4 more years!

Today marks my 4th anniversary on the vine, it's been a blast! Everyone here makes Comic Vine easily the best site and community on the web. Here is to 4 (and hopefully even more) years!

Good times :)

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Artist uses comics worth £20,000 for artwork

UK based artist Andrew Vickers has unwittingly used comics that could have a value of £20,000 on a sculptural artwork. Keen eyed Comic fan and store owner Steve Eyre pointed out that some of the pages pasted on a leg were from the first edition of The Avengers, and upon further investigation discovered more:

"Then I started looking and there are six comics on this that together would be worth, even in the condition you can see, £20,000."

Upon becoming aware of the nature of the comics value Mr Vickers said:

"If somebody chucks things out in the skip they don't generally throw things out that are worth anything.

"To be honest I'm shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny.

"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less. I think it's brilliant."

You would have thought in this day and age he would have had a quick look on ebay on the off chance!

Source.

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Spider-Man and Batman fight for the USA

A new data survey has reported that Spider-Man is no longer the favourite superhero of the US if sales are anything to go by:

Spidey's sales have begun to wane. Since 2010 comics featuring Batman in the title have sold more than those featuring Spider-man.

2012 saw 4.5m charting Batman comics being sold compared to 3.2m Spider-man comics. This represents a fall for Spidey from a height of 5.7m in 2002 - the year that the first Spider-man movie featuring Tobey Maguire was released - compared to 2.2m Batman comics.

Admittedly the correlation between comic sales and actual popularity has always been dubious, but its almost always fun to see a graph.

Source and interactive graph.

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Desperate Times: The Dandy faces Cancelation

The Dandy, Britain’s oldest comic book that has run for 75 years is facing the axe as sales dip bellow 8,000 a week. From it’s hay day in the 1950’s and then again in the 1980’s to being stripped back to a fortnightly release in 2007, in an attempt to boost sales that has so far proved to be fruitless, a lack of exploration into the digital field seems to have caught the Dandy up, however the classic characters such as Desperate Dan will live on if the comic is to end, by either a leap into the online world or via The Beano, a rival of equal long standing that has sustained a much higher commercial interest of late.

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DC Comics buys 'Marvel' keywords for Twitter

According to Bleeding Cool DC comics had purchased various keywords associated with Marvel within Twitter so mentioning Iron Man, Spider-man and X-men would trigger a promoted tweet advert for DC's new 52 for tweeters within the US only. Initially it seemed to go unchallenged but an update has pointed out at there disappearance. Getting publicity for comic releases has always taken some interesting turns such as Marvel's offer of Siege #3 variants to retailers in return for unsold DC comics, any thoughts on this marketing strategy?

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The never-ending circle of comic book life.

The immanent DC reboot has stirred many passions and opinions from everyone within the comic book world. The change, the biggest and most wide stretching for some time will expunge many of long-standing status quos of the DCU, most prominently the marriage of Lois and Clark and Barbara Gordon’s role as Oracle. What I have come to think though is that this example of change has become almost fundamentally inevitable.
 

Change within the comic book worlds of both Marvel and DC seem to come slowly if at all and the characters have physically endured long after even some of their creators. Our fathers and even grandfathers would have read Bruce Wayne as Batman, Peter Parker as Spider-man and so on. It seems that the popularity of the characters that many generations have come to love have caused them to become permanently fixed. I don’t know what the original intentions of the founding writers of comic books were when it came to the long term future of there creations, I know they were primarily concerned with just making a living but after it became apparent that they were on to a winner did they ever foresee a natural end to the lives of the characters with successors in mind to take there place?

Dick Grayson and Bucky Barnes replaced their mentors but momentarily in comparison and the established order swiftly returned into being. Is it the company nature, knowing that these ‘properties’ have been and are lucrative so little change is allowed to stick or could they just have possibly run out of ideas. I personally doubt there is a lack of ideas. But could it simply be the love for the characters, wanting to read the legends that have endured beyond wars, social change, political divisions and the decades themselves the few constants in a world of constant change. Growing up reading a character or volume and then going on to work on them almost always comes though honestly as a fulfilment of a dream for an artist, writer or whoever is interviewed at one of the many conventions covered over the year, that wanting to be a part of the legacy be it creating or simply reading, the ‘I was there when’ kind of thing that connects fans from all decades. 

I would imagine the cycle of reboots will go on well beyond this and within five to ten years from now it will be a distant memory (and possibly a few other reboots behind). I personally can’t see this ever ending but don’t necessarily see it completely as a bad thing, it is indeed frustrating seeing characters and stories you love being written out of continuity for a fresh start but the fact that they no longer matter in relation to the current direction is really irrelevant, if they were enjoyable at the time and stood on there own merit then they will continue to do so.

I haven’t read many other blogs on the subject and the only real news I have acquired about the reboot has come from the news posted here on comic vine so I do apologies if this seems similar to anyone else’s blog/ thread on the subject, just some ideas I’ve been kicking around.

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An Expanding Universe: Why I don’t mind The Phantom Menace.

Ok now before I begin I must clarify that The Phantom Menace does have its bad points and could have been a substantially better movie however the grievances I and many others have about the script, certain actors, direction etc. aside I’m going to focus on the positive elements. Having always been a fan of Star Wars as a kid (obsessive one might say) the joy of seeing more of that universe was and still is one of the main things that draws me back to the prequels. One of the few things I really love about them is the art direction and the people that made the worlds as vivid and interesting as they are, but it was also what you didn’t get to see that intrigued me the most, the galaxy far far away suddenly did feel like a much bigger place. 

In the years and subsequent two films that followed there have been many more characters and worlds reviled thanks to various Dark Horse comics like Empire, Rebellion and most recently Legacy but it was in those early days that I was captivated by three stories. Having always been a fan of comics, mainly Marvel thanks to the cartoons of the 90’s and some that I had acquired from my older siblings it came to my attention recently that it was three Star Wars stories that really ignited a love for comics admittedly the fire had been started by the Secret Wars collection which I still hold dearly to this day, it would be Star Wars: Outlander, Darth Maul & Jedi Council: Acts of War that made me fully appreciate the power of the comic book, I would re-read these three stories and even re-enact them with the numerous figures I had for hours on end. 

The Outlander

Star Wars comics have always seem to me to be off in there own corner in the shadow of the larger names and brands, this could just be down to my own perception and so I will willingly change that if directed to information otherwise but I think they have there own merit and qualities that are sadly overlooked by many, one of the strongest elements of both trilogies has been in the inclusion of intriguing background characters, the protagonist of Outlander Ki-Adi- Mundi being one such Jedi that quickly became one of my favorites once he was given the chance to shine in a decent story and Micah Giiet from Acts of War, a Jedi Master never seen on screen but also one of my favorites.

In all it may have been a lacklustre film that was never going to live up to the monumental expectation but The Phantom Menace is responsible for being the catalyst that delivered me some of my earliest and fondest comic book memories and for that I am thankful.


 

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The Doctor Who In Comics exhibition

Doctor Who comics for a long time were relegated to the pages of Doctor Who magazine (where they are still in print today) but they began with TV comics back in the 1960’s. Bar the 1985 run that lasted for twenty three issues and had the likes of Dave Gibbons working on it and the Doctor Who Classic Comics that was a sister publication to the main Magazine and complied who comics from various publications The Doctor would not be seen again in his own ongoing for many years but with the return of the Series in 2005 new adventures began under IDW publishing in 2009 under the tenure of the Tenth Doctor and would undergo a regeneration all of there own upon the arrival of the Eleventh on it’s pages in 2011.

 Classic art from Doctor who Comics from the 1980's will be on show

Although they have never really been at the forefront of the comic book industry Doctor Who comics have been popular enough to endure over the decades and during ‘the dark times’ of the original series cancellation in the 1990’s served as the only form of telling new adventures of The Doctor who at the time was in his Eighth incarnation. With this the Cartoon museum in London is having a special exhibition titled Doctor Who In Comics (1964-2011) that will be spread across several galleries and according to Curator Anita O'Brien there will be:


There will be about 90 pieces of original Doctor Who artwork including work by Dave Gibbons, John Ridgeway, John Canning, Adrian Salmon, Barrie Mitchell, Martin Geraghty, Ben Templesmith and Mark Buckingham - and many others - many of which will never have been displayed in public before.

Doctor Who in Comics (1964-2011) will run from 27th July until 30th October.

Details on main website found here.

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The Fear of Jumping on, a possible solution

Having listened to the recent podcasts and with the immanent DC re-launch looming on the horizon it seems that the issue of jumping on has come into the spotlight like never before and has got me thinking.

I have always been a fan of comics but have only been following ongoing titles for just over two years now; I’ve always gone into comic shops and browsed the current issues but it’s true that looking at the shelf can be very intimidating, so many titles with so many numbers. Two years ago on a rainy day I happened to take a glance at the week’s releases and found Thor #600, now having always wanted to follow Thor I took this opportunity to jump on board. 600, a rounded solid number that just said to me ‘if ever I was going to jump on the time is now’ this was before my days on Comic vine & I had absolutely no idea what the story was, how far though it would have been if at all and if this would have been a good time to join.

An idea I’ve had, and I apologies if someone else has brought this up and I’ve missed it or it’s all ready been implemented sometime in the past (Highly likely) is that could it work to possibly structure a story within nine issues allowing a new story and or creative team to take over upon a rounded tenth issue allowing for the illusive new reader to jump on with a well advertised ‘New story starts here!’ Admittedly getting a whole story, as complicated and interwoven as they seem to be these days into nine issues could be a struggle for some but the publisher could up the page count within the books and balance out the content & cash difference that seems to be getting wider.
Any thoughts welcome, just throwing ideas around here.

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