Monday, November 22, 2010

Will anyone get to go to SDCC 2011?

Monday, November 22nd. Strike two for the San Diego Comic-con's online registration process.

Today marked the second attempt for the organization to open registration for the 2011 show and it was the second time the absolute crush of nerds logging in immediately melted the servers to a pile of mush.

The message should now be ringing loud and clear to Comic-con International...you are in over your head. Both for booking hotel rooms for the event and now simply selling tickets to get in. Time to stop messing with non-profit, part time services or second rate Information Technology vendors...you guys need to start calling on the services of the big league ticket/event vendors such as oh, say, Ticketmaster.

Sucks to go there, we know, but this is the reality of show now. Start dealing with it, step up your game and stop ‘F’ing with the con’s exhibitors, pros and attendees.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Toys-R-Us 2010 Black Friday Plans


'Tis the season to be discounting!

All the Black Friday circular ads for the major retailers are leaking out onto shopper websites all over the 'net. TRU's BF ad leaked overnight and reveals a bold and aggressive new plan of attack for the last giant toy store in the world. In a first for just about any retailer, Toys-R-Us will open its doors to the masses on Thanksgiving night at 10pm.

While every year it seems more retailers are opening earlier the day after Thanksgiving than the year before, a few at midnight, several now at 3 and 4am this year, TRU breaks tradition and will be open for a limited time until 1am, then reopen at 5am Friday.

Not exactly a fun weekend of the year to be working inside any retailer. If you have ever seen firsthand how that Black Friday shopping crowd tears apart the aisles of any store, you then have to realize how long it would take to clean the place back up, re-stock and be ready to open fresh again in just a few hours. I doubt any of those TRU managers will even leave the stores between 1am and 5am.

The deals in TRU's Black Friday ad are very good this year. Check out the scans here!

While the majority of these deals are a draw for the average Holiday toy shopper, there are several great deals for the toy collector as well that include:
Transformers Voyager or Power Bots series $9.99. Reg is $24.99 at TRU
Transformer, Iron Man & GI Joe action figures half off reg retail.
Last year's GI Joe giant PITT vehicle will be only $49.99 or half off.

We've seen the Target BF ad and now TRU's. So far TRU has the best overall toy deals by a mile. Wal-Mart's ad will likely leak by next week and you can bet the team at Amazon.com is happily taking notes on all these ads and will be setting up their own deals to match much of the competition over the course of those few days.

Next to the post Holiday clearance, this is the best time of the year get out and spend money like you actually have it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

SDCC site crashes on launch of 2011 ticket sale date


We all know the organization behind SDCC and their partner Travel Planners absolutely suck when it comes to IT planning for booking hotels online for the massive event every year but on November 1st, the anticipated and dreaded on sale date of remaining passes to next year's con, SDCC's site crashed close to the hour reckoning but soon rebounded.

Once we had seen the 2011 Four Day ticket package that includes Preview Night had sold out during the 2010 show, we knew this date would ring in a new era of insanity for anyone wishing to attend the spectacle. Attendees had to sweat out the mess that is Hotel Booking hell every Spring, now begins the yearly mad crush for those faithful dying to purchases access.

As we post this news roughly 30 minutes into the on sale hour and the site finally shows up, we can already see in the site’s ticket availability meter that nearly one quarter of the 4 day passes are already sold. That measurement may even be inaccurate as the crush of users force the site to chug along.

We are now talking about a new era of SDCC pass purchasing akin to trying to nab tickets to a mega-star rock concert via Ticket Master.

Any poor SDCC fanboy or girl who forgot to set this date up on their calendar will be crying in their comic longboxes.

Guess this confirms I need to get my 2012 SDCC passes while attending the 2011 show next summer.

UPDATED: SDCC shuts off 2011 event ticket sales roughly 90 minutes after the sale began. Site apparently unable to hold up against the onslaught of pass seekers. New message posted on the site confirms ticket sales will resume on November 8th. That is, if the organization can enhance the site in seven days so it is able to function properly with that kind of traffic load.

Although it looks like 4 Day and Single Day passes for the con will still be available, I would doubt they have a good picture of how many will be avaialble at this time. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Well it's about damn time!


Holy cow, thought I'd never see the day...now I know what will headline my Christmas want list this year.

What a package! And only available with TIME/LIFE. Shipping on November 4th. Click the link for all the details.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Iron Man 2 $15 Blu-ray Deal


Welcome to the official kick off of Retailer Price Wars for the fall of 2010!

Wal-mart is firing the first salvo of the season with an irresistible deal of only $15 when you preorder the upcoming Iron Man 2 Blu-ray. That's $10 less than everyone else in the game as of this date. Target.com and Amazon.com will have no choice but to follow shortly.

Each retailer has internal policies that maintain they must price match the major competitor. Amazon will react shortly but it takes Target longer as the arguments have to take place internally between buyers/marketing/upper management and the studio. Target will want to try to make the studio cough up some sort of payout to minimize the markdown damage. They won't. This means an ugly Monday for that division of Target. It means more deep discounting damage has to be planned for on high profile media products (movies, video games, books) and it all starts much eariler than expected. Last year the deep discounting didn't really begin until early to mid October.

Love it. Going to be another great shopping season of deals for the consumer.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blockbuster's tale is lesson for Comic Book Industry


Blockbuster and it's once high flying video rental chain is finally going to call it quits.

Ok, so they are not exactly about to board up every location but once they enter into bankruptcy in September, no one really expects them to come back out of it with a better plan and sail on to greater glory a la the Auto industry. No government bail out here fellas. The days of the consumer renting movies from a neighborhood chain are officially over. When you can summon up movies anytime you desire on your TV, game system and phone, it's the beginning of the end of mass retail media consumption.

Blockbuster played this game far too long and actually did try to bail out a few years back before it was too late when the now defunct Circuit City Electronics retailer looked into buying the company. After a lengthy review of Blockbusters finances and future prospects, CC ran away from the dying idea of video rentals. Not too long after, CC finally died themselves because of their own poor management.

The quickly shifting landscape of retail media is a problem every major retail chain is facing right now. Even the juggernauts like Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy know that their once traffic driving area of books, magazines, music, video and games are shedding sales year by year. Internally, each company has been working with the major studios and distributors on what the future looks like for each of them. These media areas of the stores are shrinking and so is revenue. We know of one of the big chains that has devoted a specific team to map out when and how these areas of the stores will further shrink and what kind of products should then take over that valued space.

Media is going straight to the consumer and it's getting cheaper. Not news to anyone but still good news for the consumer and bad news for just about everyone else.

This is where we tie it all into what is happening to the comic book industry. A very small group where aging and stubborn fans and retailers refuse to accept what is happening before their very eyes. An industry where both publishers and distributors are fearful of bringing the subject up to any retailer's attention.

I don't call this problem out to gloat, I want comic retail and publishing to survive and I want the industry to finally engage in meaningful conversation about the change.

Anytime any site or blogger wants to discuss digital comics you can count on plenty of short sighted retailers and fanboys to decry any discussion of change and claim the pulp will never go away. Right, just because no one buys a music CD anymore in favor of digital files doesn't mean they would stop buying the 'Adventures of Captain Cape' publication any longer when they could read it on their phone on the bus to work.

The heads have got to come out of the sand in this industry. If your comic shop's primary revenue is generated by weekly comics, they are not long for this world unless they study retail trends and history, make plans for change and accept what is happening to every retailer around them that sells any form of media.

The traditional single comic store retailer and distributor are especially at risk. First, the consumer goes, then the retailer with no plan goes then the distributor finally falls 'cause no one is paying their bills. The big publishers will go on, wounded of course but propped up by the mega-conglomerate that supports them because they can at least still sell Spider-Man & Batman underwear. Everyone else in publishing will have to choose between digital distribution or an ever increasingly expensive publication option with less retail support. Real change is coming and Disney/Marvel, Warner Bros/DC and select others do know this and are making plans. You won't catch Jim Lee and Joey Q discussing such plans in public but they are. God forbid they mention any of this to the overly sensitive retailer and upset the apple cart.

So to the loudest comic retailers like Brian, Chuck and the rest, I submit that you consider the Blockbuster saga a warning from the Ghost of Christmas Future: If you are a retailer sitting out there and not making plans for your inevitable future with less and less weekly goods to sell to a shrinking consumer base, then you may as well get in line with Blockbuster next month.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You can judge a comic book by it's cover

Any vet in the world of publishing be it mainstream or comic books will always confirm the cover is key to capturing the attention of any potential reader and therefore potential sale in any retail establishment.

Here is proof positive the editors at DC don't follow that train of thought.

These are the upcoming covers for Superman. DC Comics number one icon. A four color, larger than life superhero that can perform any remarkable act any artist can imagine. Out of a sea of titles on any retail shelf...who the hell would look twice at these?

And yes, the storyline is a dull and interor art is as subpar as this would lead one to believe. Save your pennies. Better yet, support your local comic shop and buy a back issue from 75 years of Superman publishing.

You'll be much more satisfied in the end.




Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nerd Events Now Covered by Satellite Radio

Sirius Satellite Radio announces coverage of the upcoming Star Wars nerd fest known as Star Wars Celebration V.

A pretty cool idea really and one that could definitely be applied to coverage of panels and interviews for a more interesting fan event such as The San Diego Comic-con. Let's hope the staff at Comic-con International take notice of this idea. You could be sitting at home or walking the floor of the event and listening to the next big Hollywood panel in Hall H while it was happening.

Here are the offcial details for Sirius' plans for SWC5:


STAR WARS CELEBRATION RADIO
It’s four days of everything Star Wars™. This special limited-run channel takes over SIRIUS XM Stars Too from August 12-15, broadcasting from the official Lucasfilm convention.

The limited-run channel will feature interviews with stars from the Star Wars movies, as well as behind-the-scenes talent and celebrity fans. And that’s not to mention the droid races, costume pageants and more.

Star Wars Celebration Radio is hosted by Raw Dog Comedy’s Mark Says Hi and Cinemagic’s Dave Ziemer. Tune in from Thursday, August 12 through Sunday, August 15.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SDCC 2010 – The Good, the Bad and Man, the Very Ugly


The San Diego Comic-con is the only five day event I can think of that will both wear you out and energize you at the same time. There is something going on somewhere nearly every hour of every day of the show. The frenzy and excitement was palpable and spilled over out onto the streets surrounding the convention center and its cluster of hotels more than it ever had before. You can’t help but be charged up by the madness surrounding you.

We came, we saw and we spent lots of cash. The 2010 Comic-con was one of the best and most exhausting. We loved it. But it also has now marked a definitive change to the way the convention is run and what kind of fan attends. This is no longer your father's comic convention. It's a pop culture extravaganza!

So to sum up the hits and misses, here are my picks.

The winner of SDCC 2010:

Scott Pilgrim Vs Comic-con

Everybody wins. Based on the amount of money and time Universal, it’s marketing team and the film’s director and cast spent at comic-con hyping this film (based on the awesome graphic novel series), it better open big on August 13th. I have never seen any film marketed as hard as this one was anywhere at any time. The hardcore push included three surprise, free screenings, a standing room only panel event, cast hosting the Eisner Awards, director and cast making t-shirts and posing for photos with fans outside all afternoon for four straight days. Most film directors and their cast promoting any new film project at comic-con simply breeze in and out for a one hour panel and are likely back on a plane to LA before you make to the other end of the hall. You have to give it up for this group sticking it out and schlepping its pride and joy for the entire duration of the event!

Marvel Films

Despite one of the worst panel time slots of the weekend, late Saturday night, Marvel ended up crushing one out of the park with the presentation of the entire cast of ‘The Avengers’. A film not even written yet and due in summer of 2012. The mainstream media was all over this one. The news was the most published story of the convention. People I know who don't give a crap about comics or comic movies had heard of this event before I returned home.

Green Lantern’s Light

If it was not for Ryan Reynolds savvy quick thinking in recognizing a good marketing opportunity when he sees one by reciting Green Lantern’s geeky oath to a young lad in the audience, Warner Bros would have looked like empty handed fools compared to the Marvel Films blowout that followed. The WB didn’t have anything of significance to show or tell for their big 2011 Comic Book movie. Thanks to Reynolds saving that snooze of a panel, they now have their marketing launch.

Indie Comic Publishers

Thanks to the likes of Scott Pilgrim, Oni Press got the kind of fan attention at the show typically only relegated for the big two super-hero publishers with lines wrapping around their booth daily. Same can be said for the Walking Dead series from Image Comics but AMC had a much cooler WD booth (set up to showcase the upcoming TV series this fall) than Image could ever hope to afford. Viz Comics had Priest. Dark Horse Comics big draw are it's creators (Mignola, Ammano) and not always the material (Upteenth and meaningless Star Wars comic). This kind of attention is only as strong as the movie or Television tie-in was looking for these publishers. The lines are not going to continue year in and year out only for the quality of their funny books.

Which brings up to…

Losers of SDCC 2010:

Comic Books in general

There are those who will be in denial about this but 2010 will be the year everyone will mark for Comic-con as the game changer. The publishers are slowly dying while Hollywood entertainment only grows stronger at Comic-con. The publishers cannot compete for fans attention inside the convention center and the same can be said for the battle over their wallets the rest of the year. The buzz of the show consistently surrounded film or TV news. Both inside the center, out on the streets and during the parties. Even SDCC's grand Eisner Awards for the best of the best in comic publishing are attended less and less by both fans and creators who are actually nominated. Yes, popular film and TV panels are based on actual comic books but the modern fan is just not that interested in the pulp compared to the big screen. Or video game. Or television series. Or iphone app.

And in that vein…A Tie! DC & Marvel Comics

DC Comics absolutely wasted a golden opportunity with SDCC to launch bold new projects and list new, fresh talent months after their big corporate shake up that put Jim Lee and Geoff Johns in charge. Instead they simply continued to list projects currently in motion or that everyone has known about all year. And just when we thought the worst DC and Dan Didio had to offer was over comes the ego known as “JMS” and his not-very-original ideas for both Superman (Walking Cross country! Identifying with "the man"!)& Wonder Woman (New crappy costume! Tries to find out "who she really is"!). Apparently he didn’t read DC comics in the ‘70s. Or the '80s. Or the '90s. “Oh and hey, Bruce Wayne is (still) coming back! Uh, is the audience still here?” No they are over in Hall ‘H’ digging on 'Tron Legacy'. Coming soon to a theater near you!

Oh and how did you like the breaking news for DC's staff during the event? Your offices are moving from NYC to LA. And soon! I might feel sorry for them if they just didn't suck so bad.


The Marvel Comics booth on the floor of the convention sums up what’s going on at Marvel and it really has nothing to do with comics anymore. The space was filled with movie props, actors, licensing news and laptops manned by booth babes so fans could be lured in and coaxed into subscribing to Marvel Digital’s online service. The biggest COMIC announcements they had were both projects meant to fix failures. First up was the (sort of) confession that they wanted to correct and make the fans forget about the past couple of years of crappy Spider-Man stories post the “One More Day” event. Aren’t you suckers glad you bought those weekly Spider-Man books for the past year? The other ‘biggie’ announcement from Joey Q was that Disney has tasked Marvel’s creators to re-launch the catalog of Crossgen Comics. Riiiight. Because Super-hero comics are dying, fantasy concept comics that didn’t sell the first time around MUST be the answer! And for a second year in a row after promising…Marvel still didn’t have the rights secured yet for the long waited Alan Moore Miracle Man reprints. And hey Marvel...you guys DO know you still own the X-Men, right? When is the last time that series was interesting? Oh right, it was the second X-Men film!

Toy Vendors acting as retailers

Despite the predictable hype and long lines during the early days of the show, Both Hasbro and Mattel toys found themselves with excess toy exclusives by the weekend. While each company certainly did have popular items that completely sold out, by Saturday morning you could literally walk right up the store counter in each booth and order plenty of the rest of the junk. These companies over reached in an economy where every disposable dollar is precious to any collector. We were happy to see that there are indeed limits to the crap. One nameless insider confirmed you can bet on a scaled back selection at the con next year.

The ugly:

The easy story to post here is the one about the two nerds fighting over a seat in Hall ‘H’ Saturday night before the Marvel panel. One nerd stabbed at the other with his only weapon on hand…a pen. No doubt the assailant was imagining it was his lightsaber. But no, the REAL ugly was witnessing a horde of middle-aged, very overweight women descending upon HBO’s ‘True Blood’ cast on the floor of the show as they mistakenly thought they’d hit the booth and sign for fans. That idea didn’t last long as the crazed and delusional women crushed the booth and cut off floor traffic in all directions. Security shut that party down quickly. No doubt to each actor’s great relief.

But hey, you can always learn something at Comic-con. Like the fact that the ‘Twilight’ films are for crazed teen-age girls and ‘True Blood’ is for very crazed and lonely 30 or 40-something women. Yeah I'm a nerd and like me my toys and movies and stuff but at least I don't sit around daydreaming that these things will bite my neck and and make orgasmic faces while doing so. Top that for ugly at the show.

See you next year SDCC, when you will bring us new films like The Avengers, Dark Knight 3 and yes even more Twilight. And maybe some decent comics.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SDCC 2010 – Post Event Bitching Getting Old


There is no arguing this year’s event was the most crowded and over the top. You don’t have to surf far into the blog-o-sphere to read complaint after complaint about crowds and lines or the predictable lamenting from aging comic fans that the show is less about comics and more about Hollywood marketing.

Boo Hoo. Tough shit.

The fact of Comic-con is this: There are those who can take the insanity and even enjoy themselves and then there are those who simply can’t hack it any longer. These are the nerds who go and then come back bitching like they were surprised they couldn’t get into a panel about TV’s ‘Chuck’ had to wait in long lines for that exclusive action figure.

It’s funny to read about how they all have the answer to the question of lines…such as clear Hall ‘H’ between panels, limit access, sell different tickets and even the ridiculous: “make the show days longer”.

Here’s the real answer for those folk: STAY HOME. Don’t go.

Why subject yourself to what you consider misery when there are thousands of eager attendees dying to go?

Comic-con is only going to get larger, no matter if they remain in San Diego and expand or move to another city. The problems will always be the same until people just decide they don’t want to go and attendance drops. But that’s never going to happen. Save the money on travel, food and hotel, buy your exclusive crap from the show on eBay. View live online reporting and feeds from any panel you could want to see from the comfort of your couch. Watch G4 TV coverage for the big creator interviews.

“But I’ve gone every year since the ‘70s!”

So what? That kind of statement entitles you to nothing. If you are one who comes back from Comic-con bitching every year then it’s proof are too old, comic publishing as you have known it is dying and it’s time to make room for the new fans of pop culture and the modern media you ‘don’t get’ yet. They WANT to stand in line in their costumes and make friends while they wait for the ‘Scott Pilgrim Experience’.

The old San Diego Comic-con is dead. All hail the new, crazier, monstrous, Comic-con!

Now whiners, move out of the way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TRU's new IPO


As predicted by the Bittergeeks last winter, Toys-R-Us is finally moving forward with plans to go public with a new stock offering this summer. We had predicted it would happen before the third quarter when all the new, fall toys are reset in stores and buyers and the media get the chance to see what might be selling early. Giving a glimpse at how the 2011 Holiday season may shape up.

Toys-R-Us leaders plan to raise $800M to help them alleviate some debt and likely invest in new inventory and store remodels. Their symbol on the Nasdaq with simply be "TOYS". We have not seen anyone list the actual release date of the IPO or what the opening price of the stock may be. My guess is that it would open shy of $20 per share.

There is a plenty of negative response on many of the business sites. Several vocal investors don't think the value of the IPO will hold over time much less rise and be profitable. It's a bit surprising since TRU really turned the business around from imminent disaster nearly three years ago. And they did so in a very difficult retail environment over the past two years. They have proven they can compete with Wal-Mart and Target during the all important Christmas shopping season. The main question is can they maintain both traffic and sales during the rest of the year.

They have their bad buyer issues still. They continue to invest in too much crap (half the boys action aisles, retro candy, pet supplies?!) and don't move quickly enough to dump dead ideas, brand or inventory (Hulk, Indiana Jones, Speed Racer, Star Trek, Hannah Montana, etc).

But, they will have very strong summer movie brands in the coming years to help drive 2nd quarter sales and within the next couple of years a new generation of video game systems will be released and all the rage for at least two solid Holidays.

We say: If the IPO opens under $16/share it's a buy. If it opens north of $20, it's not likely going to be profitable for some time and fluctuate wildly during the year and drive impatient investors crazy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Comic Book SWIPE FILE

Terry Dodson's new cover for Uncanny X-Men 520, 2010.

Adam Hughes's cover for Wildcats/X-Men: The Modern Age. Late '90s.

At least try harder Dodson...flipping the male and female hero and adding a third character didn't really hide the fact that this is still a cover swipe. And at least pick the cover of an artist you haven't been trying to ape all your career.

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST Opportunities


I’m certain this headline will be used all over the blog-o-sphere this week because it's just so fitting.

So it’s all over and everyone is dead. Or always have been dead. Who the hell knows.

Here is the ultimate lesson of the television phenom LOST: If writers and producers of intricate or challenging new television series don’t come to the table with a solid beginning, middle and end of a story, don’t waste anyone’s time and money. Shows like HEROES and FLASH FORWARD just learned this painful lesson the hard way this year. Everyone thought LOST was the only exception to the rule and had it all figured out.

Turns out they never did. It's one thing if a network pulls the plug on a series but there is no excuse when you've had over three years and seasons to map out where and how the series ends. Think about this...in three years the writers and producers could not figure out how to answer key questions.

This was a wasted season for LOST and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the men behind the curtain never knew where they were ultimately going. Oh, they had the images and vision for production (Jack closing his eyes) but zero idea how to resolve key plot points or many character's issues. And it was evident from the get-go in this last season. I'm not even talking about the sideways world. The writers floundered all season long and wasted so much precious screen time with the madnening and rediculous first six or so episodes of season six with our castaways trapped, sitting around in a temple set with the other 'Others' of the island. And to prove that storyline and all that screen time was a waste, it was never even recounted in the two hour recap that debuted before the finale. Nothing that happened in the temple was important to the main characters or the island's storyline.

The last episode of the series aptly titled “The End” was the best single episode of this final season and that’s saying a lot. Yes, there was great emotion, character reunions, action, humor and suspense in this final show. But answers? Not so much. And the producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, have been claiming in the recent media junket that they intend to leave some mysteries unanswered or up to viewer interpretation. They should have been men enough to mention about 95% of the mysteries would remain unanswered.

I’m sorry, but that kind of claim is nothing but a pure cop out. The writers had painted themselves into so many plot corners over the years that they simply gave up trying to figure out how to tie it all together. I’m not going to bother to list all the issues that remain unanswered. Other fans sites and forums have such laundry lists nicely compiled. Google ‘em up if you still care. Plus it’s too much work and if the series creators can’t summon the energy to tackle them, why should I at this point?

A quick spin of the web on the Monday morning after the cry fest shows the mainstream media thought the final episode was satisfactory and yes emotional or are content to concede the finale went out in a LOST sort of way.

Dig deeper around the ‘net, check out the real fan sites and you’ll find a very different response. Once the emotion and feel good moments of the cast together at the end of the finale fade and you start to think about what we didn’t get out of ‘The End’ or this entire final season for that matter, a flood of frustration and realization will overcome any fan that we, the week-in, week-out viewership of this series (not even those who only watched this series via DVD sets or repeats) were left in the dust. Much like the tragic character Ben Linus, the hardcore, devoted and long suffering viewer was ultimately ignored and passed over by the creators. So it's fitting the one image that plays over in my head out of six seasons of episodes of LOST that best sums it up for me is when Ben finally confronted the island's protector and ultimate manipulator, Jacob.

Loyal devotee: “What about me?”

Jacob/ Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof: “What about you, dear viewer?”

“They are all just dead…you figure it out from there.”

Ben's reaction to that kind of response is how many of the fans feel today.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The bidding war for SDCC passes has begun!


Despite the fact that Comic Con International warns patrons that purchased passes to the annual event aren't transferable, plenty of people are already beginning to auction off tickets to the long sold out show.

A quick look across ebay confirms the most recent single ticket/ four day pass has sold easily for around $500.00. And it's only mid May. As of this posting there are at least three active auctions for similar tickets, each already easily heading towards the same final total amount.

It's one thing for the seller to hand off the ticket confirmation print out that is required at the door for badge pick up but it's another matter entirely to produce an ID that proves you are the same person listed on that piece of paper. Bidders are taking a huge risk. Unless the seller can meet you at the door and pick the pass up for you, it's unlikely the con will take any pity on you and just hand you a badge when the name and address on their list don't match up with your ID.

That money is long spent and user IDs long since closed down for any seller by the time the bad news plays out. One of the passes sold was by a brand new seller. That dude will likley be long gone off ebay by July and just made an easy $500.

And if you think $500 for a single, four day pass is high, wait until they finally start confirming which superstars and events are actually scheduled for the event. If there is ever a case for buyer beware in the nerd world, this is it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Best Simpsons opening...EVAH

It's nice when a show that's been on the air for 21 seasons can still surprise you. The May 2nd episode of the Simpsons certainly did just that by completely altering the traditional opening of the show by having the town of Springfield perform thier own tribute to 'Tik Tok', a current top of the charts single by Ke$ha.

Catch an HD version of the opening here!

No idea what drove the series creators to suddenly create a parody video of this particular song after being on the air for over two decades but it's great to see the best series on television shake things up. Looking forward to that commentary track on the eventual season box set release.

I'd love to see an entire Simpsons season that features the cast parodying a new pop hit every week. More please!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Example of brilliant viral marketing – Pixar, Toy Story 3

Check out these fantastic, newly released “lost toy commercials” from the early 1980s.

These are actually viral spots created by Disney/Pixar to help market the upcoming sequel to Toy Story. Each spot features a new character created for this film named Lots-o’-huggin’ Bear. An obvious homage to the old Care Bears line of plush by Kenner toys. Back then, Care Bears were all the rage for a couple of years in the toy biz. The Lots-o’ Bear will be a character in the film who has had to live both the highs and lows of being such a brand that was once at the top of heap then eventually discarded and forgotten.



These spot are completely creative and dead on mimic a youtube posted old commercial from the early age of the VCR. The spot is shot with ‘80s style marketing, jingle and fashion but even features the outdated and faulty technology with washed out color and patented VCR tape “fuzz” along the bottom of the image.

On top of it all, they even went as far as creating a Japanese style ‘80s spot for the toy as well!

Hollywood take note...this is a perfect example of how you take advantage of the internet to market your films.

Recommended Reprint of the Month - Dan DeCarlo's Jetta


For fans of Dan (famed Archie artist) DeCarlo art or of pinup works in general, I highly recommend this very affordable hardcover collection of his short lived Jetta Comic series from the early 1950s. This series was a mash up of DeCarlo's Archie-style teens and the retro '50s vision of the future. Or think of the concept of Josie living in the world of the Jetson's, long before the Jetsons were even an idea.

Only three issue were printed in this series and are extremely hard to find. Award winning cartoonist and designer, Craig Yoe has once again produced a stellar looking package for IDW. This book is not merely a collection of the three comics. Included are several rare pinups by DeCarlo along with tribute pinups by 37 of today’s top talents from the worlds of animation, comics and modern art such as Bill Presing, Craig McCracken, Bill Morrison, Andrew Pepoy and many more.

Check out Bill Presing's blog about the book here for some good eye-candy!

Most of these artists all work for studios such as Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, etc and are typically in attendance at the San Diego Comic-con. For those fans that attend the show, this would absolutely be a great book to lug around and have signed by these talents.

I also can't imagine the print run on this collection will be very high and if nothing else will serve as a promising investment down the road. Amazon.com has the book for only $14.99.

For more detail about the book and more preview pages, check out Craig Yoe's site!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Target steps backwards to offer the Kindle to your Grandma


The big retail news of the week: Target will start selling the Kindle in it's stores for Amazon.com exclusively in the mass market.

For a retailer who prides itself on offering far trendier merchandise and marketing than most, this is a puzzling move. While the digital book reader was hot for 5 minutes last Christmas, it is already outdated technology since the arrival of Apple's ipad.

This is akin to Target touting they are the exclusive retailer of black & white television after color TV arrives.
How Target's buyers could even imagine this was a great idea is beyond comprehension. By the fall Holiday shopping season, it will be clear that the number one gift requested will be the ipad. The only ones who are going to be receiving the Kindle will be grandparents who don't know any better or pay attention to them "new fangled contraptions" and very unfortunate teens who despite asking for the ipad will get the Kindle because either the gift giver is technologically illiterate or simply because the Kindle was cheaper.

Which means at that point both Amazon and now Target will be banking on the hopes that the consumer of the Kindle will be the technically illiterate.
Amazon would continue to have far better luck trying to sell this doorstop online and not allow the consumer to have a hands on, side by side comparison of the two products. You are going to now allow a potential consumer to play with the Kindle in a Target store, and then pop over to their local Best Buy and check out an ipad. How would you expect 99% of those purchasing decisions are going to play out?

The other interesting aspect of this story is the partnership between the two companies. Target.com has for years been tethered to the Amazon.com's ecommerce platform. Last year, Target made the decision to leave Amazon and are currently spending millions of dollars constructing their own platform from scratch. The complete break and relaunch is currently set for mid to late 2011. When the economy tanked in late 2008, so did Target.com's online traffic and sales. They have been in freefall since while Amazon as seen record traffic and profits in a down economy. Amazon is indisputably on track to rival Wal-Mart domestically in sales in this decade. Target finally realized that Amazon could very well end up their number one competitor and needed to quickly get out of bed with the former partner.

So it's interesting that the two are excited about partnering up now on this particular venture. Just can't see the advantage for either side here. Target selling an out-of-date, overpriced text reader and Amazon actually letting the item be compared to the ipad at mass. Perhaps Target thinks they are sticking it to Apple...sending them a message. Not that Apple could give a shit. Apple doesn't need any one retailer out there.

So if you are in the market for a Kindle for your Grandparents, just stick around and wait until it's in Target's clearance aisle for $30.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Comic Book Artist who desperately needs to be challenged – Frank Cho

The idea for this commentary struck me as I perused the latest summer publishing solicitations by both Marvel and DC Comics. While there are tons of comic book illustrators making a decent living in the marketplace with moderate talent, there are several top tier guys out there who have been coasting too often on the same tricks/cheats of the trade. These are guys who each company would view as an “A-lister” within their ranks for various reasons. Certainly some of these guys have earned their way to the top of this list for different reasons but at the same time, many of them need to start showing us something new. Be it filmmakers, music artists, writers or illustrators, every creator needs to be challenged from time to time.

One of these top talents in the industry that needs that push is Frank Cho.
Gasp! Yes I know Cho is one of the top guys out there with a huge fan following, myself included and best known for drawing babes with big racks and bigger behinds. He started out as a fantastic new comic strip illustrator and proved he had a knack for writing beyond his drawing ability. Heck, I was one of his early followers many years back when the guy was schlepping his first Liberty Meadows trade collection of works from his college years from one comic convention to the next trying to get noticed. Way before he became the Pinup god he was later ordained as in the comic world. But man, lately give him a 22 page comic project and his shortcomings/disinterest become evident as he moved beyond the classic four panel strip.

Undoubtedly, Cho can draw beautiful women and has masterful skill with the ink pen. But in recent years, Cho has had great trouble staying either focused or interested in telling a story in comic book form. Try to “read” any of his Marvel issues he’s done without the use of text and see if you can tell what’s happening in the story. Especially those New/Mighty Avengers issues he did a couple of years ago. This is the test of true storyteller. The reader should have some idea of what’s happening in the issue just by flipping through the pages. Overall in the course of an issue, Cho’s panels can be very sparse beyond the figure and he over uses tricks like the silhouette or the multi panel, same taking heads pose for conversations far too often. These particular cheats repeat in his work as he clearly tires of drawing detail or is hitting one of his deadline issues. Frank also needs to enhance the dynamic staging of his work. His use of the ‘camera’ within his storytelling is too much like that of a TV director and not enough as a comic book artist who has unlimited freedom within the 11” X 17” page in front of him. Too often he lines up the typical, straight on, TV medium ¾ body or close up shot. How boring is this page without dialog? I realize half the blame for too many pages of talking heads in a single issue also is shared by today's writers like Brian Bendis (a topic covered plenty by others online). But it's the artist's job to also make this kind of static look interesting.

Then consider this newest Cho cover of New Ultimates solicited for July. Three of Frank’s patented women standing around. Each figure and face the exact same as the next. But just standing there…doing nothing cool and looking fairly bored. There are far too many Marvel covers lately where the characters are simply standing around. How exactly does this kind of cover draw in an audience or new reader? How many of the best Marvel covers of decades past had the characters simply standing around? How many Kirby, Buscema, or Ditko covers can you recall in this vein? Cho is not the only artist currently plagued by this cover problem of late but he’s one of the top guys that should be way ahead of rest and not interested in creating a cover that is this…lazy. And creating them repeatedly!

Not every Cho cover or page has this problem of course. I know Cho is the type of guy whose time and talent are in demand from all directions and all industries such as Toys, comics, TV, animation, licensing and of course even family. But he also should not be the type of illustrator that wants to just crap the work out for the paycheck or just to get the work off his desk so he can move on to the next project. He’s simply better than his 22 page output at Marvel has suggested. We all know this. If an artist is disinterested or otherwise distracted while producing this kind of work, then how does he expect his audience to remain committed? A truly committed artist should want to challenge himself and his audience as he grows.

We’ll see how he handles the current incarnation of the Ultimates through his run but it's clear at this point that Cho needs to be pushed out his comfort zone. And I'm not picking on some kid starting out in the biz, this is one very experienced talent that grew up studing the works of illustrators most of the current generation of the industry have never heard of.

C’mon Frank. You are a lifelong study of the masters of the trade…show us you’ve learned more at this point in your career than how to frame a woman’s tits n’ ass in the panel.

Yes, the monthly Matty suckage saga continues...time to get over it

Seriously, it's just a joke at this point and the monthly experience with these guys is like that old Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day" where the same events and conversations occur over and over again.

Yes, it's true. Mattycollector.com, Toyguru aka Scott Neitlich, Mattel, Digital River, they all really suck at managing collector brands, executing distribution at the mass market retail level and providing any resemblance of an online ecommerce experience. Blah, Blah. And this isn't just our view at this point. Hell, one of Mattel's lead action figure lines brand managers, Scott Neitlich frequently will post and confirm these facts himself on their own Twitter, Facebook, forums and online Q&A responses all the time.

"Hey toy fans - heads up that once again you will likely find item "X' sold out before the sale barely begins!"

"Hey toy fans - We know we have site issues that make your purchasing experience painful monthly. It's only been going on monthly for a year but were working on it! It's our highest priority!"

"Hey toy fans - we understand you can't find any of the new figures at retail and that we keep shipping old stock instead. Totally the retailer's fault even though it's been a problem for over a year now. But it's our highest priority to fix!"

So here is the real lesson learned for all collectors, including us Geeks. The issues with Mattel aren't going to end anytime soon so just refuse to put yourself through the process. Look we understand a collector of a favorite toy line needs to keep buying the next new exclusive figure or wave. Guilty as charged! But we have to be patient. Not for Mattel to get their act together...that ain't going to happen anytime soon.

Screw trying to buy the next Master of the Universe figure on Matty's site. If you need to head to ebay for the figure, check out recent sold prices for recent releases. They all come down close to what you could have paid at retail including shipping. Not only that, Scott has confirmed both in words and actions that just about every new exclusive figure will be re-released again in a few months. And if you don't think the whole MOTU line isn't heading to Toys-R-Us soon as an exclusive brand, you'd be kidding yourselves. And when that happens, Mattel will re-release all the previously sold out characters again. Check it out...we've already seen Skeletor repackaged 4 times in the past year. An initial release online, second release online, new TRU two-pack with Lex Luthor and an upcoming San Diego Comic-con two-pack exclusive. It won't be too long now before the scalpers realize this line isn't going to be worth time and investment.

Another example? How about Mattel re-releasing DC Universe wave 5 online in May? The hardest to find series in the line to date will no longer be hard to find. Not only that, but there may be less and less DCU exclusives to purchase online anyway as Scott has already confirmed the following DC products do not sell well on the Matty store: JLU, DCU two-packs, DCU full waves. That would leave them with trying to sell singles soon begining with Plastic Man in August.

So we get it now. Thanks Mattel, lesson learned on our end. Until you can figure it all out, we'll wait our purchases out and perhaps give our money to the secondary market instead of putting ourselves through the pain and frustration of trying to give it directly to you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sideshow Collectibles craps out lackluster SDCC '10 exclusives

Well, as many suspected after their early tease, Sideshow's plans for this year’s San Diego Comic-con exclusives are nothing short of unimaginative and easy to pass upon.

Yet another repainted 1/6th scale Star Wars Prequel Clone Trooper. Yawn.

A Skrull-Woman. Wow. A very ugly Spider-Woman bust with repainted green face and chin with squiggles. Paying homage to a Marvel Comics event two years old now.

And there are more pieces that can only appeal to the smallest segment of the related license cult following.

No doubt each will sell out on the day the pre-orders start and also like last year in August after the show has come and gone, plenty of units will suddenly be found and available for sale again.

Looks like collectors will have more cash to spend in other booths at the con.

It’s hard to comprehend just why Sideshow has been on cruise control for the past several years. Producing the same characters over and over within the various licenses they currently pay for. This despite the fact they have entire universes of characters to mine. The fact that they have done nothing but piss away opportunity with the Star Wars license alone by releasing nothing but Clones and Anakin Skywalker over and over is worth scorn alone. How long has it been since they started releasing 12” SW product and we still don’t have key heroes and villains? But hey, they made about eight versions of Anakin and nearly as many of Obi-Wan and repainted the hell out of Clone and Stormtrooper molds. These guys couldn’t even produce a Vader anyone was happy with. Same issues with the Marvel Comics brand…how many Iron Man and Emma Frost pieces do we need?

Note to Lucasfilm: Let Hot Toys have the SW brand for awhile. Sideshow is clearly out of ideas.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beyond Marvel Legends? The Next Step In Action Figure Evolution


Here are pictures of a line of forthcoming Hyper-Gokin action figures that are in the 8"-10" range, but appear to be hyper articulated, with an internal skeleton for the Hulk & Abomination figures (Iron Man, like his Hot Toys counterpart, is more traditionally engineered). While we're not crazy about another scale, or the movie-based figures (I'd buy a comic version of Abomination in a heartbeat, but the movie version.... not so much). No release date or price point announced yet, but we're very curious...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jim Lee test drives the ipad


Ok, now I want one. Had no idea such an artist app was available for this device. Still going to wait for the 3G version tho.

I would link over to Jim Lee's Twitter account to see more but apparently Twitter has crashed this morning. No doubt because of ipad thoughts overload from the world at large.

But you can find his "how to draw on the ipad" posting here also.

Friday, April 2, 2010

God I hate April Fools Day

You cannot view any of your favorite sites without every single one of them posting some bullshit fake article(s). Parody is only good if a) it's written well, b) timely subject matter, c) posted when people least expect it and d) actually fucking funny. If everyone is doing it, all on the same day, and we are all aware of it, it's not a joke anymore, it's just tedious drivel.

"Tee Hee...looks at me I wrote a fake article and posted it today. No one will know it's fake and it will cause all kinds of rampant rumors and I will get attention."

No dude, we get what's fake. It's a waste of everyone's time.

If there is ever a day one needs to keep their computer off and spend time outside, April 1st is the day.

That's how this post ended up on April 2nd.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

DOOM!


I'm not a Bowen statue collector but this new, upcoming Dr Doom piece deserves some serious purchase consideration. Very few companies have come close to doing this classic Marvel Comics villain justice in any form of sculpt in recent memory. Sideshow for example has fucked up the look of Doom several times and let's not even consider the waste Diamond Select has crapped out over the years. Even in the action figure realm Doom hasn't received much love. This piece comes very close to a classic John Buscema design. Right up there with Jack Kirby's look for the armored ruler of Latveria.

Mattel Fuck-Up of the Day


Even though they rarely supply any answers that are worth asking the question for in the first place, hopeful nerd idiots continue to submit Q&A questions to Mattel in the hope of getting a concrete answer. Apparently Head Collector-Interface-Incompetant-Tool is out of the office (or beating off into an old Super Powers catalog), so instead of bagging these pointless exercises, Mattel PR decided to provide answers on his behalf. Remarkably, they found a way to supply even less concrete answers and show even more contempt for their fans than ToyGuru is capable of - and he's a clueless fucking idiot! Does Mattel have any corporate sense of customer relations? Is there a PR division there? Not if this exchange is any indication. Check it out here…

Q1.) Is DCUC Wave 11 going to be distributed to Toys R Us/Target, or has the entire run already been distributed?
A1.) Better not tell you now.

Q2.) Will any past waves be re-offered on MattyCollector.com? Wave 11 is marked out of stock, but not "gone for good".
A2.) Reply hazy try again.

Q3.) You’ve stated we’ll get a look at the GL 5 pack in April/May, but when are it and the announced Batman/Robin and Aquaman/Manta 2 packs expected to hit stores?
A3.) Outlook not so good.

Q4.) It was posted on Matty that Wave 13 is coming in March , Wave 14in April, Wave 15 is coming in July, and Wave 16 in Dec/Jan2011. Was a wave skipped there, or will no new product be shipping during the holiday season? Or will older waves be reshipped during this time frame?
A4.) Concentrate and ask again.

Q5.) Will the 2-Packs offered on Matty ever be offered again in any form? What about slightly different versions, like an 80s Starfire or Classic Adam Strange?
A5.) Very doubtful.


This is the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a burning person. Why not just shut up, or explain there's going to be a delay in answers, rather than aggravate your customers further? At least that way no one gets their hopes up.

Congratulations, Mattel - we didn't think you could find new ways to demonstrate your complete lack of respect and utter contempt for your fanbase.

How will you top this? We have some ideas: Maybe Matty can stand above the lines and piss on fans as they wait to buy Mattel product at SDCC? Or maybe you could charge customers for stuff they never get? Or have a non-functioning website that drives your customers away? Or hire a total collector-douche with no business sense to run your brands into the ground? Oh wait, you're way ahead of us on the last three...

In closing, this says more about their "Collector strategy" than anything we have written here in the last year or so.

Monday, March 29, 2010

BitterNews for Monday, March 29th, 2010


• Another day of nothing, except for a few late-breaking stories.
• Dreamworks stock DROPPED because it had the number one movie this weekend. Awesome!
• The Walking Dead TV series will air on AMC starting in October! 6 Episodes ordered. Yahoo!
• Action Comics #1 just sold for $1.5 million.
• Fuck Dunnys & Quees.
• Dick Giordano died over the weekend.
• Mark Millar is editing an issue of Wizard? Really?
• iTampon orders are moving back from street date, indicating that they’ll be in short supply initially. We are waiting for 3G anyway.
• Now the Doobie Brothers are suing EMI. The Doobie Brothers who released 2 or 3 way “post-hit” albums on EMI.
• Scott Weiland of STP and Velvet Revolver is seemingly back on the whatever. Will he die this time? Doubt it.
• Ricky Martin finally cops to being gay.
• Erykah Badu strips in her new video as desperation sets in.
• Robert Plant has reactivated his old band – Band Of Joy, his pre-Zep act.
• Glan Campbell is making his “farewell” record - sounds like it will be in the vein of the Johnny Cash American albums, with contributions from cult songwriters, including Westerberg and Pollard.
• The Galaxie 500 albums are reissued as two CD sets this week, but all the extra material was on other releases so as if their music wasn’t snoozy enough already, this is just the most boring reissue campaign ever.
• Great pics online of Lindsay Lohan with coke shoes!
• New Godzilla (American made) movie coming. In 3-D no doubt. Maybe they’ll bring Matthew Broderick back, but the goal is probably to make a good movie this time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

TRU on the rise


Nothing but happy news coming out of the Toys-R-Us headquarters today.

Earnings for the 4th Quarter of 2009 were up 12% but up 43% for the entire year. On top of this, TRU was clearly carving market share out from both Wal-Mart and Target. Each lost at least a point of market share in the toy category although we would guess in specific categories the loss for each was greater in the 4th quarter. (We know for a fact that Target lost market share in the Boys Action category last year.) TRU was much more aggressive in marketing themselves during the Holidays than Target was. And unlike Target's team, TRU is likely to be just as aggressive again this fall and apply lessons learned from the past year.

Based on the details of this week's report for TRU, many analysts are high on the company's future. In fact, it's reported that TRU is very likely to finally go public with an IPO offering at some point later this year. Probably late in the second quarter to maximize the positive performance in 2009, while the toy industry is on the upswing in 2010 and before holiday competition heats up in the fall again.

Read all the juicy details of the TRU financial report here.

As we've observed before, this has been an amazing turnaround for a retailer who was on the ropes three years ago. It also remains a fact that a healthy Toys-R-Us means a healthy toy industry as a whole. It will once again be very interesting to see how the big retailers compete again in the Holiday shopping season of 2010. Hopefully, they will all get over the fear of inventory and start keeping them pegs stocked up again and keep assortment turnover rolling once more.

BitterNews for Friday, March 26th, 2010


• Thank god for music news or we’d have shit today.
• Hendrix Rock Band. Did you already know that? Zeppelin not far behind.
• Let There Be Rock, AC/DC’s classic early live film, is coming to DVD.
• Sony is still laying people off.
• Beyonce is knocked up.
• Prince owes half a million in taxes to the town of Chanhassen, MN, where his house and Paisley Park studios are located.
• Alessandra Ambrosio! Yay!
• Really, that’s it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

BitterNews for Thursday, March 25th, 2010


Once again, it’s a snooze fest.

• Fantagraphics is giving comic historian Rick Marschall his own imprint. His first book is “Drawing Power”, which will examine the use of comics in advertising. And that’s our first story of the day. Go back to bed.
• Robert Culp (I Spy) is dead.
• Les Humanoids, the biggest publisher in France is now publishing in the US, in the wake of failed deals with US publishers, including the Devils Due.
• Buck Rogers is now being directed by the only choice as bad as Frank Miller, Paul WS Anderson. Expect Frank to beg DC to print his Batman Jihad comic and to plead with anyone in earshot for Sin City 2.
• Rob Liefeld is bringing back his not-missed 90’s book, Brigade. Considering the lackluster reaction to the Youngblood relaunch, this will be DOA.
• Angela Basset will play Amanda Waller in Green Lantern. Is this a transparent attempt to recreate the Sam Jackson / Nick Fury buzz in DC films? Of course it is.
• CBS.com is prepping it’s website’s program archive to work with the iPad, the first major network to do so.
• EMI has won the battle to keep their lawsuit against Citibank in the US. The lawsuit alleges that Citibank withheld information about other bidders dropping out before Guy Hand’s Terra Firma placed its successful offer for the struggling label.
• The Foo Fighters are recording their new album in Dave Grohl’s garage.
• More sluts and road whores are popping up with evidence of Jessie James DNA all up in their shit. Apparently, James was banging some of these sperm receptacles IN HIS OFFICE WHILE SANDRA BULLOCK WAS AT THE “MONSTER GARAGE”.
• Grant Morrison is writing some endless adaptation of some painfully dull Indian epic, which will no doubt be incomprehensible and will not sell after the third issue. It will be published by Dynamite in conjunction with Liquid (formerly Virgin) Comics. Even Vertigo was smart enough to pass on the deranged baldy this time.
• Mel Brooks is writing music for the Blazing Saddles Broadway show.
• Here are your shit movies for tomorrow: How To Train Your Dragon, Chloe, Greenberg, the Bounty Hunter, and our pick for the week (although we’re not optimistic) Hot Tub Time Machine, which at least has a good cast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

SDCC '10 and the Hyatt Hotel mess continues


Pretty damn funny to learn today via the San Diego Comic-con's twitter feed that one of the hotels next door is onto many of the attendees who thought they were being sly by registering at the hotel via another event that same week.

This Hyatt has historically been one of the main places to stay during Comic-con, primarily filled up by professionals and creators. This year they took themselves off the list as they are hosting a completely different event involving professionals in the health care industry. The event includes such speakers as Al Gore. Many con attendees thought they were being smart by registering for rooms during the con via the health event's website.

The San Diego Manchester Hyatt and the con's organization basically put everyone on alert today that they are onto the scammers and those reservations will be canceled.

Only smart nerds could see that action coming a mile away.

Also on this topic and as a public service announcement, the last day available of the con, Sunday July 25th, is just about sold out. Last check confirmed about 94% of the passes for the day are sold. Very last chance for anyone to get in this year.

BitterNews for Wednesday, March 24th, 2010


• Boy, there’s nothing going on.
• Literally. Nothing. As far as we can tell, Toyguru hasn’t even fucked anything up in the last 24 hours.
• So we’ll be reading new comics all day; here’s what we are looking forward to:
• POWER GIRL #10
• NEWSBOY LEGION BY SIMON AND KIRBY HC VOL 01
• BATMAN STREETS OF GOTHAM #10
• PHONOGRAM TP VOL 02 SINGLES CLUB
• DEADPOOL #21
• MARVELS PROJECT #7
• NEMESIS #1
• SPARROW HC VOL 15 PUSHEAD
• ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ SECRETS OF LIFE & DEATH HC
• WACKY PACKAGES NEW NEW NEW HC
• See what we’re saying? This is the best stuff coming from Diamond today. Dark Horse & Image might as well not even exist and it feels like a Marvel skip-week, or at least a “Let’s dump all of our tenuously connected to Siege storyline books out this week” week. And DC sucks Donkey Balls lately, so for them to have any books of interest is a miracle.
• Hopefully tomorrow we’ll find out that Tiger Woods has been fucking Jesse James while OJ Simpson films and Jessica Simpson is on clean-up. Because I can’t handle another 24 hours this boring again.
• Here’s a picture of that hot Grace Park from that Battlestar Galactica program I know some of you used to beat off to. Oh, you still do?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BitterNews for Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010


• Amanda Conner is taking on the Black Cat after her Power Girl run wraps in just a few issues. Looks great!
• The new Jackass film will be in 3-D. Giant Steve-O balls in your face.
• EMI is now trying to license its catalog to third parties in the USA for a period of 4-5 years. Do I smell desperation? Yes. Yes, I do.
• The MGM bid deadline was extended, but still no news on a winner. It’s doubtful there is one as the owners value the company beyond its assessed price.
• Chris Evans is Cap! We’re happy.
• The Punisher book is now called Franken-Castle, proving that, in the 616 universe, there is no Galactus.
• Hot Toys is doing Cosbabies for Iron Man 2 – and charcters include Nick Fury and the Black Widow. Hopefully these two will make it to 1:6 scale as well. Today the company revealed it’s 1:6 Whiplash, so we’re hoping.


• Looks like Tom Hanks’ Playtone films will maker the Green Day American Idiot movie.
• Marvel is soliciting a ton of premier hardcovers this month, going so far as to reprint the controversial Rawhide Kid series by Ron Zimmerman. I’ll buy it, but who else will? Also, there’s only one Masterworks this month (Amazing Spidey) and a lone Essentials (Captain America #5, which gets into the Kirby return to Marvel).
• A wimpy kid kicked Gerard Butler’s ass this weekend.
• Ratt’s drummer, Bobby Blotzer, is publishing his autobiography the same day that Ratt releases a new album. A whole book about how you made a career of drumming on one half-assed hair metal hit? Sounds like a paragraph, not a book.
• Bitterest Geek of the Year Award: Yes, we realize it’s only March, but we highly doubt anyone will top this; Ree Yees, I mean Lady Gaga’s ex-Boyfriend / Producer is suing her for over $30 million. He claims this is to compensate for all the work he did with her in “grooming” her for stardom (personally, I think she should be groomed by another monkey – they can find the insects that live on her, and they eat them, so no chemicals!). We think that he is due something for the services provided but the first $30 million is for having to admit to the world that he fucked that hideous, untalented freak.
• DC direct has released their upcoming products list, and as usual, most of it elicits a humongous yawn. There are a couple of highlights; a Superman VS Muhammad Ali statue, an Adam Hughes Batgirl statue, and a 1:6 movie Jonah Hex that is limited to 1000 pcs, which shows that not only have they realized these fucking things don’t sell, but that the movie probably blows. The rest is the usual assortment of Blackest Night figures, World of Warcraft stuff, an Under The Red Hood tie-in “maquette”, Ani-Come figs, girly busts and boring Tim Bruckner sculpts.
• DC is reissuing the Neal Adams Superman/Ali book in hardcover in two versions – one of which is in the original printed dimensions – in our opinion, the only way to see it.
• The James Jean Fables cover collection is being reprinted.
• There’s a Scott Pilgrim trailer that will be online in the next week or so.
• Lego has revealed six figures from their replacement for the Bionicle line, Hero Factory. In addition, two vehicles were revealed.
• Desperation in Amazon land: Amazon is releasing a version of the Kindle software for the iTampon. Because that makes sense.
• Mattel Fuck-Up Of The Day: I suppose this is technically the “Mattel-related Fuck-Up of the Day” as Mattel didn’t actually initiate this, but it’s laughable that they accepted it. They’ve been awarded one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Tell that to anyone trying to order Moss Man last week. But don’t feel bad, NAMBLA was just outside the top ten.
• Check out ghostofellie.com, a blog that is supposedly exposing dirty-dealings in the Frazetta family that may leave Frank’s art in the hands of the wrong peole.
• If you hate music, MGMT’s new album is streaming in it’s entirety.
• Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead has a classical piece – surely now their fans will realize how badly they suck.
• Avi Arad is planning a 3-D Popeye movie – because kids love Popeye! Kids who died in the 50’s, that is.
• Don’t buy the new Complex, as all the pictures of Olivia Munn are visible online. You could buy it if you want to read the interview. I’m a laugh a minute over here.
• Marvel/Miracleman is coming back into print via Marvel who will be releasing a hardcover called Marvelman Classic Primer – which sounds like a corporate version of the Two Morrows book of a few years ago. At the moment it does not appear that Alan Moore is involved. Reports are also leaking that Mick Anglo strips (pre-dating the Moore revival by many years) are coming in July. Uneducated fanboys will be underwhelmed by these primitive Captain Marvel rip-offs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Matty does it again or Mattel fuck up of the day


Looks like Mattel and Matty are planning to re-release the hardest wave of the of the DC Universe toy line in May. DCU Wave 5, the infamous 2008 Wal-Mart exclusive build a figure set.

While plenty of the line's fans are going to be very happy about this development it sure is a kick in the balls to other dedicated collectors who have spend a lot of time and $$$ completing their own sets with this wave. On ebay a sealed set of five figures has fetched over $300 for some time now.

It's just further proof that Toyguru and his team at Mattel are just clueless when it comes to communication or how to deal with the line and it's fan base. Production would have to begin months back in 2009 for a planned May 2010 sale and shipping. Why not tell collectors months ago they had plans to do this instead of allowing many of them to waste hard earned money on the secondary market? Hell, why not even mention it back in San Diego last year? The answer, as always of course is that they are incompetent idiots. And they love to prove this fact week in and week out.

So yeah, it's great I can finally fill in that hole in my collection after all these years but I for one would be livid if I had dropped that kind of money on this wave only to discover Mattel found a new way to fuck me over (again) on this brand.

Watch ebay just fill up with desperate collectors trying to get at least some of their money back on this wave over the next several weeks as the news gets out.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bye Bye Power Girl


The new creative team taking over the title with issue 13 is none other than DC's favorite and always available hack, Judd Winick and yet another unknown penciler named Sami Basri. Most likely more cheap artist labor from South America (DC loves the farm team down there, the books are full of these guys). I'll never know if the guy is any good since Judd is on board.

DC loves a hack like Winick because he hangs around the NYC offices and local bars kissing ass with editors year in and year out. And for all the time he's put in, he's yet to write any super-book that is anywhere near memorable much less entertaining. Fuck. They'd do better if they made the title a pinup book monthly. No story.

Yet another DC book I can cross off my list. Going to be a cheap DC buying season. At least until Jim Lee and Geoff Johns can get in there and right the ship.

Update: SDCC's New Hotel reservation process...


...was pretty damn slick! Kudos to Travel Planners and SDCC's organization for finally putting together a process that worked.

Main site did not crash. Form was easy to complete (provided you had all 12 Hotel choices ready) and submission went through without any delay.

Of course now all those attending have to play the waiting game to see what choice they end up with but the fact that we didn't have to call and re-call over and over for hours just to get through to a human because of a site crash as in years past was wonderful.

I would imagine the bulk of the hard core attendees will all be done applying for rooms within the first hour of the offering.



UPDATED! Final results later in the day...

So the Bittergeeks both submitted for reservations at the same time in seperate locations and we each received very different results.

Both of us completed and submitted hotel res form within six minutes of the opening of the online system. Maybe within one minute of each other.

One of us received confirmation within two hours and obtains first, best hotel choice desired. Cool!

The other receives confirmation six hours later and doesn't even get any of the tweleve hotel choices submitted. Ended up with some crap hotel randomly assigned that's over 3 miles from con. Wow. Not cool.

Guess which location we are keeping.

So while the submission process itself worked well by all accounts, clearly there were shenanagans behind the scenes. Can't believe the timestamp on our submissions (one minute apart) were equally catered to by Travel Planners. The swing from best to worst location is too crazy.

BitterNews for Thursday, March 18th, 2010


• Legendary singer/songwriter Alex Chilton died last night after complaining of feeling poorly. He was taken to the hospital and died shortly thereafter, apparently of a heart attack. Chilton, who fronted the chart-topping Box-Tops in his teens will probably be best remembered for his time in the seminal Big Star, a cult band that sold few records in their day. Their legend grew throughout the 70’s and 80’s until a full scale reassessment of their work was undertaken in the wake of a handful of reissues on Rykodisc, including an expanded version of their masterpiece “Third” and a collection of founder Chris Bell’s previously unreleased recordings. Chilton’s solo career was viewed with confusion by most critics and fans, but revealed an interest in obscure r&b and soul that was Chilton’s true passion. In 2006 Big Star released a new studio album (their first in 30 years) and played a few dates around the release, but did not undertake a full-scale tour. Big Star was due to play SXSW this weekend. It is not known if the other members of the band will perform a tribute show instead or if the gig is cancelled.
• 3A toys are releasing yet another variant exclusive – this time it’s a Tommy Mission Blood Nails exclusive from BBICN.com.
• IDW is now a Diamond Premier Publisher. This is the first time since Diamond launched the program that a Publisher has been added to the core group of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse & Image. The program allows IDW access to covers of Diamond Previews, front of catalog placement in same and other behind-the-scenes perks that are too boring to discuss here. IDW is currently Diamond’s #4 publisher, ahead of Image but behind Dark Horse. With their varied product line and their new status at Diamond, we expect IDW to surpass Dark Horse quickly.
• The character Rick Grimes from Walking Dead has been added to the lineup of Guardians of the Globe, Image’s new team book. I see a motorcycle getting ready to jump a shark tank and Robert Kirkman is driving it.
• NBC is filming a new reality show about comic book geeks – starting in London, ending at San Diego.
• Genius comedian / provocateur Chris Morris’ new movie trailer, Four Lions is now online. It’s a comedy that tells the story of four Islamic terrorists. The guy has balls the size of Mars.
• There’s going to be a Batman Beyond comic book mini-series.
• The Hobbit starts filming in June, per Gandalf.
• Amazon is ramping up their Kindle push in the face of the forthcoming iTampon. Just this week they offered a free Kindle software download and now they have released Kindle for Mac software. Not only does this appear desperate, it is like fighting a forest fire with a squirtgun. Apple will clearly get all the press and publicity for their products – it will be up to consumers to decide which product they prefer, and they will vote with their dollars. The Kindle campaign is telling about the faith Amazon has in its product vs the perception of the iPad.
• Sandra Bullock: Don’t marry a guy named Jesse James from a show called Monster Garage who has just broken up with a psycho porn star it might go bad. He might end up banging some tattooed dick pincushion who describes herself as an “Evil Cunt” with drawings all over her – just saying.
• It’s not looking good for “FlashForward” as the foreign markets where it is performing well are not coming to rescue the struggling show, and the showrunner just left. The fate of the show probably depends on ratings of the first few post-hiatus episodes.
• MGM final bids are due on Friday – I have some change in my pocket!
• And of course, today is San Diego hotel hell day. Good luck to all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BitterNews for Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


• This month’s 3A release “Little Shadow” is now revealed to have 3 (4?) versions – Regular, Shadow, and Cherry. Cherry is in what looks like a schoolgirl uniform and is sold in a two pack with Sanakhte. No word on who or what Sanakhte is yet.
• Mattel Fuck Up Of The Day: Feel free to troll the web for March 15th Mattel Q&A Answers – you’ll find a veritable masterclass in how NOT to handle PR.
• Kick-Ass 2: is subtitled “Balls To The Wall”. Reports on the first film are great, pouring in from SXSW screenings. And yesterday we saw the largest theater standee we have seen in a LONG LONG time at our local – looks like they are gearing up for a hit.
• It appears that there will be a cross-over superteam in the Image universe following Image United. The team will be called Guardians of the Globe – a name that has been used in Invincible since the early issues.
• Dynamite Entertainment just bought the Vampirella character from Harris – expect to see a lot of ugly merch and hideous comics in the very near future – much like you’ve been seeing for the last 15 years.
• iTampon dates are sliding backwards for pre-orders – now into mid-April. We have yet to determine if this delay affects the 3G model as well as the Wi-Fi only version.
• Interesting that this year the SXSW hype is mostly on the movie & interactive side, with music taking 3rd place as the industry slides further into a mudhole.
• Scott Weiland has blamed the wives of his Velvet Revolver bandmates for the breakup of the band. Apparently it had nothing to do with the fact that the albums sucked and Weiland is a smacked-out egomaniac.
• Michael Lohan, Lindsay’s dad, had a heart attack Tuesday. Which he survived, dammit.
• John Edwards' dick pincushion, Rielle Hunter, is claiming she didn’t know GQ was going to use shots of her flashing her panties in the new issue, and that she never approved them. Meanwhile GQ released video of her looking over the shots as they were being taken. Must… stretch….15…minutes….of….fame…
• The Marvel Universe digital giveaway figure contest is over and the winner is the unlikely repaint of Arcangel in his X-Force duds. How many ways can you say “yawn”?
• Conan O’Brien is planning a film of his upcoming comedy revue tour. The tour, which was designed as a way to keep his TV staff busy until the next move, is going to hit 30 cities and has already sold out both Radio City and Madison Square Garden.
• Courtney Love has apologized to Billy Corgan. For the syphilis?
• Roxy Music has announced a gig in the wake of finishing their first (as yet unreleased) album in many decades. It will be in Barcelona on June 19th.
• Jay-Z and Jack White have recorded together. So Jay-Z is done.
• Celebudouche Perez Hilton has revealed that Snoop Dogg is getting paid a fuckload to play the tired old queen’s “party” at SXSW. Good for you, Snoop.
• James Brown’s body is located. It was behind the couch.