Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Publishing | DC’s 52-variant-cover gimmick with Justice League of America #1 seems to have paid off, as ICv2 estimates Diamond Comic Distributors sold more than 300,000 copies to comics shops last month. That adds up to more than $1 million in retail sales, a rare height last passed by in January by The Amazing Spider-Man #700. ICv2 also posts the Top 300 comics and graphic novels for February. [ICv2]
Kickstarter | Gary Tyrrell talks to Holly Rowland, who with husband Jeffrey has launched a business called Make That Thing to help comics creators fulfill their Kickstarter pledges. The Rowlands are also the team behind the webcomics merchandise retailer TopatoCo. [Fleen]
If you need a Kate Beaton sketchbook to go with that copy of Hark! A Vagrant and are one of the first 500 people to act, TopatoCo (an online distributor for merchandise by indie cartoonists) has you covered. There’s also a supply at Desert Island Comics in Brooklyn, which I guess means that less than 500 are available for online orders. The book was put together from scans of Beaton’s actual sketchbook. “Some are doodles, some are research,” TopatoCo writes. “You know how it goes with sketchbooks. We’re keeping the run small to make this a special thing, for fans who want something a little different and personal.”
Retailing | Retailers are “cautiously ecstatic,” ICv2 reports, ecstatic because comics sales have increased in the direct market every month for the past 12 months, and cautious because this “return to floppies” comes after years of a seesawing market and they know things can change at any time. The article contains links to the news and analysis site’s lists of the top graphic novel properties in a number of categories, including superheroes, manga, and kids’ comics. [ICv2]
Creators | The Sri Lankan political cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda has been missing for 1,000 days as of Tuesdayy, and his wife is convinced the government has something to do with that. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Creators | This article about T. Casey Brennan, who wrote for Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, takes a number of weird turns, not least when Brennan claims to have shot JFK — and when he shows up in the comments section to dispute everything in the article. Brennan’s life seems to have taken a turn after he was injured in an automobile accident, and he now is homeless and but apparently happy. [The Washtenaw Voice]
It’s damn hard to make me laugh, but I did laugh last month when I looked at Robot 6’s exclusive preview of David Malki !’s (yep there’s an exclamation point in his name) Wondermark Volume 3: Dapper Caps & Pedal-Copters. It happened most when I got to the ambitious talking baby in a stroller in the In Which It’s What Month Already? strip, where the baby lamented: “Still poopin’ where I freakin’ sleep!” In fact I still laugh when I look at that panel, no matter how many times. I had to get a perspective on Malki !’s creative mentality, so fortunately he agreed to an email interview. Here’s part of Dark Horse’s official summary of the project: “It’s Wondermark time again! Come along for the ride as Dark Horse returns to David Malki’s silly, bizarre, and hilarious world that’s not quite present day, not quite the Victorian era, and not like anything else you’ve seen before. (Unless you’ve read the previous Wondermark books, of course!) This newest volume of the Eisner-nominated series contains over one hundred comic strips originally published in The Onion and on wondermark.com, plus many pages of additional material by creator David Malki. More than just webcomic collections, the Wondermark books have been praised for their magnificent design and loads of extra content for casual readers and superfans alike.” My thanks to Malki ! for his time and for Dark Horse’s Jim Gibbons for facilitating the interview.
Tim O’Shea: Okay, before getting into Wondermark, what led you to pursuits such as being a volunteer search & rescue pilot, or a freelance firearm specialist for film and television?
David Malki !: As a licensed pilot, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol for a while, which is a volunteer organization whose main mission is to conduct aerial searches for downed planes after a crash is reported. A lot of times, when a small plane crashes in a remote area, there’s no way to know exactly where it went down (all we have is a radio signal), and if the pilot or passengers are injured, it’s important to find them right away. CAP pilots fly search missions in the area where the plane was last reported, and try to locate the site of the crash as quickly as possible.