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The Wednesday Waffle Issue 19: Happy New Year - opening times, costumes and saving cinemas!


ALTHOUGH COMICS ARE SHIPPING IN THE UNITED STATES THIS WEEK, THERE ARE NO NEW RELEASES IN THE UK UNTIL NEXT WEEK. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MOST RECENT RACK



EDIT - DESTINATION VENUS CLOSED PHYSICALLY DUE TO TIER 3 COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS. WE REMAIN OPEN ONLINE


Since this Waffle was published Harrogate has moved into Tier 3 restrictions. As a "non-essential" shop we are technically allowed to open, but as a "hospitality venue" the Everyman Cinema is not and if the cinema is closed, then so are we.


We will of course remain fully open online and will continue to deliver your comics to your door. We look forward to welcoming you back under the stairs when we step back down to Tier 2.



NEW SPIDER-MAN COSTUME REVEALED!


Predictably, we don't like it - although our initial reaction might be to the cover as a whole, that yellow background really isn't helping...

Amazing Spider-Man #63 variant cover by Dustin Weaver (c)Marvel Comics

Debuting on the variant cover for Amazing Spider-Man #61 (scheduled to ship in March 2021 and available for pre-order shortly through the website, although if you want one just message us and we'll reserve one for you) the suit has been designed by Dustin Weaver and puts us somewhat in mind of the "Captain Universe" costume:

Spider-Man as Captain Universe - Artist Unknown (c) Marvel Comics

Of course, this isn't the first time Spidey has changed his suit - the black costume that led to the creation of Venom being the most obvious example. The classic red and blue onesie is pretty iconic and will doubtless make a return sooner or later.


In the meantime can we suggest that ASM readers invest in sunglasses?



COULD SUPERHERO BLOCKBUSTERS SAVE CINEMA?


We live under the stairs in a cinema. 2020 has been a hard year for retailers like ourselves, but it's been every bit as hard - if not harder for our friends at The Everyman Cinema Harrogate and cinemas like them. Between enforced closure under COVID-19 restrictions, the fact that there have been very few new releases for them to show, and the fact that as people have been forced to stay home many households have invested in upgrading their home cinema set-ups and may be dis-incentivised to make the trip out to the movies.


It's that latter issue that poses perhaps the greatest threat. Although there are cinemas that did not survive the loss of revenue caused by lockdown, those that did can look forward to a time when such restrictions end. The same is true of the lack of new movies to show - new content will eventually arrive, and in the meantime cinemas like The Everyman have adapted and made a virtue out of bringing back classics to the big screen.


But if families decide that going out is too much of a hassle, and lockdown has made them appreciate a take-away in front of the big screen in their living room, complete with surround sound? That could be a real problem. If habits change and the customers stop coming it will be impossible for cinemas to survive. We regard this as a bad thing.

"Portals" - Marvel Heroes to the rescue! (c) Marvel Studios

Genuine movie star Tom Hanks believes that Marvel Cinematic Universe might be the salvation. When asked in a recent interview whether movie theatres would survive the pandemic he said:


"Big event motion pictures are going to rule... in order to guarantee that people show up again, we're going to have the Marvel Universe and all sorts of franchises."


Hanks' comments have been reported elsewhere as something of an endorsement, but we read his tone as one of regret. Hanks would, we think prefer it if people also went to the big screen for more "grown-up" fayre too - and we think that they will.


Habits were changing already, of course. When we were kids, back in the early eighties, if you wanted to see a new movie, the cinema was the only place to do it. Over the years, as new technology has come on stream it has become easier and easier to watch films at home - and in increasing quality.


But cinema is more than "watching a film". When it's done properly it's an experience. There's the environment, the food, the ambience and, we think crucially there are other people. Cinema is a communal experience. Now, in this year of all years what had been a strength has become a temporary weakness - and we acknowledge that idiots talking to their friends (or worse, on their phones) during the film is an issue we don't have on our sofa.


But equally, watching Avengers: Endgame on our sofa we wouldn't have experienced the collective reaction when all those portals began to open - or the mass punching of the air when Cap picked up the hammer*, or the shared grin at "Fat Thor". And it really doesn't matter how big your TV is - it's never going to be as big as the screen in even a small cinema. Your sound system is never going to be quite as immersive. For the spectacle of an MCU movie, you're always going to need a cinema.


That means that the idea of a trip to the movies will remain a "thing" - something that you do as a big night out. For a while, Hanks might be right - the big blockbuster "events" might be called upon to carry the load and keep the theatres open. But if theatres follow The Everyman's lead (and yes, we know we're biased, but The Everyman was our cinema of choice long before we started hiding under their stairs - precisely because it makes the effort to make watching a film a complete night out) and make going to see a film a special thing to do people will eventually return for the smaller, quieter films too.


TV didn't kill cinema. Neither did VHS. Neither did DVD, or BluRay, or streaming. We don't believe that COVID will either. If comic book movies can be part of the solution, we are more than happy to help!


*Whaddya mean "spoilers"?! It's been a meme for nearly two years!



WE'LL TAK A CUP O' KINDNESS YET, FOR THE SAKE OF AULD LANG SYNE...


This is the last Waffle of 2020. It's been a year, and no mistake. 111 "Daily Waffles" during the first lockdown and 19 (almost) weekly editions since the end of that first wave of restrictions. We've opined on comics news, recommended free-to-stream TV, suggested podcasts and generally tried to keep you informed and entertained. We will continue to do so in 2021.


Or at least, that's the plan.


We would like to thank all of our readers and all of our customers for their support through this most difficult of years. And we'd like to thank The Everyman Cinema Harrogate for continuing to allow us to hide under their stairs.


We've said it before, and we'll continue to say it. Without you, there is no us.


Thank you all. Please have a happy, safe New Year. See you after the "Bongs".

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