From Cover To Cover

300,000 copies sold, Ping Pong, selling comics or produce, and more on Van CAF— Comic Bookmarks June 15, 2024

Comics link for the second week of June.

300,000 copies sold, Ping Pong, selling comics or produce, and more on Van CAF— Comic Bookmarks June 15, 2024
From Miracle Man #9 by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

Seems like it was a bit of a quiet week but there’s still plenty of stuff in the world of comics this past week that’s worth checking out.

let’s start out with our entry into the discussion this week.

Barda IS — a look at Ngozi Ukazu’s new comic book BARDA.
It’s a meet-cute story set in the torture dungeons of Darkseid’s Apokolips.

This was the book that made me start by “best of 2024” list. Let’s see if it stays on there until the end of the year. I have a feeling it will.


Comings and Goings at Image, D&Q, IDW, Zenesope and more
Lots of people on the move, as IDW, Image and D&Q have made hires, and some other folks have left their positions; and a new company!

Heidi MacDonanld on the latest moves at Image, D&Q, IDW and a whole lot more.

The TMNT comic revamp by Paramount & IDW is doing double Last Ronin’s numbers, leading to calls for pizza parties
Last Ronin was the best-selling TMNT comic in decades, and now the TMNT relaunch is doing twice that comic’s early numbers

300,000 in sales for a TMNT comic? It's like 1984 again. I remember how long it took me to track down a copy of the Mirage first issue and even when I finally did, that was the third printing. I'll admit to being interested in this because of the creative team (Jason Aaron and Joëlle Jones) but I just noticed at the end of Chris Arrant's article he slips in a note that there will be different artists on future issues. Not too sure what to think about that...

How DC is reviving The Authority’s Jenny Sparks with the September 11 attacks (and how its personal for writer Tom King)
When Jenny Sparks died, she told us if we didn’t “Save the world” she’d return and “kick our heads in” and now she is.

No. Just no.

When King used Sheriff of Baghdad to work out any issues he had, that wasn't bad. But this just sounds icky. Very, very icky.

Comic Sites on Comic Sites

Off Panel #452: Speed(ball) Run with Graeme McMillan - SKTCHD
Popverse’s Editor Graeme McMillan joins the show to talk about his new role at the comics and pop culture site before we dig into an array of hot topics and trends in the world of comics. McMillan discusses his new role at Popverse, how it came together, the evolution of the comics journalism space, the … Continued

I'm at a point in life where I really don't care about interviews with creators. Been there, listened to that. But give me a good interview with a comics journalist and I'm there.

And this interview really made me miss What, What?

Not so much to know how to create a comic but I would love to join one of these classes sometime just to get a glimpse about Rob's approach to these as well as just to sponge a bit of knowledge off of him.

Good for the AV Club and good for Oliver. I've really missed reading criticism by him.


Japan Association of Translators condemns AI manga translation
Few topics are quite as divisive these days as trying to use AI to replace a human doing professional work. Some say taking carbon-based lifeforms out of the equation makes work processes faster, more accurate, and more affordable, while others contend that there are things that just can’t be done by…

Translating one language into another is a type of art, one that needs to understand the nuances of multiple cultures to recreate an experience that may be foreign to an audience. I'm grateful for all of the excellent translators of the books I've read.

The Dread of Table Tennis: Ping Pong, Volume One
By Shaenon K. GarrityIn manga, anything can be a no-holds-barred, blood-sweat-and-tears competition. Cooking (Iron Wok Jan). Bread baking (Yakitate! Japan). Wine tasting (Drops of God). Gambling (G…

"The story unspools with such intensity and sincerity that it’s easy to forget all this sturm und drang is over, well, ping-pong. The characters care about the sport, and their passion carries the reader along. At the same time, Ping Pong‘s offbeat visual style provides a constant reminder that, despite hitting familiar narrative beats, this is no run-of-the-mill sports story. "

This is just reminding me that I never finished reading Ping Pong. I need to correct that this summer.


Contest of Challengers: “SUPERHERO BURGER”
“SUPERHERO BURGER” •CRIME! Crime? •Spam. •No single issues; the future? •Sponsorships!! •Maybe there’s something to that burger idea…? •Comics talked about in this episode:      TMNT #1      SCARLETT #2Contest of Challengers #688

Somewhere in the first half of this podcast, co-owner Dal Bush compares selling single-issue comics to selling produce, where the merchandise only has a limited shelf life before it goes bad. When he talked through that comparison, it just unlocked all kinds of understanding about what trying to sell in comic‘ direct-market is really like. I heard one local shop a year or two ago describe new issues as a loss leader just to get people in the store but that his real business was back issues.


In Defense of Comic Books: PW Talks with Jeff Trexler
The interim director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund offers an update on the challenges libraries are facing in keeping comics on the shelf.

I seem to have ran out of my free articles at PW for the month but this short interview with Jeff Trexler offers some good insight to the strategy of people who want to ban books in libraries. Hopefully you either have a PW subscription or haven't used your free article views for the month.

Miriam Libicki on VanCAF, bannings, and political protests - The Comics Journal
Libicki talked to the Comics Journal about the incidents at VanCAF that led to her being banned as an exhibitor at the show and the festival’s subsequent apology.

Another great piece following up on the VanCAF fiasco. It was good to hear from the cartoonist affected by it.

Reviews & Features

Lettering, the Marcinelle School Way - PIPELINE COMICS
While the Ames Lettering Guide was a standard in comics, Franquin and Morris had their own unique ways of lettering their comics…

It will be weird to see that lettering on modern comics.

Lawful-ly Good: Single Minded for June 12, 2024
Comic Reviews and commentary

Two reviews from Rob this week– Lawful #1 and Godzilla Skate or Die #1.