Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bleeding Cool: Reading About What We Like To Read

 

BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #1 (Avatar Press, November 2012)

The first issue is finally here and it delivers on everything that was promised in the Issue #0 trial run that came out earlier this summer. Offering 114 pages of quality content for $4.99 BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE brings more of the “daily news and opinions about comics, TV, and film” that the www.bleedingcool.com website offers with less time-sensitive material but still some advance previews, plus detailed interviews and in-depth articles/content that would seem too large and unwieldy on the web. And it’s all done in the same respectful-but-not-fawning and serious-but-not-clinical approach that the web site is known and praised for.

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It’s a nice comic-sized magazine that should fit right in beside the weekly books on the shelves of our favorite comic book stores. Is it a cross between the late WIZARD magazine and the current COMIC BUYER’S GUIDE? I’d agree with that. While COMICS BUYERS GUIDE is now in a magazine format, it still feels and reads more like a trade newspaper. CBG is certainly more serious than WIZARD was, and so is BLEEDING COOL magazine. However, BLEEDING COOL has that magazine look and feel (glossier pages and lots of photos and art) like WIZARD but without any of the fan boy and uber-geek nonsense that (in my opinion) helped bring an end to WIZARD’s publishing days.

Issue #1 has many articles spotlighting some of the current and upcoming works of note from the smaller publishers (Marvel and DC are mostly absent this issue, except for the power list): BOOM!, Valiant, Aspen, Dark Horse, Image, etc.

There are two highlights that make this issue more than worthwhile for me:

1) There is Part One of a lengthy interview with Alan Moore in which he goes into depth on both the concepts, background and ideas behind THE COURTYARD, NEONOMICON and the recent FASHION BEAST. Moore is returning to horror comics in a big way with a focus on “modernizing H.P. Lovecraft” and I am delighted to see him devote his incredible creative abilities to this genre.

2) “The Top 100 Power List Of Comic Books” as assembled by Rich Johnston is a must read for anyone interested in the business side of comics publishing and who the heavy hitters are. So there are less writers and artists on this list than you might imagine - - and a whole lot more financial people and chief executive officers, etc. Johnston ranks them all and supplies a little rationale for his decisions. This is sure to be controversial and should provoke a lot of debate. Number One? = Jim Lee! Where is Stan Lee? = Number 27. Many of my favorite creators made the list = Grant Morrison (#18), Neil Gaiman (#28), Alan Moore (#30), Mark Waid (45), Ross Ritchie (#47), Garth Ennis (#53), Warren Ellis (#67), Chris Staros (#81), and Bob Schreck (#98). You can see the list and view the critical comments at http://bcool.bz/2012-top100.

There is also a neat price guide in the back of the issue that focuses on vintage books that have recently gone up in price and demand as well as current books that are demanding some higher prices for back issues.

Want to pick up a copy of BLEEDING COOL magazine but don’t know where to get it? There is a directory in the back of the magazine that lists all comic book stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK that are stocking multiple copies. In our area, look no further than THE COMIC BOOK SHOP in Wilmington, Delaware.

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