The iFanboy Letter Column – 04/10/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s time to start binge drinking until the cold light of reality smacks them in the face about 5AM Monday. For others, Friday is the day when you reinvent and reclaim the word sedentary.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming —

I am saving up for an Absolute Edition, and was considering the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen version.  However, having never seen it before, I will have to order it with no idea of the extras that it holds.  I was really only wondering if the Hindi or Hebrew or whatever language they are speaking when Quartermain is found is ever translated.  Knowing whether or not this is included in the extras would help me decide whether I want to shell out the extra cash for the Absolute instead of just getting the general version.


First of all, if you were able to find a reasonably priced copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Absolute Edition I applaud you. It’s out of print and tough to track down.

Looking through my copy, here are the extras it appears to have:

In the back of the main book there is a cover gallery, and the extra material from the bumper compendium edition that they put out that contained the first two issues after those originally sold out and became impossible to find as buzz on the book grew.

The second book is a script book and it pretty much is what it says. It contains the scripts for all six issues plus sketches and rough page breakdown from artist Kevin O’Neill.

As to your specific question, yes indeed the script book contains full translations for the Quartermain scenes. All the dialogue in the script is in English.

And for the record, the language that they are speaking in that scene is Arabic.

Conor Kilpatrick


Like many of your readers, and yourself, I would like to have a career in writing comics. I’ve been writing for my own enjoyment for quite a long while, and I believe within a year or three, I could be a household name among certain circles. The only problem in my plan, however, is where I live.

I do not reside in an area that is not known specifically for its great range of creative people in any field, let alone comics. There are hardly any comic conventions showing up here that are little more than massive comic shops full of sellers only. If I want to break into comics on a personal level, I’m going to have to move. Which leads me to my question:

What are some of the major comic book cities for aspiring creators? I’ve heard lots of talk about Portland, homes of Oni Press and Dark Horse, and New York, Marvel and DC, but I can hardly see how they are comic book “meccas”. Is there anything that is special about these cities? Is the number of publishers higher than other cities? (I did a Google search for the publishers in each cities, but I could hardly distinguish between the comic shops that Google listed from the comic publishers). What are some other cities that are hot spots for comics? Or would I just be better off trying to work my way through the web?

Matthew J.

I recently wrote about the importance of networking in getting work in American comics, and this goes a little further in that respect.

Living in a community rife with working comic book folk is a great way to get to know people. When you talk about comic book towns, there aren’t just publishers to think of, but where creators tend to conglomerate. Yes, Portland is home to Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, and half of Top Shelf, but a big old slice of creator talent camp there such as Brian Bendis, Greg Rucka, Rick Remender, Dave Stewart, and many others. Hang out in the right shops, remember the golden rule of comics (Don’t Be Creepy) and you might get to know some of the right folks. Los Angeles is another city that shouldn’t be ignored for comic book people. BOOM! Studios and Top Cow have set up shop there, as well as Wildstorm and IDW Publishing just down the coast a little bit. But there are also a lot of writers and artists who do work in comics as well as the TV and Film industry. A little time spent at House of Secrets in Burbank, and you might run into Paul Dini. Head over to Meltdown Comics or The Golden Apple, and you’re bound to run into some folks. Of course New York City is the center of all things comic book, and it’s where you’re most likely to get to meet editors from the big two, or even actual book publishers dipping their toe into the sequential arts. To do that, you can go to signings at Midtown Comics or Jim Hanley’s Universe, or look for comic related events, which happen quite a lot. One listen to Around Comics, and you’ll sort out that Chicago is no slouch when it comes to comic community, with publishers like Devil’s Due and Ape Entertainment as well. Even Kansas City has its own little scene going on as well, with plenty of Midwest talent filling the comic book racks.

And while there is no substitute for face to face contact, conventions are a completely viable way to meet folks and network, and it’s also the reason a lot of editors are there. At the same time, a convention like San Diego, which might be good for having everyone in one spot, can be a little challenging to get noticed. Smaller conventions like Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, or Baltimore might afford you a little more chance to get your voice heard amongst the crowds than the big shows.

I don’t know if it’s worth moving to one of these places before breaking in, but rather it might be more useful after you’ve got some publications under your belt. But if you’re able to move and go different places, it certainly can’t hurt.  It’s important that you’re not waiting until you end up somewhere to start your career. No matter where you are, that’s got to start now.

Josh Flanagan

Would it hurt Marvel to reprint sold out omnibuses?

Gary L.

A simple question today with a not so simple answer. My guess would be that the answer we want to hear is, “No, it wouldn’t hurt Marvel to reprint the sold out omnibuses.” You’d think with such a high price point ($99.00 most often), that they would be lucrative to keep in print. But when it comes to the business of collected editions and publishing books, I can’t say that I even have all the knowledge that the folks at Marvel do when it comes to deciding what to print and what not to print.

I suppose there could be an argument for reprinting The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 Omnibus, of the Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1 Omnibus or either of the first two volumes of Fantastic Four, instead of the recently released Wolverine, Vol. 1 Omnibus (well, I suppose with the movie this one makes sense) or the Captain Britain Omnibus or either Secret Wars or Secret Wars II Omnibuses. I can’t say I have much insight into why they would be choosing what they do to print, but I do find it interesting that Omnibus program seems to be branching off into some of the more esoteric collections Marvel has, as opposed to the tried and true, dependable titles.

There is also the angle of collectibility. As much as we may loathe it, the comics industry is filled with products that keep the direct marketing going. Part of that are limited print runs and the sense of urgency around a product.” Buy this now, while you can!” DC Comics is doing the same thing with the limited print runs on their Absolute Editions. Basic supply and demand rules apply. Additionally, I would have to factor in that there is some equation between the cost of printing these heavy volumes and the number of items they think they can sell. If they reprint the Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 1 Omnibus so there’s a glut on the market, the “specialness” goes away.

That said, there is some hope. DC was smart enough to do another print run of Absolute Watchmen to time with the movie. Marvel has sent some of the more popular Omnibuses to second printings, but not on a regular basis. My guess would be that this is a long one to play out and if you want something but are frustrated that you can’t get it, just let Marvel know, maybe you could help their decision making process in what to print next. You never know.

Ron Richards



  1. When it comes to moving to a comic friendly town you need to balance your dream of comics writing as a career with your cost of living.  Even in "these tough economic times" Los Angeles is a lot more expensive than somewhere off the grid.  Writing is certainly something that can be done long distance, the trick is getting the opportunity.  That can mean travel but it can start with consistent, intelligent, non-flame/non-creepy posting on comic message boards where pros are known to visit… and posted under your real name.

  2. That "real name" thing is absolutely key.  Really good point.  I’m gonna remember that one.

  3. My real name is not Drake.  Damn it feels good to get that out there.

    Kidding.  I wish I could change my username though because that is an excellent idea.  I could just start a new account, but I’m lazy.  

  4. What about Jock?

  5. Re: the real name thing, I guess it’s not a real secret that "Matt Fraction" was actually a message board pseudonym.  He ended up publishing under that name because it’s how he was "known" and I’ve seen interviews where he said he regrets it somewhat.  It’s obviously not the end of the world — it’s obviously working fine for him — but it was a kind of dilemma that I wouldn’t have thought of before reading his comments. 

  6. Also about the Arabic – that doesn’t say much – sorry. There are several versions of Arabic so good luck translating it :).

  7. @chlop: It doesn’t need to be translated – it’s translated in the script book.

  8. @conor – what’s the fun in that?

  9. "Matt Fraction" is a believable pseudonym, though. It sounds enough like a real name whereas I couldn’t hope to have my username taken seriously in a professional sense. Though that’d be sweet:

    "Captain America!
    written by CaptBastrd!
    art by Leonardo da Vinci!"
    (I had a flash memory of someone asking on the podcast what the iFanboys’ dream creative teams would be; mine would be Shakespeare & da Vinci on The Punisher)

    Anyway, "DrakeDangerz" sounds enough like a name (especially if you change the "z"), but too much like the title of the comic.

  10. Great letters column guys!  At wondercon, whenever someone would adress Matt Fraction as Mr. Fraction he would say, no thats my fathers fake name.  That amused me.  I sure do wish that instead of publishing these huge overpriced trades for new x men and alias, marvel would just reprint the omnibus’.  I mean, on amazon, the omnibus was 47, and 63 and the trades are 23 each (there are two for alias, three for new x men.)  Thats just silly.  

  11. @CaptBastard  I didn’t mean there’s anything wrong with using a synonym, just that if you don’t watch it you could end up stuck with a pseudonym that isn’t really what you wanted to publish under.  Though why anyone would NOT want to publish as ‘Captain Bastard’ is beyond me!

  12. @ohcaroline
    Oh, true. I wasn’t either, just saying that, were one to use a psuedonym, just that it helps if it sounds like an actual name.
    To help add credence to my username, I will legally change my last name to Bastard (first to Mick, so it sounds like "McBastard") and become a captain in some capacity.

  13. I fucking hate the fact that the Alias omnibus is out of print. Fuck you marvel!!!!

  14. Great column as always. Just reminds me that I need to do the leg work to find this comics scene I hear about here in KC…I’ve been here for a couple years, but don’t know anything about it.

  15. @Captbastrd: that’s interesting. Shakespeare and Da Vinci on Punisher. i don’t really see Da Vinci working well with the character however Titus Andronicus showed Shakespeare has that violent side.

    If you really wanted to go though history and find an awesome creative team for that book I would suggested Euripides%

  16. @Captbastrd: that’s interesting. Shakespeare and Da Vinci on Punisher. i don’t really see Da Vinci working well with the character however Titus Andronicus showed Shakespeare has that violent side.

    If you really wanted to go though history and find an awesome creative team for that book I would suggested Euripides as writer, his had a insanely twisted and violent understanding of humanity, and Goya on the art, again an artist who depicted the horrific side on humanity.

    I like this game. Anyone have any other ideas?

  17. whoops!

  18. Edgar Allan Poe for Spawn? with Michelangelo?

  19. William Burroughs and George Orwell on a sequal to The Invisibles with Situationist International artists?

  20. I realized I made a mistake with my user name when one of my emails was used for the letter column using my real name but I had to comment on it with my user name.  Oh well I guess I could just start doing this.  -Timothy O’Briant

  21. This is my real name. In Arabic.