Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Disney reportedly tightening belt, mulling layoffs

The Walt Disney Co.

Business | Marvel parent The Walt Disney Co., which just purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, reportedly has begun an internal cost-cutting review that could include layoffs in its studio and other divisions. The cutbacks are believed to focus on jobs that are no longer needed because of technological advancements and redundancies created by the acquisition of Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. Disney has made a series of staff cutbacks over the past couple of years, beginning in January 2011 with 200 jobs in its interactive division; Marvel trimmed about a dozen positions in October 2011. [Yahoo! Finance]

Publishing | Robert Stanley Martin takes a new look at Jim Shooter’s tenure as editor-in-chief of Marvel. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Publishing | Mark Frauenfender interviews underground comics publisher Jay Kinney on his Gweek podcast; Kinney was the publisher of Young Lust comics and later of Anarchy Comics, which have recently been collected into an anthology. [Boing Boing]

Rage comics

Webcomics | The statistics show that the number of rage comics on Reddit is dropping rapidly, perhaps as people find better things to do than cobble together bad comics from other people’s scrawls. [Daily Dot]

Creators | Jeff Lemire discusses the hopeful ending of Sweet Tooth, which arrives in stores Wednesday: “You put those characters through so much and so many hard situations and quite a bit of pain, and the reader’s there with them the whole time. f I didn’t provide some kind of closure and optimism at the end, I feel like I’d just be a cruel person. And I don’t think that I am.” [USA Today]

Creators | Charles Webb talks to X-O Manowar writer Robert Venditti about the upcoming “Planet Death” arc, which begins with Issue 9, out later this month. [MTV Geek]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon talks to Tom Hart about his comics and his involvement in the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW). [The Comics Reporter]

Chew #34

Creators | Artist Rob Guillory chats about Chew, the planned Showtime adaptation, the future of the Image Comics series, and more. [Mancave Daily]

Creators | Collaborators Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins talk about the big introduction of Captain Hook, aka Kapitan Haken, in Peter Panzerfaust #8, out this week. [USA Today]

Creators | Howard Shapiro discusses his young-adult graphic novel The Stereotypical Freaks and offers an important insight: “I was lucky in that I had three guys in the business helping and advising me. The advice they gave me is the best advice I could give anyone with an idea and starting out to write a graphic novel. Find an “A” level type of artist. If you can find that person then the road will be a lot less bumpy. You can have the greatest story but without the artwork to match it, you’re sunk. So, step one is to find a great artist.” [CultureMob]

Creators | Ron Rege Jr. talks about Cartoon Utopia. [The Comics Journal]

Comics | Daniel Kalder looks at the increasing popularity of books about comics. [Publishing Perspectives]



It was only a matter of time for Disney. You can’t keep buying companies and leaving them entirely intact. They were bound to move the administrative controls of all these companies under one umbrella. I hope this has no negative effects on the company.

I hope Disney’s enough with just anything. Time to make great games and films.

Only thing about the lay offs that surprise me is that it hasn’t happend sooner. Including the time they’ve bought ABC and ESPN they’ve spent about 30 billion dollars acquiring properties.

From the Jim Shooter article:
“There was a much greater emphasis given to crafting individual issues into satisfying reads. Distracting visual flash was discouraged in favor of clear narrative cartooning. Shooter took it upon himself to train new writers and artists in the principles of comics storytelling.”

Unfortunately, comics have regressed to the opposite of the spectrum. More often than not, emphasis on flash and 6-issue stories over individual issues that are satisfying reads.

Brian from Canada

January 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

The Jim Shooter era article is a must-read.

If anything, the comparison with Nixon is bang on: yes, he rubbed people the wrong way and angered a lot of folks who took power afterwards, but as time progresses there’s a better understanding of the good that was there as well.

Shooter had a work ethic. Shooter had a quality ethic. And Shooter generally seemed to care about the relationship between writer, character and fan — or at least the underlying passion that should never be quashed.

That’s not to say Alonso et al., don’t have a work ethic. They do. But it’s based on dollars and cents not passion and sense.

@Dan P.:
The same line stood out to me. Back then, Marvel subscribed to the mantra that “every comic could be somebody’s first” and that all the critical information that the casual reader would need in order to understand the premise of the series, who the characters are, what they can do, etc. had to be in there. Comics have strayed so far from that as the “age of decompression” took root.

@Brian from Canada:
Agreed on this being a must-read. I got in to comics during the heyday of Shooter’s tenure as EiC. This period is, very much, “my” golden age. I’m always intrigued to read about the goings-on behind the scenes during this era. Shooter is, certainly, a polarizing figure. He got under a lot of people’s skin, but you can’t deny that he made the trains run on time. The quality of Marvel’s output during these years was, arguably, at an all-time high.

If you haven’t, I recommend reading Jim Shooter’s blog ( There’s lots of interesting firsthand accounts there. You’ll be entertained for hours.

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