Dark Horse Goes Simultaneous Print and Digital Release – The Trend Continues

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In the latest announcement of its kind, Dark Horse announced today that as of December 14, 2011 it will be releasing all its comics simultaneously in both digital and print. (Remember, just say no to the “day and date” phrase.) Over at Robot 6, Brigid Alverson did a little digging and found out this simultaneous release extends to original graphic novels and trade editions, with a price point from $2.99 to $7.99.

Beat Holiday Giveaway: Flight #2

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When the first FLIGHT anthology appeared in 2007, some people thought it was the beginning of a new school of comics — a group of artists as influenced by animation (particularly Miyazaki) as comics. While many of them have yet to make a huge mark in comics, a bunch of Flight alumni have gone on to create significant comics — for instance, Vera Brosgal’s ANYA’S GHOST just came out this year; Kazu Kibuishi’s AMULET series continues to gain young readers, and Jake Parker has illustrated his own books in addition to a collaboration with Michael Chabon. The list goes on and on — Sonny Liew, Becky Cloonan, Hope Larson — most of the artists in FLIGHT are young, and they have years of work ahead of them.

FLIGHT #2 is if anything an even more spectacular than the first book. Check out the contributors and previews below — it’s a stunning anthology of breathtaking art and optimistic stories, and one of the finest comics anthologies of the decade:

New House of Fun from Evan Dorkin in DARK HORSE PRESENTS

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Eltingville! Fisher-Price Theater! Devil Puppet!

ARE WE DREAMING? NO — it is happening.

Alex Cox named CBLDF Deputy Director

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Via PR. Congrats to Alex! He gets to wear a shiny deputy badge now.

Please hold

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Our tech is on hold while we switch computers. In the meantime, enjoy these whirl animated covers by Kerry Callen.

Random thoughts on hoarding

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About once a year, we give Stately Beat Manor a really good going-over — tossing out unwanted pamphlets, moving some stuff into storage, organizing permanent additions and so on — and after doing so we write a post with our thoughts about storage and hoarding and so on.

This is that post, c. 2011.

I assume most of you reading this are borderline hoarders, like The Beat. Your shelf porn resembles a splatter film. You have more longboxes than you do pieces of silverware. Your home contains at least one Billy. You have at one time — perhaps even at this very moment — made use of some kind of software to catalog your collection even if it was just Excel or Google spreadsheets. You know the drill.

Daniel Clowes looks at bookstores on this week's New Yorker cover

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It takes a while for all the elements of this cover to sink in, but like Clowes’ previous efforts for the magazine, once they do, it’s a keeper.

Via the Fantagraphics blog.

DC's New 52 compilation crushes the competition

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Our review copy of THE NEW 52, the $150, 1216-page collection of EVERY SINGLE NEW 52 #1 issue has arrived. Future uses: pressing flowers, anchoring papers during hurricane. This thing is HEAVY. And big. We’ve shown it here next to a cup of coffee for size reference.

Meanwhile, James Robinson is on Twitter drumming up support for the non-New 52 SHADE which is selling badly and in danger of cancellation. Which, if it had been a New 52 book, would probably be selling as well as BATWING or OMAC.

Stolen ACTION #1 that once belonged to Nicolas Cage expected to become most expensive comic of all time

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It’s the Hope Diamond of the comic book set. The one-of-a-kind 9.0 graded copy of ACTION #1 that once belonged to actor Nicolas Cage is going on the auction block — and it is expected to set a record for a comic price. The comics loving actor purchased the copy — the finest of ACTION #1 known to exist — in 1997 for $150,000. It was then stolen from his house in 2000 and vanished from history until it was found in a California storage unit last year. According to ComicConnect’s Vincent Zurzolo — the go-to man for all comics collectible lore — the stolen comic was actually tracked down and traced to a man who had purchased it from the owner of the contents of the unit. Will someone please make a movie about this investigation?

Graphic Classics announces AFRICAN AMERICAN CLASSICS edition

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The Graphic Classics line of comics anthologies has been around for over a decade without getting much attention the comics world — but in libraries, they love these thoughtfully produced collections of comics adaptations of single authors or themes. And here’s a neat idea that comics haven’t really covered before: early black authors such as Florence Lewis Bently, Charles Chestnutt, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Editor Lance Tooks has rounded up a fine slate of cartoonists for the adaptations, including Kyle Baker, Afua Richardson, Christopher Priest and Trevor von Eeden.

Beat Holiday Giveaway: I KILLED ADOLF HITLER

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When you think of Scandinavia you think of cliches like austere and laconic and fatalism — all words which apply to the work of Norwegian cartoonist Jason. The cliches happen to be true but in the happiest, freshest way. As you can tell by reading his blog, Jason is a big fan of classic films and their pacing, and his work mashes up funny animals, ligne claire, noir thrillers, introspective indie movies where people talk in diners for hours and horror icons into his own marvelous style — tightly plotted stories where tall rangy birds and dogs talk without smiling of life, love and death, the very essentials of human existence. Jason characters are unsmiling because they know how deadly serious are the machinations of human heart; love is a matter of life and death (sometimes undeath) in every Jason story.

The Muppets (Movie) Review

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While Twilight-mania lapped it at the box office over the holiday weekend, The Muppets relaunched their film career. “The Muppets” (As opposed to “The Muppet Movie”) is a little bit of a departure from previous Muppets flicks in a number of ways. First off, the classic Muppets were not the main characters of the story. It was a very self-referential film, filled with in-jokes for adults who grew up with the franchise. It had more political overtones than one would expect from the Muppets. It also was a lot of fun.

Queen Crab is crawling towards you

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This new Image book from writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Artiz Eiguren looks plenty arresting, but the cover by Sas Christian is what will claw its way into your nightmares. The standalone graphic novel goes on sale in February.

Nice art: Becky Cloonan's CONAN

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A nice preview of the Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan version of the Cimmerian brawler.

Diana Gabaldon on her brief comics career

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Bestselling fantasy author Diana Gabaldon, creator of the Outlander series, had a comics bestseller last year with her book THE EXILE, and in an interview at EW, she explains her earlier career writing Disney Comics:

Watch the Neil Gaiman Simpsons episode

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“The Book Job,” the sixth episode of the 23rd season of The Simpsons, co-stars Neil Gaiman. Not in a cameo, but as the main storyline.