A Comic Show's Mike Pandel in critical condition

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Very sad news out of Florida, where Mike Pandel, employee at A Comic Shop and co-host of the store’s video blog A Comic Show and The Nerdy Podcast, is in a coma after a car accident and not expected to pull through.

Coming Attractions: Mid-Winter 2012 Library Edition

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Here’s what I discovered at the recent American Library Association Mid-Winter conference in Dallas, Texas! Librarians are rocking the graphic novels!

The $235K (And Counting) Kickstarter Comic

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We have a new winner for largest Kickstarter-funded comic… and there’s still 22 days to go on the pledge drive. The “Order of the Stick Reprint Drive” is about a webcomic not acting like Marvel. That is to say, a few of the print collections of the Order of the Stick webcomic were out of print and creator Rich Burlew needed to get some cash up to afford the printing bill on some large full color books. $235K worth of pledges in a week? Yeah, I think it’s working.

Coming Attractions: January 2012: For Kids of All Ages!

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New comics! Fun stuff for everyone! (And, of course, before you hand the book over to a young impressionable mind, you have to read it first to make sure it is age-appropriate!)

Graphicly Joining the Ranks of Self-Service Comics Apps

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First Amazon tweaked their Kindle Fire file format from some (very basic) navigation to service comics and children’s books. Then Apple’s slightly controversial self-service app came along, making it even easier (depending on how you view the legal string attached to that app). Now Graphicly’s starting to roll out their self-service app.

Graphicly has a slightly different twist than what we’ve seen with the self-serve apps, thus far. They’re emphasizing their service as creating a digital comics storefront and branding it yourself (presumably with an eye on the publisher’s website and social media like Facebook), as opposed to being listed in the catalog for Amazon / iBooks / Nook / comiXology / Graphicly, etc. De-emphasize the app, emphasize the publisher.

An Easy Comics Job You Can Bid On

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Do you REALLY want to work in comics? Have a got a deal for you. There’s a job posted over at eLance (a portal where you bid on jobs, lowest bidder frequently winning) that gets you into digital comics production:

The Curse of Santayana

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Once again, a creator loses a copyright battle against a major comics publisher with a major motion picture soon to screen. The artist is living in poverty, has health problems, and is forgotten by the general public. Sound familiar? Read on… it gets worse.

Nice art: Ulises Farinas on process

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If you have been looking at comic art posts on the internet for long, you have probably at some time admired the intricate and imaginative illustrations of cartoonist Ulises Farinas and thought “How does he do it? Well, here’s how in a detailed post on drawing a cover for Zupi magazine:

New Logo Mania: Bongo gets new logo, new creative director; Matt Groening gets secret projects

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Bongo is the successful comics publishing company that nobody knows about. Although it will celebrate its 17th anniversary this year, and has mastered the periodical-to-trade business model, and has been happily plugging along publishing essentially creator driven comics for all that time….no one in the comics industry EVER talks about Bongo. Sure, publishing Simpsons comics seems like a no-brainer…but do you think the books would have lasted this long as a licensed title at DC or Marvel?

Well, now there have been some changes. And some new branding. It has a new logo to start with—three’s a trend! And long-time art director Nathan Kane has been promoted to Creative Director, replacing Bill Morrison, who, we’re told, has joined Simpsons creator (and Bongo owner) Matt Groening to work on secret projects.

DC Month-to-Month Sales: December 2011

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Sales of the “New 52″ books show no sign of stabilization, four issues into DC’s big relaunch. The average “New 52″ title dropped by 17.4% in December, versus 19.6% in November and 5.2% in October.

The only “New 52″ titles with single-digit drops in December are Aquaman (6.0%), Teen Titans (9.6%) and Batman: The Dark Knight (9.7%). The three “New 52″ titles with the biggest fourth-issue drops are Static Shock (28.2%), Mister Terrific (29.0%) and Men of War (30.0%). Overall, there are 18 “New 52″ titles with drops in excess of 20% in December, down from 22 in November. The lack of re-orders on the chart also suggests that the sheen is off the “New 52.” Whereas 51 of the debut issues made the chart again in October, only two of the second issues charted again in November. In December, none of the third issues made the chart again.

The average drop-off in first-month sales since issue #1 for the “New 52″ books is 36.4%, as of December. The three titles with the smallest overall drop-off are Animal Man (7.4%), Detective Comics (13.5%) and Nightwing (17.6%). The three titles with the largest overall drop-off are Blackhawks (58.0%), Mister Terrific (56.7%) and Men of War (55.6%). Only 7 of the “New 52″ titles display an overall drop-off of less than 20%, while 9 of them have already lost more than 50% of their debut first-month sales.

The Walking Dead opening credits as cheesy '80s sitcom

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The internet FTW once again.

Comics make Hints From Heloise

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Hints From Heloise is a venerable newspaper column (remember those) that usually covers topics such as what to do when you scorch your husband’s shirt while ironing, and how to fix a squeaky hinge. But now it has hinted up comics.

Possible new Angry Birds Space game gets comics spin-offs

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A little birdie in the sky has alerted us to four Angry Birds tie-in books due out in July—and they appear to be space-themed…and include comics.

The history of sexy women in comics via Black Canary

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All week DC Women Kicking Ass has been running polls to pick the favorite artists on various DCU heroines, such as Wonder Woman and Batgirl. It’s fun to see the great artists who have drawn these characters over the years. It is also fun to observe how community standards have changed with regards to superheroines. Take Black Canary. It’s a pretty safe assumption that even when the character was created by Carmine Infantino and Robert Kanigher in 1947, a woman in fishnet tights was assumed to be hot stuff. However, first general prudishness, and later the Comics Code, kept her sort of modest. In recent years, she’s been unchained.

DC updates New 52 collection plans

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Ending some speculation, DC released an updated schedule for New 52 collections, and even the red shirt six titles that already joined the hall of heroes WILL be collected in their entirety — all eight issues of Omac, Static Shock, etc, will be collected. Nice move there, actually.

Kibbles 'n' Bits, 1/23/12-1/27/12

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A week of tab clearing.