Carnival of souls: Wizard, Comics Code, Fantastic Four, more

* Kevin Melrose at Robot 6 rounds up links and commentary about the Wizard/ToyFare shutdown, including the shell game being played by Gareb Shamus’s various ventures.

* Excellent investigative reporting by Newsarama’s Vaneta Rogers, who attempts to unravel who, exactly, ran the now-defunct Comics Code Authority, and just how much “authority” he or she or they actually had. It ends with a terrific cautionary tale from retailer advocate Joe Field of how ratings systems of the sort that have replaced the Comics Code often have the paradoxical effect of decreasing the amount of all-ages content available to consumers. (Via Sam Humphries.)

* Tom Spurgeon worries that Marvel’s much-hyped death of a Fantastic Four character in this week’s issue #587 is taking something intended to heal years-old structural problems with comics’ Direct Market — monopoly distributor Diamond’s decision to begin shipping comics to retailers a day before they go on sale, to give those retailers more time to properly stock their stores — and transforming it before our very eyes into just another short-term sales-goosing gimmick (an issue so important we’re letting retailers break the embargo and sell it the day they get it instead of the day after!) of the sort that caused all those structural problems in the first place. I worry about that too. Silver lining, though? For the second time in recent memory, Marvel’s mainstream-media hype for a character death will actually direct curious readers to a good comic with a sizable run of strong quality behind it. There are much worse fates I could imagine than for someone to be duped into buying into the Jonathan Hickman/Steve Epting/Dale Eaglesham Fantastic Four run, or the Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting/Mike Perkins Captain America run before it.

* Destroyer’s Dan Bejar, whose Kaputt is an early candidate for Album of the Year, gives very good interview to NPR’s Matthew Perpetua and The Onion AV Club’s Noel Murray. Bejar made a tremendous record and talks about it with real panache.

* If you know someone who passionately dislikes Ween, chances are it’s because of the track from their 1994 masterpiece Chocolate and Cheese called “The HIV Song.” Here’s a fascinating passage about the song — gallows humor at its most awesomely awful — from Hank Shteamer’s 33 1/3 book on the album.

* Real Life Horror: The by-now comically transparent punitive mistreatment and overincarceration of WikiLeaker Pfc. Bradley Manning appears to be getting some news-media traction.

* A Della’morte Dell’amore sequel? Sure, I’ll eat it.

* Fuck you, there is NOT a Hawkeye story called “The High, Hard Shaft.”

* Finally, we are now accepting Destructor fanart submissions.

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3 Responses to Carnival of souls: Wizard, Comics Code, Fantastic Four, more

  1. Ben Morse says:

    The High, Hard Shaft is six parts. What I’m saying is that The High, Hard Shaft is of significant length!

  2. I honestly did not think the whole deal with comics being sent to stores a day early would already result in comics just going on sale that day as soon as it did with Marvel comics. How long as the new shipping format been going on, 2 weeks?

    Plus, when talking with an owner of a comics store who doesn’t do the whole day-early delivery because he didn’t want to pay Diamond any more money, he was quite peeved at the prospect of people coming in demanding the new Fantastic Four on Tuesday because they read it would be on sale at stores, and he wasn’t getting it until Wednesday.

    Also, I read the link about Wikileaks, and you know full well even if they didn’t do anything illegal enough politicians will continue crowing on about how we should execute Assange as a terrorist that the Obama administration just letting it go would cause people like the Tea Party to go even more off the deep end.

  3. MAD says:

    “with real panache.”

    Ha! That’s a good way to put it. Is it me or are Bejar’s answers to Noel Murray rather…strange? They’re rambling, contradictory, borderline-incoherent, and sometimes downright bizarre. I’m not even sure if the fact that they sound like his lyrics make it more or less likely that he is purposefully messing with Murray. Which, of course, brings back memories of this:

    In any case, what an amazing record he’s got out. I think it has shot up to the top of my favorite Destroyer albums already. Did you post the video for Kaputt, Sean? I can’t remember if you did; it’s fantastic.

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