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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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Batgirl vs. Mr. Incredible vs. Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard

hollywood-bvd

As strange as Marvel’s recent teasers haven been, with offbeat remixes of events past, they’re nothing compared to the inter-company mashup captured Tuesday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard.

CBS Los Angeles reports that the Hollywood Walk of Fame, long a hotbed for costumed mayhem, erupted about 5 p.m. as Batgirl struggled with Mr. Incredible in a brawl that drew in a colorful cast of characters. Reporter Suzanne Marques offers play-by-play of the video, shot by a production company that happened to be working nearby:

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Stan Lee gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today

Stan Lee, surveying his domain at Comic-Con International

This morning, a week after his 88th birthday, legendary creator Stan Lee will be honored with the 2,428th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lee, who began his comics career more than 70 years ago as an assistant at Timely Comics, remains busy with a full slate of projects, from the three-book retelling Romeo and Juliet: The War and the Las Vegas casino show The Yin and Yang Battle of Tao to comics collaborations with Archie Comics and BOOM! Studios and the National Hockey League’s “Guardian Project.”

“I’m pretty proud of the fact that some of the stories I wrote so many years ago are still being read and hopefully enjoyed by the public and people are making motion pictures based on them, and television series and even a Broadway show,” Lee, whose most famous co-creations include Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Iron Man, told CNN (there’s video at the link).

Today’s star ceremony, held at 11:30 a.m. PT at 7072 Hollywood Blvd., will feature Todd McFarlane and POW! Entertainment CEO Gill Champion.

This weekend, it’s Kids Comics L.A.

Kids Comics L.A.

This Saturday Meltdown Comics in Hollywood will host the creators of several recent kids’ comics for Kids Comics L.A.. The event will allow kids to meet Fraggle Rock‘s Sam Humphries, Darkwing Duck‘s Ian Brill, David Server and Jackson Lanzing of Penguins of Madagascar fame, and Reed Gunther creators Chris and Shane Houghton.

The event will also include interactive seminars on creating characters and comic book storytelling, as well as a Grilled Cheese Truck. The free event runs from 1 to 3 p.m.

Arcana vs. Marvel: Battle of the character libraries!

Arcana Studio

You expect a press release to inflate a comic’s importance or puff up a creator’s track record. After all, the publisher is trying to convince the media that its announcement has news value. But every once in a while a release overreaches. Just a little.

Take, for instance, this one from Arcana Studio announcing the acquisition of a handful of Devil’s Due Publishing titles that I’ve never heard of. The first half of the release is standard fare, briefly describing the comics and hyping the performance of Arcana (“the company has been growing in leaps and bounds”). But then we get to this paragraph:

Arcana’s graphic novels and intellectual properties have grown in the last two years to be as wide a library of characters as Marvel’s. Marvel was acquired by Disney for $4 Billion, and is the second major comic library to be acquired by a Hollywood studio. DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Bros., recently announced a newly-revamped business model, focusing on reaching deeper into DC’s catalog of characters.

It’s investor (or acquisition) bait, to be sure. But, hey, Arcana isn’t the first small publisher — or, rather, transmedia entertainment company — to dangle the $4-billion Marvel purchase in hopes of snagging a big fish. (However, it may the only one to date to use the DC Entertainment restructuring as back-up.) I’m not dwelling on that, though.

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Heroes to gather in Hollywood Aug. 27 to break world record

In May Australians gathered en masse and in costume to break the world record for the most people dressed as superheroes in one place at the same time.

Melbourne’s gathered heroes numbered 1,245, and now it looks like someone in Hollywood wants to top that — based on ads on Yelp and Craigslist. Here are the details:

Los Angeles, Ca plans to top Australia’s record of 1245 people on August 27, 2010.

Come in costume as your favorite superhero or character and remember it is welcome to families and kids too!

The more people attending the better the chances of stealing Australia’s title!

Arrive between 12:30 PM – 12:45 PM at the intersection of Hollywood & Highland IN COSTUME on August 27. Anyone arriving after 1:00 PM will not be counted as a part of the World Record attempt.
Location:

Hollywood and Highland
Hollywood, CA
90028

The big question: Is DC moving to L.A.?

Hollywood

Jeff Robinov is based in Los Angeles. Diane Nelson is based in Los Angeles. Geoff Johns is based in Los Angeles. John Rood is based in Los Angeles. Jim Lee isn’t based in Los Angeles, but he is based down the road in San Diego. Dan DiDio was based in Los Angeles for years before he came to DC. Obviously Warner Bros. is based in Los Angeles. But DC Entertainment is still based in the historic capital of comics, New York City. For how long? I expect this will be a question that gets asked a lot as the first round of post-announcement interviews with the major players hits the Internet this afternoon.

Cliff Chiang teams with actress Helen Slater for a Supergirl story

from Supergirl #50

from Supergirl #50

You might remember from DC’s solicitations for February that Supergirl #50 will feature a back-up tale co-written by Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the film of the same name. What you might not have known, though, (I didn’t) is that the art for that story is being done by one of my favs, artist Cliff Chiang.

DC’s The Source blog has more details and some really nice Chiang art.

Hollywood group claims The Pirate Bay tracker still lives

pirate bayJust a day after operators of The Pirate Bay announced they had shut down the site’s controversial BitTorrent tracker, a movie-industry lobbying group is accusing them of trying to pull a fast one.

On Tuesday the beleaguered website, which for the past six years had indexed torrents to facilitate often-illegal file-sharing, pulled the plug on its tracker — something operators say is no longer needed because of advances in peer-to-peer technology.

However, Wired.com’s Threat Level blog reports the Motion Picture Association, which lobbies for Hollywood overseas, claims The Pirate Bay tracker is simply operating under a new name: OpenBitTorrent, a site originally registered to Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. (A commenter on Robot 6 pointed out the connection last month.)

For its part, OpenBitTorrent denies that it’s The Pirate Bay tracker, with a message on the website chalking up the confusion, in part, to the two using the same hosting company at one point.

The MPA isn’t buying that explanation, and has gone to court to force OpenBitTorrent’s current Internet host to stop servicing the site.

A picture’s worth a thousand words …

Superhero Changing Station

Superhero Changing Station

Posterchild at Blade Diary has photos of a conveniently labeled superhero changing station in New York … (Thanks David!)

Spider-Man's walk of shame

Spider-Man's walk of shame

While The L.A. Times’ Mel Melcon snaps some shots of Spider-Man’s big arrest in Hollywood … J. Jonah must be really proud right now.


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