Tagged: Comic Book Store

JOHN OSTRANDER: The Digital Rubicon

A very intelligent man, one Dennis O’Neil (who you will also find here on ComicMix), and I were talking once about comics’ future. He noted that comics didn’t have to survive. Like the dinosaur, they could die out. Early cars had places for buggy whips; I doubt that you’ll find that feature on your car today. Food we need, water we need, air and so on. Story we need, I think, but comics as a venue for story? Not necessarily.

It’s no secret that comics sales are declining. The numbers of readers are declining, the numbers of stores are declining, the amount of cash being made is declining. It happened once before when comics were sold only on the newsstand, back in the Neolithic Era for you who are too young to remember. What saved it then was the Direct Market but that’s now killing it; the market is constricting and the numbers of readers are finite. What may save it this time is going digital – comics here on the web.

The reason is this is where the eyeballs are. As a product in comic books stores, comics are a very specific market – a destination shop for those who already know the product exists. The problem with selling comics on the internet is that will inevitably undercut the brick and mortar retailers, just as e-books are doing. (Amazon now says it sells more e-books than physical ones.) I love comic book stores. I admire the retailers who have put their hard work and passion into building businesses that cater to we the fans. I’ve made a living for more than twenty years because these people sell my stuff (and, okay, some other stuff, too). However, it’s going to happen. Comics are headed for the digital market big time.

Up until now, the majors have been releasing some titles on the web after the onsale date in stores but that changes in September. DC is renumbering its books and relaunching and all that but, to me, the bigger story is that they’re crossing the Digital Rubicon and putting everything on sale digitally the same day they’re in the stores. If that is successful, expect lots more companies to follow, big and small.

The big question in my mind is – will people buy comics on the web? If so, how much are they willing to pay? If all that happens is that those who go to the stores now buy online, this won’t fly. This has to increase the overall market – the number of eyeballs – or it will not only fail, it could sink much of what’s left of the retail market.

I’m thinking it’s part of the reason for the renumbering and rebooting (despite denials from DC) – to make the books more attractive to new readers. It will also attract some national media attention. It’s also necessary. In an era when superhero movies (and movies made from all kinds of comics – i.e. Cowboys And Aliens) attract huge numbers in the theaters, there is clearly a following for these characters. If even a small percentage of that can be attracted to the comics, it would make an enormous difference. I think DC is making a gutsy move.

Make no mistake, however; whatever happens in September, the comics biz won’t be the same. By this time next year, we may know if we’re still viable or making buggy whips.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

Win a Copy of Rocko’s Modern Life

One of the earliest hits on Nickelodeon was Rocko’s Modern Life and Shout! Factory is bringing out the first season on DVD next week. To celebrate, we have three copies to give away to ComicMix fans.

Flash back to one of the most beloved animated Nickelodeon series from the 1990s when Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One 2-DVD set arrives in stores nationwide for the first time on June 21, 2011, from Shout! Factory. Featuring all 26 wacky adventures of an Australian wallaby and his pals in 13 original episodes (two segments per episode), this DVD release has long been anticipated by fans but has not been available in stores until now. The collectible Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $19.93.

Created by award-winning animator Joe Murray for Nickelodeon, Rocko’s Modern Life is one of the most enduring Nick animated classics. The hit series boasts an all-star voice cast – Carlos Alazraqui (CatDog, Reno 911), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants, Transformers animated series), Charlie Adler (The Super Hero Squad Show, Transformers), and Doug Lawrence (SpongeBob SquarePants,  Camp Lazlo).

To win, all you have to do is post your favorite Rocko memory by 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 20. The judgment of ComicMix will be final. If you never saw the show, feel free to share your favorite Nickelodeon memory as a substitute.

A favorite with viewers and critics alike, Rocko’s Modern Life debuted in 1993. Over the course of its four-season run on Nickelodeon, the series garnered a Daytime Emmy® Award and an Environmental Media Award. Brimming with anthropomorphic social satire and offbeat humor, Rocko’s Modern Life follows the misadventures of Australian wallaby named Rocko, who encounters various dilemmas and situations regarding otherwise mundane aspects of life. His best friend, Heffer, is a fat and enthusiastic cow, while his other friend, Filburt, is an easily upset turtle who often feels uncomfortable or disturbed.  Ed Bighead lives next door to Rocko and detests him. These folks live in a bizarre district known as O-Town, and most of the episodes revolve around Rocko trying to cope with the absurdities and dilemmas he encounters in life.

Harry Potter Wages Mystical War on the Chessboard

Harry Potter Wages Mystical War on the Chessboard

You can tell the final film in the Harry Potter series is nearly upon us. All manner of licensed material is being dumped into the marketplace, but few come with their own trailer. Check this out.

Get ready to transform yourself into a real wizard when you order Harry Potter Chess! Each richly-illustrated chess manual teaches you the skills to play like a master — whether you’re a beginner or already know the game. The authentic, scaled-down replica of the giant wizards chess game from Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone lets you bring chess-playing fun to life — right in your home! Each piece is “enchanted” with its own special effect: Knights neigh, Queens glow, Bishops crash and Rooks float as if by magic! This set is not available in stores so order yours today before this limited time offer disappears.

Your Complete Harry Potter Chess Collection Includes:

  • The Harry Potter Chess Manuals — 32 easy-to-follow teaching guides designed to help you first master the basics, then more advanced strategies of the game, along with Harry, Ron, Hermione and friends!
  • 32 Authentic Replica Chess Pieces, each with a thrilling special effect inspired by the film!
  • 2 Magic Wands that actually guide your Rooks on the board — as if by magic!
  • A Dazzling, Light-Up Chess Board to illuminate your progress in the game.
  • A Signed Certificate of Authenticity, proving this is an authentic replica from Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • SRP: $249.95

ComicMix Quick Picks: May 19, 2011

Closing them in our browsers so you can open them on yours…

Anything else? Consider this an open thread.

A New Meaning To ‘Comic Book Dealer’

A New Meaning To ‘Comic Book Dealer’

Detective Comics #27 BatmanWhen they talk about drugs being a gateway to the harder stuff, I doubt this is what they had in mind. Of course, to a comics fan, it makes a certain sort of sense.

30-year-old Aaron Castro is the owner of roughly 19,000 comics, appraised at greater than $500,000, but he brings a new meaning to the phrase “comic book dealer”– he’s been arrested for dealing methamphetamine,  and his collection will likely be in the control of the federal government.

Federal prosecutors currently have submitted a complaint trying to get ownership of Castro’s massive collection, that they can state was purchased with means procured by way of illegal substance income. However, he just didn’t just go down to the comic shop to pick up the sporadic edition of Superman. Based on one particular dealer named within the government submission, Castro had a serious monkey on his back.

“Gwinn [Castro’s underling] said that Aaron began to struggle with money because he would spend his drug money on comic books,” the complaint reads.”Gwinn would meet Aaron at comic book stores to give him the drug money and had seen Aaron buy a box of comic books.”

A second seller, who said he helped Castro organize his books, confirmed them to be purchased with “drug proceeds.” Castro goes on trial for narcotics distribution and weapons charges in May.

Does this prove Dr. Wertham was right? Did we get rid of the Comics Code too quickly?

The Best Present You Can Give A Kid This Year

The Best Present You Can Give A Kid This Year

This is a longbox full of random comics. Your local comic book store has tons of them– various stuff he’s picked up and hasn’t filed yet, or overstock that he couldn’t sell, or low grade books, what have you.

My father used to go to Port Comics, a little store off of exit 64 of the Long Island Expressway (the same store where I first met Tom Brevoort, when we were both young punk fans) and every so often he’d buy a longbox or two from Bill the owner and give them to me.

And as you’d expect from someone who now runs a site like this, I devoured them. I had no idea what I might find– DC horror books, Marvel reprints, Archie superhero titles. Didn’t care. It was all new to me, it was all neat to read, and it got me discovering wondrous stories and characters and art and more, and getting even more involved in a medium that I loved.

And right now, you can probably pick up one for around $30 and give it to a kid this holiday season. Or you can wait until he’s home sick with a bad cold this winter and give it then, when he’ll have time to read. Or drop it off at your local Toys For Tots drive, and imagine the look on the volunteer’s face who first tries to pick it up.

So go to your local comic store and ask for a longbox or two filled with random stuff. Be sure to ask for few duplicates, you don’t need 200 copies of Spawn #1. If you don’t know where your nearest comic store is, go to the Comic Shop Locator to find out. Or go to eBay and search for “comic lot” and find something in your price range.

Just be prepared to answer questions:

“Who’s this Darkhawk guy?”

“Where does the Black Widow know Daredevil from, I thought she hung around with Iron Man?”

“How does Cosmic Boy keep his uniform up?”

And hopefully you’ll get the best question of all– “Hey, when can I get some more?”

Reminder: Order ‘Lone Justice’ Volume 1 at your comic store today! Now with retailer incentives!

Reminder: Order ‘Lone Justice’ Volume 1 at your comic store today! Now with retailer incentives!

Tis the season to order Lone Justice, Volume 1— so do it today when you go to the comics store! Tell them that you want it, and to make sure they order it!

And for retailers: If you order 3 copies of Lone Justice TPB, you’ll get one free copy of Frankenstein Mobster Book 1: Made Man
TPB ($19.99 retail value). Order 6 copies of Lone Justice TPB, and get one free hand-drawn Mark Wheatley sketch.

LONE JUSTICE, VOLUME 1 – Coming in September!
Robert Tinnell, Mark Wheatley (writer) . Mark Wheatley (art & cover)

He’s been the city’s greatest champion, battling tirelessly to keep us safe from harm. But what could spell the end for Lone Justice? What could destroy the hero of the century? In the days of the Great Depression, a man born to wealth and power finds himself fighting injured and disillusioned against evil, authority, and the law. When a man loses everything he discovers what he stands for. A violent, gut-wrenching tale for our time!

Trade paperback, Full Color, 140 pages, $19.99

Printed by IDW Publishing

LONE JUSTICE Volume 1 is solicited in the July PREVIEWS (now available).
The Diamond Item Code is JUL100357.

Convention Cookies

Convention Cookies

Conventions are an excellent place to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities, hear the latest gossip on your favorite shows, and buy as much awesome stuff as you possibly can. Conventions are not, however, renowned for their food. While finding an affordable and delicious balanced meal can be difficult when you are away at a con, you can certainly bring along something more exciting than a bag of chips and some stale licorice for snacking. So if you’re going to the The New England Webcomics Weekend 2009 or Lunacon this weekend, here are two of my time tested favorite cookie recipes and an easy no-bake snack.

Amazingly Easy Convention Crunchies

3 cups healthy unsweetened or lightly sweetened crunchy cereal (Kashi, All-Bran, Cheerios, etc.)
1 12oz bag of baking morsels (chocolate, butterscotch, etc.)

In microwave safe container, melt morsels on medium. Stop every 20 seconds to stir. When all chips melt and stir easily, it is ready (microwaves vary).

Put cereal in a large mixing bowl.

Pour melted morsels over cereal and coat as evenly as possible.

Spread mixture on wax paper to cool (about 2 hours)

Break up into cookie-sized pieces and store in airtight container. Refrigerate if desired.


Klingon Weapon Used in 2 7-Eleven Robberies

Klingon Weapon Used in 2 7-Eleven Robberies

It’s come to this.

A man wielding a batleth robbed two 7-Eleven stories in Colorado Springs overnight.  The first assault using the deadly Klingon weapon occurred at 1:50 a.m. when a man police described as white in his 20s, wearing a black mask, black jacket, and blue jeans walked in brandishing the weapon.  The clerk recognized the traditional armament and forked over an undisclosed amount of cash.

Thirty minutes later, according to The Denver Channel, the same man hit a second store but this time the clerk showed bravery in the face of certain death.  He too recognized the ancient weapon but refused the demand and the would-be thief showed his true colors and fled.

Police are reviewing the stores’ surveillance tapes and Lt. David Whitlock said he does not plan to release the video or photographs "at this time."

The Point – January 19th, 2009

The Point – January 19th, 2009

Battlestar Galactica is underway and Apollo weighs in on where the final nine are headed, big treasures in the comic stores this week, More stars are coming to NY ComicCon and why you really need to see FanBoys.


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