Why Not a Few Friday Whatnots?

This Is Fine/Dumpster Fire Mashup Toy

Sometimes, it feels like the world is both a dumpster fire and a living embodiment of the “This is Fine” comic strip … So on days when you just cannot anymore, it’s reassuring to know you’re not the only one feeling that way. And that’s when you need this brand new vinyl figure from 100% Soft and KC Green. Nerdist is so happy to exclusively debut the “This is Fine” edition of the Dumpster Fire toy.

Artist 100% Soft, a.k.a. Truck Torrence, debuted the Dumpster Fire toy in 2019 … 100% Soft has collaborated with KC Green, a.k.a. the cartoonist who made the iconic “This is Fine” comic strip.

This vinyl figure is the perfect fiery mash-up. Green did the box art for the “This is Fine” edition of the Dumpster Fire toy to make it even more appealing. A collectible figure and a collectible box. You can snag this absolute must-have on Saturday, July 24, at 11:00 a.m. PT from 100soft.shop.

Nerdist story here.


Newspaper Death Watch

illustration © Katie Casey

If Hollywood wanted to make a gritty movie about the work of dig-it-out newspaper reporters who uncover big local stories of government doings and corporate misdeeds, it couldn’t have chosen a more picture-perfect location than the boisterous newsroom of New York’s Daily News.

But there’d be a problem with filming at the Daily News now: Its owners have eliminated the newsroom, leaving reporters, editors, photographers, et al. with no shared workplace. Yes, today, it’s a newspaper without a newsroom.

This once-proud publication is now owned and run by Alden Global Capital, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund with a long record of buying papers on the cheap, selling off their assets and slashing pay and jobs.

My local, and locally owned, daily is conservative (regularly picking AF Branco and Michael Ramirez cartoons). They make a nod to “fair and balance” by sprinkling a couple liberal columns from Creators among the dozen conservative Creator columnists. Jim Hightower’s columns get cut in half. But this week they ran all of Hightower’s words about Alden

You can read Jim Hightower’s column here.


The Return of Johnny Canuck


Canadian comic book hero Johnny Canuck is returning as a sports logo.

The Vancouver Canucks this week announced their American Hockey League affiliate, recently relocated from Utica, N.Y. to Abbotsford, B.C., would be known as the Abbotsford Canucks. The team is adopting the same name and colour scheme as the NHL’s Canucks and will play about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver.

Of course, the big news out of all this was that the logo the AHL Canucks would be using features Johnny Canuck with a toque on the noggin, a hockey stick in hand, and blue overalls over a green collared jacket.

SportsLogos.net carries the story.


Publishers May Get Tax Tariff Refund

From last Fall:


Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the USTR to impose duties to combat certain “unreasonable” or “discriminatory” trade acts by a foreign government. In the case of the Section 301 tariffs imposed against Chinese origin imports, the USTR initiated the investigation and initially imposed 25%tariffs on certain imports because of the failure of the Government of China to protect intellectual property of U.S. companies when exporting Chinese products to the U.S. market.

Plaintiff’s Allegations

According to the plaintiffs, while the initial retaliatory tariff actions reflected in the implementation of List 1 and List 2 may have been lawful under Section 301, the USTR’s subsequent rounds of tariff actions (i.e., List 3 and list 4A) against Chinese origin imports overstepped the USTR’s authority and failed to comply with requirements under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

From last week:

Though America’s trade relationship with China is still being reviewed by the Biden Administration, companies, including publishers, who have been paying higher tariffs on imports from that country received some good news last week in a decision issued by the U.S. Court of International Trade.


Book Sales Continue Upward Trend

Print sales finished 2020 up 8.2% over 2019, and that strong performance continued into 2021, with units jumping 18.5% in the first six months over the comparable period in 2020. With the exception of the juvenile nonfiction category, all the major publishing categories had double-digit sales increases in the first half of the year. Backlist had the strongest gains, up 21.4%, but frontlist sales were also solid, rising 12.4%.

Closer to our interests:

Juvenile fiction sales rose 17.8% in the first six months of 2021, and the category had the most popular book in the period. Mothering Heights (Dog Man #10) by Dav Pilkey sold more than 867,000 copies, and Pilkey’s Cat Kid Comic Club sold almost 370,000 copies.

Publishers Weekly has the story.