Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Morning News

I know, I know.  I'm supposed to be on hiatus.  But there were a few things that caught my eye this morning.

Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow (NYT)
'From the mo­ment that Rus­sia’s in­va­sion and an­nex­ation of Crimea cast a new, bit­ter chill over re­la­tions with the West, a sin­is­ter jingo­istic vibe has per­vad­ed this un­set­tled cap­i­tal — stirred up by state-con­trolled tele­vi­sion and Mr. Putin him­self.

“Some West­ern politi­cians are al­ready threat­en­ing us not just with sanc­tions but al­so the prospect of in­creas­ing­ly se­ri­ous prob­lems on the do­mes­tic front,” the pres­i­dent said in his speech an­nounc­ing plans to ab­sorb Crimea in­to the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion. “I would like to know what they have in mind ex­act­ly: ac­tion by a fifth col­umn, this dis­parate bunch of ‘na­tion­al trai­tors,’ or are they hop­ing to put us in a wors­en­ing so­cial and eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion so as to pro­voke pub­lic dis­con­tent?”'

North Carolina Shows Strains Within G.O.P. (NYT)
"There is a Tea Par­ty can­di­date who talks about the Con­sti­tu­tion and has the back­ing of Sen­a­tor Rand Paul. There is a Bap­tist pas­tor, en­dorsed by Mike Huck­abee, who wears a “Je­sus First” la­pel pin and has led the fight against same-sex mar­riage. And there is a Re­pub­li­can state law­mak­er — sup­port­ed by the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce and $1 mil­lion from Karl Rove’s Amer­i­can Cross­roads group — stand­ing up for the par­ty es­tab­lish­ment."

It's way past time that this fight broke out into the open.  If the GOP is gonna have a real chance in this year's elections, it needs to settle its differences and figure out exactly who and what it wants to be.  Otherwise, the party in opposition is gonna be roadkill--again.

I didn't even know that the race was today.  *sigh*

I totally want one of those, BTW.  They have them at the local Zane's Cycles where I took our bikes for tune-ups yesterday.  Unfortunately, they were mobbed.  My bike's liable to be in the shop for two weeks!

Obvious yet entirely useful research there.  One of my friends was complaining of over-training this week, but she's a single-mom with a full-time job, and she's training for a half-Ironman.  There's nothing easy about that.

Executive Pay: Invasion of the Supersalaries (NYT)
You don't have to read the article, but check out that 3/4-page splash panel fronting today's business section.  I just saw it in print, and the thing is impressive.

This is the world we live in.  Captain America is the biggest movie in the world, Amazon just bought Comixology, and the New York Times is trying to goose readership by running a comic book-style splash page to front its Business Section.  If comic book sales don't rally big-time against a backdrop like that, then the industry has seriously lost its way.

Sally and I ran the local Run as One yesterday at Short Beach in Stratford.  It was a beautiful day, and we had a blast.  The event was even covered by the Connecticut Post.

If you click through, Sally's on the front right, and I'm directly behind her.

That's it.  Happy Sunday!


  1. In a lot of ways the comic book industry has out priced the market.

  2. It's all about scale.

    The barriers to entry in the Direct Market are really low, but then once you get a book on the stands, you're left trying to make it worth your--and more to the point, your artists'--time. Lots of writers are happy to do what they do just to get their work out there, but for an artist, drawing pages of sequential art is too time-consuming. You can either find a way to make it pay your bills, or you can spend so much time doing each issue that it's hard to keep issues coming out regularly--even quarterly. Decent circulation for an indie book is maybe 3,000 copies. So, bottom line, you have to charge what we might think of as a premium price for indie books, and that's for relatively cheap artists from overseas. Even for the big publishers, smaller books might do 10,000 copies/month, and they're paying more per page. That, again, demands a premium.

    Granted, on the bigger circulation books, they could charge less and probably increase readership, but if the market is clearing at $3.99, they don't need to. There are some few $2.99 books out there, and I expect that those are the real money-makers, but for the most part, comics are a loss leader, and that's even with the high prices on the stands.