Publishing | Retailer Christopher Butcher catches word that Flight Explorer, the younger-readers spinoff of the long-running Flight anthology, is without a publishing home. Although the first volume, published in March 2008 by Villard, reportedly sold through its 20,000-copy first printing, editor Kazu Kibuishi tweeted last week that “the project remains orphaned.” Butcher provides commentary on his blog. [Comics212]
Legal | Google and groups representing publishers and authors on Friday filed a revised settlement they hope will resolve a dispute over the Internet giant’s controversial plans to make millions of out-of-print books available online.
The original agreement, created to resolve a 2005 lawsuit, was opposed by parties ranging from DC Comics to the U.S. Justice Department to the governments of France and Germany, who argued that its terms could violate copyright law. The revisions address the handling of orphan works, restrict the Google database to books published in the United States, Britain, Canada or Australia, and allow other companies to license the digital catalog.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin is expected this week to set a date for a “fairness hearing” in which arguments about the settlements will be presented by b0th sides. [The New York Times]
Publishing | More details have emerged on plans by Japanese publishing giant Shueisha to sell manga on mobile phones in 28 countries, including the United States, beginning in spring 2010. ICv2.com reports that Shueisha, co-owner of Viz Media, will launch the digital initiative with 20 to 30 titles, including Dragon Ball. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | A writer at Sankaku Complex examines the declining sales in Japan of manga magazines and tankobon, and declares that the country’s manga industry is in “dire straits.” [Sankaku Complex]
Internet | This morning Time.com launched Techland, a free-standing website devoted to “geek culture,” with coverage ranging from science-fiction movies and video games to gadgets and comic books. [Techland]
Publishing | James Hudnall takes a broad look at shifts in comics distribution channels, from the newsstand to the direct market to “the digital age.” [Big Hollywood]
Retailing | Here’s an odd article that’s part profile of newly opened comics store, part attempt at a snapshot of the marketplace. The assessment of the industry is a bit … rosy. [The Boston Globe]
Sales charts | R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated remains the No. 1 hardcover on The New York Times’ graphic books bestseller list as the eighth volume of Matsuri Hino’s Vampire Knight debuts as the top manga and Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth climbs to the top paperback slot. [The New York Times]
Events | Matthew Brady covers an appearance on Friday in Chicago by Dean Haspiel and Tim Hall for a screening of The Act-I-Vate Experience, a short documentary about the comics collective. [Warren Peace Sings the Blues]
Comics | Tim Macavoy counts down the Top 10 gay superheroes (though he ends up with more than 10). [Queer Sighted]