"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Publishing | Diamond Comic Distributors has reversed its cancellation of Flinch, the anthology from Australia-based Gestalt Publishing. Wolfgang Bylsma, the publisher’s managing director, wrote to say his Diamond account representative had been unaware of the cancellation until contacted by Bylsma.
“It would appear that their new minimum-sales benchmark processes are undergoing some teething problems and they have some inhouse issues to attend to,” Bylsma said in an email to Robot 6.
Publishing | Viz Media has kicked off its free online serialization of Rin-Ne, the new manga from Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2 creator Rumiko Takahashi. New chapters will appear on The Rumic World website at the same time they’re released in Japan. The publisher also announced that beginning with July’s Vol. 38, it will release Inuyasha in its original form: unflipped, reading from right to left. [TheRumicWorld.com]
Sales charts | The latest wave of Naruto releases begins to falter on the USA Today bestseller list as Vol. 44 slips 17 places to No. 61, Vol. 43 drops 25 to No. 65, and Vol. 42 tumbles 33 to No. 83. Meanwhile, Watchmen continues its slow fall, sliding 29 spots to No. 77 in its 40th week on the chart. [USA Today]
Creators | Brian Azzarello gives a 100 Bullets-themed tour of Chicago. Regarding an alleyway on Clark Street that appears in Issue 91: “I like alleys. They are the backdoor to everything. It’s more interesting than the front—you are either familiar with the spot or shouldn’t be there. This alley I used because I used to work in a graphic design shop here and there were rats. One summer night I turned on a light here, and there were so many rats it was like the alley itself was moving out of the way.” [The Chicago Tribune]
Creators | Cartoonist Stephan Pastis talks about his comic strip Pearls Before Swine and the declining newspaper industry: “Oh my god, I worry about it every single night, it’s just incredible. Newspapers are still a majority of my income, so I don’t know what will happen.” [Journal Star]
Creators | Comics historian Craig Yoe discusses Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster: “Did he detest the assignment or did he enjoy it? I don’t know. And people like to say he did it just for the money, but I don’t know. He could have done other things for the money … but he took this assignment.” [Express Night Out]
Publishing | Fantagraphics Books comes up with its own humorous take on DC Comics’ “After Watchmen … What’s Next?” marketing initiative: “After Watchmen, Cleanse Your Palate.” “Now that these people have seen Watchmen the movie,” Eric Reynolds writes, “how do they erase it from memory and avoid wantonly dismissing the entire medium from which it sprung?” [Fantagraphics]
Comic strips | Seen Kleefeld rounds up this year’s Earth Day-themed comic strips. [Kleefeld on Comics]
Pop culture | Learning nothing from recent history — as recent as last month – the Philadelphia 76ers planned to use the trademarked Superman logo in a T-shirt giveaway this weekend … at least until somebody pulled the plug. Instead, fans will receive white shirts. [Deadspin]
Comics | Superhero origins don’t have to be complicated: “When it comes down to it, all you really need to explain the Flash — any Flash — is that he’s really, really fast, and he helps people.” [Speed Force]
Comics | Tucker Stone has made the leap to video. [ComiXology]
Art | P. Craig Russell’s cover sketches for Sandman: The Dream Hunters. [P. Craig Russell]