Wednesday Comments – Keep The Shade Alive!

The relationship between comic fans and comic creators is probably the closest found in all entertainment. Most comic book creators were once themselves fans of comics, thus the romantic notion that a fan could one day be a creator is a much more realistic outcome than it with music, movies, television or virtually any other medium.

And thanks to twitter the bond between creators and fans is even stronger. So on Saturday when James Robinson said that The Shade, a twelve issue mini series, was in danger of being canceled before completion, people took notice.

Actually here’s what James Robinson actually tweeted;
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There you have it, in his own words.

In some of the comments sections around the internet there are a variety of different responses. Some call Robinson a hack, based on his work with the Justice League. Others didn’t care for the ending of the first issue of the mini. And there were a shocking number of people who were waiting for the entire mini to be collected in a hardcover.

The last point is the one that I want to address right away. I don’t understand the “wait for the trade” mentality. I don’t understand people who collect for their bookshelf. Wildcats 3.0 is a series that I hold very dear to my heart. I’ve collected that series at least three times, including the recently released two-volume edition. It’s a book that I enjoy, so I collected the single issues and then I purchased the trades.

Even more appropriate, Starman, where The Shade was first fleshed out by Robinson, is a series that I own every issue of. I’ve got the specials and annuals. I’ve got the issues of Showcase and the previous The Shade miniseries. I’ve also got half of the trades and every omnibus. And I have this all because I love the series.

I’ve also got every issue of 100 Bullets, but I know deep down that I’m going to end up getting the hardcover collections that have begun to be released. Because that’s what you do when you enjoy a series; you support it because you want it to succeed.

That’s why I’m writing this column; because I want The Shade to succeed.

So here are some reasons why you should be picking up The Shade.

Being Part of The New 52, It’s Very New Reader Friendly – If you’re familiar with The Shade’s previous adventures, that’s a bonus, but even newbies would be able to appreciate how cool this book is.

James Robinson Can Be Great – Ok, his run on the Justice League didn’t set the world aflame, but in all fairness neither did Dwayne McDuffie’s and he’s a certified saint. But left to his own devices and devoid of editorial restrictions, James Robinson can churn out greatness. Look at his runs on Starman, JSA and Hawkman. And let’s not forget that he played mentor to Geoff Johns back in the day.

Stellar Artists – In addition to Cully Hamner, who is currently illustrating the book, Gene Ha, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irvin, Darwyn Cooke and Javier Pulido will all be featured artists in the miniseries. This book is destined to look amazing.

Opal Is the DCU’s Coolest Locale – Central City may have The Flash and Coast City has Green Lantern, but Opal has more depth than both of those two cities combined. Opal even has more personality than Gotham or Metropolis. If I could live anywhere in the DCU, it’d be Opal.

The Shade Is A Pretty Awesome Character – Also, the lead character is interesting. He’s an immortal who has the ability to manipulate shadow matter. He used to be a criminal, everywhere but Opal, and now he’s decidedly on the side of the angels. He can be a bit of a snob, but generally his heart is in the right place.

Of course I realize that some of you might be in the same boat that I’m in, in that you’re already reading the book but you want to ensure that it doesn’t get cancelled. Well, I suggest you offer it to your comic reading friends. Maybe even buy them the first two issues.

Here are some people that I think would appreciate The Shade;

Your Friend Who Doesn’t Like Super-Hero Books – Everyone had a friend like this. Sometimes it’s a friend who doesn’t dig capes. Sometimes it’s someone who only reads Vertigo. Who knows what the bias is, but I’m guessing that they might be interested in seeing what The Shade has to offer.

Your Friend Who Complains There Are No Good Comics Out – Again, this is a common gripe heard from disgruntled fanboys. And again, I think that once the twelve issues are wrapped, this complainer will be completely satisfied with the story told by Robinson and company.

Fans of Jack Knight – I know this might sound absurd, but I’m sure there are some people who enjoyed the adventures of Jack Knight but aren’t reading The Shade. Maybe they don’t read comics anymore or maybe they do but just weren’t aware that Robinson has returned to Opal and The Shade. Either way, they should be made aware.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering what steps I’m going to be taking to help increase the sales of The Shade. Well, for one thing I’m going to pick up the first two issues for one of my cousins. He’s getting into comics and I think this might be his speed in terms of character and tone.

I may also pick up a few extra copies of the first two issues and ask my LCS to put them in the boxes of people who they think would enjoy it, but isn’t reading it.

I also wrote this column not only to bring attention to the situation but also to inspire change.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s column and I really hope you try out the first two issues of The Shade

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