§ Morning must-read: Over the weekend, Maltdown Comics in LA had a huge manga sale — 2000 titles on sale at $1 each — and Deb Aoki asks owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier about the state of manga in his shop. The overage is the result of unwise buying early on, he says; manga still sells, but it’s purchased more sensibly:
Gaston Dominguez-Letelier: That time (when we order any and all manga) has passed for us. We are left with 2,000 over-stocked books and we learned a lesson. We’ve since curbed our appetite for taking risks on unproven titles and are just stocking the greatest hits now.
Nowadays for us, it’s all about getting books that appeal to the more sophisticated readers out there and figuring out how best to cater to them.
§ Did you know that when you buy a copy of the new xkcd collection, you help build a library in Laos? That is a good deed. (Via Scott McCloud)
& And speaking of Scott McCloud, Shaenon K. Garrity writes of a recent encounter with him:
Every time I see McCloud, he’s got a new theory. I suspect this would be the case if I saw McCloud every twenty minutes. He just dropped by the Cartoon Art Museum to peruse the Monsters of Webcomics show, and at one point he leaned over and asked me, “Are you familiar with something called the ‘silent issue’ of the G.I. Joe comic?”
Did he mean “Silent Interlude,” issue #21, starring Snake-Eyes? I was familiar. Oh yes.
“I’ve come to realize,” he said, “that comic was a kind of watershed moment for cartoonists of your generation. Everyone remembers it. All these things came out of it. It was like 9/11.”
The payoff to this column is terrific. And worth pondering.
§ Comics professional goes to comics shop; finds little to buy.
§ The venerable comic strip Hi and Lois recently referenced webcomics and the monetization thereof via merchandising in a vaguely humorous fashion, leading to cries from many corners that the strip was attempting to be hip and cutting edge.
§ When being a pack-rat pays off: More of Scott Edelman’s stupendously fascinating collection of memos.
The anthropologist, who is a long-time comic book fan but recently got involved in “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” fandom, made the comparison of a boy who studies the back of a football player’s rookie card while his sister couldn’t care less about those statistics, instead focusing on how seeing a touchdown made her feel. She said the same can be said about how most men and women communicate about properties like Pokemon or the X-Men.
because growing up, we TOTALLY read the stats on the backs of baseball cards, and studied ERAs and batting averages and so on.
Actually that whole piece is a little annoying because it supposes that women fans are something new. Woman have ALWAYS been big, big fans of all sorts of things, with clubs and membership cards and everything. It just seems that women’s interests and “fan” interests are increasingly overlapping. And why should that ever be a bad thing?
§ Two reports on this weekend’s BangPop show in Bangor, ME. This one focuses on a guy who dressed as a Transformer.
“I’ll take you all on,” Ray Maddocks, 39, of Morrill said as he struggled Saturday in the bulky homemade costume to make his way into the second annual BangPop Comic Book and Pop Culture Convention.
Maddocks and his friend Elmer Nickerson, 38, of Searsport dug out the costumes they made seven or eight years ago for Halloween to show off at the event, which is designed to bring a slice of big-time comic culture displayed at events such as the Comic-Con International in San Diego to the Queen City.
This one provides a nice overview. One story says that 300 people attended on Saturday, which sounds quite petite, but there’s a lot of enthusiasm captured in both pieces.
§ Speaking of enthusiasm, two brothers find happiness opening a comics shop in Joplin, MO:
“It’s a little bit nerve-racking, but it’s the greatest thing we could ever do,” Nathan said. “We’re working harder than we ever have before, and there’s a lot more overhead now. But we’re having more fun than we ever had.”