Big news from Archie Comics, which this week began releasing all its comics on the ComiXology Unlimited service the day they come out. This is the first time a publisher, other than ComiXology itself, has put its comics on the all-you-can-read platform on the publication date. The Beat has a good piece putting this move into perspective, noting that Archie has been publishing fewer single-issue comics of late, and that these comics are also available day-and-date on the free (to the user) library service Hoopla.
IDW Entertainment has set up a new initiative within its Kids, Family, and YA division that will focus on developing original material for young readers. Erika Turner has been named senior editor of original content at IDW Publishing; she comes to IDW from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was senior editor of their Versify imprint. On the IDW Entertainment side, Jeff Brustrom is the new vice president of kids, family, and animation, and Daniel Kendrick is the director of animation; both will work on developing animated properties.
On Blackout Tuesday, take a look at eight graphic novels that explore the issues of police brutality, the experiences of Black people and working toward change.
It’s Blackout Tuesday, and we’re centering Black creators with a short list of comics and graphic novels that explore issues of police brutality, the experiences of Black people, and how to work toward structural change. To find more Black creators, follow the #drawingwhileblack hashtag on Twitter and check out Sheena Howard’s Encyclopedia of Black Comics (full disclosure: I was a contributor).
The COVID-19 epidemic that has shuttered comic shops and forced the postponement of conventions around the country has also affected Diamond Comics Distributors, the sole major distributor to comics retail shops, and today, Diamond co-founder Steve Geppi announced that they will be shutting down shipments of new product:
Plus: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame,’ ‘Dead Body Road,’ ‘Adventureman!’ and more.
Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.
Congratulations to Mark Waid, who has been promoted to publisher of Humanoids. Waid has served as Director of Creative Development for the publisher since 2018, and in his new role, will be responsible for “overseeing editorial, sales and marketing; expanding Humanoids’ relationships within the creative community; and deepening its ties to retailers and librarians.”
New imprint is ‘dedicated to progressive politics and populist movements that challenge both the right and the center-left.’
Looking for a palate-cleanser after the chaos of Iowa and the mendacity of the State of the Union Address? Indy comics publisher Devil’s Due has announced a new spinoff label, Ballot Box, which is “dedicated to progressive politics and populist movements that challenge both the right and the center-left.”
The company, founded by Josh Blaylock in 2000, published Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis? last year and is currently running a Kickstarter for a Ballot Box collection featuring work by Blaylock, Tim Seeley, Jill Thompson, Robert Sikoryak, Dean Haspiel, Marguerite Dabaie and many others.
Robert Kirkman, Catherine Meurisse and Chris Ware also recognized as the festival kicks off.
The Angoulême international comics festival (a.k.a. FIBD Angoulême) opened yesterday with the announcement that French writer Emmanuel Guibert had been awarded this year’s Grand Prix. Guibert is a frequent collaborator of Joann Sfar; the two worked together on The Professor’s Daughter and the Sardine in Space series, and he is also the writer of The Photographer, Alan’s War, and the children’s series Ariol (this last is published in English by Papercutz, while all the others are published here by First Second).
Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?
Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.
The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.