Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Publishing | Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson talks at length about market share, the economics of creator-owned comics, fallout from the prolonged legal battle between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman, and retailer concerns about simultaneous print and digital release of The Walking Dead: “… I was honestly a little thrown by the sheer amount of invective generated by the day-and-date release of a single Image digital title, sold at exactly the same price point as the print version of the book. Nobody was undercut, nobody had an unfair advantage, and I don’t see how it’s any different from offering the book for sale through any other storefront. Virtually every comic is available digitally on the same day it’s released to comic book shops — for free — and that has been the case for several years at this point. Publishers have slowly begun to establish a foothold in digital publishing, but I would be willing to bet more people downloaded The Walking Dead #77 for free than paid for it through our app. In fact, I’ll even go one better and speculate that more people downloaded The Walking Dead #77 illegally than bought the print comic. And you know what? The book’s sold out — we have more reorders than we can fill and we both know those reorders wouldn’t be coming in if retailers weren’t selling out of the books.” [Bleeding Cool]
Passings | Colorist Jonny Rench, who worked on such DC Comics and WildStorm titles as The Authority, Gen13, Human Target and Ratchet & Clank, has passed away from a heart attack. He was 28. “He was an incredibly talented artist,” the WildStorm Twitter account states, “and also an amazing, kind, joyful man.” [Twitter]
Publishing | Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson reveals what was believed to be a sketchbook of early versions of several years’ worth of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat strips “is almost certainly the work of a very intense (perhaps contemporary with Herriman?) fan who diligently, even maniacally, copied each new strip into his sketchbook over a period of three years.” The publisher had planned to release the sketchbook but now, of course, won’t. Refunds will be issued on pre-orders. [FLOG!]