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Comics A.M. | ComiXology top iPad app for past six Wednesdays

Comics by comiXology

Digital | Comics by ComiXology has topped Apple’s charts as the top-grossing iPad application for the last six Wednesdays. ComiXology cited the launch of DC’s New 52 initiative, as well as many other comic companies moving to a same-day digital release schedule, as reasons for its success. “When have comic books, not comic book movies, not comic book merchandise, but the actual comic books been #1 in anything, much less high tech?” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “Being the number one grossing iPad application six Wednesdays in a row isn’t just a huge milestone for comiXology, but a huge milestone for comics as a medium … and we could not be prouder.” [press release]

Creators | An auction for the naming rights to a character in Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ The Secret Service raised $5,100 for St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, where Millar attended. The money will be used to pay for field trips for the school’s students. “I’m a former pupil at St. Bartholomew’s and have so many great memories of the place,” Millar said. “I know there’s not a lot of money in local government at the moment and I was sad to hear that the annual school trip for the children had been cancelled. By establishing this fund, I hope to have a pot the head-teacher can dip into every Christmas and take the entire school to a pantomime every year.” [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser]

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Comics A.M. | Reeve Carney extends Spider-Man musical contract

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Broadway | Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker and Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has extended his contract with the musical through May. Carney’s original contract was set to expire in November. “I can’t imagine a more wonderful, harder-working company than my mates on Broadway, and I look forward to being with them until shooting begins, and again as soon as we’ve wrapped,” he said. [Wall Street Journal]

Creators | The works of cartoonists Frode Överli, Lise Myhre, Christopher Nielsen and Jason are being featured on postage stamps in Norway, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first comic book to be published in the country, The Katzenjammer Kids. [cats without dogs]

Creators | Firebreather creator and former Wonder Woman writer Phil Hester is profiled in conjunction with a visit to Limited Edition Comics and Collectibles in Cedar Falls, Iowa. [WCF Courier.com]

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Previews: What Looks Good for November

The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Dark Horse Presents is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.


Puss in Boots Movie Prequel – I don’t care for movie prequel comics as a rule, but swashbuckling cats are awesome in any incarnation. As long as these are fresh gags and not just ones warmed up from Shrek, I expect to enjoy this.


Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Book 1 - I just introduced my son to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth a couple of weeks ago, so this is great timing. He had the same questions about The Dark Crystal‘s world that I always do, so I’m looking forward to seeing Archaia’s take on answering those. Totally feel like the world’s in good hands with this publisher and these creators.

The Sigh - If Archaia’s snagging Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis, Chicken With Plums) new book has been reported already, I missed it. I’m surprised that wasn’t bigger news.

Siegfried, Volume 1 – I’ve been meaning to read P Craig Russell’s Ring of the Nibelung adaptation for years, so I think this might be what pushes me to finally do it. It would be fun to read Russell’s and compare it to this version by Alex Alice.

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Why can’t I be Jason?

Jason drew Robert Smith from The Cure. I just needed to point that out.

Skate, read or die? Penguin Classics turns altcomix book covers into skateboards

Penguin Skateboards

Over the last few years, Penguin Books has gotten various cartoonists to draw covers for classic books, like Tony Millionaire, who drew the cover to Moby Dick, or Richard Salas, who drew the cover to Great Expectations, and so on.

Now via Flog comes word that some of those covers have made their way onto skateboards. Yes, classic literature covers, drawn by some of alt.comix’s best, featured on skateboards.

As you’ll see above, Penguin created some limited edition skateboards using the covers by Jason for Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, Lilli Carré for Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Thomas Ott for Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. These were given away in a photo contest on Facebook, which unfortunately is over, but they’ll be showing them off on various college campuses this month and next. Hopefully they’ll be available to purchase at some point … not that I’m coordinated enough to skate.

Jason: The Teen Years

Jason: Then and Now

One of the most interesting things about following artists’ careers is seeing their styles evolve from mimicry of their influences to their own, unique way of depicting the world. Very rarely do we get to see an artist’s very earliest attempts at developing a style, mostly because so many artists are too ashamed of their early work to share it.

Not so Norwegian cartoonist Jason, who’s started a blog to showcase – in chronological order – his early work. It’s a fascinating look at a world-class artist figuring out his craft.

What Are You Reading?

Athos in America

Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, where every week we talk about the comics, books and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guest is Kim Thompson, co-publisher, editor, translator and AutoChatter at Fantagraphics … and world traveler, as you’ll see below.

To see what Kim and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click the link …

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Space Warped

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15:

I’d surround myself with good-humored, good-natured comics. Sometimes you just gotta do that. My stack would include Veronica #207 ($2.99), which launches the new Kevin Keller miniseries; Donald Duck #367 ($3.99), with a rework of a classic Carl Barks story; Space Warped ($3.99), kaboom’s new Star Wars parody comic (I probably won’t get half the jokes, but it looks like it’s worth checking out); and Love and Capes Ever After #5 ($3.99), just because Love and Capes is such a charming comic. I may be poor, but at least I’ll be happy.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Fear Itself #3

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d first do a two-fisted grab of this summer’s big event series Flashpoint #2 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #3 (Marvel,$3.99). It’s required reading if you’re writing about comics like I am, and as a reader I’m intrigued by both. Two questions come out of this: 1. I wonder which one jiggered their release dates to come out the same week as the other event book, and 2. I guess DC will have to take off its “Holding The Line at $2.99” logo, or at least add some fine print. Next up would be Uncanny X-Force #11 (Marvel, $3.99); Rick Remender and the artists here have made this the best x-book on stands, hitting me right between the eyes by revisiting older storylines and characters and giving them a modern spin. Lastly, I would get Turf #5 (Image, $2.99), because I’m one of the biggest Tommy Lee Edwards fans out there.

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Comics College | Jason

I Killed Adolf Hitler

Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the comics medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.

With a few notable exceptions, most European cartoonists have a tough time getting noticed by U.S. audiences. That’s definitely not the case, however, with this month’s Comics College entry, the Norwegian artist John Arne Sæterøy, better known to most American readers by his pen name, Jason.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Jason

Werewolves of Montpellier

Hopefully, if you’ve been reading Robot 6 for any substantial amount of time, you’re familiar with the work of Jason. In this email interview, we discuss his latest work released from Fantagraphics, Werewolves of Montpellier (a book aptly summed up by the publisher as “a lycanthropic thriller, a romantic comedy, and an existential drama — basically, your typical Jason book”), as well as some ideas shared in his blog, cats without dogs. My thanks to Jason for the interview (and for reminding me why I love Hal Hartley films) and to Robot 6’s Sean T. Collins as well as Fantagraphics Jacq Cohen for helping to make this interview feasible.

Tim O’Shea: Cinema clearly informs your work, does your appreciation of film date back to your childhood-or when and how did it begin?

Jason: I read comics as a kid, and books like the Hardy Boys, but I think what made the biggest impression on me were movies. In the 70s there was just one Norwegian channel and every Monday night they showed a feature film. I would watch every one of those. And I still remember a lot of them, sometimes better than some movie I saw last year.

O’Shea: In the comments section of your blog, you wrote: ” I like movies, non-musicals, where the characters do a dance or sing a song. Like Rio Bravo, Buffalo 66, Bande à part or Simple Men. It’s something that doesn’t work in comics.” If you don’t think it works in comics, I’m curious why did you have Audrey sing Moon River (a scene that I thought worked, by the way)?

Jason: It’s just four panels of her singing, and I guess it sort of works. But take the dance sequence in Simple Men (Hal Hartley’s 1992 film) as an example. I don’t think that could be recreated in a comic. You don’t get into the music and start tapping your feet like you would in a movie.

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What Are You Reading?

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is writer and artist Dean Trippe, creator of Butterfly and co-founder of the Project: Rooftop blog, among other credits. He posts regularly on his Tumblr site Bearsharktopus-Man, where he is currently selling this nifty Doctor Who/Batman crossover print. He also has some art in the Webcomics Auction for the Gulf.

To see what Dean and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Your YouTube link of the day: Shhhh!

Oh my gollygosh. Someone’s actually adapting one of Jason’s short works to animated film.

Click on that first link to see Part one. (found via Mike Lynch)

Robot reviews: Low Moon

Low Moon

Low Moon

Low Moon
By Jason
Fantagraphics Books, 216 pages, $24.99.

For his latest and 13th (by my admittedly sloppy count) book, Jason has decided to try something a bit different. In addition to the snappy hardcover packaging, Low Moon collects not just the title tale, but four other stories as well, all presented in the same four panels to a page format, a quite different layout compared to previous works.

And yet this is still Jason. Anyone who’s read his work before will know the drill here, right down to the pupil-less animal-faced characters who seethe with inner pain while maintaining a stone-faced expression. In attempting to stretch himself, though, he offers some of his weakest work to date, but some of his strongest and emotionally wrenching as well.

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