The Simple Comic Newsletter!
Table of Contents
Many Tries Does a Comic Get?
Price Guides, Are they Worthwhile?
Comics, A Good Idea...but
Jademan - Action and more action!
Top Ten List
Classic Comic Ad
There has been some delay between issues, but it has been hard to get
motivated to write this newsletter. While I really enjoy comic books and
writing about them, the audience has been so small. While my classic
game newsletter has continued to grow with each issue, this one has been
flat. But I will try to keep doing issues, when the motivation and time
allows it. So enjoy this issue and let me know what you want to see in
The newsletter will continue, but the
frequency will be sporadic. I apologize, but I cannot promise a monthly
newsletter. So I will get one done as often as possible and hopefully
the readership will increase and warrant a monthly schedule again. But
fear not, I will keep talking about the fun elements of comics. I will
keep pointing out overlooked gems and other fun stuff that is the true
heart and soul of comics. So stop by and take a look.
(Moon Knight, king of the
another chance comics)
How Many Tries Does a Comic Get?
One thing that continues to amaze me is how many time a company will
keep trying a comic book. Even after a series prove that it isn't very
popular, they will wait a few years and try again. Books like Moonknight
just keep coming back again and again. Instead of just letting him die,
they decide a new creative team and a new direction will revive this
cold, lifeless corpse. But, no matter how hard they try and no matter
how many people take a stab at it, the results end up the same.
But Moon knight isn't the only one who
gets more lives than most cats. Kazar is another guy who can brag that
he has been cancelled in three different decades! Nova also had a few
series as well as quite a few others. Even Hawkman, who is a great team
character, has struggled to keep a series.
Why is it that some series can keep
coming back and coming back strong? The Justice League is on their third
popular series in a row. Aquaman had three popular series and this most
recent one is going very strong. There are others that have also done
well over and over again.
So my question is why does a comic
company keep trying to make a hit out of an obvious dud? Is ego that
they can revive and make a hit out of anything? Is it because some
series in the past have been revived? Maybe it is me, but some
characters are just meant to be bit players and they need to realize
this. Not all characters are strong enough to carry a book, no matter
who is doing it and how many times they try.
Are They Worthwhile or a Waste?
Anyone who is big into comics, knows there is a yearly guide from
Overstreet that is considered the bible and a monthly price guide called
Wizard that is the other bible. But are both of these really necessary
or is it overkill?
First, lets look at the Overstreet.
The price guide is a wealth of information and pictures of almost all
the comics that were made. They really do a good job of covering comics
from the start of the industry to the most recent ones. But, being a
yearly guide, the prices on some books are outdated before the book hits
the stands. So if you are into newer comics or really hot ones, then it
is not very reliable. But if you are looking for prices on books that
are very rare or not very popular, then this is the only guide that you
will find these.
The Wizard on the other hand, is a
monthly guide that pretty much deals with the hot and popular comics. If
it is an older comic and not from Marvel or DC, good luck getting
prices. But if you are into the hot comic of the moment, then this guide
is invaluable. Prices change each month and you can watch as they go up.
But with a smaller, not as popular market, is a monthly guide really
necessary? Are the changes that much to warrant a new issue each month?
I personally think that the market
doesn't need a monthly guide anymore, but does need one that is updated
more than once a year. Maybe a quarterly guide with monthly updates of
just the books that went up, would save all the trees that die.
Bi-monthly at best would be necessary. With the advent of the internet
and the fast movement of information, people are able to find out what
is hot and what is not. They really don't need Wizard to tell them what
is hot. It is more for comic shops and people who don't have internet
My biggest problem with Wizard is the
fact that they will not put a book below cover price, regardless how
unpopular it is. How can a price guide raise prices with no limit, but
put a limit on how low they can go? Maybe it is me, but I cannot put any
faith in a price guide like this. It is a fact that some stuff will
become practically worthless. it is the just the nature of the beast and
to ignore that is a great injustice to its readers. Enough about Wizard,
they get enough press and don't need any from me.
Back to the subject, the current state
of the industry is enough that maybe the frequency of price guides
should be examined. At least they should look at different options, but
considering that they would lose revenue, don't expect it to happen
Star Comics, A Good Idea, But...
Back in the 1980's, Marvel produced a line of comic books for kids
called the Star Line. It was mixed group of properties like the Smurfs
and Heathcliff along with original books like Royal Roy and Top Dog.
While they were enjoyable books and a very good idea, they were a flop.
But it wasn't because Marvel didn't support them.
When the Star line originally came
out, Marvel did some great marketing that allowed you to order copies
via cereal boxes for a mixture of box tops and some money to cover
shipping and handling. What a great way to get them out there, but even
clever advertising could save the series. While it was a good idea and
one that needs to be done, the market would not support them and Marvel
was forced to cancel them. Too bad as the industry really needs more
entry level comic books. You need comics for little kids, who are
getting their first taste of comics. They need an easy to read and
understand series and Star comics provided this.
One problem is the shortsightedness of
both Marvel and the industry. Marvel needed to support the series, even
at a loss, to promote future readers and comic fans needed to pick up
issues for their younger brothers, cousins or neighbors. What better way
to promote your hobby, than to plant the seeds for future growth?
The overall quality of the Star Comics
is actually pretty good. They are comparable to the Harvey comics. The
artwork is simplistic and very colorful. The stories are short and
pretty fun. I remember getting my pack of them from the cereal box and
actually enjoying them. I wasn't ready to dump my superhero books, but I
found them an enjoyable diversion. I actually picked some others up here
and there, mostly bargain bins. I also let my younger brothers
and sister read them.
I would like to see Marvel revive the
line and modernize it some. Maybe a Pokeman comic (if there isn't
already one) and even a Beanie Baby comic could do well. There are other
ones that could be done as well as the original series. I would just
hope that Marvel give them time and maybe make a promotion where kids
can send in a Xerox of their report card and they could give them free
comics for good grades or something. Work with some of the schools as
using them as another tool to get kids to read. Marvel needs to realize
that this line of books wouldn't be about making money, as much as an
investment into the future. They have not invested any money into
building future generations of comic fans and it has come back to haunt
Jademan - Action and more action!
No company provided more action in their books than Jademan. These
books were the equivalent of kung fu theatre coming to life. You had
larger than life heroes battling impossible odds, only to triumph! The
action was fast and furious and there was always plenty of it. There was
a plot too, but not too much to interfere with their forte, which was
One of the first things a new reader
will notice about Jademan comics is that they featured some of the best
coloring ever in comics and until the last five or so years, none topped
it. A person will also notice very clean and detailed artwork. While you
could find better art in comics, it was hard to find a company that
consistently good art like Jademan. And with the flashes of color, they
While the stories are not the central
point of the comics, they are not bad. Sure, the books are one battle
after another, but if you really invest the time into reading the book,
you will see some plots going on and some decent character development.
While the writing won't sell the books, it won't hurt sales either.
Some of the books done by Jademan
include Blood Sword, Blood Sword Dynasty, Drunken Fist, Force of
Buddha's Palm and Oriental Heroes. These were probably the most known of
the group, but there were quite a few others. Iron Marshal is another
that comes to mind.
So if you are looking for some serious
action, at a low price, then check out Jademan! They can be found quite
affordably (I sell them on the website for a $1.00 each), but they do
Top Ten List
With so much talk about books, I am going to list the top ten good
independent comics you may never had read. These are good books that get
overlooked. Most of these are either obscure or ones you wouldn't think
of, but all good reads and affordable.
10. Eagle-Not the comic
company, but the hero with a sword. The stories are pretty good and the
art isn't too bad. Very affordable, if you can find them.
09. Journey-William Meissner
Loeb's overlooked frontier book. Slow at times, but a good read.
08. Puma Blues-The
environmental story with incredible artwork! The story is good, but the
art is what sells this book!
07. Ms Tree-The female
detective featured some very good stories. A must read!
06. Deadworld-If you weren't
into Indies in the 1980's, you may have missed this one. While the
artwork is different, it really fits the book. The first handful are
very good, but they lose steam fast.
05 Vietnam Journal-A very good
series about a photographer in Viet Nam. Very realistic and very
04. Mars-This quirky little
book was done by First and was another to feature unique art. Bizarre,
but a good bizarre.
03. Southern Knights-A great
superhero team and had a long run (over 25 issues)!
02. Crossfire-A bails bondsman
by day and a superhero by night. Good stuff!
01. Domino Chance-The roach who
is a space traveler (not the Marvel character). Cool book, if you can
Classic Comic Ad
When I was a kid, I was horrified by the Moon Monster. This almost
demonic beast was enough to make me hide under the covers. I always
wanted to join the club and get the poster, but I never had the nerve or
the buck. Maybe it is me, but you seem to get allot for your dollar. A 6
foot poster, membership card, three rubber masks and more! For a dollar
now, you can get a package of Twinkies. Not quite the same.
Did anyone join the club? I am curious
if the poster was as scary looking in real life as it was in the ad.
Hopefully, someone will answer me, but I doubt it. Guess it will be
filed under childhood lore like dreaming that X-Ray glasses really
worked and Sea Monkeys really looked like the ads. Maybe it is better to
be a memory anyways.
to see the ad!
It has been a long time coming, but another issue is in the books. I
will try to speed up the time between issues, but I cannot guarantee it.
If you want to see more issues, let me know as I need some
encouragement. Also, some submissions wouldn't be bad either!