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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: When Words Collide - Mar 15, 2010

    This week in WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, Tim looks at fifteen must-have collected editions--a healthy mix of classic, modern, and indies--and reveals his own spoils of last weekend's Amazon pricing glitch.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    I'm waiting until it drops to $8.26.
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

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  4. #4

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    Wow, I'm pretty amazed at how much I disagree with you on this one-- starting with the assertion that any of these really matter.

    I can agree that Wagner + Grendel = Good Things, but I at least read a few of the issues in the story. I feel like it's a little disingenuous to say it's worth picking up without ever having actually picked it up yourself. Perhaps your intent didn't come through clearly, but it sounds a bit like the blind leading the blind. I can agree that for up-and-coming readers and creators, any Grendel book is a great reference or inspirational tool.

    Your DC superhero book recommendations all fall flat with me. Lots of folks complained mightily about the Philip Tan art already. It seems to have garnered such distaste that it doesn't seem worth the purchase. I would agree that the story itself is good, but whether it matters is yet to be decided. What's the impact to the bat-universe and its writers going down the road? Only time can tell, and it hasn't yet. As for the Lantern Reborn ultimate edition and the Justice League classics, that's take-it-or-leave-it material, but not something really incredible.

    Before pulling the trigger on Blacksad as the great arrival of a Bandes Dessinees to America, I'd take a look on the internet. It saddens me that we still think Mavel has to acquire Soleil or Dark Horse has to print a book for us to have access to it. Cinebook and several other publishers are collecting all kinds of French and Belgian comics into english language editions. I think Asterix could knock Trump or the Creeper off your list-- maybe both. I think that's a huge indicator of just how and why American comic book shops suffer due to the myopic view of available stories in the customer audience. People love Alan Moore's stuff, but they think the only options they have are the capes-and-tights stuff coming from Marvel and DC. Meanwhile, Europe is infinitely more diverse in its content production.

    With Zuda, I agree/disagree with you. I find the reader easy and the content (especially the instant winners) great. I think it's questionable though just how much they're producing the talent that will be leading the industry in ten years. I'd like to think "yes", but the stories that come out of Zuda aren't your typical American comics fare. It seems like they're an in-between of the types of stories you can only find online and the ones you can only find in print. Bayou and High Moon didn't burn up the patch when they came out in print, which may either be due to a lack of a marketing push from DC/Zuda or just a lack of reader interest in that style of content. Again, time (and editors) will tell. But I'd say what you have there are the "Lost in Translation" or the "Boondock Saints" of comics. Stuff that's really incredible, but just didn't do well because somehow it didn't get enough attention.

    The other stuff? It's all 'meh' to me.

    My recommendations.

    If it's not already out, Jacamon and Matz's "The Killer: Volume 3" will be incredible if Volumes 1 and 2 are any indicator. The "Strangers in Paradise Omnibus" has been out for a while now, but I haven't seen Terry Moore get a lot of attention, which is sad. Jacques Tardi's "It was the War in the Trenches" is coming out through Fantagraphics later this year. So is "Love and Rockets" book 4. Kazu Kabuishi's "Copper" is printing collected editions soon, and if there's any web-comic out there that deserves a little hype, it's that one. Then there's the sixth volume of "Flight" coming out. As much as that series has been talked about, it definitely matters.

    In short, as good and as critically accurate your top 10 of the decade were, I think this list is poorly chosen and commercially influenced. Sorry, but there's stuff out there that I think matters more. It's certainly of greater depth.

  5. #5
    Collected Comics Library Chris CCL's Avatar
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    Thx for the mention, Tim!
    Always happy to help out.

    Chris

  6. #6
    More Porn Please! DirkStar's Avatar
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    Default You're kidding, right?

    I'll agree with you on Hellboy, but everything else...

    No way.

  7. #7
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    Tim,

    I think you are full of crap, clearly speaking on a subject you know very little about (re: Zuda). High Moon did VERY well in print, especially in the first two months it was out. There was demand, acclaim, and an increased presence in Barnes and Noble during the month of October. We have nearly sold out of our five digit print run.

    Beyond that, though the Zuda readership is robust. And, the viewer is easy to use and really rather awesome, I'd be happy to take you to task on this.

  8. #8

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    Well, I don't think I would have taken it to the "you're full of crap" level, but I do think "uninspired and commercially influenced" are fair. What David's comment about sales figures and Zuda's following, combined with previous entries by Tim regarding internet comics, pulls into sharp relief is the question-- just where do we want things to go?

    We often hear commentators and even company officials saying "power to the little guy!" and "all hail the creativity of the indie talents!". That's all talk about the comics medium. The problem I see is that when the cash hits the sales desk, we come back to the comics industry.

    And the industry dictates the narrative. The industry doesn't have a great deal of interest in promoting the heck out of things like High Moon because that's a new property, which is unproven outside of Zuda (which is becoming an increasingly good barometer as the readership grows). Instead, they'll keep funneling bucks into established properties like the same cast of caped heroes we've been reading for almost a century now. And why should we blame them? We're the ones pouring the money into their financial statements, and those financial statements tell them that they should place their money on the stuff we buy.

    And that's kind of where I draw the line. It's one thing for CBR to constantly pump out the previews for the big companies every month. That's advertising dollars they get from the big companies. It's one thing for Tim to go two blog posts in a row about Bendis's genius on Daredevil. That's actual critical insight that bears some value and should be done even for the "commercial" guys like Bendis.

    But to throw a bunch of run-of-the-mill mainstream collected editions at me and tell me that they "matter"? That lacks a little integrity. I'm not saying that only indie books can matter because they don't conform (and I'm forced to think of the emo nonconformists on South Park here) or that every book that comes out from Marvel/DC/Image/Dark Horse is penned by sellouts. But there's SO MUCH stuff out there that it's ridiculous to keep spending all this time on the major publishers. The entire main news page is stuffed to the gills with Emerald City coverage right now. I mean, seriously. There's nothing else going on out there in comics right now beyond Quesada playing guitar on stage?

    Has anyone even seen "CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS" mentioned on here?

    I've looked to guys like Tim for off-the-beaten-path stuff that's informative and thought-provoking. This one fell outside the strike zone, but I have confidence he'll put the next one on target. I'd love to see an interview titled "How much does Zuda matter"?

  9. #9

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    David, did you mean to type "Jim" instead of "Tim"? Because I didn't talk about High Noon in this column...

    Jim, usually I respect your comments, but are you say something I wrote "lacks a little integrity," I just can't respect that at all. You can disagree with my choices, you can offer other suggestions (though almost all of your suggestions, while good, fall outside the parameters of this column, which dealt with the next two months worth of collected editions), but I'm not going to let you question my integrity. That's not how this works.

    And I certainly stand by all of my choices -- they are great recommendations, and I'm looking forward to every single one of them.
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

    Reviews -- My CBR Reviews/Articles
    GeniusboyFiremelon -- My Blog

  10. #10

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    Re-reading David's post, I think he was probably talking to both of us. I'll admit I was uninformed about the book store sales. I went through all the monthly sales figures on CBR and didn't see anything indicating it did well in DM stores. In that regard, my apologies to David for sounding like I was panning his book. In fact, I was lamenting the situation because I feel like people should be helping a thing like Zuda become more successful. We need those kinds of talents and we need greater variety in our books beyond the capes-and-tights fare. Zuda is probably one of the best opportunities out there for new people trying to break in (myself included). We should all try to do more to help it and other webcomics change the medium for the better.

    Tim, when I hear you say something "matters", I've come to associate a great deal of genuine, incisive critique of it. Our discussion on Pluto convinced me that you're a guy that knows what you're talking about and you really give consideration to the medium.

    But you opened this post telling us that your #1 pick was something you hadn't even read in serial format yet. I don't think it's entirely inappropriate to say there's an integrity issue with that. If you did in fact read the material as it was coming out, then that's another story. But, as you've described your association with it, how do you know it matters? Your plug for the Batman and Robin book cuts both ways. Even if you don't mean to, you sound like you're telling us it's mediocre. So whereas most of your writings are incredibly entertaining and provoking, this thing came off as a bad sales pitch. You transformed from Fareed Zakaria into Glenn Beck.

    As for the other things I recommended fitting into the bounds? If there wasn't enough quality material to meet your near-term outlook, I would have extended the outlook. I respect your work and your contributions to the site. You're a guy with vision. But this time you were a little short-sighted.

  11. #11

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    The stated purpose of this week's column: "These are the things I'm interested in over the next couple of months, and I think you might be as well."

    That's it.

    I really don't see the problem.
    Timothy Callahan
    CBR Staff Writer

    Reviews -- My CBR Reviews/Articles
    GeniusboyFiremelon -- My Blog

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