Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Nerd Cave Idea

So I don't really have my nerd cave anymore but I sort of used to. I was watching this commercial with that dirty player who happens to be likable that plays in the NFL, Clay Matthews, as opposed to Suh or Harrison from the Lions and Bengals.

I got rid of my "Nerd Cave" in a few moves towards being an actual grown up who could a) play a video game in a dining room and b) have a big ass flat screen TV that my wife could watch HGTV on without needing me to deactivate my "Non Geek Destructo Ray".

Now that I don't have a Nerd Cave though, I'm imagining remaking one (when I buy a house) and I think I have the rough workings of a plan. I want to know what yours will be (5 details) but here's mine (media server and big screen TV are obvious).

1. Location: A tree house

2. External Logo: A giant block letter "4" in each cardinal directions

3. Furniture: Gaming table shaped like the letter "A".

4. Refreshment: Cold Jameson on tap

5. Other: Some of those display cases where I can display the outfits of my fave dead comics characters or dead wrestlers.

Bring it!

If you like this sort of odd stuff I'll be doing more of it here since i think I'm doing heftier topics with my other blog:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pirates Can Be Useful...Sort of...Maybe

You ever have those moments where you're just not sure what to put in one of your blogs so it just sort of sits for a bit? Well this is one of those moments and one of those blogs.

So basically a study was done by Social Scientists in Europe that confirms a thing that I have been hearing for about the last year from people around the shop. Now our conversations surround the downloading of printed material but I think the conclusions reached matter.

I get asked how much impact of digital comics has impacted my Brick and Mortar comic cook retail business. My quick and dirty observation is probably about as much as broke customer "moving back home" does.

People have been telling me that instead of primarily shifting all of their comics purchases to digital download, they sample things they aren't sure they''d want to own a physical copy of and if they really like it SOMETHING HAPPENS.

There was a point about a year and a half ago where people told me the thing that would happen was they'd keep buying the series digitally. NOW we've reached a point where people are trying a series online, hearing their friends talk about a series and then coming into the shop to buy the collected versions of that series.

Apparently there is so much competition for their eyeballs on a screen that they can't wait to have that experience of buying SOMETHING in it's collected form. Now this is not according to my barely scientific research, a slam against digital. It seems like it's more of a move to ensure that if a consumer who may be prone to buying digitally is going to own something, then it had better be considered really good by the community. Community in this case is a group of peers and recommenders.

How does this relate to the study mentioned above? Simple, we're not idiots. We all know damn well that everyone who talks to us about their digital comics isn't buying them legally. Some of those folks have got to be using some swank (and at this stage in the game, rather simple) piracy skills to stay abreast of what's going on in comics.

Currently there are upwards of 150 different monthly comics titles on my shelves. a full 30 of them are Batman or X-Men related and while retailers and fans alike would live for all of these comics to be home runs, retailers and fans alike know good and damn well that this is not going to happen. Of the books on my shelves I'd only count about 25 of them as HOME RUN titles. That leaves a lot of room for doubt in the minds of consumers. Room for doubt and a lack of depth in the pockets is room room for piracy.

Since not every pirate hangs out with only pirates, the pirates talk about comics with non pirates and they themselves become recommenders. Having a few less places to pirate COULD delay piracy and alter the established trajectory of SEE> TELL>BUY.

I guess my ultimate point here is that I think it's plausible. No one wants to give pirates credit for anything positive because they are pirates but everyone uses them for something or another.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Super Character Draft Pt. 1 (Betsy's Team)

On Saturday night, the Chicago Comic Book Meetup group met at Third Coast Comics in Chicago. Generally we just have comics related discussion over beers but this time we did something different.

We held a Super Character Draft with the idea being that when we were done we'd pitch a comic to the group. There were 13 participants and 15 rounds.

The Rules:

Each team must have a supporting character.

Each team must have 1 real life person who has appeared in a comic book at least once.

Note: During the draft players were precluded from picking me as I have been in a comic book. Points to you if you happen to own one of those rare works of art.

The 1st pick was Betsy and here is her team:

Muhammed Ali
Power Girl
Judge Dredd
Gene Simmons
Atomic Robo
Guy Gardner
Fin Fang Foom
Devil Dinosaur

The Pitch:

Justice League meets Lost.

Sinestro gets a new ring, an iridescent  "Time Ring" and uses it to manipulate the timeline.

The Justice League is tries to stop him, but he uses the ring to send several members (Guy Gardner, Superman, Power Girl) "away."

"Away" is the Land of the Lost, Sleestaks and all. Objects and people from different timelines have been displaced here by Sinestro (including legendary/literary characters like Dracula). A few people/creatures, like Kamandi and Devil Dinosaur, are natives. 

Currently Fin Fang Foom is the ruler and uses an army of dinosaurs to terrorize the land. 

Our heroes have to find each other, avoid getting eaten by monsters and find a way to defeat Sinestro and get back to their own timelines.

The first cover would be Mohammad Ali  punching a Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Problem with Orson Scott Card writing Superman

While this topic has been beaten to death at this point as it relates to "Should DC have hired Card or not", I'm feeling like the real problem with DC hiring Card is that it looks to me like DC is treating Card's detractors the same way it treats diversity in general.

DC knows that there are only so many members of of it's buying public who are not straight white males but that isn't news. This is comics. MOST comic book readers/buyers are going to be straight white males but given the efforts of publishers and fans even on smaller scales, this is changing and faster than DC seems to be willing to admit.

DC didn't just hire a famous writer who annoyed people to write Superman. Comic book companies seem to troll Hollywood for leftover plot ideas, leaping from the minds of vain celebs all the time. That could have been Kevin Smith or Michael Bay. People on the Internet and in comic shops would have had all sorts of gripes but everyone would have gotten past it pretty quickly.

These guys went for OSC and I have to believe someone in a meeting said, "You do know this guys is ON RECORD as a champion anti-gay bigot don't you?" I'd be willing to bet someone then explained that OSC and some other more desired writer shared an agent or something and if they hired OSC, they could get BIG FISH X to come on board for a Batman GN in time for Christmas!"

Note: Mark the date down so that when the announcement happens, you know I called it.

The problem with OSC goes beyond bigotry on the part of the politics and finances of the writer. The problem goes to the alleged efforts the publisher has made towards respecting and promoting diversity. it's as if DC has said, "Come on people, it's not like we've been cancelling comics starring minority characters, which we KNOW tend to have a hard time maintaining traction in a market dominated by white male reader dollars."

DC is hiring people and making business decisions as if each one takes place in a vacuum but for how much longer is this a viable option or way of approaching the quest for sales?

Friday, February 22, 2013

We the People vs. Bigotry

(posted here because the FB link on twitter just goes to the HRC)

I'll try and make this simple. With all the publicity Orson Scott Card has gotten for being a bigot and getting to write a Superman story, Challengers Comics decided to give the proceeds of any Card Superman stories sold to the Human Rights Campaign.

Apparently some folks on Tumblr and FB don't understand how fighting bigotry works and have been giving Patrick a little bit of lip about it (in typical Internet fashion).

I happen to think Challengers is on the right path with this and fuck bigotry so therefore Third Coast Comics will also donate 100% of the profits of any copies we sell of Orson Scott Card's Superman to the Human Rights Campaign.

Personally this is why we read the exploits of superheroes, right? To be inspired to fight against injustice and inequality wherever we see it.

I don't see this as mixing business with politics. I see this as mixing business with human rights.

The damn books is gonna blow anyway.