museum vaults
§ Sasha Watson profiles Marc-Antoine Mathieu and THE MUSEUM VAULTS, which was easily one of the best but most overlooked GNs of ’08:

“I started out imagining fantastical spaces that would give me total freedom to talk about a Louvre that was invisible but universal—an infinite space, like the space of art itself,” he says. To find this space, he had to “look sideways, out of the corner of my eye, take a significant step back from the subject right from the beginning.”

Of this method, Douar says, “Marc-Antoine Mathieu created a universe that is like the Louvre, but not exactly. It’s a kind of parallel world in which he examines, not the work, but the discourse around art.”

§ George Khoury takes a very personal look at the history of comic book journalism.

§ Paul Kupperberg is now a columnist for Comics Career, and he starts out with Thought: The Enemy of Art

§ Sean T. Collins is swept into BLACK HOLE.

§ Kiel Phegley interviews the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz.

§ Apparently, the creator of the Essex Trilogy and the upcoming Vertigo graphic novel THE NOBODY, Jeff Lemire, has joined the Standard Attrition crew.

§ Rick Veitch explains how they did special effects back before computers — you won’t believe your eyes!

§ Ed Chavez (we think) at Mangacast looks at declining numbers of Japanese manga magazines, but the list is a little esoteric if you’re not already conversant with the figures. Shōnen Jump selling 2,788,164 a week SOUNDS great…but it’s down, although the piece doesn’t make clear how much down.

No demo is more competitive than shounen. Look at how few magazines there are and then look at the numbers for the best sellers. Seven figure circulation is something that magazines anywhere globally would kill for. And then again, these numbers are down. Moreover, they have been going down for a while now. Sunday’s drop really has surprised me especially when considering how many of their titles are now becoming anime – Hayate the Combat Butler, Keichi the Strongest Disciple, Cross Game, Kekkaishi, Zettai Karen Children, MAJOR, Case Closed. I wonder if the controversies Shogakukan’s Sunday had last year attributed to their continued drop. They’ll definitely look to Takahashi Rumiko’s new title for a boost in 2009.

§ Speaking of down, the NY Daily News has a piece alarmingly titled “Batman, Iron Man among comic book stars hit hard by recession”, but it turns out to be an amusing meta-piece about how the characters are being written in the down economy:

While Batman has yet to have to tighten his utility belt, his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, has disappeared in a recent story line, leaving the board of Wayne Enterprises struggling to keep the company afloat.

And he’s just one of several superheroes looking to get up, up, and away from their financial problems.

“I don’t see how it doesn’t work into our storytelling if not only our readers are feeling it, but our creators are feeling it,” said Dan DiDio, executive editor at DC Comics.

§ Finally, I didn’t know writer Flannery O’Connor was a cartoonist in her youth.


  1. On its heyday about ten years ago, Shonen Jump would sell more than double that number.

    Here are graphics showing the sales numbers evolution for Jump and the main japanese shonen manga magazines:

    The decadence of japanese manga magazines is part of a global trend of comics periodics being replaced by more permanent (bookstore) editions. Currently the only country with a big comics industry where periodics represent most of sales is Italy – and sales there are going SERIOUSLY down! Even in Japan, TPB (tankohon) sales have surpassed magazine sales a couple of years ago.

    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)