That's That Shit: Week of 9/12/2012: August Sales Figures, a Wonder Woman TV Show and Giving All Your Money to Top Shelf

A comics news article

That's That Shit

Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 9/5/2012


Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.

Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.

Bang on.


But first, a little theme music:


Mrs. Magician - The Dead '80s





August Sales Figures Released, Sales Still Up


Nick: August continued to be a great month for the comic industry, with a more than 10% increase in total dollar sales over July and a nearly 20% increase from August 2011, when the New 52 (which has received much of the credit for the general uptick in the industry) debuted. As far as the Big Two are concerned, the month was consistent with how much of the year has been, with DC and Marvel more or less tied for market share. In terms of total dollars, DC came out on top by less than a percent, while Marvel led in units sold by less than a tenth of a percent. However, Marvel did take the top two slots thanks to AvX #9 and #10 and won out overall in the top five with three positions to DC's two, but DC ultimately netted seven out of the top ten spots. And the indie community on the whole has a slight lead over Marvel in market share in dollars, with market split more or less equally amongst the Big Two and everyone else, rather than the Marvel-heavy leanings of years prior. 

Andrew: I know there’s a history of a big rivalry between DC and Marvel, but does it still thrive in an environment where both companies are fighting to survive? Although I suppose Marvel is much better positioned since they’ve owned their movies for quite awhile. Also kudos for not using the headline "Comic Book Industry Marvels at Increased Sales." I would have totally done that and done it every time sales were up.

Danny: It's a healthy competition, but I don't think one company is rooting for the other to crash and burn. In this industry, DC or Marvel going under wouldn't help anybody, I don't think.


Allan Heinberg Might Be Writing a Wonder Woman Pilot



Danny: Rumor has it that The CW is working on a pilot for a new TV series based on DC Comics' Wonder Woman called Amazon, focusing on the character's origin. According to Vulture, they've tapped writer Allan Heinberg to write the script. Heinberg's best known as a TV writer for shows like The OC and Grey's Anatomy, but has also written comic books including Young Avengers and a relaunch of Wonder Woman drawn by Terry Dodson. So he just might be the right scribe for the job.

This isn't the first time they've tried to bring Wonder Woman to live action -- everyone knows the 1970s Lynda Carter series, but last year David E. Kelley shot a Wonder Woman pilot that NBC refused to pick up. And remember a few years ago when Joss Whedon was tapped to make a Wonder Woman movie? Warner Bros. is prolly kicking themselves for messing up that opportunity.

Andrew: Wonder Woman has a history of coming from BDSM right? With that in mind would a porno parody of Wonder Woman actually be more accurate to the comics than this TV show?

Danny: Yeah, the early issues by William Moulton Marston were full of fetish stuff. But… holy crap, I think you're on to something. 


New Line Decides Y: The Last Man is a "Priority," Fans Continue to Not Hold Breath



Nick: After DJ Caruso was unveiled to somehow be the voice of reason after refusing to do Y: The Last Man as anything less than three movies, New Line Cinema has decided that Y: The Last Man is once again a "priority." Presumably, that means someone faxed over the grosses of Avengers and Dark Knight Rises and New Line execs suddenly remembered they owned the rights to one of them "comics" everyone is talking about.

Kidding aside, New Line gives the credit for their newfound excitement to screenwriters Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, whose most recent draft of the script is apparently the shit, if you're a Hollywood executive. Of course, New Line still seems to want the adaptation to remain a single film rather than a trilogy or series because everyone knows that kind of long form investment should only be utilized on works that are known for their shortness and quick pace. You know, like The Hobbit.

Andrew: I can’t wait for someone to make some inevitable, ridiculous comment about the crew’s misandry because only three dudes are going to appear in this movie.

Danny: My opinion about any Y adaptation is this: Brian K. Vaughan himself wrote a script for this project that seemed to encapsulate the broad strokes of the series in one self-contained screenplay. I think there's an art to making a single two-hour movie, and making the important parts of Y: the Last Man fit into a satisfying single film would be way more impressive than if you made it a six-hour affair. If somebody wants a long-form rendition of the story, there's already a ten-volume comic book series.


Jim Carrey is in Kick-Ass 2



Danny: Deadline reports that Jim Carrey is playing The Colonel in the big-screen sequel to Kick-Ass, which I hope actually ends up being called Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall. In Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s Kick-Ass 2 comic, The Colonel is the leader of the self-made superhero team that forms in the wake of Kick-Ass' rise to fame.

I have no opinion on this except that I thought Kick-Ass the movie understood the material better than Kick-Ass the comic. Also, I had no idea Matthew Vaughn wasn't directing this one.

Andrew: It’s really too bad MadTV got canceled. Totally missed out on a repetitive skit where Jim Carrey is talking out of his ass in a Kick-Ass costume, titled "Ace Ventura Kick-Ass Detective" or some other horrible pun.





Nick: Seriously. Go check it out and pick up some amazing shit for stupidly low prices.

Danny: I have never spent 40 bucks so quickly, gleefully or easily.



Superman Gets Kinky (NSFW)






(Jeff Parker/Erika Moen, Dark Horse)



Danny: A hilarious, crude murder mystery, Bucko follows a dude in Portland who, after a botched threesome, a successful hangover and a botched job interview, comes across a dead body. Originally released as a webcomic, Dark Horse's hardcover edition of Bucko contains commentary, new strips and other bonus material. It's really funny, and has at least one Juggalo in it, not to mention a Pixies cover band that performs on fixed gear bikes.


The Milkman Murders

(Joe Casey/Steve Parkhouse, Image)



Danny: This surburban horror comic originally came out as a four-issue mini from Dark Horse in 2004, but now we're getting a brand-new deluxe hardcover from Image, who are decidedly in the Joe Casey business. At that point in Casey's career he was the guy who did Uncanny X-Men and Adventures of Superman while putting out real subversive shit out via Automatic Kafka, Wildcats v3.0 and The Intimates and not being appreciated at all except by the cool kids in the back of the class. I think there might be a handful more cool kids in the comics reading crowd these days, so they'll have a new Joe Casey comic to appreciate.


Return of the Dapper Men Special Edition HC

(Jim McCann/Janet Lee, Archaia)



Nick: I know steampunk has kind of turned itself into a dirty term at this point (or gigantic annoyance, depending on your optimism, I suppose) but Jim McCann and Janet Lee's Return of the Dapper Men is a gorgeous breath of fresh air for the microgenre, a kind of steampunk fairy tale about a place where time has stopped. Archaia already does an excellent job with the packaging of their titles, but if any work in their catalogue deserves the "Special Edition" treatment, it's this. The new edition adds two Dapper Men shorts from Free Comic Book Day releases from this year and last, as well as concept art and other goodies. If you've read the series, then think of the update as an opportunity to hand off that prior edition to someone in need of an introduction. And if you haven't read it, well, now you have even less of an excuse.

Andrew: I keep hoping Dapper Men is just all about the suits of Sterling Cooper Draper Price, but I keep being disappointed when it’s not.

Danny: Return of the Draper Men.


The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel

(Rich Tommaso, Fantagraphics)



Nick: In recent years, comics have been a paradise for noir, with stunning releases from Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips seducing not just committed noir addicts but also newcomers unfamiliar with the genre. Rich Tommaso's The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel stands out even from its illustrious peers by virtue of its unique take on noir, mixing elements of both Tommaso's life and Jim Thompson's life to form an autobio/neo-noir hybrid. Tommaso's distinctly minimalist, animation-influenced style adds another seemingly disparate element that actually serves to enliven the material all the more, finding some sweet spot between the Coen Brothers and Popeye. If you've burned through Criminal and Cooke's Parker adaptations and are looking for something altogether different, The Cavalier Mr. Thompson is an easy recommendation.

Danny: Crime comics! Remember when modern North American crime comics were exclusively Sin City and Stray Bullets? Great stuff, but now we have an embarrassment of riches.


Stumptown Vol. 2 #1

(Greg Rucka/Matthew Southworth, Oni Press)



Danny: I know it's a good year for comics because we have a new volume of Stumptown, which is like Bucko except there are no dick jokes and the protagonist is a licensed private investigator. So I guess what I'm saying is that Stumptown takes place in Portland. Dex Parios is a constantly down-on-her-luck private eye whose investigations rarely go well, and this time she has to find a rock star's missing baby. That probably won't go well either.

Stumptown is my favorite Greg Rucka comic, so I'm stoked.

Andrew: I just want to point out that Danny said "Stumptown" and "dick jokes" in the same sentence.

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