There are a lot of ways to run a blog promoting your publishing company. Dark Horse uses its blog primarily to remind readers of new product. DC breaks news about its comics and runs interviews with its creators. Top Shelf and First Second talk about their own product, but also make time to discuss books they’re enjoying from other publishers.
One of my favorite publisher’s blogs right now is Hermes Press‘ relatively new one. Since they publish a lot of reprints of classic. licensed material, they not only keep readers updated on their publishing schedule, but also link to news about what others are doing with those same licenses. For example, Hermes is reprinting old Dark Shadows comics, so they’re also following production on the Tim Burton Dark Shadows movie. They reprint Buck Rogers strips, so here’s some news about a Buck Rogers screening in New York. They reprint Roy Rogers, so here are some links to other bloggers who are talking about Roy. It’s a fun blog that doesn’t just promote product; it engages in the larger conversation about the things it’s interested in. Some of the other blogs are doing that too (First Second and Top Shelf in particular), but Hermes is going all out.
What makes a perfect publisher’s blog in your opinion?
Amy Mebberson keeps pretty busy drawing Muppet and Pixar comics for Boom! Studios, and she also has done covers for their standard Disney characters line. So how does she relax after a hard day churning out the cuteness? By turning the dial to 11 and sketching super-cute versions of Barbie and comics characters. Amy has just set up a new blog, Fun Size, to collect her sketchcards and other incidental drawings of cute, rounded, smiling characters. For her everyday sketches, including the sketch covers she did for the Muppet comics at cons this year, check out her other art blog, My Blue Sky.
It’s about time someone came up with a blog for three-year-olds, right? Francoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman broke new ground with a line of graphic novels for “emerging readers,” as they call them, and now they are doing it agai. Benny and Penny and Their Friends features the adorable brother-and-sister mice duo created by Geoffrey Hayes (who won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for Benny and Penny in The Big No-No). So far there is a comics panel to print out and color and a word balloon to fill in, and new content is promised at least twice a week.
Meanwhile, Reading With Pictures is coming into the final stretch with its Kickstarter campaign. Headed by Josh Elder, the creator of Mail Order Ninja, RWP is a nonprofit that plans to research the best uses of comics in the classroom, but lest you think they are a bunch of stuffy educators, their Kickstarter project is an anthology with a cover by Jill Thompson and work by Chris Giarrusso (G-Man), Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man), Ryan Dunlavey (Action Philosophers), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules) and Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle), among others.
If you follow Marvel’s talent scout on Twitter, you know that C.B. Cebulski is a big fan of food … he’s just as likely to point out a great place to get BBQ as he is to share tips and trick on breaking into the business. Now he’s launched a blog called Eataku, “an online home for people passionately obsessed with food,” where he’s posting restaurant reviews, recipes by Alex Maleev and even food-related artwork, as you’ll see above.
He’s also going to be a guest judge on the Food Network’s Challenge show, where various chefs face off in cooking challenges. This week’s challenge is “extreme villain cakes,” and it airs this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
“Four cake designers tap into their dark side as they create original villains and tell their stories in cake,” says the Food Network’s description of the show. “The cake designers also need to make their creations move or spin or shoot fire — making for a truly extreme competition. The competitor who can wow the judges with both the story and the special effects will take home ten thousand dollars.”
Every couple of days, the blog known as David-Wasting-Paper asks a different cartoonist the same set of questions — what’s your favorite pen to use, what things do you hate to draw, do you keep a sketchbook and so on. The answers are rarely anything less than elucidating, especially if you’re a process nerd like me. More to the point, he’s managed to get quite a few notable folks to fill out his survey, including editorial cartoonists David Horsey and Ann Telnaes, caricaturist Drew Friedman, Mack White, Rick Geary, Carol Lay, Bill Griffith and many, many more. If you’re an aspiring cartoonist wondering what sort of paper and pen nibs to buy, this site would make for good reference material.
I don’t know how I managed to be so blissfully unaware of 5 Minute Marvels for as long as I did, but my life sure feels richer knowing about it now. The basic concept is simple as can be and rather inspired: Every day, Tim Miner and his two daughters, ages 4 and 6, spend five minutes attempting to draw a different superhero (or villain as the case may be). Then they post it online for all to see, no doubt inspiring sounds of “awwww” in coffee shops across the country.
On the site Miner says he welcomes submissions, so if you’ve got a young’un at home with a talent for drawing, say, MODOK, grab some pen and paper and get crackin’.
Illustrateurs is a relatively new (at least I think it’s new) blog celebrating the work of various top-notch European and American illustrators and cartoonists. Most of the text is in French, but that doesn’t really matter when you’re being offered a wealth of fantastic images like this awesome portfolio of Bernie Wrightson‘s art.
• The big news of the week is that Top Shelf has not only completely updated and streamlined their Web site, but has also unveiled a whole heckuva lot of new projects for the fall, 2011 and beyond, including new books by Jeff Lemire, Nate Powell, James Kochalka and Chris Eliopoulos. All in all it looks like an interesting line-up, containing a solid mix of all-ages and more adult-oriented material.
• Top Shelf isn’t the only one doing the Web site shuffle. Both Savage Critics and All About Comics have moved/updated their blogs,
• IcV2 offers some more information on Vertical’s plans to publish Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako in the fall.
• Tokyopop is planning to publish Neko Ramen, four-koma (or comic strip) about a cat that runs a noodle shop, and they’re posting sample strips to get folks all hot and bothered.. Look for it in stores in June.
• Here’s what the cover to the Essential Superman Encyclopedia will look like.
• And here’s what the cover to the next Zippy the Pinhead collection will look like.
Perhaps Marvel is overthinking this whole super-spy Nick Fury angle. Perhaps a more sophisticated, retro approach, as suggested by Evan “Doc” Shaner, is warranted in these sullen times. By the way, check out the rest of Shaner’s blog for some more cool DC/Marvel pin-ups, including Fin Fang Foom and Black Adam as a Red Lantern.
I’ve never been a big fan of the X-Men but I’ll be hornswoggled if this collection of papercraft X-Men figures doesn’t seem like one of the better ways to spend a lazy afternoon. That Phoenix figure in particular looks especially fun. (via)
Indie cartoonist and progeny of Robert and Aline Crumb has her own blog where she’s posting all manner of art work:
Lets just call it Soph’s online page. I don’t care. I will, anyways, be regularly adding sketchbook drawings, more fancy drawings, comics, tattoos, sellable artwork, upcoming news about my art n shit, photos, and comicand random fascinating shit about ME !!! yay !
(Note: images may not be safe for work) (via)
Jim Rugg, Joe Infurnani, Geoff Grogan and several other artists have formed Pood, a new … something. Actually, they’re having a contest now to decide what exactly “pood” is, so head over there and leave your guess.
Over at the relatively new art blog Comic Twart, the various artists who contribute have spent the week drawing DC’s G.I. Robot character, and the results have been pretty awesome. Above is Evan Shaner’s rendition, but head over there to get a look at everyone else’s.