The San Diego Comic-Con runs kicks off with a preview night on July 20, then runs July 21-24. If you are a comics creator or publisher, and you’re planning to bring something new to the con — a sketchbook, a print, a graphic novel debut, anything! — then we want to hear from you. Drop me an email and let me know if you’ll have something cool on hand that attendees should know about. Feel free to send any artwork as well.
This time around we have panties from Pantheon (seriously), more Mimoco, word of an announcement by Dark Horse, plans for Viz and Arcana, several Hasbro exclusives and more. So let’s get to it …
Skullkickers creators Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang will be at the Image Comics booth #2729, selling hardcovers of the first volume of Skullkickers with an SDCC-exclusive cover. You can find more details here.
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, was a six-issue limited series (later collected into a single volume) that got a lot of love from critics but, for whatever reason, wasn’t continued beyond its original run. Now there’s a Facebook group called “Get ‘Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Ninth Grade’ Published” that is out to change that. (It’s an open group, so anyone can go check it out.) Jude DeLuca started the group and has been energetically adding members. The explanation: Walker and Jones pitched the sequel to DC, and DC hasn’t given a firm answer, so they are asking fans to write to DC and ask for it by name.
To help close the deal, Walker has posted some fresh Supergirl concept art on his website, as well as an explanation of his and Jones’s vision of the series:
Eric could have drawn Supergirl as the epitome of style and grace. But that wouldn’t have been our Supergirl. Our Supergirl was a character who needed to grow. She was overly self-aware, insecure and gangly, that’s part of being a young teenager (particularly as younger teens see themselves from within) and therefore an important part of the storytelling.
I think with the slight changes to the artwork here we really begin to see Kara’s self confidence manifest physically. This would have continued on a curve, all through 12th Grade. By the end (and there was a definitive end planned) 18 year old Kara would have looked like an adult – particularly because you watched her grow up.
Sounds tempting. Walker and Jones are working on something else as well (to be announced at Comic-Con), but it would be nice to see this series continue. If you agree, go to the DC Letters Page and let them know what you think.
Project: Rooftop, the costume redesign site run by our own Chris Arrant, and comics retailer Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics have teamed up for a contest that asks artists get “to spin a new web” for Marvel’s Spider-Man.
In “Spider-Man: Webhead 2.0.,” artists can redesign Spider-Man for a chance to win one of several prizes:
- First Prize: The Spider-Man Diamond Select Maquette (retail value of $85) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.
- Second Prize: Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 5 Softcover (retail value of $25) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.
- Third Prize: Spider-Man: Peter Parker Essential Vol. 3 (retail value of $18) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.
“Encouraging artists is something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” said Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA, president of ComicsPRO and founder of Free Comic Book Day. “I came up with some cool Spidey-related prizes and look forward to seeing all the Project: Rooftop entries!”
The deadline for entries of Aug. 8. You can find all the details over on the Project: Rooftop site.
The standard format for digital comics is single issues, which can be an expensive way to read an entire story. Fortunately, more and more publishers are experimenting with digital bundles and graphic novels, and here’s the biggest one of them all: ComiXology is offering Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary, all 633 pages/27 issues of it, for $24.99. (Unless I’m missing something, this is only available on comiXology’s Comics app, not on the DC app.) That’s quite a bargain compared to buying it one issue at a time, which would set you back almost $52 (the first issue is free), and it includes an eight-page introductory story as well.
This is where the rubber meets the road for potential digital customers. On the one hand, $24.99 is a lot of money for something that is “only” pixels on a screen; on the other hand, it’s cheaper than the print edition—even secondhand, if Amazon is any guide. This looks like it may be a trial balloon of sorts, as it is only available until July 16. One has to wonder why—hopefully DC isn’t going in for that “digital vault” stupidity. Once you put the package together, it should stay on the digital shelf forever—it’s not like you’re going to run out of books. On the other hand, having the deal end just before Comic-Con may be significant; maybe there’s something more on the way.
Retailing | Although the 14th volume of The Walking Dead wasn’t released until June 21, it still managed to secure the No. 2 spot on BookScan’s list of graphic novels sold in bookstores that month, behind the 51st volume of Naruto. It’s the ninth consecutive month that at least one volume of the horror series has appeared in the BookScan Top 20, a run that began as marketing geared up for the AMC television adaptation. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Darwyn Cooke has announced that the release of Parker: The Martini Edition will be postponed for a few months, and takes full responsibility for the delay. The book is now scheduled to debut at the Long Beach Comic Con in October [Almost Darwyn Cooke's Blog]
Publishing | John Jackson Miller looks at the history of comics numbering, which he traces back to dime novels of the 19th and early 20th centuries: “Comics are anomalous in American magazine publishing because most comics don’t use volume numbers and issue numbers that roll over ever year; rather, the numbers keep on going. In that, our numbering is much like that used for the cheap, disposable fiction of the earlier days.” [The Comichron]
Bone creator Jeff Smith’s busy travel schedule only begins at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. The creator will also hit Baltimore, Toronto, New York, Ohio and Italy this year in support of the 20th anniversary of Bone and the release of the Bone: 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume.
In addition, he shares that the Bone One Volume Slipcase Edition, which is the same book that’s included with the $350 box set without the extra bells and whistles, will debut at the Mid-Ohio Con in October. Check out a picture of it after the jump.
The release of Dark Horse’s latest round of solicitations last week revealed that Evan Dorkin’s humor comic Milk and Cheese will get the deluxe hardcover treatment, collecting “every single stupid Milk and Cheese comic ever made from 1989 to 2010, along with a sh*t-ton of supplemental awesomeness.”
On his LiveJournal, Dorkin revealed details on what the “supplemental awesomeness” will entail:
- The book will feature over 80 pages of comics that have not been collected before.
- There will be a 24-pg color section featuring all the color M&C strips, a cover gallery, pin-ups, merchandise art, trading cards, etc.
- There will also be a 24-pg B&W supplemental section featuring pin-ups, t-shirt designs, and other art, etc.
- The book will include the rare 1997 M&C Special Edition 16-pg mini-comic featuring the expanded “Darth Vader Overdrive” strip and extras.
- The only M&C-related comic that will not be in the collection is the M&C/Pirate Corp$! strip from Munden’s Bar Annual #2.
- Some very swell folks gave us some very nice back cover quotes.
- The book should be hefty enough to hurt anyone hit over the head with it.
- The book should be pretty freaking awesome.
The hardcover is due Dec. 21, just in time for Christmas.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Kelson Vibber, Flash fan and proprietor of the Speed Force blog. To see what Kelson and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Comic-Con International has unveiled the programming schedule for Sunday, July 24 — the final day of the convention — that’s heavy on presentations and workshops for kids and teens, with plenty still for older attendees.
There are spotlights on Jordi Bernet, Ashley Wood, Mark Tatulli and Joelle Jones, the annual tribute to Jack Kirby, a look back at 25 years of Watchmen, and a breakdown of what it takes to create a great cover. Want more? There’s a Q&A with Axe Cop creators Ethan and Malachai Nicholle, a showcase for the women of Marvel, a collaboration how-to, and the last of the panels devoted to DC’s September relaunch.
To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Friday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.
Comic-Con International continues to roll out their programming schedule, as Saturday’s schedule of activities went live earlier today — a day that starts off with a philosophical discussion between Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison, and ends with the annual masquerade.
In between you’ll find a tribute to Harvey Pekar, as well as spotlight panels on Jerry Robinson, Ernie Chan, Jim Steranko, Terry Moore, Anders Nilsen, Robert Kirkman, Peter Kuper, Jamal Igle, Garth Ennis, J. Michael Straczynski, Mell Lazarus, Peter Tomasi, Walter and Louise Simonson, Jim Lee and Jonathan Hickman. Companies like Archie, Top Cow, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Legendary, BOOM! and Archaia will share their publishing plans, while Dark Horse will focus on their Joss Whedon books, DC highlights their Green Lantern, “Dark” and “Edge” titles, and of course, Marvel brings you the annual Cup O’ Joe panel with Joe Quesada.
To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Saturday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.
In our last edition of Shelf Porn, Eric Jaskolka shared his massive collection of X-Men merchandise — action figures, jackets, Hot Wheels, cups, statues, toys — this guy has it all. But several folks in the comments section asked about his comics.
“Many have asked to see the comic book collection,” he said over email. “I have attached pictures of the boxes as most people, like myself, keep the comics bagged and board and put away.” He also included more shots of some of his merchandise, including hats, toys and even a Wolverine pizza box. Initially he asked if I could add these to the original post, but hey, we’re talking about the X-Men here — how could I not do a spinoff? If the first post was Uncanny X-Men, consider this one New Mutants or X-Factor.
If you’d like to see your collection here, it’s easy, and it doesn’t even have to be mutant-related. Just send a brief write-up on your collection and some pictures to email@example.com.
And now take a look at more of Eric’s collection …
Top Shelf will debut three new books at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month, including the new Nate Powell book, new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Infinite Kung Fu. In addition, James Kochalka will at their booth with his entire family signing a special family portrait print, and Craig Thompson will sign the new hardcover and softcover editions of Blankets.
Check out the debuts below.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol III): Century #2 – 1969
by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is back! Our merry metafictional marauders continue their bestselling adventures through the 20th century! In this volume, the League must battle dark cultists amid the sit-ins, sitars, and psychedelics of 1960s swinging London.
IDW Publishing has released a list of the items they’ll be selling at their booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, many of which are available for pre-order. The list includes advanced copies of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1, several Ashley Wood books, Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Baja ashcans, Locke & Key keys and much more. Check out the list below:
Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones
• Visitors to Comic-Con can purchase an exclusive advance copy of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1 with a variant cover; only 400 copies of this exclusive issue will be available.
• Beginning in August, the first issue of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones will tell of the demon Azriel, who sets out to find the murderer of a beautiful young woman in the streets of New York City, only to discover a far more sinister plot that could end the world. Once a human in ancient Babylon, Azriel is a spirit of rage and terror that gradually rediscovers his humanity through holy vengeance and spiritual love.
• Anne Rice will be signing at the IDW booth #2643 on Thursday July 21, 2011 during Comic-Con. With the purchase of a SERVANT OF THE BONES #1, fans will be able to have one additional item signed.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 (Comic-Con Edition $5.00, 32 pages, full color) will be available at the IDW booth #2643 during Comic-Con, while supplies last.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in comic stores in August 2011.
CBR’s Alex Dueben interviewed Flight editor Kazu Kibuishi about the release of the eighth and final volume in the much-acclaimed anthology series this week, and Kibuishi talked a bit about why he and his editor decided to bring it to an end:
While “Flight” continues to be very successful for an anthology, it doesn’t sell enough copies to be considered a hit in the mainstream book publishing world, and our sales numbers were not rising. My goal with the project was to reach new readers and bring them into comics, but I was seeing that we weren’t doing a good enough job of it. I think much of the blame can be placed on the size and price of the books. It’s just a bit much to ask someone who has never read the other “Flight” books to spend $27 on a paperback. So I realized that the time spent on the series could be better spent helping the artists begin working on their own books. We’ll revisit the project again, but it will probably show up in a different form.
As comics shift more and more into a graphic novel model, Kibuishi’s words are worth thinking about. Book publishers and comics publishers have different ways of doing things, and apparently the Flight books, as great as they are, didn’t fit neatly into either category. On the other hand, they launched a lot of artists who did go on to make successful graphic novels.
And there’s a bit of good news in the article: Flight 8 is the last volume of the numbered series, but Kibuishi is also working with editor Sheila Keenan on one more volume of the all-ages Flight Explorer anthology, and he will be applying the lessons learned to this new book.
Well, make that “Gabrielle Bell’s diary.” Actually, make it “Gabrielle Bell’s diary comics.” The Lucky cartoonist has taken on the challenge of posting a diary comic every day for the month of July — and not just a loosely-sketched strip three or four panels, mind you, but a full-fledged page drawn in her customary splotch-driven style. It’s actually a big month for Bell: Besides the diary project, she has an art show with cartoonist Lizz Hickey opening up at Brooklyn’s Desert Island comic shop on July 14, and a collection of her acclaimed San Diego Diary strips bowing next week from Uncivilized Books. Which events, I’m sure, will provide further fuel for the diary project. Down the recursive rabbit hole we go!