"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
• The New York Times takes note of price increases by Marvel and DC Comics.
• John Jackson Miller divines the direct-market sales figures from February, comparing them to previous years: “While losing ground against the same month in 2008, the month nonetheless looks to be in range with many other dead quarter months this decade. Notably, Top 300 unit sales, while down 10% versus last February, were up 5% over February 2004 — and only about a quarter of a million copies below the same category in February 1999.”
• Todd Allen crafts a scenario in which “a few current industry trends are taken to their logical conclusion,” leading to the collapse of the direct market.
• Anime Insider‘s (former) Tokyo correspondent, Andrez Bergen, learned of the magazine’s abrupt closing from an anime-company representative … who read about it online. Needless to say, Bergen isn’t happy: “I now have to swallow the remains of my shredded-up pride and apologize to several dozen other anime companies in Japan for promises that’ll never now be honoured, and a series of articles and interviews that will never be printed.”
• Michael Cavna gives a sendoff to six comic strips cut — for now, at least — from The Washington Post. The comments section gets a little hostile.
The ax continues to fall at Wizard Entertainment as word comes of the closing of Anime Insider magazine.
Issue 67, pictured at right, will be the last.
According to former editor Rob Bricken, the entire staff was fired. He names just two — Summer Mullins and Angela Hanson — so it’s unclear how many employees are affected.
Launched in 2001 as a series of quarterly specials called Anime Invasion, the magazine shifted to a bi-monthly schedule in 2002 before being renamed the following year.
The magazine’s closing is the latest in a series of cutbacks at the company, which just last month laid off seven employees, including all three staff writers from Wizard magazine.