Comics | The comics industry has undergone seismic changes in the past few years, and Heidi MacDonald rounds up some recent comments from retailers and pundits about what they’re seeing. It’s a good read that leads to many other good reads, but here’s the takeaway: “ The real issue — one that many people in the industry may have trouble dealing with — is that the comics audience has changed. They didn’t get into comics during the first run of the Ultimate universe. They didn’t come in with the original 52 mini series or Final Crisis. They probably didn’t even start with the New 52. The methods and product mixes that were formulated to deal with a readership that grew up when comics were a niche product for nerds have to be reevaluated when new readers are coming in from the top properties in every form of entertainment, from graphic novels that they were taught in school, from webcomics, from creators with strong social media, from every which way. There is no well marked four lane highway to comics any more, just a delightful variety of roads, interstates and worn down dirt paths.” [The Beat]
Comics | Abraham Reisman explains Marvel’s Secret Wars event — what it is, how it fits in with the rest of the publisher’s line, and what went wrong. The article starts out with an interesting premise: “If movies are, as Roger Ebert famously said, ‘like a machine that generates empathy,’ superhero comics are a machine that generates obsession.” And Secret Wars did that, masterfully, he says. “If you want easier-to-follow superhero stories, the cineplex is filled with them. But if you want an endlessly shifting, massively scaled, unapologetically convoluted puzzle that rewards fixation and patience, there’s only one game in town, and you can play it at your local comics shop.” [Vulture]
Comics | Zainab Akhtar posts her list of the comics and graphic novels she’s looking forward to this year. [The Guardian]
Creators | Tom Hart talks about his graphic memoir of losing a child, Rosalie Lightning. [Paste]
Publishing | Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson discusses how the company has evolved since he took over in 2008, what he looks for in a pitch, and how his work as a publisher has affected his own projects, They’re Not Like Us and Nowhere Men. [The A.V. Club]
Publishing | Sean Kleefeld pauses to contemplate the business side of Jack Chick’s comics-format religious tracts, which sell for 16 cents each. [Kleefeld on Comics]
Retailing | Greg Sohlden, owner of Odyssey Comics and Cards in Katy, Texas, talks about his clientele and how he caters to them with a mix of comics and collectibles, and he mentions a hazard of the business: “It’s hard to be a collector and own a store at the same time. Basically, if you try to collect too much, you can be out of business. You collect all of your inventory.” [Houston Chronicle]
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