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February 14, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* Bryan Munn takes a look at a thorough report on Canadian comics production, which marks a slight downward move from 2006's ridiculous levels but if you accept that year as a positive aberration the general trend shows eight years of increased growth in number of books published.

* in an ongoing story I think worth tracking, 2000 AD is expanding its digital offerings of complete issues of its comics. Not only is it an aggressive program thus far, 2000 AD has a seemingly ready to exploit mix of passionate fans lacking easy access to new issues, a deep back-issue catalog and offers recognizable characters.

image* tributes to the late comic book writer Steve Gerber continue to flood the Internet and add to the "collective memory" entry found below. Of the various links I've seen to which I haven't linked before today, I'd recommend this remembrance by writer Steven Grant, this appreciation of Gerber's work on Crazy by Scott Edelman, the New York Times obituary, and several of the posts and commentary directed by Mark Evanier on Gerber's blog: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Tony Isabella's piece is awfully sweet as well. This piece by Ian Brill is a reminder that Gerber had fans born after Howard the Duck came out, in case anyone thought the reaction to the writer's passing was purely nostalgic.

* I'd like to let all comics publishers out there know that my high school garage band, Brynocki, is available for a comic book project.

* for as much as Boom! took it right in the nuts from some of the Direct Market elite for their unannounced simultaneous free release of Northwind #1 on the Internet (it sold out of its first print run), there's something they do that everyone should agree is a good thing that gets little attention: a DM retailers-only blog, complete with sign-ins and password. I imagine everyone will be doing focused blogs in a couple of years, and perhaps it's already happening. I've seen the blog but I don't think I'm supposed to tell anyone where it is.

* Valerie D'Orazio takes a brief look at some testimony by Herb Trimpe about the corporate nature of modern comics and the way that artists are treated as a result.

* it's Jeff Kinney's world and we're just living in it.

image* there was a time about two or three years ago, I think, where I had a long discussion with a prominent retailer about what seemed like the heat death of the comic book store signing, at one a point a staple of comics promotion. It may just be my imagination, but it seems like such appearance have made a comeback, aided in part by the appearance of company-owned stores in cities (Montreal, Seattle) that didn't really have stores that hosted signings. Chris Butcher's write-up on a recent appearance by cartoonists Kean Soo and Kazu Kibuishi seems a pretty typical example of the newer kind of event, including the fact that the artists may do multiple appearances in a single city, sometimes with a more public function as part of it, such as doing a talk at a local library and a signing at the store.

* speaking of Butcher, he's also posted a long and entertaining think-piece on a recent comic book store singles night, and its inclusive elements, that's worth a read if only to note the changing face of comic shop community outreach -- in some places, anyway.

* congratulations to my local (well, 150 minutes away) comic book store, Dave's Comics and Paintball, for enjoying enough success they're opening a second store in nearby El Paso. In addition to abusing his fine back-issue bins and the shop's Spire Comics-containing quarter boxes, I buy all my Iron Fist and Umbrella Academy comics at Dave's whenever I'm in town.

* the writer Tony Isabella shares his readers' choices for comics-related presidential candidates, and like this year's real-world Democratic party the choices are a diverse lot including a black man, a bronze man, a woman and a possum. I can hardly wait for the hard-hitting debate night questions about the nature of Robbie Robertson's cauliflower ears.

* a Tokyo-based lawyer named Masatoshi Uchida claims that an ongoing serial in the anthology Big Comic Original called Bengoshi no Kuzu Law is plagiarized from his novel and has asked a Tokyo court to stop the comics publication's distribution.
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

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