RD 0518

Kim Hornyak khornyak@bookpublishing.com
Wed May 23 19:08:00 GMT 2018

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Exciting New Titles from the World’s Emerging Authors

May 2018

After the never-ending winter that held strong through April, we're all
ready to for a break, and it's time to build our lists of TBRs. We've got
you covered - take a look at this month's Review Direct 
[http://jenkins.dmplocal.com/main/?p=dsc.get&id=4mSS4v3miNw]selections, and
consider some of these fine independently published books for your

POW! Comics Fight Back
By Amy Shamroe

“I've always had a soft spot for comic books. I learned to read from
them. The words in them were so interesting.” - Nicolas Cage

All around the country schools are letting out, vacations are being
planned, and temperatures are on the rise. With all the treats Mother
Nature brings, even the most highbrow count summer blockbusters among the
highlights of the season. This summer’s early releases include X-Men:
The New Mutants, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers Infinity War and Deadpool
2. As many of the big budget action films in recent years, these box office
hits were based on popular comic series.

Despite the success of these franchises, and others, many in the media have
been declaring comics dead since the 1990s. Though still primarily the
domain of “nerds”, comics are far from their deathbed.  While
sales are nowhere near the pre-millenium level, there has been a resurgence
with The New Yorker reporting 10% growth in brick and mortar stores last
year alone. Major comic conventions boast attendee numbers that rival, if
not surpass, the publishing industry’s gem BookExpo America.

Gone are the days of Superman swooping in to save Lois Lane and throwing
the bad guy in jail.  Comics today offer nearly as many titles are there
are interests.  There are still The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, and other
favorites many fans remember from their youth. Comic writers today are not
limited to just superheroes though.  Long running Fables takes characters
from fairy tales and fables out of their element and lands them in mystery
plots.  The Unwritten is the on-going story of Tommy Taylor, the son of a
writer who created a Harry Potter like series of books that many people
think were actually based on him- and they might be right.

Graphic novelizations are on the rise.  From classic literature to YA
franchises, graphic novels are being touted as a way to lure
“non-readers”. These started out as male focused efforts, but in
recent years publishers have become more female inclusive in design and

As with other media, comics are struggling with the impact of digital
publication.  The early leader of digital content was ComiXology, whose app
has lead the industry and compared to the iTunes store for its ease of
purchase. ComiXology was more than a clearinghouse app though. It worked
with comic shops to sell digital editions through the stores themselves,
giving them a cut. It also offered a store locator service.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to those in the publishing industry, Amazon acquired
ComiXology in April of 2014. The deal gave them control of the digital
content for 75 publishers.  Almost as soon as the ink was dry, ComiXology
was changed from its user friendly in- app iOS to a system that forces
buyer to their site for purchases. This change has caused a major divide. 
Some say the new corporate connection will allow for a better market share
for publishers.  Others complain the inconvenient sales platform will only
discourage new, casual buyers.

While not as strong as the Golden Age of Superman and Captain America, a
new era of comics is keeping the tradition alive.  Like other media,
readers remain hopeful that the march of progress will not stomp out the
tradition which made it great.

Have you noticed a change in demand for comics/graphic novels? Are there
any you have started reading (or always read) yourself?

Amy Shamroe is the Director of the Traverse City Children's Festival and
Book Awards Coordinator with Jenkins Group, Inc.

Don't forget to check out this month's Review Direct titles HERE: 

Please contact me with any questions or comments!

Kim Hornyak, Jenkins Group, Inc., khornyak@bookpublishing.com
[mailto:khornyak@bookpublishing.com], 231.933.0445, ext 1013

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