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Kibbles ‘n’ bits 4/1

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§ OMIGAWD! We’re up for a 2008 Golden Champagne Glass Award! What shall we wear??

§ HOTWIRE’S Glenn Head wrote to inform us that he would be appearing on Monday’s edition of SPEAKEASY on WFMU. We didn’t get a chance to post the alert, but you CAN listen to the archive here.

§ Pam Noles‘s photos of Drew Friedman at book signing. Seen here with Carl Ballantine. [Via Flog.]

§ Bookslut is seeking a new Comic Book columnist.

§ Mai Mai is back!

§ Steve Higgins talks “Bringing Comics into the Classroom”:

When I first taught this course several years ago at another college (Olney Central College, a community college on the east side of Illinois), it was a bit more rare then to see comics as part of an academic curriculum. The National Association of Comics Arts Educators was just forming, bringing together the handful of educators around the country who dealt with comics in their classrooms in some way, and their website (http://www.teachingcomics.org/) proved an invaluable resource to me in convincing my dean at the time to allow me to teach the course.

Today, however, comics have a firm foothold in academia, with schools around the country from Yale down to our area’s own SIU-Edwardsville offering courses solely in comics. Many individual courses from various disciplines are also including a graphic novel into their curriculum; Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis in particular is popular in courses on women’s lit and was already being taught at my school when I was hired.


§ One of those fancy schmancy new Concept Borders stores is to open in Vegas!

Borders will officially open the 22,000-square-foot store, located at Town Square at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 on Las Vegas Blvd., when grand opening festivities kick off April 4.


§ A new book by Dan Roam makes bold claim that “Pictures aid communication” :

His book does three big things really well. First, it presents a persuasive argument for employing simple iconography as a means of communicating and persuading. Next, he provides some important and powerful examples. Finally, he tells and shows how to do it. As a way to inspire and motivate, for some people — many people in this nascent post-literate era — pictures are more immediate and persuasive than words. The only drawback about it is this: For some, words are enough. The images they create may be personal and powerful. Defining them tends to limit them.


§ At the recent Sakura-Con, Deb Aoki reports that Dark Horse’s venerated manga editor Carl Horn expostulated yet again that more adult manga doesn’t sell:

But what also came out in the lively Q&A with editor Carl Horn was a list of some of Dark Horse’s critically-acclaimed titles that are returning disappointing sales figures. Struggling titles mentioned include horror/suspense titles Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Mail as well as Hiroshi Hirata’s samurai epic, Satsuma Gishiden. In the case of Satsuma Gishiden, Horn explained, “Hiroshi Hirata has created one of the best samurai manga, ever. But we couldn’t continue publishing it after volume 3, because it wasn’t selling.”


§ Seattle P-I’ cartoonist David Horsey deals with repercussions of comic that was considered anti-Semitic by some.

§ Kevin Spacey does not read the internet, apparently.

§ Put on your Marvel shoes and dance the blues.

§ Political cartoonist Stephanie McMillan interviewed.

§ ‘Tooner Chester Commodore subject of art exhibit in Chicago.

§ Javier Loustaunau has an overview of Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar series.

§ Steve Duin reviews That Salty Air.

§ Eddie Campbell battles Mark Evanier over the immortal soul of Vinnie Colletta.

  1. “Carl Horn expostulated yet again that more adult manga doesn’t sell”

    I wonder if the trouble isn’t that adult manga isn’t selling, but rather that this type of adult manga has reached its saturation? Personally, I have no interest in anything with graphic violence, nudity, profanity, excessive cleavage etc. But I’d love to see series that depict adult lives without delegating it to the same vein as cheap romance novels (like the line Harlequin tried to sell).

    IMHO, while the market is saturated with several certain types of genres (shoujo, shounen, seinen), there is very little for the readers who’ve grown up and expect more grown-up things without being hit in the face with it. IMHO, Vertical has been the best at meeting this demands so far, providing a range of stories to satisfy my more adult reading habits without screaming “mature content!” Stories like Buddha, Ode to Kirihito, and To Terra have been wonderful reads. Tokyopop’s “Tramps Like Us” (which is, sadly, now complete) was another favorite with a compelling and a relateable storyline.

    When more publishers start putting out more high-quality, well-written, titles for grown-ups, I’ll be one of the first to buy, and I know a veritable horde who would be not-so-far behind.

    Never though I’d say this: but I’ve grown out of shoujo. The demand has been met and the market has leveled. There IS no more room for let’s-see-if-it-sticks type explosive growth tactics. It’s time to grow somewhere else. :)

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