Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meanwhile at the Movies... Monsters VS Aliens, we win!

Okay, Monsters VS Aliens, the latest kid friendly, CG animated, potential franchise bait felt rather inspired, and appealing on many levels beyond just kiddie fair, ya know?
The perfect strap in, take a ride to new places kind of movie going thing I seek and devour.
But the couple reviews, or what I'd seen going into Friday's release, were kind of not that good. Calling it a marginal outing...
I'm happy to say, the wife and I saw it Friday in 3D, and loved every damn minute!!!
That, was a damn good movie.

Holy S Batman!?!?!
From the 3D, best I've seen yet... Beowulf - kind of odd, My Bloody Valentine - the 3D was just okay, but full on animated CG (I didn't see Bolt in theaters), DAMN!!!!!
Now that is good times!

Anyway, the 3D was great, very immersive, and just really worked.
Then you had the animation, stylish and quality enough to work very well.
The characters, all around, just fabulous. From voice acting, to design, very engaging... especially Susan (the 50 foot woman) and Bob (the Seth Rogan blob). A couple could've used some more life, but a really deep inspired cast, in all aspects.

Then the story, all out fun, all the time.
The only thing MVA lacks is the bonus round levels of heart of Incredibles and Wall-e, but I think, MVA is only inferior to Incredibles... I enjoyed it much more than Wall-e. Again, Wall-e packed a stronger emotional punch, but it's plot, ripped from Mike Judge's Idiocracy was far inferior.

MVA is just movie making at it's best, nonstop fun, inspired action, eye-popping visuals, great cast/characters, and genre bending next level shit.
And, it's damn funny!

I can't recommend it enough.
It is what everyone thought Kung-Fu Panda was.
Sure Panda looked great, and had lots of fun, but nothing about it felt as enjoyable as this to me.
Panda was just too predictable.
And sure MVA is too, it's MIB meets Incredibles, or Independence Day meets Hellboy etc... but it's got quirk and creativity in spades when it came to the storytelling. It was just too engaging to be weighed down by any of that.

I loved it.

See it in 3D, and I dare you not to enjoy it.

(and be sure and stay a couple minutes into the credits, for more President Colbert... then, you're safe to leave)

Go see it!!!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
(You can check out more MVA discussion in my DeviantArt journal posting HERE)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Comic Book Indsustry State of the Union 2

Well, I've always focused on the bigger picture of the comic industry here, first, as a publisher/creator working in the direct market it's obviously on my radar, and second, because I've known for years that we were at a crossroads in the US industry. Now it seems, keeping tabs on the pulse of the industry is a daily occurrence, so here's another roundup of news items relating to our changing times...

____
First we have a new feature on The Beat, adding an independent publisher roundup to their monthly tallies of comic shops sales, based off the Diamond top 300 books.
Very interesting to get a coherent rundown of all the indie books making the list.
Check it out HERE

____
Next, also courtesy of a link from The Beat, Todd Allen explores a doomsday scenario, where the direct market, if things play out poorly, could collapse altogether (and hey, that's not too far fetched... I've always said, digital will reach a tipping point when either A) there's a reader device current fans embrace, or B) when one of the large publishers (Marvel or DC) decide to switch to a digital model, of which the latter could occur at any time).
Check out part one HERE

____
Then, hop over to Newsarama for a couple different articles on digital comics...
First, a poll on what readers think is the best price model for digital HERE
and second, they take a look at the new software update for the iPhone, and it's implications for comics HERE

____
And finally, there's the news that DC plans to start shifting pricing on it's books to $3.99 (to match Marvels recent-ish moves of the same), and also some rumblings of continued price increases for Diamond UK, that were on-again, off-again (see Lying In the Gutters), that could've had a big impact on the UK market.

Tune in next week dear readers for what I'm sure will be more developments...

Monday, March 23, 2009

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Dan's animated short

My buddy Dan Mendoza, who I've worked with on Super Real (SR vs The Movie Industry special), and also the upcoming Pulp Girls (Bewere), just shared an animated short he did in college that's a fun little Sasquatch tale...
whats afoot? from dan mendoza on Vimeo.

CHECK IT OUT!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

TALES FROM NETFLIX: '09 catch-up

Haven't watched many movies this year... between a 2 plus week vacation in February, prepping for Wondercon later that month, catching up in the office, and trying to keep up with the DVR... well our usual mass movie intake has gone slack. However, there are quite a few recent comic book related DVD's as well as a number of flicks worth talking about since I last checked in, so here we go!

First, the comic book movies:
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE - Okay, not much to say here positive, but I did enjoy the cartoonish over the top violence, however, it's so over the top, especially in the first scene, I can see this one positive for me, being just another con for many others. I did love the first scene with Frank though, where he crashes a mob dinner with more knifes to the skull and snapped necks per frame then perhaps ever seen (can't help but think Stalone's hyper violent recent Rambo led them on this path). Anyway, from there it's all woe is me Punisher, as he shambles from his subway lair (please) to neon set piece... As much as I enjoyed Ray Stevenson in HBO's Rome, he's dull and lifeless here, but that's his character, and the script. Don't even get me started on the clich├ęd villains here...

Skip it!

NOT RECOMMENDED

WONDER WOMAN - Like Punisher (wow, who'd think I could draw a parallel from that film to an animated take on DC's princess of power!?!) Wonder Woman comes out guns blazing... or in this case, the amazons come out swords swinging, in an epic battle with Ares god of war, and his forces of man's evil. It's a glorious sword and sandal meets fantasy throw down, amazingly crafted, choreographed, and slickly animated. We meet all the Amazonian side characters that will make up Diana's supporting cast, because this all takes place before her birth. Wonder Woman is an origin story, and when it's focused on Themyscira and the mystical aspects of her story, it really shines. For me though, once they introduce them and the story into modern times, and specifically Colonel Steve Trevor, I have a hard time buying into all of it. I think they could have skipped the outsider crashing into the land of the amazons plot, and just used the device they already do to get Diana off the island and into our world, and made things much more believable. Instead we're treated to a forced fish out of water love story, by way of Wonder Woman coming to NYC with love struck everyman/jet pilot. It's too contrived, and we've seen this story time and again before. The movie truly shines though when Diana is in action as Wonder Woman, with smartly written action and kinetic visuals. And the big finish in Washington DC, reprising the battle of Amazons vs Ares and his minions, is also lots of fun.

All in all, Wonder Woman is a smart, well produced, enjoyable work. It's worth noting the stellar voice cast, with Keri Russell as Diana, Nathan Fillion as Col Trevor, and Rosario Dawson among many others. Also, Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 and takes full advantage of that, by being fully mature in tone, while also keeping things light enough to play to a wide audience.

I'd like to give this one a stronger recommendation, but it's just a bit too unbalanced to do so. Still very good though.

RECOMMENDED

HULK VS - Meanwhile, the Marvel universe continues to get animated too, and like the current DC offerings, they're skewing more mature here, and bringing the animation style more in line with current sensibilities. Marvel's first few animated offerings were ambitious, but widely missed the mark, watering down mature storylines and needlessly changing things with the Ultimates, or completely failing with Iron Man (I skipped Doctor Strange, so I don't know how that came out, I've my suspicions though). This is all encouraging, especially when the last work was aimed squarely at kids, with Next Avengers, which was otherwise a very strong work.

Hulk VS brings two short features, one featuring Thor, and the other featuring Wolverine. Both showcase strong animation, that's clean and stylized, and both also feature a deep supporting cast from each respective character's mythos. For me, I enjoyed the Thor story a touch more, mainly because I thought they brought the Norse characters to life for me, in a way they've never been able to on the comic page. But Wolverine's story, and it's inclusion of Weapon X, felt a bit as if the Hulk was just forced into the story, or an afterthought once things got going. I think these would've worked better as either straight up battles between the characters here, or focused more on the characters they featured, sans the Hulk.

Still fun and very well made though.

RECOMMENDED


Next, the horror movies:
EDEN LAKE - A horror/terror import from England, Eden Lake is one of those works with a simple premise, a young couple alone in the remote wilderness being terrorized, that completely succeeds by capturing the vibe of menace and fear. Similar to the French import, Them, which was remade stateside last year as The Strangers (of which, Them is far superior), it's the simple notion that when you're all alone, miles from civilization, faceless teens can fuck with you to no end if they want. How far will things go? Will anyone survive? These films work if they can put you in the shoes of the hunted, and just like Them, Eden Lake slides you right in from the get go, then it gets all kinds of fucked up, and increasingly bloody as we go.

Eden Lake is well shot, cast, acted, and realized. Everything about it rings true, which helps you merge into the story. It is unflinching in it's presentation though, so be prepared, but if you can take it, it's truly gripping, and haunting. And Kelly Reilly makes for one of the better scream queens in recent memory...

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

AMUSEMENT - At times inspired, especially in it's jump cut presentation at the start, seemingly switching from different horror films mid story, both familiar, but deliciously different, Amusement is a solid effort at sending up horror and torture porn that doesn't quite hit the mark.

If however, you're a horror fan, that watches it all, you'll likely get a kick out of it, even though it fails to seal the deal.

RECOMMENDED

STORM WARNING - If like me, you've seen the ads for this one before untold numbers of other horror flicks, you likely thought it looked as lame and unoriginal as I did. However, it turns out Storm Warning is actually damn entertaining, and suffers from a truly uninspired trailer...

Like Eden Lake, with the success of Them (and The Strangers), we seem to be getting a fair amount of similar tales. But like all of those cautionary tales for couples in remote parts of the world, Storm Warning pushes all the right terror buttons, and offers up enough left field bizzaro Australian spun lunacy to engage the most hardened horror fiends (I'll just say there is a scene that involves a baby kangaroo, among other things). Also like some of those works, be prepared to face your fears in over-the-top, in-your-face fashion!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

MIRRORS - NOT RECOMMENDED

BAGHEAD - Okay, while Baghead is not a true horror movie, it is an indie comedy send up (of sorts) of horror though. From the same team that brought us the offbeat 2005 indy The Puffy Chair (recommended), Baghead messes with the viewer by way of messing with the cast in what's presented as a real life inside indie filmmaking weekend retreat. It's all good fun for four friends in a remote cabin, til someone with a brown paper bag over their head, may or may not be lurking outside the windows.

Worth a watch.

RECOMMENDED

RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION - Watchable and mostly high quality CGI animation, that either you need knowledge of the games to properly engage with, or more likely, just doesn't really connect on many levels. It's entertaining enough though, and does (sort of) feature zombies...

MILDLY RECOMMENDED


And now, a quick run down of the non genre stuff:
THE ROCKER - If you like Rainn Wilson (The Office's Dwight), this isn't a bad way to while away an hour and a half. Just don't expect anything special.

MILDLY RECOMMENDED

KABLUEY - Offbeat black comedy that follows Lisa Kudrow, a left behind Iraq mother who struggles to support her two sons... Enter their uncle, a slacker/loser who takes a job as a local giant blue mascot in the rural town... character and comedy developments ensue.

Unique, heartfelt, and enjoyable.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

ROCK'N'ROLLA -If you like Guy Ritchie UK crime films, it's a must see as he's back to form here. Not as special as Lock Stock, but a solid watch.

RECOMMENDED

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS - It's Cheech and Chong meets Rambo. Which is cool, but the cast here are what make this one shine (especially Franco). And since I was on the fence between RECOMMENDED, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, well, highly won...

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

HAMLET 2 - Entertaining, funny, and a bit inspired.

RECOMMENDED


Okay, outside of some offbeat recommendations I want to highlight separately, that should catch up most the noteworthy viewings so far this year. Now go check these out if you haven't already, there's some good stuff here!
(And, as always, click on the Netflix label below to see all of the Tales From Netflix recommendations)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Comic Book Indsustry State of the Union

We all wish we could say it's stong, but just like everything else, it's in turmoil. From rising prices, to key changes to distribution, the weak economy, and the crossroads in format, there's a lot going on in the comics industry right now... Here are a rundown of some news and notes:

Perhaps the biggest development currently, are the changes at Diamond Distribution, increasing sales thresholds and potentially driving away a good percentage of independent offerings, and the fallout from those changes.

____
Two potential distribution options are attempting to fill the void this move will create, since idependent comic sales were already in turmoil.

- First, is Haven Distribution, a company in existence for about a year, that took over for the former Coldcut backlist distributor. Haven announced their arrival, relocation of operations to Chicago from California, and abolishment of the "no superheroes" policy, and then pretty much faded away (or at least went to work behind the scenes, and/or under the radar). However, with the move at Diamond, their virtual only rival, Haven is at least attempting to make a play to capture more of the independent market, by now offering advance order material as well.

As an independent publisher myself, I can share some insight here.

When I started out self-publishing in late 2005, there were then 3 distribution options, Diamond, ColdCut, and FM International (at least on paper, Coldcut and FM were very small by comparison). Within six months of publishing my first book, and attempting to get setu up with FM International, having met a couple of the key players there at Comic-Con, FM closed up shop, and I was quickly down to 2 options. Having already setup my book Super Real with Diamond, that only left Cold Cut as another avenue of distribution. However, they only took previosly released, or backlist material, so after sending samples in once I had some books published, twice, and never receiving a response, they eventually folded up in late 2007, early 2008, and then became Haven Distribution. (I don't know if I was just a victim of their policy for not carrying "superhero" material, or a symptom of their decline.)

Once Haven was established, I'd also contacted them via the publisher contact area of their website, with no response. Fast forward quite a few months and I try again, upon publising some more product, and do get a response this time. Actaully from someone I know and used to work with at a comic website, who was a reviewer, and bit of a fan of my book. But I'm informed that they're not currently accepting any new product, until November. So I check back in November and am told that unfortunately things are still on hold, and that it's now looking like January before they'll open up again. Of course when January rolls around, the game has changed, and Diamond has announced their changes in policy. So Haven is accepting new material, and also scrambling to take advantage of the new landscape, by also offering preorders or adavance product solicitations.

I'm currently working with them, and am hopefull that they can build another outlet to the direct market for independent material. They have a catalog system of sorts in place, that is a bit promising, if retailers and the market will embrace it and be able to utilize it in addition to Diamond. Those are some pretty big questions though. Certainly some marketing on thier part, and/or independent publishers listed by them, is key to help spread the word, and grease the skids.

There are of course many other hurdles, so time will tell.

Along the lines of getting the word out though, I will talk at more length about Haven and their product catalog, Comics! in the near future. Suffice it say, they plan to have a new catalog out this May.

- Second, is Ka-Blam.com, a POD (print on demand) printer. POD printing is an affordable option for digital printing of comics, where by leveraging technology, a creator can print small quanties of a book, from as little as a single copy, for the same mostly affordable price. POD printers are widely used to supplement web content, or for direct sales at conventions and online. They are not vialbe as a mass market solution, as although the costs are reasonable, they are not low enough, nor do they lower, when print at higher quantities. This has been the main hurdle to utilizing POD technology to offer products to retailers, as retailers buy at wholesale pricing, which is only a fraction of the cover/retail price of a product. The average cost to print a standard sized black and white book via POD is around the $2 range, or $3 range for full color, so you can see, the margains are pretty small, and thus only work for direct sales from the creator/publisher to the reader/fan.

However, as with Haven, Diamond's change in policies has brought about a change to Ka-Blams's services as well, with their announced Comics Monkey POD distribution service.

Without going into too much detail, Ka-Blam is looking to offer any content they print, to comic book shops, via a new pricing model, where they still take their standard cut via printing fees, but then offer product to retailers at discount (starting at 60% of retail), and a small cut to creators/publishers of the sales. And "small cut" is the key here, as I mentioned before, with POD costs being what they are, they're not really condusive to wholesale pricing, at least in line with the current direct market price model, so instead of finding a way to lower their costs and share percentages with publishers more in line with what they'd find from full run printing and distribution, Ka-Blam is offering 10% of the retail to the publisher.

I'm not suggesting Ka-Blam is short changing the creator in any way here, they're simply trying ot make the POD model work on a wholesale level, and these are the first efforts of this kind. So, they're moving forward while admittedly breaking new ground, and trying to find what works for all parties involved. Not the least of which is the reader, because if you simply raise cover prices to offset the difference in cost associated with the POD model vs standard comic distribution, the cover prices could climb steeply. It's a new way of looking at print sales, that also has a completely new set of challenges.


So, between the two, there are efforts already in place to improve direct market independent comics distribution. But, it's very early, and hard to tell how any of it will play out.
Or, I think, more to the point, if anything can even be done at this point to salvage independent print comics as we knew them, most certainly digital is the future, and increasingly more so by the day. So, is there enough demand, and/or time before the paradigm shift, to maintain a print market? Or are we already past the tipping point?
____

Now, here are some links on related stories:

- Steven Grant notices that independent comic sales are growing, not trending down... at least direct con sales that is... in his column HERE

- Tim Seeley ask questions about how to make comics cheaper, but doesn't find many answers over on CBR HERE

- The Beat highlights some Kindle comics play HERE
(And don't forget, Amazon has partnered with Apple to offer a Kindle app on Iphones)

Monday, March 16, 2009

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: indy comics advice

A couple articles recently from around the comics web, for aspiring (and acting) publishers (because you can never get enough advice and help)...

1) Some solid gold advice to aspiring (or current) comic book publishers from Ken Marcus, creator of Super Human Resources from Ape Entertainment, on ComicBookResources.com Robot6 blog HERE

2) Jen Contino, editor of comic news site The Pulse, with independent publisher tips HERE

Kind of basic stuff, but ya never know if there are any gems of advice one hasn't thought of before...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I SAW IT ON TV: Kenny Fuckin' Powers!!!

The latest must see HBO series is none other than EASTBOUND & DOWN, starring, co-written, and co-produced, by fast rising comedy scene stealer Danny McBride... you know, the "thug life" quoting third wheel from Pineapple Express, demolitions expert from Tropic Thunder, and dojo master from The Foot Fist Way?

Oh yeah, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, the production/actor/director/writer duo behind Talladega Nights, Anchorman, and Stepbrothers? They're producing here too.

So yeah, it's good.

McBride is gold as the all ass, all the time, washed up major league pitching wild thing... but this wild thing sports a beer belly and perm mullet, and goes by the name of Kenny "fuckin'" Powers.
Beer, coke, e, steroids, a tricked out Seadoo, and hometown slut aren't enough to chase away Kenny's day job as middle school gym teacher, or fuel his hopeless dream of a big league comeback. Good thing he lives with his brother's family, he's still got a little further to fall yet.

And Will Ferrell shows up from time to time as a local auto dealer nemesis...
Sure it's the same formula Ferrell's employed in all his sports characters, that McBride riffed on in Foot Fist, but it makes for some top notch darkly fun TV!

HIGHLY FUCKIN' RECOMMENDED

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Watchmen sucks (and so does the movie)?!?

Best graphic novel of all time?
Please.
Most over rated?
Sure.
Comics blasphemy?
Maybe :)

Okay, yes, I read Watchmen, not when it came out...
I was reading comics way back in the 1900 and 80's.
Actually the mid to late 80's were the twilight of my comics youth.
By that time, I was in high school, and fast finding other distractions.
I recall, clearly, one of the last times I bought comics outside a comic shop, at a local 7-11, an issue of the original X-Factor... at least a few issues in... and the clerk looked at it, then me, and said "really?!" (or similar) with such disdain.
But, fuck her, I bought GI Joes til I was 16, that didn't put me off comics.
Just teenage trappings like, cars, friends, girls (or at least the fruitless pursuit).
Anyway, I remember Watchmen coming out, and all the buzz, and the graphic nature of it, looking at the first issue (I might have bought it, don't think so)...
It wasn't really for me.
You see, I always came at comics from a visual, visceral angle, and Watchmen, while being an amazing feat of writing, and art... just doesn't do much for me.
I'd rather sit with a book for 5 minutes and get my rocks off, not toil over the pages and dialogue... study the subtext, re-read, reassess...
nah.
Fuck that.
There are too many other comics to get to.
Movies.
TV.
Video games.
Music.
etc etc
So, I don't read books, and I don't generally like my comics literal.
Sorry.

Fast forward a decade, and I've gotten back into comics, having rediscovered them circa 1995, and my appetite is veracious (years away have me fully reinvested)... I go to all the area cons, buying stacks of dollar and quarter bin books, and I come across long boxes full of Watchmen... so, what the hell? Never read it, it's a classic, scoop em up.

And I read it, and I really liked it, just, not that much.
I see what all the critical favor is about mind you.
I appreciate the intricate nature, the symphony between writer and artist, the groundbreaking nature of it all.
But shit, it's a tough read, and, Ozymandias is the bad guy?!? Really? That's the big twist?? That's it?!
Okay, I mean, surface, high level, it's pretty straightforward, and sure there's all these other levels, and bigger messages and comments, and layers, but here's the main thing... the characters are all boring, unrelatable, and uninteresting.
Rapists, psycho's, naked blue gods, impotent middle aged men?
Wait, that does sound interesting?
But, it all just floats by, not really engaging me. Gibbons art is nothing short of amazing, but his style doesn't excite me, and the work is too dense, so all I have left are the characters, and they fail me...
Watchmen ultimately fails to engage me.

Now fast forward another decade and Zack Snyder, director-god, who's previous efforts, the incredible remake of Dawn of the Dead, and the bombastically bad ass 300 comic adaptation were some of my favorite movies in recent memory, he's going to be adapting the long unfilmable Watchmen?!?
Cool!!!Now, I saw the movie Saturday, anxiously waiting for it to come out, and my chance at the theater, and let me tell you, it's a great movie, and an amazing effort at adapting the most dense graphic work out there, but as much as I liked it, I still didn't love it. It still skims by, keeping me at a distance. Nothing really draws me in; the Comedian, as cool as he is, is irredeemable, and dies in the opening after all, and the only other awesome character, Rorschach, still wears the god awful trenchcoat and fedora... so you know, he can only be so cool. I mean, he's based on the fucking Question, lamest looking character ever...

So...
Is it good, yeah, sorta.
Is it great, well, maybe.
I'd really like to see the director's cut, and Black Freighter, and really get a proper look at it.

But most of all, aside from the failings of the characters, and cast (because Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are as boring and lifeless here as they are in the comic), my main problem with the whole thing is the utter failings of the soundtrack.
From the mostly nonexistent score, to the horrible on-the-nose AM radio pastiche they try to pass off as clever.
All Along the Watchtower?!?
Really!?!?!
I guess it was referenced in the comic, but damn, that was utterly played out 23 years ago, let alone now.
I guess if you have no recall for those things, or no experience with the usage of the music, or don't care for music, it could work for you.
But shit, that was terrible.
Luft Balloons? That's the best you could do?!?
Come on, this is a huge budget epic, give me sound to go with it!
Dark Knight, they kicked your ears in with sound and score.
Great movies need a great score!!!!

Okay, so there ya go.
Watchmen and all it's personal baggage for me, and I still mostly enjoyed it, and look forward to repeat viewings and expanded versions.
And I still recommend it, as it's a challenging translation of a challenging work that's certainly of merit and quality, that may just click on more cylinders for you than I.

And hell, I'll probably even read the book again some day.
But, I've got boxes full of those, so don't hold your breath...

RECOMMENDED

Friday, March 06, 2009

SUPER REAL NOTES: Super Real on again, off again

Okay, this update is a bit late, as the current Diamond Previews catalog came out over a week ago now, but with Wondercon last weekend and prepping for it last week, I simply ran out of time to touch on this until now...

Super Real: Cast Change, aka issue four, aka the final issue, will NOT be released via Diamond.

As many know, Diamond recently changed their sales thresholds for independent publishers, and this issue of Super Real, although approved after the change was announced by Diamond, was still a casualty of it. Why it was initially approved, only to be undone, after I'd begun communicating the books release, is unfortunate, and frustrating, but simply how it came about.

So, even though I'd previously announced the book would be solicited in the March Previews catalog, for a May release to comic book shops via Diamond distribution, that is no longer the case.

The comic book direct market has been evolving into a more difficult landscape for independent books to achieve any kind of success for years, and that is increasingly becoming more the case. This latest change from Diamond only escalates that. Since Super Real was set up with Diamond in late 2005, the market has gotten tougher and tougher, with the large publishers, Marvel and DC, focusing their efforts on massive crossovers, and weekly books, etc, to suck up as many dollars as possible. Couple that with rising cover prices (Super Real number 1 was $3.25, a then high price point in November of 2005, and a standard color comic is now $3.99), a crashing economy, and a massive amount of competing material, and the writing was on the wall. There was not a future for Super Real as a periodical in the direct market (and in fact, increasingly, no market for periodical comics outside of Marvel and DC). I had hoped though, to combine the final 2 issues of our story into one release and complete what I had started. That will not be happening though, at least via Diamond, and for that I'm truly sorry.

However, it is not the end for Super Real, as I've mentioned time and again, it was always a closed-ended story arc, and I'm fully dedicated to finishing that story, both for me, and of course, the fans. It just means it will be reaching the public in a different way. I will still complete the super-sized cast change special, our sixth issue overall (aka Episode VI: The Cast Strike Back), and fourth and fifth regular series issues in essence. It will most likely be released both directly via print (online, at conventions, and in comic shops via Haven Distribution), but also for download online via the website. In roughly the same time frame as originally intended for Diamond Distribution. I will of course announce once schedules and plans are finalized.

Additionally, I hope to offer the complete series as a collected trade paperback/graphic novel. More on that later.

So, again, I'm sorry if you're awaiting the book, and this is another set back, but in time it will see release, and we'll all get to have some closure to our story. Then hopefully, down the road, when we look in the rear view, all of this will be irrelevant, and we'll have what I hope is a unique comic story and vision all can be proud of, that fans new and old can discover moving forward.

The future is now with comics, and I'm ready and willing to embrace it. It just came a touch sooner than I and others had expected. These are exciting times though, and with digital and new formats and models of delivery, the future is definitely bright!

Thanks as always for your support, and STAY TUNED!
Jason