Food or Comics | Money, comics and the economy

• Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, an avowed otaku, is calling upon manga, anime, fashion and video games to help pull his country out of a recession. His new economic-stimulus package, unveiled Thursday, includes a provision for raising exports from the "content" sector to 18 percent from the current two percent. [The Independent, The Japan Times]

• Quebecor, the Montreal-based printing and communications company, announced it has reached "an agreement in principle" with its major creditors on a reorganization plan that will allow it to emerge from bankruptcy protection. [Publishers Weekly]

• Matt Blind considers the changing landscape as the industry moves away from "floppies" and toward books: "The current Local Comic Shop sells dust, nostalgia, and good will. And the occasional graphic novel. And the same 5 recurring titles to the same dozen people every Wednesday. 30 (40?) years ago the very idea of a ‘comics-only shop’ would have thrilled the fan base and set tongues wagging at all the local junior high schools; now, the comic shop is a caricature (or ultimate expression) of what it used to be and the jr. high kids are clogging the manga aisles at the bookstore next to the mall. ... Quick Check: If the kids aren’t trying to steal your merchandise then your long-term business is in trouble." [Rocket Bomber]

• Reader complaints move The Chronicle in Geneva, Illinois, to actually increase the size of its comics. [The Chronicle, via The Daily Cartoonist]

Twilight haters take note: One in seven books sold in the first quarter of the year -- a whopping 16 percent of all book sales -- was written by Stephenie Meyer. Dark times, indeed. Dark ... yet sparkly. [USA Today, via GalleyCat]

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