Conventions | The annual, and often-grueling, rite that is the race for Comic-Con International hotel rooms kicks off at 9 a.m. PST Thursday as Travel Planners begins taking reservations. The convention website helpfully cautions: “As everyone knows from the past few years, the discounted rate offered by Comic-Con on the rooms in our block means that they tend to sell out in the first few hours.” Details can be found here.
In other Comic-Con news, as of this morning Thursday memberships are 97-percent sold. Friday, Saturday and four-day passes went the way of the dodo long ago. [Comic-Con International]
Retailing | As the “buy” buttons for titles from Diamond Book Distributors slowly begin to reappear on Amazon.com, Simon Jones offers additional commentary on last week’s “price glitch” that affected both that online retailer and Barnes & Noble: “… Questions still remain: how did this happen in the first place, why was it almost allowed to happen again at Barnes & Noble, and whether any direct financial burden might be heaved upon publishers? It’s no exaggeration to say that DBD’s immediate outlook may depend on how satisfactorily it is able to address these quandaries when it meets with publishers this week. Rightly or not, there are some justifiable jitters among its clients. Assurances must be made, anxieties must be soothed.” [Icarus Publishing]
Legal | A group of manga artists held a press conference to voice their opposition to a proposed amendment to metropolitan Tokyo laws that would tighten existing restrictions on the sexual depictions of minors in manga, anime and video games. The proposal is scheduled for a vote on Friday by the metropolitan assembly. [Anime News Network, The Straits Times]
Comic strips | John Berman and Joel Siegel provide a grim snapshot of a shrinking comic-strip market that’s seen Mark Tatulli’s Reuben Award-winning Lio dropped from 30 newspapers in the past 18 months. [ABC News]
Retailing | This profile of Evil Squirrel Comics in Chicago looks at how the store bounced back from the recession and a costly bookkeeping error. [Medill Reports]
Events | Alyssa Rosenberg reports on last week’s “New York, the Super-City” panel discussion at the New York Center for Independent Publishing. [The Atlantic]
Creators | John Romita Jr. discusses Kick-Ass, depicting over-the-top violence, and what’s more difficult to draw — talking heads or fight scenes: “It used to be everybody struggles with quiet scenes but then they struggle with it and eventually you get good at it. It’s the same thing with the female body. You never could draw it as a male. When you’re a kid you learn how to draw the male body first, the male figure. You have to struggle to draw the female figure and you eventually get very good at it because you had to struggle at it. That being said I would say the quiet scenes are more difficult because you have to make them interesting.” [Techland]
Creators | Brian Heater begins a four-part interview with Bill Ayers, college professor, co-founder of The Weather Underground and writer of To Teach: The Journey, in Comics. [The Daily Cross Hatch]
Creators | Artist Shawn Martinbrough briefly discusses his work on Marvel’s Luke Cage Noir: “Just the concept of a bulletproof Black man walking around in the 1920’s sounded cool as hell to me. Even if it were just a rumor, that possibility would scare the crap out of many people on the island of Manhattan.” [AllHipHop.com]
Creators | Writer Cullen Bunn talks about The Damned, The Sixth Gun, Raze and more. [Saint James]
Creators | Bob Andelman posts an audio interview with Hannibal Goes to Rome writer Brendan McGinley. [True/Slant]
Manga | Tajima Japanese Restaurant in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa neighborhood provides manga while diners wait for their meals. [The Daily Aztec]
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