Digital comics | ICv2 has a fascinating interview with Gagan Singh, Viz Media’s chief technology officer, in which he discusses not only the nuts and bolts of the publisher’s digital manga program — it now encompasses a number of e-reader platforms as well as a dedicated app — but also the larger questions of piracy, trends and, most importantly, growing the manga audience: “My favorite example is when you’re in the digital domain, your biggest competition is not the next manga or the next book, your biggest competition is Angry Birds because it’s only one click away. When you get into debate over mind share, I’m not just trying to get them to read the next book, I’m trying to get them to not listen to that song or play that video game. That is a bigger challenge where marketing and mind share is concerned.” [ICv2]
Publishing | Oni Press, which has “punched above its weight” in graphic novel sales thanks to Scott Pilgrim, has renewed its bookstore distribution contract with Diamond Book Distributors through 2015. As the article points out, this is important for DBD, as Dark Horse recently moved to Random House. [ICv2]
Conventions | Tucson Comic Con organizer Michael Olivares places the emphasis firmly on the creators, which this year will include Matt Hawkins, Ken Kristensen and Mike DeBalfo. “I would love to bring the cast of The Walking Dead, but that is not what our show is about. It is about the creative minds in the world of comic books and appreciating what they do.” Last year the con drew 6,000 attendees; Olivares hopes attendance will reach 10,000 by its 10 anniversary, in 2016. [Arizona Daily Star]
Conventions | Alamo City Comic Con kicks off this weekend in San Antonio, Texas, and it too is all about the artists, as organizer Alfredo “Apple” De La Fuente makes very clear: “I think people see Hollywood and the celebrities, and the comics kind of get missed. They get lost. [Like at Wizard World in Austin], maybe this is controversial, but artists don’t like to go there. They go when they are offered a free table. I don’t know if it’s a failure of leadership, or maybe they just don’t have the right push, but it’s expensive and they place the vendors first. I take care of artists.” One cool thing: All VIP packages include actual art. [Current]
Creators | Writer Jim Zubkavich is doing a series of interviews of Dynamite creators; he kicks it off with a chat with Jai Nitz about The Green Hornet. [The Beat]
Creators | Sam Alden, who graduated from Whitman College in 2012 and already has a piece in the Best American Comics of 2013 anthology, tells his alumni magazine he began with a love of Calvin and Hobbes, started doodling, and ended up with a graphic novel. [The Pioneer]
Creators | Ryan Holmberg interviews Indian graphic novelist Vishwajyoti Ghosh. [The Comics Journal]
Creators | At 14, Sato Ito is the youngest person ever to win the Niigata Manga Competition and go on to have her work published in a commercial magazine. Her story “Toaru Neko-kaburi Shonen no Himitsu (Secret of a Boy Wearing Cat Headgear)” will be published in the December issue of the manga magazine Nakayoshi, which was the original home of Sailor Moon. [Asahi Shimbun]
Retailing | Robert Iveniuk pays a visit to Toronto’s newest comic shop, The Comic Pile. [BlogTO]
Academia | Joel Warner pens an in-depth profile of William Kuskin, a professor of English University of Colorado at Boulder professor who is teaching a massive open online course (MOOC) on graphic novels. [Westword]
Exhibits | Eddie Kim pays a visit to the museum show “Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. [LA Downtown News]
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