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After 13 years, iFanboy announced this afternoon that it’s “ceasing normal day-to-day operations,” with only its podcasts continuing on the website. There will be no new written content.
“The simple fact is that our lives are much different now than they were even five years ago, and with families and day jobs and other opportunities all vying for our time and attention, iFanboy.com has been suffering for it and we couldn’t watch it suffer any longer,” co-founder Conor Kilpatrick wrote on the site. “It hurts us to not be able to put our all into this place that we’ve spent so many years building into a vibrant and wonderful community.
iFanboy, which was purchased in February 2010 by digital distributor Graphicly, split with the company in January 2013, even as website co-founder Ron Richards announced he had joined Image Comics as director of business development.
“After five years spent running iFanboy.com as our primary jobs, we had to transition back to running iFanboy part time after Graphicly handed it back to us in February of this year,” Kilpatrick continued, “and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on everything we need to focus on in the manner that it deserves to be.”
There’s much more at iFanboy, including messages from many of the key contributors.
A heated Twitter conversation that began Wednesday with Jimmy Palmiotti saying it was “a crime” Amanda Conner didn’t receive an Eisner Award nomination for her work on Silk Spectre took an unexpected turn when Landry Walker pointed to a blog post by Eisner judge Frank Santoro in which he lists all the creators who contributed to Before Watchmen and says, “I refuse to buy or read anything by these folks.”
“HOLY SHIT… how could he be a judge then??” Palmiotti replied.
The easy answer is that if everyone who expressed an opinion was eliminated from consideration, there would be no one left to be an Eisner judge. However, Josh Flanagan of iFanboy went straight to Santoro for a response:
The comics news site/podcast iFanboy, which was acquired in February 2010 by Graphicly, announced this afternoon it has “amicably split” with the digital comics distributor turned e-book distributor. At the same time, iFanboy co-founder Ron Richards and Image Comics revealed he has been hired as the publisher’s director of business development.
“Now before any speculation happens about nefarious business dealings or behind the scenes decisions let me be absolutely clear,” Richards wrote of the split with Graphicly. “This was a joint decision by all of us and there’s nothing to read into beyond that. Simply put, Graphicly is focusing their resources beyond comic books, and no one involved wanted to see iFanboy shut down as a result. So Graphicly generously worked with us to enable this transition back to independence.”
Graphicly announced in April that it would move away from distributing comics on its own app and instead focus on providing visually based books and comics to eBook platforms like Apple’s iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
Passings | Richard Alf, who as a teenager fronted the money for the first three years of San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con, the annual event that later became Comic-Con International, passed away Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 59. Alf, who co-chaired the first convention in 1970 and became chairman the following year, later opened Comic Kingdom in North Slope, a business he sold by the end of the decade. [U-T San Diego, Mark Evanier]
Conventions | iFanboy, San Francisco’s Isotope Comics and Grant Morrison are teaming up for MorrisonCon, which will feature “A once in a lifetime opportunity to see Grant Morrison and 9 hand picked comic creator superstars, all together for one weekend, one time only.” They’ve released few details so far, but the website says it’ll occur next fall. [MorrisonCon]
Awards | Comic-Con International is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Eisner Awards, which will be presented in San Diego in July. The deadline for submitting materials for consideration is March 6. [CCI]
• iFanboy has named Petrograd by Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook as their book of the year.
• Johanna Draper Carlson shares her top ten graphic novels of the year, a list that includes Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, Criminal: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are by Thomas Zahler and Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton.
• Danny Djeljosevic, Nick Hanover and Jason Sacks at Comics Bulletin count down their top ten graphic novels of 2011, which include Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, Oil and Water by Steve Duin and Shannon Wheeler, and Habibi by Craig Thompson.
• Pop Candy’s Whitney Matheson continues her countdown of the top people of 2011. Jeffrey Brown comes in at No. 71, while Brian Selznick lands at No. 55. Jeff Lemire is at No. 31. Robert Kirkman and Kevin Smith both break into the top 20. I won’t spoil the No. 1 pick, but I agree with it wholeheartedly.
• Jonathan P. Kuehlein of the Toronto Star picks his year’s best, including Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey by GB Tran, Joe The Barbarian: The Deluxe Edition by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy, and Scarlet: Book 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.
Creators | Any Empire and Swallow Me Whole creator (and our special guest this weekend for What Are You Reading?) Nate Powell appeared at the United Nations earlier this month with several teen-fiction writers who contributed to What You Wish For, a benefit book to fund libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in Chad. Video of the event can now be found on the U.N. website. [Top Shelf]
Business | Details on the collaboration between Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment Inc. and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s Vuguru have emerged: The two companies will work on a YouTube channel called “Stan Lee’s YouTube World of Heroes.” The channel is one of the 100 online video channels announced by the Google-owned video site, which seeks to add “professional, high-quality programming” to its site. [Los Angeles Times]
Business | They might move slow and eat people, but MSNBC estimates that zombies are worth about $5 billion to the economy. [MSNBC]
After hosting a live stream of their 300th iFanboy Pick of the Week podcast, hosts Ron Richards and Conor Kilpatrick ended up chatting with a surprise guest, writer Scott Snyder, who shared a bunch of Batman-related information. How old is Bruce in the New 52? How does he have a 10-year-old son? What villains will appear? Watch the above video to find out more.
Kirkman will be heading up a bar crawl of drinking establishments in the Bay Area. Intended for those of legal drinking age and up (21 in California), this event will feature a San Francisco tour bus to the various hotspots in San Francisco. On board will be Kirkman, as well as Isotope proprietor James Sime as well as iFanboy co-founders Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards.
For the price of a $50 ticket, people will get “VIP transport” to every stop on the crawl, an exclusive Walking Dead SF Bar Crawl Survival Guide, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with zombie impresario Robert Kirkman.
“Wear your best zombie gear, indulge in one of the many of The Walking Dead drink specials the bars will be serving all night, and get a personal introduction to Robert Kirkman from yours truly! What could be better!?” stated Sime in a press release.
Tickets are limited, so go to Isotopecomics.com or iFanboy.com by today to secure tickets when they go on sale at 3 p.m. Eastern / Noon Pacific today. For those that don’t get tickets before they sell out, Image will be hosting a raffle at their booth at WonderCon this weekend.
When the news broke that Wizard was killing both the print edition of its long-running comics magazine and its sister publication ToyFare, the company also announced a new online publication called Wizard World that’s due to launch this month.
In an interview with iFanboy’s Ron Richards, Wizard founder Gareb Shamus announces that the new, free publication is due Feb. 23 and will be distributed in several different ways.
“It’s going to be free, and it’s going to be weekly, and it’s going to be available everywhere,” Shamus told Richards. “So however people are going to want to read it, whether it’s through their iPad, they’re going to be able to read it online, they’re going to be able to read it through a bunch of different mobile devices.”
Shamus mentions digital comics providers comiXology and Graphic.ly as distributors, noting, “Our intent is to work with everybody to get it everywhere. Because for us, we want the product to continue to be ubiquitous the way the products I’ve created in the past have been.”
Richards also asked a lot of good questions about GeekChicDaily, the Wizard conventions, the new public company and his thoughts on websites, which Shamus says are “pretty worthless in their ability to have an impact on an audience.” About the only ground Richards didn’t — and probably should have — cover were the layoffs and how people were treated. Otherwise what he did ask were some good, solid business questions. It’s too bad the answers themselves come across as (as was pointed out in the comments field) very rehearsed, politician-like and kinda vague.
Battlepug: The Web Comic was born out of desperate scramble to appease iFanboy. They contacted Mike to create a signature t-shirt for a new line of merch. However, Mike had been working exclusively with DC Comics for 4 years and had no original properties that he could reveal to the world yet. He drew the image you see above and had Allen color it. And lo, a BATTLEPUG was born!
That’s Allen Passalaqua, who is doing the coloring. Over at iFanboy itself, Paul Montgomery posts his version of the story and a larger version of the art.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Robot 6 crew has been enjoying on the comics front. Today our special guest is our friend Ron Richards, one of the co-founders of the popular comics website iFanboy.com. To see what Ron and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Last summer John Romita Jr. told CBR’s Jonah Weiland about a new creator-owned book he’s working on with Howard Chaykin called Shmuggy and Bimbo. iFanboy recently caught up with Romita on his press tour for the film Kick Ass, and Romita talked about the project as well as a reprint of his creator-owned series The Gray Area. He says that both projects will be published through Marvel’s Icon imprint.
“Grey Area is gonna be re-released by Marvel in a trade with new colors and new lettering, and a new scene added,” Romita said, noting that the series was getting some interest from Hollywood. “This is what Kick Ass is doing to me.” You can find the conversation about these books around the 21-minute mark.
He also talks about the Kick-Ass film (of course), his upcoming run on Avengers and the fact that he’d like to work on Doctor Strange at some point.
Publishing | BusinessWeek looks at how companies like Marvel, Panelfly, ComiXology and Graphic.ly are promoting comics apps for Apple’s just-released iPad, and notes that a cautious DC Comics is still “assessing that tablet and other devices.” It’s a general overview, touching upon the “Is it a game-changer?” theme, but it offers one tidbit I don’t recall seeing previously: Apple takes 30 percent of sales, leaving publishers with — in the words of Panelfly’s Wade Slitkin — “the lion’s share” of revenues from comics purchased through iPhone apps.
The magazine also reports that Apple may have sold as many as 700,000 iPads in the debut weekend, more than double early estimates. In other iPad news: The Marvel Comics App, officially announced on Friday, is ranked at No. 14 on the list of free apps offered through Apple’s iTunes store. And on Saturday, IDW Publishing announced its entry into the iPad arena with four free apps. [BusinessWeek]
Legal | Bestselling Japanese author Manabu Miyazaki, son of a yakuza boss, last week sued police in Fukuoka prefecture for asking stores to remove underworld comics and magazines from their shelves. The police request was meant to enforce an ordinance designed to curtail the influence of the crime syndicates. [New Straits Times]
Per the press release, iFanboy’s founders will join Graphic.ly, as well as keep their responsibilities for the iFanboy site and community. Conor Kilpatrick and Josh Flanagan will lead content creation for iFanboy and overall publisher and creator relations, while Ron Richards will oversee product and business development for iFanboy. iFanboy’s content will be integrated into Graphic.ly’s website and digital comics software.
“As community and content become more and more entwined, Graphic.ly wants to be at the forefront of the new digital comic age. By acquiring iFanboy, we become part of one of the best communities in the industry,” said Micah Baldwin, CEO and co-founder of Graphic.ly. “Working with iFanboy, we are able to take our vision to the next level and fully integrate our product into the fandom community.”
“Graphic.ly has the future in mind, and that’s something iFanboy has always valued,” Flanagan wrote on iFanboy this morning. “Their first product is a digital comics reader and platform, a movement iFanboy have always supported. But in addition to that, Graphic.ly is very committed to being a part of the comics community at large, and to growing the comics audience. They expressed an interest in bringing some folks on who were respected in the comic book industry and had developed an awesome community of comic book lovers. Eventually when all those people turned them down, they were stuck with us.”
That post also includes a Q&A about the change, promising “more writing, more reviews, more features, more fun, more discussions, more creators, more anything we can think of to make iFanboy better for you. This development will finally give us the opportunity to improve iFanboy in all the ways we’ve wanted to, but haven’t been able to because we have lacked the time and the resources and the manpower that are needed to make our ideas a reality.”
The complete press release is available after the jump.
iFanboy.com’s Ron Richards posted this morning a conversation he had with writer James Robinson about Starman #81, Justice League and Blackest Night, among other topics.
Some of the highlights include:
–Robinson revealed that the “blue Starman,” Mikaal, will officially take on the Starman name and mantle in Justice League. Robinson said he plans to “make him more of a hero.”
–Robinson said he’d like to do more with Opal City and its inhabitants, perhaps in the form of a Shade series or miniseries.
–If he did revisit Jack Knight from his Starman run, “it would have to be with Tony, and it would have to be something big.”
–He talks a little bit about his Justice League work so far, noting “I’m not sure that that was my best work,” and also spoke about the challenges of trying to put a fresh spin on all the Blackest Night tie-ins he’s been writing. “Ultimate it was worth doing, and I certainly had a lot of fun.”
–Ron brought up the recent Red Arrow developments in Cry for Justice, which led to Robinson saying he doesn’t like to kill off characters and won’t be doing so in the future. “It’s a much nicer James Robinson who will be writing comics in the future,” he said.