10 seconds of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Super Bowl ad

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Whenever I see any of the Pirates 4 previews I think a few things. 1….how a spicy character like Captain Jack Sparrow is best used as seasoning in a stew made of more rational characters and even though PIRATES 2 and 3 were a horrible story mess, Will and Elizabeth gave it a grounding that […]

Borders update: Bankruptcy looming, store uneasy

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According to Bloomberg, Borders is inching towards bankruptcy, to the surprise of no one. They are looking to file next week and close as many as 150 stores along the way. Oof. On our own reconnaissance mission, we went to the Borders nearest us on Second Avenue to check out conditions on the ground. There […]

Apple goes from savior to overlord with new app purchase enforcement

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Apple’s app stores — the middleman of all middlemen — have been the target of a stampede of old media magazines, newspapers, books and comics as the vehicle for sales in the new digital era. But several recent moves make it clear that Apple isn’t in this game as a helping hand for anyone. Or, to put it in a more neutral light, Apple is a PARTNER, not a platform.

The uh-oh feeling started yesterday when it was revealed that Apple had rejected Sony’s e-reader app. This app like the Kindle, Nook, and other “storefronts” sent buyers to a website where they could make purchases without incurring Apple’s 30% fee.

2010 SPACE prizes announced

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The SPACE Prize, given to the best publications presented at the SPACE indie comics show held yearly in Columbus, OH., have just been announced, and they are:

Aaron Colter leaves Dark Horse

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Marketing Coordinator Aaron Colter tweeted and social networked yesterday that he and Dark Horse had parted ways. Colter was a whiz at Twitter and Facebook and all the other ways we talk today, and managed these fuctions for DH, but he also was, shall we say, irreverent — not perhaps the best image for a respected publisher. At any rate, maybe posting stuff like the attached image was a tweet too far.

Celebrate Black History month at 4th Letter

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David Brothers is blogging Black History Month, spotlighting great cartoonists George Herriman and Jackie Ormes, thus far.

Speaking of Black Lightning…

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Viral, unauthorized look at what he’s doing now. Warning: Vocals need compression!

EXCLUSIVE: Preview of Miss Fury from the Library of American Comics

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Tarpé Mills is a name well known to comics historians, not only as one of the best of the female cartoonists of the war years, but as the creator and artist of Miss Fury, one of the first successful superheroine characters, which ran for nearly a decade as a sunday newspaper strip. It was a lively blend of outre characters, adventure and naughtiness. This April Dean Mullaney’s Library of American Comics is reprinting the best of the strips in a deluxe volume complete with an introduction by comics historian Trina Robbins. Mullaney provided a desception of the volume and this preview for our Anniversary week:

Career Week: The Strange Case of Black Lightning

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While we’re spotlighting creators issues and outlooks here at Anniversary Week at The Beat, here’s an oldie but a goodie: The (Sad) Saga of Black Lightning’s Creation by Daniel Best which presents documents and drawings from writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor von Eeden, the team known to have created Black Lightning’s first appearance. There’s some dispute over how the two should be credited — Isabella claims sole creative credit due to having come up with the character all on his own and described the costume and so on — but von Eeden has drawings but…we’ll we won’t get into that here. von Eeden doesn’t want the creator’s credit–or the royalties that come with it — but has his own opinions. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. As is well known, Isabella had the foresight to keep a piece of the character he had created independently of DC editorial — a move he thinks backfired…

To Do: Carl Barks art in NYC

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Long story short, Heritage Auctions is selling six Donald Duck paintings by the great Carl Backs, and the paintings will be displayed at the Heritage Auctions location at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street) through Monday, February 14th.

Two stories behind the story: JG Jones and J. Michael Straczynski

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A couple of interviews out now clarify controversial comics news stories of the past and more recent past; both are a reminder that what you read on CBR or Newsarama is rarely the whole truth — and that’s it’s not always our business to know the whole truth.

TicketLeap takes pride in handling Comic-Con ticket sales

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As you may recall, this Saturday is the FOURTH attempt at Pass-oween for the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, with tickets going on sale with a new, multi-phase system which is being handled by TicketLeap, which explains in a press release:

SUMFIN' SILLY launches on ACT-I-VATE

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Continuing their five-year anniversary party, webcomic collective ACT-I-VATE announces another new strip, SUMFIN’ SILLY by Xeric-winner Nathan Schreiber (POWER OUT). It’s the self-proclaimed “silliest comic on the web.”

Nice art: Paul Pope does Guido Crepax

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From the Adhouse THB Comics From Mars Issue 2 special edition, now available in the UK only from FPI UK..