Sales Charts: June Sales Estimates show size of “the long tail”

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The full estimates for June 2014 comics sales are now online, and as reported last weekend, at “halftime” we see a market that has rebounded from winter to bring this year’s sales even with last year.

Retailers spent almost the exact same amount of money on comics and graphic novels in the period in the first halves of this year and last year, but this year they bought slightly more graphic novels and slightly fewer comic books. But the losses in comic books mainly came during the winter; they’ve perked up since. We were down 4% in overall sales in the first quarter and up 4% in the second. (So there’s no “comics recession,” at least in the two-negative-quarters definition of the term.

Marvel to announce new title on The View

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Marvel promises to reveal something “explosive” on The View tomorrow. Is it Mark Millar’s chili recipe? Is it who killed the Watcher? Is it a book aimed at middle-aged housewives? Why is the Beat promoting an announcement about an announcement? Well, as we’ve mentioned before, The View audience is the elusive “fourth quadrant” that comics […]

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson coming to Dynamite

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Comics spinning off from popular fantasy/horror/YA novelists have been a pretty strong category in recent years, and Patricia Briggs is back with a new Mercy Thompson comic from Dynamite, following up on several successful series from the last few years. Thompson is a shapeshifter raised by werewolves, and if that logline appeals to, this is […]

Dynamite announces Vampirella: Feary Tales #1, with Collins, Lansdale, Bissette, Simone and more

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Vampirella is still going strong after 45 years, and say what you will, the lady has some legs. Ba dum ching. Anyway, Dynamite will be published a new anthology series called Faery Tales, run by Nancy Collins and featuring an intriguing line-up of horror and fantasy comics folks, including John Shirley, Joe R. Lansadle, Gail […]

Ultimate when a con is crap: DashCon 2014 solicited people for money to pay the hotel bill while the con was running

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This will almost certainly be the ultimate Con Disaster story for our times, as least for a year or so. DashCon held over the weekend in Schaumberg, IL, was a first year show aimed at Tumblr culture, planned as a meet-up for Tumblr users and such favorites as Welcome to Night Vale, a transmedia podcast that is sort of a Lake Woebegone for Tumblr-ites, Baker Street Babes, cartoonists such as Noelle Stevenson and…Doug Jones? You know the guy who was in Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Dynamite announces The Art of Army of Darkness

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As you know, we’re big Bruce Campbell fans here at Stately Beat Manor, and Bruce was never Brucier than in Army of Darkness. So with Dynamite about to release a collection of The Art of Amy of Darkness—which was their first comic book some 10 (!!!) years ago—you know we’ll want a copy so we can relive artistic reinterpretations of great moments in the history of the One True Bruce, from John Bolton’s classic key art on. Hail to the King, baby.

Review: Spider-Man 2099 #1 — Everything new is old again

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The Marvel Universe of 2099 debuted in 1993 with four titles, one of which was Spider-Man 2099. The bulk of the series, featuring Miguel O’Hara as Spider-Man battling supervillains and the evil-future-corporation of Alchemax, was written by Peter David.

I love Peter David. He’s a wonderful writer who knows dialogue, structure, and character development. David is a superhero in his own right — when he suffered a stroke in 2012, he broke the news himself on his blog a few days later, and he’s been writing comics pretty consistently since his recovery. It’s flat-out wonderful that David is writing a Spider-Man 2099 comic in the year 2014, the actual 21st century.

When a con is crap part one: London Film and Comic Con was crowded

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As we’ve been reporting, as comic-cons become bigger and bigger business, more and more under qualified con-runners are getting into the biz, easing to more and more unsatisfactory convention experiences. This weekend’s London Film and Comic Con was a thrill for many, of the “Ohmigod I got my photo with Stan Lee!’ variety. But other […]

March: Book Two cover revealed on CNN

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March: Book One, the graphic novel memoir of civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis, as adapted by Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, was a bestseller and gained publicity previously little heard of for a graphic novel, with appearances on the Colbert Report and Rachel Maddow among many other places. The first volume has been a […]