Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Direct market sales soar in August; Art Cumings dies

Avengers Vs. X-Men #9

Comics | The August direct market sales numbers are in, and things look good: Comics sales are up almost 20 percent over August 2011, and graphic novels are up 15 percent. This isn’t just a fluke, either: Year-to-date sales are up about the same in both categories. DC had a slight edge in market share, Marvel did slightly better on unit sales, and interestingly, the Big Two stole back a bit of market share from everyone else. And as with bookstore sales, Batman ruled the direct market: “The influence of The Dark Knight Rises is more obvious in the bookstore channel with its tendency to foster backlist sales (Frank Miller’s 1980’s classic, The Dark Knight Returns was tops in the bookstores), while the direct market sales are concentrated more on the most recent releases such as Johns’ Batman: Earth One, which was released in July and Snyder’s New 52 volume that was out in May.” [ICv2]

Passings | Illustrator and panel cartoonist Art Cumings has died at the age of 90. Mike Lynch describes Cumings as “an illustrator’s illustrator and a cartoonist’s cartoonist”; his work appeared everywhere from Dr. Seuss books to Penthouse magazine, and it’s worth hitting the link to see his Balloonheads cartoons from the latter. (NSFW, but in a cute, colorful way.) [Mike Lynch Cartoons]

Geoff Johns

Libraries | The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, has named its graphic novel collection after DC’s Geoff Johns, who appeared at the museum Sunday to promote Simon Baz, the Arab-American Green Lantern, and donated some DC graphic novels to the collection. [The Detroit News]

Awards | The shortlist for the U.K.’s first Young People’s Comic Awards has been announced. [British Comic Awards]

Creators | Raina Telgemeier, whose Smile took the middle-school graphic novel market by storm, talks about her new book Drama, and about moving from memoir to fiction: “I was always scared of writing fiction, but I’m still using my own memories as a springboard, so it doesn’t really feel all that different. I was in my high school choir, which translated into singing in the ensemble in several school musicals. I loved learning the parts, hanging out with the cast and crew, and the buzz of opening night. I loved the experience of putting on plays…but I never wanted to be in the spotlight. I decided to write a story that spoke to those memories, but moved away from my own experiences, for the opportunity to push the story further. All of the musicals I was in went relatively smoothly, but it’s easy to imagine a school play spiraling completely out of control!” [Graphic Novel Reporter]

Creators | Where are all the female creators? Everywhere except Marvel and DC, according to this roundup. (That’s not entirely true — Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marjorie M. Liu spring to mind — but the trends certainly seem to be heading that way.) [Stumptown Trade Review]

Comic strips | Michael Cavna talks to Jeff MacNelly’s widow Susie, Gary Brookins, and Chris Cassatt, who have continued to work on Shoe since Jeff MacNelly’s death, about their 35th-anniversary story arc in which Skyler goes back to 1977 and meets his creator. [Comic Riffs]



As a writer, Geoff Johns is emblematic of everything wrong with comics these days.

“There is a large nostalgic component in there and there’s nothing wrong with it. But if those people then begin to influence the books themselves or increasingly the movies or the television series then they will want their story to refer to stories that they remember. It becomes very incestuous and over a few decades you get a very limited dwindling gene pool. And you get stories that have become weak through inbreeding”

– Alan Moore

Where is that Alan Moore quote from? I dig it.

Have to agree with you, Irish…

My problems with Geoff as follows:
1) the man has about 2 or 3 decent ideas and nothing else… Very overrated. Extremely bland.

2) his storylines tend to feature a lot of over-the-top violence — dismemberment, impalings, etc… This is not anything new for him — he’s been doing this since before Infinite Crisis and it’s gotten progressively worse.

3) he sacrifices characterization in favor of thin plotting.
He also tends to kill off B or C character like there’s no tomorrow.
Creators today tend to forget that every character is someone’s favorite… They also seem to be quick to try to create new versions of existing characters and be quick to bury the previous versions and either pretend the classic versions didn’t exist or dangle the carrot of possible resurrections in front of readers. People do eventually ignore the “Cry wolf!” storylines and stop buying books because of this.
There was this huge debate over GL in the 1990s — but apparently DC hasn’t learned one damn thing since then… Hence, the replacements for Blue Beetle, The Question, Firestorm, and a number of characters that had intense cult followings.
The editorial replies to fan outrage is very condenscending and shallow… So is the conceit by certain by DC senior editorial (Mike Carlin) about the “planned revamps” that “rile and anger fans.” They know damn well what they do with retcons/revamps but don’t care about the long-term damage to the characters/history of publishing as well as the extreme bad will that this sows amongst long-term fandom. DC editorial/senior staff apparently doesn’t take the bad PR seriously enough. They will eventually pay for this in lower sales and people permanently leaving comics and DC (in particular) behind. The pre-1990s fans are not the people they should be ticking off; they are long-term, generally more loyal, and have higher income than the post-1990s crowd . A couple of high-ranking firings at DC are in the offing I’d say unless they have a lot of dirt on their bosses at Time-Warner.
Now that Johns is senior staff at DC, he’s not invulnerable. He’s very much complicit in at least their short-term strategy planning and is probably more vulnerable. As they say, the higher a position you get, the longer the eventual fall off the cliff!

4) way, way overrated on most of his titles. Two decent storylines on GL (“Rebirth” and “The Sinestro Corps War”) but the rest made me drop GL ASAP… For a guy credited for “saving Hal Jordan,” he sure can’t write him as an interesting character on a monthly basis… And now the word is Jordan’s coming back as a Black Lantern zombie???
I’m amazed so many people are giving him a pass on what seems to be a very quick demise for Hal (AGAIN)!
Can’t say I’m crazy about the Arab GL, either. Smacks of very quick tokenism and no depth to the character The fact that he’s partly basing the character on himself smacks of huge ego.

Not seeing the love for him on Flash, either. Waid/Augustyn (the team, NOT solo) were much better on Wally West and kept the death toll low and were able to BUILD on the legacy without having to stripmine the countryside… Never saw what was special about Johns’ Flash runs unless you liked seeing more violent versions of the Rogues and Zoom II.
Have to say, though, that I don’t entirely blame him for Wally’s quick exit as the prime Flash. It was a combination of very bad set-ups from both Johns and Waid’s second-to-last Flash run as well as the fill-in writers on Flash after Johns left the Wally West Flash title — and the boneheaded editorial decision to make Bart Allen Flash IV — not that it ever made sense graduating him past Impulse, either… The combination of speedster children plus not knowing how to write the marriage into the plot doomed the Wally West Flash era in comics. This is not an era for editorial patience or thinking things through clearly.

5) I have never seen another creator get as many self-titled collections of his work in such a quick amount of time and he’s far from the best-selling writer or artist in comics history. How many years did it take for (example) there to be a John Byrne Fantastic Four collection??? Around 20?? And guess what — Byrne’s FF sold on average at least 2-3 times what most of Johns’ DC titles sell now! (Not that Byrne doesn’t have his faults as well but it shows how far the comic sales have fallen and how low the lowest common denominator has sunk, too…)
I guess it pays to get promoted — it makes for a quicker turnaround on reprints (and, hence, faster royalty payments) on your old work!
How convenient that the chief creative officer of a company gets so much reprint work dedicated to himself… I guess he’ll need the money if the DC movies continue to follow the impressive lead-in set by the GL film which Johns had a major hand in.


It’s from an interview he gave last year to “The Guardian”.

Search for “Alan Moore: an extraordinary gentleman – Q&A”

Can’t wait til this guys get demoted.
He’s not where he belong.

Do you guys knowingly wake up every morning and just troll forums? Learn some netiquette and type something of substance that’s actually germane to the blog subject. You’re worse than the blowhards at Bleeding Cool. #fail

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives