I’m sorry, really. I have something awesome that’s about 75% done. Hopefully tomorrow.

- Chris

How Delightfully Condescending. dob-brooklyn-museum.jpg

“Our maids don’t call customers master and the girls are sweet rather than flirty,” Ms. Hancock said. “We want customers to come in and feel like they’re in Alice in Wonderland, not Hooter’s.”
- Susan Hancock, owner of a new New York Maid Cafe. Who has never been to a Japanese Maid Cafe.

Check out this New York Times article on a recently opened American Maid Cafe. The owner does her best to distance herself from Otaku culture whilst simultaneously trying to sell that same culture to hipsters. It’s kind of amazing, in a “with an attitude like that they probably won’t be open by the next time I make it to New York” kind of a way.

If anyone is traveling to Tokyo anytime soon (or, you know, already there), you owe it to yourself to check out a real maid cafe in Akihabara. The experience really can’t be duplicated, and there’s a lot more going on culturally and psychologically, I feel, than what’s hinted at in the article. I know we had a good time during our visit…

- Christopher
Photo of a Murakami “DoB” sculpture from the Brooklyn Museum Murakami Show. Photo by me. Thanks to Nathalie for the heads-up on this article.

“What they lack in quality, they make up for with butter.”

“I actually pulled out my cell phone and called to ask them to please bring us water.” 

“Primary attraction was the small wildlife wandering across the table.” 

If you’re looking to kill some time laughing your ass off, I humbly suggest the “Outtakes” section of the Zagat.com site. The international restaurant review guide of note, their review outtakes are better than many meals I’ve had. Ah, that words were sustenance alone! Check it out:


- Chris

apoc.jpgITEM: I will be in San Diego again this year, and I will even have a place to sleep! It is also not the most I have ever paid for a plane ticket, which is kind of shocking all on its own. Sadly I have never investigated how being put on panels actually works, so I don’t think I’m on any. But I totally should: You Better Believe I Got Opinions. So, you know, feel free to sneak me on to the panel of your choice. I know lots of things, and am generally entertaining.

ITEM: Perhaps better and more importantly, my friend Scott Robins (previously of Scholastic and the “All Ages Blog“, and now at KidsCan Press in Canada) will also be headed to San Diego, and he’s fabulous on panels. Drop a note in the comments here if you want to get a hold of him.

ITEM: I’m kind of happy that I don’t have any big events between now and San Diego… That said, we’re working on a ton of great stuff at the store including a big Toronto launch for the new graphic novel by my friends Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart: APOCALIPSTIX. It’s officially dropping at the San Diego Comic Con (theme!) but that launch probably won’t have live bands and crazy swag and shit. At any rate, details are coming soon, but in the meantime everyone should check out the massive 50 page preview that’s running at Comic Book Resources: http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16776. It’s pretty coooooool.

- Christopher

rabbitandbearpawsvol2.jpgI don’t normally run press releases, but I was happy to see that the second volume of “Adventures of Rabbit and Bear-Paws,” The Voyageurs, saw release last week. It’s created by Chad Solomon and Christopher Meyer, two very determined self-publishers who’ve been working hard in Ontario to get their work noticed. I think they’ve got a graphic novel coming from Scholastic Canada coming later this year as well…

Quite clearly patterned after Asterix & Obelix, this is a fun little series for younger readers that incorporates lots of First Nations history, culture, and tradition.

New strips are available every week or so at http://www.rabbitandbearpaws.com, and the book is available for sale from that website too (as well as from The Beguiling in Toronto). Feel free to read the full press-release on this series after the cut.

Congrats to Chad and Christopher on their second release.

- Chris

Keep reading…

I might be looking at the revised Tokyopop Fall release schedule here, and if so, I think the cuts are going to be much deeper than anyone imagined. Developing.
- Christopher

Retailers reading over their invoices for comics and graphic novels shipping next week will be shocked to discover that Marvel Comics is shipping about 34 titles next week, to only about 17 titles from DC Comics. It’s a rare thing for Marvel to ship that many titles in a week (this week, for example, they only shipped about 17 or so), but to double the output of their closest competitor? That’s very rare indeed… Until you stop to consider that one of DC’s titles shipping next week is the next installment in their summer crossover Final Crisis.

So the question is, would Marvel release 34 superhero books on the same day just to try and bleed fans’ wallets dry on the week where DC tries to make a big push with their flagship book? Well, considering nearly every one of Marvel’s top sellers is dropping this week, I’m going to go ahead and guess here: Oh yeah, that’s exactly what they’re doing. Either that or it’s the sort of hideous oversight that betrays gross incompetence. But it was probably deliberate.

In addition to numerous Marvel comics scheduled to arrive in the month of June that were seemingly pushed from their original on-sale date to this week (including both Bendis Avengers books, both X-Men books, Brubaker’s Captain America & Daredevil, Millar’s Fantastic Four & Marvel 1985, and Ellis’ last Thunderbolts) this week also includes three of Marvel’s largest lateness-plagued titles: Hulk #4, Ultimates 3 #4, and even the final issue of Joss Whedon’s Runaways all drop next Wednesday. Plus another 20 comics. The complete list is below the cut at the end of this post.

About a month ago a bunch of retail ire was raised regarding these seeming ‘flood weeks’ of new product and assurances were made that this situation was being looked at, but it appears that no one is going to be happy with the solution. Retailers heavily invested in the superhero market are particularly vulnerable here, as their invoice for this week’s product is likely to be 2-4 times higher than last week’s invoice, and it is unlikely that their incomes will also be twice-to-four-times what they normally are; this is the sort of cash-flow crunch that can put a retailer right out of business.

In the end, it’s going to be comic book retailers that bear the fiscal brunt of these sort of shipping shenanigans. Most comics retailers have to pay for their books up front with increasingly smaller numbers of retailers getting 7, 14, 21, or 30 day payment terms. Marvel (and DC) are already paid, as will be Diamond comics. Customers can choose to buy their comics over the next week or two or three, however long it takes them to catch their budget up to their purchases. It’s comics retailers who end up sitting on these books the longest, waiting the longest to make the return on their investments, and as many retailers are chronically underfunded to begin with, this is a very serious issue.

This weekend is comic retailer Rory Root’s memorial in San Francisco and unfortunately many of the brighter and better-spoken retailers in the industry will be away from their computers, mourning a friend. I wish I could be there, but I can’t… but I do imagine that when everyone makes it back to their computers later this week the discussion on this subject will be quite lively.

Until then, please go ahead and have your say in the comments. I’m certainly not unbiased when it comes to Marvel, and maybe I’m completely off base here. But when I looked at my invoice and saw that, by quantity, I’m getting more 3 times as many Marvel comics next week as this week, I figured it was worth a post here…

- Christopher
Full list of Marvel and DC floppies shipping next week under the cut.

Keep reading…

Several of my friends in the comics industry (names highlighted below) are participating in a killer art show tonight, and I’m gonna head over and check it out. If you’re in Toronto this evening, you prolly shouldn’t miss this one…


ode-to-edo-invite-303.jpgODE to EDO
Legacy of the Samurai

Opens tonight!

SMASH Gallery
2880 Dundas Street West (at Keele)
June 19th, 7PM to 11PM

See the exquisite collection of 14 Samurai armor sets and paintings by 21 contemporary artists. Today the spirit and visual richness of the Samurai culture speaks to us through films, manga, and personal experience. This collection, with pieces dating back to the 1890s, serves as inspiration for both western and eastern artists. This is our Ode to Edo and the traditions that honoured the samurai essence during this time.


Amro Attia, Harvey Chan, Nathan Fox, Charlotte Greenwood, Hiroshi Hirakawa, Sam Hiti, Kurt Ketchum, Tessar Lo, Kagan Mcleod, Tyrel McNicol, Joe Morse, Jose Ortega, Yukiko Otsu, Ben Shannon, Jon Todd, Tomolennon, Martin Wittfooth, Yoskay Yamamoto, Andrew Zbihlyi, David Pepper.

The show runs through June 30th, just in case you get this note a little late. Be sure to check it out.

- Christopher
All illustrations in this post by Kagan McLeod, as part of the ODE to EDO show.