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

March 7, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* IDW sent out word yesterday they'd hired Denton J. Tipton as an editor. Tipton is a former retailer and newspaper editor, and even if he weren't, that's one bad-ass editor's name.

* newspaper industry bible Editor & Publisher notes that three recent winners of big editorial cartooning prizes all syndicate their work through Copley News Service.

image* manga columnist David P. Welsh writes in to inform me that no, nobody really thought the Naruto Nation strategy of offering a lot of book for each month of Fall 2007 would have a dramatic effect on subsequent volumes in the series. He also thought that the new Naruto volume might have been past the measuring date for the latest figures, but it seems to me like the new volume debuted at #73.

* Von Allan writes on news of Warren Ellis' numbers on the first week of FreakAngels and takes objection with some of my phrasing.

* according to their press release, CAPE is moving to Craddock Park this year, I'm guessing because of the size of the FCBD-related event.

* the Direct Market retailer Brian Hibbs wrote in about my statement concerning the move on-line for the property Elfquest, specifically that the three-decade-old franchise was at the end of its cycle in terms of selling through comics shops:
The problem with the physical copy sales of Elfquest is that DC really screwed the pooch with the formatting in the last go rounds.

There's probably not a week that goes by that someone inquires about Elfquest, and I happily show them the $50 "archive-style" hardcovers, as well as the cheaper B&W manga-formatted digests, and each and every one of them says, "No, I want the regular color softcovers like there used to be."

Here's a situation where the format, in and of itself, completely killed the market interest in the work.

Elfquest is fondly loved, and fondly remembered, and the web exposure probably can't hurt anything , but as a retailer I don't think it's actually going to increase sales because the (mostly "civilian" audience) has completely and totally rejected the format options they've been given.

Too bad, I really enjoyed selling the book.
* not comics: I rather liked this obituary of the game designer and author Gary Gygax at Metabunker. Achewood's strip was quite funny, too.

* Chris Breach was among many of you that wrote in to point out that comics already had a fake memoir -- Seth's It's A Good Life, If You Don't Weaken and nobody freaked out. Just to show how on top of things I've been the last few days, another group of you wrote in to say I didn't need to speculate about whether or not Image has a quota's worth of Diamond Previews front covers in any given year -- they do, and that's been firmly established. DC not getting their Final Crisis on that particular front cover because Todd McFarlane has a new line of weird toys? Still funny. That comics' only distributor has bid-for covers rather than the leeway to pick one that best serves the overall market? Still sad.

* an essay about how useful a source of capital, loans and/or financial partnerships would be for one area of comics.

* funny Mary-Louise Parker anecdote involving Al Hirschfeld.

* I totally missed that there was video of the couple that donated a collection to the University of Minnesota.

* finally, it probably makes me a bad person, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around articles like these, and most of the wider studies that instigate such articles. It always seems to me that they argue points that are no longer all that relevant using examples that should no longer be as restricted as the given thesis would have them. The level of sophistication of superhero comics seems to me a vital issue for 1978, not 2008.
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

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