Comics Lowdown is back!

Your roundup of essential comics news is back, with an Angoul√™me update, cussin’ Stan Lee and more!

Big publishing news: Bertelsmann, the parent company of Penguin Random House, announced the day before Thanksgiving that it will buy Simon & Schuster. This will affect graphic novels and manga in a big way, because PRH and S&S distribute a LOT of graphic novels and manga.

In a series of Tweets, Ed Chavez sketches out what the manga landscape will look like, and why it matters. ICv2 lists all their comics/distribution clients; keep in mind that this is in addition to the graphic novels the companies themselves publish under a variety of imprints: Random House has RH Graphics and Pantheon (which publishes the works of Chris Ware and other literary graphic novels), and S&S has Gallery 13 and, just announced, two new lines of graphic novels for young readers.

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Cartoonists go all in on Hourly Comics Day

Check out comics by Becky Cloonan, Kate Beaton, Celeste Woods, Faith Erin Hicks and more.

It’s early February, which means its time for the annual #HourlyComicsDay, where cartoonists commit to making and posting a comic every hour for a day.

Most hourly comics typically fall into the “autobiography” category, as participants detail their day in comics form, but some will share fictional stories as well. Unlike Inktober, which has prompts and structure (and, apparently, legal issues now) Hourly Comic Day is just a fun challenge that artists choose to take.

Here are a few examples from this year:

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