Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Creators | Writer Peter David shares a “Fan/Pro Bill of Rights” related to proper behavior at conventions, starting with a “Prime Directive”: “Fans and Pros have the right to be treated by each other with the same courtesy that they themselves would expect to be treated. Fans and Pros who act like jerks abrogate the right to complain when they themselves are treated like jerks.” [Peter David]
Crime | A Denver judge sentenced Aaron Castro to 45 years in prison after Castro pleaded guilty to drug and extortion charges. Prosecutors say he ran a major methamphetamine distribution ring and laundered the profits by buying and selling valuable comics in the collector’s market. [KMGH Denver]
Digital | Robot 6 contributor Graeme McMillan catches an error in Marvel’s press release from last week: Marvel was not the first comics publisher to release an entire line of comics simultaneously in print and digital—Archie Comics was. [Blog@Newsarama]
Chester Brown’s 2003 biography Louis Riel is among the 10 semifinalists for CBC’s prestigious Canada Reads program, which for the first time has narrowed its focus to works of nonfiction, or “True Stories.”
The books, all by Canadian author, were selected by public vote from a list of 40 nominees, and will be whittled down to five finalists chosen by celebrity panelists to be defended in February during the annual Canada Reads debates.
Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed Essex County Trilogy last year became the first graphic novel to make the program’s list of finalists. However, it was quickly voted down by judges who couldn’t get past its “lack of words.”
Published by Montreal-based Drawn and Quarterly, the Harvey Award-winning Louis Riel chronicles the life of the crusader for Métis rights, controversial leader of the 1869-1870 Red River Rebellion, and “Father of Manitoba.”
Retailing | Struggling bookseller Borders Group, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, told shaken publishers it’s developing a long-term plan to “reposition itself,” even as it released a list of some 200 stores set to close by the end of April. The closings include 35 locations in California and 15 in metropolitan Chicago. On a website dedicated to the reorganization, the retailer — the second-largest book chain in the United States — assures customers that “Borders’ Business Operations Continue As Normal.”
In its bankruptcy filing, the company listed $1.29 billion in debt and $1.27 billion in assets. It owes $272 million to its 30 largest unsecured creditors, including $41.1 million to Penguin Group. Diamond Book Publishers, which stopped shipping to Borders last month, is on the hook for $3.9 million. [The New York Times]
Retailing | Meanwhile, REDgroup Retail, which owns the Australian booksellers Borders (owned independently of the U.S. chain) and Angus & Robertson, has entered into administration. Angus & Robertson is the country’s largest book chain, with more than 180 stores nationwide. [The Australian, Guardian]
Retailing | The financially troubled Borders Group reportedly could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as soon as today or Tuesday, setting the stage to close about 200 of its 674 Borders and Waldenbooks stores and eliminate thousands of jobs. [The Wall Street Journal]
Retailing | Diamond Comic Distributors revealed that 98 percent of the more than 500 direct market stores visited by secret shoppers during the first month of day-early delivery were found to be in compliance with the program’s street-date requirements. According to Diamond, of the 10 stores discovered to be in violation of the agreement, one was reported by another retailer while the others were discovered by secret shoppers. [ICv2.com]
Awards | Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed Essex County was the first finalist eliminated Monday in the Canada Reads literary debates to select the essential Canadian novel of the decade. Despite a defense by musician Sara Quin, the graphic novel was voted down by the five-person celebrity panel after the first hour, not because of content but because of format: Four of the judges just couldn’t get past Essex County‘s “lack of words.” This year marked the first time that a graphic novel had been a finalist for the prestigious Canada Reads program.
“Well, I was the first book voted off of the Canada Reads competition today, and I’ll admit that it stings a bit more than I thought it would,” Lemire wrote on his blog. “But, in the end I am really proud of the accomplishment of making it to the final 5. It’s a great sign for the future of graphic novels in this country, and their continued acceptance mainstream literary circles on a whole.” [Afterword, CBC News]
When last we left Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed Essex County Trilogy, it had been named as one of the five finalists for the CBC’s prestigious Canada Reads program, the first time a graphic novel has received the distinction. The next step is a series of debates, set to air on CBC Radio One on Feb. 7-9, in which celebrity panelists defend their choices on the way to determining the essential Canadian novel of the decade.
To prepare for the debate, Essex County‘s champion, Sara Quin, one-half of the indie-music duo Tegan & Sara, explains in a video why Jeff Lemire’s look at life in a rural Canadian community deserves the Canada Reads honor. (Watch the video after the break.)
Lemire also recounts the book’s creation: “At the time I was still working a day job as a line cook at La Hacienda restaurant on Queen Street West in Toronto. I’d work the night shift, which left me with my days free to draw. Generally I’d try to get a page a day drawn. Some days I’d do more, some days less. Doing comics is a marathon, rather than a sprint. It takes time…hours upon hours to render the same fictional moment that a prose writer might dash off in a few minutes. But to be consumed by something as big as Essex County was full of rewards as well.”