Tweet If there’s one phrase that frosts my scuppers these days it’s variations on the “comics are a dying industry” or “failing medium” or some other rote expression of gloom. This attitude goes back to the historic low self-esteem which many comics industry creators and professionals hold. It’s one of those deeply held beliefs that [...]
The comics industry is doing “okay” these days, but it’s still a business of very small margins, and one misstep can put you in a rocky spot.
For instance, it seems that Antarctic Press, the long running manga-tinged indie publisher of such books as Gold Diggers, Warrior Nun, Ninja High School and many more, has run afoul of two things that can cause big problems: Wal*Mart and returns.
TweetKremlinologist alert! § Dave Itzkoff profiles Karen Berger, now departed from Vertigo, and the changing face of risk-taking at DC. Of course everyone will be quoting this part, so I will too: Ms. Berger said she noted changes in DC’s priorities in recent years. “I’ve found that they’re really more focused on the company-owned characters,” [...]
Tweet Disney continues its road to profitability by cutting staff, this time at ESPN, where as many as 400 people lost their jobs in a cost-cutting measure to offset increased licensing fees for various sports. Although ESPN is sort of a fiefdom of Disney, it is still subject to the same kind of bottom line [...]
In a note to his fellow retailers giving them Diamond codes for this year’s Eisner nominees, Brian Hibbs made a rather interesting discovery: Diamond has only 59% of the 101 individual SKUs in stock. Meanwhile, Baker & Taylor, the world’s biggest book distributor, has 83% of them in stock.
The Penny Arcade Report is a video game news and commentary site run by….well, we’ll let you figure it out. Yesterday editor Ben Kuchera ran down the economics of running a website in dollars and cents. Although he’s talking about video games, it all applies equally to comics journalism:
Tweet In the Brian Hibbs column I quoted in my previous post, he also wrote this: We also live in an industry where a significant number of comics being published today are probably not making a living wage for anyone involved — comics that sell just five thousand copies into a national market are probably [...]
Tweet There is a happy feeling in general when comics folks get together these days. Oh, there may be the occasional digital kerfuffle, and DC personnel changes allow folks a satisfying “tsk, tsk” or two, but in general more things are working than not. Retailer Brian Hibbs captures this happy moment in his latest Tilting [...]
Tweet The matter of “Who censored Saga #12?” has been termed a fiasco by some, and that’s probably the right word. While I certainly didn’t foresee the shocking swerve that saw comiXology revealed as the actual entity that thought those two tiny BJ/bukakke panels weren’t Apple-friendly, in private conversations yesterday, I had begun to suspect [...]
Brigid Alverson shows us how it’s done in this comprehensive report on the state of the US manga market. The big shock is that despite sales shrinkage since the boom years, it’s still a relatively stable market:
Tweet We’ve been covering the sometimes glorious, sometimes ignominious history of Tokyopop for as long as there has been a Beat. Although its biggest legacy is as a manga innovator, its most notorious is the string of unfinished OEL—”original English Language”—series it left behind. An ambitious publishing program that put out dozens of new books [...]
Tweet Can you sell “used” digital copies of books and music? You used to be able to via services such as ReDigi which allowed you to upload a digital file while removing it from your computer. However a court has ruled that this resale does not come under the first sale doctrine, since it isn’t [...]
Tweet Madefire—the VC-funded IoS-based comics starter— and DeviantART, the 7th largest social network on the internet, have teamed up to share art and technology. Madefire will allow its motion comics technology to be available on DV to present comics, and DV users will use this technology to create new limited animation comics. Todd Allen previewed [...]
Holy licensing deal, Batman!
It seems that the campy, kitschy 1966 version of Batman—which was long verboten to be mentioned at DC and WB in general due to it’s campy, kitschy nature. But as many noted, a line of toys based on the show was introduced at Toy Fair, and now we see that a whole line of merchandise, including a digital-first comic — is coming.