Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 28, 2009

And They Will All Live Like Cartoonists: The US Economy And Comics, Post #15

* the cartoonist Kevin Huizenga wrote in this morning to say that Amazing Facts and Beyond With Leon Beyond, which I have called by many, mostly made-up name here on the site, has been suspended from the Riverfront Times through at least the first quarter of 2009. Huizenga, Ted May and Dan Zettwoch plan to continue doing the feature and putting them on-line. Since the strip wasn't a Village Voice Media network carry, that decision had to come from the paper itself -- although Kevin pointed out in a subsequent e-mail that it's almost impossible to tell where the budget imperatives might have come from, the paper on its own or in a directive from the home office, and he suspects the latter.

* speaking of the VVM purge of all cartoons from their publications network, Tom Tomorrow has a nice follow-up with reactions from cartoonists that were hit by the move.

* the manga- and anime-focused site Anime News Network has a concise Diamond minimums wrap up that notes both the re-emergence of Haven on a lot of people's horizons and the fact that Diamond will let some publishers secure a listing with a $1000 deposit. I would imagine we'll also hear more about some publishers buying/ordering their own comics through a store in order to get them into the marketplace. That's one of those things that happens that no one really brags about at the convention bar.

* the comics business news and analysis site notes Diamond's recently announced layoffs were 1) solely at the Timonium offices rather than at the Memphis warehouse or a combination of the two, 2) came with pay cuts for other staffers, and 3) were only a small percentage of the people working in Timonium. I think that's worth noting because is smaller and more fragile than a lot of business, it also has yet to experience the kind of madcap firings that some other businesses have.

* a bunch of you e-mailed this post from self-publisher Rick Veitch on his backing away from immediately doing an expensive hardcover of his Brat Pack due to the general economic precariousness in which we all find ourselves right now. Softcover still a go. That's worth noting as it's the first time I've seen someone put something on hold for precisely that reason.

* I would think more of Steve Greenberg's analysis of why MAD is suffering if the publication already hadn't survived across a few generation. There's either something different about this generational -- which is certainly true, but I would have liked to have had that explicitly included -- or there are more factors involved.

* one of you e-mailed me this link to a story that indicates one newspaper company that has a not-horrifying debt situation: the Washington Post's corporation. Keeping things in a positive vein, E&P has a list of papers that have bucked recent, depressing trends.

* finally, via Dirk Deppey comes a twitter feed for your bookmarking pleasure that will likely not get the vote for "most hopeful place of 2009."
posted 7:15 am PST | Permalink

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