Publishing | When Japan’s largest publisher, Kodansha, set up shop in the United States last fall, many expected a major shake-up in the North American manga market. But so far, Kodansha USA Publishing and Kodansha Comics have been awfully quiet, re-releasing only the first volumes of Akira and Ghost in the Shell. So Gia Manry goes to the source, the general manager of Kodansha USA, and learns … not a whole lot, actually. Except that the manga giant plans to create a website. [Anime Vice]
Publishing | Comics publishers are generally tight-lipped when it comes to sales figures — unless, of course, those numbers are really, really impressive. That’s the case with the hardcover collection for Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass, which Marvel reports has shipped nearly 100,000 copies since its release on Feb. 17. Almost 40 percent of those has gone to the direct market. [press release]
Publishing | Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, has merged its Bantam Dell and Ballantine Books imprints. Libby McGuire, publisher of Ballantine since 2006, has been named senior vice president-publisher of the new Ballantine Bantam Dell division. It’s unclear how, or if, the consolidation will affect imprints like Villard and Del Rey (and its Del Rey Manga subsidiary). [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | Nick Nadel caught confirmation from Frank Miller at the MoCCA Festival that he’s no longer working on Holy Terror, Batman!, the graphic novel he’s had in development since 2006 at DC Comics. The much-discussed project was to have the Dark Knight battling Al-Qaeda. [Comics Alliance]
Digital comics | Looking at the Marvel Comics App for Apple’s iPad, Johanna Draper Carlson asks how much readers are willing to pay for digital comics. On a related note: Marvel has released 60 more comics through its iPad app, the most recent of which dates from 2007 2008. [Comics Worth Reading]
Awards | Prism Comics has announced the recipients of this year’s Queer Press Grant: Ed Luce for Wuvable Oaf, and Eric Orner for Storybox. [press release]
Creators | FoxTrot cartoonist Bill Amend talks about the 23-year-old comic strip, his “geek tendencies,” and the character Jason: “Jason has also gotten to see every movie for the past 22 years at the child’s ticket price. We cartoonists have to watch our budgets, you know. One of the advantages comic strip kids have over, say, kids in TV sitcoms, is the actors don’t age and mess everything up. When I created FoxTrot, I picked the kids’ ages for specific reasons and to create specific dynamics between them. Aging the characters wouldn’t necessarily be ‘bad,’ but it would change everything, and I’m not inclined to do that. Besides, on a selfish level, I like getting to view the world through the excitable eyes of a nerdy 10-year-old as part of my job.” [GeekDad]
Creators | Gabriel Ba relates how Image Comics changed his life. [Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s blog]
Creators | Scott Thill chats briefly with cartoonist Peter Bagge about his new Vertigo graphic novel Other Lives. [Underwire]
Creators | Harvey Pekar is interviewed in advance of his Sunday appearance at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. [National Post]
Creators | Writer Cullen Bunn discusses The Damned, The Sixth Gun and collaborating with Brian Hurtt. [Broken Frontier]
History | Charles Hatfield discovers The Spinner Rack That Time Forgot, fully stocked with Issue 11 of DC’s Who’s Who (January 2006). [Thought Balloonists]
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