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Comics A.M. | A demand for rollback on same-day digital release?

"The Amazing Spider-Man" #1 variant by John Romita Sr.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” #1 variant by John Romita Sr.

Retailing | Dennis Barger, co-owner of Wonderworld Comics in Taylor, Michigan, and the driving force behind the new retailer association CBRA (Comic Book Retailers Alliance), says direct-market stores want publishers to pull back on same-day digital release, and debut the print comics first. He says ComicsPRO, the established, much larger, trade organization, is taking the wrong approach in trying to adapt to digital. Barger also feels that hand-selling by employees, not social media, is what propels sales of comics, especially non-Big Two titles: “The employees at local comic shops pushing these books is the difference in being in the top 200 and the bottom 300 in sales for those books.” A shift to digital, which removes the local comics shop from the equation, would thus harm second-tier publishers such as Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios and IDW. The association was able to purchase an exclusive variant cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #1, drawn by John Romita Sr., for its members. [The News-Herald]

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Read all six strips from The Guardian’s Weekend comics special

From "Art And Anarchy," by Michel Faber and Roger Langridge

From “Art And Anarchy,” by Michel Faber and Roger Langridge

If you’re looking for some Monday reading, The Guardian has released online all six comics created for the special issue of its Weekend magazine that brought together novelists like Gillian Flynn, Audrey Niffenegger and Margaret Atwood with comics artists like Dave Gibbons, Frazer Irving and Christian Ward. There are also articles in which Dave Eggers, Roger Langridge and Michel Faber, and Flynn offer a bit of insight into their contributions.

The issue, released in print on Saturday, is designed to celebrate he British Library’s upcoming exhibition “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the U.K.”

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The Guardian brings together novelists, artists for comics issue


From “Masks” by Flynn and Gibbons

To celebrate the British Library’s upcoming exhibition “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the U.K.,” The Guardian’s Weekend magazine is devoting Saturday’s issue the medium, with six new collaborations between well-known novelists and established comics artists.

The Guardian website has already debuted Do You Hear What I Hear? by A.M. Homes (The End of Alice) and Frazer Irving, and Masks by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Dave Gibbons. Still to come: Freeforall by Margaret Atwood and Christian Ward; Thursdays, 6-8pm by Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife) and Eddie Campbell; Having renewed my fire by Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius); and Art and anarchy by Michel Faber (The Crimson Petal and the White) and Roger Langridge.

The magazine will appear in print on Saturday.

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Los Angeles Times creates Graphic Novel category for its 2009 Book Prizes

3071829184f05008b883ij2I’m old enough to still find it absolutely delightful when a mainstream publication recognizes excellence in comics, particularly when the comics it deems excellent really are excellent. And that’s certainly the case with the finalists for the LA Times’ inaugural Graphic Novel Book Prize:

Luba by Gilbert Hernandez
GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco

That’s a pretty outstanding group. In other comics-related Book Prize news, McSweeney’s publisher Dave Eggers will be presented with the Times’ first-ever Innovators Award, while cartoonist Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia is a finalist for the Young Adult Literature Book Prize.

According to the announcement of the finalists in all categories — which, again to my delight, treats the addition of the Graphic Novel category like a major selling point — the winners will be announced April 23. My sincere congratulations go out to all the finalists.

(via Bryan Lee O’Malley)

McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama takes comics stars to the streets

James Stokoe's poster for the San Francisco Panorama

James Stokoe's poster for the San Francisco Panorama

Wow, newspaper nostalgia is quite the hot ticket for comics these days, huh?

First there was Kramers Ergot 7, Sammy Harkham and Alvin Buenaventura’s avant-garde anthology, printed at a massive size meant to emulate Winsor McKay’s full-page Little Nemo in Slumberland newspaper strips. Then there was Wednesday Comics, DC’s 12-issue anthology title, published on fold-out newsprint. And now there’s the San Francisco Panorama, a one-time-only “21st-century newspaper prototype” that doubles as the 33rd issue of author/publisher Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern.

Boasting 320 pages of original content, the broadsheet-format Panorama contains full-color comics from Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Seth, Jessica Abel, Adrian Tomine, Kim Deitch, Ivan Brunetti, Gene Yang, Alison Bechdel, Erik Larsen (still can’t get over that) and more. It also features prose contributions of varying stripes from such comics-relevant authors as Michael Chabon, Chip Kidd, Stephen King, Junot Díaz and Michelle Tea, and a poster of the 49ers’ Patrick Willis drawn by Wonton Soup‘s James Stokoe. And there’s all the other stuff you’d expect from a newspaper — journalism, sports, features, a magazine, a book section and more. Only, y’know, all fancy-pants.

The New York Times reports that the paper has already sold through the limited run made available for sale on the San Francisco streets yesterday at the low price of $5, but it’s still available (or will be soon, that is) at the full $16 pricetag at bookstores and at the McSweeney’s site. Click here for an extensive preview.

(Times link via Pop Candy.)

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