Conventions | Brian Howe looks at the rivalry between Comic Book City Con, which debuted two weekends ago in Greensboro, North Carolina, and NC Comicon, which returns Saturday in Durham. The latter, which is now co-owned by artist Tommy Lee Edwards, drew 4,000 attendees last year (its first at the Durham Convention Center), and this year doubled its exhibit space and ramped up its programming. The conflict, which manifested in a flier for Comic Book City Con that one party considers playful but the other calls “bullying,” seems to be rooted in the proximity of the dates and a perceived lack of communication. However, it’s not simply a rivalry between nearby conventions; it’s one between retailers: Durham’s Ultimate Comics organizes NC Comicon, while Greensboro’s Acme Comics operates Comic Book City Con. [Indy Week]
Ah, the joys of comic book sales. With everything that appears in your local store on a weekly basis, you could be forgiven for overlooking some treasures waiting for you in the back issue bins or the graphic novel back stock shelves, but when the sales come along, it can be a gift: Not only a reason to dive into the back pages of things you might’ve missed, but also a chance to get them for less money than you would’ve paid the first time around.
Comics | DC Comics’ Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Wayne and Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham discuss October sales, the date change for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and variant covers. Although the company is releasing 52 variants for Justice League of America #1, DC plans to cut back on variants in its other lines. “We’re going to pull back and drop variants from a handful of titles in the next solicitation cycle to pull back that number ourselves, where it didn’t seem the variant was making a substantial difference in the buy-in for the book or the perception of books,” Wayne said. “We’ll be looking at the remaining titles that have variants the following month.” [ICv2]
Comics | Speaking of variant covers, Tim Beyers of The Motley Fool discusses the dos and don’ts of buying variant covers as an investment. [Daily Finance]
Just like we did with Black Friday, we’ve rounded up various deals on comics and comic-related stuff that you can get on Cyber Monday. And since at least one of the deals kicks off at midnight Pacific time, I thought I’d go ahead and post the list now instead of waiting for tomorrow morning. I’ll add any additional deals I discover throughout the day.
Also, if you did check out our Black Friday list, some of these are repeats from it, as several places have deals that have been running all weekend and go through Monday. I’ve put the new stuff up top, after the deal that starts at midnight …
Dark Horse Comics has another digital deal set up for Cyber Monday: the first 500 customers through Dark Horse Digital will get a 50 percent discount. There’s a $20 minimum, and the deal runs for 24 hours beginning at midnight Pacific Time on Nov. 28; you’ll also need a coupon code: dhcyber. You can find more details here.
And if you buy $100 worth of stuff from Things from Another World on Monday, they’ll give you $10 worth of digital Dark Horse Comics.
If you’re like me, instead of heading out to the mall to face the hectic Black Friday crowds (some of whom are apparently armed with pepper spray), you’re sitting at home nursing a turkey hangover and looking for good deals on the internet. Here are a few places you may want to check out for your gift-giving or personal shopping needs, and if you’re up for adventuring outdoors, Bleeding Cool has a great roundup of shops holding sales today.
ComiXology has a bunch of digital comics for 99 cents today. DC Comics is holding a Blackest Friday sale, allowing you to buy each issue of the Blackest Night crossover for 99 cents each. Marvel has Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four issues on sale for 99 cents, while IDW has their Star Trek comics on sale.
It’s an annual tradition to look forward to: The alternative comics publisher Top Shelf has unveiled its “Massive $3 Sale,” in which they’re pricing down their catalog to near-ridiculous levels — in many cases $3, and in many more cases just one lousy American dollar. For very little money, you can rack up a big chunk of one of the best comics publishers’ best comics.
What would I get? At the $3 level, Kolbeinn Karlsson’s The Troll King — a surreal collection of intertwined short stories that for once lives up to the overused, rarely true label “fairy tales for grown-ups” — is basically a must-buy. I’d also be sure to pick up Andy Hartzell’s Fox Bunny Funny, an unpredictable and impeccably cartooned funny-animal allegory about conformity and self-discovery. Lilli Carré’s remarkably assured debut collection of satirical short stories, Tales of Woodsman Pete, is another no-brainer. If you’re interested in rounding out your Alan Moore collection with some of his more off-the-beaten-path efforts, you can get all eight issues of his underground-culture zine Dodgem Logic, his prose novel Voice of the Fire, and his poetry/photography collaboration with José Villarubia The Mirror of Love for three bucks a pop. And you can pick up all three issues of Jeffrey Brown’s one-man action anthology series Sulk — Bighead & Friends, a return to his genuinely funny superhero parody characters; Deadly Awesome, an 84-page mixed martial arts fight comic; and The Kind of Strength That Comes from Madness, a grab bag of sci-fi/fantasy/action/adventure spoofs — for a buck apiece, which is a steal.
Beyond the deepest discounts, you’ll rarely find the publisher’s heavy (literally–these books are big) hitters priced as low as they are now: Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell, Campbell’s Alec: The Year’s Have Pants omnibus, and Jeff Lemire’s complete Essex County are all $20, while Craig Thompson’s Blankets is just $22.50.
And hey, if you’re totally new to all of these books, so much the better. Maybe DC’s New 52 initiative has you in an “I’ll try anything for $3 a book” mood? If so, put a few bucks aside and get some full-fledged graphic novels for that price or lower. You’ll be glad you did.
The taxman cometh, and that, says publisher Dan Nadel, is why boutique comics publisher PictureBox Inc. is having a 30% off sale for the rest of April. In addition to acclaimed comics like Renee French’s H Day, CF’s Powr Mastrs, and Brian Chippendale’s If n’ Oof and various art prints and music projects by their affiliated cartoonists, PictureBox also offers everything their book about the album art of legendary Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin designers Hipgnosis to a vinyl statue of Beat icon Allen Ginsberg designed by Sof’Boy creator Archer Prewitt. If you can’t find something to buy, that’s on you, man.
Wanna get your hands on some pulpy, creepy, weird, funny and, at times, genuinely harrowing horror comics? Allow me to introduce you to Lane Milburn, who’s got the deal for you. Milburn, a member of the Baltimore-based Closed Caption Comics collective, is offering two of his collections, the Xeric Grant-winning Death Trap and the screen-printed “mini”comic The Mage’s Tower, now on sale for the low low price of $12 total.
The cool thing about Milburn’s comics is that you can never quite tell where they’re headed. The title story in Death Trap seems like your typical slasher/Texas Chain Saw set-up, with a quartet of drunk teens stumbling into some bad craziness in the woods one night, but the killers they encounter are far, far stranger than the ones in the midnight movies of yore. Meanwhile, the other collection’s quasi-title story “The Mage’s Tour” (tour, not tower) starts like a fantasy novel about a pair of monks sent to liberate a tower from the clutches of an evil overlord, takes a left turn into comedy when it’s revealed that said overlord has turned said tower into a modern-day tourist trap complete with middle-aged moms who can’t work a cameraphone, and then shifts yet again into a stunningly dark depiction of violence. Milburn’s muscular, crosshatched art style can have you laughing one moment, cheering through an action sequence the next moment, and leave you shaken and disturbed when all is said and done. Highly recommended.
The Late March Mayhem sale only lasts until April 1, so order now!
The great cartoonist Josh Cotter, whose book Driven by Lemons ranked sixth on CBR’s list of the Best Comics of 2009, is in a bad way. AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer reports that Cotter’s neighbor’s apartment recently caught fire, and the flames spread to the apartment Cotter shares with his girlfriend and their cats. Fortunately no one (two-legged or four-legged) was hurt, and the property damage could have been much worse. But with no renters’ insurance, and with the costs of clean-up and storage for all their stuff while they figure out their next move, Cotter is in the midst of a financial crisis.
Fortunately, there’s two ways you can help, and both involve getting truly awesome comics and art in return. First, you can buy things from Cotter’s website — not just his magnificent graphic novels Skyscrapers of the Midwest and Driven by Lemons, but limited edition minicomics, prints, original pages from his books, and much more.
Second, AdHouse is donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of any of Josh’s stuff directly to Josh for the next three weeks. If you ever wanted to check out the work of one of the best cartoonists of his generation, there’s never been a better time.
A few weeks ago, stalwart altcomix publishing houses Top Shelf and Drawn & Quarterly announced big fall sales. Now it’s Fantagraphics’ turn, and the good folks behind everything from Love and Rockets to Krazy and Ignatz to Pim and Francie to Fuzz and Pluck are calling it their “Good News/Bad News Sale.” Bad news first: Due to a warehouse move, they’re unable to ship orders from now through October 20th, and they can’t do rush shipping of anything ordered during that period once they get going again. But the good news: 20% off every single book available on the Fantagraphics website, and free shipping to boot! And given that they publish everyone from Charles Schulz to Charles Burns and Steve Ditko to Steve Weissman, that’s very good news indeed.
Amazon is currently discounting copies of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-volume Scott Pilgrim series to an absolutely absurdly low price: Vols. 1 & 5 are available for $3.99, and Vols. 2, 3, 4, and 6 are available for $4.49. This means you can buy six acclaimed graphic novels — about a thousand pages of comics — for the cost of six and a half big-name superhero comics. Just sayin’.
(Via Bryan Lee O’Malley)
Alternative comics’ Day of Deals continues: Drawn & Quarterly has launched its annual Warehouse Sale, the biggest sale of the year for the publisher. Nearly everything D&Q has in stock is available for 30-40% off the regular price: Chris Ware, Seth, Lynda Barry, Chester Brown, Kevin Huizenga, Rutu Modan, Ron Regé Jr., Gabrielle Bell, Jillian Tamaki, you name it. Between this and Top Shelf, you could basically build yourself a respectable bookshelf for practically peanuts.
Goodness gracious, look at all the terrific titles that are on sale for $3 over at Top Shelf Productions’ website. That’s some 70 in all, including books by Alan Moore, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Scott Morse, Liz Prince, and Renee French. Another 30-plus comics and graphic novels are also on sale for suitably impressive amounts — the complete Lost Girls from Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie and the complete Alec: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell may be purchased for just $25 and $20 respectively, for pete’s sake. Top Shelf’s $3 Sale lasts through Friday, September 24th, so get ‘em while the gettin’s good!
Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X for $2.99! Brubaker, Epting and Perkins’s The Death of Captain America for $2.99! Millar & Hitch’s Ultimates Vol. 1 for $1.99! And so much more, from 30 Days of Night to Megatokyo to Bacchus to The Little Man to Speed Racer for less than the cost of a $5 footlong — that’s what you can find listed among Barnes & Noble’s Bargain Graphic Novels right this very moment. Go, shop!
(Via Fred Van Lente)
A number of Fantagraphics-published cartoonists are offering some striking art for sale lately. To wit: