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Archives - April 2010

McCormick Place on the south side of Chicago played host last weekend to the inaugural Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. This year, the organizers behind events like New York Comic Con, Penny Arcade Expo, and Star Wars Celebration looked to bring Chicago an April alternative to the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con held every August.
How did Dynamite Entertainment begin? You know the old saying “One door closes and another opens”? Well, it was very much so in this case. I did not have the desire to be a publisher. I had been in the business long enough (with Dynamic Forces, Inc.—our parent company) that if you look at the bodies along the comics road, you can see that there were many more failures than successes in our business. The only real way it should work is by many smaller publishers consolidating, and we didn’t see that happening. But we were thrown in the middle of the Atlantic, so to speak, and told to guess which direction to go in to swim back home. So, when we started publishing, the first thing I started hearing from long-time friends was, “I thought you would never publish” or “I guess ‘never’ is as good as death in comics,” etc.
David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp took the first graphic-novel prize in the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes this weekend. It's a well-deserved honor, of course, and made even more important because it's the very first time a major book prize has recognized a category for graphic novels. Asterios Polyp is such a wonderful piece of art, and a novel that will resonate with readers for so many years to come, that I'm glad it's getting this major attention. What a fitting recognition for this book.
By John C. Weaver, Ph.D., English teacher at Williamsport Area High School in Pennsylvania
Reading With Pictures is a nonprofit initiative working to link comics and classrooms and moves comics even further into education. Their latest project is a fantastic anthology featuring the work of Jill Thompson, Fred Van Lente, Jeff Brown, and a host of top comics talent. Find out more about how you can order the book and help out Reading With Pictures here.
The week of April 5, 2010, marks the two-year anniversary of Toon Books, the little company that could. It’s the brainchild of Francoise Mouly, art editor for The New Yorker and the wife of comics legend Art Spiegelman. The past few months have seen a significant leap forward for the publisher, with their Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! winning the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award from the American Library Association this past January, and Jeff Smith’s Little Mouse Gets Ready earning an Honor mention.
The annual Texas Library Association conference will be held April 14–17 in San Antonio. This year also marks the first that the TLA has completed its Maverick (actually announced at the end of 2009). Given both events, we wanted to address how TLA is promoting comics and graphic novels. Three librarians associated with TLA’s Maverick committee banded together to answer our questions: Alicia Holston (Farmers Branch Manske Public Library), WyLaina Hildreth (Denton Public Library), and Tuan Nguyen (Mackin Library Media).
Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 (the first appearances of Superman and Batman, respectively) have been in the news a lot the past few months. Both are rare comics, with only a relative handful still in existence and even fewer in close to pristine quality. And both have sold at auction for record prices. Last month, a copy of Action sold for $1 million. But an even better looking copy of the issue has just gone for $1.5 million on the auction site It goes without saying that it's a record.
I was sitting in a beautiful hotel conference room when I heard the news that comics legend Dick Giordano had passed away today at the age of 77. Dick was a wonderful artist, creator, and leader at DC Comics and elsewhere throughout the industry, and he was, by all accounts, a truly gracious and wonderful man. I’m in San Diego taking part in the Eisner Award judging process, along with some really amazing comics fans.
April 2, 2010

Wimpy Kid Review

Carol’s a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid books, so I was hoping she and I would both be able to attend the special preview of the movie held last Thursday night in Times Square in New York. Unfortunately, she’s traveling to the West Coast on business, so I was on my own for the movie. It might have been a good thing, because I ended up enjoying myself immensely and laughing hysterically.