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Comics A.M. | Media scrutinize Marvel CEO’s role at Disney

by  in Comic News Comment

Publishing | Matthew Garrahan’s profile of reclusive Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter is somewhat sharper than the Los Angeles Times story linked last week, as it includes accusations that the 69-year-old billionaire threatened an employee, made a racially insensitive remark, and maneuvered Disney Consumer Products chairman Andy Mooney and three other executives (all African-American women who reportedly referred to themselves as “The Help”) out of their jobs. Nikki Finke follows up at Deadline with details of Disney and Marvel’s attempts at damage control, as well as the news that Disney has settled with the three former execs. [Financial Times]

Retailing | Comics shop veteran Amanda Emmert, executive director of the retailers’ association ComicsPRO and owner of Muse Comics in Colorado Springs, talks about retailing, the health of the industry, and the popular perception of comics shops as men’s clubs: “I have new customers who walk in and tell me how strange it is for a woman to work in a comic book store or a gaming store. Their experience comes more from watching The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, as you pointed out, than from seeing a great number of stores, though. I am very lucky to work for ComicsPRO; I get to work with hundreds of stores around the country, a large percentage of which are owned or operated by women.” [Colorado Springs Gazette]


Manga | Why does manga draw in more female readers than superhero comics? Danica Davidson interviews a wide range of critics and industry insiders and comes up with a fairly simple explanation: Manga publishers decided they wanted women to read their comics, so they hired female creators. “There seems to be about an equal number of male and female mangaka at work,” says Leyla Aker, Viz Media’s vice president of publishing. “This gender parity is one of the major differences between the Japanese and Western comics industries. I think one would have a hard time arguing that the greater number of female manga creators isn’t a direct factor in the greater number of female manga readers.” Additional factors are the wider variety of stories, the ease of entry (you can start with a clearly marked volume 1) and the accessibility of manga via bookstores. [Geek Out!]


Comics | The New York Daily News reminds us that Spider-Man’s sidekick Alpha debuts Wednesday in The Amazing Spider-Man #692. [Daily News]

Retailing | Retailer Brian Kozicki, the owner of Buried Under Comics in Manchester, Connecticut, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday. [Patch.com]

Retailing | Alternate Realities in Galesburg, Illinois, will have to close if a buyer isn’t found soon, as owner Brad Price is moving to St. Louis, where he has a full-time job. [Galesburg.com]

Retailing | Gary’s Comics and More in Morgantown, West Virginia, sounds like pretty much the ideal comics shop, with a curated selection of comics that goes beyond superheroes, presented in a clean, well-lit space, staffed with knowledgeable personnel. Not surprisingly, the store got off to a strong start because of readers’ dissatisfaction with another local retailer. The flipside of the bad-comics-store anecdotes is that it’s possible to succeed by doing it right. [The Daily Athenaeum]


Creators | Iranian creator Marjane Satrapi talks about Chicken With Plums, a story that is inspired by her family rather than a straight autobiography like her earlier Persepolis, and why it is important to tell stories about her country: “Unfortunately, you know, Iran is reduced to veil and beard and nuclear weapon … the problem when we reduce people or a country to a notion then they become abstract. And from the second they stop being human beings, then we can go out and bomb them and kill them and this is not a problem. If we don’t focus that they are human beings like us, might fall in love and even die of love, then it makes it a little bit more complicated.” [PBS]

Creators | Filipino artist Leinil Yu talks about drawing superhero comics and debunks the myth about Asian artists: “No, they don’t hire us because we are cheap. Marvel and DC have a standard that they pay out to anyone in the world.” [Today]

Creators | Wizzywig creator Ed Piskor hosts the latest Gweek podcast, and the guest is Joshua Glenn, co-author of Significant Objects. [BoingBoing]


Creators | Dave Roman chats about Astronaut Academy, Teen Boat and crazy Garfield comics in a video shot at Comic-Con International. [Stumptown Trade Review]

Conventions | Marc Alan Fishman has a creators-eye view of this year’s Wizard World Chicago, and it’s not too complimentary. [ComicMix]

Conventions | The Chicago-based sci-fi convention Chicon 7 and Atlanta’s Dragon*Con will share programming, including the Hugo awards ceremony and the Dragon*Con parade, via a two-way video link. [ComicMix]

Comics | Chris Cummins counts down 15 unintentionally horrifying (or just plain terrible) kids’ comics. [Topless Robot]

Events | If you have always wanted to meet comiXology CEO David Steinberger, and you happen to be in Paris this week, good news! Steinberger is hosting a comiXology Tweetup at the O-Chateau wine bar there on Wednesday. [ComiXology Blog]