"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Manga | Dark Horse has announced the September release of Astro Boy Omnibus Volume 1, an oversized collection featuring nearly 700 pages of Osamu Tezuka’s most popular creation, billed as the first in a series. The news follows the recent announcement of the publisher’s oversized editions of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. [Dark Horse]
Publishing | David Carter takes a hard look at Vertigo as part of his analysis of DC Comics’ December sales. He notes that most of the series are selling poorly (under — often well under — 15,000 copies) and speculates that the reason may be that creators, even those who do work for DC, are taking their creator-owned books to Image Comics. He also thinks Vertigo’s trade policy isn’t working, as releasing the trades early and pricing the first one low encourages readers to skip the monthly comics — but then there’s a high probability they will forget about a new series altogether. [The Beat]
Archie Comics had a lot of surprises for readers in 2014, and if early plans are any indication, 2015 has even more in store. One of the publisher’s major announcements last year was the relaunch of its Dark Circle imprint, spearheaded by editor Alex Segura. With a debut that includes revamped versions of The Shield and The Black Hood, along with a second volume of The Fox, each book has its own style and flavor.
Helping to bring that flavor to the forefront is none other than Chilling Adventures of Sabrina artist Robert Hack, who will contribute three special vintage movie poster variants to the line — and ROBOT 6 has the exclusive first look!
We also spoke with Segura, who revealed how the variants were developed, the mission to make each of the titles unique, resolutions for 2015 and more.
Crime | Kazutoshi Iwama, the 50-year-old man accused of shoplifting a Tetsujin-28 go figure worth more than $2,400 from a Mandarake store in Tokyo, has turned himself in to police. The theft became a matter of high public interest when Mandarake posted a security-camera photo of the man, with his face pixelated, and threatened to show his face if he didn’t return the figure by Aug. 12. The stunt attracted scores of journalists to the store, but Iwama reportedly told police he wasn’t aware of the threat until after he sold the figure to a secondhand store … for about $623. [Anime News Network, The Japan Times]
Publishing | Alex Segura, senior vice president of publicity and marketing for Archie Comics and editor of the newly renamed Dark Circle superhero line, talks about where the comics are coming from, what to expect — and his new dual role at Archie: “Usually, I’m the PR guy collecting the information from editorial and deciding how to announce it. Now, I was the editor getting the details together for the PR guy to announce and basically having conversations with myself. I’m exaggerating slightly.” [13th Dimension]
The past several months have been period of transition for Alex Segura. In February, he left his position as executive director of publicity at DC Entertainment to return to Archie Comics, where he became senior vice president of publicity and marketing, and editor of its Red Circle line. But even before that, he entered a new phase of his career with the October release of his first prose novel, a mystery called Silent City set in his native Miami.
As Segura enters this new chapter in his life, ROBOT 6 reached out to talk about his new duties at Archie and his new career as a novelist.
Alex Segura has rejoined DC Entertainment as executive director of publicity, he announced today at The Source.
He previously served as publicity manager at the publisher from 2006 to 2010 before taking the job as executive director of publicity and marketing at Archie Comics, where he also wrote last year’s four-part Archie Meets KISS story. He was promoted in June to vice president — publicity and marketing.
“This is an important time at DC Entertainment. And a great time to be DC Entertainment. The New 52 is in full swing,” Segura wrote at The Source. “The company is crackling with a creative energy that’s never been seen before – in comics and beyond. And while I could take up a lot of Internet real estate listing all the great things coming up, we’ll save that for later. Short version: big stuff is happening. Get ready.”
Segura will report to Courtney Simmons, senior vice president of publicity. His hiring likely fills the void left by the departure in April of Vice President of Publicity David Hyde, who had been with the company for nearly nine years.
Archie Meets Kiss (Archie Comics) Archie has proven especially adept at coming up with attention-grabbing — as in mainstream media attention-grabbing — storylines of late, and of all the “stunt” stories they’ve pulled off in the last few years, this one is by far the weirdest.
The closest thing I can think to which to compare it would be 1994’s Archie Meets The Punisher, although if that project worked by gleefully combining two funnybook polar opposites and letting that unlikely tension sell the book, having the eternal teenagers of Riverdale meet a rock band from the 1970s in the year 2012 is … well, it’s not so much the team-up you thought you’d never see, as it is the team-up no one could have imagined (except, I guess, for Gene Simmons, who apparently called up Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and asked him to do the story).
Archie PR guy-turned-Archie writer Alex Segura and regular Archie artist Dan Parent (inked by Rich Koslowski) tell the tale: One night at a treehouse meeting of the Riverdale Monster Society, Sabrina (the Teenage Witch) is attempting to cast a protection spell over the city, but Veronica and Reggie accidentally mess it up, casting a projection spell that summons a quartet of monsters to town and, hot on their heels, Kiss.
The monsters—specific, teenage stereotype versions of the Universal monsters — set about sucking all of the fun out of Riverdale, threatening to make it an eternal land of lameness and tedium (Don’t worry, Segura makes the joke you yourself were just thinking of), and turning its residents into mindless zombies.
Archie Comics have been more topical than ever lately, but when we heard that the Occupy movement was coming to Riverdale in an upcoming issue, we just had to get the details. Here’s writer Alex Segura on how they got the idea and where this comic is going.
Robot 6: OK, first of all—why? Whose idea was this, and why does it seem like a logical story for the Archie crowd?
Alex Segura: It came up while I was sitting and talking to our Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. We had just finished an interview to discuss the wedding of Kevin Keller and the reporter—I believe it was the AP’s Matt Moore—said “What’s next, Occupy Riverdale?” We all kind of chuckled at the idea, but once we got off the phone we stopped and thought “Why not?” Jon’s vision of Riverdale has always been of a modern city that reflects what’s going on around the world. So, once we decided we wanted to do it, I threw my hat in the ring and wrote up a proposal.
I really wanted it to be about Occupy but also not to stray too far from what an Archie comic should be, which is light-hearted, entertaining and, most importantly, funny. It wasn’t easy, but I think we got it. I looked back at a lot of the classic Archie stories from the 60s and early 70s that showed the gang dealing with current topics in an honest, but still “Archie” way. Not to mention our current, topical output, like Kevin Keller.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week’s guest is Alex Segura, executive director of publicity and marketing at Archie Comics. But we’ll always know him as the guy who founded The Great Curve, the blog that would one day morph into Robot 6.
To see what Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
My friendship and association with Alex Segura dates back to late 2004 when he invited me to join Robot 6‘s ancestor blog (or however you want to call its relation) The Great Curve. I wear my bias on my sleeve for this interview–I’ve always been a supporter of Segura’s work–be it years at DC Comics, or more recently, his current role as Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing at Archie Comics. In addition to discussing what he’s accomplished to date at Archie (and hopes to achieve in the near to long term), we delve into his own writing and musical pursuits (in the band, The Faulkner Detectives).
Tim O’Shea: Before your first stint with Archie a few years back, you worked at Wizard. So I gotta ask, what’s your reaction to the end of the print magazine?
Alex Segura: On a gut level, it’s sad. Wizard was a big part of my getting into comics – or at least, sticking with them – in middle school and into college. There were times when I wasn’t actively buying any regular comic books but would still pick up Wizard to keep tabs on the industry. Working there was also huge. It was my first full-time job in the industry and gave me a crash course in comics and how they work. I also met some of my best friends there – many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis. Hell, I live with Ryan Penagos, who I first met at Wizard. So, yeah. I have a lot of fond memories of both my time at the company and my relationship with the magazine leading up to that.
Professionally, I’m not all that surprised. There was a time when Wizard was a major tastemaker – they had a big part in the rise of Image and for a long while broke major news from the Big Two. But with the rise of comic news on the web, it just seemed like they got left behind. Hopefully this new incarnation can revive the company. We’ll see.
From last summer’s “I Am An Avenger” campaign rolling out the “Heroic Age” era members of the flagship team to DC’s recent Flashpoint teasers with simply a logo and some text. Image Comics has even taken part in this trend, with not-so-subtle jabs at it in the parody “I am A Guardian” with characters like Gary Popper, and the month-long string of teasers hyping the upcoming Butcher Baker series.
They’ve become a well-worn tool in every comic publisher’s marketing toolkit — and with good reason. A well-crafted teaser sparks the minds of the comic-buying public’s imagination, much in the same way as a good cliffhanger at the end of an issue would. And better yet, they don’t really have to spend anything to circulate these promos; comic websites large and small, including ours, snap them up and readers seem to follow suit. You could call them advertisements, but “advertisement” means a paid announcement, and these are more like flyers solicited through the comics sites.
But why are they so popular? We asked the experts — the people that are using them — to find out.