Publishing | As Tokyopop returns to the graphic novel market, CEO Stu Levy talks about what he learned when the company stopped doing print in 2011, what happened with Tokyopop Germany, and how he sees the market now. Tokyopop is relaunching in print with three manga based on Disney properties, which Levy compares to the Korean tacos popularized by the food truck Kogi in Los Angeles: “To me that’s the epitome of fusion food done right, and I think what we’re doing with Disney manga is along those lines. It’s Japanese manga artists interpreting Disney characters and stories in a way that makes it uniquely manga, but it also retains the essence of Disney and the beloved characters that are a worldwide brand for a reason.” [ICv2]
Publishing | Tom DiChristopher looks at the increasing in sales of print comics, and discusses why digital comics seem to be growing, rather than encroaching on, that market. [CNBC]
Publishing | Manga publisher Seven Seas will collaborate with Mamenosuke Fujimaru, the Japanese artist and writer of a number of the Alice in the Country of … manga, on a new original manga series, Captive Hearts of Oz, based on The Wizard of Oz. The series has not been released in Japan. “Fujimaru is the defining artist for the Alice franchise, and as such, we reached out to her to create a new take on The Wizard of Oz world, with an otome game-style spin to the story,” said Seven Seas publisher Jason DeAngelis. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | Penn State physician Michael Green and creator Dana Walrath discuss the graphic medicine genre; Green is one of the authors of Graphic Medicine Manifesto, and Walrath, a medical anthropologist, is the creator of Aliceheimer’s: Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass, a memoir of her mother’s experiences with Alzheimer’s. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Creators | Cairo-based cartoonists Mohamed and Haitham El-Seht, who work jointly under the pseudonym “Twin Cartoonists,” discuss Egyptian comics. [designboom]
Political cartoons | Singaporean political cartoonist Leslie Chew recalls his arrest in 2013 on sedition charges, stemming from his Facebook page Demon-Cratic Singapore. He was interrogated for 30 hours and placed under “island arrest,” which meant he could not return to his home in Malaysia, for three months. The police also seized his computer and all his electronic devices—and even took his father’s computer. “And after suffering all these bullshit over three months for committing no crime, what did I get from the Singapore Government?” he said. “Nothing. No apology, no compensation, not even a single word of sorry. Three good months of my life that I am never going to get back just vanished like that.” The government eventually dropped the charges, which Chew found out from a newspaper report. [The Online Citizen]
Creators | I spoke with Steven T. Seagle and Jacob Adam Katzenstein about their new graphic novel Camp Midnight, a kids’ tale published by Image Comics under the the Man of Action imprint. [Good Comics for Kids]
Retailing | 901 Comics will open its doors this Saturday in Memphis, Tennessee, kicking things off with a guest appearance by veteran Timely/Marvel artist Alan Bellman. Co-owner Shannon Merritt is a Memphis police officer and former Marine who spent eight months in Iraq. “The one thing I kept writing back to people was, ‘Please send me comics.'” he said. “And not a single person sent me comics the whole time. I’d get big boxes of candy and toiletries and magazines. But not a single comic the whole time I was over there.” His partner Jamie Wright was working as a cook in a local bar and then went on to work for Stan Lee Collectibles; Wright bought a collection of 15,000 comics from his father, an antique dealer, and built it up to 30,000. The pair plan on operating a friendly business. “I’m a talker. I like to talk,” said Merritt. “I want people to come in and buy comics and sit and talk to me about them. That’s why we have these seats here. I want people to sit here after they buy their comics, hang out and read. We’re going to have a TV here. And we’re going to play comic book movies all the time.” [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
Retailing | Tim Stolzfus, owner of More Fun Comics in Denton, Texas, talks about his lifelong love of comics — he started his first comics business when he was still in high school. [Denton Record-Chronicle]
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