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Saturday, May 09, 2020 

Stores may reopen, but what products should people buy or not, and what's being emphasized?

The Ellwood City Ledger's writing about the reopening of comic specialty stores in the coming weeks, but, what books should be bought? And, what books are customers interviewed for the article buying?
Wednesdays haven’t had the same pop for Rachel Freeman lately.

Every week, she’d pick up her comic book pull from New Dimensions Comics and get them ready for her Saturday tradition. With few exceptions, she’d make her way through the stack Saturday morning, catching up on Detective Comics, Batgirl and other storylines across the DC comic universe. She’s waiting on edge for the next issue of Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity, the latest take of the Joker and Harley Quinn.

Her reading was put on pause in late March, when a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19 caused comic distributors to halt shipping of new comics to stores across the county.

“It’s been a pretty big bummer,” said Freeman, 29, of Cranberry Township. “I will be very happy when I can get my books back — but I don’t know how happy my fiance will be.”
I don't know why I for one should be happy to hear somebody thinks Joker and HQ make the perfect reading material, along with the Batverse, even as I'm aware Brian Bendis is ruining the Superverse even as we speak. What's really irritating about this part of the article is the emphasis it puts on Bat-related comics as opposed to "other storylines across the DCU". There may be only so much space for this in a printed paper, but the way they tout Batman above all else is still political correctness at its worst. I've said it before and will again, that I am a fan of Batman, but increasingly find the overemphasis on the Masked Manhunter in the wider press at the expense of other creations that need as much coverage totally dismaying, because it signifies an emphasis on darkness by extension.
McDevitt and other comic store owners submitted orders last week to Diamond Comic Distributors for the May 20 release, when DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and Image Comics — the four main publishing houses Diamond holds exclusive distribution rights for. That means that soon, comic fans will have new adventures of Thor and Venom, The Flash and Superman, and dozens of other superheroes to read.
And when I say other creations, I guess it can't be mainstream, seeing how only so many have been ruined. Let's take the Flash, for example. Far less may care to read it, now that Wally West's been kicked to the curb so badly after Heroes in Crisis. And how many have been reading the resurrected Barry Allen's adventures? Judging by sales receipts from past months, not many, since it sells no better than it did before (still well below 100,000 copies and definitely far from a million), and in the span of a decade since Barry was revived...where are all the so-called fans who allegedly asked for his return? Obviously, they were imposters who had no intention of supporting the Flash no matter how good or bad the writing would be.
McDevitt said he is optimistic that business will pick up as his stores slowly reopen.

“Throughout economic downturns, throughout 9/11, whatever hurdle comes at us, comic books have always survived,” McDevitt said. “It’s a hobby that once it’s in your blood, it doesn’t go away.”
On this, I'm sure they'll survive, though it would be silly to think there aren't those who've become discouraged from reading mainstream, if anything, and while I do think specialty stores do have their advantages, the question is whether they'll survive, seeing how many closed down over the past few years. Or, how many will survive, and how many will be left?

But here's where a most eyebrow raising moment comes up:
McDevitt said he expects that the industry won’t just pretend that COVID-19 doesn’t exist. Much like how Marvel incorporated 9/11 into Spiderman’s world, he anticipates that comic writers will have their characters tackle a world ravaged by COVID-19.

“There’s no way they can ignore it,”
McDevitt said.
Now doesn't that quite a thought-provoker. Maybe they won't ignore the damage of Coronavirus, but it remains to be seen if they can do it without turning it all into a political diatribe against the right, since, as realists are aware, anti-conservative sentiment in entertainment hasn't gone away, even if Marvel's seemingly avoided Trump-bashing since C.B. Cebulski became their EIC.

But why allude to J. Michael Straczynski's embarrassingly bad, rushed-into-production Spider-Man #36 from 2001? Where Doctor Doom was sobbing over an act of evil he could've committed in past stories himself, or wouldn't shed a tear over if they'd been committed by another villain? Besides, there's no way al Qaeda would stand a chance if Doom decided to go after them for their evil deeds. The story contained subtle blame-America messaging to boot, one more reason why it makes a poor example for citation. A story like this wouldn't pass muster in the Golden Age either. All the Spidey story did was insult victims of 9-11.

I think metaphors and allegories for the Story Of The Year, Covid-19, could be quite helpful, but only if they avoid heavy-handed politics, and don't minimize the impact of real life issues like 9-11 the way the JMS-penned Spidey story did. And I think it'd be a lot better if mainstream press sources like these would focus more on smaller publications than on superhero fare. Otherwise, they only make the range of choices look so limited in scope.

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"And how many have been reading the resurrected Barry Allen's adventures? Judging by sales receipts from past months, not many, since it sells no better than it did before (still well below 100,000 copies and definitely far from a million)"

Maybe not many overall, but certainly many of the people who read comics. It was the second highest-ordered comic book in the month of March, behind the first issue of the newest Spider-Woman series, according to the web site that you link to.

'anti-conservative sentiment in entertainment hasn't gone away, even if Marvel's seemingly avoided Trump-bashing since C.B. Cebulski became their EIC.'

Hey playa, this is America. It would be a lie to deny that they have the right to criticize the guys on high. It seems in times of mismanaged disease, with sleazy guys in charge like these, to criticize their lies is a solemn duty and a responsibility.

"Hey playa, this is America. It would be a lie to deny that they have the right to criticize the guys on high. It seems in times of mismanaged disease, with sleazy guys in charge like these, to criticize their lies is a solemn duty and a responsibility."

Using your own "logic," this comment makes you sound racist, troll.

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