Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts

Saturday, October 31, 2009

We have a Bloom County winner!!!

Okay, my bad! I kept forgetting to actually pick a winner for my Bloom County contest! But after reading and re-reading and laughing my head off a LOT, we finally do have a winner!

Paul Neuhardt, your FTC disclaimer was my favorite, and will live on in infamy on The Swivet and hopefully help keep the FTC off my ass. Therefore, YOU are the winner of a brand-new copy of Bloom County: The Complete Collection, Volume One: 1980-1982, courtesy of Diamond Book Distributors and IDW.

And here's Paul's disclaimer:
DISCLAIMER: Be it known by all here reading that the following may or may not be the case in any given book review I post:

1. If I talk about a book, I might have gotten it for free from someone with a vested interest in the success of that book. On the other hand, I might have found it abandoned in the seat pocket in front of me during my last plane trip. I’ll try to let you know on a case by case basis.

2. If that aforementioned someone who gave me the book is deluded enough to think that my blog constitutes anything even remotely resembling “a force” in publishing, then there is the serious chance that my free book was worth every penny I paid for it and I’m unlikely to talk about it anyway. Just saying...

3. Publishers and authors, I will be happy to shill for you, but you better pony up cash. Lots of cash. All the free stuff I get is reviewed with what turns out to be my honest opinion, meaning if I think it’s crap, I’ll call it crap. Oh yeah, if you do pay me for the review, I’m going to mention that factoid by saying something like, “I read this fabulous book the other day, which I would never have known about if the publisher hadn’t sent me on an all-expenses paid holiday to a secluded tropical island, allowing me to read my complimentary copy on the beach in peace.”

4. Readers, until you see me tooling around in a BMW that is unexplainable by the income from my day job (and all BMW's meet this condition) you will know that I’m telling you what I think about the book, no matter how the damn thing ended up in my grubby mitts. (See Item 3 above for clarification on why this is so.)

5. FTC-type people, if this isn’t a good enough disclaimer for you, then you need to get a life. The IRS is happy with me, and they are notorious for being the grumpiest agency in our government that isn’t in the spy business. Who are you to think you know better than the IRS?

6. I could have said all this in far fewer words, but dealing with the federal government is like dealing with my seventh-grade English teacher: High word count rules, and bullshitting is allowed. There, I threw you FTC guys another bone and made this really long so it looks all official. Sorry about the IRS remark, fellas. That one was cold, I admit.
Congratulations, Paul, and thanks for playing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Come say hello to me at San Diego Comic-Con!

I'm heading out at the crack of dawn tomorrow to the Nerd Prom, aka San Diego Comic-Con International. I'll be working there on behalf of Hyperion Books, managing their booth and giving away their swag and keeping the Vogons from having a poetry-slam anywhere in the vicinity.

If you're coming to Comic-Con, please feel free to stop by Booth #1507 and say hello! (But do leave your pitches at home, I beg you. I'm there as a mere booth lackey; if you disrupt my swag-shilling by flaunting your manuscript at me, I'll have no choice but to toss you to the Klingons. Fair warning.)

Hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guest blogger Matthew Cheney in conversation with David Beronä, author of Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels

David Beronä is the author of Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels, published by Abrams in 2008 to much acclaim -- most recently, a first place award from the Bookbinders' Guild at the New York Book Show in the Special Trade - Adult Graphic Novel Book category. In addition to Wordless Books, he has written numerous articles, reviews, and introductions for both scholarly and general audiences.

I met David because he is the head of the library at Plymouth State University, where I currently teach. Before we met, all I knew was what friends had told me: he was interested in some sort of "print things", something to do with graphic novels. Once I had to chance to talk with him and read his book, I began to understand his obsession with certain artists of the first half of the twentieth century. Lynd Ward's work, in particular, fascinated me. David's interests are eclectic and esoteric, and after many conversations, I knew I wanted to do a formal interview with him. The Swivet audience seemed a perfect one for it, and so, my dear Swiveteers, it is my pleasure to introduce you to David Beronä...
Matthew Cheney: What is a "wordless book"?

David Beronä: Wordless books were stories from the early part of the twentieth century told in black and white woodcuts, imaginatively authored without any text. Frans Masereel, a Belgian, referred to these wordless books as "romans in beelden" or "novel in pictures." The term commonly used for these early wordless books was also woodcut novels since they used woodcuts, wood engraving, and other forms of relief printing like leadcuts or linocuts to tell a story. Although woodcut novels have their roots spreading back through the history of graphic arts, including block books and playing cards, it was not until the early part of the twentieth century that they were conceived and published due in large part to Masereel and the American, Lynd Ward. Despite its short-lived popularity, the woodcut novel had an important impact on the development of comic art, particularly contemporary graphic novels with a focus on adult themes.

Why did wordless books develop when they did?

Like anything, it was a matter of timing. The influence of the silent cinema, the use of the woodcut by the Expressionists, and the familiarity of the public with cartoons all contributed to the advent of the wordless book. More important, though, was Frans Masereel himself and his courage to publish his wordless books. The success of Masereel’s books in Europe, though, can be attributed to the publisher Kurt Wolff, who admired these books when he saw copies from the initial editions that all had short print runs. Wolff published the first six woodcut novels with introductions by famous literary names like Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann in large editions that made them affordable to the general public. There was a universality of these wordless books that rose above language barriers and literacy that spoke in pictures directly to the reader.

What's the connection between wordless books and graphic novels?

These early wordless books are just now being recognized for their pioneering graphic storytelling qualities that have so much in common with comics and today’s graphic novels. Will Eisner, the artist who coined the term “graphic novel” in the 1970s, recognized the influence of these early wordless books. These wordless books highlight the components of today's graphic novels with an even flow of the pictures and just the right amount of visual information in each picture to tell a story.

I'm curious for your thoughts about the way those stories are told, or, rather, how we construct stories from the images. Without text, the stories, as such, are associational and fluid. When I read them, for instance, my "reading" is a kind of narrator in my head, but that's probably because I have just about no visual imagination and so I turn everything into words. I'm fascinated by your introductions to, for instance, Lynd Ward's books, because I usually read them after looking through the book once or twice, and I find the story I've gotten on my own is often fairly different from the story you describe, yet on looking through again, I can see justifications for both ways of interpreting the images and their connections to each other. Am I just weird?

I remember when I spoke with Lynd Ward’s two daughters that both Nanda and Robin told me that they constantly asked their father what his wordless books meant and Lynd always replied with the same answer: "It means exactly what you think it means." And that is really the attraction of these books -- we bring so much of our own personal experiences to reading pictures because the language of pictures has, what I like to call, a "private declension" that only each of us can understand -- a secret smirk or a haunting remembrance from our private association to an image.

How did your interest in this material begin?

I was always fascinated with picture books and comics growing up, but when I first read Storyteller Without Words: The Wood engravings of Lynd Ward, published by Abrams (ironically the same publisher of my book) in 1974, I was immediately awestruck by these stories told in pictures without words. These were not children’s picture books but rather books for adults that displayed themes of social injustice, family squalor during the Depression, and fantasy worlds that reflected a strong psychological focus. I looked for more information on Ward and a few other artists who published wordless books, like Frans Masereel, and was surprised how little had been written about this genre. I was first encouraged by Professor Estelle Jussim when I was in graduate school at Simmons College in Boston to pursue this area of research. While I began my professional career as an academic librarian after graduation, I also began my research on wordless books in earnest. I have, in the last twenty-five years, made contact with many print makers, scholars, cartoonists and their family and friends.

How did you decide what to include in the book?

I wanted to include works up to the early 1950s with a social rather than a religious or biographical focus. I also did not want a purely academic approach in my text but wanted the pictures to do the talking, so I toned down my writing. I wanted my text to provide only a historical framework to the visual content.

So in some ways, then, you were constructing a minimally-worded book about wordless books. That seems apropos! How did you choose the images -- some of the books you could only represent with a few images, yet there are dozens and even hundreds in the complete original. I'd think some of that selection would be maddening.

Yes, I wanted the images to speak and chose the images that I felt would provide enough interest for readers to go out and read the books themselves. The selection was personal and my editor was completely behind my choices, though he did encourage me to include selections of the city from Ward’s Gods’ Man that captured the dark shadows and looming buildings, which were the images that personally spoke to him when he first read the book.

Can you tell us a bit about how you sold Wordless Books?

I had originally talked about this book with James Sturm at the Center for Cartoon Studies where I lecture on wordless books. James was convinced that there was a growing interest in these historical books. We talked with one publisher but it was really not their market. My break came when I traveled down to New York with James for an opening of the exhibit, “The Jewish Graphic Novel,” where he was exhibiting his work and where I met his agent, Judy Hansen of Hansen Literary Agency. When I mentioned my research on wordless books, Judy became very interested and asked for a book proposal. Since I had most of the book already written, I took a few months to polish up my manuscript, which I sent to her. Since Judy is so well known in the field, she knew Charles Kochman, senior editor at Abrams and now Executive Editor of Abrams ComicArts, who had an acute interest and knowledge of comic art and was also especially excited about these wordless books. After that it was only a matter of a couple weeks before Abrams bought the rights to my book.

As a librarian, what are your feelings about books, technology, and society? Are you optimistic for the future of books?

For most of my academic career I have been involved in library technology and the transformation of the traditional library into a vital online resource. The resources available now online have provided me access to more information than I could ever have discovered in a hundred lifetimes. I see our access to information growing and feel that we are in another information revolution very similar to the one experience during the advent of the printing press. Lets not forget that illuminated manuscripts were not destroyed following the implementation of the printing press. With that said, I am not only a proud supporter of online technology but also a firm believer in preserving our primary materials. I do not feel that these interests are at odds but rather an extension of my mission as a librarian to preserve information in all forms. As far as the future of the book, I believe that content will become disseminated more and more online and that the book, as we know it, will begin to metamorphosize into objects of art, as we can see in many artists books where the substance as well as the text integrate into one unique message. In addition and in contrast to the book as an object of art, I also see the book remaining viable as a cheap and disposable vehicle for content. Examples of this can be seen in today’s manga, graphic novels, and paperbacks.

"Cheap and disposable" -- as an occasional collector of old magazines and paperbacks, I know exactly what you mean. Even with such items, though, there's an excitement to the physical object that I imagine you must have when you encounter, for instance, an early edition of Masereel or Ward or Nuckel or dozens of others. I would love to have, for instance, a digital version of the July 1943 Weird Tales that I have, because handling it is so perilous, but there's some sort of magic to the object itself, too. Can libraries still afford to continue to strengthen their physical archives while also expanding digitally?

My professional philosophy would be to insure that your specific issue of Weird Tales is being preserved and archived in some library but that a digital copy is available for everyone who does not have access to the original copy. And that is what libraries are working toward -- the preservation of materials in the original format and the digitization of the material for universal access.

I have to tell you a story that is a good example of this question. The first copy of Bochořáková-Dittrichová’s Childhood that I discovered literally fell apart in my hands. Talk about a "weird tale"! I had been looking for a copy of this my entire life and when I opened up the book, the pages fell from the spine, cracked, and fell apart in fragments right through my hands, certainly due to the poor paper and humidity. Since that event many years ago, I did find another copy of this rare book that was in very good shape.

Well, don't take it personally then if I don't let you touch my Weird Tales! Anyway... What's your next project?

I'm working on a survey of wordless books from where I left off in my first book: the 1950s to the present day. This includes wordless comics, children’s wordless picture books, and artists’ books. In addition, I am working closely with Dover Publications, writing introductions to a line of new editions of out-of-print graphic arts and wordless books.

Are there forthcoming releases from Dover that we should particularly keep our eyes out for?

Yes, Dover is doing some exciting work publishing new editions of these out-of-print wordless books and I am so happy to be involved with these projects. There are some great surprises forthcoming. This year there is an edition with three of Masereel’s woodcut novels in one volume (The Sun, The Idea & Story Without Words), and an edition of one of my favorite books and illustrators -- John Vassos' Phobia: An Art Deco Graphic Masterpiece -- not a wordless book but a powerfully engaging illustrated book from the 1930s.
Thanks to David for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. I'd also just like to add that Dover is reprinting the extraordinary 1934 edition of Frankenstein that Lynd Ward illustrated -- it has jumped near the top of my list of most-anticipated books.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Watchmen in Context: A Lecture at MoCCA

If you're a Watchmen fan and you live in the New York City-area, you're invited to join us at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art tomorrow night where my client Peter Sanderson, comic historian extraordinaire, will be giving a lecture called The Watchmen in Context. The lecture starts at 7:00 PM and costs a measly $5 to get in (free if you're a MoCCA member!). Peter is the co-curator of the Art of Watchmen exhibit that's showing at MoCCA through May 2, 2009.
What: The Watchmen in Context
When: Thursday, March 19th, 7pm
Where: MoCCA, 594 Broadway, Suite 401, New York City

The Art of Watchmen co-curator, comics historian Peter Sanderson, will deliver a lecture that will serve as a guided tour through all twelve issues of the original Watchmen comics series. Sanderson will reveal how Watchmen's creators take character types and storylines from traditional superhero stories and adapt them to convey the book's themes. Pointing out Watchmen's allusions to real world events, Sanderson will show how Watchmen requires the readers to rexamine the proper role of the superhero in fiction--and of America as a real world superpower. "Watchmen in Context" will explore how this classic graphic novel juxtaposes different ways of viewing existence and asks the readers to choose among them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another comics line bites the dust.

Just one month after word came down from on high that the short-lived Virgin Comics line was closing down* comes news of yet another good comics imprint folding. DC/Vertigo's Minx line was geared toward the same teenage girl audience as highly popular Japanese shojo manga, mixing imaginative storylines with cutting-edge artwork to create some of the best new comics available today. There's more on the announcement here, here and here. Sigh...

*BTW, today the announcement came that Virgin Comics was sold to Liquid Comics. Let's hope they'll resurrect some of those great properties.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Best comic book reviews EV-AH!

Forget de-constructing comics! Who needs critical theory when you can get the unbridled enthusiasm of a seven-year old comic book geek!

Meet seven-year old Liam, the nephew of my pal Darth Duff (also a geek, but I'm guessing his fake Internet name gave that away). Liam is an avid comic book fan and has his very own awesome comic book reviewing blog called The Kid's Comic Book Reviews.

And Liam's one helluva reviewer, always cutting to the meat of the story. Consider this thoughtful snippet from his review of The Amazing Spider-Man #566: "It was weird that Peter stands on the ceiling when he’s at home and talks to himself." (Well, it really is weird when Peter Parker does that. Let's get real here.)

Liam is also an ardent feminist, as evidenced by this excerpt of his review of Venom, Dark Origins #1, wherein he takes Eddie to task for his treatment of the woman in his life: "I can’t believe that he told the gang of bad guys to just take the girl he liked. First he liked her and then he didn’t. He was a big chicken to just tell the bad guys to take her and not beat him up." (I couldn't agree more, Liam.)

Occasionally Liam is also joined in his reviewing by his younger brother Ethan and you'll get enlightening Ebert & Roeper-esque exchanges like this one:
Ethan: "This book was so funny. The little superheroes were so cute. I love baby Mr. Freeze."

Liam: "Yeah, little Mr. Freeze was so funny. He’s holding a gun filled with ice cream. I like that at the end all these little tiny bad guys show up."

Ethan: "I like baby Joker and baby Croc. They look funny."

Liam: "They were all real funny. Even Two-Face. It looks like he has gum all over half of his face."
So, if you're looking for an excellent new comic book blog, I say go bookmark The Kid's Comic Book Reviews!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Drive a conservative crazy, Lesson #1:
Dress Barbie in fishnets and leather.

From today's, this hilarious story about how the new collector's edition Barbie, dressed as D.C. Comics' Black Canary superhero character, is causing an uproar among conservative adults, play with Barbie?

My favorite line: "Barbie has always been on the tarty side."

Come on, didn't you always suspect Barbie was a dom anyway?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"We few, we happy few...survived Comic-Con."

You must watch this. (No, really.) Especially if you're a big Shakespeare nerd. (I'm looking at you, Bear!) The Bard has never been so much fun.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rory Root, rest in peace.

From ICv2 comes this sad news: San Francisco Bay Area comic retailer and all-around incredibly nice guy Rory Root has died. Those of you involved in comics and the graphic novel industry know what a huge loss this is to the community.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday genre link round-up.

Well, hell's bells, I've been slipping in my linkity obligations! So sorry! At this point there's probably no catching up so we'll just pretend the past week and half didn't happen. Anyway, I just got home from this shindig, where I consumed far too many little pieces of teriyaki beef on skewers. This is quite possibly because the cater-waiter in charge of the teriyaki beef skewers was stalking me.

He was also stalking actor Robert Vaughan, who was there to promote a memoir. And, geek that I am, all I could think of was "OMG! You were in the classic Roger Corman movie Teenage Caveman in 1958! And you were a total hottie! I bow before you, oh celluloid God of nerdliness!" (Okay, no, of course I didn't say that to him. I restrained myself admirably. But I was thinking it. Because I am a dork.) It is also important to note that everyone at aforementioned shindig was much cuter than I was, but in the end, I had the best Windsor knot.

And here we go:
First off, Del Rey Manga has a blog! You may not have known this as there is no link to the blog on the Del Rey Manga homepage navigation bar. Anywhere. However, if you scroll down and look at the news column, there is a wee little purple link in amidst the text. I actually found the blog quite by accident looking for something else that was not at all manga-related. Hopefully someone will fix that soon and add a HUGE link to the navigation bar because it's a very good blog and it's apparently been up since November sometime.

A Slight Apocalypse looks at The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick.

Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield have teamed up to launch a freaky-wonderful new web comic called Freakangels. It's free!

Fantasy Book Critic reviews Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters and The Blue War by Jeffrey Thomas.

Fantasy Debut looks at Debatable Space by Philip Palmer.

VanderMeer has been busy over at Omnivoracious: an interview with skiffy artist extraordinaire John Picacio and editor extraordinaire Ellen Datlow. He also interviews debut novelist J.M. McDermott, author of Last Dragon.

And speaking of John Picacio, Revolution SF is hosting a contest to win one of three signed copies of the eagerly-awaited new Picacio-illustrated Elric: Stealer of Souls by Michael Moorcock. The books are signed by both Picacio and Moorcock. And if you haven't seen the brilliant artwork that Picacio put together for the cover as well as the interior, click the link above for the full set. Just gorgeous stuff!

Love Vampires reviews Raven Hart's The Vampire's Kiss, Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian, and Biting the Bullet by Jennifer Rardin.

Dear Author reviews Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs.
And now I am too tired to add any more but I promise I will start posting regular link round-ups again!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

X-Men Manga from Del Rey & Marvel! Bitchin'!

Come on, you KNOW this is going to be fun! I've known about the Wolverine project for several months and have been chomping at the bit to be able to tell other people. I'm a little sad that I won't be able to work on this project, but at least I'll get to read the finished product. Excellent! (Hey, who says La Gringa can't keep a secret?)
NEW YORK, NY - December 9, 2007 - Marvel Entertainment and Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today plans to publish two new manga series based on Marvel Entertainment's highly popular X-Men series.

The manga, created with the cooperation and consultation of Marvel editors, will take the classic characters from the X-Men series and re-imagine them in a manga style. The first project, scripted by the husband-and-wife team of Raina Telgemeier (writer and illustrator of The Babysitter's Club graphic novels) and Dave Roman (creator of the comic Agnes Quill), will focus specifically on the X-Men team. Indonesian artist Anzu will illustrate the two-volume series, which will go on sale in Spring 2009.

It's the X-Men as you've never seen them before, with the storyline fashioned as a private school shôjo comedy. (Shôjo manga is aimed at girls and often covers popular subjects such as comedy, romance, and drama.) As the only girl in the all-boys School for Gifted Youngsters, Kitty Pryde, a mutant with phasing abilities, is torn between the popular Hellfire Club, led by flame-throwing mutant Pyro--and the school misfits, whom she eventually bands together as the X-Men.

A second manga series, to be published in Spring 2009, follows the adventures of Wolverine, a breakout member of the X-Men team known for his attitude and unbreakable adamantium claws.

Dallas Middaugh, associate publisher of Del Rey Manga, says, "The X-Men are some of the most well-known characters in the world, and it's the strength of those characters-along with strong and unique storylines-that make the X-Men a perfect match for the manga form. It's an amazing opportunity, and we're eager to bring new interpretations to the fans through the prism of manga."

The X-Men made their comics debut in The X-Men #1 in 1963 and have since become a mainstream pop culture phenomenon with the development of an animated television series, several video games and a blockbuster live-action film trilogy.

Ruwan Jayatilleke, Vice President of development of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., said "Del Rey Manga has been an innovative force in the manga landscape---consistently growing the medium and breaking the boundaries of print. We have found a partner who will bring the X-Men and Wolverine into the fastest growing segment of graphic fiction, with superior storytelling and visual fireworks. Comic book fans and manga readers have much to look forward to."

Manga, the Japanese term for comics, is a Japanese cultural phenomenon that accounts for nearly half of all the books and magazines sold in Japan. Read by men and women of all ages, manga covers a wide variety of themes including adventure, romance, fantasy, and more. Manga has experienced incredible growth in the US and Canadian graphic novel market in the past few years. According to industry source ICv2 manga sales reached between $170 million and $200 million in 2006.

About the Creators
Raina Telgemeier is best known for her work as the writer and illustrator of The Babysitter's Club graphic novels. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Eisner, Ignatz, Cybil, and Web Cartoonists' Choice awards.

Dave Roman currently works for Nickelodeon Magazine as an associate editor. The co-creator of the Harvey Award-nominated series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and the Ignatz award-winning Teen Boat, he also pens his own webcomic, Astronaut Elementary. He is also the creator of the comic Agnes Quill.

Anzu, a manga artist based in Indonesia, will make her US manga art debut in April 2008 with the first volume of The Reformed, written by Chris Hart. She has contributed to Hart's bestselling How to Draw Manga series.

About Del Rey Manga
Del Rey Books ( ) was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's leading international media companies. In 2004 it expanded by launching Del Rey Manga (, which has grown to be a major force in the U.S. graphic-novel field. Bestselling titles include Tsubasa, Negima, xxxHolic, and The Wallflower.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios), publishing (via Marvel Comics) and toys, with emphasis on feature films, home DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit

X-Men, Wolverine: TM & © 2007 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Del Rey Books now distributing Dabel Brothers.

Okay, I confess - I've known about this for about a month. I'm glad it's finally public news. I think it's a good fit, and although I don't really know the Dabel Brothers, I've had a couple of nice email exchanges with Ernst Dabel about David Anthony Durham's Acacia. Anyway, here's the whole press release:
NEW YORK, NY – November 14, 2007 – Dabel Brothers Publishing and Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books, have announced a new agreement for distribution of Dabel Brothers graphic novels into the trade book market.

In spring 2008 the popular literary comic book publisher will launch comic book adaptations of three major properties: New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son; Jim Butcher’s bestselling The Dresden Files; and George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards. The graphic novel versions, to be distributed by Del Rey, will go on sale in summer/fall 2008.

The long-term arrangement will result in broader distribution for their graphic novels than they have had in the past, explains Ernst Dabel, President of Dabel Brothers Publishing. “While we will retain our autonomy and continue to operate as an individual company, we expect the Del Rey sales team to greatly expand our reach into such markets as libraries and independent bookstores.”

He added, “Dabel Brothers titles have done well historically in the comic book stores and in the book chains. We’ve had great success with George R. R. Martin’s The Hedge Knight, which was one of the bestselling graphic novels of 2004. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, published in July, is already one of the bestselling graphic novels of 2007. Most of the titles we’ve published have debuted in the top 200, and that was accomplished as a comic book company, with a narrow focus on the markets we knew. We’re extremely excited about our future now that we are working with Del Rey.”

Ballantine Books currently releases graphic novels under the Villard, Ballantine, Del Rey and Del Rey Manga imprints. “Graphic novels are one of our fastest-growing areas of publishing,” commented Scott Shannon, Associate Publisher of Del Rey, Mass Market and Licensing. “Dabel Brothers Publishing produces quality work that deserves a wide audience and we’re pleased to be able to provide broader distribution for their projects.” The deal was negotiated by Del Rey Editor-in-Chief Betsy Mitchell.

Dabel Brothers Publishing, LLC, is a comic book studio dedicated to bringing many of the best and most popular novels in the world of fantasy to the comic book medium. Since its inception in 2001 they have produced over a dozen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, including George R.R. Martin, Orson Scott Card, Raymond E. Feist, Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, Richard A. Knaak, Robert Silverberg and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Del Rey Books was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. In 2004 it expanded by launching Del Rey Manga, which has grown to be a major force in the U.S. graphic-novel field.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sinister Cat! (Aren't they all?)

A wonderful new discovery via Tempest: The Adventures of SinisterCat! (Oh, Nightgarden? I think you're going to love this site.)