Friday, September 05, 2008


Vibe had NO fan page on Facebook?!?!?


Well, I fixed that: Vibe's Facebook page.

Gerry Conway, Vibe's creator, sent me a message yesterday: "Vibe has fans???"

YES, Gerry Conway, Vibe has fans. He lives, like Santa, in the hearts of small children everywhere. Every time a Latin child does his first pop and lock, Vibe is there. Whenever an inner city youth thinks, "I want to leave this gang-life behind and put my banana-colored parachute pants in the service of justice," Vibe lives again.

His joy in living, his Golden Age devil may care attitude, his devotion to heroics; Vibe was-- IS --an inspiration to us all.

I wasn't able to get Seth Johnson (Hi, Seth!) to make a Vibe heroclix figure (which is why I have to have mine custom-made... both of them), but I will NOT let this unique hero be forgotten.

Please befriend Vibe, as Vibe befriended the world.

Ivory Soap

Today, I want to talk about Ivory Soap, politics, and comic books.

Ivory Soap is, of course, the greatest triumph that advertising has ever had. Even greater than the transinframetatextual product placement in
Eureka (which is so stunningly bald that you have to consider it a PLUS rather than a negative, particularly since it means lots of Sheriff Carter shirtless *swoon*).

Ivory Soap is the greatest triumph of advertising -- and will always remain so -- because its makers took the product's overwhelmingly damning defect and made it the very selling point of the product.
"So pure, it floats."

If you think about for even two seconds, it will hit you; soap isn't supposed to float. For soap to float it has to be less dense than water, and for it to be less dense than water, it has to be ... full of air.
Which, of course, Ivory Soap is. That's why a bar of Ivory Soap the size of a miniature Dachshund disappears after about one week of shower usage. Not only have you been convinced to buy AIR, you been convinced to buy Ivory Soap precisely because it's full of air.

This takes a special kind of Harold Hill-ian chutzpah. Oh, perhaps, there was a time (say, 1891) when there actually was a great utility to the floating function, because most people took baths instead of showers. Even then, two seconds of thought could undo that advantage, but, of course, advertising's goal is not to allow you to think that long, anyway. You aren't supposed to
think about the product, just feel about it, and feel good.

This takes a little cleverness: "Ivory Soap: it's full of air!" is not a particularly good slogan. "It floats!", however, is 99 44/100% genius, and had Proctor & Gamble cleaning up for decades. It's BS so pure it floats.

Once you recognize the principle, you can recognize it everywhere in salesmanship. The aforementioned Harold Hill sells band uniforms will the promise that there's no extra charge for the four weeks of anticipation that it takes for them to arrive. I "sell"
Things That Made Me Happy by touting that it doesn't give you information you want.

And in politics the principle is in full swing. Inexperienced candidates are "fresh outsiders". George Bush isn't dull-witted, he's "a man of the people" or "not elitist". Instead of being a guest on Jerry Springer, Sarah Palin becomes an example of middle-class family values, precisely
because her underage daughter got pregnant and now has to marry the baby-daddy.

Selling its candidates on the virtue of their flaws is more a Republican tactic, I think. The Democratic Party simply denies that its candidate have flaws at all, or pushes the idea that those flaws are private and utterly unrelated to their function as our representatives. In short, in this regard,
the Republican Party is Marvel, and the Democratic Party is DC. There; that'll give you something to argue about at the comic shop today!

But enough of me on my soapbox. None of this is the real point of this post. The
real point of this post is:

Armed with the Ivory Soap Principle, how would you sell some of DC's characters?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy my comics this week.

  • Okay, now, THAT is rough sex. Even for Jonah Hex.
  • "I keep mine in my locker."
  • Flashbacks should always be in sepia tones.
  • At the risk of sounding stupid... I love the lettering in Spider-Man. Yes, really.
  • Well, all of the characters I might expect to see in a man/man/woman threesome, he wasn't high on the list.
  • "When he said my part involved terrorizing a disturbed child, I tuned out everything else."
  • I think that's the first man to man liplock I've seen in a comic book. Er, I mean, a mainstream comic book.
  • So, if we see Two-Face loading two guns in the second act, does that mean he has to fire them in the fourth?
  • My gods, are they actually starting to make Hush... work? For ME? The world is ending.
  • Carol's father.
  • You know, I have no earthly idea who James Peaty is. But, I'll tell you this, he's a good writer and he's completely turned Supergirl around in one issue, and you deserve to start reading it now.
  • Peyton Riley? Nice. Very very nice. Dini's still got it.
  • I think Alfred reads Polite Dissent... .
  • The Secret Six give the tackiest gift ever.
  • From now on, I'm having apple pie for dessert as least once a week. Probably on Saturday.
  • Speaking of dessert... Cat-Man serving ice cream.
  • The Spider-Man splash page continues to prove: Wally Wood was right, that panel does always work.
  • What's that, Todd? You want me to tell everyone to buy the comic with you, kissing, in it? Yes, Todd; I will tell everyone to buy that comic.
  • Far as I can tell, the anti-matter Utah is the same as ours.
  • Bane says: "Love is complicated."
  • Jonah Hex using a napkin.
  • "Berating you is my job, not yours."
  • I always thought Catwoman was heartless, but not that heartless.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Why Magnus is Better than Brad Meltzer

Because Magnus invented square, color-coordinated speech. Seven years before Meltzer was even born. And coordinated it with his

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Face me!


I am now on the Facebook; my sons, Ramon and Paco insisted.

Anyway, befriend me there, if you wish, as well as Big Monkey Comics.