Archaia Studios Press
Thursday may have started a bit slow in the news department, but it sure ended with a huge bang. Here’s a roundup of announcements that hit today from Comic-Con International in San Diego:
• Neil Gaiman announced via video that he will write a new Sandman miniseries that will detail what happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1. J.H. Williams III will provide the art. “It was a story that we discussed telling for Sandman‘s 20th anniversary,” Gaiman said, “but the time got away from us. And now, with Sandman‘s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told.” The series will be published by Vertigo sometime next year.
• Legendary will also publish the Majestic Files by J. Michael Straczynski, which will feature art by Geoff Shaw and Matt Banning.
• Terry Moore will write a Strangers in Paradise prose novel to coincide with the comic’s 20th anniversary next year. He also plans to do an all-ages comic after Rachel Rising finishes in 30-40 issues.
Publishing | According to the San Diego Comic Con schedule, Archaia will publish an adaptation of Shotaro Ishinomori’s classic sci-fi manga Cyborg 009, “reimagined” in Western style. The adaptation will be written by F. J. DeSanto and Brad Cramp, and illustrated by Trevor Hairsine. In case you missed it, David Brothers recently wrote a fascinating piece on the original. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Colleen Doran is looking for original art from her creator-owned series A Distant Soil. “I require good quality scans of the art for the future editions of the print books, as well as the upcoming digital editions … If you purchased A Distant Soil original art, I would be very grateful if you would get in touch with me.” [A Distant Soil]
Saturday’s programming for this year’s Comic-Con International continues the grand “big movie panels” tradition typically associated with the third day of the con. Both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios are on the schedule for Hall H; no doubt Marvel will have more than just Iron Man 3 to talk about at that 6 p.m. slot. Warner Bros., meanwhile, will talk about Man of Steel in their panel, which will also include The Hobbit and Pacific Rim.
Comic publishers are well represented, with BOOM!, Marvel, DC Comics, Archie, Archaia, Dark Horse, Image, Top Cow, Drawn & Quarterly, Skybound, Vertigo, Top Shelf and more scheduled for various panels on Saturday. CCI also puts the spotlight on Mark Waid, Morrie Turner, Klaus Janson, Stan Goldberg, Gary Gianni, Jim Lee and many more creators, and celebrates anniversaries for Funky Winkerbean, Love & Rockets, Bob the Angry Flower, Courtney Crumrin and the Gays in Comics panel. And don’t forget about the always entertaining masquerade.
Here are some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.
WonderCon opened its doors Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center, a first for the convention as it moves south from its usual San Francisco home this year. Will it be a permanent move? The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, who is at the show, has some thoughts on why that may not be a bad idea.
Here’s a round-up of news from yesterday at the show:
• Daredevil and Irredeemable writer Mark Waid announced several digital comics plans, beginning with a PDF comic available now on his website. The zombie comic, called Luther, is drawn by Jeremy Rock. It will be followed in May by a digital comics imprint. “In May, I’m rolling out a digital comics website where material will be going up in weekly or twice-weekly installments. But before that, on April 2, MarkWaid.com goes live again as a process blog for webcomics and what we’re doing. All throughout April, we’ll be giving sample material away for free, showing what the format can do, and I’ll be doing interviews with pioneers in this field. My own artists will also be there to talk about the projects we’re doing and how we’ll be building them.” Waid was also on hand for the Marvel House of Ideas panel, which went into detail on their recently announced digital and augmented reality plans.
Although Comic-Con International’s yearly WonderCon show usually likes to spend its springtime in scenic San Francisco, this year it’s taking a road trip down south to spend some time in the happiest place on Earth … or right next to it, anyway. WonderCon runs this weekend, March 16-18, at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center.
Special guests at this year’s show include Arthur Adams, Renae De Liz, Mark Evanier, Michael Golden, Joe Hill, Rebekah Isaacs, Carol Lay, Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Todd Nauck, Steve Niles, Eric Powell, Humberto Ramos, Bob Schreck, Scott Snyder, Ryan Sook, Fiona Staples, Richard Starkings, J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Waid and Marv Wolfman. On the media side, the con will welcome Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Jorge Garcia, Joshua Jackson and John Noble, among many others. No Mickey Mouse, but Disney is offering special deals on tickets to the park for WonderCon attendees.
You can find the complete programming schedule on the CCI site, and here’s a round-up of various things you can do, buy and expect to find out about at the show …
Courtesy of Victor Quinaz, Brent Schoonover and Archaia Comics, we’re pleased to share a Halloween-themed comic strip by the creative team behind Archaia’s Mr. Murder is Dead, starring the story’s main character, The Spook. Click on the image below to check it out:
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, “Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein 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.
The Grave Doug Freshley – A lot of publishers are doing Weird Western comics lately and that’s just fine with me.
Spera, Volume 1 – I like the sound of this fairy tale in which a couple of princesses combine efforts to save their kingdoms. It’s not that I’m anti-prince, but that’s a cool, new way to do that story.
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island – Warren Ellis doing Steampunk sounds thrilling, but really all they had to say was “pirates.” I bet this is still really good though, even if you’re pickier than I am.
Roger Langridge’s Snarked #1 – After a well-loved zero-issue, Langridge’s version of Wonderland gets its real, official start.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what the Robot 6 crew has been enjoying on the comics front. Today our special guest is our friend Ron Richards, one of the co-founders of the popular comics website iFanboy.com. To see what Ron and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we give a great big hug to all the comics, graphic novels and what have you we’ve been reading lately.
To see what Ben and the Robot 6 crew have been reading recently, hit the link …
The Killer, Volume 1
Written by Matz; Illustrated by Luc Jacamon
As single issues, The Killer was a gorgeous, entrancing reading experience. Or rather, I imagine that it was. That was my experience with the two or three issues I bought before deciding to wait for the collection. The trouble was a sporadic publishing schedule and a story that didn’t really encourage a serialized approach. Issues were intimately connected with each other and there wasn’t much in the way of recapping from issue to issue. It was obvious that this was going to read much better in larger chunks. And so it does.
The title character is a nameless assassin-for-hire who operates out of Paris. As the story opens he’s holed up in a hotel across the street from the home of his next target’s girlfriend. The problem is: his target hasn’t shown up for nine days and the Killer’s getting restless. As he continues to wait, he recalls past kills and how he got into this business. Through his narration he reveals an honest, non-hypocritical attitude about his life. He knows what he’s doing isn’t nice and he doesn’t apologize for it, but he thinks you’re the two-faced one if you condemn him for it.
Justification, complications, and James Bond after the break.
Editor’s Note: One-time Robot 6 guest blogger Sam Humphries, who has a story in tomorrow’s Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock Special Edition Flip-Book, pays us a visit today to share some of his thoughts on Fraggle Rock. And if you’re in the L.A. area, be sure to stop by Meltdown Comics tomorrow to meet Sam.
I know what you’re thinking. Who is this guy to tell me which Fraggle Rock episodes will blow my mind? I mean, how presumptuous, right?
Dude, I know. I did not even grow up with Fraggle Rock. The Rock was on HBO and there was no HBO in the house. HBO showed boobies and Mama Humphries did not play like that. I am not that person who has held Fraggles in their hearts since their formative years.
But I did write a story for Archaia’s new Fraggle Rock comic anthology, illustrated by Jeremy “Eisner nominated for Bayou” Love. You can find our Fraggle tale in the Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock Special Edition Flip-Book, available at comic book stores everywhere, for FREE, on May 1st — otherwise known as Free Comic Book Day! Ah, the nice price.
If you’re near Los Angeles, come on down to Meltdown in Hollywood, where Jeremy and I will be signing copies of the free Fraggle book. Astoundingly, Red Fraggle herself will also be in attendance. Karen Prell, the OG puppeteer of Red on the Fraggle Rock show, will be there with the original Muppet, meeting fans, singing songs, and taking pictures as Red Fraggle.
So, watching Fraggle Rock for the first time as someone old enough to attend rated R films alone, I got to enjoy the series with eyes unclouded by nostalgia. And I realized: for a “kids” show, Fraggle Rock is a mind freak.
Emboldened by the success of the previous Muppet franchises, Jim Henson and company didn’t flinch from daring themselves to new heights of spectacular puppet feats. And when it came to the themes of the series, they didn’t hesitate to go deep — way deep. Compared to the groovy sunshine sessions of Sesame Street and the upbeat let’s-put-on-a-show enthusiasm of the Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock is the slightly moody teenage cousin of the bunch.
The result? A multi-layered head trip for all ages. Sure, there’s plenty of exuberant songs, bright colors, and cute foam creatures, but Gobo, Red, Wembly, Mokey, and Boober Fraggle spent most episodes exploring dark, complicated passageways of existence. It’s no surprise that Fraggle Rock has the most “cult” fanbase of the three series.
Whether you are new to the Rock or a big fan from way back, there’s plenty of crazy on this list to rock your world. Here, for your lid-flipping pleasure, are are Six Fraggle Rock Episodes That Will Blow Your Mind.
As expected, I didn’t spend a lot of time in the Exhibit Hall today. I decided to skip one extra-long panel in the morning rather than give up the entire day and I’m glad I did if only for the opportunity to visit with Jeremy Bastian, pick up the third issue of Cursed Pirate Girl, and meet characters from the book — including CPG herself.
On his blog, comics creator Neil Kleid lists several projects he’s working on, including a graphic novel called American Caesar from NBM and drawing a four-pager for a Harvey Pekar-edited anthology. He’s also writing a story for Archaia’s Fraggle Rock comic, and although he won’t be drawing it, he does share a couple of Fraggle sketches.
Awakening creators, writer Nick Tapalansky and artist Alex Eckman-Lawn, are two storytellers eager to get the word out about the return of their project (which recently returned to the market from an 18-month hiatus as its publisher [sorted out business challenges [as explained here]). As announced in late September, Tapalansky and Eckman-Lawn are in the midst of a four-stop tour to generate support and interest in their Archaia hardcover horror book, Awakening. The tour opened on October 10 and in the course of this email interview, the details of the remaining dates are revealed (including this Staturday’s stop at Upstate Comics). The story “takes place in the once-peaceful city of Park Falls, where a series of gruesome murders and missing persons has put the town on edge, and Cynthia Ford, known as the town ‘crazy,’ finds retired police detective Derrick Peters and relates to him her belief about what’s going on. Her explanation: Zombies. Unable to ignore Cynthia’s information, though not sharing her beliefs, Derrick and others in the town explore the mystery as weeks turn to months and the death toll rises. Could Cynthia be right or has she finally gone insane?”
Tim O’Shea: During the 18-month publishing hiatus, was there ever any point you wanted to give up on the project or you always believed it would come back?
Nick Tapalansky: I don’t think we ever even considered giving up on it. Besides already having so much blood invested in it, the story is one which I’m really excited to tell since it’s been percolating in my mind for the last five years. It was just a matter of being patient and seeing how everything resolved itself at Archaia.
Alex Eckman-Lawn: No way! There were some scary days in there, but I don’t think we ever once discussed giving up on the book. It was always, “How can we make this happen?” and luckily for us, all we really had to do was wait it out.
• Man, everyone and their Uncle Bob is reviewing David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp these days aren’t they? This week alone we’ve seen Brian Hibbs, Rob Clough, Douglas Wolk and the LA Times’ David Ulin.
Not wanting to be left out of the fun, I’ll probably have my own review of the book up this Friday.
• The Groovy Age of Horror’s Curt Purcell has been spending a lot of time talking about Blackest Night, and, given that he’s not a regular fan, he has some interesting things to say about the crossover event. Rather than link to all the separate posts, I’ll just say start here and work your way back.
Oh, and while you’re at it, read his new review of Gilbert Hernandez’s Speak of the Devil.
• Johnny Bacardi likes Blackest Night quite a bit too.