§ Reed Exhibitions is hiring a marketing guru for their pop culture shows:
I am looking for someone to join our team here in Borwalk, CT as a Marketing Director to oversee all of our marketing efforts on New York Comic Con, New York Anime Fest and the new C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo). This is not an entry level job, this is not a fan job this is not an easy job, but it is a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.
§ICv2 sits down with Tokyopop CEO Stuart Levy in a wide-ranging and fairly candid for this sort of thing manner:
So in other words you were seeing declines in your sales that led you to believe that you had to prepare for a smaller market?
There were declines in sales, but there were also returns. The returns were the big things. We’ve seen declines in sales before. But the amount of returns that were coming back from retail was so significant. We saw that early first quarter and then continuing in second quarter.
We’d seen first quarter returns before, but continuing second quarter like that was the first time. It really shocked us and I said, “There’s something going on here.”
And Part Two:
What’s going on with the movie development of Tokyopop properties? That’s probably our most important initiative because it’s very clear to me that without a big movie, without a big TV show it’s very hard to have a significant blockbuster hit. And you can look at anything that’s selling in the comic book world, or the manga world, or the book world in general and it’s almost inevitably related to some kind of film or television.
§ The Hibbs vs. Butcher debate vis-à-vis Viz backlist viability continues in this all-star comment thread.
§ Internet kerfuffle classic!
Step one: Val D’Orazio discusses the ongoing monetization dilemma:
Yes, it looks like the switch is on from paper to digital. But are people willing to pay for this digital media? For the most part — no. People are not willing to pay for it, unless you give them a damn good reason to. Damn Good Reasons To: 1) If I was DC or Marvel (or any other media company), I’d pinpoint what the top 5% webcomics are. Offer those web cartoonists competitive exclusive distribution deals that includes a health insurance component. Then make a subscription-based site offset by sales of hard copies and merchandise.
It’s a thoughtful post, although I’d quibble that a lot of what she’s talking about to happen in five years has already been happening — the big media blog buyout happened two years ago, f’r instance.
Step two: Joey Manley comes right out and says Occasional Superheroine’ is Wrong About Webcomics:
I can’t say that the post is plain wrong and belittle it with 70’s TV references without at least explaining why I think it’s wrong. There are all kinds of reasons, but here’s one fundamental one: D’Orazio sees a day when the “top” webcomics are bought up by Marvel and DC, and the rest are discredited as amateurs. Her comments section filled up immediately with “top” webcomickers declaring that they’re doing just fine, thank you, and that it would be a very, very expensive proposition to buy them out. Which is true. Another truth: there are new “top” webcomics launching every day. It’s a slippery and ambitious field, with new xkcds popping up at an alarming (or delightful) rate and proceeding to take over the world. I picked xkcd as my example on purpose, by the way: what DC or Marvel editor would have picked that one up? No DC or Marvel editor would have, especially if he or she only had the first month or two of strips to go by. And the people who discovered xkcd and made it a hit? Most of them, I’ll wager, weren’t comic book readers, and would have been immune to any “anti-amateur” campaign waged by Marvel and DC’s PR machines. (I mean, come on: it’s stick figures for God’s sake).
Step three: Val, who is always going on about how horrible the internets are and wishing people would be more civil, responds that Manley must be wrong about webcomics because…he’s an expert in webcomics:
Joey Manley wrote a post (which I am not giving the benefit of a link) that he says “isn’t meant to start a fight” — “But her recent post about webcomics, and how the business should (or will) evolve in the next five years, is just plain wrong.” Disclaimer: Joey Manley’s main business is in webcomics — including the running of sites that host web comic creators.
For a far better discussion of the business models involved, read the comments post of the original piece.