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Look here for any industry news, links to scoops around the web, or general timely gossip!

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By | Monday, February 25, 2013 | 10:52 am | 1 Comment | Blog > News

Hey, folks! Your friendly editor here. I’ve returned from some unfortunately timed business in a far-away land, and will now resume business as usual. But first, a couple notes on my “In Blackest Night” article from earlier this month:

Firstly, as faithful reader Anton points out, I had omitted an important project to the history of leading Black heroes in the DC Universe: Grant Morrison‘s 2005 maxiseries Seven Soldiers, a relaunch of the classic Seven Soldiers of Victory super-team which focused on D-list, unlikely heroes from the annals of DC history taking the center stage.

 

Each of the seven members would be given their own miniseries, including two leading Black men. First was Jake Jordan, better known as the Manhattan Guardian, a legacy hero to Jack Kirby’s Guardian — an attempted cash-in on the popularity of Captain America and the less popular of Metropolis’s champions. Jake Jordan, though he dressed similarly to his forbear Jim Harper, had little in common and redefined the costume to fit his own identity: one which, after Seven Soldiers had ended, would only be briefly revisited in cameo roles during Infinite Crisis and 52, and never again. Still, one might argue that Jones’ role as Guardian was the inspiration for teenage vigilante Mal Duncan to don the  Guardian’s costume once more in the current Young Justice animated series: and in that sense, his legacy lives on.

Second of Morrison’s two leading Black men was Mister Miracle: no, not Darkseid’s adopted son and husband to Big Barda. This one is yet another legacy hero by the name of Shilo Norman — in fact, he originates as a supporting character in the more far more famous Scott Free’s own Mister Mircale title in 1973. Scott, an escapee from Apokolips, and Shilo, a very human boy abandoned by his mother as an infant, both inherited the title from their shared mentor, escapologist and the original Mister Miracle, Thaddeus Brown. Shilo goes on to become a central figure in the “Joker’s Last Laugh” 2001 story line, and finally climbing up onto the marquee in Morrison’s 2005 series, which sees him sacrifice his life only to pull the greatest escape of all: from that of his own grave. Shilo remains a significant character within the DC Universe up until 2010′s Brightest Day series, but has not been heard from since The New 52 relaunch.

Oh man, that takes me right to my next point. Speaking of The New 52: when we last spoke, DC had only two of its original five series with leading Black characters still ongoing: since then, we have received news of The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man‘s impending cancellation. This means that Batwing is the publishing company’s only title left in this regard. This Black History Month will soon come to a close, and you can make far worse purchases at your local comic shop than the first volume of Batwing. Everyone deserves identifiable role models – help keep diversity in comics alive!

This month is winding down, isn’t it? That means you’ve only got 3 more days to enter our very first giveaway under the new administration here at TRO, Justice League International Vol. 1: A New Beginning. Get to the comments section and start writing!

As for us, expect a full report on what we’ve been doing with the database this week, as well as two new reviews: one from the talented and outspoken Ian Perez, and one from new friend “Ghastly” Gilbert Smith. Don’t miss out!

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By | Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | 11:41 am | 2 Comments | Blog > News

Now Hiring an Editor!

This is a paid stipend and percentage position.

Trade Reading Order has been a one person operation for a long time, though we’ve had a string of amazing regular contributors to the blog and through the forums.

As you may have noticed, I’ve gotten way too busy in the past couple years to give this site the attention it deserves. Comics are my much loved hobby, but I just can’t manage it full time.

The database still requires my attention, I simply am anal about it and don’t trust anyone else (yet) to get updating it right. But we ARE hiring an editor to manage several things on the site.

I’m going to lay out all the details up front and very clearly in this post. Please don’t send me questions at this point, just information about you. I will be getting an insane amount of mail about this, so it’s important you read carefully.

  • Post reviews at least two times a week.
    • These can be user submitted (and there are five sitting in the backend to start you off) and/or written by yourself.
    • They need to have images (ideally original scans) added.
    • They need to be tagged with the proper meta data and linked to the  book in our database. (data includes ISBN number, author names, etc.)
  • Post a news article once a week.
    • Keep your eyes on the comics world and write a new article on a topic you choose.
    • Post user submitted articles after carefully editing and reviewing them.
  • Post database update news once a week.
    • You don’t have to do all the updates yourself, but you need to do some, including:
      • Writing a few short descriptions of  characters of your choosing for their headers each month.
      • Adding some pictures to characters each month (users even submit these through the forum and adding them to the database is as simple as uploading them to a folder with the name of the character as the file name.)
    • Encouraging me to actually get around to doing the big database updates.
      • If the site gets active again I’d eventually like help with this, but for now it falls to me. I’m very busy with paid tech world work (which pays YOUR stipend income – more on that below), but just some reminders that I’ve promised updates will help – I’m basically asking you to manage me as if I was another unpaid site contributor.
  • Moderate the forum and contributors.
    • Several users already have contributor access to the backend and it’s easy to set up more. Just check their posts and post them up.
    • Users also submit ideas for new content (like new reading lists) on the forum, just copy these into new posts and include them on the site once they’ve been vetted by the users.
    • Respond to some comments. This isn’t really necessary, but it’s fun and a nice thing to do. I’ll probably keep responding to them myself, I like actually using the site, I just don’t really have time to be the only one running it.
  • Moderate the social media.
    • The site already posts new article to twitter automatically, but you can use this account to talk to other comics world people if you want. This is totally optional, but it’s been a lot of fun for me to interact directly with authors in the past. They tend to retweet it when you review their book! It’s a really friendly industry.
    • I have no real plans for facebook or anything else, but if you have an idea, this is something you can do.

That’s a lot! So you have to be really really really passionate about comics if you want to do this. It’s a good in to the industry and blogging in general and I will be always happy to recommend you strongly to future employers, even if it means you have to leave the site to take a job. I’ll even write you a recommendation on linkedin (this is mine.)

But I’m not an asshole. This is work, and I’m going to compensate you.

The site is not currently profitable. I’ve always supported it out of my own pocket as part of my comic book hobby. It makes about 100-300 dollars in Amazon and Ebay affiliate fees a month, and can sometimes cost more than that a month. I will continue paying for it because I believe it is a valuable resource for new readers and it’s a huge work of love. But I’m going to start by offering you this.

  • A monthly stipend.
    • This will be out of my own pocket, be small to start, and we can decide on a fair number. If the site brings in enough to actually pay you, we’ll renegotiate.
  • 50% of whatever the site brings in through affiliate links.
    • I am opposed to ever featuring banner adds or similar distracting content, but the in line links are actually useful to collectors as well as bringing in 4-10% back from the purchases.
    • The more content you generate, the more the site brings in. The more useful the site is, the more the site brings in. Want to make more? Make the site better.

You:

  • A comic fan. Rabid comic fan.
  • Highly organized.
  • Internet expert with a love of dicking around (I expect to see a good facebook or personal blog, or something.)
  • No ‘experience’ necessary. I’m sick of seeing job postings that require people to have a four year degree and 10 years of experience. If you are an internet generation person (and I mean someone who breathes internet because you were raised doing it) you are not going to have ten years at print papers. Fuck that. Just be good and reliable and nice.
  • Reading comprehension. If it’s obvious that you haven’t read this whole post and the directions at the bottom, I’m just going to trash your email. Applying for jobs is very simple and I’ve hired enough people in my life to know that 99% of applicants can’t even fill out the form. It’s amazing. You want a job? Just get past that first thing at the very least.

Training: 

  • This site is shoddily built on wordpress. I was in a rush when I built it and a lot of the functionality of modern wordpress wasn’t there yet. I’m continuisly refining it and will be redesigning at some point, but it IS functional and works great on the front end when cached. I’ll teach you wordpress.
  • I’ll run you through the backend in a series of skype meetings and answer questions when I’m available.
  • We’ll check in weekly, but of course I’m subscribed to the blog so I’ll see what your doing.
  • You take the site down, mess up the content, or use the site for your harmful personal vendettas – I will hunt you down and kill you. This is a friendly site and a learning resource. It’s the internet so cuss all you want, but no porn, no personal attacks (outside of essays, maybe) and well, don’t be a jerk. I can get the site back up from offline backups and with my host, but it’s a big pain and.. why would you want to be so mean anyway? Just don’t.

Applying

Again, please don’t send me questions at this point, just information about you. I will be getting an insane amount of mail about this, so it’s important you read carefully.

  • Apply by email to ian@tradereadingorder.com
  • Use this email headline, without quotes: “I want to be an editor at Trade Reading Order”
  • Literally use that exact headline. Just paste it. This is to see if you can read and follow simple directions and is really the only set part of any kind of interview process. 50% of people that send me something about this will literally frick this up.
  • Attach a resume (but I am not going to deduct points if it’s not ‘designed’ or doesn’t have ‘a lot of work’ on it.) I’m just curious.
  • Write a SMALL paragraph about why you love comics. (about three sentences.)
  • Write a SMALL paragraph about yourself. (about three sentences.)
  • Include a link to social media / your website. (Facebook is fine, don’t be surprised if I instantly add you – I’m curious. Feel free to block me in your feed, I post a lot and chat on there a lot and it can flood people’s feeds.)
  • What you think you should be paid. This can be a joke, cause honestly I’ve already set a budget for the first few months and will be sticking to that, but I’m curious. I want to know what you think.

That’s it, really. Don’t expect a quick reply. Like I said, this is because I’m extremely busy. I’ll try to reply as soon as I can and intend to let everyone know individually when I’ve picked someone. But I want to take the time to really look over each applicant.

If you read that much, you’re qualified. Feel free to apply.

Thanks!

-Ian

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By | Monday, October 8, 2012 | 3:24 pm | 11 Comments | Blog > News

Hey everyone. Yes, it’s been a long time since this website updated. Excited to see a post again?

A lot of you have been emailing, hardly a week goes by without a new fan sending me a message asking me about recent releases or past-promised features. Today I hope to start getting back on track.

I’ve moved out to San Francisco and feel pretty settled out here now. Even past the recent gig, I’ve decided I’m going to stay. So, this may be a phase 2 for TRO.

I’m looking for local contributors. Primarily, I need help coding. For a long time, a major problem with this site has been slow loading pages, especially for logged in users managing their own collections. We’ve also had a lot of requests for a mobile app. A friend of mine has started to help with this, but we need more optimization before the site is ready to feed stuff to mobile.

I’m looking for help with book releases. It’s been some time since I updated and a lot has come out. I’ll be combing through what I can, but if you have links to comprehensive lists or have been compiling one yourself, that could help speed things up a fair amount.

Looking forward to chatting with you guys again as I move this forward. I hope everyone’s lives have been progressing swimmingly. Personally, I’ve just been happy to read some more comics again – finally finished all of swamp thing, even uncollected  and had some time to read Madame Xanadu, DMZ, and have started on 100 Bullets. Now if Fables would just get around to ending, I’d feel comfortable hitting that up.

My DC reading has been on pause until I get back into doing the reading order… but maybe once I start up again I’ll be able to get back into it. Selling my whole collection put a big damper on things, but I’ve got access again now.

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By | Thursday, April 28, 2011 | 7:41 am | 15 Comments | Blog > News

Here’s some news for ya:

Action Comics #900 Is A Fox News Story Waiting To Happen As Superman Rejects God And America”

Good little article there at bleeding cool. Sorry for the spoiler, but as Rich notes, I’m sure this will be all over the place very soon, even if it’s taken back next issue – which it might not be. I’m seeing something in this and how DC’s line as a whole is headed.

We’ve got Batman International (Inc – mirroring the globalization of commerce) going, and Justice League is trending towards a new JLI (mirroring our ever increasingly tightly knit global community), and this pretty much cinches it.

There are already teams of intergalactic guardians (Green Lantern), foreign ambassadors (Wonder Woman) and entities that are representative of the whole earth by their very nature (Swamp Thing.) There’s no reason DC shouldn’t have more stories based outside the USA.

If DC can pull it off, it’s actually ridiculously smart. Ideally, they’re setting their brand up for the global market in story. More comics in other countries (Knight + Squire, a new DCU Hellblazer related title) and maybe even more comics by international creators. Perhaps more comics that are non-english first.

Superheroes became popular during an era of extreme nationalism. We think of WWII’s fascist baddies that way, but at the time the war solution included putting ourselves in a similar fervor. That kind of “Us or Them” mentality just doesn’t solve problems anymore. And perhaps it never did. Even the mighty USA doesn’t invade somewhere without an ally or two.

In any case, interested to see where this one goes. What are your thoughts?

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By | Thursday, April 14, 2011 | 9:51 am | 1 Comment | Blog > News

Kind of sounds like one of those terrible scam advertisements, doesn’t it?

But no, it turns out that SmarterComics is running a promotion for Amazon purchases on 6 books. One lucky customer will (in addition to their new comics!) get a brand new 32 GB iPad2 with Wi-Fi + 3G!

There are six books included in the contest and the only downside is that you have to make your purchase before midnight tonight (April 14th.) So impulse buyers, this one is for you.

If you’d like a little more info before making any moves, we’ve previously reviewed two SmarterComics releases here, Mi Barrio and Overachievement.

Here are links to all six books:

Those links are also TRO affiliate links, so if you do decide to buy a book you’re supporting us too.

Here are the official contest details from the email I got:

3 Easy Steps to Win:

1. Mark your calendar to make your Amazon purchase of our comics on April 14th, 2011.

2. Purchase any of the six comics to enter – you’ll be entered one time for EACH comic you buy! Buy all 6 and you’ll be entered 6 times! Buy 10 for friends and get entered 10 times!

3. Take a Screenshot of your Amazon Receipt(s) from April 14th and email it to iPad2@roundtablepress.com before midnight on April 14th.

If the title you wish to purchase on April 14th says “out of stock,” make sure you still place your order to be eligible to win. Stock will be replaced immediately by our distributor!

The Winner will be chosen and announced on our site by 3pm CST on April 15th.*

*Winner will be able to select the black or white model, and order will be placed on April 15th, subject to Apple’s 2-3 week shipping time estimate.

Best of luck! I certainly wouldn’t mind a free iPad.

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