Marvel recently debuted Paolo Rivera and Mike Deodato Jr.’s covers for the long-promised return of Miracleman, and while no one was looking, Jim Cheung unveiled a glimpse of his own take on the character. “Thrilled to be working on this!” the artist wrote on his blog.
The publisher, which announced in 2009 that it had acquired the rights to the British hero, will begin reprinting Marvelman stories in January. New material by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham likely won’t appear until 2016.
“I know that it seems like a long way away, but the material is finally going to see the light of day and will remain in print, and I think for that, we can all be grateful,” Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told CBR earlier this month. “To me, it’s a travesty that there are readers who have not only not been exposed to the original stories, but don’t even had a way to easily access them.”
Prolific artist Al Plastino, who in recent weeks lobbied for the return of his original art for the 1964 story “Superman’s Mission for President Kennedy,” has passed away after a battle with prostate cancer, Mark Evanier reports. He was 91.
Born Dec. 15, 1921 in New York City, Plastino began illustrating for Youth Today magazine after he graduated from the High School of Industrial Arts. His first comics credit was on Dynamic Publications’ Dynamic Comics #2, cover-dated December 1941.
After serving in the Army during World War II, Plastino returned to freelance work and learned in 1948 that DC Comics was searching for a new Superman artist; according to his website, the publisher paid $55 a page at the time. For the next two decades, Plastino drew Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Superboy, Superman, Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and with writer Otto Binder created the Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl.
It doesn’t matter whether you have thousands of Batman comics and collectibles, or transform your basement into the Batcave, you’re not truly a fan until you own a licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile from the 1966 television series. And it’ll only set you back $200,000.
Offered by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Authentic 1966 Batmobile comes standard “comes standard with a 430-horsepower, 383 Blueprint Crate engine and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission,” which probably means something to someone. While it isn’t equipped with atomic batteries, it does have a blinking Batphone and “a rotating red beacon.” There are also rear parachute packs, which are, alas, empty.
There’s no mention of how many miles per gallon it gets, but that’s probably not a chief concern if you have $200,000 lying around to buy a Batmobile.
Not content to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday, DC Comics and Drawn & Quarterly have gotten a head start on holiday sales.
Beginning Tuesday, DC Comics Digital will give away the first issue of a different digital-first comic each day for the next week: Tuesday is Legends of the Dark Knight, Wednesday is Batman ’66, Thursday is The Vampire Diaries, Friday is Smallville Season 11, Saturday is Batman Beyond 2.0/Justice League Beyond 2.0, Sunday is Batman: Li’l Gotham, and Monday is Adventures of Superman.
Drawn & Quarterly isn’t waiting, however: Between today and Dec. 2, the publisher is offering a 40 percent discount on any item — books, comics, posters, etc. — from its web store. Those include works released this year, including Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, Rutu Modan’s The Poperty, Brian Ralph’s Reggie-12 and Anders Nilsen’s Rage of Poseidon.
“Now, see, I haven’t read any superhero comics since I finished with Watchmen. I hate superheroes. I think they’re abominations. They don’t mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it’s nothing to do with them. It’s an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s.”
– Alan Moore, addressing modern superhero comics in an interview with The Guardian about Fashion Beast, his collaboration with Malcolm McLaren. Moore also touches upon the influence of his work on other writers, and gets in a jab another in the process: “Grant Morrison has actually self-confessedly made a tactic of not only basing some of his narratives on my style or my work but also trying to make himself more famous by slagging me off at every opportunity. I have nothing to do with him.”
After rescuing San Francisco from the grip up of the Riddler and the Penguin, Batkid traveled this morning to New York City — “the real Gotham,” as Mayor Michael Bloomberg said — to take on the Joker and save rapper/producer Pitbull in a takedown arranged by Good Morning America.
Although the GMA hosts behaved as if they’re never interacted with children before, the segment was nice for the spotlight it shined on Miles Scott — the 5-year-old who has battled leukemia for three years — and the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Also, the morning show’s set was transformed into a pretty good facsimile of the Batcave from the ’60s Batman TV series, with the Batmobile parked outside.
“He’s in remission so this has kind of been like the after-party for him, a way to kick it off,” Miles’ father Nick said. “Chemo is all he’s ever known. That’s the life that he’s known but this is kind of a way to celebrate the ending.”
Watch the video below.
The York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record reports had been conservatively estimated to fetch $50,000 and $75,000, but the historical significance of the issue (cover-dated February 1964), and the timing of the auction — no coincidence, mind you — helped to drive up the price.
The cover shows the Superman greeting a line of well-wishers, including Lois Lane, Supergirl, Batman and Robin, and, somehow, Clark Kent. In the story, “The Superman Super-Spectacular,” written by Edmund Hamilton and penciled by Swan, Superman must figure out who can portray Clark on a television show honoring the Man of Steel so he can protect his secret identity. He ends up turning to President Kennedy, who dons a mask and make-up to shake Superman’s hand on air.
The issue was already so far into production when Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, that it couldn’t be stopped, and Action Comics #309 was released just days later.
The anonymous seller purchased the original art in the 1970s for $75.
The winners of the second annual British Comic Awards were announced Saturday during the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, England. They are:
Best Book: The Nao of Brown, by Glyn Dillon (Self Made Hero)
Best Comic: Winter’s Knight: Day One, by Robert M Ball (self-published through Great Beast)
Emerging Talent: Will Morris for The Silver Darlings (Blank Slate Books)
Young People’s Comic Award: The Complete Rainbow Orchid, by Garen Ewing (Egmont Books)
Hall of Fame: Leo Baxendale
The full list of nominees can be found here.
To help promote the fourth season of The Walking Dead, Fox Germany opted for an approach that’s a bit tongue-in-cheek — or, rather, finger in cheek.
Electronic billboards in select Berlin subway stations advertise what appears to be a makeup remover called “Good Night Cleansing Program,” and show a model demonstrating the product. But as pedestrians walk by, the image changes to reveal a zombie (below), accompanied by information about when and where to watch the hit comic-book adaptation.
The ad was created by German agency Saint Elmo’s, which was inspired by the realization that horror genre is as popular with women as it is with men.
As Creative Managing Director Dennis Pfisterer explained in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter, “We drastically countered the outdated cliche that all horror fans are male by using a cliched image in the style of a beauty product ad, so that we could appeal above all to female horror fans, alongside male fans, with this concept of a ‘makeup removal program for good TV nights.’”
The campaign, which debuted earlier this month, ends Monday, but Fox Germany indicates it could expand beyond Berlin to other major cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“The man is demented in more interesting ways than I think Batman ever was. [His] cape is actually a crescent moon and he goes out only at night and dresses in reflective white so you can see him coming. Now that’s nuts … I like that.”
Publisher Shueisha Inc. took out full-page ads in The New York Times and The China Times to celebrate One Piece‘s position as the bestselling manga of all time, with more than 300 million copies in print in Japan, and 345 million worldwide.
According to The Japan Times, the company launched a similar campaign across that country on Nov. 1, when the 72nd volume of the pirate adventure was released.
Illustrated by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, the ads proclaim, “Hey, World, This Is The Manga!” U.S. readers are directed to Viz.com, the website Viz Media, for “free previews and more.” (The San Francisco-based company is jointly owned by Shueisha, Shogakukan and the latter’s licensing division ShoPro Japan.)
Viz is marking the milestone with a free digital retrospective that features an interview with Oda, a gallery of the manga’s first 69 covers, color artwork, and a new One Piece chapter from Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump.
“One Piece has achieved something very significant, and the sales milestone speaks to the strong international appeal of the enduring characters and gripping story that Eiichiro Oda created that are universally loved in multiple countries by millions of fans of all ages,” Andy Nakatani, editor-in-chief Weekly Shonen Jump, said in a statement. “The continuing spread of digital technology will bring these action packed high-seas adventures to even more readers.”
A week after San Francisco was transformed into Gotham City for a day so a 5-year-old leukemia patient could live his dream of being Batman — capturing the Joker and the Penguin in the process- people are still talking about the heartwarming story of Miles Scott, aka Batkid.
To help commemorate the celebration, which drew crowds of at least 14,500 and media attention from around the world, a group of artists, designers and writers from San Francisco teamed up to create a Batkid online comic, of sorts. As AgencySpy reports, they pulled photos of the event from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, and transformed them in a comic-book narrative, complete with word balloons and old-school sound effects.
Although the attorney representing the heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had vowed they were “prepared to go the distance” in their legal battle with DC Comics, they appear to have reached the end of the road. Of course, that’s been said a few times before.
As Deadline reports, in a 2-1 vote the Ninth Circuit on Thursday tied up the loose ends in what it describes as “the long-running saga regarding the ownership of copyrights in Superman — a story almost as old as the Man of Steel himself,” reaffirming an October 2012 ruling that the Shuster estate is prevented from reclaiming the artist’s stake in the character by a 20-year-old agreement with DC.
“We are obviously very pleased with the court’s decision,” DC’s parent company Warner Bros. said in a statement.
That lower-court decision, which was appealed in May, dealt with a 1992 deal in which the Shuster estate relinquished all claims to Superman in exchange for “more than $600,000 and other benefits,” which included paying Shuster’s debts following his death earlier that year and providing his sister Jean Peavy and brother Frank Shuster with a $25,000 annual pension. In October, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright found that the agreement invalidated a copyright-termination notice filed in 2003 by Shuster’s nephew Mark Peary.
Transforming San Francisco into Gotham on Nov. 15 to help fulfill a 5-year-old leukemia patient’s wish to be Batman cost the city $105,000 — but none of that will come from the pockets of taxpayers.
The celebration, which saw Miles “Batkid” Scott accompany Batman as they apprehended the Penguin and the Riddler, drew crowds estimated at 14,500 — far more than the few hundred anticipated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation — and garnered international media attention. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the bill will be paid from the fees charged to conventions that use the Moscone Center. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is also reportedly seeking private donations to help reimburse the city.
Most of the money was eaten up by the last-minute rental of a sound systems, video screens and other equipment when the crowd gathered at City Hall to watch Mayor Ed Lee present Miles with a chocolate key to the city proved too large.
“What started out as a few hundred people at most on the steps of City Hall … grew into what would obviously attract a 20,000-plus crowd,” Christine Falvey, the mayor’s communications director, told The Associated Press. “They weren’t going to see anything the way we originally had it set up.”
We’ve become accustomed to reading about rare comic books — even those found in the walls of old houses — fetching high prices at auction, but it may come as a surprise to learn that collectors are laying down big bucks for certain Magic: The Gathering cards, too. (Or maybe it’s not so surprising; I admit my knowledge of the game is limited to glimpses of people playing it in the back of comic shops.)
WhatSellsBest reports that a 1993 “Alpha Black Lotus” card sold this week on eBay for $27,302, apparently not because it adds 3 mana of any single color of the player’s choice to his or her mana pool, but rather because it’s so rare: just 1,100 were released. In addition, the 20-year-old card is in mint condition, receiving a grade of 9.5 from Beckett.
Widely considered the Holy Grail for Magic collectors, a 9.5-graded “Alpha Black Lotus” previously sold for $25,000, according to the video below from Graded Magic Cards.