Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
• Retailer Brian Hibbs responds to Christopher Butcher’s post about Diamond Comic Distributors dropping nearly 1,000 Viz Media titles from its backlist: “As near as I can tell, however, he’s concerned about a bunch of material that, well, doesn’t sell. YES, some of the titles on the list are REALLY FUCKING GOOD COMICS, no doubt about it … but do they SELL is the question?”
• Rich Johnston asserts that Diamond’s recent moves are spurred, at least in part, by retailers “faulting on payments like never before, leaving Diamond holding the can on hundreds of thousands of orders.”
• Although he’s still crunching numbers, charts watcher John Jackson Miller says that, sales of Amazing Spider-Man #583 aside, last month appears to have been “a good-old-fashioned Bad January” in the direct market.
• BOOM! Studios and iVerse Media have announced that Hexed #1 was downloaded for free more than 10,000 times within 48 hours of its Feb. 6 premiere via Google’s Android platform.
• David Welsh considers the state of the manga industry in North America: “If you look at BookScan’s top 20 graphic novels of 2008, you can’t help but notice that none of the manga series represented actually debuted in 2008, and only one (the aforementioned Vampire Knight) has launched since 2005. The monthly lists of BookScan bestsellers show a sprinkling of new or new-ish arrivals, but there were no new blockbusters of note. Several debuting series earned respectable sales and critical approbation, but they’ve yet to become name-brand performers. (This isn’t entirely unique to manga, obviously. The best-selling graphic novel of 2008, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, has been in print for several years.)”
• Katherine Dacey offers some tips for selling your cast-off manga on eBay.
• I’ve seen a couple of message-board posts from publishers saying they’ve received a letter from WOWIO informing them that payments for the fourth quarter of 2008 will begin rolling out soon.
• Retailers in northern Illinois are feeling the pinch from the recession.