§ Morning must-read: Over the weekend, Maltdown Comics in LA had a huge manga sale — 2000 titles on sale at $1 each — and Deb Aoki asks owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier about the state of manga in his shop. The overage is the result of unwise buying early on, he says; manga still sells, but it’s purchased more sensibly:

Gaston Dominguez-Letelier: That time (when we order any and all manga) has passed for us. We are left with 2,000 over-stocked books and we learned a lesson. We’ve since curbed our appetite for taking risks on unproven titles and are just stocking the greatest hits now.

Nowadays for us, it’s all about getting books that appeal to the more sophisticated readers out there and figuring out how best to cater to them.

Xkcd Book 300§ Did you know that when you buy a copy of the new xkcd collection, you help build a library in Laos? That is a good deed. (Via Scott McCloud)

& And speaking of Scott McCloud, Shaenon K. Garrity writes of a recent encounter with him:

Every time I see McCloud, he’s got a new theory. I suspect this would be the case if I saw McCloud every twenty minutes. He just dropped by the Cartoon Art Museum to peruse the Monsters of Webcomics show, and at one point he leaned over and asked me, “Are you familiar with something called the ‘silent issue’ of the G.I. Joe comic?”

Did he mean “Silent Interlude,” issue #21, starring Snake-Eyes? I was familiar. Oh yes.

“I’ve come to realize,” he said, “that comic was a kind of watershed moment for cartoonists of your generation. Everyone remembers it. All these things came out of it. It was like 9/11.”

The payoff to this column is terrific. And worth pondering.

§ Comics professional goes to comics shop; finds little to buy.

§ The venerable comic strip Hi and Lois recently referenced webcomics and the monetization thereof via merchandising in a vaguely humorous fashion, leading to cries from many corners that the strip was attempting to be hip and cutting edge.

§ When being a pack-rat pays off: More of Scott Edelman’s stupendously fascinating collection of memos.

§ John Hodgman spotted the reclusive Brian K. Vaughan at the Emmys!

§ When we read something like this piece by Vaneta Rogers we totally feel like a freak

The anthropologist, who is a long-time comic book fan but recently got involved in “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” fandom, made the comparison of a boy who studies the back of a football player’s rookie card while his sister couldn’t care less about those statistics, instead focusing on how seeing a touchdown made her feel. She said the same can be said about how most men and women communicate about properties like Pokemon or the X-Men.

because growing up, we TOTALLY read the stats on the backs of baseball cards, and studied ERAs and batting averages and so on.

Actually that whole piece is a little annoying because it supposes that women fans are something new. Woman have ALWAYS been big, big fans of all sorts of things, with clubs and membership cards and everything. It just seems that women’s interests and “fan” interests are increasingly overlapping. And why should that ever be a bad thing?

§ Sorta related, Laura Hudson discovers that Marvel Divas isn’t as girl unfriendly as it seemed.

§ Two reports on this weekend’s BangPop show in Bangor, ME. This one focuses on a guy who dressed as a Transformer.

“I’ll take you all on,” Ray Maddocks, 39, of Morrill said as he struggled Saturday in the bulky homemade costume to make his way into the second annual BangPop Comic Book and Pop Culture Convention.

Maddocks and his friend Elmer Nickerson, 38, of Searsport dug out the costumes they made seven or eight years ago for Halloween to show off at the event, which is designed to bring a slice of big-time comic culture displayed at events such as the Comic-Con International in San Diego to the Queen City.

This one provides a nice overview. One story says that 300 people attended on Saturday, which sounds quite petite, but there’s a lot of enthusiasm captured in both pieces.

§ Speaking of enthusiasm, two brothers find happiness opening a comics shop in Joplin, MO:

“It’s a little bit nerve-racking, but it’s the greatest thing we could ever do,” Nathan said. “We’re working harder than we ever have before, and there’s a lot more overhead now. But we’re having more fun than we ever had.”


  1. I hate to burst Scott McCloud’s bubble (because I’m a Merry Marcher myself), but…

    That silent issue of G.I. Joe? Larry Hama, at the recent Asian-American Comic-Con, remarked that the issue was silent, not because it was avantgarde, but because the issue was extremely late and by eliminating the letterer, shaved time off the production schedule.

    Also, Larry Hama states that Hasbro had little idea about the toy line, and much of the characterization and basic plot came from him.

    I was in junior high at the time, and while my friends vegetated on numerous animated toys (my favorite: Silverhawks), I never read the comicbooks. I guess I was spending all my money on Marvel super heroes to not really care about the merchandised tie-ins. Even though I was a fan of Spider-Man, I didn’t buy the Transformers issue where he cameoed.

    Now, “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man”… yeah, that hit me between the eyes. Marvel didn’t do many “third person” stories like that… “This Man This Monster” is another example… stories which Kurt Busiek seems to excel at.

  2. Comics professional, who has worked on the periphery and in the comic book business for nearly his entire life, sadly realizes he is becoming old and jaded.

  3. Best of luck to Hurley’s Heroes. It’s so seldom that we hear of new comics shops opening that we all should celebrate when one does.

  4. Torsten,

    How does that statement “burst Scott McCloud’s bubble”? He wasn’t speculating about the level of thought or craft that went into that issue, or the origins of it, he was just aware that a lot of thirty-somethings who were reading comics back in the 1980s loved the hell out of that issue.

    The story behind that comic is interesting, sure, but I don’t think it’s a bubble-burster.