Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Aspen Comics sent over a press release earlier today detailing their plans to offer their comics digitally through iVerse‘s Comics+ application. They also plan to participate in the Diamond Digital retailer initiative that iVerse and Diamond Comics Distributors are set to launch later this summer.
Titles now available on the Comics+ app for the various iOS devices include Fathom, Executive Assistant: Iris, Soulfire and Shrugged. comiXology announced last month that they would be carrying Aspen titles as well.
You can find the complete press release on the iVerse announcement after the jump.
Update: Aspen Comics are also available on Graphicly.
Aspen Comics is the latest publisher to sign on with comiXology as its digital distributor. Founded in 2003 by the late Michael Turner, Aspen is the home to such titles as Fathom, Soulfire and Lady Mechanika. The publisher launches on comiXology today with the issues #0, #1, and #2 of Executive Assistant Iris, Fathom, Shrugged and Soulfire, priced from 99 cents to $2.99, with the #0 issues offered for free. Full series sets will be priced at a discount from the individual issues. “Exclusive digital content” is teased as well.
Comic Book Resources’ Steve Sunu recently talked with Executive Assistant Iris creator David Wohl, who is working on volume 2 and planning a big event for this summer.
Aspen is a small publisher, but it collaborates on DC and Marvel comics, and has some projects in development for other media. This move obviously gives the company a boost, bringing its comics to a larger audience, and it’s a nice get for comiXology as well, further enriching its stable of publishers.
Wonderland Sound and Vision, the company founded by producer and director McG, is partnering with Aspen Comics on a new comics imprint “to create transmedia properties out of original ideas,” Deadline reports.
As the term “transmedia properties” suggests, these are projects created with an eye toward film and television. First up is Haunted City, based on an idea by screenwriter Chap Taylor (Changing Lanes) and Wonderland’s Peter Johnson, which will be developed simultaneously as a feature script, television pilot and video game.
Wonderland has produced such films as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and We Are Marshall and such television shows as Human Target, Supernatural and Chuck.
“As a filmmaker, I want to work with talent like Chap to build new models that allow us to create more freely,” McG tells Deadline. “By creating our own original properties, we can guide their development across several media simultaneously and kick off a whole new chapter of our company as a full-spectrum content provider. It also allows me to home-grow the movies I want to direct in the future.”
As we inch another day closer to Comic-Con International, which kicks off in just 13 days, organizers have released the schedule for Friday, July 23.
Below you’ll find highlights of the comics-related programming, which range from a panel on AMC’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Walking Dead to spotlights on such creators as Chris Claremont, Moto Hagio, Paul Levitz, C. Tyler and Stan Lee to, of course, peeks at publishing plans for companies ranging from Marvel, DC and BOOM! to Dark Horse, IDW and Top Shelf.
The full programming schedule for Friday can be found here.
10 to 11 a.m. DC Talent Search 2 — DC’s editorial art director Mark Chiarello presents an informative orientation session that will explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of DC Universe, Vertigo, WildStorm and MAD magazine publications. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, this is the panel for you! To have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 4
For those playing along at home, here are highlights of the announcements (and confirmations) coming out of the inaugural Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo today:
• Marvel confirmed the long-awaited third volume of Casanova, the critically acclaimed spy-fi series by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, will debut in July through its Icon imprint. The issues originally published in the Image Comics “slimline” format — 16 pages of story for $1.99 — will be re-colored, re-lettered and repackaged. “It’s going to be in full color,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “It’s hand-lettered by Dustin Harbin, who’s an amazing cartoonist and a very old friend of mine. So it’s really an entirely new presentation of the material. The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s going to be produced at full size. So what was once Casanova #2-3 will now be issue #2 of the Icon Casanova, and so on. You’ll be getting 32 full color pages for full price.”
• Via video, writer Allan Heinberg provided details of Marvel’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, the miniseries announced in October that reunites him with Young Avengers artist Jimmy Cheung. The bimonthly, nine-issue limited series that builds on plot threads dating back to House of M, and involves Wiccan attempting to find and redeem the Scarlet Witch.
• Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada revealed that “O.M.I.T.” — the mysterious acronym we’ve seen on guitar picks and in comic-book ads — stands for “One Moment In Time,” and deals with the controversial “One More Day” story that erased the wedding day of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Serialized in The Amazing Spider-Man #637-640, the new arc by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera will turn back the clock to show the events on what should have been the couple’s wedding day.
• Oni Press announced Yo Gabba Gabba! Story Comic Book Time, an anthology based on the wildly popular preschool television series. The 128-page hardcover will be released this fall.
What was once the most insane day at the con is now the most pleasant one to spend on the dealer room floor, for the most part … with every single day being a sellout, the crowds never let up, but last year there were so many huge media panels on Saturday that you could actually walk across the movie section of the dealer room floor and get a decent look around. So bring on those pilot premieres and Q&A’s, Hall H ….
Here are some of the Saturday highlights:
The creator of the comic Iron and the Maiden calls the trademark-infringement lawsuit filed by heavy-metal band Iron Maiden “outrageous” and “completely without merit.”
The band wants to prevent Iron and the Maiden LLC from using the “confusingly similar” name to sell comic books, video games and other merchandise. It also seeks undisclosed damages.
“The Iron and the Maiden legal team believes that this case is completely without merit,” a spokesperson for creator Jason Rubin said in a statement. “It is outrageous to claim ownership of the well-known term ‘Iron Maiden,’ a medieval torture device that predates rock and roll by centuries and is part of world culture, legend and lore.”
Released through Aspen Comics in 2007, Iron and the Maiden centers on the characters Michael Iron and Angel Chase, who are caught in the middle of a war between the government, a religious sect and a criminal organization in an alternative-universe 1930s.
“The title is a play on the torture device,” the spokesperson said. “Any rational person who looks at the property at www.ironandthemaiden.com will immediately understand how ridiculous the assertions made in the complaint are.”
Comic-Con International has posted the programming for WonderCon, which is coming up Feb. 27-March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As its run by the same folks who do San Diego, it has that same feel and variety, but is a little more laid back and low key than the madness that is the San Diego Comic Con. My brother and I were able to walk right into the X-Files panel last year just as it started … same with the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles panel. I don’t think you could ever do something like that at San Diego. In any event, it’s a great opportunity to see creators and actually chat with them a bit.
Let’s see what will be going on …
• Marvel’s been absent from WonderCon for the past couple of years, and while they don’t appear to have a booth, they do have a presence this year. Both Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are guests of honor, and it looks like Jeph Loeb, Mark Paniccia and Axel Alonso, among others, will also be there. Of note is a discussion between Fraction and author Michael Chabon on Saturday that will likely be worth the price of admission alone.
• Speaking of special guests, Brian Azzarello and Dave Johnson are also attending and will host a panel on 100 Bullets on Saturday … followed by a night at Isotope Comics. And although Dan DiDio won’t be at the con this year, DC’s got Jim Lee, Will Dennis, Ian Sattler, James Robinson and Aaron Lopresti, among others.
• Oni Press, IDW, Dark Horse, BOOM!, SLG, Aspen and Top Cow will also be on hand, both on the floor and at various panels to talk about their latest projects.