Judge Dredd fans have another cinematic version of their favorite antihero to look forward to (no, there hasn’t been a last-minute, sequel-saving, boost to the box-office haul of Dredd 3D). The short fan film Judge Minty, which has had a production period running almost parallel to the official movie, has announced it is to premiere at the Leeds Film Festival on Nov. 12, with a second showing at the Leeds Thought Bubble comics festival Nov. 18.
The movie has plenty of close links to the comic and its fandom: Dredd is played in the film by artist Greg Staples, and the script was written by regular 2000AD contributor Michael Carroll, adapting a classic John Wagner and Mick McMahon story. The teaser trailer, which has been doing the rounds for more two years now, shows that it is tantalizingly possible to do an incredibly faithful live-action Judge Dredd on a television budget. Make it so, BBC/HBO commissioning bods!
Created by Sax Carr and Marisha Ray (who also plays Batgirl), the series follows Stephanie Brown as she fights crime and tries to determine whether this life of “adrenaline and danger, duty and honor” is one she really wants. As the earlier trailer teased, Batgirl: Spoiled features a large supporting cast that includes such DC Comics characters as Commissioner Gordon, Batwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Penguin and Oracle (those last two appear in the first episode, “Blindside,” along with a third whom I won’t spoil here).
The second episode will be released in about 30 days; the producers are hoping to find a convention to play host to its premiere.
Wild Children writer Ales Kot has provided Robot 6 with a teaser for his follow-up Change, a four-issue Image Comics miniseries about a struggling screenwriter/successful car thief, an obscenely wealthy astronaut and a dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth — the only three people who can save Los Angeles from destructive forces that repeatedly find the city through time and swallow it whole.
Change #1 arrives Dec. 12.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the heavily hyped fighting game that pits DC Comics heroes and villains against each other in epic battles, will give rise to its own comic-book spinoff.
According to The Verge, the announcement was made over the weekend at EB Games Expo in Sydney, Australia, where NetherRealm Studios Co-Founder Ed Boon explained he’d like to see the Injustice version of the DC Universe expand into other media.
“We’re working on an Injustice comic book to carry the story and tell the events that came before the game,” he said. “With a game like Mortal Kombat, so many things spawned from there, like the movie. Obviously the extreme version is it would spawn a lot more things, but I know for sure we are making an Injustice comic.”
Comics | Ahead of Joe Quesada’s appearance tonight on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the debut Wednesday of Uncanny Avengers, Marvel unpacks its Marvel NOW! initiative for the national press. “This ain’t a reboot, we’re simply hitting the refresh button. ‘Marvel NOW!’ simply offers a line-wide entry-point into the Marvel Universe that you’re already reading about,” Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso says. Tom Brevoort, senior vice president of publishing, calls it “a game of musical chairs” for creators, who will be switched around to make things interesting. [The Associated Press]
Creators | Writer Gail Simone discusses the coming battle between Batgirl and Knightfall in Batgirl #13, as well as the impending return of The Joker: “The Joker is really the Elvis of comic-book villains. There’s no one with his primal star power, there’s no one else anywhere who has sent more chills up the spines of readers, because there genuinely is something terrifying about him.” [USA Today]
A few years ago it seemed like Glyn Dillon might end up just a footnote in the histories of other comic creators: the younger brother of Steve; the housemate of Jamie Hewlett, Alan Martin and Phillip Bond during the Deadline years; the artist on Alan Martin’s decidedly less-famous strip “Planet Swerve”; a collaborator with Pete Milligan on a few uncollected Vertigo comics. If you asked around, you found out that Glyn Dillon was part of the exodus of talent out of comics in the mid-’90s, a brain-drain that benefited the worlds of film and television production greatly.
If you were really tenaciously researching his creative whereabouts, you may well have discovered he now had an IMDb page publicly listing a few storyboarding jobs. In the immortal words of This Is Spinal Tap, to the average comic fan he was “currently residing in the where-are-they-now file.” TV and film production is a litigious land where artists are bound by non-disclosure agreements; the thousands of pages they produce there may never be seen, at least not until the projects they are produced for are either in the can or officially pronounced dead. This is considered beyond the pale by comics fans, used to their favorite artists releasing practically every development sketch for every project they work on.
In April we spotlighted the first music video/motion comic collaboration between writer James Davidge, Saga artist Fiona Staples and Canadian alt-country band Cowpuncher, and now, six months later they’re at it again.
This time Davidge and Staples’ 2007 short story “Nouveau Hobo” is transformed into a music video for Cowpuncher’s “Kill All the Artists.” The story originally appeared in Davidge’s collection My Modern Panic: Short Stories.
Watch the video below, and listen to more Cowpuncher music on the band’s website.
Writer Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham will debut their comic Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabran Gray at New York Comic Con, which begins Thursday at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
Offered as an ashcan at Comic-Con International, Five Ghosts centers on treasure hunter Fabian Gray who, after coming in contact with an artifact known as “the Dreamstone,” becomes possessed by five literary ghosts, each with his own ability: The Wizard (Merlin), The Archer (Robin Hood), The Detective (Sherlock Holmes), The Samurai (Musashi) and The Vampire (Dracula).
Check out a preview of Five Ghosts below. The 32-page comic will be available for $4.99 from Barbiere and Mooneyham at their table (#BB7) at New York Comic Con.
There are two things I love about Sam Hiti’s work. One is his unique artistic style; his stuff looks like nothing else on the planet. But as much as I love that, what I especially look forward to in his books is layered storytelling. Even when I can’t read the language he’s writing in, like the Spanish comic El Largo Tren Oscuro, Hiti’s visuals communicate that there are multiple things going on for anyone paying attention. That’s especially true in longer graphic novels like Tiempos Finales and Death-Day.
I wasn’t sure then what to expect from Hiti’s first children’s book, Waga’s Big Scare. I knew I’d love the art, but what would the story be like? Fortunately, Hiti’s one of those authors who knows that children can handle more than people usually give them credit for, both in terms of story and frights. Waga is a demonic little monster that’s lost his “scare.” Hiti doesn’t explicitly describe what that means, nor why Waga will disappear if he doesn’t get his scare back by morning, but there’s food for thought there if you want to figure out what the scare represents and how it relates to nighttime. The story works on different levels.
Children and adults both will relate to looking for something that’s gone missing, just as everyone will delight in the spooky, creature-filled landscapes and scenes Hiti creates for Waga to go searching through: monster parades, creepy woods, graveyards, and dark, dank caves. There’s also a growing sense of urgency and tension reminiscent of The Monster at the End of this Book. The closer Waga gets to the end of the story, the more worried I got that he wouldn’t find his scare.
But then, why was I rooting for him in the first place? Hiti describes him early on as “the meanest, trickiest, most terrible monster that ever lived.” Do I really want him to get his big scare back? Don’t I want him to fail and disappear? It’s to the book’s great credit that the answer to that last question is “no” and I imagine it’ll be the same for kids.
Go, Waga, go! Find that scare and terrify the poop out of me.
In a bit of corporate synergy, Joe Quesada will pay a visit Tuesday on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to launch Marvel NOW! with the debut of Uncanny Avengers, and to … propose a team-up with the talk-show host?
“First Jimmy Kimmel rocked the Emmys in front of the entire world and now he’s set his sights on the Marvel Universe,” Marvel’s chief creative officer said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to meeting with him to see just what he has planned for the Avengers, Spider-Man, Wolverine or whichever of Marvel’s superheroes interest him the most. But this is Marvel NOW! and we’re going to need the biggest ideas to compete with what we’ve planned! One things for sure — you’ve never seen Marvel on TV like this before!”
Archaia Entertainment has announced its programming and signing schedule and giveaways for New York Comic Con, held Thursday through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. The publisher will use the event to debut the hardcovers Last Days of an Immortal, by Fabien Vehlmann and Gwen de Bonneval, The Grand Duke, by Yann and Romain Hugault, and Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 Black and White, by David Petersen.
Along with three panels — “How to Prepare an Effective Submission” on Friday, “Transmedia in Graphic Novel Publishing” on Saturday and “How to Tell a Better Story Through World-Building” on Sunday — Archaia has scheduled more than 100 autograph sessions (Booth #1520), including those by Brian Froud and Wendy Froud (the complete schedule can be found on the company’s website).
In addition, Archaia will give away copies of its Free Comic Book Day hardcover to kids (while supplies last), along with convention-exclusive autograph cards for upcoming titles Bolivar, Cyborg 009, The Joyners in 3D, Mumbai Confidential, Pantalones, TX, The Reason for Dragons, Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe, Spera Vol. 2, and Strange Attractors. There also will be limited-edition tip-ins for the hardcovers Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian and Iron: Or, the War After by Shane-Michael Vidaurri. Both creators will be signing throughout the convention.
But wait! There’s more! Like copies of a 26-page preview for Charles Soule’s upcoming graphic novel Strange Attractors, demonstrations of Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set, a limited number of portfolio reviews by Archaia CCO Mark Smylie, and gaming stations for demonstrations of Meteor Entertainment’s upcoming free-to-play online mech game Hawken.
“When I started, if you got syndicated, you were basically set — you’d make a good living, and you wouldn’t have to worry much else. In the 11 years since then, that door has basically closed. There is no new great syndicated strip, and there probably won’t be. Literally, there are no new launches. Now, to make it, you have to go that web route. Many of those guys, from Penny Arcade to Cyanide and Happiness to The Perry Bible Fellowship — which are all excellent — claim to make a living, but how do you know? I can tell you that even if someone does a strip and it’s fairly popular online, the money is not online. I question a lot of claims about the money being made, and the question remains that if things continue to go that route for newspapers, and you have to make money online, how do you do it?”
– award-winning cartoonist Stephan Pastis, on how the market for comic strips has changed since Pearls Before Swine received wide syndication in 2002
Publishing| Comics sales in the direct market were down in September relative to last year, but that may be because the launch of DC’s New 52 pushed sales unusually high in September 2011. Graphic novels were up by 14.4 percent, making for a slight uptick in the overall market. Year-to-date and third-quarter sales were also up by a goodly amount from last year. [ICv2]
Editorial cartooning | The position of editorial cartoonist as a staff job on a newspaper is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, but attendees at the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists meeting in Washington, D.C., don’t seem too downhearted; new opportunities are opening up, and this year’s presidential campaign is presenting them with plenty of material. “Times are tough for the old idea of cartoonists, but all kinds of other things have opened up,” said cartoonist Chip Bok, “And editorial cartoons, all cartoons, are more popular than ever. You see them all over the Internet. The problem now is figuring out how to get paid.” [Voice of America]
Bill Willingham sent out a newsletter last week to those who expressed interest in his inaugural Fabletown and Beyond convention next March in Rochester, Minnesota. It was a long email, so I’ll just hit the highlights, but those who want to learn more can do so at the convention’s website or by following the event on Twitter.
Fabletown and Beyond will celebrate what Willingham calls “Mythic Fiction,” which includes books about fables, fairy tales, folklore and mythology. “It’s a growing movement within entertainment as a whole, and comics in particular,” Willingham writes. “We decided it needed its own convention to better explore and appreciate.”
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week we’re joined by music video director and comic book writer Alex de Campi, whose works include Smoke, Kat & Mouse, Valentine and the in-production Ashes.
To see at Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.