Comic Book Harriet, stretching her comic book chops, with a comic book lesson.
I collected new DC superhero comics from 2008 to about 2012. Blackest Night got me hooked, a great horror based crossover event, that had legacy dead characters rise up to confront their still living family members and teammates. Though I hadn’t read much before, the arc gave me an exciting and emotional lesson in characters and stories I hadn’t read first hand.
Then in 2011 DC decided to cancel and then relaunch their entire comics lineup, in The New 52 initiative, tweaking characters and erasing backstories. This included canceling both Action Comics, and Detective Comics, which had been running since the 30’s, and were up to #904 and #881 issues respectively. They were both relaunched with a #1 issue.
The New 52 lost my interest completely, I compared it to a beloved relative having a stroke and staggering around forgetting half of who they were, and randomly attempting to relive life events that had already taken place.
In 2016 DC Rebirth tried to reset this again, which included renumbering Action Comics and Detective comics as if they had never been ‘cancelled’. They had learned that you can’t ‘restart’ when the majority of your audience doesn’t want a to hear a Muppet Babies version of a story they’ve already read. But most of all, they learned you can’t fake being new and hip when you’ve been around for 70 years. Your legacy and history is your capital, don’t spend it or throw it away.
Chester is going to learn the hard way, you can’t fake being ‘old and established’ either.
28 responses to “Counterfeit Maturity”
Well this explains the drek that Atomik Komix is putting out. Going with 12 issues a year that means “Atomic Ape”* would have been around for over 82 years. Somehow he thinks people are going to see a comic they’ve never heard of and think its been around forever? The vast majority of people in this country that have never read or touched a comic have heard of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, … would not be fooled by this half ass gimmick. Also regular comic readers (his presumed demographic) would know this was a cheap trick.
*how did marketing genius Hagglemore not name this comic “Atomik Ape”?
But wait! It also says “1st ISSUE” to the right of the title. Bonus points to all who predicted a sideways comic book cover.
Yep, great plan there, Chester. Except you kind of undermined it by putting “1st Issue” in larger, bolder print just a few inches away. I guess readers are supposed to put their thumbs over that.
And once again I have to wonder at the time frame of these Atomik Komix arcs. Given the time required to conceive, write, draw, print and distribute a new title’s first issue, this week’s strips have spanned at least six months. At the rate Durwood and Dopey Pete are skipping ahead, they should reach March 2022 by early summer. I wonder if we’ll then be treated to an arc in which a certain retired Ohio comics “legend” [cough, cough] will turn up to congratulate the Atomik Krew on their phenomenal success.
“Yep, great plan there, Chester. Except you kind of undermined it by putting “1st Issue” in larger, bolder print just a few inches away.”
And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t you beady eyed nitpicking kids,
Crankshaft is pretty weird today. And also has some interesting alternate interpretations depending on what ‘logs’ stands for.
It’s Stopped Clock Theatre today. That’s because it’s one of the few things Batiuk says that one can agree with. Granted, he’d launch into a stupid diatribe about how awful anchoring things in reality or changing the nonsense reasons for a person’s powers are is but he at least gets it that faking antiques is kinda skeevy.
That being said, I’d hate to see Chester turn into yet another sad sack whining about how he could have been a contender.
“So what’s up for the next ish of Atomic Ape?”
“Punching. Lots of punching.”
“Great! I love it!”
Wow, yeah, Charger Chimp sure is cute and cuddly and juvenile, leering violently as he perforates a space criminal with his laser machine gun. Was Pete just mad because chimpanzees are smaller than gorillas?
On Writing What You Know – The Batiuk Method
1. There’s the Flash.
2. Marching band obsessives.
3. What’s in the headlines two years ago.
4. Comic book publishers always are wrong and awful. (See today’s strip).
5. The weather in the Midwest is often unpleasant. Also, in San Diego apparently???
Don’t forget health issues and Dead Lisa.
Thanks. An earlier draft referenced cancer and CTE and alcoholism and arthritis and osteoporosis and senility and dementia and emphysema and so on but it was getting a little wordy.
Plus Batiuk doesn’t seem to know a whole lot about any of those things other than they’re ‘serious business’ that surely will attract the attention of the Pulitzer committee.
Yes I can see how the seriousness of the sentient terrorist turtles plot line is undermined by the cute ray gun wielding side kick with the insane grin.
I don’t know about established, but ridiculously-named comic book animal teams (this time the TMNT are villains! *gasp*) sure would make comics readers believe the comic was old. I’m pretty sure TMNT parody died uncelebrated and unloved in 1992.
Next, Atomic Ape takes on the Pogmaster! And then Tom A Gotchi, Space Ska-ud, and some guy who wishes Otter Pops were still easy to find.
Aren’t first issues supposed to be exciting things that get people’s attention because they’re new? Also, I’m pretty sure any sane comic fan’s reaction would be “993 issues and I’ve never, ever heard of it until now? Wow, that must really suck.”. And what store would stock that crap? “Hello, I’m that annoying guy who somehow has a dumb nickname despite literally being named Hagglemore and is despised by every true comics fan. I just sold some comic books and now me and two random guys are making comics. Would you like to carry our debut issue of Atomic Ape, #993?”
That brings up the question of just how are they marketing these books. I’m assume they are listed in Diamond’s Previews catalog (somehow shoehorned between Aspen and Avatar) where their solicitation copy no doubt stresses that they are making a serious effort to bring back the magic of the Silver Age.
However, based on what little we know of the actual content of the books (powers from radioactive, flood-damaged comics?!), there is no way anyone could look Atomik’s offerings as anything but parodies in the vein of Bongo Comic’s Radioactive Man (which, by the way, also used fake numbering, but as part of the joke).
“I’m assume?” Lesson Number One: Proofread, then post. Not the other way ’round.
I’ve got the same problem, but even when I proof my comment mistakes slip thru. I wonder if TB has an editor he isn’t using?
Atomik Komix is “drawing the line at 2.99,” so obviously this issue will become so popular that they are already casting the Atomic Ape Movie
I don’t see the signature of the artist. Don’t want to attach their name to this crap, maybe?
This Atomic Ape looks pretty villanous to me.
If they really wanted to fake people out with their numbering scheme, they should have “issue #1” be the obviously fourth part of a multi-part story.
Well, on the plus side it couldn’t possibly be any dumber. So there’s that.
Just wait until the sexy ape love interest obviously modeled after Mindy shows up.
If I were to say something nice, at least the cover looks good.
Kinda reminds me of back when I was first starting out in life and opened my first checking account.
I chose a high starting number with the things king that any merchant getting a check with a high number would assume the account holder was a reputable person(not that I was up to any shenanigans, but around an Army base, checks were the currency of choice).
Little did I realize the month and year the account was opened was printed on the check. 😮
Makes me wonder what the preceding incident was that led to the scene we see on this cover. Were Atomic and Charger doing a space walk, with Charger bringing along his submachine gun for some reason, when a dozen terrorist turtles showed up for punching and stuff? Or were they just flying around in some kind of craft, came across this band of terrorist turtles whereupon Atomic decided he and Charger needed to get their spacesuits on to eject themselves out into space to fistfight/machine gun these malefactors? “I can’t use the guns on this ship! I need to get out there and punch the shit out of them! Get your grenade-launching SMG!”?
The more I think about it the more I think Batiuk comes up with these things the same way I did my superhero stories WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD.
“He needs to fight a shark in chapter eleven! Put down chapter eleven as the shark chapter!”
“You haven’t come up with anything for them to do between chapters four and ten!”
“CHAPTER ELEVEN IS THE CHAPTER WHERE HE FIGHTS A SHARK!”
In my defense, I was five and barely knew how to make letters. What the hell is Batiuk’s excuse?
Fuck this shit, seriously…