Kibbles ‘n’ Bits has been away for a while because tasks. It was decided in an executive meeting that I would bring it back only if I could do Upworthy style headlines. So now is the time to send in those suggestions, people! The more uplifting the better.
Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/12/14: Howard Chaykin said three things. The second came between the first and the third.
“Where is the Netflix of comics?” you ask. Unlimited streaming of everything from Blondie to Urasawa. That remains only a pipe dream, but a site called Comicsfix (get it?) is trying to be the streaming service we want. For $9.95 you get unlimited comics on various apps, and 24 hour access. But access to what? It’s just been announced that Dynamite is the first company Top 10 publisher to sign up with them. You don’t get everything, but some good starter stuff:
We’ve been talking about how the comics industry is doing well, and people seem to be making good on their business plans. But there are still cautionary tales. One such tale is Kaboom Test Labs, a two store cain located in Albuquerque, NM that abruptly closed shop this weekend. The main site has only a note that the owners were leaving New Mexico; a Facebook page where disappointed customers wondered what happened has been removed.
Out with the old, in with the new? As we’ve been reporting, October comics sales were pretty damn massive. It’s the culmination of a year that started a little rocky but has blossomed as new trends blew into town behind a strong trade wind. Multiversity’s David Harper has the much needed big think piece on what’s happening complete with CHARTS. First he points out that The Big Two are still the big two:
Americans can’t get enough Tezuka!
Well sort of. The Japanese comics pioneer was as prolific as he was influential and recently we’ve recently seen a pretty ambitious attempt at getting a bunch of his works into print here in the US from DMP.
But a lot of primo Tezuka’s work was already published here via a series of very attractive volumes published by Vertical which ranged from Black Jack—perhaps his most accessible series and one of the best known—and standlone volumes like Ode to Kirihito. Sadly many of these books are out of print, but not to worry, Vertical is bringing them back in digital form:
Roz Chast continues her dominance of the end-of-year best graphic novel lists, by topping Amazon’s list of the best graphic novels of the year. The books are selected by the Amazon editorial team, led by Sara Nelson, and ranked in order of sales (which is pretty interesting in and of itself.)
Chast’s book, a painful yet humorous look at the end of her parent’s life—has already won the first Kirkus Award for non fiction, and been named to PW’s Best Books list, and I suspect we may see it on a few more lists before the year is done. As of the moment, it’s Amazon’s #1 book in the “Parenting & Relationships > Aging Parents” category. So there.
The preliminary list is here. To say some critical darlings are missing would be an understatement. However some excellent reader favorites are well represented. But you can still write in—the top five write ins will be added to a list of final nominees.
Koyama Press is making many of its current and past graphic novels available in digital editions via the Sequential app. The titles available are yet to be announced, but according to the PR it will include some titles that have been out of print. “From cosmic art critiques to despondent, down-on-their luck cats, we’ve got […]
More and more job openings at DC Entertainment are being listed at the WB web site, and where once a Joe Orlando just barked at people that Superman’s tights were blue, now it takes a village of VPs to keep the content properly strategized. Take this job, VP, Content Strategy, who works with
the Co-Publishers (Lee and DiDio), the SVP, Editorial Strategy & Administration (a person not publicly announced, I believe), Franchise Management, Business Development, and Sales. He or she will be a busy bee indeed.
At the summer Image Expo one of the most notable announcements was Tooth and Claw by Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey. Not only did it mark the return of Busiek with a new comic for the first time in years, but Dewey’s art looked amazing. The story involves high fantasy, with animal protagonists and Game of Thrones level intrigue. The first issue is on sale today in a bargain format: just $2.99 for 40 pages of story. As you can see from the preview pagesk, this is one spectacular comic.
One of the best things comics do is world-building and this looks to be a strong examples of that by Busiek and Dewey.
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?
UPDATE: A GoFundMe has been set up to help Kelly Dale in this difficult time. Artist Jeremy Dale has passed away suddenly. Best known for his work on Action Labs Skyward title, he had just been at NYCC creating commissions now posted on his website. His wife Kelly reported his passing on FB: It is […]
In the local cable show covering diversity in comics linked to earlier today, Ms. Marvel editor Sana Amanat was interviewed and she mentioned that “she’s our #1 digital seller.” It’s been mentioned publicly a few times that it’s among Marvel’s best selling digital titles, and over the summer at a Marvel summit it was announced that the first issue had sold more digitally than in print.
Acknowledging that moving cross country and restaffing an editorial department might be distracting for its staff, DC officially announced it’s two month fill-in event today, CONVERGENCE. The event will replace the New 52 line-up for two months, April and May of 2015, with a framing 9-issue mini-series, starting with a zero issue, and spinning into 40 two part mini series. Promo art by Carlos Paguayan and Jose Marzan Jr.
The event has been rumored for quite a while, and I’m told it was hatched back in the spring as a way to ease the transition as DC personnel make the move from NYC to Burbank in April 2015. The event was originally run by Tom DeFalco but he moved on and was replaced by ex-Marvel/Teshkeel editor Marie Javins, who worked closely with Dan Didio on the event.
The event was announced this morning in USA Today. The whole event is being overseen by TV’s Jeff King, (White Collar, Continuum, Stargate SG-1) with Carlo Pagulayan and Stephen Segovia on art on the framing mini, and Dan Jurgens and Scott Lobdell helping oversee things. The 40 two-issues minis will feature a wide variety of writers and artists.
F YEAH!!!!!! If there is one Halloween tradition in comics that must be kept is a new digital comic by Emily Caroll! Her previous uses of the digital palette to create horror has made her one of the few true autuers of “future comics”—and the print iteration, Through the Woods is one of the best graphic novels of the year. Her previous horror comics like His Face All Red, Margot’s Room, Out of Skin and The Hole the Fox Did Make are all classics of terror and digital storytelling.
The Thrillbent digital comics imprint created by Mark Waid and John Rogers is coming to print from IDW, home to many a comics imprint. Starting next year, IDW will bring out print collection of Thrillbent titles, starting with Empire Volume Two and Insufferable,
“I love print comics,” said Waid in a statement. “While we have always proudly been digital-first, print was always in Thrillbent’s business plan–but for a start-up company like ours, it was cost-prohibitive. Once we proved our commitment to ongoing content–Thrillbent currently hosts literally hundreds of new comics, with more added every week–we were courted by several print publishers looking to partner. IDW was the clear choice–its track record for i