§ Johanna Draper Carlson looks at Josei Manga in the US:
In the US, josei titles have struggled. That’s unsurprising, given the typical audience for comics and graphic novels; older women are the last untapped market. Today, several of the most successful josei titles are sold as shojo, with age ratings or “mature content” warnings the only suggestion that they’re aiming for an older audience.
There’s also the question of labeling. In Japan, titles are categorized based on the target audience of the magazine that they originally appeared in. In the US, that method of classification is obscure at best. Arguments may also arise over whether something is josei or just mature shojo. The age of the protagonist, the challenges she faces, and the type of content all factor into this decision. That said, here are some of the high points of the genre in the US.
§ Martha Thomases reports on The Metropolitan’s day of superhero fashion panels:
Ross described his process as photorealistic, working from live models. “I draw better when I’m looking at something,” he said. To provide a sense of realism to how clothing would look on a body, he had a Superman costume built for his model. He now has a collection of several costumes.
Cassaday described how his aunt had given him a book on Batman from the 1930s to the 1970s when he was four years old. As a result, he became a fan of several different eras of Bat costumes. He used this affection in a Planetary story, one that paid special homage to Adam West.
§ Brian Hibbs reports from Rory Root’s Memorial:
I traveled to the Memorial with Jeff and Graeme, as well as Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan. We arrived right around 7 PM, while the event itself was scheduled to start at 5. I was told that the actual Stand-Up-And-Say-Something portion of it started about 6 (and it lasted until 10:30 or 11 or so, wow!)
When we showed up, the street in front of CR was packed, with probably 40-50 people milling about talking, reminiscing on the sidewalk. Immediately I recognized tons of people who came in from out of town — oh, there’s Diana Schutz, there’s Larry Marder, there’s Bob Wayne, it went on like that pretty much all night, every time I turned I saw someone in comics who’d flown in from out of town for this. To a certain extent, it might have been almost good that it happened the same weekend as Heroes Con, because otherwise maybe it would have shut down traffic, y’know?
§ Laura Hudson reports on IDW’s new line of children’s books:
Worthwhile Books, the children’s book imprint of comics publisher IDW that launched earlier this year, has announced its upcoming slate of books for fall and spring, including a number of children’s books by Emmy and Peabody award-winning Hollywood screenwriters. Worthwhile has already adapted several titles for the U.S. market through a first-look licensing deal with U.K. publisher Meadowside Books, including Michael Recycle, a story about a young environmental superhero, that had combined pre-orders of 125,000 copies for hardcover and paperback. A sequel, Litterbug Doug, is on the way for spring 2009.
§ MTV gets in on the act of solving DC’s movie problems:
Movies are where the real superhero action is these days, and Marvel, having scored major hits with the current “Iron Man” and “Hulk” films (and with “Thor,” “Captain America” and the all-star team-up “Avengers” already in the pipeline), is cleaning up at the box office. Meanwhile, DC and its corporate parent, Warner Bros., haven’t quite exploited their own stable of stars — not just Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, but also the Justice League of which all three of those characters are a part, along with Flash and Green Lantern. Turning these revered comics properties into money-minting movie franchises should have been a no-brainer. If the process has been mishandled, DC’s numbers are down, and fanboys are in revolt, what can be done about it? Plenty.