Comics Lowdown: 2018 sales, Michael Davis hacked

Plus: News on Mark Waid, Mary Fleener, Free Comic Book Day and more!

ICv2 and the Comichron held a special crossover event this week to share the news that “Comics and graphic novel sales hit a new high in 2018.”

“After a brief downturn in 2017, the market bounced back last year,” said Comichron‘s John Jackson Miller. “Popular releases helped right the ship in comics shops, even as other sales avenues made significant gains.”

Their report looks at three formats — comics, graphic novels and digital — across multiple channels, including crowdfunding, book fairs, mass merchants, newsstands and more.

In addition, ICv2 published two supporting articles — one focused on the growth of digital sales and one on kid’s graphic novels.

The Biz

Hacked: Milestone Media founder and Static co-creator Michael Davis was the victim of a social media hack this week. Posing as a family member, the hacker posted a notice that Davis had died. Several media outlets posted articles about Davis’ death, only to retract them once Davis verified he was still alive. Davis has been battling hackers for a while now, as detailed in this article by Bleeding Cool.

Distribution: Baker & Taylor, a book distributor whose offerings also includes graphic novels, plans to end its retail wholesale business and focus on educational and library markets. Baker & Taylor helps distribute graphic novels to bookstores and comics shops, and has a partnership with Diamond Comics Distributors. The Beat has the full memo from the CEO of Follet, which owns Baker & Taylor.

Creators + Interviews

Legal: Comics writer Mark Waid, who is being sued by Richard C. Meyer for “tortious interference with contract and defamation,” shared the testimony from Joe Dunn, publisher of Antarctic Press. The lawsuit alleges that Waid interfered in a contract between Antarctic Press and Meyer to release Meyer’s Jawbreakers comic. Dunn’s deposition can be found here. CBR’s Brian Cronin, who is also a lawyer, breaks it down here.

Interviews: Speaking of Mark Waid, he also revealed more about the upcoming H1 line he’s helping develop for Humanoids to CBR’s Kiel Phegley.

Why ask Y? Writing for Tor.com, comics writer Michael Moreci shows love to the classic Vertigo series Y: The Last Man.

That Wednesday feeling: Aubrey Sitterson talks to Newsweek about the subscription service he’s working with Collector’s Paradise on for his upcoming series No One Left To Fight, which launches in July from Dark Horse Comics. “It’s a way to sidestep the confusion of comic book direct market ordering and do that all-important thing: Get books in people’s hands,” said Sitterson. “When comics do well speculators get involved and it becomes hard to buy a copy.”

Profiles: The New York Times profiles comics creator Lisa Hanawalt in advance of the debut of her new Netflix cartoon, Tuca & Bertie.

Interviews: Paste Magazine talks to Michael DeForge about his latest from Drawn & Quarterly, Leaving Richard’s Valley.

Interviews: Our own Alex Dueben speaks to Mary Fleener about Billie the Bee, her pro-bee graphic novel from Fantagraphics.

Events

Free Comic Book Day: Hey, it’s Free Comic Book Day today, so what are you doing here? Go get (and then buy) some comics from your favorite retailer. If you aren’t sure what to look for, NPR has an extensive look at some of this year’s titles

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