This week I’m takin’ a break from my Five Manly Questions With? feature. I figure I’ve gotta give these guys a rest. They ain’t used to pumpin’ out that much testosterone on a regular basis. I’m the only one that’s man enough for that job. So I hope you’ll bear with me this week as I just rant, ramble and mumble about stuff. Trust me, if ya have a couple of beers first it’ll take the edge off and might even make my words seem like they make sense. Or after too many beers ya just won’t care and just pass out.
The Man-Will Eisner
As most of ya know by now the comic book business, entertainment world and pop culture in general lost a good man just recently. His name was Will Eisner. Anytime I read his name, saw his photo or thought about him, the word gentleman always popped in my head. Above and beyond everything else, Will Eisner was a gentleman. He was always a professional. He was an example of what every comic book creator should be and act like. He was a living lesson. Now that lesson is immortal. I was lucky enough to be one of the judges on the first Will Eisner board that picked the best comic book retail stores. Working with Will was a true treat. He was always interested and kept up on what was goin’ on in the business of comics. He wasn’t just a creator. He was all sides of comics, art, story telling and a great human being. This past summer I shared a panel with him at the San Diego Comic Con. It was the IDW Publishing panel. There the audience got to see first hand how a real professional handles himself in a public venue. We could all learn from that. My advice to you is that when ya get the chance, pick up some of Will’s work. Look it over. Read it. Learn from it. The man had something to say unlike some of the goofballs that are collectin’ a comic book check now days.
The Name Game
I wanna thank all of you out there that have been sendin’ me the names of the comic book creators that ya want me to address my Five Manly Questions to. I’m writin’ em’ all down and keepin’ a list so that I can choose my next victim. The good folks on the Geoff Johns Message Boards, Mark Millar’s Message Board, Chuck Dixon’s Message Board as well as the ones here at Silver Bullet have all been a huge help with their thoughts on who gets drug by my tractor next. Please keep the names rollin’ in. I read everything that is sent to me here at the ranch. It’s not a surprise to me, but so far my readers have enjoyed the ladies I’ve talked to the most. Colleen Doran and Gail Simone… caused a lot of emails to flood into my box here at the ranch. I guess there is something to be said about bein’ a smart, attractive woman.
The Shovel To The Head Question
Speakin’ of my Five Manly Questions. The first and most popular question has been What Annoying Celebrity Would You Like To Sack With A Shovel Upside The Head? The other day, Lisa Browning, a regular reader of Busted Knuckles, was nice enough to send me a link to a website that asks the same question only in a more PC and civil way. The website is http://www.amiannoying.com. It gives you a huge database of well known, little known and hardly known celebrities to choose from. Once you choose one you get a page that has a photo of that person, (Sometimes a very funny photo) a section that gives you background info on that person, a section that suggests why this person might be annoying and then a section that suggests why this person might not be annoying. Then you have a place where you can vote Yes, No or undecided. Once you vote it shows you the % of people that think this person is annoying. It’s a fun little time waster that’s perfect for late night surfing or stealin’ time from your daytime job. I’ll tell ya right off, there are some comic book creators listed there. Folks like Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman and more. I’m sure that you will find a lot more than I did. Just to save ya trouble? I’m not listed, so don’t think you’re gonna get the chance to stab me in the back online. Just so you’ll know, the only person that I typed in that came back with a 0 factor of annoyance was Clayton Moore-The actor that played The Lone Ranger. Everybody likes him. As it should be. Check it out and waste some time.
The Media Sucks Like A Cheap Whore
I’ve talked about it here before and I’m sure I’ll talk about it again. The media and the way they report about celebrities. On the front page of our local newspaper yesterday was the story that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are bustin’ up. Unless I am a family member or theirs or a personal friend?Who Cares?
This was on the friggin’ front page. It was all over CNN and Fox News as well. Am I so far out of touch with the world that I’m missin’ the interest here? Why do people care so much about the personal lives of celebrities? Last time I checked there were sections of the paper for world news, local news, sports and entertainment. This story should’ve been planted in the entertainment section not the front page. Same with TV. They have different spots for each of the above mentioned topics. Why did they rate this story right up there with the news about the tidal wave that hit? Let’s look at it from the point of view of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. I’d hate to be in their shoes and have to deal with every Wilma and Wally-Mart wantin’ to know when the last time I took a leak was. Sure, these people makes millions of dollars doin’ what they do, but does that make em’ an open wound for everybody to jam salt into? I like havin’ this kinda news relegated to magazines like People and Entertainment Weekly. That was I can choose to ignore em’. I just don’t like it bein’ shoved down my throat when I’m not lookin’.
Stuff like this and reality TV shows continue to make crack heads out of the American public. True?we all have an inner Peepin’ Tom within us that wants to look through somebody’s life window and see what they’re doin’. But as humans were supposed to be able to retrain that darker side and give folks some space. The media knows we’re all possible victims for their celebrity drug and they are more than happy to inject it into our blood system every chance they get if it means money and ratings. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sittin’ here on some high horse at the ranch. If there is an actor, director, writer, artist or someone that deals in a creative profession on TV, in a magazine, online or wherever talkin’ about the creative process then I am glued to it. As a writer and a creator I wanna know how this was done and what happened to make that art a reality. What I don’t wanna know is who they’re datin’, sleepin’ with or if they fart and blame it on their dog.
Then ya have these shows like the run on VH1, CMT and MTV where they have I Love The 80s, Or 40 Terrible Videos or The Top 100 Worst Songs. When these are on I could almost go Elvis and shoot my TV with a .357 magnum. What ya got are all these borderline celebrities and life long nerds that were always the booger pickin’, wedgie wearin’, take my lunch money losers in school that now sit and make fun of the popular pretty people. It’s their chance to get back at the jocks and cheerleaders that ignored em’ in high school. Can’t they just get their nerdy revenge the adult way like Bill Gates, Tim Burton and Steven Spielberg did? have talent, make millions, marry a babe and rub that in their face?
I guess we gotta start by just sayin’ no to celebrity worship. It’s fine to admire somebody for their work, their beauty, their wit and personality or the pleasure they bring by entertaining you with their body of work. That’s a good thing.
But we don’t need to give a donkey dump about what they wear, what they eat, who they are in bed with, who they voted for and what they think about world events. If somebody puts them on CNN to talk about world events then I think the guy that does your taxes should get his time on there too. He is just as qualified as Ben Affleck or Sarah Jessica Parker.
Next time ya find yourself watchin’ one of these TV shows or buyin’ one of those magazines, stop and ask yourself why. See if ya tell yourself a lie or admit ya like diggin’ through somebody’s trash.
Recommended From The Ranch
Here is a quick list of some comics and trade paperbacks that I think are manly choices that you should think about buyin’ and addin’ to your collection of real man readin’:
- M.A.R.S. Patrol-Total War trade paperback. Dark Horse Comics
- Magnus Robot Fighter trade paperback. Dark Horse Comics
- Doctor Solar Man Of The Atom trade paperback. Dark Horse Comics.
- The Goon by Eric Powell. Dark Horse Comics
- Any book drawn by: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Ed McGuinness, Scott Kollins, Scot Eaton, Ed Benes, Ethan Van Sciver, Kevin Maguire, Bryan Hitch, John Romita, Jr., Terry Dodson, Frank Cho, Mike Wieringo, Steve Epting, Alan Davis, Salvador Larroca, Aaron Lopresti, Tim Bradstreet, Art Adams, and J.G. Jones
- Any book written by: Chuck Dixon, Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, Robert Kirkman, David lapham, Jeph Loeb, Andy Diggle, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Waid, Tom Waltz, Mark Millar, and Terry Moore
- Brids Of Prey-DC Comics
- Nightwing-DC Comics
- Adam Strange-DC Comics
- Green Lantern: Rebirth-DC Comics
- Hawkman-DC Comics
- JLA Classified-DC Comics
- JSA-DC Comics
- Spectacular Spider-Man-Marvel Comics
- Shanna The She Devil-Marvel Comics
- Wolverine-Marvel Comics
- Fantastic Four-Marvel Comics
- Captain America-Marvel Comics
- Children Of The Grave-Shooting Star Comics
- Doc Frankenstein-Burlyman Entertainment
- Strangers In Paradise-Abstract Studios
- Desperadoes: Banners Of Gold-IDW Publishing
- GrimJack: Killer Instinct-IDW Publishing
There are more but the rest you’re gonna have to hunt down for yourself. I can only be your daddy for so long, then I get bored with your mommy.
Dreamwave has just closed their publishing doors. Expect at least three more publishers goin’ out before the year 2005 is over.
Sales in comics are not what ya think. Don’t believe the hype. Sure they’re better than they were four years ago, but four years ago the hole was crater deep. Remember just how deep a hole that is. The sales of the top 20 comics have improved, but we are nowhere close to getting’ out of the hole yet.
People wonder why outside investors haven’t come in to start new comic book publishing companies or comic book distributorships. It’s because they have real business people check it out and have found there is no way to make any money.
The average demo of the comic book reader in the direct market is male ages 27 to 50. In college towns it varies it skews a bit younger.
The new Batman movie will be well received with both comic book readers and non-readers.
Look for small publishers with low overheads to keep moving up in profits.
The turnover cycle for creators in freelance comics has gone from 10 years in the 70s and 80s to 5 years in the 90s to present and we are getting’ ready to see it shorten to 3 years. Unless you are under an exclusive contract to one of the major publishers your chances of getting freelance work is harder. If ya got a contract hang on to it tight.
Art in comics right now is better than it has ever been.
Comic book writing is levels better than it was in the 90s.
The best ideas and most innovative writing in comics is goin’ on in the camps of the smaller publishers. All this is done without the aid of established 60-year-old characters to grow from. Thing is they are hidden gems and must be hunted for.
The cover prices of comics are not gonna drop.
Sales numbers for comic books are available on the web. Seek them out. Find out if your favorite comic book is in trouble. If so, help it out. Spread the good word for others to buy it and try it out.
These are just my thoughts based on my opinions and own resources. I’m Beau Smith. If I’m not right then I could be wrong.
Piss On The Fire And Get Outta Here
Well, that about does it for this week’s Busted Knuckles. I hope ya found somethin’ you could use or be entertained with. If not, then looks like I owe ya some time. Try getting’ it.
Make sure you stop by my website http://www.flyingfistranch.com There are all kinds of new photos and artwork up there. You might even see a few people ya know or wanna know.
For your guys out there all kinds of babe fans of mine have been sendin’ their photos in, so rush over there and bring your drool bib. As for you ladies? well? there are always photos of me.
I have a daily real man’s journal where I tell ya all sorts of manly, testosterone filled words of hairy chested advice. Some of it ya may be able to use. Please keep writin’ in. I answer all mail. 2005 is gonna be a year of change for us all. I hope that all yours will be good ones.
Kick theirs? cover yours.
The Flying Fist Ranch
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!