Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.
So find out what we thought about Waluk, Superior Spider-Man and more.
Citing frustrations with editorial changes, writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announced they are leaving Batwoman.
“Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series,” Williams and Blackman wrote in a statement posted last night on each of their websites. “We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.”
Williams clarified on Twitter that the editorial stance on the wedding “was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage,” and a DC Comics spokesperson later added, “As acknowledged by the creators involved, the editorial differences with the writers of ‘Batwoman’ had nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character.”
DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio appeared at Saturday’s DC Panel at the Baltimore Comic-Con to discuss the controversy, noting that the characters in the Bat Family “shouldn’t have happy personal lives.”
“That’s something we reinforce. If you look at every one of the characters in the Batman family, their personal lives kind of suck,” DiDio said. He also announced that former Manhunter writer Marc Andreyko will take over writing the series.
At the Harveys, Saga was named best continuing series, best new series and best single issue for its first issue. Vaughan was named best writer, as Staples took home two awards, for best artist and best colorist. Other winners at the Harvey Awards included Adventure Time, Avengers Arena writer Dennis Hopeless and Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score.
U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez dismissed Stan Lee Media’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Disney, potentially ending the company’s legal battle to claim ownership of the Marvel characters co-created by Stan Lee.
“Plaintiff has tried time and again to claim ownership of those copyrights; the litigation history arising out of the 1998 Agreement stretches over more than a decade and at least six courts,” Martinez wrote in his 11-page order. “Taking its cue from the Southern District of New York and the Central District of California, this Court holds that Plaintiff is precluded from re-litigating the issue of its ownership of copyrights based on the 1998 Agreement …” Martinez said it would be “futile” to permit Stan Lee Media to amend the lawsuit.
Comics writer Mark Waid, who sold his print comics collection to fund his digital-comics site Thrillbent, is now co-owner of the comic book shop Alter Ego Comics in Muncie, Indiana. He and his partner Christy Blanch have each bought shares in Alter Ego Comics from original owner Jason Pierce.
Waid spoke to CBR about his new occupation as co-owner of a comic shop. “It started small. ‘What if I just put in a little bit of money to cover your rent, and buy a little bit of your store, and then maybe it’ll help push you to the next level?’ Idea spun out of idea spun out of idea, and the next thing I know, I’m a big owner of this store,” he said. “I’m a third owner of the store along with Christy Blanch and Jason. And couldn’t be happier. We found a new location in Muncie. We’re open now, but we’re having the grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 21 — we’ve got Art Baltazar coming down and Mike Norton from the Chicago area, and we’ve got the 1966 Batmobile, we’ve got Stormtroopers coming, we’ve got the street roped off — we’ve got a big celebration coming. And all of this from a guy who, by all accounts, hates brick and mortar stores.”
The trio also struck a business partnership with Art Baltazar and Franco, fellow comic creators and owners of Aw Yeah Comics in Skokie, Illinois.
“We’ll still maintain our individual identities — one store isn’t being absorbed by the other — but we can pool our resources in unique ways,” Waid wrote on his Thrillbent blog. “We can design an Aw Yeah Comics!-branded, kid-friendly ’boutique’ into Alter Ego that mirrors the Skokie setup. Conversely, we can build more Thrillbent promotion and outreach into the Aw Yeah Comics! storefront. We can meld print and digital in double the locations and strengthen both the stores and Thrillbent.”