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March 24, 2010


Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked

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By Tom Spurgeon

* In breaking news -- meaning it popped up in my inbox 10 minutes before this post rolled out -- Fantagraphics has signed an agreement with Rick Marschall to create and run a new imprint for the company called Marschall Books. This imprint will be devoted to the historically compelling comics, cartoons and humor efforts in which Marschall is a widely-acknowledged, longtime expert. Tons of information in the press release here.

* Fantagraphics has one of those photo-description-video-pdf previews up for the first volume of its Roy Crane reprint series. He is the source for action in comics, the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. of funnybook lickety-whop, and these books should be a blast. (image at top)

* Daryl Cagle's on-line syndicate turns 10. That's an idea that was way before its time at its inception. Heck, given the incremental, leviathan-like crawl of the newspaper industry, Cagle's operation is still ahead of its time.

image* CBR previews the forthcoming Daren White and Eddie Campbell collaboration The Playwright.

* Fantagraphics published a couple of cover images for forthcoming books on their blog just after I posted last week's "Bundled": Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest and Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix Vol. 3. Speaking of Fanta books, I always enjoy these Jeff Smith covers for the Our Gang reprints.

* the writer J. Torres talks to PW about a repackaging of his Alison Dare material he did with J. Bone from a publisher with the frightening appellation of Tundra.

* I'm not really good with the superhero stuff, and those dopey "I'm an Avenger" silhouettes and their joke equivalents have both more than worn out their welcome and never should have been treated by anybody as straight-up news in the first place, but I guess it's worth noting that Robert Kirkman is going to band together elements of his sprawling Invincible universe into something of a team book. Kirkman has been working through a lot of projects lately, and not all of them feel like hits. This one seems like something safely within his sweet spot, though. As for the original Avengers, I guess retailers are going to get a flat-out, potentially terrifying snootful of them starting this summer.

* veteran Paws Inc. contributor Brett Koth is launching his own strip through Creators, Diamond Lil. You can keep clicking through to a number of links worth consuming if this news interests you.

* the writer Warren Ellis provides a look at the fourth paper volume of his Freakangels project with Paul Duffield, one of the higher-profile and simply conceived web and print projects going. Ellis also notes the existence of a one-volume collection of his NextWAVE series with Stuart Immonen, which was a funny, clever series you might want to have under one cover.

* in case you missed it, Salon dropped Tom The Dancing Bug after a 15-year relationship.

* Captain Underpants will appear in a series four graphic novels; the first one will have a print run of one million, which is actually a modest estimate given the success of the original series.

* here's something that Brigid Alverson caught that I sure didn't: Meredith Gran of Octopus Pie is really pushing for sales through her own site, citing economic reasons. I haven't seen anyone do this with quite that language, although selling to your mailing list and at show and through one's site and to one's friends is pretty common for all authors. Although maybe I'm reading it wrong, this sounds much closer to a vote of no-confidence in seeing a decent return from the release of the book through the standard sales infrastructure of bookstores and on-line retailers, which is a different thing altogether.

* Sean T. Collins profiles the launch of the alt-comics tabloid pood, and expresses doubt that anyone would want to read news comics on newsprint given any other choice.

* Marvel takes baby steps towards publishing Marvelman/Miracleman, the superhero whose kryptonite is a legal brief.

* IDW's latest licensed franchise will be Jurassic Park. Guys, I'm telling you, I'm sitting on multiple issues of potential Eisner-winning Sapphire and Steel storylines here. We can make this happen.

* the writer Graeme McMillan was let go from the science fiction blog-driven site io9, which means I don't have to go to io9 anymore. Their loss: I thought he did good work for them. I look forward to seeing McMillan's by-line on more specifically comics-focused sites, like this one.

* finally, the timing was really bad on this one, but if you haven't read the publishing news announcement for Lynda Barry's Picture This (cover image below), you really should take the time to do so right now.

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