Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My month without the New 52 continues

Back in late spring/early summer, +DC Comics announced "Villain Month" for September -- that instead of publishing their regular issues, they would publish one-shots showing the origins or back-stories of important villains in the New 52 DC Universe (aka. "the DCnU")..  These one-shots were set to have special "3D covers" (thought to me they look like clear plastic with stickers on them), and were clearly designed specifically as a marketing gimmick.  I began to balk at the idea, and then when I heard how DC was screwing over the retailers by playing games with the ordering system, I became so fed up with the whole thing that I swore off of DC's New 52 line of comics for the month.  I've discussed this at length elsewhere, so I won't go into further detail about my dislike for this "event" here.

But along with swearing off DC's mainstream comics for the month, I wanted to make sure that my own retailer in North Carolina was not harmed by my decision. None of this is the comic-shop's fault, and in fact they did everything they could to make all their customers happy with this Villain Month nonsense.  So to help out my retailer, and also to provide me with something to read as well as explore some non-DC options for buying comics, I decided that for me, instead of being "Villain Month," September would be "Independent Month." This month, I will be spending twice as much as I normally spend on DC's New 52 line, but instead of buying New 52 issues, I will buy product from the other companies out there, like Dark Horse, Image, and Dynamite.

Indeed, knowing that I had "Independent Month" coming up, I began to very much look forward to September this year.  Rather than dreading the whole "event" and knowing I was going to hate it, I have been salivating over all the interesting options out there in the Independent publishing world.  I got so jazzed, in fact, that I couldn't wait till September and I started buying stuff in August -- much of it already reviewed on this site, such as Lazarus and Miss Fury.

This week, I continue my exploration of the Independent world with two Image Comics offerings and one from Dynamite Entertainment, pictured below:

On the left is Red Sonja #3, from the new series published by Dynamite and written by Gail Simone.  The first two issues of this series, though not perfect, have been a solid 8/10, and definitely made me want to keep reading.  That's near the top of the "to read" pile even though I just got it (normally I read comics in order of purchase, but sometimes I just can't resist jumping good ones up in the order, especially if I have a fairly large pile).  I've reviewed the earlier issues of Red Sonja elsewhere.

On the right is another third issue, Ghosted #3.  This is a new series by Joshua Williamson, sort of a combination of the pulp and paranormal genres, with some "secret agent" thrown in.  The first two issues of this series were also quite solid, similar in quality to Red Sonja, and also worthy of 8/10 scores.  To me an 8/10 is good enough to keep reading, and so I have this one on my pull list right now as well.  It must be selling all right, since the comic shop got reprints of issues 1 and 2 this week along with the new issue 3 (and they don't usually reprint books that aren't selling).  I'm pretty excited about reading this one as well, since the last issue really left us hanging.

In the middle is a surprise for me, as well as anyone who knows me -- I am not normally into zombies.  However, several series have come onto my radar in my investigations of Indy titles, both by the same author (Rob Kirkman): Invincible and Walking Dead.   I decided against getting the Invincible trade mostly because the price of the first couple of trades is insane (they want $12.99 for the first trade which reprints only issues 1-4 -- I can get them on ComiXology for $8, just over half the price).  WD #1 has 2 more issues any only cost $2 more. I'm not sure if I will even like Walking Dead, but the comic shop had piles of these (at least 5 of each volume for volumes 1-15), whereas they did not even have one of every Invincible.  Rather than try to track the hard-to-get ones down, I figure I will just get Invincible electronically.  I'll be trying that later in the month when I do my monthly digital purchase.

So, that's it for this week of my "Month without the New 52" -- a pretty good haul and 8 issues' worth of reading.  I've only got one or two things coming in for my pull list next week so I may take a week off of going to the comic shop.  But with all this good stuff to read there will be no shortage of reviews coming on this blog.

Enjoy... and Happy Month Without the New 52!

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