Joe Casey, comic book veteran and one-quarter of the Man of Action animation-writing team, joins some impressive company in this month’s Playboy, an issue celebrating the 60th anniversary of the long-running men’s magazine. Casey’s one of several notable names, both living and dead, advertised on the magazine’s cover, along with Truman Capote, Ben Affleck, Erica Jong, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Patton Oswalt and David Mamet.
Casey’s contribution to the issue is a Playboy-exclusive comic about a 1950s romance comic character in the 2013 dating world; it’s written by Casey, illustrated by his Haunt collaborator Nathan Fox, colored by Brad Simpson and lettered by Rus Wooton. Casey was featured in Playboy earlier this year, discussing his thematically appropriate Image Comics series Sex in the magazine’s March issue.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the writer — last week saw the release of the first Sex collection plus the Gødland Finale, wrapping up the Casey-written series that started in 2005. The 60th-anniversary Playboy, headlined by supermodel Kate Moss, is on sale digitally now, with a print edition available Friday.
As noticed by CBR Senior Editor Stephen Gerding, the first cover to the freshly announced new Ms. Marvel series, illustrated by Sara Pichelli, appears to be an homage to Gary Frank’s cover to debut issue of another comic starring a teenage girl hero, 1996′s Supergirl #1 — from the angle to the blank background to the juxtaposition of casual wear with superhero iconography.
That volume of Supergirl lasted 80 issues, so it could be a good portent for the Ms. Marvel book, which features a Muslim teenager named Kamala Khan stepping into the title role, in a series written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona.
Thursday’s installment of CBR’s long-running (and infamously blunt) review column “The Buy Pile” attracted more controversy than usual when writer Hannibal Tabu described the retailer at his local comic book store — Comics Ink in Culver City, just outside LA city limits — tearing up a copy of Image’s Pretty Deadly #1 in front of customers. Tabu made it know that he also had a negative take on the issue, calling it “remarkable in its rough hewn, unfinished looking art, drifting narrative and tedium.”
The incident as reported quickly took a life of its own, with sites like Bleeding Cool and Multiversity Comics weighing in on the situation, and industry professionals discussing and debating the topic; including Secret Avengers and Zero writer Ales Kot asking if the destruction was prompted by “anger about the product, or also by misogyny” given that three of the four main creative forces on the book — writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, penciler and inker Emma Rios and colorist Jordie Bellaire — are female (letter Claytown Cowles is male).
DeConnick remained silent on the issue until Friday, in a Tumblr post titled, “The Only Statement I Will Make On The Matter.” In it, the writer says she first found humor in getting a negative review in The Buy Pile, viewing it as something of a rite of passage: “I literally laughed out loud. Hey! I got jumped in!”
Dan DiDio informed his Facebook followers Thursday that he was set to appear on today’s episode of tje daytime talk show The View, and the DC Entertainment co-publisher did appear — not as an in-studio guest, but as one of several industry dignitaries who interacted with co-host Whoopi Goldberg at New York Comic Con.
Goldberg explained at the beginning of the segment that she attended the convention seeking advice on how to get her comic book idea published. In addition to DiDio, Goldberg — already a part of geek culture due to her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation — sought the counsel of Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Clare Grant, Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon, True Blood‘s Kristin Bauer van Straten and more, in a comedic montage segment.
“The greatest thing I discovered is it’s really family oriented,” Goldberg said of the event. “People come dressed with their families. … They’re happy to be there.” Watch the segment below.
The unexpected connection between comic books and The View is set to continue Friday morning, with DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio booked to appear on the daytime talk show. The guest spot stems from The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s attendance at last weekend’s New York Comic Con, where the EGOT winner reportedly shopped around a graphic novel idea.
“Tomorrow on The View, I get to appear with Whoopi Goldberg and listen to her comic series pitch,” DiDio wrote Thursday on his Facebook page. “I only hope she brought samples of her work!”
According to the World Entertainment News Network, Goldberg was at NYCC participating in the the time-honored tradition of trying to break into the comic book business. “I was pitching a comic book that I’m hoping to do… I’ve been a comic book kid all of my life,” the actress/host/comedian is quoted as saying. “One of those things you don’t see is … comic book heroes, female, with any hips, you don’t see them over 12 years old, maybe something sagging a little, nothing is ever moving. So I’m working on something that will alleviate that … It will be me (as a superhero) … I do look like a comic book hero and I love that.”
DiDio showed a sense of humor about his convention encounter with Goldberg, saying in the comments section of his Facebook post, “Whoopi was sweet, humble and gracious, you never would have known she was a comic fan.”
Last year, The View announced Marvel’s same-sex marriage between Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle in the pages of Astonishing X-Men; The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman appeared on the show in 2011. Whether the View panel will ask DiDio any Wally West questions remains to be seen.
With only five days to go before the Breaking Bad series finale, there’s a lot of spillover between the beloved, critically acclaimed series and the comic book world — including a Vulture essayby Lost co-creator and Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof that makes the seemingly unlikely comparison between DC Comics icon Batman and morally-questionable-at-best Breaking Bad lead character Walter White, as played by Bryan Cranston in multiple Emmy-winning seasons.
The thrust of Lindelof’s argument is simple: Much like the way in which Batman is frequently considered the character’s true persona and billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is the facade, Walt’s meth kingpin alias, Heisenberg, is who he always truly was. To illustrate his thesis, Lindelof points to the period of the show where (Breaking Bad spoiler follows) Walt’s cancer was in remission as evidence.
This is the equivalent of Bruce Wayne’s parents suddenly reappearing to him and saying, “We had to fake our deaths when you were a kid and we’ve been in witness protection all this time, and we’re so sorry, but the guy who shot us was actually an FBI agent helping us and he wasn’t even a criminal and we love you, so can we have our pearls back and NOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BATMAN ANYMORE!!!”
But would Bruce stop being Batman?
No. He would not. Because he is Batman.
This isn’t the first time the worlds of Breaking Bad and Batman have collided — artist Jeff Matsuda drew a well-circulated sketch of Walt as Batman and Jesse as Robin in 2011, and last month Cranston was the subject of unconfirmed reports that he might be playing Lex Luthor in 2015′s live-action Batman/Superman film.
Just a few months after unleashing a talking goat cover to Quantum and Woody #1, Valiant has revealed another unconventional, QR-activated variant: the “8-Bit Evolution Variant” to November’s Unity #1.
Valiant calls it the “first fully animated 8-bit cover,” although it’s really a two-and-a-half-minute animated short that can be viewed on a mobile device via a code found on the cover — or watched right now. The clip gives background on the book’s main characters — X-O Manowar, Toyo Harada, Eternal Warrior, Ninjak and Livewire — in the distinctly whimsical 8-bit style, which Valiant has used before on a series of covers. The video was produced in partnership with YouTube channel CineFix, as part of its “8-Bit Cinema” series.
Unity #1, written by Matt Kindt and illustrated by Doug Braithwaite, is scheduled for release on Nov. 13.
The work of Los Angeles-based artist Brandon Bird can be loosely summarized as “one thing from pop culture intersecting with another, completely unrelated, thing from pop culture.” Thus a painting depicting a doleful Sam Waterston playing with Transformers, or a drawing of a Care Bear with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans director Werner Herzog as its tummy symbol.
Yes, pop-culture mash-ups may not exactly be novel at this point — they’re everywhere from Tumblr and to unlicensed T-shirts — but it takes a special kind of thinker to insert Steven Seagal onto the cover of X-Men #4. And that’s showcased in Brandon Bird’s Astonishing World of Art, a celebration of the artist’s sensibilities in the guise of an old-school coloring book (keeping with the motif, it’s mostly black and white). Out now from Chronicle Books, there are stickers, postcards, full-color reproductions of Bird’s paintings and a couple of ridiculously complex paint-by-number pages. Bird’s knack for likenesses help sell the jokes — a painting of Christopher Walken building Optimus Prime works much better when it’s rendered as realistically as possible.
As Bird fans have come to expect, there’s also a lot of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit material, including valentines featuring Ice-T and the gang. The Dick Wolf franchise has long been a source of inspiration for the artist, who curated a Law & Order-inspired exhibition back in 2010.
Dimayuga worked with Tim Seeley on Colt Noble and Hack/Slash #23, and illustrated a story in Action DoubleFeature #3, published digitally by Four Star Studios, co-run by Seeley. On Facebook, Seeley paid tribute to Dimayuga, whose work he first encountered through DeviantArt.
“I met up with Mike at San Diego Comic-Con for the release of Colt Noble at the Image Comics booth, and was really surprised to find he was suffering from MS,” Seeley wrote. “It had clearly not slowed him down at all artistically, and hadn’t put any kind of damper on his attitude. Via the Con Mike became friendly with all my collaborators, Steve Seeley, Mike Moreci, Mike Norton … everyone liked the dude immediately.”
James Asmus, who penned the Action DoubleFeature story illustrated by Dimayuga, wrote on Twitter, “Comics lost one of the kindest, most dedicated pros I’ve ever known. Mike Dimayuga’s passing is a genuine loss.”
In 2009, Hero House writer Justin Aclin described Dimayuga’s contributions to the project, saying, “Mike’s enthusiasm and tireless dedication to the book have truly kept it going in its darkest days. It’s no exaggeration to say Hero House wouldn’t exist without Mike, and there’s no way it would look half as good as it does without him.”
The classic Batman TV series has gotten a push from Warner Bros. lately — headlined by the Batman ’66 digital-first comic book from DC Comics, and including various toys and merchandise. But this latest tribute comes from an independent source: Dustin McLean of DustFilms, who produced a faithful shot-for-shot remake of the show’s opening sequence with homemade costumes and supplies (and soundtrack) rather than special effects.
It’s part of McLean’s “Homemade Movies” series, whose past entries included the Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness trailers. Homemade Movies in the midst of “Batman month,” and as part of the festivities also recreated the famous “I’m Batman” scene from Tim Burton’s 1989 film. For more insight into how McLean and friends make the recreation magic happen, there’s a behind-the-scenes video.
In the grand Internet tradition of combining one thing you like with another thing you like, the blog This Charming Charlie matches panels from Charles Schulz’s legendary comic strip Peanuts with the lyrics of ’80s alternative rock pioneers The Smiths. The results range from funny to poignant — fitting, given both of the source materials.