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Comics A.M. | ‘Attack on Titan’ tops 2.5 million copies in English

Attack on Titan, Vol. 12

Attack on Titan, Vol. 12

Manga | More than 2.5 million copies of the English-language editions of Attack on Titan in print, Kodansha USA announced earlier this month at Anime Expo. Although that may seem like a lot, there are more than 44 million copies of the same 15 volumes of Hajime Isayama’s post-apocalyptic manga in print in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun estimates the U.S. comics market as one-fifth the size of the Japanese market. [The Asahi Shimbun]

Passings | Bill Garner, the editorial cartoonist for The Washington Times from 1983 to 2009, has died at age 79. Garner was born in Texas and attended the Texas School of Fine Arts, then went to the University of Texas at Austin for one year. He served in the Army from 1956 to 1962, then went to work as an illustrator for The Washington Star. His editor there suggested he try his hand at cartooning, and it took. He moved on to become the editorial cartoonist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where in 1981 he won a National Headliner Award. His best-known cartoon is one he drew for the Times shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, showing a tank with the bumper sticker “Saddam Happens” driving over a sand dune.  [The Washington Times]

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Shelf Porn | An office filled with statues, comics and more


Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn, where one fan invites us over to check out at their stuff. Today Rob shows us his office, where he keeps his action figures, statues, comics and more.

If you’d like to see your collection right here on ROBOT 6, you can find instructions at the end of this post.

And now here’s Rob!

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Comics A.M. | Archie artist Tom Moore passes away

Tom Moore

Tom Moore

Passings | Archie Comics artist Tom Moore died yesterday at the age of 86. Moore got his start as an artist in the Navy, where he served during the Korean War: His captain found a caricature that Moore had drawn, and instead of calling him on the carpet, he assigned him to be staff cartoonist. Moore’s comic strip, Chick Call, ran in military publications, and after the war he studied cartooning in New York, with help from the GI Bill. Moore signed on with Archie Comics, drawing one comic book a month, from 1953 until 1961, when he left cartooning for public relations. “It’s important to create characters that can adapt to anything, but whose personalities are consistent,” Moore said in a 2008 interview. “Establish that, and don’t deviate. Betty doesn’t act like Veronica, and Charlie Brown doesn’t act like Lucy.” He returned to cartooning in 1970, drawing Snuffy Smith, Underdog, and Mighty Mouse, and then went back to Archie to help reboot Jughead, staying on until his retirement in the late 1980s. After retiring, Moore taught at El Paso Community College and was a regular customer at All Star Comics. [El Paso Times]

Publishing | DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio talk about the comics market as a whole, variant covers, and their move to Burbank, among many other topics, in a three-part interview. [ICv2]

Commentary | Christopher Butcher discusses the way the comics audience has diversified, and the way that parts of the industry (the parts that aren’t involved, basically) have refused to acknowledge the enormous popularity of newer categories of comics by “othering” them: “‘Manga aren’t comics,’ went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on (with the exception of Dirk Deppey at TCJ, bless him): This shit just isn’t comics, real comics, therefore we don’t have to engage it.” Butcher sees these attitudes changing at last, though, thanks to the massive commercial and critical success of books like Raina Telgemeier’s Smile (three years on the New York Times graphic novel best-seller list!) and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer. [Comics212]

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Comics A.M. | Matt Bors quits The Nib, Beaton talks new book

Ana MorenoPassings | Anastasia Moreno, co-creator of the webcomic Marine Corps Yumi and a manga translator for Seven Seas, has died. Moreno was the translator of Kisses Sighs and Cherry Blossom Pink, Girl Friends, and Strawberry Panic, as well as the Love Hina and Trinity Blood novels. [Crunchyroll]

Comics | Political cartoonist Matt Bors has left his post as editor of The Nib, the comics section of the website The Medium, which he had built into a highly regarded online comics site until Medium gutted it. Bors told Tom Spurgeon he would be launching a Kickstarter for a Nib book, but he did not reveal any future plans. [Comics Reporter]

Editorial Cartoons | Political cartoonist Adrian Raeside is being laid off from the Victoria Times Colonist after 30 years. [Vancouver Sun]

Comics | I rounded up the kids’ comics news at Comic-Con. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | “I kind of understood inherently — and I wasn’t really conflicted about this — that comics were not for me or by people who looked like me,” says Noelle Stevenson. Discovering the “free for all” of webcomics, and seeing women making stories for women, changed her attitude, and at 23 she already has a solid career, as the creator of Nimona (which started as a webcomic) and one of the co-creators of Lumberjanes. [Hero Complex]

Creators | Kate Beaton talks about her new picture book, The Princess and the Pony, and the power and joy of making kids laugh with poop and fart jokes. [Jezebel]

Creators | Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis talks about comics and being mistaken for Robert Downey, Jr. [Huffington Post]

Graphic Novels | Leah Hayes talks about her graphic novel Not Funny Ha-Ha, which follows the experiences of two women as they have abortions; the book focuses on the procedure itself, not the decision to have an abortion or the discussion that surrounds it. [MTV]

Graphic Novels | Phil Morehart covers three creator panels on diversity in graphic novels at the American Library Association annual meeting. Trina Robbins, Brenden Fletcher, Noelle Stevenson, and Jeremy Whitley were among the participants. [American Libraries]

Manga | Deb Aoki rounds up the recommendations from the Best and Worst Manga panel at Comic-Con (in which I took part). [MangaComicsManga]

Shelf Porn | A Batfan from the Netherlands shares his collection


Happy Saturday and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Stephan in the Netherlands, who shares his Bat-themed shelves with us.

If you’d like to see your collection right here on ROBOT 6, you can find instructions at the end of this post.

And now here is Stephan …

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SDCC: Scholastic announces graphic novel by actor Greg Grunberg

Scholastic Dream Jumper
At Scholastic’s party Thursday night at Comic-Con International, the pubblisher announced the latest addition to its Graphix line of middle-grade graphic novels: Dream Jumper: Nightmare Escape, by actor Greg Grunberg (Heroes, the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens). It will be illustrated by Lucas Turnbloom, creator of the comic strip Imagine This and a contributor to both the Axe Cop graphic novels and the Team Cul de Sac anthology.

The book will feature a foreword by Grunberg’s longtime friend, director J.J. Abrams.

Dream Jumper is a story about a boy who jumps into the nightmares of his friends in order to rescue them from a monster who tries to keep them from waking up. “Lucas and I met at San Diego Comic-Con. We hit it off immediately and knew we wanted to create something together,” Grunberg said in a statement. “When my 12-year-old son Ben described a dream he had about a boy who could jump in and out of his friends’ nightmares to help them fight off bad guys and monsters, it sounded like a really relatable and exciting world to build a graphic novel and I immediately thought of Lucas,” Grunberg said.

Dream Jumper will be released in June 2016.

No disclaimer for college graphic novel course

persepolisA course on graphic novels as literature at a California college won’t carry a disclaimer after all, despite a statement by the school’s president that one would be included in response to a student’s complaint about adult content in some of the required reading.

According to Redlands Daily Facts, a Crafton Hills College spokeswoman said the disclaimer was never mandated, and Professor Ryan Bartlett, who teaches the English 250 course, ultimately decided against one.

“College is supposed to be a place where students can have real exchanges about sometimes difficult topics,” Bartlett said in an email. “An English major will have to read works in the literary canon (for example Shakespeare, Chaucer and the Bible) which include similar issues present in the chosen graphic novels. If we put a disclaimer on this course, then we should put a disclaimer on all literature courses, and I do not feel comfortable going down that slippery slope.”

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‘Palomar’ returns to library shelves at New Mexico high school

palomarGilbert Hernandez’s graphic novel Palomar will be available in the Rio Rancho (New Mexico) High School library when classes resume in the fall, but there’s a catch: Students under the age of 18 will have to get a parent’s signature before they can check out the book.

Parent Katrina Lopez turned to the local news media in February after her 14-year-old son checked out the mature-readers book, reportedly thinking it might be manga. When Lopez leafed through the pages, she saw images she characterized as “pornographic.”

While a school district spokesman initially called the book “clearly inappropriate for students,” a committee chosen by the superintendent later voted to keep the book in the library, saying it met the standard of the Rio Rancho School Board’s Library Bill of Rights.

Lopez said at the time she would appeal the decision.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund wrote to the school board in March to defend Palomar, and accused the TV station that aired the initial story of biased reporting.

Comics A.M. | Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’ soars up bookstore chart

From "Fun Home"

From “Fun Home”

Graphic novels | The 70th volume of Naruto topped the June BookScan graphic novel charts, followed by Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and the 23rd volume of The Walking Dead.  The rise up the chart by Bechdel’s celebrated 2006 memoir can probably be chalked up to its musical adaptation, which opened in January on Broadway and earned five Tony Awards. [ICv2]

Conventions | Lisa Halverstat rounds up some facts about Comic-Con International, including the number of attendees at the first Comic-Con (100), the number of scheduled events (2,040) and the amount of money con-goers are expected to spend in San Diego ($80.4 million, or $619 per person). [Voice of San Diego]

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Comics A.M. | ‘Naruto’ spinoff manga to end next week

From "Weekly Shonen Jump"

From “Weekly Shonen Jump”

Manga | The Naruto spinoff Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, which is running simultaneously in the Japanese and American versions of Shonen Jump, will end in the July 6 issue. [Anime News Network]

Fandom | Rob Salkowitz presents results of a recent survey of convention-goers conducted by the online ticket platform Eventbrite. Interestingly, they found almost complete gender parity (48.9 percent female, 48.7 percent male, and 3.1 percent non-binary/other) among convention-goers in general but much bigger skews in individual categories: “Comics, toys and gaming are predominantly male, while media, anime/manga and sci-fi/fantasy fandom are predominantly female.” A typical con-goer spends between $100 an $500, with comics fans being the biggest spenders and prints and original art the most popular thing to buy. There’s a lot more detail in the article about what people like and don’t like (biggest beef: lack of wi-fi an connectivity in convention centers). The survey updates and expands on a similar survey conducted last year. [ICv2]

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Comics A.M. | Sonny Liew’s controversial GN scores third printing

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye

Graphic novels | Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye has sold through its second printing in Singapore and is heading into a third, just weeks after the country’s National Arts Council abruptly withdrew funding. The graphic novel traces the career of pioneering Singaporean cartoonist Charlie Chan Hock Chye through 60 years of the country’s history and includes satirical portrayals of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, and his rival Lim Chin Siong. An NAC official said it “potentially undermines the authority or legitimacy of the Government and its public institutions.” The graphic novel has already sold 2,500 copies, making it “the top-selling local fiction title so far this year.”

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Winnipeg library returns ‘Tintin’ to shelves — in the adult section

tintin in america

The Winnipeg Public Library is returning Herge’s Tintin in America to its shelves — but in the adult graphic novel section, not the children’s area.

The book was pulled for review in March following news that the Chapters bookstore in Winnipeg had briefly removed copies from its shelves due to a complaint about the portrayal of Native Americans. An email sent to all library branches at that time reveals Tintin in America wasn’t supposed to be on the shelves in the first place.

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Comics A.M. | Bongo Comics leaves comiXology for Simpsons app

Simpsons Comics #221

Simpsons Comics #221

Digital comics | Tom Spurgeon reports that Bongo Comics has quietly left comiXology and will be putting its comics in a new Simpsons Store app instead. While users won’t be able to buy new Bongo comics on comiXology, they will still be able to access those they already purchased. [The Comics Reporter]

Political cartoons | The American Freedom Defense Initiative has a new advertising campaign, placing Bosch Fawstin’s cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on billboards around St. Louis. Transit systems in several cities, including New York and Washington, D.C., have stopped accepting political advertising rather than carry the group’s ads depicting the Prophet Muhammad. In St. Louis, they have drawn mixed reactions: Dr. Ghazala Hayat of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis says she would like to see the signs removed but not at the cost of violence or property damage, while Jim Hanson, the executive vice president of the Center for Security Policy, said that freedom of speech is more important than avoiding offense. [WKRC]

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Shelf Porn | Graphic novels and Gundam from Irvine, California


If it’s Saturday, it’s gotta be SHELF PORN! Today’s collection comes from Irvine, California, where Darrin’s shelves are stacked with everything from graphic novels to Gundam.

“I love Gundam, Macross and Legos,” Darrin said. “Been collecting for nearly 20 years, and this is what I show for it. I have a very patient wife! I am also a huge fan of collectible figures of my favorite anime and DC/Marvel Superheroes. And here are some (and this is only some) of my collection.”

Check out his pictures below.

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Comics A.M. | Retailers point to rising sales, more women in 2015

Saga, Vol. 4

Saga, Vol. 4

Retailing | Sales of both comics and graphic novels were strong during the 2014 holiday season and have continued to grow since then, according to the 13 retailers (nine direct market shops and four bookstores that carry graphic novels) surveyed by Publishers Weekly. The answers seem to reflect some trends that have been ongoing for a while: Image Comics solidifying its place as the No. 3 (and in one case, No. 2) comics publisher, the increasing popularity of graphic novels and an influx of new readers, many of them young and female. [Publishers Weekly]

Retailing | Brooklyn Comics & More Inc., the owner of two now-closed stores in New York City, has filed for bankruptcy. The corporation opened Brooklyn Comics & More in 2010 and Manhattan Comics & More in 2011; both closed in 2013. The company’s debts include $71,799.93 owed to Diamond Comic Distributors. [ICv2]

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