The lurid, obsessive novels of Mike Baron


Mike Baron is best known as the co-creator of Nexus and Badger, two of the signature comics series of the indie 80s. While the ups and downs of his nexus co-conspirator Steve Rude have been pretty well documented, what about Baron? We hear he’s got a revamp of the Badger simmering at the resurrected First Comics. But he’s also staying incredibly busy turning out novels by the bushel. In fact he has turned out three in recent months, with appropriately pulpy covers. Yes they are e-books, but no feverish novel about a spook called in to discover why the world’s leaders are spontaneously combusting is complete without a pulpy cover!

Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey Treasury is coming in November


Instant want: Fantagraphics will be collecting Tony Millionaire’s Sock Monkey stories in a treasury edition. The books originally came out from Dark Horse but are joining Millionaie’s Maakie’s collections at FBI.

Marvel’s graphic novel program examined again—and Marvel’s response


The somewhat uneven performance of Marvel’s graphic novel program is a frequent topic of analysis when we talk about graphic novel programs here. Both the Diamond and Bookscan numbers for 2012 showed Marvel — the #1 publisher overall in the Direct Sales market — surprisingly far back in the pack where books are concerned.

Riordan reveals cover for new Percy Jackson graphic novel


The trend of adapting prose authors into GN form seems to have slowed down a bit, but the third volume of the GN version of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series is coming out this fall. Riordan unveiled the cover on his blog. The comics version is by the busy Robert Vendetti with art by Attila […]

BookScan: Kids’ comics and The Walking Dead ruled bookstore sales in 2012


It’s my FAVORITE day of the year, when Brian Hibbs posts the year-end sales from bookstores via the Bookscan chart. Now we know these numbers are significantly low, but as I always say, they present a metric.

The huge take away? Well, we all knew The Waking Dead was a juggernaut,—sales in this franchise would have made it the #3 publisher all by itself—but after that it’s kids comics all the way, led by the maybe-comics of Dork Diaries, but following by Big Nate, Ninjago, Ursula Vernon’s Dragonbreath, Drama and so on.

Anxiety grows as Barnes & Noble announces closure of 200 stores over the next decade


Short version, the last remaining book retail giant plans to close as many as a third of its stores over a 10-year period—although that may be an optimistic projection, as well. Slowed by the rise of digital and a lack of new malls, B&N oipened only two stores in the last fiscal year, and it’s end of year profits were well below what was expected. While the Nook ereaders has been a bright spot, sales there have slowed as well. So a leaner meaner BN seems to be in the cards.

Preview: Who is AC? by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja


With 2013 barreling along, it’s time to start looking at some of books that are going to make it a notable year, and here’s one that has flown mostly under the radar until now: Who is AC? by Hope Larson with art by Tintin Pantoja, to be published by Atheneum on April 16th. It’s Larson’s first original GN since Mercury, she she describes it thusly:

Study: kids getting into ebooks, still like reading


Every couple of years, Scholastic, the biggest played in the kids book arena, releases a study on how kids read called The Kids and Family Reading Report. Jim Milliot sums up this year’s findings, which largely centered on kids and ebooks:

Trailer for Ellis’s GUN MACHINE features Wheaton and Templesmith


In case you didn’t get the memo, Warren Ellis’s second novel is out tis week. It’s called Gun Machine, and it’s a dark story about a New York City detective who finds a room full of guns that proves a killer has been commiting high profile crimes for more than 20 years. It’s selling very […]

Before Watchmen and Solo get deluxe collections this summer


DC also released their collection plans for the DCU for May-August, and they include FOUR deluxe editions collecting the various BEFORE WATCHMEN miniseries. Perhaps even more excitingly, a big collection rounding all of the excellent (and out of print) Solo artist spotlight books will be out in June. We seem to recall some of these […]

So what’s up at Vertigo, anyway? A Sandman Omnibus for one thing.


When it was announced that executive editor Karen Berger was stepping down last week, articles on the Vertigo imprint immediately took on an elegiac tone—even though official DC press outlets insisted that the line was not going any where. Everyone seemed to be projecting their own anxieties onto the line’s fate. Now, an ICv2 interview […]

More numbers: Ebook sales projection for 2012


For you number-lovers out there, and we know you are out there, here’s something a bit more speculative but still interesting. Retailer Matt Blind has used his very own arcane logarithm to calculate approximate Ebook sales numbers by dollars for the last few years. And here’s his chart, clickee for biggee. (Methodology is in the […]

First Look: Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant


Animator Tony Cliff makes his debut at First Second this fall with Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, a new GN from First Second, about a globe-trotting adventuring heroine in the picturesque past. Lovable ne’er-do-well Delilah Dirk is up to her ears in trouble . . . as usual.  Our story opens with Delilah, up […]

More comics make more “Best Of” lists for 2012


As year-end lists of best continue to come out at a steady clip, graphic novels continue to be represented on lists—not as a special category but as their own thing. And that’s a good thing. § Dan Kois at Slate lists his best books of 2012 and GNs are represented by the award-winning Jim Henson’s […]

Breaking: Graphic novels are DEFINITELY not just for nerds any more


Over the holiday weekend, I had a chance to view Ron Mann’s documntary Comic Book Confidential, about which I will have more to say at a future date, but the 1989 film serves as a nice recap of the story until the comics shop collapse of the 90s—from Wertham to Maus and Miller, a pretty […]

Best Comics of 2012: Washington Post

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Well, the year is winding down, and with it comes the annual “Best Of” lists from various websites and media.  Publishers Weekly led the charge, issuing an actual graphic novel listing within their greater big list, with Chris Ware’s Unbuilding making the overall “Best Books” listing. Yesterday, the Washington Post released their list, and it […]