"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
I apologize for the lack of a roundup yesterday, and the lateness of today’s installment, but I’ve been without a properly functioning Internet connection.
Publishing | Plans by Dynamite Entertainment to revive Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s 1950s superhero Fighting American appear to have unraveled after Simon announced he rejected the publisher’s proposal. He claims he only learned that Dynamite had moved forward with the project after reading a Comic Book Resources report from Comic-Con.
An attorney for the Kirby Estate disagrees with Simon’s version of events, saying the creator had been informed of, and had approved, negotiations from the “very beginning.” However, out of respect for Simon’s wishes, the Kirby Estate will no longer participate in the Fighting American revival. [Simon and Kirby blog, Newsarama]
Publishing | Although Marvel Entertainment’s second-quarter profits dipped slightly, primarily because of lower licensing revenue, it still beat its estimates for the three months ending June 30. The company earned $116.3 million, or 37 cents per share, for the quarter. Sales in the publishing division were flat at $31.7 million. On a related note: The Globe and Mail looks at how Marvel and Hasbro are ratcheting up the number of toy tie-ins for the Iron Man movie sequel. [Yahoo! Finance, ICv2.com]
Publishing | Drawn & Quarterly has extended its deal with cartoonist and author Lynda Barry to include two new works: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book: Picture This, and a prose novel called Birdis. [The Comics Reporter]
Publishing | Jennifer de Guzman, editor-in-chief of SLG Publishing, offers a grim take on the state of the comics industry: “Five years ago, much of the talk in the industry was about ‘Team Comics’ and full of phrases like ‘a rising tide raises all boats.’ Now a sense of grim survivalism seems to pervade those who are not in the flush of Hollywood attention (or part of larger, more stable publishing companies).” [PW Comics Week]
Publishing | Cartoonist Dash Shaw considers the future of illegal scans on the Internet. In short: “Obviously, I prefer reading these comics in their original, intended, print versions. But, again, it’s right there. Free. And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.” [Comics Comics]
Publishing | It’s like the ’90s, only more expensive: Johanna Draper Carlson counts 22 variant covers shipping this week from Marvel. [Comics Worth Reading]
SDCC ’09 | Heidi MacDonald at last files her lengthy Comic-Con report, focusing largely on Elite Security and crowd control, the age-old question of “Is there any room for comics?” and what the future may hold. Tom Spurgeon zeroes in on what he considers the “core problem”: Publishers no longer know what to do with the convention.
Mark Evanier points out that there’s plenty of comics content at Comic-Con; it just doesn’t get as much press as everything else. “It’s there and if you decided to only attend programming that was wholly about funnybooks,” Evanier writes, “you could do that and easily fill four days.” Meanwhile, Don MacPherson checks in with the San Diego Police Department and discovers that, while large, the Comic-Con crowd is pretty well-behaved: There have been just two convention-related arrests in the past two years. [Comic-Con International]
Awards | Neil Gaiman and Shaun Tan have been nominated for the 2009 World Fantasy Awards: Gaiman for novel (The Graveyard Book) and novella (“Odd and the Frost Giants”), and Tan for artist. The winners will be announced Nov. 1 during the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose, Calif. [World Fantasy]
Retailing | Rich Duprey wonders whether Borders’ new emphasis on graphic novels, fantasy and young-adult titles will pay off for the troubled book chain: “Like Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae, Borders is making a last-ditch stand, this time to stop the customer hordes from abandoning its bookshelves altogether.” [The Motley Fool]
Creators | Neal Adams and his Continuity Studios have signed with ICM which, Borys Kit writes, “will work to take Adams’ creations across all forms of media as well as help him make the transition to feature film writing and directing.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Creators | Veteran writer Larry Hama talks about consulting on the G.I. Joe movie, and working on the toy line’s comic tie-in at Marvel in the early ’80s: “Doing a toy book at a big company like Marvel is like the ghetto. None of the A-list people wanted to soil their hands doing it. I was literally the last person they asked. I was having trouble getting writing work because I started out drawing. So if they were offering me Barbie, I would have done it. Once I got the gig I gave it my best shot, probably because I wasn’t the A-list guy shrugging it off. I ended up writing the entire run at Marvel.” [Hero Complex]
Creators | Cartoonist Art Baltazar discusses his career and his work on DC Comics’ all-ages title Tiny Titans. [Daily Herald]
Creators | Writer Kieron Gillen chats at length about Phonogram, his Marvel work and more. [Mindless Ones]
Creators | Cartoonist Chris Watkins offers tips on “How to Draw a Daily Comic, or Die Trying.” [ComixTalk]
Comics | Jehanzeb Dar assesses the character, and characterization, of Dust, the female Muslim mutant who’s floated around Marvel’s X-titles since 2002: “While some may argue that Dust has a lot of potential as a Muslim super-heroine in mainstream comic books, there is a lot of room for improvement. She represents the overly cliché Orientalist stereotype that perpetuates the notion that most Muslim women in the world veil or are obligated to veil by their ‘oppressive’ culture, religion, and/or men. Dust is also the product of a post 9/11 storyline that was loaded with Islamophobia and Muslim men playing the typical role of ‘Muslim terrorists.’ To counter these stereotypes, it may interest comic book writers and artists to not only educate themselves about Islam, but also immerse themselves in the Muslim community.” [Altmuslimah, via Kleefeld on Comics]
Comics | Teresa Nielsen Hayden prepares to re-read Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman from the beginning. [Tor.com]
Fandom | Retailer Steve Bennett takes issue with recent comments made by Grant Morrison about geeks: “… For over the last twenty years they’ve kept you continuously employed. Under those circumstances gratitude, appreciation or silence would seem to be the appropriate response, not stooping to play the Hitler Card to smear comic book fans.” [ICv2.com]