Comics Lowdown: New charity helps retailers

Also: Manga dominates the BookScan chart, Crumb originals bring in big bucks, Cecil Casetellucci talks ‘Soupy.’

Retailers Help Their Own: A group of comic shop owners has started an organization, Helping Comics Retailers with Issues (a.k.a. HCR Issues) to, well, do just what the name says: They will help pay down the debt to Diamond of comic shops that have run into rough waters. Secretary and co-founder Dr. Christina Blanch, owner of Aw Yeah! Comics in Muncie, Indiana, says that plans were in the works for a while, but Hurricane Harvey sped things up.

Back to School Again: ICv2 has the BookScan top 20 graphic novels chart for August, and vol. 9 of the superhero-school manga My Hero Academia takes the top spot. In fact, Viz has ten of the top 20 titles, with four volumes of My Hero Academia (1, 2, 8, 9), two volumes of Tokyo Ghoul (the first and the last), and assorted other titles. Add in vol. 22 of Attack on Titan and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up, and you’ve got a chart dominated by manga. On the other hand, there are no Marvel titles at all and the only DC books on the chart are Watchmen and The Killing Joke. BookScan covers bookstores and other retail channels such as Amazon, so their charts are often very different from Diamond’s, which only cover comic shops.

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Comics Lowdown: Frank Miller sued for $1M by ex-business manager

Plus: Wonder Woman fights human trafficking, Jody Houser, Ben Hatke, and lots of SDCC news reporting

Frank Miller’s former business manager of 28 years has filed a lawsuit against the writer-director for over $1 million in damages for breach of contract.  Mark Lichtman claims he is entitled to 10 percent of Miller’s entertainment earnings of over $15 million from projects like Sin City300 and The Spirit, and was a key part of developing Miller’s career.

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Comics Lowdown: ‘Charley’s War’ original art soars at auction

Plus: Dilraj Mann’s cover for ‘Island’ #15 examined, Mike Richardson, Gilbert Hernandez, ‘The Mundane Kid’ and more.

Auction Action: A piece of original art by Joe Colquhoun from the British comic Charley’s War fetched an unexpected price of £1,320 at auction, soaring past the pre-sale estimate of £250-300. A lot of three consecutive pages, plus a cover layout, went for £2,450, triple the pre-sale estimate. Some other original art as well as vintage comics also did better than expected at the Compalcomics auction. Charley’s War, a World War I action comic written by Pat Mills, is enjoying something of a revival; Titan is publishing a collected edition, and some of the original art is currently on display at the Tank Museum in Bovington, UK.

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Comics Lowdown: ‘Bingo Love’ creator offers advice on creating diverse comics

Plus news and updates on Jules Feiffer, MegaCon’s ‘Love is Love’ auction, Sophie Labelle and more.

Tee Franklin knows something that seems to eluded all of the Marvel honchos: How to make money on a comic by and about people of color. Franklin’s Bingo Love Comic, the story of a long-simmering romance between two black women, blasted past its Kickstarter goal of $20,000 in just five days and ended up with over $57,000 worth of pledges. This all happened just a few weeks after Marvel vice president David Gabriel told ICv2 “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity …They didn’t want female characters. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.” Although he backpedaled a bit, Gabriel’s comments raised a ruckus, but Franklin has some advice for him and the rest of the Marvel team: Draw inspiration from the women around you, hire people of color for your creative teams and advertise in channels that actually reach your prospective audience.

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