Image announces IMAGE EXPO for February

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WonderCon may have moved to Anaheim for 2012 due to Moscone Center construction, but the Bay Area will not be without a spring comics show….thanks to Image Comics and the Image Expo.

The creator-owned company is planning its OWN convention, to be held February 24-26 at the Oakland COnvention Center (original home of WonderCon, btw). Image Expo is planned as a 20th anniversary celebration for Image, and will feature as guests of honor Image partners Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. Other creators attending include Image founders Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio, plus Joe Casey, Jay Faerber, Jonathan Hickman, Ryan Ottley, Richard Starkings, Fiona Staples, and Brian K. Vaughan. All will participate in panels, signings and other traditional convention activities.

Digital Comics Frequently Cost More Than Print

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TweetDid you ever notice it’s more expensive to buy new digital comics, than it is to buy new print ones?  The big trend from DC and Marvel is to put the same cover price on both the digital and print editions when they come out.  DC will knock it down $1 when the next issue […]

Marvel Month-to-Month sales: October 2011

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Welcome to month two of Bizarro World! This was quite a busy month for Marvel, with the “Fear Itself” crossover continuing, the relaunch of INCREDIBLE HULK, and the first issue of new title WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN.

But once again, the big story in October was the continued success of the DCU relaunch. DC’s lead over Marvel in September may have been narrow, but in October it was massive. Helped by hefty re-orders on virtually the entire September DCU line, DC led Marvel by 42% to 29% in dollars and a remarkable 51% to 30% in units. That market share is partly due to massive reorders on DC’s September line. It seems reasonable to assume that this won’t be a regular event, and that the gap won’t be quite so large in future. But the possibility that Marvel might have to readjust to life as the number two publisher cannot be ruled out.

Not that it’s doom and gloom by any means. DC’s sales are up, but not at Marvel’s expense. If the DC relaunch has brought new readers into stores, or old readers back, then in theory Marvel should be able to take advantage of that too. On the other hand, it also makes it rather harder for Marvel to argue that its books are losing sales because it’s a tough market. DC has just proved that declining sales are not inevitable.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

Michael George sentenced to life in prison

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Former comics retailer and convention runner Michael George was sentenced to life in prison today for the murder of his wife Barbara 21 years ago. The sentence was mandatory in Michigan, so there was little suspense. At the sentencing, George still protested his innocence. “”Something will be found,’ he told the court. “Someone will come forward. I have never harmed a woman in my life. Let’s not forget no one saw me there — no one.”

Nice art: Mike Choi's variant cover for BATMAN #4

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A new variant cover for month FOUR of the New 52.

New Yorker releases 2011 Cartoons of the Year

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Well, now this is nice! The New Yorker is releasing a “Cartoons of the Year” special issue tomorrow, edited by Robert Mankoff, the cartoon guru for the magazine. The issue features more than 250 cartoons by Charles Barsotti, Glen Baxter, Harry Bliss, David Borchart, Pat Byrnes, Roz Chast, Tom Cheney, Frank Cotham, Michael Crawford, Leo Cullum, Joe Dator, Drew Dernavich, Matthew Diffee, Liza Donnelly, J. C. Duffy, Bob Eckstein, Emily Flake, Felipe Galindo, Mort Gerberg, Alex Gregory, Sam Gross, William Haefeli, William Hamilton, Trevor Hoey, Carolita Johnson, John Kane, Zachary Kanin, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Farley Katz, Edward Koren, Robert Leighton, Lee Lorenz, Robert Mankoff, Michael Maslin, Ariel Molvig, P. S. Mueller, Paul Noth, John O’Brien, Jason Patterson, Danny Shanahan, Michael Shaw, David Sipress, Barbara Smaller, Karen Sneider, Mick Stevens, Julia Suits, Ward Sutton, Tom Toro, P. C. Vey, Kim Warp, Christopher Weyant, Gahan Wilson, and Jack Ziegler.

New art blog: What Not

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Speaking of Dave Johnson, he’s part of a new all-star art blog called What Not: that features Amanda Conner, Andrew Robinson, Becky Cloonan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Cliff Chiang, Dan Panosian, Duncan Fergredo, Eric Canete, Jock, Mark Chiarello, Mike Oeming, Reverend Dave Johnson, and Sean Phillips. Can you say wow? Bookmark!

Must read: Cover design with Dave Johnson

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How would you like to sit in while Anthony Bourdain critiques food or Albert Pujols talks hitting or Herman Cain talks how to look credible in a big sinister fedora? That’s the kind of master class Dave Johnson has been delivering on cover design via Twitter and now…a blog.

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That would be the Dave Johnson who created some of the most iconic covers of the last decade or so. While he may not be making a lot of friends, he’s calling ‘em as he sees ‘em. Here’s a sampling:

Nice art: Philippine ghouls by Kitt Lapeña

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Like the Batibat, the Kapre is a relatively gentle giant who lives in trees and smokes a big tobacco pipe.

He said, she said: Are girls ruining THE BIG BANG THEORY?

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We’ve never found much amusing in THE BIG BANG THEORY, the nerd comedy for our times, but we are distinctly in the minority on this, as it’s one of the signature sitcoms of the day (and the #1 show in Canada!) However, in recent years its girl-fearing cast of hardcore geeks has been joined by all kinds of women — not just the hot chick across the hall but smart women like Blossom and…now, actual girlfriends.

John Doyle at the Globe and Mail sees this as clear shark jumping territory:

Brandon: Sales charts are the devil's work

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Writer Ivan Brandon gives voice to the frequently-stated among creators idea that sales charts are a dangerous thing for the business, and may actually help put people out of work. He was most upset by the recent iFanboy piece that looked at all the Marvel books that seemed to be below the line that spelled cancellation:

RIP: Alvin Schwartz

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As usual, Mark Evanier has word of the passing of writer Alvin Schwartz at age 95, a prolific writer for DC in the ’40s and ’50s who invented many elements of the Superman canon:

Kibbles 'n' Bits, 11/21/11

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Alan Moore, gift guides, Cassandra Cain vs Wonder Woman.