§ THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN has opened in 19 foreign markets, and thus far made $55.8 million, a healthy start — but since it cost about $150-175 mil, it has a ways to go to hit green.

This weekend, the film about a young reporter seeking hidden treasure was No. 1 in 17 of the 19 markets in which it opened. The movie had the strongest debut in France, where it grossed $21.5 million, marking the second biggest debut of the year behind the eighth and final “Harry Potter” film. It also did solid business in Britain, Spain and “Tintin’s” native Belgium, where the movie grossed $2.1 million.

Reviews have been mixed thus far. Over at Cartoon Brew, animation buffs gives their own thoughts, which are similarly mixed. But the adventures aspect seems to have come on strong:

The great thing in the film is how Spielberg embrace performance capture to go crazy with his camera. I’m not talking about Zemeckis-flying-over-london crazy, I’m talking about breaking barriers of cinematographic language. He invents new way of making transitions, editing and narration that are beautiful, incredibly complicated technologically speaking and yet very simple and fluid on the screen (and I think it’s a great tribute to the art of storytelling of Hergé).

§ Johanna Draper Carlson notes that Papercutz Ninjagogo comics had a print run of 200,000, tops for the the year in GNs. Lego toy tie-in comics — such as this — have been spectacularly successful here in the US. so this isn’t much of a gamble.

§ ICv2 examined the rising tide effect of the New 52 and how and why September was a great month for all concerned:

So for the comics market (as measured by sales on the top 300 comic and graphic novel  titles) to have posted a 12.9% increase (or larger, see “Top 300 Shows Less Growth in August”) in August and a 7.4% increase in September took a much larger push than the numbers would indicate. Sales in comic stores over the last three months before August (May through July) had averaged over a 10% decline. And the seasonal impact is negative in September.  By our calculations, that makes a roughly 10% average increase over the previous year during August and September explainable only with a 20% bump from the previous run rate of 10% decline, without any seasonal effect. If you throw in a normal drop-off in September from the previous months, the effect of the New 52, not only on DC’s sales but on over-all sales, may have been on the order of a 25-30% increase over what would have otherwise occurred.

§ Dustin Harbin reports on the Charlotte, NC comics scene. As scenes go it’s a bit small, but growing.

§ Over in the Guardian, Rachel Cooke has a basic but strong The 10 best graphic novels –you could give any one of your friends a book on this list as a gift and not be considered insane.

§ The mystery of magenta.

§ Today’s “Local man in comics” profile is New Jersey’s Chris Eberle, who despite having two comics stores close over the years due to flooding, is back at it with a central Jersey one day show:

But like a superhero who never quits, the Bridgewater resident has reinvented himself as owner and organizer of the WildPig Comic Convention, which will be conducted at the Holiday Inn in the Somerset section of Franklin Somerset on Saturday.

Eberle sees himself as a crusader for comic books who is hoping to give the tight-knit comics community in Central Jersey a biannual show to call its own.


§ We missed last week’s interview with Library of American Comics principals Dean Mullaney and Kurtis Findlay who have many exciting comic strip reprint books on tap, including a very obscure comic strip by animation great Chuck Jones called Crawford:

Findlay: Believe it or not, I first learned about “Crawford” on Wikipedia. There are four good books on Chuck Jones and his career, but I found that none of them put any emphasis on his post-Warner Bros. career. I know that it is not the best go-to source for information, but that’s where I went to learn more. Buried in there was one sentence about a Chuck Jones newspaper comics strip.

I had to know more, so I did a bit of digging and found a few examples of the strip, but that was it. There was literally nothing more about “Crawford” on the internet. I had to know more, and I figured that others would want to more as well. That led to the decision to collect the strips into a book for the world to see. Really, who doesn’t want a book full of Chuck Jones’ art?

Based on the strips reproduced, it wasn’t the funniest thing, but the art is indeed stunning.

§ We are the last person on earth to link to this profile of Lynda Barry by Dan Kois which focuses on her writing workshops but you have to read it if you haven’t already.

“Kids don’t plan to play,” she told her class in the first day. “They don’t go: ‘Barbie, Ken, you ready to play? It’s gonna be a three-act.’ ” Narrative, Barry believes, is so hard-wired into human beings that creativity can come as naturally to adults as it does to children. They need only to access the deep part of the brain that controls that storytelling instinct. Barry calls that state of mind “the image world” and feels it’s as central to a person’s well-being as the immune system.

BONUS: A starter list of Barry’s books. including Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything, out this month which — AT LAST! –begins a reprinting of her complete comic strip works.