§ First off, Happy 10th Blogiversary to Johanna Draper Carlson and Comics Worth Reading. Consistently one of the sharpest, most independent voices out there, Johanna is on my must read list, and to think that she’s been at this for 10 years makes me feel tired.
§ Is every column by Tucker Stone a must read? Kinda — but this time we mean it! In this episode, Stone looks at the recent kerfuffles over Earth One and GIRL COMICS:
But why? After all, it isn’t as if DC had said “we’re going to do a bunch of new Batman and Superman stories” and then added “and we’re going to print them on the skin of your lover”, and it wasn’t as if Marvel said “we’re doing a comic with a bunch of female creators, and after that, we’re going to stop publishing comics where Wolverine gets to have a bewildering amount of sex with women who are completely out of his league.” All that happened was that two companies–both of which are in the business of making money and are somewhat responsible to their shareholders–announced that they were going to add more items to their product line. There’s more drama to be found in NBC’s decision to replace all of their 10:00PM programming with the mental toilet that is the Jay Leno Show, because that meant an actual reduction in scheduled programming. There’s no evidence that the Girl Comics mini-series or the Earth One graphic novels are replacing anything, and common sense indicates that both items are being designed to appeal to people who aren’t currently purchasing other products, as well as their regular customers.
§ Hype alert: Ada Price wrote a terrific, lengthy piece on comics literary adaptations from Classics Illustrated to today’s explosion of titles.
The Berkley and First Comics “were 20 years too early,” Salicrup claims. The publisher ran into a problem faced by other early publishers of adaptations and graphic novels in general: getting the books into general bookstores. Diamond Comics, the dominant distributor in the comics shop market, did not distribute to the general book market until recently, and trade bookstores chafed at buying on a nonreturnable wholesale basis as comics shops did. “Marketing the books proved difficult at first,” says Tom Pomplun, who started the Graphic Classics series of adaptations in 2001. Graphic Classics has published 18 books, “[concentrating] on presenting shorter pieces. The print run for Graphic Classics ranges from 3,000 to 10,000, he adds, and they are “never [selling] as much as I would like them to.
§ Deb Aoki rounds up critic’s best manga of 2009 and the only sane conclusion to draw is that reminds us that 2009 was a freaking SENSATIONAL year for manga in the US!