Comics Lowdown: The impact of ComiXology Unlimited

David Steinberger talks digital comics, Akira Himekawa discuss Legend of Zelda and a Pakistani creator makes the world’s longest comic strip

The Digital Picture: ICv2 posts an interview with comiXology CEO David Steinberger, who talks about the platform’s gradual shift from something resembling a comic shop selling single issues to a more comprehensive service; how the company’s acquisition by Amazon three years ago has changed things; and the impact of ComiXology Unlimited, their all-you-can-read service, in terms of bringing in new readers:

One of the figures we’ve been sharing is that publishers that have been with [ComiXology Unlimited] for the year have seen overall double-digit growth this year. That’s totally opposite to what’s going on in the Direct Market.

One of the keys to their success is “personalization,” letting users tailor the experience and focus on what they are interested in—and, a la Amazon, recommend more items based on what they are reading already.

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Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters

Plus: Calexit sells out, climate change comics, Adam West as the Dark Knight, Becky Cloonan, Gerald Way, Jay Baruchel’s thoughts on Canadian superheroes and more!

A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”

Wonder Woman gif by Nicole Dirksen

She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:

  • The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
  • 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
  • A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).

The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Rosanna Bruno on ‘The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson’

The cartoonist and painter discusses her book, which is about an Emily Dickinson in the present day, complete with Facebook and OkCupid accounts.

In The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson, Rosanna Bruno imagines a present-day Dickinson, or considers the ways in which the habits of the legendary poet would brush up against how contemporary life works, giving her a Facebook page and an OkCupid account and karaoke lists. It’s not simply poking fun at Dickinson, who despite being one of the great modern poets is often considered a recluse. Bruno clearly has read and knows Dickinson’s work and finds interesting ways to play with those ideas and how we think about poetry. Bruno is a painter by training and she spoke about Dickinson, the book, how comics required a different approach from her paintings and more.

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D+Q bring Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Julie Doucet comics back to print

‘Love That Bunch’ and ‘Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet’ both due out next year.

Drawn & Quarterly announced at Comic-Con this week plans to publish new editions of comics by Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Julie Doucet.

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Heavy Metal to turn Nikki Sixx’s ‘The Heroin Diaries’ into a graphic novel

Rantz Hoseley, Danijel Zezelj, Andy Kuhn and Kieron Dwyer will adapt the Motley Crue bassist’s memoir into comic form.

Nikki Sixx and Ian Gittins’s The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star is set to become a graphic novel, courtesy of Heavy Metal.

Blabbermouth reports that The Heroin Diaries graphic novel “will be the first release under Heavy Metal’s new 12 X 12 imprint, a new line of music-themed art books and graphic novels that will explore the songs and experiences of the most exciting musical artists.”

“I’ve been the biggest fan of MÖTLEY CRÜE since the release of ‘Too Fast for Love’, and have nothing but the greatest respect for Nikki and his songwriting, so for us to be able to collaborate with him on bringing this tragedy-to-triumph to a new audience in a powerful way is a dream come true,” said Jeff Krelitz, CEO of Heavy Metal.

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D + Q to publish Lisa Hanawalt’s ‘Coyote Doggirl’

Hanawalt’s homage to and lampoon of Westerns to arrive in fall 2018.

Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt heads west — to the Wild West, actually — for her next graphic novel. Drawn & Quarterly has announced they will publish Coyote Doggirl, the new graphic novel from the creator of My Dumb Dirty Eyes and Hot Dog Taste Test, in the fall of 2018.

“Lisa is enormously talented at creating fantastical worlds that are gorgeously technicolored and rendered, and she has a very funny gift for the anthropomorphically absurd,” said D + Q publisher Peggy Burns. “Once you look a bit closer however, you can see Coyote Doggirl is not just a send-up of the Western genre, but a deeply personal story for Lisa. Watching it unfold across the desert landscape is thrilling.”

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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre

Plus: Batton Lash vs. Cancer, Donny Cates signs with Marvel, DC Girl Power, Texas Latino Comic Con and more!

Hollywood cannot seem to get enough of Stan Lee. Over the weekend, Lee became a Disney Legend and yesterday, the comic icon had his hands and feet immortalized in cement in front of the TCL Chinese theater.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me. I’m thrilled,” he said. “And if I’m half as good as everybody said I am, I’m far too good to be wasting time with ordinary people. But I seem to be spending my life with ordinary people, who are the best people in the world.”

Meanwhile, Variety continued the love affair and took a look back on the life of Stan Lee.
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From White Knight to Dark Prince: DC announces two-volume Batman graphic novel series

The first volume of ‘Batman: The Dark Prince Charming’ by Enrico Marini will arrive in November.

Last week brought news of White Knight, a new Batman/Joker Elseworlds-like project from Sean Gordon Murphy. Today brings news of another Batman/Joker Elseworlds-like project, this one called Batman: The Dark Prince Charming by European comics creator Enrico Marini.

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Fantagraphics to publish a new edition of Langridge’s ‘The Iron Duchess’

The cartoonists’ self-published “Fred the Clown” collection will get a new edition with more pages in September.

Roger Langridge’s self-published collection of Fred the Clown comics, “The Iron Duchess,” is getting a new home. Fantagraphics will release a new version in September.

“The new edition will contain ten new pages of story material,” Langridge said on his blog. “As many of you have already bought the self-published version from me, I thought it only fair to make this new material available to you, as a free download, by way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support.” Head over to his blog to download the extra pages.

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