Wake-Up Call: The Ides of March

Wait, “ides” are a bad thing, aren’t they? I probably shouldn’t have brought “ides” into this. There are no “ides” here. Nor do I seem to have the ability to go back and delete things it seems.

Oh, the things I’ll do for a dumb opening paragraph.

  1. I’ve started to make a little schedule for myself, and have made a promise to bag out at least 250 words on nonsense on this blog every weekday. At least. I have the time (sort of) and I’m still trying to train myself to write on a regular schedule. It’s been almost 30 years, and nothing has seemed to take. Oh well. Let’s try this.
  2. Tomorrow, I’ll be announcing where Variant Edition will be located. Many have asked, but few properly know. One person got fairly irate about not knowing, and uh… sorry about that, but the lease hadn’t been signed. You understand, right? (You don’t understand, I know, but also, I uh… don’t care. So.) Anyway, tomorrow, if you don’t keep up with any of the Variant Edition feeds I run, I’ll be dropping that information here, because marketing.
  3. This past week, Danica and I posted the first part of Doctor Whooch’s 50th Episode, which is crazy for several reasons. First: we’ve done fifty episodes of this, and second? We invited everyone who had been on the show before to go on. It’s a beautiful mess that had to be pulled apart into two episodes. It’s… it’s pretty wonderful.

And that’ll be the that for today. If you want to find me, I’ll probably be screaming nonsense on the internet all day long, so catch me there. Maybe tomorrow I’ll put together something better. Probably not.

Anna Confidence

Doctor Whooch // Episode 049 // Sweet Nightmare

In which there’s lots of singing. So. Be aware.

On the eve of our 50th episode, we head back to the very beginning of Doctor Who, watching two version of the premiere episode “An Unearthly Child”, and the second episode “The Cave of Skulls”. Along the way, we talk a bit of business, recount the time we were “fake Who geeks” on a panel, and comment on the literal garbage set that kicked off Doctor Who. Also, Brandon is really drunk and does a bunch of weird voices. The weirdo.

Outro music is “Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young and Pearl Jam

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

Doctor Whooch // Episode 048 // Slaps and Giggles

In which it’s MARTHA JONES ON TORCHWOOD THIS IS NOT A DRILL

This week, we’re back watching sexy Torchwood for the sexy second series episodes “Adam” and “Reset”. Only good things happen in these episodes, and no one is cavernously sad. Also, Ianto’s cry-face is a million times better. Maybe because he’s in the fetal position? Like we said, these were sexy episodes. Also, we watched a lot of Parks and Rec, which is a thing we hadn’t really done before now, alongside some (one) slaps and some (lots) of giggles. But you kinda already guessed that part probably. You’re so smart. We like your face.

Outro music is “The Pit” by Mouse Rat

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

The Weekly Pull // Frankenstein

Going to the comic store as a civilian has been a strange experience. From this side of the counter, I can understand how people would skip on adding books to their file, in that I’ve yet to make changes to mine in the past few weeks… despite the fact that there’s a chance some of the books I’m interested in won’t be on the shelves by the time I get into the store. So there’s that.

This week, I’m starting a self indulgent look at my pull list. If I’m being honest, I’m doing this because I’m talking about comics about 95% less than I usually do, and it’s really freaking me out. If I’m being more honest, I’ll probably continue this after my shop starts because I’m just conceited enough to believe you might care about what I read. Let’s uh… let’s do this. Continue reading The Weekly Pull // Frankenstein

Doctor Whooch // Episode 047 // Broadperch

In which Brandon is a parrot for much of the podcast, for reasons.

This week, we return to Torchwood for a pair of second series episodes (“To The Last Man” and “Meat”). Both of these feature meat, but only one features man meat. From there, the usual madness occurs. Brandon goes full German, we administer some British history and sex education and somehow talk about idependant butt stuff. Like you do.

Outro music is “A Bushell and A Peck” by The Andrews Sisters

Podcast picture is by GIRL NAMED SHIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

The Next Phase

Over the past couple of months, a lot of people asked me what I was going to do after leaving Wizard’s - the comic store I’d been working at for over eight years. For the most part, I’ve been telling people to keep an eye out because… well, because I wasn’t quite sure myself. I knew I wanted to write more, and that I wanted to take more control of my placement in the world, but beyond that, the options were pretty wide open. In the end, a few strange and wonderful life-shaped curveballs brought me to this:

In 2015, I will be starting my own comic shop.

You can find a bit more on what prompted the decision at Comics Beat, where my first retail column of the year is up. As for what the store will be called or where it’s going to be… well, stay tuned. I’m not trying to be coy, I just don’t have everything locked in yet, beyond the fact that I’m bound and determined to make this happen and I don’t want to blow some of the hows and whys before they become solid, tangible things. Just know that when everything’s ready, you’ll all be among the first to know.

Until then, keep a tight eye on this site. In addition to the odd small update, it’s going to keep track of what I’m writing and where, in addition to the big announcement when it happens.

Oh, and thank you all so much for your support over the years. Without you, none of this would be possible and… well, honestly, without you none of this will be possible, so thank you thank you thank you, and we will definitely talk soon.

Party Pooper

I’m dropping this safely in the confines of my personal blog because… well, it’s not so much a valid criticism so much as it’s personal feeling.

I love the idea of the Image Expo. I love a big, industry melting thing that celebrates the achievements of one of the best publishers in the business today. But you guys. These announcements. They need to be reigned in a little. I mean… yes, pretty much everything announced today was exciting and I absolutely can’t wait for the majority of these to get into my hands. But. Image is having the same problem Marvel and DC used to have when they started announcing books coming out six months to a year from their ship dates. They’re getting excited about product in development, and they’re blowing announcements in a big splash in order to make the company look strong for a couple of days at the detriment to the books that just aren’t ready. I mean hey, remember all those Nick Spencer announcements from… what was it, a year ago? Those looked pretty good, right? Where are they? And honestly, can you tell me what they were about without looking them up?

Each Image Expo has announced books that have yet to ship – and they started doing this roughly 3 years ago. And man, I love getting excited about comics, but I’d rather the company hold onto some of those announcements until they know the titles will be shipping out in a healthy time frame after the announcements, you know? And yeah, I know it’s all creator owned content, and Image can’t control what they don’t own, but… I dunno, maybe focus the lens on books on the schedule proper, you know? It’s not like they don’t make great books – so what if the names attached aren’t big. Isn’t this all about content anyway? It should be.

In Between

Today felt strange.

I’m in a strange period where the old thing is done and dusted and the new thing has yet to start in ernest, so today was… strange. I’ve discovered that a large chunk of my identity has become attached to being a guy who talks about and sells comics, and now that a chunk of that is missing, things feel a bit off. It made for a very weird Monday where a lot of stuff got done, but it didn’t feel like Monday used to feel. I’m looking at tomorrow, and expecting more of the same. I’m looking at Wednesday, and nervously wringing my hands. It will be weird to walk into the shop and peruse the shelves without having had a hand in getting them there.

I want to be at the next thing. I want to be there now instead of working on these secret fiddly bits. Unfortunately, without the secret fiddly bits, the next thing doesn’t begin. So there’s that. Which is fun. Ah well, this period was always going to be a bit weird. I’m focusing on the future, and working towards it. That’s good. It’ll be good. Until then, I still need to get some of my shop talk out somehow so, here’s a few notes from the past week:

  • I think DC would have done a whole lot better if they had held off on announcing the end of a good quarter of their ongoing comic line-up in March. I mean, at this point, it’s a bit of an open secret that the company is going to do a bit of a soft reboot in June, so why not do what Marvel does, and hold off on the final issue announcement until March rolls around? By that point in time, they’ll be announcing the new titles they’ll be putting out in June, and they could have squashed a lot of the negative connotations of sweeping cancellations with exciting new books! It would certainly give their PR team an easier go, that’s for sure.
  • On the other side of the aisle, Marvel announced a new look for Spider-Woman in March with her fifth issue. It’s a pretty cool move, but I almost wonder if the move would have been better suited for the first issue of the series. As it stands, the first four issue of her new ongoing tie directly into a big crossover event, which certainly gives the series a cheap and easy pop in sales, but I think it hobbles the series’ sales potential in the long run. It’s hard to sell new readers on a series when the first story arc requires a bit of extracurricular knowledge. I think the company could have gotten away with a Spider-Woman mini-series to tie into the Spider-Verse event, leading into a nice, easy #1 in March or April after the dust settles. Give her the new costume and motivation, and start from the ground with something new, and build the foundation of the ongoing from solid numbers instead of inflated crossover interest that will erode at a much quicker pace.

Aaaaand, that’s about it for today. I’m off to read some of the comic industry history books that I’ve been accumulating over the years. I finally have time for them now. It’s a pretty great feeling.

Day One

And so the next phase begins now.

My last day at Wizard’s was on the 31st and Danica had me take the 1st and the 2nd off for recalibration purposes. I was a bit squirrelly about that at first because I resented the implication that I have a workaholic problem – but then I immediately tried to bargain with her so that I could get a little bit of work done on my “days off”, which really proved her point. So I took the time off, and it was great. I feel quite energized, primed for everything that’s about to come so… as always, my darling wife was right. She usually is.

So yes. Today is the start of everything. So far, the day has been spent tweaking a new website, cleaning the apartment a little as the support team for a January project the lovely wife is undertaking, and tidying up other bits. As the day goes, I hope to get a bit more writing done, but I really want to focus on working on the aforementioned new website in the background of everything today. It’s going to be pretty great once it’s all put together. But for now? There’s a whole lot of wool gathering to be done, and I’m mostly wasting time meandering during this post. Onwards. Talk with you all soon.