INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
It’s an odd one for me this week; if I had $15, I’d probably just grab two of DC’s Zero Month books (Batman Incorporated and Flash, both $2.99) and then skip straight to the $30 portion of the week so that I could pick up the Showcase Presents Amethyst, Vol. 1 collection (DC, $19.99), if only to reassure me that the original series was good after last week’s revival.
If I were to splurge, I’d step outside of DC’s purview and go for IDW’s Joe Kubert Tarzan Artist Edition. I was one of the many people who didn’t really “get” Kubert as a kid, but his linework won me over as I got older, and the chance to see some of his best-looking art in “real size” is something that I’d love to be able to embrace.
If I had $15, I’d get Batman Incorporated #0, probably the only DC zero book I’ll get, and Vol. 11 of Yotsuba&!, because I could use some irrepressibly cute manga about an adorable green-haired girl right about now.
If I had $30, I’d put away Yotsuba&! and get Barbara, Osamu Tezuka’s manga about a would-be artist who takes in a lovely but strange homeless woman, only to become convinced that she is his personal muse. I know there was a bit of grumbling that DMP went the Kickstarter route in getting this published, but honestly, I’m just happy to have more Tezuka in print.
What constitutes a splurge purchase? How about six, hardcover, slipcased volumes of Robert Crumb’s sketchbook work, priced at about $1,600, courtesy of the fine folks at Taschen? Yeah, I think buying that would be a “splurge purchase.” It would also constitute sheer madness and a one-way trip to the poorhouse, but at least you’d have all those nice Crumb books to keep you company. I’m sure they’d make a fine pillow.
Hit-Girl, apparently, is a hit. The first issue of the miniseries starring the supporting character from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass has sold out its first printing, which according to Millar was over 70,000 copies.
“Pre-orders for Hit-Girl #1 were over 70,000 copies, and we’ve completely sold out of first printing, the Noto variant and the limited edition white variant in 36 hrs.,” Millar said on his MillarWorld site. “Marvel cleverly had an emergency second printing on stand-by and only 1700 copies of this left. So a third printing has not been ordered.
“… This is outselling even Kick-Ass and reaction has been amazing. Johnny and I very chuffed.”
Millar followed that post up with another saying that the second printing was sold out. “Third printing on the way, people,” he said.
Those numbers are especially impressive since Hit-Girl #1 was apparently left off of Diamond’s initial retailer’s order form.
The Hit-Girl miniseries takes place between Kick-Ass volumes 1 and 2 as the title character, a.k.a. Mindy McCready, tries to settle into life as a regular school-girl. According to the solicitation text, “Her mother and step-father think she’s doing her homework, but in reality she’s taken Kick-Ass on as her sidekick and training him up to punch, shoot and stab” … and apparently sell a bunch of comics.
Following Wednesday morning’s announcement that the long-discussed Batwoman solo title would indeed debut in July — without Greg Rucka, but with J.H. Williams III, joined by co-writer W. Haden Blackman and, later, artist Amy Reeder Hadley — I braced for another onslaught of mainstream-media coverage.
After all, newspapers, cable-news networks and entertainment websites have a long fascination with lesbian socialite Kate Kane, aka the “lady-lovin’ Batwoman,” that dates back to her May 2006 unveiling in The New York Times, and continued through her July 2006 comics debut in 52. That fixation with the “hot lesbian” — or “flame-haired lesbian,” if you prefer — began anew almost three years later, after DC Comics announced that Batwoman would take the lead in Detective Comics during Batman’s “death”-induced absence.
So it stands to reason the official confirmation of a Batwoman monthly series would draw the same sort of attention, right? After all, the elements that fueled the previous media frenzies are still there: homosexuality, the familiar Bat-brand, the idea that comics are a children’s medium. But this go-around, things have been relatively quiet.