INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Retailing | Sales of both comics and graphic novels were strong during the 2014 holiday season and have continued to grow since then, according to the 13 retailers (nine direct market shops and four bookstores that carry graphic novels) surveyed by Publishers Weekly. The answers seem to reflect some trends that have been ongoing for a while: Image Comics solidifying its place as the No. 3 (and in one case, No. 2) comics publisher, the increasing popularity of graphic novels and an influx of new readers, many of them young and female. [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | Brooklyn Comics & More Inc., the owner of two now-closed stores in New York City, has filed for bankruptcy. The corporation opened Brooklyn Comics & More in 2010 and Manhattan Comics & More in 2011; both closed in 2013. The company’s debts include $71,799.93 owed to Diamond Comic Distributors. [ICv2]
Political cartoons | The artist who drew the iconic “Je Suis Charlie” cover for Charlie Hebdo says he’s no longer interested in drawing the Prophet Muhammad. In an interview with a French magazine, Rénald Luzier, who goes by the pen name Luz, said “I am tired of him, just like [former French President Nicolas] Sarkozy. I am not going to spend my life drawing them.” Luz was running late the day that two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people, and his tardiness saved his life. [Comic Riffs]
If you love food more than you love people, these handmade Adventure Time Oreo necklaces may be for you.
Artist Monika Alexandria sculpts adorable little cookie-shaped pendants of Jake, Finn and Peppermint Butler out of polymer clay, and then hand paints them, meaning no two are alike. She also accepts custom requests, so you could have an entire Adventure Time set, with Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen and so on.
Ralph Wiggum is slow-witted, socially awkward, occasionally profound and an unrepentant nose-picker, and easily my favorite character on The Simpsons. He’s also apparently delicious.
Kylie Mangles of Freshly Squeez’d has created a cake that’s both incredible and disturbing based on Eric Flores‘ illustration of poor, oblivious Ralph as a detailed anatomical cross-section. “I have never made a cake with so many different colours of fondant or floating ribs before,” she writes on Threadcake.
Retailing | Image Comics took seven of the Top 20 spots on Nielsen BookScan’s list of graphic novels sold in bookstores in May, with multiple volumes of Saga and The Walking Dead once again appearing, joined by the first collection of Sex Criminals. Kodansha Comics took six spots, with the most recent volume of Attack on Titan at the top of the chart, followed by the first volume. Four more volumes were scattered around the list. Legendary’s Godzilla movie tie-in, Godzilla: Awakening, placed at No. 3. [ICv2]
Legal | The Japanese legislature has moved forward with a bill that would criminalize possession of child pornography, which is expected to pass the Diet before it recesses on June 22. The new law would ban photos and videos made using real children but excludes manga and anime. [The Japan Times]
Comics | Could the competition to become the 2017 U.K. City of Culture hinge on … Desperate Dan, the pie-eating Wild West strongman from the long-running children’s comic The Dandy? Hull Daily Mail columnist Angus Young thinks the character could give Dundee the edge over fellow finalists Leicester, Swansea Bay and, yes, Hull. Dundee, Scotland, is home to The Dandy and The Beano publisher DC Thomson, and features statues of Desperate Dan and Beano character Minnie the Minx in its city center. “Having your picture taken next to the barrel-chested grizzly-chinned hero is apparently one of the top-ten things to do when visiting Dundee,” Young writes. “[…] This a bloke who thinks nothing of eating several cow pies in one sitting. A cowboy so tough he shaves his chin with a blowtorch and sleeps in a reinforced bed filled with building rubble.” The winner will be announced in November. [Hull Daily Mail, The Evening Telegraph]
Legal | Danny Bradbury takes a look at the financial and copyright aspects of online comics in an insightful article spurred by the recent dust-up between The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk. Among other things, he parses out how The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman makes $500,000 a year from his comic, why Inman and other creators object to their work being published elsewhere without attribution (and why they sometimes don’t care), the legal protections they can use (and how they sometimes fail), and how sites like Pinterest avoid the problem. There’s also an explanation of why FunnyJunk attorney Charles Carreon is suing Inman et al. on his own behalf, rather than FunnyJunk’s: “Carreon has now effectively abandoned the threat of a FunnyJunk lawsuit, stating that he was misinformed by his client. His letter claimed that all the comics had been removed from FunnyJunk, but Inman pointed out dozens that were still there.” [The Guardian]
Julia Wertz lays bare the indignities of the creative life in her latest comic “Things People Said to Me at Comics Conventions,” which chronicles, well, the thoughtless and occasionally hilarious things people say to her at cons. Other creators chime in with their own stories in comments.
For the record, I met Julia at MoCCA last year and had a brief, pleasant conversation with her. The thing I remember was that, unlike most creators, she is much better looking in person than her caricature of herself, and she didn’t seem the least bit grumpy, either. But maybe she was just having a good day.
Whether because she’s a glutton for punishment or she’s looking for new material, Wertz will be at CAKE in Chicago June 16-17.
(via The Beat)