Publishing | Brigid Alverson, Simon Jones, Gia Manry and Daniella Orihuela-Gruber provide commentary on Tuesday’s announcement that Viz Media is restructuring, laying off up to 60 employees and closing its New York City branch. Manry cautions that there’s little need for panic, while Jones points out that it’s unclear whether the company’s cuts are in its manga or anime divisions.
Alverson notes that the news came as such a surprise because Viz publishes the most popular manga properties (Naruto, One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist) as well as some of the most acclaimed (Children of the Sea, Pluto, 20th Century Boys): “However, as publishing veterans know, acclaim does not necessarily equal sales.” [Viz Media]
Passings | Tom Spurgeon pens a very nice obituary for artist Frank Frazetta. [The Comics Reporter]
Retailers | Stadium Comics in actor Michael Cera’s hometown of Brampton, Ontario, lobbies for the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World star to appear at the store for a signing by declaring Aug. 13 “Michael Cera Day.” [press release]
Creators | Christopher Irving profiles Jaime Hernandez, while Steve Bunche interviews Todd Hignite, author of The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death. “He made me come to my hometown, and the neighborhood where I grew up,” Hernandez says of Hignite. “I took him up and down the street and showed him all these little places that didn’t look like anything but had such history, for me. By the time he put it down on paper, in the book, I thought how he brought out what I was about was the real art of the book. I thought he did that really well and I thought ‘Nobody has to look at any of the art in the book. I want them to read it, because it covers so much that doesn’t come out in the art’.” [Graphic NYC, Publishers Weekly]
Creators | Gail Simone discusses her return to DC’s relaunched Birds of Prey, which debuts this week: “It’s a little naughtier, for sure. We purposely avoided romance and sex stories previously, to show a female-led book didn’t HAVE to have that component. Okay, that’s proven. Now some Birds might get some action.” [iFanboy]
Education | The Dartmouth student newspaper spotlights the “The Graphic Novel” course offered by the college’s English department. [The Dartmouth]
Education | A teacher discourages a third-grader from selecting a graphic novel for Children’s Book Week, so the boy’s mother writes to the newspaper asking, “Are graphic novels bad for young readers?” Short answer: Of course not. [Detroit Free Press]
Politics | “What Batman Can Teach Conservatives on Immigration and Other Issues.” Yeah, I don’t know. [The Huffington Post]
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