To Do: Strange Tales 1 and 2 party and signing, April 9th

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The MoCCA Fest social scene is already jam-packed, but we wanted to alert you to this one, which takes place just around the corner from the Armory and leaves you plenty of time to get a signed book, have a brew and a bite, and then head off to wherever you next need to be. It’s being co-hosted by the CBLDF and The Beat, and will feature tons of your favorite cartoonists, so come on by!

Please note that the Mad Hatter also has a patio so if the weather is nice we can stand outside and talk about comics! They are also giving us happy hour specials so even someone on a comics budget can have a good time. See you there!

comiXology releases Kids Comics app with 15 publishers

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Long discussed, the comiXology phone and tablet app for kids comics is available today. Such popular characters as Archie, Sonic the Hedgehog, Secret of Kells, Atomic Robo and dozens more kid-friendly, parent-approved characters will be available. Complete PR is below, but the main idea is that if you are a parent — or know of one — you know that iPhones and iPads are increasingly being used as babysitters for small children, and kids book apps top the iPhone charts. As the app is non log-in based, everything on it is preapproved; it’s not hard to see how this is going to make buying digital comics for children in the classic “reward” method much easier.

The app has launched with 15 publishers and 175 comics; notably absent are Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and IDW, but hopefully they’ll be coming on board in some way.

Image books sell out from Diamond

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Five of this week’s Image books have sold out at Diamond and are going back to press. PR below and 2nd printing cover roughs scattered throughout this post. Please note, just because these are sold out at Diamond doesn’t mean you can’t still buy them in your local comics shop — according to my email there are many copies available.

Continuing the recent trend of releasing new series to rave reviews and instant sellouts, Image Comics has announced that BLUE ESTATE #1, GREEN WAKE #1, NONPLAYER #1, UNDYING LOVE #1 and the second printing of THE INFINITE VACATION #1 have all sold out at the distributor level and are going back to press.

The day in Marvel PR: Thor/Loki trailer, Fear Itself, Moon Knight

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What did Marvel send to our mailbox today?

SPOILERS: BRIGHTEST DAY #23 reintroduces you-know-who to Lantern mythos

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Out of deference to those who have yet to pick up and slip to the last page of BRIGHTEST DAY #23, we’ll put this in the jump.

DO NOT CLICK UNLESS YOU WANT SPOILERS.

NOT KIDDING.

SPX unveils 2011 flyer by Craig Thompson — UPDATED with more guests

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Besides being a lovely flyer, several new guests are revealed in this flyer by Craig Thompson, including Diane Noomin and Chester Brown. Thompson’s long awaited HABIBI comes out this fall and should be a HOT topic of conversation.

Tom Fowler is drawing VENOM

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Apparently Rick Remender and Tom Fowler are teaming up on Marvel’s VENOM comic…and it looks INSANE. More insanity in the link.

Village Voice wonders why cartoonists don't make more money — while not paying cartoonists

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As mentioned in a previous item, this week’s Village Voice is the Cartoon Issue, and the centerpiece is a longish article called If Cartoons Are So Big, Why Don’t They Pay?; it’s one of several recent prominent articles — like the recent Marvel profile in the em>NY Times — that focus on the rather frugal level of profits one can expect from publishing comic books in America.

Ward Sutton covers the Village Voice

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This week’s Village Voice is the Cartoon issue, to tie in to MoCCA Fest, and regular Voice contributor Ward Sutton has done the cover. Sutton is known for his ability to mimic other art styles, but this time, we do believe he’s topped himself — esp. with Marlys Wonder Woman and Rusty Brown Bumstead.

BUT…see next item.