4-something-99 Slingers in the Contest Of Champions!: Wake-up call, Slingers fans! Here's your chance to prove how big of a fan you truly are of our favorite group of not-quite-heroes. Marvel is doing a "Contest Of Champions" series, five issues that pit some of their most popular heroes against each other. For some reason, the second bout is.....drum roll please..... Slingers VS. New Warriors! Now, we all know that Ricochet, Hornet, Dusk and Prodigy could and would wail on Speedball, Namorita, and whoever else is in the New Warriors so hard that they wouldn't be able to wear spandex for a month. I mean, come on...you can't threaten the Slingers with death! One of them is already dead! ....Anyway, direct yourself immediately to the Contest Of Champions at Marvel's website. Voting for the Slingers/New Warriors bout begins on April 30th and lasts for a week. You can vote once per day, so get in there!
3-11-99 Keep Slingers Alive!: Okay, no need to panic, but this is something I've been reading about on the Comic Book Resourses message boards. To quote Joseph Harris, "Comics' best-kept secret? I'm happy to be the biggest, little thing going as I think the work is great and getting better. But if sales don't improve, some bad things are gonna happen. Interestingly, Marvel is contemplating a "Save Slingers" site at the Marvel AOL Site and Website. We'll see how this all comes to fruition. In the meantime, look for a beautiful house ad running through all the Marvel books next month (similar to the Avengers Forever ad in them, now). The ad reprints all the positive and flattering quotes Wizard gave the book and myself last month. You guys can help, though... if you really want to, that is. Spread the word. *Write* to Marvel and tell them you want this book around. The company can be a little slow in noticing buzz. And I would hate to see this book go away just as we're picking up steam." You heard the man, fellow Slingers fans. While nothing has been decided yet, the fact that there's even a possibility that Slingers could get canceled so soon is nothing short of disastrous. Buy the book, tell your friends, write to Marvel, start a riot, do whatever you can to make sure that they know we love this book and don't want to see it go. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.
3-1-99 On a message board in Comic Book Resources - find it on the Links page - Joe Harris has posted his responses to some fan questions:
- JeeB: Do you think this book has'nt caught on because people think its just some kind of spidey gimmick?
Joseph Harris: I think there's a variety of reasons. The gimmick that launched the series didn't help, that's for sure -- despite the fact that pre-sales were very high. It's also a very different book, especially for the Marvel audience. It's more hard-edged teen soap stuff than traditional super-heroics.
I write the Slingers kids like I know in my heart REAL kids would act thrust into this fantastic world. And some aren't going to like that, for a variety of reasons, I guess.
The book's plot is kind of slow in building. That didn't help you attention-deficient kids either!
But we're picking up speed now. The first arc is over and most seem to think it ended with a bang. We play a twisted little game of "Truth Or Dare" with these kids in issue #6 and get some telling glimpses into their recent pasts while giving you all the quirky character-moments that have become the book's hallmark.
Then we get a little action oriented for 2 issues as we introduce "The Griz" -- A new villain with an insatiable hatred for Hornet. Then Nanny & Orphan-Maker show up looking for a fledgling mutant named Ricochet! And then it's our 1st year ending blow-out. Origins revealed. Secrets uncovered. New secrets found and all that fun stuff.
JeeB: I hope not,Im sure writers give out a sigh and roll their
eyes when another fanboy gives out a "suggestion"but here goes.
Maybe if the costumes were tweaked a bit in the future,so they dont look exactly like the ones that spidey wore during that whole Identity Crisis thing,that people who have'nt given this book a chance would be inclined to buy it.
Joseph Harris: I don't think that's the problem, honestly. I'd love to siphon off some of the Spidey readers, myself. "Identity Crisis" was fairly well received by the readership -- many of whom tell me they preferred that storyline far more than the current direction of the Spider-books.
JeeB: Because Im sure that anyone who picks up this book would realize that nothing about this book is "gimmick".
Joseph Harris: Keep telling them. I'm spreading the word as best I can and I don't mind checking up on these boards if that's what it takes.
Look for a really cool house ad running through all the Marvel books next month hyping Slingers. It reprints the very flattering quotes Wizard made about the book and myself this month and I'm really proud of how it looks. The buzz does seem to be building. In this day and age, the comics audience is extremely unresponsive to characters they haven't seen before. But, hopefully it'll be enough to put some wind in our sails.
2-25-99 Picked up Wizard #92 today, and they had some nice stuff to say about our favorite teen not-so-super team:
- "Soaring 'Slingers'! Postive word-of-mouth on Slingers, the new Marvel Spicer-Man spinoff series, is building. Fans are turning on to the book's quirky team interplay, and new writer Joseph C. Harris is gaining new admirers every day." -
- Thumbs Up: 'Slingers': Want great teen angst? Try Slingers. Between Ricochet's problems with his dad, Hornet's shame from dealing with cerebral palsy, Prodigy(misspelled "Protege" in the mag....get it right, guys.....)'s superiority complex and Dusk's mysterious resurrection, Slingers deserves to be selling better. -
You got that right it does! Good to see that a magazine like Wizard is trying to turn as many comic readers as possible on to what we of course already knew, which is that Slingers kicks ass. How about a cover of the kids sometime soon, eh?
2-23-99 Wow, here's something I knew nothing about: rumors of Slingers' cancellation and the solid refutation thereof by Joseph Harris:
- Writer Joseph (Slingers) Harris recently dropped Newsarama a line to respond to what he calls "false cancellation rumors" that have surfaced on usenet and the web over the last couple of weeks involving his freshman ongoing series. "Slingers is absolutely NOT canceled. Not as of today, anyway," said Harris. "I've just finished writing issue #9, am currently outlining our big 'end-our-first-year blowout' that will be issues #10-12, and am getting ready to sit down and figure out just what's going on in our second year. We have an annual in the works for later on in 1999, and we're all hopeful we'll get to stick around as this book is now, and has been from the beginning, an absolute labor of love."
"Sales are low. But no one's uttered a negative word at Marvel, as of yet," said Harris. "We're all as optimistic for the book's future as we can be, given the currently wicked marketplace and the not-so-good track record of titles that became cult fan-favorites but didn't set the charts on fire. There are things we can try to boost sales and we're trying them. The book will never die for lack of effort on the creative and editorial teams - that much I can promise."
Describing fan response as "fantastic", Harris reports through interaction online chats and message forums, he's seen the public's perception of the series turn since its launch in October. "We started off as a book people loved to hate because of the 'variant interior' gimmick that launched us, but we've worked extremely hard from the beginning to transcend that. I think we've succeeded. We're trying to make Slingers the best freakin' 'kids' book you can buy. We're making them different. And we're making them real. And the majority of our 'cult' following seems to agree. The consensus appears to be that this title is starting to really pick up steam and we're feeding off that...I sincerely hope we're around a long time. Time will tell." -
Nice to know we have nothing to worry about, eh? I'd like to think that the book won't get canceled so soon. I mean, come on....so much we still haven't learned!