
07. JLA Fighting Game-As far as I know, only released for the Sega Genesis, this unique fighter featured many of your favorite DC heroes and a few villains! It's one drawback is that you could have Green Arrow or another weaker character easily beat Superman. Not very true to the comics, but still great fun!
06. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game-Ignore that first game released on the Nintendo as it was trash. But the arcade game that took the Double Dragon formula and added cut scenes and four player capability was great! Sure, many better games came later, but this one was one of the first and best!
05. Spiderman (Atari 2600)-I always looked at this as the poor man's Crazy Climber. The shooting the webs and moving up the building was quite innovative for the time and made for an enjoyable game.
04. Superman (Atari 2600)-It was quite fun to fly the big guy around and try to save Lois Lane! Sure the graphics are crude now, but it was allot of fun and still is!
03. Spiderman (Sega Genesis)-I really enjoyed the game because it was one of the first super hero based games that had multiple villains.
02. Marvel Superheroes-A fighting game in the Street Fighter mold, but a very enjoyable fighter! Very large characters and some wild moves! One of the only new games I played at the arcades.
01. Captain America and the Avengers-Sure it is just another Double Dragon clone, but I really enjoyed playing it. I especially liked when other characters like the Wasp would pop up and help you. A very fun little game!

By the way, some of the worst video games based on comics that I ever played are:

Spawn for the Playstation-This ugly game was nauseating to watch.  As you moved your character (who was in third person, ala Tomb Raider), the who screen would move and it was enough to make you puke.  Add in the very simple fighting (you could kick or punch) and you had a real waste of a game

Superman (The Arcade Game-Maybe it was me, but I found this game boring.  You would be either Superman in the traditional blue costume or Superman in a red costume.   You would fly in a side scroller fashion and punch bad guys.  I know it is allot like some of the other games I mentioned up above (Captain America and the Avengers, etc...), but it came later and I just expected more from it.  If they would have maybe done it with the Justice League and you could choose from different characters, then it would have been better.

Punisher-This shooting game did nothing for me.  I guess it was alright for a shooter, but I could care less.  Not that I am any fan of the Punisher (I always thought he was a great guest character, but not strong enough to carry a title, especially the three titles that they gave him).

(Note: The new Superman game for the Nintendo 64 was given a half a star out of four and they said it was the worst game ever made for the Nintendo 64 and the half of star was given because the game loaded.  I personally haven't tried it, but I will definitely be renting before buying with this one).


Classic Commercial
 
The classic commercial of the month is for the baddest, toughest, deadliest person to ever walk the face of the earth. No, we are not talking about the Incredible Hulk or any fictional character. This larger than life person is none other than the feared and revered Count Dante!

Don't think he is bad? I dare you to go through life with sideburns like that. Only one bad dude could pull that off and that man is the legendary Count Dante. 

So next time that someone asks you who is the baddest dude ever, tell them Count Dante and watch the puzzled look on their face. 


A Comic to Sink Your Teeth Into
 
As I was putting some recently purchased comics on the web site, I came across a series that I had never seen before. As I read the description on the back of the comic, I was intrigued. So I decided to take a well deserved break and read an issue. I was instantly hooked! I had to keep reading, until I read the entire series!

The book I am speaking of is "I am Legend" from Eclipse Comics. It is a square bound comic with a hefty price tag of $4.95 an issue, but after reading it, I feel the price is justified. It is a very good vampire story and I am not a big vampire fan.

The premise of the story is about a man who is presumably the last human on earth. The rest of the population is vampires. He spends his days fortifying his house and killing sleeping vampires and at night he gets drunk as he hears the vampires outside screaming for him to come out. While this may not sound too interesting, it is! Seeing the main character teeter on the brink of insanity and do whatever he can to keep alive against unbelievable odds is quite intriguing. You start to feel some sympathy for the poor guy. With noone else to talk to and knowing that he is always one wall away from death, it must be a living hell for him.

Since the series is a little older, you may get lucky and find it for less than the cover price. But even at cover price, I do recommend this title. While it isn't filled with tons of action, it does a great job of building atmosphere and terror. It is an excellent read and one that any horror fan and even the non horror fan who appreciates a good story, should have in their collection.

Tons of New Comics Added!
As the title suggests, I have added a ton of new comics for sale and have allot more to add! Most of the additions have been in the independent and manga lines with hundreds of new issues added! Here is a brief list of some of the books added in the past week.

-AKA Goldfish Queen, Joker
-Akira #5, 13, 22, 27-30, 32-37
-Albedo Anthropomorphics #3, 6, 7, 8, 8, Color Special and more
-Aliens Glass Corridor
-Aliens Survival
-Alien Worlds #7, 8, 3D #1
-American Flagg #2, 6
-Appleseed (a handful)
-Area 88 (almost a whole set and lowered prices)
-Astroboy (a ton of them)
-Battle Angel Alita (a bunch of them)
-Bullwinkle & Rocky 3D
-Caravan Kid (a bunch)
-Concrete Land & Sea
-Creature Features #1
-Creepsville #1, 2 plus #1-5 of a different series
-Crime Buster #0
-Cyberwerx #1-3
-Distant Soil #6-9
-Durango Kid #1, 2
-Eerie TPB
-Felix the Cat B&W #2, 3
-Femforce (a ton of them, including #1)
-Goat #1
-Grendel #22, 23
-Grendel Black, White & Red #2, 3
-Grendel Classics Devil Tracks #1
-Gred Digital Target (a handful)
-Gumby 3D #2, 3, 5, 7
-Gumby Winter Fun #1
-Gun Crisis #1-3
-Gunhed #2, 3
-Guyver V4 #2, 3
-Hellboy #5
-Hellboy Seeds of Destruction #4
-Hellina/Cynder #1
-Honeymooners #2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
-Hurricane Girls #1-3
-I am Legend #1-4
-I Love Lucy #4-6
-I Love Lucy Too! #1-6
-Instant Piano #1
-Interview With a Vampire #5, 7
-Invisible People #2, 3
-Jason Goes to Hell #1, 2
-Jason vs Leatherface #3
-Jim #6
-Joe Psycho & Moo Frog #3-5, Color Extravaganza
-Judge Dredd #5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 25 -27, 29, 32, 33
-Little Nemo in 3D
-Lone Wolf & Cub (a whole bunch of them)
-Mage #8, 10
-Masques #1
-Moebius #1-3
-Munden's Bar Annual #1, 2
-Mystery Men #1
-Mythography #1-5
-Night of the Living Dead: London #1, 2
-Nightveil Cauldron of Horror #1
-Noodles #1
-Normalman #4, 9, 12
-Paul the Samurai #1-6, 8
-Plastic Little #2
-Poison Elves #9, 11,23, 27, 37, color special
-Promise #1
-Psycho #3
-Reid Fleming #2, 3, 8, 9
-Rocky Horror Picture Show #1
-Rocky Lane #1
-Roy Rogers #1, 2
-Ranma 1/2 (a whole lotta of them)
-Rock n Roll Comics (a big old batch of them, first time on site)
-Scud the Disposable Assassin #15, 16
-Settei #2
-Simpsons #5, 12, 13, 16, 17, 31, 37, 38
-Steed & Mrs. Peel #1-3
-Strange Attractors #6, 7
-Tick #1, 4, 8, 11, 12

(Note: We no longer sell comics).

Comics and the Movies
There have been more movies made about comic books now that at any time in history. Comic characters are being snatched up for possible movie deals and there are more projects in the works than any comic fan could ever dream of. But the fans of comics are still not happy. While many of their favorite books are finally brought to life on the big screen and the smaller television screen, many people are pessimistic. Why?

The biggest complaint I hear from comic fans is that most of the movies and television shows are not true to the comic book. They take liberties with the characters and don't stick with the original story. But what many comic fans fail to realize or if they do realize it, just ignore it, is that movies are made for profit. In order for a movie to turn a profit, it needs to be seen by the largest audience possible. In order to attract the largest audience possible, it needs to appeal to the widest audience possible. So they have to change a comic book character or story to appeal to these moviegoers who little or no knowledge of the character. This alot of times means rewriting origins, changing members of a team or the powers of a character to make the story more interesting and less confusing to the average person.

While in a perfect comic world, movies could be straight adaptations of the comics they are based, that doesn't work in the real world. While there is no true science, most movie companies have done extensive research into what moviegoers want to see and what they don't. While this research is not without flaw, it is followed. That is why most movies are somewhat similar and quite predictable. They have figured out the basic formula for a safe movie. The problem with comics is that they don't always fall in this safe formula. While some do fall into this, others are just so off in left field, that the average person cannot relate to it and if they cannot relate the odds are they will not like it.

Another problem is simple arithmetic. There are about 300,000-400,000 hardcore comic readers in this country. IF every one of them went to see a comic based movie, you would have a very poor showing for the movie. But if you target the movie at the other 200 million other people in this country, you have a much greater chance of being a success. Think about it, would you rather go after the 400,00 comic readers or the 200 million people who don't read comics? Unless you are nuts or looking for a major tax write-off, you would choose the much larger audience.

Another problem with comics is that until recently, they would have been too expensive to do. With the elaborate costumes, wild super powers and outrageous battles, you have a very hefty price tag. But with the computers getting faster and cheaper, the ability to do a worthwhile comic movie is coming of age. As this technology continues to improve and become more available, you will see more comic related movies coming out.

One area that I always hear complaints is the costumes. People don't like when Hollywood changes the costumes of the superheroes. Batman and the Flash were two examples of this. But you have to keep one thing in mind, just because a costume looks good on paper, does not mean it will translate well on the big screen. The biggest problem is that costumes in comics are too colorful and while Captain America or the Flash look good in the book, they will look ridiculous on the big screen. I personally must applaud the job they did on the Flash suit for the television series. I think it looked good and made sense, not an easy task. You must also realize that most costumes in the comics are spandex and very form fitting. Not all the actors and actresses in Hollywood would look so good in this. Problem is that many of the best built actors and actresses are not always the best at acting. This leads to a Catch 22, do you want an actor who looks the part, but can't act it or do you want an actor who can act the part, but not look it?

In closing, I think that comic fans expect too much from movies and television shows based on their beloved heroes. But they must realize that if they want to see other movies and shows made, they will have to compromise. Just because they find something easy to understand and interesting, does not mean that enough people to make it successful also will. While this is a wonderful time to be a comic fan, we must be happy with what is happening and just hope the quality and quantity continues to increase.

Conclusion
Another issue is put to rest! I know it is a few days late, but lack of air conditioning in my computer room is the best excuse I can give you. I hope you enjoy the issue and hopefully one day I will get submissions again. I do enjoy hearing from the readers and hope more of you will take the time to let me know what you like or dislike. Keep reading them comics and remember that many great issues are the older ones!
 

Tom Zjaba