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  • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    Hmm. For some reason (just not paying close attention, I guess) I thought it was "Earth 2: Earth War",
    I'm old. Oh God I'm so old. First thing I thought was "Oh, that thing with Mordru in Legion?"

    Old, I tell you, old...

    which would definitely have tied it to prior references in FUTURES END.
    I have not been following Futures End at all.

    Perhaps I am mistaken about that, or was just confused by the fact that both weeklies will end in the week prior to the 2-month BLOOD MOON event, and intuited a connection that really isn't there. Is this series a crossover between the New 52 and Earth 2 parallels, or is it supposed to be pretty well confined to Earth 2 characters? Guess it *could* still amount to the same thing, but now I have cause for doubt. Supposedly "4 years ago" (from the perspective of FUTURES END in 2019), which would place the referenced event in 2015, all the Teen Titans died in the "Earth War" (as a matter of public record, at any rate), which was said to be between the New 52 Earth and Earth 2. Earth 2 refugees are now treated like enemy aliens on Earth-New 52 (which, according to MULTIVERSITY, should be designated "Earth 0") in 2019. Apparently there is no Earth 52. Might be a matter of perspective, I guess, with Earth 0 inhabitants calling it the Earth War, while from Earth 2's vantage point it's the World's End. I remembered seeing a red X over one Earth on the Multiversity poster, but that turns out to be Earth 10. Nothing similar over Earth 2, so either no spoilers on the poster, or it doesn't actually end.
    Fingers crossed. I like Earth 2 more than the regular Earth in a lot of ways, LOL. But then I've always loved classic Earth-2...

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    • Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
      I like Earth 2 more than the regular Earth in a lot of ways, LOL. But then I've always loved classic Earth-2...
      Earth 2 is my personal Kryptonite, exactly like The Ultimates is to you. Yes, now I think I see it... the "Ultimization" of the JSA, as you would say. The names and powers the same, but that's all.
      To put, perhaps, a finer point on it, imagine if Marvel had cancelled The Avengers first, and then offered only The Ultimates in its place. I imagine that would have had quite an influence on my reception of The Ultimates. Interesting as a "what if?", but a very poor sort of replacement. If anything, Earth 2 is an even darker universe to inhabit than the Ultimate universe. And the JSA that much more correspondingly brighter and idealistic (Golden Age vs. Silver Age, it is what it is) than The Avengers. And they took away the JSA's years of wisdom and experience as the "elder statesmen" of superheroes. No room for old fogeys on this ship, brother. Off you go!

      Those WERE, once upon a time, my two favorite superteams, in that order.
      Last edited by pulphero; 08-12-2014, 03:52 AM.

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      • Ah. To me, the new Earth 2 isn't like the Ultimate Universe, because the good guys are still basically good guys on Earth 2--the darkness they face is an external enemy, not their own corrupt natures as with (in my strong considered opinion) the Ultimates team. (For God's sake, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch having an incestuous relationship... bleargh...)

        Don't get me wrong, I miss the classic Jay and Alan and Ted and everyone too, whether on Earth-Two or part of the combined post-Crisis DCU (a wee part of me also misses Iron Munro and Fury and Flying Fox and...)--but I like the current Earth 2 as another variation on the theme. (It didn't hurt that James Robinson started the series and Tom Taylor is on it now... and for Worlds' Finest, that Paul Levitz writes that! I am looking forward to the latter series becoming basically tales of Earth 2 from the past...)

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        • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          Really? Nothing at all in England? All the Walking Dead, Buffy, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Batman: Arkham City/Asylum/Unleashed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, etc. comics only selling to those people who mainly just came in for their Marvel and DC fix?
          Well, in the UK, comic shops cater mostly to the superhero crowd: they wouldn't generally stock My Little Pony, and Doctor Who is pretty much taken care of by Doctor Who Magazine, which is available in any high street newsagent.
          No walk-ins asking specifically for any of these? Now granted, we are talking fractional percentages of the movie and television audiences here... But with most conventions becoming overwhelming media-oriented, no significant crossover audience whatsoever? That's a bit of a head-scratcher, as one would think both Dark Horse and IDW would have folded their doors, or at least significantly realigned their business model. I guess it's possible that without Marvel and DC, they can't exist.
          More than possible. Probable.
          But don't we really have to at least attempt to trick people into becoming fans of the medium? Every little bit counts. None of the older crowd first exposed to the characters through Batman '66, Super Friends, or Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons? Or is reading itself in such decline that all hope is lost for this industry, unless we're dependent on existing prolific comic readers as prolific breeders of new comic readers as well (even then, the odds don't seem very good...) Perhaps the whole economic model is so out-of-whack that there's no point in trying, after all. No concessions to accessibility for anyone, just make them work as hard at it as the readers 20 years ago had to?

          And it's possible that if you're specializing in vintage, there's really no crossover at all there, as opposed to a more general comic dealer.
          I specialize in vintage, but the people I'm talking about don't. Mostly, if people come in and offer them vintage stuff they can't sell, they pass them on to me.
          Now clearly, there aren't any neat and simple answers to this the problem, but I don't know if just allowing things to follow the course that they have been, and things will just work themselves out, is really going to do the trick either. It's possible, but it seems to me audience shrinkage over time is kind of a serious thing for the medium. If it's plainly a subset of the larger issue of literacy in general, then I guess there's nothing for it but the waiting.
          Audience shrinkage has been a serious thing for a long time. Comics audiences have been shrinking since the 70s, and they are still shrinking. It's a slow but inexorable process.

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          • Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
            Ah. To me, the new Earth 2 isn't like the Ultimate Universe, because the good guys are still basically good guys on Earth 2--the darkness they face is an external enemy, not their own corrupt natures as with (in my strong considered opinion) the Ultimates team. (For God's sake, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch having an incestuous relationship... bleargh...)
            I am REALLY hoping you will not take this the wrong way, Chast. But I must say that seems like an oddly intolerant attitude, considering where its coming from. Does the inability to produce children (at least, biologically sound children) affect the quality of love somehow? Is not "love and let love" the most important thing? Perhaps you didn't read it, but it was portrayed as inoffensive, genuine and not sleazy, in scenes between Wanda and Pietro (and was pointedly implied, while never graphically shown), while commenting within the context of the story that it was offensive to those who became aware of it. Because of their miserable childhood as children of Magneto, they have only each other to truly trust. And Pietro is even more single-minded in his desire to both protect his sister from the world, and the world from her (he is well aware of her reality-altering ability). But of course, if you're simply going to insist that everything Mark Millar touches is therefore tainted with evil, there's no arguing the point (although this particular wrinkle was, I believe, Jeph Loeb's, in The Ultimates 3). It occurs to me that the same freedom of expression that allows The Ultimates to exist and include a relationship between Wanda and Pietro is exactly the same freedom that existed with The Authority to portray a same-sex relationship between "Superman" (Apollo) and "Batman" (Midnighter), or indeed, the freedom of "a different universe" that allows a gay Alan Scott Green Lantern in Earth 2. I am, frankly, a little surprised at you.

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            • Um... I really don't think brother-sister incest is the same kind of thing as gay relationships.

              And yes, Jeph Loeb is responsible for some pretty awful things in the Ultimate Universe. What with people eating each other and such in Ultimatum... *shudder*

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              • Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                Um... I really don't think brother-sister incest is the same kind of thing as gay relationships.
                They are exactly the same. Both are social taboos that have everything to do with the perceptions of others (and others who are not, by and large, affected in any way by that relationship), and nothing to do with the love between two people (or three, if you're the creator of Wonder Woman ).

                You might find the idea of sexual relations between brother and sister personally disgusting. I might find the idea of sexual relations between a man and another man disgusting. But as long as I am not the brother, sister or man in those sentences it's none of my damn business, and none of yours either. Who am I to tell you who it's permissible for you to love, or how it's permissible to express that love? And who are you to tell someone else the same? See, not confusing at all.

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                • You realize that same-sex relationships being compared to incest has been a slur for some time now, right?

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                  • Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                    You realize that same-sex relationships being compared to incest has been a slur for some time now, right?
                    If you want to read it that way, it's your perceptual problem, not mine. It's only a intentional slur if one is prejudiced against one or the other, or both. I would surmise that's not my problem. If you have a problem with my not being prejudiced against any part of that equation, it's hardly my fault. Love is love, and love is blind. It's all good, as long as it's consensual (non-predatory) and no one gets hurt. What it looks like to the peanut gallery watching from the sidelines doesn't concern me in the slightest. If we're going to start making up arbitrary moral guidelines about who gets to do what with whom, let's start with this one: no sex between ugly people. We can work our way down the shopping list from there.
                    Last edited by pulphero; 08-12-2014, 08:55 PM.

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                    • (It probably also doesn't help that all I've eaten today has been one bowl of Cheerios and one small packet of chocolate-covered peanuts, so my clarity of thinking and stress levels are starting to get rather "off" and I should go eat. I will try to respond later. For those who don't know me very well, by the way, my notions on/approach to sexual matters are a tad different than those of many other gay people, as my screen name may suggest...)

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                      • (I'm sorry if I've been snarky. Some other discussions I've been having online have been.. fatiguing to me lately as well as distracting me from other things I need to work on tonight. No sleep for me, *sob* Prayers appreciated.)

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                        • Remain calm, Chast. I don't feel you need to apologize to ME, but I certainly would suggest you try to clear your thinking about these matters when you're better rested. It's not as if I've spent a great deal of time thinking about brother-sister relationships of the sexual love variety. Never had one, known anyone who did, or fantasized about anything of the sort. But there is a big difference in what's good for me, and what's OK for someone else.

                          At some point when I have a bit more time, I need to explain something. The only reason I was thinking about this at all when you mentioned Wanda and Pietro is that as it happens, I had just read The Ultimates 3 (aka "Who Killed the Scarlet Witch?") about a week or two ago. I had avoided it for some time because I'd heard it was pretty bad, and that turns out to be true - the story is mostly a piece of junk. As it happens, about the ONLY thing really interesting about it is this business with Pietro and Wanda (which is actually a pretty small part of the background story here), but I will need some space (and time) to elaborate on this bit of backstory and WHY it's interesting to me (mostly because of reasons of amplifying or contrasting or explaining the existing background story of the 616-universe P&W). Stay tuned.

                          I am not a believer in your faith, but if I might suggest something that I hope you can relate to, to meditate upon to put this in perspective, it would be these: "Love one another.", "Judge not, lest you yourself be judged.", and last but not least, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

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                          • Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                            Well, in the UK, comic shops cater mostly to the superhero crowd: they wouldn't generally stock My Little Pony, and Doctor Who is pretty much taken care of by Doctor Who Magazine, which is available in any high street newsagent.
                            But what I'm actually hearing here, Tony, is... Comic book shops are for comic book people, and by comic book people I mean people who read and like DC and Marvel comic books nearly exclusively. No others need apply. That's the way it's always been, and the way we hope to keep it.

                            Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                            More than possible. Probable.
                            Clearly, these are niche markets in comic book shops. Yet those niches are ones that Dark Horse, IDW, and indeed, Dynamite have found eminently exploitable, and have kept those companies in business. Even the Big 2 will occasionally dip a toe outside the main universe to help shore up the gaps. As long as the thinking persists that this stuff is only garnish on the plate, we are limiting what and WHO comics can be for, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The base requirements of immersion in history, lore and continuity in the Big 2 are in many cases, off-putting to a large segment of readers of more casual bent, just as they are the main attraction to another sort of reader. One does wonder if we haven't become a little bit too inbred for our own good (but that would be another conversation ). Variety is a good thing, and there should be more different types of comics for both different types of people, and people who like more variety in their comics reading experience. The point I think you're missing is that comics readers are made one at a time. Contrary to what Marvel and DC fans, or to put a more generic name on it, "the traditional audience", or Marvel and DC themselves might like to believe or have others believe, there is not only one pathway (or there doesn't need to be) to the comic shop door. That's the process. Step one, get them to walk in the door. Step two, get them to come back. Step three, get them to read even more comics. And so on. We should be using every type of lure, bait and hook in our tackle box to reel them in, and in fact, it's time to visit the store to restock that tackle box.

                            As much as I'm personally loathe to admit it, DC's strategy of leveling the playing field worked (and of course, media publicity helped). It got new readers. It's the only possible explanation to fit the alienation of long-time DCU fans like myself, who quit purchasing a score of titles or more in a single month, yet DC's sales still went up (yes, discount incentives and returns, but still). To ME, what was lost in terms of actual content was more than what was gained. But what was gained by the new people is they didn't have to jump in the water head first and swim with all their might in order to catch up to the boat. Some of the new readers started reading every DC title, but now have shrunken their DC reading lists considerably. But I've seen some of those guys (and some women) now reading more Marvel and Image and Boom titles than DC. Yes, DC's sales have settled down again. But it IS possible to get new readers, by hook, crook, or media tie-in. You can only work on the problem of KEEPing them if you can GET them in the first place.

                            I've been there in the store when the unbaptized "public" wanders in, and tried to explain things about how this business works, and sometimes, it's not easy. "Well, you see, they die. But that isn't permanent. They come back." ... and ... "But don't confuse that Batman with the 'regular' Batman; that takes place in a different universe." Just try to explain to someone the 'correct' reading order of the Civil War or Blackest Night trade paperbacks. Sometimes even as the words are coming out of my mouth I'm listening to myself and realizing how ridiculous it all sounds.

                            Now, I personally don't WANT a Marvel Comics line composed of "Marvel Cinematic Universe" comic books. But somebody's going to these movies (not me), so if Star Wars can do it, so can Marvel (together again, til death do they part). Yes, they won't be piling into their cars to make a bee-line to the comics store after exiting the movie, but you need to germinate and fertilize these tiny seeds a little at a time. If that's what it's going to take to get new readers and keep the comics alive as more than just a nerdy little cult digital comics thing involving less than 100k people altogether, then there will always be stuff for me to read out on the fringes somewhere.

                            Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                            Audience shrinkage has been a serious thing for a long time. Comics audiences have been shrinking since the 70s, and they are still shrinking. It's a slow but inexorable process.
                            See above. I do get the impression sometimes that current and long-time readers would prefer to see everything remain just as is, rather than open up this somewhat insular medium to the riff-raff, even if that means clutching the OHOTMU to their breast as the entire ship submerges. I've been there, so I know whereof I speak. I've been involved in a few shops on a part-time basis. Sometimes I wonder if I don't spend more time hanging around the current one than I actually spend at home (to tell the truth, I'm a little afraid to try to track the hours to determine this).

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                            • I think you're misunderstanding my position, probably quite understandably since as a non American reader, my perspective on comics is probably rather different than yours. I grew up at a time (the 1970s) when the comics industry here in Britain was thriving, so high street newsagents were full of comics from a variety of domestic publishers in a variety of genres, as well as American imports, likewise from various publishers (Harvey, Archie, Charlton Etc) including Marvel and DC. The American superhero market was just one small, rather niche, section of the British comics marketplace. By the early 1990s, the British comics industry was shrinking and for the most part changing focus, concentrating less on original product for the traditional readership and more on either comics for much younger readers (the so called "nursery comics") or ones based on licensed properties like movies, toys and TV shows-and that, aside from the 2000AD stable and one or two other titles, and a couple of very limited lines of cheap titles reprinting Marvel and DC material, is mostly where the British comics industry still is, but it's still there. You can still walk into any high street newsagent and buy comics. What you can't buy there anymore are American imports, because they, also in the early 90s, disappeared from newsagents shelves and became the exclusive preserve of comics speciality shops. And those shops for the most part only sell those US imports (probably 75% of which are Marvel and DC) and no home grown product. So, the comics market over here is now segregated into the wider domestic readership (the majority of whom don't really buy superhero comics) and the comic shop market (a niche group who pretty much don't buy anything else). The kind of people who seek out the 70 or so comic shops we have spread across the country do so because they know what they're looking for already; the millions who go and see the latest Marvel movie, for the most part, won't bother. Which is probably why UK comic shops report little or no audience increase generated by movies. I realize that's probably a POV totally unrelated to the US market, but then, I can only report on what I see. From my perspective, the only way American comics will ever sell again in the numbers they used to is if they can be distributed beyond the direct market again. And that seems unlikely at the moment, since the whole reason they went that route in the first place was because other outlets no longer wanted them.

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                              • Well, Tony, least it can be said that you have a home-grown comics market of some kind catering to a more general audience. In the US, outside of Archie Comics which you can find in digest format in many supermarket and chain convenience stores, your choices are either a comic book shop or a large chain bookstore (which would have a large-ish section of manga (in many cases, better than most comic shops), and a rather smaller section with a mixture of trade paperbacks and hardcovers from the usual American publishers (inferior to the selection found in most comic shops), along with whatever comic material the major book publishers are offering (in the latter category, again typically this would be a much better selection of this type of material than found in most comic shops). The traditional monthly format comics are pretty tough to find outside of most comic shops, although some bookstores do stock a smallish selection of only the most popular publishers and titles (there just isn't display space to devote to the hundreds of different titles published every month). Outside of that, just the comics that come in the daily and Sunday papers. Nothing like the tabloid or magazine format comic anthologies with several different strips of 1 to 8 pages that you have in the UK (although there are plenty of kid-oriented magazines that include at least some comics as part of their mix), just MAD Magazine and a couple of imitators. At least this has been my observation, although I haven't specifically been surveying this in the last couple of years. There may exist bookstore chains in other parts of the country (I'm from the Northeast) that have more emphasis on comics material. Major bookstore chains in this area include Barnes & Noble, Lauriat's, and Paperback Booksmith (the latter two mainly found in malls). Maybe someone else will chime in.

                                You haven't mentioned the traditional bookstores at all. Pretty much the same mix as here, or different? I'd assume they'd also carry the magazine and weekly comic anthologies (Beano and Dandy, if they still publish those) as well.

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