Publishing | Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald assemble a roundtable of comics insiders to for a detailed discussion of how the graphic novel market has evolved over the past 10 years, how their own business models have evolved, and what challenges they expect the future to bring. “Graphic novels are now firmly established in the book market worldwide in every genre: superhero, creator-owned, kids, middle-grade, young adult, webcomic, media tie-ins … etc,” says Kuo-Yu Liang, vice president of sales & marketing for Diamond Book Distributors. “While the overall book business is flat, most retailers are reporting comics/graphic novels and related merchandise as one of the few segments growing.” [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | John Freeman looks ahead at what holds for the U.K. comics market, including the continuing challenge of newsstand distribution, rumors of a new publisher entering the comics market, and new hires at The Beano. [Down the Tubes]
Publishing | Jim Shelley explains why he thinks 2016 will be a tough year for American comics. [Flashback Universe]
Comics | The New York Times follows up George Gene Gustines’ article on the growing diversity of superheroes and superhero comics readers with an opinion piece by Malaysian writer Umapagan Ampikaipakan arguing against such diversity. Ampikaipakan writes of growing up in Malaysia, racing to the newsstand to get American superhero comics before the other kids did, and how he thought of himself as sort of a superhero. Then he leaps from feeling like Peter Parker to arguing that superheroes should not be diverse, and in particular, should not be Asian, saying “that only risks undercutting the genre’s universal appeal.” He never really makes it clear why that would be so, though, aside from trotting out some examples of American publishers doing Asian superheroes badly. [The New York Times]
Political cartoons | The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has issued a statement of support for cartoonist Ann Telnaes, whose cartoon of Ted Cruz and his daughters was removed from The Washington Post’s website after Cruz complained. “While it would be in bad taste to arbitrarily go after a public figure’s family, it is fair journalism to criticize the senator for using his own children to attack a political opponent. And that’s precisely what Ann’s cartoon has done,” the statement said. Tom Spurgeon has rounded up some other reactions. [AAEC]
Digital comics | Damon Beres looks at a new way of reading digital comics on a smartphone: scrolling down in horizontal mode, as opposed to panel-by-panel views such as comiXology’s Guided View. He provides animated illustrations so you can see the difference, and he also talks to Marvel about their Unlimited comics, which use the panel-by-panel view technology. [The Huffington Post]
Best of the year | I counted down my 10 favorite ongoing manga series of the past year. [Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog]
Comics | Gregory Pratt writes about starting to read comics this year, with guidance from a helpful retailer. [The Chicago Tribune]
Comics | Curious about Indian comics? Karan Bhasin has some suggestions for you. [IGN India]
Commentary | Darryl Ayo looks at the practice of double-shipping (releasing issues more often than monthly) and explains why it’s bad for almost everyone. [Comix Cube]
Education | Phillipsburg High School in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, now offers a Making Comics course developed by teacher Faith Roncorni — and she raised some of the money for it by holding a mini comic con at the school. [The Morning Call]
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