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This Week in Geek 6/25

by Matt Baum (07/01/08).
Cover of X-Men Legacy #213
Cover of Conan the Cimmerian #1
Cover of Madam Xanadu #1

As the rivers begin to recede so begins the new comics shipment delays. The shelves at your local comic shop may look a little bare this week. That’s not to say there isn’t a huge stack of new comics in your future. If you’re a Marvel nerd like me, between every Avengers book, three X-titles along with 1985 #2 and Iron Fist all coming out on the same day, you got buried. However, you might not know that there was supposed to be more. If you live in the Midwest your local comic shop gets their new comics from the Diamond Comics distribution center in Memphis Tennessee. Due to what Diamond is calling a “mechanical error” several comics that were supposed to ship this week will actually arrive next week. As for the nature of the “mechanical error”, nobody seems to be talking. I picture the warehouse robots achieving sentience and rebelling against their cruel human masters. Of course this is just supposition. I don’t have hard evidence of Diamond Comics mistreating their robot warehouse workers but this “mechanical error” sure sounds like a rebellion to me. Regardless, if you were holding your breath waiting for Madame Xanadu #1 try not to pass out. It’s coming next week. Unless you’re on the west coast in which case you should be in Nevada helping find the missing campers not buying comics. Which brings me to my first speculator pick of the week:

, DC/Vertigo, written by Matt Wagner with art by Amy Reeder Hadley
Why it’s hot: Matt Wagner isn’t a huge draw to a comic but he is a name that carries some some fan-following. Reeder’s art is gorgeous and perfect for a magic themed book. I don’t know much about Madam Xanadu and it always frustrates me when a regular DCU character crosses into the Vertigo U, I have a lengthy Swamp Thing rant but I’ll spare you, mainly because they seldom return to continuity. However, I love Vertigo’s commitment to high-quality intelligent storytelling so I’m picking up issue #1
Why it’ll go fast: Vertigo comics don’t move units on the order of X-books or Bat-books. It’s summertime and the crossovers are dominating the market. Look for retailers to slash orders on Vertigo titles, they tend to sell better as trade-paperback collections any way, to make room for larger Secret Invasion and Final Crisis orders. Even though Wagner has been around longer I would expect retailers to order lower on MX than the recent Bill Willingham Vertigo book House of Mystery (issue #1 checked in at #87 out of 300 on the Diamond Estimated Comic Sales List for May shipping only 30,190 copies)

”Conan the Cimmerian”#0, Dark Horse, written by Tim Trumen with art by Tomas Giorello.
Why it’s hot: Conan returns to the new comic shelf this week with a special .99-cent 0 issue. Truman had been writing the previous Conan series for Dark Horse, which I loved, when Kurt Busiek had been writing it. Truth be told the previous series lost me shortly after Truman took over the book, but I’m still excited for this new series. Mainly because Truman has said in interviews that the latest Conan series will center more on the original Robert E. Howard pulp stories where everyone’s favorite barbarian originated.
Why it’ll go fast: The fact that Conan checked in at 104 (out of 300) on the Diamond Comics estimated comic sales list for the month of May leads me to believe that retailers are going to aim pretty low on Conan the Cimmerian. If, and this could be a big “if”, Truman does stick closer to the Howard mythos this will be a great book and fans will be clamoring for the vastly under-orderd #0 issue. That is if (there’s that “if” again) the book is a success. Here’s to hoping. One thing is for certain; don’t expect to see piles of this issue on the stands.

”X-Men Legacy” #213, Marvel Comics, written by Mike Carey with art by Scott Eaton
Why it’s hot:If you’re like me then you don’t mind the occasional cerebral X story and have been enjoying Carey’s run so far. However, if you’re like me then you are in the minority thusly X-Legacy has been seeing lagging sales in the past few months. However, this month Gambit returns to the X-men in a desperate buy-this-book attempt to boost sales to Uncanny X-Men levels
Why it’ll go fast: Retailers have been steadily reducing orders since Legacy’s premiere. Most recently issue #212 shipped almost 7000 more copies less than #211. Only the keenest of retailers noticed that issue 213 was the return of Gambit and those same retailers know that nothing sells an X-Men comic than a dreamy Cajun in a pink jumpsuit. Personally I’ve never cared for the character and his stupid faux-Cajun accent, but thousands of female Gambit fans can’t be wrong (and yes they are mainly girls). I’m betting Gambit’s return paired with the continuing cutbacks on Legacy will make issue #213 hard to find very quickly.

Sorry about the delay this week. There was a mechanical error in my office that prevented me from getting this blog up in time. Until next week feel free to post to the forum topics in the comic books community and tell me what you’re reading/collecting. Also check out my other blog, The Comic Speculator, where I discuss classic yet still affordable back-issue comics. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question in the Comic Book community forum. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join Worthpoint for free and post your titles in the “Ask A Question” section.

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