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Martha Thomases: Superheroes Attack New Markets

25 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT

This is a great time for the business side of American comics. Sales are higher than they’ve been for decades, at least in terms of dollars.

(It’s true that in the 1940s many titles sold millions of copies apiece. Those were different times.)

According to the article cited in the link, only titles featuring Batman and Spider-Man consistently sell more than 100,000 an issue. It’s true that Spider-Man and Batman star in a lot of titles, and comics cost a lot more than they did in the 1940s. Still, superheroes are not the monolithic force in the market that they used to be, and single-issues print copies are no longer the biggest part of the market. Graphic novels account for almost half the sales. Digital is estimated to be at least ten percent.

(I know that these categories overlap. My point stands.)

In any case, I think this is good for the medium. »

- Martha Thomases

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Tweeks: Making the Tough Decisions for #Sdcc

24 July 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

We know this is totally a #FirstWorldProblem, but getting one’s schedule set for Comic Con is really stressful.  With the Sdcc app and an Excel spreadsheet in hand, we’re scurrying around the San Diego Convention Center right now in search of scoops (of probably both ice cream and news), but here’s a look at hard tween geek choices that had to be made and some very cool activities downtown.

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- Maddy and Anya Ernst

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Dennis O’Neil: Happy, Happy Batday Baby…

24 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT

So look! We have a new holiday. I don’t know exactly where to slot this one in the holiday calendar (and surely such a thing must exist) – probably somewhere south of all those presidents among the feasts that don’t actually embody a human need but are celebrated because someone said they should be. Not up there with Christmas or Easter, which are actually about something.

I refer, of course (of course!) to Batman Day, celebrated on July 23rd. The cynic in me opines that Batman Day is probably the brainchild of some marketing guy hunkered in one of those mid-Manhattan skyscrapers But I’m not certain and… I don’t know – maybe there was a St. Batman.

The character is arguably popular enough to merit his own holiday, which might lead us to a question I’ve been asked once or twice: why?

I shrug, and smile, and »

- Dennis O'Neil

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Mike Gold: Comics Without Pictures

23 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT

Honey West and T.H.E. Cat: A Girl and Her Cat, by Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh • Moonstone Books, 180 pages • $6.99 paperback, $5.99 digital

Way, way back in the early-1960s, the Chicago Sunday Tribune had a separate section devoted entirely to books. Books, as Craig Ferguson explains frequently, are bound collections of sequentially numbered pieces of paper called “pages” that are, in fact, extremely long tweets. In that book section of yore, there was a “paperback books” columnist. Paperback books were collections of sequentially numbered pages, each in a size smaller than the original, bound in soft cardboard. At the time, most of these paperbacks cost thirty-five or fifty cents.

Stop shaking your heads, Boomers, and go back to finding nibs for your fountain pens so you can sharpen up your cursive. Yes, we are old. Just deal with it. Being a ComicMix columnist, I am honor bound to digress. »

- Mike Gold

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Who Are The Top 20 Vampires in Books?

22 July 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

Vampires have been and will always be a wonderful creature that runs through the pages of comic books, graphic novels and literary books, but these few stand out as some of the best of the lot. Of course choosing vampires in literature is always a daunting task, and as such, is entirely subjective.

1. Lestat from The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Lestat de Lioncourt from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. “The Brat Prince” has helped form what many see as the template for how a vampire should be in modern day fiction. His boldness, enthusiasm, defiance and charm has made him the iconic vampire of the 20th and 21st century. You can begin to read his exploits in the first book of the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice in ‘Interview With A Vampire‘.

(You can buy it Here!)

2. Carmilla from The Dark Blue by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Appearing in »

- Nikki Lyka

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Emily S. Whitten: The Con-Runner’s Guide to the Galaxy

22 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT

Since my column on DashCon was published last week, I’ve been contacted by several people who inquired about how to start or run a fan convention. So I figured it might be a good time to share a portion of the experience and knowledge I have gained about con-running over the years, in the form of this column and an incredibly long document that will clearly illustrate to anyone who hasn’t picked up on it so far that I am super Ocd about some things. Which is actually a necessary trait for successfully managing a con, so, you know: there’s that!

Now I don’t mean to say that if you aren’t my brand of Ocd you can’t run a con. I’ve worked with con chairs and committee members who do things in ways that are completely opposite to my style, and they make it work very successfully. »

- Emily S. Whitten

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Box Office Democracy: “The Purge: Anarchy”

22 July 2014 3:11 AM, PDT

Last year I reviewed the original Purge movie on my own blog and my chief complaints were that the movie was intellectually lazy for not exploring more of the complexities of the setting and for being so short that there was no time for any kind of real narrative.  The Purge: Anarchy leaves practically no stone unturned in examining what kind of culture would emerge around the idea of annual purges and it clocks in at almost 20 minutes longer with a far more nuanced story to show for it.  I got every thing I said I wanted and I still don’t like this movie.  It’s either a shaking moment for my credibility as a critic as I might have no idea what I want or this franchise is just not going to be no matter what they do.  I hope it’s the latter.

 The Purge: Anarchy dives »

- Arthur Tebbel

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The Point Radio: By The Time We Bike To Phoenix

21 July 2014 12:01 PM, PDT

You may never own one or even ride one, but you probably will agree that motorbikes can be cool. We take you right into the heart of they matter as we look at The History Channel series, Biker Battleground Phoenix. Plus The Avengers get a makeover and ComicCon here we come!

Be sure to see all the Pop Culture we cover direct from San Diego. Just follow us right now on Instagram at The Point Radio.

The Point covers it 24/7! Take us Anywhere on Any mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s Free!  The Point Radio  - 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. Go Here and Listen Free  - and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio. »

- Mike Raub

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What Heidi Said. (Also Batteries, Water, and Granola Bars.) #Sdcc

21 July 2014 10:28 AM, PDT

Do not ever plan to get some last minute task done at this show, like making a slideshow for your panel or finishing your mini-comic!

You just won’t do it! Trust me on this.

So, you have only 48 hours to finish everything.

via Sdcc 2014: The One Indispensible Piece of Advice You Must Know To Survive Comic-Con! — The Beat.

Less for me, I fly out tomorrow. I’m doomed. »

- Glenn Hauman

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Mindy Newell: EW Does Sdcc

21 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT

My geek overdrive continues to overwhelm me. But I’m not the only one.

Less than a week away from this year’s San Diego ComicCon (which opens its doors this Thursday, July 24th, and closes them on Sunday, July 27th) Entertainment Weekly joins the national geek fest that is summertime with a bang-up double-size issue featuring a cover shot of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America with Ultron looming behind them. The issue is a stuffed-to-the-gills San Diego Comic Con preview…

And I read every single page. Including the adverts.

Now I know how those fans at the 1976 Sdcc felt when Charles Lippincott (then head of Lucasfilm’s marketing, advertising and publicity department) showed some of the first production slides of Star Wars, and (writer) Roy Thomas and (artist) Howard Chaykin previewed their Marvel Comics adaptation of the film, because the cover story, »

- Mindy Newell

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