By Calvin Reid and Hei­di Mac­Don­ald | Pub­lish­ers Weekly

Photo: Jody Culkin

Best­selling author and Sand­man cre­ator Neil Gaiman on the Will Eis­ner pan­el at Com­ic-Con 2013.

Despite the tow­er­ing posters for NBC’s Black­list and Marvel’s Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2, or the end­less­ly long lines of fans sleep­ing overnight out­side Hall H to see pre­views of Dr Who and Break­ing Bad, there was plen­ty of chat­ter about pub­lish­ing going on at the San Diego Com­ic-Con Inter­na­tion­al. Con­gress­man and Civ­il Rights leg­end John Lewis walked the exhi­bi­tion floor at the San Diego Con­ven­tion Cen­ter pro­mot­ing his graph­ic mem­oir along­side alien cos­play­ers and swag-laden fan­boys, dig­i­tal comics dis­trib­u­tor Comixol­o­gy con­tin­ues its relent­less growth adding Scholastic’s list, and Viz Media, Image, Paper­Cutz, Kodan­sha, Abrams Comi­cArts, Sev­en Seas Enter­tain­ment and oth­ers all had news on new titles and licens­es as well as expan­sions of their dig­i­tal programs.

TV and movie pro­mo­tion, of course, con­tin­ue to dom­i­nate Com­ic-Con head­lines, but these block­buster projects will also dri­ve pub­lish­ing sales. DC announced plans for a Batman/Superman team up film in 2015, Kick-Ass 2 comes in August and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is slat­ed for 2014–just a small sam­ple of movie/TV mar­ket­ing at Com­ic-Con. On the oth­er pub­lish­ing hand, best­selling novelist/comics writer Neil Gaiman was there to talk about his first new Sand­man sto­ries in years (DC/Vertigo), Viz Media and Paper­Cutz announced new kids’ comics licens­es and imprints—Perfect Square and a WWE teamup with best­selling kids author Mick Foley, respectively.

While Pan­theon did not have a big lit­er­ary graph­ic nov­el this year (they will next year), inde­pen­dents like D&Q (Art Speigelman’s Co-Mix), Fan­ta­graph­ics (Joe Sacco’s Bumf 1), IDW (an adap­ta­tion of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and Abrams Comi­cArts (The Art of Rube Gold­berg) had lists full of new, excit­ing titles. And on the dig­i­tal front, aside from Comixology’s con­tin­ued growth and the expan­sion of dig­i­tal first pub­lish­ing as well as dig­i­tal comics read­ing, very like­ly the most inter­est­ing dig­i­tal plat­form on dis­play may have been iVerse Media’s Comics Plus: Library Edi­tion, a cloud-based pay-per-check­out library e‑lending ser­vice that offers a pos­si­ble solu­tion to the pro­tract­ed library/publisher e‑book lend­ing stand­off. CPLE may have been the sleep­er killer-appli­ca­tion of the show (the ser­vice was a fea­tured part of Sunday’s PW pan­el on graph­ic nov­els in libraries). Look for more cov­er­age of CPLE as well as full cov­er­age of the rest of Com­ic-Con 2013 begin­ning tomorrow.

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