May 6th, 2011

Peter G

Following Up On "Just Energy"

I hit the lunch counter today and the girl who is ready to take my order notices my annoyance.  "What's up?"

Some idiot claiming to be from Just Energy stopped by my house yesterday.

"Oh, yeah.  We had a bunch of them here yesterday."

Apparently, a bunch of them had flown into O'Hare (and boy are their arms tired!  I know!  I don't know how I got so funny, either!) and stopped by there for a group lunch.

So, on the bright side, the guy was a legit person and not some scammer.

Well, sort of.  The whole, "I'll wait here while you go get it" still pisses me off.

Please Write Your Request On A Hundred Dollar Bill Before Submitting It

So, let's see, the Stress Puppy graphic novel?  Holly is a geek, and both she and Raff have made comic book jokes.  But it's a GN that's been out since 2009.

Sound Waves?  Rhapsody is a reader, but I've shown her reading regular books, not comics.  Scratch that one.

Quantum Redshift?  Rose is a comic book nut, she'd be a natural.  Of course, every publisher rejected it, so no dice.

Red Riding Hood?  Head Above Water?  Safe Passage?  All set in medieval times.  Get real.

Hannah Singer
?  I've implied she reads comic books (and Fairchild makes a reference to The Endless in a story in the next book), but come on.

I'm thinking about what series I have that could be a special cheap publicity stunt alternate gimmick cover.  I would set it up so that comic stores that order so many copies of my book would get a special cover featuring the store on there somewhere.  Only I'd be a lot less harsh on the terms.  The beauty of print on demand is you don't have to shaft people.

Readers will remember me discussing Godzilla #1 from IDW.  If your store ordered 500 copies, you got all of them with a special cover featuring Godzilla destroying your comic store with the logo (and, for a couple, actual employees) prominently featured.  Estimates are it boosted sales of the book by over 35,000 copies and some people went on road trips to try to collect as many as they could.

Avatar announced at C2E2 that they wanted in on the act.  They are launching a line-up called Boundless that will feature "empowered female leads" (read that: amazing chicks with big racks), with new titles mixed with old Avatar series like Pandora (a series that really redefined "wasted potential").  The launch title will be War Goddess, which already has four variant covers, including the one pictured here.  Oh, look.  Phallic tentacles, including one aimed up her crotch.  How novel.  Rob Liefeld called, he wants his headgear back.  If your store orders 150 copies of War Goddess, you get the name of the store on the cover.  If you order 350, you basically commission the cover you want (oh, dear lord, why am I afraid some of these are going to be kept behind the counter and sold in a plain brown wrapper?).

Now, Marvel is getting in on the act.

Amazing Spider-Man  #666 will have two different variant covers, depending on how many copies the retailer orders.  The regular number?  A picture of the comic book store will appear on the Daily Bugle newspaper that appears on the cover of the comic.  Or, if you order the really high number, you get a cover with Spider-Man defending your comic store from some menace or another.

I am looking to see how many copies will have to be ordered, but either way, this doesn't look good.  This means, basically, stores will have to place two orders to get in on the custom cover hunt, and one will have to be lower than the other.  And I still want to know how many copies.  Marvel and DC are very good with one variant edition per 200 regular comic deals.  This means, if the store is unlucky enough to have someone who wants a variant cover, they will have to buy the 200 copies just to get it.  If they don't have other stores to spread the books around to absorb the cost (or if more than one customer wants that variant), they are soooooo screwed.

Publishers seem to be skipping the stores in their focus on the customers, forgetting it's the stores going out on a limb for these goofy stunts.  I mean, if you want to do a variant, would it kill you to just make it available for whoever wants it?  (The variant covers for Sound Waves  #4 and #5 are available for anyone who wants them, although I haven't sold one, I just gave them away to the people that wanted them.  Only five people did, so it's not like I broke the bank.  In fact, I own more copies of the variants than are out in general circulation.)

I'm guessing this is why I'm not successful as a comic publisher -- I'm not cold, calculating, and callous enough.

No Need For Brainwashing For Clean Thoughts

Today, guys around the world owe a debt of gratitude to Terri Fisher.

Fisher is a psychologist at The Ohio State University, Mansfield.  She is one of the people that heard that old chestnut, "A guy thinks about sex every seven seconds."  Well, she decided to use the resources at her disposal to see if that was true.

The results of her research as reported to LiveScience?  Turns out guys think about sex 18 times a day.  Several men recorded thinking about sex only once a day.  (One guy reported 388 thoughts in a day.  That's kind of yikes, but if you allow time for sleep, that still works out to thinking about sex every 158 seconds, which still isn't every seven seconds.)

I can hear you women laughing.  And you know what?  She found that women think about sex an average of 10 times a day.  Okay, not as much as guys, but the old stereotype of, "Men think about it constantly and women think about it never?"  It's a bunch of crap.  Sex isn't the only thing men think about more than women.  They also think about sleep and food more than women.

And so, next time someone tells you you are either thinking about sex or about to, you now have clinical proof they are wrong.  Science marches on.
This Makes Me Moist

Do They Offer On-The-Job Training?

This is going to get really really strange.  It's about a company hiring penis watchers.

What?  Who's hiring penis watchers?  No, not Vivid.  Chatroulette.  Chatroulette is a Russian-based web site where one could not swing one's dead cat without hitting a picture of a penis.  At the beginning of the year, Chatroulette reported a 60% drop in US user traffic (proving that when one economy suffers, it's truly felt around the world).  Andrey Ternovskiy, Chatroulette's owner, decided to make up the lost revenue by selling access to the guys whose penii were being shown on the site (yeah, right.  Anyone else believe nobody's lying about whose picture is whose on a site like that?).  “Every day, about 50,000 men are trying to get naked.  What we're doing is selling the naked men to a couple of websites—it's an investment for us.”

Well, that didn't work.  So Ternovskiy is banning the penii, in hopes of bringing back chatters who took off when the site had more dicks than a political convention.  To accomplish this, Ternovskiy has purchased "visual penis detecting software" (yeah, proprietary software.  No one on SourceForge has gotten around to this yet).  But he has also hired 32 people to watch all the camera channels and make sure everyone is staying zipped up.  Don't bother making the "cock blockers" joke, it's been done.

You know how, when you fill out your taxes, you have to sign your name, put the date, and what your occupation is?  Next time you feel self-conscious putting down "McDonald's" or something else that isn't glamorous, think about the poor person who has to put "penis watcher" down there.