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WANTED--Dan Parent Tattoo Prints by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 06:14:42 am]


Favorite Purchases of 2018 by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 06:04:57 am]


Sliding timeline by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 05:58:15 am]


Stan Lee has died by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 05:24:14 am]


What comics have you been reading? by DeCarlo Rules
[Today at 04:32:19 am]


What are you currently watching? by BettyReggie
[January 16, 2019, 10:20:05 pm]


Archie and Reggie spend the night. by Wrial Huden
[January 16, 2019, 06:10:21 pm]


Latest Hauls, what did you buy? by BettyReggie
[January 15, 2019, 06:09:50 pm]


Baby Rants... by ASS-P
[January 13, 2019, 11:42:43 am]


Sears/Kmart by ASS-P
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  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Summer's End" from Betty & Veronica, Vol. 4, No. 1: [link]
    January 12, 2019, 11:02:58 am
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    January 01, 2019, 03:41:55 pm
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    December 25, 2018, 06:19:02 pm
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  • DeCarlo Rules: Archie Comics Presents . . . [link]  AWESOMESAUCE!!!
    December 22, 2018, 01:58:29 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "All Malled Out" from Cheryl Blossom, No. 19: [link]
    December 20, 2018, 03:09:36 pm
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    December 14, 2018, 04:53:47 pm
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    December 02, 2018, 06:14:22 pm
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    November 29, 2018, 08:36:52 am
  • rusty: Sorry for your loss.  7 years is pretty young for a cat.
    November 28, 2018, 11:49:53 pm
  • Tuxedo Mark: R.I.P., my sweet, beloved cat, Misiu (2011-2018). :'(
    November 28, 2018, 08:50:46 am
  • Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The New Archies": "Making of Mr. Righteous": [link]
    November 24, 2018, 03:59:01 pm

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Messages - DeCarlo Rules

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 163
1
Trading Post / Re: WANTED--Dan Parent Tattoo Prints
« on: Today at 06:14:42 am »
No reply from Mr Parent.


Any leads elsewhere?

Give it time. He's got a pretty heavy schedule, between his comic work, conventions, and commissions. I believe he and Fernando are still working on getting Kickstarter rewards packages out to supporters of the last DKD series. As I mentioned, AFAIK Dan's the only one who is (or was) selling those prints. At one time or another I might have seen one or two of those as T-shirt designs, but I couldn't tell you where.

2
All About Archie / Re: Favorite Purchases of 2018
« on: Today at 06:04:57 am »
It's been a great year! I became active on the CGC boards, joined Instagram to show off my collection, and joined this Archie Fan Forum to connect with other collectors and fans. And, as some of you know, I've been focused on collecting vintage Archie merchandise, and my favorite find, my holy grail, is *drum roll* ... Archie's Car by Aurora, c. 1969. I've been searching for this model in mint condition for 20 years.

I would love to see a photo of what the actual plastic figures of Archie, Veronica, and Hot Dog look like. And it does make me wonder whether this kit was specially created as a piece of Archie merchandise, or whether the car itself was recycled from some earlier Aurora kit. That company made a LOT of automobile, aircraft, and military vehicle kits in its history.

3
All About Archie / Re: Sliding timeline
« on: Today at 05:58:15 am »
That is a lot of typing. "And a time to every purpose under heaven."

I guess it must help to be a big fan of sliding timelines. Unless any of those things were actually referenced in a story somewhere, it's all just contextual window-dressing to me. In fact, I think a list of the actual contemporaneous cultural references made in Archie stories would seem a lot more interesting, but that's just me.

In contrast, I was just reflecting on Marvel's characters Captain America (and Bucky), Human Torch (the original android one), and Sub-Mariner. Those are some of my favorite characters at Marvel, in large part because their histories from the 1940s haven't changed (continuity implants/untold tales aside) in the 80 years of Marvel's publishing history. They're still referencing things that happened to them during WWII. I guess when they revived those characters in the 1960s they could have just said they were 20 or 25 years older than all the newer superheroes, and kept that gap sliding forward, but I doubt if I'd have liked those characters as much if they had. INVADERS #1 (2019) came out this week (written by Chip "Jughead" Zdarsky, coincidentally) -- the first salvo in Marvel's 80th Anniversary celebration. It made me go back and read some of the old Golden Age issues of Marvel Mystery Comics. Well, the Marvel Masterworks reprint collections, anyway. I wish DC would bring back the Justice Society.

4
General Comics / Re: Stan Lee has died
« on: Today at 05:24:14 am »
...Stan worked with Dan DeCarlo lots, of course - and probably much more with Stan Goldberg :smitten: :D :) !!!!!!!!!!! - on Archiesque material! ;D ;)  I think this includes a short-lived Marvel title from the turn of the 70s titled EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO HARVEY!!!!!!!!!

That could have been an alternate POV title for Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  ;D

5
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: Today at 04:32:19 am »
I'm caught up on the mainstream DCs now, except for a few that arrived in my latest shipment.

Heroes in Crisis 1-4 - I'm a bit conflicted on this series.  It hasn't been bad, but I don't really like some of the characterizations.  The deaths also seem kind of pointless.  We'll see where it goes and what the underlying secrets are behind the deaths.  It reminds me a bit of Sue Dibny's death way back when.

DC's been going off the rails for a while now with their pointless, brutal deaths... seemingly just to prove they can. Y'know, all so they can erase that "squeaky clean heroes" DC image that they used to have, and be taken seriously as a purveyor of grim & gritty fiction as-you-like-it. Ya know, just because something worked a few times (The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, Hellblazer) doesn't mean you should keep trying to recapture that mood ad infinitum.

Mystik U 1-3 - A younger Zatanna goes to magic school and meets John Constantine, Sargon and others.  I liked this miniseries quite a bit.
I didn't know what to make of it. Wait, Constantine was in this?? Are you sure? That wouldn't make much sense, even as a continuity implant or a parallel earth. I'm going to say it must have been some alternate, parallel DC earth; that's the only thing that makes any real sense. I really wanted to like it, but couldn't.


Wonder Woman 25-61, Annual 2 - This series has been pretty solid.  I think the Robinson run was my favorite, but the others are good, too.  I think we'll see Diana's brother return at some point.  There is still a lot that can be explored there.
I wish. But I doubt it. I don't know if Robinson somehow burned bridges with the WW editor or if he was just the victim of a general line-wide reshuffling, but it seemed like the book took a pretty immediate change in direction following his departure. Too bad. Greg Rucka's New 52 WW had some interesting stuff, but was way too hard to follow (and it didn't help that it was essentially two different alternating storylines for its first year). Robinson's run was the first to make me feel like the character was back on track, and it was nice to see a follow-up to the whole Darkseid reborn thing in Justice League. Too bad he couldn't have stayed on WW for a few years.

Jinxworld, Vertigo, the kids titles and other DC imprints are next.

Vertigo is like a whole 'nother imprint since the New 52 thing (and nowhere near as good). And now DC has a new one, Wonder Comics. Not sure what the aim is there, but it's another Bendis-spearheaded initiative that appears to be going for a slightly younger demographic (only *slightly*, mind you). Still haven't figured out if the new Young Justice is part of the regular DCU or some parallel earth.

6
General Discussion / Re: Latest Hauls, what did you buy?
« on: January 13, 2019, 08:37:00 am »
Very true! I love the hunt, but its becoming harder and harder to find items for my collection in antique stores. I do however seem to come across A LOT of Archie-themed Welch's jelly glasses and McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

Those Welch's glasses are fairly common. It seems like they made several series of those over a few years, during the height of the Filmation cartoons' popularity. They were fairly durable, and people did actually tend to save them and keep them in decent condition.

I was not aware of any Archie McDonald's Happy Meal toys, however. As far I know, the McD Happy Meal toys didn't really become a going 'thing' until the early-to-mid '80s, which would have been beyond the peak awareness period (late 60s to late 70s) for the Archie characters. You may or may not know anything about this, but as far as I can tell there's never been any sort of guide book for Archie collectibles. If you have any photos of those Happy Meal toys, I'd love to see them.

7
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: January 11, 2019, 04:25:59 pm »
DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special 1, Holiday Special 2017 1, House of Horror 1, Nuclear Winter Special 1 - These 80 page giants are a lot more expensive than the ones from the 1960s.  Overall, pretty decent collections of short stories.
These things always strike me as the 'Chinese food' of comic books. As in, when next Wednesday rolls around, you won't remember a thing you read in them. I liked the Swamp Thing Winter Special, though. There was also a Walmart exclusive one-shot Swamp Thing Special, which was a good mix of classic reprints with a couple of new stories for (IIRC) $6.

Deadman 1-6 - I enjoyed this series, but I think Neal Adams is better as an artist than as a writer.
But it could still be argued that THIS series was better-written than the original Deadman series. At least it attempts to bring some logic and some background to a lot of the unanswered questions (or poorly-thought-out explanations) of the original series. Actually, I was surprised because I didn't know WHAT to make of Adams' BATMAN: ODYSSEY series. That was like some completely different Batman that I'd never read before. On the other hand, Neal Adams DID take over the writing of the original Deadman series from its 8th issue after Arnold Drake and Jack Miller, and wrote the last 5 issues, so my POV would be that he knows the character better than anyone at DC ever did. None of the post-Adams Deadman storylines ever amounted to anything. I thought Adams set up a very interesting premise in the miniseries, but was disappointed that the last issue ended with the storyline unresolved.

Doomsday Clock 1-7 - This has been a pretty good sequel of sorts to Watchmen.  I've enjoyed the interaction between the DC Universe and the Watchmen Universe.
If it were true to the original premise of Watchmen, the DC universe would end up irrevocably altered by the events of this story. But I think we all know that ISN'T going to happen, which makes me wonder if there's really any point. I'm enjoying the ride so far, but can there really ever be any sort of satisfying climax and resolution? It seems pretty doubtful.

8
Trading Post / Re: WANTED--Dan Parent Tattoo Prints
« on: January 11, 2019, 02:37:38 pm »
Years ago there were a series of tattoo-style art prints of the various ladies from Archie.
Dan Parent did, em, I think.

I wanted to buy them then, but was distracted by...a shiny thing.  :crazy2:


Anybody know where I can get them?


If individual pieces, Sabrina, Betty or Veronica, preferred, in that order.

I have them, but I don't see them listed any more on the Store page at danparent.com. You could drop by there and contact him (it's in the menu) and ask if he still has a few left, or might be considering doing a new printing of those print designs at some point. There was a Josie "tattoo" print design also, by the way. 11"x17" prints go for $20 each, plus $3 shipping. As far as I know, Dan himself is the only person authorized to sell those. I don't even know if authorized is the right word here... it might be more of a "ACP agrees to look the other way as long as you don't piss us off" kind of thing. Heck, I don't know if he has a deal with some local printer to print them in batches, or even if he's got himself a nice printer at home that can crank out copies of any image files he has on a one-at-a-time basis. Doesn't hurt to ask.

9
All About Archie / Re: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina....
« on: January 11, 2019, 02:27:39 pm »
Plus you don't worry about whether any particular store is stocking the titles you like, or whether or not they'll be sold out before you get there.
This was actually a problem when I was ordering physical comics online from TFAW. If I waited a week or two after an issue came out in order to order multiple titles together and save on shipping, well, there was a chance that that title would no longer be available, so I was forced to order single issues weekly and pay for shipping each time.

The system of print comic book distribution has evolved to a pattern of pre-orders setting *VERY* tight margins on the number of copies of any particular item that the distributor carries. There are so many hundreds of items listed each and every month in the Diamond Previews catalog, that any significant percentage of overstocking on items that don't have "shelf life" results in Diamond Comics' warehouses clogging up with unsold (and in most cases, nearly unSELLable) items. I even have direct access to my LCS' Diamond ordering system, and I can tell you that in any given week there are any number of items which will ship SOLD OUT -- that means they can't even be re-ordered on the day that they're supposed to go on sale -- if you didn't get your advance order in before the cutoff date, you're out of luck. Diamond is ordering in quantities from the publishers extremely close to the actual initial order numbers submitted by retailers. Diamond wants most of their deliveries from printers to go out the door of their warehouses the same week. A few really BIG online retailers might have special deals with individual publishers (like  TFAW is owned by Mike Richardson, publisher of Dark Horse Comics), but most of their product is still coming from Diamond, so if you don't pre-order before the cutoff date for the retailer to submit his orders to Diamond, there are no guarantees you'll actually get the product.

All of this makes me think that the monthly floppy print comic book has really outlived its original purpose. In order for the comics medium to reach and expand its audience, the comics industry needs to revert to the newspaper model. Instead of comics being sold ala carte, they should be initially digital-only, and free (to view, but not to download or save) or bundled into a single low monthly subscription fee. They shouldn't even become print comics until there is a proven audience demand for the product, and then only in more substantial collected editions. That's counter-intuitive to the way just about everyone in the industry thinks though, most especially the retailers. The weekly Wednesday Warriors who buy between 10 and 40 or so floppy single comics every single week with clockwork regularity are what most retailers have courted for the last 40 years in the direct market, and that's what they use as a yardstick to gauge their weekly income (as well as planning their monthly orders). Unfortunately the collector mentality has ruined the economic viability of comics as a medium for everyone else.

10
All About Archie / Re: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina....
« on: January 11, 2019, 05:39:00 am »
I was paying a lot in shipping for physical comics, because there are no physical comic shops near me and haven't been in years (the only one that comes up in a search is 18 miles away, in the next county). So I quit physical comics in December of 2016, switched to digital, and haven't looked back.
As for the price of digital comics, well, I think $3.99 is a bit too much, regardless of whether it's digital or physical. But does anyone know how much that Archie pays the writers, artists, and letterers per issue? The $3.99 price might make some sense in terms of a way to recoup costs.
For me, it's always more convenient to read something digitally, because I'm constantly parked in front of my computer until my mom goes to bed, so it's just a matter of opening it up in my Kindle for PC program.
Digital all the way, save for a collection of some Archies done by DeCarlo, Lucey, Schwartz via Amazon...

Distribution is the absolute critical factor for a large number of people. For print comics, if you don't have a local comic shop, you don't have distribution -- except via the internet. But if that's the way you have to go, then why not just click on a button and download a comic rather than waiting (and paying) for delivery of the physical item? Plus you don't worry about whether any particular store is stocking the titles you like, or whether or not they'll be sold out before you get there. I worked out solutions to all those worries decades ago, so the distribution issue barely impacts me (except when a title is sold out at the distributor level). Having said that, if my LCS retailer was to go out of business right now, I'd probably go the internet route rather than finding another local store, and at least part of that would be digital... although it would probably result in my going almost totally to collected editions rather than single issues (I'm sure there would always be a few exceptions, though).

But I totally understand that people don't want to deal with the limitations in distribution of print comics, plus the storage and "collecting" aspects of that. They just want to READ the comics. For me, I spend all DAY in front of the computer at work, and a fair amount of time at home on the computer as well, so I'm looking for a way to get UN-ball-&-chained from the PC. Even a tablet is a little more hassle than I want. The screen's not big enough. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop the thing. Is it convenient to plug it in where I'm sitting, or do I have to check to see how much battery life I've got left? Ultimately the most convenient place to use the tablet is lying in bed. Maybe I just need a bigger screen tablet with a more robust battery, and some kind of sling or tether to keep me from accidentally dropping the thing. I wish digital comics were in the landscape page format, or desktop monitors would just swivel to display in portrait mode (yes, I realize you can buy such things, but they're expensive because almost nobody uses them).

11
All About Archie / Re: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina....
« on: January 10, 2019, 09:44:07 am »
I have a huge backlog of comics (and other stuff) to READ at any given time (plus stuff I'd love to RE-read again, that I first read years ago, if I can find the time), so my time is increasingly dominated by reading as opposed to viewing.
I haven't been much of a reader (of books) historically, but, last year, I decided to start reading ebooks, and I've been keeping track of my progress on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13874241-mark
Usually, I read 2-3 books at a time but only a chapter of each per day.
As for comics, I gave away a ton of unread non-Archie comics to a thrift store yesterday. If I ever feel like reading comics, I just buy the Kindle version (and it's usually an Archie).

I don't know what it is about digital comics, but if there's a print comic and a digital comic of the same thing at the same price I'll go for the print comic every single time. They're just a lot more convenient to read (although they do take up a lot more space). That said, I'm always on the lookout for digital comics that can't be had (at least not easily or cheaply) in print. Loosely translated, what that mostly means for me is OLD comics; comics that are now public domain that someone scanned and uploaded to sites like Digital Comic Museum or ComicBookPlus, or fan-translated scans (scanslations) of Japanese manga which the regular American print publishers have chosen NOT to translate. Or webcomics that can be saved by right-clicking the images. AND of course, what all those things have in common is that they're FREE. I might feel differently about 'regular' digital comics if they were cheaper, like maybe $1 for a 20-page story. I mean, I can see why print comics cost $4 for a single floppy. They're printed on decent paper, but they don't print a hell of a lot of them, so I can see where the money's going. Most people only think about what the writers, artists, editors, production people and the publisher need to charge to make a living... but with print comics, a large part of that $4 cover price is keeping a printer, a distributor, and a retailer in business. What's digital's excuse? It literally costs NOTHING to make as many copies as they can sell. There are NO material costs beyond the cost of initial production, no paper, ink, shipping costs, etc. Maybe they'd sell more if they weren't so profit-greedy. Yet at the same time, if they make them TOO cheap, then they're stabbing the print end of their publishing operation right through the heart. I say digital comics won't really be practical until they don't compete directly with print comics, nor do I want to contribute to the death of print comics, so I guess it's print for me, as long as it still exists.

12
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: January 10, 2019, 05:52:13 am »
SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #45 (May 1978)
SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #50 (Dec 1978)
BETTY AND VERONICA #294 (June 1980) - Not much to say about these. Some random (but good) old issues. I think I'd read most of these stories in reprints somewhere in the digests before.

GIANT GRAB BAG COMICS (Dec. 1975) - Truth in advertising. What they did was, they took 5 random issues of unsold Archie Comics dated Sept. or Oct. 1975, side-stapled them together, glued on a cardboard cover, and trimmed the edges. All the interior pages (including ads and editorial pages) are just the same as the individual comics; the only thing missing are the original covers. And they (a company calling itself "Modern Promotions", with a New York City address) sold this thing (which was essentially a cheap, early example of a trade paperback) for $1.25. Or tried to, anyway. There were four different title/cover variations on this idea (all of which contained randomly-selected, unsold issues of Archie Comics), at least one of which was offered the following year with a 98c cover price. 25c would have been the cover price of the individual comics in 1975, so stapling 5 together for $1.25 amounted to no discount whatsoever as opposed to buying 5 Archie Comics individually. My particular copy of this book contained the following issues: ARCHIE'S T.V. LAUGH-OUT #34, REGGIE'S WISE-GUY JOKES #35, EVERYTHING'S ARCHIE #42, MADHOUSE #99, and ARCHIE AT RIVERDALE HIGH #28.





BETTY AND ME TP - I'll keep this short and sweet. Unless you don't particularly care for Betty as a character, or for some reason don't particularly like stories by Frank Doyle & Dan DeCarlo, you should buy this trade collection. There are 36 stories here from 1966-1972 issues of BETTY AND ME, and out of those, 27 of the stories have artwork by Dan DeCarlo (and most of those were written by Frank Doyle). Of the remaining 9 non-DeCarlo stories, 4 were drawn by Bob Bolling, and 4 were drawn by Al Hartley (with a single story drawn by Samm Schwartz). IMO this is the single best volume they've done so far in the "Archie Comics Presents ..." trade paperback series. As expected by now, this does NOT reprint ALL the stories from consecutive early issues of BETTY AND ME, it's more of a "best of" collection. Included is "Heroes Are Made" from BETTY AND ME #18, which if I'm not mistaken, is actually the first comic book appearance of Hot Dog (the issue was on sale right around the time The Archie Show premiered in 1968), notable because in this story Hot Dog is Archie's dog, not Jughead's. I think one or two other stories where Hot Dog is Archie's dog got published before they decided that HD actually belonged to Jughead.



13
All About Archie / Re: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina....
« on: January 10, 2019, 04:32:27 am »
You might be the odd man out on this opinion. I always assumed people wanted MORE episodes of series that they liked, not less. It may just be that you have a heavy schedule with too much TV viewing on your plate.
That's not really the reason. Well, it's part of it. It's more like I have so little free time that I have a backlog of DVDs and Blu-rays to watch - and anything interesting that I find on Netflix on top of that. I have a job, and I live with my 78-year-old mom, who deals with constant pain (and constantly makes me aware of it) and is rather dumb when it comes to technology - and who also feels I have to take up the rather pointless tasks of doing yard work now that she she no longer can (the only times that I even go outside are to check the mail, so I really don't see the point, but that's unacceptable to her). Plus, she generally parks herself on the living room couch all day and either Skypes with relatives, plays sound-effect-laden computer games, or watches her endless supply of cop shows, leaving me only about a couple hours in the evening to get any kind of viewing in.

Also, I read an article a few months ago that said the trend for millennials and younger is to watch content usually not much longer than 20 minutes in length (often, this is content created by their peers and shared on YouTube), so a 22-episode (or more) season of 40-minute episodes is too much by comparison. (Heck, I myself take a few days to watch one movie.)

Also, I recently got into a discussion on the Supergirl TV Reddit, and the feeling is a 22-episode season is too much, and it's made even worse by constantly going on hiatus, which makes people forget plot details and even entire characters (I watch reaction videos, and the reactors are often confused for a while as to who certain people are supposed to be). I had suggested either a shorter season or multiple mini-story arcs per season (or even - gasp! - stand-alone episodes that have nothing to do with anything else), but the response that I got was this would come off as a foreign concept to the network.
Heck, the reason that Riverdale's ratings went up from season 1 to season 2 is due to new, younger viewers discovering the series on Netflix (it went up the week after the season finale, I believe) and binge-watching it.
Personally, it took me two years to "binge-watch" the entire Star Trek franchise and a few months to do "Charmed". Between my weekly blog, fanfics, watching YouTube videos, and trying to get some original novels done, I simply can't spare an entire day to watch an entire season of a series.

Yes, and I agree with the people who say "something 20-ish minutes or so on YouTube". Which is why I rarely get anywhere beyond YouTube - the occasional DVD or (VERY occasional) DVD box set, that's about it. YouTube will easily fill (and exceed) whatever void of time I chose to spend there. AND I have a huge backlog of comics (and other stuff) to READ at any given time (plus stuff I'd love to RE-read again, that I first read years ago, if I can find the time), so my time is increasingly dominated by reading as opposed to viewing. I think I used to put a lot more hours into television (or DVD) viewing, but now I put in much less. But I don't go by ME, and, judging from your circumstances, you're pretty atypical of an "average viewer" yourself, so I wouldn't go by you as a yardstick, either.

14
All About Archie / Re: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina....
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:23:33 am »
Even now, television seasons are too long. 22 episodes seem to be the standard now, but "Supergirl" got an extra episode last season. TV seems to be unable to adapt to changing times. Netflix, by contrast, recently cut their own seasons down from 13 episodes to 10 (see: "Alexa and Katie" season 2 versus season 1). That seems about right, especially considering the longer episode lengths that Netflix has.

You might be the odd man out on this opinion. I always assumed people wanted MORE episodes of series that they liked, not less. It may just be that you have a heavy schedule with too much TV viewing on your plate.

I can see Netflix not following the "rules" established by network television for any number of reasons, but my assumptions would be that they're producing fewer series and fewer episodes than regular broadcast networks strictly for budgetary reasons that parallel the relative sizes of the viewing audiences.


15
General Discussion / Re: What comics have you been reading?
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:04:17 am »
I'm not taking issue with what you're posting exactly, but in her book Harley's portrayed as WAY more benign than she is here. I think there's something else sinister going on here. Super villain mind control, perhaps? 🤔

No, it's the same principle that applies to Archie Comics, as well as other publishers. When a character becomes popular enough to become the MAIN character, and the protagonist of her own title, her character is modified in the writing to become more sympathetic to readers (i.e. "nicer"), because sales on that title hinge on the readers LIKING the character. It happened to Veronica and Cheryl when they got their own titles at Archie, and the same applies to Harley. When you reverse that and she's no longer the main character, no longer the STAR of the comic, the character upon whom sales of the comic book hinge, you can go back in the other direction.

You're thinking too deep. Inconsistent characterization in comics is no longer an indicator of any particular plot device in action. Inconsistent characterization is just par for the course because of lazy editorial standards. The thinking seems to be "We don't want to hamper or reign in our superstar writers, so as long as their name on the comic is drawing in consumers, so just let them run with it and do what they want. (We can always reboot things later.)"

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