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Back to School

I hope all of you had a good weekend. We spent the last few days holed up in a retreat in upstate New York, plotting out new ideas and directions for the website, & are now energized and ready to go. A sneak peek into our plans: In a few months, we are going to entirely reboot the site, creating new costumes and backstories for all of our columnists and reviewers, and generally revamping the Groth-verse into a faster-paced, “Twitter-style” “hub” for a new larger and younger audience raised on video games and sudoku. Every day the site will be redesigned and relaunched as a “#1,” and readers will have the opportunity to sign on and compete with each other to become the “mayor” of their favorite stories! Lots more ideas like that are in store, but we don’t want to give the whole game away, so stay tuned…

In the meantime, Frank Santoro checked in this weekend with his latest column (and Michael DeForge cartoon).

Austin English turns in a short interview with the very unusual and original cartoonist Warren Craghead.

And as he does every Tuesday morning, “Jolly” Joe McCulloch previews the Week in Comics.

Some links:

1. The artist and former retailer Dustin Harbin turns in a much-discussed list of “Fifteen Thoughts on Digital Comics“. It is thoughtful and worth engaging with. One caveat I have is that I keep seeing many commentators on digital publishing (both in terms of comics and of “regular” books) claiming that the “largest costs” of traditional publishing come from the physical process itself (i.e., the paper, the printing, etc.). In many cases, that just isn’t so — the largest costs come from all of the things you still may want to do with digital (i.e., hiring and maintaining editorial departments, publicity, etc.). This is worth keeping in mind!

2. The Kirby-net now sometimes seems nearly as big as the comics-blogosphere in general. Its latest big story is Rob Steibel’s excellent illustrated examination of “Kirby Crackle.”

3. There also seems to be something of an online revival of Cerebus talk as well, as indicated in this Journal as well as by writers such as Tim Callahan. The Hurting’s Tim O’Neil has now entered the arena with the first part of what looks to be a long examination of how Cerebus is read today.

4. Greg Baldino reviews issue 301 of The Comics Journal over at Bleeding Cool.

5. In a must-read blog post, Eddie Campbell responds to a claim in a review of his work in TCJ 301. The reviewer claims that he could spot where Campbell relied on assistants in Alec. [UPDATE: Please see the comments at that post for an explanation of the error.]

6. Finally, wunderkind Matt Seneca has some thoughts on the new publishing initiative at DC Comics.


5 Responses to Back to School

  1. patrick ford says:

    The interesting thing in Matt’s article was that he reads super hero comic books, is not getting much out of them and seems to do so mostly out of habit. And he’s of the opinion the large majority of the people he sells them to don’t really like them either.

    Are there really Warner executives that care about comics sales? More likely what you see now is Warners giving the comic book division one last chance to show it matters at all.

  2. You’re right, Tim–even when I was typing that I was thinking in the back of my head that I actually did not know much about the costs involved outside of the more obvious, corporeal ones like shipping and printing and so forth. Coming from retail, it’s easy to get myopia and think that the entire industry is centered around the portion I can see with my eyes, Ptolemy-style. I might suggest this same myopia extends to every other part of comics, or at least that’s what I can see from here.

  3. Patrick Smith says:

    I would like to be Mayor of your first paragraph.

  4. James says:

    “More likely what you see now is Warners giving the comic book division one last chance to show it matters at all.”

    Oh, really. And the way to do that is to inundate us with yet more superhero character/properties, done by interchangable, expendable talent? That’ll really make a difference. Bah.

    • patrick ford says:

      It won’t make a difference. What I picture is Warners saying, “Prove to us we need you,” and the best answer the comics division could come up with was rebooting the universe and starting over with #1; a feeble old direct market ploy.

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