Brainiac On Banjo #094: Nyah Nyah, Nyah Nyah, Nyah Nyah!

Well, I went to the doctor / I said, “I’m feeling kind of rough” / He said, “Let me break it to you, son / “Your shit’s fucked up.” / I said, “My shit’s fucked up? / “Well, I don’t see how / He said, “The shit that used to work / It won’t work now.” – Warren Zevon, My Shit’s Fucked Up, from the album Life’ll Kill Ya, 2000

This week we offer a three short subjects for our attention-span impaired friends…

ITEM 1: Beware of Falling Objects

A couple months ago, WarnerMedia announced HBOMax, the ultimate Warner Bros streaming service. And the most expensive, as I noted. They consumed their first Pac-Man, HBOGo. Go? Go know… I also noted, a few hours after the announcement, that there no longer was a way to keep their DC Universe going. I certainly wasn’t the only person who came up with this analysis — it was obvious, sorta like saying “that yellow thing in the sky is ‘the sun’” — but I blurted it out faster than a speeding bullet.

However, there was some significant collateral damage. The death of DCU (which, as predicted, will see its original programming going over to HBOMax) begat a very severe round of staff-hatcheting at DC comics. After moving 3,000 miles to new “state-of-the-art” facilities — they didn’t mention which art — their parking lot now can welcome more pigeons.

These cutbacks were so severe that DC honcho Jim Lee (titles change with alarming frequency, so I gave Jim the title he should have) had to issue a statement that rates an 8.5 on the WTF scale. Jim said DC remains committed to publishing comics, although they’re lightening their load by about 20-25%. Already gone are Batgirl, Batman And The Outsiders, Justice League Odyssey, Harley Quinn, Hawkman, Hellblazer, Red Hood, Suicide Squad, Teen Titans, Young Justice and most of that whole Generation Five jazz. It also appears they’re looking to rid themselves of some, if not all, of their exclusive contracts with talent.

This might make sound business strategy. Then again, so does forest deforestation.

Meanwhile, Dan DiDio is writing a book at Image. Good for him!

ITEM 2: And Further South, Objects Still Falling

Down by the border, IDW has been damn wacky these past couple years. The ladder to the top of their corporate mountain actually is a waterslide.

My brain doesn’t have the bandwidth to remember all of the IDW’s über-execs who, through their own choice or not, are no longer on IDW’s payroll. Some of the company founders have split off to a joint called Clover Press and they’re doing a bunch of projects that seem like they were, or should have been, at IDW. Former E-I-C Chris Ryall also left, joined up with Robert Kirkman, then returned to IDW as publisher, and before he could receive my congratulatory Candygram™ he was gone once again.

However, Chris doesn’t hold the “shortest promotion ever” title — that would go to his replacement, Jud Meyers, who was placed on leave five days after he started the gig. I admire that; I’ve never been able to piss management off that fast and, Cthulhu knows, I’ve tried.

It seems as though they remain involved with their contractually licensed comics (My Little Pony, TNMT, GI Joe, and others that weren’t created in time for Dell Comics) and their remaining handful of original titles that are bringing in teevee bucks. Go forth and publish, guys, and best of success, but you’ve run out of chairs and when the music stops, you may be vapor.

ITEM 3: Me First! Gimmie Gimmie!

Finally, a personal note. There is this wonderful writer/creator/Writers Guild Award-winner out on the Left Coast who has done wonders in the games, animation and comics I.P. racket named Anne Toole. I’ve known her since she was in high school, and I’m a better person for that. I might have adopted her but I was afraid of the conspiracies she might create in tandem with my daughter, who has known her even longer.

Last year — that would be 2019 — Anne asked me if there way anything I wanted at that year’s San Diego Comic-Con. I thought, well… it just so happens…
there’s this and it makes my geriatric fanheart go pitter-patter. Anne scored it right before it sold out and became a $300 aftermarket item.

I believe she was going to send it to me for my 69th birthday, or for the subsequent holiday season, and maybe she did. I dunno. We just discovered the box on the day after my 70th birthday. And… it… is phenomenal. Best birthday present EVER! What a trip! Thanks, Anne.

Did I mention her new comic book from Titan, Horizon Zero Dawn (based upon the game she co-created), drawn by Ann Maulina, was released the same day we unearthed the present? I should; she’s a very good writer and an even better friend.

Yeah. Eat your hearts out, fanguys’n’gals.