by Brian LeTendre
This week, Marvel announced their latest 'Comics for Comics' initiative, which allows retailers to send in covers of unsold comics to Marvel in exchange for a rare variant cover edition of Fear Itself #6 that they can sell in their store. That may sound pretty cool on the surface, except it’s not unsold Marvel comics retailers are being asked to return--it’s unsold DC comics.
For every 50 covers of selected Flashpoint issues that retailers submit, they get an Ed McGuinnes variant cover issue of Fear Itself #6. So, Marvel is asking comic retailer to rip the covers off of 50 DC comics and send them in to get a free Marvel book. Here’s what Marvel Senior VP of Publishing, Sales and Circulation says about the initiative:
“In these tough economic times, we feel it’s our duty to help. After the overwhelmingly positive response to our Comics For Comics programs, through which we received tens of thousands of covers, we’re excited to provide retailers with the chance to help their stores through selling an ultra-rate variant."
Personally, I think that’s a bunch of garbage. For some reason, Marvel thinks it’s cute to design incentive programs that are a direct attack on DC, and then coyly act like they are doing this to support retailers (they did a similar promotion with Blackest Night and Siege). No one falls for it, least of all retailers, and fans are getting sick of it too. This type of move just comes across as childish. Marvel is already the market leader in terms of comic sales, and these types of arrogant stunts will potentially have the exact opposite effect Marvel is hoping for. I’ve read a lot of forum posts this week about fans dropping Marvel books in the wake of this, and a lot of retailers are railing against it as well.
If Marvel wants to truly support retailers, they should use their own books in these incentive programs. How about for every 50 Fear Itself tie-in covers you send in, you get a free copy of a Daredevil #1 variant? Support the retailers that support you, don’t undermine them by having them take another company’s books off the shelves. Retailers need to sell those books to survive, and you’re forcing to take a gamble that your “ultra rare” variant will bring in more money than the comics they destroyed to get it.
I’m not sure Marvel is aware of this, but no retailer is going to survive in the comic market by selling only Marvel books. If DC disappeared tomorrow, Marvel would follow soon afterward. I would much rather see Marvel focusing on improving the quality of their books in order to justify the $4 price point, than taking shots at DC, who is actually making bold moves and shaking up the status quo (i.e. $2.99 comics, day-and-date digital and the upcoming relaunch).
I have been a lifelong Marvel fan, but in the past couple of years, I’ve felt like DC has gone about their business in a much more professional, fan-friendly way. Marvel spends too much time patting themselves on the back, and not enough time on making sure they are putting out a quality product. They should pay more attention to their own house, as they might not be number one for much longer. They certainly won’t be in the month of September, and fan backlash against Marvel could give DC the momentum it needs to keep the top for some time to come.
One of the biggest lawsuits to affect the comic industry has just been settled!
New York Federal Judge Colleen McMahon declared the heirs of artist / writer Jack Kirby has no claims to copyrights he co – created for Marvel Comics. These characters are owned by Disney!
“This is a big deal, but despite what people may think, I feel the decision is the right one”, said Matman! “When ‘The King’ created these characters he was paid for them and for the work. No one knew back then these characters from Captain America to the Fantastic Four would be worth so much!”
Judge McMahon put it into its proper prospective! “At the outset, it is important to state what this motion is not about. Contrary to recent press accounts [including two pieces in the New York Times], this case is not about whether Jack Kirby or Stan Lee is the real 'creator' of Marvel characters, or whether Kirby was treated 'fairly' by companies that grew rich off the fruit of their labor. It is about whether Kirby's work qualifies as work-for-hire under the Copyright Act of 1909, as interpreted by the courts, notably the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If it does, then Marvel owns the copyright in the Kirby Works, whether that is 'fair' or not. If it does not, then the Kirby Heirs have a statutory right to take back those copyrights, no matter the impact on recent corporate acquisition or on earnings from blockbuster movies made and yet to be made."
“Now that is the argument I will fight until I die,” added Matman! “If there was no Jack Kirby, Marvel and its characters would not have the look and style we grew accustomed to. I feel his contributions had more of an impact than Stan Lee’s! But Stan was the voice of Marvel so he looked more involved than he was.”
Let the debate begin!
For the next 4 days, Drive Thru Comics and Drive Thru RPG are having a 25% off sale on tons of their products. You've heard us rave about Drive Thru on the podcast, and now's a great time to make your first (of fiftieth) purchase. And don't forget, on your way to checkout, grab a free epsiode of Secret Identity!
A few weeks back, DC released a free must have book called ‘DC Comics – The New 52’! This free book not only gave us a look into the first wave of DC books, but gave us a free 6 page preview of the Geoff Johns / Jim Lee Justice League # 1!
“Now I’ve been a little nervous about the relaunch as a read ‘Flashpoint’,” Matman adds. “I’ve been worried that the DCU would start up from ‘Flashpoint’, but after I read the preview I see it’s going to be DCU day one!”
If you picked up the preview comic, than you have gone through and saw the teams and decided what books interest you, which ones you’ll get and maybe which creative teams make you wonder…
So next week the Secret identity News Desk will premier with a discussion on the new books! Brian and Matman will pick their 5 most anticipated series and offer a few of the ones that make them scratch their heads!
So what book are you the most excited about? What worries you? Who shouldn’t be on what book?
While most of us who saw Captain America absolutely loved it, we were all holding our breath and hoping for a good opening weekend.
Well, breathe easier, as Captain America took in a very respectable $65.8 million this weekend, knocking Harry Potter out of first place. Let's hope the movie has a long tail, as it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
So much news has come out of San Diego Comic Con, but the biggest for many is the Eisner Award winners for 2011.
Congrats to the winners!
Best Short Story
"Post Mortem," by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
Best Continuing Series
Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
Best Limited Series
Daytripper, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Vertigo/DC)
Best New Series
American Vampire, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC)
Best Publication for Kids
Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
Best Publication for Teens
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
Best Humor Publication
I Thought You Would Be Funnier, by Shannon Wheeler (BOOM!)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, edited by Paul Morrissey and David Petersen (Archaia)
Best Digital Comic
Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl, www.abominable.cc
Best Reality-Based Work
It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
Best Graphic Album—New
Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
Wilson, by Daniel Clowes (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint
Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)
Best Adaptation from Another Work
The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946–1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein (IDW)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Asia
Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Skottie Young, The Marvelous Land of Oz (Marvel)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
Best Cover Artist
Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse)
Dave Stewart, Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Let Me In (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Neil Young's Greendale, Daytripper, Joe the Barbarian (Vertigo/DC)
Todd Klein, Fables, The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (WildStorm/DC); SHIELD (Marvel); Driver for the Dead (Radical)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
ComicBookResources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com)
Best Comics-Related Book
75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, by Paul Levitz (TASCHEN)
Best Publication Design
Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk (IDW)
HALL OF FAME
Judges' Choices: Ernie Bushmiller, Jack Jackson, Martin Nodell, Lynd Ward
Elected: Mort Drucker, Harvey Pekar, Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman
Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award:
Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award:
Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award:
Del Connell, Bob Haney
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award:
Comics & Vegetables, Tel Aviv, Israel - Yuval Sharon, Danny Amitai
What are your thoughts? Do you read any of these?
So the new site is live! Please take some time to look around our new digs, and let us know what you think. As you can see, we've streamlined things a bit--there are fewer pages, and you can now sort through content using the categories on the right side of this front page. We think you'll have an easier time finding news, reviews and interviews that interest you, and it's a lot easier for us to update things.
The biggest additions to the site are the community features. You can now comment on every news story right here on the front page. You can also share stories you like on Twitter and Facebook, which helps spread the word about Secret Identity. As you see in the top navigation bar, we have a new Community page, which houses the forums, links to email and Facebook stuff, as well as our new voicemail number (feel free to leave us a message).
Matt and I would like to thank you all again for your support as we relaunch the site and the podcast. Everything we do moving forward is building on the great community we have here at Secret Identity--a community you are all a part of. We'd also like to give a special thanks to Chris Giarrusso and the SI Community's own Invincifan (Ryan Astle), for giving us two cool new banners that you'll see alternating on our different pages.
So, thanks again, and enjoy the new site!
by the Matman
As I walked into the theatre my thought was of fear!!! For me to be happy about this film, it had to only be the greatest film of all time! No pressure, eh?
We always say that to make a good comic book movie you need to stay close to the source material, and make the character interesting and likable. It needs to have spirit and most importantly, it needs to be accessible to kids of all ages.
Check, check, check, check and check!
‘Captain America – The First Avenger’ is an incredible look at the making of a hero! From his humble and meek beginnings we see a man who believes in something so hard, he’ll do anything to get it. This, during a world conflict that clearly defines good and evil! On the other side we meet the Red Skull who is the absolute opposite of Steve Rogers; so power hungry he’ll kill anyone and anything who gets in his way!
The pacing of this film is as perfect as you can get. The story has time to breath and isn’t weighed down by anything unnecessary. The action scenes are like watching comic book panels come to life; heroic and full of action. For longtime Cap fans, the appearances of Dum Dum Dugan, Arnim Zola and Peggy Carter was a treat and a brief glimpse into the ‘Winter Soldier’ was just icing on the cake!
As Cap, Chris Evans was perfect and will make you forget he was the Human Torch! And Hugo Weaving was just as impressive. Even behind the ultra cool looking mask, he was full of hate. Haylee Atwell (Peggy Carter), Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Philips) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky) were all excellent additions and played their parts perfectly.
So as you can imagine…I loved this movie! It has for me become my favorite superhero movie and the blueprint any director should follow when making a film because Joe Johnston created an absolute masterpiece!
Matman Rating – 5 out of 5 stay for the trailer past the credits!