As we approach another week's end, I gently keep an eye on the publishing world and what other shoes, sneakers, and boots may have dropped.
McFarlane Toys has announced cutting a few positions, reports The Beat. Nothing major, but obviously even the mighty Spawn creator & toy licensor has felt the sting of a stingy market.
Heidi, at The Beat, also has a nice piece about Nickelodeon magazine's (Nickmag.com) first comic book awards - a neat little piece about the enduring love of comics for youngsters - where they get to vote. Check it.
Also, a publisher I've always loved due to their beautiful design aesthetic, kitchy book ideas, and most-excellent superhero-themed spiral notebooks, Chronicle Books (based in San Francisco) announced that they have also felt backlist sales soften and must tighten the belt strap somewhat, reports Mediabistro's Galleycat blog, here.
The more I hear about "freezes" on salaries, publishing layoffs, and other related happenings, the more I'm reminded to try to stay as well-connected to contacts and friends in the industry, feeling that in our strength we can weather the storm, both under and outside of the corporate umbrella.
On a lighter note, I've a Deal of the Day, as I did some weekly comics shopping and holiday shopping at Midtown Comics earlier. It was a book that I had grabbed a few issues of and read a while back and I was waiting for the first trade paperback to come out: NORTHLANDERS: Book 1: Sven the Returned (from Vertigo/DC Comics).
I've already written a piece for a comics periodical which should be out in a few months, and this book is one of the few I profile as a great read. I'll write a full review of the 1st trade soon, but for $9.99 you get 200 full-color pages and an amazing story of viking adventure. What a steal! You rarely see comic book collections and trade paperbacks so aggresively priced, and I really hope it helps the word get out how great a comic book series this is.
Vikings have been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid [note: this book is targeted toward a mature audience], and this collection, falling under the Vertigo imprint, is equal parts brawn, steel, and balls. Remember, you are reading the blog of a guy who loved last year's Osprey holiday card with pillaging Vikings in a bacchanal-like frenzy. Below illustration by the legendary Angus McBride.