Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The good old days: Comic Book Speculation

Trading will open up heavy.

So DC comics is either genuinely full of people who don’t know what they’re doing, or they are very calculating. Either way, they’ve pulled off a major comic PR coup with the All Star Batman and Robin #10.

For those of you who don’t know, there is a 2 page story in this issue where there is plenty of Batgirl profanity. Now in comics, the way to censor that is to black it out so you can tell there’s a word under there, but can’t see the actual word. Yes, for the first time DC has realistically portrayed the type of things that would be said by some drug dealing thug who just got his ass kicked be a smoldering hot giant boobed red head with a bat fetish (yes we get the “C-word”). You can read the news story here.

Unsurprisingly, this has created a frenzy of speculation the likes of which haven’t been seen since X-Force issue 1. Unsurprisingly, I dived right in. And unsurprisingly, there were plenty of opportunities to buy these books at comic retailers who have to worry about paying rent this month and can’t wait for DC to come back 2 weeks from now with a book they’ll probably sell less of (thanks Forbidden Planet). DC can bully the major distros into pulping a lot of these things, but not the shrewd retailers here in a city where commerce and money rule with an iron fist (even when the DC offices are right down the street here).

Collectibility and a market for it have always seems to develop together in some form or another for almost as long as fandom has existed. However, this is where fandom of culture and imagination meet the harsh realities of supply and demand. One of the more immune fandoms to the growth of collectability as a function of pure economics, is anime. With the exception of genuine original artwork, there are no real strong areas of anime collectibility save for those which more imitate American constructs. There are the few items like those UCC coffee cans and the old Viz color issues of Ranma and Inu Yasha from back in the 1990’s.

So with that in mind, I have some of these Batman issues and if anyone wants one, they’re $75 ea. You’ll see Batgirl say “Fuck” and what not.