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Food or Comics? | Jason Conquers Amaretto

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.

Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes

Graeme McMillan

As we head into Christmas, I’m saving my pennies for last-minute presents. That said, if I had $15 to spend, I’d run towards Memorial #1 (IDW, $3.99), the debut of the new fantasy series by Chris Roberson and Rich Ellis. I admit to having sneaked a peak at this particular present, and I really enjoyed the tone, which is somewhere between Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who and some of Neil Gaiman’s work. I’d also grab Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1 (DC, $6.99), the collection of what was supposed to be the final issues of Grant Morrison’s run on the Batman, Inc. series before the relaunch; I’d enjoyed Batman Incorporated a lot, and am ready for more of the weird, retro-but-somehow-off series again, especially with lovely Cameron Stewart and Chris Burnham artwork.

If I had $30, I’d also grab Fantagraphics’ Jason Conquers America ($4.99), a collection of some of the cartoonist’s work that’s so far gone unseen in the US, along with pin-up tributes from fans like Mike Allred and Rich Tommaso. My nostalgia would then compel me to grab Defenders: Coming of the Defenders #1 (Marvel, $5.99), a reprint of the original stories that launched the fondly remembered (and just relaunched) non-team. Hulk groove on old comics.

Were I to ask Santa for something to splurge on, I might go completely left-field and ask for John Byrne’s much-maligned Spider-Man: Chapter One TP (Marvel, $34.99), which I’ve never actually read, but have a strange fascination with. Would that make me naughty or nice?

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Previews: What looks good for February

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix

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, “ Wonder Woman 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.

Archaia

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix - A detective story set in ancient China. Plus: cool name.

Avatar

Dicks #1 – Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s humor makes my top hat explode and my monocle fly off my face, but I remember this being pretty popular back in the day and I imagine that it’s new presentation in color and leading into a new storyline could make it popular again.

Bongo

Ralph Wiggum Comics #1 – This, on the other hand, is exactly my kind of funny. Kind of like 30 Days of Night, I’m astonished no one’s thought of it before. Too bad it’s just a one-shot, but hearing that Sergio Aragones is one of the contributors makes me want to poke myself with my Viking helmet to see if I’m dreaming.

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Previews: What looks good for January

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

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, “ Mouse Guard 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.

Amulet

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes - With the Flight anthologies done, the all-ages version, Flight Explorer has morphed into this. I expect it to be as lovely as its predecessors and especially like the Mystery Box theme.

Archie

Jinx – J Torres and Rick Burchett’s graphic novel aimed at tween girls.

Kevin Keller, Volume 1 and Kevin Keller #1 – Archie collects the first appearances and mini-series of their major, gay character and also launches his ongoing series.

Ardden

Flash Gordon: Vengeance of Ming – The third volume in Ardden’s Flash Gordon series.

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Previews: What Looks Good for October

Spera, Volume 1

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.

Archaia

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.

Avatar

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.

Boom!

Roger Langridge’s Snarked #1 – After a well-loved zero-issue, Langridge’s version of Wonderland gets its real, official start.

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Joshua Middleton joins The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra

From Joshua Middleton's poster for "The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra"

Following a stint last year as an art director for Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming Green Lantern: The Animated Series, artist Joshua Middleton announced this week that he’s joined the staff of Nickelodeon’s The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra. And he does so in fine fashion, with the beautiful illustration he created for the limited-edition poster that debuted at Comic-Con International.

The eagerly awaited sequel to the hit Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra picks up 70 years after the original series, following the current incarnation of the Avatar, a hotheaded teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe. The 26-episode series is set to debut in mid-2012. Check out Middleton’s full poster after the break.

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Avatar Press hires James Kuhoric as managing editor, VP of publishing

Mentioned briefly at WonderCon, Avatar Press officially announced that they hired comics writer and Diamond employee James Kuhoric as ivice president of publishing and managing editor. This comes just as Avatar is beginning a planned expansion of their line with new licensed titles as well as works by Warren Ellis and Kieron Gillen. According to the press release, Kuhoric will launch new projects and keeping the publisher’s titles on schedule.

Although Kuhoric may not be a household name for comics fans, he’s worked in and around the comics industry for the past 16 years. Since 1994, he’s worked for Diamond Comic Distributors, where most recently he was director of purchasing. He’s also been actively writing comics, with assignments on licensed titles like Battlestar Galactica, Army of Darkness and Freddy Vs. Jason vs. Ash, as well as his recent creator-owned series Dead Irons and  The Legendary Talespinners at Dynamite.

IDW Publishing CEO Ted Adams is quoted on Kuhoric’s LinkedIn profile saying that Avatar’s new hire was an integral part of his company’s growth within the direct market, and Dark Horse’s VP of marketing Lou Banks says “he knows how to get the books into the hands of buyers.”

BOOM! to distribute Avatar graphic novels to the book trade

Avatar Press

BOOM! Studios is now distributing Avatar Press graphic novels to the book trade in North America through their mass-market partners Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Canada. The agreement began on Monday.

In a press release distributed late last night, BOOM! founder/CEO Ross Richie said the Avatar library complimented BOOM!’s existing line and wouldn’t cannibalize BOOM!’s various imprints. “Avatars’ CEO William Christensen is a brilliant businessman and has a proven track record of great Direct Market success. Avatar has great growth potential in the mass market book trade, and we look forward to being an excellent partner in their continued expansion,” Richie said.

Up until this week, Avatar’s books were distributed through Diamond Book Distributors. BOOM! began using Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Canada in July 2009. You can find the complete press release after the jump.

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What Are You Reading?

Deadpool Team-Up #886

Hello and welcome to a special “birthday bash” edition of our weekly “What Are You Reading” feature, where the Robot 6 crew talks about what books we’ve read recently. Usually we invite a special guest to share what they’ve been reading, but since today isn’t just an ordinary day for us, we thought we’d invite a whole bunch of special guests to help us out — our friends and colleagues from Comic Book Resources, Spinoff and Comics Should Be Good!

To see what everyone has been reading, click below …

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Lapham gets down and dirty with Caligula in March

Caligula

Via the March solicitations for Avatar Press comes word that Stray Bullets creator David Lapham is writing a six-issue miniseries starring notorious Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, otherwise known as Caligula.

Here’s the solicitation text: “In March, David Lapham (of Stray Bullets fame) debuts a new six-issue sweeping epic with CALIGULA #1. In an age of depravity, one man’s perverse appetites horrified the entire Roman Empire. A ruler who began as a generous man but who ended as the most debased of monarchs, Caligula exemplifies the very concept that absolute power corrupts absolutely. No stranger to horror (as fans of his CROSSED: FAMILY VALUES series can attest), Lapham delivers the bloody tale of the infamous emperor – but with a supernatural twist – as illustrated by new talent German Nobile.”

Avatar also has a new Night of the Living Dead miniseries kicking off in March by Mike Wolfer and Dheeraj Verma. You can see the cover and solicitation info after the jump.

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

Neonomicon #2

Retailing | Tallahassee, Fla., comics store Secret Headquarters has announced it is refusing to sell Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Neonomicon #2 “due to pornographic content,” and will no longer carry the Avatar Press series: “Secret Headquarters is deeply dismayed that Alan Moore continues to use his reputation as a quality comics author to promote his bizarre sexual philosophies.” [Bleeding Cool]

Comic-Con International | It’s that time of year again: Memberships for Comic-Con 2011 go on sale at 9 a.m. PST Nov. 1. Note, though, that four-day memberships with Preview Night sold out on the last day of this year’s convention. [Comic-Con International]

New York Comic Con | Brigid Alverson rounds up the kids’ comics news from last weekend’s convention, while Kai-Ming Cha tackles manga. [Publishers Weekly]

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‘Mechanical difficulties’ cause delays at Diamond’s LA warehouse

Diamond Comic Distributors

Diamond Comic Distributors has notified retailers served by its Los Angeles warehouse that, “due to mechanical difficulties experienced in transit,” 31 items scheduled for release on Wednesday will be delayed until next week.

The comics are:

Marvel
The Amazing Spider-Man #638 (2nd printing variant)
Captain America in the 1940s Newspaper Strip #3
Dream Logic #2
The Essential Hulk, Vol. 6
The Heroic Age: Prince of Power #4
Namor: The First Mutant #1
Namor: The First Mutant #1 (Quesada sketch variant)
Namor: The First Mutant #1 (Quesada variant)
Punisher MAX: Happy Ending #1
Scarlet #1 (2nd printing-Maleev variant)
Shadowland: Moon Knight #1
Spider-Girl: The End #1
Thanos Imperative #2 (2nd printing-Sepulveda variant)

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SDCC ’10 | Highlights of Saturday’s comics programming

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Like clockwork, Comic-Con organizers have released the schedule for the third day of the convention, Saturday, July 24.

Below you’ll find highlights of the comics-related programming, ranging from movie panels for Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern and Marvel’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger to Joe Quesada’s traditional “Cup O’ Joe” and “Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour vs. The Fans.”

The full programming schedule for Saturday can be found here.

10 to 11 a.m. Spotlight on Carla Speed McNeil — Comic-Con special guest Carla Speed McNeil is best known for her creator-owned title Finder. A few years back, Carla took new stories of Finder to the Internet, and the result was an Eisner Award  for best webcomic of 2008 and a new series of reprints from Dark Horse. Carla talks about her work and what’s next in this Spotlight panel. Room 3

10 to 11 a.m. The Black Panel 2010 — This year’s Black Panel will be one for the ages. The focus will be on empowerment, education, real-world networking, and finally but never last, fun. The panelists include entertainment attorney Darrel Miller, novelist Nnedi Okorafor, artist Denys Cowan and writer/producer/director Reggie Hudlin, with moderator Michael Davis. Once they answer life’s burning questions, they’ll chill with a salute and Q&A from the audience with actor/writer/director Bill Duke. As always, surprise guests who will rock your world. Room 5AB

10 to 11 a.m. Marvel Comics Writers Unite! — The third in Comic-Con’s series of “Year of the Writer/Comics Writers Unite!” panels focuses on Marvel Comics and includes Comic-Con special guests Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, New Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man), Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man, Thor) and Chris Claremont (X-Men Forever, X-Women) in a discussion with writer Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Irredeemable). Room 6DE

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Thin wallets, fat bookshelves | A roundup of publishing news

TACC-book-stacked

  • A hardcover collection of the first chapter of Karl Kerschl’s Eisner-nominated webcomic The Abominable Charles Christopher is now available for pre-order. “Wrapped in an embossed, faux suede cover, this 144-page tome collects all of the comics from the first two years of the series, along with many additional illustrations and a gorgeous 40″ gatefold at the end of the book, featuring a dramatic pencil rendering of the key players, all in one scene,” the description reads.
  • Artist Mike Hawthorne shows off some nice pages from an as-yet-unrevealed Vertigo title.
  • Avatar Comics is launching a new imprint called Boundless Comics. The first comic they’ll publish is Lady Death, penned by her creator Brian Pulido and co-writer Mike Wolfer. They also plan to publish a series of trades that’ll collect older Lady Death material.
  • Image Comics will publish a new miniseries by Ben McCool (Choker) and Nikki Cook (DMZ) called Memoir.
  • Pat Lee will return to comics with Widow Warriors, a new book that’ll be published by Dynamite.

C2E2 | CBLDF, Beanworld and more

C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, kicks off tomorrow at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. In fact, announcements have already started rolling out in conjunction with the convention.

Here are a few more items of note if you’re attending the show. Check back to CBR and Robot 6 all weekend for news, announcements and reports from the show.

*****

Beanworld creator Larry Marder has an offer for fans who bring either of the recent Beanworld collections from Dark Horse up to him to sign:

1010 Big Fish OFFER  copy

He’ll also be trading your homemade Beanworld sketches for his homemade Beanworld sketches.

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C2E2 | Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark, BOOM!, smells like Witchblade and more

C2E2

C2E2

C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, will hold its inaugural convention this weekend at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. If you’re exhibiting at the show, debuting a new comic or just have some exciting plans for attendees you’d like to share, drop me an email and I’ll run it in one of the many round-ups we’ll be doing between now and Friday.

Also, I probably wouldn’t get anything good for Boss’s Day this year if I don’t mention that Robot 6′s own Brigid Alverson will be on a panel Friday night, titled “Old Media, New Media, Comics Media.” It’s moderated by Heidi MacDonald of the Beat and features several other comics media/blogging folks. So go say hi to Brigid at 7:45 p.m.

Michael May will also be at the show, and both he and Brigid should have some reports to file from it over the weekend. So be sure to check back for those if you aren’t in Chicago yourself. And if you are attending the show, here’s some stuff to check out …

*****

Artist Ryan Ottley will have some cool stickers at the show to promote the upcoming Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark: They Got Mixed Up! one-shot he’s doing with Jason Howard. Choose your side:

BEAR-SHARK-STICKER

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