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Pennsylvania retailer seeks donations for charity auction

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Wade Shaw, owner of Wade’s Comic Madness in Levittown, Pennsylvania, is looking for donations for an auction to benefit one of his customers.

“Our longtime customer and friend Mike Pacenski is going through a terrible situation, as his 6-month-old daughter Willa has been diagnosed with leukemia,” he said in an email to CBR. “To assist with their mounting bills, on May 3 we will be running silent auctions, raffling prize baskets and selling ‘Team Willa’ wristbands all day, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the family.”

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DC and Marvel take defense of ‘super hero’ trademark to U.K.

business zero to superheroA British author is accusing DC Comics and Marvel of “banning the use of the word superhero” after he received notice that the publishers are opposing his attempt to trademark the title of his advice book Business Zero to Superhero.

“I was very shocked,” Graham Jules told BBC Radio. “I’m a new author and small business, and I’m now in the position of fighting or scrapping the entire book.” The Mail on Sunday picked up on his story, running it with a headline that’s both cliche and misleading: “Zap! You can’t say ‘superhero’.”

As many comics fans know, and Jules quickly learned, DC and Marvel have since 1979 jointly owned the trademark for “super hero” and “super heroes,” covering a range of products, from comic books and playing cards to pencil sharpeners and glue. Their renewal of that mark in 2006 drew widespread attention, as well as scrutiny from those who question whether such a term should be allowed to be registered.

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Comics A.M. | Examining implications of Amazon-comiXology deal

Amazon and comiXology

Amazon and comiXology

Digital comics | Jeff Gomez examines the implications of Amazon’s planned acquisition of comiXology, opining that it will give comics a wider reach but also force publishers of superhero fare to broaden their appeal beyond the core demographic: “The books will now be exposed to millions of newcomers, so it will behoove major publishers to make their stories more female-friendly, streamlined, and accessible. With comiXology’s new aim to make ‘every person on the planet a comics fan,’ publishers will need to consider new genres, greater variety, and more varied age groups.” [Business Insider]

Digital comics | ComiXology will continue to offer its Digital Storefronts for retailers, and it will not allow Amazon to target users of its Pull List service with its own offers, according to spokesman Chip Mosher. Also, no changes are planned to comiXology’s other retailer tools. [ICv2]

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Best of 7 | Colbert and comics, Kaare Andrews returns and more

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Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out. So get ready to fly really, really fast as we reverse the Earth’s orbit and head back for a look at the last seven days in comics …

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‘Young Avengers’ takes home a GLAAD Media Award

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Marvel’s latest Young Avengers series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie has won a GLAAD Media Award for “Outstanding Comic Book.” The awards were presented last night in Los Angeles.

Young Avengers, which featured Loki, Miss America, Marvel Boy, Kate Bishop/Hawkeye and the homosexual couple Wiccan and Hulkling, wrapped up with its 15th issue in January. In addition to Gillen and McKelvie, other creators who worked on the book include Mike Norton, Kris Anka, Stephen Thompson, Becky Cloonan, Ming Doyle, Joe Quinones, Matthew Wilson, Jordie Bellaire, Maris Wicks, Lee Loughridge, Clayton Cowles, Lauren Sankovitch and Jake Thomas.

The awards honor outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in various media. Other nominees this year included Batwoman, which won two years ago; The Fearless Defenders; Husbands and Life With Archie. The original Young Avengers series won in 2006, while Avengers: The Children’s Crusade was nominated in 2011 and 2012, and Young Avengers Presents in 2009.

You can find a complete list of winners on the GLAAD site.

Can drones deliver my comics? Six thoughts on the Amazon/comiXology deal

amazon-ology-2-700e4In case you missed it, Amazon announced last Thursday their intent to buy the popular digital comics provider comiXology. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, and terms were not disclosed.

Maybe this explains why my Prime membership went up in price? OK, probably not. But this is a major shift for the industry, as the biggest seller of digital comics will be owned by a mega Internet company. It’s really too soon to know exactly what this will all mean, but here are a few thoughts I’ve had after shifting through the announcement and some of the reactions to it.

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Paul Smith reflects upon early days of his comics career

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If you’re like me, who only recently discovered that comics industry veteran artist Paul Smith has a website and is on Twitter, suffice to say you are in for a treat.

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Comics, statues and more in this edition of Shelf Porn

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Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly look at one fan’s collection. Today’s shelves come from Joseph in Parts Unknown, who shares his collection of comics and more.

If you’d like to see your collection here, you can find instructions on how to submit it at the end of this post.

And now here’s Joseph …

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Ulli Lust, Gene Luen Yang win LA Times Book Prizes

Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life The winners of the LA Times Book Prizes were announced Friday night, and not one but two graphic novels took top honors.

Ulli Lust won the Graphic Novels/Comics prize for Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, which also picked up an Ignatz Award and won an award at Angouleme in 2011 for the original edition. The other finalists were David B.’s Incidents in the Night: Vol. 1, Ben Katchor’s Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories, Anders Nilsen’s The End, and Joe Sacco’s The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, so it was a tough field.

In the Young Adult category, Boxers & Saints was up against four prose books: Elizabeth Knox’s Mortal Fire, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Joyce Sidman’s What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings, and Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase. Yang’s earlier book, American Born Chinese, was nominated for a National Book Award and won a Printz Award; both honors usually go to prose books.

The Fifth Color | Bang for your buck

Deadpool #27

that’s .04 per character on the cover!

How are new comics priced? I ask this mostly as a rhetorical exercise; I’m sure there is a process to decide how much new titles cost that involves sacrificial chickens and a large dart board, because it seems absolutely unfathomable to me some days. The average comic is either $2.99 or $3.99, and I’m always a little thrown off by which books get to be what price. There’s a certain amount of prestige to the $3.99 books, but I couldn’t tell you why. All I know is that I’m really glad Hawkeye is $2.99, and no one wants to jinx that by overthinking the cost process.

I also know that a more reliable indicator of cost is size; the bigger the comic, the more money they want for it, and that’s fair. More pages, more work, more money; it’s not that difficult a sell. More pages also mean a special occasion as they don’t bust out the 80-page giants for just anything. Larger comics are for a special occasion, even if that special occasion is just an annual that only happens once a year. They celebrate things, like anniversaries, milestone numbering or big story events. Say, a wedding…

That bad segue leads to the shocking event that three books this week totaled up, cost around $20 in the United States, around the price of a trade paperback. But just for three comics: Daredevil #1.50, All-New X-Men #25 and Deadpool #27. Were they worth it? Read on and find out.

WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead for Daredevil #1.50, All-New X-Men #25, and Deadpool #27; I’ll try to leave out any juicy bits, but I will talk about what the books are about. You have been warned.

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Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson on Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology

darkhorsedigitalDark Horse Comics is the highest-profile publisher whose digital releases are not available on comiXology, opting instead to use their own platform, Dark Horse Digital. Following Thursday’s news that Amazon has reached an agreement to purchase comiXology for an undisclosed amount, ROBOT 6 reached out to Dark Horse president and founder Mike Richardson for his thoughts on the matter:

“Companies outside our industry have been paying increasing attention to comics in recent years. New technology has offered a variety of new opportunities in both content creation and content delivery. It is not surprising that Amazon and Comixology would come together considering this environment. The comics industry, despite periods of lull, has always been an evolving and changing business, and this move is consistent with that history.”

Strange amnesia, talking severed heads populate ‘The Amateurs’

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What if you woke up one morning and completely forgot how to do your job? That would be bad, especially if your job is butchering animals. Courtesy of our friends at Fantagraphics, we’re pleased to share a preview of The Amateurs, the debut graphic novella by Conor Stechschulte. I should warn you that the preview is NSFW, as it’s a bit gruesome.

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Ming & Rachel explain the ‘Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men’ pinup

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Earlier this week many of us delighted at the reveal of Ming Doyle‘s homage to John Byrne’s classic X-Men #137 (Phoenix Must Die!). The commission was done for Rachel Edidin in anticipation of the first episode of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, Edidin’s new podcast with Miles Stokes that debuts this weekend.

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Conversing on Comics: Svetlana Chmakova

HEADER-TEMPLATE-Conversing-On-ComicsSvetlana Chmakova has sent demons to school, been on the run with witches and wizards, and braved the world of comics as a fan-turned-professional. If you asked her, she might argue the last one was the toughest of all.

The Russian-Canadian cartoonist made a name for herself as part of a wave of artists working on TOKYOPOP’s OEL Manga line. 2005′s Dramacon and the two follow-up volumes showed Chmakova delving into the world of comics and manga with a story inspired by attending comic conventions and interacting with cosplayers. Chmakova went on to be one of the star players hired for Hachette’s graphic novel imprint Yen Press, first creating her own series Nightschool and then adapting hit novelist James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard series. Chmakova’s work has been prodigious, with 10 graphic novels released in just over nine years, and now here in 2014 she’s beginning a new chapter with a new creator-owned series with Yen, webcomics and a line of video podcasts on drawing. ROBOT 6 caught up with Chmakova to find out about what’s on her plate, as well as what’s on her mind and in her future.

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Powell to show ‘March Book Two’ pages at SPACE this weekend

MARCH2001small-150Fans attending this weekend’s SPACE, the long-running small press show in Columbus, Ohio, will have the first opportunity to see some of artist Nate Powell’s work on the forthcoming March Book Two.

March Book Two, as you can probably guess, is the followup to March Book One, and is written by Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. The well-received graphic novel, published by Top Shelf, is Lewis’ memoir of the civil rights movement. According to the creator, “Original pages from the forthcoming March: Book Two will be unveiled for the first time ever, and will be on exhibit near my table all weekend.”

Powell will also give a presentation about his upcoming projects on Saturay at 3 p.m., which include Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero, a collection of comics called You Don’t Say, a new printing of Swallow Me Whole, an early look at his next solo book and “collaborations with acclaimed writers Scott Snyder and Van Jensen.”

In addition to Powell, SPACE will also host a ton of creators from the Midwest and beyond, including Matt Feazell, Ryan Claytor, Jimmy Gownley, John Porcellino, Carol Tyler and many more. Find the complete list here.

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