I had taken a break from comics during the whole “Death of Superman”/”Reign of the Supermen” era, yet I’m a little excited by this mysterious cover unveiled today by Sean Murphy (The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus). Even those readers who weren’t around for the early-’90s storyline will undoubtedly recognize the Man of Steel/John Henry Irons/Steel, the Man of Tomorrow/Cyborg Superman, the Last Son of Krypton/Eradicator and the Metropolis Kid/Superboy, who arrived in Metropolis claiming to be Superman.
Murphy says he doesn’t know what the cover is for, but it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s part of DC Comics’ “Superman: Doomed” crossover, depicting the first major conflict in the New 52 between the Man of Steel and Doomsday, who was responsible for “The Death of Superman” 22 years ago.
Update: As a helpful commenter below points out, PreviewsWorld states Murphy’s cover is the 75th anniversary variant for Superman Unchained #6, due out on March 19.
This is particularly timely, considering today’s television casting news: Project: Rooftop showcases Perry Maple’s whimsical redesign of Batman and his allies and enemies, from Robin to Scarecrow to Two-Face.
“The aim for this redesign was to create a colorful, simple, and playful reimagining of the Gotham city universe,” the artist explains on his deviantART page. I think he achieved that goal, too, particularly with Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, who look as if they stepped out of a fairy tale. However, I also really like is older take on Selina Kyle in a decidedly different style.
Check out close-ups of some of Maple’s redesigns below, and visit his deviantART page for more.
Titan Comics has released a trailer for Scarlett Couture, the upcoming espionage-adventure series from illustrator Des Taylor about an heiress turned super-spy.
The title character is a billionaire fashion heiress who as a teenager is kidnapped and held for ransom, only to be rescued by Lt. Spencer Kelly, who trains her in hand-to-hand combat and intelligence to ensure she’s never in that position again. When she learns her mother was once a spy for the CIA, Scarlett uses her mother’s fashion empire as a cover for her own quest to bring the world’s greatest criminals to justice.
You can see more of Taylor’s work on his blog. Scarlett Couture #1 goes on sale Oct. 15.
Marvel and Wizard World have revealed exclusive variant covers available to VIP attendees at Wizard World Louisville Comic Con and Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con: Michael Golden’s Daredevil #1 and David Mack’s Wolverine and The X-Men #1.
The covers are available as part of a variant program in which a limited-edition cover will be available at each of the 16 Wizard World Comic Con events scheduled this year. The Golden and Mack covers follow Miracleman #1 and Miracleman #2, by Neal Adams (available at Portland Comic Con and New Orleans Comic Con, respectively) and Wolverine #1, by Greg Horn (available at Sacramento Comic Con).
Steve Rude has debuted the painted cover for his upcoming collaboration with Jerry Ordway on DC Comics’ digital-first Adventures of Superman — a 10-page story featuring none other than OMAC.
In his fan newsletter, the veteran article explained that his editor offered him several scripts, “but it wasn’t until we settled on something specifically catered to ‘The Dude Mentality’ — with characters most memorable to the 60′s and 70′s – that things finally clicked. And what would fit the Dude mentality? How ’bout OMAC? Of the One Man Army Corps? As created by the great Jack Kirby back in ’75?”
But how did Rude connect with Ordway, well known for his runs as both an artist and a writer on DC’s The Adventures of Superman print series?
“Jerry submitted his script and we all loved it,” Rude said of his DC Digital First debut. “And after a hour or two of of finely tuned script discussion over the phone one afternoon, he and I were able to up the dramatics even further on the cool-meter.”
As for that cover: “Finally, I should mention that though DC’s budget didn’t permit the rates normally required by the Dude to paint this issues cover – I painted it anyway. Such sacrifices does one make in the name of proper presentation.”
Ordway and Rude’s Adventures of Superman story, “Seeds of Destruction,” is scheduled to premiere April 14 at DC Digital First.
Digital comics | Japanese publisher Kadokawa plans on March 22 to launch ComicWalker, a digital comics service that will carry manga in three languages: Japanese, English and Chinese. The stories will include some well-known classics (Sgt. Frog, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam: The Origin) as well as new manga, and apparently they will be free. The launch will include 150 titles, 40 of which will be translated, so it sounds like not everything will be available in English right away. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Lewis Trondheim, a former winner of the Grand Prix d’Angoulême and therefore a member of the academy that chooses each year’s winners, provides an insider’s view of the voting and the causes and effects of the changes that have been made over the past two years: “In its forty-three years, the festival has had, I believe, three Americans, one Argentine, one Swiss, three Belgians, and over thirty Frenchmen. This doesn’t seem to correspond with the reality of the comics world to me.” [The Comics Journal]
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have reteamed with General Mills to include four collectible editions of Justice League in specially marked boxes of Big G cereals, sold in grocery stores nationwide. A fifth issue is available in select boxes of Cheerios available exclusively at Target.
The companies first partnered for the initiative in late 2011, shortly after the publisher relaunched its superhero line with the New 52. For that cereal promotion, 12 million comics were printed. Once again, the stories begin in print and continue online at BigCerealHeroes.com, where you can get a sampling of the titles.
It’s a cause for celebration any time Greg Rucka launches a new series, as he does Wednesday with Veil, the story of a girl who awakens with amnesia in an abandoned subway station. Teaming with Rucka on this new Dark Horse ongoing is artist Toni Fejzula. I challenge you not to read Veil once you see the eyes of the lead character as drawn by Fejzula — that and so much more about his art instantly caught my attention to the series. With this interview, I aimed to gain insight into Fejzula’s passion and approach for this new collaborative project. It’s an added bonus to learn he might be listening to Rock Lobster while drawing Veil …
Kickstarter announced this morning it has surpassed $1 billion in pledges, with half that figure contributed in the past year alone, giving an indication of the crowdfunding website’s growth.
Comics, the 10th-largest category, account for $25.47 million of that; games leads the pack with $215.93 million.
That $1 billion came from about 5.7 million donors in 224 countries and territories on all seven continents. However, the United States is responsible for the majority of pledges, $663 million, followed by the United Kingdom with $54.5 million.
Kickstarter also singled out a handful of donors, beginning with Neil Gaiman, which it labels as the “most influential.”
Other interesting statistics: The day Kickstarter launched, April 28, 2009, 40 people pledged $1,084 to seven projects; Wednesday is the most popular day of the week for pledging; and the biggest single day for pledges was March 13, 2013, when 54,187 backers pledged $4,029,585.45 to 1,985 projects.
Wizard World Inc., which debuted in January 2011 as a publicly traded company, reported nearly $11.2 million in convention revenues in 2013, but still claimed a $3.6 million net loss for the year.
According to documents filed today with the Federal Exchange Commission, those revenues amounted to an increase of 66 percent from 2012, attributed to the expansion from seven conventions to eight, and “management running better advertised, social media driven events resulting in an increase in attendance.”
Wizard World also increased ticket prices, as well as “the overall size and scope of each event,” leading to an average per-convention revenue of about $1.4 million (up 45 percent from 2012).
Scottish fans on Tuesday will be able to tune in for a 30-minute documentary on Frank Quitely airing as part of BBC Four’s series What Do Artists Do All Day?
For the acclaimed Glaswegian artist, the answer is “Draw Jupiter’s Legacy,” his Image Comics collaboration with Mark Millar. The episode follows Quitely over the course of the day, until “he eventually calls it a night at 04.30am, sleeping in his studio, as he does regularly.”
Full details are available on the BBC Four website, along with a clip, which apparently won’t play in the United States.
The publisher’s digital subscription service allows users to access more than 15,000 classic and newer comics on their desktop browser or through the Marvel Unlimited app. A monthly membership normally costs $9.99; a basic annual subscription costs $69.
Jason Shiga, the creator of the innovative Meanwhile …, the creepy Fleep and the super-cool Bookhunter, has kicked off another webcomic called Demon. The story thus far revolves around a man trying to kill himself, but with each attempt he ends up waking up afterwards without any explanation as to why it didn’t work.
Shiga, who recently served as a judge for the Ignatz Awards, explained that the submissions for the webcomics category overwhelmed him.
“It felt like being hit by a tidal wave of comics and subsequently drowning to death,” he wrote. “To read every page of every webcomic that was sent to me would literally be a life’s work. It was a truly humbling experience to learn that what I thought of as comics was in fact just a small crumb in the vast expanse of the comics universe. I hadn’t really felt that way about the comics medium since walking into a shojo manga store in Japan 10 years ago.”
With the arrival last week of the new volume of Fantastic Four came the departure of prolific colorist Paul Mounts, who worked on the Marvel series for 11 years.
“Tom Brevoort had been editing Fantastic Four even longer that I had been coloring it, and after a record-breaking run on the title decided that it was time to give someone else a shot at editing it,” Mounts explained in an email to ComicBook.com. “And, of course, when a new editor takes over a title, he/she is going to want to bring in his/her own team, make his/her own mark. [...] I tend to always look forward to the next project than to look back at the past, but I guess after 11 years and (I think) nearly 130 issues, it’s a change worth a mention. Someone who was nine years old when I started would be twenty now – yikes!”
Publishing | Viz Media’s Kevin Hamric discusses how the availability of streaming anime has been boosting sales of the related manga. Series that have gotten a boost lately include Blue Exorcist and Kamisama Kiss: “Overall streaming has had a positive effect on our book sales. In recent years, Blue Exorcist is probably the biggest example I can give — one of newest hits under our Shonen Jump Advanced imprint. We launched our series [in 2010] and had very good sales (they matched our expectations), but once the anime was available through streaming, sales jumped through the roof, and that was in 2011. So streaming was fairly young at that time. Once the anime was streaming, sales of the manga were way above expectations.” [ICv2]