§ CNNMoney looks at Marvel with an unusual angle: the recent success of the PUBLISHING arm:

But here’s a secret about comics that has been hiding in plain view amid all the cinematic hoopla: At Marvel Entertainment (MVL), the industry’s largest player, revenues for its print wares have been growing in double digits for the past three years and profit margins have been running at close to 40%. Plenty of magazine, book or newspaper publishers would put on a mask, cape or even giant bunny ears if that’s what it took to generate those kinds of numbers – especially right now.

§ On tour Art Spiegelman is interviewed in the Los Angeles Times:

In 1978, however, even to think about a book like “Breakdowns” was a huge departure — not just in terms of mainstream culture, but for underground comics as well. “To be a cartoonist,” Spiegelman recalls with a wistful half-laugh, “was to be a blue-collar worker. In the underground comics world of breaking taboos, this was the one taboo that got my peers annoyed.”

It’s a fascinating point, suggesting that one appeal of a medium like comics is that it’s a slap in the face to “museum culture,” to the pretensions of art. And yet, Spiegelman notes, “the taboo wasn’t necessarily against making art, it was against calling yourself an artist. It’s fine if somebody else wanted to come look over your shoulder and say, ‘Hey man, that’s really art.’ “

§ Van Jensen peeks inside the pages of KRAMERS ERGOT #7–with PREVIEWS.

The book’s size — 16-by-21 inches — contributed to its dominance of the show, as the pages covered most of the Buenaventura table whenever they came out. And at last Saturday’s discussion panel spotlighting the project, seven of the 60 contributing artists passed the pages around, repeatedly bumping their microphones with the massive running sheets. While one of the main discussion points about the book has been its $125 pricetag, which some have called exorbitant, that contentious point never surfaced at SPX. Instead, Buenaventura and the contributors talked at length about the challenge of putting together what they termed “a behemoth.”


  1. “Maisel declined to specify to what extent his hit movies drive comic book sales, but it seems a stretch to suggest that cinematic success alone can take the credit. Neither is there much of a digital play at this point. Still, like DC, Marvel has been talking up the digital potential of its characters — particularly, in Marvel’s case, as far as putting its catalog – 70 years of stories featuring some 5,000 characters – online for fans to read.”

    All else aside, I think it’s really incredibly spiffy that someone or someones took a roll call of every Marvel character.

  2. Kramer’s Ergot was printed in a quantity of 3000 copies in Malaysia, and the publisher travelled there from the US with the oversized original art to do press proofs? Wow, that IS a special project.