Trending Issues

Fri
03
Jul

First DC, Now Asmodee. How Many More Hits Can Diamond Take?

Asmodee

While the departure was announced on BoardGameGeeks back in March, the departure of game manufacturer Asmodee from Alliance Distribution has been one that has happened a bit silently.

Alliance Distribution is the games arm of Diamond Comics Distribution, which took a major hit when DC Comics pulled out of their distribution contract this spring, opting to shift their operations to Luna Distribution and UCS, which allowed them to get product to comics retailers well ahead of their competition, who were still hamstrung with Diamond's COVID-19 related shutdown of operations.

Wed
24
Jun

Fear Leads to Codes for Survival in Comics Industry

CCA Pledge overlay image

It was a year of turmoil for comics professionals. Livelihoods were on the lines as those who worked in the industry began to see their peers picked off right and left, as the field of comics was being laid waste by the scythe of a force that had found it ripe for harvest. There were rules, arbitrary and unwritten, that had been broken, and the piper had come with the invoice, stamped "Past Due." In a rush of adrenalin-fueled panic, those still standing cobbled together a promissory note, a token to the aggrieved that they would change their behavior, codified for the world to see.

If you think this is a summary of the events of 1954 that led to the Comics Code Authority, it would be understandable. But it's 2020, and the professionals in comics are circling the wagons to protect themselves from threats internal, not external.

Fri
12
Jun

Blumhouse Hunt a Swiftian Satire Through Modern Lens

The Hunt Blu-ray

When THE HUNT was first publicized, it was received with a tremendous amount of online criticism. The elevator pitch was that it was going to be a riff on "The Most Dangerous Game" except that those hunted would be kidnapped Trump supporters released into the wilds of a private estate, to be chased down and killed in gruesome fashion by powerful elites. It was seen as further persecution of conservatives in some corners, and as the seal of approval or an open season on GOP voters by others. Paranoia, as the bards put it so eloquently, runs deep.

In truth, the film is actually a riff on "The Most Dangerous Game" except that those hunted would be... oh. Okay, so maybe the elevator pitch plot was actually spot on in that regard -- but it was hardly the whole story.

Mon
08
Jun

That's a Stretch: Hartley Sawyer Fired from The Flash for Tweets of Misogyny, Racism, Homophobia

Elongated Man Hartley Sawyer Fired from Flash

The Hollywood Reporter has just announced that Hartley Sawyer, who playes Elongated Man on The Flash on the CW Network, has been fired over tweets that have been deemed misogynistic, racist, and homophobic.

The tweets, dating from 2011 through 2014, were all posted before he began his stint on the DC Comics supehero show about the Fastest Man Alive, and read:

Sun
07
Jun

The DC / Diamond Divorce Dominates Discussion: The LCS Guys

The LCS Guys talk DC and Diamond

The buzz of the comics industry this week has centered around the shocking (or not so shocking) news that DC has ended its decades-long arrangement with Diamond Comics Distributors in favor of splitting their workload over two smaller distributors, Lunar and UCS.

Naturally, that was the dominating topic in this week's round table with The LCS Guys -- Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics, Berkely, California; Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois; Michael Tierney of The Comic Book Store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Ryan Seymore of Comic Town in Columbus, Ohio. Find out how retailers feel about the decision, their hopes and concerns, as well as what's selling this week and what's languishing on the shelves, as we settle in for another bullpen session.

Fri
29
May

False Statements, Lies Pressure Alterna Into Releasing Police Reports on 2019 Swatting

Tweeted Accusations

In February of 2019, Alterna Comics publisher Peter Simeti was on a live stream broadcast from his apartment, when a knock at the door drew him away from his microphone. The stream was left running, and viewers could clearly hear the police enter the apartment and question Simeti, in response to a 911 call about a violent domestic disturbance.

The violence did not happen. The call was faked -- what is termed a "SWATting" in which the perpetrator calls the police pretending to be in distress or emotional turmoil, specifically the kind that would urge police to enter with weapons drawn. The obvious intent is that the person targeted would thus be harmed by the police.

Mon
11
May

COVID-19 Quarantine an Aggravation for Families, Game Manufacturers, a Payday for Investors

Board Game Shelf

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good," the expression goes, meaning that most bad situations are at least good for someone. Thus it is that with most events of impact, a canny person can predict where the money will flow and try to get ahead of it. The greatest example of this would be the baby boom; hindsight shows how this influx to the population caused economic grown in various markets as that demographic reached different stages -- baby supplies at first, fast food in their youth, durable goods in their adulthood, financial planning in their retirement years.

Mon
11
May

Comics Retailers Weigh In on Changes in Distribution Paradigm

After the Great Disaster

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Critical Blast has been meeting regularly with comic shop owners through online roundtable meetings to discuss how they are finding ways to stay afloat. Some stores are in states where business closures have been mandated. Others are in states where they are open but without new product because the sole distributor for comic books, Diamond Comics Distribution, closed down, leaving those stores essentially closed as well.

With new distributors entering the game, thanks to intervention on behalf of DC Comics, we meet once again with Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois, Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, California to catch up on how the latest shifts in this new and untamed business landscape have affected them.

Thu
23
Apr

32 Days Without Comics: COVID-19's Crisis in Infinite Comic Shops Continues

32 Days Without Comics

With a large portion of the country locked down economically due to COVID-19 restrictions, comic shop retailers find themselves in an unusual predicament. While many shops are open in states that have not had mandatory shutdowns, they nevertheless find themselves without product due to the shutdown at Diamond Comics Distribution, the lynchpin of the entire direct market system.

Thu
09
Apr

Crisis in Infinite Comics Shops: How the Corona Shutdown is Impacting Retailers Across the Country

No Comic Book Day

Across the country, small businesses, deemed non-essential, have been shut down. And while some states have not issued such orders due to their lack of cases of the coronavirus COVID-19, may are still feeling the pinch.

Fri
27
Mar

Eastwood's Richard Jewell a Captivating Look at a Moment in History

Richard Jewell

Clint Eastwood's RICHARD JEWELL is a compelling look at the actual events of 1996 and the bombing that took place at the Olympic Games in Atlanta Georgia.

When an AT&T security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious backpack, he insists police investigate it. This was a pre-9/11 world, where people weren't as hyper-aware of abandoned knapsacks and packages. Inside the pack were three very large pipe bombs, and the evacuation of the area is ordered. When the bomb went off, 111 people were injured, and Alice Hawthorne (44, Albany, Georgia) and Melih Uzunyol (40, Turkey) lost their lives. But the devastation could have been much worse. By all rights, Richard Jewel was a hero.

Until the FBI and the media decided he wasn't, and began profiling him as the person who planted the bomb in order to set himself up to look like a hero.

Fri
06
Mar

Blood in the Water: Fowler Double-Scalps Murphy, TenNapel

Blood in the Water Fowler Murphy TenNapel

It's been a while since indie comics pro Tess Fowler has claimed another career in the comics industry. That dry spell may be over now, depending on how events shape up after today's astonishing announcement from DC Comics writer/artist Sean Gordon Murphy, the driving force behind the best-selling BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT franchise.

In fact, reception to the WHITE KNIGHT line has been so encouraging to DC that they gave him the reigns to his own little universe -- the Murphyverse -- with power to hire talent for issues that would appear between extended runs.

Sat
22
Feb

Ten Potential Suggestions to Replace Dan DiDio at DC Comics

Dan DiDio out as Publisher at DC Comics

There's a power vacuum at the hallowed halls of DC Comics, home to supehero icons such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. On Friday, February 21, a late-day announcement was made that Dan DiDio was no longer the co-publisher of the stable of titles.

Speculation immediately spread throughout the fandom, wondering what this might mean for DC Comics. What was the reason for the sudden departure? Would a replacement be named? What impact would this have on DiDio's pet project, the heavily touted "5G" or "Generation 5" launch coming later in the year?

While those are questions for which we await answers with bated breath, we thought it would be a fun little exercise to look at some of the candidates in the industry that might find themselves suddenly getting a call to interview for the open position.

Tue
18
Feb

Lobdell, Northcott Swing for the Fences with Everglade Angels GN

Everglade Angels

The titular EVERGLADE ANGELS are a girls' baseball team whose trip to the championships leads them into the arms of masked killers deep in the Florida swamps.

It's 1997, and the Everglade Angels have clinched their trip to the playoffs, due in no small part to the outstanding performance of Gemma Walsh, daughter of team coach Abigail Walsh. Gemma's definitely the alpha among the team players, the main ones being Naomi, Lacey, Grace and Portia. The five girls decide to drive themselves to the championship game, and this is where their adventure takes a wrong turn -- literally.

Finding themselves lost in a small town, the girls get diverted to a party -- except there's no party there. Instead, there are masked men with weapons, and a strange chemical. They abduct Gemma, as the rest run off for their lives, only to return later to attempt a rescue.

Tue
11
Feb

Bird Flu: Femme-Flick Box Office Latest Victim of Coronavirus

Birds of Prey Sick

It cost 84.5 million to make.

It grossed about $81 million in its opening weekend.

Which has executives at Warner Brothers scratching their heads and wondering: Why is BIRDS OF PREY AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN not making money?

It couldn't be the wordy title. It couldn't be that the movie posters had all the mass appeal of a 14-year-old girl's scrapbook project inspired by Botticelli. It couldn't be that the few ads that were shown revealed the well-known intellectual property characters to be even less like their historical counterparts than any prior DC Extended Universe or televised Arrowverse character. It couldn't be that the R rating shut out a large segment of a target audience that could be remotely interested in a superhero property (if, indeed, BIRDS OF PREY was intended to be one).

Tue
04
Feb

Comicsgate Scores Expendables IP

Expendables Go To Hell

Sylvester Stallone has confirmed via his Twitter account that the greenlight has officially been given for a comic book extension of THE EXPENDABLES, the action franchise that specializes in reuniting actors from classic action films into the ultimate action team-up adventure.

That, in and of itself, is big news.

What is perhaps bigger news is the venue selected for the venture: an Indiegogo campaign, managed by start-up publisher Richard C. Meyer. If you don't know the name, you probably haven't been following the comics industry online for the past few years. Meyer is one of the most recognizable names in the loose-knit and frequently highly contentious confederation of independent creators collectively known as Comicsgate, an entity that has been attacked from without almost as much as it has from within.

Wed
20
Nov

Don’t Be a Cyberattack Victim This Holiday Season

Holiday Cybersecurity

By Alain Ghiai

CEO of GlobeX Data Ltd.

 

Not a day seems to go by without reading about the latest cyberattack.  With the holiday season upon us, the stakes grow higher as digital criminals exploit the increase of e-commerce activity from consumers.

Mon
18
Nov

Everything You Need to Know About "The Irishman"

Anyone who loves movies would love the idea of The Irishman; a movie that brings together Pacino, De Niro, Scorsese, and Pesci in a story about the Mafia. The Irishman marks the ninth movie Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have worked together.  It is their first collaboration since the 1995 hit film, “Casino”.  One of the best ways to relive that masterpiece is by playing online casino games. You can visit 888casino to engage in some exhilarating gambling action that mimics some of the gambling seen in the iconic movie. By revisiting this classic flick, you can prepare yourself for the 2019 masterpiece which is already tipped to be a big winner in terms of awards. The Irishman generated a lot of hype from the word “go” and now the time has come to assess what this movie is all about.

Sat
19
Oct

We Watch Netflix's Veronica Mars Season One Without Prior Exposure to the Series.

Veronica Mars Season 1

I had, of course, heard of the VERONICA MARS television series. And when Rob Thomas made history with his record-setting Kickstarter to make a VERONICA MARS movie, we were all over it, and reviewed the film upon its release. But the movie is, admittedly, my only exposure to the world of VERONICA MARS and her mystery-solving entourage. So we came into what is being touted as the First Season (it's chronologically the fourth) with an unmuddied opinion, free from canon and shipping.

What we got was, we thought, a pretty entertaining mystery series featuring a quick-witted private investigator (played by KRISTEN BELL) and her equally on-the-ball father, Keith Mars (ENRICO COLANTONI). She's in love with Logan Echolls (JASON DOHRING), who returns in this first episode from some top-secret trouble spot on the globe, and in possession of a set of skills that come in handy when Veronica has to crack a case.

Tue
08
Oct

Joker and the Myth of Media-Inspired Mayhem

Joker, Dr. Susan Lewis

It's the movie "they" didn't want you to see -- the film that glorified killing to such an extent, it was expected the easily influenced would take it as a training manual and copy the techniques to commit mass acts of violence.

But, thus far, the only reported incident requiring police intervention involved two men arrested for smoking during the film. (No word if the film was at midnight, or if the two smokers watching JOKER were using marijuana. Thank the Steve Miller Band for my going the long way around for that pun.)

So was all the media hysteria for nothing, or was there a predictable risk that JOKER could set in motion a wave of violence among those already suffering mental illness?

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