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The Isotope Communique
Daily news and updates by Proprietor James Sime & the Isotope Staff
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Monday, February 28, 2005
Indy Comics Verses Superhero Comics:
The Absurdity of the Genre War
There are those who believe that all superhero comics are bad, others who wouldn't touch an autobiographical graphic novel with a ten foot pole, and still others who hate manga and everything it represents. You can hear them preaching their respective gospels on messageboards, read them belittling those who don't subscribe to their particular beliefs on industry websites and in magazines, and see them turning up their noses at another's selections at places where comics are sold. Apparently these people think that these different aspects of comics are best divided, forever locked into their unique genre definitions and battling with each other in some sort of comic readers secret war.
Sure those people are out there, and because they can be so ferverent about beating the genre war drum they've helped make the perception that is how most, if not all, comic readers make their buying decisions at the comic book counter. And that is the way that comics have to be sold. But that's just not the case. If anything, quite the opposite.
When you're taking a stack of comics up to the counter you're more likely to be hoping that you'll be getting your hard-earned money's worth out of that pile of funnybooks than you 'll be thinking about what genre classification they fall into. And as long as the person behind the counter doesn't go out of their way to make you feel embarrassed by your selections, you're going to leave that store thinking about going to your favorite place to read and finding out what lies inside those comic book pages. And when you're reading those comics you're going to be thinking about whether or not you're enjoying those comics, not some non-exisitant spandex vs flannel spectrum on the nerd totem-pole.
In my experience I've found that the majority of comic readers are looking for one very simple thing in their comic entertainment. Something that makes them love comics all over again, even if that means checking out something that falls just outside of their comfort zone. More often than not, if a reader hears that a book is good, they'll at least flip open the cover and see what it has to offer. If they like the look and it's in their price range they'll give it a try. More than anything comic readers just want to be entertained and occassionally enlightened by their comics. And they don't like missing out on the comics that might do just that for them.
Us verses them retailing is absurd because all it does is limit the consumer's choices and discourage both consumer and industry growth. Perhaps all that fans of superhero, manga, art comics, and any other genre of the artform truly need is a place where comic genres are considered equal and get to stand side-by-side, not as genres, but as that which they all truly are... comics.
Because who among us doesn't love comics?
Ugly Stuffies Each and Every Month
Because Mutant Fuzzy Critters Need Love Too
There are hundreds of _____ of the month clubs out there. Perhaps you've thought of signing up for one of them and recieving a monthly arrival of microbrew beers or potato chips or gourmet chocolate or knitted socks or condoms or tequila at your home or office.
Or perhaps you're more inclined to sign up for the Unfortunate Animal of the Month Club and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind frankensteined stuffy each month. Imagine opening up your mail to find a one eyed, triple-eared varmint who mutters when squeezed. Or a fuzzy creature whose brain is a mere safety pin away from falling out. Or maybe, if you're lucky, a parasitic twin chicken and bunny combo critter. You might not ever know what unfortunate stuffy is coming next, but you can sleep soundly in the knowledge that another is on its way complete with a note from your adoptive Unfortunate Animal to you, thanks to the Unfortunate Animal of the Month Club.
Click here and get something dreadful in the mail each and every month.
Most Highly Anticipated Beat Interview Ever!
The Bruce talks The Man with the Screaming Brain
The Beat gets talky with the greatest cult actor of our generation about The Man with the Screaming Brain, Bruce Campbell's upcoming Dark Horse mini-series illustrated in a glorious neo-Wally Wood style by Rick Remender and Hilary Barta. This is definitely a book to keep your eyes on, preview pages from this comic have been all the buzz here at the Isotope for the past month. Go read the complete interview and see a preview of what the Bruce has in store for you here. And then tune in to The Beat again tomorrow for part two of this interview.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Rick Remender is going to have a huge year in 2005. After you're done reading all about Screaming Brain go check out these previews of two of Rick's other upcoming books. The blood-drenched vampire-pirate yarn Sea of Red and the utterly stunning Strange Girl with undiscovered superstar artist Eric Nguyen and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I don't know how Remender finds time to do all these amazing projects but I thank the comic gods above that he does!
(From this week's Comic Pimp, which also features a few words about the future of comic retailing and the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics)
Ian Yarborough - Bon Vivant
Seven Soldiers #1
The Losers #21
Jared Guenther - Enforcer
Battle Hymn #1
Stoker's Dracula #3
Kirsten Baldock - Special Projects Director
Y the Last Man #31
Scurvy Dogs TPB
Astonishing X-Men #8
James Sime - Proprietor
GrimJack: Killer Instinct #2
Seven Soldiers #1
Earth's Mightiest Heroes #8
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Zombies Get Ink & Utterly Sell Out
Evil Dead Live featured in SF Chronicle
Isotope enforcer Jared Guenther continues to dominate the SF zombie scene with his latest makeup and special effects work on Evil Dead Live which was spotlighted this week in the San Francisco Chronicle. With tickets for this off-Market stage adaptation of Sam Raimi's definitive zombie classic currently sold out for every single showing, your chances of seeing this play as slim as finding fresh flesh in a graveyard... that is, unless you email the folks at www.evildeadlive.com and beg them to extend this show into another weekend.
Check out more of Jared's work with an interview and photo cornucopia in this Comic Pimp profile on the Isotope's zombiefest launch event for IDW's Remains here and see even more grossness at Jared's official website 1000faces.com.
Darwyn Cooke @ SilverBulletComicBooks.com
Could we here at the Isotope love Darwyn Cooke more?
Cooke is responsible for some of our favorite moments in recent comic reading including such instant classics as Batman: Ego, Selina's Big Score, the utterly stylish Catwoman redesign... and created the mini-series that decisively proved that, yes, everything is indeed beautiful in the world;DC: The New Frontier, which just so happened to be one of the single best comics of 2004.
SBC's Markisan Naso gives us a substantial interview with the outspoken creator which is definitely not to be missed. Check it out here.
And in case you haven't already, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of:
DC: The New Frontier Vol 1
$19.95 for 208 color pages
(Vol 2 in stores this May)
click for a preview
North America's Largest Whisky Celebration
Saturday March 5th
It's that time of year again!
It's time for the Whiskies of the World, when the greatest collection of ultra-premium Single Malt Whiskies, Boutique Bourbons and unique high end, specialty distilled spirits from Scotland, Ireland, the U.S. and numerous places around the world are gathered together for the ultimate scotch tasting presented in the western hemisphere.
Try superiorly aged, expertly distilled, and hand crafted spirits exhibited and presented by their creators from as far away as Croatia to our local Bay Area distillers. This large and lively educational tasting event, will host 3000 plus consumer attendees who will be treated to the cream of the whisky crop, and also the Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers, Cooking With Fine Spirits- with Master Chef and spirits specialists; the International Speakers Forum of Distillers and Brand Ambassadors which runs in multiple breakout rooms all evening long, and more fine single malts than you've ever seen in your entire lifetime.
It's for events just like these that you moved to the SF Bay Area in the first place. For more information, www.celticmalts.com.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
What might be the hottest Isotope shirt ever, designed by Sea of Red and Remains artist Kieron Dwyer. As modeled here by Eva Capelli:
Eva's dad Ken is currently hard at work on what is possibly the coolest PSP game of all, Infected. Cleanse the streets of New York City, make chain reactions of exploding zombies, and infect the PSPs of those who you defeat in wireless combat. This is where Shawn of The Dead and Amway collide, people.
And go visit www.kierondwyer.com to pay respects to the man responsible our latest Isotope fashion. You rock, K-Dog!
Local Boy Makes Good
Scurvy Dogs TPB in Stores Now!
Scurvy Dogs is a comic near and dear to all our hearts here at the Isotope. Created by two of the funniest people you could ever wish to meet, Andrew Boyd and former Isotope employee Ryan Yount, we were proud to host the many late night scripting and drawing sessions on the Isotope's sofa and drafting table while this book was being created. And I still have dibs on all of number three, so don't even think about trying to score any original art from that issue.
And now finally the collection has arrived. Get your fill of pirate tom-foolery with this industrial-sized collection featuring more extras than you'll know what to do with. Loaded in these 160 pages are some of the wildest pirate adventure known to man and pirate kind... See monkey-infested islands! See pirates singing karaokee! See dates gone horribly, horribly wrong! See roving gangs of angry hobos! See Portugese lepers! See Rod Stewart drinking bleach! And see the callous mass marketing of pirate culture by Hollywood slimeballs when the Survy Dogs Sell Out!
A great book for all who like their pirate adventure shot through with a lethal dose of humor, pop-culture crazed fanaticos, gibbering idiots, and child-like mutants of all ages. A must have for your bookshelf, your coffee table, or your poop deck.
Scurvy Dogs: Rags to Riches
$12.95 for 160 B&W pages.
We're not worthy!
Thanks to Mimi Rosenheim, the multi-talented genius who not only makes the Isotope website glorious, but also effortlessly juggles her duties at Macromedia with bringing the brilliance to the comic industry through AiT-PlanetLar. The world is a much better place with her in it.
Mimi, I just can't thank you enough so here's a picture of a kitty for you instead: