In Comics Disassembled this week, it’s a very positive affair, as the vast majority of the items from my list of likes or dislikes from the world of comics are in fact likes. But we’re kicking things off with an item that’s heavy on the bittersweet, even if it’s more good than bad. Let’s get to it.
1. Get Well Soon, Goran and John
John Paul Leon and Goran Parlov are without a doubt two of the finest artists in comics, and arguably, in the history of the art form. They’re artist’s artists, delivering art that clearly requires some level of witchcraft because of their storytelling gifts and virtuoso linework. They’re marvels, even when they aren’t working with Marvel.
And now, they’re both going through a bit of a tough time, as Leon revealed that he’s been battling cancer the past couple years in a very solid interview he did with Newsarama’s Chris Arrant while Parlov suffered a stroke ten days ago and currently doesn’t have total control of the left side of his body, it seems. It seems that Leon is “responding well” to treatment and Parlov is hopeful that rehab will help him regain “full access” to the left side of his body, but either way, you hate to see this happen to anybody, let alone true legends of the field. Best wishes to the both of them, as I hope they both have a speedy recovery.
A quick note, though. Consider stories like this when you’re frustrated by slow release schedules and delays to your favorite books. I am eager to read the rest of Batman: Creature of the Night and to dive into Get Fury as much as anyone, but the health of Leon and Parlov comes first and foremost. Sometimes we don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives, and it could mean that there’s more to it than what it might seem on the surface. These are people first, and they’re not here to exclusively create entertainment for everyone. Recovery first, drawing second, I say.
Related to that: it pained me to see Parlov’s follow-up tweet in which he was so apologetic to Nick Lowe and Marvel for being behind schedule. Not that Lowe or Marvel are on him or anything, but that he’s such a pro and so expectant of rebuffs that he’s recovering from a stroke instead of working that he tweeted to get ahead of it. That’s tough stuff, and I hope he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself.
2. October Orders, Revealing Trends
Friday morning brings the Diamond sales charts for October 2019, and there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there. Powers of X and House of X taking the third and fourth spots in the charts with their final issues, continuing their climb upwards. Four X-Men books in the top ten, including X-Men #1 on top. Marvel and DC releasing 60 more comics than the other top 10 publishers combined. The Amazing Mary Jane living up to my prophecy by finishing at #6 in the October sales charts, thanks, presumably, to The Artgerm Effect.
There was a lot of note, but I wanted to mention something that isn’t entirely new but still stood out to me this month. Nine of the ten most ordered titles were priced above $3.99, with the single title that did being The Amazing Mary Jane #1 and, again, nothing stops The Artgerm Effect. That’s a hell of a thing, though, and it’s a train that isn’t stopping any time soon. I’m hopeful that the success of Powers of X and House of X at the higher price point numbers isn’t a precursor to Marvel slowly but surely making more titles $4.99 on the regular, even beyond debuts. But it feels like this is an inevitability we’re getting closer and closer to, especially with something like this happening.
It’s like Eric Stephenson mentioned to me this week in my interview with him…it’s all about value. For HOXPOX, the price fits. For a random issue of Amazing Spider-Man, not as much. We’ll see, though.