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It's a New York City World We Live In
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under misc 11 Feb 2009 12:14 PM

Book Expo America, the annual book festival that promotes virtually every major publisher in America, and most smaller ones, announced some changes yesterday: basically, that the show is going to be held in New York City exclusively for the forseeable future, and midweek beginning in 2010. The move was purportedly made to keep costs down for "the major publishers." Which is great if you're a giant corporation based in NYC, but ignores one salient fact: NYC is actually a more expensive place to visit than just about anywhere if you are a publisher or bookseller who doesn't already live in NY. And contrary to what Reed seems to think, there are plenty of us who fit that description. 

Paul Constant tiptoes around some of this in a Stranger blog post this morning that I mostly agree with, but I'll spell it out more clearly: Chicago or Vegas (to give two examples) are actually way better level playing fields if the goal is to keep costs down for the industry as a whole, and not just Reed Business and those "major publishers" Reed seems so concerned about.

The BEA in NYC is often insufferable when it opens on a weekday, when every "major publisher" staffer and intern and freelancer who would otherwise never in a million years get sent to BEA in any official capacity is in attendance, either as an excuse to get out of the office or to simply acquire Free Shit. This is not a means to an efficient end.

If Reed wants to attract the widest possible base of all arms of the publishing and bookselling world, it should continue to move around. There are publishers you see at a Los Angeles BEA that you would never see at a NYC BEA, and vice-versa. I presume the BEA has always moved around because this was seen as a good thing, being as inclusive as possible.   

This latest announcement is part of a recent trend by Reed Business to seemingly consolidate the entirety of North American publishing into a few major New York City corporations, as seen by its recent cancellation of Book Expo Canada, the largely uninspired New York Comicon, and the latest announcement that Vegas and D.C. are off the table for BEA.

I understand cost-cutting measures, but when seemingly every cost-cutting measure Reed engages in either costs a small publisher like us more money, or simply threatens the greater good of all, and then tries to spin it as a Good Thing, I bristle. We are constantly told we live in an increasingly borderless world, and yet as a publisher, it's sometimes hard to believe.

We'll still continue to exhibit at BEA, it's an important show for us, and New York is always a great place to visit (even if the Javits Center isn't) but let's be clear: this is not about cutting costs for anyone but Reed Business, and the result will do little but enable corporate hegemony at all levels of the book world. 

UPDATE: "Enable" is probably too strong a word. "Facilitate"? Anyway, this isn't that big of a deal except I was simply annoyed to read today that BEA will be in the most expensive city in the country for the forseeable future so that Random House or Doubleday can save some money. That struck me as a very Bush administration way of addressing the new economic climate.

Notice: Eros Comix orders delayed
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under metaEros Comix 11 Feb 2009 11:48 AM
Due to a computer meltdown, we are currently unable to process orders placed via our Eros Comix website. You can still place your order, but there will be a delay in shipping while we get things fixed. We will update when things are back to normal, but in the meantime you may want to call our toll-free customer service line at 800-657-1100 (206-524-1967 outside the U.S.) to place your Eros Comix order. We apologize for any inconveniences.
Signed bookplate update: Ivan Brunetti
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under signed bookplatesIvan Brunetti 11 Feb 2009 11:07 AM

Misery Loves comedy - signed bookplate by Ivan Brunetti

We've just received a fresh batch of signed book plates from Ivan Brunetti for the new Second Edition of Misery Loves Comedy; you can obtain one exclusively from Fantagraphics at no extra charge when ordering the book! Some conditions apply; click here for more details and the complete list of books available with this FREE premium!

Now in stock: Explainers by Jules Feiffer (2nd Printing)
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesJules Feiffer 11 Feb 2009 9:56 AM

Explainers by Jules Feiffer

Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips (1956-66) - 2nd Printing
By Jules Feiffer

(The first printing of Explainers was a rapid sellout! The second edition is, apart from a few typographical corrections and a new cover price, identical to the first.)

In 1956, a relatively unknown cartoonist by the name of Jules Feiffer started contributing a strip to the only alternative weekly published in the US, a small radical newspaper called The Village Voice. His strip tackled just about every issue, private and public, that affected the sentient American: relationships, sexuality, love, family, parents, children, psychoanalysis, neuroses, presidents, politicians, media, race, class, labor, religiion, foreign policy, war, and one or two other existential questions. It was the first time that the American public had been subjected to a weekly dose of comics that so uncompromisingly and wittily confronted individuals' private fears and society's public transgressions. Explainers is the first of four volumes collecting Feiffer's entire run of weekly strips from The Village Voice. This edition contains approximately 500 strips originally published between 1956 and 1966 in a brick-like landscape hardcover format.

568-page black & white 9.25" x 5.25" hardcover • $35.00

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The Great Al Jaffee
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under HumbugAl Jaffee 11 Feb 2009 8:04 AM

  

Chris Irving has a great profile of the legendary MAD and HUMBUG cartoonist Al Jaffee up at the Graphic NYC site.

Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier: Previews, Pre-Order, Plus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpapersvideopreviewsPaul Hornschemeiernew releases 10 Feb 2009 3:51 PM

Now available for preview and pre-order: the new, first-ever hardcover edition of Paul Hornschemeier's acclaimed graphic novel debut Mother, Come Home. Praised by everyone from Will Eisner to Entertainment Weekly when it was first released, this book has been out of print for quite some time. Mother, Come Home is scheduled to be in stock in late February and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.

View a photo and video slideshow preview above (click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window), and visit the product details page for a downloadable 14-page PDF excerpt and bonus desktop wallpaper downloads!

Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier - desktop wallpaper thumbnail

Ho! by Ivan Brunetti: Previews, Pre-Order, Plus
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under wallpapersvideopreviewsnew releasesIvan Brunetti 10 Feb 2009 3:19 PM

Now available for preview and pre-order: Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti. Compiling the panels that put the "gag" in "gag strip" from past volumes Hee! and Haw!, plus a smattering of new material, Ho! is discreetly presented in an uninviting, funereal package of unglamorous black and white. Ho! is scheduled to be in stock in late February and in stores approximately 4 weeks later.

View a photo and video slideshow preview above (click here if it is not visible, and/or to view it larger in a new window), and visit the product details page for a downloadable 10-page PDF excerpt and bonus desktop wallpaper downloads!

Ho! by Ivan Brunetti - desktop wallpaper thumbnail

New Comics Day 2/11/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesLinda Medley 10 Feb 2009 1:30 PM

Scheduled to arrive at your local comic shop this week: Castle Waiting Vol. II #14 by Linda Medley. As previously noted, Castle Waiting comics arrive in comic shops before we have the issues available here on the website, so hit your area brick-n-mortar if you want the issue now! Here's a first look at the cover:

Castle Waiting Vol. II No. 14 by Linda Medley

(A small meta note: from now on we'll only be posting New Comics Day updates on weeks when we actually have new titles shipping to comic shops. No update means nothing new from us that week.)

Daily links: 2/10/09
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tim LaneLinda MedleyKevin HuizengaJohnny RyanHo Che AndersonEldon Dediniart showsAndrice Arp 10 Feb 2009 1:09 PM

• List: Rina Ayuyang posts her Best of the Year comics list, with Ganges #2 by Kevin Huizenga and Abandoned Cars by Tim Lane on it

• Review: Vice gets a 5 year old kid's verdict on Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix dolls

• Blurb: Precocious Curmudgeon looks at this week's new comics, recommends Castle Waiting Vol. II #14 by Linda Medley (which will be in stores before we have it for sale here)

• Interview: Optimum Wound gets all kinds of information out of Ho Che Anderson

• Things to see/interview: The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog posts a trove of Eldon Dedini's Playboy cartoons, along with a video interview clip

• Events: Here's a list of current and upcoming art shows where you can view work by Andrice Arp

Tammy Pierce Lives
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Esther Pearl Watson 10 Feb 2009 12:52 PM

Unlovable video shoot

From photographer Jennifer Juniper Stratford, behind the scenes at Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable video shoot, starring Leslie Hall!