Journalista for April 8, 2010: They have foolishly chosen us

Posted by on April 8th, 2010 at 8:22 AM

 

 

“Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, periodically test out new slang to see if it should be added to the accepted compendium of the English language. As of today, they are floating, amongst others, the term ‘webcomic.’ Exciting enough, but to illustrate everything a webcomic can be, they have foolishly chosen us.”

 

Contact me: dirk@tcj.com
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©2010 Amanda Vahamaki.

 

Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Blaise Larmee interviews Finnish cartoonist Amanda Vahamaki.
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  • Kristy Valenti presents audio from Jason Thompson’s history of manga translation, presented at last weekend’s Sakura Con in Seattle (35.3MB downloadable WAV audiofile).
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  • Rob Clough reviews the 40-page Rob Jackson-edited anthology Gin Palace #1.
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  • Rich Kreiner reviews the first issue of the Alan Moore-edited zine Dodgem Logic.
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  • Kent Worcester looks ahead to this weekend’s MoCCA Art Festival in New York City.
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  • R.C. Harvey continues puzzling over Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos’ Baldo.
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  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Richard Cook asks, “Can comics be scary?”

And in the news…

 

Above the Fold

 

Life in interesting times

  • Book sales fell 1.8% in 2009 to $23.9 billion, according to estimates released [yesterday] morning by the Association of American Publishers.”
  •  

  • Anime News Network is reporting the death of Amy Forsyth on Monday, at the age of 33. Forsyth translated manga for ADV, Tokyopop and Yen Press.
  •  

  • Jamie Paulin-Ramirez has pled not guilty to charges of conspiring to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks over a Muhammed cartoon.
  •  

  • This morning sees the auction of Diamond owner Steve Geppi’s Maryland mansion.

    (Link via Jay Hancock, who speculates about what this may mean for the health of the comics industry.)

 

Format WarsTM monomaniacal focus… stop!

  • In a move that re-ignites an argument about service providers’ ability to affect digital distribution, a federal appeals court has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the Congressional authority needed to enforce “Net neutrality” regulations.
  •  

  • Jim Milliot reports that the International Digital Publishing Forum “has begun a 14-day comment period to begin a process to revise the ePub standard for e-books.”
  •  

  • Today’s entrant in the tablet-computing gold rush: Nokia.
  •  

     

  • And with that, it’s time for another Apple iPad news round-up. Well, I say “news” — Actually, the only real news involves reports that the device is demonstrating issues with WiFi reception:

    Some speculated that the problem might be related to the position of the wi-fi antenna on the device, while others said it could be a software bug.

    Let’s dig into commentary, shall we? Les Jones presents a roundtable discussion on potential security issues raised by the iPad; Alan Gardner reviews the device; Ker Than and Robert Roy Britt list what they call “thirteen glaring shortcomings”; and Tim Wu explains how the iPad is the ultimate victory of Steve Jobs over fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

    Moving to comics-related items: Comixology CEO David Steinberger speaks with Vaneta Rogers, referring to the company’s free Marvel app as a “bestselling app” and dancing carefully around the possibility that digital comics might adversely affect comics-shop sales — although, with Marvel’s seemingly random selection of available titles, he may well be telling the truth. Further comics/iPad commentary can be found from Borys Kit, Noah Nelson, Mike Rhode and Rebekah Denn.

    Finally, Matt Maxwell bravely takes on an army of strawman arguments:

    I realize there are people who will never be convinced and will firmly state that you can only take the paper from their cold, dead fingers. Okay, you got it. Keep your paper. I still intend on keeping mine. Particularly in the age of archival reprints that we’re enjoying. But for pleasure reading, just catching up with comics? The iPad delivery system is just fine. Better than fine, really. Easy to use (though with, as mentioned above, some quirks). It could use a series of prompts for novice users, perhaps as a dismissible overlay, but that’s a tweak, not a structural flaw. Oh and for people who quip that ‘Gee, doesn’t that flicking motion get old?’ I retort ‘Golly, doesn’t turning pages get old?’ That’s called looking for something to bitch about. You can bitch about anything. Find important stuff to gripe about. Like how there aren’t any issues of AGENTS OF ATLAS available right out of the gate. Or that fifth issue of the current CRIMINAL book.

    If someone can send me a link to the person that Maxwell’s refuting here, do pass it along. I’ve been following this story from day one, and frankly, I’m stumped.

    Nobody seriously expects digital comics to fail because they “aren’t paper.” The vast majority of complaints about the iPad have been specific concerns over the device, not a general assumption that tablet computers cannot succeed. As I noted in my initial take on the subject (back before even the name had been revealed), the stumbling block toward mass adoption of the iPad was always likely to be the high price and lack of a killer-app reason to pay it. Without a large pool of users, digital comics aren’t going to reach the percentage of potential readers needed to make the device useful to publishers as a competitive marketplace. This is almost certainly a large part of the reason why IDW Publishing has had more success selling comics on the Sony PSP than they have on the iPhone: The audience they’re trying to reach is likelier to own the former than the latter. Competition will soon produce tablet computers that will attract potential consumers in large numbers, but unless Steve Jobs figures out how to square the circle — and he’s given no indication that he’s particularly interested in trying — they won’t be buying iPads. Smart publishers should begin getting their Android apps ready now.

 

 

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Graphic NYC

 

Profiles

 

  • Roxanne Samer on Alison Bechdel

    A lengthy interview with the Fun Home author.

 

  • M.K. Reed on Hope Larson and Raina Telgemeier

    “This weekend before MoCCA will be the second Drink & Draw Like a Lady, hosted by Hope Larson & Raina Telgemeier. Both ladies also have new YA graphic novels out this spring, creating a synergy that demanded an interview this week!”

 

Also

 

Reviews

 

  • Katherine Dacey on Ode to Kirihito


    ©2006 Tezuka Productions, English translation ©2006 Camellia Nieh and Vertical, Inc.

     

    “At a deeper level, Ode to Kirihito is an extended meditation on what distinguishes man from the rest of the animal kingdom.”

 

  • Brian Heater on Whirlwind Wonderland

    “Over the course of the collection, we gather more pieces about the author — all the while, she seems more and more willing to present a more and more honest and open picture of her life.”

 

Also

 

Commentary

 

  • James Sturm: Life without the Web


    Illustration ©2010 James Sturm.

     

    “About a month ago, I started seriously thinking about going offline for an extended period of time. I weighed the pros and cons, and the pros came out on top. Yes, I want to be more present when I am around my kids and not be constantly jonesing to check my e-mail. But I also need to carve out some space for myself to make new work.”

 

  • Jacques Nodell: The look of love

    “Greetings! As promised last week, I present to you The Look of Love — The Romantic Era of DC’s Lois Lane, Supergirl and Wonder Woman, by yours truly! […] This booklet was prepared in conjunction with a presentation I gave at the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association Annual Meeting held last week in St. Louis, MO.”

 

Also

 

Comics and Art

 

  • Jaime Hernandez: “Las Primas Controla”


    Sequence from the comic, ©2010 Jaime Hernandez.

     

    New comics, plus a brief interview.

 

  • Atomic Surgery: The utterly fake True Story of Batman


    From Real Fact Comics #5, ©1947 Satan in Hell.

     

    Ignore those ghost creators behind the curtain!

 

Also

 

Multimedia

 

  • Vimeo: Gilbert Hernandez

     

    The Love and Rockets co-creator is interviewed in his home studio.

    (Link via Mike Baehr.)

 

Events Calendar

 

Today:

 

  • April 8 (New York City, NY): Hope Larson, Abby Denson, Paige Pumphrey, Monica Gallagher, Katie Skelly, Colleen Frakes, Lucy Kinsley and Rachel Freire will be at Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, beginning at 6PM. Details here.
  • April 8 (New York City, NY): Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler will read their new all-ages book Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway, from 3:30-4:30PM. Details here.
  • April 8 (New York City, NY): James Sturm will be signing books and meeting readers at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway, from 7-8PM. Details here.

 

This Week:

 

  • April 9-11 (Torino, Italy): The Torino Comics Festival blah blah blah I don’t read Italian so you’d be a fool to take my word for anything, save perhaps that Scott McCloud will be there. Details here, if you read italian.
  • April 9 (New York City, NY): Northern European cartoonists Lars Fiske, Espen Holtestaul, Ib Kjeldsmark, Johan F. Krarup and Sofia Falkenham will make appearances at Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, from 3-5PM. Details here.
  • April 9 (New York City, NY): Jaime Hernandez and The Art of Jaime Hernandez author Todd Hignite will be signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe on 33rd Street, beginning at 6PM. Details here.
  • April 10-11 (New York City, NY): The MoCCA Art Festival takes place at the 68th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. Details here.
  • April 10 (Chapel Hill, NC): Writer Christos Gage will be signing books and meeting readers at Ultimate Comics on Fordham Boulevard, from noon-2PM. Details here.
  • April 10 (Los Angeles, CA): Join John Pham for an opening reception celebrating his new exhibit at Giant Robot on Sawtelle Boulevard, from 6:30-10PM. Details here.

 

Want to see your comics-related event listed here? Email a link to dirk@tcj.com 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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