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What Are You Reading?

Kill Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guests are Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of Black Cherry Bombshells, Moon Girl, Lamorte Sisters and D.O.G.S. of Mars.

To see what Tony, Johnny and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click the link below.

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Comics A.M. | Dilbert moves syndicates, Brenda Starr counts down final days

Dilbert

Comic strips | Scott Adams’ Dilbert is moving to Universal UClick after two decades with United Feature Syndicate. The news doesn’t come as a big surprise, as it was announced more than three months ago that Peanuts would make the same move in February. Both properties are represented by Peanuts Worldwide. UClick will begin management of Dilbert.com on Saturday, with print syndication to follow in the summer. Dilbert will join a lineup at the syndicate that includes Doonesbury, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield and Ziggy. [press release]

Comic strips | Writer Mary Schmich and artist June Brigman discuss the end of Brenda Starr, whose final strip runs on Sunday. “(Brenda) is a continuity strip, like a soap opera. Those have been dropping like flies,” Brigman says. “It is amazing she has lasted. It’s not a laugh-a-day strip. It requires some effort, like reading the paper every day.” [Boston Herald]

Retailing | Gendy Alimurung chronicles the final days of the Borders Books and Music location is Los Angeles’ Westwood neighborhood: “The protracted demise is helping [12-year employee Camilla] Ostrin gradually acclimate to her new reality, at least. Empty bookshelves are the saddest part. She’s used to seeing them full. Customers likely would agree; they don’t seem to understand that the store isn’t being restocked, that the new Obama calendars aren’t coming in, or that once the Paperchase journals are gone, they’re gone.” [LA Weekly]

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Check out Kill Shakespeare for free through iTunes

Kill Shakespeare, Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery’s mashup of all Shakespeare’s characters into one huge bad-guys-versus-good-guys story, has done very well, so well that the first two issues have sold out. What’s that? You didn’t get to see them? Well, if you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, you’re in luck: Publisher IDW is offering the first two issues for free through the iTunes store. (This actually started a while ago, but some of the downloads didn’t work—now they do.)

You can pick them up through the Comics+ or IDW apps, both of which are free and really should be on your iThing anyway. And if you like what you see, check out the subsequent issues for 99 cents each—Issue #7 just went up this week.

Here’s a bit of background on Del Col and McCreery from their college newspaper.

Comics A.M. | Spider-Man musical delayed again? Tokyo manga restrictions

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Broadway | The planned Jan. 11 opening for the $65-million musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark likely will be pushed back again, Kim Masters reports. Yet despite technical problems, actor injuries and repeated delays, preview performances are selling at an impressive 98.2 percent capacity. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Legal | Roland Kelts provides commentary on the passage by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly of controversial legislation to further restrict sexual content in manga and anime: “Now we have Version 2 of the non-existent youth bill, with its opaque language promising to monitor depictions of fictional characters government officials decide are too young to be engaging in the fictional activities government officials decide are too harmful to real youth that government officials decide are too youthful to view or read about them.  Meanwhile, it remains legal in Japan to possess child pornography, live-action or illustrated, rendering most attempts at enforcement toothless.” Meanwhile, Japan Real Time, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal report on the new ordinance and the surrounding controversy. [TCJ.com]

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