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A little Friday afternoon gossip

* Just got off the phone with a well-known, award winning cartoonist who was advertised as appearing at an upcoming convention. Apparently he was told this week that he had a flight to the show by convention organizers, but no flight was ever booked and now he’s just sitting there with his bags all packed and no place to go. The practice of advertising guests who aren’t actually coming is well known in convention circles, but this takes it a step further. Tsk tsk. Or maybe, as Lea pointed out, the rising cost of airfares is going to radically alter our convention going experiences.

* The announcement of the Archaia Studios Press reorg/hiatus has resulted in a lot of chatter around the web. ASP creators led by A. David Lewis expessed support for the company

In response to Mark Smylie’s announcement of a temporary company restructuring, the comic creators who have titles with his Archaia Studios Press are speaking out to express their confidence in the business and support of this move. The creators were alerted in advance by Smylie both of co-publisher Aki Liao’s personal decision to depart and of the planned effects that potentially would have on their books.

David Petersen of Mouse Guard fame, expressed similar sentiments.

“What does this mean about future Mouse Guard issues and hardcovers?” you may be asking. I have no plans to move Mouse Guard to another publisher. Once the restructuring is complete Mouse Guard will be back on track. I apologize for the delays thus far and hope that the fans can bear with us. The coming weeks should give us a better idea of the timeline for upcoming releases. No matter what, I am fully committed to creating more Mouse Guard and getting it into the fans hands as soon as possible.

Only Brandon Thomas of The New Adventures of Miranda Mercury showed visible alarm

While Archaia is confident they will ultimately emerge from this, it’s obviously a huge setback for us, and I imagine, for several other creative teams with books running and/or launching this year. Definitely made for an interesting weekend of frantic e-mails, phone calls, etc., all focused on pretty much the same question—what the hell is our next move? The entire creative team essentially made ‘08 about getting Miranda Mercury out there, and this latest news essentially takes the book off the board until the end of the year.

Unmentioned in the announcement of the reorg was the status of previously announced ASP editor Joe Illidge, who hasn’t been heard from in conjunction with the company in a while.

Obviously, what we have here is a good bunch of folks whose reach exceeded their grasp. With all the books they were planning to publish, ASP would need a full-time publisher, editors, production, pr and so on, and from what we’ve been hearing, the company was just not set up to do that. It does seem that there are very few hard feelings involved anywhere around. The company has an investment banker looking for new investors, and given the current state of comics, they could very well find one. It is a telling reminder, however, that publishing lots of comic books — especially beautifully produced hard covers like ASP specializes in — is a full-time business and still a hard one to make money in. Hopefully ASP will reemerge stronger and better equipped to deal with this reality.

It’s also yet another “mid-sized, genre-oriented” comics company that has foundered on the waves of business reality. Honestly, it makes more sense to run a company like AdHouse in your spare time than to try to start up a full-scale comics company any more.

The post A little Friday afternoon gossip appeared first on The Beat.

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