Posts Tagged ‘Diamond’

THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (10/6/10 – Darwyn Cooke & Seth Are Fighting Mad in a Period Comics Showdown For the Ages)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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Contrary to what you’re thinking, this is not from the new Palookaville, it’s an entirely random fumetti I happened to come across this week. Or, really it’s what North American publishers were calling ‘cinemanga’ until recently, in that it appears to have assembled from screengrabs of a 2006 action movie vehicle for Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, Don: The Chase Begins Again. Publisher Bollywood Comics appears to prefer the term ‘movic’; I guess the producers of Don enjoyed the results regardless of what they’re called, since the comic was included as a pack-in with the dvd release of the film. I bought it just for the comic.


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Diamond Ships CC4 This Week


Monday, August 4, 2008

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This Wednedsay, Comics Comics 4 is finally in stores. Check this post for a list of the issue’s highlights. Does your favorite store carry Comics Comics? If not, ask them to order it!

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

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The recent flare-up over the Direct Market regarding books sold at conventions before they appear in comic shops seems absurd. But since most Comics Comics readers already know that Diamond and their sales reps are doomed to some circle of Dante, I won’t bother getting into the fray. Instead I’d just like to use the subject as a springboard to talk briefly about more direct ways that cartoonists can reach their audience.

Imagine you’re a young cartoonist who’s worked with Harvey Pekar (on last year’s Macedonia) and, by virtue of that creative partnership, have a book out from a major publisher (Random House). Would you expect to be self-publishing your next book and hawking copies yourself at cons and on your website? Well, that’s what Ed Piskor’s doing these days.

“I can tell you right now,” Piskor told me the other night, “no one in comics has read WIZZYWIG yet. Only, like, computer hackers and people into that culture. I’ve been posting about my book on these message boards and like some kid with some influence in that circle of people will write about it, and I’ll get like a bunch of orders that night.”

You guessed it: the book is about computer hackers. It takes place in the early days of “phone phreaking”, when all it took to “seize phone lines” and make free calls was the right “bluebox” or a whistle with the right pitch and a little know-how. Rather than a documentary about that time and the figures involved, Piskor has created a single composite character who is emblematic of the period. Kevin Phenicle appears to be a middle-school kid living in late ’70s Steel Valley USA — who just happens to enjoy getting over on the system. Free bus rides, free video games, free long distance phone calls. But the system catches up with him. And then it’s “Free Kevin.”

So why did Piskor decide to publish it himself? “I showed it to a couple publishers and they were basically like, ‘Do you want us to print it for you?’ And I just thought I could do it myself and keep the loot. Why should I give them my book for free and MAAAYBE down the road see some cash? I mean, I just wanted to see if I could do it first. And if it didn’t work — then go round and take them up on their offer.”

I must admit I was pretty impressed when Ed told me this story. It was heartening to hear because I’ve heard a couple of stories recently about creators who have books with major publishers, who sell thousands of copies per issue, and who don’t see a dime in return. The artist is, I guess, supposed to feel that it’s an achievement in itself to have a book at all. The way the story usually goes is that the money spent on the printing and promotion hasn’t been recouped so, no, sorry, there’s no profit. “But make sure you get the next issue done on time and, gee, we’ll you give us something extra special cuz sales have been down.” I hear the same story when it’s a small publisher too. The publisher gets to look good (and makes a few bucks somewhere down the line) and the artist gets a couple free boxes of their comic.

Young cartoonists who get lucky early with big publishers might want to think about why Ed is choosing to self-publish. I think it’s important to stay connected on some level to one’s core audience. That means the convention circuit, hustling copies to cool stores, the same drill that got these young cartoonists in the position to get a deal with a publisher in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I have every hope that Ed and other talented cartoonists like him can find permanent homes at fine publishing houses. Seriously. But if any one reading this seriously doesn’t believe that the bubble won’t burst someday, they are seriously deluding themselves.

“I just want to be realistic,” says Piskor. “At the end of the day who’s going to be looking out for my best interest? Me. It might suck to be on the phone and the computer hustling these books but at least I know what’s up, where my books are selling and to who. And when the right publisher comes along, I’ll be there. I can do both. Why not do both? The reality of the market is that I have to do both just to survive or else I’d be sight out of mind.”

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Today’s the Day


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

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Packaged sets of Comics Comics issues one and two are shipping to comic shops through Diamond this week.

Pick ’em up.

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On and On


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

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I’ve just returned from Tokyo, where I had a whirlwind adventure in Manga and art. I’ll have some very special related announcements soon. In the meantime, as Tim has noted, Comics Comics 2 is out and about. Look for it in a store near you, and in the Diamond catalog for February shipping along with issue 1. Also, I’m proud to announce the release of Cold Heat 2, which will be available through Diamond in January, and monthly thereafter.

Anyhow, Cold Heat remains a 12-issue series by Ben Jones and Frank Santoro about Castle, an 18-year old Ninja. It features truly groundbreaking concepts in story and art, and also every issue contains a one-page piece of fiction by Tim. Below is an excellent description by Bill Boichel, CC 1 contributor and the owner of our favorite comic book store. Copacetic Comics. Cold Heat is available from PictureBox Inc.

Cold Heat #2
By Ben Jones and Frank Santoro
Picking up where the first issue left off, Cold Heat #2 revs it up a few notches and takes us on a whirlwind ride through the dis-united states of the disturbed American psyche. Series artist, Frank Santoro once again refuses to play it safe. This time around he pulls out all the stops and takes the chances that most other artists wouldn’t take even if they could. Leaping into the artistic no man’s land between the well established borders of pre-existent genres, Santoro combines the propulsive narratives of mainstream American heroic adventure
comics, the exaggerated expressiveness of Japanese manga, and the naivete of self-published autobiographical comics with his own experimental ideas to create a totally unique comics cocktail that will knock you for a loop. Cold Heat takes the outside in and then brings the inside out—demonstrating how our internalization of international affairs creates monsters in our minds that are every bit as dangerous as anything we’ll meet on the street—and by so doing helps us see our place in and find our way through the mess of our world.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

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The summer is whizzing by. Tim and I are hard at work, sort of, on the next issue of Comics Comics, which should be out in time for SPX in mid-October. There are some fine goodies in store.

Anyhow, after making a fuss and posting about Diamond Comics last month, I never really followed up. After the publicity and support that followed their initial rejection of PictureBox, Diamond reconsidered and has now taken me on as a vendor. It’s a funny thing, the comics community. It remains small enough that the community can, in fact, sway large companies. So, I’m pleased with the outcome, naturally, and while my pride is a bit bruised I feel good about being able to get the books and comics out to as wide an audience as possible. Thanks for reading and chiming in.

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