Saturday, June 30, 2007

sketches too

from the same page as yesterday.


... from the sketchbook.

Paul Pope and the imagination of Jack Kirby

Paul Pope, over at PulpHope, has a great little story about a conversation that he had about Jack Kirby. Takes two minutes to read, and I love it.
"Sometimes I feel like all science is doing now is reverse-engeneering Jack Kirby," I say.
.. is just one great line. I'll let you savor the rest yourself and then you can come back here.

Great. All done?

What I'll bring up is a subpoint in the discussion, the vitality of comics. Elsewhere in the world, with comics hidden into the small stores sucking on the teat of the direct market, run by dedicated comic lovers who can barely afford the rent on their stores, comics aren't anywhere you can see them, and, as objects, lose their relevance to today.

New York is different, perhaps because its been the home of comic book publishers and many of the artists, perhaps because of the sheer density of people and, therefore, density of retailers to serve the population, perhaps because people there still read because they have time, time on the subway platform, on the train, on the bus, as opposed to sitting in a car driving and not being able to take their eyes off of the road, the nature of transportation demands a way to escape from yet another long hot wait on for the N and R at Union Square.

Whatever reason, or combination of reasons, comics there do maintain a certain relevance to populace, and, as an artist, there is such a joy in that that it is truly hard to express. After all, there was a time, 10 years ago, when you could have likened the comic artist to the horse and buggy salesman: they had their heyday, and would likely have been sure that their market position would be secure; after all, people had been using the trusted horse as transportation for hundreds of years now. Surely this new horseless carriage would never really replace the equine animal.

Now, with success of manga and the cartoon channel and 300 and Spiderman and Hellboy and X-Men and, god help us, the FF2 movie, we can continue to see the ideas generated by comics, and that energy, brought out to the masses...

...and we're relevant again. groping blindly most of the time, but relevant.

i'll take that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

In Review: Adrian Tomine's Smoke

In digging through some old material, I ran across two issues of Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve, when it was just a mini comic, and was reminded of the best piece of work that I think that he ever did: Smoke.

Adrian came out of a reasonably fertile Sacramento Comic scene that existed in the late 1980's and early 1990s. Perhaps a slightly odd town to have a big comic group, but none the less there were a number of us: Ron Lim, Kelley Jones, Keith Aiken, Jim Sinclair, Sam Keith and some others that will doubtlessly get mad at me for omitting them. Knowing other professionals and seeing them make it was a huge boost for the others at the time.

I met Adrian once or twice along the way, but never knew him. As much as he's been published in the intervening time, I like this story the best.

There was a roughness to pencils that was Adrian discovering his pencil and ink style along the way. Very soon after this, with a Xeric Grant in his pocket, the last mini issue of Optic Nerve would get much slicker, as would his art style.
There is an edge to this and it certainly fits the mold of a perfect short movie: there isn't a shot or panel wasted is this little gem of a story, and while it doesnt' seem to hurry through it's 6 pages, neither does it waste any time. It is, in short, a perfect little mix of words and pictures, free of what becomes my main critique of Adrian's later work - that it revels in its "indie"-ness so deeply that it becomes ponderous. At a certain point, you want to shake up the lost 20-something and yell, "You're overanalyzing to the point of paralysis!" but you might spill their latte.

This story is, I believe, in the Optic Nerve Mini collection, and certainly worth a read through. Like being turned on to a great little 45 single from 15 years ago, savor having this little something to read.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In Review Of: Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus

I love when you get the chance to discover new "classic" stories, and such is the case of reading the Jimmy Olson Kirby Issues that are reprinted here, in the Kirby Omnibus.

The package is great, the stories reproduced in order of appearance on the stands, which works well as Jack was a stream of words and pictures that couldn't be dammed up, and the whole Fourth World Saga spilled out of him as he worked on all the books. DC, however, is charging us $50 for a hardcover with a cheaper paperstock, something that my retailer Sam at Blue Moon Comics commented on. Oddly enough, I think that the cheaper paper takes the "classic" color better, and I don't mind that we're clearly getting a little taken on the paper stock. I do think that you'd get more people jumping on the bandwagon and buying the book at a lower price tag. Perhaps it wasn't feasible economically.

The work is great, and if there is anything that makes my day its that the title of the work has Jack's name first. It's not DC's Fourth World, its Jack's. Jack's Labor of Love, Jack's final great creative burst that went into these books. I just hate that Vince Colletta's name has be featured so much in the credits box.

Much has been made of the redrawn faces on the Jimmy Olsen stories in this collection, I'm not sure that I can add anything to the discussion, other than agreeing that it is one of the most jarring parts of the book. DC didn't know then that their great property was artist proof. Indeed, he benefits from different interpretations.

The early Jimmy Olsen stuff, by the way, reads as as extension of Tales of Suspense, with Superman playing the Captain America role. I was completely taken aback by the breakneck pace of those early issues. It seems so out of place compared to the standard DC book of that era. Its been a while since I've sat down and read through number of Kirby issues in one shot - its almost exhausting.

The dust jacket functions as a Mother Box - take it off and the book reveals its true face: A merciless look into Orion eyes, into the eyes of the implaccable warrior. Its disturbing and powerful, the visage of the handsome red haired Orion already betraying his heritage as Darkseid's son.

Put this on your bookshelf and enjoy, for all its flaws, what became the bible for DC Comics' Universe. They have never recovered from the introduction of the New Gods and Darkseid into their world: finally, in the '80's, the fully accepted it, both in the present and in the future (with the Great Darkness Saga in Legion).

Friday, June 22, 2007

And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of The Comics...

Among the detritus that I was sorting through was an 8 page comic of a story that I've been building in my head for years and years.

And its a corker. Lemme tell ya.

And its rough and back then I can't draw mouths to save my life, and I still like it.

Back then I'm trying to create depth with white line letraset (LT 294 maybe?) which you can see on this page as opposed to going into photoshop and doing it in a much sleeker fashion.

And I still love it. I was creating a story that I wanted to read.

I've scanned the page in (warts and all, no fixes) a few pieces as my scanner isn't big enough to do the whole page at once. It makes for a few bumpy transitions. Sorry.

Copyright @ 1991 Charles Yoakum on this one.

Bits of the Past: The Comics that Neverwuz

Went searching for the damn Good guys origiinals in the closet and ran across other interesting stuff, pieces that I'd not seen in a long time.

Perhaps its the good red wine hitting me, but as I found myself looking over pieces that I had done 15 years ago or more, I found that I could remember a lot putting them together, perhaps more that I could remember about the times and places that surrounded the artwork themselves. I remember placing those blacks in just such a way on the page, or doing a trick to ghost in a hand that I couldn't quite pencil correctly. Holiday cards that bespoke of myself in college, living in some oddball apartment, surrounding myself with the oxygen that keeps a 20 year old alive: music, comics, scraps of paper with phone numbers, old grocery receipts heavy on Ramen, old running shoes under the bed.

And I stared at the lump of papyrus in my lap thinking, this is the most accurate way that I've measured my life: in lines on paper, in fantasies brought stillborn on the tip of a pen or brush. And its somewhat sad, in one way, since its filled with far more failed experiments that ones that work, but in another way I think: at least I have some way to measure; at least there is some path here.

lately I've been missing, again, youthful arrogance, in all its wonderful glory. Because, just as I can see the obvious lumps and bruises in Guy Davis' Baker Street, hear the frantic glory in the Jam's first album, I love these things that they were too stupid to know that the couldn't do. I love the bad posturing in Jim Starlin's early Captain Marvels, I love all the crazy little lines in Jamie Hernandez's early Locas stories that he would soon edit out, I love that someone believed enough in them to give them the opportunity to go and do.

As you can read in my earlier post about Defiant's Good Guys, it took years of going to conventions with my inks and having different editors say, "Well, that looks good." It finally took David Lapham looking me in the eye and saying, "This is really good stuff. Why aren't you working professionally yet?" and I looked him right back and could truthfully say, "I don't know. No one will give me a chance." and I knew that I wasn't hiding a single weakness in my game, I knew that I was ready. I had been ready. Perhaps thats why when Neil Pozner died, and practically everyone, it seemed, had a great note about what a wonderful guy he was, there was a contingent among us who knew that he was simply the gatekeeper to keep us out of DC, out of getting our work under the eyes of someone who could actually have given us work. I was jealous of the guys who had someone who would look at their work and say, "You know what, its not all there, but I'll give you a chance to get there. Here's the assignment."

At the top of this post is an early work, copyright myself and Todd Miro, that I still love. Just give it a click to see the larger version. I'll be raising my Led Zeppelin shot glass to toast all those who have helped someone along the way.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fantastic Four: Review of the Silver Surfer

OK, I fully admit this is pretty damn hard to write a review of. We get the inevitable "Kirby whirlwind" in this movie . Seriously. A whirlwind. When was the last time that you saw one of those since "Twister" came out?
For years we've been decrying Hollywood messing up perfectly good comic stories by having to change and add and tweak the source material, material that clearly worked perfectly well on the printed page. "Why would you mess with the Galactus Trilogy?" we ask.

And we have our answer here. And its not an easy one to assess. We have a movie that is closer to the source material that any movie has come to, barring only X-Men 2. I was actually thrown by the early scenes in New York, with the FF in the Baxter Building, because the tone was so different from the first movie, and then I realized: I was actually seeing a Lee/Kirby comic, somewhere around FF #25 or so, brought to life. Ben and Johnny fighting, Reed and Sue having their small spats, using their powers casually amidst the banter. And it makes sense that they would, when you consider that we shouldn't have to see all the drama of Johnny flaming on, and Ben using his strength, the powers simply become an extension of what the characters do and who they are.

So, does all the Lee/Kirby banter and play translate to the big screen? Not entirely, although it seems to be a noble attempt. Someone really went back and read their Marvel essentials to try and get this right, and they almost did. I have to say, I love Alicia as a black woman, and think that it would be really cool to see her father, an African-American Puppet Master at some point.

When you consider that the first FF movie was one of the very worst superhero movies that has ever come to screen, stunned was a damn good description of just how different this script is. And I can't help but think if we had spent more time with this version of the characters, as opposed to the morose "grim and gritty" versions from the first movie, that we would care more and feel more feeling for when everything goes wrong in the second act.

And what a second act it is, really. A great combination of FF #49 and #60 which should be one hell of a winning storyline when you think about it. Doom, the Surfer and a weird cloud thing called Galactus (don't get me started on this one yet). And yet... despite a great helicopter crash sequence, the tension never really rises as much as it should, and the return of Doom falls far flatter than it should with Julian McMahon's missing the mark performance. But the whole thing simply never jells. I suppose I keep thinking that this would have been a great season finale, when we'd had time to share all the earlier adventures with them.

Alas we don't have that time. We do get treated to a Surfer that looks a whole lot like Kirby's version, and we even get a whole mess o' Kirby action, although forgive me if, for some reason, I thought that the action also seem choreographed somewhat by George Perez. I wish that we had more Ben Grimm in it to tell you the truth. Perhaps the next movie will be The Thing vs. The Hulk two parter.

And, at the last, Galactus as a huge cloud. Perhaps I'm alone in this, and believe me, I inwardly cringed more than most when I read about this one on the internet, but I have to say that I'm not sure if the comic book Galactus would have worked. Really. I'm not saying that the illegitimate son of V'Ger is really working for me, but it is better than some of what they would have come up with.

I don't think that this is a great movie by any stretch of the cinematic imagination, and yet, it is so damn superior to the first that it shines far more brightly than I think it should. Props to all for trying.

Monday, June 18, 2007

When is Original Art not what it appears?

Danny boy continues his great writings about the original art fandango that exists with the published version, or the credits on the published version not being what they appear. I love reading this stuff, of course, the behind the scenes being fascinating to me.

I recall all the different pages of the Good Guys #1 that we went through, including the notorious page 8, notorious to me at least. Here is the story: Defiant contacted me to a sample page of inks before I had ever broken into the industry and sent out a xerox of page 8, pencilled by Grey. A pretty good copy too, by the way, and I set about to light boxing it and inking it on 1 ply vellum, a killer paper that strathmore no longer makes. they specifically told me to keep it very clean. so I did. I then fed ex'ed it to NY and waited to hear. Of course 4 days later I got a call telling me that it was too "clean" and not what they wanted. I fully admit, I was crushed, and proceeded to tear the damn thing into pieces. I knew that the work was good, and was enraged that nothing was ever going to let me get my big break.

Here's where it gets interesting. Of course, two weeks later, they call me back to tell me that the veteran inker they ended up sending the first batch of pages to ruined them and they wanted me. But, since I was new and in California, I would have to come out and work under their eyes at the offices in New York. So they fly me out there and I see that they have only photocopies of the pencils of the first 8, but they aren't the nice photocopies, they're ghostly white. And they say, "Well, at least, we have your good version of page 8."

Page 8 was, I stress again, shredded. Shredded into the types of pieces that only truly righteous anger can lead one to making.

So I end up re-inking, via lightbox, the first 7 pages, and then using the poor xerox and my own xerox of page 8 to recreate page 8.

So what happens? They end up cutting up the xeroxes and condensing pages 1-8 into pages 1-6 and just glue the xeroxed panels onto bristol anyway.

And that's just the first quarter of the book.

Scans to come.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In Review Of: Blacksad - Arctic Nation

Had the genuine good fortune of getting a couple of graphic novels for father's day, and the one that I want to review today is probably the least well known of all of them.

First off, lets get this out of the way: I'm not generally down with anthropomorphic animals. Don't really know why, perhaps it was Ty Templeton getting to me with his classic "Even Teddy Bears Get the Blues" story in an old issue of Critters, but it even was a central complaint of mine when Spiegelman did it in Maus, so i'm putting everyone on warning. It bothered me in Omaha The Cat Dancer as well, since you asked.

And I'm trying really hard to put aside for this graphic novel, since the story is straight up, with almost none of the cutsey crap that infects other anthro animal tales, and the artwork is drop dead gorgeous.

The skinny on the plot is something right out of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe: Blacksad, the Private Detective, is in on a case on an ecomically depressed area of the city, one littered with racism, lies and corrupt cops. Something that is generally overlooked in the Chandler and Hammett writings is that they were very much products of their time in all ways, especially in the social and economic locales that they inhabit. People continue to think of Chinatown as the Jack Nicholson movie, when it really is a story about people who really run LA: the money, the power (or lack thereof), and the control that they have. Blacksad takes a case in "the Line", which is overrun with the animal versions of the Ku Klux Klan who have taken the depressed economy as leverage to gather others to their "white" side. Against all this, a child is missing: who might be kidnapper, and why?

The artist and writer, both Spanish, should have a lot to thank for this translation, with never gets too bumpy or incomprehensible in a convoluted murder mystery. And the reproduction makes Guarnido's art look beautiful, the fulfillment of all those poorly printed Heavy Metals from the '70's giving us a taste of what full color comics should look like.

I guess that should be raving over the work, since I'm a real sucker from someone who gets the roots of why noir works, as opposed the simply aping the trappings, and make no mistake Canales does, but my brain kept slipping out of gear on certain things. things like the scene where our hero, a black and white cat, is getting something in a bodega, when a gang of black anthropomorphic horses come in and beat up the storekeeper as well as a ferret reporter with Blacksad. They then turn on Blacksad, who has white fur on his face, and say "what happened to your face brother?" and I'm thinking, why would horses care about the white fur/black fur race issues of the cats? If we're really dealing with race issues, wouldn't there be disention among the cats over other animals taking their jobs? And how did the horses get on the same evolutionary plane as cats and ferrets anyway?

Am I thinking about this too deeply?

And yet, the rest of the story, the resolution of the story, has a gravitas to it that doesn't demand light reading, it is ready to bear the full dramatic weight that Canales and Guarnido can convey. And I don't want it to fall apart at the last minute becuase the animal metaphor doesn't happen to hold up on a scene or two.

Quibbles perhaps, but worth noting, since the last thing that I want to have anything jar me out of a story as compelling as this one. I'm now on the hunt for book 1 in the series. I have no idea how many shops have this one on their shelves, but its sure worth a look. Canales and Guarnido make a dynamite team.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Original Art to Die For: The Holy Grail

20th Century Danny Boy has a long post about the art recreations that Mike Zeck is doing, has been doing, since 2000. I have to say that it was interesting reading, as I hadn't given much thought to the idea of recreations, much less the way that Zeck is doing them. While I've certainly seen some recreations in my dealings, I find myself wary of them, especially if you don't know the source.

As we all know, there isn't always the single original that we expect the art to have been shot off of. I know that I've run across a cover version of Detective #475 at a New york Con a number of years ago that was being offered as the "original", yet had no stats or even the glue marks of stats, which is pretty much unheard of from that era (1977). Yet it did look as though part of it was "original", i.e. that it had ink on paper that was put there by Terry austin. The clock artwork appeared to be a stat. Is there a story of how the cover was put together? Perhaps worth exploring. In this modern age of photoshop, it is even easier to manipulate the printed version. Dave McKean's Sandman covers looked wonderful in print, but the originals were multimedia nightmares to collect. I'm sure that most have gotten destroyed by this point.

Grail artwork:
There are a few grail artwork pieces that, if I were stupid rich, I'd be out there trying to find. I have no idea if they all still exist, although I do know for a fact that some are still in existence.

Captain Marvel #29 Cover

I know that this piece still exists, but without the Romita paste up face.

Miracleman #15 Cover

Johnny Bates and Miracleman in the most violent comic ever.

Saga of the Swamp Thing #24

The amazing two page spread with Etrigan making his appearance at the end of the book.

Master of Kung Fu #40 Splash page

The printed version of the page is a stat, and the main image exists somewhere out there...

Fantastic Four #51 Cover

Jack Kirby and his amazing creation, Ben Grimm in a beautiful pose on the cover.

Tower of Shadows #1

Steranko's splash page, which Albert Moy has had for years, is a masterpiece. I simply lack the 8 thousand dollars to purchase it!

i'm sure there are others, but all of these would be serious Grail pieces.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

San Rafael Italian Street Painting Festival 2007: The Batman piece

Had the great experience of taking the weekend to finally participate in San Rafael's Street Painting Festival. Sponsored by Youth in Arts, which benefits local high school arts programs, it draws some absolutely tremendous artists to the street, and they produce come amazing work. After 6 years of walking down it and each time promising myself that I would remember to sign up for the next year, I would always forget. Didn't happen this year though. I signed up early, and then had do decide on a piece to do.

The square was 6x6 feet, a good area size, and while looking at a number of more classic pieces, I learned that Marshall Rogers had died, and I then decided to honor him by doing one of his works. I almost settled on the cover of Detective #475, but decided finally to go with the best plate from his 1981 Batman Portfolio, with Joker menacing the Batman with his joker fish. Its a particular version of the scene that I doubt that most people have ever seen.

Started to work at about 9 am on Saturday, and finished around 3 pm on Sunday. Got some good props from the folks walking by. While you can't see it in this picture, I did a bio labeled "Marshall Rogers 1950 - 2007" and taped it to the pavement. Had a lot of people stop to read it.

I'll post a finished picture later when I receive it, this picture is from early Sunday morning.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Original Cover Art: X-Men #137 by Byrne and Austin

20th Century Danny Boy ferreted this one out: a great scan of the original art for this classic cover. I'm putting this up for one reason: its amazing to see. As a professional inker, I have to admire Austin's linework up close and personal as much as I can.

Enjoy. This was part of a run of issues that was as good and classic as anything ever in superhero comics.

More discussion of recreations and "grails" and original art to come.

Men are from Talos IV, Women are from Metebelis 3

Lord Dingsi had this to rant about over at his live journal, regarding the gender divide and all the feminist thought currently making the rounds on the comic boards:
First, if women were a monolithic block of people with a similar mindset and the same goals and desires, targeting them as a market would be easy, right?
But they aren't. And we should all know that, because even if some of us aren't women ourselves, we still have girlfriends, or sisters, or mothers, or daughters, or female buddies and friends and workmates. They are no friggin' ALIENS, they are LIVING NEXT TO YOU. ON THE SAME PLANET. Stop pretending they were a different species.

"Comics" doesn't mean "genre", it's a medium, and people who love that medium pick the genres -- and the themes and artists and writers -- they like.
And this classic comment followed:
I don't know what's up with this 'the female market!' as though there really is a hive vagina, but I'm kinda sick of it!
Heh, heh. First off, the "hive vagina" phrase had me laughing for a whole minute and half, its such a good term to coin. Secondly, I appreciate the thoughts from Dingsi about the diversity
in the female population, as well as the diversity of their likes and dislikes.

The distinction between the medium and the work in crucial here. Just because you like going to see the movie does not mean that every movie is for you. Just because you like to read a book doesn't mean that the entire bookstore will appeal to you.

I certainly I know that my wife wouldn't be caught dead reading a single superhero comic book in the house, and yet I know a woman who can quote, verbatim, Scarlet Witch dialog from the
wilds of Wundagore Mountain, and clearly neither of them got the email to join the hive vagina. What comics do they like to read? I've yet to find a comic that grabs my wife's attention, period, so clearly the medium doesn't grab everyone, yet she loved Calvin and Hobbes, and we were devoted followers of the first time Shtinky Puddin' got lost in the snow in Mutts all those years ago. So its not the medium, but the work. My friend deeply loves the Avengers and superheroes, and I have no idea which, in any, of the alternative works have caught her attention. Does she like Andi Watson? I think that Breakfast Before Noon is a great work, but I've never asked her whether she's read it.

We are clearly at the growing pain stages of having all this diverse work exist out there, but with spotty distribution, and even spottier availability. Think about it, there is more great work of differing nature than we've every had before. Period. Maus can coexist with Cerebus, Strangers in Paradise, Powers, the Fantastic Four and Stagger Lee quite well thank you, but unfortunately, not everyone has equal access that, just as movie goers in NY and LA have more short run stuff, more art theatres, more access to the films than someone in a small town in Kansas does.

Distribution and availability will determine choices, as well as marketing by the companies, not just Diamond. After all, if you don't know that its out there, you're not going to go look for it. We would have less of discussion of the Hive Vagina if everyone could find work that they liked. Then we could get back to discussing important subjects, like Hulk versus Thor... er... sorry, old habits die hard.

Bonus points for anyone who knows both planets referred to in title of the post.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tough to be a Fangirl: Notes from the retail front

Over at Sequentially Speaking is a great post on being a fangirl in today's comic world, and I especially like that fact that its written by a woman who owns a retail comic book outlet.

A couple of things in her list of real world examples stand out:
A young girl comes into the store with her dad and tells him how she would rather have the Teen Titans Go! comic over the Barbie comic. Now, KellyAnn doesn't say if dad encouraged the Barbie comic over Teen Titans Go!, but one could assume that he at least pointed it out to her - encouraging the young girl to go with the more traditional Barbie over a superhero comic book.
Oddly enough, I spend my entire time trying to explain the background of the JLA to my daughter, the barbie comic doesn't even apeal to her. Try explaining the current Wonder Woman comic to a 6 year old who really wants to understand it. Not easy at all.

Here is the best part:
Here's another point that I borrowed from a couple of blogs I've read recently - if a man walked into a store that had pictures of nearly naked men wrestling around with each other, toys of half naked men, and t-shirts that had pictures of half naked men in costumes on them - they probably wouldn't come back to that store.
And we certainly can thank Alex Ross and Citizen Steel for proving this point.

Lisa also relates an interesting story about two girls who had been regulars to her store but, three years later, one had found comics "not cool" and asked the other not to bring over her comics to a sleepover. Honestly, this story rather parallels the classic development of comic fans through the ages. It was no different that the 1970's when I recall going over to a kid who lived next door and asking him is he was still buying Detective Comics since this new Marshall Rogers guys was really doing interesting stuff. He gave me one of those "Oh, still playing with baby toys" kinda looks, and I realized that he simply didn't see what I saw in those books. I appreciated them on a completely different level, and so continued to find them interesting. It has always been this way, you could make the case, with genre fiction. Romance novels, detective stories and all the rest: they either engage or cease to do so when the hormones kick in.

In this respect, Manga continues to offer a great alternative to superheroes, and to give all the different aged tiers comics that they can move to. The teenage girl can move on to angsty teen stuff from a girls point of view in a manga book, but there, lets face it, little or nothing in the American comic line to move to. Certainly, one or two of the solicitations that I've seen for the Minx line look like they might make my last sentence moot, and I hope that they do, but we clearly have a long way to go.

As a retailer in a totally different business, I find myself looking to always broaden my marketability to people: to get different people to walk through my door, while not losing my regulars. Comic stores have long operated on the principle of just getting the regulars to come back... somehow. That's not good enough in this environment. Especially when you realized, and any number of studies on retail shopping will back this up, that the majority of shopping is done by women, why oh why would you not want to do something that would not appeal to them? If that mean not carrying the MJ statue, then good, don't carry it. It sucked anyway, in a way that the original Hughes drawing didn't. Don't carry Heroes for Hire #13. No tentacle rape here.

And here's hoping that 13 year old girl who still reads comics doesn't have her love of this medium shamed out of her. Stick to your guns girl!