Go, Read: Two Pieces On The Changing Comics Business
* I haven't liked a whole lot of the articles I've read at Editor & Publisher the last two or three years, but Rob Tornoe's work on comics-related news has been generally strong and this article on the business models used by syndicates is no exception. I think King Features' Brendan Burford has it right in that those businesses are in a relatively stable period after a super-panicky 2009. I think the piece may be best as a selection of isolated insights, such as one from Rick Newcombe at Creators where he actually admits that technology has driven some costs down. No one ever talks about that kind of thing because saying you're making some money back due to an unforeseen circumstance takes some of the force away from company moves designed to maximize profits in various other ways.
* It's much less comprehensive than Tornoe's piece, but Warren Ellis writing about the return of a specific practice at mainstream comics companies where creators are made to submit work without actually having a gig yet speaks directly to the kind of broadly exploitative practices by major comics companies that are frequently excused by the citation of growing economic pressures and market realities. The distressing thing about that excuse is that it's applied whether or not those economic pressures are really any worse than the period when those practices didn't exist.