Publishing | Portland, Oregon, will be the home base for Heavy Metal’s new line of comics, which was announced in October, following the company’s sale to David Boxenbaum and Jeff Krelitz. “I think it’s being closer to the talent,” Krelitz said. “If you wanted to be a painter in the early 20th century, you went to Paris. The comics line launches in March with the second season of Michael Moreci and Steve Seely’s Hoax Hunters. The company plans to be publishing eight original series by the end of this year and another 12 next year, building up to 50 in five years. “We’re positioning to be a premier publisher,” Krelitz said. [The Oregonian]
Passings | Editorial cartoonist R.K. Laxman, who maintained a running commentary on Indian politics for almost 60 years, has died at age 93. The younger brother of novelist R. K. Narayan, Laxman got his start illustrating his brother’s work as well as doing drawings for local newspapers. He became an editorial cartoonist for the Times of India around 1947, about the time India became an independent country, and stayed there until 2010. Laxman’s most famous creation was the Common Man, a character that stood in for the average Indian. As the official obituary in the Times of India said, “His Common Man, created in 1957, was the symbol of India’s ordinary people, their trials and tribulations, their little joys and sorrows, and the mess they found themselves in thanks to the political class and bureaucracy. But despite the sobering reality of this, there was never any rancour in Laxman’s cartoons. His humour was always delightful, and no one could hold a candle to his brushstrokes.” [Times of India]
Graphic novels | Bookstore sales of adult fiction graphic novels increased 13 percent in 2014, according to the latest Nielsen BookScan numbers; sales of children’s graphic novels and adult nonfiction were harder to parse but seem to have had robust growth as well. [ICv2]
Creators | Roz Chast talks about the recognition that came with having her book Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? make so many shortlists and best-of-the-year roundups, as well as what she has learned about eldercare since finishing the book. [Comic Riffs]
Creators | Nina Bunjevac talks about her graphic novel Fatherland, [NPR]
Creators | Cullen Bunn, Brian Churilla and Mike Norton discuss their collaboration on The Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead. [Panel Patter]
Digital comics | Rob Salkowitz looks at the comiXology Submit program and sees a lot of diversity and a lot of potential, although without actual sales numbers it’s hard to say for sure what it all means. [ICv2]
Digital comics | Thrillbent co-founder John Rogers says that while his partner Mark Waid was interested in the storytelling possibilities of digital comics, he was intrigued by digital as a delivery system: “It is very hard to make a living doing comics, and in theory it should be cheap! It’s a writer and an artist. What can you do, how can we open this up so that creators can get their stuff out to the audience without having to mortgage the house?” [The Oklahoman]
Comics | Have you ever wondered why Image and BOOM! Studios comics (but not others) print a phone number you can call to get “information regarding the CPSIA [Consumer Product Safety Information Act] on this printed material”? Well, Reed Beebe did, and he even called the number to find out what they would say. [Nothing But Comics]
Retailing | Kenny Jacobs, owner of Nuclear Comics in Laguna Hills, California, talks about his store, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, how he chooses his inventory and how things have changed over the years. [OC Weekly]
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