Last week’s column on the switching of the SHOWCASE PRESENTS BATGIRL cover garnered more email and message board response than any other Busted Knuckles column before. Over 300 emails just on that subject were crammed into my mailbox within 24 hours of the column being put up. By the end of the week there were well over 2,000. There were also a few phone calls from various newspapers that wanted to follow up on it.

The responses were all over the place. Some were outraged with the cover, some thought it was harmless and others were befuddled why so many even cared. It was like an episode of Jerry Springer come to life. I was happy to find a few emails that thought the passion and outrage could’ve better been used to bring attention to finding a way to increase the broken distribution system of the direct market and find a profitable way to mesh the wide exposure of the mass market with the deeper discount of the direct market. There’s always hope.

Others felt that there’s a need for a mainstream comics to focus more story telling on character development and less on a never-ending event. They mentioned that a climactic war or event becomes anti-climatic when you don’t care or really know the characters involved. One reader brought up that they recently bought and read Marvel’s Civil War event to discover that half way through she realized that Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic weren’t the characters she had known and enjoyed for the past three years.

A good third of the emails on the Batgirl cover came from female readers, (believe it or not, Busted Knuckles has a very strong female readership) that voiced that they found the Batgirl cover cute and “got” what DC was trying to represent with it’s 60s humor cover. One female reader wondered why so much fuss was being made in the name of sexism when the general population and media thrives on anything with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and a dozen other daily examples of living sexism. She mentioned that the topic came up at her local comic shop and some customers were outraged by the Batgirl cover and within 5 minutes they were gossiping with incredible knowledge about how sexy they thought the school girl outfit that some character in the latest Manga book was wearing.

Don’t get me wrong, there were quite a few emails where the readers were livid because they felt that DC Comics was sexist with the cover and that they have done a great injustice to women just like Marvel Comics did with the Mary Jane statue and the Heroes For Hire cover. I’ll have to add that those emails were generally a little less civil and were laced with a good dose of profanity.

Like I said, the responses were all over the place.

I still think that the best way to end something you don’t like is to vote with your wallet. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you want to do more then you can also write an email or even better, a physical letter to the publisher. You can post a blog and send the link to as many people as you can think of. You can get a column much like Busted Knuckles and voice your opinions and if you really feel the need to argue with others endlessly then there are always the message boards and forums. If you’re really outraged you can also write to the media, local, nationally, internet and bring it to their attention. They love stuff like this that they can turn into a fluff piece and show footage of fans dressed up in goofy costumes waiting in line to go to a convention.

I do want to thank everybody that took the time to read last week’s Busted Knuckles and took the time to write. I really do appreciate it. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the comic book business in the last 20 years and this only adds to the stories for my book that I’ll write one day on this funny book business.

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot? comic books aren’t funny anymore.

Chuck Dixon Gets A Make Over

The Negative Zone, The Phantom Zone, Earth Two, The City Of Kandor and now The Dixonverse. They’ve all changed through the years and now Chuck Dixon with his league of Dixonites have changed the face of the Dixonverse.

Popular comic book writer, Chuck Dixon, has recently made big changes to his very entertaining website and now he wants to share these changes with you. His ever-growing message board now has a new look and easier access. He has added a blog where not only does he impose his will on others, but he is also sharing some very cool, never before seen, unpublished pages of art from his years at DC Comics, Marvel Comics and many other publishers where he has worked and made them barrels of money.

These pages are incredible and need to be seen to be appreciated. You also get some of the behind the curtain tales of comics that the gossip columnists just can’t get. Chuck is also one of the best reviewers of books, films and comics that I have ever read. From time to time he posts these review up on his blog and they are not to be missed. Chuck is planning on adding even more as the weeks go by. Dixonverse is quickly becoming one of the most hit on creator websites in comics. If you didn’t get a chance to talk to Chuck at one of the conventions then this is a perfect opportunity to trade words with “The Great Silver Wookie.” Chuck also makes a really weak attempt to out man me with his watered down version of the Manly Cover. Go over and laugh at his.

You can get there by clicking on this link:

As always, tell him Beau sent ya.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week

Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #17
Marvel Comics, April 1965

Long before Nick Fury earned his eye patch and was muddied up by modern continuity, he was a ripped shirt, jaw busting, machine gun firing, busted knuckle brawler in World War II. He lead his commando unit of specialists into battles that made Hitler soil the carpet in his underground bunker. On the cover of issue #17 Sgt. Fury showed why his adventures were the best. Surrounded by Nazis and crazed cannibals, Fury shows there’s no back down in his world. Armed with a machine gun and a machete he proceeds to fertilize the jungle floor with the blood of the bad guys.

Danger was his business and business was good!

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

Courtney Hansen
– actress / tv host / author

Courtney Hansen has to be the dream girl of every real guy out there. She’s tall, athletic, has that husky voice that makes ya melt, she’s the prom queen, tomboy and girl next door all rolled into one vision of loveliness. Courtney hosts the very popular TV show Destination Wild where she takes you to out of the way places where much fun is to be had .She can race cars, repair trucks, snowboard, water ski, climb rocks, white water raft and fill out a hot tub better than anyone I know. Courtney also hosts Spike TV’s Powerblock and has written a book called The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need To Know About Your Car. Is there nothing this 29 year old beauty can’t do?

Check out her shows and everything else about Courtney at her website:

The Roundup

I’m reading a good book right now called THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by one of my favorite writers, Don Winslow. This one is one of his best. Here’s a little info on it:

    Frank Machianno thought he had quit the Mob for good. The 62-year-old Vietnam vet has settled into a quiet life in his native San Diego: operating a bait shack on Ocean Beach Pier, running three other local businesses (all on the up-and-up), and catching a set of waves every chance he gets. But Frank’s sharpshooting skills are legendary (he wasn’t called “The Machine” for nothing), and when the head of the Los Angeles syndicate calls in a favor, he finds himself back in the game. Turns out Frank was set up, but it’s too late to change course; he’s already neck-deep in the world of the thick-necked. Winslow, a longtime private investigator, is no stranger to society’s underbelly; his past thrillers– including The Death and Life of Bobby Z (1997) and The Power of the Dog (2005)–vividly evoke the worlds of drugs, dirty politics, and organized crime. Although Winslow visits well-traveled Mafia terrain, his writing has a crisp, cinematic quality that refreshes the subject matter and will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard (without alienating the Mario Puzo camp). No surprise that film rights have been sold to Robert De Niro; the actor, who earned an Oscar for his performance in The Godfather: Part II, is set to produce and star.

This is one of Winslow’s most enjoyable books to date. I’m betting the movie with Robert De Niro will be great. Martin Scorsese is set to direct it. Anyway, give it a shot if you hit the bookstores or the library.

This week a lot of you will be making your way out to San Diego for the biggest comic book convention on the planet. I won’t be there this year, but I’m saving up my pennies and maybe I’ll make it out there next year. I just got signed on to write a high profile comic book/TV property this week. Maybe I’ll just keep adding to the list and have lots to talk to you about at the next Con.

Have a good time and see ya next week.

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin