Coming Attractions: January 2012: Manga

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New manga! Fast cars! Sexy women (and men)! Nazis! Cats! Rock ‘n’ Roll! Murder!

They Love Us!: American Library Association 2012 Youth Media Awards

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Every January, librarians gather together to learn, network, discover, and, most important, RECOMMEND great books to read. Here are some of the award winning books which appeal to readers of graphic novels! Congrats to all!

Must read: Worldwide manga troubles

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Lost in the storms of outrage over every boob shot and inker change at various superheroes comics is the real underreported story of the last six months; the decline in graphic novel sales and the concurrent decline of manga. While the former is definitely partly caused by the latter and both are undoubtedly influenced by the bankruptcy of Borders, the full causes behind both have yet to be fully analyzed.

The manga side of the equation is covered in depth however in a lengthy column by Jason Thompson at io9 called Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better). Thompson is no stranger to the manga field, having authored the essential reference Manga: The Complete Guide and the manga King of RPGs for TokyoPop. So his analysis is well worth following:

The Week In Creative Differences: John Rozum and Rob Liefeld

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In comics, were one privy to what goes on in the editorial suite, you could probably do “The Hour In Creative Differences,” not “The Week.” That said, there have been a couple cases of creative differences that have bubbled to the surface in the last week or so: the circumstances of how John Rozum came to leave Static Shock and the demise of The Infinite from Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld.

Unboxing Day for Tablets: 1 in 3 now owns a tablet

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Over the holidays we kept referring to that day in the late ’90s when everyone got a modem* for Christmas, and the next day you could barely get AOL on dial-up because it was so busy as everyone tried out their new toy. That was what we predicted for Boxing Day as far as tablets go. And sure enough, ownership has doubled over the last month, to the tune of 1 in 3 Americans now owning some kind of tablet.

Pipe dream: Refn + Carano for Wonder Woman

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Okay so that Allie McAmazon version of Wonder Woman didn’t work out as a TV pilot. Despite being re-elevated to Trinity Status as one of DC’s big three, Wonder Woman is still languishing in the development purgatory that so many DC characters seem to swim around in. But how’s this for an electrifying concept for Diana: a film directed by DRIVE’s kinetic stylist Nicholas Winding Refn and starring-MMA fighter-turned-actor Gina Carrano.

Wow, now didn’t that make you jump up and shout “2012!” Refn’s movie was a great character piece, a twisted noir view of LA, a hipster retro fest, AND an edge of your seat action film. All traits that could make an amazing comic book adaptation.

Marvel unveils Art Appreciation Avengers variant covers

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Every once in a while Marvel likes to get cultural by commissioing a bunch of variant covers in the style of great paintings. they’ve just done this with April’s Avengers Art Appreciation Variants, which will whet your appetite for both the Avengers movie AND a trip to the local museum. Alex Maleev, Michael Kaluta, Gabriele Dell’Otto, Greg Horn, Gerald Parel and more channel Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Monet, Pollock, and Egon Schiele (one ‘l’). Which one do you like best?

DC, WB team for WE CAN BE HEROES campaign to fight famine in Africa

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Superheroes have often stepped up to campaign for charities, but this morning’s announcement of Warner’s new WE CAN BE HEROES initiative has set the bar pretty high. A multi-pronged campaign spearheaded by DC Entertainment and WB has committed several million dollars to teaming with three charities to fight starvation in the Horn of Africa, where 13 million people are currently at risk due to drought and war. In addition to selling merchandise, DC Entertainment will match donations dollar for dollar up to $1 million.

TCAF unveils guests: Bechdel, Smith, Ba, Delisle, Moon and more

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The 2012 Toronto Comic Arts Festival has just unveiled it’s first guests and it’s as eclectic lineup of stellar creators from around the world, including Alison Bechdel, Jeff Smith Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, Guy Delisle, Kate Beaton, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Jason, and others from around the world.

The festival also unveiled its to die for poster, by Bá and Moon.

Held May 5-6 in Toronto, this free comics festival is shaping up to be one of the shows of the year.

Although considered part of the”indie” circuit, TCAF’s guest line-up, as in past years, spotlights creators from all levels of the medium. Webcomics, kids comics and cartoonists from 15 nations will be mingling in what many creators consider the best show of the year.