SPX table lottery opens on February 1

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The Small Press Expo, to be held this year Sept. 19-20, isn’t a fully curated show. About half the booths are grandfathered in, but the rest are open in a “lottery” that is nerve-wracking but ultimately fair. While curated shows like TCAF and CAB present a sleek line-up, it’s good to have some element of the random for one premiere CAF. REgistration is open from February 1-15 and the rest of the process is laid out in an announcement. “What to expect when you’re expecting to table.”

Today’s reading: The Montgomery Story starring Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This educational comic from 1957 is credited with inspiring many to take on non violent protest as a means to achieving civil rights for all. Most famously, a young John Lewis read it and was inspired to march, a story told this week in March Part 2 by Lewis, Nate Powell and Alfred Aydin.

The comic, published by the Fellowship for Reconciliation, was written by pacifist Alfred Hassler and drawn by an unnamed artist in the Al Capp studio; it’s been translated other language and in 2011 used as a tool in Egyptian protests.

Lots of Dynamite/Dynamic Forces news: Art sales, Reanimator returns, Looking for Group and Jungle Girl by Frank Cho

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Dynamite has been making a lot of announcements, and there isn’t even a con coming. Here’s the round-up:

• CEO Nick Barrucci is selling art from his personal collection by Tom Raney, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna, and Patrick Zircher from books like The Outsiders, The Punisher, Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Order, Robin, and more. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the CBLDF. Barrucci owns hundreds of pages of art, and fans can order by artist: orders will be filled randomly for $75 a page.

The Devastator/Beat Convention Exhibitor Survey is out: which cons are loved, which are hated

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Last fall, we here at The Beat teamed up with the awesome folks at The Devastator to put together a survey for convention exhibitors. With all the controversy over who is spending and what cons are con games, it seemed like time to seriously upgrade this survey. And you responded, with more than 100 people taking the survey, giving results on the top cons and CAFs that revealed average sales and average amount of satisfaction with each show.

In case you’ve never heard of them, The Devastator is a humor/comic magazine based in LA that features sharp satire and art by founders Geoffrey Golden and Amanda Meadows as well as people from The Onion, the Daily Show, Adult Swim, Marvel and more.

The result, as crunched by the Devastator’s staff, has some eye-opening statistics. You can read the entire report right here, and see some of the Devastator team’s own comments below, but here are a few of my own eye-openers:

Farrago teams with IDW for free comics

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In the post Amazology world. many digital comics apps and companies have sprung up trying to stake their claim in this growing world. Farrago Comics is an app for iPad and android that offers a range of free comics. As suggested by their motto “Comic Book Freedom!” the idea is to provide a manageable app for sampling and reading—which isn’t a bad one given today’s crazy quilt of digital platforms. Revenue is provided by ads, as it is with many apps. Up until now they were offering mostly Golden Age and indie comics, but they’ve just sign up with IDW to offer some fan fave #1 from the likes of Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Jonathan Maberry, Chris Roberson, Ashley Wood, etc.

Andy Liegl and Matthew Klein join Valiant sales team

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Valiant Comics has added Andy Liegl, formerly of Boom! and Matthew Klein formerly of Forbidden planet to its marketing team, joining Sales Manager Atom! Freeman, Publishing & Operations Manager Peter Stern, Director of Marketing, Communications & Digital Media Hunter Gorinson, and Publisher Fred Pierce in that end of the company. Tom Brennan recently joined the editorial side.

Sales Charts: Marvel and DC split top shares in December 2014 sales

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Yawn. Batman and Saga led the comics and graphic nvoels charts for Decembers 2014, as they so often do, according to just released stats from Diamond. Batman #37 was the best selling comics periodical, while Saga Vol. 4 led the GNs. Marvel and DC actually split the top publisher shares, with Marvel leading in dollars […]

Loot Crate Star Wars #1 confirmed with Gabriele Dell’Otto cover

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With sales of more than a million copies and the number of confirmed variant covers at 89, Marvel’s first Star Wars #1 in nearly 40 years is already one of the best selling comics of the decade. It was assumed that a Loot Crate edition was part of what propelled the sales to the million dollar […]

And now you can subscribe to Image Comics

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Remember people talking about how Image Comics will once again be the #1 comics publisher? Well, they just announced that you can now subscribe to your favorite Image Comics via Image Direct. Saga, Chew, Walking Dead, Sex Criminals and the Wicked + The Divine fans can now subscribe directly to their favorite comics. And the […]

St. Louis’s Star Clipper Comics to close

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This is really sad. In a letter to customers, Ben and A.J. Trujillo, the owners of Star Clipepr COMis in Stalous, have announced the store is closing, with a liquidation sale beginning on Saturday. Opened in 1988, and going through three ownership changes, Star Clipper was always in front of retailing trends, and the Trujillos had definitely built up a great relationship with their community—as evidenced by the outpouring of support on their FB page—carrying a wide selection of comics for adults and kids, with a strong emphasis on female customers. Recent signings include Neal Adams, Cullen Bunn, Chris Samnee, Michael DeForge, Kate Leth, Tim Lane, Jeff Weigel, so you can see how eclectic their domain was.

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Marvel: Heed the cry—we need a new swimsuit special

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As mentioned earlier, I’ve been on a deadline and haven’t had time to jump all over breaking industry news, but that worked out just fine in the case of the disappearing Marvel Swimsuit Issue update. It seems artists Kris Anka and Kevin Wada posted some images of what would be a NEW Marvel Swimsuit issue, updating the strangest comic of the 90s with a much needed new look at lycra and tencel. The initial pin-ups of some lissome lads were tasty, but the women had not even been drawn when the project had been KILLED. KILLED DEAD, taking with it the hopes and dreams of a thirsty nation.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/15/15: 87-year-old cartoonist crowdfunding 800 page graphic novel

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§ Jack Katz, 87, creator of the oddball self published space fantasy epic The First Kingdom, and Golden Age artist, is indiegogoing a new project, called, encouragingly, Beyond the Beyond. It will run to some 800 pages, but he’s good for it. The tale is streamlined from an riginal 1000+ outline, but his agent told him he might not have time to finish it. Not much is revealed of the story, and the art shown is tiny, but…it is certain to be wild.

So anyway…Take the Beat Polls!

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I’ve been slaving away on an outside project ever since the holidays wrapped, and I’ve had very limited time to write anything too substantial here. Luckily the new kids have been keeping things going reading comics, posting news and generally running wild in the place. So thank Brandon, Alex,
Kyle, Hannah and Dave! The project is wrapping up and I’ll be back in the saddle I hope. The new features like reviews and entertainment news won’t be going away but I hope to get back to the regular Beat recipe which has been altered a bit of late.

Diamond 2014 Stats: top manga, indies and small publishers

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Diamond released a bunch of year end charts yesterday including the top 1000 comics and GNs. I may load those up at some point but here are some charts that won’t make headlines. First a piece count: Title counts Publisher Comics GNs Magazines Total DC COMICS 1107 340 6 1453 MARVEL COMICS 953 387 3 1343 […]

Moore and O’Neill finish the Janni Dakkar trilogy with Nemo: River of Ghosts

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Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s Nemo trilogy wraps up in march with Nemo: River of Ghosts, recently acquired Top Shelf just announced. Like all of its Alan Moore publications, Knockabout will publish the book in the UK. The trilogy, which follows Captain Nemo’s daughter Janni, began in Heart of Ice, continued in The Roses of Berlin and wraps up here, with now aged Janni exploring the Amazon.

Archia previews Plunder from Lang and McKinley

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If nothing else, Archaia’s new horror series Plunder has the best named team in comics, Swifty Lang and Skuds McKinley. “Hey have you seen Skuds and Swifty?” is what everyone will be saying at Comic-Con 2015.

The book arrives in February, and offers us a tale reminiscent of both Captain Phillips and The Thing.