Robot 6

Food or Comics | A roundup of money-related news

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

• As JK Parkin noted yesterday, SLG Publisher Dan Vado spoke frankly at his WonderCon panel, putting in very grim terms what the economic climate and Diamond’s new order minimum could mean to his company: “I’ve done this for 23 years. I can’t say we’ll make it to the end of 2009. And that’s shocking to say because I’ve lived through a lot of crap.”

SLG Publishing Editor-in-Chief Jennifer de Guzman revealed last month that her hours have been cut by 40 percent “until business picks up.”

• Despite layoffs at DC Comics and other publishers, Rich Johnston reports Marvel Comics employees have been told their jobs are secure for at least the rest of the year.

• Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort tackle questions about the possible effects e-devices like Kindle could have on the comics industry.

“I don’t see 10%, 20% or any percentage of comic fans ‘migrating’ away,” Quesada says, alluding to recent comments made by DC Comics’ John Cunningham. “I see 10%, 20% or some percentage of brand-new fans migrating in. I see all these new advancements and technologies as inroads to comics. They’re additive. I don’t see them as taking anything away, and part of the reason is … technology never goes backward. It always advances. No one wants a black-and-white TV. No one wants a horse and buggy.
The digital revolution is here.
Technology will never stop moving, and it will advance beyond this. And the one thing I am certain is that as long as we embrace it, we will be able to grow with it. IF we shun it or look at it as the enemy, then it’ll run us over and leave us dead on the road.”

• Asked during a WonderCon panel whether the free online anthology MySpace Dark Horse Presents generates revenue for the publisher, Dark Horse editor Shawna Gore answered, “It’s essentially outreach. Basically what MySpace is trying to be, is the MTV of the Internet, which makes them attract younger viewers.”

• Retailer Forbidden Planet International will close its store in Derby, England, on March 22. “There are a number of reasons for this,” partner Kenny Penman writes on the company blog, “but the main one is that it has not made money ever since it was relocated when we were forced to move around five years ago.”

The recession and a lease renewal, with higher rent, reportedly contributed to the decision to close the location.

• Brigid Alverson reports that two titles from manga publisher Seven Seas didn’t mean Diamond’s new order minimum,  and weren’t listed in March’s Previews. The books still will be available in May in bookstores and online.

• Borders Group announced that it will close its large store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago next year.

• The Daily Cartoonist reports that cartoonist John Branch was among the 135 employees laid off last week by The San Antonio Express-News. Branch had been with the newspaper since 1981.

The blog also has interviews with cartoonists Ed Stein and Drew Litton, who lost their jobs on Friday when E.W. Scripps closed the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News.

• Cartoonist Matt Groening talks about Life in Hell being dropped from LA Weekly after 22 years — as part of company-wide cutbacks — and toys with the possibility of moving the strip online.

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Comments

One Comment

What surprises me about all this “Comics on the Kindle, iPhone, et cetera” talk is that I haven’t seen anyone discussing the possibilities of serialization to the devices, especially for the smaller publishers that might not be able to meet the Diamond limits.

Or maybe they are, and I just missed it. Who knows?

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