Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Posts tagged “Wizard Magazine

Repurposing The Site

I am sure that most of you who read this blog are familiar with Rich Johnston. He of Lying in the Gutters and BleedingCool infamy. He was one of the first community personalities to comment on one of my stories when I reviewed a book he wrote for Image when this blog first got underway. I basically accused him of being a gossip-monger masquerading a journalist in the comments he pretty much said that he rejects the idea of himself as a journalist. Which is good because the way he conducts himself sometimes makes him seem more like a court jester than a reporter. But looking back at that and looking at the way I run this blog I had to think of how I look at myself and what my goals are in bothering to post anything on this site.

I’ve obviously reported the news in the past. When something big happened I tried to make sure that I got it posted and spread around. I know that I’ve never broken any important stories but I felt that it was an obligation to treat stories about major happenings in a certain way. I guess I hoped my little blog would be something akin to an underground ComicsAlliance. I may not agree with their snark 50% of the time but I won’t deny that they have the contacts and the resources to handle the journalistic side of the medium. They’re 100x better than what we got with Wizard, anyhow.

But looking at this past year I’ve been posting fewer and fewer big news items unless they strike me as important enough to write a real opinion piece about. I still write reviews because I enjoy getting my opinion on the record and establishing why I feel a certain way. It’s not a matter of routine for me the way the news posts were. And so I’ve come to the conclusion that CCQ is, at its heart, a blog. And as such I have begun making plans to transition it into a full blown commentary hub. In the coming weeks I hope to be posting far more smaller pieces just to start discussion among my readers. And despite my slowdown in posting I’m still getting a sizeable amount of traffic for a small one-man operation such as this. It’s not a million unique visitors a day but it’s still enough to make me happy I bother to type these things out.

So expect things to go a little differently around here soon. Hopefully for the better.


Wizard Magazine Says Goodbye?

Wizard Shop Talk

One Of The Times Wizard Quoted My Dumb Ass

In what amounts to being surprising in no real way whatsoever, multiple folks across the web are reporting that Wizard Magazine is apparently ceasing publication in print format. There have been some rumblings of the brand remaining open in the form of its website, if only to give some sort of branding livelihood to the conventions which apparently will continue to be held. Toyfare apparently will continue as a magazine entity as well. The overall feeling across the ‘net in regards to this announcement has mostly been one of empathy toward the employees who are now out of a job and a bit of head shaking due to the fact that this has been the only possible outcome for a while now. Wizard hasn’t “broken” an exclusive story in years and news travels so fast directly from the horse’s mouth on social networking sites like Twitter and on the message boards of CBR and other noted websites that the magazine was made redundant quite some time ago. The only reason people bought that magazine in the last few months was due to the price guide, and I can verify that easily simply because when they removed the guide for a few months last year people stopped buying the damn thing entirely.

If Wizard wants to remain relevant I can say that their best bet is by an online database/price guide that updated on a weekly or dare I say daily basis. I can guarantee that alone would justify their existence to a majority of the comic reading populus. We don’t need padded and trite Q&A interviews with Megan Fox but we would like to know if we’re getting a fair market price for a first printing of Morning Glories. That’s just the truth.


I Got Quoted in Wizard…Again

Wuh-wu-wu-wu-WIZARD!Click to see Highlighted Quote

One of these days I’m going to have them list me as “lead blogger of Comics Con Queso” and see if the site doesn’t get some additional traffic out of it. Call it a social expirement, if you will.


Weekly Comic Book Reviews

I Do Not Actually Look Like Jesse Custer

Dear loving God, I think I may have gone overboard on the books this week. I bought about double my usual pull and mostly because there were issues I figured would be good picks for review on this here blog.You should all feel so special.

The Pull List:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #619 GNTLT 2.99
ARCHIE #605
AVENGERS INITIATIVE #32 SIEGE 2.99
BATMAN AND ROBIN #7 2.99
BLACKEST NIGHT JSA #2 (OF 3) 2.99
CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #6 (OF 6) 3.99
CHEW #8 (MR) 2.99
DAREDEVIL #504 2.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #861 3.99
FALL OF HULKS RED HULK #1 (OF 4) FOH 3.99
FANTASTIC FOUR #575 2.99
GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #8 2.99
GREEN LANTERN #50 (BLACKEST NIGHT) 3.99
HOUSE OF MYSTERY TP VOL 03 THE SPACE BETWEEN 14.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #41 3.99
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #35 2.99
KICK ASS #8 (MR) 2.99
MS MARVEL #49 2.99
NEW AVENGERS #61 SIEGE 3.99
PUNISHER #13 2.99
ROBOCOP #1 (MR) 3.5
SUPERGIRL #49 2.99
SUPERMAN #696 2.99
SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN #4 (OF 6) 3.99
THOR #606 2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS ENEMY #1 (OF 4) 3.99
WIZARD MAGAZINE #222 MARVEL SIEGE CVR (C: 0-1-2) 5.99
WONDER WOMAN #40 2.99
X-FACTOR #201 2.99
X-FORCE #23 XN 2.99
X-MEN LEGACY #232 XN 2.99

And here come the reviews:

AVENGERS INITIATIVE # 32

Taskmaster is an underated character. He’s really been getting his due in this book and this issue is no different. Initiative shows the POV of the ground level people going into the Siege on Asgard, particularly Taskmaster and Diamondback. We really get to see a clear defintion of why it is Taskmaster does what he does, something that I found refreshing in that it really fleshed his character out further than we’ve seen previously and hopefully it will generate some more interest in the character so that he sticks around after Initiative goes the way of the dodo in April.

BATMAN & ROBIN # 7
Long delayed and anticipated in ways I cannot possibly describe, the seventh issue of Grant Morrison’s flagship title for the Batman reborn storyline picks back up with a bang, not losing any of the kinetic energy that has made the book such a great read from it’s inception. The story begins in London with Batman racing against time through the streets trying to stop a runaway train brimming with explosives. The pacing of Batman’s movements through the city showcase all that artist Cameron Stewart is capable of and at the same time reminds us that Dick Grayson as Batman retains so much of the acrobatic skill that made him so formidible as Nightwing.

The book then escalates, delving into conspiracies regarding an old mine that may or may not have certain regenerative qualities. Sure enough, Batman and Robin show up and find a viable Lazarus Pit. With the themes already touched upon in the last few issues regarding Bruce’s death, one can easily see where this leads; but everything Grant Morrison does is always slightly off kilter, and I would wager that the final page of this issue is going to lead to something that defies expectation.

It should be noted that the issue has a really big lettering error, one which is devestatingly confusing. I know at least one person who assumed this was some sort of weird Morrisonian style choice, but it’s nothing so sinister. Just swap the speech bubbles and it makes perfect sense, and all will be well.E

DETECTIVE COMICS # 861

Following J.H. Williams on the art duty for Detective is pretty much like expecting a garage band to play the encore for Led Zeppelin. Artist JOCK does a great job on the title, bringing his signature look to the book an creating his own template for the action. Rucka does well balancing the dual stories, showcasing Batman and Batwoman’s investigation of the same case.

While I certainly miss the unparalleled art by Williams, this arc looks to be Rucka at the top of his game, and if that’s the case, it really doesn’t matter who is pulling the art chores.

RED HULK # 1

A book where the Red Hulk and Abomination team up to learn how M.O.D.O.K. repeatedly clones himself and harvests his own organs for future use. I’m a sucker for anything remotely involving M.O.D.O.K., so the fact that this book technically doesn’t need to exist in any way shape or form can be overlooked.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 41

I haven’t been reading Robinson’s JLA. I read the first issue of Cry for Justice and decided that no good could come from reading anything Justice League related from that particular author. Picking up this issue, I can honestly say that I was probably right. The narrative seems jumbled and the characterization stilted. I know from his run on STARMAN that Robinson can handle a diverse cast. The only explaination I can think of for his inability to craft a coherant JLA is that in STARMAN, he built his world from the ground up. Robinson seems to have issues playing in other people’s sandbox with JLA and it is visible on every page.

Which is disappointing because Mark Bagley is turning out some really nice work here, drawing a wide spectrum of characters with all his usual skill. The fact that one of the most competent artists on the DC roster is stuck drawing such a lackluster book is perhaps the biggest shame of all.

ROBOCOP # 1

I’m not sure where this fits into the movie continuity. It seems like it either takes place before the third film or ignores it entirely. I don’t so much care about the continuity, that stuff doesn’t really matter with a book like this. What bothers me most about this book is just how damned sloppy it is. It reads like tiresome fan-fiction, which is forgiveable considering that that essentially what it needs to be. What really drags the book down is the ham-fisted way they try to shoehorn blatant social commentary about our current financial dilemma into the narrative. And while the original film did a good job mixing action and subtext, this book doesn’t seem to know how to do it without coming off as forced and trite.

ULTIMATE COMICS ENEMY # 1

I have no f**king idea what happened in this issue. Ben Grimm hit on the Invisible Woman and then started shedding like a mangy dog, a building exploded with a purple blob thing, and Nick Fury has lunch. I’m pretty much willing to accept a lot but paying $3.99 for this makes me slightly angry.

WONDER WOMAN # 40

Gail Simone knows how to write Wonder Woman. This issue features creepy Childen of the Corn kids spreading hate-speech, racism, and fear and eventually Power Girl shows up. I love Power Girl, so this book is immediately awesome, but the character moments in the book are so strong that it didn’t even need her to win me over. Gail has organically been building this series in such a manner that in a few years it will likely be held up alongside Perez as the pinnacle in what can be achieved with the character.

***

And that’s it for this week. You’ll notice I actually reviewed more than one DC book this week. Aren’t I a generous soul?


So, I Got Mentioned In Wizard…

Wizard Shop Talk

Okay, so that may not mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, and it in no way will get hits for this site, (grumble, mutter) but it’s still kind of cool. I mean, I give Wizard a lot of grief for esentially degenerating over the years into a personal ball-tickler for Marvel Comics and a second rate magazine that offers no viable editorials considering its breaking news usually hits stands two months after the details have already hit the web; that much I admit. However, it is sort of a long-standing institution in the comic business, and the fact that when they removed the price guide section everybody raised hell to get it back, knowing that having monthly updates helps both collectors and retailers in more ways than we’d like to admit, shows that it still retains some relevance.

Basically, I’m going to use this as a cheap excuse to claim that my opinion on comic books is somehow valid because it has seen a few lines of print in publication that I didn’t pay for.

So there…