The Retail Solution: Field and D’Angelo on the state of retailing with ComicsPRO

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[The ComicsPro annual meeting held last month was an important event in the continuing flux of the comics and media world, and ComicsPRO board members wanted to make sure that the word got out. President Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, Concord CA and Carr D'Angelo of Earth-2 in Northridge and Sherman Oaks graciously made time to talk to us during the busy schedule to give their impressions of the meeting and the events surrounding it. Or as Field put it, "It was such an eventful meeting we wanted to get some better word out about it." Although we’re late in posting this due to a tech glitch, the issues it discusses are just as relevant as they were a few weeks ago -– and even more so in light of the Diamond Retailer Summit starting tomorrow in conjunction with C2E2.

As we’ve noted here before, with Borders sinking, comics sales growth in bookstores have definitely slowed. The local comics stores – although often the butt of Android's Dungeon type jokes -– are in truth a dedicated sales force of passionate evangelists for comics that almost every other category would envy. Flaws and all, the LCS system is integral to comics thriving as a business; ComicPRO’s efforts -– it was the biggest meeting for the organization yet -- towards fixing those flaws and getting everyone on the same page are a key part of that. ]

DC blog enforcer cracks down on comments

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It seems there is a new sheriff in DC’s digital town, and she goes by the name Molly Merrell. This new member of DC Online has just delivered a smackdown on rowdy posters at DC’s Source blog:

SXSWi 2011: Immortality in a Digi-Physical Age

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With the continuing tradition of the band poster convention, FLATSTOCK, in Austin and the gaggles* of cartoonists, designers and journalists, there is no surprise that one of the Interactive panels focused on How Print Design is the Future of Interaction. One full room of print people eagerly waiting to hear what only one man, Mike Kruzeniski, had in mind. Kruzeniski works for Microsoft and is key in the development of the Windows Phone 7.

C2E2 approacheth

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Over at MediumAtLarge.net, the official ReedPop blog, pictures of comics invading the Valhallan halls of McCormick Place in Chicago are already circulating. There’s lots of news and notes about the show on recent blog posts, but for the socially inclined, there’s news of a special C2E2 brew!

Chester Brown hits the road in May

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As the PR points out, Chester Brown isn’t a recluse but he doesn’t leave his home city of Toronto too much, so catching him on the road this year in support of PAYING FOR IT is a must. More dates to be announced, but the current schedule calls for Toronto, Chicago, NYC, Montreal, Vancouver and Seattle.

2011 Doug Wright Award finalists announced

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Awards season is really shifting into high gear. The Doug Wright awards, honoring the best in English-language comics (or translations of French) by Canadians living at home and abroad, will be presented May 7th at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. In addition to the three main prizes, David Boswell, creator of Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman, has been inducted into The Giants of the North, the Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame — only recently we were discussing with someone far better informed than us how Boswell is a legend of the Canadian comics scene, so it’s a fitting honor for him. The rest of the finalists reflect a strong slate that has been much honored in other recent awards — the Canadian scene is kicking it!

Digital Comics: the future of commerce and the future of art?

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Where are comics going anyway? Has anybody asked that lately? David Brothers and Matt Seneca have their own takes on the matter.

NICE art: James Jean art and benefit

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Holy shit, James Jean.

His latest show of paintings is up at the Martha Otero gallery in Hollywood and it runs until April 30. We’re jealous of those who get to see it in person.

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Jean has also just released this limited edition silk scarf which you can buy at the link. ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE RED CROSS. THe scarf retails for $385. Only 50 were made. There is a B&W version as well, same price, same run.

Stuart Levy's Japan relief efforts and more

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A few weeks ago we were ragging on Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy for insensitive tweeting, and business mistakes, but now he’s in Sendai, helping with relief efforts, tweeting about it:

Land o' Links, 3/16/11

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Secrets of the comics…not answered, but revealed. Old time cartoonists! MariNaomi has the best quote of the day and we wonder if SXSW will ever turn into Comic-Con or vice versa.

This week's agenda

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WOW, The Beat is so far behind in everything. If you’ve emailed or called or anything we apologize for being in radio silence. There is just not enough time in the day.

But even so, we’ll be headed to C2E2 tomorrow, first for the Diamond retail event and then the regular show. Good times! We’ll have a who’s where later — please send links and party poop.

BTW, were the editors of TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED obsessed with the color green? That WAS unexpected.