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Comics A.M. | Del Rey manga titles return – on iTunes

Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

Manga | Four older manga series are making a comeback in digital format: School Rumble, Alive, Nodame Cantabile, and Princess Resurrection, all originally published in English by Del Rey, will be available in the iTunes Store beginning on July 26. The Del Rey manga imprint became defunct in 2010, when the Japanese publisher Kodansha stopped licensing its manga to them and started publishing the books directly as Kodansha Comics. [Anime News Network]

Passings | Chester “Chet” Krause, who was the owner of the Comics Buyers Guide from 1983 to 1991, has died at the age of 92. Krause, who also owned a number of other papers catering to special interests (Numismatic News, Sports Collectors Digest), hired Don and Maggie Thompson as the editors of CBG, and under their leadership it became an important gathering point and communications channel for comics fans in the days before the internet. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | Platinum shareholders move to oust Rosenberg

Platinum Studios

Publishing | Heidi MacDonald reports that shareholders of Platinum Studios held a conference call Wednesday, with President Chris Beall sending a letter to founder Scott Rosenberg suspending him indefinitely as the company’s chief executive officer. Rich Johnston posted the press release announcing the call, and some of the topics on the agenda were fairly jaw-dropping. [The Beat]

Publishing | Andrews McMeel Publishing and Universal UClick (which are different divisions of the same company) are collaborating on a new line of digital comics, Udig, which collects themed newspaper strips into short e-books (the one I checked had 55 comics) for $2.99 each. [Good E-Reader]

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Comics Buyer’s Guide to end after 42 years

Krause Publications announced this morning that, after 42 years, it will shutter Comics Buyer’s Guide, the longest-running publication reporting on the U.S. comic-book industry. The March issue, the magazine’s 1,699th, will be its last.

In a press release, the company cited poor market conditions, a downturn in print advertising, and the increasing availability of free online content.

Founded in 1971 by Alan Light as a monthly tabloid newspaper, Comics Buyer’s Guide quickly moved to twice-monthly publication and then, by 1975, weekly. It was purchased in 1983 by Krause, which hired veteran columnists Don and Maggie Thompson as editors. Don passed away in 1994, but Maggie remained as editor until 2007, when she became senior editor and longtime associate editor Brent Frankenhoff was promoted to his current position. She was announced just last week as a monthly columnist for Comic-Con International’s new blog Toucan.

“The magazine business is in worse shape than the comics business by far, and while there is still a market for the right magazine model (Alter Ego, etc.), there evidently wasn’t another evolution left in CBG,” former employee and columnist John Jackson Miller writes in a lengthy overview of the publication’s history. “The staff received news of the cancellation just after the new year. Issue #1699 had already gone to press, so there will be no anniversary issue, nor acknowledgment in the magazine. The last thing in the magazine is, as always, a column by Peter David, who suffered a stroke at the end of 2012. I expected such an announcement sooner, as FW/Krause had already folded Comics & Games Retailer and the much more lucrative Scrye several years ago; still, I am deeply saddened to see it come to pass, both for the history of comics and for the friends and neighbors who worked there.”


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