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Amazon to purchase ComiXology e-comic-book store
April 10, 2014 | 6:24 pm

Looks like the Big Bad Amazon Wolf has just gulped down another hefty meal. Two weeks after rumors started going around (as noticed by Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader), Amazon has announced it will be acquiring ComiXology, the e-comic-book store that carries titles from Marvel, DC, Image, and a number of others. Although the various comic book publishers are trying to push their own stores, ComiXology has nonetheless become the best known source for e-books of popular comics. Now, like Audible and so many other brands, it is going to find a new home at Amazon. News is...

Fate of Girl Genius omnibus at Tor causes friction between the Foglios and Patrick Nielsen Hayden
January 30, 2014 | 12:16 pm

girlgeniusTV Tropes has a trope called “Poor Communication Kills,” in which an otherwise easy-to-prevent problem comes about because of either plot-contrived or real failure to communicate. (I’m pretty sure that’s happened at least once or twice in the Girl Genius comics.) Well, these things happen in real life, too. Last night, Phil Foglio posted to his LJ, Facebook, and blog a story of frustration with Tor, who had opted to try launching a line of graphic novels starting with the first Girl Genius omnibus edition. They came out with a low-priced hardcover, but when the Foglios wondered when the...

Marvel, Netflix titles vanished because of impermanence of contracts, not digital media
January 2, 2014 | 3:00 pm

deadpoolBecause I’m sure sooner or later someone’s going to bring this up as an example of the impermanence of digital media, and how you should never buy anything from a digital store because they can always take it away from you, I figured I’d better cover it first. The big news that broke in the video game scene yesterday is that Marvel, a subsidiary of Disney, has just pulled a number of popular computer games based on its properties out of all digital distribution outlets: Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network. The games include Deadpool, several Spider-Man titles, and several...

The death of single comic books?
January 1, 2014 | 1:04 pm

single comic booksI've seen several outlets reporting on the news that Marvel Comics has suspended their sales of single comic books to Chapters, Indigo and several US chains. These stores are still able to purchase graphic novels and other products, but not single-issue comic books. So, what's going on? A few things. Firstly, a senior Marvel executive was quoted in a released statement as saying that Marvel was working on "stronger, more mutually beneficial distribution model." Might they be trying to develop their own digital platform, one that could tie into a store's existing purchasing architecture in a way the more self-contained Comixology...

Want to write superheroes? Execs say: Do nothing for girls
December 16, 2013 | 2:15 pm

superheroesIn the great TeleRead tradition of practical advice for budding authors - including authors and artists of comic strips - here's a beaut: If you want to work in the superhero genre, make sure those heroes are heroes and not heroines. Don't do anything for, or about, girls. Because your brainchild (and better make sure it's a male child) will never get taken up by studio execs for an animated or even live-action series otherwise. Or a computer game. Or a movie. There: It's a career decision now. Are you *still* sure you want to write, or draw, female? That's the...

‘The commune is passé’: Publishers need to wake up and face the new world
December 13, 2013 | 2:49 pm

Fullscreen capture 12132013 23200 PM.bmp‘Tis the season for holiday specials, and one of the more obscure yet entertaining ones you will find is the Oscar-nominated “A Doonesbury Special” from 1977. Nominated for Best Animated Short, this half-hour TV special features the Doonesbury gang looking back at the just-ended hippie movement and trying to figure out where it all went and make sense of where they are now. I bring it up, because it seems like the big publishers and the Authors Guild are in a similar boat. They’re looking back at the era when they dominated publishing—they were the great gatekeepers, and the...

GenCon 2013 Interview: Lee Cherolis, writer, Little Guardians webcomic/graphic novel
December 1, 2013 | 5:15 pm

GEDC1342 Here is another interview from this year’s GenCon, in which I spoke briefly with a number of self-published or independently-published authors in the authors’ alley. In this interview, I spoke with Lee Cherolis, writer and co-creator of a webcomic and graphic novel series called Little Guardians. Me: Tell me about your books. Lee: Little Guardians is a fantasy adventure graphic novel series; we’re also serializing online two pages a week. We put out a book whenever we have enough pages. This story arc will span 13 chapters and six books. We have Book One...

Calvin and Hobbes To Be Published as eBooks
October 11, 2013 | 5:03 pm

calvin and hobbes I've always been a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes. We had two of the collected works anthologies, which unfortunately, gathered dust on our shelves. When we cleaned out our shelves a few months ago, they were among the books we sold. So I was delighted to see the announcement on Digital Book World that ebook editions of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, and The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes, will be available November 12, 2013. The ebook editions will be $12.99 each, which I think is quite reasonable. For you eInk lovers, I'm afraid they will only...

Artist Grant Snider offers writers comic strips to inspire
July 31, 2013 | 2:42 pm

Grant SniderThanks to Mashable for turning me on to the inspirational work of Grant Snider, a U.S. graphic artist who seems to have made it his mission to document every stage of the writing and editorial process in the wittiest detail possible. Writing isn't the only creative discipline to get the tough love from Incidental Comics, but it certainly gets the most attention. What writer couldn't learn from this, for instance, even if they don't want to admit it: And lest readers think they're forgotten: From the artist's bio: "Grant Snider's interests have changed drastically since he was four years old, with one major exception: drawing....

Nielsen BookScan report shows graphic novels kicking butt in U.S.
July 24, 2013 | 2:00 pm

graphic novelsA recent Nielsen BookScan report entitled "Walking Tall: Graphic novels are heroes in the bookstore," shows graphic novel sales building nicely in the U.S. market as of mid-2013. "Unit sales in the graphic novel category are up 10 percent year-over-year in 2013," states the Nielsen release, adding, "the high-priced books at the top of the list are perhaps the most pleasant surprise for graphic novel publishers." The report showcased Nielsen BookScan's ranking of the top 10 bestselling adult fiction graphic novels for the first half of 2013, courtesy of a U.S. Consumer Market Panel that Nielsen claims "currently covers approximately 85% of...

Angela Liao’s twenty pixels graphs the future of bookstores
July 18, 2013 | 6:44 pm

bookstoresFor a comic take on one possible future for bookstores, have a look at this graphic from Angela Liao, graphic and Web designer and creator of the comic strip and graphic fun site twenty pixels (20px). Angela has more fun visual ideas to interest and inspire—check out her take on "The Content Chicken and the Design Egg Problem," for instance, or "How I feel when I put stuff on the Internet." And as for her idea on this potential future bookstore design—would it work? Who can tell? But if you see huge Kindle-linked touchscreens start to appear along bookstore walls, perhaps you'll...

Amazon launches Jet City Comics, a new imprint for comics and graphic novels
July 9, 2013 | 11:48 am

Jet City ComicsComics and graphic novels seem to be taking over the world. OK, not really ... but they are certainly prevalent and part of the mainstream. Amazon has announced yet another publishing imprint, this one focused on the comics world. Jet City Comics starts today, according to a report in Publishers Weekly. By the end of the year, names in the Jet City Comics stable will include George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey and Neal Stephenson. Publishers Weekly states the first release is the premiere issue of Symposium, an original Foreworld comic from the series created by Stephenson and others. According to PW, Jet City...