INTERVIEW: Larry Hama is a Historian of Horror in THE STRANGER

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Sitting down to describe Larry Hama’s career it a pretty overwhelming task. Do you talk about his start in comics at the age of 16, his service in Vietnam, his work as a penciller in comics, or his tremendous writing output, spanning decades? Add to that the fact that this all creates a composite portrait […]

Preorder Astronaut Academy and get a sketch

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Call this the easy peasy version of a Kickstarter reward: Preorder a copy of Dave Roman’s Astronaut Academy Re-Entry from bookstore WORD! and you’ll get a free sketch. From now till May 9th, I will sign, personalize, and draw in every copy (of either book 1 or 2) ordered through WORD, you’ll get a free […]

DCU and Vertigo collection schedule: Deluxe Invisibles, DMZ, DC One MIllion and Planetary Omnibuses, etc.

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DC has released its graphic novel schedule into February 2014, and it’s a huge list of 147 books. The whole list is below, with Vertigo first and then the DCU.

March Mayhem at Stately Beat Manor!

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Once again, it’s that time of year again!  Sports geeks speculate who will make the Big Dance, who got snubbed, and who will be the Cinderella Team this year.  Billions of dollars are wagered on the outcomes, as casual fans contemplate the 68 teams and fill out numerous brackets. It’s not uncommon among comics fans […]

Persepolis still not being taught to seventh graders in Chicago; students stage sit in this morning

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As we suspected when the news broke, the removal of Persepolis from the seventh grade curriculum at a Chicago high school turned in to a minor media circus pretty quickly, with school officials saying different things all over the place. If you missed all the confusion, the Chicago Tribune
has the authoritative round up and Claire Kirch covers it for PW. Basically it emerged that the book was not being removed from school libraries or all schools, but it is being removed from the 7-10 grade curriculum where it is is currently being taught. The person who seems to have decided that is at the very top: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennnet who wrote

All you need to know about digital book sales, Amazon bestsellers, and making money from selling books

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Three pretty interesting posts on book sales and Amazon which, if you triangulate them, give you a good look at where the publishing business stands this Monday morning as Winter turns into Spring 2013:

You don’t know who Walter Biggins is but he’s fantastic and now it’s too late

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Confession: I did not know the name of the editor of the University Press of Mississippi’s excellent line of books about comics—spanning scholarly works on Chris Ware, Alan Moore, Osamu Tezuka and everyone in between—but his name is Walter Biggins and now he’s leaving. But luckily Jeet Heer, who wrote several books for the line, catches up with him first —hopefully USM’s strong comics list will continue:

Persepolis removed from Chicago schools amidst confusion; protest scheduled

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Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, a stunning coming of age story considered a classic by many, has been ordered removed from Chicago’s Lane Technical High School for reasons that remain unclear.

The lurid, obsessive novels of Mike Baron

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Mike Baron is best known as the co-creator of Nexus and Badger, two of the signature comics series of the indie 80s. While the ups and downs of his nexus co-conspirator Steve Rude have been pretty well documented, what about Baron? We hear he’s got a revamp of the Badger simmering at the resurrected First Comics. But he’s also staying incredibly busy turning out novels by the bushel. In fact he has turned out three in recent months, with appropriately pulpy covers. Yes they are e-books, but no feverish novel about a spook called in to discover why the world’s leaders are spontaneously combusting is complete without a pulpy cover!

INTERVIEW: R.M. Peaslee and R.G. Weiner Deconstruct Spider-Man in WEB-SPINNING HEROICS

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Spider-Man is hands down one of the most popular characters ever to leap from the pages of Marvel Comics, and is even a strong contender for one of the most popular comic characters produced by any comics publisher. He’s also displayed a particular trademark flexibility in successfully taking to the silver screen and flourishing through […]

Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey Treasury is coming in November

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Instant want: Fantagraphics will be collecting Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey stories in a treasury edition. The books originally came out from Dark Horse but are joining Millionaie’s Maakie’s collections at FBI.

Marvel’s graphic novel program examined again—and Marvel’s response

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The somewhat uneven performance of Marvel’s graphic novel program is a frequent topic of analysis when we talk about graphic novel programs here. Both the Diamond and Bookscan numbers for 2012 showed Marvel — the #1 publisher overall in the Direct Sales market — surprisingly far back in the pack where books are concerned.

Riordan reveals cover for new Percy Jackson graphic novel

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The trend of adapting prose authors into GN form seems to have slowed down a bit, but the third volume of the GN version of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is coming out this fall. Riordan unveiled the cover on his blog. The comics version is by the busy Robert Vendetti with art by Attila […]

BookScan: Kids’ comics and The Walking Dead ruled bookstore sales in 2012

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It’s my FAVORITE day of the year, when Brian Hibbs posts the year-end sales from bookstores via the Bookscan chart. Now we know these numbers are significantly low, but as I always say, they present a metric.

The huge take away? Well, we all knew The Waking Dead was a juggernaut,—sales in this franchise would have made it the #3 publisher all by itself—but after that it’s kids comics all the way, led by the maybe-comics of Dork Diaries, but following by Big Nate, Ninjago, Ursula Vernon’s Dragonbreath, Drama and so on.

Anxiety grows as Barnes & Noble announces closure of 200 stores over the next decade

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Short version, the last remaining book retail giant plans to close as many as a third of its stores over a 10-year period—although that may be an optimistic projection, as well. Slowed by the rise of digital and a lack of new malls, B&N oipened only two stores in the last fiscal year, and it’s end of year profits were well below what was expected. While the Nook ereaders has been a bright spot, sales there have slowed as well. So a leaner meaner BN seems to be in the cards.

Preview: Who is AC? by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja

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With 2013 barreling along, it’s time to start looking at some of books that are going to make it a notable year, and here’s one that has flown mostly under the radar until now: Who is AC? by Hope Larson with art by Tintin Pantoja, to be published by Atheneum on April 16th. It’s Larson’s first original GN since Mercury, she she describes it thusly: