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June 30, 2009


Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* the cartoonist and major editorial cartooning on-line presence Daryl Cagle, a member of both the AAEC and NCS, offers up a bunch of compelling advice to the former on the eve of their annual convention.

image* the writer Ken Parille extols the virtues of The Comics Revival.

* the writer Tim O'Neil is thinking about the X-Men.

* here's a highly complimentary summary essay on Lynda Barry's work well worth your time.

* not comics: it's hard to find a framework to discuss proposals like the one made in this column by Connie Schultz whereby copyright law should be changed in order to better protect a newspaper's interests in a story it reports. On the one hand, it is a "real solution" when compared to the vague allusions to mostly discredited revenue models that passes for such in journalism circles. On the other hand, it's hugely problematic. That it doesn't solve all the problems -- well, that's obvious, and arguing as much is usually a nasty, over-facile Internet construction whereby it's strongly asserted all proposals solve all problems. No the problems here are more on the ground. One, newspapers themselves depend heavily on re-purposing information. Two, while it's true production costs haven't gone down the fact is that maybe they should have, which means sustaining that model may not be necessary or desirable. Third, it's hard to turn facts into proprietary information, and doubly so in an era moving forward where companies will produce their own news in an effort to control what's said about corporate action A, B, or C. My guess is that this is maybe something that could be explored and might have benefits, because there are abuses, but by the time all the nettlesome aspects are figured out the way people process news will have continued to change to the point where such laws will guard information few people will be interested in accessing.

* not comics: I just know when I show up at the Pearly Gates, there will be a quiz for entry regarding verb agreement.

* the writer Craig Fischer on those Ditko hands.

* finally, the retailer Mike Sterling wonders out loud why there can't be a single title for a single character or team of characters, and discusses some of the virtues of that approach. I would prefer it that way, too, and I'll continue to make fun of comics with names like "Road To Hammergeddon, Absolution: Red Bee and The Creeper" until I stop writing about comics. The answer is money, of course, with a bit of related issues like market share pressing in. Mainstream comics companies decided a long time ago that it's preferable to grind as much money as possible from a devoted audience than pursue a strategy that emphasizes greater participation from casual buyers. The last time a company seriously considered a strategy like the one Sterling is proposing was early in the Shooter era at Marvel.
 
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