X-POSITION: Phoenix, Upstarts & More Tear Up Bowers & Sims' "X-Men '92"
Industry | Global printing giant R.R. Donnelley has offered to buy the assets of Quebecor World for $1.3 billion in cash and stock. Montreal-based Quebecor, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2008, is the world’s second-largest commercial printing company, and one of the major printers of comic books in North America. Quebecor reportedly reached an agreement with creditors last month that is expected to allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy protection as early as mid-July. [ICv2.com, Folio]
Retailing | Dai Nippon Printing and three of Japan’s largest publishers — Kodansha, Shogakukan and Shueisha — have announced they’re acquiring a 28.9-percent stake in Bookoff Corporation, the nation’s largest used-books retail chain. [Anime News Network]
Legal | Lawrence Stanley takes an in-depth look at the “virtual” child-pornography conviction of Dwight Whorley and its relationship to Christopher Handley, an Iowa man who faces serious prison time for possessing manga the U.S. government calls obscene: “How far will the government go? How about the somber work of Hiraku Machida, or Suehiro Maruo’s DDT or Rose Colored Monster, or Liberatore’s Ranxerox? What about the art of Trevor Brown, or any of the publications or websites mentioned by Christopher Handley’s probation officer? What about Kaworu Watashiya’s Kodomo no Jikan? … Once you begin to attack pure fantasy, where do you stop?”
Retailing | Zimmie’s Comics & Games in Lewiston, Maine, has closed after nearly two decades in business. Although the store had been relatively successful, owner Joe Loubier was weighed down by debt after the coffee shop he and his wife opened failed last winter.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Loubier says. “I could come in tomorrow morning and find the locks changed and the doors locked by the bank. The bank could decide to liquidate the store itself, or they could decide they want me to do it. If that’s the case, we’ll have a great-big sale. But I don’t know yet.” [Sun Journal]
Legal | A 28-year-old man from Adelanto, California, suspected of stealing comic books from an apartment was arrested after he allegedly tried to sell them to another resident of the apartment complex. He is in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. [The Sun]
Sales charts | After 42 weeks in the Top 150, peaking at No. 2, Watchmen finally tumbles off USA Today’s bestseller list. [USA Today]
Pop culture | The hometown of Osamu Tezuka will use the manga creator’s character Princess Sapphire from Princess Knight to promote tourism. [Inside Japan]
Creators | Jeff Smith will give the commencement speech Saturday at the graduation ceremony for The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. [Boneville]
Creators | Writer Chris Eliopoulos and editor Nate Crosby chat about Marvel’s all-ages miniseries Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers. [GeekDad]