Emerging from my manga/Obama hangover and the comics web is aflurry with debate, riled up, their knickers in a twist. Chip Kidd vs. Kuwata, creator credit vs. brand recognition, new vs. old, Batman vs. Lord Death Man. Just thinking about it has got my panties in a tangle – which is rather uncomfortable since I’m still wearing them – and since there was no school yesterday, a karate tournament over the weekend, and a take-home field trip as part of homework, I’m keeping me and my undies out of the debate since I’m back to chasing deadlines and giving thanks to RedBull for giving me wings.
I will, however, do a little to address the rumor going around about Vertical, Inc and their lay-off. One thing about said rumor that caught my attention is this: “laid off a number of people”. That’s the red light right there. Vertical is a small publisher so if they laid off a number of people, that would be the sound of them hitting the skids. And they’re not. I spoke to Ioannis Mentzas at Vertical and while Vertical is looking for new financing, and while they are postponing the release of certain novels (and who hasn’t?), if anyone can weather this financial tumult, it’s them. Remember Buddha? Those hardcover editions almost brought the publisher down. And this was Tezuka during the teen manga craze of 2004 and 2005, not the neo-rennaissance of today’s gekiga and cross-over art house comics readers. Additionally, Vertical’s past financers have been in Japan. That’s not to say that their new financer will be Japanese, but it’s simply me pointing out that the Nikkei fluctuates while the Dow plummets. So. Vertical’s summer catalog has come out, they’re got a line of cookbooks coming out (which I blogged about during NYAF), they’ve got their Aranzi Aranzo cute/bad/evil DIY craft books, their BlackJack, and I think they’ll be okay.
But if these rumors have got your panties in a twist and you’re all about buying up the hardcover editions of Buddha, grabbing your own copy of MW or Ode to Kirihito (or both) because you don’t think Vertical will be around for much longer, go ahead. It can’t hurt.