Ant-Man Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
Considering the histories of Hank Pym and Scott Lang, there’s probably a deeper meaning to be gleaned from Matt Kiel‘s animated video of Ant-Man dancing like no one’s watching to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
However, I prefer to simply enjoy the tiny hero’s uninhibited moves that, alas, come to an end when he realizes (too late!) that someone is watching.
Publishing | In a three-part interview, First Second Books Editorial Director Mark Siegel talks about 2014, the upcoming year, and the emergence of a “new mainstream.” In Part 1 he discusses the 2014 releases and ends with some numbers (print runs rather than sales); the imprint’s top books are Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer, both of which have 30,000 copies in print. In Part 2 he looks at the importance of the library market and support from librarians, especially for children and teens, as well as the emergence of a new category of graphic novels that he calls “new mainstream.” Part 3 focuses on First Second’s planned releases for 2015, including Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor, which will have a print run of 100,000. [ICv2]
(Time once again for ROBOT 6 contributors Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman to email each other about the year in DC and Marvel superhero comics. This year’s exchange took place between DEc. 26 and Dec. 30. And be sure to check out Part 1 of the conversation.)
Tom Bondurant: One of the more pleasant surprises this year was the extent to which the Big Two started going after a different audience. New books like Ms. Marvel and Gotham Academy, and makeovers for Batgirl and Catwoman, have found success with distinctive, unconventional approaches. How long can they keep this up? Will digital distribution help these books, if it’s not doing so already? Are the Big Two really committed to branching out?
Carla Hoffman: Branching out is such a double-edged sword. It sounds weird to say that, because diversity is so championed online, but when a book can alienate old readers, you really have to draw in a lot of new readers to make up for it. Believe it or not, there were some who complained that Kamala Khan took the Ms. Marvel name rather than getting her own moniker. The good news is that Ms. Marvel is such a quality book and so important to the next generation of comic readers, not to mention Marvel Comics itself, I couldn’t care less if a (pardon my use) grumpy old fan can’t change with the times. Marvel published about 40 new titles this year — everything from Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu to Rocket Raccoon. Not all of the titles stuck (R.I.P. She-Hulk, try again later), but that’s still a lot of new stuff to try that isn’t just another variation of a Wolverine comic.
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In a move that we can only presume is tied to Marvel’s upcoming television and movie plans, the publisher has announced the addition of some of its Season One graphic novels to the Marvel Unlimited digital library — specifically, Ant-Man, Daredevil and Doctor Strange.
Launching in 2012 with Fantastic Four: Season One, the line features current creators retelling, and expanding, the origins stories of some of Marvel’s most popular characters. Neither Fantastic Four nor Season One titles devoted to the X-Men, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, the Hulk and Thor are mentioned in the announcement.
The past few weeks have given us drips and drabs of drama regarding two movies on Marvel’s amazing slate of cinematic wonders: Ant-Man lost long-attached director Edgar Wright and hunted down a new one (successfully, I might add; Peyton Reed’s indie-comedy cred is solid with Mr. Show and Upright Citizens Brigade, plus Down With Love is a personal favorite), and Doctor Strange now has Scott Derrickson directing and a slew of casting rumors. It’s made my Twitter feed abuzz with opinions and fancasts and denouncements of studio interference in the creative efforts of the auteur. It seems everyone wants to talk about the next Marvel breakthrough hit.
But not the comics. God forbid we ever talk about the comics. Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are absent from the shelves, outside of cameos in Original Sin, a canceled gig on the FF for Scott Lang and … well, something odd going on with Doctor Strange in New Avengers. As I scroll through Tumblr and Twitter demands about how Doctor Strange and Ant-Man should be presented, no one seems all that keen on picking up a comic with either character in a starring role. When contradicting someone’s fancast, I offered my own choice for Doctor Strange as a Ming Doyle sketch, and was told that “drawings are not good actors.” Oh, man, I hope they were joking …
Scoop reports that a CGC-certified 9.2 copy of Tales to Astonish #27, featuring the first appearance of Hank Pym, was sold last week by Pedigree Comics for a record $65,000. That same copy fetched a then-record $45,000 in May 2010.
Cover-dated January 1962, the 10-cent comic boasted the seven-page story “The Man in the Ant Hill!,” by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers,” in which Dr. Henry Pym invents a shrinking serum but ends up trapped in an ant hill when he tests it. Once free, he destroys the serum because it’s too dangerous.
Pym returned as eight issues later, becoming the title’s regular star, first as Ant-Man and then as Giant-Man; his socialite girlfriend/lab assistant Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, was introduced in Tales to Astonish #44.
The issue sold Dec. 15 is considered the third-best copy of Tales to Astonish #27, behind two that are CGC-certified 9.4. According to Pedigree Comics CEO Doug Schmell, the comic has “unbelievable color strike, near-perfect centering, tight staples, razor sharp edges and corners and off-white pages.”
As we noted Monday, another copy of Tales to Astonish #27 sold last week for $40,000 as part of a larger auction of Silver Age comics that brought in a total of $570,000.
Welcome to Best of 7, our new weekly wrap-up post here at Robot 6. Each Sunday we’ll talk about, as it says above, “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out.
So without further ado, let’s get to it …
Actor Simon Pegg ignited a firestorm last week when he posted photos of a recent visit to Marvel’s New York City offices, including one shot of himself posing in front of a mural and pointing to an image of Ant-Man. Could it mean he’ll re-team with frequent collaborator and good friend Edgar Wright for the long-brewing Marvel Studios film? No, Pegg was just having a little fun with fans.
So what was he doing in the Marvel offices? Apparently, he was just taking a tour, and recording a video to promote his new film The World’s End (opening Friday). Unless … the above image is Pegg’s way of telling us he’ll be replacing Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Age of Ultron …
See more photos from his visit at Marvel.com.
Washington-based artist Clayton Crain has carved out a niche for himself in comics over the past 15 years with his distinctive, sinewy digital art on the likes of Ghost Rider, X-Force and Carnage. But that wasn’t always his style, and he wants to pull back the curtain to show his evolution as an artist in a new book called Evolver.
Announced today with a a Kickstarter campaign, Evolver is a 48-page hardcover profiling Crain’s work from the age of 15 all the way to his current output for Valiant. The 8-inch by12-inch book will include sketchwork, high school-era art and excerpts from Crain’s forthcoming creator-owned Into a Rift. His influences are deep in the vein of Todd McFarlane and Henry Stinson, and this book will show you Crain’s dynamic evolution from his high-school days as an early Image fanboy into the 2000s, where he found his own signature style and even did work alongside McFarlane. Crain hopes to raise $10,400 by Aug. 10, and have the finished book available in November.
Marvel has long had aspirations for Hollywood. Decades before The Avengers was a mega-blockbuster, years before George Lucas produced the ill-fated Howard the Duck movie, Stan Lee and his superiors knew the heroes at the House of Ideas could sell more than just comic books.
In the early ’80s, Marvel’s developed pitches for animated shows based on a number of its titles, and a number of new creations. And it’s no wonder, given Marvel’s past with the Fantastic Four show and the success DC Comics had with cartoons on the small screen. But the properties they prepped were, well, something else.
Typically, I’ll spend most of Saturday in panels, but the first one I was interested in wasn’t until later in the morning, so I killed time taking in some of the more offbeat exhibitors, like Ben the Bubble Guy, a businessman who hires himself out for birthday parties, corporate events, funerals. Okay, maybe not funerals.
When it was time, I headed up to the fourth floor for the AV Club‘s panel on the Future of Superheroes.
It’s okay to hate the holidays.
Really, no secret Santa brigade will beat you into being jolly. In fact, it’s perfectly natural to get a sort of dread around this season. The sun doesn’t shine as much, the weather outside is frightful, it’s the end of a year and the approach of a new one that we can only hope is better. As much as festive decorations, carols and family dinners might say otherwise, this is the season for frustrations.
Dear reader, I understand this feeling. I work retail. It’s perfectly fine to hate the holidays, and it’s perfectly normal to wish things were better. Charlie Brown Christmas Specials are all well and good, and it’s great to aspire to that Rockwell painting of a warm Christmas dinner, but let’s face it: that’s not reality. Reality sometimes is that a roast is burnt, the family just bickers and drinks, and all those Peanuts kids dance like idiots.
We can’t get the perfect Christmastime we want so badly, but sometimes we can be Avenged. We can take Christmas into our own hands, show some Scrooges what for and make them kinder. We can look at all the little things that make this time, if not perfect, uniquely special. And we can rocket a perverted uncle around in a frilly brassiere once we’ve shrunk him to the size of an action figure.
Folks, this is Ant Man’s Big Christmas.