Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Creators | Saying his job has become “too much to bear,” cartoonist Renald Luzier (Luz) is leaving the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. He said he worked too hard in the aftermath of the January attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in which 12 people, most of them his co-workers, were killed, and he did not give himself time to grieve. “I needed time but I carried on for solidarity and not to let anyone down,” he said. However, the loss is taking its toll: “Each issue is torture because the others are gone.” He had previously announced he would no longer draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, saying it no longer interested him, and he is tired of the media attention. “We are not heroes, we have never been, we never meant to be,” he said. “Everyone evokes the spirit of Charlie for anything and everything now.” [The Independent]
Conventions | Convention producer ReedPOP will add Vienna Comic Con in Austria to a growing roster of shows that already includes the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, New York Comic Con, Emerald City Comicon, PAX, OZ Comic Con, Shanghai Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration and Comic Con Paris. It’s scheduled for Nov. 21-22 at Messe Wien in Vienna. ”We aim to make Vienna Comic Con the leading pop culture event in Central Europe,” Barbara Leithner of Reed Exhibitions said in a statement. “Fans at Vienna Comic Con will experience unique programs and events, and meet pop culture creatives from all over the world.” [press release]
With less than a month to go until the second annual Special Edition: NYC comic book festival, producer ReedPOP has provided ROBOT 6 with a first look at the event’s badges, created by some of the industry’s top artists.
Above and below you’ll see the VIP badge by Aaron McConnell, Weekend by Karl Kesel, and Artist Alley by Ron Randall, all members of Portland, Oregon’s Periscope Studio. According to ReedPOP, the illustrated badges help to underscore the show’s primary mission, “connecting fans with artists in a more personal and unique way.”
ReedPOP, which produces such events as New York Comic Con, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and Star Wars Celebration, is expanding its global reach with Shanghai Comic Convention, to be held May 16-17 in China.
The event is only the company’s latest move on the international stage, following the additions of Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, India Comic Con, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia, Star Wars Celebration Europe and, as announced last fall, Paris Comic Con.
Conventions | ReedPOP Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman talks about how New York Comic Con reached 151,000 attendees this year, what went well, what could have gone better, and what he learned for next time. The new badges and check in/check out system, introduced last year, let producers know exactly how long people stayed at the show, and that turned into a nice surprise for two attendees: “There was a couple [last year] who literally spent every minute that was possible at New York Comic Con for three and a half days. We reached out to them and did something special for them—gave them a bunch of free stuff and free tickets because they were at the show longer than anyone who wasn’t paid to be at the show.” [ICv2]
Political cartoons | Egyptian cartoonists Mohamed Anwar and Andeel discuss the difficulty of critiquing Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who doesn’t tolerate dissent; Anwar is a cartoonist for a mainstream newspaper and pulls some punches as the tradeoff for reaching a wide audience, while Andeel has moved over to the alternative press, where he can speak more freely. [The Guardian]
New York Comic Con is now the largest pop-culture convention in North America, with producer ReedPOP reporting it sold tickets for this weekend’s event to 151,000 unique individuals.
Comic-Con International has been forced to cap attendance at about 130,000 due to the capacity San Diego Convention Center, leading organizers to turn to nearby hotels and Petco Park for additional space. New York Comic Con last year strained the limits of the Javitz Center with 133,000 attendees. However, ReedPOP Global Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman told ICv2.com that by expanding Thursday to a full day this year, organizers were able to sell another day’s worth of tickets.
This year’s figure doesn’t include the inaugural New York Super Week, the weeklong series of 110 events held at 25 venues across New York City, Fensterman said.
New York Comic Con producer ReedPOP, which just last month expanded to India, is now setting its sights on France.
The division of Reed Exhibitions kicked off its New York show today with the announcement of Paris Comic Con, set for Oct. 23-25, 2015, at the Grande Halle de la Villette. A partnership with Reed France and Japan Expo organizer JTS Group, it marks ReedPOP’s first European event.
ReedPOP, whose stable of events includes Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, PAX and Star Wars Celebration, has been expanding its international presence with the addition of the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia and Star Wars Celebration Europe.
Graphic novels | Although BookScan’s September list of the bestselling graphic novels in bookstores is populated largely by old stalwarts — The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan, Saga, Watchmen — Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1, the only Marvel title on the chart, clung to the Top 20 in its second month of release (although it slipped from No. 4. to No. 20). Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds, meanwhile, climbed in its third month to No. 6. One new manga debuted at No. 12: Noragami, about a homeless god who does odd jobs as he tries to build up his reputation; the anime is already out, which probably gave it a boost. [ICv2]
Publishing | A television reporter pays a visit to the Last Gasp offices to talk about the Kickstarter recently launched by the longtime publisher of underground comics (and other quirky books). It’s worth a look just to see the owner’s amazing collection of oddities. [NBC Bay Area]
Legal | Hirofumi Watanabe has withdrawn the appeal of his conviction last month on charges of sending more than 400 threatening letters to venues in Japana connected with the manga Kuroko’s Basketball. The 37-year-old former temporary worker admitted to all charges during his first day in court, but mpoved to have his conviction overturned after he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Watanabe, who said he doesn’t feel guilty for what he did and won’t apologize, acknowledged that he sent the letters out of jealousy of the success of Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. [Anime News Network]
Manga | The most promising new market for manga right now? India, where the comics market in general is exploding. Kevin Hamric of Viz Media says manga is already well known there and fans can’t get enough, while Lance Fensterman of ReedPOP, the company behind New York Comic Con, talks about the planned collaboration with Comic Con India. The one obstacle: the same one that afflicted the American manga market, Japanese publishers’ reluctance to license their properties. [The Japan Times]
A division of Reed Exhibitions, ReedPOP produces pop-culture events ranging from Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and New York Comic Con to Singapore Toy, Gaming & Comics Convention and Star Wars Celebration. India Comic Con stages shows in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, with an edition debuting next month in Hyderabad.
“Working closely with leading publishers, we have put comics, especially Indian comics, back on the map and opened up the pop culture space even further in India,” Comic Con India founder Jatin Varma said in a statement. “Our partnership with ReedPOP will help us scale further and create world class events that will deliver the best experiences to audiences here in India. With this JV [joint venture], I hope to have our events counted among the top events in the world, within this sphere, in the coming years.”
New York Comic Con hopefuls who missed out on passes when they went on sale June 27 will get another chance beginning Thursday — as long as they live near one of the convention’s official retailers.
Organizer ReePop is rolling out a limited number of tickets for the sold-out event, starting Thursday at Midtown Comics’ Downtown location in New York City. After that, they’ll also be available while supplies last at select retailers in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts. The full list of comic stores can be found here.
Some of those stores will also have cards for the Oct. 3-12 New York Super Week, a “week-long immersive and inclusive experience,” featuring concerts, live radio shows and podcasts, game shows and more, all leading up to New York Comic Con. Among those activities, ReedPop has announced, is a special edition of NPR’s Ask Me Another, featuring Neil Gaiman as the VIP (Very Important Puzzler).
Benefits of the New York Super Week Card include priority seating at events, drink specials and merchandise discounts. New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 9-12 at the Javits Center in New York City.
Manga | Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has knocked longtime bestseller One Piece from the top of Japan’s manga charts. Market research firm Oricon reports that Attack on Titan, which has 13 volumes in print, sold 8,342,268 copies in the first half of the year, making it the bestselling series in Japan. One Piece, which has long held that title, sold 4,936,855 copies of 73 volumes, but it did top the charts for single-volume sales, with 2,825,339 copies sold of the latest volume. The numbers cover the period from mid-November to mid-May. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee talks about his history with Batman in advance of DC’s 75th-anniversary celebration for the character. [Asbury Park Press]
Conventions | Vulture examines efforts by ReedPOP, producer of New York Comic Con and C2E2, to take a comic con-style approach to Book Expo America with BookCon, billed as “the event where storytelling and pop culture collide.” On Saturday, the final day of the country’s largest publishing trade show, the public is invited (for a $30 admission fee) to interact with authors and publishers, get autographs, attend film panels and even catch a sneak peek at an upcoming release. “You can see the Comic Con logic: Draw in rabid fans across genres and media any way you can,” Vulture’s Boris Kachka writes. “What publishers would like to know is whether they will come for the books — and eventually buy them.” [Vulture]
Conventions | Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP’s global senior vice president, talks about his company’s strategy of focusing on a few big shows, rather than a lot of smaller ones, and gives the numbers for last month’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo: Attendance was about 62,900, up 18 percent from last year, and the show floor grew by 15,000 square feet. Attendees are mostly in the 18-to-35 age group, and the majority are male, although the proportion of women at C2E2 has increased by 6 percent since 2011. Male or female, many of the folks on the floor seem to be “casual consumers” rather than “hardcore fans”: About 50 percent of attendees at New York Comic Con were there for the first time. “Depending on which exhibiting company you’re talking to, they either love it or they’re not sure what to do with it,” Fensterman said. “You’re delivering new readers and new potential consumers. We think it’s cool that you’re getting that fresh perspective, not quite so jaded (been there, done that).” [ICv2]
The first wave of guests includes Rafael Albuquerque, Frank Cho, Joe Eisma, Jenny Frison, Alex Maleev, Dustin Nguyen, Mike Norton, Greg Pak, Tim Seeley, Charles Soule and Brian Wood.
ReedPOP, producers of New York Comic Con and the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, anticipate 10,000 to 15,000 attendees for each of the two days of Special Edition: NYC, which they bill as a “pure comic-focused show.”
“It’s really about creators, artists, dealers and some publishers,” Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP’s global vice president, told Comic Book Resources last week. “We’re trying to keep it really pure to comics, [with] a little bit of kind of an indie bent to it. Just something for that pure comic fan, and something for the creator community.”
Like New York Comic Con, which last year attracted a reported 130,000 people over four days, Special Edition: NYC will be held at the Jacob Javits Center. NYCC 2014 is scheduled for Oct. 9-12.