Must read shocker: There is still a US Manga industry

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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:

Can creators really get their books back from Tokyopop?

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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 by […]

Court rules digital resales are a no-no

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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 a […]

Madefire teams with deviantART for more motion comics

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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 the […]

DC to publish digital comics based on 1966 Batman

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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.

JManga shuts down, taking all the manga you bought with it

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It came in the night like an earthquake or a car crash: JManga, the digital manga portal set up by 39 of Japan’s migegst publishers, is shutting down. As of last night you could not make any more point purchases, as of the 26th you will no longer be able to purchase manga and as of May 30th the entire site goes away — taking all of the manga you bought with it.

More details on Make That Thing, TopatoCo’s Kickstarter Fulfillment House

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A couple of interviews with more information on Make That Thing, the new company that helps successful Kickstarter campaign actually send out all their rewards. it’s a division of TopatoCo, the webcomics’s merchandising company which already has a formidable infrastructure—a fork lift!, warehouses, employees!—and manufacturing contacts to help their cartoonists sell their merch. The program is rolling out slowly as an in house project.

Warner about to become Time-free—what does it mean for DC Comics?

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Time Warner has found its magazine division all too quittable: after an unsuccessful attempt to sell off the print division which puts out Time, People, Sports Illustrated, it has decided to just split it off into its own business, and hope stock investors come along who like to look at glossy magazine. It’s a similar to the move Mr. Burns Rupert Murdoch pulled recently, splitting Fox into two divisions: The Fox Group, which includes movies and TV, and News Corp., which includes the newspaper division.

Barnes & Noble rethinks Nook strategy

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In the wake of disappointing holiday sales, Barnes & Noble is rethinking its Nook strategy, the NY times reports, citing anonymous sources. As physical bookstores have become a beloved, adorable but untenable endangered species, kind of like the panda bear, since 2009 B&N has smartly attempted to move its core business into the digital segment. Their Nook e-reader is widely though of as a competitive (maybe even superior) platform to the Kindle, but recents sales have been down, proving making a cool gadget is no panacea, and maintaining your cool gadget is an ultra competitive field.

Diamond’s Digital Previews – Could It Make Any Less Sense?

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I just don’t think Diamond gets digital.  They’re trying, but they keep throwing some really odd things out there.  This latest bit has me somewhere between scratching my head and insulted.  It was recently pointed out that Diamond was going to start selling digital copies of its Previews catalog.  I went for a look, sure […]

New publisher/distro Black Mask Studios debuts with Moore, Lloyd, RZA and more

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Not meaning to bury this news in the Friday afternoon graveyard, but wanted to get it out there: the long awaited Black Mask Studios transmedia/alternate distribution comics company set up by writer Steve Niles, producer Matt Pizzolo (Halo 8) and Epitaph Records’ Brett Gurewitz has finally gone live and announced its debut projects.

Manga watch: Lu leave Viz; DMI shuts down Digital Manga Direct

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§ Viz evp of Publishing Alvin Lu has left the company after 13 years, ICV2 reports.

Can Kevin Tsujihara help Warner Bros. overcome its fear of superheroes?

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Lots of news emerged from Warner Bros. yesterday besides getting a new CEO.

On the most germane to our continuing investigations, Amazon, the Wonder Woman pilot being scripted by Allan Heinberg, has been put on hold for a while. It hasn’t been killed, but it “needs more time.” On the plus side, an off-season pilot may be ordered so it can go in as a midseason replacement. On the non-plussed side it’s yet ANOTHER superhero project that WB has put on hold or dithered over or fretted about.

BREAKING: Kevin Tsujihara named Warner Bros CEO

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In what has to be considered a shock, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Kevin Tsujihara has been named CEO of Warner Bros. replacing Barry Meyer and beating out TV head Bruce Rosenblum and film head Jeff Robinov, The three has been locked in an internal battle to see who could outlast who, and Bewkes went with the far less known Tsujihara. Nikki Finke has some of the gory details, which seem as intent on causing Rosenblum and Robinov’s privates to shrink to post-icy-dip size as much as business considerations:

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.

Is free good? Baker and Zub respond

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By now, it seems a lot of people have taken advantage of Kyle Baker’s decision to put his stellar body of graphic novels up for free online. While it’s a windfall for readers, at Robot 6, Corey Blake asked “Does ‘free’ devalue comics?” While free sampling is a staple of marketing, it also has drawbacks: