My Obvious Prediction for 2011


My preferred bookstore, Borders, is not long for this world and will close down well before December 2011. The writing has been on the wall for a while now (pulling out of the UK, closing stores in the US), but two events this weekend sealed the company’s fate for me:

  1. Borders announced recently that they won’t be paying some publishers.

That’s bad enough, but then:

  1. Borders Reward members got a two day 50% off coupon good for this weekend, right after that announcements.

Sounds to me like they’re trying to bring in a fast infusion of cash to make some payments, at any price. Doesn’t matter if they lose money on each sale; They only need to bring in a lot of cash in a short time period. This is a great short-term fix, but does nothing for the long-term problems.

The optimist would say that they’re hoping to get customers in the door, and more people will buy more than just that 50% off book.

I think the optimist is deluded, if such a person exists.

2011 will be the year that leaves us only Barnes and Noble for a nationwide bookstore chain. And how long will B&N last in a world where Amazon sells everything for 30%+ off with free shipping and without the need to pay for an annual membership?

I love bookstores, but I don’t spend money in them anymore, unless I have a big fat coupon. I don’t think I’m alone.

New Release Excitement

We live in exciting times.

Why, just yesterday, the following things see release:

We are truly cursed to live in interesting times, yet with never enough time to absorb and enjoy it all.

Comics For Sale

New Books Added 20 DEC 2009:

“Danger Girl” hardcover. Standard sized, but contains all the same material as the Absolute edition, I think. $25, including shipping.

“Planetary” hardcovers, volumes 1 and 2 (issues #1 – #12) I have the “Absolute” edition, so I don’t really need these, nor do I think I ever read them. $25 for the pair, postage included. SOLD!

UPDATED 19 DEC 2009:

Need to get rid of some comics, and could also use some spending cash this holiday season, so I’m selling some hardcovers.  Here’s the list:

  • Bone: Ghost Circles
  • Bone: Old Man’s Cave
  • Bone: Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border (autographed by Smith to “Jessica”)
  • Bone: Treasure Hunters

(Take all four for $80 $60 $50, shipping included)

  • Batman: Hush (Volumes 1 and 2) ($25 for the pair, including shipping) SOLD!
  • Queen and Country v. 1 – 7, Queen and Country Declassified v. 1 (Take ’em all for $100 $85 $70, including shipping)

Newly added: TokyoPop’s “Battle Royale.” The complete series: all 15 volumes. Only the first three were ever opened up. The rest are still shrinkwrapped. They’re yours for $70 $60 and, yes, that includes shipping costs, too.

For my own sanity’s sake, payment is accepted through PayPal only, and I’ll only ship inside the United States.  Media Mail is a beautiful thing, but if you want to pay extra, I’ll go first class.

If you want it all, I’ll cut you a deal for making my life easier.


Email me at augie (at) comicbookresources (dot) com.

So, “Salmon of Doubt” doesn’t count, then?

As a matter of fact, no, nothing is sacred:


[Douglas] Adams himself said: “I suspect at some point in the future I will write a sixth Hitchhiker book…I would love to finish Hitchhiker on a slightly more upbeat note. “Five seems to be a wrong kind of number, six is a better kind of number.”
Now it seems Adams’ wish has come true. Children’s author Eoin Colfer has been chosen to write the sixth of the series by Adams’ widow Jane Belson. He writes of his joy at being able to continue the series with the new book And Another Thing.

I’m not necessarily a purist.  I may even give the book a shot.  It might be fine.  But you can’t replace or imitate Douglas Adams’ genius. Now, HITCHHIKERS is merely a franchise.

I’ll let you all make the snarky comments about the guy who wrote “Artemis Fowl” being the new writer.

Of course, I also say this as a man who owns the movie DVD, but has never watched it.

Monday Link Dump

It’s been way too long since the last link dump, hasn’t it?  Welcome back!

  • Have you wondered how “Guitar Hero” might be played on the Nintendo DS?  Wonder no more.  But be afraid.  Be very afraid.  It’s one scary video.
  • The new iPhone is likely only a week away, and here’s a nice round-up of the unconnected nuggets of news related to it.  It’s the first I’ve seen of Steve Jobs’ increased corporate jet expenses.  That man’s been flying around the world a lot in the last year. . .

This week, the DVD release list will appear on Tuesday.

Weekend Link Dumping

  • Yes, I realize the verbiage in the last link (“your own personal”?!?) is a tad redundant.
  • Not everyone lives in the real world. Here’s a petition to prove it: Save HD-DVD! What would the web be without another meaningless petition?

What’s Going Around the Web This Week

  • Your Flash game du jour: Meltdown. Similar premise to a million other chain reaction type games, but different enough to become addicting. My high score: 155.
  • Feel like watching some Muppets on YouTube? Here’s a great list of musical Muppet acts. Includes Elton John, Blondie, Steve Martin, and more.
  • IfCintiq Tablet PCs you’re wondering why all the webcomic artists are suddenly pushing you to buy their print collections, I have a guess; The New Cintiq Tablets. They now have a $1000 model. it’s a small screen, but if I were an up-and-coming cartoonist, I’d be all over this. I imagine it has the power to transform some workflows of comic creators, too. I expect a lot of comic colorists might jump on this, too. Mark my words.
  • You Park Like A Very Bad Person. Dot Com. (URL is NSFW)
  • The Japanese launch of Wii Fit was very successful.

And now for the geekery:

  • Regexes are the coolest things in the known universe, but difficult to grok for many. I’m not sure this page makes it any easier, but different strokes for different folks, and all that.
  • I love the fact that if you search on my name in Google Books, there’s an actual result! Oddly enough, there’s two — the second one is in Japanese. It’s for Podcasting Hacks, an early podcasting book from O’Reilly that I was interviewed for. I’m still tickled that I made an O’Reilly book!
  • In 1897, the Indiana State Legislature attempted to simplify the lives of millions of math students overnight by setting pi equal to 3. It failed. All together now: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971. . . .
  • Here’s some help memorizing the digits of pi.

Links of a Gaming and Tech Sort

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts and observations from the last 48 hours:

  • There’s a competitor to Delicious Library releasing on Saturday that has potential. Librarian Pro looks to catalog software as well as books, movies, CDs, etc. It has smart folders. And it will import your Delicious Library data, to boot.

  • On Wednesday night, I sat down in front of the computer and visited Amazon to check on the shipping status of Greg Rucka’s new Atticus Kodiak novel, PATRIOT ACTS. Imagine my thrill when I read “Delivered – Back Door.” Guess I should have checked there first.

  • Most embarrassing thing to happen to someone else this week: Woman got pulled over by a local police officer right at the front gate at work. And everyone going into work that day got to see her getting her ticket, presumably for speeding. (Speeding is an easy thing to do in the corporate park area where I spend my days.)

  • Speaking of annoying drivers: Yes, the shortest distance between two points IS a straight line. But when you’re turning around a corner, it is generally recommended that you stay to the right side of the double yellow line. It may be quicker to cut straight across that corner, but it’s also illegal and slightly dangerous when attempting it around a blind bend. Idiot.

  • I wish MARIO STRIKERS CHARGED would have one non-gimmicky level — no blocks falling out of the sky onto the pitch, nor lightning bolts. And no rampant shells firing off all over the place. Just pure 5 on 5 soccer.

  • The first $199 standalone HD-DVD player is coming. Let the format war continue. . . I expect we’ll see Blu Ray retaliate in the next month or two.

Saturday Link Dump

The Start of Something Big

From the book FOUNDERS AT WORK, here’s a clip of an interview with the guy who created Google Mail, Paul Buchheit:

“AdSense, the content-targeted ads, was actually something that, if I recall, I did on a Friday.”

So nonchalant, isn’t he?

Weekend Twitters (in reverse chronological order)

  • Finished first draft of Pipeline – Marvel Previews, 5 Years Ago, and ASTERIX AND THE GOTHS. More PREVIEWS and reviews next week.
  • Live in a condo complex surrounded by dogs for long enough, and you never hear them bark again.
  • The best part of house hunting? Making fun of the decorating sense of the people whose homes you’re invading!
  • Golf is the most beautiful sport in the world. Don’t believe me? Check it out in HD some weekend.
  • Just saw the previews for San Diego Comic Con scheduling, and now I want to cry that I’m not going this year. Augie sad.

Required Reading of the Day: Douglas Adams

Darker Matter – Exclusive Interview with Douglas Adams from 1979

Almost 28 years ago, a young (27) and still overdrawn Douglas Adams was poised on the brink of fame. The first radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had been released (“Escaped,” was more the word, according to Douglas) and largely ignored in a late night slot on BBC Radio 4. It had then been repeated at a less perverse time, gathering listeners and momentum as the six episodes unfolded. But the books, the second radio series, the TV show and the long, long-delayed movie version were still to come. Douglas Adams had done a handful of short interview pieces, most of which had just pinched his jokes and ignored his opinions. But when freelance reporter Ian Shircore got the chance to spend several hours with him under cover of an unlikely feature for Penthouse magazine, Adams found himself with half a day to ruminate, pontificate and smoke too many cigarettes in the cluttered office where he was earning a crust as script editor for the Tom Baker-era Dr Who. Apart from the few column inches Penthouse was able to accommodate, these tapes, from 1979, have lain unpublished ever since.

And, you guessed it – you can now read the entire article on-line.