Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Notable Links for 03/03

* Marvel's Fourth Quarter numbers for '04 have been released, and the news is very good for the long-suffering company. Profits are up, costs are down and they're even doing a stock-split - which is traditionally a sign of confidence (although the folks at the Motley Fool disagree with that assessment here).

Today's news effectively moots the Dreaded Direct Market Doom theory that many have held for a while: according to these numbers, Marvel could pay off the entirety of its' outstanding debt tomorrow with $100 million to spare. Now, I'm no business expert, but that seems fairly cut and dried. Marvel is a stable company in good fiscal shape and if the direct market goes under its not going to be because Marvel went under.

However, its not all good news - as notes here, Marvel's 2004 profits are expected to dip because of a tax rate hike.

Newsarama has the numbers here. Reuters has the story here.

* Longtime comics industry veteran Hank Kanalz, formerly of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has joined DC Comics as VP-General Manager, WildStorm Productions. You might remember Mr. Kanalz from his tenure as line-editor for the defunct Malibu Comics line, in addition to various freelance writing gigs, including on DC's "The flash". Read the press release here, courtesy of Silver Bullet Comics.

* As "Cerebus" #300 looms high on the horizon its getting harder and harder to avoid running into people talking to and about Dave Sim. First off, Mr. Alan David Doane has five questions with Sim here. I don't know how he did it but this just doesn't sound like the same Sim I've been following in "Cerebus" for years - he seems, oh, I don't know, slightly rational? Kudos to Mr. Doane for an excellent interview. Bruce Baugh has a semi-reply to Doane's interview here, but its more in the vein of a personal reminiscence on "Cerebus"'s evolution and where the title just stopped working. Finally, here's an update on one intrepid reporter's ongoing struggle to get some straight & usable answers out of Sim for the Onion's "AV Club" section.

* The Dr. Seuss Centennial celebrations continue apace (I refuse to say "Suessentienial" more than I absolutely have to). The good Doctor is getting himself a postage stamp, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a new bronze statuee is being erected in his honor at the University of California, San Diego's Geisel Library. Read about the festivities here, courtesy of the Rugged Elegance Inspiration Network. Meanwhile, The National Review reprints John J. Miller's Seuss appreciation here.

* Viz's "Rurouni Kenshin" manga is really, really popular. Don't believe me? Check out this press release (courtesy of Comic Book Resources).

* Meanwhile, IDW Publishing proves once and for all that in the Time/Warner/AOL behemoth, the right hand really does not know what the left is doing: they've signed a contract to provide content for America Online. Read the press release here, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

* Jennifer Contino at the Pulse talked with up-and-coming alt-creator Tobias Tak about his recently released "Upside Down", from Top Shelf, as well as upcoming projects from Fantagraphics. Read all about it here.

* Artist Jason Shiga makes on appearance on the debut episode of "Stir"m a cable-television program aimed exclusively at focusing the under-represented Asian-American community. Read more here, courtesy of the San Jose Mercury-News.

* "His daily cartoons on page nine of the South Wales Echo have become a Welsh institution. But Gren Jones confesses, 'I'm just as thrilled if I see a cartoon of mine in print today as I was 30 years ago.'" Read more here, courtesy of

* Professor Scot Tipton's Comics 101 column takes a look at that suave super-spy Nick Fury this week, with copious samples of Steranko's gorgeous work on the series. Link courtesy of Movie Poop Shoot.

* Stuart Moore's got a new column up, and, disappointingly, its nowhere near as controversial as his last one: its about colorists. Read it here, courtesy of Newsarama.

* "Past Little Abner’s one will notice the colorful posters lining Universal Comics’ windows that make it stand out from the other grimy brick buildings. Universal Comics is Arbutus’ very own comic book shop, owned and run by the Noon family. The store has been open in Arbutus for the past 25 years, but most UMBC students have probably never heard of it, despite the fact that there is enough interest in comics on campus for there to be a "Comic Book as Literature" class." Read more here, courtesy of the University of Maryland, Baltimore's student newspaper The Retriever.

* "An exhibition cum workshop on cartoons, wall posters and comics strips will be organised on March 5 at Manipur Press Club by the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, AMWJU in collaboration with World Comics India, a release said." Read more here, courtesy of Kangla Online.

* "It is no longer uncommon to flip through a random comic book and discover all sorts of "R-rated" behavior. With the maturity levels growing along with the average reader's age, it's no surprise that most comic books are seemingly targeted towards an older college audience." Comics aren't just for kids anymore, yoinks! Read more here, courtesy of The Battalion.

* Two great tastes that I'm not sure go great together: comic books and tie-dye. Link courtesy of the Waxahachie Daily Light.

Oh, just incase you missed it the past two days: if anyone has a copy of The Comics Journal #255 they would care to part with, please drop me a line. I missed it and there's not a store in my immediate vicinity that has a copy, and Fantagraphics is sold out to boot.

I'm serious. I just want a damn copy of the magazine.

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