Announced this afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Ragnarök will feature “iconic deities and classic” tales written and drawn by Simonson. In addition, IDW will release re-mastered collections of Star Slammers, his classic sci-fi tale about intergalactic mercenaries who became the most successful businessmen of all time, and a special Artist’s Edition of the series.
The publisher debuted Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition in 2011.
“Scott Dunbier and I first talked about me working on a creator-owned book involving the Norse gods 15 years ago, but as many of my former editors can tell you, I’ve always regarded deadlines as useful fictions,” Simonson said in a statement. “So here we are … finally! All I can say is that I’ve loved the stories of the Viking gods since I was eight. I am thrilled that with IDW’s help and support, I’m launching an ongoing series of stories built around a new vision of some old friends. And enemies.”
Today at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Oni Press announced a new ongoing series, The Auteur by Rick Spears (Teenagers from Mars), James Callahan (Strange Detective Tales, Rotting In Dirtville) and Luigi Anderson. Spears said it’s his first ongoing series, and that he and Callahan have been friends for years.
The comic is about Nathan T. Rex, a big-time movie producer, and the first movie in his already-filmed mega tentpole trilogy has just flopped, dooming the rest of the films. With his career in Hollywood pretty much sunk, he decides to punch up the horror film he’s working on by bringing in a serial killer as the consultant. “Then it gets weird,” Spears said. “I’m very excited that Oni is letting me do this. I only hope they don’t regret it.”
The comic is due in spring 2014. ComicsAlliance has a preview of the first issue, and an interview with Spears.
Viz Media’s literary imprint Haikasoru has acquired a graphic novel based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need Is Kill, a new translation of Battle Royale, and a collection of essays about the hit dystopian action/adventure.
The imprint’s first original graphic novel, All You Need Is Kill is an adaptation of the sci-fight light novel that inspired the upcoming Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow. In it, a new recruit for the United Defense Force is killed during his first sortie to battle invading aliens, only to be caught in a time loop that seems him reborn each morning only to die again and again. Adapted by Nick Mamatas (Move Under Ground) and illustrated by Lee Ferguson (Green Arrow, Miranda Mercury), the book arrives May 6.
In time for the 15th anniversary of Koushun Takami’s influential novel, which as spawned manga and film adaptations and numerous imitators, Haikasoru will release Battle Royale: Remastered, and The Battle Royale Slam Book: Essays on the Cult Classic Novel by Koushun Takami, a collection of essays by some of today’s best sci-fi, horror and thriller writers. Both will be released April 1.
“Battle Royale remains one of the biggest novels to ever come out of Japan and nearly 15 years after its initial publication, the controversy and discussions surrounding it continue, ” Mamata, the imprint’s editor, says in a statement. “Fans won’t want to miss Battle Royale: Remastered and the companion The Battle Royale Slam Book, featuring insightful essays by some of the West’s most important popular fiction writers and cult filmmakers on the global impact of the novel, the associated theatrical films and manga series, the controversies they caused, and the title’s place in the larger pop culture pantheon!”
This as-yet-untitled book will be Davis’ first major work since 2009′s The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook from Bloomsbury Children’s. In that time the cartoonist has created extensive shorter works for Fantagraphics’ Mome anthology as well as for Little House Comics, the boutique publishing imprint she co-owns with her husband Drew Weing.
North American manga publisher Viz Media has relaunched its Viz Kids imprint as Perfect Square, which will release comics, manga and children’s books “with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.”
Announced Wednesday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Perfect Square will debut books based on Pendleton Ward’s Bravest Warriors next year. Other offerings include Hello Kitty, Max Steel, Ben 10: Omniverse, Uglydolls, Monsuno: Combat, Mameshiba, Mr. Men/Little Miss, Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda, all of which were part of Viz Kids. The publisher will also release a Perfect Square app for iPad and iPad Mini.
Speaking with Publishers Weekly, Viz Media Senior Editorial Director for Children’s Publishing Beth Kawasaki said the imprint will likely publish 40 to 50 titles a year, “a little less Pokemon and a lot of new stuff.”
“The brand will become the new home for many legacy titles featuring favorite characters fans know and love, as well as brand new series readers can explore and fall in love with,” she said in a press release. “We are ecstatic to be working with properties we love and we’ve assembled an unbelievably talented team of editors, writers and artists who are fans themselves and have a strong commitment to great storytelling.”
As the finishing touches are put on Comic-Con International ahead of Preview Night, The Hollywood Reporter releases an interview with DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson that’s a blend of polite sidestepping of delicate or unannounced subjects — the departure from Warner Bros. of her boss Jeff Robinov, Man of Steel 2, the long-developing Justice League movie — and insight into how the media giant views the DC properties.
Naturally, given the outlet, much of the discussion involves film and television, with Nelson addressing why she thinks Man of Steel succeeded while Green Lantern didn’t, and why DC’s movie plans have been developing so slowly, the conversation veers a little closer to comic books when she’s asked what five characters she’d like to seen on the screen.
“Sandman is right on top,” Nelson responds. “I think it could be as rich as the Harry Potter universe. Fables. Metal Men. Justice League. And yes, I’m going to say it: Aquaman.”
Oni Press has announced a roster of Comic-Con International exclusives and premieres that includes Mike and Laura Allred’s interlocking variant covers for The Mysterious Strangers #1 and #2, Scott Pilgrim Vols. 2 and 3 collector’s editions, and, yes, Courtney Crumrin barrettes.
The publisher also released the signing schedule for its booth (#1833), which features appearances by such creators as R. Stevens, Sam Kieth, Ted Naifeh, Mike Norton, Rick Spears, Chris Roberson, Chris Samnee, Chris Schweizer and more. See the complete rundown below:
Exclusives and Premieres
The Mysterious Strangers #1 and #2 Oni Press Exclusive Set
$30 – Featuring interlocking variant covers by Mike and Laura Allred, this is the perfect way to dive headlong into the four-color, two-fisted adventures of Chris Roberson and Scott Kowalchuk’s supercool, supervintage superteam!
Limit 2 per customer.
Following its move into fan-fiction publishing with Kindle Worlds, Amazon entered the comic-book arena with Jet City Comics, an imprint that launches today with the debut of Symposium, a new digital series by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko set in the “Foreworld” universe created by Neal Stephenson and others.
That will be followed in October by adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and Hugh Howey’s dystopian novel Wool, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and illustrated Jimmy Broxton, Jet City will serialize its comics for the Kindle, and then offer bundled digital editions and print collections.
In addition to those launch titles, the imprint will re-release The Hedge Knight, by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the world of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, in print and digital formats in November and its sequel The Sword Sword in early 2014.“My fans have been clamoring for the return of Dunk & Egg ever since the graphic novels of The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword went out of print several years ago,” Martin said in a statement, “so I am delighted to announce that Jet City Comics is bringing them back — newly formatted for digital readers, and in paper for those who still prefer the traditional formats. And Jet City will be bringing you something new as well: the graphic novel ‘Meathouse Man,’ adapted from one of my strangest, darkest, and most twisted short stories by the amazingly talented Raya Golden. I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Jet City’s takeoff. May they fly high.”
Last week’s announcement that BOOM! Studios had acquired Archaia Entertainment was big news, and with good reason. But long before that merger — decades before those two companies were even around — there was another publishing acquisition that changed the face of the comics industry, and it’s been echoing for the past 70 years. What I’m talking about is the conglomerate of companies that would become DC Comics.
You may not realize it, but DC Comics didn’t officially come into existence until 1977. Although the company had been known conversationally as DC and had used a “DC” logo in its comics, from 1946 until 1977 DC Comics was in fact National Comics. But that isn’t the end to this story; it’s only the beginning.
The origin of what would become DC Comics began in 1935 with the founding of National Allied Publications by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. It published two mid-selling titles but found itself on the brink of financial collapse just as it was putting together a title called Detective Comics. In debt to its printer, National Allied in 1937 took on that company’s owner, Harry Donenfeld, as a partner to fund the release of Detective Comics. Published under a new company named Detective Comics Inc. (after the title the partnership had convened for), Detective Comics had a fair amount of success but was, unbeknown to its owners, on the precipice of a major success with the debut of Batman in 1939′s Issue 27.
“We’re brewing something up that I think the fans of Ridley Scott’s amazing film will really like,” Dark Horse President Mike Richardson told The Hollywood Reporter. An official announcement is promised soon, presumably at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Bleeding Cool reported earlier this week that the publisher would be introducing characters and concepts from Prometheus into its licensed Aliens comics.
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, the Fox film centers on the crew of a spaceship that follows a star map discovered among the artifacts of several ancient civilizations on Earth. Seeking the origins of humanity on a distant planet, they instead uncover a threat that could bring about the extinction of the entire race. Fox confirmed in August that a sequel to Prometheus is in development.
Dark Horse began publishing Aliens comics in 1988, two years after the release of James Cameron’s film of the same name. While some series have direct ties to the big-screen franchise, using the same characters and building upon the storylines, others are merely set within the same universe. Over the years, the comics have crossed over with other characters, most notably Predator, The Terminator, Batman, Superman, Judge Dredd and WildC.A.T.s.
We’ve all seen Hello Kitty grow from a quirky Japanese import into a household name, but do you remember the time its corporate owner set out to “conquer comics”? Me neither, but I learned a lot from reading comic/animation historian Fred Patten’s excellent post on Cartoon Research called “Sanrio And Me.”
In 1978, Sanrio held a series of press conferences in the United States trumpeting its goal to, as Patten says, “take over the American comic book industry and the moribund theatrical animation industry.” With an office in Santa Monica, California, the means for doing that was a slick manga anthology publication called Lyrica (which it had already launched in Japan) and a full-length animated feature called Metamorpheses, which executives promised as their Fantasia, referring to the Disney feature that had been reissued the year before. Metamorpheses had a trial run in the Japanese edition of Lyrica as a comic strip by American animation artist Dan Morgan, who did double-duty in the movie’s art department.
Ah, Comic-Con International: when comics publishers are tripping over themselves to announce new projects, and movie producers throw star-power at the fans to drum up word-of-mouth support for their latest efforts. Of course, there will be all kinds of lower-profile launches that can tend to get bulldozed off the front pages by the big ticket news items.
Ashley Wood’s 3A Publishing releasing Kent Williams: Ophthalm there is probably a case in point. It’s an art book by a painter whose last major comic project was published in 2005. I’ve loved Williams’ work since he was collaborating with Jon J. Muth in the 1980s, but the work he was producing then doesn’t hold a candle to the canvases he now exhibits. It’s amazing work, as viewable at his website. Wood is quite the advocate for Williams, publishing several portfolios of his work in IDW’s Swallow, then a pocket book of his paintings in their Sparrow series, and recently a collection of drawings through his own Goya imprint. The book’s press release is, however, rather purple. This is the art world we’re dealing with now, people, not comics! And the book’s title? That’s Greek for “the eye.”
Amazon Publishing launched its Kindle Worlds store this morning with more than 50 works, including Shadowman: Salvation Sally by Tom King, X-O Manowar: Noughts and Crosses by Stuart Moore, and Harbinger: Slow Burn by Jason Star, all inspired by the Valiant Entertainment properties. In addition, the Self-Service Submission Platform is now open, allowing writers to publish stories based on certain licensed properties and earn royalties in the process.
Billed as the first commercial publishing platform for fan fiction, Kindle Worlds was announced last month as “a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games.”
When the art for Joshua Hale Fialkov and Leonard Kirk’s “Hunger” was released earlier today, the Adi Granov-illustrated covers had a slightly different treatment from what we’ve seen since the publisher’s Marvel NOW! initiative launched. Nestled in the red band at the bottom of the cover is the phrase “Share Your Universe,” positioned directly next to the now-familiar “Bonus Digital Edition” bug.
With Marvel referring to its online Fan Network as “Your Universe” for some time now, and the word “share” is linked to various social networking mediums, the possibility also exists that the publisher is gearing up to launch its own social media network. Of course, the phrase’s proximity to the digital comics logo could give fans the impression that the House of Ideas may be actively encouraging those who buy print copies of their purchases to share the codes with other readers.
When approached by ROBOT 6, Marvel was tightlipped about the new cover addition, simply stating, “As some press noticed in a recent retailer update, Share Your Universe is something important that we’re announcing in July.”
When Amazon Publishing unveiled Kindle Worlds last month, one of the first questions in comics circles was which publisher would be the first to sign on to the program, which allows fan-fic writers to earn royalties for certain corporate-approved stories. Now we know the answer: Valiant Entertainment.
The recently revived publisher was announced this morning as part of the second wave of licensors, alongside bestselling authors Hugh Howey (Silo Saga), Barry Eisler (John Rain novels), Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines) and Neal Stephenson (Foreworld Saga). Under the agreement, writers will be able to create and sell stories inspired by Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman, with more properties expected to be added later.
In addition, the Kindle Worlds Store will launch later this month with more than 50 commissioned works, including “Valiant-branded” short stories by Jason Starr, Robert Rodi, Stuart Moore and others. The Kindle Worlds self-service submission platform will open at the same time.