The Beat’s Annual Survey: Torsten’s Look Back (way back)

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It’s that time of year, when the Beatrix mails out her survey forms, and asks the comics cognescenti to look back and wonder what transpired during the past year, and to prognosticate on what’s forthcoming. Me, since I tend to get more contemplative twice a year (New Years in January, birthday in July), and since […]

Neill Blomkamp was secretly working on Alien sequel ideas

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Here’s a fun little “what if..?” to start off your new year. The mastermind behind the Academy Award nominated District 9 and the less well regarded Elysium was secretly working on his own version of an Alien sequel, at least at the conceptual stage. Blomkamp took to Twitter, via an unverified account, last night and posted […]

Webcomic Alert: End 2014 with a little “Optimisim” by Anders Nilsen

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Anders Nilsen sees the year out at Medium with a beautiful full color comic called On Optimisim: Why 2015 Won’t Suck. It’s a very direct and straightforward work from the often oblique (and marvelously so) Nilsen, but it has a few good words that we should all tam into account for 2015. Even though 2014 […]

The Beat’s Annual Comics Industry Survey, Part One: The Return of Siegel & Shuster and “Casey”

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Yep, it’s our annual survey of the comics landscape, from the mainstream to the indies and everything in between. Each year we send out surveys to as wide a swath of comics pros around the world as we can muster…among the answers you’ll find lots of news of 2015 projects, predictions of the year ahead…and right off the bat some startling news from Jeff Trexler about a possible legal bombshell in 2015…and the return of Casey from James Sturm’s epochal comic strip “The Sponsor.” Hold on to your hats and let’s get going.

Play-Doh’s frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

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So Play Doh made a thing called the Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset that allowed you to mold inedible Play-Doh into the shape of luscious cakes. It all seemed like innocent fun.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 12/31/14: Almost done

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Final housekeeping of 2014: I keep trying to use WordPress’s new “lite editor interface” but it keeps posting things when I meant to save them as drafts which is why odd things popped up in the feed of late. BETA, people. The new editor does seem to be the way forward—it’s nice not to have […]

Must buy: Economics of Digital Comics by Todd Allen

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Disclosure: Todd Allen is a long-time contributor to this site, so read the following as advanced log-rolling if you will.

That said, the book he kickstarted over the summer, Economics of Digital Comics is out. I have an early digital copy and this is really a book everyone in the comics business should read, especially people going into various digital models, from crowdfunding to subscription to pay what you want. Allen casts a cynical eye on most of this stuff, and runs numbers to show what works and what doesn’t. But he also looks at print costs, and the economies of other channels to give a strong overview of what we talk about when we talk about selling comics in 2014. The book has new interviews with digital players and statistics on what webcomics earn from advertising, how much it costs to print books, what the big players take out of various delivery methods and more. All footnoted. And an introduction by Mark Waid, who has become something of the spokesman for Generation Digital.

Marvel and Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ leaning towards ‘The Wire’ in its tone

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By Kyle Pinion With 2015 just a few days away, we’re on the verge of another big deluge of superhero cinema and television; from Agent Carter, the return of The Flash, Arrow, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from their mid-season hiatuses to the Fantastic Four reboot, the big-screen debut of Ant-Man, and of course the giant, […]

Rough calculations suggests 2% of millennials read comics

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Millennials, can’t live with ‘em, can’t get a vanilla soy macchiatto without ‘em. Among the many charges levied against these lazy, disengaged kids is that they ever grow up and read too many comic books. BUT IS THAT TRUE? Commentator Kevin Drum—who I normally adore—does some back of the envelope calculations and concludes that only 2% of millennials are comics readers. For the numerically inclines out there (translation: Torsten) here are his envelope calculations:

Broken Frontier Awards 2014 winners: women, Image dominate

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The comics news website Broken Frontier has announced the winners of its annual awards, as chosen by readers and industry professionals. Image Comics was a winner, as you might expect, but female creators won in 5 of the 13 categories, suggesting that the arrival of talented and noteworthy women in comics is a thing that is here and now and not some hoped for future event. The winners are as follows:

Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke

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It’s an all too familiar story: an artist without a lot of funds, and no insurance, all of it wiped out following a sudden illness. Artist Norm Breyfogle, best known for his memorable Batman work, suffered a stroke last week, and it was very serious. His left side is paralyzed….and as a left handed artist […]

Gotham Greets the Justice League

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On Friday New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio met with protestors to discuss their demands for police reform after the shocking death of Eric Garner and the controversial grand jury decision that followed. The name of the activists’ organization will sound familiar to any comics fan: Justice League NYC. That this prominent group of social […]

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 12/11/14: Krazy Kat vs Little Nemo

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Actually, Julian Darius wrote the headline used in this KnB title, but it’s the essential comics match up of all times, right? Also, Winsor McCay wasn’t a very good letterer.

Holiday mode…engage!

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I imagine most of you reading this aren’t reading this, but are already off on your holiday travels. While the team at Stately Beat Manor is going to remain vigilant for exciting, world changing breaking news, we’re going into “holiday mode” for posting, which is about the same as the regular mode except we gave it a name. But to make the holidays bright, I have some previews, art, webcomic alerts and maybe a few other surprises lined up in case you get bored. In the meantime, safe travels and happy holidays to all.

Humble Bundle sold $3 million worth of comics in 2014

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The whole Humble Bundle move to selling comics and e-books worked very well, Calvin Reid reports:

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: