§ Steve Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is definitely worth a trip, but it has had a history of economic setbacks. Now there’s a rent dispute of some kind, instigated when the non-profit Sports Legends Museum, which is housed in the same building, got a reduced rent. Geppi’s museum is for profit, although those have been slow in coming with attendance at next-door Camden Yards down due to the Orioles crappy performance. Anyway, the story from the local paper includes some interesting figures:

Geppi, CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. in Timonium and publisher of Baltimore Magazine, opened his for-profit museum in September 2006 and, according to reports at the time, pays about $29,000 per month in rent. His privately funded venture would be unlikely to receive aid similar to that extended to the nonprofit sports museum.

“We would look at those two things differently,” Puddester said. “In the case of Sports Legends, we looked at the state investment in that from both an operating and a capital standpoint. We were hoping to protect the state’s investment.”

Geppi did not return messages Monday requesting comment.

§ Heeb Magazine presents its Best Comics of 5768.

§ An Eddie Campbell TV show? If it’s based on MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT, we’re so there!

• Two final Minx links, both well worth reading, despite all that has been written already:

§ Comics creator Rivkah looks at the big, big picture:

Now, this isn’t the Apocalypse. And it isn’t the end of the world. But this is a serious threat to the wonderful spread of diversity in comics we have all been witness to over the last ten years. We’ve seen this industry bud and grow to include, if not a wealth, at least a significant cache of diverse and talented creators given decent-paying jobs that wouldn’t have been available to them in previous years. At least, not since the 1920’s. Maybe these new jobs weren’t the BEST paying jobs, but they offered opportunities that promised growth and expansion and eventually . . . better pay. A decent living doing something we all love.

§ Aaaand Kristy Valenti:

That said, database-centric browsing systems that libraries and online booksellers use (i.e. Amazon.com), are terrible, in general, for building a publisher’s or an imprint’s brand identity from scratch for the public. Despite its highly marketed launch, Minx is a perfect example of DC’s struggles in the bookstore market, where there’s little recognition of its brand (even though lots of people saw The Dark Knight movie, many, if not most, of them probably couldn’t identify, off the top of their heads, whether Batman is a Marvel or DC character) within systems in which everything is shelved (and cataloged) either by title or author. (In bookstores, unlike libraries, at least, you have the display options of endcaps, dumps, waterfalls and spinner racks to group a publisher’s books together.)

§ Matt Maxwell’s Baltimore Comic-Con:

Now, let’s be fair. The life of a traveling comics writer at a convention is one filled with excitement and intrigue. Oh, wait, I meant to say, it’s filled with a lot of looking chipper and locking onto passers-by with your gaze and reeling them in with a friendly “Hey, there. Come on and take a look” and a beckoning hand, not unlike the hand waved by the clown driving the ice-cream-truck that you avoid every time it goes past.

I can’t even plop down a sketchpad and start drawing something interesting in the hopes of reeling in some potential readers. Sure, they’re customers first, but let’s hope that you can convince them to become readers afterwards. See, as I’ve said, my magic is invisible (and you don’t want to see what I draw because it’s pretty grisly).

§ Blog news #1: Tireless Brigid Alverson’s Good Comics for Kids is moving to School Library Journal:

The content of the new Good Comics For Kids will stay the same—reviews, interviews, linkblogging, and noisy roundtable discussions—but we’ll have a spiffy new home and hopefully we’ll be bringing in some new readers. We’ll miss Dan Hess’s excellent banner art, but he has thoughtfully drawn chibi representations of all the bloggers that are already the envy of everyone we know. We’re kicking off the new site with a short Hello World post, followed by Robin Brenner’s interview with Willow Dawson, the artist for No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure. So reset your RSS feeds and bookmarks, and get ready for a good time!

Welcome to the fold, Brigid!

§ Aaaaand, semi-retired comics critic Domingos Isabelinho now has a blog. Be forewarned, Domingos doesn’t mince words.

850857§ Whoa, it’s a big week for Steve Murray/Chip Zdarsky, as he interviews political candidate Chester Brown.
PLUS, a new facet of the Murray persona: TODD DIAMOND. We need him more than ever.

§ Finally, AQUA LEUNG creator Paul Maybury and Mark Andrew Smith have gone public with a nasty spat. Suffice to say that there will not be an AQUA LEUNG #2. Dick Hyacinth has the postmortem:

I thought Aqua Leung showed a lot of promise, not just as a comic but as a successful model for drumming up publicity. Those guys managed to get interviews all over the blogosphere (including one at this very blog), released sample artwork at exactly the right moments and to the right sources, and generally set up a great deal of anticipation for the final product. It was a really great effort, one which should be a model to cartoonists in their position.



  1. Anyone who really thinks, even for an instant, that Minx being canned and TPop finally reaching the end of their venture capital and good will means anything other than two ventures failed needs to stay in comics another ten-fifteen years.
    You know, to see how much these things mean in a long-term, historical context.
    The genie’s out of the bottle with girl’s comics. Minx didn’t invent or open that bottle. TPop flung the open bottle about, but they’ve been superceded by other and better companies.

  2. Ah… but DC does have recognition in Barnes & Noble! In the Graphic Novel category, there are:
    Grapic Novels (the generic section)
    Superheroes (rather small, see comments below)
    Media (Star Wars, Buffy, CSI…)
    Reference Books (rather small, see comments below)
    Comics Lit (the stuff geared towards adults, like Fantagraphics, Pantheon, Top Shelf)
    Marvel Comics
    DC Comics

    Some stores might not use some categories, as there might not be enough titles to justify the time and expense. Since stores receive so much DC and Marvel product, Superheroes is quite sparse, containing Invincible and a few other titles. Reference books tend to get shelved in with the generic graphic novels, again because there aren’t many titles. (How-To Draw books tend to be shelved in Art Technique.) General Graphic Novels and Comics Lit… fine line. Depends on the content and the author.

    At my former store, Marvel gets one shelf, sometimes more. DC has about three to four shelves. Why the difference? The only Marvel backlist which sells are the Essential volumes, Civil War (waning) and Marvels. DC? Showcase and almost every Vertigo series (Sandman, Tranmetropolitan, Preacher, Doom Patrol, Ex Machina, DMZ, Swamp Thing…) Currently, there is a plastic waterfall fixture in the DC/Marvel bay featuring the Showcase titles and a few new releases.

    And you know what? The public doesn’t care if Warner or Paramount or Miramax makes a Batman movie. All they care about is the quality. Most readers don’t care who publishes Stephen King, so long as he wrote the book! Same goes for graphic novels. Readers know what Batman looks like. When they walk by a display of The Killing Joke, All-Star Batman, and The Dark Knight Returns, they’ll recognize Batman. And, YES, DC sold A LOT of Batman graphic novels this summer! (During that first week, when Watchmen sold out, there were three Batman titles in the BN.com Top 100. Not the top 100 graphic novels; the top 100 BOOKS.)

    Yeah, Minx merchandising was problematic, as the Young Adult category exists in an awkward place. The smart teens are already reading Rolling Stone and Watchmen and Love and Rockets. The teens who read for enjoyment are over by the manga, reading Fruit Baskets and Ranma 1/2 and Yu-Gi-Oh. Stuff for younger readers ends up in the juvenile section. Many libraries have Teen Centers (check out the Donnelly Branch by MOMA!) which act as a gathering place, but I don’t see many GNs being cataloged as YA. Instead, the GN collection gets displayed near the teen books. Heck… even Dark Horse had trouble with their Harlequin manga, and that was shelved in Romance! Wait ten years, and there might be enough diversity to justify GN subcategories in Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Fiction. Then, something like Minx may succeed. Hell… First Second is succeeding, and most of their line is geared towards young and teen readers. (American Born Chinese won the Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature! Yet it’s shelved in Graphic Novels.) My advice? Teens will enjoy anything. Don’t bother marketing it as “teen”. Some want to read books for older readers. (A Catcher in the Rye is probably the most successful teen novel.) Word of mouth will sell the book.

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