This weekend: Face 2 Face in NYC

We may have just thrown out the bones of the Christmas Tree, but it’s not too early to go a’conning again. It’s the return of the church con this weekend in NYC as Big City Dare2Draw, a homegrown organization that puts on life drawing classes for every level of artist, is putting on a show at a midtown church. The guest list is led by Neal Adams, and we expect he’ll fit right into any pulpit they find for him. More info here. And here’s a video of Dean Haspiel talking about the show.

2012: Year of the artist-entrepreneur?

It’s end of the year roundup/predictions time again at The Beat, but one pretty safe prediction is that we will likely hear of many more creators, in all sorts of media, exploiting new distribution channels to connect directly with fans. As Michael Wolff points out at leading tech blog GigaOM, “Everywhere you look, artists are taking more control over their own economic well being, in large part because the Internet has enabled them to do so.” Citing some well known recent examples such as comedian Louis CK, author Barry Eisler and comedy podcaster Marc Maron, Wolff sees a growing trend of artists cutting out traditional middle men and presenting their work unfiltered directly to customers, and especially in the case of Louis CK, profiting handsomely from it. And Wolff doesn’t even mention a number of other recent examples of the artist as entrepreneur trend, from multi-platform musician Cee-Lo Green to the Humble Indie Bundle video game collection.

The Beat’s Annual Year-End Survey, 2012 edition — Part five — THE BIG FINISH

That’s it — we’re wrapping up our annual look into what’s on the minds of the comic industry — from creators to retailers to publishers. Thanks to all who participated, and thank you for sticking with us. On monday, the results of our COMICS INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR voting! It’s a close race and you may be surprised at the results.

Comiket video: crowds organized but shrinking

Although we think San Diego is the biggest and the craziest comics event on earth, all dedicated conologists know that Japan’s Comiket is actually the biggest. Held twice a year, the Winter edition just wrapped up and over 500,000 people attended the three-day festival.

The incredible thing about Comiket is that it is an amateur press show: the fans are there to buy doujinshi — fanzines based on popular manga by “amateur” creators. We know Japan is full of amazing wonders and enigmas, but the huge popularity of fanfic is definitely among them.

Marvel beats DC market share by a hair in December

Diamond’s initial December figures are out, and Marvel eked out a 1 point lead over DC in dollars and a 2 point lead in units in December — but they did it the hard way with a ground war fought one ship week at a time — DC basically sat out the fifth week and Marvel went for it. Of course they are also double shipping and so on. This is the war of the trenches.

Elsewhere, comics were up a tetch for the year, with GNs down 5% in dollars. And GNs have just had a massive slide — down 10%in units for the year. This seems to be one of the underreported sales stories of the year for us. In the department of no surprise, JL was the best selling comic and WALKING DEAD the best selling GN.