Why The Russos Are The Best Thing to Happen to the MCU Since Joss Whedon
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]
Conventions | Attendance at the second annual Salt Lake Comic Con was estimated at between 120,000 and 130,000, putting it on a par with the big shows like Comic-Con International in San Diego and New York Comic Con. Even better, Stan Lee proclaimed it “the greatest comic con in the world” (but he probably says that to all the shows). [The Salt Lake Tribune]
Conventions | The scale of the first Las Cruces [New Mexico] Comic Con was considerably smaller, with expected attendance of 3,000 to 5,000, but organizers were pleased with the event, which featured a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament, a Comic Strip Burlesque show, and appearances by Jim Steranko, Power Rangers stuntman Jason Ybarra, and the 1966 Batmobile. [Las Cruces Sun-News]
Crime | The comics community of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, just north of Edinburgh, has rallied around a local comics shop after thieves broke in two weeks ago and stole cash, a computer, a two-and-a-half-foot-tall Darth Vader figure and a copy of New Mutants #98 (the first appearance of Deadpool), with a total value of more than £500 (about $835 U.S.). It could have been worse: The thieves left some comics boxed up, ready to go, but apparently they were interrupted. But you won’t believe what happened next: Kingdom Comics owner Andrew Magee says customers donated their own comics and DVDs to help rebuild his stock, and a number of local artists have donated art to be auctioned off to help the store. [The Courier]
Creators | Bryan Lee O’Malley discusses his new graphic novel Seconds, and how it reflects where he is in his life. [BoingBoing]
Publishing | Seconds, by Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, had an impressive debut, landing at No. 2 and No. 5 on the BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in the book channel in July. The book had a standard edition and a Barnes & Nobles exclusive. ICv2 reckons if there had been a single edition, Seconds would have topped the list; instead, the No. 1 spot went to the latest volume of Naruto. It was also a good month for DC Comics, which charted seven titles, six of which involve Batman.[ICv2]
Publishing | In an overview of the comics and graphic novel market, ICv2 reports direct market retailers are optimistic despite flat sales in the first half of the year. [ICv2]
Editorial cartoons | The public-relations consultant hired by the city of Murrieta, California, after residents protested the arrival of refugee children to be processed there, told cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz that referring to Murietta as “Hate City USA” was “actionable.” “There IS a fine line between your constitutional right to draw cartoons and expressed (sic) your opinions,” Hermosillo wrote in a comment on Alcaraz’s Facebook page, “and falsely, deliberately, and maliciously labeling and attacking an entire community as racist or as ‘Hate City.’ You are working overtime to damage Murrieta and such a false premise is actionable. There’s a fine line between humor and stupidity. You may have crossed that line at your own peril.” Murrieta spokesperson Kim Davidson walked that back, however, saying the city has no plans to sue Alcaraz. [The Press Enterprise]
Publishing | John Jackson Miller mines the circulation statements provided once a year to put together a 54-year sales history of Archie Comics’ flagship title Archie (the publisher is one of the few that still prints annual statements of ownership, allowing the numbers to be traced back, unbroken, to 1960). As he points out, Archie was a big newsstand title, selling almost 600,000 copies in the late 1960s, but it didn’t fare well when comics moved to the direct market — although Archie Comics has done well nonetheless with its digests, which far outsell its single-issue comics. [Comichron]
Publishing | Annie Koyama of Koyama Press talks with Dan Berry about how comics publishing works, and how she got into the field. [Make It Then Tell Everybody]
Death, taxes and new comics. Those are just a few things we can expect in the New Year (not YOUR death necessarily, just death in general). Anyway, lots of comics will be published this year. Here are six I’m really looking forward to and that I think you should be excited about as well. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.
1. Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Random House). A bit of an obvious choice perhaps. Still, whether you loved Scott Pilgrim or hated it to tiny, tiny pieces, there’s little doubt that O’Malley’s big follow-up to his uber-successful and much ballyhooed series is going to draw a lot of attention from all corners of comics fandom. There’s a lot of people curious about this book, about which little is known other than it takes place in a restaurant. Count me among them.
2. Arsene Schrauwen by Olivier Schrauwen (Fantagraphics). Is Olivier Schrauwen one of the most amazing, inventive and original cartoonists to come along in decades? Well, duh. If you’ve read The Man Who Grew His Beard, My Boy or perhaps the initial chapter of this (I’m assuming) invented tale of the author’s grandfather, you know how creative and fearless he can be. This might well be the book I’m most looking forward to this year.
Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s much-anticipated follow-up to Scott Pilgrim, will be released July 15 by Random House after being delayed when the cartoonist suffered a shoulder injury. But while there’s still seven months until the book’s debut, io9.com has the most substantial preview yet of Seconds, including the cover (we’d previously been treated to a limited-edition print, and glimpses on O’Malley’s blog).
Although O’Malley has avoided giving too many details about the graphic novel, he revealed last year that, “Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.”
The protagonist Katie, described by the cartoonist as “a loveable spaz,” can be seen on the cover and in some of the preview art.
The 328-page hardcover is written and drawn by O’Malley, with ink assists by Jason Fischer, colors by Nathan Fairbairn and lettering by Dustin Harbin. Check out part of the preview below, and the remainder at io9.com.
The release of Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, has been delayed until next year because of a shoulder injury the cartoonist suffered over the summer.
“I was about halfway through writing/penciling the book when I had to stop, and it was really daunting to get back to work on it,” he explained on his blog. “That’s why I’ve been doing side projects recently like the Young Avengers cover and Battle Royaleposter … it’s been helpful to work on smaller projects as I warm up from my time off. […] I had to take a frustratingly long break in order to repair my body, and during that time off I’ve been working hard on fitness and stuff so this doesn’t happen again. When I found out the book would have to be delayed into 2014 it was maybe the saddest day of my life.”
Bryan Lee O’Malley has largely maintained a veil of secrecy around Seconds, his follow-up to the bestselling Scott Pilgrim series, teasing fans with panel excerpts and the above limited-edition print while waving off questions about the graphic novel. “I don’t want to tell anyone just yet,” he writes in his Tumblr FAQ. “Please enjoy the mystery for now.” But in a new interview on the Random House of Canada website, the cartoonist offers what may be the first significant details about the highly anticipated book.
“I came up with the general idea for Seconds right after completing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim,” O’Malley says. “I worked in a restaurant in Toronto for a little while to pay the bills while writing the second volume and planning the rest of the series, and I had a few ideas for this other story, a story about a restaurant. So, Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.”
Bryan Lee O’Malley fans will have plenty to do next week at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In addition to tracking down a copy of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life Evil Edition or Collector’s Edition at the Oni Press booth, they’ll also want to head to the Random House booth on Friday or Saturday morning to get a ticket that’s good for a print featuring the cast of O’Malley’s next project, Seconds. Random House will only have 200 copies of the print, which O’Malley will sign at their booth both afternoons. You can find more details on O’Malley’s tumblr.
Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley has been answering all sorts of questions from his fans over on his Tumblr blog this week about Scott Pilgrim, his upcoming book Seconds and several questions on his process, among other topics. For instance, here’s where he came up with the idea for Seconds:
Q. When you finished Scott Pilgrim did you have a concrete idea of how Seconds would play out? Or do you have a vague idea of a concept then make it concrete along the way? I guess I’m really asking: what is your thought process when coming up with a new story?
A. To be honest, I came up with the basic idea of Seconds in 2004, a few months after finishing the first scott pilgrim book. There were moments during the series when I wished I could quit scott pilgrim and go off and do Seconds, this other unrelated book, but I was good & patient & I waited until I was finished.
Anyway, over those years (like 6-7 years thinking about it before I started really writing it), the idea grew and evolved along with me. I don’t think I could have done it properly at any time before now, but it’s still the same basic idea from 2004.
My actual process is to have 1 idea, write it down somewhere, then have idea 2, 3, 4, etc (all stemming from the first idea?) and write them all down, and then go back over everything i’ve written and try to figure out what i was trying to say. What is the point? What’s the core of the idea, what are all these little ideas orbiting around? Once you figure that out, that’s kind of the first real step.
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s hotly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Scott Pilgrim series will be published in 2013 by Random House’s Villard imprint, Publishers Weekly reports.
Virtually nothing is known about the graphic novel beyond its title, Seconds, which O’Malley revealed in a tweet early last month. Random House’s Ryan Doherty will edit the book.
Published by Oni Press, all six volumes of the Scott Pilgrim series appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, thanks in part to director Edgar Wright’s 2010 adaptation. Although the film failed to ignite the box office, the books continue to sell well: The second volume, originally released in 2005, landed in BookScan’s Top 20 for graphic novels sold in bookstores in June — 10 months after the movie’s opening. The final volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, received a 100,000-copy first printing.