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What Are You Reading? with Kevin Church

Happy Sunday and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our guest today is Kevin Church, writer of The Rack, Signs and Meanings, the new Monkeybrain series Wander: Olive Hopkins And The Ninth Kingdom and many other comics.

To see what Kevin and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Liquid Comics teams with Yahoo for motion comics

Liquid Comics, the successor to Virgin Comics, has partnered with Yahoo to bring motion comics to the video portal Yahoo! Screen. The first two titles, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens and Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, will debut this summer.

Liquid emerged in September 2008 following a restructuring and management buyout of Virgin Comics, the joint venture formed two years earlier by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and the India-based comics publisher Gotham Entertainment.

Written by Grant Morrison and painted by Mukesh Singh, Dinosaurs vs. Aliens was published in May through Dynamite Entertainment, and is being developed as a film by Sonnenfeld (Men in Black). Gamekeeper, by Ritchie, Andy Diggle and Singh, debuted in 2007 under Virgin’s Director’s Cut imprint; it, too, is destined for the big screen.

In Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, aliens invade prehistoric Earth, whose only saviors are dinosaurs more intelligent than humanity has ever imagined. Gamekeeper is an espionage tale centering on a reclusive groundsman who lives a quiet existence until mercenaries appear to disrupt his world.

“We are thrilled to work with Yahoo! to bring the full graphic novel experience to their audience through Liquid’s motion comic versions,” Liquid Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan said in a statement. “Yahoo’s impressive global reach will greatly enhance Liquid’s goal of pushing the boundaries of comic books through digital platforms and technology and enabling our creative partners to share their stories with audiences worldwide.”

Andy Diggle and Jock bring Snapshot to Judge Dredd Megazine

Snapshot, the long-teased comic reuniting The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One collaborators Andy Diggle and Jock, will at last debut in late March in Judge Dredd Megazine #322.

First mentioned as early as November 2008, the thriller is described as a “tale of cold-blooded killers and sinister conspiracies” about a San Francisco slacker who finds a smartphone containing photos of a murder victim. “Then the phone begins to ring …”

The duo’s first creator-owned project, Snapshot marks the return of Diggle and Jock to the Megazine, where they first worked together on the Judge Dredd spinoff Lenny Zero more than a decade ago. At one point, the comic seemed destined for Image.

“Jock and I have been chipping away at Snapshot for a few years now in our spare time, assuming we’d approach a publisher once we had enough material to show,” Diggle told the 2000AD blog. “But when I bumped into Matt Smith at the New York Comic Con, he suggested the Megazine’s creator-owned slot might be the perfect place for it. After all, the Megazine was where Jock and I first worked together on Lenny Zero, back before The Losers or Green Arrow: Year One. So it feels like coming home.”

Judge Dredd Megazine #322 arrives March 28 in the United Kingdom and April 11 in North America.

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Food or Comics? | Everybody wants a piece of the Action

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Graeme McMillan

It’s a slow week, this week; if I had $15, I’d use it to catch up on some recent enjoyments like Action Comics #3 (DC, $3.99) and OMAC #3 (DC, $2.99), two of my favorite titles from the New 52 relaunch–OMAC in particular has been a really weird and wonderful joy–as well as the final issue of Marvel’s great and sadly underrated Mystic revival (#4, $2.99). I’d also see if the parody-tastic Shame Itself #1 (Marvel, $3.99) lives up to its potential, because “Wyatt Cenac + Colleen Coover” sounds pretty promising to these ears.

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Previews: What Looks Good for November

The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Dark Horse Presents is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Ape

Puss in Boots Movie Prequel – I don’t care for movie prequel comics as a rule, but swashbuckling cats are awesome in any incarnation. As long as these are fresh gags and not just ones warmed up from Shrek, I expect to enjoy this.

Archaia

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Book 1 - I just introduced my son to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth a couple of weeks ago, so this is great timing. He had the same questions about The Dark Crystal‘s world that I always do, so I’m looking forward to seeing Archaia’s take on answering those. Totally feel like the world’s in good hands with this publisher and these creators.

The Sigh - If Archaia’s snagging Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis, Chicken With Plums) new book has been reported already, I missed it. I’m surprised that wasn’t bigger news.

Siegfried, Volume 1 – I’ve been meaning to read P Craig Russell’s Ring of the Nibelung adaptation for years, so I think this might be what pushes me to finally do it. It would be fun to read Russell’s and compare it to this version by Alex Alice.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Nick Dragotta

Pages from Vengeance 1

If you were one of those folks who not heard of artist Nick Dragotta before this year, it’s quite feasible you learned about the storyteller after his work on Fantastic Four 588 (the silent mourning for Johnny Storm issue). If Dragotta’s next project is half as successful as I expect it to be, even more folks will know and like his art. That project? He and writer Joe Casey’s six-issue Marvel miniseries, Vengeance [set to be released July 6]. As described by Marvel: “When MAGNETO of the X-Men tries to rescue a young Mutant on the run, he accidently kicks off a series of events that will shake the very Marvel Universe to it’s core! Who are the new TEEN BRIGADE?! Who are the Brotherhood and what do they want with the YOUNG MASTERS OF EVIL?! And how is the RED SKULL pulling the strings from beyond the grave?” My thanks to Dragotta for the interview (and for the above preview art from the first issue). Once you’ve read this interview, be sure to also read Timothy Callahan’s When Words Collide column/Joe Casey interview.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Invincible Iron Man #500

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, IDW would be seeing a lot of it. It’s a cheat, because I’ve actually already read both Doctor Who Vol. 2 #1 and GI Joe: Cobra II #12 (both $3.99), but both are licensed comics done right in my opinion; Who in particular really catches the tone of the TV show in a way that the last series, as fun as it was, didn’t quite do (despite the writer, Tony Lee, being the same for both), and Joe has an ending that’ll get the nostalgics in the audience jumping up and down. It’s a weird mix of anti-nostalgia and art appreciation that gets me looking at my other pick of the week, Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man #500, which I’ll be picking up less for the story – although I like the “What if this really was #500 of the current series, and set 40-odd years in the future?” idea behind it – than the art, seeing as the wonderful Nathan Fox, KANO and Carmine Di Giandomenico join the okay-if-you-like-photo-tracing Sal Larroca for this oversized issue.

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What Are You Reading?

Batgirl #17

Welcome to a long holiday weekend (at least here in the United States) edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Doug Zawisza, who writes reviews and the occasional article for Comic Book Resources.

To see what Doug and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.

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The Fifth Color | The checkered past of Daredevil

Do you like checkers? I think there is a point in everyone’s life (usually when we’re young) that checkers is an awesome game. One of the earliest board games played internationally, you may call it draughts, but everyone has a basic idea of how the pieces move, what the theory of the game is and how to win. It’s a simple but challenging game, probably taught by a family member or a friend, maybe even by a super-cool math teacher on a rainy day. Young and old can play the same game and get the same enjoyment out of being kinged or hopping over a bunch of your opponent’s pieces. Some might even call checkers the ‘gateway drug’ to chess, as it takes that board and provides a challenging new game to play in checkers’ place.

The thing about checkers, though, is that eventually you’re going to want to play something else. Playing a lot of games of checkers, day in and day out, can get boring. The game can seem childish and simple after awhile, and if you asked a room full of fourth graders if they’d rather play checkers or Halo? Not that checkers isn’t fun now and again, but nowadays, we the playing public wouldn’t settle for the same simple game over and over.

With Shadowland, Andy Diggle has finally tipped over the board and scattered the checkers all over the floor (maybe kicking a couple under the couch). Sure, he played checkers with us and started out with similar gambits that were noticed before, but now with the end of a major story arc and Marvel’s ‘street crew’ settled in a new direction, I can say with some satisfaction that this is a new, refreshing direction for the character of Matt Murdock and his continuing troubles and heroism. So what game are we playing now? Can it be Battleship? Read on and find out.

(WARNING: Yep, spoilers ahead for Shadowland #5 and Daredevil #512. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that the good guys win in this one, but watch how they do it. Diggle crafted a fantastic ending, so please grab a copy and read along!)

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What Are You Reading?

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear

Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately. Today our special guest is Chad Nevett, who talks about comics in several different places around the web — at his personal blog GraphiContent, at our sister blog Comics Should Be Good!, as a reviewer for Comic Book Resources and on the Splash Page podcast. He also writes about wrestling for 411mania.

To see what Chad and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click the link below.

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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Spawn #9

Spawn #9

Legal | The big news over the weekend was that a federal judge ruled in the latest chapter of the prolonged Neil Gaiman/Todd McFarlane legal battle that the characters Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany are simply derivatives of their earlier creations Medieval Spawn and Angela. Therefore, Gaiman has a right to a share of profits from the properties.

Maggie Thompson, who has been covering every twist and turn of the case from the beginning, offers her take on the ruling. Meanwhile, John Jackson Miller revisits sales estimates of the Spawn issues written by Gaiman, Alan Moore, Dave Sim and Frank Miller. [MaggieThompson.com, The Comichron]

Organizations | Friends of Lulu appears to have been spared from dissolution after volunteers stepped forward to fill board positions. [Occasional Superheroine]

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Sneak a peek at Andy Diggle and Jock’s Image thriller Snapshot

A snapshot of "Snapshot" #1

A snapshot of "Snapshot" #1

Jock has revealed a first look at Snapshot, the long-teased Image Comics miniseries that reunites him with writer Andy Diggle, his collaborator on The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One.

First mentioned as early as November 2008, the thriller reportedly centers on a protagonist who finds a cellphone belonging to a hitman that contains snapshots of his work. Jock’s tweeted photo, of the opening page of Issue 1, seems to support that setup.

There’s been no mention of when the miniseries will debut, but perhaps we can expect an announcement later this month at Comic-Con International.

Jock and Diggle’s collaborative history dates back to 2000, when they created Lenny Zero for Judge Dredd Megazine.

(via Multiversity Comics)

Does Marvel have a stealth digital-royalties plan?

C.B. Cebulski and friend

C.B. Cebulski and friend

One of the most welcome aspects of yesterday’s big DC digital-comics announcement from a creator-rights perspective is that “creator incentive payments” are a part of it. In his interview with CBR’s Kiel Phegley, co-publisher Jim Lee compared the payments to the royalties creators receive for print sales, saying “the freelance community will be happy that they’re being compensated in every way their stories are being sold.” That aspect of the arrival of digital comics publishing has been shrouded in mystery up until now, so DC’s move is a big first step.

Or is it? On his Twitter account, Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski took issue with a letter apparently sent out to creators by DC touting the move:

Sorry, DC, but despite what your nice letter says, you are NOT “the first to announce a participation plan for talent” for digital comics. I’m not sniping at DC, just correcting misinformation that’s being sent out freelancers, some who work for both companies.

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Geoff Johns’ post-promotion charm offensive

DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns

DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns

It’s tough reading the tea leaves when it comes to the actions of DC’s new management team. Aside from the customary reassuring department meetings, high-level powwows (with the likes of writer Grant Morrison and WildStorm Vice President-General Manager Hank Kanalz) and renewed sense of energy reported in the hallways of 1700 Broadway, the immediate impact of the advancement of Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has been difficult to gauge.

But this being 2010 and all, there’s always Twitter to consult. And in Johns’ feed, at least, we can see some evidence of fence-mending with a couple of creators who’ve left DC and its imprints for presumably greener pastures.

On Monday, Johns wished The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One writer Andy Diggle a happy birthday, tweeting “Still miss your writing at DC… :)” (Yes, complete with smiley-face emoticon.) Diggle, currently a Marvel-exclusive creator, has described leaving DC after coming to feel he was an uncomfortable fit in both its superhero and Vertigo lines. He also took to his own Twitter account a few months back to express his frustration with the unavailability of DC/Vertigo’s Losers collections. Obviously it’s in everyone’s best interests to get along, what with the high-profile movie adaptation of Diggle and Jock’s The Losers on the way — Jim Lee promoted a recent signing by the team on his own Twitter, for example — but still, that’s a fairly explicit overture.

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Heroes Con + Wizard World Philly | Catching up on the weekend’s news

Longbox

Longbox

This past weekend Philadelphia welcomed Wizard World, while Charlotte hosted HeroesCon. Two East Coast conventions, separated by more than 500 miles and a couple of states. If you were away from your computer, then you may have missed some of the announcements that sprang from both venues:

• For years people have been asking for an “iTunes for comics.” Well, it looks like we might actually get one. Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox will be a free download available later this year for PC, Macs and Linux. Comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. BOOM! and Top Cow have already signed on.

• Marvel had a lot of announcements at the show. Spinning out of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover that kicks off any day now will be a series of one-shots that fall under the heading of Dark Reign: The List. Basically Norman Osbourn starts making a list of everyone standing in his way who he needs to do dirty, nasty things to.

The eight one shots and the creators working on them are:

Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan
Dark Reign: The List – Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
Dark Reign: The List – Hulk by Greg Pak and Ben Oliver
Dark Reign: The List – Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Dark Reign: The List – Avengers by Brian Bendis and Marko Djurdjevic
Dark Reign: The List – Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Dark Reign: The List – Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman and Ed McGuiness
Dark Reign: The List – Punisher by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.

The project was announced at around the same time both in Philadelphia and in Charlotte. For more info, check out CBR’s interviews with Bendis, Fraction and Remender, as well as Pak, Hickman and Aaron. Also, Aaron talks a little bit about his Wolverine one-shot on his blog; it will feature both Marvel Boy and Fantomex, as well as a new Weapon XVI.

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