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Friday, January 19, 2007

Diamond 1, Boob War 0

Did I ever tell you that someone made a comic book using my roommate as a template for the main character? Its called Nightmare Girl and you can check it out right here at NightmareGirl.com. Its Boob War through and through.

Last night, she asked my friend Ryan and I if we knew what Diamond was. We explained to her that Diamond was pretty much the one and only distribution company that supplied everything comic related to comic shops all over the nation. Intrigued by her question, we asked here why she was in interested in Diamond.

"They won't carry Nightmare Girl because they said that both the writing and art aren't good enough."

Huh. Although Nightmare Girl is not necessarily my cup of tea per se, there is definitely a niche market out there for books like it. Just take a look at the likes of Lady Death, Vampirella, and Tarot comics. What's to keep Diamond from adding Nightmare Girl to the ranks of such esteemed alumni? Are we left to assume that where Nightmare Girl artist Duvall Stowers fails, the work of Jim Balent meets the Gold Standard of cheesecake comics that Diamond has set in place? Is it even fair to maintain some kind of standard for a small branch of the comic book medium that by the very nature of its subject matter disregards things like "good taste" and "decency"? Now, I am not condemning books like Lady Death or Nightmare Girl for being tasteless. To do so, would certainly miss the point. Its safe to say that a book like Nightmare Girl is catering to a specific audience that openly embraces the cheesecake nature of the art. Interestingly enough, the comic book exploits of a female character like Ms. Marvel can be equally full of gratuity and vapid storytelling as some of the aforementioned books. The main difference being that a book like Ms. Marvel has Marvel Comics on its side. With that, comes some kind of respect that dignifies the purchase of Ms. Marvel over Lady Death. Don't ask me how, but for some strange reason it just does. As for Nightmare Girl? If there was a time machine available, I would instruct my roommate to jump in it and turn that dial back until it reads 1994.

When I look at a book like Lady Death on the shelf, I can not help but think that its merely just a hold over from an era where variant covers depicting male super heroes have been transformed into buxom females by Rob Liefeld sold well. A move like that today on a super hero comic SHOULD get you laughed off of the racks. (Fear not, readers. If anything, we still have the female version of male heroes to satisfy that need.) Despite the fact that the 90s are for the most part over, there are people out there that still continue to buy Lady Death and Tarot. As long as there is the threat of an ample bosom ready to burst open the bikini that fights to hold them in, there are fans that threaten to compromise ad space in Previews when they open and read a Jim Balent book. And there is a large contingent of people out there that are more than happy to hear the news of Diamond's decision towards a book like Nightmare Girl as well.

Over the past few months, I have witnessed my roommate's reaction when she first saw some of the art for the first time, having posters printed up, and eventually holding the finished product in her hands. It was exciting to see her tell everyone about the comic that she was going to be starring in. The adolescent power fantasy that most comic book fans wish for was a real for her and sitting right there on our coffee table. Its safe to say that the breast enlargement the creators gave her was something that she could do without. (Especially since I have recently overheard her arguing with another friend against women getting breast implants.) She probably assumed the increased bust line was an attribute that all female heroines had to possess in order to survive on the racks, much like the muscles their male counterparts needed to defeat a super-villian. Unfortunately, it appears as if that same bra size could have very well been one of the reasons for the book's defeat at the hands of Diamond.

I helped put into perspective for my roommate the uphill battle that Nightmare Girl is going to be facing. Off of the top of my head, I threw out the name of Cold Cut with the advisory that I was unfamiliar with what kind of titles they distribute, thinking they might have a chance there. Taking into consideration the traits that Nightmare Girl exudes, there really was only one piece of semi-worthy advice I could give her:

"Wear something skimpy and hit those convention floors. From what I hear, they are absolutely CRAWLING with potential fans for this kind of stuff."

In the face of Diamond's decision, that might be this book's only chance.


the Isotope Communique said...

I'm told that Diamond generally turns down books from unknown publishers when there is only issue finished. Get three in the can and re-show it to Diamond, they'll take it... they love Boob War!

Spencer Carnage said...

Thanks, man. I'll let them know. I shoulda known there was something fishy with Diamond's Boob War policy...