Sunday News Desk- July 15th, 2018


From Dork #5 by Evan Dorkin

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

I've got a couple of the old Slave Labor collections of Evan Dorkin's appropriately titled Dork comics but looking forward to adding this to Dark Horse's collections of The Eltingsville Comic Club and Milk and Cheese.  Dorkin is a cartoonist who did fairly broad comedy about the nerd subculture of (mostly) the 1990s and hasn't really gotten the credit he's due.  I see a lot of Dorkin in Ed Piskor's comics as well as in other places.  Dork was Dorkin's anthology series that was home to whatever target that Dorkin released his invective wit on.  

This and That

*** Vertigo Writer Receives Veiled Death Threats Ahead of SDCC Appearance (CBR)-- Eric M. Esquivel, the writer of a new Vertigo comic called Border Towns, has been getting death threats leading up to next week's SDCC.
“I woke up to death threats (‘We’re not sending I.C.E. to Comic Con, we’re sending exterminators’),” Esquivel’s tweet reads. Even in the face of verbal assault, though, the writer remained positive, instead choosing to focus on the joy of holding the first issue of his and artist Ramon Villalobos’ soon-to-be-released Border Town in his hands.

*** Hi, we’re The A.V. Club, and we’re for sale (The A.V. Club)-- Univision, which owns last year's Eisner Best Journalism winner The AV Club, is looking to put a lot of their on-line ventures up for sale.

Univision—which purchased a controlling stake in Onion Inc. back in January 2016—sent an all-staff email and issued a press release about the potential sale this afternoon, announcing that it was “initiating a process to explore the sale” of the Gizmodo Media Group and Onion Inc. sites, which include Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther, and Jalopnik, plus The Onion, ClickHole, The Takeout, and the words that you’re reading on your screen right now. The news comes shortly after a number of consultant-dictated budget (and personnel)-reducing buyouts at the GMG sites, and reports fromThe Daily Beast that a similar process was happening at Onion Inc. Which is to say, potential digital media moguls: We’re lean, mean, and ready to knowingly skewer and analyze the pop culture landscape… for you.

** What It Means that We’re Leaving Amazon (Microcosm Publishing)-- Earlier this month, small press publisher Microcosm announced that they were leaving their distributor to self-distribute their publications.  As part of this announcement, they announced that they were also no longer selling their books to Amazon.  In a follow-up to that announcement, they posted an article on their site about what it means for them, their creators, and their audience to not be selling to Amazon.  It's not that their books won't be available through Amazon, it's that they'll set themselves up as a 3rd party seller, where they can control the prices.  
First, we’ll be selling the books at prices we set. Our current relationship with Amazon is mediated through our trade distributor. We are contractually required to allow them to sell Amazon our books at the terms they negotiate. And the terms Amazon demands are the worst of any retailer in the industry. Amazon made sure that there’s a nondisclosure of these details, but they essentially get the same terms that a wholesale company would. The difference: instead of passing part of this large discount on to independent bookstores or other retailers, they sell directly to consumers, often at a huge price cut. This is how Amazon offers new books at such low prices, undercutting the prices of both independent booksellers and publishers who sell direct. Allegedly, they refer to their suppliers as their prey. This practice serves their goal, often described as predatory, of cornering the market on both publishing and bookselling. And it hurts authors, publishers, and booksellers alike—and ultimately, readers, who are trading in a few dollars in discounts for an unhealthy ecosystem where more books are being published every day but it’s harder and harder to find the ones you actually want to read.

*** ShortBox Partnering with US-Based White Squirrel for North American Distribution (The Beat)-- The Beat covers Zainab Ahktar's announcement that she will be using Andrea Demonakos White Squirrel to distribute her fantastic curated comic boxes to North America.
The good news here is that this partnership will essentially reduce the cost of Shortbox since domestic shipping rates would be applied rather international shipping rates from the UK. White Squirrel is a company focusing on helping increase revenue for creators and artists and their partnership makes a lot of sense. Their main business consists of online store management and bulk fulfillment. This partnership make complete sense and should hopefully increase the reach of ShortBox in North America. White Squirrel was founded by Andrea Demonakos, the current festival director of the Vancouver Comics Art Festival (VanCAF), the West Coast sister festival of TCAF.

Your Moment of... ?

*** Managing editor Albert Ching leaves CBR (The Beat)-- This is from almost a month ago but the Beat notes that Albert Ching, longtime comic journalist, and editor, is leaving his post as the managing editor of CBR.  It sounds like Albert is going on to something different than comic journalism and has moved into a creative agency according to his Twitter profile.  Albert was one of the good guys in comic journalism and we'll all miss having him guide the good ship CBR.  His tenure there was a rocky one, coming after the sale of the site to Valnet and a still questionable site redesign that was done while he was there, but he was always a good writer and had a solid eye directing the content of sites like CBR and Newsarama. 

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