Category Archives: comics

Graphic Novels: Batman, Hawkeye and Saga among August’s bestsellers

Heidi MacDonald -- August 27th, 2013
Tracking graphic novels sales is difficult—they’re sold through two channels, the conventional bookstore/Amazon market, which is measured by Bookscan; and the direct sales market which consists of nearly 2000 comic book shops. Sales via comics shops are usually estimates based onsales charts released monthly by Diamond Comic Distributors. To compound matters, Bookscan measures consumer sales, while Diamond measures orders from retailers. Continue reading

What are the biggest comic-cons in North America?

Heidi MacDonald -- June 19th, 2013

It’s no secret that comic cons are getting more popular world wide—I just covered the triumph and occasional growing pains in this week’s Comic Con Culture on the Rise. These carnivals of comics provide fans of all ages with a chance to see celebrities, meet cartoonists, buy old swag and dress in elaborate costumes.

We all know that next month’s Comic-Con International: San Diego is the largest show in North America, and that New York’s own Comic-Con (held in October) is a fast rising #2, but what comes after that? Is it long established WonderCon or upstart Phoenix or something else? Using attendance figures from news sources and show-runners, and with the design wizardry of PW’s Matt White, we put together an infographic to show how shows rank and just how many Stormtroopers and Minecraft cosplayers are streaming through the halls of cons in the US and Canada. Continue reading

The 10 Most Memorable Superhero Deaths

Matthew White -- February 27th, 2013

By now, comic book fans (and readers of the New York Post) have heard the news that Damian Wayne, son of Bruce and the current Robin, dies in the pages of Batman Incorporated #8, which hits shelves today. While the death of a superhero is nothing new to comics (this is actually not the first time a Robin has been killed), it’s still a pretty big deal for DC Comics and will certainly have a lasting effect within the Batman storyline, not to mention a brisk spike in sales for the publisher.

Here are ten other memorable superhero deaths from over the years.


10.  Ted Kord, Blue Beetle – Countdown to Infinite Crisis (2005, DC Comics)

In the lead up to DC Comics’s Infinite Crisis event in 2005, former Justice League member Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, single-handedly unravels a plot by the psychic (and psychotic) Maxwell Lord to initiate one of Batman’s doomsday protocols in which a swarm of invincible robots called Omacs are released upon the world. Ted confronts Max, only to be shot and killed, but not before gritting his teeth and telling Max to “Rot in Hell.” Unlike many of the other entries on this list, Kord has not come back and has only been seen briefly in flashbacks.


9.  Bruce Wayne, Batman – Final Crisis #6 (2009, DC Comics)

In the finale to Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis, Batman confronts the evil deity Darkseid, who had unleashed the “anti-life equation” on the world eradicating all free will and thought. Seconds after mortally wounding the evil God, Batman is struck with the Omega beam, seemingly killing him, but actually sending him hurtling through time. Almost simultaneously, Batman was involved in another death-related storyline, “Batman R.I.P.”, which involved a plot orchestrated by the Black Hand, an illusory villain that was trying to break Bruce’s psyche. Despite the two storylines occurring concurrently, they were only tangentially related, and ultimately Batman survived both.


8.  Ultimate Universe Peter Parker – Ultimate Spider-Man #160 (2011, Marvel)

In the Ultimate Marvel Universe (a separate universe that contains more realistic interpretations of Marvel’s heroes), Peter Parker is shot by the Punisher and later dies after an all-out battle with his nemesis, the Green Goblin. To replace Parker, Marvel introduced Miles Morales, a boy of mixed racial descent who is now the star of Ultimate Spider-Man. Fans and critics have embraced the new protagonist and he seems to be sticking around for the foreseeable future. Continue reading

Comics and Graphic Novels at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Calvin Reid -- September 19th, 2011

The Comics Writ Large and Small Panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival (l. to r.) Meg Lemke, moderator, Craig Thompson (Habibi), Anders Nilsen (Big Questions) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve).

Comics and graphic novels have always been a part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, held this past weekend on a beautiful fall Sunday September 18 at Borough Hall and surrounding sites. But this weekend the Brooklyn Book Festival 2011 seems to have really ramped up the involvement of comics artists at the one-day literary festival, incorporating cartoonists into a wide range of literary panels along with prose authors in addition to all-comics and youth comics panels.

The Quick Draw panel (l. to r.) Laura Lee Gulledge, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemier.

Indeed Meg Lemke, acquisitions editor at Teachers College Press and a member of the BBF youth committee, told PW that the festival worked to incorporate comics throughout the show’s programming. And Lemke was the moderator for one of the hottest tickets at the show, Comics Writ Large and Small, a public interview with three of the most acclaimed cartoonists of the moment about their newest works: Craig Thompson (Habibi, Pantheon); Anders Nilsen (Big Questions, Drawn & Quarterly) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, D&Q). The event was held at the St. Francis College Auditorium, a block away from Borough hall and one of several additional venues (which included projection capability in order to show off comics and visuals) added to the festival to accommodate the growth in attendence.

And the show is definitely growing. The plaza at Borough hall was jammed with visitors from the time this reporter arrived around 10am on Sunday to moderate—if that’s the word—a  panel on drawing for kids featuring three cartoonists. The panel, Comics Quick-Draw!, was more of a tongue-in-cheek sports event  than a conventional panel—it was a packed outdoor tent full of parents and young kids, who were asked to tell the cartoonists to draw any kind of crazy thing—like, say, aliens eating bagels on the moon!—and the intrepid cartoonists did their best to comply. Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Raina Telgemier (Smile) and Laura Lee Gulledge (Paige by Page) were great troopers and expert draughtspeople and the kids were screaming with delight by the end of the session (they also bum-rushed the stage at the end to claim the drawings). Comics aimed at kids were well represented with a combination of panels and workshops throughout the day featuring such cartoonists as Nick Bertozzi and Sarah Glidden.

Continue reading

2011 Eisners: ‘Wilson,’ ‘Return of the Dapper Men’ Tie for Best Graphic Album!

Calvin Reid -- July 23rd, 2011

Drawn & Quarterly's Peggy Burns accepts Dan Clowes's Eisner for Wilson. Photos by J. Culkin

Although we didn’t get a confirmation, we don’t ever recall there being a tie for the winner of the Best Graphic Album-New award at the annual Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards, held Friday night at the Bayfront Hilton as part of the 2011 Comic-Con International. But that’s what happened.

Daniel Clowes’s Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly) and Jim McCann and Janet Lee’s Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia) ended up in a flat-footed tie for the big book prize that brings the awards event to a close.

Joyce Brabner (l.) and daughter Danielle at the induction of Harvey Pekar into the Eisner Hall of Fame

That was certainly a highlight moment of the comics industry’s big gala awards show, “the Oscars” or “The National Book Awards” of the comics industry depending on your preference for gala media events. But there were other captivating moments throughout the evening (an evening that clocked in at about 3 hours this year). Among them: Paul Levitz, former president and publisher of DC Comics, winning his first Eisner award (Best Comics-Related Book) for 75 years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking (Taschen); two trips to the podium by Fantagraphics publisher Kim Thompson to accept Eisners (Best U.S. edition of International Material and Best Reality-based Work) on behalf of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi; Fabio Moon and twin brother Gabiel Ba citing the comic book reading of their mom when they accepted their Eisner (Best Limited Series) for Daytripper (Vertigo); the pure screaming delight of Raina Telgemeier when she won (Best Publication for Teens) for Smile (Scholastic/Graphix) and the backslapping and boozy grins of Shannon Wheeler (Best Humor Publication) and his publisher Chip Mosher when Wheeler won for I Thought You Would be Funnier (Boom!).

Joyce Brabner and daughter Danielle were on stage for the induction of her late husband, the great autobiographical comics writer Harvey Pekar, into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame. Brabner also used the occasion to remind the audience of her campaign to raise funds to build a statue of Pekar in Cleveland and she outlined–in classic Brabner fashion–how she insisted on a statue that would truly represent the spirit of Harvey.

And we have to confess a moment of pride and connection at the induction of the great underground cartoonist and historian of the Texas Republic, Jack Jackson. For a brief moment in 2003-2004 I was the graphic novel editor at Reed Press, a short-lived trade publishing imprint at Reed Elsevier, and had the honor and privilege of somehow convincing Jackson (who was both skeptical and encouraging to me) into letting us reprint his classic work of graphic nonfiction Comanche Moon, the cover of which was used to illustrate Jackson’s induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame. He was a great cartoonist and an equally great and engaging historian and bringing that book back into print for a short while was without a doubt the highlight of my short career as a comics publisher.

Last and certainly not least, we’d like to send a shoutout to our colleague at PW Comics World, Heidi MacDonald, who was nominated for an Eisner (Best Comics-Related Periodical-Journalism) for her pioneering comics news and culture blog, The Beat. She didn’t win (congratulations to Comic Book Resources on their Eisner award) but she’s still a winner! For a complete list of Eisner winners go to the Comic-Con International Website.

The PW Morning Report: Monday, June 13, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 13th, 2011

Beware Monday the 13!

Bookstore Opening in Altoona: Read Green Books is opening in Altoona, PA. From the Altoona Mirror.

Winning ‘Horse’: ‘War Horse,’ based on a 1982 novel, took multiple awards at the Tonys. From the NYT.

Goodbye Amazon Affiliates: Amazon is terminating affiliate relationships in Connecticut and Arkansas due to online taxes.

Rushdie to Write for TV: Salman Rushdie is working on a sci-fi drama for Showtime. From the Guardian.

Comics Reboot: DC Comics has announced it will restart 52 comics series from issue number 1.

Facebook’s Influence on Writing: The Chronicle of Higher Ed contemplates the negative effects of Facebook on student writing.

And Journalism…: ArsTechnica wonders something similar as the above about the Internet’s effect on Journalism.

The PW Morning Report: Monday, June 6, 2011

Calvin Reid -- June 6th, 2011

Today’s links! And please check out our new Facebook Page.

Fire Sale. Bankrupt Borders attracts bidders.

Hold on a second. PW’s Shelftalker blogger responds to Meghan Cox Gurdon’s controversial “Darkness Too Visible” essay in the Wall Street Journal.

In Defense. Novelist Janice Harayda offers a defense of  Gurdon’s controversial attack on dark, grim Young Adult fiction.

Raising kids; reading books. Novelist and dad Christopher John Farley looks at the Gurdon controversy and his own young son’s reading.

Steve Jobs 2.0. A forthcoming Jobs biography shoots up the list on Amazon’s business book preorders.

Have I got a book for you. Despite a tough economy and e-books, Books & Books, Mitchell Kaplan’s 7-store Florida chain, just keeps growing.

A brand new bundle. As part of its reboot/digital strategy, DC Comics announces bundling of print and digitial comics ($4.99) and new pricing strategy (digital price drops after 4 weeks).

The PW Morning Report: Friday, June 3, 2011

Calvin Reid -- June 3rd, 2011

Today’s links! And please check out our new Facebook Page.

The Long View.  Novelist Hans Keilson dies at 101.

Borders Sale? Rumors the troubled book chain may sell the bulk of its stores.

The Greatest Show on Earth? The Bookseller: “BEA is a five ring circus juggling identities.”

Libraries vs. Publishers? The Coloradan looks at the clash over library e-books.

Chi-Town is Book Town. Chicago’s annual Printers Row Literary Festival starts this weekend.

In Brightest Day. NPR looks at the transformation of the DC Universe.

Nerd Alert! Heroes Con starts this weekend in Charlotte, N.C. with Geoff Darrow, Evan Dorkin and many more comics creators.

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, June 2, 2011

Calvin Reid -- June 2nd, 2011

Today’s links! And please check out our new Facebook Page.

Ain’t Over Until it’s Over. Mystery mogul Alec Gores makes a play for Borders.

Frenzy Noir. An edgy book trailer for an edgy book: Scott Sparling’s Wire to Wire from Tin House.

Final Crisis? DC Comics Reboots its superhero universe (even changes some costumes!) and the fans go a little crazy.

Digital library card. Virgina libraries create a consortium to offer e-books and downloadable audiobooks.

No Key. The perils of being “locked-in” by having e-books readable on a proprietary e-reader platform.

Google Talk. The Christian Science Monitor looks at the legal struggle over the Google Book Settlement.

The PW Morning Report: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Calvin Reid -- June 1st, 2011

Today’s links! And please check out our new Facebook Page.

DC Comics Reboots the Universe! Well, maybe the DC Universe: DC is relaunching its classic titles with new numbers and simultaneous day and date digital/print release.

Amazon vs. NACS. College bookstore Association seeks to dismiss Amazon suit over ads for discounted textbooks.

The saga continues. Borders asks court for more time for turnaround plan.

Cave books. Her fans rejoice as Jean Auel returns with a new book set among prehistoric cave men and women.

Buy this F***ing Book! Go to the the Bookstore already!

The case of the purloined trailer! Sony maybe has the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of Girl with the Dragon Tatoo removed from the web.

Let’s hope so. Does reading make us better people?