Home Comics Comic Strips Catch-up news: Burford, etc.

Catch-up news: Burford, etc.


Some interesting stuff that we caught on our spin around the web:

§Brendan Burford named to replace the late Jay Kennedy:

Brendan Burford has been named comics editor of King Features Syndicate, effective immediately. The appointment comes about five weeks after the death of King Editor in Chief Jay Kennedy, whose duties included overseeing comics at the syndicate.

“Jay had planned for the inevitability of succession one day when he hired Brendan,” King President T.R. “Rocky” Shepard III said in a statement. “Brendan has worked side by side with Jay for the last seven years, and brings to his new position a broad knowledge of the comics and the cartoonists we represent as well as a deep love for the art form.”

Burford, who attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, spent a year working as an editorial assistant at DC Comics before joining King in January 2000 as editorial assistant. He was later promoted to assistant editor and then associate editor.

§Vertical ramps up with books and staff:

Vertical will publish about 30 books in 2007 and expects to eventually publish around 60 books a year once the new imprint is fully operational. Most of the increase will be manga. Vertical titles are acquired by Mentzas and Vertical president Hiroki Sakai, who is based in Tokyo.

Among the house’s bestselling titles are The Cute Book, among a series of “Japanese cute” craft titles from Aranzi Aronzo, a duo that uses cartoons to guide the creation of stuffed dolls; a series of sudoku titles (Higher Sudoku and O’Ekaki: Paint by Sudoku); vol. 1 of Buddha by the late Osama Tezuka; and mystery/horror novelist Keji Suzuki’s The Ring. After working to recruit translators qualified to work on business and history titles—most translators prefer fiction, said Mentzas—Vertical branched into business nonfiction with The Honda Myth by Masaaki Sato and history with Nanami Shiono’s Mediterranean trilogy, a three-volume narrative history of 15th-century Europe.

All together now: KIMBA! KIMBA! KIMBA!!!! Did you know that Jungle Taiteihas never appeared in English? We’ve seen it in French, Spanish, Italian and God knows what else but NEVER ENGLISH. Come on, people!

§ Johanna notes that what appears to be a comics magazine rivalry is Peter Bagge’s gain:

In February, TwoMorrows announced that their new magazine, Comics Introspective, would launch in July with a focus on Peter Bagge. Today, Tom Spurgeon posted an interview with Jon B. Cooke in which he announced that his magazine, Comic Book Artist, would finally return in September (after a two-year hiatus) with a focus on Peter Bagge.

What an odd coincidence. It becomes even odder when you realize that TwoMorrows used to publish CBA until it bolted for Top Shelf. I don’t know that they’ve ever said why, formally, although (at a baseless guess) it might have had to do with Cooke’s increasing disregard for timeliness. In the interview, though, Cooke says the former partners are amiable.

§ Rich reports on a rather interesting author coming to comics, Native American novelist Sherman Alexie:

Sherman Alexie, author of “Smoke Signals,” “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” and “Flight,” who also wrote the introduction to Jason Lutes’ “Jar Of Fools,” has two projects at Marvel. One is a mini-series starring the Native American mutant inventor Forge, the other is a mature readers Daredevil MAX series.


  1. The Sherman Alexie news is very interesting, indeed. Lone Ranger and Tonto ranks up there as one of my favorite books, as does Reservation Blues. Kinda fun to think what he might do with some of the familiar Marvel icons. Hope he adapts well to comics.

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