Kibbles 'n' Bits — 1/31/11

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§ Has Journalista been taken offline entirely? That would totally suck. You know it takes about 10 seconds to program a redirect.

§ There is a new genre of web-site — Wizard magazine remembrances. Here’s one from old-timer Doug Goldstein

8. Killing Time In the Weekly Meeting: Every Thursday morning, all the editors and other department heads had a meeting, with Gareb at the head, to review things. It was agonizing because there were a few people there who were terrible, just terrible at everything, but could do no wrong because they were the yes-men to the right people. So you’d never know what asinine, disruptive comment they might make about your update that could end up ruining your day. So we found ways to keep it fun. We editorial types all sat at the far and of the table, so we’d secretly keep tabs on how many times certain people told Gareb he was right, or how many times a certain consultant would start a very authoritative-sounding thought, but pause mid-way expecting someone else who actually knew what’s what to finish it for him (I think his record was 5 times in one meeting). One day a dummy was thrown off the roof past the conference room window, timed exactly so that everyone saw it and freaked the fuck out. Shit that was good.


[Both above links via Kiel Phegley.]

…And another one from Jim Gibbons, now of Dark Horse.

News about a magazine that’s been slowly shrinking in page count without a stable online presence to keep it relevant in a news market that’s almost entirely blogs and streaming online news feeds isn’t surprising. Before I left journalism school, the image of a graveyard filled with headstones marking the final resting places of print magazines and newspapers that couldn’t adapt to an increasingly online world was conjured up by many professors. So, it wasn’t a surprise that Wizard died. What was surprising was that it bummed me out so much.

§ Douglas Wolk imagines The Future of the Comic Book Store

It does bring up, though, the question of what comic book stores will look like in the future, as digital comics outstrip them in the convenience factor. Brick-and-mortar bookstores and record stores and video stores are all being slowly throttled to death right now unless they’re exceptionally well-run (and sometimes if they are). Comics stores are in a slightly better position–they have an entire category of customers who visit them on a regular schedule and, in some cases, not only know what they want but order it weeks or months in advance. But that’s only a slight advantage, and if they’re going to survive the next few years, they’d better keep a few principles in mind. Here are three of them.

§ Just how tough is it out there in publishing land? Ben Towle gives us several examples:

Guess how tough it is to land a GN book deal these days? A: So tough that even an adaptation of a venerable and universally-acknowledged classic of Western literature isn’t a sure thing. This proposal wound up on the desks of something like twenty-seven editors/buyers at major publishers without a single “bite.” I’d love to say that I’m going to find time to execute a 300 page graphic novel version of The Count of Monte Cristo on my own time, but that just ain’t gonna happen. So this one’s officially shelved. But we’ve got a complete proposal for this in the bag–character designs, sample pages, plot breakdown–so who knows, maybe there’ll be some opportunity in the future dust this one off.

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§ Frank Santoro recently had an art show in LA, and there are pictures. Even better is the first part of Frank’s journal of the event, a star-studded account of the alt.comix enclave of LA which summons the whole idea of life in Los Angeles.

Sammy had a plan. I dunno what strings he pulled but soon it was a Monday night and there was a dinner with Jaime, Sammy, Regé, Johnny Ryan, Jordan, and myself. This never happens they all said. We ate pizza & pasta. Drank a bit. Talked about where the freeways meet.

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§ HISTORY KORNER: Lew Stringer recalls Top Spot from 1958, a magazine for adult men which featured comics.

“Comics aren’t just for kids any more” was the type of statement that you may have read a lot over the past 25 years in various articles on comics, most recently with the launch of Clint. Truth is, comics for adults aren’t a recent phenomenon. As most readers of this blog will know, the very first British comics were aimed at adults. Over the years it became accepted that children were a more viable audience and the tone shifted, but from time to time there have always been various attempts to target the adult market.

One such comic was Top Spot, a weekly published by the Amalgamated Press in 1958. Like many attempts to capture the adult reader it didn’t really catch on, lasting just 58 issues before merging into Film Fun. However, it was a curious item that deserves to be remembered.

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§ WEEKEND CONVENTION roundup: the Wizard World New Orleans Comic-Con was held this weekend, the first since the closing of the magazine, and it got good local press, although the only actual mention of comics in two separate photo galleries is a picture of artist Uko Smith. Obviously this isn’t the first time this has happened, nor the last, but the continuing debasement of the term “comic-con” as something that has nothing to do with comics and everything to do with 70-year-old sitcom stars is bothersome.

Comments

  1. Good news, Journalista’s still there, but when TCJ went to the new format that link broke. You can pull them up now using:

    http://www.tcj.com/tag/journalista/

  2. Didn’t search for any other articles on the WW con, but since Dave Walker is primarily a TV columnist (he was in Phoenix in the 1990’s and I contrtbuted to an article about the FOX Doctor Who movie), so that was what his article focused on.

  3. Agree on ‘comic-con’. It’s too bad San Diego didn’t do more to protect that aspect of their brand, bec. other entities are hi-jacking and diluting it.

    During “Austin Comic-Con” I even saw a local news report that used the SDCC logo as they talked about ‘comic-con coming to austin’.

  4. “Comic-Con” is trademarked by CCI:SD. “Comic Con” (no hyphen) is used by anyone.

    Perhaps we should encourage media to use the term “Pop-Con” instead, to refer to media shows like this? But then, what percentage of a show qualifies it as a “comic con”? What percentage of programming at San Diego is comics related?

    How do you educated the public? They already know “comic con”. Look how hard it was to get “graphic novel” defined properly. (And how many people still equate that term with “adult entertainment”?) Even the Osca®s have trouble with proper usage.

    What did we call these events before Comic-Con? What should we call them?

  5. Equatish says:

    When will the the new month-to-month sales be up for January? They are really late this time around.

  6. Talked about where the freeways meet

    Downey?? Gotcha: ROYALTIES.

    /FZ

    What percentage of programming at San Diego is comics related?

    I’m guessing at least as much as the percentage of Video Games programming at last year’s NYCC?

    /Comic-Conist

  7. Tommy Raiko says:

    On Ben Towle’s note:

    Tho’ I don’t doubt it’s harder to get a GN deal from a book publisher these days, the idea that another comics adaptation of another public domain novel isn’t getting publishers to open their wallets somehow doesn’t strike me as surprising, or all that depressing. If as publishers are trying to figure out why they want to publish GNs at all, they decide that it’s for reasons other than just publishing adaptations of prose books, that doesn’t seem all that bad a development, really.

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