Comics Lowdown: We’re all doomed! Or not!

A writer predicts the demise of Marvel comics, but the DC honchos are bullish on their medium. Plus: Sitting down with Los Bros Hernandez.

Let’s kick things off with some doom and gloom! At the Disney theme park fan site The Kingdom Insider, Thom Pratt asks “Will Disney Stop Publishing Marvel Comic Books?” Pratt makes some good points: The Marvel universe most people are familiar with comes from the movies, not the comics; the comics themselves are not really accessible to most people, both literally (because of the uneven distribution and quality of comic shops) and figuratively (because the storylines cross over and the continuity is complex); and the profits are low relative to what a large corporation like Disney expects. Of course, this is all unvarnished speculation, with no insider knowledge, but there’s food for thought here—and as Pratt points out, Marvel is already outsourcing its digests to Archie and its young-readers Star Wars comics to IDW.

Growing the Audience: DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are pretty upbeat in their interview with ICv2, where they talk about putting a marketing push behind comics that tie in with the movies and growing the audience in general. If you read between the lines, the growth seems to be largely in the bookstore channel (including Amazon). One interesting nugget: Lee estimates that between 15% and 40% of DC’s readers are female, and there was a lot of talk of the DC Super Hero Girls graphic novels bringing in new readers.

Interviews and Profiles

Love and Rockets: Fix yourself a coffee (or a cocktail) and get comfortable before you start reading Kyle Pinion’s interview with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez; it’s a lovingly detailed conversation about their return to the magazine format, where they’re going with the story, and how they work together—a real treat for L&R fans.

Jose Muñoz: Smash Pages contributor Alex Dueben interviews Argentinian creator José Antonio Muñoz, who has two books being published in the U.S. this year: Alack Sinner, published by IDW’s EuroComics imprint, and Billie Holiday, published by NBM. Both were co-created with Muñoz’s longtime collaborator longtime collaborator Carlos Sampayo.

Berger Books: I talked to Karen Berger about her new line of comics, Berger Books, to be published by Dark Horse. She’s bringing back two graphic novels from DC’s Vertigo imprint, which she helmed for years, and some new series from a variety of creators, including Anthony Bourdain and the team of Ann Nocenti and David Aja.

See You in Hell—Nebraska, That Is: Writer Shaun Manning talks about his digital comic Hell, Nebraska.

Reviews, Roundups, and Recommendations

An appropriate image from Giant Days

Summer Reading: The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr recommends nine graphic novels you should be reading now.

Space Oddities: CNET has a slideshow of comics recommendations for people who liked the movie Valerian.

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