Some entertainment stuff I’m looking forward to this year:

Movies: Coraline

YouTube also has the trailer in HD.

I discovered Sandman late, borrowing the trades from one of my (younger) brother’s friends around 1998 or so, then immediately tracking down my own copies. I lucked out and got a complete set on eBay for something like $70. Since then I’ve devoured most of Neil Gaiman’s work, be it in comics, prose, or movie form. The original novel of Coraline was very good, and it’s been adapted by the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is among my favorite movies…and what I’ve seen of the film suggests that they get it. It’s hard to believe it’s only two weeks away!

Other movies: Oddly enough, I’m only mildly interested in Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2: Can’t Remember the Subtitle, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the films have been steadily deteriorating after peaking with #3, IMHO), Star Trek, and Watchmen. I’ll probably see all of them, but none of them have me nearly as excited.

Comics, books, music, etc. after the cut: Continue reading

[Cover for DC Fallen Angel TPB 2]All right! DC has announced that they will be releasing a second collection of Peter David and David Lopez’ Fallen Angel!

The creator-owned series lasted for 20 issues at DC before low sales finally did it in. After the cancellation, IDW approached Peter David and offered the series a new home at their company. With new artist J.K. Woodward, it’s gone on to sell quite well at IDW.

Previously, DC had only reprinted issues #1-6 in TPB form as Fallen Angel vol.1. Interestingly, they re-issued it last month to coincide with the first collection from IDW, Fallen Angel: To Serve in Heaven.

Presumably one or both books sold well enough that DC has decided it’s worth reprinting the rest of the series. According to DC’s website, volume two will go on sale in January, and will collect issues #7-12. That includes the 5-part “Down to Earth,” introducing Black Mariah, and the flashback of Lee and Juris’ first meeting in New Orleans.

Fallen Angel TPB #1 (DC) coverIt seems that there will be two Fallen Angel collections on the shelves this August. To coincide with IDW’s book collecting the first story arc of their series, DC is reprinting their TPB of the first few issues of the original series.

Fallen Angel started as a creator-owned book at DC and ran for 20 issues. DC published a TPB collection of the first 6 issues, but stopped there. As much as the cancellation rankled, DC gave it a lot of opportunities… it just wasn’t a good fit for the DC brand (it probably would have thrived at Vertigo) or the DC sales targets.

Fallen Angel TPB #1 (IDW) CoverAfter it was canceled, Peter David took the series to IDW, with J.K. Woodward taking over the art from David Lopez. The first arc set in place a new status quo, and finally answered two key questions: Was Lee really a fallen angel? And if so, how did she fall? Fallen Angel proved to be a better fit with IDW, who immediately extended it from a 5-issue mini to an ongoing series when sales figures started coming in.

I highly recommend reading DC’s trade, which Amazon still has in stock. If you like that, pick up the next issue of the monthly. (Keep in mind that the art style is vastly different, and twenty years have passed, story-wise, between the end of one series and beginning of the next.) I don’t know how easy it’ll be to pick up the back issues, but the IDW trade will be out soon.

And who knows? If capitalizing on IDW’s success works out for DC, maybe they’ll see the light and collect the remaining 14 issues!

Last week Peter David signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Comics. The contract has exceptions for stuff he’s already working on, like the Spike mini-series and Fallen Angel (both at IDW). The comments on that post linked to an interview at CBR, which had this interesting remark:

DC has been great and I’m very pleased and relieved, bizarrely enough, that they cancelled “Fallen Angel.” Had they not, I’d be in a very tough position because if they were still publishing it and Marvel wanted me to go exclusive, well they certainly wouldn’t have let me keep writing “Fallen Angel” for DC. So, I would have had to make a really tough choice—weigh a comic book I love against my family’s security and health. Fortunately enough I was spared having to make that decision.

It reminded me of the time I realized that VR.5‘s cancellation freed up Anthony Stewart Head to join the cast of Buffy. Or that the Sci Fi Channel turned down the B5 spinoff Crusade in part because they’d just launched Farscape.

I do wonder, though. JMS also had several books grandfathered in when he signed an exclusive with Marvel. Those included Rising Stars and Dream Police at Top Cow… and a Babylon 5 graphic novel for DC/Wildstorm (which has yet to be finished). I suspect the facts that it was a media license and a one-shot probably helped.

It’s also interesting to read Peter David’s comments about Fallen Angel and Icon. You’d think Marvel’s Icon label would be perfect—bigger circulation, lower price, still creator-owned—but IDW put so much effort into relaunching the book that he felt it would be wrong to just pack it in and take it to another publisher as long as they still wanted to publish it.

It would have been odd, though. I wonder how many books have, at different times, been published by both Marvel and DC? The only one that comes to mind right now is Elfquest. Marvel reprinted the original series through Epic in the 1980s, and DC is now handling the manga-sized reprints, the Archive editions, and new stories (still from Wendy and Richard Pini).

I installed the Popularity Contest plug-in on Monday. It uses a bunch of factors including number of page views, number of comments, number of viewings on home/category/archive pages, number of pingbacks, etc. to determine the most popular posts on the site. At first it tracked the “Most Commented” list fairly closely, because comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks are the most highly-weighted factors. Then all the posts in the Buffy/Angel category started taking over.

Fallen Angel artwork by J.K. WoodwardIt turns out that a lot of people do image searches for things like “dark angels” or “fallen angel”—and right now, the #1 hit on Google for “dark angels” is the thumbnail I posted of the Fallen Angel #1 cover, presumably because I posted about both Angel and Fallen Angel in a post called “Dark Angels”. And because the Buffy/Angel category is full of more comments about Angel and Dark Horse, Google chose that as the page to use instead of the individual post. The default settings give a lot of weight to category views, so everything on that page has shot up to the top.

Speaking of Fallen Angel, I noticed in this week’s shipping list that the latest issue is listed as #2 of 5. This was the first I remembered it being a miniseries, but not to worry—it’s slated to continue.