The 5 Worst Things About Comics in 2008

In my previous article, I celebrated the things in comics that made me happy and were good. I had to work to limit that article to just 5 things which was a wonderful problem to have. This week, we take the good with the bad as I want to take a moment to look at the 5 worst things about comic books. It may seem negative, but how else will we be able to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes in 2009 unless we’re up front about the things that frustrated us about comics last year?

The 5 Worst Things About Comics in 2008
(in no particular order)

The Prices of Comics
The topic of the price of comics was one that began quietly in early 2008 that built up to a fervor towards the end of the year. I believe Augie DeBlick Jr. of the Pipeline Commentary and Review was the first person I heard mention that the $3.99 price point would be gaining traction in 2008. Month in and month out, we noted that the prices were slowly moving up across the publishers. There was some excellent discussion on this very site about the price of comics that led to things like Top Cow’s pledge to keep books priced at $2.99. The reality of the situation is that prices go up. They’ve always gone up. I remember when comics went from $1.00 to $1.25. I was livid. But that’s life and inflation. But at $3.99, the question becomes, is the price worth it month in and month out? That question leads to the thought that there are better solutions, like $1.99 shorter comics like Fell and Casanova… but when was the last time you saw an issue of either of those series? The cold hard facts is that prices will go up and there’s really nothing we can do about it other that be more discerning with our purchases.


Fatigue #1 – Event Fatigue
Who’s sick of hearing the term “Event Fatigue”? I sure am. And yet that seems like all anyone could talk about in 2008, as Marvel and DC Comics rolled their huge, comic line changing events: Secret Invasion and Final Crisis. The argument to this is that comics have always been event based going back at least 20 years, if not more. But for some reason the build up of the recent 5 years or so of Civil Wars and World War Hulks and 52s and Countdowns have worn us down as readers. I don’t know anyone who giggles with glee when they see that checklist page at the back of a book, outlining the 20+ issues you need to buy to read everything for the latest event. Of course the publishers tell us that we don’t need to buy every title associated with the event, but that comes off as double speak to me. If we didn’t, then why even put them under the event banner at all? Marvel and DC seem to want to have it both ways, and unfortunately in 2008, readers exhaled and yelled “I’m tired!”


Fatigue #2 – Creator Owned vs. Company Work
Remember Robert Kirkman’s missive about how more creators should be doing creator owned work? And remember when Bendis reacted, very uncharactistically personally, on Word Balloon? And then remember when Bendis and Kirkman faced off at the Baltimore Comic-Con? Those were some exciting times and admittedly we were right there for a couple of months talking about this issue and even brought you the only video coverage of the Baltimore Comic-Con panel, as well as interviews with Bendis and Kirkman. Now while this was a great topic to discuss and one the industry needed to hear, in my opinion, I have to admit that by October even I was a little tired of it.  At some point the conversation turned a corner and no one was listening to each other anymore and my thought was “okay enough, go make good comics!” Although I still believe the moment Kirkman whipped out those sales graphs at the panel was a highlight of the year.




Great Comic Books Can’t Make It
Two of the things I celebrated in the 5 Best Things About Comics was the great new crop of talent as well as the existence and success of super-hero comics.  It’s with a heavy heart that I write about this topic. Sadly, the way things are going, there are really good books by great creators that just aren’t going to make it. Rick Remender posted on Twitter a few weeks ago that the next Fear Agent arc would be the last (he later amended it to, “The last for a while“). Phonogram: The Singles Club‘s shipping schedule is delayed because the book isn’t making any money in issues. The list goes on and on. And it’s not just independent books, but awesome comics from Marvel, DC and Vertigo are constantly on the precipice of cancellation. I love Paul Cornell’s Captain Britain and the MI:13 series, but a part of me wonders how long until the axe drops on that? We saw The Exterminators, one of the cleverest books at Vertigo get canceled, and it seems that as great as Scalped is, everyone is waiting for the cancelation shoe to drop. I hope I’m wrong about this, but as I look at the sales charts I see title after title that I want to read on an ongoing basis barely selling 6,000 copies monthly. And yet Avengers and Batman roll on, selling hundreds of thousand copies. I don’t know what the answer is to this one. The price of comics issue probably affects these books the most, but hopefully in 2009 people will continue to try new titles and we can see a new batch of comics establish success. We’ve seen Robert Kirkman do it with The Walking Dead and Invincible, so we know it’s possible.


The Walls Are Breaking Down
Comics has a long lasting tradition of interaction between creators and fans. Starting out in the letters pages, leading to amazing experiences at conventions to where we are today with the Internet connecting creator and fan in ways never heard of before. Have a question for Bendis or Geoff Johns? Go post in their forums, there’s a good chance you’ll get a response. Do you like Brian K. Vaughan?You can be his MySpace friend. Curious what kind of mood Bryan Lee O’Malley or Brian Wood is in? Just follow them on Twitter. I have to wonder, is this a good thing? Can there be too much interaction between fan and creator? Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that the world has gotten more social and now we can interact with the companies and people who make the comics we love and I have built a portion of my career based on that. But in the past year I’ve seen message board flame wars, Twitter bickering and all other sorts of digital based negativity that makes me wonder about whether we’re too transparent now? I hope that’s not the case, rather I hope that everyone is just getting used to the new world of communication and 2009 will show people settling down which hopefully involved knowing when to walk away from the keyboard. It’s a tough lesson but one that I think both creators and fans could stand to learn. I’m also curious to see what the conventions are like this year as more people will walk up for an autograph or a sketch and  awkwardly tell a creator “I follow you on Twitter” or “Why won’t you be my Facebook friend?” Awkward times indeed when the digital life crosses over to the real world.


And so that wraps up my little dance of negativity around the grave of comic books in 2008. What do you think? Am I full of crap? What did I forget? Tell everyone what you thought the worst things about comics in 2008 were in the comments below.

Here’s to a better year in 2009! Cheers!



  1. As for ‘The Walls Breaking Down’, I am a little more worried about the fanbase influencing the product. I dont want creators to be swayed but their fans to cater their work to them. Sometimes we dont know what we want, even though we think we do.

  2. @ron: I follow you on twitter……… Why won’t you be my Facebook friend? 🙂

  3. @Optimus187Prime – I totally know what you mean, but most creators I’ve spoken to say that the internet almost never influences the work, since the time between creating and when the issues actually comes out can be months.  Whether or not we believe that..

    @WinTheWonderboy – of course I’ll be your Facebook friend! 🙂 hah

  4. The thing about the walls breaking down. . .I don’t know, I can see the point, but it seems to me it’s always been this way.  Or comics have always aspired to this, anyway.  If you read the first Fantastic Four omnibus, you see Stan & Jack in the letter column specifically asking for suggestions from fans about the direction to take the books — and you can see those being addressed in the comics.  I was just reading issues of "Starman" from the 90s, and James Robinson has a letter column where he encourages fans to write in and talk about all kinds of things they might be interested in — specifically encouraging letters that are not related to the comic.   This kind of interaction may happen on the Internet now, so it’s faster and less filtered, but I’m not sure it’s that fundamentally different.  Is is possible for certain creators and fans to get too caught up in it?  Sure, and I think at some point writers and artists may realize that they’re not personally comfortable writing about their bodily functions or linking to photo albums of their kids and pets where anyone can see them.  Certainly some fans will decide they don’t want to read it.  But the Internet is an evolving medium, and I think it’s kind of exciting to see that in action.

  5. Y’know what’s interesting? All of your gripes about comics (a lot of which I agree with) have to do with the process of making and selling them, not with the actual content. So, there’s a lot of really good comics out there now, arguably some of the best in years, and yet there’s all this angst about the future of comics.

  6. My concern isn’t the internet or fanboys influencing writers and the stories.  I hate that there are no surprises anymore.  Nine times out of ten we know what is going to happen before we finish the issue.  I stay away from the boards and etc. as much as possible and I still find too many things out.  I can’t image the people that are on the boards more often can find any joy in the comics they read.  

    It’s the same mentality of those people that have to get the all the bootleg video and on set photos of Watchmen and/or Wolverine.  The movie WILL come out (maybe in the case of Watchmen) and isn’t it better sitting in that dark theater taking in every moment as a surprise and enjoy it as it unfolds.  

    I want to sit in my favorite chair and read my comics and not know how they will end.  I want real surprises…and less $3.99 books.


  7. Caroline, what you’re talking about, that access has always been around, and it’s something great, but I think what Ron is more referring to is the constant updates, via things like Twitter, where we really follow people along their whole day, and get into their heads, good moods and bad, and see what they’re really like.  I can say that, and I would NEVER name names but, I have definitely been turned off from some people’s work based on some of the social networking interactions I’ve seen.  Sure, the same thing has happened from interviews and podcasts, or con interactions, but I’ve seen it happen a lot more this year.

    Still, to be fair, there are certain creators who I’ve grown to love all the more because of their twitter presence.  That has sold books, because I end up liking someone so much that I want to buy their books, even if I don’t necessarily love the work.

  8. You have fatigue fatigue!

    They can say whatever they want about "crossover events have been a part of comics for 20 years," but that doesn’t make it so. I started reading comics again because Marvel’s output in 2000-2001 was 180 degrees away from event comics, and during that four year renaissance these things simply did not happen. Avengers Disassembled was the first crack in the wall, an omen of the deluge to come.

    Also: yes, there were always crossovers in the nineties. Remember how we all stopped reading comics in the nineties? Or was that just me?

    Four months or so ago, I was rapidly approaching the point where I never wanted to hear Robert Kirkman’s name again as long as I lived.

  9. Well the Phonogram and Fear Agent info is a kick in the balls… I JUST got into FA’s on going with this Arc.

    I agree with the last point, I’ve actually stopped following some artist on Twitter simply because I don’t want their personal views and comments to ruin my enjoyment of their books. Sometimes an artist can ruin their own books more than any critic or flame war.

  10. @josh  Point taken, and of course I do not in any way mean to express disapproval of people who post pictures of their pets. 

  11. Wait, so is Remender putting Fear Agent on hiatus or is it being cancelled? Cause if it’s the latter, then I called it that Fear Agent would be cancelled, but sadly….I dont have the heart to say ‘I told you so.’

    Robert Kirkman taking out those charts was the funniest, let lowest moment for me in 2008. It was funny because Kirkman actually took the time to make out graphs to prove his arguement. But it was a lowlight for me because it just killed Kirkman’s arguement right down into the gutter. Bendis easily took a weak individual and tore him to shreds. Cause he counterattacked with every single statistic he was putting up and also the fact he didnt put trade figures up was also baffling. Bendis, clearly won that fateful debate at that con, only because Kirkman had to take out those stupid charts.

  12. @ DarthDuck – That is why I stick to the ifanboy forums, we are very spoiler sensitive there. I havent had anything ruined that I didnt intentionally decide to look for.


    I am very, very sad that Fear Agent is going on hiatus. I have trade waited that series but I trade wait almost everything.

  13. I’m not sure I agree with the last point, Ron. To reply to the comments on that subject, I think it’s a two-way street that we’re forgettting about here. It’s initially a unique and interesting thing to have a favorite creator update you all the time about what they’re doing that day, what they’re having for breakfast, and whether they washed their hands after using the bathroom at Chili’s that one night. But, it can get annoying sometimes and I for one have just stopped following some people because of it. I feel like it’s just like when TV or film was at it’s peak. Everyone was analyzing it and wondering what the ramifications of this new way of viewing things would be. Pundits would decry the fall of traditional values because of the rise of new technology. And then, everyone would calm down. The end of the world didn’t come because Elvis shook his hips on live TV.

    Twitter might survive. Facebook, Myspace and other social networking tools might survive. What matters is that we just need to choose what we want and don’t want in our lives. You want "RadioMaru" telling you all his business and then some? It’s right there for you.

    Also, creators are feeling the same high of "newness" that we fans are, too. I think in a year things will settle down and we’ll find out who stays on Twitter and Facebook, etc., and who doesn’t. There are creators who have wholeheartedly embraced this technology and even champion it (Warren Ellis). But, most, I believe, are just feeling their way around trying to see what fits. 

    So, that being one of the WORST things about 2008? I dunno. Definitely a question. And, personally, for this process junkie, I don’t mind hearing that Brian Wood is having trouble staying awake to write script. Stuff like that makes me giggle like a school girl.

    Unlike, event comic checklists. And four dollar floppies.

  14. On your point about comics not selling well that are good, it comes down to format for me. I want my superheroes monthly and pretty much whatever else, particularly minis, in trade. I would by a $30 Phonogram trade right now but not a single issue. 

  15. Sad about Phonogram.  It really was a breath of fresh air.

    @TNC-I think Kirkman could have won that debate; if only he had been on the debate team in high school!  The whole fact that Bendis took it so personally just baffled me.  To me, when Kirkman talked about being on the "Bendis plan" at Marvel, I totally understood what he meant.  Anyways, I’m going to stop because I don’t want to rant about it.

    Part of me will never like the price hike, but we just have to accept that its going to go up.  I might drop books that go up, but then if they all increase uniformly…well what should we do?  Already I find myself not picking up a few minis or story arcs because I’ll just wait for the trade, pick it up cheaper online.  Sad sad.  

    Coolio article Ron.

  16. Phonogram’s not going away.  It’s just going to take longer because Jamie needs to take paid work in order to pay the bills because the monthlies don’t bring in enough cash.

  17. In retrospect, I think Sectret Invasion was a pretty decent event that just did not work in single issues.  Final Crisis has been everything an event should be (except on time) – epic, manic, world-changing, high stakes, well written…  

  18. @hawaiianpunch: The "wow, I need my coffee, how ’bout them Red Sox" stuff is fine. Unfortunately, there are a number of creators on Twitter who… how do I put this?… creators who post at great length, sometimes on an hourly basis, about how all the comics outside the genre they work in are for mouth-breathing pinheads. More than once, I have had to say, "I either need to drop this guy’s book or drop him from Twitter." I’ve done a little of both.

    I had not heard that Fear Agent news, by the way. That’s very upsetting. 

  19. I agree with all points.  I am a hypocrite with regards to twitter messages because on one hand I like gaining an insight to the thoughts and motivations of my favorite creators, but oh the other hand I feel like if they have time to write twitter messages they have time to write/draw better comics, especially if they are late.  I know the last part of that is completely insane and illogical because it only takes a few minutes to write a twitter but I can’t help but feel this way.

    I agree that we are overloaded with events, but I do think that they serve a purpose.  If it weren’t for Secret Invasion I might never have read Captain Britain or Guardians of the Galaxy.  I know this makes me sound like a sucker for the marketing but if they help me find something I wouldn’t other-wise normally read, I’m all for it.  I do get annoyed with the frequency of the events and I feel like they are desensitizing us to the big universe changes and making cinics out of us when the "Big" changes don’t even effect the status quo.

  20. @Josh-Yeah, I was sad that it was going on hiatus.  Sorry, I re-read my comment and realized it wasn’t all that clear

  21. most of these points are good. i felt that there were too many events in one year. the prices have gone up which causes me to drop a lot more than i want too. twitter is fun!! the whole bendis vs kirkman…come on guys just make your own brand of comics either creater owned or company owned. either way we’re getting good comics.


    NO FEAR AGENT!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Jim, I honestly don’t follow too many creators on twitter. I just forget to lok for them, and maybe that’s a good thing.

    On the great books dying part. I have an idea. Why not cancel all the Avengers books and do one, just one Avengers book a month. Maybe two. I’d buy a West Coast Avengers again if they did that. And cut back on the sidestories and minis for every character in a superteam.

    I know the reasoning behind doing more than one Avengers book and, at one time, more than one Spidey book, a month, but there is such a thing as a too much of a good thing. Maybe then, we can take more chances on smaller books. I don’t know how well Deadpool is doing in sales, but I’m constantly waiting for that book to die even though it’s one of the funnest books out on the shelves now.

  23. @Ron – Those sales charts were the best sales charts I’ve ever been exposed to.

    As far as pricing goes, and I’m not the first to bring this up, but what happened to something between $2.99 and $3.99? How is it Dark Horse can put out comics on nice paper and actually have some weight to them at three bucks, but IDW, with only slightly better quality, has to charge four bucks? I’ve never been afraid of paying whatever for something that is going to bring me enjoyment, but it’s getting to the point where I’ve had to cut/not buy new books, and those $3.99 ones are the first to get the ax. Granted, if I’m paying a dollar more for more pages, I’ll bite the bullet and do so. But four bucks for 22 pages is a bit ridiculous.

    And maybe this is just my bias, but doesn’t it seem Marvel is leading the way with this push to $3.99? Almost every week now, there are more $3.99 books on Marvel’s ship list than on DC’s, with no increase in content or page count? And as has been proven many times over the years, where Marvel goes, the industry follows. 2009 is going to be rough.

  24. Event fatigue is for pussies. Dark Reign and War of Kings are going to be awesome.


  25. @Diabhol-I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at your post.

    @Dan-Yeah Marvel has made absolutly no announcements regarding their price increases  They are just throwing it out there and seeing if it sticks.  And even when the $3.99 books DO have extra pages or content, its usually a reprint of an old issue.  Not necessarily bad, but thats not what I look for when I hear extra page counts.

  26. Price of comics – this really sucks and I’ve already started culling my books. As it happens, several are being cancelled anyway so that decision has been made for me. The price hikes suck, but *everything* seems more expensive recently, even apples!

    Event fatigue – yep, I’m fed up with events now. I never used to mind them and I’ve enjoyed Final Crisis as it’s been fairly self-contained, but Marvel’s events just annoy me with the number of books you end up having to read to flesh out the main story, plus the constant interruption to good books like Ms Marvel, for example, which has a good character and interesting back story, but consistently gets hijacked as part of Marvel’s Big Event.

    Creator owned/company work  – ah, I couldn’t care less about this. 

    Great comic books can’t make it – if my beloved Captain Britain gets cancelled, I shall flip! I’ve had Robin and Nightwing cancelled already so I couldn’t take it if another of my favourites gets canned.

    The walls are breaking down –  again, i couldn’t care less about this. I sometimes listen to a podcast interview with a comic creator but I’ve no interest in their day to day lives or personalities. I don’t want to meet them or see a photograph of them. As long as they continue to write and draw great comics, then I have no further interest in them than that.

    Jus’ my tuppence worth.

  27. I thought the events were fine, even though I only followed Secret Invasion.  What I didn’t like was books becoming solely event drivers for months at a time (see the entire run of Mighty and New Avengers during Secret Invasion).  The one that really got me was JLA.  One month, they’re dealing with characters jumping in from the Tangent Universe…and then that plot point is dropped.  The whole Salvation Run tie in frustrated me too because I had no interest in the main book, and it ended up being a red herring anyway…which was a plot point that got dropped.  I’ve since dropped it.  Please, Marvel and DC, let writers tell something of their own story inside their titles during mega-crossover-events (see Peter David’s X-Factor during the X-Cutioner Song crossover; he wrote some key parts but also had his own plots moving forward too).

  28. Well I hate to be a negative nilly (gotta stop watching Simpsons episodes with Flanders in it) but it sounds like to me Fear Agent is done. Not on hitaus, not coming back in a couple of years, DONE. If it’s not getting the sales it should, and if Remender is (hopefully) going to get more and more offers by Marvel and DC to do mainstream titles…..Why on earth should he go back to a title he wont make money (or a lot of money) on?

    Yes I know this will cause a stir with ‘creators should do whatever they feel like’ type of arguement. But in a couple of years when Remender is doing big things for Marvel and DC; why would he go back to a comic he knows wont make money on?

    This final arc he does should be the last and just move on with his life. Your only hurting the people who love this series by saying ‘it shall return someday’. Image might not even want Fear Agent to come back in the coming years; so what company will take this series then?

  29. @TNC-To me it would make more sense for him to come back after he makes a name for himself.  If he gets a ton of fans over at Marvel, they are more inclined to follow him to his creator owned work.  Millar is re-releasing a Jesus comic of his with Image, as well as releaseing some new stories for it.  Not sure if it will sell more issues than before, but my guess would be it would.

  30. I really hate the idea of the price of comics going up. Now I have to pay $3.99 for an issue of New Avengers. I haven’t read comics that long, but i’m only used to paying $3.99 for a comic if it’s an event book. I hope this price hike doesn’t affect me too much being that I don’t buy a lot of books each month.

    As far as event fatigue, i couldn’t care less. I only like that stuff is happening. I’m a simple man like that.

  31. After Blackest Night, I’m out! Final Crisis was cool except for all the parts I didn’t understand because I didn’t read the previous 2 years worth of material that led to this event. I’m gonna trim my books down to Superhero books that are independent of the next big event and Indie books.

  32. @Simmons: I’m already there! Glad to see you join our ranks! Fight the power!

  33. To me, if someone says final in one sentence then quickly state ‘it shall return’…..Then your rushing to save face.

    I’ve only read the first Fear Agent trade, and it was good. Its not like I wouldnt want Remender to stick with Fear Agent cause I dont. I want Remender to do whatever he damn pleases. But when you state it’s the ‘final’ arc for your series. That should mean it’s over.

    Dont tease/mock your fanbase and quickly state ‘it isnt the end’. Cause then you’ll have fans like Pushing Daisies who have to hope a comic series will be invented just to keep it going. Just say it’s over.

  34. Remender loves Fear Agent.  It’s his favorite property.  He’s not going to abandon it.  That’s what the follow up means.   I’ve talked to him about it.  He doesn’t want to stop doing it.  Still, the nice little collection of trades exists, and if ever given the chance, he’ll make more.  You think he wants to stop publishing it?  Why must people always accuse the people behind these comics fo being so dastardly.  He and Tony and Jerome have to pay the rent.  It’s as simple as that.  He’s not mocking his fanbase, that’s an absurd and spurious notion.

  35. Ah, Fear Agent. It’s one of those books I’ve recently started buying monthly because of the pleas of the creators. If you don’t buy the monthlies, the series will die and the trades will not follow, they say. Great, say I in reply. I really want nice, bookshelf ready trades of Criminal, Casanova, Fear Agent, Fell, Scalped, Proof, Brit, Astounding Wolf Man, Walking Dead, Powers, and a couple more I can’t think of now, but I’ll buy them twice to keep the product flowing. 

    Aaaand still they fall, victims of the marketplace. Neither of the comic stores in my area carry ANY of the above books except for Walking Dead. None of them. 20 copies each of Daredevil and Cap but no shelf copies of Criminal. Punisher? Yes. Casanova? No. All the Astonishing X-Men or Punisher War Zone you want but not a single Avatar title that Ellis or Ennis writes. Hell, there’s no Dynamite except for a stray copy of The Boys (Night Witches? You’ve gotta be kidding me. I don’t think either store knew that book existed). 

    It’s a crappy system we have in place now but it’s been talked to death recently.  That’s all I’ll say on it.

    As for creator contact, my only problem is when UK-based creators decide to commentt on US politics and culture. It’s been a pet peeve of mine since U2’s Rattle and Hum. I dunno, the closet jingoist inside of me wants them to just piss off and worry about their own damn country. Then I remember the State Secrets Act and realize that they’re often saying things about us that they can’t say about themselves and I let it go. The First Amendment is a lovely thing. Other than that, the more contact the better. I about peed myself when Adam Warren responded to a post I wrote on his deviantart page. 

    And for the record, since I’m hitting, kinda, all points here, $3.99 irks me but that’s economics. And like Jimski, I got back into comics in 2000-2001 and the event mentalltiy was more or less a non-issue then, at least at Marvel. DC – which in full disclosure I’ve never liked – was doing WW3 or Bruce Wayne:Murderer or No Man’s Land or whatever but I didn’t go there. Then came Disassembled and it was back to the days of Wildstorm Rising, where you had to read EVERYTHING to make sense of ANYTHING. I was reading ASM and suddenly if I wasn’t getting Spectacular or Knights or whatever the hell those other spider-books were i had no fucking clue about the story I had. Pissed me the fuck off it did. Still does. And I want another issue of Powers, Bendis. Fuck you and your Dark Avengers, you little bald bastard. Let Loeb fuck it up; he’s got the time now.

    Ah, the hell with it. I’m going to go read something from Oni or Top Shelf. Maybe Owly can calm me the fuck down. 


  36. My opinion on why great comics aren’t making it is because there are just too many comics. We are in a period where more comics are being published than ever before. This happened before, in the 50s, and there was a crash back then where a lot of comics were cancelled. There are too many comics and not enough readers. That’s the problem. The few readers that there are can’t possibly buy every title every month.

  37. I must admit, I really like how DC handled Final Crisis.  It only affected it’s tie ins, which didn’t replace any main books, and it didn’t even delay any of morrisons other titles.

  38. Nice thoughts here Ron, and yes, all these things do suck.  Except Final Crisis.  Event or not, it’s been one hell of a story.

  39. @ron: thanks for following me. oh wait. thats friendfeed. none of you guys follow me. i need more stalkers. lol.

    sometimes, i do wish some people i follow will follow me. (natalidelconte please follow me.) but at least i cope with the fact that not everyone willing to follow random strangers. (excpet jasoncalacanis)

    i learn that being open will come with consequences. my bad captioning of my flickr pictures at nycc 08 got me in trouble before. luckily, it was put out before the flame starts.

  40. The news about Fear Agent is the worst I’ve heard about 2008.  I got into that series late (w/ The Last Goodbye).  Sadly, I didn’t start getting it monthly until I Against I.  Damnit! This was by far my favorite book of 2008.  It was also the first indie book I loved so much that I switched from trades to monthlies simply because I didn’t want it to go away (I even got my buddy to do the same, for the same reason).  This sucks.  Glad to see Remender and Opena are gettin work at Marvel though.  Bank some cash and put out more Fear Agent.  I’ll buy it in any form no matter how long between arcs.

  41. Would $3.99 be all that bad of a price tag if they actually fattened the books up by like 10 to 15 pages?

  42. @robbby: That would defeat the purpose of raising the price of the book.

  43. @josh: He isnt going to abandon it…That’s why he’s putting the series on hitaus and staying with Marvel/DC?

    It’s not like the book is cancelled, it’s on hitaus. I mean I would love to hear the full story on why he thought he needed to put it on hiatus. He’s been going with Fear Agent for what? 27 issues? (Or a little more since he’s got a ‘final’ arc to go) That’s almost 3 full years of publishing this title. Why now all of a sudden, when Fear Agent was never a big seller nor was it sending shockwaves to the entire comic industry, is he going on hiatus?

    I mean it’s not like a lack of profit or Marvel/DC offers made him stop Fear Agent. Again he’s been at this title for years, why suddenly stop? You know what I think? (Being a conspiracy theorist like ron) That he is going to get more and more great offers by Marvel and DC that we dont even know about. Again it’s great that he loves his own title and he wants to continue it. But let’s put it this way josh. Let’s say a huge comic book website comes along and says: ‘I love your style of writing for your articles and your sense of humor. Let me give you a tour of our area and see if you want to join us. You’ll be making 3x times as much as you make now then you would at ifanboy.’

    Now what will you do in that situation? Stick with the website you started with love and devotion to? Or go the route to get more money and exposure and be assured your life with your family is secure? I would imagine (I want your answer as well) that most other people would choose option B. I would think Remender is smart enough to choose option B and he would rather make more money and write his ideas for more mainstream characters. Rather then sticking with a creator own title that will be a fan favorite; but wont be remembered in the next 50 years from now.

    I’ll say it again, Rick Remender is the best example for this Kirkman/Bendis debate. Here’s a guy who has been trying creator own comics and to his create, it is getting notice. But it isnt getting noticed enough and it’s not making enough money. But now he gets offers to do Booster Gold, Punisher, and other titles along the road and he’ll make more money and get more recognizion because of it.

  44. @ohcaroline – but I like seeing what Ron is eating…

  45. Nothing is more depressing than the news about Fear Agent. Easily my favorite book, in second comes Scalped. Man…bummed….

  46. From now on people need to create their books in a manga style… those reach kids and manage to stay forever. Give the horse pants and make him drop them once in a while like Shin Chan or have a notebook that kills aliens.

  47. I hope Ron is wrong about Scalped!

  48. I wouldn’t be too worried about Captain Britain & MI13. It does sell incredibly well here in the UK (3rd in the charts behind Secret Invasion and Final Crisis back in December) and has given Marvel a fair bit of press attention here too, which helps. The UK numbers also don’t appear in the online Diamond stats. I’m not saying it guarantees anything, but after hearing Jim McCann talking about how it was one of the two titles which exceeded his expectations last year (On your Talksplode podcast) and a few other very positive words from others at Marvel, I’m still pretty positive about it. It does have something unique in selling potential.

    But I Do know what you mean. I was gutted that they cancelled The Order so early, for example. I just hope that Marvel (And DC for that matter) see a future in some of the smaller titles under their belt, and I hope that a few more readers realise that books like CB&MI13, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are some of the better written books in the stable. They’re a dollar cheaper than an Avengers title, too…

  49. I’m sure Scalped makes enough in trades to keep it going.  (That’s a hearfelt guess.) Plus, when 100 Bullets is over, those people will have to go somewhere.

  50. What if they continue cancelled books in some digital form and still charge for it? I guess that is better than nothing…

  51. One of the main expenses is the talent to draw the books.  Making it digital doesn’t alleviate the fact that it’s a full time job to draw them.  I’m sure the writers can go on writing (to a certain extent), but artists usually can’t do more than a book a month.  They’ve gotta pay their rent somehow.

  52. @Theswordisdrawn-Sweet!  Glad to hear the book is doing so well over on the other side.  I love it and was hoping it sticks around.  I’m assuming, if it gets such huge numbers over there, that would keep it around for a while.  Anyone know why those numbers aren’t included in the Diamond stats?

  53. @josh: I’m sorry to keep busting on you, it’s a hobby of mine……But still; didnt you say the same thing to Fear Agent?

    That the trade was selling well enough so cancellation wasnt a problem? Again I know he says ‘on hiatus’ but still……the book isnt going to be released for awhile let’s say that.

  54. One of the interesting things I see here is that we seem to be talking less about outright cancellation than about creators pursuing other opportunities — these books are being hurt by their creators’ success.  Rick Remender and Jason Aaron, among the creators mentioned here, are getting a lot of work at Marvel.  Jamie McKelvie put off Phonogram to do some Marvel work. 

    It may not be so much that their creator-owned books are doing badly as that they’re seizing the opportunity for some more commercially viable/mainstream work while their names are hot. What will be interesting is to see what these guys do a few years down the road — if any of them go the Kirkman path of concentrating exclusively on creator-owned work, and help build new models to make that path more economically realistic for others.  At the moment, it may look like a brain/talent drain of indie creators, and I can see how that’s frustrating.  But it’s possible that in the long run we’ll end up with more books like "Fear Agent" in the future.

  55. @ohcaroline: That’s not exactly correct.  If you read the link about PHONOGRAM you’ll see that they don’t say that that book is being delayed because McKelvie got offered Marvel work, it’s delayed because they didn’t make any money on issue one so McKelvie *has* to take Marvel work.  They’d rather be doing PHONOGRAM.

  56. I have no doubt in my mind that if, given the chance, the Fear Agent guys could make the same amount of money on that book, rather than doing big company work, they would.

    But I don’t know.I know that Vertigo has a lot more ability to keep a low selling book afloat than Dark Horse does, and I know Fear Agent is going on hiatus because the sales can’t support the creators.  The solution?  I have no idea.  Sucks though.

  57. @conor  Right, but it’s an option he has because his work is in demand.  I’m not saying it’s a great situation, justs that there’s potential for a silver lining in the long term.

  58. @ohcaroline: You and others can share my options and express them so much better 🙂 lol

    But yeah that’s basically what I’m saying. Why the hell would Remender go back to a title where he wont make money…..when down the road, who knows, he could be doing Avenger or JLA books in the future. They can say all they want that ‘oh it’s my vision, thats what I love going back to this comic in the future’. But if he/she is going to make 2x or even 3x more of their paycheck from going to mainstream comics. Why would they wanna go back?

    Again, it’s great you love what you wanna do. But the color green will change your mind in a hurry. Why do you think Bendis hasnt done a creative owned title for the last ten years?

  59. @TNC: POWERS is creator owned.

  60. @conor: Your right, I was on wikipedia and the moment I hit (SUBMIT… darkseid) I saw Powers. Bad on my part.

    I dont see Powers on the Top Ten list for 2008 about eight times though.

  61. I must be one of the only people who loves the events. This will be my 30th year of reading/collecting and I don’t find anything wrong with all the crossovers,etc. Granted, i can afford to buy more than  I could in college, but when done well it’s very satisfying. I am liking Final Crisis but I think I love it more than the usual fanbase becasue New Gods/3rd World was a favorite of mine. As for Secret Wars, I thought the extra books of Avengers titles helped that story. As a stand alone mini it wasnt great. Looking forward to War of Kings and Blackest Night and whatever else they throw at us. BRING IT! Readers were tired of the events,Ron? I wonder why at my great local shop the event books were always low or sold out…

  62. I haven’t been very excited by many of the major line-wide cross-overs, especially the ones that promise to "change everything."  Usually, "everything" isn’t so bad that I want to see it change.  After Infinite Crisis, how many of the One Year Later jumps improved the comics they impacted?  And for those that did have a positive impact, how long did it last?  Sales saw a short term boost, but the poor quality of many of the titles caused them to shed readers quickly and many of the DC books dropped below pre-OYL sales levels in the end.  Secret Invasion, after Civil War,  promises to disrupt or mangle many enjoyable series.  If I’ve been buying and enjoying a title for a while, why would I want to have it turned on its head by an unrelated story event?  How will the DCU look after Final Crisis?  How interested will I, and other readers, be?  The near-term profit motives coupled with the leng term risk of reader alienation makes these types of events very risky and it’s only a matter of time till Marvel or DC rolls snake eyes.  For me, the Dark Reign after-event is a very good example of a "miss", as I find the central concepts to be ridiculous and un-enjoyable to read…

  63. @rwpos: I think that, on the whole of the books I was reading, the One YEar Later jump was excellent from a creative standpoint.  A real shot in the arm to many books.