Jeff Smith Recovering, Webtoons Wars Begin, Good Omens Breaks Record | Comic Book Club News For August 21, 2023

comic book club news august 21 2023

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On today’s Comic Book Club News, Bone creator Jeff Smith is recovering from a cardiac arrest. Apple and Amazon are launching their own Webtoon competitors. And the Good Omens graphic novel is breaking Kickstarter records.


Episode Transcript:

Jeff Smith recovering after cardiac arrest.

Apple and Amazon launch their own webtoons.

Good Omens graphic novel breaks records.

This is Comic Book Club News for August 21, 2023.

Jeff Smith Recovering After Cardiac Arrest:

Some serious news to begin with here on Monday: Bone creator Jeff Smith is recovering after a cardiac arrest. Kathleen Glosan, the production manager for Cartoon Books, which publishes Bone, made the announcement on Saturday, August 19.

“Jeff Smith is recuperating from a cardiac arrest, which he suffered on Sunday,” Glosan said on Twitter. For clarification, she was referring to Sunday, August 13, a week prior. She continued, “There will be a long road to recovery, so regrettably we must cancel the remainder of his book tour this year. Our apologies to his fans who were coming to see him at: Rob Con, CXC, Bedrock Con and NYCC. We hope this is just a bump in the road and that Jeff will see you all next year. Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.”

Bone has won 10 Eisner Awards and 11 Harvey Awards for Smith, and is credited for kicking off the boom in graphic novels aimed squarely at children. We wish Smith a speedy recovery.

Apple And Amazon Launch Webtoon Competitors:

Some interesting speculation coming via the website Major Spoilers: are Apple and Amazon coming for Webtoon? While comic book fans still fight over Marvel and DC, the real winner is the vertically scrolling digital platform Webtoon, which as of July 6 reportedly had 85.6 million active daily users.

Now, Apple and Amazon seem to be coming for the platform, launching their own vertically scrolling comic book readers. Recently Amazon launched Fliptoon, a comic book reader that is unaffiliated with the also Amazon-owned ComiXology. Meanwhile, back in April Apple launched Goodereader, which does not seem to have “toon” in its name but is also basically the same thing.

Probably important to understand here: webtoons is the name of the vertically scrolling digital format, which was first introduced in Korea; Webtoon is the name of the company that is currently lapping traditional comic book publishers. Regardless, Webtoon — the company — doesn’t seem bothered.

In a recent interview with Reuters, CEO Kim Junkoo stated, “If big tech is serious about this IP-creating business, they’d have to buy us out.”

Begun, the webtoons wars have.

Good Omens Graphic Novel Breaks Kickstarter Record:

Talk about your good omens: the currently running Kickstarter campaign for Good Omens: The Graphic Novel is now the most successful comic book project on the platform, of all time.

Based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the graphic novel comes from artist Colleen Doran, and stands at well over $2 million. By comparison, the second biggest comic book Kickstarter is Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt’s BRZRKR, at $1,474,000, and The Expanse: Dragon Tooth at $1,400,000.

The graphic novel is an official release made in conjunction with the Pratchett estate and Gaiman, and will adapt the original novel — not the TV series from Prime Video. If you would like to support the Kickstarter, which of course will allow you to snag a copy of the book, and possibly some art by creators like Frank Quitely and Alice Oseman, you can pledge until August 31 at 7 pm ET.

For Comic Book Club Toons, I’m Alex Zalben. I mean, Comic Book Club News.

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