Thursday, April 7, 2011

Resignation Itself

Resignation Itself

So I walked into Source Comics & Games looking for a copy of Nonplayer # 1, but the shelves were bare.  Not that surprising, really.  What had my jaw on the floor was the fact that there wasn't a single copy of Fear Itself # 1 available.  Not one.  And there wasn't much left but crumbs of Fear Itself: Homefront, and Fear Itself: Completely Irrelevant, either.

Just to be clear, The Source may reside in my little patch of Minnesota flyover, but they order with muscle.  They sold out, and therefore blew through hundreds of copies.  It was 1:00pm when I walked in, so they had been open for a grand total of three hours.

I asked The Guy:

"Did you seriously sell out of Fear Itself?"

And The Guy said:

"Yeah, and we sold out of Avengers: Children Crusade, too.  We ran out of Fear Itself a couple of hours ago."

Huh.  Which means they blew through those hundreds of copies in about sixty minutes.  So I guess I'm resigned to lose, and I guess I give up.  However one might feel about "event fatigue", or the wisdom of teaching your consumer to follow an impossible to maintain state of hyper-excitement for products built on empty promises the consumer bloody well knows are empty promises, or the wisdom of teaching your consumer that they can feel free to ignore the regular wins.

Regardless of how brilliant or how poisonous Fear Itself may be, it carried the day.  For April 6, 2011 at least, Fear Itself is a success.  God help us.

A Fine Thing

My last shipment from DCB Service was kind of a monster, at least for me.  I had about 25 comics to chew through, so being the best in that pile is a significant achievement.

Without question the finest comic in that pile was Detective Comics # 875 by Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla.

Snyder reaches into the writer's bag of tricks often in this issue with time shifts; sometimes built on plot, sometimes built on theme.  Batman barely appears in this issue at all.  It's partially built on a literary reference.  Often the action is conveyed with a voice over narration.

There are so many places that "Lost Boys" could have gone sideways, or off the rails, or gotten bogged down in it's obviously delicate construction.  In the hands of anything less than a master craftsmen, a story built like this fairly screams "I'm a show off!  Look at how gaudy and overwritten I am!"

Apparently Scott Snyder is a master craftsmen, because everything flows without a hiccup, and what you get is a rich, satisfying, subtle character study of Jim Gordon and his very disturbing son James.

I was wondering if anything was going to challenge Fantastic Four # 587 in my private "comic of the year" race.  Detective Comics # 875 - welcome to the ballot.

- Ryan


Anonymous said...

I know I never comment, and mostly I just antagonize you on Facebook, but I am here to tell you you're not alone. I too subscribe to your guerilla comics buying. Mostly because I am a huge DC comics fan, but buying like 20 books a week you'd think I'd run into the occasional $3.99 book. Don't get me wrong I have bought them in the past, but since your "crusade" started I tried to stay true the $2.99 price point.

That being said, I would like to tell you that here in "sunny" old Syracuse New York My comic shop still has a ton of Fear Itself left. So much so the owner is thinking about giving out a coupon for a free one of them in order to try and hook readers for subsequent issues. I can't blame him, he's the one that's going to be stuck with them. Nonplayer is gone as well. But that was expected.

I know that one semi-lonely pod caster in Minnesota, and one sad buys to many comics guy in New York probably can't change the world, but it doesn't mean we should try. Hell, I started with my niece and nephew (all they get is DC comics) and branched out to my neighborhood kids. The next generation may be lazy, but they're going to read $2.99 comics if it kills me!

- Mike in NY

Chronic Insomnia said...

Yeah, that post was definitely an emotional response. One comic shop is not a big enough sample to make blanket declarations about how well Fear Itself actually sold. But it seemed significant at that time.

But even if it sold through like that in every shop, it doesn't necessarily say anything good. It's like hitting a heroin addict with heroin and saying "See, they look fine now!" Mostly they need to find something better than heroin.

And to be clear, when I said I'm "giving up" I surely wasn't implying that I was coming off my anti $3.99 stance. They aren't getting it from me, period. But when you look at Marvel's market share and you look at an empty rack that used to contain 200+ copies of Fear's hard to imagine that reason can prevail. Oh well.

I guess we continue to fight like Angel taught us...because the fight itself is what we are, and its worth it.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother!

Mike in NY