Robot 6

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



Retailing | Responding to a shrinking retail market for music, the Texas-based entertainment-media chain Hastings will begin selling Diamond-distributed comic books in 127 of its 147 stores. Hastings operates stores in medium-sized markets in 20 states, selling new and used books, electronics, DVDs, video games — and, now, monthly comics.

As we noted in March, the company reported “strong results” from a tested comics expansion in two stores in 2009, and planned to expand further into another 20 existing locations by the second quarter of this year. Now, company executive James Parker tells Rich Johnston, the retailer is moving forward with two expansion models, with 27 locations sporting 32 feet of new releases, 32 feet of back issues, and 44 feet of manga and graphic novels. One hundred outlets will feature a small expansion, with 16 linear feet of each. As Johnston points out, it appears that Hastings is “about to become the largest buyer of monthly comics in America.” He has reactions from a handful of direct-market retailers. [Bleeding Cool]

Adrienne and Gene Colan

Adrienne and Gene Colan

Passings | Adrienne Colan, the 67-year-old wife of artist Gene Colan, was found dead Monday in the home she and her husband once shared. The cause of death hasn’t been determined.  The couple had been separated since April, when a physical altercation left the 83-year-old artist hospitalized with a broken shoulder. Adrienne Colan pleaded guilty in May to the assault. Gene Colan’s longtime friend Clifford Meth reports that, “All things considered, he is holding up well.” [Mark Evanier, Clifford Meth]

Conventions | Tom Spurgeon reminds us that there are only 30 days until Comic-Con International. [The Comics Reporter]

Retailing | Brian Heater visits Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Retailing | Jennifer de Guzman wonders why girls and women continue to have bad experiences in comic stores: “As I commented to Hope Larson in regards to her surveys results about what both publishers and stores can do to be more welcoming to female comics readers—it is still happening because many in the comics industry seem not to think that these readers are worth effort. Comics have thrived, in their own way, on being insular and appealing to a closed circle of fans. Comics isn’t just a medium for many people—it is a community. And, unfortunately, a community whose largest faction is very much a clique.” [Publishers Weekly]

Scenes From A Multiverse

Scenes From A Multiverse

Webcomics | Cartoonist Jonathan Rosenberg, creator of the long-running Goats, has launched a daily gag comic Scenes From A Multiverse. [Storming the Tower]

Creators | Eric Garrison continues his multi-part interview with Unknown Soldier writer Johsua Dysart. [The Unseen Eye]

Creators | Dominic Messier chats briefly with Rex Mundi writer Arvid Nelson. []

Creators | Writer and webcomics commentator Mike Perridge posts his rejected Zuda submission. [mpd57]

Creators | Johanna Draper Carlson explains why she won’t donate to Kickstarter projects: “I’d rather see a creator learn to think like an entrepreneur. Put together a business plan and get dedicated loans and funding. I know Kickstarter, which seems like free money, seems a lot easier, without putting you on the hook in any way, but ultimately, I think it’s better in the long run for creators to understand how to run their own small business. If they get the money in advance, what’s the impetus to keep going? If you’re not willing to risk your own money and fund your own startup, why should I? If you believe in it, you take the risk.” [Comics Worth Reading]

Comics | Nick Nadel lists seven comic (and comic movie) vampires “that don’t suck.” []



Don’t all vampires technically “suck.”

…integuments aren’t sensory.

Are they?


June 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

Geez, things are going pretty bad for Gene Colan.

Mysterious Stranger

June 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

I’ve been to Meltdown Comics a couple of times recently, Free Comic Book Day and a gathering of food trucks one Saturday night. The shop is everything I’ve come to expect from a large comic book store. Lots of variety and something for everyone.

I haven’t been to Secret Headquarters yet but its on my list of shops to check out now that I’m an L.A. resident.

Two weeks ago, I went into my “usual” Hastings for the first time in about six months to actually rent a movie and I was stupified to see that they had built up a whole comics/GN/Manga section where about 1/4 of their music used to be. I have to say, I was surprised by the fact that they were carrying new issues (and had two sheets at the end of the rack facing the main “entrance” to that comics area: What they are carrying from THIS week, and what they ordered for NEXT week.

Anyway, it’s mostly the bigger titles I’d expect from the Big Two, but they had some other front of Previews lines (Dark Horse, IDW, Image, basically). It was actually a lot more well-organized than I’d have expected. But it’s well-situated in the dead center of the store and I think it’s a great idea that they have increased the amount of shelf space for TPBs/GNs at the same time to about as much as I’ve seen at Borders.

I can’t help but think this is a good idea because they now have ALL things comics in one area and the merchandise shelves are right next to the floppies with the trades/GNs on the opposite shelf. So anyone looking for anything Iron Man after getting piqued by the movies can grab the new IIM or a trade right next to the t-shirts and such.

I actually thought at first that they just took all the comics from the comics/video games/collectibles store two (well, one really. There’s an empty spot where a grocery store used to be separating them) stores down in the same strip mall-type thing.

And I guess that’s the thing I’m curious about: How this will affect the LCS that’s basically right next door. Although to be honest, I think that LCS is a hole and fits most of the stereotypes of a dungeonesque LCS, and as far as environment goes they could not be further apart: The LCS is dark, cramped and fairly cluttered. Hastings’ floppies and total comic area is bright, open and actually easy to navigate (though the shelves are spaced pretty narrowly (like CVS aisles before they got sued for violating ADA for being too narrow). IOW, it’s a million times more inviting for new readers.

In the end, I think this is going to be a huge benefit to comics distribution. I can go on about how I think they’re pissing away the online opportunity, but at least this is getting them out to a wider audience that the publishers and Diamond haven’t otherwise seemed intent on pursuing in … well, ever.

The Hasting thing could be very bad for comic shops if this catches on with Wal-mart and Target

I think Hastings will help bring in much need new customers a lot better than that digital junk. I’d rather go to my local comic shop but I can see how Hastings would be more “inviting”.

I’m curious to see if they’ve set up some type of returnability agreement with diamond, since most other bookstores get their books through news agents with the ability to return items.

I was at a Hastings in the SPokane Valley and all the comics were gone at the time. Hadn’t been there for a while. Some of my High School memories include me and my friends going to Hastings to look for music (back then you had to pay, but it was better stuff so there). Yeah, that was at the one on division in Spokane. Now that one is closed. The shadle one still had a big rack of books though.

Gene Colan. I saw that Daredevil DVD thing where he talks about how lonely it was to be a comic book artist. I hear that and somehow all my favoritie artists found time to get married and have kids. It’s seems strange, but I’m sure they know what they were doing.

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