Welcome to the blog from the staff of Gatekeeper Hobbies. This blog will cover a variety of topics from the pop culture world including comic books and anime.
It‘s hot in Topeka and the box office is just as blazing with The Amazing Spider-Man web-slinging his way to the silver screen and the finale of The Dark Knight trilogy coming to a close. Along with The Walking Dead being a ratings hit on television, comic book properties have never been hotter; or have they?
It wasn’t long ago, in the mid 1990s, that Superman died, and that issue sparked a collectng frenzy. In response, comic book covers were covered in foil and holograms, and every other week a batch of new #1 issues hit the shelves, all claiming to be the next big thing.
Speculation in the comic book industry ran amok. Comic books that were only a week old doubled in value. Fans were caught up in speculating which book would be the next hot property and were buying as many copies as they could get their hands on. Profits for comic books publishers and comic book retailers soared like the Man of Steel. However, the boom market didn’t last long and it took only two years before it all came crashing down.
As a result of speculation, low quality stories, and obvious gimmicks, fans became disenchanted with the hobby and many stopped buying comic books altogether. The fall-out left a path of damage the industry will likely never forget. Top publishers like Marvel declared bankruptcy, independent publishers lost everything and shut down production, and local comic shops closed their doors as sales dwindled. Almost overnight, the industry was nearly destroyed and it took almost a decade for sales to recover.
Over time, many loyal fans realized that comic books are not investments, but just another form of entertainment and the industry has slowly changed its business model accordingly. This new approach has also allowed the industry to branch out from the newsstand to television, movie theaters, video games, and even Broadway.
One of the more popular comic books to crossover to the small screen is The Walking Dead and Gatekeeper Hobbies has been buzzing regarding the The Walking Dead comic reaching a milestone 100th issue. This book is perhaps one of the most violent and brutal issues to hit the stands in quite some time, and is not for the faint of heart.
Also catching some buzz is the steady, high quality releases coming from Valiant Entertainment. Valiant was one of the comic companies that had huge success in the 1990s, but folded when the bust hit. Valiant’s assets were recently purchased and brought back to life a few months ago, and our staff has been impressed with the results. Titles like X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and Bloodshot are all well written and drawn. If you’re looking for some new titles to pick up you might consider the re-launched Valiant comics.
The Court of Owls saga has finally closed in this summer’s Batman titles. It was an extremely well written crossover by one of the industries brightest scribes, Zach Snyder.
Another title catching some buzz is a fun book called Atomic Robo. Think of Hellboy as a robot who was built by Nicolai Tesla and trained by Bruce Lee. It’s well written, smart, and funny all rolled up into one.
Read what you enjoy, and if it brings you joy then it was well worth the investment. Until next month, stay cool!