SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
If the biggest surprise coming out of Comic-Con International on Friday was that, before last night, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez had never won an Eisner Award — seriously, how can that be? — a close second was undoubtedly the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios.
Yes, the two sci-fi franchises will finally meet in an alternate-future event that brings the original crew of the Enterprise together with Taylor, Nova and other characters from 1968’s Planet of the Apes as the Klingons secretly support a renegade gorilla general in a coup to seize control of Ape City. Writers Scott and David Tipton will be joined by artist Rachael Stott for the crossover, which marks the first time BOOM! has partnered with another publisher.
Other announcements of note:
• After being introduced into the Marvel Universe at the end of the Age of Ultron miniseries and discovering her past in Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Neil Gaiman’s angelic warrior Angela will star in her own ongoing, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett and artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans.
Angry Birds, Rovio Entertainment’s blockbuster mobile game turned multimedia sensation, will continue its global conquest of pop culture in June, when IDW Publishing launches a comics adaptation by such creators as Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin.
“We’re very happy to be in business with Rovio on Angry Birds comics,” IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall said in a statement. “Rovio has taken what was once a captivating game and built it into an interesting world filled with interesting and, uh, feathered characters who will make a perfect addition to our growing line of fun, all-ages comics.”
Although I fell off the Angry Birds bandwagon some time ago, based on the number of Halloween costumes I saw and all the Angry Birds merchandise on my nephew’s Christmas wishlist, the game still has a lot of devoted fans. Rovio, the game’s creators, have released another round of holiday-themed levels this month, and with them come a new Angry Birds webcomic, featuring holiday-stressed birds trying to find the missing Mighty Eagle. There are five strips up now, with more to come.
Have you seen the video of the baby who plays happily with an iPad but gets frustrated when she tries to tap and swipe a print magazine? That’s what I thought of when I heard that Diamond Comics Distributors has inked a deal with Rovio, the company that makes the insanely popular Angry Birds game, to distribute Angry Birds books. Really? Angry Birds books? But when I read the press release, I realized that it’s actually kind of cool—the books include an egg cookbook and two finish-the-drawing books, so they are interactive and fun, as opposed to, say, an Angry Birds novel, which couldn’t help but be boring.
Anyway, Diamond will be the exclusive distributor for the books, which start rolling into bookstores later this month. First up is Angry Birds Bad Piggies Egg Recipes, which combines egg thievery with egg cookery and may be the first-ever action cookbook. Later this month, we will see Angry Birds: The Big Red Doodle Book and Angry Birds: The Big Green Doodle Book, two books filled with unfinished drawings for readers to complete and improve as they see fit. (You know, it seems like this unfinished-drawings racket might be a good one for some more mainline comics artists to get into.) More books are planned for next year.
Publishing | Arune Singh, Marvel’s director of communications, addresses how Marvel works with media outlets to break major storyline news and in many cases spoil the story, like Ultimate Spider-Man dying. Their goal is to hopefully bring lapsed or non-fans into stores: “When we line up this kind of mainstream media coverage, it’s offering the promise of breaking this big news to the outlet. It’s with the knowledge that they’ll be the ones making the headlines, being referenced by other sites and getting the attention. But if we wait till the story breaks or the Wednesday books go on-sale, someone else is going to buy the issue early in the morning and break the news. Is it possible that mainstream outlets will still pick up on the news then? Yes, it’s possible. But the only way to guarantee that big, sweeping placement worldwide — as you’ve seen with the Death of Spider-Man — is to break it before anyone has a chance. And that kind of placement is, as I mentioned above, what will get us attention from outside the industry.” [ComicsAlliance]
Retailing | Toronto retailer Chris Butcher worries about how well the two late Green Lantern movie prequel comics — one shipping this week, one shipping in August — will sell so long after the film’s release. He also discusses the lateness of the final issue of the War of the Green Lanterns crossover, which won’t come out until after the epilogue story in this week’s Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #11. [Comics212]
Mash-ups have become a staple of modern culture. From the mash-ups of music albums to movies and virtually anything else. But I think this here might be the best comic mash-up yet.
Created by Ryan Sohmer and Tyler Walpole for Sohmer’s The Gutters webcomic series, it’s a great idea in theory but Walpole’s expert art here really shoots it over the top.
If you’ve not reading The Gutters, you’re missing out — it’s the closest thing the comics industry has gotten to editorial cartoons focused on our medium.
Yes it can.
In an article in the April 2011 edition of Wired UK, reporter Tom Cheshire goes in depth with the founders and principal people behind Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds. The article describes how co-founder Mikael Hed wrote a webcomic series called August Jessor prior to Angry Birds’ success — and surprisingly, the archived webcomic is still online, although not updated since 2007. The company he founded with his cousin Rovio developed art for several game companies before they struck gold in 2010 Angry Birds.
And although the success of Angry Birds has taken away from any comics work as of late, the entrepreneurial company has plans for the concept to reach out to TV series, movies, cartoons … and even comics.
“Look at how Disney got started,” Hed says in the Wired UK article. “Steamboat Willie created Mickey Mouse, then they added more characters. You can see the same pattern today, but everything is happening much, much faster. Other brands used to build recognition over the course of decades. We’ve done it in one year.”