REST IN PEACE, DENNY O'NEIL - A GREAT WRITER, A WONDERFUL HUMAN AND THE BEST EDITOR THE BATMAN EVER HAD
It's not hyperbole to say that Denny O'Neil changed my life. As a writer in the seventies and eighties he brought social justice and civil rights to the forefront of his work on Green Lantern, Batman and The Question. It was O'Neil's work that made me realise that comics, even Super-Hero comics, could tackle real issues.
But that was something that I discovered after the fact. My first experience of Mr O'Neil was as the editor of the "BatBooks" in the late eighties and early nineties. Those were the comics that hooked me into the medium. His was the guiding hand on the tiller of the ship that took me away to the land of graphic narrative and sequential art. His voice, as projected through his "From the Den" columns was the siren call that brought me to comics.
He left us yesterday, aged eighty one.
Denny O'Neil was a skillful writer, and an even better editor. He was never afraid to tackle social issues - to address racism, exploitation, drugs, prejudice and other social issues in his work in a way that never felt preachy. He was a towering talent and we are all diminished by his passing.
I had the immense privilege to meet Mr O'Neil at a UK Comic Ark Convention (U.K.C.A.C.) in the mid nineties. I was more than a little star struck and must have come across as a total idiot. He was the very soul of generosity and kindness, answering my questions seriously and treating me like an actual human, as opposed the the gibbering fanboy I clearly was.
He was a hero. He was MY hero. He is the reason that even now, thirty years and more since I first picked up a Batman comic, I am a BatFan. It was his work that made me realise that comics could be more than just big men in lycra hitting each other.
I can only thank him.
Rest well, Mr O'Neil. You set my feet upon the road they walk, and I thank you for it.
DC AND DIAMOND COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING
Well. This is a developing story and no mistake. This time yesterday Diamond and DC were utterly divorced, and we were scrabbling to set up new accounts with new distributors to make sure that we could get you the comics we'd already ordered through Diamond but now had to order again.
Well, common sense seems to have prevailed. I really do need to state again, that there are no bad guys in this story other than DC, who have behaved without either thought or care for readers or retailers - and I'll not be forgetting that. But for now at least, wiser heads have prevailed and Diamond UK will be able to handle DC comics until the end of the year at least.
That gives alternate distributors time to get their systems set up, and retailers time to establish relationships with those new distributors. If they'd done this in the first place I wouldn't have a beef. But the fact remains that they acted without any thought for the international market (that would be us) and they've lost a lot of goodwill as a result.
DESTINATION VENUS WILL REMAIN LOCKED DOWN FOR A BIT LONGER
We know that many "non-essential" shops are re-opening next week as the lockdown regulations continue to be eased. We wish them all the best of luck. If you're going shopping, you'll be very welcome, but please remember to stay safe and respect social distancing.
Destination Venus will remain closed for the time being. I have a provisional date for the Everyman to re-open, but that's for them, not me, to announce. And of course, as discussed in earlier waffles, the future of Desties as a physical location remains somewhat in the balance. We will, of course, keep you informed.
IT'S PRIDE MONTH!
Today's social media profile pic features Francine and Katchoo, from Strangers in Paradise/Five Years. Art by Terry Moore.
DIAMOND DELIVERY SCHEDULE TO END OF JUNE
We have previously announced that Diamond would be recommencing weekly deliveries from 20th May. As a result of various factors (their own warehouse capacity if they are to maintain social distancing and protect their staff, availability and cost of air freight and the need to be consistent) they have now revised and reduced this schedule. Deliveries will now re-start on Wednesday 27th May, and be fortnightly until the end of June, at which point they will reassess the situation.
The new schedule is as follows.
Wednesday June 24th
What will actually be shipping on those dates is unclear at present. We'll keep you informed, and also let you know as soon as possible what's happening in July.
GRAPHIC NOVELS ON DEMAND SERVICE NOW ACTIVE
For various logistical reasons we don't list our range of graphic novels and trade paperbacks online. However, we are now able to offer an ordering service - just tell us what you want, either by e-mail, through our social media or using the form on our website (click HERE to go to the appropriate page), we'll send you an invoice and have your book (or books) shipped directly to your door. We can even have them gift-wrapped if you're sending them to somebody else. (Or if you just like unwrapping things...)
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COMIC CONTEST STILL ONGOING