"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Awards | A last-minute reminder: Today is the deadline for Eisner Awards submissions. [Eisner Awards]
Creators | Grant Morrison looks back on his run on Action Comics, which ends today with the release of Issue 18, and touches upon Multiversity and his long-discussed Wonder Woman project: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be fucking serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.” [Entertainment Weekly]
In July, I wrote about Joel Meadows attempting to obtain funding for a book commemorating the 20th anniversary of his legendary fanzine Tripwire. Unfortunately, that attempt failed, possibly due to potential backers being wary of the relatively-unstoried British crowd-sourcing website Unbound. Meadows is nothing if not persistent — he’s rejigged the book’s content and layout, and relaunched as a Kickstarter campaign, now for the title’s 21st anniversary.
As I said back then, over that 21 years, Meadows established himself as one of the best comics interviewers in the business, which is probably why the list of people who’ve agreed to talk to Tripwire reads as a who’s-who of the artform’s A-list (Grant Morrison was a columnist for the magazine at one point, and Alan Moore and Mike Mignola both have long associations with the title). He’s also clearly adept at persuading the biggest and best artists in comics to contribute new work and covers for his books. Some of this can now be seen this time at a new Tumblr he’s started to show examples of what will be included in the book, alongside sample features and spreads. Perhaps moving to the more established funding platform will help Meadows finally get this book into print. And do check out the video, where Joel shows off the most impressive chops at reading from an idiot board since Brando on the set of Donner’s Superman.
As a pal tweeted just the other morning, the problem with all the great Kickstarter-type projects out there is that although they’re worthy and you wish you could contribute to all of them, eventually it starts to feel like you’re being bombarded by charity collectors in the street. Hey man, there’s a recession on, I’ve got my own kids to feed! That said, it seems to me a real shame when the great Joel Meadows is tweeting that it looks unlikely his plans for a high-end hardback edition of his Tripwire 20th anniversary book won’t reach its target for pledges (check out the massive gallery of preview images below).
Publishing | The direct market experienced another decline in March, with comics sales slipping 2.43 percent from the same month in 2010, and graphic novels plummeting 10.01 percent. For the first quarter of 2011, comics fell 8.57 percent while graphic novels dropped 7.24 percent, for a combined decline of 8.14 percent.
John Jackson Miller notes that DC Comics’ price rollback appears to be having an impact on the overall bottom line: “While unit sales for comics were up by less than 1% in March, led by FF #1, they were down 2.43% in dollar terms. The quarterly unit-to-dollar gap in periodicals was wider, with a sales loss of nearly 1% in units versus a 5% loss in dollar terms. In the past inflationary periods, we always saw the dollar category doing better than units. Now, the reverse is happening.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Following widespread criticism, The Village Voice Editor Tony Ortega acknowledges that not paying cartoonists who contributed to the paper’s Comics Issue “was not the best way to help out the cartooning industry.” So he’ll be paying the artists. [The Village Voice]