A New Year's Gift From The Beat!

Listen to Heidi MacDonald, The Beat herself, discuss 2011 in comics on a special year-end edition of More To Come, the PW Comics World podcast! As you may or may not know, Heidi has been one of the hosts of our bi-weekly comics news podcast for the past several months. In this episode, Heidi MacDonald and her co-hosts PW Comics World editor Calvin Reid and I discuss the biggest trends and events of the past year, including…


Game Night at Stately Beat Manor: Six Geeks of Separation

Ever play “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? I present the geeky version! (And give a link to a nerdy version as well!) Happy New Year!


Henry Rollins responds to the Henry and Glenn Forever comic

Tom Neely’s HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER comic is a classic mini that envisions two punk icons — Black Flag’s Henry Rollins (once of Black Flag) and Glenn Danzig (once in the Misfits) — as a gay couple with sitcom problems — dealing with jealousy, having Hall and Oates over for dinner. Imagine a punk METALOCALYPSE you can put in your pocket.

Danzig — a notoriously feisty scrapper who’s been known to pop people in the snoot and once was a credible choice to play Wolverine — is no stranger to comics. He once ran his own Verotik line and was a pioneer of the comics Nerdlebrity. However, his reaction to the comic has been crabby ranting.

Now Rollins, who is also a published poet and photographer, has gone on the record with his own response, in a video interview with Narduwar the Serviette. The bit begins at about 6:18.


Misfits – (Free) TV You Should Be Watching Online

Ever heard of a UK import called “Misfits?”

I’ve heard it described as “Heroes, but better.” Actually, I’d say closer to a mash-up of Heroes, Smallville and the Nathan Barley/Snuffbox school of very dark British humor. And yes, it is better than Heroes. Especially Heroes after the first season.


DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: November 2011

by Mark-Oliver Frisch —
Three months into the wholesale makeover of DC’s line of superhero comic books, the direct-market numbers suggest three main things: One, the “New 52” relaunch was extremely successful at mobilizing comics specialty retailers; two, this success doesn’t seem to be affecting, for good or ill, any other comics beyond the initial 52 titles; and three, the number of new comics readers the “New 52” has brought into comics stores seems negligible, overall.

Retailers continued to adjust their orders for the “New 52” titles in November, and this time, the downward correction was more noticeable. On average, sales of new DC comic books dropped by nearly 10,000 units or 19.2% in November, versus 10.4% in October. The average drop on the third issues of the 52 new superhero titles was 18.8%, versus 5.2% for the second issues. Animal Man (-8.0%) and Detective Comics (-9.7%) were the “New 52” books with the smallest drops in November, while Blackhawks (-29.5%), Mister Terrific (-29.7%), Blue Beetle (-29.9%) and Captain Atom (-30.0%) were at the tail end of the spectrum.

In contrast to October, when all but one of the “New 52” debut issues made the chart again with significant re-orders, only two of the #3 issues — namely Batman and Aquaman — charted again in November. On balance, the drop-off on those titles is still better than average. The fact that the larger drop came in November and the lack of more #2 re-orders both suggest that customer interest in the “New 52” peaked early, however.


Matt Parkinson upped at Dark Horse

Following the departure of VP of Marketing Micha Hershman, Dark Horse has promoted former director of online marketing Matt Parkinson to the post of senior director of marketing. Parkinson, a six-year DH vet, will take over the duties of overseeing DH’s marketing efforts.


Beau Smith remembers Eduardo Barreto

His long-time collaborator Beau Smith remembers Eduardo Barreto, who passed away a few weeks ago — a remembrance accompanied by some stunning art.


The Fate of Krypto revealed in ACTION #5

The first four pages of ACTION #5 by Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert, and Jesse Delperdang has just been previewed at Geek Dad and Underwire and not only does it present the new origin for Superman, as he’s rocketed to earth by his parents, but we learn why the new DCU will not have a happy, yappy dog in a cape flying around — instead there’s a “Ghost Krypto”. Oh, Grant Morrison, how could you?


Get a digital copy of STAR TREK #1 for FREE — but only until 3 pm!

Comics+ is giving away a copy of STAR TREK #1 in their app — but only until 3 pm EST. Use code FMST01 in the app for the free book.

STAR TREK #1 features the classic characters in the alternate timeline of the reboot, overseen by Robert Orci with writer Mike Johnson and artist Stephen Molnar. #1 reimagines the original pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”


Gantz to end in 2012

Gantz, Hiroya Oku’s popular, super-violent manga about a team of operatives and their mysterious missions, is ending its run in Young Jump next year, it’s being reported. More than 30 volumes of the manga have appeared in Japan — in the US, Dark Horse is up to volume 20. It’s also been adapted into a TV series and two movies.


Christmas was the biggest Kindle store download day ever

It was the year of the gift tablet — and while cluelessly materialistic kids may have been plunged into the slough of despond at not getting an iPhone under the tree — some may have rejoiced over getting a Kindle; Some 4 million Kindles were sold in December.

It was the best holiday-ever for the Kindle family. In fact, customers purchased more than 1 million Kindle devices each week, with the Kindle Fire tablet leading the pack with most sales, followed by the Kindle Touch and the original Kindle ereader. Kindle devices were also the best-selling products on Amazon in the U.K., Denmark, Spain and Italy.

Christmas Day was, as we predicted, the biggest day ever for Kindle downloads, according to Amazon head Jeff BezosunBoxing day as Torsten has dubbed it.


Bryan Hitch leaving Marvel for mystery project and spelling lessons

Bryan Hitch, the king of widescreen comics, is announcing the end of his Marvel run of nearly ten years — or at least that’s what he’s tweet hinting:

In two days time, an amazing decade at Marvel closes for me. What a wonderful time to have joined the party. Very proud and honoured.

For the last month, Hitch has been counting down to a purported huge announcement — he has only five days to go, so January 3 will be the big day — coincidentally, the day that Hitch’s frequent — Ultimates, Authority– collaborator Mark Millar also has an announcement planned. Hm.


Marvel and ESPN team for Tim Tebow cartoon

While they don’t equate him with a miracle, Disney stablemates ESPN and Marvel have teamed up for a brief cartoon painting Tebow as a superhero. The segment is barely a minute long, and really only features some stills drawn in the mighty Marvel style, so “minimum comics content.” And no Tebowing.


The Perfect Cartoon?

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff asks cartoonist Michael Maslin, and the results are two by James Thurber, a man who created many perfect cartoons. Although one of the picks is one of Thurber’s best known, we’d like to spotlight the above, along with Maslin’s analysis — of course, analyzing any humor — especially New Yorker cartoons — is like programming your Garage Band to the sound of one hand clapping….but sometimes you have to try:


Discarded Wonder Woman costume shows up on Erica Durance

Waste not, want not: although the Wonder Woman costume designed for Adrienne Palicki didn’t help the show fly as a pilot, producer David Kelley must have realized that a newly designed Wonder Woman costume is the kind of thing you keep in the closet for a rainy day. on Harry’s Law, another show he produces, Erica Durance showed up wearing the costume — playing a woman who THINKS she’s Wonder Woman. So it’s both Kelley making an in-joke…and being thrifty and green by recycling! Well played.


"Delighting Customers" Vs. "Maximizing Shareholder Value" – Applying a Forbes Article to Comics

The increasingly corporate nature of comics has been a continuing topic for the last couple years. Marvel sold to Disney. Warner pulling DC in a bit closer. Trying to maintain quarterly sales figures in a hit-based medium (also known as Events and/or line extension). Forbes has a piece called “The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value.” It’s partially a review and partially a response to the book “Fixing the Game:Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL.” This piece (and the book) contrasts the old Peter Drucker maxim “the only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer” the current credo of “the singular goal of a company should be to maximize the return to shareholders.”