Home Columns Kibbles 'n' Bits Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 7/20/15: Ladies killing it on the Bestsellers list

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 7/20/15: Ladies killing it on the Bestsellers list

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https://twitter.com/FaithErinHicks/status/622769510169346048
§ As revealed by Faith Erin Hicks in the above tweet, the New York Times Graphic Novel best sellers lists are teeming with female creators, especially on the paperback list where Kieron Killen and Jamie McKelvie are the only male representatives. The hardcover list has 2 1/2 female created books, and there’s at least one on the manga list. I’ve been telling you this for FOUR YEARS.

§ This has been linked all over (and I’m adding it to my resources page) but Greg Pak has a great primer on how to run a Kickstarter that covers all the basics. He is, after all, a fine writer.

§ Oh yeah, I have a resources page for breaking in to comics and survival tips. If you have any links to add let us know!

§ Guy Delcourt owner and publisher of Delcourt, one of the biggest and most successful French comics cublishers, did the interview rounds at San Diego but his chat with Tom Spurgeon is my favorite:

SPURGEON: Why do you think that is? I know there are people all throughout the French-language industry who would love to see deeper penetration into the English-language market, and I’m even aware of a push at the ministry of culture level for BD to have the same level of penetration here as manga has. Why in general do you think we haven’t seen that broader effort catch fire here?

DELCOURT: First of all, manga is very marketed. It’s a whole bunch of work, with a lot of similarities, and it’s propelled by movies, television series, anime, whatever. That’s not the same of France. France is more of an industry, more a collection of individual stories and books than a big group. That’s one big difference. The other thing is that the French-sized album in print is so different than the US-sized comics that it’s difficult to penetrate. I think that comic book shops don’t know what to do with them. They don’t fit into their racks. They’re not easy to market. Because they are series, there’s a risk in taking volume number one, number two, number three. If it catches on with number four, you have to buy back issues, which may not be easy because print runs aren’t great. There are cultural and technical differences that have made it difficult. Digital, of course, makes everything different.


Delcourt was promoting the new invasion of French comics in digital form on Comixology, and this interview does a good idea of explaining why this is important.

§ Tim Hodler has an equally awesome interview with Dan Clowes about The Complete Eightball.

A lot of the work was from about issue seven on. It was very early digital stuff where they just didn’t know what they were doing at that time, so they would scan it at 300 dpi instead of 1200 dpi and, you know, shrink the x margin and not the y margin, and just do all kinds of just obscene stuff to the artwork. I didn’t want to reprint that stuff. Some of those covers are missing half the lines because they were scanned so poorly. But of course I had also sold almost all of that original art, so we had to track down the owners numerous times and then try to con them into sending us the artwork so we could rescan it. It was just an incredible laborious process.

§ I’m sure you all saw this Vanity Fair profile of Noelle Stevenson by JOanna Robinson, but did you notice it was tagged Comic-Con? A Comic-Con article about comics! Stevenson’s Nimona is one of the comics on that best-seller list, BTW.

§ And so is this book which came out a while ago, but I just got it at Comic-Con and I can’t wait to read it! It has charts and everything.

§ Over at Panels, they spent the afternoon drawing Kate Beaton’s Fat Pony, star of its own book, recently out. A fine use of time.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Heidi, it’s great to see solid representation for women creators on the NYT Best Sellers list. First off, they are all well crafted stories by talented artists. Equally important is the publisher’s role in supporting the books. On both the hard cover and paper back lists you can see where the imprint is from the traditional publishing houses. It’s interesting to see The Wicked & the Divine (Image) on the paper back list and the two DC titles The Killing Joke, and Batgirl VOL 1 on the hard cover list.

    The NYT Best Sellers are generated by reports from the traditional retail markets. The book buyers and retail staff have developed a much stronger affinity for, and better educated approach to buying comics/graphic novels. The traditional houses are publishing some really great titles and this is certainly helping to expand into the comics publishing market. As houses like Image, Dark Horse, DC continue to broaden their vision of the market place, beyond the direct market, we may begin to see even more of their titles reach the best seller’s lists.

    I should add that DC titles have been showing up on the lists for a while now but with more great books coming from the rest of the traditional publishing houses, the competition for a spot in the top ten is only going to get tougher.

  2. The Donner Party is a fine read. Lots of great charts (I love how he organized the various parties in the wagon train)!
    He does allow the reader to skip ahead to the end if they don’t want to read the grisly (and gristly) passages.
    Oh, and he’s on the bestseller list as well.

  3. About those graphic albums…
    DC and Marvel had the same problem in the 80s.
    So they (via the Comics Magazine Association of America?) offered specialized spinner racks for B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, usually situated near the magazine stand. Half of the fixture was for comics, the other half for albums.

    I would be surprised if Delcourt did not offer similar displays for retailers in France.
    I know Germany’s Egmont/Ehapa does offer a wide range of fixtures.
    http://www.ehapa-verkaufshilfen.de/
    (*schnief* s’wunderschön!)

    As for the size… well, graphic novels aren’t that easy to display either! They tend to be thin (150 pages). When in Montreal, I discovered that comics shops (ENG+FRA) stored them in bins similar to LPs. Actual bookstores (Librairie Marché du Livre!) had tiered waterfalls, where everything was faced out, and one could flip through series or alphabets.

    At my store, we shelved them on the bottom shelf. (Tintin, Asterix). How do comics shops merchandise albums such as Cinebook, Asterix, Tintin?

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