Wait, What? Ep. 106: You Are Number Six.

PhotobucketAt Graeme's Behest: the cover to Colder #1

Yeah, that's a pleasant way to get your Tuesday rolling, eh?

Anyhoo, very truncated version of things this time around, I'm afraid but after the jump...show notes!

So yeah, I've got a trip that I'll be on for a few days which means I'm trying to write this AND pack AND panic AND forget the one thing I'm not going to remember until I've been the road for two hours.  But am I letting any of that get in the way of bringing you this podcast?  I say thee: nay!  (Though, verily, I shall admit to assing it by half...)

Oh, and I got a big upgrade on the recording end of things but unfortunately it may be why there's a bit of crackle in the opening of the podcast.  Sorry about that--I hope to have that figured out by next episode...

0:00-41:19:  Greetings!  The small talk is eensy-sized this time around as we get right into the topic of the news that day--the pending cancellation of Hellblazer at Vertigo and the launch of Constantine over at the DCU. Graeme brings the facts; Jeff brings the wild conspiratorial speculation.  (Also, Jeff was a little behind the curve this week, so feel free to create a quick & easy drinking game where you take a drink every time Graeme informs him of something of which he was unaware. You will be feeling no pain in absolutely no time at all.)  Is Vertigo effed in the ay?  Maybe. Is that as bad for the marketplace as it would've been ten years ago?  Maybe not.  Somewhat tangentially related: whatever happened to the NuMarvel generation of creators? Why does Aardvark Books in San Francisco have the used graphic novel section that it does?  And other questions lead us into…

41:19-41:54: Intermission 1!

41:54-1:08:21:  For an early birthday present, Jeff picked up a digital subscription to 2000AD and Graeme has been keeping up with it lately, and so much discussion ensues over issues #1806-1808. Spoilers ahoy (especially for #1808). Want to hear us talk Judge Dredd by Al Ewing and Henry Flint; ABC Warriors by Pat Mills and Clint Langley; Brass Sun by Ian Edgington and I.N.J. Culbard; Low Life by Rob Williams and D'Israeli; and The Simping Detective by Simon Spurrier and Simon Coleby?  Then this is the thirty-seven minutes for you! ( Oh, and if you've never seen the original Prisoner--spoilers! at 1:00:36-1:01:36.)

1:08:21-1:11:19: Then, at the very tail end of things, Graeme discusses Action Comics #14 by Grant Morrison, Sholly Fisch, Rags Morales and Chris Sprouse.  Because he just couldn't bring himself to wait until after...

1:11:19-1:11:42:  Intermission 2!

1:11:42-end:  Since Graeme has been to the store (and Jeff hasn't), he leads with reviews, in alphabetical order, no less, of Colder by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra; Earth 2 #6 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott; Iron Man #1 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land (and also AvX: Consequences); Stumptown v2 #3 by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth; Willow Wonderland #1 by Jeff Parker and Brian Ching; and, outside of alphabetical order (and our natural laws of time, space, and arguably taste), the X-Men: Iceman hardcover collecting the miniseries by J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Kupperberg from 1984.

Jeff, by contrast, is utterly flummoxed by the digital comic Batman: Li'l Gotham by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs and happily shares the flum with everyone.  And while we're on the flum tip, Jeff also explains his preparations for reading Marvel comics in a legit non-piratey way as well as his first current Marvel comic in a long time: Captain America #19 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting.  Also, the book that really knocked him off his chair: the third issue of Ethan Rilly's Pope Hats:  a stunningly strong piece of cartooning and storytelling that is completely worth your time and cash.

[Stealth bonus #1: we also talk about Sean Howe's amazing Marvel Comics: The Untold Story a bit more toward the end.]

[Stealth bonus #2:  Rather than edit out that bit about my Skype pic, here it is in it's teeny-tiny glory:]


[Stealth bonus #3:  You'll know it when you hear it…]

Again, apologies the show notes are so sparse this time around.  To make up for it, I put this up into the ether a little early so you may have already seen the podcast already on iTunes.  But if not,  you are certainly encouraged to have at it below:

Wait, What? Ep. 106: You Are Number Six.

As always, we hope you enjoy and thank you for listening!


Settlement entered and served!

The Hibbs v Marvel settlement was entered into court yesterday, August 23rd, and has been served to Marvel as of today 8/24. A 30 day appeals window has now opened, where any members of the class who haven't opted-out may appeal the settlement.

Presuming no one does that, Marvel has 30 days, beginning Friday September 23rd, to pay the settlement monies. Therefore, unless something strange and odd happens, all credit should be paid no later than Monday, October 24th. Marvel, of course, may choose to begin payments on "day #1" rather than "day #30".

At a completely wild-ass, wholly uniformed guess that's based upon nothing whatsoever, timing of the payment might depend on whether Marvel wants the liability on thier books in the end of the 3rd quarter or the beginning of the 4th quarter.

Either way, unless a member of the class appeals, credit should be issued between 9/23 and 10/24.



Sorry to interrupt Jeff's "Please buy my shit so Edi doesn't eat my liver!" posts, but some good news here. As I mentioned already, the former Judge of the Marvel Class Action suit went bug-fuck insane and recused himself after the Appeal (Appellate? The law confuses me!) court told him he had to approve the Settlement

Well, we got a NEW Judge, Judge Khan (And dig, I get this image in my head of Bill Jemas shaking his fist at the sky, screaming, "KHHHHHHHAAAAANNNNNN!!!!") (I'm doing the obvious joke, so you don't have to)

Annnnnyway, Judge Khan signed off on the Settlement on Tuesday, 8/9, so we're basically a "done deal"

Apparently, the Settlement needs to be "entered" in the court (or something like that) -- basically, just the paperwork being routed where ever it needs to be in The System.

"How long will that take?" I asked. "Not sure" came the response -- apparently it usually just takes a couple of days, but could be 4-6 weeks if the wrong person is on vacation or something. I was told to expect "about a week"

Once the Settlement has been "entered", then it needs to be "Served" to Marvel, but my lawyers indicate that they believe that will be 24 hours from being entered, maybe within an hour or two (it is a short cab ride between legal offices!)

Once those two things are done there will be a 30 day period where the Settlement can be contested (by whom or what, I'm not sure, since both Marvel AND the Class have agreed on the Settlement). Once THAT period is finished, then Marvel has up to 30 days to pay the Class members. With any luck, they won't take the whole 30, but they do have the option.

So, if we were to pretend that the Settlement will be "entered" tomorrow, 8/12, and served on Monday, 8/15, then the 30 days to contest the Settlement would end on 9/15, and Marvel would have to make all payments in full by.... well, 10/15 is a Saturday, so Monday, 10/17. And, I suspect that "making payment" means "telling Diamond", and Diamond runs invoices on the weekend, so if they told Diamond on 10/17, the credits wouldn't show up until 10/26 invoicing. Marvel could make it before, if they so choose, of course, and I hope they release the credits on day #1 (9/16, in this example), instead of day #30.

I doubt that will happen, though :)

So that's what would happen if the Settlement were to be "entered" tomorrow -- the dates roll forward to when it ends up being "entered". Still, I feel pretty darn confident in saying that this will be 100% done with by Thanksgiving, at the outside, and it's possible it will be done before Halloween.

Hooray an' shit!


Some reviews and rants of 7/7 books

So, you all know about the Class Action suit against Marvel, right? And how we have a settlement that both parties agreed to? Well, or we did until the dumb-ass Judge in the case decided that, despite have both sides agreeing, despite having notified the Class, and having a opt-out rate of something like 0.5%, despite, might I add, adjusting the plan to deal with the Judge’s specific demands, Judge Ramos decided that he wanted the whole process started over again from scratch, turning the “opt out” (which automagically includes everyone) to “opt in” (which would likely mean some people would misunderstand and not be included). Clearly, the man went insane. So, as I’m sure you also know, we appealed the Judge, and the Appellate Court overturned his crazy ass, and ordered him to sign the settlement within 30 days. Hurray, Justice!

But guess what happened? I got the call today that Judge Ramos has recused himself from the case, and so won’t be signing. Um, doubleyou-tea-eff?!?!?

Crazy, unethical, asshat of a Judge.

Apparently this will only mean a “short” delay as we get a new Judge assigned, and, supposedly, it is all formalities from here on out – 2-3 days to a new Judge, a week or so for him to read everything and sign it, then 30 days until we all receive our rightful settlement monies, but, man, can you fucking believe that shit?

* * *

Lessee, it’s 12:30, and the books should be here within 90 minutes, so let’s see what reviews we can do by then, while I’m helping customers in the middle.

NOT going to San Diego, btw – I hadn’t had a lick of FUN at the con the last2-3 I attended, and I’d rather not be away from Ben in order to do Comics Death March on the 4 football fields worth of “pop culture”

Fuck that Hollywood shit, y’know?

Anyway, comics. I’m going to skip Alphabetical, and just type things out as I feel like:

HOUSE OF M #3: I almost feel sorry for Bendis and the Marvel Marketing department, because, really, how could ANYthing stand up to “crack the internet in half”. But only a little sorry.

Here’s the thing: regardless of what the story turns out how, what’s been PUBLISHED so far is “just” a WHAT IF…? story. There’s nothing between the covers that suggests any permanence or meaning. Look, this is a storyline that shows Uncle Ben (poster child for “dead is dead”) *and* Gwen Stacey happily alive and kicking, so what’s the big deal with Hawkeye, at all? Not much, really.

In fact, I’ll go so far to say even LESS is compelling about this because it makes Clint’s death, the capping denouement to the “Disassembled” storyline, a death that was cheap and stupid and awkward to begin with, have even less meaning. Clearly, Bendis (& co.) *must* have known this was coming, in that timeframe, which reduces it to even more of a sensationalistic stunt without any base value.

“Don’t cheat the audience” is the Prime Rule in storytelling, and Hawkeye is a big-ass cheat from top to bottom.

As Lester observed in the store (and most likely in his reviews a few inches down), this issue could have been a sensational first issue – there’s a mystery, there’s action, there’s natural conflict. But because it was preceded by 2 issues of soft plushy padded padding, and because of the apparent WHAT IF…? nature of this story, the audience is mellllllting away.

We ordered 150 of issue #1. Sold 100. 66% sell through means I lost money.

We ordered 125 copies of #2. Sold 84 copies so far. Slightly better at 67%, but still a solid money loser.

We ordered 100 copies of #3, and our first week sales are only 63 copies. With any luck I’ll get to 85 sold by week #4, though I’m not much holding my breath, but at least that would edge that issue up closer to profitability.

Since #3 didn’t have any cracking in it, I suspect #4 will drop to 75 copies or lower, a massive failure for THE big “Summer tentpole event”. I’m going to be chasing those numbers down down dowwwwwn, and hopefully when the dust settles, I won’t have lost my shirt too badly.

In last week’s BOOK OF THE WEEK, Don Rosa’s LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK, there are several text pieces when Rosa describes his editor THROWING OUT at least 2 fully laid out and written segments of the book, because they weren’t strong enough.

Would that Marvel editors had the personal will and responsibility to the characters they caretake, and the customers who trust them, to do the same.

Seriously, what do American comics editors DO? Traffic Manage? Is that it?

Mm, and “first appearance of Layla Miller” or whatever? Who? What? Maybe that chick who was getting mugged in the alley? Maybe? Hardly an auspicious debut to a “major new character”, really.

Bottom line: The art was spiff, the writing was strong enough, and, on it’s own merits, this was prolly a low “Good” or a high “OK”, but as 3/7ths of a major event, with promised major ramifications, this was AWFUL.

IRON MAN: HOUSE OF M #1: was pretty EH, but does anyone actually like Pat Lee’s art, or is he coasting on once being “hot” because the TRANSFORMER license was hot once? I don’t know, but I can’t stand his art.

FANTASTIC FOUR HOUSE OF M #1: Doesn’t actually have the FF in it, so there’s a big strike against it. Meh, I can’t see anything coming out of this branch of the story at all, so AWFUL.

HULK #83: I swear this is why PAD stopped working at Marvel in the first place? That’s how I recall it, anyway. And, is it just me, or did this blow the plot of the Scorpion in AMAZING FANTASY? And was that “Machine Teen” in there as well? Meh to dictated crossovers. I liked the thoughts behind the aboriginal plot bits though, so I can go with OK.

UNCANNY X-MEN #462: Made less sense than something senseless indeed, but damn if this wasn’t pretty as all fuck, and, possibly, my favorite art job of Alan Davis of any of his UNCANNY run. So for that, and only that, since this was incomprehensible nonsense, I’ll go with OK.

SUPERMAN #219: Speaking of incomprehensible nonsense… If that had anything to do with OMAC, it was pretty impossible to tell from these 22 pages (Besides, wasn’t he at his desk? Or supposed to be in space looking for the satellites? What happened to that?), 22 pages of “let’s act out of character, and pretend that no one notices”. I’m also getting super-fucking-sick of this “Superman as badass” shit – Superman DOESN’T KILL, period, so any story predicated on “He does, this time” is pure CRAP.

DC SPECIAL RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2: Uh, what? I have no idea what’s going on, or how she “returned” or why I should give a rat’s ass.

Huh, and here come the comics, that’s all I have time for this week. See you in 7 or under with more…

What did YOU think?