Tag Archives: Dark Horse

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Gives Me Hope for B.P.R.D.

So I finally sat down the other night and watched an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I have to say I was impressed. I wasn’t sure what to expect besides the badassness of Coulson but I was actually entertained. Not that Marvel Studios  has let me down in anyway recently. I just wasn’t sure how they would transfer to the small screen. I’ve heard good things about it, but I wanted to judge for myself.

I watched the episode titled “FZZT” about some weird electrical occurrences that were killing people and the team had to discover what was going on. And I know, I didn’t start at the beginning of the series, and I probably missed some interesting things that happened from the start, but I’ll catch up later. Coulson was great as always, the rest of the cast was pretty solid, there was a sweet tie-in to the Avengers film, and the writing was worthy of a few more viewings from myself, if not a steady following.

Though I enjoyed the show, it did make me long for the return of Alphas, which was cancelled by Syfy this year. That’s what Agents reminded me of, a de-powered version of Alphas. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Alphas was essentially X-Men but a bit more realistic and without costumes. It was an entertaining, highly underrated, and somewhat unknown show about mutants, or “Supers” as they were referred to, that everyone should see. It’s on Netflix by the way.

The B.P.R.D. has a sweet logo too.

The B.P.R.D. has a sweet logo too.

Another thing that Agents makes me think of is the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense). I’m wondering if, with the success of Agents and the popularity of the Hellboy film series and comics, it’s possible for a television series based off of the comic book series. Center it around the characters Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and assorted others, with an appearance by Hellboy every now and then. The premise would be similar to the movies, they take on all of the strange paranormal cases that the normal government agencies won’t take on and keep the humans safe from the things that go bump in the night. Good or bad, I would watch it.

Mike Mignola could write the pilot, or all the episodes, and executive produce the show. Guillermo del Toro could direct the pilot and they could tie everything into the film universe with the show taking off several years from where the second film left off. Maybe even have del Toro supervise with some of the design aspects such as character, costume, and set design. He shouldn’t have total control over it. This should be a fresh take on the universe, not a regurgitated version of del Toro’s stuff on the small screen.

The B.P.R.D. universe is large enough that there would be plenty of material to work with and Mignola is creative enough to come up with some new things if need be. And I’m sure that as long as some solid writers are hired, there shouldn’t be a problem with writing up some incredible scripts. And think of all of the merchandising opportunities! Toys, clothes, games, posters, fruit snacks, bath soaps and so on. The possibilities are limitless.

If Dark Horse Entertainment is paying attention to the success of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the show’s success keeps growing, hopefully they’ll realize the potential that B.P.R.D. has for being a worldwide sensation. This thing could be huge! H.U.G.E.

[featured image source: Wikipedia.org]

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Comic Book Wednesday – Distribution

I’m going to generate some controversy today.

I was originally going to just publish a list of comic book releases, but I realized that other places did it better than I could, and I didn’t think a list would be very interesting.

So, instead, let’s have a discussion. You and me. You love comics. I love comics. Maybe you love them more. Maybe less. However, I think that you and I can both agree that the industry has problems. Some big, some small. Some require tweaks, some require a complete change in how the comics business is run.

Let me get this out of the way. I love comic shops. I LOVE THEM.

See that? I used capitals to show you how much I love them. However, I’m not convinced that they are entirely good for the industry.

When I was a kid (really, I’m not that old), comic books could be found in grocery stores, drugstores, and, sometimes, gas stations. Comics are a great impulse buy, but many people aren’t going to buy on impulse if the comics aren’t visible. If I saw comic books in the checkout lane at the grocery store, I would totally pick up one while I was buying milk. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

I don’t want comic shops to go away, but I want comics to expand into other stores. I really don’t think that it would hurt comic shops all that much. Although, it might make some of them work on customer service more…that might be a plus. I’ve been in some unfriendly comic stores (until you prove yourself as “one of them,” anyway).

Next problem: Diamond Comic Distributors. That name shakes every comic publisher to the core. The current business model is that the publishers write, pencil, ink, color, and print the comics, and Diamond is basically the only company that distributes comics. They have had exclusive rights with all major publishers since 1997.  The Justice Department investigated and concluded that Diamond has a monopoly on comic books, but (and here’s where it gets tricky) nothing could be done because the monopoly didn’t include books. See, Diamond is officially a book distributor, not a comics distributor. Bada-bing, bada-boom. The Justice Department couldn’t do anything.

Diamond is the Dr. Doom of comic books.

Diamond charges 60 percent of the cover price for their part in distributing comics. The retailers charge 25 percent to stock. This leaves the publisher with 15 percent of the cover price to pay its creative people and print costs. Do you wonder why comics are up to $4 now? Diamond is effectively driving the prices up. This also makes it nearly impossible for small start-up publishers to recoup their costs.

Unfortunately, I think the only thing that is going to break Diamond’s grip on the comics industry is digital distribution.

Seriously, though. Diamond’s logo looks like a LexCorp reject.

I love books; I love the feel, the smell, the turning of the pages. But, let’s face it, books are probably on the way out. E-readers are becoming too affordable, publishers don’t have to pay for printing and shipping costs, and it’s becoming more economically and environmentally sound. Comic publishers have already signed deals with Amazon and Barnes & Noble for exclusive rights on their tablet devices.

I really don’t think this is change that comic book shops deserve. I don’t want them to go away. Unfortunately, this might be the change that the comic industry needs.

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