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October 24, 2012

Axe Cop: The Best Fairy Ever

Ask Axe Cop

September 20, 2012

A very brief primer on Judge Dredd

The new film is out soon so if you want a modicum of preparation, read this. Everything You Need To Know About Judge Dredd
Born (well, cloned actually) in the year 2066, Joe Dredd grew up to become a street judge of Mega-City One, a massive urban metroplex encompassing the eastern coast of North America. By the time Dredd is an adult, most of the continent is a radioactive hellhole called The Cursed Earth. (Here are some wonderfully depressing maps of Dredd's world.) Because of the Mega-City One's sprawl, population, and science gone wild, the street judges — who must eschew all relationships (including sexual ones) in the name of the law — are granted the all-in-one legal powers of judge, jury, and executioner. (For example, one of the prisons in Mega-City One is just a giant ladder-less pillar surrounded by elevated highways.) And nobody epitomizes the Judges' lifestyle quite like Dredd. For example, he (almost) never takes off his helmet, will arrest you for the slightest infraction, and barely sleeps. (Explains Wagner, "He usually only gets ten minutes in the sleep machine, hardly time to disrobe.") It's also worthy mentioning that Judge Dredd ages in real time — since debuting in the 1970s, he's now a spry seventy-something. . . . Dredd's harshness is leavened by crimes that are often over-the-top ludicrous, supernatural, or a satirical commentary on contemporary society. Dredd (the movie) looks rather grim and grimy, but this tone isn't indicative of the character's historical tenor (i.e. Dredd's rogues gallery includes the morbidly obese). Joe Dredd is a monomaniacal guy, but he's not a loner. He's frequently joined by fellow Judges like Hershey and Anderson to do battle with such foes as the cybernetic Angel Gang and the demonic Dark Judges. . . .

September 14, 2012

Brian Hibbs on ethical capitalism and the growth of variant covers

Variant covers are one of the many poisons affecting the comic book industry. Superstar retailer Brian Hibbs explains why. Tilting at Windmills: The Heinous Growth of Variants - Comic Book Resources
. . . "Well, that's capitalism!" someone is going to bluster; "People should be able to make money in whatever legal way they can!" No. People should be free to make money in whatever ethical way they can. Laws can never keep up with the devious minds of greedy humans. The financial meltdown in high finance that plunged most working Americans into recession these last four years was mostly comprised of legal actions, and where people did illegal stuff, it was because there was so much legal-but-unethical stuff going down that people weren't able to, I guess, tell the difference between right and wrong. But there are reasons that markets need controls -- and that's because, unchecked, all markets eventually tend towards irrational exuberance. The thing is, we in comics should really know better -- we've been through this again and again over the decades. Are we incapable of learning from our past mistakes? I often think we are, because it isn't like I haven't been talking about this subject since the very first time I put pen to paper on "Industry topics." (Don't click that link, I was really an appallingly bad writer back then) (Then?) But, even all of these years later, the core issue is still the same: it is a moral failing, a pure degradation of the human spirit, to rook the guileless for material that you know is ultimately worthless. What's that? Yes, variant covers are ultimately worthless. Past the first quarter on sale (and usually the first week or two at that), there's seldom any demand of any significance for the overwhelming majority variant covers. Even very "rare" ones. And retailers know this, because we're the primary people buying and selling them. . . .

September 03, 2012

This MOdern World: Crazy Never Sleeps

In honor of the trainwreck of the RNC, Tom Tomorrow bring an extra huge This Modern World. Daily Kos: Crazy never sleeps