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.
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.
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! 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.
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 …
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.
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]
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:
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)
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
- 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, 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:
He’ll also be trading your homemade Beanworld sketches for his homemade Beanworld sketches.
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:
Comics writer Warren Ellis provides some information on an upcoming project he’s doing for Avatar Press, titled Supergod:
…in the world of SUPERGOD, superhumans are the ultimate expression of the Messiah complex, and scientists can build Messiahs who will fly down from the skies to save the world. No-one thought about how they’d save the world — or even if they’d want to. So begins the apocalyptic tomorrow of SUPERGOD — the story of how supermen killed us all and ended the world just because we wanted to be rescued by human-shaped things from beyond Science itself. Take every superhero comic ever published, shove them into a nuclear-powered blender, soak it in bad vodka and set the whole thing alight — and SUPERGOD will crawl out and eat your brain.
SUPERGOD: praying to be saved by a man who can fly will get you killed.
G4′s Blair Butler shared the news that the Image Comics title The Sword was moving into its final story arc and will end with issue #24.
She also shows off artwork from the upcoming comic Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island, written by Warren Ellis and published by Avatar. I think it wins the best new title for a comic award hands down. Watch to learn more:
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading. Our special guest for this week is Chris Butcher, blogger and manager of The Beguiling in Toronto, generally acknowledged as one of the finest comics shops in North America.
Chris is heading off to Japan and taking quite a lot of books with him. What to know what he’s packing? Of course you do. Click on the link to find out …