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§ Lea Hernandez is taking commissions. Above is one.

§ Brigid AlversonJohanna Draper Carlson is giving away copies of BLACK JACK, Vols. 1-3. Hurry, hurry!

§ Macmillan is running a contest to give away 10 exclusive posters of Neil Gaiman signed by Dave McKean to celebrate the release of Prince of Stories, a literary history of Gaiman’s works. Details here. (Thanks to Sven Larsen for the link.)

§ CBR interviews Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas on the Nü Marvel years. Below, Jemas on the birth of the trades:

Before Joe became Editor-In-Chief, one of the things he was beating the drum about was to get involved in the graphic novel business in a serious way. Having sold-out regular issues really helped the industry stomach the concept of graphic novels. There was an old, kind of stupid question that people asked about for years, “If you’re going to issue the graphic novel, why would anybody buy the comic book?” The reason why it’s a stupid question is because, well, they do, so why are you asking me the stupid question? Let’s make booth. At the time it was a fairly nervy move. So we printed, I think, 6000 “Ultimate Spider-Man” graphic novel collections so we could get it at a decent price and sell it at a fair price to retail. See how far we’ve come, Joe? That was a really scary moment. Talk about your job being at stake — we took our last few thousand dollars in the budget to print a graphic novel collection when our whole graphic novel business in a year might have been 5000 units.

§ And here we are today, as Acme Comics interviews Marvel editor Jen Grünwald:

SM: What one project that you’ve been trying to get started at Marvel or that you were trying to get collected into trade, even since you’ve started working there that you’re still trying to push through.
JG: There’ve been a few that have happened. Once when I was younger I wanted to read Dazzler comics. I guess it’s not that hard to get now, but at the time I didn’t know, so that was really cool to do the Dazzler Essential. And then I finally got Sean [McKeever]’s Young Inhumans, or Inhumans that we’re calling Young Inhumans, in trade finally fully collected. But I really want to do a Rogue trade or like every appearance. [laughs] Like from the first appearance.

§ Splash Page interviews comics types about the election results:

“Hate” and “Apocalypse Nerd” creator Peter Bagge, who has created comic strips for the Libertarian magazine “Reason,” says that he is pleased with the Obama victory “mainly because the Republican Party has so thoroughly disgraced itself that they needed to be sent to exile. Plus the symbolism behind the election of a non-white male for once can’t be underestimated, especially regarding how we’re perceived in the rest of the world.”

§ Frank Miller will be a guest programmer for Turner Classic Movies in December:

“I’ve always loved crime movies,” Miller explains to host Robert Osborne in choosing “The Naked City” (1948), in which his favorire character is “New York City itself.” He admires Gary Cooper’s heroic performance in “High Noon” (1952), while finding that film to be “an epiphany. . .an inevitable surprise,” Miller picks “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947) because its cast–Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven–makes “the difference between a serviceable movie and a great movie.” “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” (1974) gets Miller’s nod partly because it “was made in the same decade when I cut my teeth in New York.”

[Link via Peter Sanderson.]

§ Todd Allen has fun with LinkedIn and Marvel.


  1. ? Ultimate Spider-Man ? Marvel was publishing trades long before that. Publishers Group West distributed them to the book trade since… 1982? (Marvel is currently repped by Diamond Book.) Most of what Marvel sold before the Manga Explosion were copies published for the Direct Market.

    Then there was the spiner rack program of the mid-1980s, where Waldenbooks and B. Dalton featured comics and graphic albums.

    And before that, they had an agreement with Simon & Schuster, distributing trades via S&S and mass market reprints via Pocket Books. (“How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” is still published by S&S.)

    So Marvel should have had some data on what was selling in bookstores before then. (Going back to the mid-1970s with “Origins of Marvel Comics”.) With the Direct Market, they could have easily redirected a few cases to trade distributors while using the nonreturnable copies to fund the expirement of returnable trade copies.

    Post-Manga, Marvel had done an excellent job of following the trade model of publishing affordable hardcover editions first, followed a few seasons later by the trade paper edition. (Although I have yet to see any remainder copies in bookstores… *SIGH* guess they get pushed over to the direct market…)

  2. It’s really hard to take anything Bill Jemas & Joe Quesada are saying seriously, because they seem to be making up history as they go along. Take for instance the long discussion about how they brought Mark Bagley back to prominence.

    JQ: Basically, Mark was a big mainstream comics guy for a while doing Spider-Man, but somewhere along the way Mark ended up doing more licensed and custom comics, if I’m not mistaken. I just know he wasn’t drawing any of the mainstream stuff. He left for DC for a little bit and Bill just had this vision that Mark was the guy. Before I knew it, Mark was attached to the project and I was like, “Wow, Bagley’s back? I didn’t even know he was around doing comics.” So he really sort of brought Bagley back. While Mark had some great success early on in his career, “Ultimate Spider-Man” is arguably the thing he’ll be best known for — over 100 issues with Bendis. It was a magnificent run.
    BJ: Joe, ask [Marvel Publisher] Dan Buckley about this. Mark and I worked on this really cool set of Spider-Man cards together four or five years before then, but I think Buckley called up from retirement, heard about this, knew my house was on fire and I think he was the one who said to use Bagley.
    JQ: I just remember that Mark wasn’t a main Marvel guy back then.

    What an interesting and imaginary story!

    Bagley left Amazing Spider-Man to do Thunderbolts and was still doing Thunderbolts as Ultimate Spider-Man started. In fact he was doing both titles for months: his final Thunderbolts issue was #50 and which came out the same month as Ultimate Spider-Man #7.

    Bagley also found time during his busy Marvel schedule to work for DC. This amounted to doing work on part of an issue of Superboy and part of an issue of Superman 80page Giant.

    For Jemas & Quesada to not remember he was working there is surprising, but to make up a fake job history is embarrassing. So what else in the interview is wrong?