Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 10/17/17: Funko’s sales are nearly as big as the whole comics industry?

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§ Nice Art: It was Joltin’ Joe Sinnott’s 91st birthday yesterday! Let us celebrate with some of his own art. Although best known as one of the all time greatest inkers (his work with Jack Kirby a particular standout) Sinott also could draw pretty darn good all by himself!

§ My Kibbling and bitting has slowed down due to the whole world being on tenterhooks waiting for the latest tweet, or shooting or bombing or some other horrible thing. At least that’s my interpretation. There is no normal left, and we’re fully aware we’re living in the dystopian world it was fun to read about but not as fun to actually live in.

Or else the comics industry is just tuckered out from New York Comic Con.

§ Here’s a well reported piece on Marvel Comics’ diversity efforts over the last three years, that includes people grading the publisher and white people seem to think it’s B-ish and people of color seem to think it’s C-ish. Hm, I wonder why that is.

§ ICv2 reports that Funko has filed for an IPO, meaning they’ll be publicly traded and I can snoop into their financials. The offering is backed by a bunch of blue-chippers like Goldman Sachs and so on, because who does not love Funko Pop? What caught my eye in the report was this tidbit though:

The company, whose sales are nearly the size of the entire comics and graphic novel business, has been prepping for an IPO or sales to a strategic acquirer this year (see “Funko Prepping for Possible IPO or Sale”).  It’s bulked up with acquisitions of Underground Toys (see “Funko Acquiring Underground Toys Assets”)and Loungefly (see “Funko Acquires Licensed Accessory Company”).  The largest retailer of Pop! Vinyl figures is now Gamestop (see “Who’s the Largest Retailer of Pop! Vinyl Figures?”).

Emphasis mine. I don’t doubt the well-informed Milton Griepp, but according to Forbes their sales in 2016 were a mere $425 million. But still…people love those toys.

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§ Robyn Chapman looks at some ofearly self published comics. Davis (How to be Happy) has developed into one of comics keenest observers and storytellers but her early stuff set her firmly on the bath she now follows:

I’d like to turn the clock back and look at her early work, focusing on the comics she self-published between 2003 and 2006. Davis discovered zines as a teenager and had published several by the time she graduated high school. She went on to study cartooning at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and during those years she created remarkably sophisticated minicomics (and lots of them). These minicomics generally had a production value beyond your standard fold-and-staple zine. They were cut, punched, printed, stickered, and even burned—and these details were generally relevant to the story within. Her comics were each carefully constructed from cover to cover, and often printed on high-quality paper. So while I see these works as minicomics, those in the fine arts world would see them as artist books.

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§ This is a super old link, but eight female comics artists collaborated on designing the showspace for the Spring Prada fashion line. including Brigid Elva, Giuliana Maldini, Joelle Jones, Trina Robbins, Emma Rios, Tarpe Mills, Natsumo Ono and Fiona Staples. Moe photos of the chic decor in the link.

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§ And while we’re talking about female cartoonists of the past and present, here’s a brief profile of Fay King, and editorial cartoonist of 100 years ago.

A writer, cartoonist and wit, Fay King arrived at The Denver Post in April 1912 with a self-portrait in the paper. The accompanying story described her as “the greatest woman cartoonist, caricaturist and ‘kidder’ in the world.” Her friends remembered her as “a petite pretty little woman with big eyes, bobbed hair and a notepad.” She was a rarity — a woman newspaper cartoonist.

As brief as this report is, King seems to have lived the kind of dramatic life that all the great creative women of the times lead, including a messy tabloid marriage and divorce from a famous boxer, and some of the earliest autobiographical comics. This lady was busy!

§ The Lakes Festival was a bit of a shitstorm, which I’ll get to in a bit, but in more placid news, Dave McKean won the first ever International Award for Excellence in Comic Art, or the Sergio, as its called. As we may have noted at TCAF, not only is McKean one of the greatest artists of this comics era, but he can also write film scores and operettas, play the piano and sing in a pretty good baritone. The man is sickeningly talented so, sure, give him some awards.

§ The Ladies-In-Waiting by Santiago Garcia and Javier Olivares, or Las Meninas as its known in Spain where it was first published, created quite a stir there. It’s been put out in English here by Fantagraphics and here’s something about it:

A fictional account of a mysterious and famous painting and a fragmented history of its birth add up to make for an unusual subject for a graphic novel. Santiago Garcia and Javier Olivares’s The Ladies-In-Waiting is an attempt to unveil the mystery shrouding Spanish painter Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez’s famous work Las Meninas, while meditating about the Spaniard’s life. A postmodern novel with a touch of pastiche, an absence of verifiable facts, and accounts of events by unreliable witnesses, this graphic narrative is a smörgåsbord of ideas with broad flatline German Expressionist style illustrations.

§ Meanwhile The Wrap offers a solid list of 5 Essential Graphic Novels to Read if you’re into Riverdale. Which people are.

§ Ron Howard has teased that the character Tag and Bink, a pair of bumbling rebels originally created for the Dark horse Star Wars comics, will appear in the Han Solo origin movie.

Even before the Star Wars expanded universe was given the boot by Disney, the books featuring Tag and Bink were never really considered canon. And yet, it appears that the characters will become so in the new Star Wars movie about Han Solo. Ron Howard tweeted out the picture of the two, possibly in disguise as Imperial officers, with the hashtag to tell us who they are.

The Han Solo movie still has no title, no trailer and a lot of questions.

§ We’ve mocked CBR’s trend towards listicles but 15 Actors Who Ruined Their Careers In DC Movies lays out a long list of people who flailed around after appearing in an early Batman film. I don’t think you can REALLY blame Michelle Pfeiffer and KIm Basinger’s career declines on Batman, but Alicia Silverstone, hell yeah.

Actors such as Michael Keaton, Christopher Reeve, Jack Nicholson, and Gene Hackman laid the foundation for performers such as Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Heath Ledger, and Kevin Spacey to introduce new interpretations of Batman, Superman, The Joker, and Lex Luthor to a whole generation of fans. But not all actors delivered stellar takes on the DC’s beloved characters, in fact…their careers were stained because of their affiliations with the characters. CBR has found 15 performers whose careers took either a nose dive or stalled because of their involvement with DC Comics-related films.

§ Finally, great news! Kevin Smith Is Fully Behind The DC Extended Universe’s Future. Dodged a bullet there!

3 COMMENTS

  1. I would go F- on the diversity stuff. I was at a C before Gabriel blamed his company’s poor sales on the diverse characters.

  2. Now if only there was a way to get that Funko market to buy comics/graphic novels regularly. Perhaps a bundle of the two. Draw them in with the Funko Pops and then convert them to comics. An example could be A Batman Funko Pop Vinyl packaged in with the first trade of a popular Batman run. Sell it at a good price and you could get people who wouldn’t usually buy to give it a go and potentially come back for volume 2.

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