Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bye bye, Jim

Image PR and Marketing man Jim Demonakos has officially announced he's leaving the company.

Bon chance!


Hola! And welcome back to BUY THE NUMB3RS! I’m Marc Mason, owner and Dark Prince of The Comics Waiting Room. Each month in this space, I take a look at a soon-to-arrive comic and attempt to predict how many copies it will sell. This month’s contestant: The return of THE AUTHORITY!.

When THE AUTHORITY first hit shelves back in 1999, it was the first shot fired in a revolution of sorts. Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch created a superhero comic that wasn’t quite like anything else on the market. The storytelling was on a grand scale, told through large, “wide-screen” panels. The characters were wildly flip and sarcastic, reveling in their powers and their status as living weapons of mass destruction. The pacing was very decompressed, leading to a full-fledged movement in mainstream comics that continues anywhere you find something written by Brian Bendis or Mark Millar to this day. But mostly… mostly the book was just damned great. To this day, it holds up as an example of what happens when things go right, and talented creators do career-level work.

Then… it all went to shit. Ellis and Hitch finished their run. Mark Millar and Frank Quitely got off to an interesting start, but it quickly devolved into an exercise of sadism, as Millar used the book as a way to work out some of his more disquieting concepts. Finally, Millar ended his run, and the book was put to bed. And rightly so. There’s only so much that can be done with the characters before the book becomes a brutal self-parody. So, of course, DC/Wildstorm waited little more than a year before resurrecting it. That time around, Robbie Morrison and Dwayne Turner to do the job… this, in 2003, was the equivalent of replacing Lee/Kirby with Don McGregor and Alan Kupperberg. Ugly. So after a year of that, the book was retired again, only to see it given mouth-to-mouth months later by Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen. Better team, but still… the ultimate question was: what’s the point?

Now, DC/Wildstorm is trying again, and for the first time since Millar’s first few issues, there’s a creative team with the perfect potential to make the series return to greatness. The new AUTHORITY #1 is written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Gene Ha. Pure superstar creative talent. But how will it fare in the marketplace? Let’s check some numbers:

Sales for AUTHORITY #1, published in March 1999, written by Ellis and drawn by Hitch: 40,100. Good, strong jump out of the gate, especially considering that Ellis and Hitch weren’t “Ellis and Hitch” at that point. (Sales data from CBG Xtra)

Sales for AUTHORITY #29, published in December 2001, written by Millar and drawn by Art Adams: 40,314. That’s damned astonishing, really. To see that consistency in the number twenty-nine issues later is remarkable, especially considering shipping delays and creative team changes. Plus, this was the final issue of the first series.

Sales for AUTHORITY Vol.2 #1, published in May 2003, written by Robbie Morrison and drawn by Dwayne Turner: 44,351. There was obviously a market for the characters. Unfortunately, this creative team cooked that market a dinner made of poison mushrooms and it died a horrific, vomiting death.

Sales for AUTHORITY: REVOLUTION #1, published in October 2004, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Dustin Nguyen: 26,572. My case in point. A far better creative team, a writer who was relatively hot at the time… and half as many people gave two shits. For DC/Wildstorm, this was still a decent number… but that’s putting lipstick on the family pig and taking it to the prom.

Sales for SEVEN SOLDIERS #0, published in February 2005, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by J.H. Williams: 53,217. Morrison has taken a Bat-book under his wing, but this was his most recent “audacious” move with characters that had been mostly neglected. Fantastic numbers.

Sales for TOP TEN #1, published in September 1999, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Gene Ha: 55,100. This was Ha’s last major debut work, and remains one of the most consistently beautiful comics ever created. Very solid debut sales numbers, too. (Sales data from CBG Xtra)

So how will this latest edition of THE AUTHORITY do? Even with Morrison’s presence, it’s difficult to believe it will top the Ellis/Millar series in sales. Even though Grant’s profile is huge right now, I don’t see that translating into readers for a series that has the stink of bad previous series to deal with. So I’m going to temper my expectations, and guess that the book will do somewhere a little over 29,000, give or take a few.

Do you buy my numb3rs?
FOLLOWING UP: Column five featured my guess at C.S.I.: DYING IN THE GUTTERS #1. My guess for total orders was 5,500. ICV2 has released final sales numbers for August, and the total pre-orders for the book came to: 8178. That’s the first time I’ve really guessed on the low side, but I’m okay with it. This is really outstanding news for the folks at IDW, and they must have popped a bottle of bubbly when their orders came in. This may just breathe new life into the C.S.I. franchise.

Friday, October 27, 2006

How many times can you say, "Wizard's new low?"

I just saw THIS POST from Johanna at Comics Worth Reading. To tie in to All-Star Batman and Robin 5 (which has been delayed. Shocker!), Wizard posted an eight-ass mix-and-match gallery. Click the link to see the hubub.

On the Beyond Ridiculous scale, this is only a 4 out of 10 because it's become expected. Not surprising at all. I'll save the big words and just sigh.

Hellboy Animated Debuts Tomorrow

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Hellboy Animated: The Sword of Storms premieres tomorrow on Cartoon Network. For all the info and big scoops, be sure to check out Comic Foundry's video interview with Tad Stones here

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Want to see Venom's head?

Want to see Venom's head? From an ad sheet for the upcoming Spider-Man 3 movie.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Want Seven Soldiers? Not so Fast...

If your LCS gets its comics through Memphis, you're Seven-Soldiers-Shit-Outta-Luck this week.

Due to an error, retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors' Memphis Distribution Center will not receive SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 (AUG060221) and SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #23 Standard Edition (AUG060226) this week

These issues now are set to reach retailers on November 1. Retailers will be invoiced for them with their November 1 shipment.

However, the SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #23 Variant Edition (AUG060227) will be received on October 24 as previously scheduled. DC Comics recommends that retailers hold these copies until the Standard Edition arrives, one week later.

Denzel is in the House

Movie News:
The movie American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe is filming right outside my office. I'll let you know if anything notable happens.

Monday, October 23, 2006

No More Theme Songs

This is not even close to being comics-related, but it's still interesting.

This article by the AP suggests that TV theme songs are going the way of Speakeasy.
Back in the day, even into the `90s, shows usually had a "main title," a 40-to-60 second opening montage that introduced the cast and was often set to music written by a composer, said Jon Burlingame, author of "TV's Biggest Hits," a history of themes. Songs summed up what a show was all about, whether spinning the tale of how a group of wacky castaways ended up on "Gilligan's Island," telling how a spunky single career woman was "going to make it after all," or describing why six touchy-feely Manhattan singles were there for each other.

But now many sitcoms and one-hour dramas are dropping that device. They dive straight into the action, sometimes flashing the show's title or logo at various points throughout an episode.

Trudeau Profile in WP

The Washington Post has a very nice Garry Trudeau profile up. Please read it. It's very good reading for a surely slow Monday. It's Monday, right?

Leong Time Gone

Sorry, True Believers, it's been a while since a posting. I just came back from a funeral back home. It was actually pretty cool because the relative was in WWII, so there was this military detail there that did the flag presentation, a gun salute and played TAPS.

I did, however, fall asleep during the funeral ceremony. Three times. It was an accident! In my own defense, I hadn't slept the night before and was wearing a new suit (looks fantastic) that was just a liiiiiiiiittle bit too tight.

Anyway, I'm back, back in the New York groove.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gangsta Galactus

From the great editorial/sequential illustrator Kagan Mcleod

Friday, October 13, 2006

Build Your Own Pixel Mario

Build you own classic characters!
Through Dot-S you can make just about any character you want via a system similar to Lite Brite. I'm holding out, though, until I can recreate A Boy and His Blob.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


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Check out these Transformer costumes. The creator made Transformer suits that fully transform from Autobot to car. And you can wear them — presumably not during the transformation process.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Keith Murphy over at the Comic Book Artists Guild asked me to pass this along:

Halloween Indie Party For Comic Book Artists Guild Announced
The comic book community is invited to attend the Indie Halloween Party on Saturday October 28th from 6-11 PM at The Twins Pub in New York City. Admission to this event is free. The party will take place on the entire upstairs level of the bar and will feature a costume contest, cash bar, DJ and live music. Sponsors for the event will be displaying their comic books for sale.

CAG will be celebrating the premiere of their new horror anthology “Psychosis” published by Guild Works Productions.

The Twins Pub is located just 3 blocks away from the convention center, midway between the 34th Street subway station and the Javitz center.

For more information go to: www.comicartguild.com or www.guildworksproductions.com

Indie After Party
Saturday, October 28th
The Twins Pub
421 9th Avenue (between 33 and 34 St.)
New York, NY 10001
6-11 pm

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gyllenhaal Batman Rumors


Gyllenhaal Laughs Off Batman-Ledger Reunion
Jake Gyllenhaal has laughed off internet rumors claiming he will reunite with his Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger in the forthcoming Batman Begins sequel. Gyllenhaal was reportedly in talks to play Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent - the role taken on by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995 film Batman Forever. Ledger has already been cast to play The Joker in The Dark Knight, which sees Christian Bale taking on the Caped Crusader for a second time after his successful debut in 2005. But Gyllenhaal's agent says, "No, the other guy from Brokeback Mountain is in it if you haven't heard."

I'm not saying I was the first or only one to make the very obvious connection, but for the sake of fun let's just say I was.

New Comic Foundry Online

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The new issue of Comic Foundry is up! We changed it up this month and in attempt to push the medium we did all the stories in video format. There are a bunch of stories on the site now and we'll be adding more as the month progresses.

Be sure to check out our special report on FRAK PARTIES and our interview with the Hellboy Animated director Tad Stones.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

And the new Elektra is...Ghost Rider!

Wow. Have you seen the latest trailer for the new Ghost Rider movie? It looks, well, horrific. Judging a book by its cover, the movie looks bad enough to be on a viewing of Mystery Science Theater.

Avi Arad must have LOVED the film Simon BIrch. Why else would he have kept hiring Mark Steven Johnson (writer and director of Simon Birch)? Johnson has made three films for Marvel: Daredevil, Elektra and Ghost Rider — he wrote all three and directed Daredevil and Ghost Rider. Is it just me or does it seem like his movies are getting worse? (The answer is: No, Tim, it's not just you. It's the entire universe)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Two Face in next Batman movie

According to sources that aren't my own, TWO FACE is in the Batman Begins sequel. No word on casting yet but we can all bet it's not Lando or Al Gore's old roommate. But with Heath Ledger coming in as The Joker, the obvious chose for Harvey Dent has to be Jake Gyllenhaal. Right?

From Screenhead, via IGN

Major Problem

Here's the beef: I don't think I DVR'd LOST. The season premiere is tonight and I have to work late. I was here until 10:45 last nite and I'm assuming more of the same. What's a boy to do?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I played with the Nintendo Wii Today

So, today I was called upon to be a model for an upcoming advertorial we're doing with Nintendo. They had the new Nintendo Wii on set — nunchuck controllers and all. The only sad part? It wasn't plugged in. So, I didn't get to play the Wii, but I did get to play with the controllers. I'll tell you what — even that was fun.

The controllers themselves are fit my hands well, which was surprising since I have big hands. The Nintendo unit is tiny though. Looks like it'll be very easy to travel with. Both controllers have triggers and I can't wait to play the boxing game...

Make Opitmus Prime Speak

On Transformers.com you now have the chance to suggest a line of dialogue for Optimus Prime in the new Transformers movie. Ten winners will have the line recorded, and one will make it into the film. Feel free to suggest "Da Comic Foundry Rulz #1." I have. 32 times.

GR Poster Revealed

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Ghost Rider poster revealed. Sigh.

Wait - the release date is Feb. 16. Now check out the tagline text they put on this thing (with the bad breaks):

Long Ago
He Made a Deal
To Save Someone
He Loved

With it coming out two days after Valentine's Day, it almost seems like they're trying to take a piece of the romance market.

In other Marvel movie news, anyone else catch Jon Favreau on the Late Late show with Craig Ferguson last night? Or did you only tune in when Kristen Bell came on? He spoke about Iron Man, the MySpace page and having all the props around the house.

Monday, October 02, 2006


No new issue today. We've been hit with a very big project that just wrapped. Unfortunately, it knocked us back a week so our new issue will be out next Monday, October 9th. My very deep apologies for the delay.