Publishing | Tom Spurgeon writes the definitive obituary of PictureBox, which announced Monday it will stop publishing at the end of the year. He also polls other small-press comics publishers for their reactions. [The Comics Reporter]
Digital comics | Yen Press is bringing its digital manga magazine Yen Plus to an end; the December issue will be the final one. The magazine was launched as a print anthology in August 2008 and switched to digital-only format in 2010. When it began serializing Soul Eater NOT, Yen Plus became the first magazine to publish manga chapters worldwide at the same time they came out in Japan (Shonen Jump does simultaneous release, but only to a restricted region). [Anime News Network]
Cartoonist Ruben Bolling, creator of Tom the Dancing Bug, rounded up 23 cartoonists to contribute their work to an animated ad for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors, led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that is advocating for “common-sense measures that will close deadly gaps in our gun laws.”
The Mayors Against Illegal Guns ads eschew detailed discussion of the issues in favor of a simple images of people making an emotional appeal. This particular ad follows that format with cartoon characters, some familiar (the teenagers from Zits, the Family Circus family, Jason and his dad from FoxTrot), some more generic.
Libraries | A middle school library in New Brunswick, Canada, has been asked to remove Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim’s Dungeon series for review after the mother of a 12-year-old student complained about the depictions of sex and violence in one of the volumes. The CTV News reporter goes for the easy gasp by showing the scenes in question to a variety of parents, all of whom agree they don’t think the book belongs in a school library, and in this case the mom has a good point: The book received good reviews but is definitely not for kids. [CTV News]
Publishing | John Jackson Miller has been looking at the fine print in old comics — the statement of ownership, which spells out in exact numbers just how many copies were printed, how many were sold, etc. One of the highlights is Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, which sold more than 1 million copies, making it the top seller of the 1960s. “It’s meaningful, I think, that the best-seller of the 1960s should come from Barks, whose work was originally uncredited and who was known originally to fans as ‘the Good Duck Artist,’” Miller concludes. “Fandom in the 1960s was bringing attention to a lot of people who had previously been unheralded, and Barks is a great example. He changed comics — and now comics were changing.” [The Comichron]
Does the Society pay any of its staff? Does it rent office space? Does it buy office supplies? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” please consider paying cartoonists and other creators. Cartooning is hard work, and it deserves recompense.
– Ted Rall, when the American Cancer Society asked cartoonists to create three characters for a smoking-cessation campaign, by Nov. 1, for free. Rall’s response is polite but pointed, noting that the CEO of the American Cancer Society makes $914,906 per year. and advising them that many cartoonists resent being asked to work for free, so this could backfire on them.
(via The Beat, where a fascinating discussion ensues in the comments section)
Politics | Warren Ellis joins the list of creators who want nothing to do with Heavy Ink after Travis Corcoran’s inflammatory remarks. At The Daily Cartoonist, Ted Rall pushes back on the outrage, saying, “If I only bought from companies and individuals whose political beliefs I agreed with, I wouldn’t be buying much.” [Warren Ellis, The Daily Cartoonist]
Conventions | Now there’s even more of Fan Expo Canada to love: The self-proclaimed “largest combined gaming, horror, comic, science fiction and anime event in the country” is expanding from three to four days, Aug. 25-28, 2011. [Convention Scene]
Manga | A Chinese artist named Xiao Bai is this year’s winner of the Japanese government’s International Manga Award. The prizewinning entry, Si loin et si proche (So near and so far), was published in Belgium last year. [Monsters and Critics]
The Year of Loving Dangerously
by Ted Rall & Pablo G. Callejo
For a brief time, in my supposed salad days, I had the alleged good fortune to date two different women at the same time. My friends frequently kidded me about my good luck, but the truth was I was absolutely miserable. Plagued by guilt, constantly shuttling between the two women, desperately trying to remember who was responsible for, say, the flowers left on my car, and knowing that sometime soon I was going to have to break one of their hearts, put an amount of stress on my shoulders that outweighed any supposed benefits. My behavior during that time still ranks as one of my biggest regrets.
Ted Rall doesn’t have that problem. In the 1980s he juggled, lied to and slept with numerous women, a fact he chronicles in his latest graphic novel, The Year of Loving Dangerously, without much angst on his part.
No, really. He wants to go. He’s even got a Kickstarter project up and everything:
In November 2001, The Village Voice and KFI Radio in Los Angeles sent me to Afghanistan to cover the U.S. invasion. The work I produced earned accolades from The Nation and The Washington Post, which called my work “the best journalism from Afghanistan by an American reporter.” What I saw made me one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of the Afghanistan war. While Democrats called Afghanistan “the good war,” I filed an essay from Afghanistan called “How We Lost the Afghan War.” It was printed in December 2001.
Now I’d like to go back for an update, and to fill in the gaps by visiting parts of the country where US reporters never go. I have media outlets ready to publish my stories and a publisher for a book about this trip. But magazines and newspapers can’t/won’t cover travel costs. Because it costs tens of thousands of dollars to travel to a war zone, that’s what I’m trying to raise here.
Rall is looking to raise $25,000 over the next 88 days. A $10 pledge gets you regular Internet updates from Rall while he’s overseas. $50 gets you a copy of the book, and so forth, up to $5,000 which, if you pony up, will get you dinner on the town in New York City on Rall’s dime, plus the eventual book and original art.