PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books.
Josef Blumenfeld, v-p of communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts” across its trade and reference divisions. The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change.”
“4Kids, which had been programming Fox’s Saturday morning line-up will cease at the end of December, as previously reported, and as a result, beginning in January, the network will scuttle its Saturday am kids fare in exchange for two-hours of network controlled infomercials, and two hours of local affiliate programming.”—Newsarama.com : Fox Gets Out of Saturday Morning Toon Biz
“They are not just fighting over ‘Watchmen,’ " entertainment attorney Mel Avanzado, who is not involved in the litigation, said of the duel between Fox and Warners. "They are also fighting over sequel rights. Whoever controls the franchise probably controls quite a bit.”—
Although I’ve gotten some outraged e-mails from fans, I have to say this isn’t unexpected. Both DC and Marvel are in a weird place right now — are they publishing companies in a dying market or IP companies in a growing one? The answers to these questions demand different strategies, neither of which are necessarily the best circumstances for the creative participants.
Time to go creator-owned, and digitally distributed. Because that’s the only solution that makes sense for our side of the equation.
“For me, the concerns are the script and plot (which, from what I’ve read about so far, seem pretty week) and the casting (which also seems really, really shaky). For me to believe these other people (esp. Pretty Boy Pine) as the beloved characters I’ve watched for much of life, they’ve really gotta nail it. Nothing I’ve seen, thus far, suggests to me that they will. Either they’re horribly miscast, or they’re doing impersonations of the originals. Add the cliched angsty teen (Kirk) and baffling plot points (like the 20th/21st century muscle car, or how all the main characters are apparently the same age or older than Kirk and all at the academy at the same time), and I’m just not interested.”—Blog@Newsarama » Blog Archive » Star Trek trailer officially debuts
One area of my life where I have been extremely lucky and fortunate is the fact I have been blessed with many amazing friendships. One of my closest friends is my old college roommate, Eric Kuntzon. I wanted to mention Eric as a car hit him a few months ago while he was riding his bike to work in Brooklyn. Eric was hurt pretty badly, mainly a broken shoulder that has never really healed. After months of several different treatments, Eric has to undergo surgery on Monday, this treatment to pin his broken collar bone and hopefully end his pain and help give him back use of his arm. I know the folks that read this thing are mostly friends, and for the most part we all know each other. If you can – drop Eric a line, I am sure well wishes would mean a lot right now.
In the meantime, for Christ sake be cautious of cyclist while driving – I think a lot more about that of late. Also, our medical system in this country at the moment is kinda a fucking nightmare, let’s hope there is actually “change we can believe in” coming on this issue.
“Hawkworld gave us a fresh and interesting take on characters who had been around for year. It also, despite the American jingoism that occasionally creeps in, presented us with a comic book series whose real point was an examination of individual rights and whether a society with high ideals can ever live up to them If not, is it better to fail to achieve one’s ideals or not to falsely claim them? Some brilliant writing here, folks.”—
“"Star Trek" fans — and they are legion — have been eagerly anticipating the movie for more than a year. As excited as they are, however, many have expressed trepidations that the film will be a "reboot" and will reconfigure the fictional history of the "Trek" universe they have followed so ardently. Abrams and his writers have promised to be faithful to the spirit of "Star Trek" and its fan base. Still, the director of "Mission: Impossible III" and creator of TV’s "Lost" and "Alias" acknowledged that he was no Trekkie before starting the project.”—
So what’s coming up after Grant Morrison’s Batman RIP - well, artist Tony Daniel takes over the writing as well:
Battle for the Cowl will be written and drawn by Tony Daniel, which we’re very excited about. This is the first time Tony’s written in a while, and he’s just champing at the bit to be able to do this, and we’re excited that he’s on the series.
I still don’t understand how this isn’t Knightfall - and I am asking in a very serious manner, if someone can explain to me how this isn’t the story Knightfall, I would love to hear it.
Blue Beetle is canceled.
Countdown is discussed:
We tried and failed when we tried to do a month-by-month continuity tied to Countdown - that is not a mistake I want to repeat. What it did – and I’ve said this several times, was that it did a disservice to so many stories, because they were trying to line up so perfectly, no story found its natural pace.
So, no real mistakes made with Countdown, just a stutter-step.
When asked why character’s personalities and timelines don’t match up from book to book, Didio admitted that there is no continuity to the Joker’s appearances this past year - but he took GREAT exception to the idea that Hawkman’s character has become contradictory to the point that his stories no longer make sense:
Hawkman has not gone two different ways. Joker, I agree with, Hawkman I disagree with.
As with Hawkman, we were trying to create a sensibility that there might be more to the story of Hawkman – that was a story concept. If we go back to that particular story by Jim Starlin, nothing really changed – it just brought questions up to the front, and those questions will be played out later in the year.
Everything works together.
See? Don’t worry that it makes no sense - it’s all part of the plan. Countdown? Part of the plan. We have been hearing this for almost five years, if it’s true it’s a REALLY shitty plan.
Didio on late shipping books? Well, come on, it’s everybody’s problem and DC is not the only company that ships books late:
I can come to you and say that 85% of my product is on time, which it is – it’s the 15% that people want the most, and more importantly, it’s the 15% that people want the most with the talent that they expect on it.
Digital Comics from DC - Fuck you:
There are always discussions and there are always plans. Here’s where I stand – similar to my opinion on certain events that take place on a corporate level, my primary concern are the publications.
The fact there has been three different Flash characters in the past three years? The Plan.
The fact that Marvel now controls upwards of 50% of the market? Well, the math goes a little fuzzy here:
Let’s talk math for a second: market share is percentages, so what we’re not seeing is what goes in to making those percentages – the amount of product being created, the amount of product coming out. Granted, we have seen slippage across our lines – I am not denying that, and we are taking every step we can to address that,
“Market Share” is a percentage, and unless you know what all the variables are that go into that percentage, then it’s hard to determine the value of that. The reality is to look at the number of books we put out month by month.
I don’t even understand what he is going for in that answer - the fact is DC now controls 40% or less of the market.
So yeah, if you have somehow been enjoying DC Comics for the last two years, take heart they continue on the same bleak death march they been on for the last several years. If you were waiting for the books to get better, I would hold off.
On the bright side, I really enjoyed JSA: KINGDOM COME SUPERMAN.
“The silver lining — for consumers anyway — may be discounted goods at the 155 outlets that the chain announced late last week it would close. JPMorgan’s Christopher Horvers reported flush inventory and 10% off everything from TVs to notebook computers. Good luck finding a salesperson.”—Why Circuit City Busted, While Best Buy Boomed - TIME
It’s been in the works for a while now, but I just had it confirmed yesterday. I will be leaving my job at the end of the month. I will still be consulting and acting in an art director capacity on comic book and manga properties. One goal down, now to start on the house in North Carolina for 2010.
I think I have forgotten what it feels like to be proud of this country. After the last eight years my hope and faith in this country and it’s people were totally gone. It’s an odd feeling, I’m stunned. I’ll wake tomorrow hopeful for the future. It’s been so long that I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. God bless Mr. Obama and God bless the United States of America.
"You’re an easy-going guy then batshit insane in less than a second…"
"I think you enjoy having voted, just not the act of voting…"
Matt also pointed out I was more outraged by having to wait to vote than I was in 2000 over the entire court battle for the Presidency. When I found out Matt waited only 3 1/2 mins to vote, again I was outraged that the system worked slowly for ME.
“Florida’s Palm Beach County is reporting problems at a couple of polling stations: so-called “undervotes,” where machines reject ballots because voters are not filling out the second page of the ballot”—
Now some dude that moved to MO a week ago is screaming his rights are being taken away because he has to vote on provisonal ballot. YOU MOVED HERE A WEEK AGO! I hate to say this, but this what happens when you turn out a lot of liberals. It’s no fun for anyone. Still voting for Obama, but I have to wonder if I am on the right side here. The only person to hate liberals more than Fox News is me, and I’m a Democrat.
An elections worker is having to walk the line and tell people not to take information from the Obama electioneers (her words) - they are giving out bad infomation and holding up the process. That’s electioneering you can believe in.
I vote every election. Everyone. Most of the time it’s me, the old ladies that run the place, and maybe one or two other voters. This morning it looks like I will not be voting. I have a job and deadlines, and am not sure if I have the hours to stand on line to vote today. Imagine a world where everyone gave a shit like this all the time. Something has to be done about voting in this country, and this Obama person working the line is REALLY pissing me off - isn’t that illegal? She is really pushing me toward McCain in a way I didn’t think possible.