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Comics A.M. | Why Marvel spoils stories in the media, Green Lantern lateness

Ultimate Spider-Man #160

Publishing | Arune Singh, Marvel’s director of communications, addresses how Marvel works with media outlets to break major storyline news and in many cases spoil the story, like Ultimate Spider-Man dying. Their goal is to hopefully bring lapsed or non-fans into stores: “When we line up this kind of mainstream media coverage, it’s offering the promise of breaking this big news to the outlet. It’s with the knowledge that they’ll be the ones making the headlines, being referenced by other sites and getting the attention. But if we wait till the story breaks or the Wednesday books go on-sale, someone else is going to buy the issue early in the morning and break the news. Is it possible that mainstream outlets will still pick up on the news then? Yes, it’s possible. But the only way to guarantee that big, sweeping placement worldwide — as you’ve seen with the Death of Spider-Man — is to break it before anyone has a chance. And that kind of placement is, as I mentioned above, what will get us attention from outside the industry.” [ComicsAlliance]

Retailing | Toronto retailer Chris Butcher worries about how well the two late Green Lantern movie prequel comics — one shipping this week, one shipping in August — will sell so long after the film’s release. He also discusses the lateness of the final issue of the War of the Green Lanterns crossover, which won’t come out until after the epilogue story in this week’s Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #11. [Comics212]

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What Are You Reading?

Gingerbread Girl

Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Emily Stackhouse, creator of the award-winning minicomic Brazilianoir and her latest, Miner’s Mutiny.

To see what Emily and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Wonderful tonight: Two interviews with Daniel Clowes on his new book

from Mister Wonderful by Daniel Clowes

from Mister Wonderful by Daniel Clowes

Part one-crazy-night comedy of errors, part Curb Your Enthusiasm-style comedy of discomfort, part heartwarming second-chance romance, part cartooning master class, Daniel Clowes’s new book Mister Wonderful packs a lot of delights in between its long covers. The book began life as a weekly strip in The New York Times Magazine‘s “Funny Pages” section before Clowes reformatted, edited, and expanded it for its new incarnation from his frequent publisher Pantheon. Now the misadventures of Marshall, a middle-aged divorcé with a penchant for second-guessing pretty much every word out of his own mouth, and his fateful blind date can sit comfortably on your bookshelf instead of lying in your recycling bin after the weekend’s over. And the added bonus to any new Clowes comic, of course, is new Clowes interviews.

Over on the CBR mothership, Clowes spoke with Alex Dueben, who elicited from the cartoonist a provocative take on the much-lamented demise of the alternative comic-book series (a la Clowes’s own Eightball):

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Daniel Clowes, Ben Katchor top Pantheon’s publishing plans


It’s always exciting to get the quarterly publishing catalogs from Random House in the mail and see what Pantheon, the best of the major New York City-based book publishers when it comes to graphic novels, has in store. And yesterday’s special delivery of the Spring 2011 catalog to “Fort Collins” was a real doozy: Major new works are on the way from a pair of alternative-comics titans, Wilson‘s Daniel Clowes and Julius Knipl‘s Ben Katchor.

First up is Daniel Clowes’s Mister Wonderful, a collection of the Eisner Award-winning serial strip that kicked off The New York Times Magazine‘s Funny Pages comics section. What’s new about this, you ask? How about fully 40 pages of new material, according to the publisher? That’s practically a whole new strip. Looks from the cover image in the catalog like the work’s being reformatted from broadsheet to landscape, too — which is maybe where some of that new page count is coming from, come to think of it. But either way, I’m excited to revisit the story of a lonely middle-aged man and his too-good-to-be-true blind date, which was sort of the genial GoodFellas to Wilson‘s brutal Casino. The book retails for $22.95 and hits in April 2011.

Next is Ben Katchor’s The Cardboard Valise, the acclaimed cartoonist’s first book in over ten years (!). Instead of the slightly more fantastical version of New York City found in much of his previous work, Katchor’s constructing an entire new country for this one: Outer Canthus, a strange region inhabited by travel junkie Emile Delilah, the exiled king Boreal Rince, and globalist Elijah Salamis. Together they explore, and I quote, “a vast panorama of humane hamburger stands, exquisitely ethereal ethnic restaurants, ancient restroom ruins, and wild tracts of land that fit neatly next to high-rise hotels.” That’s our Katchor! There’s really nothing else out there like Katchor’s inky, off-kilter explorations of the spaces people build, inhabit, and forget, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. The Cardboard Valise can be opened for $22 when it arrives in February 2011.

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