Robot 6

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Disney and Marvel

Disney and Marvel

Retailing | Could Disney’s planned $4-billion purchase of Marvel signal the return comic books to the mass market? “I see the Marvel acquisition by Disney helping to expand the genre of comic books and remove it from the dusty basement of the world,” says direct-market retailer Creswell. “I do see Disney stepping in and offering retailers outside of the direct comic book market incentives for selling Marvel products,” Creswell said. [Reuters]

Publishing | Long-struggling e-book site Wowio reportedly has informed publishers that payments for the second quarter of 2008 will be made by Nov. 15. Wowio, which was purchased last year by Platinum Studios, was sold in July to a holding company formed by Platinum President and COO Brian Altounian. [Bleeding Cool]

Long Beach Comic Con

Long Beach Comic Con

Conventions | The inaugural Long Beach Comic Con kicks off today at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. Guests include Berkeley Breathed, Stan Lee, Tim Bradstreet, J. Scott Campbell, Amanda Conner, Geoff Johns, Dave Johnson, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Scott Lobdell, Dustin Nguyen, Darick Robertson and Mark Waid. The Long Beach Post and Gazettes Town-News have previews. [Long Beach Comic Con]

Events | 24-Hour Comics Day will be held Saturday at locations around the world. [24-Hour Comics Day]

Conventions | Heidi MacDonald posts her Small Press Expo round-up/wrap-up/photo parade. [The Beat]

Yotsuba&!, Vol. 6

Yotsuba&!, Vol. 6

Sales charts | Well, huh. The collection of Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan’s Batman: Cacophany debuts as the No. 1 hardcover on The New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller List. Elsewhere on the chart, Yen Press should be pleased that the sixth volume Yotsuba&! — the first new installment under the publisher’s banner — premieres as the No. 3 manga. [The New York Times]

Publishing | Diamond Book Distributors has signed an exclusive agreement with Tokyopop to distribute the publisher’s titles in the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning next year. PanMacmillan has handled distribution since 2006. []

Publishing | SLG Publishing has reopened submissions after a two-month hiatus. [SLG Publishing]

Publishing | Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics Books answers five questions about the publisher’s output and the comics market. [Trouble With Comics]

Diesel Sweeties

Diesel Sweeties

Webcomics | I’m not sure this article delivers on its title — “What Newspaper Cartoonists Can Learn from Web Comics” — but it does spotlight how creators Richard Stevens and Howard Taylor make a living through their webcomics. [MediaShift, via Fleen]

Comic strips | Cartoonist Karen Montague-Reyes reflects on the unsuccessful newspaper syndication of her strip Clear Blue Water: “It got to the point where I dreaded getting my checks in the mail because it would tell you what papers dropped you or added you (the syndicate never told me beforehand).  I made my husband open them; I couldn’t even face them.  He’d just say, ‘Holding steady.’ Or, ‘Two drops this month.’ People would ask me what papers I was in and I didn’t know anymore because I chose not to know.” [Clear Blue Water, via The Daily Cartoonist]

Creators | Garry Trudeau discusses Doonesbury, deadlines, and the decline of newspapers: “Short-term, we’re probably OK. What’s not commonly known is that most print newspapers are getting by. It’s just the big, debt-loaded metros that are sinking fast. There will probably be enough paper clients to keep me going for the foreseeable future. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that I’ve been given the long run I have — if newspapers vanish tomorrow, I’ll have no grounds for complaint.” [News-Record]

Brother Voodoo, by Jim Rugg

Brother Voodoo, by Jim Rugg

Creators | Sean T. Collins talks with Jim Rugg about his Brother Voodoo story for Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology miniseries: “I like the weird ’70s Marvel characters like Brother Voodoo, Satanna, Morbius, ROM, Power Man and Iron Fist. Those characters are so transparently a marketing grab, yet the creators seem earnest in their effort and execution, for the most part. There’s a sense of anything might happen. You can almost see the duct tape holding these concepts together. They’re the second generation of Marvel characters, and they are so different than the Jack Kirby/Stan Lee model. It’s almost Marvel’s awkward teenage rebellion period.” []

Creators | Abby Denson chats about her new graphic novel Dolltopia. [New York Daily News]

Creators | Steve Ditko: “Spider-Man’s Forgotten Father.” [Examiner]

Pop culture | has launched its first “Steampunk Month.” []



More people need to read Yotsuba&!. Less people need to read Batman; Cacophony.

As for Disney selling comics: We had a Disney store at the local mall when Gladstone was publishing wonderful, wonderful comics. Although the store had everything imaginable – shoes, shirts, dishes, snow globes, masks, books, and calendars – NEVER ONCE did we see a Disney comic book in the store. If they didn’t care then – with their own product – why should they care now?

Well, Disney didn’t own Gladstone.

Assuming that Disney were to have any interest in getting comics “back to the mass market,” I think the next question is, is that even a reasonable goal when comics are $4 and up?

Wowio is a year and a half behind in payments? I smell doom.

I don’t know about $4 single issues, but there might be room for a hybrid format that increased the perceived value/dollar ratio. My feeling is the sticking point for a lot of readers is that $4 gets them a chapter, not a complete story or anything resembling it.

That said, if this is really their aim (and i’m not convinced that it is), then more power to them.

The recent Boom! Studios Mickey Mouse comic sold for $2.99.

Aqualad — That Mickey Mouse comic book came out this week.

Matt M — Gemstone sold 2 different Disney books @ $7.99 that had 4 or 5 complete stories in each issue. Sales in the Direct Market averaged less than 2 copies per store.

Dreaming of a universe in which Marvel bought Disney …

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