• December 2018
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

Curse Words…for Curse Words: Dropped Due to Variants

If you’ve been reading this blog for ANY length of time, you know that I–as a general rule–loathe variant covers. Primarily "ratioed" variants, but with very FEW exceptions, variants in general, their very existence.

And this week just REALLY reminded me WHY.

And though I COULD blame the comic shop, I personally place the blame squarely on the publisher, FOR doing a variant. Or allowing a variant. Or WHATEVER the case is.

curse_words_variants

After actually rather enjoying the first issue, and looking forward to the second issue, the day finally came: Curse Words #2 was on "the list" as out on February 22nd.

Having been "burned" by a "surprise" variant on Moonshine #2 (which, by the way, immediately prompted me to NOT pick it up ,and thus lost me on singles on that series), I was "re-aware" of even Image doing variants on stuff (something I’d be more inclined to attribute to DC, Marvel, IDW, Boom, and Dynamite!).

So, when I saw two different covers, neither of which was visually "familiar" to me, and I was already expecting there to be a "new" or "unfamiliar" (because I ONLY bought one cover of #1!) issue, I figured fine, they did a second issue with variants, I had not really seen any "marketing" or such for the issue so was not (for once) pre-disposed to preferring one specific cover…so I grabbed the more appealing (to me) cover of the two or so I saw.

Got it home, even included the thing in my photos for my "Weekly Haul" post, none the wiser of anything.

But then I went to READ the thing.

And I saw that the word "Second" was NOT followed by "Issue" after all, on the cover.

Nope…it was followed by "Printing."

I managed to grab a second printing of #1, the issue that I already owned, that I bought and read weeks ago.

And of course, much as with most publishers, comics are not some "returnable" thing, so it’s not even like I can take the thing back to the shop for a refund or such. I’m stuck with a second copy of the first issue now, and no copies of the second.

Frankly, to say that I’m "annoyed" is an understatement.

On principle, I’m done with this book as single issues. I might snag the collected volume(s), but I will NOT support it any further as single issues.

Should I have noticed that it was not actually the second issue? Maybe. BUT when I know the second issue’s due out, with a cover that’s not mimicking the first, and I’m grabbing my comics in a hurry and just want to get stuff and get out after a long day at work, I’m not gonna examine every stupid facet of a cover. I buy comics because I want to read the story, not for stupid covers!

Maybe the shop should have put something with the issue to indicate 2nd printing. Maybe they should’ve shelved it with last month’s books instead of right next to the brand-new 2nd issue (but probably more sales having them together, so someone can immediately see and pick up BOTH issues if they’re looking for them/curious!).

So, I hold Image responsible…with no idea if the "idea" or "push" came from a creator or not. Just use the same darned cover, and mark it as a second printing! IF I wanted more "art" from something, I’d buy a darned print or something!

And on top of this…folks wonder why I tend to gravitate toward collected volumes for new issues. At least THERE, I’m FAR LESS LIKELY to wind up getting some 2nd print of something I already have, with just a cover in quick passing to go on.

Advertisements

Way to Miss the Point, Amazon!

I’ve been in a fair bit of a "fight" with Amazon for nearly a week, now, this time around.

On Monday, September 26th, 2016, I placed an order for the newest Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (Vol. 46). I don’t usually buy these, certainly not as an annual thing, but the other one I have is from mid 2011, PRE-New 52, and I figured I could handle one every half-decade or so in terms of owning.

More specifically to be able to know "Guide Value" for various books that I’d be interested in as I look toward the "back issues" side of things on an increasing basis…and unfortunately, far too many comic shops don’t bother to "price" their stock, leaving the poor customer unable to actually KNOW what price they’ll be quoted at the counter, and surely impacting what they’ll try to or consider buying. Buuuut that’s a topic for another post.

amazon_open_box_01     amazon_open_box_02

Anyway. I am an Amazon Prime customer. That means that I pay the annual fee, to be a part of Prime, and I do so for the physical shipping, to get stuff shipped "free" with 2-day/ASAP shipping. It may be labeled as or considered "free," but it is paid for by paying for the year TO BE a Prime member.

Nowhere that I have seen or heard of, does it include anything regarding some sort of "lesser" form of shipping as a result.

So, order placed on Monday, 9/26. Item arrived Wednesday, 9/28. The book’s damaged because it is over 1150 pages, very thin paper, and heavy. Since it was NOT packed to remain immobile…it slid around and was damaged in transit (beyond any damage prior). I requested a replacement immediately.

The first replacement arrived two days later, 9/30. This one was in the same sort of mailer, but with gaping wide openings (it was NOT properly assembled) and I could see daylight THROUGH the thing as well as clearly see the book contained within. Which was, of course, damaged in transit.

overstreet_46_third_time_damages_againI immediately requested another replacement, once again citing the damage and leaving "packaging feedback" about the issue with "heavy book + room to move = damage" and waited.

The second replacement (3rd copy) arrived the next day, 10/1. The mailer was slightly better-assembled, but I could still check out the book without even opening the package…and the book was damaged. I requested yet another replacement.

Meanwhile, I’d separately ordered a Green Arrow tpb, which arrived separately on Saturday. That one was in a flimsy yellow bubble envelope a good 50-75% larger than the book…and with no inserts or markings, it was folded and stuck into the mailbox. (So it earned a replacement-request as wel!)

The second copy of the Green Arrow book arrived the same way–overlarge flimsy envelope, folded and stuck in the mailbox.

It was then that I realized I had not seen any notification of the replacement of the Overstreet book being on its way…it was still held up in some hold status, apparently for my having requested multiple replacements.

amazon_missed_the_darned_point

When I contacted them about it, through their site, through their process, as a question on the item checking on "Where’s my order"–I was told that they would issue me a refund, please send the other books back.

To which I complained that it is not a satisfactory resolution–I’m now out a week of time (I could’ve bought the book from two different bricks-and-mortar stores and had a satisfactory CONDITION copy long before this). And to make me do the administrative thing of juggling receipt of packages and re-ordering, and then my own printer/ink/paper and gas to drive packages to a drop-off, and after 8+ days be back at square one? NO!

Their response to my continued explanation of the situation and emphasis on the fact that the book keeps arriving damaged because they refuse to use packing material and a proper sized box?

They made it entirely (temporarily) unavailable for sale "while they investigate the issue."

HELLO! 1. use a box 2. put packing peanuts or crumpled paper or several air pockets or foam or stick it between a couple sheets of cardboard, shrink-wrap that and toss it in the box, where the book itself will stay put, and any banging/beating suffered will be by the cardboard and not the book that I have paid for.

Halting their sale of the book entirely is so totally, completely missing the darned point!

Supposedly they’ll "resolve the issue" within 7 days; I can only imagine they’ll find that their stock is in undamaged condition (it’s getting damaged in transit for their inadequate packaging process).

Meanwhile… wonder if any of those 3rd party sellers will jack their prices up significantly, thinking the thing is outta print?

And my apologies to anyone else who might’ve been planning to order this from Amazon right now and using Prime shipping. It seems I’m the reason the book is (temporarily) not available for purchase through Amazon itself at the moment.

‘Because we CAN’ vs. ‘Because we SHOULD’

Though this is primarily a comics blog, I’m taking off the comics-guy hat for a few moments of venting.

I went to Kent State University for 2 1/2 years of graduate school in Library and Information Science. While there, I attended classes with and interacted with students and professors involved in a “usability” program which would—to my understanding—study the “usability” of web sites and other user interfaces. Basically, “how does the end user use this” or “how easy is this to use for the end user,” which is a step beyond the folks designing something. When you’re the one designing something, of course it’s going to be intuitive and easy to use—you’re the one thinking about how you want to use it, and your will be done.

Anyway…I have long been frustrated and annoyed with use of Flash and other “technology” to FORCE a user to use one particular “way” or “path” through something—particularly websites. I’m a multi-tasker/multi-tabber…if you have multiple links/bits of information I’m interested in, I want to keep one page open in a tab, and be able to simply go down the line and open numerous links in new tabs—then I can go through and read what I want, and branch new series of tabs off of that…and it is NOT uncommon for me to find myself with 30-50 tabs open after an hour of using Wikipedia to look something up.

Sprint is my extreme example right now, though, of something that goes against anything I can think of for “usability.”

A number of years ago—late 2005 or so—I decided I wanted a backup of all the photos I had taken on my Sprint cameraphone. So I went to the Sprint Picturemail site, and after logging in was able to select an existing folder, and simply download that folder to my computer as a huge .zip file, that contained all of the photos, at full size.

However, those photos—that download/backup—that was all lost over a year ago now when the computer I had them on crashed the weekend I’d planned to do a proper backup of the machine.

Now, I again find myself trying to get those photos, which now span 7 years and number above 5,000…and in the years since that old download, Sprint has changed their site and interface.

They’ve implemented an interface far more reliant on Flash, and tried to make themselves like some other social network site or photo site, promoting features that—for someone like me—are totally useless or redundant or just uninteresting.

Their promo screen also—to ME—is a blatant LIE (though technically true, but that’s all relative to your purpose).

easiermyfoot

They’ve made it HARDER to download ALL your media and albums to your PC.

Just drag and drop them—“them” being INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS. One at a time, you can download these. A multi-step process—select the photo, drag it to the PC, wait for the download dialogue box to pop up, hit ok, wait for the download, then hit ok on a popup telling you how to download multiple files, and then you can go to your next photo to download and repeat the process.

OR—get this—you can hold down the Control key, and select multiple items…UP TO 21, because there is NO option to display more than 21 items at once. But if the Flash interface “hangs” or otherwise delays, your smooth mouse-pointer movement from one photo to the next will be affected, and register as you NOT holding down Control…and you have to start ALL OVER AGAIN selecting photos.

Sure, this interface is fine if you’re visiting someone ELSE’s collection of photos—you want a handful of photos, cool, select ‘em and go. You’re the owner of the photos, and you want a few select photos to upload your best to facebook or twitter of flickr or whatever—great.

But you’re the owner of the photos and you want to download everything to your own machine, to use in software on your own computer and not just the limited set of options on the Sprint site…

Well, there’s NO provision for THAT.

So as a result…I’m dedicating a big chunk of my day to going through, using this crappy, UN-friendly interface, attempting to download over 5,000 photos 21 at a time…and will then still have to go through over 240 such .zip files and unzip these photos, just to have a usable photo archive.

And maybe sometimes soon I’ll get into my feelings about numerous sites all trying to emulate facebook, and/or sites and services trying to make it easy for you to use them as your CENTRAL, core, prime “homepage” or home site by allowing you to import content from other sites/services…and yet making it impossible or extremely difficult to take data from this one to one of those others.

%d bloggers like this: