AIRBOY'S FRED KIDA DIES, 93
Fred Kida, an active comic artist for almost 50 years , has died at the age of 93. Mark Evanier writes,
Another worthy contender for the title of Oldest Comic Book Artist was Fred Kida, who drew the Airboy comic books beginning around 1940 and who worked in comics (books and strips) until around 1987. Mr. Kida was born December 12, 1920, making him
only a few months younger than Ken Bald. Sad to say, Mr. Kida died last week on April 3. He remains a nominee for the Hall of Fame in this year's Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
Games maker Naughty Dog, behind the likes of The Last Of Us, will be publishing an art book, The Art Of Naughty Dog through their The Last Of Us licensor, Dark Horse Comics.
The Art of Naughty Dog will be available later this year. It will span the history of Naughty Dog and feature hand-picked and never before released artwork depicting our past, present, and future. Being around for thirty years has bestowed upon us all kinds of incredible art from our amazing fans. Select fan art will be a chapter of the book as well. To mark the occasion properly we're having a book launch event later in the year. We'll have more details once the pages and the plans are ready.
NEW YORK BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR LONGEST COMIC
From the Today show, the world's longest comic strip, 3,390 feet long, wrapped around the Rockefeller Center…
With the help of schoolchildren around the country, Lincoln Peirce, the cartoonist behind the popular "Big Nate" cartoon and books, set a Guinness World Record for the longest cartoon strip by a team. The record-setting cartoon strip, which consisted of panels of "Big Nate" cartoons drawn by schoolchildren, measured 3,920 feet, beating the previous mark of 3,320 feet, 2 inches, and was verified by Guinness World Records adjudicator Mike Janela.
YOU GOT AN 'OLOGY'
Robert Scott on the future challenges of digital comic books. Nicely timed.
"Smaller publishers who are struggling to create a toehold on brick-and-mortar store shelves are struggling even more to do so digitally—as they now have even more competition for consumers online than they ever did in comic and book stores. Even "successful" digital publishers are reporting that digital is less than 10% of sales. This is most likely due to their lack of marketing to new channels and relying on converting print readers instead of creating new readers."
Scott expressed considerable frustration at the industry's attempts to transition from print to digital. "Nothing has 'worked' in any sustainable or meaningful way. The ability to make the work available to new eyes and in new venues has been virtually ignored. Nothing gained traction because comic content is not valued by publishers and thus it receives little to no marketing beyond the existing customer base, which by and large is not interested in the alternate formats."
Scott continues: "Movies, music, and video games (many of which use those same comics as source material), invest millions to identify and rally new consumers to their brand. If tens of millions of moviegoers are flocking to theaters to see Batman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, how is it that the publishers of that source material (and who in some cases own the studios making those movies) are unable to convert even 1% of those viewers into ongoing readers of their source material?"
Scott believes that publishers in general—like those in the comic book sector—are not yet applying the real advantages of the new medium. "What they must do is not treat digital and print as separate products. They must create synergistic packages that allow consumers to enjoy the content wherever they are and only pushing them to specific platforms when specific experiences are desired. Marvel Comics' augmented reality app is not sexy but it is a step in the right direction as they use the app's recognition of specific pages in a print comic to deliver value added content from enhanced art to creator interviews. The publishers that market their content, make it easy to access anywhere, anytime, and continue to find ways to offer value across the board are the publishers who will not only survive but flourish."
Janelle Asselin has a new project worth highlighting,
I'm working on a new journalism project that involves stories of sexual harassment in the comics industry. Primarily I want to hear stories about comics professionals (creators, editors, executives, marketers, journalists, retailers, convention organizers, etc. etc. but not fans) who have harassed people. Any (or no) gender on either side of the equation. Any stories that are told to me will not be published without your permission and working with you to figure out how you want your story told (anonymously, without naming names, etc.). The important thing for me is that we establish how common harassment is and hopefully point out some of those missing stairs in the industry.
If you want to talk to me, you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MANGA TERRORIST GOES LIVE ACTION
According to yesterday's issue of Shueisha's Jump X, a live action movie is being made out of crime suspense manga. Yokokuhan. Popular in France, it is published there as Prophecy.
The manga tells the battle between the anti-cybercrime section of the Metropolitan Police Department and an Internet terrorist group called "Shimbunshi" (newspaper). The members wearing
newspaper masks on their heads announce various crimes beforehand on a video sharing site named YOURTUBE,
HARVARD BITES THE MANGA APPLE
Harvard Business School students have recently been learning about the history of Apple through manga.
"To be clear, it's not that Jobs manga you've likely heard of in the past. This particular Japanese-style comics is actually an adaptation of Wasserman's Harvard case study titled "Apple's Core," which tells the story of Apple's early days."
Thanks to Macey Lavoie for the assist.