Publishing | Gonzalo Ferreyra, Viz Media’s vice president of sales and marketing, discusses the state of the manga market in North America, the performance of top titles like Vampire Knight and Naruto, digital comics and, yes, the impact of Twilight: “[Fans] can only read Twilight so many times. That’s when they come over and they start poking around and they find the Vampire Knights and Rosario & Vampires and other titles. … Let’s not kid ourselves, the Twilight fans number in the many, many millions — they’re manga-like numbers in Japan, here. If we can get a fraction more of those readers actively reading manga, if Yen can do that and bring those kids over to read the Twilight manga, and then move on and become manga fans it’s very encouraging.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Speaking of Twilight, Simon Jones points out that, with a 350,000-copy first printing, Yen Press’ $19.99 hardcover Twilight: The Graphic Novel has a retail value nearly $7 million, “which immediately vaults it into contention for one of the best-selling comics in the U.S. for 2010, by both volume and dollar sales”: “Whether you like the source material or not, or welcome the books’ legion of female fans young and old (it’s shocking how elitist fandumbs can be), there is absolutely no questioning the significance of this title. If it does as well as Yen clearly hopes it would, it will expose more fresh eyeballs to comics than any other single release, even series, in 2010.” More at the link. [Icarus Publishing]
Legal | The murder case against retailer Michael George will head to the Michigan Court of Appeals on Feb. 9. George, 49, was convicted in March 2008 of first-degree murder in the 1990 shooting death of his first wife. However, six months later a judge set aside the verdict, citing prosecutor misconduct and newly discovered evidence. [Detroit Free Press]
Retailing | The Loves Park, Illinois, comic store Tomorrow is Yesterday officially will become Top Cut Comics on Friday as a new sign goes up and new owners Jimmy and Debbie Ballard settle in. They plan to expand the shop’s gaming offerings. [Rockford Register Star]
Creators | Grant Morrison chats about his new Vertigo miniseries Joe the Barbarian and the joy of diving back into creator-owned work: “I love doing this stuff. And as I always say, no one else has written Joe the Barbarian before, so readers can’t compare me unfavorably to their favorite writers from the past! It’s a lot easier to do your own stuff and have it accepted on its own terms. I love doing Batman and all the other franchise characters, but something like this stretches creative muscles you normally don’t get to use.” [IGN.com]
Creators | The comics blogosphere may not know how to categorize the hybrid Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, but author Jeff Kinney does: “I speak in the language of cartoons. It’s not just an illustrated novel. It’s got more comic DNA in it. I have a cheat in that my books have cartoon illustrations in them.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Fandom | Author Glen Weldon considers the age-old dilemma: Buy the single issues or wait for the trade? “… Those of us who’re reading our books month-to-month can wring our hands over the leaden pacing or the predictable nature of a given universe-spanning crossover event because … well, we’re reading it month-to-month in the first place. For good or ill, that ability to participate in real-time bellyaching is as much a part of the single-issue experience today as the comics themselves.” [NPR]
Crime | I love this article about a convenience-store burglary for this sentence alone: “The burglar, who appeared to be half Spiderman half Ninja, displayed nerves of steal as he calmly filled his swag bag with cigarettes as the alarm rang, and then clambered up over the confectionery stand and out of the hole in the ceiling.” Nerves of steal? [Crosby Herald]
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