Robot 6

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


Publishing | Retail news and analysis site ICv2 concludes its two-part interview with Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley, who addresses the struggle between “tightly interwoven continuity” and accessible comics: “… You run the constant battle of people saying ‘we need one-shots for people to jump on to,’ but the ordering trends don’t play to that a lot. The ordering trends play to ‘is this tied to an event.’ It was very evident with DC’s Brightest Day and Darkest Night orders. It was very evident during Civil War. So you hear that said a lot but most of the sales are very contradictory to those desires. Making books as easily entered into as possible is something we try to pay close attention to. I’m not going to deny that we don’t get lost in our own soup sometimes which is the nature of serialized story-telling. It’s hard to keep the revenue numbers without tying in books to leverage off the big books.” []

Kodansha Comics

Publishing | Christopher Butcher, Katherine Dacey and Daniella Orihuela-Gruber offer commentary on Monday’s announcement that Kodansha will begin publishing its own manga in North America through its partnership with Random House. The latter previously had released licensed Kodansha titles through its Del Rey Manga imprint. Anime News Network has a list of Kodansha books that the imprint hadn’t finished publishing. “It looks like Del Rey has divested themselves of _all_ of the risk of manga publishing,” Butcher writes, “moving into a packaging and distribution relationship. Smart move for the bean-counters at Del Rey! And I guess Kodansha USA gets to call themselves a publisher, which I assume will impress someone back in Japan, but they’re not really doing anything other than putting their logo on the book, so far as I can tell.” [Kodansha Ltd.]

Michael George

Legal | Retailer Michael George will get a second trial sometime next year following the refusal of the Michigan Supreme Court to overturn a judge’s decision to overturn his first-degree murder conviction in the 1990 killing of his first wife. Attorneys met Monday with Macomb County Circuit Judge James Biernat, who set a Nov. 4 pretrial in the case of George, who was found guilty in March 2008 of fatally shooting his wife Barbara in the back room of their Clinton Township, Mich., comic store. Biernat overturned the jury verdict in September 2008, citing prosecutorial misconduct and the discovery of new evidence. [Detroit Free Press, Daily American]

Publishing | Atom! Freeman, who joined Top Cow Productions in August as direct market liaison, has been promoted to director of sales and marketing. [press release]

Organizations | Alex Cox, former co-owner of Rocketship in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been hired by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund as development manager. [press release]

Conventions | David Brothers highlights 15 “must-see panels” from this weekend’s New York Comic Con. [Comics Alliance]

The Outfit

Creators | Darwyn Cooke talks about The Outfit, the follow-up to his acclaimed graphic-novel adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s The Hunter: “I lay awake at night wondering to what degree Donald would have argued or agreed with me. There’s a situation at the end of this story [in it’s original prose version]  that I have never bought, as a reader and fan. I went ahead and made a change based on my understanding of Parker as a character and everything that Donald has ever said about him. He does something at the end of the book that flies completely in the face of everything he is as a character, and I did change that. I think it makes for a more succinct and ruthless ending. But, believe me, when you’re doing these things, you have to be really careful. I hope longtime fans will see the why of what I’ve done, and I hope it strengthens the material.” [Hero Complex]

Creators | George Gene Gustines profiles legendary artist Jerry Robinson, focusing largely on the creation of the Joker. [The New York Times]

Red Light Properties

Creators | Dan Goldman discusses Red Light Properties, his webcomic about a Florida real-estate exorcist. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Justin Giampaoli wraps up his sprawling 10-part look at the work of Brian Wood by interviewing the creator himself. [13 Minutes]

Creators | Brandon Graham talks about King City, Multiple Warheads, his influences, and sexually explicit comics: “I do think sex is something worthy of real and expressive art. It’s defiantly a big part of being human. I’m hoping to do some work in the future that has more sex, but where it isn’t the main focus of the book. As far as widespread acceptance, I imagine not … these Romans are crazy.” [Exquisite Things]

Comics | Ethan Kaye counts down the 10 greatest skulls in comics. [Topless Robot]



The Michael George case still hasn’t been resolved?!? The poor woman was murdered TWENTY YEARS AGO!!! Talk about slow wheels of justice…

I like how Buckley called it Darkest Night…a nice touch, pretending not to know the actual name of your competition’s big event.

I doubt it was intentional. I routinely screw up and call it “Darkest Night.”

“I like how Buckley called it Darkest Night…a nice touch, pretending not to know the actual name of your competition’s big event.”

Lots of people get it wrong.
Google “Darkest Night” “DC Comics” to see some examples.

“A lot of sales, as you probably would assume, are coming out of having a backlist in the book area for direct market and book market. The good news is we’ve got quite a bit of material now. We had to build the library in the first four or five years because we really had nothing to create a trade program to get any shelf space. Now we have something that we can have people continue to push through. We’re going to continue our efforts in the all ages area. We’ll probably figure out how we can learn from some folks on the distribution side from our Disney friends. We’ll just keep on plugging away at that. It’s going to be here for a long time.”


How can Buckley say that Marvel had nothing to create a trade program for kids at the start of their “all ages” program. That is flat out untrue. I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until Marvel finally admits it (which will most likely be never), Marvel was publishing layered all ages CCA approved comics from 1961 to 2000. It wasn’t until Quesada and Jemas started calling the shots that they stopped making the over whelming majority of their comics suitable for readers of all ages.

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