New England Webcomics Weekend
Publishing | The 60th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s popular pirate manga One Piece sold more than 2 million copies in its first four days of release. It’s the first book to move more than 2 million copies in its first week of sales since the Japanese market survey company Oricon began reporting its charts in 2008. As we reported last week, this volume’s 3.4 million-copy first printing set a record, and propelled the series past the 200 million-copy mark. [Anime News Network]
Editorial cartoons | Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies has been laid off by the Gannett-owned Journal News in White Plains, N.Y. [Comic Riffs]
Publishing | Abrams has made three comics-related promotions: Susan Van Metre to senior vice president and publisher, overseeing all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books; Charles Kochman to editorial director of Abrams ComicArts; and Chad W. Beckerman to creative director, overseeing design for all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books. [Abrams]
… but only if you planned ahead, because tickets for Saturday are already sold out. Tonight’s Pub Crawl may make it worth your while, though, and there are still some tickets left for Sunday. There are worse places to have to while way a day than Northampton, Massachusetts. As the blog says,
Northampton is a great little town. Kind of like a microscopic version of everything that’s good about New York with none of the parking and smell issues.
I like to think of it as Boulder East, myself.
New England Webcomics Weekend is like the Comic-Con International of webcomics, and the guest list is amazing: Kate Beaton (Hark, a vagrant), Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary), R Stevens (Diesel Sweeties), Karl Kerschl (The Abominable Charles Christopher) … that’s a lot of star power, not a concept I would have associated with webcomics just a few years ago. And of course there is always the possibility of being the first to discover that great new webcomic …
Digital comics | CBR covers the “Comics on Handhelds” panel at South by Southwest Interactive, which tackled, among other things, issues of lettering and format. “What we need to concentrate on is making the comic an enjoyable experience for the reader and not just a compromise that people are willing to make just so they can read comics on the iPhone,” said Rantz Hosley, CEO of the Longbox Group.
Digital comics | At Salon.com, Olly Farshi looks at the James Patterson graphic novel Daniel X: Alien Hunter on iTunes.
Editor’s Note: Over the weekend webcomics creators and fans gathered for New England Webcomics Weekend. Bobby Timony, co-creator, writer and artist on the Zuda Comics strip The Night Owls, attended the event and agreed to share his thoughts on his weekend here at Robot 6.
by Bobby Timony
What started as a simple idea to get some webcomics people together for a weekend signing event soon took on the aura of a bona-fide cultural turning point. The word spread and the guest list grew and it started looking more like a webcomics Woodstock.
The new Webstock started with a pub crawl on Friday. The cold Northhampton, Mass. night saw webcomics creators and fans walking around under the orange streetlights from pub to pub drinking beers and toasting webcomics. It felt like Halloween, but instead of costumes, people were dressed up in clever, self-aware ironic T-shirts.
Ah, the T-shirts. It’s a lucky thing that webcomic fans are such fans of T-shirts, since much of the webcomics industry seems to revolve around the sale and design of them. There was even a panel on Saturday devoted exclusively to T-shirt design.
Webcomics Weekend was held at the Eastworks building, which used to be a cleaning supply factory that now housed a small mall and studio space occupied by a variety of artists. Remnants of the building’s history haunt the place like ghosts. The wide aisles are spanned by hardwood floors with long grooves worn into them from decades of being trod upon, and the cafe on the ground floor has two large arches made from metal conveyor belts.
The Boston Phoenix has a brief preview of the first New England Webcomics Weekend, the March 20-22 gathering that’s expected to bring more than 700 webcomics cartoonists and fans to Easthampton, Mass.
Initially planned as a small event, the weekend has, in the words of the alt-weekly, “snowballed into a sort of webcomics Woodstock.”
The gathering kicks off informally tomorrow at 8 p.m. with a pub crawl, which includes a couple of all-ages locations, before shifting into convention mode Saturday morning with registration, panels, live-drawing events, tabletop gaming, a charity auction, gallery show and more. The schedule can be found here.
Guests include Steven Cloud, Danielle Corsetto, Rob DenBleyker, Lar deSouza, Rene Engstrom, Meredith Gran, Brad Guigar, Scott Kurtz, Ryan North, Ryan Sohmer, Spike, R. Stevens, Kris Straub and Kris Wilson.