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.
Harley Quinn #0, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and drawn by more than a dozen artists, arrives today in stores and contains the winning entry from the DC Entertainment Open Talent Search. The page, by Jeremy Roberts, is notable in that it is significantly toned down from the controversial script released in September.
DC came under fire from readers and advocacy groups alike for the original tryout page, which directed artists to depict the fan-favorite character naked in a bathtub, seemingly about to commit suicide, a scene Palmiotti explained was merely a surreal dream sequence.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness called the contest “extremely insensitive” and “potentially dangerous,” leading the publisher to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the script while reiterating its intended “cartoony and over-the-top in tone.”
The original script described the fourth panel as, “Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of ‘oh well, guess that’s it for me’ and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.”
But in the published Harley Quinn #0, the first three panels remain the same — Harley holding onto a cell tower during a thunderstorm, feeding alligators and tickling the roof of a whale’s mouth — but the final one has been drastically changed: Instead of contemplating suicide in her bathtub, the character is shown riding a missile, Dr. Strangelove-style, high above the Earth.
Although the tryout script didn’t include dialogue, the overall tone of the page seems to lack the “Mad magazine/Looney Tunes approach” Palmiotti said that he and Conner intended.
Harley Quinn #0 is in stores now.
If you’re beginning to think about stocking-stuffer ideas, you may want to check out Chocolate F/X if, say, you know a fan of Eric Powell’s The Goon: The chocolatier is accepting pre-orders for a limited-edition four-piece gift box featuring the Goon, Franky, the comic’s logo and the immortal words “Knife to the Eye!”
But they’re not plain ol’ milk chocolate, though. There’s”Dark Chocolate and Whiskey ganache , a Ghost Pepper caramel dipped in creamy milk chocolate, Hazelnut Coffee ganache in Milk Chocolate and a Seasonal Pumpkin pie ganache dipped in Dark Chocolate.” Yes, ghost pepper, considered the world’s hottest chili pepper.
A math-minded 4chan commenter has done a bit of number-crunching to arrive at an interesting theory: that The Walking Dead‘s zombie plague should’ve ended after a year, simply by biter attrition.
While the passage of time is difficult to discern in either the comic or the TV series, it would appear to be about two years since the outbreak began in the former, and a little less in the latter — more than enough time to dispatch the flesh-eating hordes. In theory, anyway.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Marvel have reunited to tell the story so many have so long wanted to read: the origin of the NFL team’s mascot Swoop.
Produced by Marvel Custom Solutions, and illustrated by Tom Grummett, the comic was distributed earlier this month to members of the Eagles Kids Club who attended an event at Lincoln Financial Field.
Marvel and the Eagles partnered last year for a “Weapon X” poster to commemorate the retirement of longtime player Brian Dawkins.
It’s little surprise that the editorial board of the conservative Washington Times didn’t embrace the announcement that the new Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Muslim from New Jersey, but the newspaper’s actual response is a bit … bewildering. One might even describe it as eerie.
Beginning a Sunday editorial with a declaration that “diversity and quotas are more important than dispatching evil” — because, as we all know, heroes can’t be diverse and fight villains! — the writer engages in a little concern trolling, warning that Ms. Marvel, and by extension Marvel, will have to be careful not to anger “militant Islam” if there’s any hope for newsstand sales in Muslim nations. Of course we’re told in the very next paragraph that, “Ms. Marvel probably won’t appear in comic books in Saudi Arabia, anyway,” which apparently takes care of that problem.
Once we slog through the bumbling writing and odd aside involving Secretary of State Kerry, however, we arrive at the crux of the Washington Times’ argument, such as it is: that diversity is strange and frightening.
Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio that brought us offbeat animated explanations of Miles Morales, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the superhero brawl on Hollywood Boulevard, again turns its lens on comic books with a particularly biting report on this week’s announcement that the new Ms. Marvel will be a Muslim teenager from New Jersey.
“Perhaps fueled by dropping readership,” the narrator states, “Marvel Comics is really grasping at straws in a bid to find new audiences to buy its outdated printed comics. Marvel’s latest attempt at relevance is Kamala Khan, a teenaged Muslim polymorphing superhero from New Jersey. She will use her gigantic hands and feet to slap and stomp her way through the pitfalls of teenage Muslim girlhood … or something.”
Watch the video below. Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, debuts in February.
Of course, comics weren’t limited to that one section: While Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season was named the best book in Comics & Graphic Novels, it also appeared at No. 71 on the editors’ rundown of the Top 100 of 2013, alongside Rutu Modan’s The Property (No. 80). Here’s the full Comics & Graphic Novels list:
- Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh (Touchstone)
- Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family, by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (DC Comics)
- Saga, Vol. 2, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
- Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
- Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second) Continue Reading »
In a particularly timely installment of “Stan’s Rants,” the legendary Stan Lee once again brings into question Superman’s flying ability — “The man has no visible means of propulsion!” — and points to Marvel’s Thor as a prime example of comic-book flight done right.
“When Thor wants to fly, we use a scientific principle. He has his hammer, he has a leather thong attached to his wrist,” Lee explains. “He swings the hammer around faster and faster ’til it’s going like a propeller, and then he lets go of it — well, the hammer goes flying off into space, but the thong is wrapped around Thor’s wrist, so he goes with it. So you have hammer propulsion.”
Take that, Angry Nerd.
Earlier this year, rock-star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calculated the weight of Thor’s hammer at 4.5 quadrillion pounds — roughly the same as 300 billion elephants — only for his comic-book knowledge to be called into question by another scientist, who pointed out that Mjolnir is forged out of fictional metal Uru and not neutron-star matter.
And now the hammer is in the scientific spotlight once again, but not for its weight or composition, but rather for its violation of the laws of physics.
The family of a 3-year-old in Hespeler, Ontario, is upset that the girl was given a couple of the controversial evangelical comic tracts during a night of trick-or-treating.
“Anyone thinking that a 3-year-old Princess Rapunzel … needs to be subjected to pictures of cruelty and violence on any day, let alone [Halloween] – a day for kids to be kids – is pretty shameful,” the girl’s father Rod Murray told the Kitchener Record.
One of the booklets lil’ Rapunzel was handed was “Somebody Loves Me,” which depicts a child beaten with a club by his alcoholic father and thrown out of the house. While sleeping in an alley, the gravely injured boy is told by a passerby that “Jesus loves you” before he dies and his carried off by an angel. The other is more difficult to figure out from the article’s description, but it apparently involves people — possibly Adam and Eve among them — covered in sores. In other words, comic tailor-made for a 3-year-old.
It’s the Avengers’ 50th anniversary, and Marvel has a big plan for Avengers #24.NOW, also known as Avengers #1 for the purposes of All-New Marvel NOW! (It’s confusing, I know. Just go with it.). To celebrate the milestone in December, the publisher plans to sell a special polybagged edition of Avengers #24.NOW and bundle it with a “Avengers 50th Anniversary Mega Fold-Out Poster” that’s more than 6 feet wide. For the curious, that’s about 11 comic pages stacked end to end.
Illustrated by Daniel Acuna, the poster features Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from across the team’s 50 years, including mainstays like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, newer additions like Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Thing, and even members of the Dark Avengers, like Ares.
See the full poster below. Avengers #24.NOW goes on sale Dec. 14.
When DC Comics’ Justice League of America relaunches in April as Justice League Canada, it will introduce a young Cree superheroine inspired in part by Shannen Koostachin, a teenage activist who lobbied the federal government for a new school in Attawapiskat First Nation, on the James Bay Coast. Koostachin died in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 15.
“I think if I can capture some of that heart and some of that essence in this character,” writer Jeff Lemire told CBC News. “Perhaps she’ll almost be a guiding spirit in the creation of this character.”
Announced in August, the series will find the Justice League moving to Canada in the wake of “Trinity War.” Lemire had previously revealed the team lineup would include Adam Strange, reintroduced as a Canadian, as well as a Canadian teenager, but this interview provides more details.
For instance, we now know that Hawkman and Green Arrow — currently part of the Justice League of America roster — will remain, and that the initial storyline involves the infiltration of “a secret alien bunker” near James Bay. That’s where the new superheroine enters the picture, as two local teenagers sneak into the bunker once the Justice League leaves, and it’s learned one of them is part of a legacy of Cree heroes.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman looked back to the very beginning of the acclaimed series to answer a lingering question: What left the mighty Lord of Dreams so weakened that he was able to be imprisoned for 70 years?
“We learn, as the story goes on, that he arrived in England exhausted, dressed for war, from somewhere very far away, and that was why they captured him so easily,” Gaiman told Fast Company ahead of the Wednesday debut of The Sandman: Overture, his six-issue collaboration with J.H. Williams III. “But I never told that story. And it’s big, and it’s very weird.”
However, over the course of the The Sandman‘s 75-issue run, there were at least two other untold tales that are certainly just as big, and undoubtedly just as weird — and they both involve the letter D (naturally).
“If we ever get to the 50th anniversary, I may tell the story of how the character of Delight became Delirium, or the story of how the first Despair died,” Gaiman teased. “But that’s the 50th anniversary, so there’s plenty of time.”
Although Destruction, who long ago abandoned his Endless duties and disappeared, was found during the series, Delight’s transformation into Delirium was a mystery to which not even Destiny knew the answer. And while clues were dropped about the death of the original Despair — she even appeared in 2003′s Endless Nights — readers were left wondering about the details, including who was behind it.
But, hey, we can hold out until 2038 for the answers, right?
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!”