Greetings from San Antonio, Texas, where Christmas is a lot dryer and the weather is a lot warmer. I’m off gallivanting for the holidays, but the show must go on, and so it does with another edition of Comics Disassembled, my look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the week of comics.
It’s going to be a bit abbreviated and atypical this week due to aforementioned vacation reasons, but it will still be here all the same. Let’s get to it!
1. Free Comic Book Day Releases, Revealed
I’m a huge advocate for Free Comic Book Day, but sometimes, the lineup of books is more of a mixed bag than I care to admit. It becomes more of a theoretical love, an adoration of the premise and what it does for people than something I take away dynamite material for (unless I get the Dynamite release that year). That will not be the case this upcoming year, as 2020 looks positively stacked, especially relative to other years. Let’s do a quick breakdown of what it will include:
- The debut of the upcoming Fire Power by Robert Kirkman, Chris Samnee, Matt Wilson and Rus Wooton (although I believe this will be only one part of the first issue, but that remains to be seen)
- Some sort of X-Men release, which I am guessing will be my guy Johnny Hicks and some A-list artist
- Two (TWO!) “Top Secret” DC releases
- A Best of 2000AD zero issue, which, per Graeme McMillan, will come with a Judge Dredd story by Al Ewing and Erica Henderson, which I LOVE
- A Horizon Zero Dawn comic?!?!
- A rather delightful looking Usagi Yojimbo
- Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics by Tom Scioli
- A Vin Diesel starring issue of Bloodshoot
- Some interesting reprints, like Invincible #1 and The Boys #1
- A Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess release from Viz
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as there are a bevy of other fantastic choices available. Lumberjanes! A Random House Children’s Books release! Some delightful manga titles! Some years, I go for the experience, with the comics themselves being a secondary interest. That will not be the case this year, as I am 100% onboard for it. Great job, comic publishers. I’m proud of you for bringing your A game this year.
2. Brian Hibbs, Tilting
Always read Brian Hibbs is a good shortcut for my references to him in this column, as even when you don’t necessarily agree with him, the owner of Comix Experience and Comix Experience Outpost in San Francisco brings insight and perspective to some of the more rarely discussed sides of the comic industry every time he talks and writes about it.
This past week featured another edition of Tilting at Windmills, his regular column at The Beat, and it is predictably no different. He writes about the recent astonishing security faux pas – an understatement if there ever was – in which Diamond Comic Distributors emailed out a file “with the account number of what appears to be every Diamond customer who is buying Marvel comics, along with a month-by-month breakdown of what they spent on Marvel comics between April and October of 2019.” I wrote about this recently in this very column, and while I can elucidate this situation from an overall perspective, Hibbs’ one is obviously going to be far more well-versed on how Diamond works and, fairly clearly, what the file itself contained because he obviously has (had?) it.
This column is about as rich of an account into where the comic book direct market is right now as you can get, with a varied look at details like how many accounts there are, what Diamond accounts actually entail (it’s not just comic shops), and much more. I’d go into more detail, but there’s no point. Just read Brian’s write up, because like I said, always read Brian Hibbs. It’s well worth it, perhaps especially on this subject.