Comics A.M. | Dark Horse CEO on state of industry; BOOM! changes

Publishing | In a wide-ranging interview with retail news and analysis site ICv2, Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson discusses the state of the market, the potential impact of Borders' bankruptcy, digital comics, the decline in manga sales, the success of Troublemaker and more. Of particular note is Richardson's confirmation that Apple's stricter enforcement of a prohibition on in-app purchases outside the iTunes store was behind the delay of the planned January launch of Dark Horse's digital comics program. He also says that Frank Miller is working on the third issue of his 300 prequel Xerxes, which is expected to be "roughly six issues, but he hasn’t exactly decided yet." [ICv2.com]

Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson provides an overview of recent changes to BOOM! Studios' kids' line, from the loss of the Pixar licenses to a new imprint name -- changed from BOOM! Kids to kaboom! -- to the announcement this week of a Peanuts original graphic novel. "BOOM Kids! was designed to publish children's comics — kaboom! is designed to be a true all-ages imprint, and for that reason Peanuts is the perfect launch title, the sort of material that adults and kids read alike," CEO Ross Ritchie said. "Roger Langridge's Snarked! is along these lines, as is Space Warped and Word Girl.  I put the Word Girl announcement on my wall on Facebook and immediately there were a zillion adults commenting, 'My child loves this show but I'm buying this comic book for myself!'  The title mix will be broader for kaboom! than it was for BOOM Kids!" [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Atish Patel offers a snapshot of India's "new wave of graphic novelists," from creators like Adhiraj Singh and Sarnath Banerjee to publishers like Vimanika Comics and Campfire. [Reuters]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon kicks off an interview with Matt Fraction about Casanova: "There's nothing about Casanova that goes easily or well, on any conceivable level. For whatever reason, it has this sort of light whiff of curse about it that just takes longer to produce. It is the hardest thing I write. It took me literally a year to produce the first script. That wasn't a year of working on it all day every day, but I started October of 2009 and finished October 2010 on the first issue of the third series. For whatever reason, it's the book where we go crazy." [Marvel.com]

Creators | Brian Truitt spotlights The Flash artist Francis Manapul, who talks about collaborating with writer Geoff Johns: ""It just feels like with every new script I get, we're continually getting closer to almost having the same brain in how we like to tell the story. Honestly, after I finish this book, If I'm not working with Geoff, I don't even know who I'd want to work with. I'd probably just write a story for myself." [USA Today]

Creators | Writer Mark Andrew Smith chats about using Kickstarter to fund a sequel to his all-ages book The New Brighton Archeological Society, and the challenges of creator-owned work: "The creative part comes easily. I think that the biggest challenge is the stress of putting so much work into a project and getting high hopes, only to see that work be for nothing. With each new book we put in energy and so much work, and think, ‘Okay, this is going to be it. We’re going to get to where we can turn this into a career’ and it never happens. We’ll work on a book sometimes for three years and it will come out and only 2,000 or 3,000 people will read it. Doing creator owned comics is a very Sisyphean task and you get your hopes up just to get knocked back down each time to where you started from with only a printed book to hold in your hands. I think that’s very hard to take on an emotional level. You’ve got to do your best to soldier on, keep a good outlook, and not let those things bother you." [GeekDad]

Creators | Alex Robinson talks briefly about nostalgia, television and movie adaptations, and his Fantastic Four contribution to Marvel's Strange Tales anthology: "A friend of mine pointed out, though, that the story takes place when Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and Ben Grimm were all in college, so I don’t even have any superhero things in it. I got a chance to do superheroes, and I fell back on a bunch of people sitting around talking about their feelings. Maybe no matter what, I can’t shake that inclination. " [The A.V. Club]

Creators | Ethan Nicolle talks about Axe Cop, his collaboration with his 6-year-old brother Malachi. [io9.com]

Creators | Shanghai artist Liu Chong, who uses the pen name L-Dart, discusses breaking into Japan's competitive manga market with Killin-ji. [Reuters]

Pop culture | William Hollingsworth looks at the influence of Japan's kawaii ("cute") culture in England. [The Japan Times]

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