comics conventions Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Comics A.M. | Books-A-Million sees growth in manga sales

Books-A-Million

Books-A-Million

Retailing | The Books-A-Million retail chain reported significant growth in the last quarter, due in part to strong sales of manga and strategy games. “Sales in the graphic novel category … grew nicely on the strength of a significant resurgence in the interest in several manga series, particularly Attack on Titan,” CEO Terry Finley said in an earnings call. The chain’s sales increased 1.2 percent, and same-store sales were up 1.8 percent last quarter compared to the same quarter last year; by contrast, fiscal year 2013 sales were down by 9.4 percent from the previous year. [ICv2]

Creators | Jeff Lemire talks about his new graphic novel Teen Titans: Earth One, which reflects his love of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s The New Teen Titans: “I wanted a fresh and clean take on a teen super-team without having to rely on other heroes or continuity. So I gravitated to these unique teen characters Marv and George had created, and re-envisioned them through my own sensibilities along with artist Terry Dodson, who really helped them come to life.” [The Kindle Post]

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Long Beach Comic Expo offers lifetime passes

Cosplay from Long Beach Comic Expo 2014

Cosplay from Long Beach Comic Expo 2014

For comics fans in Southern California, this Cyber Monday deal may rise above the others.

Long Beach Comic Expo is offering 50 lifetime passes for the annual event for $249.99 each through Dec. 13. After that, you’ll have to shell out $349.99 for one.

Not to be confused with its fall counterpart Long Beach Comic Con, the two-day expo is moving from its traditional late-spring dates to Feb. 28 to March 1 for next year’s sixth-anniversary show.

Held at the Long Beach Convention Center, the event also plans to expand exhibit space and its creator and programming lineups. Announced guests for the 2015 convention include Chris Claremont, Brian Wood and Greg Weisman. The passes can be purchased on the Long Beach Comic Expo website.

Geek OUT’s Flame Con campaign exceeds Kickstarter goal

flame con

With eight days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign, Geeks OUT has surpassed its initial $15,000 goal to help fund Flame Con, “a super-queer comic con” to be held next year in New York City.

“We are over the moon with excitement!” the group said in a statement. ” THANK YOU to all who have helped us take this huge step toward realizing such an ambitious goal.”

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Comics A.M. | Indianapolis Star pulls cartoon after backlash

The original version of Gary Varvel's cartoon

The original version of Gary Varvel’s cartoon

Editorial cartoons | The Indianapolis Star first altered a cartoon by Gary Varvel and then removed it from its website after receiving an outpouring of protests from readers. The cartoon, a reaction to President Obama’s executive actions delaying deportations, showed a white family sitting around a Thanksgiving table, looking in horror as brown-skinned people, presumably immigrants, climbed in the window. The caption was “Thanks to the president’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” “Gary did not intend to be racially insensitive in his attempt to express his strong views about President Barack Obama’s decision to temporarily prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants living and working illegally in the United States,” Executive Editor Jeff Taylor said in a post explaining the removal of the cartoon. “But we erred in publishing it.” Tom Spurgeon offers some commentary. [Indianapolis Star]

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Comics A.M. | Jillian Tamaki wins Governor General’s Award

This One Summer

This One Summer

Awards | Jillian Tamaki has won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Prize for children’s literature illustration for her work on This One Summer, a graphic novel collaboration with cousin Mariko Tamaki (who was nominated in the text category). Their first book, 2008’s Skim, was previously nominated in the text division, further demonstrating a separation of illustration and story that Jillian Tamaki finds “strange.” ““I think we are both creators of the book,” she tells the Edmonton Journal. “You can’t read a comic without either component, it won’t make sense. It’s something I will always be addressing when talking about the award. But I am completely flattered by the honor and will be sharing the prize with my cousin.” [Edmonton Journal, via The Comics Reporter]

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Comics A.M. | ‘The 99′ creator on death threats, political pressure

The 99

The 99

Creators | In a new profile of Naif Al-Mutawa, the creator of the Islamic superhero comic The 99 addresses the death threats made against him by ISIS and the fatwa issued against the animated adaptation in Saudi Arabia, and reveals he recently met with Kuwaiti police “to answer the charges of being a heretic.” Mutawa also blames pressure from “a handful of conservative bloggers” in the United States for The Hub not following through with plans to air the animated series. He said that after President Obama praised his work in 2010, attacks on him escalated in the United States, where he was painted as a jihadist “intent on radicalizing young kids to make them suicide bombers. And here [in the Gulf] I became an apostate Zionist. My mother told me growing up, be careful who your friends are because you end up inheriting their enemies. And that’s what happened: I don’t know President Obama. I’m very honored he called me out. But the hate became magnified after that.” [Al-Monitor]

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Is comics ready for the first ‘marijuana-friendly’ convention?

chromic con

While we’ve all heard the complaint that too many comic conventions focus too much on Hollywood, the same can’t be said of Chromic Con. It’s focused on other things. Primarily weed.

Debuting Nov. 22 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Nov. 23 in Denver, the (rather literally) grass-roots event is billed as “the world’s first marijuana-friendly comic and fantasy convention.” It’s the brainchild of Jaymen Johnson, owner of the Speak Easy Vape Lounge in Colorado Springs, who was inspired by his visits to other conventions.

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Comics A.M. | Three of Zunar’s assistants arrested

Legal

Legal

Legal | Three assistants of the Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar were arrested last week for selling his books. They were set up near the Putrajaya courthouse, where opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is on trial for sodomy, a charge Ibrahim claims is politically motivated. In a press release, Zunar said the three assistants were “investigated under The Sedition Act, Penal Code and Printing and Press Act” and released on bail. It has only been a month since a Malaysian appeals court overturned a government ban on two of Zunar’s books. [Cartoonists Rights Network International]

Creators | Garry Trudeau discusses his portrayals of different presidents, and politics in general, in Doonesbury and Alpha House. [The New York Times]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Naruto’ has 200 million copies in print worldwide

Naruto, Vol. 71

Naruto, Vol. 71

Manga | There are 200 million volumes of Naruto in print worldwide as of September, according to a press release from Japan’s Fuji TV, which on Dec. 13 will feature an interview with creator Masashi Kishimoto. The two-part conclusion of the hit manga will appear today in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine; the 71st volume of the series was published last week in Japan. [Anime News Network]

Digital comics | Manga publisher Vertical Inc. announced this weekend that it has acquired the digital rights to all the manga it has published by Osamu Tezuka, including Buddha and Black Jack. [Anime News Network]

Creators | Michael Cavna talks with Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson about his just-released poster for the Angoulême International Comics Festival and his other recent public projects.  [Comic Riffs]

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Comics A.M. | Sci-fi scholar George Slusser passes away

George Slusser

George Slusser

Passings | Dr. George Slusser, co-founder of the University of California, Riversides’ renowned Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy, passed away Tuesday at age 75. Curator emeritus and professor emeritus of comparative literature, Slusser expanded the Eaton holdings from 7,500 items to more than 300,000, making it the largest publicly accessible collection of science fiction and fantasy literature in the world. It encompasses novels, journals, manuscripts, comics and manga, fanzines and anime, and includes first editions of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Action Comics #1 and The Fantastic Four #1. “Over three decades, George Slusser built the Eaton Collection up from a small core of titles into the world-class archive that it is today,” Rob Latham, co-director of UC Riverside’s Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program, said in a statement. “The field of science fiction scholarship owes him an incalculable debt.” [UC Riverside]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Naruto’ miniseries to launch after manga ends

Naruto

Naruto

Manga | Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto comes to an end in next week’s issue of Shonen Jump, but it’s not going away. Already side projects are popping up, including a miniseries that will launch in the spring, marking the 15th anniversary of the manga, and a series of novels about the different characters in the franchise. It all seems to be part of something bigger, the “Naruto Shin Jidai Kaimaku Project” (Naruto‘s New Era Opening Project), and the official Naruto website has a countdown to an announcement on Monday.  [Anime News Network]

Digital comics | Tom Spurgeon talks to comiXology’s Chip Mosher about the comiXology Submit program, which is tailored for small publishers and self-published work. To prepare for the interview, Spurgeon gathered questions from creators at the Small Press Expo (which comiXology co-sponsored), and he talks to Mosher about the nuts and bolts of the Submit program, including payments, processing and the willingness to handle unusual formats. “We’ve had people sell thousands of copies and we’ve had people sell one or two copies,” Mosher says. “People have told me they’ve paid their rent with money from Submit. Or they were able to work on more comics with the money they made from Submit. It’s great to offer our customers such diverse comics from the program and at the same time be able to support the creation of more diverse work.” [The Comics Reporter]

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Geeks OUT launches Kickstarter for LGBT comic con

flame con

After hosting plenty of smaller-scale events for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning fans, Geeks OUT is setting its sights on something bigger: Flame Con, “a super-queer comic con” to be held next year in New York City.

To make that a reality, the group has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 to help pay for a venue, promotion, guests and incidentals (organizers also hope to secure corporate sponsorship).

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Think San Diego gets crowded? Look what happened at Lucca

Photos by Sal Abbinanti

Photos by Sal Abbinanti

Even as we try to figure out just how many people attended New York Comic Con and whether that number is really more than Comic-Con International’s 130,000, more than 400,000 people descended on Lucca, Italy, over the weekend for Lucca Comics & Games.

Paid attendance to the annual comic book and gaming convention was 240,000, but local reports indicate an additional 200,000 people flocked to the Tuscan city. As you can see from the photos provided to ROBOT 6 by art dealer Sal Abbinanti, the streets were jam-packed with people – so packed, that the city of 87,000 closed the gates. Some attendees even climbed the city walls.

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Comics A.M. | Turkish cartoonist speaks out about prosecution

Musa Kart

Musa Kart

Political cartoons | Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart, who was acquitted last month on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks out: “It’s a well known fact that Erdogan is trying to repress and isolate the opponents by reshaping the laws and the judiciary and by countless prosecutions and libel suits against journalists.” Kart faced a possible penalty of nine years in prison if he had been found guilty, and it’s not clear the case is over yet, as Erdogan could appeal the acquittal.“Unfortunately, day by day, life is getting harder for independent and objective journalists in Turkey,” Kart said. [Index on Censorship]

Political cartoons | Syrian Kurdish cartoonist Dijwar Ibrahim talks about his anti-ISIS cartoons, which are on exhibit in Iraq. [Al-Shorfa]

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Comics A.M. | Wally Wood estate sues Tatjana Wood over art

Wally Wood self-portrait

Wally Wood self-portrait

Legal | The Wally Wood estate has sued Tatjana Wood, ex-wife of the late cartoonist, claiming she’s in possession of 150 to 200 pages of his art erroneously sent to her address in 2005 by Marvel. The couple were married in 1950 but divorced in the 1960s; Tatjana later worked extensively as a colorist for DC Comics. Wally committed suicide in 1981, leaving “all bank accounts, whether savings, checking, Certificates of Deposit, or otherwise” to Tatjana, and everything else to his estate, supervised by John H. Robinson. [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | “I’m an acquired taste,” says Howard Chaykin, who was speaking to the press in advance of this weekend’s Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival. He talks about working for small publishers, his unhappiness with the licensed Star Wars comics he did for Marvel, and the current trend of movies based on comics: “It’s really just a matter of the guys who beat us up in high school finally figuring out a way to make money off our asses.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

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