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Dark Horse to publish ‘New York Four’ and ‘Demo’ collections

new york fourDark Horse will publish omnibus editions of The New York Four and The New York Five, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly, and Demo, by Wood and Becky Cloonan. Editor Sierra Hahn told Publishers Weekly the acquisitions are part of the company’s ongoing commitment to the young-adult market.

Published in 2008 by DC Comics’ short-lived Minx imprint aimed at teen girls, The New York Four centers on four young women who move to New York City to attend New York University. A sequel miniseries, The New York Five, debuted in 2010 from DC’s Vertigo imprint.

Demo, released from November to 2003 to November 2004 by AiT/Planet Lar, was the breakout book for Wood and and Cloonan, who had previously collaborated on Channel Zero: Jennie One. The 12-issue series, which tells self-contained stories about young people with supernatural powers (well, mostly), was most recently collected in 2008 by Vertigo, which later published Wood and Cloonan’s sequel.

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Warren Ellis reveals ‘a thing that I probably shouldn’t’: ‘Trees’ numbers

trees1In an industry that’s quick to trumpet distributor-level sellouts and multiple printing, publishers and creators are generally reluctant to reveal any actual sales numbers. Sure, there are those monthly direct-market sales estimates, but they’re just that — estimates (and most anyone who attempts to divine meaning from them is usually quickly reminded of their inaccuracy).

And so it was refreshing to see Warren Ellis disclose orders for the first issue of Trees, his new Image Comics collaboration with Jason Howard, in his Orbital Operations e-newsletter. Or, as he puts it, “I am going to tell you a thing that I probably shouldn’t.”

Retailers ordered about 38,500 copies — “I don’t recall the precise number and can’t check it right this second,” he writes — and he and Howard authorized a print run of 50,000.

Ellis confesses, “That’s a big overprint, and it could easily blow up in our faces — if the overprint doesn’t sell, then the print cost is taken out of our hides. On the other hand: if you go looking for it, and your store tells you it’s sold out or that they couldn’t get any, you can tell them that I told you we printed 12K extra copies.”

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‘Cerebus: High Society Digital’ collection gets August release

cerebus-high society

IDW Publishing has announced an August release date for Dave Sim’s Cerebus: High Society Digital Audio/Visual Experience DVD set.

Funded in July 2012 through Kickstarter, the multimedia collection of the well-regarded “High Society” storyline (Cerebus #26-50) was originally serialized online. It features Sim reading each issue, in character, accompanied by music and sound effects, with motion effects added to the story art. There’s also commentary and a virtual tour.

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Dynamite, ERB Inc. partner for ‘John Carter: Warlord of Mars’

Dynamite's previously released "Warlord of Mars" #1

Dynamite’s previously released “Warlord of Mars” #1

In a surprising conclusion to their rights dispute, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and Dynamite Entertainment this morning announced an agreement for the worldwide release of John Carter comics, archival material and the publisher’s Lord of the Jungle line.

ERB Inc., the family-owned company that controls the existing rights to the Tarzan and John Carter of Mars novels, sued Dynamite in February 2012, accusing the publisher of trademark and copyright infringement and unfair competition through the release of its Lord of the Jungle and Warlord of Mars comics. Dynamite responded, insisting that its series were based on material that’s lapsed into the public domain, and noting that other publishers have released Burroughs-inspired comics, using similar titles, without a license from ERB Inc.

Now that the two parties have settled their differences, and ERB Inc. has reacquired the John Carter comics rights from Disney and Marvel, Dynamite will be able to relaunch Warrior of Mars later this year as John Carter: Warlord of Mars, and introduce characters and plot elements “that were, until now, absent from recent comic book interpretations” (presumably because they remain protected by copyright). Dynamite will also republish John Carter archival material, dating back to the early 1940s comic strips written by Burroughs’ son Coleman Burroughs.

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Dark Horses announces new ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ miniseries, omnibus editions

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As part of the 30th-anniversary celebration of Stan Sakai’s famed samurai rabbit, Usagi Yojimbo will return in August in a six-issue miniseries from Dark Horse. Its debut will be followed in October by the release of the first volume in a new series of deluxe compilations.

Set 20 years in his future, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso follows Miyamoto Usagi has he fights as a general for Lord Noriyuki against Lord Hikiji. But in a sci-fi twist, a rocket crashes to Earth in the middle of the final battle, containing an enemy that neither side could have imagined. Sakai teased the project last summer in an interview with ROBOT 6, explaining, “The entire premise is,’What if the Martians from HG Wells’ War of the Worlds had sent a few scout ships 200 years before their invasion of Victorian England?’ It may not be as historically or culturally accurate as my stories usually are, but it sure will be fun.”

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Take-Two is hiring for its new comics imprint, Double Take

Take-Two-Interactive

News broke in December that Bill Jemas, the former Marvel executive who helped turned around the once-bankrupt company, had joined with video game publisher Take-Two Interactive to launch a comics imprint. Jemas said at the time that plans were still in the early stages for the new venture, which will focus on developing new properties rather than titles based on the Take-Two catalog. But now the company is ramping up its efforts by staffing the new comics division, which officially has a name: Double Take.

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KaBOOM! adds Cartoon Network’s ‘Uncle Grandpa’ to lineup

uncle grandpa

KaBOOM! will publish a comic based on Cartoon Network’s hit animated series Uncle Grandpa as part of BOOM! Studios’ first-look deal with the cable channel.

Created by Pete Browngardt, Uncle Grandpa is a surreal adventure comedy the centers on everyone’s magical uncle and grandfather, who travels the world in his mystical RV, helping children with their problems. Did we mention he’s accompanied by a talking fanny pack, an anthropomorphic dinosaur, a photo cutout of a tiger and a talking slice of pizza? Well, he is.

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DC’s Nelson: ‘We are as strong as the company has ever been’

diane-nelson-video

When I wrote this morning about The Wall Street Journal’s article looking at the growing importance of DC Entertainment and its superhero properties to the Warner Bros. strategy, I somehow missed the accompanying video with DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. It’s not directly related to the story — it’s a personality profile, really — and the newspaper makes too much of the quote “I’m not a comic book reader,” but it’s an interesting look at Nelson, who isn’t heard from all that often.

“We are as strong as the company has ever been in its history in publishing,” she says. “We’ve created a new business in digital, we have a new online and social-media presence we’ve never had before, we have a strong collectibles business. To your question of what I do in the future, what we do as a company, it’s figuring out how we get more books in front of more people, how we get young people to love these characters as much as the core fanboys — or girls, as the case may be — and it’s about figuring out with our partners in the other divisions how we make great film and television and video games.”

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Magnetic Press announces ‘Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus’

WLO_coverOnly-jacketMagnetic Press, the independent publisher launched late last year by two comics veterans, former Archaia publisher Mike Kennedy and former BOOM! Studios executive Wes Harris, has announced its third book: a hardcover collection of comics, illustrated stories and art set in Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands universe. The book, titled Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands Omnibus, will debut in July.

Dorman is best known for his Star Wars art, and he won an Eisner Award for his artwork on Aliens: Tribes, a graphic novel based on the Alien movies. His work has appeared on the cover of Heavy Metal, and he has done cover art, trading cards and toy design for a host of publishers.

Wasted Lands, on the other hand, is Dorman’s creator-owned work, a high-adventure story with Western and steampunk influences. It’s set in an industrial megalopolis linked to a forbidding outback by a vast rail system; here’s his description of the story from the official website:

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WonderCon | ‘X-Files: Year Zero’ reveals origin of X-Files unit

xfiles-yearzero

Karl Kesel, Vic Malhotra and Greg Scott are teaming up to tell the secret origins of the X-Files. The X-Files: Year Zero, a five-issue miniseries debuting in July, will see Agents Scully and Mulder tackling a mystery that dates back to the 1940s and the beginning of the FBI’s X-Files unit.

“The origins of the X-Files unit of the FBI were only hinted at in the TV show, and we’re proud to present the story of how the precursors of our favorite paranormal agents established the division in the late 1940s,” said editor Denton J. Tipton in a press release. “I think Bing and Millie will become fan-favorites alongside Mulder, Scully, Reyes and Doggett.”

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WonderCon | ‘Doberman’ takes a bite out of crime in July

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Darby Pop, Jeff Kline’s comic imprint that’s distributed by IDW, announced today plans to publish Doberman, the story of a former bad-boy cop who rejoins the force in a quest for vengeance.

“From the minds” of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Unsupervised producers Rob Rosell and Scott Marder, with writer Jack Lambert and artist Brandon McKinney, the humorous comic will make its debut this July.

“Doberman is the tale of a roundhouse-kicking, beer-shotgunning, Dodge Stealth-driving badass with a badge, shamed into years of personal exile. But, now he’s back, with only one thing on his mind — revenge!” Lambert said in a press release. “Simply put, if Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme had a child, Frank Doberano (aka Doberman) would be that bastard’s name.”

Check out the full cover by Bernard Chang below.

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Where are the archives of the Comics Code Authority?

Approved_by_the_Comics_Code_AuthorityIt’s safe to say few were sorry to see the Comics Code Authority quietly fade away in 2011, having become literally no more than a stamp on the covers of a handful of titles, but it was nonetheless an important part of history.

Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, realized this three years ago and sent a letter to Heidi MacDonald, asking who had the files of the Comics Magazine Association of America, the trade association that administered the Code. While Howe thought the records had vanished, Mark Seifert was told they were donated to DC Comics.

This week, Howe reiterated his appeal on his blog:

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Noah Van Sciver’s ‘Youth Is Wasted’ does indeed arrive in June

Youth is WastedBefore that fancy Street Angel hardcover arrives, AdHouse will release Noah Van Sciver‘s Youth Is Wasted in June — which unfortunately was left out of the current issue of Previews.

As Publisher Chris Pitzer says on the AdHouse blog, “we are still printing it on time and we need to get copies sold.”

Youth Is Wasted collects several of Noah Van Sciver’s most outstanding short stories from his critically acclaimed, award nominated comic book series Blammo as well as various anthology submissions,” the publisher’s site states. “Noah’s previous work was Ignatz nominated and featured in Best American Comics 2011.”

Retailers can still order the book from Diamond, though, using Diamond Order Code: FEB14 8208. The 112-page collection retails for $14.95.

AdHouse to release hardcover of Jim Rugg’s ‘Street Angel’

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AdHouse will collect Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca ‘s classic Street Angel into a fancy 176-page hardcover. According to The Comics Reporter, the collection will resemble AdHouse’s Afrodisiac volume (which was, indeed, pretty fancy). It also looks like the publisher is releasing a slipcase version so you can house your copies of Afrodisiac and Street Angel in one place.

If you’ve never experienced Street Angel, originally released by SLG Publishing, here’s the description from AdHouse’s site:

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ECCC | ElfQuest gets ‘Gallery Edition,’ ‘Original Quest’ collection

ElfquestV1-tease

At this weekend’s Emerald City Comicon, Dark Horse announced two collections featuring early ElfQuest material by Wendy and Richard Pini.

In August, fans can expect The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest, a 720-page, black-and-white collection of “what is now known as The Original Quest.” It will include a gallery of concept art, pinups and covers, as well as commentary from the Pinis.

Then October brings ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition. In what sounds like something akin to IDW’s Artists Edition series, it will collect Wendy Pini’s original artwork from the first five issues of “The Original Quest.” According to the press release, “Each page is carefully scanned from Wendy Pini’s original art to capture every stroke and detail. At 12 1/8″ by 17″, it’s as close to holding Pini’s original art as a fan can get.”

The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest goes on sale Aug. 6. ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition will arrive in comic shops Oct. 8 and bookstores Oct. 21.

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