By Bobby Shortle Hello everyone and welcome to Talking Comics Presents! Every week we here at Talking Comics will endeavor to give you a personal view of the book we are most excited for, and why! Remember , I want your input, what books are you excited for? Have you found any great fan art this week? Whats your favorite cover, panel or bit of writing (easy on the spoilers)? Do you have a video testimonial, audio blurb or art of your own you’d like to share? Send these things to firstname.lastname@example.org and the best of them will be included here from now on! Don’t forget to check out our interview with JL8 creator Yale Stewart, a ton of stories from our news team of Travis McCollum, MMorse, and Jacob Bryant, and of course all of the reviews from our amazing contributors. Well, enough with the who, where, what, why and how, I give to you Talking Comics Presents for the books releasing on 3/27/13. Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #1 Story by Mark Waid Art by Daniel Indro & Marcio Menyz Letters by Troy Peteri Cover by Paolo Rivera Recommended by Bobby Shortle Dynamite Entertainment says: “The Hornet faces his most dangerous enemy ever–an egotistical, arrogant Britt Reid! In his alter-ego as a powerful newspaper publisher, the Hornet has lost control, becoming a social crusader far too sure of himself and of his judgment. But when he finally goes too far, an innocent man pays a terrible price–and the legend of the Green Hornet begins its cataclysmic collapse!” Bobby Shortle says: “I’ll give you two words, Mark Waid, his name has become synonymous with quality and he is one of those creators who I will follow to any property. I know very little about the Green Hornet, outside the Seth Rogen film and a few issues of the Kevin Smith run, but I’m extremely curious to see what he can do with this kind of pulp hero. If he can replicate a fraction of the heart, excitement and humor that he brings to Daredevil, this will be one hell of a read. East of West #1 Story by Jonathan Hickman Art by Nick Dragotta Recommended by Bobby Shortle Image Comics says: “The things that divide us are stronger than the things that unite us. A Sci-Fi Western set in a dystopian America where all hope for the future rests in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse…who just happen to be trying to kill the President of the United States. One of the most exciting new books of the year, this is EAST OF WEST, a brand new, ongoing, monthly comic from the award-winning team of Marvel’s FF, JONATHAN HICKMAN and NICK DRAGOTTA.” Bobby Shortle says: “I slept on Manhattan Projects and Secret last year and I will not be left out in the cold again! I want my unbridled, unhinged Jonathan Hickman madness and I want it now! This book seems like it is going to address big themes in a sci fi setting and that’s the kind of story I love the most. “ Young Avengers #3 Story by Kieron Gillen Art by Jamie McKelvie & Mike Norton Colors by Matthew Wilson Cover by Jamie McKelvie & Tradd Moore Recommended by Joey Braccino Marvel says: “A Fight scene, probably. And another one, but this time in a club. Plentiful feels. (aka “Meaningful emotional character beats” for people who aren’t on tumblr) The fakest ID in history.” Joey Braccino says: “Also, recommended: Young Avengers #3 — The hippest, most meta comic coming out of the House of Ideas today. Phonogram‘s Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie reunite to bring us a new series featuring Marvel‘s younger, less-experienced, more-accident-prone, hormonally-imbalanced heroes-of-the-future. #hyphens” Morning Glories #25 Story by Nick Spencer Art by Joe Eisma Cover by Rodin Esquejo Recommended by Steve Seigh and Adam Shaw Image Comics says: “DOUBLE-SIZED 25th ISSUE — and the Season One Finale! Featuring three interconnected covers by rising superstar RODIN ESQUEJO! “8:13″” Steve Seigh says: “Hot damn! I remember a time when you could count on the last Wednesday of the month being somewhat of a vacation for your wallet. Well, not this week, Bub! In fact, there’s a whole lot of good stuff hitting the shelves this week. But after introducing my girlfriend to Morning Glories (she read the whole series in the past 3 days), and rereading it with her, I am totally stoked for Morning Glories #25. The series is as confusing and frustrating as ever, but I absolutely love it, and cannot wait to see what’s in store as Season One of the series comes to a close. Other titles I’m looking forward to are the following: FF #5, Fantastic Four #5AU, Superior Spider-Man #6AU, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #5 (I can’t wait to see what sort of laughs the newest arc will bring), and so many more. Yay comics! “ Adam Shaw says: “The first “season” is wrapping up with this double-sized issue. Some big questions will probably get answered, but I’m sure Spencer will open some more cans of worms to keep us reading through the next “season.” Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Story by Brian Michael Bendis Art by Steve McNiven & John Dell Colors by Justin Ponsor Cover by Steve McNiven Recommended by Adam Shaw Marvel says: “There’s a new rule in the galaxy: No one touches Earth! No one!! Why has Earth become the most important planet in the Galaxy? That’s what the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to find out!! Join the brightest stars in the Marvel universe: Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and–wait for it–Iron-Man, as they embark upon one of the most explosive and eye-opening chapters of Marvel NOW! These galactic Avengers are going to discover secrets that will rattle Marvel readers for years to come! Why wait for the movie? It all starts here!” Adam Shaw: “The point one issue was fantastic and the free digital Infinite issues have been enjoyable so far. This series is looking to be something that should be fun and a little different than all the terrestrial Marvel titles.” Aquaman #18 Story by Geoff Johns Art by Paul Pelletier & Sean Parsons Colors by Rod Reis Letters by Dezi Sienty Cover by Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons, & Rod Reis Recommended by Sean Lamont and Stephanie Cooke DC says: “The critically-acclaimed adventures of Aquaman continue with “DEATH OF A KING.” Unfolding out of the events of “THRONE OF ATLANTIS” comes a mystery that sends Aquaman to the ends of the Earth to solve an ancient murder—one that will reveal a horrific truth about Arthur Curry and threaten those closest to him today. Plus, Mera has a quest of her own involving a long-forgotten adversary of Aquaman.” Sean Lamont says: “I would say Batman, Inc #9 due to the obvious fallout from the man who killed Damian himself. But honestly, I have been picking Batman books each week it seems, so: Aquaman #18 for me. Not only do we finally get to see some of the undersea politics and machinations that take place now that Arthur has returned to claim the throne, but this arc looks like it will really start seeding the future of where the Aquaman title will be romping for the near future. Fatale #13 Written by Ed Brubaker Art by Sean Phillips and Dave Stewart Recommended by Joey Braccino and Stephanie Cooke Image Comics says: “It’s the curse of the Femme Fatale in the old west, for those who like horror and noir in their spaghetti western. Another standalone FATALE FLASHBACK issue, and a perfect place for new readers to jump on board! And remember each issue of FATALE contains extra content, articles and artwork that are not available anywhere but the printed single issues.” Joey Braccino says: “Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ genre-bending comic series continues with yet another new-reader-friendly one-shot. In other words, JUMP ON NOW, especially if you’re into horror/pulp/noir/sci-fi/anything awesome. Solicits promise this issue will feature a spaghetti western-inspired yarn. So yeah, add one more awesome thing to that “anything awesome” caveat. Check it.” Transfusion #3 Written by Steve Niles Art by Menton3 Recommended by Melissa Megan IDW says: “The twisted conclusion! In a future overrun by out-of-control machines and monsters, a handful of human survivors try to fight their way back to a normal life. But what is normal in a world where both monsters and machines need human blood? Find out in this horrific new series by 30 Days of Night co-creator Steve Niles and menton3, the demented artist behind Monocyte!” Melissa Megan says: “I’m most looking forward to Transfusion #3 because it’s vampire, robots, Steve Niles and Menton3! That is a gourmet sandwich of comic book deliciousness.” The Massive #10 Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Gary Erskine Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Cover Artist: John Paul Leon Recommended by Stephanie Cooke Dark Horse says: “The Kapital finally gets a reliable lead on The Massive and moves to follow . . . only to stumble into a regional war zone! Callum must deal with a mutiny when members of his crew force him to divert so they can join their home country in its war. Artwork by Gary Erskine! The first of three standalone issues with three different artists. Perfect jumping on point!” Stephanie Cooke says: “The Massive #10, Aquaman #18, Fatale #13…for REASONS! (I just ran a convention so I’m basically out of words)” Rachel Rising #15 Written by Terry Moore Art by Terry Moore Recommended by Mara Whiteside Abstract Studio says: “Lilith, the first woman to ever walk the earth, has a vendetta against the modern town of Manson. With the help of two 300-year old witches, she plans to annihilate the town and its people. The only thing standing in her way is Rachel, a woman who cannot die. What happens next is horrifying in the latest issue of Terry Moore’s critically acclaimed series.” Mara Whiteside says: “Terry Moore has spun an excellent story thus far in this series. You’d be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like in Rachel Rising. Pick up this issue. If you like it, please preorder!” FF #5 Story by Matt Fraction Art by Michael Allred Colors by Laura Allred Letters by Clayton Cowles Cover by Michael Allred & Laura Allred Recommended by Bob Reyer Marvel Says: “The mystery that is…Medusa!” Bob Reyer Says: “At the conclusion of last issue’s “date night” for Jennifer and Wyatt, Bentley was paid a visit by Medusa that might bode ill for the future of the “new” Fantastic Four! Based on the cover, it appears that Medusa is about to exercise her “Royal Privilege”!” Community Picks Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #1 Patrick M. says: “Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #1. I just love anything that man writes and never having read Green Hornet, but loving his Pulp stablemates such as The Shadow and The Spider, I’m gonna jump all over this.” Planetoid #5 Patrick M. says: “Also this week is Planetoid #5, which has been a long time coming. Love Ken Garing’s depiction of this dystopian future with out hero Silas marooned on some kind of mining cum prison planet.” Fury Max #10 Patrick M. says: “ Another big book for me this is Fury MAX #10. We know Garth Ennis isn’t too fond of the spandex and cape kinda comic book, so for him to be able to tell stories about war (I believe he’s a big WW2 nerd) but to have Nick Fury in the middle of it all, is just the perfect mix. I’ve been loving this series from the get-go and its definitely my pick for most underated series this past year. Goran Parlov’s art is pitch perfect for Ennis’ crazy tales of Nick Fury in the middle of ‘Nam or the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Great stuff.” Gambit #10 Patrick M. says: “Lastly (you knew it was coming;) Gambit #10. What can I say? Its Remy, and since #9 he’s back in his trademark trenchcoat. I really hope they keep the tone up from #9 which was full of knowing jokes about Gambit being a 90’s creation. The series hasn’t been great so far, but hopefully it’ll get better. There’s one or two others, but I know you’re a busy man. All the best and keep up the awesome work. As I said to Steve, its a joy to watch Talking Comics grow and grow.” Age of Ultron #3 Luke H. says: “I was very impressed with the first issue, the second issue was good as well bit didn’t really grab me like the first did. So I’m excited to see how #3 will be.” Guardians of the Galaxy#1 Luke H. says: “I LOVED the .5 issue and not being too familiar with the title it was a good for me. I’m interested in the characters and I can’t wait to read all I can before the movie.” Uncanny X-Force #3 Luke H. says: “I really like the team they have in this book and I’m really excited to find out what one of our favorite time traveling friends has been up to!” FF #5 John D says: “FF #5 is my most anticipated book this week. Usually I look forward to this book because of the stunning artwork from Mike Allred but this month’s installment is even further elevated by the cliffhanger from issue #4.” Art Luke H. sent in a cool piece of Daredevil art by Michael Cho Listener Interaction Christian Stoa sent in this piece about the price of comics and how we may want to adjust our thinking: Oh my God!!! Comic prices are crazy!!!! Are comic book prices out of control? Are they getting too expensive? What has caused the price change? These are good questions to ask yourself and of the industry. I know I hear many people complain about the price of comics and think that the industry is pricing out their customers. But, this is not the case. Skeptical? Ok. I have some numbers that one might find interesting when examining this. We know that the paper quality has changed over the years, we know the inks are different than they were before. But, does this impact the cost of the comic book in recent years. It might have a minor impact, but that impact is mitigated through improvements in production and technology that makes the process more efficient and less time consuming, such as digital methods of production, drawing and coloring. So, what then is the explanation? Is it the change in the cost of paper? Well, when examining the commodity price of paper for a little over the last ten years, it is clear that it cannot be the cause of an increase in the price of comics. Even as comic prices increased, the cost of paper decreased as presented in Table 1. The change in the difference of the dollar as compared to gold is something that is of great concern as if that trends continue we can reasonably expect to see the cost of goods continue to increase. Table 1: Commodity Prices vs. CPI So, if it is not changes in commodity pricing then what is it? Well, let us examine the prices of comics from 1938 to 2012. In 1938 comic book prices were $0.10. When one adjusts that price using CPI, an index which I find deeply flawed, the pricing then reflects $1.63 in 2012 dollars. This does not tell the whole story because the CPI measurements have changed since 1938 to 2012 and CPI is impacted by inexpensive goods imported from overseas which greatly impacts the true dollar value change. Using Table 2 it can be seen that the change in the price of comic books mirrors the changes in the CPI index. If you notice that the real change in the price occurs in the early 70s, this is when the US completely divorced itself from the gold standard and ended the Bretton Woods System. This is also the time when you begin to see larger scale inflation and you begin to also see a great increase in government spending, which has a relationship on inflation. Also noticeable is while on the Bretton Woods System, though flawed, the real price for comics was on the decline in terms of adjusted value. Table 2: Comic Book Prices from 1938 to 2012 vs CPI Adjusted Pricing (2012 Base) What lesson can be taken from this? If you are complaining about the price of comics, or for anything, we need to first understand the change in the value of the dollar and what we can do to better address this. Well that’s all for this week’s Talking Comics Presents, don’t forget to send your picks and submissions to email@example.com, and check out the Talking Comics Podcast. On this week’s show we discussed how to fix Superman and Batman ’66! 9 Responses Christian March 28, 2013 I am curious to know what Bob thinks about this comic book pricing and how he feels his conclusions are so much different. Also, Steve and Bobby, excellent comments about how people would choose to spend their money and that comics compete for other entertainment dollars. Aside from DVD pricing, which is affected by newer and better available tech, the cost for many things will continue to rise due to inflation. But, the cost in bulk paper, on Table 1, shows that the cost has not changed over the last several years, if I could have gotten older data than I could compare it better to further in the past and that would have been a better analysis. I worked with the data I could gather and then analyzed it. Again, it is closely tied to the relationship of the value of the dollar. I do not think the companies could lower the prices all too much as they are not printing the numbers of comics that they once were so the economies of scale cannot play a bigger part here. Log in to Reply Bob Reyer March 28, 2013 Christian, Your essay on pricing was masterfully written, and brilliantly researched as well! My humble (and allegedly humourous!) effort only utilized very general “adjusters” to try to make a point whilst tickling the funny bone. When comics were a dime back in the Forties, you could have purchased a plate of bacon & eggs for that same ten cents, which is reasonably the same equivalence as today. I think where my numbers go awry is over the fact that publishers kept the price artificially low for years by cutting both total page count and then story content percentage, and through the use of worse and worse paper until the Direct Market era. I do feel feel though, that the time spent reading modern comics does affect perceived value, as my colleagues have discovered how much longer it takes to read an older comic book in relation to it’s present-day, “de-constructed storytelling” counterpart. Christian, all this said, a marvelous bit of research, and I’m glad you sent it in…and I nearly totally agree!! Bob ps) My poor effort can be found here at Talking Comics, under the title “Prepare to Shudder in Terror at the Hideous Rise of Comic Book Prices!” ( http://talkingcomicbooks.com/2012/05/prepare-to-shudder-in-terror-at-the-hideous-rise-of-comic-book-prices/ ) Log in to Reply Christian March 28, 2013 Bob, Nice article you have there. The older comics, as it could be argued, sometimes don’t have the same kind of artwork that highlights movement and explains itself without the need for so much narration. I find modern comics to be different, but not in a bad way. For me it takes about the same time with classics as it does with modern books. I did touch on the non change in the pricing of paper. A key factor is the amount of comics that are being sold, it is almost 10%, estimate, of what it was. It is hard to use economies of scale when you are at 10% production of what you were. I personally don’t mind paying 3.99 for a comic because I think it is a good value. I think the most telling bit of information is the cover price vs CPI table. You really see the climb in price right at the end of the US gold standard. Glad you liked my analysis. I have done economic analysis for several governmental agencies and I have been doing financial analysis for large companies. This is my speciality so to speak. I am glad I could use my skills to shed a little light on something I have heard you guys grip about a lot. Christian Christian March 28, 2013 Also, I am not a fan of CPI, it is a very very flawed inflation measurement. Lukeman8610 March 28, 2013 Soooo just realized that i called the first Guardians of the Galaxy issue “.5” when it was “0.1” just to set the record straight! Log in to Reply RepStones March 28, 2013 Bobby, thanks for including all my shout outs to this weeks comics. Obviously t of folks looking forward to Green Hornet – but thank you for giving Fury MAX, Planetoid and Gambit some airtime – i love those books. The first two because they’re actually good, the last one because i have this crazy affiliation to Marvel’s sexy rajun Cajun. Log in to Reply thisjohnd March 29, 2013 RepStones, keep up the recommendations. You have me mildly curious in Gambit due to your comments about issue #9 being chalked full of jokes about him being a 90s creation. I read comics primarily during that time and Gambit was my favorite of the X-Men. I only haven’t picked up this book because of the so-so reviews, but I might be picking up the trade if that kind of tone continues. Log in to Reply Christian March 29, 2013 I thought I was only person reading Planetoid. It is an amazing book and hope it continues to be published. I am glad I waited on Gambit, it took a while to gain its stride for me, but it is gotten really good. Log in to Reply Will March 30, 2013 I just picked up the first trade paperback of The Massive and am so glad I did. I’ll do my best to fill in for Stephanie on giving you some reasons to pick it up. If you have enjoyed Brian Wood’s other creator owned work like DMZ I’d definitely recommend getting into the series. The series is a mixture of sci-fi, sea adventure, mystery, and search/rescue, with a group of diverse, well-developed characters all mixed into a post-everything narrative. Basically, the story focuses on a group of environmental activists who are at sea when the culmination of many climate events like tsunamis, ice cap melts, and seismic activities destabilizes the world economy and puts many coastal cities underwater. At least in the first trade, the focus is centered on the group’s search for the sister ship, The Massive, all while attempting to navigate a world with no/new rules. Plus the art is well done, especially since the story calls for showing a variety of land, sea, and city-scapes. Now that I’ve finished the first trade (issues 1-5), I’m going to do my best to catch up on the rest of the series. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.