I always like to look back on the last days of the year/beginning of the New Year and think about what has taken place! 2017 has been a fascinating one, with a lot happening in the comics industry.
So here’s what has taken place in the past 365 days that caught my attention! Feel free to add your thoughts in the space below if I missed something you felt was important!
WORD OF THE YEAR: ‘LENTICULAR’
Variant covers have been around for years, some with different colors or illustrations. This year, though, lenticular covers became popular ones!
What is “lenticular,” anyway? Here’s how it is defined: “of or relating to a lens.” That doesn’t help much, though! Here’s how I define it – a cover with multiple images on it that changes the one you see depending on the angle you look at it. If you know a better one, please post it in the space below!
According to my perspective, the beginning of the lenticular craze started with the four-part crossover event between Batman and The Flash called “The Button.” I was at C2E2 in Chicago that weekend, and I went to buy a T-shirt at the Graphitti booth. I was horrified to see a long line – as far as the eye could see – waiting to buy something. The guy behind the booth called me over when he saw I was interested in a shirt so he could sell it to me. “What’s the line for?” I asked. “That new issue of Batman with the lenticular cover,” he told me.
My first impulse was to get in that line, too! But I was helping out at a booth, so I had to get back to work! I never even asked what “lenticular” was. I just knew it was hot!
That was my first exposure to lenticular covers. It would not be the last. Both DC and Marvel have sold comics with that kind of cover on it many times after that.
I like this format quite a lot but, DC fan that I am, I have felt that the House of Ideas doesn’t have the artwork line up as well as DC does. But what do I know?
However, I think we’ve passed the highest point of lenticular popularity with the recent Marvel covers highlighting classic ones that transform into current versions of the same. That was a LOT of them, and many fans passed on them.
We’ll see if someone comes up with a new way to capitalize on lenticular covers in 2018!
THE X-MEN ARE BACK!
At the early part of 2017, many of us were bemoaning the fact that the mutants had crashed and burned in Marvel. I know many fans who were grieving tremendously at the loss of their popularity. Some of us wondered if they would ever come back!
During 2017, the House of Ideas brought the mutants back with X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold. They’re obviously selling so well that in early 2018, look for X-Men Red led by Jean Grey.
I’m happy for their success! These books even overcame some controversy when an artist inserted some politically concerning sequences in the debut issue of one. In fact, it seems that it’s made copies of that issue more collectible! Sheesh!
My biggest fear is that the X-Men will become oversaturated again! If we get to X-Men Chartreuse or X-Men Puce, we’ll know we’re in trouble, okay?
Years in the making, the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank miniseries Doomsday Clock is selling tremendously well! I personally find the book extremely compelling, with surprises galore!
I’m sure Alan Moore hates it, and he’s certainly entitled to, but I can’t wait to find out what will happen next!
Local stores opened their doors about midnight on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to start selling copies, another practice that’s become really popular in the past year or two. It always makes me think of Thursday night showings of popular movies. Sometimes you just can’t wait until Wednesday during the day to read your comics!
This kind of interest has been good for the industry, I think! There is still a lot to be done, but I’m optimistic!
In a previous column this year, I talked about how Alterna Comics has worked with Toys R Us and other stores to get their books for sale there.
I still think that’s a HUGE development! Getting new readers and fans is paramount for the industry, and making comics easy to access, including new locations, is critical!
I hear rumors of other creators wanting to get in on that action, and I don’t blame them. The more fans you get, the more comics you sell, in my opinion.
I hope Marvel and DC both get going on this! I don’t want to put local comics shops out of business, but I think we can have both kinds of locations active and not compete against each other.
What do you think about these developments? What else happened in 2017 that you think should be recognized? Whatever your opinions, be sure to share them in the space below!