stevetwo

stevetwo

Name: Steve Langlois

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For Comics shipping on 08/28/13


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    June 4, 2013 3:42 pm Although I no longer get a daily newspaper, I was a strip fanatic as long as I remember. Helps that I love sequential art. I followed as many as I could, not only the strips, but also learning about the artists. I was there for the first Garfield strip (to me, the first one - with the above's punchline - has always been the best). As I got older, I began buying paperback collections, first as a kid buying Peanuts and BC books, up until I was in college for Far Side and Garfield, to adulthood for Dilbert, Foxtrot and Mutts. I finally stopped when my budget and shelf space went kablooey. I'm sad to say that although there may always be a place for those strips to appear, their importance as a medium, at least to the new generation of young readers, is lost forever. There simply isn't enough there to entertain them, and certainly the philosophy behind strips is incomprehensible to anyone under 21. Almost anyone anyway. I wouldn't be surprised to someday see them only published electronically as a subsection of a news website or genre-specific. That's probably the only way for them to survive. For myself and all the rest of those faithful strip followers for 3-4 decades, we'll always love them.
    April 19, 2013 1:15 pm It’ll be interesting to see the net result of increasing isolation and growing virtual community. Like, we’re paying for things with money you don’t see to get something you can’t actually hold. You want that album, you click that button that’s not even a real button, and you have the album – even though you can’t see it or feel it. Going out and buying a physical album was an investment of not just money, but of time and experience, and when you got home with that album, it was evidence of something you’d gone through. There is now, except for maybe on a server somewhere, little evidence of anything that we’re doing. -- JJ Abrams
    April 18, 2013 4:31 pm Molly, glad you broke out of that self-destructive spiral. As a person who had his own self-loathing about his appearance (skinny as a rail in high school - not a big hit with the ladies) and having dated someone who sincerely believed she looked 70 pounds over her actual weight, I know where you're coming from. No matter what anyone says, if your story helps just one girl, whether she's 8 or 80, feel better about herself, you're an inspiration. Love this quote by Maria Sharapova when someone asked her if she felt she was going to be the next 'World's Greatest Female Tennis Player.': "I'm not the next anyone, I'm the first Maria Sharapova." That's all that matters.
    April 15, 2013 6:29 pm Jim, four years ago, shortly after Disney originally purchased Marvel, there was indeed A LARGE PRESENCE OF MARVEL PRODUCTS: two dozen t-shirt designs for men, women and children, masks, action figures large and small, key chains and a slew of trades, hardcovers and single issues... in two stores: I found the first slice of heaven at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Villains' shop. (I worked backstage at the Animation building, so I could run over whenever) I stepped in and found that they had completely converted the store into all Marvel. The second location was at Downtown Disney where today, there is still a trade/figures presence at Once Upon a Toy. It was great. Bought a few books now and then (great that I got a cool discount). They obviously didn't have every single, but they had a good portion. Again, some for adults and some for kids. Now that I recall, the first time I went, a guy came up and was looking at books. His comment, "I didn't know they still made these." But as weeks went by, I noticed things slowly disappearing. A spinning rack of action figures became a spinning rack of Disney pins. The two dozen t-shirt styles changed to one, then the infant stuff went away. WIthin 6-8 months, the only presence was that shelf of trades and hcs, plus the display boxes of singles. Year and a half later, all gone. Only the books and figures at Downtown Disney now. During the heyday, I asked a shop Cast Member about a particular book, and she said I could ask their vendor who supplied the books. All the shop did was order a variety of stuff, and yes, like a lot of general specialty stores, they watched what people bought, what they ignored. They studied their sales and responded as any corporate sales people do. Cut their losses. Tourists go to Disney to buy Disney souvenirs. Mickey's keychains, not Wolverine's. At Disney Stores, they can reach a wide, general audience (plus the movie crowds), thus the decent presence there. But you probably will never find a shop like those at Islands of Adventure or even the Disney Villains Shop within a theme park again. Unless they build a land or attraction. Sad, but true.
    April 12, 2013 4:32 pm We've discussed this topic a little here before. Ultimately, one probably isn't going to get their kids interested in comics unless the kids actually want to read them. I take my 7 and 9 year olds to the shop every FREE Comic Book Day and on the occasional Saturday. They'll get a few things, flip through and put them down, never to reopen them. That's just them. I've showed them a variety of books (yes, kid-friendly), and they simply don't bite. But I'll keep trying. Maybe when they're older. Se la vie. I wish the kid market WAS still viable, but the direct sales market/comic shop absolutely KILLED it. Slaughtered it. In the old days, every store had spinner racks with dozens of books, from Richie Rich to Pink Panther to Archie to Spider-man to House of Mystery. Today, kids go into grocery stores, pharmacies and Wal-marts all the time with their parents or on their bikes to the corner. Comics presence in there? Not likely. Not like the spinner racks. A comic shop? Some shops require kids to be at least a teen or with an adult. Comic shops also don't have other things kids might want to spend their "hard-earned" money on, like candy, ice cream, drinks, other magazines, toys (like Legos, not Star Trek lead figurines), etc. And many kid comics are top dollar. I myself would buy Peanuts among others if it wasn't $3 frickin 99. M&Ms are only a buck! Wishful thinking, but I believe the kid market would bloom if the big two (and companies who publish kid-friendlies) worked to cut prices on age-appropriate books (ha ha), put more books back out to retail stores like the ones mentioned above, and spent some real time, money and effort to market to that crowd. Brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million should be credited for keeping a supply of good comics out for general customers, but more could be done. Thus endeth the lesson.
    April 11, 2013 9:54 am "I didn't know he was lost." I'll have to remember that one. I hate the fact that as a society we're more and more "offended" by what someone else is doing in public. Just because we feel more enlightened to speak up and pass laws to "protect our fellow citizens from possibly offensive stuff" (like noisy kids, smoking, etc) doesn't mean we entitled to pass those laws. True, I believe that one shouldn't have VERY violent or sexual material around kids even in public (and I, like some people, am not above asking someone nearby who's cursing and my kids are nearby to please stop - and usually a "hey, there are kids around" stops them, never had a problem with anyone complying). But you know what? It's gonna happen no matter what. And yep, it's really no one's business if either of you want to read "Black Kiss" at a restaurant table or the subway. Unfortunately, we humans are terribly and instinctively curious about what other 'animals' are doing around us. We just have to see. And it's when those sensitive goombas that do the seeing that screw it up.
    April 10, 2013 4:55 pm Although I’ve always been sensitive to what kids should or shouldn’t be exposed to until an appropriate age (which, yes, I know varies greatly), becoming a parent has fine-tuned that opinion to a razor’s edge. I don’t let my 7 and 9 year olds look at my copies of The Walking Dead, Invincible, Saga, really anything with blood, gore, nudity or sex, and I’d never have any of that out in public where little kids could see. Or, if I did, I’d be conscious of potential little eyes staring at my books. I’d no doubt pull Superior Spider-man or All-New X-Men out of the bag first anyway. No matter what anyone says, young kids ARE affected by that stuff in some way. Everything they take in they take seriously and personally. And that can be pretty damn horrifying to some. But it’s more than just measuring their maturity. Kids don’t need to grow up that fast. Let them have some harmless fun without worrying earthquakes, burning buildings, nuclear holocaust, monstrous freaks and writhing bodies, before they start doubting Santa Claus. More importantly, I don’t want my kids to grow up believing that if a book, TV show or film DOESN’T have sex and violence, it’s not real entertainment.
    April 5, 2013 3:02 pm I got the “funny books” remark once long ago when a friend and I were going through a flea market. “No funny books today, boys,” the grizzled man told us college guys. Only a few superhero comics come to mind that are expressly written to be light-hearted: Jason Aaron’s Wolverine books come to mind. Otherwise it depends on the book’s writer – and of course how the artist interprets that writer’s vision – whether you’re going to laugh, and even then, it all boils down to what’s happening at that MOMENT. Just to name a few -- Bendis’ story in which Luke Cage is thrown out of the Avengers Tower during a big fight: He gets up, walks back into the building, steps into the elevator, and there’s a panel of him listening to elevator muzak before jumping back into the fray. More recently, Bendis’ line between two firemen in Ultimate Spider-man: “Told ya Spider-man was black.” Peter David’s Hulk in which the Hulk and Rhino inadvertently take over as a shopping mall Santa and helper. The funny moment is suddenly seeing a panel with those two actually dressed for the parts. Spider-man is laced with humorous situations all the time, it just depends on if the scene can be played that way. Every now and then lately, I’m laughing at Doc Ock’s frustrations while (temporarily) inside Peter Parker’s body. (“Now why did I turn around and help that foolish old man?!”). It’s all about the moments. That’s good enough for me.
    April 1, 2013 3:28 pm I was a dedicated ROM fan from the start myself, but his reason for being ROM ended with the last issue. The Dire Wraiths were defeated for good, he was changed back to human(oid) and he married his earth-sweetheart. Marvel could create a new ROM like they are doing with Nova. However, if they do that, I insist they bring back a few other titles I loved from that era (and I don’t care how cheesy they were), like Micronauts, The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones, Master of Kung Fu, Spider-Woman, Dazzler and Spidey Super Stories (for my kids of course).
    March 29, 2013 1:10 pm Damn Gabe, way to depress us 40-something parents on the eve of the weekend! Unfortunately, you’re right. Things change. And no matter where I go inside my imagination as I read a really great comic, I can always be quickly brought back to my reality by “Dad! Can you play a game with me?” Interesting you mention Latveria. I too have imagined what it would be like to travel to comic book destinations, but the one I think most about is Doom’s stomping ground. Doom always attests to its beauty (avoiding mentioning the absolute fear its citizens live in, as well as the deadly robots and defenses hidden in the bushes) and he’s right. It’s always depicted as this beautiful country with Bavarian-style homes and villages. I’ve been to Germany and loved it, and I have the feeling this would be very much like it. I have lots of places I still want to travel on this earth, but I think I could actually go to Latveria for the scenery and get away with it. I mean, I’m not an actual Latverian citizen. I’ve got a passport. I’m not associated with any superheroes, foreign government or spy agency. And as I get on the plane to fly home, I would have no problem meeting Doom on the jetway to say, “beautiful place you’ve got here.”