Kibbles ‘n’ Bits — 9/8/10

TOP STORY

§ Prominent political blogger Kevin Drum faced a decision many of us have been unable to avoid: He wanted to get rid of some old shit comics and found no one wanted them.

Here’s the deal. I’ve got about two thousand old comic books that I need to dispose of. I’m reliably told that they’re basically of no value. I checked with my local comics shop, and they didn’t want them even for free. The local boys club wasn’t interested. Our local library sells used books but didn’t want seven boxes of comics. What to do?

An update informs us that Drum was ultimately successful is disposing of the whole lot. He’s very lucky. 

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EXHIBITS AND EVENTS

§ Paul Gravett explores Hypercomics via the art show of the same name. Many thought provoking photos in the link.

In each case, the audience can interact with the Hypercomics and follow different narrative paths. Pleece invites the public to press a door buzzer and spy on one of four bizarre tenants in his block of flat, while becoming a tenant themselves sitting on a sofa in a fifth flat. Goodbrey presents three grids of multi-nodal diaries about the work, play and dreams of a lone archivist. McKean unfolds an assault from the viewpoints of perpetrator, victim and witness, their stories branching off literally around the gallery, and then asks


THINGS THAT MADE NERDS ANGRY

§ DC Women Kicking Ass uncovers the removal of Wonder Woman as one of DC’s stand-by icons, replaced by the Flash and Green Lantern. Those who object can sign a petition.

CARTOONISTS DOING THINGS

§ Influential nerd-humored webcomic Penny Arcade made a rape joke and many people found it unfunny, although the creators, justifiably ask, NOW you are offended?

§ Colleen Doran dispenses excellent advice on the business of being a comics freelancer:


No matter how much you love your art, this is a business. When you step away from the drawing board, put the artist away, because the artist will make some incredibly boneheaded decisions. Learn basic math, learn basic contract skills. Read the books of Tad Crawford. Join the Graphic Artists Guild or the Illustrators Partnership. You can get health insurance through the Guild.

 Ask questions of professionals who have more than just a few credits, or who pad their resume. The sort who tout the two jobs they have had at Marvel in 20 years. I’ve seen people with just a few books under their belt giving all kinds of ridiculous advice, as if they’d know. People who can’t make a basic living at art telling young artists how to be pros. Consider the source. Don’t go to the bottom for advice, go to the top. Find truly successful people and model them. There are many creators who interact online, who will happily answer whatever questions you have at shows.

ANALYSIS
§ The Good Comics for Kids crew takes issue with Graphic Novel Reporter’s Core Manga for Kids List, pointing out that it includes both non-manga and some age-inappropriate materials. 


§ Douglas Wolk thinks we need more weekly comics despite the pleas of editors and creators alike:


The biggest problem with publishing weekly mainstream comics is that there are very few upper-tier artists who are capable of producing more than a few pages a week, and probably none who could draw an entire comic book every week. (Mark Bagley’s 12-pages-a-week work on Trinity is the recent speed record. Jack Kirby was drawing 15 pages a week in the early ’70s, but he was basically superhuman.) The solution seems relatively straightforward: run multiple serials side-by-side, commission the work far enough in advance that creative snags don’t cause publication delays, and make sure the stories are targeted to both their audience (e.g. in continuity) and their format (a satisfying amount of plot that keeps readers in suspense). It can be done; it has been done successfully. It’s even still being done elsewhere (don’t forget Japan’s weekly manga anthologies). So why isn’t it being done in America now?


§ Bill Sherman onNetworked: Carabella on the Run by Gerard Jones and Mark Badger.

§ Glen Weldon on Kevin Huizenga’s WILD KINGDOM.

ODDITIES
§ Yes, this is one of the best comic strips of the year.

INTERVIEWS
Posy Simmonds is chatted at by The Scotsman as the Tamara Drewe movie is about to open.

That is Simmonds’ fault, of course, and a testament to her powers of observation. “They’re all wearing what I drew them wearing, more or less. Before I do anything, I draw characters and create a wardrobe. I do spend quite a lot of time dressing them, so that was nice.” If you know the book, watching the film is eerie, for not only have clothes and interiors been accurately recreated, some of the shots are identical to her drawings.

Knowing Simmonds, 65, to be a marvellous raconteur with exceptional powers of mimicry, and someone all too eager to prick pomposity, I’m dying to hear how she fared at the film festival that is synonymous with gaudy excess.

SHOW BIZ


§ KICK-ASS was definitely a hit! As were some other movies that opened soft, like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. However, some things are still painful to contemplate:


A closer look shows that both “Jonah Hex” and “Scott Pilgrim” have little chance of ever becoming profitable.

“Jonah Hex,” a Warner release that cost $47 million to make, was a box-office disaster, selling just $10.5 million in tickets. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” which cost Universal Pictures an estimated $60 million to produce, is still playing but has also tanked, fizzling after three weeks in North American theaters with about $27 million.

Comments

  1. Rachel Edidin says:

    FWIW, many homeless youth centers and programs will accept large donations of comics, as will after-school craft programs.

  2. I’ve started inventorying my own collection with the hopes of consolidating and purging it, so this item was informative!

  3. brandon says:

    i donate my unwanted ones to heroes4heroes.com and get a tax break to boot

  4. Karen says:

    Michael Bitz’ Comic Book Project distributes comics to elementary schools:

    http://www.comicbookproject.org/

    I’ve directed donors there when their offerings were dupes of our collection, and they’ve been accepted.

  5. Joe Lawler says:

    If there’s a Half Price Books near you, I’ve found they’re a good way to unload unwanted comics. You won’t get much, but it’s something.

  6. Charles Knight says:

    I had this problem when I last moved house, in the end I tossed them all in a skip.

  7. Colleen Doran is a riot. She’s like one of those magicians that pisses off all the other magicians by telling their secrets. I don’t care much for her Distant Soil series, but as a personality in comics who is actually informed and with business savvy, she’s always entertaining. A lot like Jim Shooter in that respect. I’d like to see a panel with Doran and Waid.

  8. “A closer look shows that both “Jonah Hex” and “Scott Pilgrim” have little chance of ever becoming profitable.”

    So does this mean we’ll be seing them in one of those 2 in 1 DVDs at Walmart? I’d buy that for a dollar.

  9. Birmy says:

    People bring comics into our stores looking to sell all the time, and most of the time it’s ’90s stuff that we have loads of in stock (I see Superman #75 at least a couple times a month). These people tend to be casual/lapsed readers of comics with dollar signs in their eyes who walk away disappointed and/or thinking I’m a jerk because I won’t buy their comics. The mentality seems to be either a.) I bought thses comics, therefore they must be valuable, or b.) all comics are the same, and must be worth money. Most non-comics people trying to sell think there’s a flat rate and don’t realize that these things come down specifics and graded condition; trying to get me to give you a price on “a bunch of X-Men comics that look pretty good” is unproductive for both of us. I can usually tell if a potential buy is going to bust quickly if they open with something like, “It’s a Marvel, and it’s a #1, and it says ‘Collector’s Edition’…”

    I usually refer these people to Half-Price Books, especially if they don’t care what they get for them, or better yet: tell them to find a kid somewhere who will actually read them and is happy just to have a comic, even if it is a rain-damaged copy of Sleepwalker with the cover torn off.

  10. I like how Kick-Ass gets to include its worldwide numbers to show how successful it is, but Scott Pilgrim is clearly never going to make its money back despite not even having opened in most of Europe yet. That’s some flawless logic right there!

  11. Joe Heffernan says:

    As far as Jonah Hex or Scott Pilgrem goes – it really all depends on the DVD/Blue-Ray sales to make it profitable. I didn’t see either one of them in the movies but I will buy them when they come out on disc. Granted – they’ll never make “Titanic” status but I betcha’ when all is said and done (International ticket and dvd sales; on demand and cable sales, etc.) they’ll at least make their money back plus!

  12. Andrew Laubacher says:

    What to do with old comics that nobody wants?

    October is fast upon us. Take the done-in-one comics that are also kid-friendly and give them away for Halloween!

  13. That’s what I do every Hallowwe, and the kids all seem to love it. For the most part, they’re excited to get something else on top of candy, and the Johnny DC Batman books are always a hit.

    Half Price Books usually has a 25 cent or 50 cent bin of comics which is good fodder for Halloween. Aside from the specifically all-ages books, a lot of the early 80s Marvel and DC books tend to be safe too, especially for the older kids (but always check first!)

  14. Re: DC silhouettes

    Yes, Wonder Woman deserves to be up there!

    Then again, do does Captain Marvel. That’s right! I called him “Captain Marvel”. Not “SHAZAM!” Not “The Big Red Cheese”. CAPTAIN MARVEL! You know why he’s not up there? Because DC licensing has something against superheroes being able to smile.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to divert the discussion. Carry on.

  15. @Jason Green: because Scott Pilgrim will most like have a maximum 2 week run in most european theatres, making it’s box office insignificant to the grand total

  16. @Mario Boon: According to Box Office Mojo, the film has already made almost $10 million (25% of its total gross) in foreign markets…that’s hardly insignificant. And that’s without having opened yet in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, or (probably the film’s biggest potential growth spot, given all the video game references) Japan.

    As the article points out, Kick-Ass is probably the most comparable film, and its foreign gross was almost exactly equal to its domestic gross. If the exact same thing happens to Scott Pilgrim (not *that* big a stretch since, as I mentioned earlier, it’s 1/3 of the way there already), then it’ll edge its way over that $60 million figure.

  17. He wanted to get rid of some old shit comics and found no one wanted them.


    If I can’t find a taker for old comics, I re-asses if I really want to get rid of them or not. If I do, I just throw them out.

  18. I’ve been ebaying 60-70 comics at a time on ebay lately, mostly several short runs of comics from here and there but usually thematically similar. For example, a bunch of old Spawn and Crow comics, or a bunch of DC Superhero comics from about same era. For the most part it has been working pretty well, just about everything sells.

    The downside (if you care about money anyway), everything gets listed starting at a penny, and shipping is actually somewhat expensive – 60-70 comics are heavy, and comics with ads don’t quality for media mail. So, I end up selling quite a few boxes for 2-3 bucks a pop, clearing out space, and people get a chunk of comics that they want on the cheap.

    On occasion I’ll do considerably well on a box, for example a bunch of BPRD and Hellboy series in one lot (50 bucks! Insanity.)

    Win-win as far as I’m concerned.

  19. (As opposed to ebaying comics not, on, you know, ebay.)

  20. …get RID of comics?

  21. Lars Sudmann says:

    @Mario Boon: Scott Pilgrim got it’s starting date moved further and further back in Germany. 26. August 2010, 21. November 2010. Now at the moment it’s 06. January 2011. After the bomb at the US box office I think/fear/expect it will go direct to DVD here….

  22. Al™ says:

    I have the same problem getting rid of unwanted reading copies of comics as I do with old copies of Alter Ego, and Comics Journal.
    People don’t want the things.
    I end up putting them out to the curb in a blue garbage bag.
    I would think that comic shops would want them for free, at least, just to have around to give out on Free (Used) Comic Book Day.

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