Comic strips | Prompted by the insult-filled message left by an 8-year-old for the newspaper editor who dropped his favorite comics, Michael Cavna asks Big Nate creator Lincoln Peirce whether kids are still even reading comic strips in high numbers. His answer, at least in part: “I’m a firm believer that kids will ALWAYS want their comics…but they’ll want them in whatever formats are the newest and shiniest. So: Yes, kids are still reading plenty of comics. They’re just not reading them in their daily newspapers.” It kicks off an interesting, if brief, discussion with a cartoonist who’s found a great deal of success reaching young readers. Related: Christopher Caldwell looks back on Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. [The Washington Post]
Publishing | Heidi MacDonald takes notice of Scholastic’s acquisition of a graphic novel by Laura Terry: “What interests me most about this deal is that, generally speaking, Laura Terry is unknown outside of minicomics circles, and this never appeared online as a webcomic, but she’s had a whole GN picked up for publishing by one of the most successful publishers in the business.” (Scholastic publishes the works of Raina Telgemeier, who had three of the five bestselling graphic novels of 2014.) So perhaps publishers are looking at the graphic novel as a package in its own right and deciding it’s something that will work for them — which is good news for creators. [The Beat]
Publishing | Bluewater Productions has launched a new bio-comics line, Orbit: Tycoons, that focuses on successful CEOs and top executives. Publisher Darren Davis talks about his company’s previous nonfiction comics lines and shares some numbers: Their best selling comic is their Michelle Obama bio, which sold 150,000 copies, with Justin Bieber a distant second at 70,000. [CNBC]
Creators | Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz spoke to a student group recently about his work, including the 1992 comic Migra Mouse, which he described as “the first viral cartoon — before viral even existed.” [Victoria Advocate]
Creators | The idea for the comic Southern Dog came to writer Jeremy Holt literally as he slept. “This story actually stemmed from a dream I had of a werewolf fighting off a bunch of [Klu Klux] Klansmen,” he said. “And that imagery was pretty intense, but I didn’t know what to do with it so I sat on the idea for a while. And it wasn’t until I started to do some research into the Klan — more specifically around Obama’s inauguration — that kind of stemmed the idea for the story.” [Vermont Public Radio]
Creators | Ika Krismantari profiles Indonesian artist Chris Lie, who studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design and drew Tokyopop’s Return to Labyrinth manga (based on the Jim Henson film Labyrinth. He now has his own studio and designs Spider-Man and Transformers figures as well as doing illustrations for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings properties and running the comics magazine re:ON COMICS. [Jakarta Post]
Manga | Viz Manga announced it has licensed two new shoujo manga series, Akaza Samamiya’s Bloody Mary, a vampire/exorcist romance, and Amu Meguro’s Honey So Sweet, a high school rom-com. [ICv2]
Manga | Shaenon Garrity looks at Apocalypse Meow, a story of the Vietnam War told with a cast of cats; the original Japanese title, which licensor ADV did not retain for some reason, was Cat Shit One. [Anime News Network]
Commentary | Arturo Conde interviews several Latino creators to get their take on Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. [NBC News]
Conventions | With six cast members from AMC’s The Walking Dead on the guest list, organizers of Detroit’s Motor City Comic Con expect more than 45,000 people could turn out for the May 15-17 show. That would be an attendance record. [Crain’s Detroit Business]
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