"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Conventions | San Diego and its convention center are fending off suitors for Comic-Con International, which generates some $16 million in direct spending for the city. Helen Kaiao Chang reports on some of the behind-the-scenes wrangling to keep the convention away from Los Angeles and Las Vegas, even as “the homegrown event … [busts] at the seams” of the San Diego venue.
“We’re working hard to keep them in San Diego,” says one convention center official. “The economic impact to San Diego is profound.” [San Diego News Network]
Publishing | After round after round of firings, Wizard has announced two promotions and a new hire. Longtime staff member Mike Cotton has been promoted from managing editor to editor while Andy Serwin has moved from assistant managing editor to features editor.
The magazine also has hired Casey Seijas as managing editor. Seijas previously worked at Wizard as a writer and editor before moving on to Vertigo, where he edited Hellblazer and assisted on numerous other titles. He left the DC Comics imprint in summer 2008 to co-edit MTV’s new Splash Page blog, but was let go a few months later in a round of Viacom layoffs. He stayed on as a free-lance writer. [Wizard]
Webcomics | Cartoonist John Allison has confirmed he’ll end his long-running webcomic Scary Go Round in September, in part to begin a new project that will provide a fresh entry point for readers, but also over concerns that the webcomics “game” has become “more fierce.”
“Four years ago, a webcomic with a readership in the tens of thousands, a couple of book collections and a few chippy tshirts would keep you in the hay most months of the year,” Allison writes on his blog. “But now the market is oversaturated with ‘product’ in, arguably, all three of those categories and I have to take a risk and raise my game. I’ve said it before but I don’t want to be knocking on 40 with only a long-in-the-tooth internet strip to keep my (as yet unborn) babies in school coats and shoes.”
The paranormal comedy launched in 2002 in the wake of Bobbins, Allison’s earlier comic that featured most of the same main characters. Seven print collections of Scary Go Round have been released since 2003. The upcoming eighth book will be the last. The Webcomic Overlook provides commentary. [John Allison’s blog]
Sales charts | Final Crisis and Watchmen maintain the top spots in the hardcover and paperback categories of The New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller List, while the 45th volume of Naruto replaces Bleach, Vol. 27, as the No. 1 manga. [ArtsBeat]
Publishing | The Weekly Standard‘s Jonathan V. Last examines, with some disdain, how Obamamania has gripped the comics industry. He notes that while other presidents have appeared in comic books, none has received the Obama-style treatment: “What’s different about Mr. Obama’s triumphant march through comics is (1) the sheer volume of his appearances, month after month; and (2) the worshipful attitude toward him. The main characters gape and stutter in his presence, overwhelmed by his magnificence. He’s even drawn iconically. Where other presidents have been penciled either realistically or satirically, Mr. Obama mostly gets the superhero treatment with bulging muscles and jutting jaw line.” [The Wall Street Journal]
Events | Trevor Hunnicut previews Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly restored Cleveland home where a teen-aged Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Awards | The Joe Madureira-created video game Darksiders is the title sponsor of the 2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, which will be presented July 24 during Comic-Con International. [press release]
Creators | Writer David Gallaher chats briefly about his Zuda Comics Western High Moon: “The theme of ‘an unchanging man in a changing time’ sort of stuck with me, and the story came out of that. With few exceptions, I hate Westerns … and with this project, I was able to write a Western that I enjoyed creating and enjoyed reading.” [The Oklahoman]