Journalista for Nov. 17, 2010: A much less diverse market

Posted by on November 17th, 2010 at 4:07 AM



I’m with Tom. I don’t think there’s a big market for these [NBM’s Trondheim set] — I suspect most people who wanted them bought them individually the first time around. And if NBM really wanted to drive additional sales, a savings of less than $2 a book isn’t the way to do it. So it doesn’t surprise me that Diamond said ‘nope, not worth it.’ Yet eliminating the ability for publishers to relist material in slight repackaging makes for a much less diverse market, since companies have to pick works that don’t take time to develop or build an audience. With only one bite at the apple, the publisher needs a hit out of the gate. Since that’s rare, overall, this discourages risk, which means fewer interesting comics in the long run.”

Johanna Draper Carlson (link added)


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Detail from the cover of Parker: The Outfit.


Recently posted to our homepage:

  • Nathan Wilson reviews Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Outfit.
  • GutterGeek‘s Chris Reilly reviews a variety of genre comics.
  • Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Ng Suat Tong unloads both barrels and then reloads and unloads them again on Usamaru Furuya’s Genkaku Picasso.

And in the news…


Above the Fold


Life in interesting times

  • “Bookstore sales had their worst month of 2010 in September, with sales down 7.7%, to $1.51 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning,” according to Publishers Weekly.

  • Calvin Reid investigates the latest attempt by Les Humanoides Associes to enter the U.S. graphic-novel market.

    Fun fact: No matter what zip code you enter, you always get the same shop in South Dakota run by a 70-year-old couple who stock nothing but Archie comics.

  • Ignoring all logic and the evidence of the senses, Diamond Distributors is still trying to pretend that its clientele is capable of attracting children into comic-book shops.


Today’s Format WarsTM report

  • Digital-comics platform Comixology has promised to make its authoring tools available to independent creators for… free? A low, low price? A thousand dollars? (Use this handy discount coupon!) Alas, they don’t say how the system will work once it gets rolling, and the question of whether indy creators will be forced to jump yet another gatekeeper’s hoops to enter the digital-comics market remains in play.

  • “¥42.8 billion, 83 percent of all e-books sold over Japanese cell phones, were digital comics.”

  • Ignoring all logic and the evidence of the senses, someone’s still willing to argue that digital comics will do something other than stick a rusty knife into the backs of comics-shop owners.

    (Link via Rich Johnston.)


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




  • David O’Connell on Ellen Lindner

    “My style changes with every project. I like to read or write the script and then visualize how the comic would ideally look. I don’t always get there, but it’s not the kind of starting-off point that begets uniformity. Also, I feel like if you have one rigid style it starts to define how you work, and what kind of stories you choose to tell.”

    (Link via Joe Gordon.)






  • Greg McElhatton on The Super Crazy Cat Dance

    ©2010 Aron Nels Steinke.

    “I love that more children’s book publishers are embracing the comic book form; children are smart and can figure out how the words and pictures come together, and any sort of gateway book to them trying other genres and formats as they get older is a good thing.”






  • Mindless Ones: Little big numbers

    How Eddie Campbell made the story behind the failure of Alan Moore and Bill Bill Sinkiewicz’s ambitious graphic novel even more intriguing than said graphic novel.




Comics and Art


  • Ger Apeldoorn: Al Capp and Milton Caniff’s Colonel Gilfeather

    “Today, I have a series of cartoons for the serious collector. Colonel Gilfeather was a one panel gag/story series, which the young Milton Caniff took over from Al Capp, when he got up and left to do Li’l Abner. As far as I can see, Caniff took over from September 1932, continuing the feature well into 1933. It has always surprised me to see how eager some comic strip scolars are to attribute everthing that is good about Mr. Caniff’s work to Noel Sickles. As you can see here, he was no slouch himself either, even when he still had to work out the chiascuro technique that made his style (and which he admitted was developed by him copying and trying to top Sickles).”






  • First Tuesday Book Club: Graphic-novel discussion

    Eddie Campbell, Sophie Cunningham, Bruce Mutard and Nicki Greenberg join host Jennifer Byrne to talk about modern comics. Presentation available either in streaming video or downloadable file formats for later viewing.

    (Link via Gary Chaloner.)


Comics Culture


  • Tom Richmond: Cartoonists in Afghanistan, part two

    “Note to self — the next time I go on one of these USO tours to a war zone, DO NOT tell The Lovely Anna if there is a rocket attack on our base until AFTER I get home.”



  • Taiwan Today: Liu Hsing-chin entrusts work to National Museum of Taiwan History
  • Anime News Network: Ken Akamatsu plans free website for out-of-print manga
  • The Drum: Marketing The Beano
  • Suzi Parker: Marvel promotes female protagonist for reason other than cleavage


  • Your Not-Comics Link of the Day:

    Mara Altman profiles Metropolitan/Last Days of Disco director Whit Stillman, who’s just completed his first new film in over a decade.

    (Link via Ed Gonzalez.)


Events Calendar




  • Nov. 17 (London, England): Pat Mills, Adam Lavis and Clint Langley discuss the life and art of John Hicklenton at the London Print Studio on Harrow Road, from 7-8PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 17 (Allentown, PA): Art Spiegelman will speak at Muhlenberg College on Chew Street, beginning at 7PM. The event is free and open to the public. Details here.


This Week:


  • Nov. 18-21 (Leeds, England): Thought Bubble 2010 takes place at various locations around town. Details here.
  • Nov. 18 (New York City, NY): Dan Nadel interviews Brian Chippendale and C.F. at the Strand Bookstore on Broadway, beginning at 8PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 18 (New York City, NY): Prominent cartoonists battle it out on-stage at 92YTribeca on Hudson Street, beginning at 9PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 19-20 (Lexington, KY): The UP! Fair is a celebration of sequential art and indy publishing, and it all takes place at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning on Second Street. Details here.
  • Nov. 19 (Portland, OR): Matt Fraction interviews Brian Chippendale and C.F. (followed by a signing) at Floating World Comics on Fifth Avenue, from 6-9PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 19 (Arlington, VA): Join a host of cartoonist for the opening of a new comics-themed exhibit at the Arlington Arts Center on Wilson Boulevard, from 7-9PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 20-21 (Richmond, VA): The VA Comicon takes place at the Ramada Plaza West on Broad Street. Details here.
  • Nov. 20 (Santa Monica, CA): Gumby comics-makers Michael Aushenker and Rafael Navarro will be signing books and meeting readers at Hi De Ho Comics on Lincoln Boulevard, beginning at 2PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 20 (Los Angeles, CA): Brian Chippendale and C.F. will participate in a book launch and slideshow presentation at Family on Fairfax Avenue, beginning at 7PM. Details here.
  • Nov. 21 (Saratoga Springs, NY): Close to Home cartoonist John MacPherson will discuss his work at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Henry Street, from 2-4PM. 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. (Note: Under no circumstances will I link to a Facebook page. Seriously, what idiot “advertises” their event solely on a website that requires registration to see the advertisement?)


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3 Responses to “Journalista for Nov. 17, 2010: A much less diverse market”

  1. GeneHa says:

    Digital comics don’t have to hurt brick-and-mortar stores. We actually have a model we could follow that works.

    “If you buy a physical book of ours from a real, brick & mortar store at full price, we’ll give you the PDF. Period.” Evil Hat Productions.

    Tabletop game companies (DnD, etc.) have formed a coalition that agrees to give away the PDF version of their game books if you buy the physical copy from an actual store. It’s worked great! But scrappy game companies have always been better at working together than scatter-brained comics giants.

  2. MrJM says:

    That South Dakota shop?

    They’ve got porn under the counter.

    — MrJM

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