Why TV Show Constantine is Failing in Viewership

BEWARE.  I am in full rant mode, and my mouth is runny like a leaky faucet.  If you are a new reader to my blog, then let me briefly tell you what it’s about.

My blog, Comics To Read, is where I post my comic book reviews.  I run an honest blog, therefore, I am very straightforward with my thoughts and opinions.  I also post rants and tantrums on my blog.  Anything goes.

This very post is a full-blown rant, so if you don’t want to hear (or read) the truth, then I suggest that you read no further.

Although I was upset to learn that NBC decided to end Season 1 of TV show Constantine after 13 episodes, I was not at all surprised.

  • Matt Ryan (John Constantine)
  • Charles Halford (Chas)
  • Harold Perrineau (Manny)
  • Angelica Celaya (Zed)

Look at that line-up.  The perfect cast.  There couldn’t have been a better actor, than the handsome Matt Ryan, to play the role of John Constantine.  Ryan displays phenomenal acting skills.

Last week’s episode, Danse Vaudou, was the most intense, and my favorite.  Papa Midnite, a voodoo priest and sorcerer with a gang of street thugs, communicated with the deceased.  However, he was unaware that his acts of necromancy resulted in resurrection.  And if you know about necromancy, then you know that’s not a good thing.  Papa Midnite is amazingly played by the fine-looking Michael James Shaw.

Excellent scripts.  Outstanding cast of actors.  Rapid pacing.  The perfect tv show for those who enjoy horror, supernatural, and suspense.

So why am I not surprised that NBC is ending the season after only 13 episodes?  Why is the show failing in viewership?

I compiled (made up) a list of why the show is not able to gain a massive viewership.  The list is small, but it’s heavy in weight.

  1. Comparing the television show to the movie version, starring Keanu Reeves.  The current television series has NOTHING to do with the movie version.  It is based on Hellblazer, a horror comic book series published by DC Comics.
  2. Demons, ghosts, spirits.  It’s a horror story, what did you expect?
  3. Going into the series without knowing what to expect.  Constantine is an occult detective.  Master of dark arts.  Conniving.  Trickster.  He has many enemies, both human and nonhuman.  Funny, but very smart.  Smoker (it was decided not to have him smoke on the show, and I don’t like that decision).  Known for his sorcery skills.  Struggles with his faith, and is often haunted by the sins of his past.
  4. Unable to comprehend the storyConstantine contains mature content.  Strong, powerful, suspense-filled scripts.  Astounding visual effects.  It’s definitely not for the Kelly Bundys’ and Doofus Joes.
  5. Complaining just to be complaining.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a Hellblazer.  I am also a faithful reader of Constantine and Justice League Dark, two ongoing monthly comic book series, published by DC Comics.  I constantly blog about spreading the word about your favorite comic books, to keep them from going to the chopping block.  And I am going to do the same with Constantine, one of my favorite television shows.

Additional thought since original posting:
Does anyone even know how tv ratings are actually calculated these days? Does DVR count?

I am now starting to question the validity of television programs with these so-called “low ratings.” I have read several articles, and if I piece them all together, I still would not have a straight answer.

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Sonic Boom #1 Review

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Dr. Eggman is at it again, harassing and out to destroy Sonic and his friends.

And someone, or something, has stolen Tails’ house!

Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe are popular comic books in my home.  And after reading Sonic Boom #1, there is no doubt that this new, ongoing monthly series, by Archie Comics, will also be a hit with my family.

Ian Flynn is the writer of this fun, all-ages comic.  Excellent script with hilarious character interactions.  Very easy-to-read and follow.

Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy.  Our beloved characters in the Sonic Universe.  However, Flynn has added a new character, Sticks the Badger, to the series.  Sticks is cute and funny, but she has one problem in this issue.  She does not like her introduction, but Sonic quickly offered reassurance.  Thanks a lot Jack Morelli (letterer)!

The creative art team consists of Evan Stanley (pencils), Rick Bryant (inks), and Matt Herms (colors).  Beautiful artwork with plenty of fine details and pretty, bright colors, especially since the story takes place outdoors.  Wonderful cover by Patrick Spaziante.
The perfect team of visual storytellers.

Although I enjoyed all of the characters in this title, it was Sticks and Knuckles that stole the show for me.  I already said that Sticks is cute and funny.  However, Knuckles is funny, but he appears to not be the sharpest tack in the box.  It’s as if he doesn’t know A from B.

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See what I mean?

And while you’re reading the entertaining dialogue between Amy and Knuckles, take a good look at the art.  Notice how Sonic walks right off the page.  Amazing, huh?!  I love that panel.

I plan to read a few more issues to see where the story is headed, especially after what happened on the last page.  People of all ages love Sonic the Hedgehog.  I should know, my son reads and collects Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe.  And I occasionally read them as well.  Sonic Boom will be treated no differently.  But I have a feeling that I may get attached to this one, and will end up collecting it for myself (shhh, don’t tell my son).

Sonic Boom #1 was released October 29, 2014.

VERDICT (drum roll please) 

I strongly recommend this new title which rightfully deserves 5/5 stars.

Trinity of Sin #1 Review

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The Phantom Stranger, Pandora, and The Question.  The three greatest historical sinners have teamed up to save the world, or have they?  Trinity of Sin, DC Comics new ongoing monthly series, has already caught my attention with its amazing debut issue.

  • The Phantom Stranger – Traitor
  • Pandora – Opened a box and released ALL of the world’s sins and evils
  • The Question – Has no recollection of his crimes.  Memory erased by the Council of Eternity at sentencing.  The Council even erased his face!  Fueled by anger and hatred.

As a supernatural and comic book fan, I can honestly say that Trinity of Sin is a comic book worth giving a chance.  With DC Comics titles that stole my heart such as Demon Knights, Constantine, Justice League Dark, Pandora, and The Phantom Stranger, there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t get hooked on this title.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer.  Great script.  Perfect timing, not hard to follow.  Great character interactions.  Loads of suspense, monsters, and black magic.

The astounding visuals are provided by Yvel Guichet (pencils), Jason Gorder (inks), and Gabe Eltaeb (colors).  I have nothing but the highest of praise for this team of visual storytelling.

Take a look at the following panels from the creative art team.  I included a page from Question, Phantom Stranger and Pandora, as they each face their terrifying monsters.  Note Eltaeb’s coloring.  Beautiful, yet amazingly frightening.

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There is no doubt I will continue to read Trinity of Sin, a supernatural title that is already living up to its expectations.  If you are a fan of comic books, supernatural, magic, and entertaining stories, then you definitely need to read this new series.

Even if you are not a comic book reader, give Trinity of Sin a try anyway.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend Trinity of Sin, the new ongoing monthly comic book series by DC Comics.  I am giving this issue what it rightfully deserves, 5/5 stars.

Gotham Academy #1 Review

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Dark.  Eerie.  Creepy.  Spooky.  Strange.  Weird.  Mysterious.  Supernatural.  That is the description of Gotham Academy, a prestigious prep school located in that bizarre Gotham City.

Gotham Academy is obviously unlike any other prep school.  The campus is haunted, and some, if not most, of the students act just as strange as the teachers.  It is the beginning of the school year, and students are already being warned to stay away from the north hall.

Gotham Academy is a new, ongoing monthly teen drama comic book series by DC Comics.  This debut issue focused on two characters:

Olive Silverlock – Pretty sophomore.  Battling personal issues that we don’t know about yet.  “Nanny to Maps Mizoguchi.  Quiet and socially withdrawn.  Wants to break-up with her boyfriend, but he doesn’t know it yet.

Maps Mizoguchi – Freshman.  Overwhelmingly eager.  Outgoing personality.  Younger sister of Kyle, Olive’s boyfriend.

This strange and fun comic was written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher.  Perfect story setup.  Well-written script, very easy to follow.  Great character interactions.  I especially like the distinctive character personalities.

The outstanding visuals were provided by Karl Kerschl (artist), Geyser (colors), and Dave McCaig (colors).  I really like the character facial expressions, especially the creepy looking headmaster.  My favorite page is when Olive and Maps took a fall while Bruce Wayne was giving the school assembly’s keynote speech.  I literally laughed out loud.

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I enjoyed reading Gotham Academy.  I was actually hooked within the first few pages.  I definitely plan to continue reading this teen drama comic for at least the first couple of story arcs.

If you are looking for comics to read for teens, or just a good supernatural story with lots of strange twists, then I suggest you start reading this new title.  I found it to be a good read for all ages.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title, so Gotham Academy #1 is getting what it deserves, 5/5 stars.

Do You Read Comics or Not?

BEWARE!  I am in full rant mode.  No holds barred in this post.  I run an honest blog, therefore I am voicing my honest opinions.  Consider yourself warned.

I am stepping up on my soapbox to address a very important issue, comic reading.

I have a serious question.  Do you read comic books or not?  I am often told by people that they read comics.  Some may say they used to read them.  But most of them actually say they read, as in present tense, comics.

  • Demon Knights
  • Red She-Hulk
  • Trinity of Sin:  Pandora
  • Trinity of Sin:  The Phantom Stranger
  • Elektra
  • The Fearless Defenders
  • New Warriors
  • All-New Ghost Rider

If you are reading comics, then why in the hell are the above titles cancelled, getting cancelled, or being placed on notice?  There are plenty of other cancelled books, but my frustration level increases with each title I type. There is no reason for any of those books to face the chopping block.

There is a difference between like and read.  If you tell me that you like comic books, then I will just simply say okay.  But if you tell me that you read comics, then be prepared for me to engage in conversation, starting with asking which comics you read.

AVENGERS, X-MEN, SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN, SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN.

Some readers only stick to the Big 2 titles.  That is fine, but keep in mind that there are more comic books from these publishers, besides the big guns listed above, screaming for a purchase on the store shelves.  I should know, I read A LOT of them.

We need to stop crying over the fact that Monica Rambeau decided to ditch her trench coat and dookie braids, and support the hell out of Mighty Avengers.

And now we’re throwing hissy fits because Magneto is bald.  So the f**k what?  Magneto is a great comic book, and we need to support that one as well.

If you truly read comics, then you should have no problem telling me what you read when I ask you.  Instead I mostly hear, “Well I, uh, used to read…”  Hold it right there.  You DO NOT read comics.  You USED to read comics.

If I am asked what comics I am reading, I will easily ramble off several titles, walk away, turn around and say, “Oh yeah.”  Then ramble off one or two more titles.

Don’t believe me?

  • Morning Glories
  • Constantine
  • Justice League
  • Justice League Dark
  • Wonder Woman
  • Harley Quinn
  • Thor:  God of Thunder
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Moon Knight
  • Magneto
  • Punisher
  • Deadpool
  • Loki:  Agent of Asgard
  • Mighty Avengers
  • Afterlife with Archie
  • Sex Criminals
  • Grimm Fairy Tales of Terror

Those are the comic books I read every month.  That does not include mini-series like Super Secret Crisis War, or Helsing.

There are a variety of comic books on the shelves besides mainstream superhero titles.

Do you like horror, supernatural and fantasy?  Then check out comic books by Zenescope.  Titles like the newly released Tales of Terror, and their flagship title, Grimm Fairy Tales are excellent choices.  Wonderland is also a good choice.

DC Comics offer great titles like Justice League Dark and Constantine.

Image Comics offers Ghosted, Five Ghosts, Morning Glories, and several more wonderful books.

If you like sick and bizarre, then you will want titles by Avatar Presslike Crossed.

BOOM! Studios and Archie Comics offer a lot of fun comic books.

Don’t forget Valiant and Dark Horse.

I don’t care whether you read your comic books in print or digital format, we need to pre-order, consistently read, and spread the word. Blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumblr, and whatever else social media platform you use. Just get the word out about your favorite comics.

And another thing. Stop commenting and/or complaining on the feeds and timelines of creators if you’re not reading their books.

People attend comic conventions by the thousands. I wonder how many of them actually read comics. I’m guessing not too many. If so, then there wouldn’t be all those low book sales and cancellations.

I’m thinking about attending a couple of conventions and doing a survey. I’m going to ask as many people as I can if they read comics, and the titles.

Especially all those girls that walk around in costumes. I really want to ask them if they even know anything about the characters they’re cosplaying.

There are too many low title sales, and too many cancellations. We can put an end to it by reading and spreading the word.

I know that I talked a lot of smack in this post, but that’s alright. At least I backed it all up.

Grimm Tales of Terror: A Must-Read Horror Comic

Grimm Tales of Terror #1 Publisher:  Zenescope Writer:  Ralph Tedesco Art:  Antonio Bifulco Colors:  Marco Lesko
Grimm Tales of Terror Publisher: Zenescope
Writer: Ralph Tedesco
Art: Antonio Bifulco
Colors: Marco Lesko

Zenescope has returned to its’ stomping grounds with Grimm Tales of Terror, a newly released, ongoing monthly horror comic series.  Inspired by Twilight Zone, Creepshow, and Tales from the Crypt, Zenescope, publisher of classic tales with horror and supernatural twists, already has my full attention.

Currently on its second issue, the Grimm Tales of Terror horror anthology was on my pulls list from day one.  The above picture is one of the covers to the first issue.  I pre-ordered that specific cover from my local comic shop, but for some reason it was not in my box.  The book wasn’t even on the shelf.  I was livid, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a title from one of my favorite publishers.  Although I prefer print format for my comic books, I went ahead and ordered it digitally from Comixology.

Written by Ralph Tedesco, the stories so far have given me the chills.  Very Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt style.  Great scripts with the perfect blend of horror and dark humor.

The amazingly terrifying art comes from the creative team of Antonia Bifulco (art) and Marco Lesko (colors).  The gory and horrific creature panels are so beautiful, horror fans will become instant fiends.

Grimm Tales of Terror is a must-read for both horror comic readers, and horror fans in general.  You will definitely be frightened and entertained at the same time.

As a lifelong horror fan, and a fan of the above three classic, horror anthology television shows since childhood, there is no doubt that I will become, and remain, a fan of Grimm Tales of Terror.

By the way, don’t let the covers fool you.  If you don’t know by now, let me tell you.  Zenescope is also known for its’ exotic covers.  Scantily clad women.  That is not what’s inside their comic books.  You get exactly what you read in the descriptions and previews.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I am giving this title what it deserves, 5/5 stars.

Jackdaw #1 Review

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Who, or what, is Jackdaw?

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Richard Rael has two jobs.  During the day he is a wealthy businessman.  But at night, he is Jackdaw, a dark and mysterious crime fighter.  Not much is known about Jackdaw.  And Thrasher, his female superhero sidekick, appears to be the only one that knows his true identity.

Joyce Sunn, aka Thrasher, is a graduate student and wants out of the crime fighting business.  However she don’t have the nerves to tell Richard.  Although she suffers silently, she does a good job at being a sidekick.  Actually Thrasher is a badass.

Jackdaw is an online comic, or webcomic, and is also published on Comixology.  This indie comic is published by Grimmsmoore Comics.

Kelly Shane is the writer of this dark, mysterious, and complex story.  Well-written script with good timing.  Compelling characters.  Great character interactions.  I found the story a bit wordy at times, but after reading it a second time, I found it to be helpful.  A lot of information is given in this issue, but it’s not too revealing.  Overall I believe Shane did a wonderful job with the set-up of the story.

Text was brought to life by Brian Barr.  The comic is in black-and-white, and it makes the story even darker.  Finely detailed.  Realistic looking characters.    I especially like the fight scenes.  Barr deserves a round of applause for his excellent visuals.

I plan to read the second issue, if I can ever get caught up on my current comic reading.  I need to find out if more is revealed about Richard Rael’s personal life, and if Joyce finds the courage to tell him she wants out.  And just who is that crazed Jackdaw fan?

It is no secret that I support both mainstream and indie comics.  Indie comic creators deserve a shot just as much as those creating comics for the Big 2.

You can learn more about this indie comic on its’ website.

If you are a fan of mystery, then you may want to give Jackdaw a try.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I enjoyed reading Jackdaw.  I am giving this issue 4/5 stars.