Journalista for Jan. 14, 2010: How is this news, exactly?

Posted by on January 14th, 2010 at 8:37 AM




“The tankobon that do sell, sell in incredible volumes. But this means that the ones that don’t, slide into obscurity.”

Negima creator Ken Akamatsu


“So they aren’t reprinting the exact comic, but they’re going to put out another edition with the content plus extras. How is this news, exactly?”


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Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Gary Groth presents the second installment of his 1995 interview with master caricaturist David Levine.

  • Kristian Williams reviews Nevin Martell’s book, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip.

  • Over at GutterGeek, Jared Gardner reviews Chris Grine’s all-ages Chickenhare Vol. 3: Fish and Grymps.

  • Finally, The Hooded Utilitarian‘s Noah Berlatsky explains his choices for the best comics criticism of 2009.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • Luca Raffaelli (Google translation) notes the death yesterday of Italian animator and cartoonist Stelio Passacantando.

  • New media entrepreneur John S. Johnson and the film-production company Likely Story “have purchased a 33% interest in Top Shelf Productions, Inc. Johnson will join the board of Top Shelf, and Likely Story will get a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications for possible film and TV development.”

  • Archie Comics has signed a worldwide distribution deal with Random House.

  • Anime News Network quotes Say Hello to Black Jack creator Shuho Sato as stating…

    […] in a Wednesday blog entry that a “major publisher” lost several billion yen (several tens of millions of U.S. dollars) last year. He added that, of the approximately 70 manga, fashion, and other genre magazines that this publisher prints, over 60 of them are losing money. In particular, Sato said that one “major magazine whose name everyone knows” loses 1 to 1.5 billion yen (about US$11-16 million) annually.


  • Wizard proudly announces the consolation prize it just received from Diamond Comic Distributors:

    At Wizard’s Philadelphia Comic Con, Diamond will host a hospitality suite where retailers can meet one-on-one with Diamond customer service and sales representatives, as well as schedule exclusive demos on Diamond’s point-of-sale program, ComicSuite.

    Meanwhile, Reed Exhibitions gets the big stuff. Polish that turd, Gareb!


  • According to ICv2, R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated topped BookScan’s bookstore-sales estimates for the month of December.

  • New York comics-shop chain Jim Hanley’s Universe lists its top-selling graphic novels (in dollars) for 2009.

  • Comic Attack interviews Dark Horse Comics’ Asian-licensing director, Michael Gombos.

    (Link via Simon Jones.)


  • Peter Ha runs with a number of Apple Tablet rumors. (A mouse? Seriously? Why?)

  • Larry Cruz contemplates’s chances behind the subscriber paywall.

  • I have to admit: The gleeful malice on display in this marketing campaign by Marvel Entertainment made me laugh. But then, so did Corey Henson:

    But you know what would be an even better idea, Marvel? How about instead of Blackest Night tie-ins, you let retailers send in stripped covers from Dark Reign: Lethal Legion, Dark Reign: Zodiac, and all those other Dark Reign minis you guys published a few months ago? At least the Blackest Night books are selling. No one gave a rat’s ass about Dark Reign.



¡Journalista! continues after this commercial message.




  • Brian Heater on Eddie Campbell

    Beginning a four part interview with the author of Alec: The Years Have Pants.


  • Brian Heater on Frank Santoro

    Second installment of a four-part conversation with the Cold Heat co-creator.




  • Glen Weldon on The Muppet Show Comic Book

    “In drawing the Muppets, [Roger Langridge] captures what makes each recognizable while adding layers of his own, stylized design. The result: A book that bears little trace of the homogenized, let’s-get-Production-to-sign-off-on-the-model-sheet house style you’d expect from any product even tangentially related to the House of Mouse.”


  • Daniel Kois on Luna Park

    Luna Park is the first graphic novel by Kevin Baker, author of the best-selling City of Fire trilogy, but its craftsmanship suggests that he’s thought long and hard about the storytelling strengths of comics. Spare and thoughtful, Luna Park is a reverie on the horrors of Russian history masquerading as a gritty New York crime story.”


  • Marc-Oliver Frisch on Daytripper #1

    “[…] if this first issue is any indication, Daytripper is the literary equivalent of a Coldplay song: airy, agreeable, vaguely wistful, somewhat pretentious and ultimately shallow.”




  • Curt Purcell: Final Crisis, the Modernist background

    “There’s a tension at the heart of Final Crisis that ultimately undermines it.”


  • Sandy Bilus: Best comics of 2009 meta-list

    “The purpose of this list is to sum up the critical consensus of the best comics of the year. I gave each individual ‘best of 2009’ list 550 points to distribute among the comics named on the list. For unranked lists, the 550 points get evenly distributed among all the books. Thus, if a critic named ten books but didn’t rank his or her choices, each book gets 55 points. If a critic named 20 books, each book gets 27.5 points. If the list is ranked, the points get distributed according to a formula that gives more points for higher rankings and less points for lower rankings.”


Comics and Art


  • A Journey Round My Skull: Hayv Kahraman

    The only problem with this gallery of work by the Baghdad-born artist is that there isn’t more.

    (Above: “In Line,” ©2007 Hayv Kahraman.)





Comics Culture


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    Having nothing better for this space today, I present the latest installment of WFMU’s Mining the Audio Motherlode, which links to full-album downloads of obscure, out-of-print music from around the world. A reminder: There’s lots more where that came from.



Events Calendar




  • 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.


This Week:


  • 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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2 Responses to “Journalista for Jan. 14, 2010: How is this news, exactly?”

  1. sandy says:

    Thanks for linking to my post Dirk. Hopefully my explanation of the methodology of the list doesn’t drive people batty with boredom. The list itself is kinda interesting.

  2. kristofferhebert says:

    I agree that the list is kinda interesting.