A lot of big comics announcements this week in advance of Comic-Con showbiz onslaught, and some of them have interesting reverberations. By far the biggest is Amazon’s entrance into the comics fold with Jet City Comics. As one of the “Big Five” utilities of the internet age (the others being Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft) […]
by Bob Calhoun The mood was tense in the fourth floor conference room of the SPUR Urban Center in San Francisco on Saturday—especially for a panel with the dry title of “The Future of Publishing,” but this was far from your usually dry panel. At one end of a folding table sat Charlie Winton, CEO […]
Wired has more info on Image’s big digital news today including charts and graphics. Basically, Image publisher Eric Stephenson isn’t afraid of no pirates since, as we’ve seen digital has been additive, not killing print sales but sending them up industry-wide. “Over the last several years, we’ve learned the answer to the big question, and […]
Well, well. While the general state of comics is pretty healthy these days, there had been one company whose well-being we continually heard whispers about, and that was Archaia: an ill-timed move to a bookstore distributor two years ago left them with massive returns and a lot of cash flow problems. None of these ever […]
(Above Jeff Robinov and his wife, Nicole.) Despite the importance of MAN OF STEEL in the futures of both Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, its greater than expected success ($400 mil and counting worldwide) wasn’t enough to salvage the job of studio head Jeff Robinov, who has been officially removed, to be replaced by Sue […]
As we mentioned in the previous post, the Licensing Show’s wrapping up today and there are always some lists and announcements and other observations that are very germane to where our world is going. It all starts with the product which leads to advertising which leads to media and here’s what we want. Some stats […]
The Licensing show is on in Vegas this week and with it a smattering of announcements about licensing deals and brandings and so on. Among the, a second wave of properties to be open to Amazon’s Kindle Worlds program . And this time, definitely positively one of them is Valiant. So if you long to […]
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 people […]
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.
Kremlinologist 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,” […]
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 boosting […]
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:
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 netting […]
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 at […]