Daniel Clowes dominates the October graphic novel charts. Equity firm KKR has officially bought publisher Simon & Schuster. Marvel’s Spider-Boy introduces Elefino, the character find of 2023. All on Comic Book Club News for November 1, 2023.
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Daniel Clowes rules October charts.
KKR buys Simon & Schuster.
Spider-Boy’s new character? Elefino.
This is Comic Book Club News for November 1, 2023.
Daniel Clowes Takes Over October Graphic Novel Charts:
Yesterday, we brought you the news about the single-issue comic book sales charts for October. Today, it’s all about graphic novels — and Daniel Clowes.
Specifically, Clowes’s new book Monica from Fantagraphics took the top slot in October on ICv2‘s list of graphic novels in both money earned, and units sold. Given that the Eisner and Harvey award-winning writer/artist hasn’t published a graphic novel since 2016’s Patience, that’s not too much of a surprise. But it is a pleasant one.
Other chart highlights include The Walking Dead spinoff Clementine Book Two By Tillie Walden at number three. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin hanging strong at number four, for the umpteenth month in a row. And the debut of Ahoy Comics’ excellent Mark Russell book Cereal at number ten.
The biggest surprise, though, is the success of Marvel’s X-23 Deadly Regenesis Vol. 1 Deadly Regenesis, which debuted at number six on the units sold chart. In fact, it’s only one of two Marvel titles in the top twenty, the other being a Marvel Masterworks for X-Men. Perhaps there’s more interest in Wolverine’s female clone than one might expect.
Get Daniel Clowes on an X-23 book, and you’ve got comic book gold.
Equity Firm KKR Officially Buys Simon & Schuster:
Previously owned by Paramount, Simon & Schuster was bought as part of a $1.62 billion deal which will find the firm taking control of a publisher that distributes trade collections and graphic novels for Image Comics, BOOM! Studios and Viz Media.
While an equity firm buying a publishing company would usually set off alarm bells, it’s possible this might have more positives than negatives. KKR has already instituted a profit-sharing model for employees that gives them an ownership stake in the company. And KKR successfully helped grow audiobook publisher RBMedia.
However, they are still an equity firm, and above all equity firms value exponential, rapid growth. As the New York Times points out, that’s not necessarily how book publishing works. More on this story as it develops.
Spider-Boy Introduces New Character, Elefino:
And our final story for the day contains spoilers for Marvel Comics Spider-Boy #1. So, turn away if you don’t want to know. In the new issue, we find out more about the origins of Bailey Briggs, the superhuman known as Spider-Boy. After he was experimented on and turned into a half-human, half-spider, he was joking with his friend and did the classic “What do you get when you combine an elephant and a rhino? Elefino.”
And then that other kid gets changed into a half-rhino, half-elephant called Elefino. It’s a classic goofy pun made emotionally real by writer Dan Slott.
But he doesn’t stop there. Slott also introduces the master of gas Balloon Man, and his Balloon Platoon. Described as like Magneto, but for gases, he takes over the Thanksgiving Day parade and battles Spider-Boy and Squirrel Girl.
…Anyway, it’s a silly book and I needed a third news story, leave me alone.
For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And will there be three actual news stories tomorrow on this podcast? Elefino.
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