UK publisher Great Beast shuts down—but it’s for good reasons

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While comics seem to be holding their own as an industry, with revenue generally up, there are a few folks on shaky ground, and 2014 saw a few casualties. One of them is Great Beast, the indie uUK graphic novel publisher run by cartoonists Adam Cadwell and Mark Ellerby. The imprint was sort of run as an “Image” like model, with Great Beast generally handling distribution for an emerging generation of UK cartoonists including , Robert M Ball, Dan Berry, Adam Cadwell, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Dan Cox, John Cei Douglas, Marc Ellerby, Isabel Greenberg, John Riordan and Rachael Smith.

The reason for the shut down? Too much success basically. Ellerby had left running the publisher earlier in the year and Cadwell did not have the time to keep things going:

Dover to publish a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala

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The other day I mentioned how Dover Books is bringing back a bunch of out of print graphic novels including Puma Blues and A Sailor’s Story.

Well, you can add one more book to that list.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Dover is reprinting a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by myself and Philip Yeh

Angoulême Festival Prize nominees announced

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The nominees in the four juried categories of the FIBD 42 have been announced, 35 “Official Selections”, 12 in the “comics for young readers” category, 10 in the “best reprint” category and 5 in the “mystery novel” aka Polar category (all descriptions are my own.) “Polar” which you see so often in various listing at Angoulême, as best I can make out, tarnslates as a “light mystery” or thriller category….kind of the popular genre in Franco-Belgian comics, as opposed to say, superheroes. If I’m wrong, please someone correct me.

Angoulême fest announces line-up of exhibits and spotlights: Watterson, Kirby, Moomins, Taniguchi

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The Angoulême Festival International de la Bande Dessineé for 2015 has released the schedule of art exhibits, spotlights and other goodies. They attached this as an English-language pdf which I’ve inserted below. There are several amusing typos on the list, see if you can spot them. All that aside, this is a pretty stunning—and cosmopolitan—line-up, […]

British Comic Awards winners announced

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The winners of the third annual British Comics Awards were announced during the Thought Bubble fest and they are: Best Comic – The Wicked + The Divine #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics) Best Book – The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape) Young People’s Comic Award – Hilda […]

Comic Cons around the world: Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014

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Among the countries most taken by comic con fever is India. A lengthy email offering pr on this year’s Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014, taking place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from 19th December-21st December arrived in my mail box. Among the facts revealed: Guests include Nick Spencer, Nicolas Wild and Dan Goldman. She show will offer a 50,000 sq feet show floor and 100 exhibitors, including Amar Chitra Katha, Orange Radius, Pop Culture Publishing, Holy Cow Entertainment, Crimzon Studios, Simon and Schuster India, HarperCollins Publishers, Aayumi Productions, Shamik Dasgupta, Jazyl Homavazir, Pepper Script and Raj Comics.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/13/14: CM Punk and Noelle Stevenson are writing Lady Thor, but can they lift her hammer?

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§ Marvel is putting out a Thor Annual and they pulled out all the stops to get the wackiest mix of creators ever. Wrestler CM Punk will write one story, that Chew’s Rob Guillory will draw; Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is writing another, with Marguerite Sauvage on art. And regular dude Jason Aaron is writing yet […]

Magnetic Press to publish Daomu graphic novel

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Magnetic Press launched earlier this year bringing some top-notch French comics to the US market and they’re not only still here, they are expanding to Chinese comics with DAOMU, which adapts the popular novel series by Chinese author Xu “Kennedy” Lei, who’s knwn as China’s Stephen King.  How popular is this series? The first novel, which forms the basis of the graphic novel has sold three million copies as of 2010 with an additional 20 million copies on the black market. I didn’t know there was a lack market for novels but it’s a thrilling world.

Bill Watterson draws poster for Angoulême 2015, but will not participate in fest —UPDATED

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Earlier this year, the selection of Bill Watterson as the Grand Prix winner at the Angoulême comics festival created quite a stir. The winner is traditionally the “grand marshal” of the whole festival, helping plan exhibits and appearing at official events. (Or, as in the case of Willem, last ear’s winner, hanging out at Le Chat Noir until 1 am with everyone else.) It seemed a bit of a stretch for Watterson, but was it impossible?

Although the once reclusive Calvin & Hobbes creator hasn’t exactly turned into Taylor Swift, he makes occasional semi public appearances and is way more accessible in interviews. (If you call once or twice a year accessible.) When the win was announced, Watterson’s editor Lee Salem said he would try to tell him how wonderful Angoulême is, so maybe Watterson would make an exception for this so not a comic-con event?

Digital Manga announces MASSIVE six-figure Tezuka Kickstarter

Digital Manga has been successfully Kickstarting publication of several books by God of Comics Osama Tezuka for a few years now. So far they’ve done Barbara, Swallowing the Earth and more. But Tezuka drew some 150,000 pages of comics in his lifetime, so this is a pretty big task to bring all his comics to English. The new project has ambitious goals: to publish the following titles:

Humanoids announces The Metabaron for 2016

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The Metabarons is a long running French SF epic originally by Alexander Jodorowsky and Juan Gimenez (spinning out of The Incal by Jodorowsky and Moebius) about a race of perfect warriors and their generation spanning advenures. The story wrapped up in 2003 after selling more than a millions copies internationally. Now Humanoids is bringing it back, starting in 2016 in a four book series written by Jerry Frissen from a story by Jodorowsky and drawn by different artists. the story will follow the fate of No Name, the last of the Metabarons. Ecah chapter will be 108 pages long, released in 8 month intervals.

British Comic Awards announce their short list

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The British Comic Awards have announced their short list of nominees and that the great Posy Simmonds will be inducted into the hall of fame. The nominees were selected by the BCA Committee based on suggestions from the public and winners will be chosen by a panel consisting of Jonathan Entwistle, Jessica Hynes. Danny John-Jules (yes The Cat from Red Dwarf!), Jonathan Ross and Suzy Varty. Winners will be announced November 15th at Thought Bubble.

Graphic novelist opens French bookstore in NYC’s French Embassy

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Via PW, word that Antonin Baudry, who wrote the GN Weapons of Mass Diplomacy and happens to be the the cultural counselor of the French Embassy is opening Albertine, a French language bookstore in the building that houses the French consulate in New York, a historic building located across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art designed by the great Stanford White, with the embassy’s cultural services division at 972 Fifth Avenue, across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The store will house “14,000 volumes of fiction, nonfiction, art, graphic novels, and children’s books in both English translation and French.”

2014 Shuster Award Winners—with audio

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The 2014 Joe Shuster Awards, honoring the best in Canadian comics, were handed out on Saturday and here are the winners. For more information on the legacy award winners, please check out the Shuster Awards home page. In addition, Jammin’ Jamie Covillerecorded the ceremony and has more photos and a list of the winners handily formatted. Thank you Jamie!

World Comics: Lagos Comicon Turns Three

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The comics scene in Nigeria has been thriving since the 1980s, but has yet to burst into the mainstream. There are tastes of what may soon emerge as youth in Nigeria fully embrace the internet—check out this sci-fi short on YouTube here, which includes an animated spaceship—but comics are still an emerging industry. On Friday, the third annual Lagos Comic Con will launch in the commercial capital of 20 million people. I corresponded with comics creator and co-founder Ayodele Elegba about the event, where we wrote about attractions, popular comics, Ebola, and cosplay.

Broken legs, death threats and fatwas: the trials and tribulations of THE 99 

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By Naif Al-Mutawa [Reprinted from The National. An Arabic version is located here. We first met. Naif Al-Mutawa several years ago, and followed the story of The 99 and Teshkeel Comics, as he attempted to offer modern, constructive role models for youth in the Arabic world. At a time when the world seemed to be in a hopeless […]