Johns & Frank Aim for 'Surprising and New' in Latest "Batman: Earth One" Volume
Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, when you can stock up on free comics, while Tuesday was National Superhero Day, when you could’ve … loaded up on free doughnuts. But today? It’s Batman Day. Apparently.
Sure, DC Comics long ago established Feb. 19 as Bruce Wayne’s birthday, and then just last year declared July 23 as “Batman Day” as part of the promotional celebration of the Caped Crusader’s 75th anniversary. However, this Batman Day is set aside to honor the anniversary of the character’s debut in Detective Comics #27, covered-dated May 1939.
Evangelist Franklin Graham, the son and successor of influential Christian minister Billy Graham, claims Marvel’s outing of Iceman is part of a larger effort to “indoctrinate” young people.
“Today the Marvel comic character Ice Man, from the X-Men series, is coming out as gay,” Graham wrote Wednesday on his Facebook page. “This is another attempt to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle. God’s Word says homosexuality is a sin, and we are to be on guard against all sin. God calls us to repent, turn from our sins, and put our trust in His Son Jesus Christ who died and rose again to pay the penalty for sin.”
The beer, which boasts a label drawn by Norton and the slogan “A Hoppy Brown Ale You’ll Drool Over,” will debut next week, just in time for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.
South Africa has a new defender in the recently launched comic series Kwezi.
Created by South African artist Loyiso Mkize, Kwezi uses the classic idea of a young hero coming of age while dealing with his own insecurities and braggadocios. Whereas DC Comics heroes operate in fictional cities such as Gotham and Metropolis, Kwezi is based in Gold City, a stand-in for Johannesburg, South Africa.
Writing for Time, Rebecca Collard examines how the iconic “long-fanged” skull logo of Marvel’s Punisher has been appropriated by Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militia fighting against ISIS.
The use of the skull is so widespread that Italian journalist Daniele Raineri last week tweeted photos of the emblem — on a vehicle, on a flak jacket, on pouches — from several locations across the country. The Punisher may be a distinctly American creation, but the Iraqis have made his symbol their own.
For most of its existence, peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent has been associated with mass piracy, a reputation the company of the same name (co-founded by Bram Cohen, inventor of the protocol) has fought against in recent years. To that end, BitTorrent started offering commercial bundles of music and TV shows in 2013, and today unveiled its first foray into comic books: “The Dynamite Mega Bundle,” featuring more than 200 digital comics released by Dynamite Entertainment.
The bundle has both a pay-what-you-want option, with more than 170 comics available for a minimum of $6, along with 30 comics free to download. Comics offered include “Kirby: Genesis,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Project Superpowers,” “Red Sonja,” “Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet” and the full run of Dynamite’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time.”
Artist Kate Willaert, who has created graphics comparing the heights of Marvel characters and chronicling the evolution of Wolverine, now turns her attention to Daredevil, just in time for his Netflix debut.
Noting that the Man Without Fear “hasn’t had as many costume changes as other heroes,” Willaert nevertheless traces Matt Murdock’s sartorial journey (for Shirts.com), from his original yellow-and-red threads to his classic outfit to his Netflix look.
Vertigo has announced the fall release of two Neil Gaiman deluxe hardcover editions, The Sandman: Overture and Free Country: A Tale of the Children’s Crusade.
The first may seem a tad optimistic, as the six-issue bimonthly miniseries by Gaiman and J.H. Williams III, which debuted in October 2013 as part of the 25th anniversary of The Sandman, has yet to release its final two chapters. Set to arrive in November, the deluxe edition will include all six issues, the gatefold from the debut issue, plus extras like pages from the Special Editions and script pages.
Ahead of the April 1 debut of “Convergence,” which DC Comics bills as “the biggest story in DC history,” the publisher has unveiled an interactive guide to the “Multiverse-shattering” nine-week event.
The above image of Telos hovering before a honeycomb of characters from alternate Earths is likely familiar by now — it was released in November, after all — but on the DC website you can now place your cursor on the individual hexagons to learn more about the worlds they represent. Well, most of the hexagons; DC promises more content will be added.
There are numerous levels of comics fandom, ranging from the casual fan who picks up the occasional issue and watches the television shows and movies to the devotee, who tracks down entire runs of series and collects original art.
And then there’s the level of fan who would have an entire apartment designed in an Avengers theme.
[The following post appeared in its original form on the Facebook page of comic book writer B. Clay Moore, who provided CBR with a slightly expanded version of his text.]
Female superheroes and their costumes?
A lot of people arguing about this don’t seem to have a real understanding of the history of costume design in comics.
There’s this conventional wisdom in place that female superheroes were always designed with titillation in mind. Forget the strange psychosexual implications inherent in that idea, the fact is that most female superheroes up through the ’70s (maybe into the ’80s) were created to attract female readers, not to pander to boys. (Just as kid sidekicks were designed to appeal to kids… Robin didn’t wear short pants for kinky thrills.)
Sure, there were always notable exceptions (it’s hard to look at covers featuring Phantom Lady straining against ropes with “headlights” protruding and imagine them as an appeal to young girls), but the industry was trying to find something for everyone.
This week, The Nib published a comic strip by artist Ronald Wimberly, whose work includes Prince of Cats and Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, titled “Lighten Up.” In it, Wimberly details his experience of being asked by a Marvel editor to lighten the skin tone of supporting character Melita Garner in a recent issue of Wolverine and the X-Men.
On Wednesday afternoon, CBR asked its Twitter followers a simple question — what was your first comic book?
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) March 18, 2015
The hashtag #MyFirstComic — which has been used in the past by comics artist Mike Norton, among others — quickly gained traction, trending nationwide, with many comic book pros and fans joining in. Here are some highlights from among comics creators and industry professionals, and peruse #MyFirstComic on Twitter for much more.
Legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson has had a difficult road in the past year, with a hospitalization last July following a series of small strokes. Wrightson since recovered and returned to the convention circuit, but recently underwent brain surgery. His wife, Liz, provided an update on his condition on Facebook, and while the news post-surgery is not what they were hoping for, with biopsy results indicating cancer, she says they are optimistic — his “prognosis is excellent,” and no cancellations of appearances are expected despite radiation and chemotherapy.
After more than three years as the New 52 brand, DC Comics is retiring the branding and undergoing a status quo shakeup following the events of “Convergence.” The new initiative will not have a unifying name and will be comprised of 25 continuing series and 24 all-new ones, some featuring creators and concepts that are completely new to the publisher.
To get as many people as possible excited about these new offerings, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed during a discussion with members of the press that the company plans on releasing a number of original eight-page stories highlighting these fresh starts for free via the DC website, comiXology and other platforms.