"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Yahoo! Japan has excerpted the first chapter of the serialized manga adaptation of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, debuting today in the josei anthology magazine Kiss.
Based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of the late co-founder of Apple, the manga is Mari Yamazaki’s follow-up to her acclaimed historical comedy Thermae Romae, which concluded earlier this month. Publishing giant Kodansha, which owns Kiss, published Isaacson’s 2011 book in Japan.
There’s also a new nearly minute-long promo spot, featuring Yamazaki, which you can see below, along with some pages from the manga’s first chapter.
Japanese publishing giant Kodansha will debut a serialized manga adaptation of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography in the May issue of Kiss magazine, out March 25, Anime News Network reports.
The manga will be Mari Yamazaki’s follow-up to Thermae Romae, her acclaimed historical comedy that comes to an end March 12 in Monthly Comic Beam. Yen Press publishes that manga in North America. Appearing Tuesday on the talk show Hello from Studio Park, Yamazaki revealed a peek at her rendition of Jobs, and said she felt sympathy for the computer pioneer.
Released in October 2011, less than three weeks after the death of the Apple co-founder, the authorized biography by Walter Isaacson is based on more than 40 interviews conducted with Jobs as well as with family members, friends, colleagues and competitors. Kodansha published the book in Japan.
Publishing | Longtime industry hand Jason Thompson has written a thoughtful essay on why the manga industry is in trouble, going beyond the American scene to point out structural problems in the Japanese market: An aging readership, the decline of print and the reluctance of Japanese publishers to embrace digital publishing in any coherent way. “Perhaps wary of creating an iTunes-like behemoth which could drive prices down,” Thompson writes, “publishers haven’t united in any reasonable way to create a consistent digital newsstand/bookstore format for their titles.” This, of course, has just made life easier for the scanlators. He also points to a shift toward the individual creator — it’s the big publishers who are hurting, while self-published and indy manga are on the rise. All this may sound familiar to American comics fans, but Thompson’s prescriptions for the future — more gag manga, simpler art, more color, and motion comics — don’t seem like convincing ways to rescue the industry. An iTunes-like behemoth is probably the way to go. [io9]
Awards | The Horror Writers Association has released the preliminary ballot for the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards, which includes a graphic novel category. [Horror Writers Association]
Crime | About 50 protestors were arrested in Tunisia for an attempted arson attack on the offices of Nessma TV after it screened Persepolis, the animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s celebrated autobiographical graphic novel. The protesters claimed the animated movie offends Islam. All political parties in Tunisia, including the country’s main Islamic party Al-Nahada, have condemned the attack and expressed their solidarity for freedom of the press. [Variety]
Digital comics | Warren Ellis looks at the current options and sees webcomics as a broadcast, out there for free and bringing in new readers through notifications, links and solidarity, whereas digital comics services like comiXology (or even Marvel’s subscription) service are closed systems, more like a shop with comics on the shelves. That makes a difference in building an audience and also in the pacing of the comics, because webcomics can better accommodate the more decompressed storytelling that Ellis prefers. Lots of interesting nuggets among the ramblings. [Warren Ellis]
Here comes a graphic novel that sounds like a peanut butter and onion sandwich—an odd combination of elements that just might turn out OK in the end. Or not.
Forbes is planning to publish a 60-page graphic novel titled The Zen of Steve Jobs. I can’t improve on their description of the book, so here it is:
The Zen of Steve Jobs looks at Steve during the mid-1980s, when he left Apple to start NeXT. It was a rough chapter in his life. Cynical tech and business journalists began to murmur out loud if he had been a one-hit-wonder, and NeXT’s computers, though beautiful, sold in abysmal numbers.
Steve befriended Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Zen Buddhist priest who emigrated to the U.S. from Japan. Both were innovators and passionate about art and design. The story flashes back and forward in time to connect this period in Jobs’ life to key moments in Apple history.
The book is some sort of joint effort between Forbes and JESS3, which describes itself as “a creative agency that specializes in data visualization.” It’s being written by Caleb Melby, a journalism and “integrated marketing communications” student at Northwestern University. It’s very odd to see the story of a man’s spiritual quest being put together by a bunch of professional marketers, but if they’re good at what they do, maybe it will turn out all right.
(I cut the last panel from that image to eliminate the F-word, but if you click the link, you can see it in all its glory.)
One of the two private-equity firms negotiating to buy the bankrupt Borders Group reportedly hopes to save more than half of the remaining stores by taking a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook.
In a profile of rival moguls Jahm Najafi and Alec Gores, The Wall Street Journal contends a plan by the Los Angeles-based Gores Group would save about 250 of the 416 Borders outlets — most of them superstores — by transforming them into “more appealing destinations” similar to the Apple Store chain.
According to the newspaper, the 58-year-old Gores is in talks with more than a dozen companies, including Hewlett-Packard, to showcase their products in the revamped Borders stores. In exchange, Borders would offer discounts to customers downloading books from Hewlett-Packard’s e-readers in the stores. Gores, who would pay somewhere around $250 million for the bookseller’s outlets and other assets, including the website and customer list, would also “emphasize developing a more robust online business for Borders.”
Borders, the second-largest book chain in the United States, is expected to announce a bidder by July 1.
Crime | Florida authorities are trying to determine whether human remains discovered Wednesday in Pasco County are those of Stephen Perry, the 56-year-old ThunderCats writer who’s been missing for more than three weeks and presumed murdered. Zephyrhills police are still awaiting the results of DNA testing on the severed arm found in a trash bin on May 16 near Perry’s abandoned van.
Tampa Tribune reporter Howard Altman, who’s been covering the Perry case from the beginning, notes police revealed the latest discovery on the same day that Warner Bros. Animation announced it is producing a new version of ThunderCats. [The Tampa Tribune]