Adventure on!

Us Disney Adventures2Over on his blog, Jeff Smith recently announced some impressive sales figures for Scholastic’s BONE reprints:

I received some astonishing sales figures from Scholastic – – the paperback edition of BONE 6: Old Man’s Cave, which just shipped last month, is in its third printing for a total of 260,000 copies! The combined hard cover & paperback sales for the series to date: nearly 2,000,000.

An imposing figure to be sure, but not one that surprises me. Kids like comics. Kids like fantasy. When both are done as superlatively as BONE, success should be sure to follow.

I learned that back in the day when I worked at Disney Adventures magazine, where Bone was serialized for about a year. I’ve often been given credit for reprinting BONE in the pages of DA, but to be honest, it was Marv Wolfman’s idea at first. After Marv left, I picked up the mantle, and continued the color reprints. There was even an all-new 8 page Bone story whose reprint history I’m sadly unaware of.

268D 1DA’s recent demise gave me (and many others) pause for thought. DA started back in the early 90s. It was the idea of Michael Lynton (who now runs Sony Pictures). Hyperion Books was also his idea — some how or other Lynton introduced Disney to the idea of publishing non-Disney books and magazines, and also comics. (The brief career of Disney Comics was also Lynton’s idea.)

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The Righteous Anger of Chris Butcher

Mild-mannered Chris Butcher chimes in on Eric Reynolds’ adventures in retailing:

Well of course! I mean, just visit the comic book store in question’s website! Totally looks like a thriving, well-run establishment to me. That’s totally the ASSUMPTION that I would make, if it came down to Eric Reynolds (20+ years in the comics industry ) versus a store owner that didn’t know Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly still published comics, that store is obviously thriving. And knowledgable too, apparently. Just like I wouldn’t expect a store with a luggage department to have the luggage I was looking for, or the SHOE INSOLE DISPLAY to have only one shoe insole for men amongst 30+ for women, or for the employees to know about their product, I think it’s fucking snobbish to expect a comic book store to carry comic books I want to buy, or to at least know about comic books.

Chris also chides us for not chiming in more, which sadly we didn’t have time to do at the moment of posting. Suffice to say that the idea of a comics shop that doesn’t know Fantagraphics and D&Q are “still in business” seems to speak, at the very least, of a very poor product knowledge. While not all small retail establishments can carry as wide a mix of products as every publisher might hope, nowadays, limiting yourself to just the DC-Marvel-verse is limiting the kind of customers you will draw. It’s true. See just referenced Paul Levitz interview.

Paul Levitz speaks

ICv2 has a four part interview with Paul Levitz. Click here and go on to the next three parts, which cover Flex, Zuda, Minx, and WORLD OF WARCRAFT.

It just feels like it’s a wonderful time in comics right now. The range of creative material seems to be expanding everywhere you look. The reactions to it are getting both warmer and wider. More places are talking about the medium seriously; covering it seriously; Not quite proselytizing it in the literal sense that some of the people in comics have done for years, but really joining in that effort of reaching out because they’re buying into what we’ve been saying for so long; and that seems to be creating a fairly steady stream of new converts to what we do.

Video of McGuire’s HERE

Richard McGuire’s RAW classic “Here” is adapted into a 1991 short film by RIT Dept. of Film & Video students Tim Masick and Bill Trainor for their senior thesis project.

Link via Dash Shaw

Blogs: Marchetto, fakester, etc.

Acoccella§ Always stylish Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Cancer Vixen) has started a blog and relaunched her website with info on cartoons, fashion and kicking cancer’s butt.

§ Fake Dan Didio — short joke!

§ Bonus link! The very best of Steve Bunche.


super friends let it all hang out.

DO not click on this link unless you are ready for a very, very disturbing image with superheroic undertones, but no underwear at all.

Edit: The page is gone. If you saved the picture, let Heidi know. — MLC

Japan notes

§ The New York Times investigates the Manhattan branch of Book Off, the used book store chain from Japan that aims to eradicate “the shame of buying used books.”

Behind the counter of the 41st Street branch, which opened in 2000, an oven-size machine buzzes loudly as employees shave tiny imperfections from the pages of texts like the early novels of Haruki Murakami and comics bearing titles like “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

Since the machine can’t handle hardcover books, those must be tidied up manually. Bookstore workers have a supply of little squares of sandpaper for that, and a special vent in the counter is used to suck up the resulting dust.

§ Socialist website chides Japanese political hopeful for pandering with manga-love:

Aso appears to be positioning himself as Abe’s successor in more ways than one, by trying to take a leaf out of Koizumi’s book. In a rather absurd attempt to attract a following among young people, he has publicised his love of manga or Japanese comic books and his nickname—“Rozen Aso” after his favourite manga “Rozen Maiden”. He proudly claims to read 10-20 comics a week. During last year’s contest for the LDP president, the 66-year-old Aso spoke at Akihabara, Tokyo’s “hang out” district for young people to shop for electronics, computer games, comics and fashion goods.

§ This author sent us a link to a downloadable version of his book Japan in a Nutshell. We can’t vouch for it, but may be worth investigating.

§ Meanwhile, Japanese men turn to the girdle in their times of waistband distress:

A fashion trend toward slimmer cuts in suits and form-fitting trousers is also making men — even the relatively slender — more worried whether their hips, bellies and thighs pass muster.

“We made our men’s brand aimed at those in their 30s and 40s, but it has been selling well among younger guys too,” said Asako Iwahashi, a spokeswoman for underwear maker Triumph International Japan, which introduced its line of girdles for men last year.

“Young men are wearing tighter trousers now and like women, they want a cleaner line.”

Mignola and Golden on BALTIMORE

BALTIMORE: or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire is a new illustrated novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. Above is a video interview with the duo, below a bit of PR:

With the publication of BALTIMORE, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, an illustrated novel that is a dazzling visual and literary experience, renowned comic artist and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden have teamed up to create a stunning collaboration that pushes the boundaries of contemporary fiction. BALTIMORE will be published as a Bantam Spectra Hardcover on August 29, 2007.

In the novel, British aristocrat Lord Henry Baltimore, a captain in the British infantry, unwittingly awakens a vampire on a blood-soaked battlefield during World War I, unleashing a virulent plague that wreaks havoc around the world. In a desperate and solitary struggle against this advancing darkness, Lord Baltimore summons three old friends to a lonely tavern in a decimated city?men who are inclined to believe in the evil that is devouring the soul of mankind. As they await his arrival, they share their tales of terror and misadventure, and contemplate what role they will play in his battle. Readers are left with a chilling portrait of a man who has doomed himself to a tragic immortality, as well as a world forever changed by his actions.

Mignola?s 150 black-and-white ink drawings, which range from spot art to seven full-page illustrations, elevate the story?s eeriness and help to make BALTIMORE viscerally appealing to fans of fantasy, the paranormal, and graphic novels, alike.

Back in Black

We apologize for the spotty blogging over the last few weeks, but we had to make hay while the sun shone. The time off has allowed us to recharge and hopefully clear out some of the mental debris. To that end, we’re going to try (we said TRY) to keep link blogging light for a bit and cover some topics in greater depth. Believe it or not, it’s hard work writing those 500 word essays, and requires a lot of focus that link blogging like a fiend doesn’t really allow us to do. So, we’ll see how it works out.