Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Dark Horse CEO on state of industry; BOOM! changes

Mike Richardson

Publishing | In a wide-ranging interview with retail news and analysis site ICv2, Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson discusses the state of the market, the potential impact of Borders’ bankruptcy, digital comics, the decline in manga sales, the success of Troublemaker and more. Of particular note is Richardson’s confirmation that Apple’s stricter enforcement of a prohibition on in-app purchases outside the iTunes store was behind the delay of the planned January launch of Dark Horse’s digital comics program. He also says that Frank Miller is working on the third issue of his 300 prequel Xerxes, which is expected to be “roughly six issues, but he hasn’t exactly decided yet.” []

Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson provides an overview of recent changes to BOOM! Studios’ kids’ line, from the loss of the Pixar licenses to a new imprint name — changed from BOOM! Kids to kaboom! — to the announcement this week of a Peanuts original graphic novel. “BOOM Kids! was designed to publish children’s comics — kaboom! is designed to be a true all-ages imprint, and for that reason Peanuts is the perfect launch title, the sort of material that adults and kids read alike,” CEO Ross Ritchie said. “Roger Langridge’s Snarked! is along these lines, as is Space Warped and Word Girl.  I put the Word Girl announcement on my wall on Facebook and immediately there were a zillion adults commenting, ‘My child loves this show but I’m buying this comic book for myself!’  The title mix will be broader for kaboom! than it was for BOOM Kids!” [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Atish Patel offers a snapshot of India’s “new wave of graphic novelists,” from creators like Adhiraj Singh and Sarnath Banerjee to publishers like Vimanika Comics and Campfire. [Reuters]

Matt Fraction

Creators | Tom Spurgeon kicks off an interview with Matt Fraction about Casanova: “There’s nothing about Casanova that goes easily or well, on any conceivable level. For whatever reason, it has this sort of light whiff of curse about it that just takes longer to produce. It is the hardest thing I write. It took me literally a year to produce the first script. That wasn’t a year of working on it all day every day, but I started October of 2009 and finished October 2010 on the first issue of the third series. For whatever reason, it’s the book where we go crazy.” []

Creators | Brian Truitt spotlights The Flash artist Francis Manapul, who talks about collaborating with writer Geoff Johns: “”It just feels like with every new script I get, we’re continually getting closer to almost having the same brain in how we like to tell the story. Honestly, after I finish this book, If I’m not working with Geoff, I don’t even know who I’d want to work with. I’d probably just write a story for myself.” [USA Today]

The New Brighton Archeological Society

Creators | Writer Mark Andrew Smith chats about using Kickstarter to fund a sequel to his all-ages book The New Brighton Archeological Society, and the challenges of creator-owned work: “The creative part comes easily. I think that the biggest challenge is the stress of putting so much work into a project and getting high hopes, only to see that work be for nothing. With each new book we put in energy and so much work, and think, ‘Okay, this is going to be it. We’re going to get to where we can turn this into a career’ and it never happens. We’ll work on a book sometimes for three years and it will come out and only 2,000 or 3,000 people will read it. Doing creator owned comics is a very Sisyphean task and you get your hopes up just to get knocked back down each time to where you started from with only a printed book to hold in your hands. I think that’s very hard to take on an emotional level. You’ve got to do your best to soldier on, keep a good outlook, and not let those things bother you.” [GeekDad]

Creators | Alex Robinson talks briefly about nostalgia, television and movie adaptations, and his Fantastic Four contribution to Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology: “A friend of mine pointed out, though, that the story takes place when Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and Ben Grimm were all in college, so I don’t even have any superhero things in it. I got a chance to do superheroes, and I fell back on a bunch of people sitting around talking about their feelings. Maybe no matter what, I can’t shake that inclination. ” [The A.V. Club]

Creators | Ethan Nicolle talks about Axe Cop, his collaboration with his 6-year-old brother Malachi. []

Creators | Shanghai artist Liu Chong, who uses the pen name L-Dart, discusses breaking into Japan’s competitive manga market with Killin-ji. [Reuters]

Pop culture | William Hollingsworth looks at the influence of Japan’s kawaii (“cute”) culture in England. [The Japan Times]



Tom Spurgeon is writing for Wowzer.

I really thought that was Steve Martin…

One more bit of surreal, sorta-comics-relates news:

Selena Gomez’ new single features Chris Ware-looking cover art.

Q: Does this mean that my until-now imaginary Justin Bieber New Yorker cover as drawn by Seth is soon to be a pin-up reality?

Here is a thought for Mr. Richardson, and any other publisher that see’s the potential of my idea.

A way to keep brick and mortar stores in business with the digital initiative, and also a way to see more of your money than Apple does, since they are only one source to buy things.

Follow the example of Microsoft and start creating Comic Credit cards that work eactly like Microsoft points cards.

These can be imprinted with your comapny logo and even select characters.
They would be one time use cards that could be made to work -in app-

Basically you print them up in three price categories, $10, $20, $40 they can be printed up and given randomly created inactive codes.
then you ship them out at no cost to comic shops.

People at the shops would of course purchase them and at the point of purchace the card is activated and the code can now be input into your digital app and you have that much availible purchacing credit to buy titles.
The store, would receive a fee for each card based on value.

These cards NEVER Expire while sitting on a shelf.

They can be sold in comic shops, grocery stores, 7/11’s, Gamestop, Best Buy and any other store that provides digital devices, just like the Microsoft and playstation ones are. Also movies and resturants already use this method.

the primary reason is that not all of your customers have credit cards, and even more of them may be hesitant to put their credit info on any computer device.

This method guarantees you will be paid. It guarantees Brick and Mortor support and it also keeps more of the money in your pocket and not Steve Jobs’s.

Nothing against Jobs, but he already owns the music industry. I see no reason publishers should hand the comic industry over to him as well.

That Japan Times business about Cute being big in England is just rubbish.

Here is Scotland, all the kids dress up as My Little Pony. No, really.

So, Frank Miller is still writing XERXES. Anybody know the status of the ALL-STAR BATMAN scripts? Or is he off that project?

I think its Jim Lee that’s the problem w/ASB, not Miller…

Thanks, Snikt snakt. I have only partly paid attention to the developments with that. So Miller’s scripts are done? That’s good news.

Man Robot 6 does a great job at being my filter and snagging interesting articles that I would have missed otherwise; it’s nice to know I can relax and not worry about that happening. Thanks guys!

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