Albert Ching, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson on Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology

darkhorsedigitalDark Horse Comics is the highest-profile publisher whose digital releases are not available on comiXology, opting instead to use their own platform, Dark Horse Digital. Following Thursday’s news that Amazon has reached an agreement to purchase comiXology for an undisclosed amount, ROBOT 6 reached out to Dark Horse president and founder Mike Richardson for his thoughts on the matter:

“Companies outside our industry have been paying increasing attention to comics in recent years. New technology has offered a variety of new opportunities in both content creation and content delivery. It is not surprising that Amazon and Comixology would come together considering this environment. The comics industry, despite periods of lull, has always been an evolving and changing business, and this move is consistent with that history.”


Batkid throws out first pitch at Giants home opener

Already off to a 5-2 start, the San Francisco Giants received an extra boost at their home opener Tuesday afternoon: SF’s own Batkid threw out the first pitch.


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Quote of the Day | Yanick Paquette on colorists

swampthing0“For me, above anything else, the quality of my work is imperative. The level of sacrifice required to do this job can only be justified by being proud of its final result. Yet, all my effort as the artist would be insignificant without the care and talent of my most pivotal collaborator; the colorist. By resisting to align its royalties and recognition policy on Marvel, it has become excessively difficult to secure the best colorists for DC projects. In this digital day and age, where often the entire comic visual is a two person operation, it seem aberrant that one of the two won’t receive the royalties or exposure respect they fully deserve. It’s about time we revisit that royalty pie split. And if we find the courage to slaps some annoying last minute advertisement banner on the cover, certainly adding the colorist name there shouldn’t be that challenging.”

Yanick Paquette, former Swamp Thing artist currently working on Wonder Woman: Earth One, sharing on Facebook part of his response to DC Comics’ recent talent survey.

Stan Lee tells ‘Playboy’ he doesn’t know ‘who the hell Ultron is,’ among other revelations

stanleeplayboyThe latest issue of Playboy (warning: the article in that link is safe for work, but the accompanying website ads most certainly are not) contains an in-depth interview with Stan Lee, the legendary 91-year-old co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men the Avengers and many more classic Marvel characters.

As the Playboy name suggests, the Q&A is revealing. Lee addresses a number of issues, including the notion that he gets too much credit for his role in creating Marvel’s icons, at the expense of artists — namely Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Lee downplays any controversy, saying, “I always tried to show them in the most favorable light, even in the credits,” and “I don’t see where they were unfairly treated.”

Unsurprisingly, much of the talk involves the recent film adaptations of his characters, with Lee stating he was at first surprised by Robert Downey Jr. being picked to play Iron Man, but now think it’s “the greatest bit of casting ever.” Yet Lee’s excitement for 2015′s hotly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron seems a bit more measured. “I don’t have any idea who the hell Ultron is,” Lee said. “He was a character developed after I stopped being involved in the Avengers story.” (Ultron, created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, first appeared in 1968′s “Avengers” #54; Lee stopped writing that title with 1966′s #35).

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Mark Doyle takes over as Batman group editor

Photo by Fiona Watson for Comics Anonymous.

Photo by Fiona Watson for Comics Anonymous.

The void left by Mike Marts moving from DC Comics back to Marvel has been filled, with long-running Vertigo editor Mark Doyle announcing Tuesday on Twitter that he’s taking over as Batman group editor. He’ll still be working on Vertigo titles as well, specifically mentioning American Vampire and The Wake — two titles written by Batman scribe Scott Snyder.

Snyder quickly expressed his enthusiasm for the move, writing on Twitter that “‘Thrilled’ doesn’t do justice to how thrilled I really am in welcoming [Doyle] to Gotham as Batman group editor. Mark is not only responsible for bringing me to DC via American Vampire (of which he’s the editor), but he’s edited the Wake, and some of my favorite books of past few years, from Sweet Tooth and Trillium on.”

Crediting Marts for bringing “Gotham to new heights,” Snyder said he was already showing Doyle his Batman and Superman work, and “there’s no one I trust more when it comes to story.”

Beyond those mentioned by Snyder, Doyle’s editing credits during his years at Vertigo also include American Splendor, Scalped and DMZ.

Fan film transforms ‘Batman ’66′ into Nolan’s Dark Knight

batmanevolution

How do you get from the cheerful Batman of the 1960s to Christopher Nolan’s brooding Dark Knight? Based on new fan film Batman Evolution, it involves Black Mask, some gunky chemicals and dubstep.

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Michigan superheroes threatened by the villainy of in-fighting

Photo by John L. Russell.

Photo by John L. Russell

Turns out, real-life superheroes have the same problems as their fictional inspirations. First there was Phoenix Jones and his Spider-Man-esque contentious relationship with Seattle police, and now a group of costumed crimefighters in East Jordan, Michigan. are embroiled in their own Civil War.

The Detroit News has shared the story of Petoskey Batman (Mark Williams, pictured above with his girlfriend Brittany Scott in a Batgirl costume) and Bee Sting (Adam Besso), former friends and partners turned enemies, in a feud sparked over leadership of their superhero squad, the Michigan Protectors. At this point, it’s probably smart to reiterate that this was an article that appeared in a local newspaper, about actual people.

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Marvel extends international reach with Global Comics app

photoWhether you’re looking to read Amazing Spider-Man in Korean or Avengers in Hindi, it just got a whole lot easier to purchase translated versions of Marvel Comics: The publisher released the “Marvel Global Comics” app on Thursday, a partnership (described as a “multi-year agreement”) with iVerse offering digital versions of some of their most popular stories in 12 different languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Given the popularity of Marvel’s characters worldwide — last year’s Iron Man 3 made $806.4 million in foreign box office, The Avengers even more — it’s not surprising to see the company try to increase their international appeal on the publishing front.

“Marvel has incredible fans all around the world, and we’re excited to bring digital comics to their mobile devices in their native languages,” Marvel’s Kristin Vincent, vice president of digital products, said in a statement. “This partnership with iVerse allows us to introduce Marvel’s rich history of action-packed stories to new audiences worldwide who want to know more about the Avengers, Spider-Man, Wolverine and the rest of the vast Marvel Universe.”

The deal further raises iVerse’s profile in the digital comics arena; the digital distributor has previously partnered with publishers including Top Cow, Viz, Archie Comics and Lion Forge. “We are lifelong fans of Marvel — their characters and their content,” iVerse CEO Michael Murphey said in Marvel’s press release. “It’s truly an honor to be able to partner with them to bring this spectacular content to the world on as many platforms as possible.”

Among the initial series available on the app are major events like Civil War, House of MInfinity Gauntlet and Fear Itself; plus issues of ongoing series like New Avengers and Invincible Iron Man. The app is currently only available on Apple iOS devices, but Marvel’s says additional platforms are “tentatively scheduled” for later this year. The app is free and available now.

Museum of Flight to host ‘Carol Corps Celebration’ Pre-Emerald City Comicon

captainmarvelmuseumofflightIn 2012, Marvel gave Carol Danvers a promotion from “Ms. Marvel” to “Captain Marvel,” along with a new uniform and her own ongoing series. That move swiftly won over a very passionate, dedicated fanbase, and the “Carol Corps” are gathering to celebrate in Seattle on the eve of this year’s Emerald City Comicon. The venue is high-profile, and fitting given Danvers’ background as an Air Force pilot: The Museum of Flight, the world’s largest private air and space museum.

The event, dubbed “Carol Corps Celebration,” will include appearances from Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer of both the original Danvers-as-Captain Marvel solo series and the subsequent relaunch debuting in March), Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson and Christopher Sebela, who’s co-written several Captain Marvel issues with DeConnick. Tickets are $20, and will include “the opportunity to meet awesome featured guests, mingle with them and each other, socialize and enjoy the main exhibits in the Museum of Flight,” plus light snacks and beverages. (ECCC admission is not included.) All proceeds will be donated to the Girls Leadership Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit.

The Carol Corps Celebration happens 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 27; Emerald City Comicon takes place March 28-March 30 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Artists reinterpret ‘Goosebumps’ in ‘Monster Edition’ zine

goosebumpscrop

A new entry in the field of nostalgia-based art comes in the form of Monster Edition, a zine featuring more than 40 artists giving their take on books from beloved children’s horror series Goosebumps.

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Jaime Hernandez named keynote speaker for LA Zine Fest

thelovebunglersThis year’s installment of the annual LA Zine Fest has named its keynote speaker: alt-comics legend Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of Love and Rockets and a Southern California local.

Hernandez will be in conversation with Charles Hatfield, a CSU, Northridge professor and the author of Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby and Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. The festival — a growing show in its third year, dedicated to celebrating independent publishing — is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 16 at Helms Bakery in Culver City, with the list of exhibitors announced Tuesday.

Hernandez’s next release is The Love Bunglers, scheduled for April 2014 from Fantagraphics and starring his long-running Love and Rockets protagonist Maggie. The publisher officially describes the hardcover thusly: “In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie’s emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story), and eventually to love and contentment.”

Alex Ross illustrates new ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #1 variant cover

Bd9Bv1ZCcAAJ16y.jpg_largeYes, Amazing Spider-Man will return with a new #1 in April, as first leaked online a week ago and then confirmed by Marvel this past Sunday. One of comics’ most famous series making a semi-long-awaited comeback certainly seems like an opportune time for one of Alex Ross’s 12 75th anniversary variants scheduled for release from Marvel this year, and it looks like the publisher agrees. Ross’s Amazing Spider-Man #1 variant cover is also the cover of this month’s Previews, as revealed Monday on Twitter.

The first cover in Ross’s anniversary series is for Avengers #25, on sale next week. Ross also illustrated a variant for March’s Daredevil #1, another relaunched volume of a Marvel series birthed in the Silver Age.

While Ross’s Amazing Spider-Man cover pays tribute to the past, don’t expect the interior of the comic to be retro: “If we woke up in a world where J. Jonah Jameson was in the Bugle, and Peter Parker was taking pictures for a living, and Aunt May was in the hospital, I would shoot myself,” series writer Dan Slott told CBR in an interview on the new series. “It’s the ongoing story of Peter Parker, Spider-Man. His life moves forward.”

Update: A look at the cover sans text, courtesy of Marvel, below.

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Shia LaBeouf’s website ‘about’ page was also copied

From Shia LaBeouf's Campaign Book website

From Shia LaBeouf’s Campaign Book website

If the past few days of Shia LaBeouf-related news weren’t puzzling enough, here’s more: Following the revelation that his short film HowardCantour.com was nearly wholly lifted without credit or permission from Daniel Clowes’ comic Justin M. Damiano, the subsequent discovery that his multiple apologies were copied from sources ranging from Yahoo! Answers to Kanye West, it appears the text of the “About” page of LaBeouf’s Campaign Book website was directly ripped from the description of Dan Nadel’s soon-to-close PictureBox — something noted by Nadel himself on The Comics Journal.

The Campaign Book:

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Will plagiarism affect Shia LaBeouf’s planned BOOM! project? [Updated]

labeouf-campaign bookThe connection between actor Shia LaBeouf and the comics world predates Monday’s revelation that he appropriated — without credit, permission or the legal rights to do so — much of Daniel Clowes’ Justin M. Damiano for his short film HowardCantour.com. In 2012, he self-published a few comic books, which received mostly perplexed reviews.

It also appears that, at least at one point, LaBeouf planned to bring a release from his Campaign Book imprint to BOOM! Studios.

On Dec. 4, 2012, LaBeouf announced on his @thecampaignbook Twitter account that a book titled Hotah had picked up a “publishing partner,” BOOM! Studios. Accompanying the tweet was a piece of art (above) with the BOOM! Town logo — it’s the imprint that released Shannon Wheeler’s Eisner-winning collection I Thought You Would Be Funnier — with a version of the same image, logo intact, used as LaBeouf’s Twitter background.

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LaBeouf’s apology draws criticism as Clowes mulls legal options

Shia_LaBeouf_Cannes_2012Following the discovery that Shia LaBeouf’s 2012 short film HowardCantour.com is a nearly exact adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano — minus the credit or permission from the actor — the Transformers actor took to Twitter Monday night to offer an apology and respond to rapidly growing accusations of plagiarism.

In a series of tweets, LaBeouf wrote (slightly edited for format), “Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work.”

About an hour later, the actor wrote succinctly, “I fucked up.”

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