comics

What is Corey Reading?

I’m sure you all ask yourself that every single day of your life.

In addition to my writing for Robot 6, the comics news blog at Comic Book Resources, I also chime in on their weekly What Are You Reading? column whenever I can. Sadly it’s not as regularly as I wish.

Anyway, I thought I would keep a record of what I’ve reviewed in that column. To be honest, I don’t like writing reviews, so I try not to think of them that way but I do like talking about cool comics I’ve read, and lamenting when something I thought would be cool misses the mark.

Click through the links to read the entire column that includes my thoughts on what’s listed below. I’ll add to this post as more go up at Robot 6.

July 29, 2012:

  • The Sandman: Doll’s House [recolored edition] by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Mike Dringenburg, et al.
  • The Gutters by Ryan Sohmer, Ed Ryzowski, et al.
  • Comic Critics by Sean Whitmore and Brandon Hanvey
  • What Were You Raised by Wolves? by Vera Brosgol

August 26, 2012:

  • Emo Boy, Vol. 2: Walk Around with Your Head Down by Steve Emond
  • A Cartoonist’s Worldview by various (The Guardian)
  • Insufferable by Mark Waid and Peter Krause

September 16, 2012:

  • Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan
  • Freeway by Mark Kalesniko
  • Superman #423 & Action Comics #583: “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” by Alan Moore and Curt Swan

September 23, 2012:

  • Little Nothings: My Shadow in the Distance by Lewis Trondheim
  • Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy and Paul Maybury
  • Tarantula by Mark Kalesniko

October 21, 2012:

  • Cuba: My Revolution by Inverna Lockpez and Dean Haspiel
  • Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson
  • Rachel Rising, Vol. 1: The Shadow of Death by Terry Moore

November 25, 2012:

  • Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
  • Love and Rockets: Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

December 16, 2012:

  • Archie: The Married Life Book One by Michael Uslan, Paul Kupperberg and Norm Breyfogle
  • Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks
  • Avengers vs. X-Men #0 by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron and Frank Cho
  • Green Lantern #1 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
  • Tales Designed to Thrizzle #1 by Michael Kupperman

January 6, 2013:

  • The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz
  • The Adventures of Hergé by José-Louis Bocquet, Jean-Luc Fromental and Stanislas Barthélémy
  • RASL, Vol. 1: The Drift by Jeff Smith

April 14, 2013:

  • Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue by Andy Runton
  • You’ll Never Know, Book Two: Collateral Damage by C. Tyler
  • Kill All Monsters by Michael May and Jason Copland

April 28, 2013:

  • The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
  • A Friendly Game by Joe Pimienta and Lindsay Hornsby
  • X-O Manowar, Vol. 1: By the Sword by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord

May 19, 2013:

  • Harbinger, Vol. 1: Omega Rising by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans
  • Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Vol. 1 by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee
  • Eve of the Ozarks #1: Guardians of the Bluffs by Gustav Carlson

May 26, 2013:

  • Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Rust, Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field by Royden Lepp
  • Minor Acts of Happiness #1 by Adriana Ferguson and Kristen Van Dam

Saturday’s Tag Team Comedy Show to feature lots of stand-up and improv

Improv group Jump Start first to perform at Heyler’s, our new venue

This Saturday, the Magic Meathands Tag Team Comedy Show will be bursting with more funny people than ever before!

We had a great debut at Heyler’s last Saturday with our Family Friendly Show. Thank you to all who came out to help us celebrate our new home! We’ll be there again this Saturday night with our biggest Tag Team Comedy Show yet! Before you know it, Heyler’s will be known as the biggest comedy spot in LA! Or at least, the biggest on Pico Blvd. Surely somewhere between those two benchmarks.

We’re very happy to have three stand-up comics help us kick off the first Tag Team Comedy Show at Heyler’s:

  • John Vargas made his debut at The Comedy Store and has been performing regularly at comedy clubs in and around LA.
  • Vance Sanders is a Groundlings graduate who works the local comedy club circuit and is the host for the Scoomies, the award show celebrating stand-up comedy in LA.
  • Pat Reilly is another regular of the LA comedy club scene, which helps him study sociology at UCLA.
  • Ceci Noire came from Haiti to live the movie star lifestyle, and has unlocked the secrets of the universe.

A trio of comedians should be enough to pass the legal requirements of a comedy show, but that wasn’t enough for us! We’ve also got the improv group Distant Relatives! They perform every Friday night at The Improv Space, and now we’ve got them! All they need is one suggestion from the audience, and they turn it into a fully improvised long form show. The group includes former Meathand Eric Chad Ho, as well as Jason King, Tim Limbrick, Samir Forghani, and Stephen Perlstein.

To finish it all off, it’s the Magic Meathands! Yes, us! We perform a mixture of long form scenarios and short form games to create a lively and energetic show. So we’ll have you laughing one way or another!

See you Saturday at 8 PM!

Heyler’s
10659 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(one block east of Overland)

Tickets: $7

PARKING: The meters on Pico Blvd. do not need to eat after 6 PM. They’re on a special diet. Yes, that’s right, free street parking on Pico Blvd.! But look closely at the signs if you park on the side streets off Pico.

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

Caturday: Digging for Gold Edition

The Comics Observer recommends 3 new graphic novels worth checking out for new comic readers. And it also continues its coverage of the LA Times Festival of Books with a look at the just-announced program schedule.

In case you missed it here, learn about the Magic Meathands’ Comedy Outreach Project, bringing comedy to people in our community who need some laughter.

Nahleen had her first full week of blogging! Go her! This one, about how sometimes she just has to WAIT whether she wants to or not, might be my favorite of the week.

My Tumblr gets a rare but probably controversial update in support of Détente.

And on the totally other end of the music spectrum, if you’re into singer-songwriters from the late ’60s and early ’70s, take a look at the Troubadour Tribune.

Oops… Things Change Fast on the Internet

So yesterday I teased the debut of a new column by Dig Comics director Miguel Cima at The Comics Observer. It’s still coming! But I decided to push it back to Friday so that a post could go up today about a comics conference (or colloquium, as they’re calling it) about race and comics that’s happening tomorrow.

Because my bandwidth is stretched pretty thin these days, I’m just not able to make The Comics Observer one of those high-volume sites with 5-10 posts a day. Maybe some day but not right now. So bear with me as I juggle when things come up.

It’ll be worth the wait. Miguel’s column should make for good weekend reading and debating.

Dig Comics director Miguel Cima speaks out

I’m very excited to announce the launch of a new column at The Comics Observer starting tomorrow. Director/writer/host of the award-winning documentary Dig Comics, Miguel Cima, will be contributing a new installment every month, where he’ll be looking at what excites him about the art form found in comic books and graphic novels, and what he feels is holding it back. He starts off with a doozy where he challenges readers and publishers alike to step up.

Disclaimer: I helped produce the two Dig Comics shorts that can be seen on DigComics.com, and continue to serve as a consultant and more as we talk with production companies to launch a TV series, feature-length film or web-series. To follow our progress and join in the crew’s comics discussions, check out the Dig Comics Facebook page.

Caturday: Sponge Loving Kitteh Edition

I love the reaction shot at the very end.

There’s a Magic Meathands show tonight where we’re teaming up with the improv group In Rare Form. One of our fans loves both of our groups, so he conspired to get us to perform together on the same night. See? Dreams do come true!

At The Comics Observer:

Year in Review: Digital Comics are Really Here

ComiXology leads digital revolution

While comic book stores were struggling (and in some cases closing) through much of 2011, the other major distribution outlet for comic books and graphic novels also faced a tough time. Book stores became a major outlet in the 2000s, primarily due to the manga explosion that brought a whole new audience back to sequential art in the United States. But with the dominance of Amazon.com and the rise of digital e-readers, book stores were forced to evolve. Unfortunately Borders, the second largest US book store chain and the first to usher in manga to American readers, failed to do so in time and went into bankruptcy this year and caused a ripple effect throughout the comics industry.

For some comics publishers, the effect was minimal, as previous payment issues with Borders caused some to shift their business away from them before the bankruptcy was announced. But others felt it more strongly, such as Los Angeles-based Tokyopop, the second largest manga publisher in the United States. In the beginning of the year, Borders stopped paying its vendors in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. This resulted in orders getting cut, and with Borders being Tokyopop’s largest customer account, income was severely damaged. Layoffs at Tokypop followed. Despite the late-entry hit manga Hetalia: Axis Powers, it couldn’t reverse the damage of a closing Borders, online piracy (and a digital strategy that amounted to too little too late), and the under-performing Priest feature film. By May, Tokyopop was holding a garage sale to empty out their LA offices. With their termination of US publishing, licenses were canceled, leaving a good number of manga series unfinished. It’s difficult to know how many casual readers of those series drifted away from reading manga and comics entirely after their favorite manga simply stopped coming out. In October, Tokyopop founder Stu Levy revealed that he is “continuing to explore any and all opportunities to relaunch the manga publishing operations” but it will require him having to renegotiate contracts with Japanese publishers. In the meantime, Tokyopop remains as a modest web-newsletter about Asian pop culture, in a partnership with GeekChicDaily.

Viz blazes own path, offers digital subscriptions to Shonen Jump Alpha

It was clear that another distribution outlet was needed, and fortunately one has been steadily growing over the last two years. Digital comics allow people to read print comics and manga on the web or mobile devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, Kindle and Nook. Companies have been popping up to provide publishers with the service of configuring their comics to the digital landscape and selling them on these devices. The digital distributor ComiXology has pulled ahead as the clear industry leader, with an exclusive partnership with DC Comics and partnerships with almost every other major comics publisher and many smaller ones too. Other prominent digital distributors are Graphicly, with their focus on community-building, and iVerse Media’s Comics+. Some publishers have chosen to build their own in-house digital distribution systems, such as Dark Horse Digital and Viz Manga. Some publishers are even shifting entirely to digital or publishing digitally first, mimicking the successful web-comics model of building an audience to support print releases.

Most significant in 2011 is the near industry-wide move by comics and manga publishers to ramp up their digital output. This was most notable in numerous announcements by publishers to release digital and print versions simultaneously (frequently called “day-and-date”). Prior to this, digital comics were released erratically, sometimes as far out as 6 months after the print version, seriously undermining the ability of digital to be taken as a serious method for consumers to become engaged in specific titles. The brand new Kindle Fire tablet/e-reader, which had huge sales for the holidays, has available an exclusive set of 100 DC Comics graphic novels, along with a free, pre-loaded Comics by ComiXology app.

Before a lot of these digital announcements were made (and when most digital comics were only available through the iPad and iPhone), digital comics were showing significant growth as sales doubled for the first half of 2011. Prior to that, digital comics sales were estimated at $6 to $8 million for 2010. Print sales for the North American comic book industry were estimated at under $420 million for 2010. While still only a fraction of print, digital is still extremely young with immense potential to reach new and lapsed readers.