§ Controversial cartoonist Ted Rall is embroiled in controversy again! He was removed from the LA Times as a columnist after the Times found that a May 11th post about a 2001 jaywalking incident was inconsistent with evidence supplied by the LAPD. Rall responded to the charges with his own detailed blog post. The evidence from the LAPD was an audio tape made by the arresting officer—whom Rall says handcuffed him and threw his driver’s license into the gutter. I don’t know the truth of this matter, but it is mind-boggling that a major metropolitan police department has been sitting on an audio recording from 14 years ago until now.
§ Comicbook.com, which always has the inside scoop on Marvel print runs, reported that the first Star Wars trade paperbac will have a 250,000 print run.
The first collected edition of Marvel Comics’ Star Wars series will sell between 225,000 and 250,000 copies in its first printing, ComicBook.com has learned exclusively. That’s about five times the average first volume trade collection of Marvel series, which average between 30,000 and 50,000 sales. That also means that Star Wars is retaining roughly the same number of readers from peridocals to trades, with sales of the first trade translating to roughly 20-25% of the sales of the series’ first issue. When the series launched, Star Wars #1 sold over a million copies, becoming the top-selling single-issue comic book of the last twenty years. Star Wars also became the first-ever million-selling periodical comic book sold exclusively through direct market channels without the aid of newsstands.
That is an undeniably healthy number but if it wasn’t healthy, something would be wrong.
§ But it’s still small potatoes compared to Attack on Titan which has more than 2.5 million copies of the ENGLISH language edition in print.
Fifteen volumes of the Attack on Titan manga have been published here in North America where the property remains the #1 manga franchise in bookstores and comic book shops according to ICv2’s authoritative survey of manga sales (see “Top 10 Manga Franchises—Spring 2015”). Volume #1 of Attack on Titan has remained on the “New York Times Manga Bestseller List” for 100 straight weeks, an indication that new fans are continually discovering the franchise.
§ On Thursday a new documentary about comics called COMIX Beyond the Comic Book Pages, will be shown at 7:00 PM at the Landmark Regent Theatre in LA. Director Michael Valentine spent a decade making the movie and interviewing such folk as Stan Lee (Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four), Frank Miller (Sin City, 300), Neal Adams (Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Superman, Justice League of America), Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Productions (Hellboy, Sin City, Goon, and Concrete), Marc Silvestri of Image Comics and Top Cow Productions (Tomb Raider, Hunter Killer, Witchblade), and Todd McFarlane (Spawn). The film also includes numerous interviews with fans caught both at home and in the wild at cons around California. I knwo nothing about this film but you can learn more at their website.
§ Speaking of films, Hans Rickheit’s webcomic Cochlea and Eustachia is a spectacularly creepy and unsettling series in which two barely clad young sprites wander round a steampunky environment while occasionally being dismembered. Rickheit has made a wee animation test for the duo, and hopes to do more. Creepy. (via The Comics Reporter)
§ I enjoyed this review of Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito by Chris Randle.
§ Someone in the comments here and ICv2 pointed out something interesting about yesterday’s announcement that IDW’s Brooklyn Animal Control had a pilot order from USA Network. This project, originated from writer and Hollywood vet JT Petty started life in IDW’s entertainment division, and the “comic book” series is really only a single digital comic, available on Comixology. That is a pretty efficient use of a comic to sell a tv property—a lot of people have wasted a lot of money launching entire huge comics companies to do that. Congrats to IDW and Petty for practically winning the lottery. r
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.