§ Pretty much like this, as Mile High Comics moved some boxes into their Jason St. Mega-Store. That’s owner Chuck Rozanski, aka the boy with the most comics, standing in front.
§ Some photos from the Drink & Draw Like A Lady party on Friday by Lisa Aurigemma. This party is PACKED every year, but it’s also a bit loud and hot. A lot of the more veteran ladies I know don’t attend because you literally cannot have a room big enough for all the ladies who drink and draw comics in NYC.
§ And the official MoCCA Fest report by myself and Calvin Reid MoCCA Arts Fest Successfully Relocates (Again)
Miller said the show had about 200 exhibitors, the same number as last year. Attendance for the weekend was about 6,000 people, down from the approximately 7,000 reported last year, although Miller said this year’s attendance was “a great number.” Feedback from exhibitors, she said, was that this year, “attendees spent a lot more money.”
NBM, Abrams, Yoe Books and Nobrow were among many exhibitors reporting strong sales. Fantagraphics had a particularly tempting array of books, with a new edition of the acclaimed full color anthology, Kramers Ergot, selling out.
I hope to do a combined WonderCon/MoCCA recap but I’ll just say that leading in to MoCCA, no one was very enthused and yet it was PACKED and people sold a lot of comics. There is a very lively indie comics scene still here in NYC.
Also from PW, Brigid Alverson on the manga sales resurgence:
North American manga sales are down from the market’s peak in 2007, when they hit about $210 million, according to pop culture trade news site ICv2. By 2012, North American manga sales had declined to $65 million, before beginning to rebound to about $70 million in 2013 and reaching $75 million in 2014, according to ICv2. Figures for 2015 are not yet available, but ICv2 reported that early 2015 sales were up about 13% over the same period in 2014. Manga sales have improved enough that the bestselling manga on the 2015 BookScan chart, volume one of Tokyo Ghoul, sold just over 50,000 copies. Improved sales of backlist titles have also contributed to a healthier market. “Tokyo Ghoul and One-Punch Man have been the standouts for us in the past year,” said Leyla Aker, Viz senior v-p for publishing. “But we also saw that the catalogue overall is growing.” Aker said other frontlist series and backlist series such as Death Note and Dragon Ball are also selling well.
§ JHU Comic Books manager Rene Rosa gives the official, factual account of what happened when Benedict Cumberbatch came to the store. SO there.
§ It’s Black Panther Day! Here’s a fine round-up of thoughts on the character from actual African comics fans.
§ And Vice Magazine has its Ta-Nehesi Coates interview, conducted by J.A. Micheline, which is good because she’s one of the more vocal critics of the way race is treated in mainstream comics, so she asks tough questions, including about Marvel’s spotty record:
Is this Black Panther for us? Or has it been made with whiteness in mind?
Ta-Nehisi Coates: [Laughs] That’s a great question. You know, I learned something from Between the World and Me. I think it’s something I already knew and probably should have taken to heart: You get to the universal by the specific. I’m black. I’m from West Baltimore. I’ve lived in black communities all my life; it’s the experience I know. I can’t help but pull from that. It’s a part of me, but I think the notion that by writing out of an African American experience, it necessarily means no one else will want to see it—that’s probably a false dichotomy. So, I would say: “Yes, it is ‘for us,'” but in the course of being ‘for us,’ it becomes for everyone.
§ MariNaomi has a comic on Buzzfeed!
§ Former Beat contributor Seth Ferranti has his own company now, in a profile with a dramatic name: recounting his past as a drug lord and inmate:
Now a self-made writer, publisher and filmmaker, Ferranti channels his intense personal experiences into his work. With over 20 books published and 25,000 copies of his work sold, Ferranti is making a name for himself with GR1ND Studios, a company that joins the comic book world with stories of true crime. Their graphic novels and comic books all deal with true stories of mobsters and drug lords that are written by true-crime historians and urban fiction writers. Speaking at Wizard World in St. Louis this past weekend, Ferranti encourages people to think of GR1ND as “the Grand Theft Auto of comic books,” and it’s an apt description. With titles like “Confessions of a College Kingpin” and “Crack, Rap, & Murder,” Ferranti will be the first to say that his non-fiction comics (which are illustrated by other artists) are “not for kids.”
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.