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MORE disjointed thoughts on the DC Reboot

dcrelaunchAs I knew would happen, listening to one single podcast (a Comic Geek Speak special), I found my views on the DC announcement this week if not 100% changed, at least far more “open” with some positive thrown in. Plus, the whole thing is such a HUGE announcement with so many unknowns and waves of implications that it takes more than a few minutes to begin really processing.

Some more thoughts, questions, ideas, and musings:

Since there’s going to be day-and-date digital release…many people will acquire “issues” electronically without ever setting foot in a comic shop. BUT…what if each digital issue came with some sort of way to get ahold of a local comic shop for a print edition, or “for more information” about related material?

What if buying digital-only means any given issue is only 99 cents? BUT–if you buy the print edition, you get some kind of card or code good for a “free” copy of that issue in digital format? That way–the casual reader never going to a comic shop gets a cheap digital comic…the new generation of comic reader. But for the old generation of fans, who prefer to buy the print edition, there’s that chance to access an electronic edition, which might spur one to try buying issues that way.

The social networking thing would definitely need to be addressed. Have something where at time of purchase/download, one can send a post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on. “I just got BATMAN #1, written by _______ and art by _______!” (and associate a cover image, and perhaps the equivalent of solicitation text for the issue). Perhaps even allow a user to go back in and “rate” the issue and write a short review…which could then be posted the same way. Let the things go “viral” or some such.

I wonder what the relaunch and pursuing of the digital crowd might mean for the collectability of the comics. If “anyone” can simply acquire a “copy” of the issue digitally–does that largely remove the collectability even of a first issue (at least among “the masses”)? (Surely a certain amount of people will still see value and collectability in the print editions).

I am a collector in the sense of getting the long runs, and having full stories as single issues if I haven’t simply waited for the collected edition. I’d prefer to see the things enjoyed rather than hoarded for supposed value. (I thoroughly enjoy buying 25 or 50-cent copies of various issues that were THE big sellers and “hot items” in the ’90s, now relegated to bargain bins and otherwise forgotten.)

I don’t like the idea of the renumbering, but…they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, and I’ve made my views on renumbering and variants quite well known…and will SURELY post to address my thoughts on that front as the general announcements are made in the coming months.

That said…I hope that WITH this relaunch, they take it all the way. Yeah, events and stories (Blackest Night, for example) happened, or can be referenced such that the reader who is new doesn’t need to read the other story/event…but where it might add depth to things for the older reader that did.

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The Return of Valiant (again)

image002Several years ago, I passed on pre-ordering a hardcover of the first X-O Manowar book from the “new” Valiant. I did get the Archer & Armstrong volume, and wound up picking up most of the singles in the months after that. I thought about them recently, though, idly, figuring it was another initiative that had shown plenty of promise, but fell by the wayside.

Then this press release showed up in my inbox this morning.


image003VALIANT COMICS TO RETURN; FORMER MARVEL CEO BECOMES CHAIRMAN

Company Announces Investment and Expansion of Management Team

New York, NY – June 2, 2011 – Valiant Entertainment, the character-based entertainment company with more than 1,500 characters in its library, announced it will reintroduce the critically acclaimed Valiant Universe in print and digital comics in 2012.  Valiant has hired accomplished industry executives and creative talent to expand its management team.  The first announcement is that former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman Peter Cuneo has assumed the role of Chairman of Valiant.

Valiant Entertainment, co-founded by Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani, has received a capital infusion from private investment company Cuneo & Company, LLC.  Peter Cuneo, Managing Principal of Cuneo & Co., recently concluded ten years of leadership at Marvel Entertainment, which achieved one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in entertainment history during that period.  His tenure with Marvel concluded with Marvel’s sale at the end of 2009 to The Walt Disney Company for over $4 billion. Gavin Cuneo, Principal of Cuneo & Co., was an investment banker with Bank of America Merrill Lynch prior to the founding of Cuneo & Co.  He has spent over ten years working in investment banking and investment management and has been appointed to Valiant’s Board of Directors.  Peter and Gavin Cuneo are working closely with Valiant’s expanded management team to usher in the new era of Valiant.

“I am excited to be partnering with Peter and Gavin,” said CEO Jason Kothari. “Peter’s decade of leadership at Marvel, Gavin’s decade of experience on Wall Street, and their highly active roles with Valiant will be integral to our expansion.”

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Booking Through Thursday – Reviews

btt buttonDo you read book reviews? Whose do you trust? Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

When it comes to actual books (as opposed to comics), no, I don’t usually read book reviews–at least, not prior to purchase/reading. Occasionally while reading others’ blogs, if a title sounds interesting or a cover image posted grabs my attention, I’ll read a review. But my reading time is so limited overall that generally if I’m not already planning on reading the book, a review isn’t going to convince me to buy it.

I do sometimes seek out reviews AFTER I read a given book, as I’m generally interested in what OTHERS think of the book; how my feelings compare to their feelings, and often someone else will pick up on something that I entirely missed. So book reviews don’t really affect my reading or buying habits, and I don’t really have any one reviewer as a go-to before I acquire a book.

The primary exception to that is that in the course of listening to his podcast and reading other content he posts at Evertime Realms and cxPulp, Blake Petit turned me on to the Percy Jackson series as well as The Heroes of Olympus series (The Lost Hero) and The Kane Chronicles (The Red Pyramid).

Where my buying habits are most impacted and there are reviewers whose work will influence me is comics. At roughly $4 or under, a comic is a far smaller investment in the short-term, so if an issue is highly regarded, it’s usually not much effort to track it down and read it myself. When a reviewer highly recommends a series, similar deal–easy enough to track down an issue or a single volume (of a graphic novel series) to try it out.

As a reviewer at cxPulp I’ve found other reviewers often managing to get me to try new series, or plant the seed that eventually leads to a minor obsession with a given series. This happens both from actual reviews, and recommendations (which, while not formatted/intended as an official “review” accomplish the same end result).

There are podcasts that–in this context–I actually realize could technically be considered “reviews podcasts” (never thought about them specifically in that sense before). Whether it’s Blake & Co. on 2-in-1 Showcase, Michael Bailey & co. talking about specific issues on Views From the Longbox, or the Raging Bullets guys, I tend to enjoy hearing others’ thoughts on stuff I’ve read…but they also tend to get into talking about stuff I have not read, which often leads to a heightened interest for me such that I’ll end up going out specifically to buy something, or look for it the next week at the comic shop.

Another aspect to this topic: I find that there are times I find myself reading something I wouldn’t “normally” read, in the interest of writing a review of it myself, for others. And I’m confident that much of my comic-buying habits the last few years have been heavily impacted by being a reviewer…though what I actually get around to writing reviews for thends to be on the sparse side, these days.

And perhaps it’s merely pride, but I’m aware of occasions where my own reviews or recommendations have led to others trying something or buying into a new series. (I suppose there’s plenty of room for academic exploration within this topic as well).

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