While cleaning his office at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles, general manager Ryan Liebowitz uncovered a sketch given to him when he was 10 years old by sci-fi luminary Ray Bradbury, who passed away last week at age 91. Bradbury, it turns out, provided the inspiration for the store’s name.
“When my father Bill ‘Bill Kahuna’ Liebowitz opened Golden Apple in 1979 he had a partner,” Ryan Liebowitz wrote to Comic Book Resources. “His partner Thom owned cigar shop that my dad used to frequent. One day, they decided to start a comic book and music shop due to his love for both. My dad asked his partner what to name the shop. He already had a ton of merchandise bags that were printed ‘Golden Apple,’ because of his favorite play, Golden Apples of the Sun, based on Ray Bradbury’s novel. Bill decided to keep the bags temporarily until he could rename the shop. So, shortly after the shop opened on Melrose Avenue, Ray Bradbury walked in and asked my dad, ‘Did you name this shop after my book Golden Apples of the Sun?’ Bill Liebowitz promptly stated, ‘YES, of course we did!!’
“From that day forward, the name stuck, and the rest is history,” Liebowtiz continued. “Over the years we did a number of great signings and events with Mr. Bradbury. He will forever have a special place in our hearts.”
Although the store is in the middle of a three-week inventory reduction sale, Liebowitz stressed that Golden Apple isn’t moving, being sold or going out of business: “The Liebowitz family is remodeling the classic shop and reinvesting time and effort to make it better than ever.”
Publishing | Bob Wayne, DC Comics’ senior vice president of sales, and John Cunningham, vice president of marketing, discuss May sales figures, which show the publisher edging closer to Marvel in market share and Batman topping Justice League. Wayne also explained why DC won’t change its practice of publishing collected editions first in hardcover, then as inexpensive paperbacks: “While certain titles do get a deluxe or an Absolute Edition at some point, we think our retailer would be leaving a lot of money on the table if we didn’t give consumers the chance to buy hardcovers first on select titles. The sales we are having in both channels on Batman and Justice League in the month of May indicate that we don’t have that many people waiting the trade, looking for that cheaper edition. A lot of people seem to want a nice durable hardcover and we plan to follow this model for the foreseeable future.” [ICv2]
Piracy | Manga scanlators (and proprietors of other bootleg comics sites, such as HTMLComics.com) have argued that reading manga on their sites is no different from checking it out of the library. Librarian and graphic novel expert Robin Brenner explains why that just isn’t so. [About.com]
Wednesday brought the sad news that Ray Bradbury passed away peacefully at age 91. The author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes and (my favorite) The Halloween Tree, Bradbury introduced us to the Butterfly Effect, has his own asteroid and lent his name to a starship class on Star Trek.
“For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury’s death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
At The Beat, Torsten Adair recounts many of the honors Bradbury received over his lifetime. He influenced pop culture in all its forms, including comics and their creators.
“Some authors I read and loved as a boy disappointed me as I aged,” Neil Gaiman wrote in a piece for the Guardian. “Bradbury never did. His horror stories remained as chilling, his dark fantasies as darkly fantastic, his science fiction (he never cared about the science, only about the people, which was why the stories worked so well) as much of an exploration of the sense of wonder, as they had when I was a child.”
You can read more from Gaiman on Bradbury here, and a collection of thoughts from J.M. DeMatteis here. Many comic folks have taken to Twitter to remember the author, and I’ve rounded up some of their tweets below:
Geoff Johns and The Walking Dead were among the winners of Spike TV’s fifth annual Scream Awards, presented Saturday in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday on Spike TV.
The awards, which honor the best is science fiction, fantasy, horror and comic books, feature three comics-specific categories. Johns was named Best Comic Book Writer for his work on DC’s Blackest Night, Brightest Day, The Flash and Green Lantern. The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn, won for Best Comic Book or Graphic Novel. Johns and Kirkman were there to receive their awards.
Curiously, I’ve been unable to track down the winner for Best Comic Book Artist. (The nominees were Charlie Adlard, Darwyn Cooke, Fabio Moon, Frank Quitely, Jill Thompson and J.H. Williams III.) Presumably a press release will be issued with Tuesday night’s broadcast.
Renowned author Ray Bradbury received the 2010 Comic-Con Icon Award.