Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics and other stuff we’ve been enjoying lately. Our special guests this week are Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Serenity Rose, Fables) and Drew Rausch (Sullengrey, The Dark Goodbye, Cthulhu Tales), the creative team behind the horror/comedy comic Eldritch!
To see what Aaron, Drew and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below …
One of the standout offerings from Free Comic Book Day was undoubtedly the debut issue of The Sixth Gun, a new supernatural Western from Oni Press that reteams The Damned collaborators Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt.
Set in the American West in the aftermath of the Civil War, The Sixth Gun centers on the pursuit of a pistol that possesses a dark and otherworldly power. The first issue will be re-released on July 14, the same day that Issue 2 arrives in stores.
In anticipation of that second issue, Robot 6 is featuring a series of posts dedicated to the new monthly series (we like to call them “Robot Sixth Gun”). You’ve likely already devoured the first issue, and gotten a glimpse of what the book’s creators are reading.
Today we talk to writer Cullen Bunn about the importance of setting the story in the Old West, the role of the supernatural, what we can expect from the second arc, and more.
The final page of STRANGEWAYS: THE THIRSTY here at Robot 6. Debriefing to follow.
Yeah, wrap-up will be coming later. Thanks for reading along, folks.
Still gonna be at Wonder-Con. Still gonna be in the small press area. And I’ll bet you a dollar that nobody will ask for a five minute story, even though I don’t usually charge for them. Betcha.
And as a reminder, I’ll be at this weekend’s Wonder-Con in San Francisco, over in the small press area. Probably going to be at the thing at the Isotope on Saturday. And eating at Henry’s Hunan sometime. Mmmm…Hunan ham…
Looking at getting an extra page up tomorrow to make up for the missing page from last week.
If all goes well, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Back next week.
Less grumpy, but still, don’t poke me.
Back next week.
Retailing | Ada Price surveys six retailers from across the United States about weathering the tough economy, what’s selling (and what’s not), and the effects of price increases and “event fatigue.” “Event titles brought people in last year, both long-time fans and new readers, but [this year] people are suffering from event fatigue,” said Eric Thornton of Chicago Comics. “The last year and a half [crossover] events didn’t bring people in, and catered to people who are [already] fans.” [PW Comics Week]
Publishing | Manga sales in Japan fell 6.6 percent to $4.63 billion in 2009, the largest annual decline in market history. The Tokyo-based Research Institute for Publications points to fans reading in manga cafes instead of buying in bookstores because of the recession, and the release of fewer hit titles. [Anime News Network]
Long trip back from Seattle plus time change plus bad news = grouchy author. Do not poke grouchy author. Just read pages instead.
Back Wednesday. Hopefully less grouchy, but wouldn’t bet on it.
On the heels of this morning’s interview and preview, Stephen King’s official website has debuted a 40-second trailer, complete with an Omen-style musical score, for American Vampire, the author’s comic book-writing debut. The Vertigo series, by King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, premieres this week.
At The Daily Beast, Shannon Donnelly speaks with Stephen King about American Vampire, his collaboration with Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque that debuts this week from Vertigo, and offers a three-page preview of the first issue.
In the interview, King admits to the challenges of his comics-writing debut, and confesses his disappointment after learning that thought balloons have fallen out of vogue: “I got this kind of embarrassed call from the editors saying, ‘Ah, Steve, we don’t do that anymore.’ ‘You don’t do that anymore?’ I said. ‘No, when the characters speak, they speak. If they’re thinking, you try to put that across in the narration, in the little narration boxes.’ … I think it’s a shame to lose that arrow out of your quiver. One of the nice things about the written word as opposed to the spoken word in a movie is that you can go into a character’s thoughts. You do it in books all the time, right?”
Publishing | The penultimate issue of DC Comics’ Blackest Night miniseries led a weak February in the direct market, which saw comic-book sales slip 3 percent from the same month a year ago. Sales of graphic novels, on the other hand, actually rose 1 percent — the category’s first increase since March 2009 — which the retail news and analysis website ICv2.com notes is “somewhat remarkable given that over 12,000 copies of Watchmen were sold in February 2009, over 10 times the number sold in February of 2010.”
Blackest Night #7 sold more than 130,000 copies, followed at No. 2 by Marvel’s Siege #2, with about 108,400. They were the only titles to break 100,000 in February. ICv2 notes that sales of Blackest Night increased some 30 percent from the previous issue’s first month while those of Siege were virtually unchanged. That seems like an impressive performance for both titles.
Silent panel. Does it work? Does it not? Still feelin’ that out.
And again, as a reminder, I’ll be up at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend (first big show of the year for me!). I’m in the C’s of Artist’s Alley, so come on by and say hello and remind me that real people do indeed read this strip on a weekly basis, or I’m gonna end up thinking that all my commentors are just figments of my imagination.
As usual, Five Minute Stories will be available for those who ask nicely, provide three words and something to write upon. If you don’t provide those, how can I be expected to provide a story in return? Plenty of show-priced collections of MURDER MOON, as well as the ashcan version of the first chapter of THE THIRSTY. And you can even hit me up for a sketch, but it’ll probably end up coming from my extensive swipe file.
See you back here next week.