HYPE: ICv2 Announces Conference on Comics & Digital II

More details on ICv2’s Conference on Comics and Digital have been revealed, along with preliminary speakers. The Beat is co-sponsoring this conference, and all the topics being covered are MUST DOs as far as we’re concerned. The conference will be held the day before New York Comic-Con (that’s Wednesday) ICv2 has announced that it will […]

HeroesCon interview: Francesco Francavilla

by Jimmy Aquino, Comic News Insider, Special to The Beat

I sat down with old pal and amazing artist Francesco Francavilla on Sunday at HeroesCon. Always a great interview, Francesco and I talked about his recent work on Batman,  upcoming Captain America/Black Widow mini-series, The Black Beetle, cover work, Comic Twart, What Not, and his genuine love for cartooning. You can check out other great interviews I got at HeroesCon over at the Comic News Insider (my podcast) site! 

Random thoughts on hoarding

About once a year, we give Stately Beat Manor a really good going-over — tossing out unwanted pamphlets, moving some stuff into storage, organizing permanent additions and so on — and after doing so we write a post with our thoughts about storage and hoarding and so on.

This is that post, c. 2011.

I assume most of you reading this are borderline hoarders, like The Beat. Your shelf porn resembles a splatter film. You have more longboxes than you do pieces of silverware. Your home contains at least one Billy. You have at one time — perhaps even at this very moment — made use of some kind of software to catalog your collection even if it was just Excel or Google spreadsheets. You know the drill.

Preview: Gyro Gearloose in "Picnic"

This is one of my all-time favorite comics stories. I’ve often alluded to it in conversation as “It’s like, you know, that story where Gyro Gearloose builds a house for a picnic?” Very few people get the reference. In fact I am the only one. But It’s a couple of things: a fine example of Carl Barks at his 1957 form — sure fluid art with the joke extended visually to its fullest extent, and a tight plot based on human folly — all executed with a seeming effortlessness. It’s also a fine example of the Gyro story — a well-intentioned dullard whose high intelligence is unencumbered by any sign of wisdom (he’d outsourced that to Helper, his little lightbulb-headed robot.)

Gyro Gearloose and Helper call into the category of foolish leader and the sidekick who saves him — Wallace and Gromit, or Green Hornet and Kato in the recent film. “Picnic” takes that basic dynamic and adds in another universal human truth: how the solution is often worse then the problem; and how losing sight of the goal can take you in the exact opposite direction. 

Indie Month-to-Month Sales: September 2011

Buffy returns in the top spot, although with sales far down on the beginning of the last Season, with Angel in third place. Sandwiched in between is Game of Thrones’ debut issue, while TMNT drops to fourth place after being last month’s best-selling indie. Further down the charts IDW’s other new licensed ongoing titles seem to be benefiting from the increased awareness the new DC books seem to be bringing, while many of Dynamite’s licenses seem to be tanking, the aforementioned Game of Thrones apart.

There were 127 indie books in the chart this month, well up on last month’s 103. The 103 book this month sold almost exactly what the 103 book last month sold, so this was certainly due to less Marvel and DC books released this month rather than stronger Indie sales. In fact those 103 books sold almost 35,000 less copies than last month, although top 300 indie sales are 1,053,116, almost 55,000 up on August. The bottom book sold 3,341 compared to last month’s 4,514. As usual, UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.

This month Dark Horse were the number three publisher, with 4.76% dollar share and a 3.51 market share, followed by IDW with 4.13% dollar share and 3.10% market share, Image with a 4.08% dollar share and a 3.29% market share, Dynamite with a 3.07% dollar share and a 3.02% market share, and Boom with 1.39% dollar and 0.94% market share. That’s the same order as last month, although all but Dynamite have reduced figures.

Indie Month-to-Month Comics Sales: August 2011

By Paul Mellerick The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book supplants Walking Dead this month, while Kirkman also takes number three spot with his & Rob Liefeld’s Infinite. Further down the charts Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man gets off to a decent start and Terry Moore’s new series, Rachel Rising kicks off, while amongst the usual […]

Archie brings back superheroes in digital form

The “Red Circle” line of superheroes—The Fly, the Shield and so on—has been bouncing around the industry for a while now — first at Archie, then recently licensed to DC where they basically kicked back on the veranda with an iced tea. They’re one of those little bits of IP that isn’t always out in front but just seems too valuable to let go of entirely.

Now Archie Comics is continuing its forward looking ways by bringing back their superheroes as a series of digital comics.

Comics Industry Person of the Year: Robert Kirkman

This year in addition to our usual questions for the Year-End Survey – sent to a mix of creators, publishers, journalists and marketing personal—we added a new category: Person of the Year, the person who, we we put it, was “the most important person, someone who had an impact, someone who set the pace, or had a banner year.” We were very curious to see what kind of responses this question would get – while a lot of people are doing some of the best work of their careers, or emerging as critical favorites, it was a very mixed year business-wise and we were wondering who would be seen as the most visionary and decisive person.

Well, we needn’t have worried that this would be a hard question to answer.