Journalista for April 14, 2010: Blastotron 3000

Posted by on April 14th, 2010 at 12:06 AM



“Most likely, it’s a hearty welcome to the Four-Dollar Era. But don’t get too comfortable: The Five-Dollar Era will be along before you know it.”


“MoCCA salutes Bill Ayers and his comic Blastotron 3000, drawn by Willie Horton.”


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From Young Lions, ©2010 Blaise Larmee.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Jason Leivian interviews Young Lions author Blaise Larmee.

  • R.C. Harvey reacts to Mark Fiore’s Pulitzer Prize.

  • Not comics: Kenneth Smith‘s tour through the Cave of False Consciousness continues.

  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Richard Cook contemplates fear in Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing, prompting additional commentary from Noah Berlatsky.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • The Media Participations Group, “owners of Dargaud, Dupuis and 40% of the french comic book market in total,” has reduced creators’ royalties for their digital comics from from 17.5% to 8%, and French cartoonists are pissed.

  • Jim Milliot reports that Random House has merged its Bantam Dell and Ballantine imprints into a single division. It’s unknown how (if at all) this will affect Bantam Dell subsidiary Dell Rey Manga.

  • Rich Johnston reports, “I understand that Panini has became the international representant for top Italian comics publisher Bonelli Comics. Hasn’t been announced yet, but any day now.” Read on for a bit of speculation on the Marvel connection.

  • ICv2 has released their estimates for March sales to Direct Market retailers. Quoth the sales analysis:

    Buoyed by a March that included five shipping days, shipments of periodical comics from Diamond Comic Distributors soared by a full 20%, which more than enough to overcome a 10% drop in graphic novel revenues for the month. Combined sales of comics and graphic novels were up 11% over March of 2009.

    Here are the top-300 sales charts for comics pamphlets and graphic novels.

    (Right: Cover to Blackest Night #8, the top-selling funnybook to comics shops last month.)


  • Matt Blind discusses the most important element in any bookstore: the employees.
  • A reminder: Your average fanboy is a shallow, provincial loser.


Format WarsTM magic eightball… cloudy!

  • Animate U.S.A. has signed a deal with Japanese publisher Libre to release their yaoi manga on the Amazon Kindle e-reader.

  • “You think things are bad now between Apple and Adobe? Just wait until the lawsuit.”

  • Johanna Draper Carlson asks, “How much will you pay for online comics?”


  • And now, Haibane Renmei creator Yoshitoshi ABe draws on the iPad with his finger. I have to admit, that’s pretty damned impressive.

    (Link via Dale North.)


Joe McCulloch: New this week

A look at the best-sounding books scheduled to hit the comics shops today.



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Graphic NYC




  • Scott Thill on Peter Bagge

    “Comics vet Peter Bagge takes a satirical swipe at Second Lifers and other internet geeks in his latest comic, Other Lives, previewed in these exclusive panels. But Bagge says he’s still in love with tech, from e-mail to Photoshop. And no, he doesn’t think the iPad will kill paper comics.”






  • Nina Stone on The Littlest Bitch

    “At the very least, this is a clever and entertaining book that poignantly combines the precocious know-it-all and boss-of-it-all -isms of your typical four year old with that of a ruthless, corporate something-kinda-adult, focusing on a little girl who quickly pushes all the way to the top, burning bridges everywhere she goes.”


  • Alan David Doane on Everything Dies #1

    “I don’t really know what Brown is trying to say with these comics, other than, ‘Here’s a bunch of stuff people have believed over the past few hundred thousand years.’ No one belief or religion is really singled out either for its virtues or its lunacy; everything is simply presented matter-of-fact in Brown’s appealingly open cartoon style (which is firmly in the same part of town that Seth and James Kochalka call home).”






  • Paul Gravett: New opportunities

    “Some have wondered whether the proliferation of digital comics over the last few years, on the Web and via mobile phones, iPhones and other platforms, has been a force for good or evil. I believe it has been almost entirely for the good, above all because it’s enabled creators to take control of their work and get it to their readers with the minimum of middle-men.”




Business and Craft


  • Sherm Cohen: Bill Griffith’s cartoon advice

    “Bill Griffith (of Zippy the Pinhead fame) has been successfully creating his idiosyncratic comics since the early ’70s. He’s a keen observer and a funhouse mirror when it comes to society’s foibles… and his cartooning chops are top-notch! Griffith recently posted his ‘Top 40 List on Comics and Their Creation,’ an incredible, inspiring and thought-provoking gift to the cartooning community.”


Comics and Art


  • Jaime Weinman: Li’l Abner gets married


    As Weinman notes in the accompanying commentary, “one thing you need to know to understand the story, or at least how it looked at the time, is that Capp had constantly made it look like Abner would have to get married, and then found some twist to get him out of it. That’s what comics creators do: they toy with us. By the time this story ran, no one really believed that Abner would marry. Everyone was on to Capp’s tricks. So what does he build the story around? The fact that everyone is in on his tricks.


  • Ger Apeldoorn: Classic B.C.

    ©1958 New York Herald Tribune Inc.


    A selection of Sunday strips from the feature’s heyday.






  • YouTube: Bushwick Book Club hunts the Dark Knight


    Frank Miller, Klaus Jansen and Lynn Varley’s The Dark Knight Returns, celebrated in rap.

    (Hat tip: Tucker Stone.)


Comics Culture


  • Press release: Queer Press Grant winners announced

    Congratulations to Ed Luce and Eric Orner.


  • Seth Kushner: The faces of MoCCA

    Photos from last weekend’s festival in NYC.



Events Calendar




  • April 12-14 (Manchester, England): An international academic conference on comics and graphic novels — helpfully entitiled “Comics and Graphic Novels” — takes place at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Hey, Paul Gravett will be there. Details here.
  • April 14 (New York City, NY): Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness author Reinhard Kleist will be signing books and meeting readers at Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, from 6-8PM. Details here.
  • April 14 (New York City, NY): An opening reception for an exhibit celebrating the renowned avant-garde magazine Garo happens at the Center for Book Arts on 27th Street, from 6-8PM. Details here.


This Week:


  • April 15 (New York City, NY): Tales of the Closet author Ivan Velez presents a slideshow, lecture and workshop at New York University on Kimmel Center, from 5-7PM. Details here.
  • April 15 (New York City, NY): Dash Shaw celebrates the release of his new book Bodyworld at Brooklyn’s own Desert Island on Metropolitan Avenue, from 7-9PM. Details here.
  • April 16-18 (Chicago, IL): The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo — C2E2 for short — takes place at the Lakeside Center on McCormick Place. Details here.
  • April 16-18 (Honolulu, HI): Kawaii Kon 2010 is a celebration of J-culture taking place at the Hawaii convention Center on Kalakaua Avenue. Details here.
  • April 16-18 (Denver, CO): ComicFest 2010 happens at the Denver Tech Center. Details here.
  • April 16 (Louisville, KY): The Louisville Cartoonist Society host an evening of comics and rock music at Skull Alley on Broadway, beginning at 8PM. Details here.
  • April 17 (Athens, GA): The FLUKE Mini-Comics Festival takes place at Ciné on Hancock Avenue, from 11AM-6PM. Details here.
  • April 17 (Washington DC): Jules Feiffer will lecture at the American Art Museum on G Street, beginning at 4:30PM. Details here.
  • April 17 (Seattle, WA): Peter Bagge and James Sturm, will speak and sign comics at the Fantagraphics Bookstore on Vale Street, from 6-8PM. Details here.
  • April 17 (San Francisco, CA): Join Johnny Ryan, Matt Furie and Le Merde for a reception honoring their new gallery show at Giant Robot on Shrader Street, from 6:30-10PM. Details here.


Want to see your comics-related event listed here? Email a link to and let me know. Please include an online link to which I can send people for more information. No sales-only events, please — it’s nice that you’ve marked things down at your store or website, but I won’t be listing it here.


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