INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Since his Myeloid Acute Leukemia diagnosis in April, I have been following Seth Kushner’s arduous medical journey. The various rounds of chemotherapy did not seem to be the hardest part of the experience for the photographer/comics writer. For him, the biggest hardship (other than the fight for his life, of course) was the fact that his frequent bouts of hospitalization for treatments kept him away from his home with his wife, Terra, and their young son.
Presented Saturday in a ceremony at Baltimore Comic Con, the awards are named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist and founding editor of MAD magazine, and selected entirely by creators. Longtime Batman film producer Michael Uslan served as the emcee, and writer Gail Simone delivered the keynote address.
The special awards were presented: the late Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was the first recipient of the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award; longtime Archie Comics cartoonist Stan Golberg, who passed away Aug. 31, received the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award; and seminal Incredible Hulk artist Herb Trimpe was given the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award.
The winners can be found in bold below:
Comics | Almost half the attendees at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego were women, writes Yael Kohen in an article about the growing importance of women to the comics industry. He cites statistics showing that young women are the fastest-growing segment of the comics audience, talks to Image Comics President Eric Stephenson and a woman who works in a comic shop, and mentions the enduring popularity of manga and Marvel’s recent introduction of more interesting female characters. With all that material to work with, it’s too bad he started with a lead right out of the 1950s, something about a fashion show at Comic-Con, as if that’s what all those women were there for. [BloombergBusinessweek]
Creators | Writer Jen Van Meter discusses her newest project, Valiant’s first female-led series, The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage. [Hero Complex]
The late Charles M. Schulz will be the first recipient of the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award, presented Sept. 6 at Baltimore Comic-Con as part of 27th annual Harvey Awards ceremony. News of the new award comes in a brief audio interview with convention director Marc Nathan posted on the We Read Comics blog of the Albany, New York, Times Union.
The award will be accepted by Karen Johnson, director of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, who will also present a panel at the convention showcasing unpublished artwork by the beloved Peanuts creator.
Quantum and Woody leads the final ballot for the 2014 Harvey Awards with nominations in six categories, including best new series, edging out Hawkeye with five and Saga with four. Quantum and Woody‘s James Asmus also received nods for best writer, most promising new talent and the special award for humor.
Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist and founding editor of MAD magazine, the awards are selected entirely by creators. Online voting is open now through Aug. 18. The winners will be presented Sept. 6 in a ceremony held in conjunction with Baltimore Comic-Con.
The full list of nominees can be found below:
James Asmus, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
Matt Fraction, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
Matt Kindt, MIND MGMT, Dark Horse Comics
Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
Mark Waid, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
If you paid Roger Langridge for a sketch at Baltimore Comic Con but never came by with your sketchbook to collect it, he has a message for you on his blog:
[…] I’ll start posting some of the sketches I did, which should keep us busy for a while. First, though, a plea to whoever it was at Baltimore who asked me to draw “my favourite childhood cartoon character”. According to my list, you paid me money for this one and were going to bring your sketchbook along later for me to draw your picture – but you never came back! I would like to either refund your money or send you this picture which fits your brief – it’s Frankie Stein, a big favourite with me when I was a lad, created by the great Ken Reid but drawn (very nicely!) by Robert Nixon by the time I discovered him in the pages of Shiver and Shake.
Hopefully the lucky person will step forward and collect his or her original sketch, but in the meantime, the rest of us can enjoy it as well. Langridge was in town for both Baltimore Comic Con and Small Press Expo, so watch for his sketches and impressions of both cons over the next few days.
Saturday night I was leaving my home to have dinner with some friends when I was surprised by a text message from an industry friend. It simply said, “Holy Shit! Congrats dude! ROBOT 6 won the Harvey!” That certainly was a big highlight of the weekend.
Thanks to everyone who voted for ROBOT 6 as Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation. We have to acknowledge our fellow nominees as well: TwoMorrows Publishing for Jack Kirby Collector and Alter Ego Magazine, Team Cul De De Sac: Cartoonists Draw The Line At Parkinson’s from Andrews McMeel, and Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, from HarperCollins. All worthy nominees; you should check out those publications.
ROBOT 6 is run by a team of contributors and editors, but special thanks should be given to ROBOT 6 lead editor Kevin Melrose, who works with everyone on CBR on curating the blog. He’s joined by a team of contributors — Brigid Alverson, Chris Arrant, Corey Blake, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman, Mark Kardwell, Christ Mautner, Michael May, J. Caleb Mozzocco, Tim O’Shea and JK Parkin — as well as CBR editors Stephen Gerding, Steve Sunu, Albert Ching, Kiel Phegley, Rob Levin and myself, who all work hard daily to bring you exciting and engaging stories from the world of comics.
It’s been five years since I last attended Baltimore Comic-Con and 10 years since I attended my first Baltimore Comic-Con — and to see how much Marc Nathan and his crew have grown the event is astounding.
As much as I would love to photograph every creator in attendance, I lack the organization and time to effectively to do that. As it is, there are people I intended to photograph or thought that I had- -but some combination of factors ended in failure in some instances (Carla Speed McNeil, Seth Kushner, Dean Haspiel, Barry Kitson, Ivan Brandon, Craig Rousseau and Mark Morales, forgive me).
My thanks to the creators who allowed me to photograph them.
Publishing | Sales of comic books and graphic novels to the direct market dropped sharply in August, compared to the same month in 2012 (10.39 percent and 24.55 percent, respectively), but ICv2 attributes the decline — at least as far as periodicals is concerned — to August 2012 having five Wednesdays while last month had just four. Year-to-date sales are still up over 2012, although things seem to be slowing down a bit. DC Comics shipped more comic books, but Marvel won in market share, and the top-selling graphic novel was the first volume of The Walking Dead, which points to a dearth of new graphic novel releases. [ICv2]
Conventions | Attendance exceeded 50,000 at the first Salt Lake Comic Con, held over the weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. This article focuses on families with children who attended, and includes some interesting conversations with parents who are obviously fans themselves and take an active interest in their children’s comics reading. [Deseret News]
Saga, Adventure Time, Jaime Hernandez and Parker: The Score were among the winners of the 2013 Harvey Awards, which were presented tonight in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. Saga was the night’s big winner with six awards, as Fiona Staples took home awards for best artist and best colorist, and Brian K. Vaughan took home the award for best writer.
Also taking home an award tonight was this very blog, as Robot 6 won for best biographic, historical or journalistic presentation. Our fearless leader Kevin Melrose will likely have a few words to say about that in the days ahead, but for now I’ll just say congratulations to the rest of the Robot 6 team — it’s an honor to work with you guys.
Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist and founding editor of MAD magazine, the awards are selected entirely by creators. The full list of nominees can be found below, with the winners in bold and italics. Congratulations to all the winners:
While in Baltimore to attend Baltimore Comic-Con 2013, while I had some pre-con free time on Friday, I decided to visit the pop culture museum, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. The museum, which is just down the street from the Baltimore Convention Center at Camden Station (across from Camden Yards), is owned by Diamond Comics Distributors President/CEO Steve Geppi. A majority of the museum’s holdings are from Geppi’s private collection.
In recognition of the con this weekend, admission is half off for all Baltimore Comic Con 2013 attendees on September 7-8, 2013. What follows is a series of photos I took while visiting. The collection is vast and varied–and my cell phone camera photos do not do the 16,000-square-foot pop culture museum justice.
The doors open Saturday morning on the 14th annual Baltimore Comic-Con, which is expected to draw in the neighborhood of 15,000 people to the Baltimore Convention Center for two days filled with panels, comics creators, celebrities, cosplay and the Harvey Awards.
There’s still about 21 hours until kickoff, and already Dynamite Entertainment and Dark Horse have made announcements, which may help to explain why convention organizers plan to expand to three days in 2014.
This year’s event features such guests as Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, Neal Adams, Sal Buscema, Don Rosa, Brian Bolland, Stan Sakai, Jim Starlin, Joe Staton, Walter Simonson, Louise Simonson, Joe Hill, Ivan Reis, Cliff Chiang, Amanda Conner, Mike Mignola, David Petersen, Mark Bagley, Mike Carey, Frank Cho, Ramona Fradon, Jason Latour, Francesco Francavilla, Keith Giffen, Terry Moore, Sean Murphy, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Mark Waid, JG Jones, Bill Willingham and Cully Hamner.
Be sure to follow Comic Book Resources and Robot 6 over the weekend for coverage of the convention.
Attendees at this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con are in for a special treat, as they’ll have the opportunity to purchase an art book featuring Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo as drawn by more than 30 artists.
Earlier today, we heard from Thom Zahler and Brad Tree on how the project came together, and now Sakai shares his thoughts on the book, his work on the recently wrapped 47 Ronin and some details on his next projects, which include a new Nilson Groundthumper tale and a Usagi story that will be out of this world. My thanks to Stan for his time in answering my questions, and to Thom and Brad, who arranged the interview.
Baltimore Comic-Con, being held Sept. 7-8, sports an impressive guest list of comic book creators. This year it welcomes Joe Hill, Neal Adams, Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Brian Bolland, Amanda Conner, David Petersen, George Perez, Walt Simonson, Louise Simonson, Mike Mignola, Keith Giffen, David Finch, Adam Hughes and many more.
One guest is particularly notable: Stan Sakai, whose signature creation, Usagi Yojimbo, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. To help celebrate Usagi and his creator, the convention will offer a special yearbook featuring the long-eared samurai as drawn by a variety of creators who are attending the show.
Manga | The recent move by a Japanese school board to restrict student access to Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen has resulted in a surge in sales of the book — so much so that the publishers had to increase their reprint numbers by a factor of three, bookstores are reporting shortages, and an e-book distributor expects it to make the Top 10 this month. As we noted Monday, the board has reversed its policy. [The Mainichi]
Digital comics | Marvel has updated its Marvel Unlimited app for iOS and Android, addressing the two chief user complaints by doubling the number of comics that can be downloaded and read offline from six to 12 and improving searchability by allowing users to search by publication date. [PC Magazine]