Retailing | The American Booksellers Association has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the online price war being waged by Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target. The trade group says that by selling advance-order hardcovers at deep discounts the three retail giants are engaging in “illegal predatory pricing” and making it impossible for smaller stores to compete.
Ron Catapano of Ron’s Comic World in Mount Holly, New Jersey, asserts that direct-market retailers face a similar scenario: “I hope the comic publishers are paying attention. When the Watchmen movie came out and Amazon was selling the Watchmen trade paperback for less than I could get the book from Diamond Comic Distributors (including shipping cost), I complained and nobody cared. For most discounters, these books are not a significant part of their business, they are just something to make a few extra dollars on.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Japanese publishing giant Shogakukan plans to close three of its magazines, including the shojo manga monthly ChuChu. The magazine debuted in December 2005 with a print run of 180,000, but more recently sales have hovered around 50,000 copies. [Anime News Network]
Libraries | The New Jersey State Library has awarded $3,000 grants to 14 libraries to help them establish and expand graphic-novel collections. The State Library also conducted workshops about developing collections, and furnished librarians with “a core graphic novel bibliography” to help them with their purchases. [NJ.com]
Publishing | A new teen survey by Teenreads.com revealed that of the respondents who read graphic novels or manga, 51 percent enjoy the romance drama, followed by humor (45 percent), mystery (33 percent), sci-fi/fantasy (31 percent) and action/superhero (26 percent). [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has created a comic-book version of its latest white paper as part of an effort to attract young people to military service. The ministry has published 10,000 copies of the comic, which targets junior-high students. [Taiwan News]
Conventions | This weekend’s Boston Comic Con reportedly drew about 3,000 people. [The Daily Free Press]
Business | Your Spider-Man musical vague update of the day: A spokesman for the financially troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark says, “A lot of progress has been made on the show. It is going to happen.” So, there. [ArtsBeat]
Creators | Stan Lee talks about receiving the Comic-Con Icon Award at Spike TV’s 2009 Scream Awards, digital comics and the proper pronunciation of “Magneto.” [GeekDad]
Creators | Brian Fees discuss his graphic novels Mom’s Cancer and Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? [Sequential Tart]
Creators | Bestselling author, and former Saturday Night Live writer, Max Brooks chats about his graphic novel Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks: “Don’t be proactive: If you see someone stumbling and moaning across the quad (especially on a Saturday night), do not chop their head off!” [Times Union]
Creators | Malaysian artist Zint (aka Lu Wun Khang) talks briefly about his work. [The Star]
Comics | Graeme McMillan gives four reasons why zombies and superheroes don’t really mix: “The dead being brought back as pawns to use against our brave heroes? Old hat for superhero comics – In fact, Marvel even has multiple characters based around this concept (the Grim Reaper, the Black Talon … You could even argue that Brother — now Doctor — Voodoo would have some familiarity on the subject). The only thing that’s new about this latest wave is the overwhelming scale of the risings … which is one of the few things legitimately taken from zombie culture.” [io9.com]
Comics | The Sequential Tart crew discuss comics that “go bump in the night.” [Sequential Tart]
Fandom | U.K. comedian Phill Jupitus writes about his longtime love of comics: “It was Billy Bragg who got me into some of the more serious comics. He told me about Forbidden Planet, a tiny basement comics shop among all the guitar stores on London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’, Denmark Street, near Soho. He showed me something called V For Vendetta when I was 22 that blew me away.” [Mail Online]
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