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  • Road Trip X

    There’s a preview of this week’s X-Men First Class up, with Bobby and Hank hitting the road to discover America via I-95. Our guest penciler is Julia Bax, who was actually a student of regular artist Roger Cruz. She’s also doing some stuff for Boom! comics, I think Cruz fans will enjoy her work as well. Pick it up, and watch The Beast play Blackjack.


    Comment from Beast
    Time: September 24, 2007, 8:26 am

    I was a bit worried when the announcement came down of the fill-in artist. But I have to say, I’m glad Julia’s style is very similar to Roger’s. It looks like a great issue, and about time that Hank and Bobby’s friendship was explored in the book. As I’ve told you time and time again, it’s a shame that the current books seem to have forgotten how close they were. Keep up the fantastic work, Jeff. :)

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 24, 2007, 8:41 am

    They’re buds!

    Comment from odessa steps magazine
    Time: September 24, 2007, 1:03 pm

    seeing the country via I-95 in the North East means being stuck in traffic all the time.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 24, 2007, 1:07 pm

    True, so they don’t spend much time up there. This is what it was all building to when Stannenjack created them, that they would one day stop at South of the Border in Dillon, South Carolina.

    That’s right, a man named Mr. Stannenjack created all the Silver Age Marvels. Except for the ones Ditkoenly did.

    Comment from Eric
    Time: September 24, 2007, 4:19 pm

    Does that say Ditko only?

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 24, 2007, 5:45 pm

    I meant it as “Ditko ‘n’ Lee,” but that works too…

    Comment from Michelle Liang
    Time: September 24, 2007, 11:42 pm

    I can’t wait for the issue. Bobby is my favorite character and you have done a great job writing him.
    btw, what issue is Roger Cruz returning on?

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 25, 2007, 12:05 am

    Thanks Michelle. Roger will be back next issue starting another two-parter, and since it’s in late October, Colleen Coover and I will also have a short Halloween story in there!

    Comment from Eric
    Time: September 25, 2007, 3:52 am

    Haha. I was trying to be facetious…I just watched the Jonathan Ross Ditko documentary and enjoyed watching the scenes with Stan “The Man” floundering a bit.

    Comment from Ben Herman
    Time: September 25, 2007, 8:27 am

    But there’s no Hank-in-a-kilt as far as I can see. I don’t know if I can support a kilt-less issue of First Class. Maybe you should have had Bobby & Hank cross paths with Uncle Scrooge on the road, to satisfy this issue’s kilt quota :)

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 25, 2007, 8:35 am

    I knew I forgot something!

    Comment from Beast
    Time: September 25, 2007, 8:57 am

    The numbers are a bit worrying. Hopefully Paul O’ Brian and others are right and Marvel considers the book’s sales/market akin to the MA line. Because I really don’t want to see it cancelled. Give me some hope here, Jeff. :(

    09/06 First Class #1 of 8 – 39,859
    10/06 First Class #2 of 8 – 33,688 (-15.5%)
    11/06 First Class #3 of 8 – 30,805 ( -8.6%)
    12/06 First Class #4 of 8 – 28,455 ( -7.6%)
    01/07 First Class #5 of 8 – 26,607 ( -6.5%)
    02/07 First Class #6 of 8 – 25,125 ( -5.6%)
    03/07 First Class #7 of 8 – 24,028 ( -4.4%)
    04/07 First Class #8 of 8 – 23,420 ( -2.5%)
    05/07 First Class Special – 23,556 ( +0.6%)
    06/07 First Class #1 – 26,370 (+11.9%)
    07/07 First Class #2 – 22,269 (-15.6%)
    08/07 First Class #3 – 20,495 ( -8.0%)
    6 mnth (-18.4%)

    We’re already significantly below the sales of the miniseries, and for most new Marvel titles, these would be worrying numbers. But FIRST CLASS is in an odd position because it’s also selling to the all-ages audience, and by the standards of those books it’s doing insanely well.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 25, 2007, 9:39 pm

    Paul is right, Beast. Since XFC is rated A and was one of the books accepted to be sold in the big chains like Target, Walmart and so on, it also sells there and isn’t dependent on the Direct Market. So when you see DM numbers you’re seeing only part of what it or the Marvel Adventures books sell. Next time I go to the offices I’m going to browbeat them into telling me how well it does out there in the real world. They keep launching Adventures books, if that’s any hint!

    The only real bummer is that a book like XFC could help shape the content of the Direct Market if it was bought more heavily in comics shops. You would get less Continuity Porn and more books that could create new readers. And I would be more famous.

    Comment from Beast
    Time: September 26, 2007, 7:06 am

    Plus I’m sure the Subscriptions for the book are rather large.

    Since I recall hearing that the MA line has the largest subscription numbers via Marvel Comics. Thanks for making my fears unfounded. I also wish it sold better, but I’m sure it’s fine. :)

    Comment from Manolis
    Time: September 26, 2007, 7:38 am

    Julia’s amazing! I wouldn’t mind having her as the regular artist. she did Planetary Brigade for Boom Studios.. .dead funny :)

    We have an advance review up at the Nexus http://comicsnexus.insidepulse.com/articles/70766/2007/09/26/advance-review–xmen–first-class-4.html

    Comment from Beast
    Time: September 27, 2007, 7:30 am

    Hey Jeff,

    In the latest Marvel Previews, there’s some ‘Giant-Size Marvel’ books solicited. But there’s no information about them. I was hoping you might have some info about what’s going to be in them. The covers suggest they’re just collections. But I just wanted to check if there’s any new content.


    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 27, 2007, 10:10 am

    I think those are just more versions of the kinds of compilations they do for the big chain stores. Nothing you don’t have!

    Comment from Beast
    Time: September 27, 2007, 11:09 am

    Thanks. I’m tempted to get the X-Men: First Class one anyway, to support my favorite X-Book at the moment. :D

    Comment from Rachelle
    Time: September 28, 2007, 5:45 am

    This issue was just awesome! First Class has quickly become one of my very favourite titles. Julia Bax’s art was really fantastic. That scene near the end with Bobby and Hank talking before going to sleep was really, really sweet.

    Marvel Adventures was really great last week too!


    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 28, 2007, 8:48 am

    Thanks Rachelle!

    Comment from Josh
    Time: September 29, 2007, 3:39 am

    Another great issue, Jeff! Like others, I was concerned about the idea of a fill-in artist, but Julia handled it like a champ! I’m looking forward to her doing an issue with the characters in costume at some point.

    Hope everyone is still visiting the X-Men First Class Fan Page! I’d love to see more comments about the latest issue posted on there!

    Comment from Ben Herman
    Time: October 1, 2007, 10:25 am

    Okay, well, even though there wasn’t anyone wearing a kilt, this was still a really fun issue. Great job. I really enjoyed this one.

    By the way, a kinda ended up snickering in an evil manner when Alex Summers showed up for a cameo. “Ooops, there goes continuity!” Mind you, Alex’s mere existance is a continuity nightmare all its own. He’s Scott’s younger brother who shows up out of nowhere, plus when we first see him he is graduating from college while Scott is still in school. Ah, well, this is why continuity shouldn’t be followed too closely. Most people have never even read the majority of the 1960s X-Men stories. I only know about all this stuff because of Paul O’Brien’s summaries on the X-Axis site :)

    Comment from Joe K
    Time: October 6, 2007, 8:05 am

    Jeff – Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve been spreading the Parker and Coover LURRRVE over at my LJ.

    Thanks so much for the Hank & Bobby story – SOUTH OF THE BORDER scarred my childhood (I think it was the billboards) on my first trip to Florida from my hometown of Ottawa when I was 6, so to see the boys travel down that far just made my month.

    You seriously rock.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: October 6, 2007, 8:55 am

    Thanks for the help, Joe! And SOB left many, many scars on me “Chili today- Hot Tamale!” and “You meesed it! Pedro says turn back” from driving down to Florida with my family as a kid. And I think it’s pretty clear by now that XFC is all about me working out my personal issues.

    More Coover this month, a Halloween cartoon!