Archive for Predictions

A New Year of Horror

Well, it’s 2009. Not really feeling thrilled about it. One thing I learned long ago — every year is always worse than the last. There’s no reason to celebrate the new year — it’s just a reminder that time keeps passing, and that all our hopeful dreams for the future will inevitably end up as ashes and dust.

I came up with some predictions last year at this time, and they were generally wildly off-base, as most predictions are. The problem was that I tried to mix some optimism in with the pessimism, which isn’t a mistake I’ll make again.

Short-and-simple predictions:

Dan DiDio will stay on at DC, and Joe Quesada will stay on at Marvel. They’ll continue to make rotten comics, because their movies will make money, and their stockholders only care about how much money the movies make, not whether the comics are any good or not. Movies are big business — comics are small business.

More comics cancellations on the way, all for comics that don’t suck. Readers seem to hate comics that are good, and with the worsening economy, the publishers won’t be willing to stick with comics that don’t sell.

More giant crossovers on the way. Because the last thing you need in a rotten economy is a giant crossover that forces readers to spend their dwindling leisure dollars on badly-written crossovers that will be ignored next year anyway.

Bankruptcies ahoy. DC may be safe, because they’re part of Time-Warner. Marvel is a smaller fish, so they may be on shakier ground — on the other hand, the movies make lots of money, so that may help a lot. Lots of smaller publishers are probably on the verge already. I have no idea which ones, ’cause for some reason, they won’t let me look at their budgets and account info. But I think we’ll see some of them go belly-up.

Is that enough predictions? Probably so. Let’s hit a couple quick reviews. And just to stick with the bleak, depressing, pessimistic, staring-doom-in-the-face mood I’ve been working with, let’s look at a couple horror comics.

crossed2

Crossed #2

We follow our small pack of survivors as they continue to try to avoid the attention of the Crossed — people who have become infected with a condition that turns them into psychotic, sadistic serial killers. The only way to tell one of the Crossed from a normal person is the bloody cross-shaped rash that develops on their faces. Anyway, our survivors make a narrow escape from a group of gun-slinging Crossed in which one of their number are injured by gunfire. They also discover two things about their adversaries: first, that the Crossed sometimes turn on each other when they can’t find anyone else to kill, and second, that the Crossed aren’t just giggling zombies — they can think, they can plan, and their strategies are, while twisted, dangerously effective.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Have I warned y’all before that this is not a comic for kids? I’ll do it again. Parents, feel free to enjoy this comic for all its horrifying, depressing beauty, but don’t go thinking all comics are for kids and leave it with your child’s Archie books. There’s nudity here, there’s a great deal of violence, there’s adult content galore. I’m not saying it’s a bad comic — this is an absolutely excellent comic. It has everything you want in horror, and one of these days, it’s going to get made into an outstanding horror movie. I highly recommend it for adults. I just don’t think you should give it to the kiddies.

necronomicon4

Necronomicon #4

Well, I missed several issues of this one, but it looks like innocent collegian Henry Said is in over his head. The people he thinks of as his friends have captured an eldritch elder horror and plan to torture it to learn of its masters’ plans for the Earth. Henry’s compassionate nature leads him to wait ’til no one’s looking, then he frees the creature. This sets the Miskatonic University crew against him, and the creatures may still try to destroy them, despite Henry’s kindness. And more trouble is on the way — Henry’s football-loving friend Maxey may have been co-opted, the horrendous Mi-Go are still active, and the girl Henry loves, Rachel, is slated to have her brain removed and transported to another planet. Can Henry survive when a war between the Mi-Go and the shoggoths erupts around him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It really is a tribute to the writing on this that I was still able to catch on to what was going on and enjoy the heck out of it, even though I’d missed the entire middle of the story. You’ll get the most out of this story if you’re already pretty familiar with the pulp horror of H.P. Lovecraft, but if you aren’t, the story and plotline are still pretty clear. (And if you’re not familiar with Lovecraft’s cosmic horror yet — get ye to your local library or bookstore and start reading his stuff!)

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Predictions for the Future

 

“Gee, Scott, why illustrate your New Year’s post with something as grim as ‘House of Mystery?’ Couldn’t you have found a happier cover?”

Well, let’s just say that, the way I view 2008, that’s the most optimistic illustration I could use.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis: It’ll suck less, but it’ll still suck. And it’s going to lead into…

Infinite Crisis: …which is going to suuuuuck. Yes, even with Grant Morrison attached. Any changes made will be undone as soon as people start realizing how awful the changes are.

After Infinite Crisis: They’ll start planning for “Even Bigger Infinite Crisis.”

Spider-Man comics: Now that “One More Day” has thrown 20 years of Marvel’s continuity onto the trashheap, is there anything to look forward to? Actually, yes. We can look forward to, some morning in the next few months, when Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada looks at his sales figures and his shredded continuity and realizes just how badly he’s screwed things up. On that day, I hope to be looking in his window, laughing loudly. And then I’ll hit him with a brick.

Other people I hope to hit with a brick in 2008: DC bigwigs Dan DiDio and Paul Levitz, hack artists Rob Liefeld and Greg Land, neo-nazi thugs in general, and that guy who stole all my other bricks.

Blue Beetle: I think it’s gonna get cancelled. Very bad news, but the sales numbers are weak, and DC’s already stuck with the title much longer than it normally would. Read it while you can, people. And if you’re enjoying other low-selling titles, enjoy them while they can. I’m thinking there’s gonna be a bloodbath of cancellations later this year.

Secret Invasion: One or two A-list characters will be revealed to be Skrulls, along with several dozen Z-list characters. The invasion will fail after killing another few Z-list characters. Joe Quesada will be revealed to be a Skrull, and Marvel will bring back Spider-Man’s marriage. The series will end with a warning that the Skrulls are still out there, and everyone must continue to be paranoid… and then it will never be referred to again.

Non-comics predictions: My same prediction as every year — things will get worse and worse and worse. More disasters, worse economy, more things to make you wanna hammer yer head against a wall. The worst candidates will get the nominations, and whoever wins will get busy making sure that 2009 is even worse than 2008. And yes, I tend to be right on these predictions a lot more often than I’m wrong. I’m not a pessimist — I’m a realist.

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