Publishing | Kodansha Ltd., Japan’s largest publisher, will close its 48-year-old Kodansha International subsidiary by the end of April. The division is a separate company from the New York-based Kodansha USA, which Kodansha Ltd. established in 2008. Kodansha International specialized in English-language translations of Japanese books and original English-language books on Japanese topics, and published the occasional few manga-related title. At the February press conference at which incoming Kodansha Ltd. President Yoshinobu Noma announced the publisher’s 46.7 percent stake in Vertical Inc., he revealed the company would increase its focus on digital publishing and overseas markets. [The Japan Times, Anime News Network]
Publishing | Video game developer Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind World of Warcraft and Starcraft, is rumored to be ending its licensing agreements with troubled U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop. Although the report comes on the heels of Tokyopop’s latest round of layoffs — Troy Lewter edited many of the current Blizzard titles — the two events are apparently unrelated. [Lore Hound, via Joystiq]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
This week is a busy week for me -– I count 13 single issues I’d buy if I was a rich man, but with only $15 I’d narrow it down to four things. DMZ #62 (DC/Vertigo $2.99) looks to be really amping up the series for it’s final year. I’ve enjoyed this series’ long run, and the way he’s built up this world only to tear it down seems amazing. Second in my bag would be the closest thing to a modern Moebius at Marvel, Shield #6 (Marvel $2.99). This secret history of the Marvel U has been really eye-opening, and Hickman’s bold reach really takes some big brass ones. This in line would be Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel $3.99). Remender’s done some solid modern-work while trying to not be outshone by Jerome Opena’s star-turn, but in this issue it’s got guest art by Esad Ribic. Ribic’s work has always carried this sense of gravitas without being stuffy like some painters, and I’m interested to see how he does these visceral heroes. Last up would be Brightest Day #20. On paper, a book with a league of b-list heroes seems like a non-starter, but I really like what the team have done on this, especially the Martian Manhunter and Firestorm threads.
Apparently at Taco Bell you don’t have to decide between food or comics (insert your own beefy lawsuit joke here). The fast food chain has teamed up with Marvel to provide four different comics with its kids meals.
According to Marvel, each book includes an 11-page story with a one-page Mini-Marvels backup story. Each cover is a reprint from an existing Marvel title. Looking at who’s doing the comics, it may be worth a run to the border; I’d brave a burrito for the team behind Atomic Robo‘s take on Iron Man vs. MODOK alone. (Speaking of which, colorist Chad Fidler posted some pages from the Iron Man comic online).
Here are the details:
· Writer: Alex Zalben
· Artist: Tom Grummett
1-page backup by Colleen Coover
Cover by Roger Cruz, a reprint from Uncanny X-Men First Class #5
Brian Clevinger first came to my attention with Atomic Robo and I’ve been a big fan ever since. Anyone who writes dialogue like “I beat them with my violence” is aces with me.
Of course, by the time Atomic Robo came to town, Clevinger was already a familiar name to fans of his award-winning webcomic 8-Bit Theater. And he’s becoming known to even more folks with his Marvel work. He wrote the back-up stories for World War Hulks: Wolverine vs. Captain America as well as the mini-series that features a space trucker and the line, “Doom does not mop”: Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet. And starting next month, he’ll be writing the WWII adventures of Captain America in Captain America: The Fighting Avenger.
Let’s get to know him:
Q: Who’s your personal hero?
A: My grandfather is an obvious choice. My parents too. They’re good people.
Q: What’s your morning routine?
A: First Charlie wakes me up 10 seconds before my alarm goes off. It looks like this. Then my alarm goes off. Then I feed the damn cats, start some coffee, check my email, skim Twitter, poke at a couple websites, and get to work.