Potential Star Wars VII villain Adam Driver has already been to outer space

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It is a new millennium and a New Star Wars Trilogy. And according to reports this afternoon Adam Driver is nearing a deal to sign on as the villain in STAR WARS VII, which JJ Abrams is directing for release next year. THR suggests that casting for the threequel is well underway, however, Manhattan Project-like […]

Indie Month-to-Month Sales December 2013: Guess what zombie title was #1?

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My sincerest apologies for both the lateness and the brevity of this month’s column. I’m in the middle of a move to a new city, and have just started a new job, so time has been especially scarce this month. I’ve not been able to comment on many of the titles towards the lower end of the chart, and I suspect next month will be very similar. Things should be back to normal by the February chart though!

It was a relatively quiet December, Bill Willingham’s Legenderry the highest charting new entry amongst the usual bumper-selling Image titles, a couple of Star Wars books and My Little Pony. Elsewhere, it’s a very downward trending chart, with only 11 titles going up in sales and a colossal 123 going down, with the rest made up of new entries and specials.

Go girl: Lois Lane gets a very rare one shot today

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Today’s Lois Lane one-shot comic by Marguerite Bennett and Emanuela Lupacchino is not only the first Lois Lane solo book in a long time, but a possible “pilot” season for the character, who is actually the LONGEST running female character in the Superhero Universe, having debuted in Action Comics #1 right along side Clark Kent. […]

Comixology announces their SXSW schedule

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  Comixology will once again be making a big splash (although hopefully not the same kind as they amde last year)at the SXSWi interactive conference which runs March 7-11. Activities will encompass: sponsoring the SXSW Geek Stage; a special panel; happy hour; free comics offered throughout the event; and handing out $150,000 worth of $5 […]

Unassuming Barber Shop: The Batmobile

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In one of his last interviews, longtime Batman artist Jerry Robinson spoke with “BatmobileHistory.com” about the origin of the Batmobile:

BatmobileHistory: Starting with Detective Comics #27, when Batman started, the design of his car varied wildly…but then in Batman #5, the design with the bat mask and roof fin appeared . . . Was there a specific origin or inspiration for that design? It’s really the first superhero car…

Colorist Matthew Wilson: “It’s Better Than Diggin’ Ditches” [Interview]

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If you like comics, you’ve almost certainly seen Matthew Wilson’s work. Colourist for many of the most acclaimed comics of the last few years, his work has been seen on Wonder Woman, Young Avengers, Swamp Thing, Phonogram, Secret Avengers and many more comics. Colouring is getting more attention now than it has ever done before, […]

RIP: Diamond Digital

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It’s hard to remember those timid days when digital comics were a threat to civilization as we know it and not a solid revenue stream, but one of the artifacts of that era, Diamond Digital, has been laid to rest. This was a program whereby retailers, instead of licking ‘em could join ‘em by setting up their own digital storefronts via Diamond. It never really worked out, for various reasons including a long, protracted roll-out, and at one point Brian Hibbs reported he had made a grand total, net, of $22.89 in a year from the program.

SDCC ’14: Hotel-o-ween kicks off with Early Bird Hotel sale!

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Well, this is not really hotel-o-ween. It is a nice, orderly, adult process known as the Comic-Con International early bird hotel sale. Basically if you don’t mind a brief 15-20 shuttle ride and paying the whole amount upfront, you can book a perfectly nice hotel room in Mission Valley or Hotel Circle RIGHT NOW.

News alert: Abe Vigoda is still alive

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It’s been a week to remember out mortality. Close to home, two excellent comics journalists, Bhob Stewart and Bill Baker passed away, leaving many friends behind, and the death of comedian/director/Ghostbuster Harold Ramis was a shock to all of us. So on a more cheerful note, I’d like to remind everyone that Abe Vigoda, Godfather […]

RIP: Bhob Stewart

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Pioneering comics journalist Bhob Stewart has passed away after a lingering illness. His website is here, but tributes are piling up on his FB page. Stewart was one of the very first “fan” writers who was a writer first and a fan later, and was hugely influential in helping many people in the industry. He […]

Sad news for MoCCA Fest attendees: Baoguette has closed

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While walking around the ‘hood recently, I’d been noticing that Baoguette, the gourmet banh mi outpost on Lexington opposite the Armory, was ominously closed; today the construction notices and lack of signs made it final: Baoguette is no more. Opened in 2009 or so by celebrity chefs Michael Huynh and Thao Nguyen, Baoguette’s sandwiches led […]

Bookscan 2013: kids and zombies ruled the charts

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It’s that time of year! SF retailer Brian Hibbs has released his annual analysis of the Bookscan 2013 sales charts. This chart is subscriber only, so technically this is a leak, so if you want to download your own version of the top selling 750 graphic novels of the year, go here.

Now, as we all know, Bookscan IS NOT 100% of GN sales, even in bookstores. The numbers do not includes comics shop sales, and are billed as 85% of books sold in regular bookstore outlets. While Walmart has been added to the outlets reporting, I’d hazard a guess that those numbers are still low, as they do not include library sales, book clubs and so on.

However, as I always say, these numbers do provide a metric. These are the books that sold in the stores that report to Bookscan, and while they should not be taken as final totals, they do provide a glimpse.

The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: Paul Gravett interview special

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald. In this week’s interview special,  Heidi MacDonald interviews leading British comics journalist and historian Paul Gravett, nicknamed “The Man at the Crossroads,’ about “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the […]

Joyful Shigeru Mizuki

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Just in case anyone has the Monday Blues … here's Shigeru Mizuki in a wig for you. pic.twitter.com/BHfROnd3VP — Zack Davisson (@ZackDavisson) February 17, 2014 Shigeru Mizuki was born in 1924, meaning he is 90 years old. He served in World War Ii for Japan and lost his left arm in the conflict. His fictionalized […]

Disney heroically attempting to blow the brains out of zombie Stan Lee Media

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I’ve been doing this daily comics news thing for 11 years, more or less, and if there is one thing which has remained consistent throughout those 11 years of comics industry tumult, it’s Stan Lee Media suing someone or something. I honestly don’t remember all the things they’ve sued, but it includes Stan Lee, Marvel (many times) Conan Properties, and Disney (many times). The suits usually claim that Stan Lee Media owns Spider-Man, or the Avengers or Conan or whatever someone is making a movie of, and the suits always involve insanely tortured legal claims over unrelated documents. The courts always rule against SLMi, as it’s called, but that doesn’t stop them. They keep coming back.

On the Scene: A night with G. Willow Wilson at Word

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Last night I made the epic journey* to Jersey City to host a talk with G. Willow Wilson at the Word bookstore. This shop opened a few months ago and has a healthy interest in graphic novels. The event was the biggest they’ve yet held, I was told, with 80 people or so, a full […]