Hark!: I don’t generally like to use this space simply to repeat publishing PR, but I’ll make an exception given how exciting this particular bit of publishing PR is—Drawn and Quarterly is going to be the print home of Kate Beaton’s webcomics, beginning this fall with Hark! A Vagrant, which shares the name of Beaton’s site. That seems like a perfect match between creator and publisher to me, given that two of the first three adjectivest that come to mind when I think of either D+Q or Beaton are “awesome” and “Canadian.”
Two lumps or three?: Check out A Nice Cup of Comics, a “tumblr” (whatever that it is) collecting images of tea-drinking in comics.
Battle Hymn of the Cartoonist Father: American Born Chinese cartoonist Gene Luen Yang offers a four-panel gag strip in response Amy Chua’s much talked about book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
“It’s as if new writer Chris Roberson thought, ‘People might need a reminder why Superman is awesome’”: Savage Critic Graeme McMillan checks out the first post-JMS issue of the JMS-plotted Superman arc “Grounded,” and finds it much improved. Meanwhile, comics blogger Tom Foss isn’t so sure.
How should DC publish Sugar and Spike?: At Comics Comics, Jeet Heer argues that the expensive Archives format isn’t the right one. And then he clarifies. Personally I woulda liked to see a Showcase Presents volume, but then, I think DC should just publish everything in Showcase Presents volumes.
This may be the scariest comics news I’ve ever heard: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald rounds-up a bunch of year-end sales analysis from various quarters—including that Wolk piece for Techland I linked to previously—and highlights particular tidbits. Perhaps the most alarming is something raised by Sean T. Collins, that the direct market is essentially a three-man operation, with those men being Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis. What’s potentially worrisome is that looking around the direct market as it stands at the moment, it’s hard to see many new Morrisons, Bendises and Johnses. Marvel seems to be doing a pretty good job of grooming newer talents over a period of years, so it’ s not impossible to imagine the likes of Matt Fraction or Ed Brubaker or Dan Slott or Jonathan Hickman or Jeff Parker or Fred Van Lente or Jason Aaron or Andy Diggle eventually killing Brian Michael Bendis and taking his power (I think that’s how it works in comics), but DC doesn’t seem to have quite as deep a pool of writing talent at the moment. I don’t mean that as a criticism of the men and woman writing for DC at the moment. I’m not saying, like, Parker and Van Lente rule, while Peter Tomasi and Tony Bedard drool or anything; I’m simply referring to the various writers’ ability to sell books in the direct market based on their name recoginition, and the publishers investing their writers with particular portfolios. If that makes sense. Does that make sense? Well, whatever—what if Morrison, Johns and Bendis all went camping together and were eaten by bears? That would mean the end of the direct market as we know it! AAAAaaauuuggh!