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Comics A.M. | Jury selection begins in Michael George trial


Legal | Jury selection is set to begin today in Mount Clemens, Michigan, in the second trial of former retailer Michael George, charged with first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting death of his first wife Barbara in their Clinton Township comic store. George, 51, was convicted in 2008, but later that year a judge set aside the conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct and the emergence of new evidence that might have resulted in a different verdict. [The Detroit News]

Retailing | Retailer Mike Sterling answers questions about DC’s relaunch, noting his store saw an uptick in sales before the relaunch: “In our case, comic sales have been increasing … slowly, but steadily. And judging by demand for the new Justice League #1 and the interest we’ve seen in DC’s next batch of first issues, we’re expecting a bit of a bump in sales over the next few weeks. Whether that bump sticks, even as a slight net gain after the initial excitement over the new launches peters out and we see what the sales levels on these titles will actually be, remains to be seen. But I’m optimistic. My fear was that our upward store sales trend may have been derailed by DC cancelling everything and starting again, alienating the readership we were building, but for the most part that doesn’t seem to be happening. But, you know, in six months or a year or so, we’ll know for sure.” [Progressive Ruin]

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Comics A.M. | Impact of Borders bankruptcy; Comic Relief’s return?

Borders Group headquarters

Retailing | Borders Group began liquidation sales over the weekend at 200 stores, discounting items 20 percent to 40 percent. As Publishers Weekly and Blogcritics chart the 40-year rise and fall of the retailer, PW’s Jim Milliot looks at the effects the bookseller’s bankruptcy will have on the publishing industry: “The trickle-down impact will affect everyone from manufacturers to agents. Borders accounted for about 8% of overall industry sales, a higher percentage in some categories. A downsized Borders means publishers are likely to receive smaller orders and in turn place smaller first printings, resulting in less business for printers. The likelihood of lower print sales, one publisher said, means that books acquired one or two years ago when Borders was much bigger will have a more difficult time earning the advance back and that less shelf space could mean lower advances.” [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Tracey Taylor has details of retailer Jack Rems’ plans to resurrect Berkeley, Calif., institution Comic Relief as a new store called The Escapist — a nod to the Michael Chabon character — possibly at the same location. [Berkeleyside]

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What Are You Reading?


Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we talk about what comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately.

Today’s special guest is Joe Keatinge, writer and co-creator of the upcoming Image comic Brutal with Frank Cho. He’s also the writer of the final “Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies” installment in April’s Savage Dragon #171, drawn by Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, Billy Dogma’s Dean Haspiel, Nikolai Dante’s Simon Fraser, Parade (With Fireworks)’s Mike Cavallaro, The Transmigration of Ultra Lad’s Joe Infurnari, Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation’s Tim Hamilton and Olympians’ George O’Connor. He’s also executive editor of the PopGun anthology, he’s got an ongoing series coming soon that he can’t say anything else about and with his fellow studio members at Tranquility Base, regularly beats up on 13 year olds at laser tag.

To see what Joe and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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Gift suggestions for every taste | Vintage X-Men game, Brown’s cat cards

Wolverine by Dan Panosian

Brigid did a round-up yesterday of various holiday gift-giving suggestions, so I thought I’d follow suit with some that I’ve seen lately.

• The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is auctioning off original art by Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Gabriel Hardman, Tom Fowler, Dan Paosian and many more, as well as lunch with Chew writer John Layman in New York next week.

• I remember shoveling a whole bunch of quarters into the X-Men arcade game back in the day; my friend Mike and I beat the game as Nightcrawler and Wolverine. If you have an Xbox fan in your life, they too can fight the Blob, Magneto and more in side-scrolling action, as the game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade Dec. 15. The PlayStation Network, unfortunately, won’t get it until February, so you’ll have to find something else this holiday season for the PS3 fan in your life. Joy to the world! The game will hit the PlayStation Network Dec. 14!

• Khepri Comics is selling Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s Atelier, a comic they created to sell at conventions.

• Comics creator Ben Towle has a 20 percent off sale going in his web store, where you can purchase original art from books like Midnight Sun, signed copies of Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean and superhero commissions.

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Moon and Bá craft a new comic for convention season

Atelier by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba

With the fall/winter convention season about to kick off, brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, Casanova) have taken that opportunity to work up a new comic just for the occasion. Flush off the conclusion of their critically acclaimed Vertigo series Daytripper, Moon and Bá have a new one-shot comic called Atelier that will be available from at New York Comic Con, Rio de Janeiro’s Rio Comicon, and the Crack Bang Boom convention in Rosario, Argentina.

No word on the plot yet, but with successes like Daytripper and the recently re-released De:Tales under their belt, I’ll take their word for it. For more on the book, head on over to their website.

Related: Shaun Manning talks to Moon and Bá about De: Tales and more at Comic Book Resources.

What Are You Reading?

Scarlet #1

Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately.

Today’s special guest is Ryan K Lindsay, a staff writer for comic news and reviews site The Weekly Crisis. He also runs a comic scripting challenge site called thoughtballoons where each week a character is picked, and every member of the site must write a one-page script about that character. He’s also been known to throw a think piece up at Gestalt Mash and is hoping one day to have his many comic pitches drawn by people with pencils.

To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below …

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Ultimate Craig Thompson/Fábio Moon team-up!

Snapshot 2010-08-02 11-10-05

Let’s get ready to drrrrrrrrrrrrrrraw comics! In one corner: Craig Thompson, author of Blankets and currently god knows how many hundreds of pages deep into his upcoming fantasy epic Habibi. In the other corner: Fábio Moon, one half of a Brazilian brother act with fellow cartoonist and Daytrippers collaborator Gabriel Bá. Witness the pulse-pounding power of these two extraordinary artists combined in “Blog War,” a collaborative document of Moon’s visit to Thompson’s home turf in Portland currently told in words and pictures and spread across the pair’s respective blogs: part one, part two, part three part four, part five. From photos of Craig with his shirt off to drawings of Fábio in a speedo to an all-star wine-bar meet-up including Thompson, Moon, Dark Horse’s Sierra Hahn, Laura and Mike Allred, and Joe Sacco, it is indeed “the crossover event of the summer.”

SDCC Wishlist | Hipp’s Stray Days, Moon and Ba’s print and much more

by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Down to the wire here, so let’s do a round-robin of a few more cool items you can get at the San Diego Comic-Con this year …

• Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are bringing a new limited signed giclée print, which you can see to the right.

• Buenaventura Press is having a going-out-of-business sale at booth #1734. Alvin Buenaventura will be there, selling the last copies he has of Kramers Ergot 7, Boy’s Club by Matt Furie, The Gigantic Robot by Tom Gauld, original art and more.

• Gene Luen Yang has a new T-shirt he’ll be selling at the show.

• Terry Moore is bringing The Complete Paradise TOO — “a 360 page softcover book filled with hundreds and hundreds of my comic strips and cartoons, from high school to SIP to all the Kixie strips and Plato and Lizzie the axe-murderer… all for just $30.”

• Scott Morse will have a TON of items for sale at the show; you can find them here and here.

• Both Josh Howard and Humberto Ramos will have sketchbooks at the show. Sean Galloway, meanwhile, has a Spider-Man print.

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Quote of the day | Matt Fraction, on the economics of Casanova

Casanova #1

Casanova #1

“For all the bravado and, what you call it, callow youthfulness behind the idea of ‘Do it yourself!,’ at the end of the day, there’s a time in your life when you absolutely can, and there’s a time in your life when you’re married and you have a mortgage and a baby or two babies and you need diapers and food and it’s just like, ‘I can’t do that, I can’t work for free anymore.’ It’s not like anybody’s getting rich. It’s not like ‘Well, I need a BMW.’ No — I need to pay my light bill. That’s the reality of it. … So the idea was, let’s go off, and just build up the bank and get to a point where we can do seven issues for free again. Luckily, we haven’t had to. Luckily all three of our stars were in the ascendant and people at Marvel were really big fans of the work, and were excited to make Casanova an Icon book, so we’re very lucky — nobody has to work for free, and we still own Casanova and still control it.”

– writer Matt Fraction, in a highly recommended interview with GQ,
on the financial realities behind
Casanova’s more than two-year hiatus

Straight for the art | New covers for De:Tales, Sin City collections

Dark Horse sent over three new covers that you’ll find when their next round of solicitations go live … first up is the cover for a new edition of Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon’s De:Tales, which collects several of their short stories. The softcover is out of print, so Dark Horse is releasing it as a hardcover in October. If you like their Daytrippers series from Vertigo, you’ll most likely like this:



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Wood puts his money down on Northlanders, DMZ

Northlanders Vol. 3

Northlanders Vol. 3

Last week iFanboy’s Talksplode podcast posted a lengthy interview with Brian Wood, who talked about all of his various “D” projects — Demo, DMZ, DV8 — as well as Northlanders. Close to the end of the conversation, he said that he plans to offer a money-back guarantee on the third Northlanders trade paperback, which is due in stores the first week of March.

“If someone hates it they can mail it back to me and I’ll pay them back,” Wood said, adding he’ll share formal details on the offer soon. This trade collects several shorter arcs and single-issue stories from Northlanders — specifically issues 9 and 10, as well as 17-20. Issue 17, “The Viking Art of Single Combat,” is probably the best issue of the series thus far, and the two-part “Shield Maidens” tale follows closely behind it.

In addition to giving fans a risk-free option for checking out Northlanders, today Wood also gave fans a good reason to check out DMZ #50 — he and Fabio Moon are doing a four-page story in it called “Little Plastic Toys” about cluster munitions, and he plans to donate his page rate for it to stopclustermunitions.org. The comic comes out this Wednesday.

Work begins on long-awaited third volume of Casanova

Casanova #14

Casanova #14

I was a bit skeptical last month when writer Matt Fraction teased, “Just wait till we make the Casanova announcements.” After all, we’ve been fooled before.

But if you followed Twitter over the holidays — the accounts of Fraction and artists Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, specifically — you saw clear indications that work has indeed begun on the long-rumored and much-anticipated third volume of the critically acclaimed spy-fi series.

“Hey, guess who remembered how to write Casanova today?” Fraction tweeted on Dec. 19. “Pages 1-6 of Casanova v3 completed and sent to @Gabriel_Ba e @fabiomoon. ho ho ho.” Bá replied two days later with: “Pages 1-6 of Casanova v3 – [In] @mattfraction ‘s own words: ‘Okay. That might actually sound like the most impossible thing of all time –‘”

And just this week Fraction posted: “Writing more Casanova tonight. Rereading the whole series since the last time I proofread the issues.” That was followed last night by, “It’s as though I’ve set out to make Moon and Bá hate me and salt the earth beneath my feet” and the encouraging tag “casanovasback.”

Debuting in June 2006 in Image Comics’ 16-page “slimline” format, Casanova follows the timeline-jumping exploits of free-lance thief and espionage artist Casanova Quinn. The second volume, Gula, concluded in May 2008.

Murderers’ Row of talent teaming for Vertigo project [Updated]

by Dave Gibbons

by Dave Gibbons

Pamela Mullin over at Vertigo’s Graphic Content blog posted a teaser today for an upcoming project with a very impressive line-up of talent involved with it. That line-up includes Jim Lee, Rebekah Isaacs, Fabio Moon, Ryan Kelly, John Paul Leon, Lee Bermejo, Philip Bond, Eduardo Risso and Dave Gibbons.

So what is this mysterious project? Well, Pamela’s staying quiet on the details, but my own investigations* have turned up the fact that it’s related to Brian Wood’s DMZ. No doubt Pamela will have more details soon.

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Vertigo previews Daytripper, Other Lives

Other Lives

Other Lives

It’s a good day for previews over at the official Vertigo blog, Graphic Content. Pamela Mullins has posted some pages from Peter Bagge’s Other Lives, which is due from the publisher next year. She also shares more preview pages from Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon’s Daytripper, which comes out in December. And lastly, check out the cover to Joe the Barbarian #2.

Daytrippin’ with Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon this December

Daytripper #1

Daytripper #1

Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, who you might remember from such great comics as The Umbrella Academy, Casanova, Pixu and De:TALES, among others, have a new book called Daytripper coming out from Vertigo later this year — “a Brazilian slice-of-life limited series, featuring beautiful women, friendships, family and complete unpredictability,” according to the Vertigo blog.

This book has been a bit under my radar; I haven’t heard much about it beyond a little convention talk at some of Vertigo’s panels this past year, so it’s good to see it on the schedule and to see some preview art, which you can find at the link above.

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