Are women and comics risky business?
"Has Boobs Reads Comics" blogger Jill Pantozzi.
October 24th, 2011
02:39 PM ET

Are women and comics risky business?

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings." He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

This summer, “Womanthology,” a hardcover comics anthology made entirely by female creators, raised a staggering $109,000 on the fundraising site Kickstarter.

Also this summer, the comics community argued ad nauseum about the lack of women creating mainstream comics. The accusations culminated at San Diego Comic-Con when several people, including a woman dressed as Batgirl, went to panels about DC’s re-launch and asked why only 1% of their creators were women.

In these events lie an incongruity between the support for women making comics and the gaping gender disparity between mainstream comics creators. FULL POST

Superhero metaphysics
October 4th, 2011
04:35 PM ET

Superhero metaphysics

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings". He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

Spoiler alert: This post gets all analytical about the meaning of comic book superheroes. To do so, it references situations from DC Comic's New 52 books. If you do not want to know what sort of things are included in those books, take a pass.

The first issue of “Justice League” begins with: “There was a time when the world didn’t know what a superhero was.”

After reading every first issue of DC Comics’ (which, like CNN, is owned by parent company Time Warner) New 52 re-launch, I found myself wondering if the world does know what a superhero is. Is a super-hero working class or a CEO? Are they activists? Survivors? Strippers? Police? A PR gimmick? Are super-heroes sexual? Can they be racist? FULL POST

Does DC Comics' 'New 52' win over new readers?
From "Animal Man #1" by Jeff Lemire, with art by Travel Foreman.
September 29th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Does DC Comics' 'New 52' win over new readers?

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings". He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

The physical pile of comics I am looking at is 3.5 inches high measured at the spines.

Together they weigh 5.5 pounds.

They are worth $205 in retail value.

Specifically I am describing every issue of DC Comics “New 52” re-launch. I just read them all in one sitting, in the order they were published. It took 6 hours, 37 minutes and 11 seconds.

For most comic book fans this is a dream come true.

I was highly anticipating the binge, reading stories about nuclear men, dark knights and space police. However, at about two hours and forty minutes in, it became less like fun and more like a competition. It was the pile versus me. I was Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, perilously close to falling into the chocolate river and getting stuck in a drainage pipe. But for you dear reader, I kept on. I drank that chocolate by the handful until there was nothing left.
FULL POST

Men in tights might make the coin, but diversity wins in comic book awards
Graphic novel "Daytripper" won a Harvey Award for best single issue or story.
September 14th, 2011
02:54 PM ET

Men in tights might make the coin, but diversity wins in comic book awards

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings". He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

If you’re not a comic book reader, you probably already associate comics with powerful people punching each other. Your assumption wouldn't be wrong. The rack at your local comic shop is filled with superhero comics, not romantic dramas or police procedurals.

Superheroes might own sales in the comic book world, but when comics professionals honor the best the industry has to offer they go fringe.

Non-superhero comic books won 75% of the winners at the 2011 Harvey Awards, held on August 21 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Harvey Awards are a respected annual awards ceremony hosted in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. Comic book professionals from across the industry attend this ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments. This year’s event featured big names like Stan Lee, "Thor" and "Hellboy".

Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s crime novel “The Outfit” won two awards. Three awards went to comics featuring talking animals, “The Muppet Show,” “Blacksad” and “Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites.” Each of these is vastly different from the other, using humor, horror and noir with their anthropomorphic protagonists. FULL POST

Making your own comic book? Read this first
August 31st, 2011
03:00 AM ET

Making your own comic book? Read this first

Editor's note: Christian Sager is the creator of "Think of the Children" and "Border Crossings". He has also written essays about the comics industry, punk subculture and national identity.

In 1984, two guys named Kevin and Peter came up with an idea for a comic book. They didn’t wait for a company to publish it. Instead they took the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) route, self-publishing their own work.

Kevin took money from his tax return and then borrowed more from his uncle. They used the cash to print 3,000 comics. Peter thought they should also market the book, so they printed ads and sent press packets out to major media outlets.

Suddenly Kevin and Peter started getting calls from retailers and distributors who had heard about their comic through local news. Those first 3,000 copies sold like hot cakes. Kevin and Peter burnt through three more printings, totaling 153,000 copies.

By comparison, July 2011’s best-selling comic was estimated to have sold only 135,564 copies. That’s roughly 17,000 less than Kevin and Peter sold alone in 1984. FULL POST

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