Journalista for Jan. 12, 2010: The right place at the right time

Posted by on January 12th, 2010 at 8:44 AM




“Sometimes, a publishing venture may do everything right, and still fail; that’s the tough nature of the market. Sometimes, a publishing venture may do everything wrong, and still squeak by on the strength of its material, or plain dumb luck of being at the right place at the right time.”


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Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Donald Phelps looks at the cartoons of George Booth.

  • Shaenon Garrity reviews Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim’s The Eternal Smile.

  • Rich Kreiner reviews the omnibus collection of Harvey Kurtzman and Co.’s Humbug, as well as a pair of minicomics.

  • R.C. Harvey watches the funny pages go to poo.

  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, our fine sister site, Ng Suat Tong presents a list of the best comics criticism of 2009, as chosen by Frank Santoro, Noah Berlatsy, Tucker Stone, Matthias Wivel and himself, and explains the voting process. (You see? Being a complete prick works!) Elsewhere, Frank Santoro presents his list of choices. (You see? Being a complete prick doesn’t always work!)

    Also: Richard Cook reviews the first volume of Kazuya Minekura’s loose Journey to the West adaptation, Saiyuki.

(Above: panel from The Eternal Smile, ©2009 2009 by Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim.)

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • “Sales of comics and graphic novels through Diamond Comic Distributors declined in December. Periodical comic sales drifted down by 11%, while sales of graphic novels fell by 22%,” reports ICv2 as the hobby-retail news site presents its estimates for December 2009 sales to Direct Market retailers. Here are the top-300 bestselling funnybooks and the top-300 bestselling books charts.

    (Left: cover to Blackest Night #6, the bestselling-est bestselling comic to sell best to bestseller-seeking shop owners in December.)


  • Publishers Weekly brings word that sales were off at the Books-a-Million chain for the nine-week period ending January 2.

  • Marvel Entertainment has officially been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

  • The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has released a statement in support of Killer Danish Muhammed Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

  • Didier Pasamonik (Google translation) speaks with writer and comics scholar Alfredo Castelli, who takes partial credit/blame for introducing/infecting Europe to/with manga. (Choose one.)

  • Here’s a conversation with Vertical marketing chief Ed Chavez.

  • Tim O’Shea speaks with SLG publisher Dan Vado about this weekend’s San Jose Comics Festival in California.

  • Rich johnston asks, “Whatever happened to the Jim Shooter lawsuit?”

  • Finally, congratulations to Kate Beaton:

    It seems that Our Kate (Beaton, that is) will be doing a residency at Mount Allison University, which is apparently her alma mater.


Joe McCulloch: New this week

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



¡Journalista! continues after this commercial message.







  • Chris Bolton on Asterios Polyp

    “There’s a danger in overstating the density of Asterios Polyp. This isn’t some homework assignment to identify which “ism” [David] Mazzucchelli represents on each page. Every single image is a delight to the eyes and a thrill for the brain.”


  • Nina Stone on Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #3

    “All of a sudden, I’m wondering — did I actually find Cinderella sexy? (I said I did. I remember writing that down.) But now, she doesn’t even compare to the sleekness and rawness of The Sword. The Sword had showmanship, and now I’m finding myself irritated by what Cinderella has to offer. Everything is suffering in comparison!”

    (Above: detail from Chrissie Zullo’s cover for the comic.)







  • Bob Heer: Where does the gold go?

    So are any of the creators responsible for all these magnificent comics-reprint volumes we’re seeing actually getting any of the money?

    (Link via Tim Hodler.)


  • Neil Cohn: Five Card Nancy and panel transitions

    “In some cases though, the juxtaposed panels do make sense, but the global meaning does not. In linguistics (borrowed from math), we’d call this a ‘first-order Markov chain,’ since only the units right next to each other have a connection. If a panel had a connection to two panels next to it, it’d become a ‘second-order chain,’ etc…”





Business and Craft


  • Letters of Note: Letter to a young cartoonist

    “In 1998, aged just 14, aspiring young cartoonist Amir Avni decided to get in touch with the creator of Ren & Stimpy, John Kricfalusi. Being a hardcore fan of Kricfalusi’s work, Amir sent him an introductory letter along with a few cartoons he’d drawn, some of which contained relatively unknown characters of John’s. To call Kricfalusi’s response ‘generous’ would be an understatement […]”

    (Link via John Martz.)


Comics and Art


  • Sherm Cohen and Gabriel Corbera: Howie Post vs. Sheldon Mayer on Doodles Duck

    Two titans of Golden Age kids’ comics take on the same character.

    (Above: Mayer’s version, on display in this sequence from Funny Folks #29, ©1950 DC Comics.)







  • Bloggingheads: Mark Alan Stamaty

    Robert Wright interviews the veteran cartoon satirist.

    (Above: screenshot from the streaming video.)


Comics Culture


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    Fifteen things worth knowing about coffee.



    Yeah, I got nothing.


  • Your Scans_Daily Link of the Day:

    Enjoy Oscar Martin’s beautiful art from La Guilde: Astraban.

    (Above: panel from the book, which was written by Miroslav Dragan; copyright information inknown.)


Events Calendar




  • January 12 (Portland, OR): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will be signing books and meeting readers at Powell’s City of Books on Burnside, beginning at 7:30PM. Details here.


This Week:


  • January 13 (Seattle, WA): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will be doing a reading and signing at the Great Hall on Eighth Avenue, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • January 14 (Berkeley, CA): Footnotes in Gaza author Joe Sacco will be signing books and meeting readers at Books Inc. on Fourth Street, beginning at 7PM. Details here.
  • January 16 (San Jose, CA): The San Jose Comics Fest takes place at the SLG Art Boutiki and gallery on Market Street, from noon-5PM. Details here.
  • January 16 (Washington DC): The DC Anime Club will be hosting a manga-drawing workshop at the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library on G Street, from 3-5PM. 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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One Response to “Journalista for Jan. 12, 2010: The right place at the right time”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Smash Comic, Christina. Christina said: RT @SmashComic: Hurray! Journalista mentioned my review of Asterios Polyp: […]