Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Check Out ... The Variants!

Ken Lowery, friend of the 100-Page Super Spectacular and all-around swell guy, has co-created a new web series about life in a comic shop, and the first episode--as well as subsequent episodes, posted every Wednesday--can be found here.

The episode is a lot of fun, gently satirizing the speculative mentality that surrounds comic collecting, and it does a nice job setting up the main characters. A comic shop is rife with potential for this type of workplace comedy, so I'm looking forward to following this series every week.

Also, the series is filmed at Zeus Comics in Dallas, Texas, and I am extremely jealous of this comic shop: it's huge, beautifully decorated, well-stocked, and well-lit. It's like my dream LCS.


Anonymous said...

gay and stupid. Usually you write about more interesting stuff than this.
These people are the reason Diamond is the super obnoxious power that it is. Big comic retailers that are run by douches give the power to Diamond and make it impossible for small comic shops to order and deal with the Totalitarian retail source that is Diamond. The whole blog is just an elaborate (more or less) marketing scheme. Thumbs down, and kinda disappointed that you gave them a bump. I kinda expected better.

Kevin Church said...

"Gay and stupid."

Scathing, insightful commentary. Bravo, truly.

Next time, Dr. K, just write about some old comic books so Anonymous here can find comfort in the familiar. We'd not want to accidentally expose him to new things.

Shane Bailey said...

"Just an elaborate marketing scheme."

If it was only a marketing scheme I'm sure they could find a lot cheaper and less time consuming ways to market themselves.

James Pickering said...

I'm not throwing wood on Anonymous' fire, even though I could (I've been to the shop and love it). Let me just say that the video is awesome and I didn't necessarily meet Barry when I was there, but I definitely didn't witness him acting like he did in the video. Though, I have heard from others that he is worse in person. lol Love the website and have bookmarked it!

Richard Neal said...

Dear anonymous,

I worked my ass off to make Zeus happen. If it looks good its because I made it that it way. I worked really hard for this.

viva la small business!

PS You're a homophobe.

Call me if you can't understand real people, real gay people or real small business 214-219-8697.

Tommy McTommerson said...

Oh, ho! A hater strikes. The only shocking thing about it was that he didn't bellow, "First!!1!lollllz" before spewing that hateful, vomitous pile of garbage and hitting 'publish comment'.

Sounds like Mr. Anonymous could use a few more years in school to better his vocabulary AND basic visual skills. An elaborate marketing campaign this is not as it obviously wasn't done over the weekend on a budget of twenty dollars. The fact that I live in California and can recognize that store as the product of hard work, dedication and precious resources means Anonymous must have an axe to grind...for some reason.

I loved the episode and can't wait to see these crazy kids do some more. Though I read they come out every first Wednesday of the month, not every week. Am I mistaken?

Anonymous said...

To begin I would like to say first and foremost that Dr. K is spectacular. He is among what is best of comic blogs. He throws down solid material on a regular basis. So, Kevin Church, you really need to curtail your commentary on the good Doctor's blog as though only the old and familiar are "comforting" and the new world of obnoxious "fanboy" humor is strange and scary. I am allowed to have an opinion, and although rather benign, you sort of back-door cracked on Dr. K's commentary on "old comic books" as though they are all entirely familiar and not new at all to anyone. I consider them new and cool. But you are not the worst.

Shane Bailey. Good guy, debatable comment. Marketing schemes are not just the ones that have huge budgets. Case closed.

Ah, then there is Richard. Don't be so quick to pull out the sexual preference "race card" of homophobia. I don't give a rats ass what you do in your spare time. Did you read that last statement? I don't care. Don't act like I am some right-wing clansman. Cause I ain't. Hell, these days, Gay sells like crazy. I am not rich enough to be gay. Think about that one. The gay sector of every city is stinking rich. I don't have a problem with them at all and you don't know me so don't be presumptuous about my crappy little post. Also for future reference don't go straight (pardon the pun) to the homophobia card. It is a bit overkill. I am allowed to not like your clip or site if I want to. It doesn't mean anything about you, unless you are existentially conjoined with material things so much that you are them. But that is just sad if that is so.
Why are real people and gay people separated in your closing "rebuttal" to my post? I question how much more you know about "real people" than me. After all, you can't take everything personal. Lesson #1. That's real.
You are just using your "blog" as a commercial. I guess I just have higher expectations than a commercial. If that is the problem, then I admit that I am entirely at fault for expecting intelligent commentary that is not "comic geek banal".
If you don't want criticism don't go to the interwebs wit yo janks.

Dr. K said...


First, thanks for the kind words. However, I would back Richard's comment in that you used the term "gay" as a perjorative, and that's not cool. I almost trashed your comment because of it, but I also like to allow dissenting opinions to stand in my comments, so I let it go. I would, though, appreciate keeping things civil here by choosing your critical terms with more precision and sensitivity. By using the word "gay" in that way, you shut down reasonable conversation about your difference of opinion.

And while I do agree with you that Diamond's monopoly presents a problem, that's a topic for another post, and probably another blog, as I've never run a comic store--or any small business for that matter--and couldn't begin to offer educated opinions on this matter. However, I do know that any comic store that can survive in this economy, with the small number of comic fans nationwide, should be celebrated, and I really wish I had a store as nice as Zeus in my town. Heck, I'd like to have a choice of comic stores in my town.

And, on The Variants, I stand by my opinion on it. I laughed at the first episode, and I think the concept has a lot of potential. If it happens that people who watch the series also find Zeus to be an attractive store and then choose to shop there, then more power to them. But, like Shane, I have a hard time believing this is just a marketing scheme, as the cost of producing such a series probably would not be offset by the new customers.

Anonymous said...


you do have the last word. Finito.

I disagree, but I have a different background too. As a brit who has African parents and splits time between NYC and London, I see a totally different side. Everything is open for discussion, no matter what language you use you gotta be ready to back up your argument. That's what I wanted to rile up, not solely a petty ad hominem b.s. match (although that always stirs up the hornet nest) I guess yanks get uptight and overly defensive fast. I am more used to having a discussion over a few pints. I realize now that I picked the wrong square to argue. ( I know is said I would let you have the last word, but for civility sake I figured I should 'splain myself so you don't think I am only an internet hooligan tryin' hard to piss people off and be a bugger )

If I comment again on ya blog, I will be more pc and/or civil, if that's how you fancy it. Cheers and thanks

Richard said...

Dear anonymous,

I have been gay since well as far back I can remember. I don't have money. I spent everything I had making something different.

I was tired of seeing gray carpeting, florescent lighting and cardboard boxes. If I spent my start up capital on decor, then that's what I spent it on. I started with a 2,000 square foot store and had to shrink it to half that when the money wasn't there.

I drive a 12 year old truck and I rent my place. I'm in a market with 5 other comics businesses including one of the largest chains in the country.

At some point I had this idea to do something fun. I pulled in my friends Ken and Joe and we started scripting "Variants!"

It stars myself, Barry (an employee that's been with me since the beginning nine years ago), Keli (a part time employee), Joe and Ken.

Its been a blast. I'm sorry you didn't like it.

I was offended that you referenced the gay thing first and foremost. I'm further upset that you think I have it better. There have been plenty of times I thought the store would close down. I'm still struggling now.

"The Variants" is something creative for me.

I feel like you're faulting me for putting in an effort.

Comics are my passion. I've fought hard to make that happen for Dallas.