§ It’s a bit hard to see, but once you figure it out you won’t see anything else! It’s true! Darth Vader’s helmet is going to appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens! You can tell by looking at this piece of toast.
§ ICv2 has its monthly look at Bookscan for November, and Walking Dead Compendium #3 led the charts, followed by Sandman: Overture. That sounds about right.
In between, the list was fairly typical. Four The Walking Dead titles, including the latest compendium, which shipped in October, were the top franchise in the Top 20, with the #1 title, two of the top three, and three of the top seven titles in November, as the TV series was building to its mid-season finale. Along with one Saga volume, Image Comics titles accounted for five of the Top 20. Marvel Comics placed three Star Wars titles in the Top 20, which joined two DK Publishing books on Marvel to bring the total count of Marvel-ish titles to five. VIZ Media had seven titles in the Top 20: three each from its two new hits One-Punch Man and Tokyo Ghoul, plus the latest Naruto volume.
Bookscan counts actual sales of book in bookstores and selected other outlets.
§ Mark Peter has a Best Of comics list at Salon, and suggest Ms Marvel is still the best because:
Most Necessary Hero: Ms. Marvel Since the Paris attacks have made Muslim-bashing OK again for Moron Americans, I can’t think of a hero more relevant to the current world than Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. This teen hero is squarely in the tradition of Peter Parker, while completely of the present. It’s refreshing to see Ms. Marvel join the Avengers and become a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. Let’s hope Kamala makes the leap to the movies well before Marvel Studios begins Phase Bazillion. We need her.
§ The Comic Con Delhi 2015 was held over the weekend, and based on my news feed, it got a LOT of press. I’ve always heard the Indian comics market described as “emerging” with many distribution problems, but a story in Business Standard News has a sharp reminded of problems in our comics industry’s past
Vimanika CEO Karan Vir Arora is a staple at Comic Cons India events. As he points out, Vimanika was a sponsor to the very first Comic Con in the country. While the comic publisher sells many titles in these conventions, we are interested to know why we don’t see Vimanika or its present day Comic-book peers selling their titles at roadside book-stalls or Railways stations – a common practice for the first generation comic books like Amar Chitra Katha and Raj Comics. To this, Arora tells us that the market has changed. “While people are willing to dish out Rs300 to Rs400 on a words-only novel, they would not spend the same amount on a comic book or graphic novel which have a greater printing cost. While we do sell comic books at Rs 40, which hardly leaves any margin for us, it’s just not possible to sell a comic book for Rs 10, like in the olden days. This is also why distributors too are not keen to take up our products.”
This mirror our own industry because a ways back, the comic book periodical/pamphlet/floppy whatever you want to call it, became too cheap an item to entice most newsstands; thesis part of what led to the newsstand crisis of the70s that led to the formation of the direct sales market. And also, explains why for a long time, you didn’t see comics periodicals at our own “road side book stalls,” aka Walmarts.
§ Another story on the con quite rightly reveals that Ty Templeton is a GOD in comics:
Who is Ty Templeton? Only one of the gods in a pantheon of comic creators. And he is here in India, attending Comic Con Delhi, brewing up quick sketches of for a line of fans, which is getting longer by the minute. The Canadian and writer, who is known best for The Batman Adventures comic-book series, is here for a special session on the art of comics, and of course, his own body of works. Before he walks out to greet his fans, however, I find him sitting in a huge white tent, which is the green room, looking excited about the Comic Con. What was his first thought when he knew he was going to a comic con in India? “My first thought when I was invited to Comic Con in India was ‘Wow, this is terrific I can’t wait to go!’. I have never been in India before. I really want to see what Indian comics are like. I am a huge comic fan myself, and I can’t wait to find out what kind of comics you make,” Ty says. Ty comes with a nearly clean slate on India’s comic scene though. “I have only been here for ten minutes, I don’t have had any experience of an Indian comic con yet. I have heard a little bit about Indian comics. I have seen a few here and there, and am hoping to see a lot more this weekend.”
The stories about comics convention in India are very happy and excited about having comic cons. It would be nice if more stories about comics like that.
§ Marc Arsenault, publisher of Alternative Comics, has a cautionary tale about a printing error that removed the frontispiece from the inside front cover of the new issue of Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle 3.0 #1
Without the vital info on those blank pages hundreds of readers are left wondering what happened. Why? Why is this Volume Three of Magic Whistle? Why couldn’t there just be a Volume Two Number Sixteen? What is this Three Point Oh crap anyway? Seriously? In this day and age? Since you won’t be able to read it in the actual comic, I invite you to read what Sam had to say about this transformation here. Right here… below my words, after the cover art. Oh, and you really should snap those up quick. They will be recalled and replaced with comics printed the way they were intended. Then that strangest of possibilities might happen. An issue of Magic Whistle will become a rare collectors item. You could flip yours on eBay for 20 bucks or more. Slab it baby! Slab it!
§ The new trailer for Batman v Superman has revealed that the first meeting of these two titans is filled with strife, but in the comics, their first meeting led them to share a small cabin on a romantic cruise ship…
§ The junket for Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place this weekend, or at least a portion of it did, and while JJ Abrams won’t say anything about what happens in the movie, he did come right out and say that it will not contain Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. To which people responded
Coatee cha tu goo (Yub nub!)
Coatee cha tu doo (Yahwah!)
Coatee cha tu too (Ya chaa!)
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.