Link of the Week: comiXology



There’s a lot of talk about how the digitization of media has changed the book industry– specifically in discovery, reading, and recommendation. Graphic novels and comics are part of the wider book industry, but are capable of standing on their own; digitization has changed this portion of the industry too, and one of the ways that this change is evident is the existence of comiXology, which is “a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before” (source). It offers the widest range of comics across more than 75 publishers. Recently, Dark Horse joined forces with comiXology with the digital release of more than 800 of its titles.

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Dark Horse’s addition to comiXology not only broadens the audience that will use the platform, but also expands the influence that a platform can have on a single sector of the industry. It was announced on July 6th that France’s Delcourt Group will partner with comiXology to produce English versions of over 151 titles. David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology, is confident that the content in these French comics and graphic novels will appeal to audiences. Not only is this partnership new, it’s also the beginning of a marketing campaign to “raise the profile of French comics in North America” (source).



Internship at Papercutz

Papercutz Graphic Novels is looking for a summer Editorial & Marketing Intern. Candidates should have an interest in comic book publishing with a strong background in writing and proofreading. This is a dual department internship. Duties would include assisting the editorial department with production and proofing tasks on new books as well as working with the Marketing Director to develop and execute marketing campaigns.

-This internship is unpaid. You must be able to receive college or graduate school credit.
-Must be available 10-12 hours a week (2-3 days) to come into the Papercutz office in Manhattan. 8 week internship.
-Able to show experience in writing and editing.
-Some social media and marketing experience.
-A strong interest in publishing, specifically in comics.

Preferred applicants will have at least basic experience with Adobe Acrobat, InDesign and Photoshop.

About Papercutz:
Papercutz is dedicated to publishing great graphic novels for all ages. Popular with reluctant readers and gifted readers alike, Papercutz graphic novels for kids, tweens, and teens include a wide range of genres, including humor, action adventure, mystery, horror, and favorite characters. Papercutz is proud to be the only publisher exclusively dedicated to children’s graphic novels. We work every day to introduce young readers to the imaginative wonders waiting to be discovered in comics.

Applications are due May 20th. If you are interested in applying, please email Professor Denning.

Around Town

April 14, 2013: Downtown Literary Festival

This free festival is a celebration of New York City writers. Held by Housing Works Bookstore and McNally Jackson, this event runs from 10:00 am to 5:00pm (126 Crosby Street, Manhattan.) There are some really well thought out programs throughout the day. Check out the link above to see the full schedule events. Two panels that stand out to this blogger are: “Lunch with Frank O’Hara” at 12:00 pm and “Is the New York Bohemian Dead” at 2:00.

Sister Spit

At the New Museum of Contemporary Art (3 pm, 235 Bowery, Manhattan) there will be a literary performance cabaret. Artists, authors, and poets will be performing songs and stories with a feminist, social justice theme. Sister Spit was founded in 1994 and continues to be an underground sensation. This event sounds both exciting and informational. Tickets cost $12.00.

April 15: Kat Von D

NYT Best-selling tattoo artist and reality star Kat Von D will be presenting her new book: Go Big or Go Home at the Barnes and Noble at 33 E. 17th Street, Manhattan. This free event will be fun and exciting, as Ms. Von D’s colorful personality and style is sure to grab one’s attention.

April 16: From Funny Books to Graphic Novels

At 7pm at the Housing Works Bookstore (126 Crosby Street, Manhattan) famed comic author Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) will be promoting his new graphic novel Marble Season. He will be presenting a slideshow of his influences and participate in a question and answer session. This event is free.

April 27, 2013: Tribecca Family Festival

Built around the Tribecca Film Festival, the Family Festival Street Fair is a fun and free way to spend a Saturday afternoon. On Greenwich Street between Chambers and Hubert from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm you will find tons of free activities and performances. Click the link above to see the list of vendors and performers. A particularly relevant event is a special program The Long and Short of Innovation at the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street.) It will feature short documentaries that focus on new methods of storytelling.

Faculty in the Spotlight – April 2012

Pace University Adjunct Professor of Publishing, Paul Levitz, entered the comics industry in 1971 as Editor/Publisher of The Comic Reader, the first mass-circulation fanzine devoted to comics news.  He continued to publish TCR for three years, winning two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine.  He received Comic-con International’s Inkpot Award in 2002, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award in 2008, and the Comics Industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro (the trade association of comic shop retailers) in 2010.  Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Professor Levitz is primarily known for his work for DC Comics, where he has written most of their classic characters including the Justice Society, Superman in both comics and the newspaper strip, and acclaimed runs on The Legion of Super-Heroes.  Readers of The Buyers’ Guide voted his Legion: The Great Darkness Saga one of the 20 best comic stories of the last century, and visitors to the site selected the same story as #11 of the Top 100 Comic Book Stories of All Time.  DC Comics has issued a new hardcover edition of Legion: The Great Darkness Saga in 2010, which made the New York Times’ Graphic Books BestSeller List, as did his recent Legion of Super-Heroes: The Choice.

Cumulatively, Professor Levitz has written over 300 stories with sales of over 25 million copies and translations into over 20 languages.  As a DC staffer from 1973, Levitz was an Assistant Editor, the company’s youngest editor ever, and in a series of business capacities, became Executive Vice President & Publisher in 1989 and then served as President & Publisher from 2002-2009.  He continues as a Contributing Editor, but is now concentrating on his writing.

His current writing projects include Taschen’s 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, published for the 2010 holiday season.  This book won the comics industry’s Oscar, the Eisner Award, as well as the United Kingdom’s prestigious Eagle Award and Germany’s Peng Award.

During the Fall 2012 semester, Prof. Levitz will be teaching PUB 615, Comics & Graphic Novels.  During the Spring 2013 semester he will be teaching a new course, PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia, and he hopes to see many of the Pace M.S. in Publishing students in one or both of these classes.

In the piece below, Professor Levitz shares a few of his thoughts on the skills publishing professionals need in an era where media is rapidly changing and converging.

If you told me when I first sat down at an Assistant Editor’s desk that I’d be trading in my typewriter, rubber cement and rubdown Letraset for a computer more powerful than the multi-million one that filled the publishing company’s basement, I would have accused you of escaping from one of the science fiction comics I wrote.  So I hesitate to predict what technologies the current Pace Publishing students will end up commanding.  But I am convinced that the core competencies of managing creative people and processes will remain vital to our society, and as media change and converge, the need for publishing skills will continue.  With that in mind, the new PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia, was shaped to give students an overview of how to think about managing content as it travels across different forms.

Part of the joy of my years running DC Comics was looking at my calendar, and seeing my day move from discussions with writers and artists to directors, animators, video game creators, television showrunners, and even people experimenting in media forms that didn’t really exist (yet).  It’s an experience that will be shared by more people in the future, as media collide, converge, and become increasingly reliant on each other.  With numberless channels to choose from, and all of our centuries of creativity becoming available in the cloud, brands and curators become more important, not less, and many future guides through this confusing time may come from our halls.

So let’s look backward, and examine how and why Baum’s OZ lived on in forms as varied as THE WIZ and WICKED, and whether losing Kansas helped its survival; consider the commonalities of POKEMON, Harry Potter, and…oh…perhaps the ADDAMS FAMILY, to deduce the qualities that enable properties to prosper across media; talk about our roles working with talent in the varied structures that unique forms demand; and imagine together what the future might be like.

There’s got to be a certain pleasure in a class where the instructor comes in admitting he not only doesn’t know all the answers, he’s not sure what the questions are going to be, right?”