§ Rich Johnston’s annual Rumour Awards warps [sic] up the year’s embarrassments, including some of The Beat‘s.
§ A CBR roundtable wraps up “The Never-Ending Secret Crisis.”
§ Matt Brady reports that Popeye is about to go into the public domain in the EU:
In terms Newsarama readers will be familiar with, in Europe, starting tomorrow, January 1st, Popeye enters the Public Domain, and anyone can use the character of Popeye in new comics, clothing, and other media without the need to seek authorization from the Popeye rights holders (King Features) or pay royalties for the use. As always, it’s a fine line – the Segar drawings themselves are out of copyright, so derivative work can use and be based on them, but not on later material that was built upon Segar’s material. Additionally, the expiration only covers the copyright, not the trademark.
§ Tom Spurgeon circles around the story that D&Q’s Gasoline Alley reprints have been halted by a rights issue.
§ The Good Comics for Kids blog wraps up some thoughts on manga publishing:
The over-saturation of the teen market hasn’t been entirely bad for the manga industry; in fact, I’d argue that the glut of shojo and shonen titles has inspired publishers to explore new territory: manga for elementary school students and adults. The first demographic offers considerable opportunity, as there’s almost nothing available for seven-to-ten-year-olds save a handful of Pokémon manga, several discontinued Broccoli books (Honoka Level Up!, Koi Cupid, Nui), and Tokyopop’s aborted line of Manga Readers. UDON’s recent announcement of a new all-ages imprint suggests the emerging importance of this category, as well as a special awareness of the challenges that parents, teachers, and librarians face when searching for kid-friendly comics. As part of its marketing strategy, UDON guarantees that their Kids Manga line has been vetted for readers twelve and under, meaning it’s free of the innuendo, violence, and/or language that make certain shojo and shonen titles inappropriate for the grade-school set.
§ Christopher Moonlight tells us WHAT NOT TO DO.
And three from Comixology:
§ Shaenon Garrity looks at Gahan Wilson:
Christmas morning is all about disappointment, and that’s the moral of Andrew’s favorite short story. “Remember how Christmas was so tricky,” begins the Nuts comic, “because it could be great, or just a letdown, or a complete disaster, and you never knew which it was until it was entirely over?” Like all Nuts strips, this five-pager follows the Kid, the nameless stand-in for all of Wilson’s childhood memories, iconic in his oversized deerstalker and baggy coat.
§ Kristy Valenti looks at those hilariously bad Edu-Manga in which Astro Boy teams up with historical figures:
Though it’s now bordering on my favorite genre of non-fiction, I didn’t like biography growing up, and the Edu-Manga series — which is exactly as unreadable as it looks, though I was hoping for the same kind of good-bad awesomeness as publisher DMP’s Project X – Nissin Cup Noodle — helped me understand exactly why.
§ And Tucker Stone has some modest proposals for the new year:
2008 was a bad year for a lot of people, some of whom actually died. But babies were born, the circle began anew, eventually, yes, those babies will grow up and die. Still, let’s not rest our haunches in gloom and doom! Let’s look to our past, and beg for its resurrection.