Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Almost three weeks ago, DC Comics expanded its digital distribution of periodicals beyond comiXology (and its own branded app, which is run by comiXology) to a number of other platforms, including iBooks, Kindle, and Nook, and in the process, the notion of a coordinated release time got scrambled.
To recap: When it was just on comiXology, DC delayed release of new digital comics until 2 p.m. ET each Wednesday to give comics shops a chance to get them onto the racks before the digital editions came out. However, each of the new platforms has its own timing and queuing, and as a result, the comics go on sale at different times on each platform — in some cases, as early as 12:01 a.m.
Is this really a big deal? It must be to someone, because DC sent a memo to comics retailers last week, stating that from now on, comics would go live on comiXology at 3 a.m. each Wednesday:
Awards | Following the nomination of two graphic novels for the Costa Prize, the new chairman of the Man Booker Prize said he would welcome submissions of graphic novels as well. [The Telegraph]
Passings | Former Wizard staff member Marc Wilkofsky, whose efforts on behalf of Friends of Lulu earned him their Volunteer of the Year award in 2005, has died at the age of 42. He was also an enthusiastic member of the NYC Comic Jams. [Andrew Kardon, The Beat]
Conventions | Richard Bruton files a comprehensive con report on the recent Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, England. [Forbidden Planet]
Following up on Kevin’s post from last week on holiday-related sales, here area few more comic-related deals for Cyber Monday — plus a few that extend into the month of December:
• Fantagraphics will hold a 30 percent off sale on almost 100 items on their site Monday, where you can also get their exclusive minicomics.
• Dark Horse Digital is offering comics fans 50 percent off their entire order ($15 minimum) for 24 hours on Monday, if you use the code “dhdcyber” when you check out.
• The Devastator kicks off a round of holiday deals tomorrow on their site. “Subscriptions, single issues, art prints and other goodies will be bundled up for Christmastime Consumerism.” They’ll have deals tomorrow through Dec. 15.
• Writer Ron Marz once again has kicked off his annual “Comics for Tots” drive, where you can buy comics autographed by Ron and others, and he’ll use the money to buy toys for Toys for Tots.
• Any books purchased from the Cartoon Books store through Dec. 19 will be autographed by Jeff Smith. If you haven’t read RASL, you can pick up all four volumes of it for $50, plus they’ve got some cool Bone hoodies available.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are Gardner Linn and Dave Lentz, the creative team behind the webcomic Registered Weapon — “the internet’s only webcomic starring a robotic cash register who fights crime.” They just kicked off their latest story, Case 006, on Nov. 12, and you can also download the first ten pages from their site if you prefer to read in bigger chunks.
To see what Gardner, Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Rick Remender has the unenviable task of following Ed Brubaker on Captain America, a book that Brubaker took to new heights during his seven-year run on the character. Based on the review so far, though, it seems that Remender is not only up to the task, he’s taking Cap in a completely different direction, with a different tone and focus that most folks seem to be responding well to. Along with artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson, Remender has sent Cap off to Dimension Z, for some “high adventure/science fiction” fun.
“It’s a departure from the standard operating procedure of Captain America, definitely,” said Romita. “We are in a different ballgame here. This is as far away from what I expected for Cap as you can get and I’m really enjoying this.”
Here are a few reviews to let you know how different the ballgame is now, and how well the new team’s doing in their first inning:
Ryan K. Lindsay, Comic Book Resources: “Captain America #1 from Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. with Klaus Janson doesn’t so much walk away from Ed Brubaker’s defining run on the character over the past seven years as it does leap frog it. There was obviously no point in trying to ape Brubaker at his A game, so instead Remender swerves Cap back toward his pulpier roots. This issue begins a strange tale that sees the Sentinel of Liberty fight the Green Skull and get embroiled with Arnim Zola in Dimension Z.”
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Daniel Gibson, who shares shelves of action figures, trades, art and more.
If you’d like to see your collection here, drop me an email at email@example.com with a brief write-up and some jpgs.
And now let’s hear from Daniel …
If Bill Kartalopoulos doesn’t have one of the most impressive resumes in the comics world, he certainly has one of the lengthiest. He’s one of the co-organizers of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival and the programming co-ordinator for the Small Press Expo. He was a publishing associate for Toon Books, a contributing editor for Print magazine, he’s been an assistant to Art Spiegelman on various projects including the book MetaMaus, and has curated a number of comics exhibits in New York City. Oh, and he teaches college classes about comics in his spare time.
Now Kartalopoulos is adding the title of full-fledged publisher to the list. His new venture, Rebus Books was announced a few weeks ago and the company’s debut book, Barrel of Monkeys by Florent Ruppert and Jerome Mulot, made its debut at the recent BCGF.
Despite his incredibly busy schedule, Kartalopoulos was gracious enough to take time to talk over email about Monkeys, why he decided to take a chance on publishing it, and how publishing itself is a form of criticism. He’s an insightful, intensely smart guy, and I wish him the best of luck in this new venture.
OK, let’s start with the basics: How long have you been planning Rebus Books? What made you decide to want to become a publisher? And what made you finally decide to take the plunge?
I’ve been thinking of taking on some kind of publishing project on and off for a long time, but I’ve been planning Rebus Books in a more focused way over the past year. It’s hard to boil it down to a single motivation. In part, I think that because I’ve had the experience of working on other publishing projects, including the TOON Books and MetaMaus, I had a strong desire to turn my skills and experience towards a self-generated project that I was fully responsible for and that directly expressed my interests and point of view. I’m involved with comics in a lot of different ways, as a curator, critic, educator, festival organizer, and so forth, and this seemed like a very proactive way to extend that involvement in a way that enlarges the comics scene rather than simply reacts to it.
The Robot Roulette wheel doesn’t take a holiday, so welcome to another edition of our zany interview series. Every week Lady Luck determines what six questions a creator will have to answer from 36 possible questions.
Today we welcome author Chris Roberson, writer of iZombie, Memorial, Masks and many other comics you should be reading. He and his wife Allison also run MonkeyBrain Comics, digital publisher of Roberson’s excellent Edison Rex comic. If you buy it or any of the other MonkeyBrain Comics this month, they’ll donate the publisher’s profits to the Hero Initiative. So it’s a good time to try them out.
But before doing that, let’s see what questions we threw at Chris this week …
5. If you were given the opportunity to spend 48 hours with absolutely anyone, living or dead, who would you spend it with and what would you do?
It would have to be someone who was living, because spending any amount of time with a dead person is a serious drag. And if I’ve got 48 hours and money is no object, I’m going to Disney World, obviously. Where else?
(Oh, you meant a SPECIFIC person…)
Illustrator Christina Ung manages to fit in just about everyone on the planet going at it Gangnam Style, including The Caped Crusader. Batman is, of course, no stranger to faddish dance crazes (also by Christina – The Unreliable Superhero). More below, including work by Ron Wimberly, Ben Caldwell, Daniel Krall, Ashley Wood and many other talented human beings. Continue Reading »
Writer Gail Simone calls Ben Abernathy “one of the best editors/idea men in the business,” and over the past 15 years — through his time at Dark Horse, Marvel, WildStorm, DC Comics and now digital publisher Madefire — he’s pushed the boundaries of what can be done in the medium. He was part of Marvel’s move into trade paperbacks and graphic novels, and shepherded WildStorm’s hard sci-fi and superhero work. WildStorm gave way to DC Digital, where Abernathy helped to break the mold of how comics are read, and that continues at Madefire, which publishes serialized creator-owned comics online and via mobile devices.
In addition to discussing Abernathy’s work at Madefire, I asked the longtime editor about his time at WildStorm, where he took over for Scott Dunbier, and his thoughts on the imprint’s collapse in 2010.
In case you missed it during your holiday travels or dinner preparations, Chris Ware, whom co-host Touré introduced as “the greatest graphic novelist of all time,” appeared Wednesday on MSNBC’s The Cycle for a seven-minute-plus discussion of the genesis of Building Stories, the themes of his work, comics as “an art of memory,” his preference for the term “comic book” over “graphic novel,” and more.
“There’s a lack of pretentiousness to the word ‘comic book’ that I think suits the medium itself very, very nicely,” Ware said. “It’s a medium that allows for a direct connection between the reader and the artist in a way I think a lot of fine art does not. One is very apt to blame one’s ignorance of art in a museum. If you don’t understand a painting, you just think you don’t know much about the history of art, but if you don’t understand a comic book, you just think the comic artist is an idiot.
Watch the full segment below.
Why fight the crowds today when you can take advantage of Black Friday savings on print and digital comics from the comfort of your own home? Here’s a roundup of online sales kicking off this morning, with discounts on everything from The Walking Dead and The Incredible Hulk to Star Wars and Adventure Time. If you know of any other, please let us know in the comments.
• Dark Horse’s web store is promoting a “Star Wars Black Friday MegaBundle,” with digital editions of 153 Star Wars comics — they include such titles as The Clone Wars, The Old Republic, Crimson Empire, Dawn of the Jedi and Agent of the Empire, 3,772 pages in all — for $100. The sale ends Sunday.
In recent weeks we’ve seen a firestorm emerge after a few lone voices on the comics Internet talked about a mythical “fake geek girl” and how they believe them to be a bane to fandom. Pundits have come out on both sides of the fence, but it wasn’t until cartoonist Jemma Salume came forward that we saw the real dangers in her strip, “FFG.” Be warned, here it is:
If you cringe at the mere thought of venturing into crowded stores the day after Thanksgiving, Oni Press has a good — and money-saving — way for you to get a jump on holiday shopping for those comic readers on your list. The Portland, Oregon-based publisher is having a Black Friday Weekend Sale, offering some of its graphic novels for 50 percent or more off their cover price, and single issues for just 99 cents each.
Titles include Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley, The Big Book of Barry Ween: Boy Genius by Judd Winick, and Ojo by Sam Kieth, Alex Pardee and Chris Wisnia. The sale begins at midnight Friday and continues through 5 p.m. Monday.
On his always-raucous Formspring page, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort displays a heartening and invigorating amount of patience while responding to boatloads of questions, diatribes and thinly veiled insults. In between, there’s sometimes some interesting information shared, including this photograph of the whiteboard planning of the third act of Avengers vs. X-Men from a year before the series’ debut.
The post was in response to a question from a fan who felt that over the course of Avengers vs. X-Men there seemed to be a shifting toward a different ending than originally planned. Not so, said Brevoort, who showed the photograph as proof.
“The ending that we did was very much what had been planned at the outset,” he explained. “Some individual story details shifted as we went a little bit, but the main points were always the same. Here — attached is a photograph of the wipe board outline of Act Three that we hammered out at the very first AVX retreat, the one we did in Portland a year before AVX #1 came out — now that the series is concluded, I can show it to you. As you can see, while some details changed (Magneto’s role, for one), the broad strokes of what is there is what we ended up doing.”
In addition to clarifying that one fan’s assumption, it also gives us an alternate name for the Phoenix Five, in the “HeX-Men.” It also points to a slightly different ending where all of the mutants on Utopia are transformed into Phoenixes apparently, before failing and giving their powers to Cyclops. Also no mention of Professor X’s death, or even him at all.