When I began this blog, I peppered posts about cycling culture amongst those about comics.
Imagine my delight to discover the work of Maryland-based mountain bike-loving artist Mike Joos who brings the two together.
In honor of the upcoming Thor movie, I included the pic of Thor on a bike with hammer wheels. (I imagine this is how he gets to Midgard when the rainbow bridge Bifrost is closed for repair – like so many Toronto streets.)
And I couldn’t pass up this one of Ghost Rider – it reminds me too much of N.E.R.D. for some reason.
Not a comic book fan? Check out his Cookie Monster on a bike, Mr T. on a bike, Princess Leia pulling Jabba the Hut, Optimus Prime, or one of the many, many other pop culture and historical figures used in his work.
Buy a print!
It looks like Seth’s Palookaville is changing formats.
He tells Guelph Mercury that the changing habits of comic buyers is prompting him to switch from floppy to trade.
“The traditional comic book just doesn’t sell any longer. Cartoonists have begun to change over to little hardcovers instead,” he said. “I’m still serializing my work. It’s just that instead of it being in a 24-page pamphlet, it will be in an 80-page book. “
“People know that the individual comic books eventually get collected up into graphic novels and so they simply wait for the inevitable collection. They want the nicer packaging. The new hardcover format is a way to trick them into buying the serialized version. There’s stuff in the little hardcovers which will never be collected into the big graphic novel. It’s an old trick.”
An 80-page book. Sweet!
I’ve believed for some time now that the traditional comic book format is coming to an end. Most people want bigger books. There are lots of vocal people who think otherwise, but their numbers are shrinking. The trick becomes how to keep up the regular foot traffic in comic shops should the industry move exclusively to the trade format.
That said, some books are still suited to the 24-page format especially titles for which their healthy sales rely on the “soap opera” narrative techniques like the X-books, Superman, Spider-Man.
I was interested to find out recently Marvel was putting some poor-selling but highly acclaimed titles, such as Ghost Rider, on hold rather than cancelling them outright. A good move, frankly. I’ve always felt that if there isn’t a good story to tell simply hold off publishing the book rather than produce filler stories. Except the comic business model is established around fairly fixed monthly revenues, so I’m not sure how the publishers would deal with a more scattered publishing schedule where regular sales aren’t guaranteed.
Strange Tales #1
When I read this I nearly fell off my chair. Tony Millionaire, Jason, Paul Pope, and more offer an alt comix take on Marvel characters in the aptly titled, three-issue series Strange Tales. Finally something from Marvel to get excited about. Although the Jason Aaron/Tony Moore team-up on Ghost Rider is worth praising.
I actually don’t care that DC did this first with Bizarro Comics! and Bizarro World – using some of the same creators, no less. Those books are lot of fun to read. But I have to wonder if putting out Strange Tales in the floppy format is even worth it? Part of me says wait until the hardcover trade is available. I’ll want to display this sucker on my bookshelf, easy access for flipping through every once in a while.
A friend suggested a story I’d love to see given the Strange Tales treatment. An Astonishing X-Men story by Adrian Tomine and featuring Kitty Pryde. She’s somehow escaped the Whedon space bullet and found her way back to Earth. Now she’s on a cross-country bus travelling to the X-Men’s new digs on the West Coast and is pissed as hell that her teammates didn’t try harder to save her from oblivion.