Digital comics | ICv2 has a fascinating interview with Gagan Singh, Viz Media’s chief technology officer, in which he discusses not only the nuts and bolts of the publisher’s digital manga program — it now encompasses a number of e-reader platforms as well as a dedicated app — but also the larger questions of piracy, trends and, most importantly, growing the manga audience: “My favorite example is when you’re in the digital domain, your biggest competition is not the next manga or the next book, your biggest competition is Angry Birds because it’s only one click away. When you get into debate over mind share, I’m not just trying to get them to read the next book, I’m trying to get them to not listen to that song or play that video game. That is a bigger challenge where marketing and mind share is concerned.” [ICv2]
Comics | A CGC-certified 9.6 copy of 1963′s The X-Men #1, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, fetched a private-sale record of $250,000 in a deal brokered by Pedigree Comics. That same comic, said to be one of just two certified near-mint copies in existence, went for a then-record $200,000 in March 2011; a 9.8 copy sold at auction in July 2012 for $492,938. The all-time record remains the $2.6 million paid in a 2011 auction for a near-mint copy of Action Comics #1. [CGC Comics]
Comics | Joe McCulloch puts together a nice guide to the self-published comics of Steve Ditko. [Comics Alliance]
Comics | If you want to read Franco-Belgian comics but don’t know where to start, Jared Gardner has you covered, with a brief introduction and some recommended works that have been translated into English. [Public Books]
If you haven’t heard of Sam Alden yet, it’s because he’s still working on his first graphic novel, as detailed in this interview on a local-news site in Sitka, Alaska, where he’s doing a summer fellowship.
This is the sort of article you glance at and think “Huh, this guy will be interesting in a couple of years.” Then I took a look at his art blog, Gingerland, and realized this guy’s got it going on now. Check it out for some gorgeous black-and-white and watercolor drawings. And then you can read the first few chapters of his work-in-progress, Eighth Grade, as well as some of his other comics. And then, about a year from now, you can say “Oh, yeah, I was reading his stuff ages ago …”