Super MoCCA Laff Times

Been too busy with my regular Monday duties for a full MoCCA Festival wrap-up — look for more photos and observations tomorrow, but in the meantime, as usual, it was a fun filled festival of comics and camaraderie. All of the many social events were great; the turnout at Saturday’s Strange Tales/Beat/CBLDF fundraiser party was fantastic and we kept hearing all about what a great time everyone had. The same night there was a Comics Journal party at an LES bar which was also off the hook with great cartoonists, conversation, dancing and carrying on.

As for the show itself, the crowd was perhaps a bit lighter than last year and the Law Of The Show came down from the mountain again: people with lots of great new books like D&Q and Fantagraphics did great. People without a lot of new material didn’t do as well. More in the full report.

Casey and Dragotta team for Marvel VENGEANCE event

With comics periodical sales slogging along, many have said it’s time to throw things against the wall and see what sticks — Marvel is at least giving a nod towards this by announcing an event called VENGEANCE by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta. Launching as a six-issue miniseries in July, VENGEANCE will take on the Marvel U’s bad guys in a fresh fashion, introducing both revamped versions of younger evil-doers along with classic Marvel villains.

“We’re going to the Sixth Dimension, Hitler’s Germany, an insane nightclub, and a homeless shelter,” Dragotta said—of the first eight pages.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: February 2011

February sees Marvel’s “Point One” programme get under way, with issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE and IRON MAN. The Age of X crossover starts in X-MEN LEGACY and NEW MUTANTS. And there’s a new ongoing series, IRON MAN 2.0.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market. It’s a pretty wide margin over DC this month – 45% to 31% in unit terms, 41% to 28% in dollars.

Thanks as always to for permission to use these figures.

Marvel to publish Langridge's Muppet comics

With Marvel picking up most of the licensed Disney material that BOOM! Studios had published, it’s no surprise that they’ll be publishing the much-loved Muppets comics by Roger Langridge in a 96-page collection called “MUPPETS PRESENTS: MEET THE MUPPETS” — previously collected by BOOM! in 2009. Bringing back Langridge’s great comics is a no-brainer, but there is still the question of the Langridge comics that were left in publishing limbo. On his blog, Langridge suggested that the material in question was in a contractual limbo, with DIsney unable to publish it until it had been published by BOOM!.

Asked whether the lost material would be showing up at Marvel, a spokesman had only a “No comment.”

What the critics are saying about Paying For It

Chester Brown’s PAYING FOR IT is destined to be one of the most talked about graphic novels of the year — we’d suspect it may be THE most talked about. It’s a great work of comics that is nonetheless problematic for the views it espouses about human relationships and commerce.

Just in case you aren’t sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the book to come out, PAYING FOR IT is a memoir by Chester Brown about his experiences employing prostitutes. Brown’s previous works include such masterworks as I NEVER LIKED YOU, ED THE HAPPY CLOWN and the historical narrative LOUIS RIEL, which is considered an important political work in Brown’s native Canada. As one of the pioneers of the most successful schools of autobiographical comics, Brown is a major figure of the art comix era.

Weekend roundup: Kapow!; Millar has four new titles

It was another busy weekend for comics around the globe, as the MoCCA Fest in NYC saw indie crowds gathering to buy the latest literary comics. Meanwhile in London, it was the inaugural Kapow! festival, organized by Mark Millar and his friends. From all accounts, although the show sold and had a capped attendance of only around 5000 people, it did achieve some of that “Movie-con magic”: