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Archive for the ‘Recession’ Category

Tokyopop lose Kodansha licences

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Tokyopop announce;

“The Japanese publisher Kodansha, from whom TOKYOPOP has licensed many terrific series over the years — Chobits,Love HinaSamurai Deeper KyoRave MasterInitial D,KindaichiLifeGetBackers, and Love Attack, to name a few — has decided to let all existing contracts with TOKYOPOP expire on all manga series that they have licensed to us. As a result, Kodansha will not renew any licenses with TOKYOPOP for any new mangavolumes.”

Precocious Curmudgeon has a more complete list of affected titles.


Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Manga, News, Recession

Cartoonist not fired

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Although this may not appear to be news at first glance, a Pulitzer winning editorial cartoonist keeping his job is indeed big news in this particular economic climate.

It appeared initially that Matt Davies, cartoonist for the Journal News, had been included in the newsroom’s 25% staffing cut, but the Journal reversed its decision.

Matt told Alan Gardner of The Daily Cartoonist;

I am not going anywhere. My paper looked down the cold and terrible barrel of not having an editorial cartoonist on staff and just couldn’t do it. The paper’s readers owe a big thanks to my editor Henry Freeman who quietly worked to ensure that my position was revived and ultimately kept alive during a particularly bruising round of downsizing in our newsroom. The clear message is that no matter how small a newspaper payroll needs to be in order for a paper to turn a profit, a decent staff cartoonist who connects with the audience is a smart part of that profit strategy. While I am of course personally relieved, my thoughts are with my talented and venerated colleagues who didn’t survive the cuts this week.

Nicaraguan cartoonist Pedro Molina put it quite nicely when he said in the comments;

I’m sorry for Matt, one of the finest cartoonist working today, but I feel more sorry for the newspaper industry, once again trying to save their golden eggs by killing the goose that lays them.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Comics, News, Recession

Interview with DC’s CEO, Paul Levitz

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In one, two, three parts over at ICV2.

Some of the opportunities that existed because there wasn’t enough interesting graphic novel material are going to fade really fast, in the same way that it did for the manga guys. You’re going to have a harder time selling generic stuff. You’ll have to have either a character that people care about, or creators that people care about, or be doing uniquely interesting creative work, or some combination of all three of those things in a perfect world.

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 8:02 am

Posted in Comics, Interview, Recession

ComiXology app

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Brigid Alverson at Comicbook Resources posts an article on the comiXology iPhone application and how it may provide retailers with a service that allows them to make informed decisions about stock ordering. This sounds like a small thing, however;

Consider the problem: Most comics are only available in comics stores, not on the mass market; prospective readers must often pre-order comics sight unseen; and Diamond won’t carry comics that don’t meet certain minimums. The barrier for new comics is getting higher, and readers have fewer opportunities to discover new comics.

Written by The Department of Illustration

August 18, 2009 at 6:29 am

Posted in Comics, News, Recession

When Diamond Speaks, You Listen

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Interesting times to be a comics publisher, from Publishers Weekly.

When Diamond Comics Distributors speaks, comics publishers better listen. DCD is the dominant distributor for the comics shop market, serving about 3000 comics shops around the country that generally buy their inventory on a nonreturnable wholesale basis. But earlier this year, Diamond raised its minimum sales order—comic shops order serials and books in advance through Diamond’s giantPreviews catalog—and if a comic doesn’t reach the new advance minimum sales order, Diamond will not distribute it.

The change sparked an immediate outcry from small comics presses, self-publishers and some retailers, who complained that Diamond’s new minimum forces them out of the marketplace and limits the variety of materials available to the comics shop market. Indeed some comics publishers complain that Diamond’s new benchmarks are shortsighted and would have prevented many works that are now well-known from being published at all.

Written by The Department of Illustration

July 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Posted in Comics, Recession

Tripwire go it alone

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Tripwire, who recently had their solicitation from Diamond cancelled after failing to meet their wholesale sales benchmark, are attempting to sell their comics directly to retailers by shipping one crate full to Comic-con in San Diego rather than shipping globally.

The link to the story also includes a pdf sample of the Tripwire Annual 2009.

Written by The Department of Illustration

July 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Comics, News, Recession