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About Ironhold

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/24/1983

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    Copperas Cove, Texas
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    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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  1. I hear talk that the network is going to use the COVID-19 work stoppage as a quiet way of cancelling it.
  2. There's a Batgirl and a Batwoman. They're two separate characters.
  3. This came up in my Twitter feed again, so now I have a good condition version of the image. This is an actual panel from an actual issue of a Bat-family comic book. It's supposed to be Batwoman in her bathroom after a mission. ...But it instead comes off as a kids" "What's wrong with this picture?" puzzle. This is what passes for a top-tier mainstream book these days.
  4. Check your local retail listings to see if you have a dedicated comic book shop or book retailer. Diamond (et al) largely pulled comics away from mass retail, so for the most part you'll have to go to these specialty retailers. The Archie digests are often still in stock at registers, Alterna is trying to get into mass retail, and Dollar Tree had a limited run of Disney-licensed titles. But yeah... comics are still in print. Just harder to find. Failing that, Alterna's retail website is Alterna Access [dot] Com. You can order their comics straight from them. As far as the re-numbering goes: This is a trick used by Marvel and DC. Whenever a book fails, they won't officially cancel it unless they're forced to. Instead, they'll re-launch it back to issue #1 in the hopes of getting the sales bump that usually comes with a #1 issue. The Carol Danvers character hasn't been able to carry a solo book in almost a decade now, and that's how Marvel keeps justifying her having one: constant re-numbering to make it seem like it's all one string of mini-series that have concluded.
  5. Just re-read everything and saw something I missed. Which titles are you picking up at Wal-Mart? The DC Giant books are compilations of older stories, with perhaps one "new" bit done quickly and cheaply. The bargain bundles, both DC and Marvel, are actually books from within the past 5 years. In at least one instance there was a book in those bundles that was less than six months old. At one point they had DC bundles that were literally "One unsold DC Giant plus three unsold DC random grab bag bundles from the last time we did the DC grab bags". No joke. The Breitweisers, a husband and wife team of creatives, supposedly inked a deal by which Wal-Mart stores will carry their indie company's books on a store-by-store basis, but my local store hasn't had any in stock. Also, some individual Wal-Mart stores have manga and trade paperbacks as well.
  6. Sana Amanat, the #2 at Marvel, recently made a public statement in which she was talking about some of Marvel's current "woke" offerings and gushing about how they'd successfully gotten "the ideas out there". Given the way Amanat has been behaving previously, this has been taken to mean that she doesn't care about actual sales so long as she succeeds in pushing her socio-political point of view, and editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski is quite simply too spineless to stand up to her. The only reason the "woke" crowd is finally starting to appreciate profits and losses is because COVID-19 is doing so much financial damage to the industry that these people have finally woken up to the fact that they could quickly find themselves broke and unemployed if things go on too much longer. Valiant Comics has had to order "pencils down" because they don't have the money to pay their people until sales pick up again, Lion Forge has had to shutter the division that adapted things for television, and individual industry figures are quite literally begging people to buy their books. Meanwhile, companies like Dark Horse, Alterna, and Splatto are chugging merrily along as customer after customer continues to open their wallet.
  7. 1. Sitterson & Salvo -> In November 2017, Sitterson shot his mouth off one final time. In an astounding 26-part Twitter rant, he admitted that he made the change because he felt that the canon design had an "alt-right vibe" that needed to be "re-contextualized". This time around, Hasbro wasn't playing. They did, indeed, force IDW to fire him and immediately cancel his Joe book, and the entire "Hasbro Shared Universe" it was a part of would be cancelled at the end of 2018; the "Transformers" book has since been re-booted and they have a new ongoing Joe book to replace Sitterson's one, but it's painfully obvious that IDW didn't learn a blessed thing. The abruptness of the cancellations coupled with some rumors ostensibly coming out of IDW had people fearing that Hasbro was so furious they were going to void out all of IDW's licenses. This was a particular cause of concern with their then-ongoing "My Little Pony" series, both because it was actually intelligently-written and because it was IDW's best-selling set of books at the time. 2. Cancel Culture -> Fast forward to 2018. A big issue when it comes to comic books is that sites like Comichron go off of the Diamond Distribution numbers, which only list what ships to retailers; it doesn't cover what people actually buy *from* the retailers. This led to controversy around this time when it was alleged that Marvel was deliberately over-shipping books to retailers, with shops getting anywhere from 110% to 200% of their orders on certain books, something that would lead to Marvel's Diamond numbers being inflated while retailers were left with books they could neither sell nor return. In response to feedback from some of his industry insider sources, Meyer launched #movetheneedle on Twitter. The idea is that as people purchase product, they'll take a photo of it, tag in the publishers, and put the hash on it. This way, people can see at a glance who is actually buying what books. Many CEOs in many industries would commit war crimes to get free marketing research like this, but the "woke" crowd in comics balked because it was associated with Meyer and therefore toxic as far as they were concerned. Enter Alterna Comics CEO Peter SImeti. Simeti made it a point to like and re-tweet anything he got on social media from people who said they'd purchased the company's product, as he felt it essential to show that he was grateful for customer support. This led to him boosting a tweet that had #movetheneedle tagged in despite not knowing what it was about. Even though he literally told the internet he hadn't know what the tag meant, the "woke" crowd declared that he had "chosen a side" in the dispute and that he needed to suffer accordingly. He was subjected to an intense cyber-bullying campaign that saw some of his own writers walk out on him and left him in fear that his company would be destroyed. Oh, another thing he did wrong according to them? A lot of the "woke" crowd use what are known as "block bots" on social media. If you don't like someone, you can set the bot to not only block that person but also block everyone who follows them. Because this means that a person can wind up blocking hundreds or even thousands of people who had never before interacted with the person using the bot, Simeti made the use of block bots an offense that his creative talents could be fired over, as it meant that the person was single-handedly alienating such a large swath of potential customers. His people could block individuals if they felt the need, but beyond that they were to notify him so that he could take it to the legal department. His prohibition of block bots was taken as him saying his people couldn't block anyone at all, and things got worse for him. A slew of people - myself included - responded to this by inserting ourselves between him and the people coming after him. While this was going on, #comicsgate and a lot of affiliated people - also including myself - took advantage of Alterna's direct-ordering system to purchase product after product. Within three days' time we'd collectively handed Alterna three months' worth of sales, with Simeti going from apologizing to the "woke" crowd to apologizing to his actual customers because of delays in getting product shipped. The massive infusion of cash and popular support has turned Alterna into a juggernaut. Sales literally went up 1,500% in a single year due to that surge of traffic, we all had screen captures and other evidence showing how horrible the "woke" types actually were, Alterna received more than enough submissions from would-be creative talents to compensate for the people who walked, and Simeti has effectively declared war on the people who tried to destroy him. Not only is he building up a distribution system to rival Diamond, he openly called out Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski over Marvel's mishandling of the COVID-19 situation... leading to a Twitter scuffle that saw Simeti make Cebulski look like a chump. All told, it's looking like Marvel, DC, IDW, and likely Archie won't survive the next decade. Dark Horse is well positioned to become the new top of the heap, Image can take the #2 spot if their editor-in-chief gets his act together, and Alterna will likely become #3. This will leave the surviving B-list, C-list, and vanity presses jockeying for position in the new reality of the industry.
  8. Long story short: Starting about 2015 or so, a growing number of comic book fans started to feel that quality was going down as prices were going up and began to grumble online. In response, various writers and artists basically started telling them to stuff it, with an issue or the Marvel Comics "Mockingbird" title quite literally having the character appearing on the cover wearing a T-shirt that said "Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda". Things rapidly accelerated from there, however. DC Comics making an incredible series of blunders but still being rewarded financially, something that culminated in the revelation that editor Eddie Berganza was a full-fledged sexual predator who was so dangerous to be around that he had to be put in charge of an all-male creative team as any female subordinate would be an instant victim. Marvel wasn't innocent, either. In early 2017 Marvel Comics artist Ardian Syaf quite literally inserting anti-Semitic material in an issue of "X-Men Gold" in response to a controversy in his native Indonesia. The content should have been easily caught by a competent editor, but instead the book made it out to retail where the readers caught it. Things came to a head that September with IDW Comics writer Aubrey Sitterson. Some months back Sitterson had been put on one of the two licensed "G. I. Joe" books, but he had absolutely no respect for the franchise or the fans, and saw fit to immediately begin redoing everything to the way he felt it should be. According to allegations, he even went to various fan forums to pick fights with anyone who didn't agree with his choices. His most infamous choice involved the character of Salvo. This is the character as designed and released by Hasbro, a buff, bald, Caucasian guy with a fondness for edgy T-shirts: I live next to a major military base, and I can tell you that a lot of the soldiers here fit at least two of those descriptors. Sitterson's take on the character? See the attached file. And if you feel like vomiting when you see how unnaturally twisted and misshapen the left leg is in this image, you're not alone. That's right: he redid Salvo as an obese Samoan woman. What could Sitterson do to infuriate fans even more than this? He quite literally declared that anyone who wasn't in downtown New York City on 9/11 had "no right" to mark the event, and in his eyes they were being selfish if they did so. Given that such a very large percentage of the current Joe fandom has ties to the United States military, the two biggest G. I. Joe fan sites declared a 100% media blackout on all things IDW until such time as Sitterson was removed from the book. IDW waffled, and so the fans went to Hasbro. Papa Hasbro grabbed a switch, took IDW out behind the wood shed, and by the time things were settled IDW had agreed to force Sitterson to keep his mouth shut on social media. One of the first people to break the news of the incident was Richard C. Meyer, a military veteran who was at the time a D-list YouTube creator who was doing comic book reviews on his lunch break from doing IT work for Tropicana. Thing is, a major industry publication erroneously claimed that Meyer had led the effort against Sitterson, and so a number of Sitterson's pals in the industry decided to target him for retaliation. When word got out that Meyer was looking to attend a specific comic book convention, a trio of industry figures plotted via social media to provoke him into a fight so that they could justify having him arrested. They figured that military veteran = PTSD = prone to violence, and so that was their big plan. Someone discovered their conversation and showed it to the world, at which point a whole slew of fans from across all demographics rose up in a mass consumer revolt. It would take far too long to explain everything that's happened since (including how several people in the industry cyber-bullied the CEO of an indie publisher to the point of being suicidal), but suffice to say that even as Comicsgate has rifted into various sub-factions the general unified consensus has been that the bulk of the existing mainstream comic book companies are too corrupt or incompetent to survive, and that the future will lay with building up indie publishers and those existing companies that actually respect the readers. Meyer, for example, has left the IT world to found his own indie company, Splatto. They've had three graphic novels to date (Jawbreakers: Lost Souls, Jawbreakers: God-King, and Iron Sights), just finished crowd-funding two others (Iron Sights #2 and a licensed Expendibles book), and are crowd-funding a sixth (Pandemic). The reason why Meyer set up his own company is because when he tried to publish the first Jawbreakers book, industry veteran Mark Waid - who has made threats against Meyer in the past - phoned up Antarctic Press, the indie company he was going to release it through, and cowed the CEO into dropping the book. There is a pending lawsuit over the matter, with Waid's lawyers doing everything they can to delay it from actually going to trial because Meyer has them dead to rights; Waid will never offer a settlement because of his ego, and the lawyers know he can't win.
  9. Safe Space and Snowflake made it unmistakably clear that the people in the industry trying to be "woke" don't have the first clue as to what they're actually doing but insist on doing it anyway. But yeah... There are literally dozens of people in the comic book industry who, in and of themselves, should have been enough to cause industry-wide reform. DC kept Eddie Berganza on as a high-level editor even though he was so dangerous a predator that he had to be put in charge of a special all-male team as no female subordinate was safe. Zoe Quinn kept getting big-name comic book projects even after her debunked accusations led to someone's suicide. Magdaline Visaggio kept threatening her critics with physical violence. The revelation that Erik Esquivel and his wife did horrible things to a female employee essentially forced Vertigo to shut down, as he was doing their remaining big-name book. Aubrey Sitterson's abject refusal to either behave in a professional manner or separate his politics from his job could have cost IDW the entire catalog of Hasbro licenses they'd acquired. Mark Waid is staring down a lawsuit alleging that he bullied an indie publisher into dropping someone's book. And so on and so on and so on. This is why #comicsgate is a thing and why so many people are so confident that most mainstream publishers are going to collapse before too long: the publishers have become rotten from within and their people try to silence anyone who attempts to do anything about it.
  10. A *lot* of entertainment companies have been pandering to China because they're such a huge media market yet are very strict about what foreign media content they allow in. Couple this with people who want to see what they consider to be "diverse" character rosters but who don't have the creativity to come up with holistic characters on their own, and nonsense like this was inevitable.
  11. It is pretty much taken for granted that unless the senior leadership at DC, Marvel, and IDW are all shown the door in one massive purge these companies will never recover.
  12. DC has finally released a statement, and as part of it they've admitted that relying solely on Diamond was a bad idea. They're looking into getting a multi-distributor model going.
  13. Here goes. Last year, indie publisher Alterna declared a 100% refund policy on returned unsold product. If a retailer buys their product and it doesn't sell, Alterna will buy it back and then make it available via their direct-order website for anyone who does want it. Not only that, Alterna's decision to use old-school newsprint in order to keep single-issue cover prices down means that they'll actually be able to continue printing, albeit with some delays; the printer they're using for their single-issues has been declared "essential", leading me to think they were hiring time from an actual newspaper's presses. And as I said, Alterna allows people to order direct from their retail website *and* offers subscriptions. Alterna has been incrementally trying to develop their own physical distribution system, but by their own admission even under optimal circumstances it'll be June before they can fully make it happen. Additionally, Boom, Image, Dark Horse, and a few other publishers have declared that they'll allow 100% refunds for the duration of the crisis. They're doing this, they say, so that retailers can quickly liquidate unsold stock in order to get cash they can use to pay bills until things straighten back out. Meanwhile, a number of crowd-funding projects that made it in under the wire are shipping product to backers, while others are still trying to make a go of things. But that's it for the good news. Valiant Comics put on a brave show by offering PDFs of free material people could read, but this was followed up by them telling their creative teams "pencils down" for the next month or so. This has led to fears that Valiant doesn't actually have enough money to pay salaries during the shutdown period, and that as such they might not be long for the world. IDW has tepidly encouraged people to visit whatever local comic shops are still open, and continued to announce upcoming product as if it was going to make release date. IDW is so deep in debt that they've been on death watch for some time now, and this might be what finally knocks them over as well. Marvel's response to the matter has been so completely out of touch with reality that Alterna CEO Peter Simeti actually went at it with Marvel editor in chief C. B. Cebulski on Twitter, with Simeti calling Cebulski out for essentially being in Cloud Cuckoo Land and Cebulski being as condescending as humanly possible. DC and Archie, so near as anyone can tell, have been dead silent. So where does that leave us? No one is expecting Valiant or IDW to survive, and there are concerns that the corporate owners behind Marvel and DC may opt to wrap up physical production of new material, instead licensing the characters out to third parties. That's going to do some serious damage to those retailers who survive being shut down for so long. If the industry does survive, however, Dark Horse will essentially become "big man on campus" given how they've diversified, Image will be limping along behind them, and Alterna will be jockeying for third place. Behind them will be a slew of B-list, C-list, indie, and vanity publishers all trying to rapidly gain ground in the midst of everything. For example, Splatto has gone from a vanity imprint to a credible indie publisher, with five crowd-funded books under their belt (including a Hollywood license!) and a sixth campaign in the works as we speak. And the Breitwisers just inked a deal to have their indie label's books carried in select Wal-Mart stores. As it is, some of the same people who were cyber-bullying Simeti just a few years ago and trying to destroy his company are now begging him for work and assistance with distributing their books. He's explained at length why he has no desire to help them out. It's not entirely likely that this will kill the industry in the US, but it's going to radically re-shape things depending upon who you talk to.
  14. I understand that silver *does* have some limited abilities to resist nasties, but this is one case where common sense should prevail.
  15. 90% of what people need to do for a situation like this is basic common sense, from maintaining basic cleanliness standards to keeping a supply of necessities on-hand. As far as COVID-19 goes, given the way that China tries to keep things covered up there's no way of being sure what its true origins are. Could be an animal disease that jumped to humans. Could be a lab-produced disease that got loose and infected a nearby market. We may never know for sure.