BookExpo America 2011: The Graphic Novel Diaspora

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Once again, BookExpo America, “the leading North American publishing event” took place at the Javits Center in New York City. Just like various comic cons, attendees and journalists love to analyze the zeitgeists floating around the exhibition hall, while others prefer to ignore the elephants in the room.

So, following in the grand tradition of industry analysts and bloggers (beware the Camel’s nose!), I will give you my opinions at what I experienced this year.

Get well soon, Phil Yeh!

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Artist Phil Yeh is a familiar sight at comics and books shows, painting murals as part of his “Cartoonists Across the World” literacy campaign which he’s been doing for over 20 years.

Chinese prisoners forced to play World of Warcraft for money

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It’s a new style of pimping.

Instead of selling their bodies, or busting their backs digging ditches, some Chinese prisoners are forced to play World of Warcraft and pass the winnings on to cruel prison guards.

Nice art: Emma Rios' Cloak and Dagger and Marvel office moves

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Marvel editor Steve Wacker was tweeting some art earlier in the day, including rather nice page by Emma Rios on the Cloak & Dagger Spider-Island tie-in. Clickee for largee!

Cryptozoic offer free World of Warcraft GN downloads

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Back when they were signing and selling licensed comics, Tokyopop put out some World of Warcraft manga-sized graphic novels. Unlike other material lost in the diaspora of the company (which is officially closing down next week) these comics are still owned by Blizzard, and are being released digitally by Cryptozoic, the newish entertainment company headed up by Cory Jones, formerly of Blizzard, and John Nee, formerly of DC. Two Warcraft GNs and one Starcraft GN are available on Cryptozoic’s app for free for right now.

To do: Marvels and Monsters

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With all the talk about comics and racial stereotypes, this show running at NYU sounds like a must see. MARVELS AND MONSTERS looks at images of Asians in comics from the stereotyping of World War II through to the 80s. Curator Jeff Yang has some installation in progress photos on his Facebook Page. Sadly we missed the opening talk and reception last night but it looks to be a very comprehensive show, looking at different stereotypical roles including The Alien, the Kamikaze, the Brute, the Lotus Blossom, the Guru, the Brain, the Temptress, and the Manipulator. How well we know all those. The show runs until August 19th. Deets below:

Wonder Woman pilot wasn't that bad and neither were her shorts

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iFanboy’s Conor Kilpatrick has seen the fabled Wonder Woman Pilot and….

There wasn’t a whole lot about the pilot that I didn’t like.

To do tonight: Cousin Corinne's LIVE COMIX BLOCK

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Cousin Corinne’s LIVE COMIX BLOCK launches w/a presentation of Nick Bertozzi’s LEWIS&  CLARK and Jason Little’s MOTEL ART IMPROVEMENT SERVICE, MC’d by Jah Furry aka Jeff Newelt, on Friday, May 27th @7pm at BookCourt, 163 Court street [between Pacific&  Dean], Brooklyn / 718.875.3677. … + Nick Bertozzi will be showing images (first time anywhere) of his upcoming graphic novel JERUSALEM written by Boaz (REMEMBER THE TITANS) Yakin http://nickbertozzi.com/ http://beecomix.com/ http://nickbertozzi.com/ http://beecomix.com/ John Hodgman re LEWIS&  CLARK “Nick Bertozzi’s comics do more than bring history to life: they reanimate these long dead souls and make them human again.

Industry trends: Non-superhero books moving up

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Industry analysis site ICv2 has just released a new industry report card for Q1 ’11, and while sales were a bit patchy, it wasn’t a disaster. This article contains links to a bunch of category analyses, but perhaps the most interesting is that non-Big Two, non-superhero titles are beginning to take up a bigger part of the market share:

Studio Coffee Run 5/27: AKIRA, Wonder Woman, Torchwood etc.

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Shannon O’Leary brings you up to speed on the week’s developments in nerd-themed entertainment, starting with a mysterious photo of Catwoman.

Digital Issues, Part 1 – The Apps

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Comics and the iPad were made for each other. The screen, although slightly smaller than a comic page, works nicely to display comics. Panels look great on it’s glossy screen, even with the backlight turned down. Even the iPad with the smallest capacity can hold 20 longboxes worth of comics, no problem, and that’s just what I can carry with me. Comics folks are classically unwilling to accept change (why do you think no one ever dies in comics?) but it’s time. Comics are going digital and we should embrace that, so here’s a quick look at some of the best digital comics readers for the iPad.

January Jones as the White Queen is heating up

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Fox has been holding back on the January Jones/White Queen lingerie shots for X-MEN: FIRST CLASS but The Hollywood Reporter is delivering with some shots in era-appropriate (and now fetishized) garb.