Why American Comics Have Gone Down The Drain, While Manga Can’t Print Enough

Recently, I ran into this video:
GLOBAL MANGA SHORTAGE While DC Comics Charges 6 BUCKS for a Batman Comic?! – YouTube

The video does not look too deeply into why this is happening and I wanted to present my thoughts on why this happened. There are a lot of issues here that I think that are not understood and making easy and quick assertions doesn’t give a true picture of what is going on.

What is going on is rather obvious. Comics in the US are in a death spiral. A quick google of the subject will provide anyone with endless articles and videos on the subject in the last year. Also, while the pandemic may have accelerated the process, somewhat, the death spiral was well along before the pandemic and the consequences came along. Even the largest selling comics books sell about 200,000 or so a month.

Contrast that with some Manga sales where even modest selling manga sell more than the top ten comic books combined and the top selling manga sells tens of millions of tankobon copies, a month, in Japan. As opposed to the American comics industry someone in Japan is doing something right. I want to use what I have learned to explore just what I think is going right in Japan and wrong in the US. I don’t pretend to have any insider’s special knowledge and this post will just be what I have observed about the two industries.

Read More

Cover Art, Part 2. Mainstream Hard Cover Dust Jacket Art, 1920- 1990

This is the second of my series of posts looking at book covers. This time, we cover Dust Jackets from about 1920 or so, to about 1990 or so. The book selling industry went through a lot of changes as the country did and so did books. So, w go from the Washington sguare book shop to the big box stores of today and the books inside them.
https://collections.mcny.org/Collection/Washington%20Square%20Bookshop,%2017%20West%208th%20Street-2F3XC5U0V5IE.html
Note: the books chosen are chosen because of the way that the covers were done, not the content of the actual books. So there may be examples of things like Fabian Socialism. That does not mean that I care about the book.

Read More

Book Covers, Art From The Past, Turn Of The Last Century

Over the Years, I have owned a lot of books, with most of the books of my childhood long gone, and seen even more. In my search for cover ideas for the mermaid and Blasted Lands books, I found a treasure trove of covers and I thought that I would post some of the covers that I found. This is the first of a series of book covers and my ongoing struggle to think outside the box for Mermaids. My pintrest board collection of book cover pictures is here:

This first post is going to be books from the turn of the last century and before. Enjoy.

Read More

Art Of The Week: Schlock Mercenary

About 17 years ago I ran into a quirky science fiction webcomic where the main character looks like a pile of poo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlock_Mercenary

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2000-06-12

One would think that something like that would be, well, a pile of poo and disappear fairly quickly. Yet the humor and storytelling overcame the rather poor art.  The comic has been a long, long stream of humor, interesting story telling and even stranger characters and backgrounds. The fact that the story has been able to keep going for seventeen years is an achievement in itself. Being able to maintain the quality of the storytelling makes Schlock truly a great work.

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Tayler/e/B009P6RAYE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1491582420&sr=8-1

After all, how many writers would turn Christmas elves and ninjas into wargame  icons.

There’s a LOT more like this in Schlock Mercenary.

Art Of The Week: Akihiro Morohoshi

Akihiro Morohoshi manages to fit model railroads and scenes into the smallest and oddest containers.

http://www.mostbreathtakingplacesintheworld.com/japanese-artist-akihiro-morohoshi-has-creates-incredible-miniature-worlds-by-using-everyday-objects/?Slide_num=0

http://tabi-labo.com/272973/omoro-design/

https://www.instagram.com/omorodesign/

http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2014/07/29/diorama-artist-creates-miniature-worlds-from-everyday-objects/

http://www.omorodesign.com/omoro_Site/Diorama/Diorama.html
Here’s a video of Morohoshi building a small Enoden module.