§ The future is…“?”

The transition within the book publishing industry from physical inventory stored in a warehouse and trucked to retailers to digital files stored in cyberspace and delivered almost anywhere on earth as quickly and cheaply as e-mail is now underway and irreversible. This historic shift will radically transform worldwide book publishing, the cultures it affects and on which it depends. Meanwhile, for quite different reasons, the genteel book business that I joined more than a half-century ago is already on edge, suffering from a gambler’s unbreakable addiction to risky, seasonal best sellers, many of which don’t recoup their costs, and the simultaneous deterioration of backlist, the vital annuity on which book publishers had in better days relied for year-to-year stability through bad times and good. The crisis of confidence reflects these intersecting shocks, an overspecialized marketplace dominated by high-risk ephemera and a technological shift orders of magnitude greater than the momentous evolution from monkish scriptoria to movable type launched in Gutenberg’s German city of Mainz six centuries ago.

[Via Jeff Newelt]

§ Musician Kid Koala is finishing his second graphic novel; hopefully it will not be swiped from based on a popular manga.

“This one is about space travel and isolation and interconnectivity,” he says. “There is one astronaut character who is floating in space in this one-person space pod. Meanwhile, the guardian of that character is left on earth, yet they have these similar days even though they’re light years apart.”

“I think ‘Space Cadet’ is really talking about how under it all, everyone’s kind of going through the same stuff,” San says, “without getting too sappy or new age-y though.”

§ Podcast alert: An All-star editions of Inkstuds with Deb Aoki, Chris Butcher, David Welsh, and Ryan Sands.

§ Podcast alert: Collect Comics Library talks to Craig Yoe

§ If you keep clicking around, You will find Brian K. Vaughan’s early Y THE LAST MAN screenplay.

§ Tim Hodler looks at the new Art of Jaime Hernandez book, and the comments turn into a sharp discussion about cropping art, design and other topics.

§ Cartoonist John Cassaday talks about drawing and directing with The American Cinematographer. [Via Spurge]


  1. The flow of news items about iPhone apps made me wonder how many iPhone users there are in the U.S. As of last October, there were about 8.97 million users, while Windows Mobile had about 7.13 million. The demographics for iPhone users are also very attractive — surprise, surprise.