Today at The Comics Journal, you’ll find a spot on review of George Wylesol’s Ghosts, Etc from our very own Greg “Bobby” Hunter.
Wylesol’s work keeps one eye on the past, contemplating abandoned spaces and repurposing discarded aesthetics. But these are unsentimental comics—more forensic than nostalgic, and fit to disturb.
You’re not misreading anything, by the way: I’m neither Dan nor Tim. I’m your sabbatical-loving Tucker Stone, former columnist for the Journal coming out of the cave all fathers of young children go to for a while. I’m here for a one-week tour of duty as your Comics Journal Guest Editor. My goal this week is to get these blog posts up and running on time, track down some news you can use, and alienate a smaller number of readers than Dan would, but more than Tim. You know how the guy always has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other?
I’m aiming for the part in the middle.
This POV piece by Peggy Burns about the recent San Diego Comic Con is primarily a work of enthusiasm and optimism, but the core message that Burns inadvertently puts across–that commentaries focusing on the oft-derided changes in Comic-Cons should also mention the many benefits that such changes have brought about–is one that I don’t think I’ve seen put in such a succinct, inarguable fashion. It’s reminiscent of those articles that The Economist occasionally write where they examine human progress solely by whether the global infant mortality rate has declined, which is a pretty good guide, regardless of how you feel about The Punisher.
It made sense for Publishers Weekly to cover Meltdown Comics’s unique decision to accept Bitcoin, a popular cryptocurrency, back in 2014–it’s an unusual choice for any retail store to make, much less a comic book retail store, whose small profit margins are exactly the kind that could be easily punished by Bitcoin fluctuations. Covering the three-year anniversary (leather or crystal, depending on how you celebrate) to say that Meltdown is still the only comic book store that accepts Bitcoin seems a bit superfluous. Subtitling the article with a cliched “Future of Retail?” goes a bit beyond mundane page filling though–while one can parrot all the generic arguments for cryptocurrency until they’re blue in the face, the article’s description of Bitcoin’s existence at Meltdown makes it sound like little more than a hyper specific kind of tchotchke.
Back on July 4th, a blog called Helvetica Scans posted a translation of an article reportedly written by mangaka Shuuhou Satou (Japanese readers can find that original text here) that consists of Satou’s thoughts after being asked “When attempting to serialize a new work, what is the market rate for a standard serialization, and what kinds of contracts will I require?”. While the article doesn’t get into Satou’s fabled pricing battles with Amazon that have recently resulted in him retitling his work Say Hello To Black Jack into the more musical sounding Say Hello To Black Jack’s Penis, hopefully that will appear in a follow up. (Thanks to Laika for the heads up!)
Rich Tommaso’s Facebook post about low initial orders for his new Image book Spy Seal has already been linked to here, but the past week has seen more reaction pieces go up. One consists of axe-grinding and self-quoting, which makes sense if you feel like the Spy Seal situation isn’t particularly unique, another consists of a random claim that the book should sell well in other countries, because The Walking Dead has made a path to market for books that might remind people of Tintin, but the last one is my favorite, because the last one straight up says that Rich Tommaso’s work doesn’t sell well because “neither he nor his work have been a subject of conversation among journalists or publishers very often.” Your mileage, as they say, may vary.