Monday, 1 October 2007

Quick Question

I'm no fan of Diamond and their monopolistic practices, but... I'm probably being dense, but I just don't get the latest controversy at all.
As I understand it, Diamond are asking all publishers to put a bar code on their comics. This is being interpreted as a way to force small publishers out. There's a huge leap there that I'm just not getting.
My band's CDs have bar codes on them. I can guarantee the profit margin on them is lower than any comic in Previews, by quite some way, yet the cost of the bar codes is minimal.
Yes, it can cost a lot to get registered to produce your own bar codes, but you don't need to do that - bar codes can be purchased from resellers for approximately £20.
I really, really don't see how this decision harms anyone. Could someone explain?


Austin said...

It harms those of us who find bar codes an ugly distraction from the art on the cover.

acespot said...

Figured I'd post this here so you could see it:

Countdown #29
Apparently, DC still hasn't gotten the message that this series sucks and that therefore, nobody's reading it, let alone buying it. And so, it continues to be published while Manhunter still drifts in limbo and Gail Simone waits in the wings for Wonder Woman. And Richard Donner writes CRAP on Action Comics, not to mention neglects to finish his first story arc until lord knows when. And every month, DC continues to expand their superhero line with title after title after title, some of which may be quite good, or passably so, but you'd never know it when they get buried by the unending deluge of dreck.

Since I know you were wondering, no, I didn't actually buy this issue. Remember, there are many ways to read the books without buying them. This, one would think, would be a huge motivator to the company to make sure that all their published material is of the very highest quality......but, apparently it is not.

I only read this book because of a comment that Scipio made at the Absorbascon: "The Jokester's final bow. Truly, a class act."
Since I first encountered the Jokester in the Search for Ray Palmer issue on which I commented below, but felt that he was a promising character, I needed to see this for myself. Because, really, what point is there to introducing a promising character if you're just going to off them one week later? Yet, that is exactly what DC has done here. I have no idea why. It's a complete waste.
If the concept until now had been that the "Challengers from Beyond" (what a stupid name) had been hopping to alternate Earths and picking up stragglers from each dimension as they moved on, disposing of such a character might be, at least, a bit easier to understand. But since the Jokester is the only such character, to dispose of him now is nothing but a waste. It makes even less sense given the fact that last week's Search for Ray Palmer was narrated and told from his perspective, and was a history and origin of his character no less! It's as if Dini and Beechen are slapping McKeever straight in the face and saying, "Yeah, thanks, but no thanks. We know you spent a lot of time working out the story for this one-shot. But we just don't care." What's especially distressing is that due to the narrative nature of the one-shot, The Jokester was the only positive aspect of this so-called Earth-3. And now he's gone.

And the rest of this issue is even worse.

The main plot involves Lord Havok and The Extremists of Earth-8 capturing the Challengers when they hop over to search for Ray Palmer. But he's not there. Though how they can tell without an exhaustive search, I've got absolutely no idea. And I likewise don't understand how they got dispatched by the Extremists in such a brutally efficient manner - as if none of them had any powers or experience...ever. It's also annoying to me, and it must likewise be annoying to Keith Giffen, who is apparently doing the breakdowns for this issue, that this group of Extremists look almost nothing like those that were featured in Giffen's JL/JLA/JLI/JLE. Why? I have no idea. Suffice it to say, it's a pretty dumb plot.

Then we've got a half naked Jimmy Olsen, although thankfully only the top half, crawling through the sewers beneath Metropolis and running into the Newsboy Legion. Apparently he escaped from Cadmus or something? And apparently he's in danger because of his connection to the New Gods? Whatever. Since I haven't been reading this book for quite some time, I can't say that any of it really makes sense to me.

And speaking of not making sense, apparently all of the women of the Metropolis Athenian women's shelter have been dumped into the sea off of Themiscyra by Athena, who, if I understand correctly, is probably actually a Female Fury from Apokolips...or something. And I guess the idea is that they've got to fight these sea monsters to prove their worthiness to repopulate the island. Now, maybe it's just me, but if I were a woman who had run away from an abusive relationship and had been forced to seek refuge in a women's shelter, I would definitely not follow the vindictive whims of a supposed Goddess who would rather put me in a life-threatening situation than aid me. And sure enough, several women do die here. No, if it were me, I'd run back to my abusive husband before allowing myself to be put in such a situation. I mean, seriously! Who comes up with this CRAP?

Also not making sense is the Black Mary story. So, apparently, Mary has turned into some sort of vindictive BITCH. For no reason. And she has a ton of new powers. See, apparently, some middle eastern farmers who'd been afflicted by a drought came to her with their supplications for rain. So she heeded them. But then, rather than giving them sufficient rain to save their crops and livestock, she decided to flood them out of house and home instead. Because she's a BITCH. Apparently. Being that she is a super-powered being, I don't see what these peasants could have possibly done to her. And I think that this character development is entirely contrived and has no relation whatsoever to anything this character has ever done. What a BITCH.

Is it just me, or doesn't it seem obvious that if you're a super-villain on the run from law enforcement, human and meta alike, that the smart thing to do would be to ditch your costume at the very first chance you get? Well, Trickster and Piper are still wearing their costumes. And they're explaining them away to civillians with lame excuses such as "oh, we're singing telegram guys". Sure, I'd buy that. Uh, huh. Riiiight.

And I didn't even bother trying to make sense of the Karate Kid storyline.

All in all, there's been zero improvement to this series since I stopped reading it many months ago. And I think it's safe to say that I won't be reading it for quite some time.

As Abhay would say, ASS CRAP.