“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:

http://www.zagat.com/Blog/EntryList.aspx?SNP=NBOB&SCID=42&CATID=1039

- 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…

odetoedo-kaganmcleod.jpg

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.

Featuring:

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.


otomo_akira3.jpgDark Horse Comics’ upcoming book reprints list, which is sent to retailers every Friday and which I referenced in my last post on the subject, featured a change worth noting last week. On it, the upcoming reprint of Katsuhiro Otomo’s AKIRA (which is a Kodansha-licensed title) has disappeared… for North America. Instead, the “Titan” edition for the U.K. is in its place (Akira is co-published in the U.K. by DH and Titan Books). I have independently confirmed that there is no reprint of AKIRA currently scheduled for North America, though there was one announced a month or two back.

While this doesn’t confirm that something is happening, it certainly confirms that something isn’t. For any further comment on the matter someone who isn’t me is going to have to contact Dark Horse.

- Christopher


The winners of the 2008 Joe Shuster Awards (for work published in 2007) were announced in a ceremony Saturday evening in the lovely city of Toronto. Here are your winners…!

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK WRITER
- Cecil Castellucci for The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (DC/Minx)

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK ARTIST
- Dale Eaglesham for Justice Society of America #2-4, 6-7, 9-11 (DC Comics)

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CARTOONIST (WRITER/ARTIST)
- Jeff Lemire for Essex County Vol. 1: Tales From The Farm, Essex County Vol. 2: Ghost Stories (Top Shelf)

OUTSTANDING COVER BY A CANADIAN COMIC BOOK ARTIST
- Steve Skroce for Doc Frankenstein #6 (Burleyman)

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK COLOURIST
- Dave McCaig for Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. #12, New Avengers #27-35, Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #1: Wolverine, Marvel Comics Presents #1-4, Wolverine #50, Avengers Classic #7 (Marvel Comics) DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 (DC Comics), The Other Side #4-5 (DC/Vertigo) Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jensen #1 (ONI Press)

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK &/OR GRAPHIC NOVEL PUBLISHER
- Drawn & Quarterly

OUTSTANDING CANADIAN WEBCOMICS CREATOR / CREATIVE TEAM
- Ryan Sohmer and Lar De Souza for Least I Can Do http://www.leasticoulddo.com and Looking for Group http://www.lfgcomic.com

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT BY A CANADIAN RELATED TO COMIC BOOKS
David Watkins for using comic books as a teaching tool

CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CREATOR HALL OF FAME
Stan Berneche
John Byrne
Pierre Fournier
Edwin R. “Ted” McCall

FAVOURITE CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CREATOR – ENGLISH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS
Faith Erin Hicks – Zombies Calling

FAVOURITE CANADIAN COMIC BOOK CREATOR – FRENCH LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS
Philippe Girard aka phlppgrrd – Danger Public

FAVOURITE INTERNATIONAL (NON-CANADIAN) COMIC BOOK CREATOR
Ed Brubaker – Captain America, Criminal, Immortal Iron Fist, Uncanny X-Men

HARRY KREMER OUTSTANDING CANADIAN COMIC BOOK RETAILER
Big B Comics – Hamilton, Ontario

Congratulations to all of the winners, and particularly my friends Cecil Castelucci, Faith Erin Hicks, and Jeff Lemire.

- Chris