Current Transmissions

Nancy A. Collins calls for DragonCon boycott over ties to co-founder

Dragon*Con

Ed Kramer’s extradition to Georgia last week on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000 has again cast a spotlight on his relationship with DragonCon, the Atlanta convention he helped found nearly 26 years ago.

The 51-year-old Kramer hasn’t been directly associated with the event since his arrest in August 2000 on charges of sexually abusing two teenage boys. However, he continues to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful. The litigious Kramer has filed two lawsuits against co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE Inc.

But horror author Nancy A. Collins, who was among the first to speak out against Kramer, contends DragonCon organizers haven’t done enough to extricate themselves from its co-founder. And so in a proposal circulated Monday by Stephen Bissette, the former Swamp Thing writer calls for professionals to boycott the convention in an effort “to cut off the flow of money” to Kramer, “who has been using the 150K+ a year he receives each year from DragonCon to avoid trial and manipulate the justice system.”

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First look at finished panels from Millar & Quitely’s Jupiter’s Legacy

The Hollywood Reporter teases the April debut of Jupiter’s Legacy with a first look at colored and lettered art from the Image Comics series from Mark Millar, Frank Quitely and Peter Doherty.

Announced in January as Jupiter’s Children, the 12-issue miniseries centers on the offspring of superheroes who have essentially squandered their inheritance, failing to live of to the example set by their parents, who gained their powers in the 1920s after discovering a mysterious island.

“We have the last remains of these old-school heroes and their mainly vacuous children living in L.A., a massive disappointment to the first generation of super-people and just lost, no real direction in their lives beyond advertising gigs and opening night-clubs,” Millar explained in November. “This is literally where we find everyone and then we go into the future, taking these guys on a journey like we’ve never seen in comics before.”

On his message board, the writer indicted he’ll likely release more comics through Image, which published his unfinished 2008 miniseries War Heroes. “I like the Image guys,” he wrote. “I’m great friends with the Marvel guys too, of course, but seeing how this goes with Image. They’re doing great things over there and I have plans to do a lot more with them if this hits as big as I think it’s going to. Kick-Ass 3 is still going to be through Marvel’s Icon imprint, but I have high hopes for future stuff at Image.”

Check out some of the panels from Jupiter’s Legacy below, and visit The Hollywood Reporter to see more.

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Comics A.M. | Warner Bros. Entertainment names new CEO

Kevin Tsujihara

Business | In a surprise announcement, Kevin Tsujihara was announced Monday to succeed Barry Meyer as CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, the parent company of DC Entertainment. The 48-year-old Tsujihara, who has been with Warner Bros. since 1994, was named in 2005 as president of the Home Entertainment Group, overseeing the company’s home video, digital distribution, video games, anti-piracy and emerging technology operations. He was chosen as CEO over Bruce Rosenbaum, president of Warner Bros. Television, and Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures (under which DC Entertainment is placed in the corporate structure). [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Talking Comics with Tim | Ming Doyle on Mara

Mara 2

To best understand a creator’s project, I typically like to learn how the storyteller views her main character. In this week’s interview, artist Ming Doyle immediately provided that insight into the star of Mara, her six-issue Image Comics collaboration with writer Brian Wood.

As she explained to me, while Mara is a volleyball player, it’s the character’s celebrity that “is the core of her being.” Doyle clearly relishes the chance to draw “futurecity gridlock,” and she does a good job conveying such scenes. In discussing her craft, it struck me that while respect for her work has been growing steadily, it appears she’s just beginning to get comfortable with her storytelling talents (while continually striving to improve upon them).

Comic Book Resources recently ran a preview of Mara #2, which goes on sale Wednesday. Wood and Doyle together tell an engaging tale. If you missed the first issue, this week would be a good time to pick up two issues and see what you’re missing.

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The Dredd prop auction has begun


2012 will be remembered in some quarters as the year of some of the most overrated comic book movies ever. Fancy grabbing yourself a piece of permanent reminder from easily the best and most underrated of last year’s crop? Then eBay is the place for you, as DNA Films and the Prop Store are auctioning off over 200 props and costumes from Dredd over the next fortnight. In time you’ll be able to buy yourself a (hopefully fully working) Lawmaster motorbike, but the first batch includes the only complete Judge Dredd costume that’ll be available in the auction.

No word from anyone involved yet, but this sale may well be tacit confirmation that DNA has no intention of developing a sequel to the film, despite its recent success both as a download and in DVD and Blu-Ray sales, a second bite of the cherry that will probably result in putting the movie in profit after its initially disappointing international box office takings.

Wish This Was Real | Jeremy Bastian’s Batman

Everyone should start contributing to my secret island base and henchman pension fund, because as soon as I take over the world we’re getting a Victorian Batman series by Jeremy Bastian, in addition to Cursed Pirate Girl.

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The truth is out there, again: The X-Files returning to comics

Mulder and Scully are returning to comics in June with a new X-Files series from IDW Publishing.

Airing from 1993 to 2002 on Fox, The X-Files helped to define pre-millennium paranoia television as FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigated cases involving paranormal phenomena ranging from alien abductions to bizarre murders, many tied to byzantine government conspiracies.

Although the series ran for nine seasons (the last few of which are largely forgettable), it was never a ratings powerhouse: It reached its peek of popularity with Season 5, averaging 19.8 million viewers. Still, it spawned two feature films, inspired countless subsequent dramas — from The Burning Zone and Dark Skies to Fringe and Supernatural — and spun off comics series at Topps and Wildstorm. The characters last appeared in the 2009 Wildstorm/IDW crossover 30 Days of Night/The X-Files.

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Set those DVRs: PBS airing superhero-themed Pioneers of Television

Adam West takes a break on the set of "Batman"

PBS’s Pioneers of Television series celebrates “the visionaries who shaped a fledgling medium,” and Tuesday night’s episode is all about superheroes. Covering every decade from the ’50s to the ’80s, it digs into The Adventures of Superman, Batman, Wonder WomanThe Incredible Hulk and The Greatest American Hero. Interviews include Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Lynda Carter, Lou Ferrigno and William Katt. Hopefully they make Julie Newmar and William Katt team up.

To promote the episode, PBS has put a ton of content from it on its website. There’s a preview of the episode, mini-essays about some of the showsexcerpts from some of the interviewsprofiles of the actors and a terrific photo gallery. It’s a great way to kill some time while waiting for the real thing to air.

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ComiXology expands with European division

ComiXology is expanding its reach with a new Paris-based division devoted to “spearheading the acquisition of international language content across the European continent.” Staff from comiXology Europe and the U.S. branch will have a presence this week at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the second-largest comic-book festival in the world.

“ComiXology has already proven to be enormously popular with consumers in many countries around the world – and that’s just in English,” comiXology co-founder CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “With comiXology Europe, comiXology takes the first step in becoming the platform for multi-language graphic literature from all over the world.”

It’s been an eventful few months for the digital-comics platform, which was the third-highest grossing iPad app of 2012, up from No. 10 the previous year. In December alone, comiXology launched a continuous-bookmarking feature, signed distribution deals with Andresw McMeel Publishing and Mark Waid’s Thrillbent, and rolled out comiXology Submit. In October, the company surpassed 100 million downloads, with more of than 50 million occurring in 2012.

Six by 6 | Six great but forgotten comics anthologies

Zero Zero #2

Everyone knows about Zap, Arcade, Raw, Weirdo, Mome, Paper Rad and Kramer’s Ergot. Even lesser lights like Taboo, Twisted Sisters, the SPX anthology and even (gulp) Heavy Metal have all gotten their due at one time or another. But then there are those anthologies that, for whatever reason, never seem to resonate with readers despite containing a host of high quality contributions. Below the jump are six anthologies I don’t think have fully gotten their due. Be sure to let me know what your picks are in the comments section.

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Barnes & Noble to close one-third of retail stores over next decade

Once criticized for its role in the decline of local booksellers, retail giant Barnes & Noble is struggling in a shrinking print market that claimed longtime rival Borders less than two years ago.

The chain, which boasts 689 retail stores (along with 674 college stores), plans to cut that number by one-third over the next decade at a rate of about 20 locations year. That will leave Barnes & Noble with about 450 to 500 stores, down from a peak of 726 in 2008. In the past month or so, the company has shuttered locations in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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Comics A.M. | J.K. Woodward reflects on wrath of Hurricane Sandy

J.K. Woodward

Creators | Artist J.K. Woodward (Fallen Angel, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who) recounts how he and his wife lost everything but their cat and the clothes they were wearing during Hurricane Sandy — and how what happened afterward changed his perspective: ““When things are going right, you really don’t know what kind of world you’re living in. You tend to be cynical. But there has been such an outpouring of support not just here but from the comics community — we did a podcast interview, for example, and I mentioned how we had to go to the laundromat every day because of our clothing situation. As a result of that, two days later I went to my studio was packed full of care packages with toiletries and other necessities. It showed that what should have been a real tragedy turned into a blessing. It gave me a much more positive outlook.” [The Conway Daily Sun]

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What Are You Reading? with Landry Walker

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew shares their picks for the Royal Rumble … I mean, talks about what comics we’ve read recently. Today our special guest is Landry Walker, writer of Danger Club, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Little Gloomy, Tron and more.

To smell what Landry and the Robot 6 crew are cookin’, click below.

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Colton’s growing collection of manga and more

If it’s Saturday, it must be Shelf Porn. Today’s collection comes from Colton, a 17-year-old with a collection of manga, comics, video games and more.

If you’d like to submit your collection to Shelf Porn, scroll down to the end of the post to find out how. Now let’s hear from Colton …

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Robot Roulette | James Asmus

Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.

Trying his luck today is writer and comedian James Asmus, who you know from Gambit, Thief of Thieves and the just-released The End Times of Bram & Ben.

Now let’s get to it …

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