Just Newsprint #20
The Simple Comic Newsletter
Table of Contents
02 Free Reads
03 Gimmicks and Comics
04 He is the Spaceknight
05 Top Ten List
06 Getting Those Heroes on Tape
On a trip to the local
computer store, I noticed that they had a Mad Magazine Collection. It is
pretty neat that you can get all of the issues in one collection (even
if they reprint material like crazy). It made me think about how the
comic book industry is missing the boat here. I look and see that not
only does Mad Magazine have a CD Collection, but there were ones for
National Geographic, Dragon Magazine and even Field and Stream. Field
and Stream has a collection, yet the comic industry is missing out? WHY?
Who are the decision makers that are missing out on this goldmine?
If you are a big comic fan (my guess is
you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't), then I am sure that you
would love to have access to those comics that are out of financial
reach of the average Joe. Would you pay $40.00 for the first 50 issues
of Superman or Action or even the Fantastic Four? We are talking some
awesome stories here and only a few of them are reprinted.
I know there are those Marvel
Masterpieces and whatever DC's version is called, but they are so
limited. Because of the high cost of paper and printing, they only put
out the ones that are popular. So yeah, you get some of the good stuff,
but there are so many more stories that can be reprinted, but aren't. Is
there any More Fun reprints or alot of the early Four Color stuff? We
are talking a plethora of stuff that can be redone and the companies can
make some good money off it. With the low cost of CDs or even DVDs, the
cost is minimal. The only real cost is the time it takes to archive it
and royalties. Besides that, you have a great way for Marvel, DC,
Disney, Archie and the rest to make some money and introduce these
stories to the masses.
Before you start with that lame argument
about how comics were meant to be read in book form and not on a
computer screen, I answer, then go mortgage your house and get the
originals. But for the rest of us who would rather read it on a computer
screen and not have to live on a steady diet of cat food because we are
hocked to our ears in debt, the CD would do just fine. And don't even
give me that poor excuse about how it will ruin the value of the
originals. There will always be people who have more money than brains
and are willing to spend serious cash for a comic book. The world is
full of these people and more are being born as you read this. If that
was true, then the bazillion reprints of Action #1 would have destroyed
the value. But everytime one is up for sale, some sucker is willing to
cough up more jack than the last person, so this isn't going to affect
the value whatsoever. If anything, it will increase the value.
While I don't expect this to happen
anytime soon, I can hope. Maybe if someone like Harvey or Archie blaze
the trail, then the rest would follow. There is a good number of people
out there that would go for this, if done right (and with the comic
industry, that is a big if), that it has a chance to be a consistent
source of income. And with the power of the internet, they could sell
them online at their sites and open up to the whole world who want these
books and put some much needed money in their coffers.
One of my weekly routines is going to the public library and checking
out a ton of stuff. With a boatload of books, movies, music CDs,
computer programs, magazines and more, there is always something to take
out. Why pay to rent, when you can get them for free? Anyways, during
one of my visits, I noticed they had a nice selection of comic book
trade paperbacks there. Starman, Sandman, Star Wars, Strangers in
Paradise, Astro City and more! I was in heaven! Before me was a good 20+
trade paperbacks of some of the best stuff in
comics. And the price of admission was free! So I took advantage of a no
lose situation and grabbed a stack.
While nothing replaces the feel of owning
the books and not having to worry about late fines, this is a great way
to try some new stuff. You can sample a wide selection of books and if
you like them, read more. If you find the stuff less than appealing,
then you have nothing but time invested. A win-win situation! So you may
want to check out your local library and see what kind of selection they
have. If they don't have any, maybe you should suggest it to them. They
are usually more than willing to listen. For anyone who doesn't know
about this great source of free reads, I thought I would pass it along!
Oh yeah, they also had regular comic books too!
The granddaddy of gimmicks
Gimmicks and Comics
While not as prevalent as it was 5-7 years ago, the gimmicks still are
part of the comic scene. While the gimmick covers are not used as much,
you get limited edition versions, some with an autograph or numbered to
entice you to pay more for the same story. But enough about today's
gimmicks, let us look at some of those lame attempts (many times they
were quite successful) at getting the average sucker....err, I mean the
average comic fan to part with their hard earned money. Here are some of
the most blatant. See how many you fell for?
#1-If One Cover is Good, Then 13 is
Great!-Talk about a blatant scam if there ever was one! Gen 13
and their 13 different covers had to be proof of the greed in the
industry. Sure, some people just picked out the cover they liked and
bought that one, but I saw many people grabbing one of each. The sad
thing is they are worth more money today. I know there are many other
comics that did this shameless whoring (X-Men #1, DV8 #1, etc...), but
13 different ones was the extreme.
#2-Oooh, Pretty Holograms-Was
there anything as pathetic looking than these crappy holograms that were
slapped onto a book? Only thing worse was how some customers would be
enthralled at them and caught like a deer in headlights. I still
remember when they did one on each of the Spiderman books and they all
looked like someone stuck some tinfoil on the cover and tried pushing it
off as a hologram. They were terrible. And the reader had to pay double
for the pleasure of looking at those eyesores.
#3-Bag it and They Will Buy!-Nothing
I hated worse than bagged comics. Sure, some of them had stuff they
didn't want to fall out. But did they have to seal the bag? Nothing says
"Buy two copies fan boy" like a sealed bag. The worse thing is most of
the bagged comics were so poorly written and drawn, that they should
have been sealed, in a trash bag. They spent so much time on the
gimmick, that they forgot there was a comic in there.
#4-Real/Sorta Real/Animated Cels-I
still remember how some poor customers fell for Marvel's gimmick, hook,
line and sinker. In their Spiderman books, they said there were going to
be animated cels or sericels. The wording was quite confusing. Anyway,
you ended up with the equivalent of a xerox copy of an animated cel.
Guess that was worth the extra money.
#5-When All Else Fails, Kill a
Character-The biggest scam of the comic industry was the Death
of Superman. Only the boneheaded media and the lemmings who bought into
it, believed he would stay dead. All us comic fans knew that death is a
temporary setback in the world of comics. A hero would have a harder
time getting rid of lice than they would coming back from the grave. But
the saps bought into it like gangbusters. So what did DC do for an
encore? They gave us four sorry excuses for Superman. The only person
who was happy about that was Shaq as it gave him a Steel movie to add to
his resume (or maybe he isn't so happy about that as it did end his
While there were alot more scams used in
the industry, I just highlighted a few. Feel free to email me your
favorite ones. I am sure we can all get a laugh out of them and
hopefully the industry will learn that stories and art sell comics.
Gimmicks are a one time thing and do not encourage repeat business. But
I guess it is wishful thinking to assume they learned anything.
He is the Spaceknight!
He was here to save us from the Dire Wraiths. He was a kick butt action
figure! He was the one and only Rom the Spaceknight! A perennial bargain
bin dweller, the mighty Spaceknight deserves a little recognition. Quit
laughing, this book was pretty good. Not great, but a good read,.
especially at the bargain prices you can find them now.
One of the cool things about Rom is that
they seeded the book with guests. The X-Men, Nick Fury, the Hulk, Alpha
Flight, even Master of Kung Fu took turns hanging out with the man in
the silver tin can suit. Marvel did everything they could to make the
tin man a success. He even had some talent working on the book including
Steve Ditko, John Byrne and Bill Sienkiewicz. Not bad for a book that
was always a second tiered title.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that Rom only fought the Dire
Wraiths. That is far from the truth. Besides battling heroes, he fought
the likes of the Mole Man, Galactus, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants,
the Skrulls and even the Gremlin! How can you lose with a Rogues Gallery
The nice thing is you can now enjoy the
books for about a half a buck each, sometimes less and sometimes more.
Considering the price of a comic today, that is quite a bargain and you
will find. So if you are looking for a fun book that won't force you
into a second job, then check out the Spaceknight. Rom will thank you
Top Ten List!
With my article about gimmicks that comics used to entice readers, I
decided to make up a list of gimmicks that haven't been used yet. I
tried to make them as ridiculous as possible, but it doesn't mean that
someone may not add them later. So if anyone uses any of these, let me
know and I will laugh like a fool!
#10-Fish Skin Cover-That's
right! You get a cover made out of skinned fish. There is a limited
number of them and they will stink. For an extra $5.00, you get the
whole fish with the book printed on it.
issue will come with a finger or toenail from one of the creative team.
Will you get the fingernail from a hot artist or a toe nail from the
assistant editor? Who knows? The only way to figure it out is to do a
issue will be missing at least one page. This way you have to buy at
least two issues to read the full story. Plus, a few lucky readers will
get a completely blank issue! A very rare and desirable collector's
#07-Future Star's Autographs-Know
how they love minor league cards in baseball? How about yearbooks with
pictures of Elvis or Michael Jordan? Well, we will give you an autograph
of an up and coming comic star. Sure they are all grade schoolers, but
some of them will amount to something. Who knows, you may get the next
big actor or serial killer! You better buy up lots of these, cause you
those greeting cards that play a song when you open them? Well, we are
coming up with comics that play a tune, over
and over and over when you open it. In fact, one you open it, the thing
will not stop until you close it. So you better read fast or go
heroes got their powers from radiation (Fantastic Four, Spiderman, even
Toxic Avenger), so this is your chance! Each comic that is priced at
$99.95 comes in a lead box. The book is contaminated with all kinds of
radioactive waste. Will you gain super strength? Possibly run faster
than sound? Most likely you will get deathly sick and die a horrible and
gruesome death. But isn't it worth it?
you look at the cover, you will be instantly hypnotized. When you come
out of it (assuming you do come out of it, having a friend present is a
good idea), you will believe you read the best comic ever! Of course, it
is really just a repackaged Marvel Heavy Hitters or DC Impact comic, but
you will think it is the second coming of the Watchmen.
#03-Growing Comics-You know
those little foam animals that you drop in water and they grow to 50
times their original size, well we have a comic just like that! When you
get it, it is very tiny (saves us on shipping). But when you drop it in
water, it grows and grows to a full sized comic book! Of course, the
water will make the ink run and it will be ruined, but what fun watching
#02-Putty Comics-What is
more fun than putty? Imagine taking your comic and stretching it! Boy
does Superman get funky, look at Plastic Man go, check out the legs on
Wonder Woman! Ahem. Anyways, the only drawback is trying to get the book
back into its proper shape, but what fun it is!
#01-Own a Piece of the Industry-Know
how they sell supposed pieces of Jesus' cross or bones of saints? Well,
we can dig up some dead comic veterans and put some bone fragments into
each limited edition comic book. Sure it is morbid, sure it is ghoulish,
but death sells! God, I hope they never do something this absurd and if
they do, please don't give me credit for it.
Getting Those Heroes on Tape
If you are anything like me, then I am sure you watched super hero
cartoons as a kid. Well, did you ever want to go back and see some of
those cartoons of your youth? Sure you can catch the Superfriends on the
Cartoon Network, but how about the rest of them? Well, there are sites
all over the net that have video tapes for sale. But I found one site
that has one of the best selections of these tapes made available for
people who want to capture a piece of their childhood. The site is
called Cool Stuff Videos and boy do they have a selection! They even
have some of the really rare pieces like the Fantastic Four Live Action
movie that was canned (and for good reason).
Here is the URL to this site:
Their prices are quite good too! So if
you are desperate to relive your youth (just be warned that some
cartoons are better left in your memory), then hop over and check them
out! They have the selection to die for!
I decided to do this issue with a little more edge, to have some fun.
Let me know what you think of it. Check back in a month for more of the
newsletter that keeps coming out, despite better judgment. So if you
like your comics old and cheap, then stop back and read about the books
of yesteryear. Heck, send in an article and give me a hand. Talk to you
soon and you better read those comics.
Zjaba (I wrote it all, so lay all that blame on me, bubba!)