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Ron Marz and Jamal Igle abruptly exit IDW’s The Historians

Less than two weeks after IDW Publishing revealed plans for a new series called The Historians, writer Ron Marz and Jamal Igle have announced they’ve left the project.

Based on an idea by Eric Sellers, a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves whom Marz first met several years ago, The Historians follows a special Air Force squadron who must pursue a rogue member through time. It’s planned for March 2013 release. In a blog post, Marz implied “creative differences” with Sellers led to the abrupt departure.

“This was not my choice, nor the choice of artist Jamal Igle, or publisher IDW,” he wrote. “I’m disappointed the project did not work out as planned. To my knowledge, Jamal has left the project as well. It’s best to describe the situation as one of creative differences, and leave it at that. I hope to work with both Jamal and IDW at some point in the future. I wish the best of luck to The Historians moving forward.”

In a statement to Comic Book Resources, Marz added, “Sometimes projects don’t work out as expected. That’s the case with The Historians, unfortunately. I’m not one to tell stories out of school, but ultimately the team of me and Jamal Igle weren’t the right fit for the project. I do want everyone to know that there are no problems between me, Jamal Igle and IDW. I’m looking forward to working with both Jamal and IDW in the future, hopefully the near future.”

Igle similarly wrote, “I still have a great relationship with Ron and the staff at IDW, and look forward to a healthy future with all parties involved.” On a happier note for the artist’s fans, Igle said the opening in his schedule means he can begin working on the first Molly Danger book next month rather than waiting until spring, shifting release from October 2013 to July 2013.

Roger Langridge wraps up Snarked!, teases new projects

Roger Langridge has posted some updates to his blog, including the news that, at least for now, Issue 12 will be the last for his Eisner Award-winning kids’ series Snarked! — although if the collected editions sell well, he may bring it back.

That means Popeye is his main occupation at the moment; Langridge is writing the new Popeye comic from IDW Publishing, and he will be drawing some of the stories as well, starting with Issue 7.

And then comes the tease: “I’m also writing something else for IDW. I hope I can talk about that soon. Right now, let’s just say that it’s something more in the action-adventure line.”

He also has some art projects in the works — illustrating a single-issue comic for IDW and a “proper book, with words and everything” for an unnamed publisher. And he will be testing the waters for a creator-owned project in David Lloyd’s yet-to-be-launched digital anthology Aces Weekly.

Langridge closes the post with some of his Baltimore Comic-Con sketches, so it’s worth the click just for that.

Winners announced for the 2012 Harvey Awards

Daredevil #4

Daredevil, Kate Beaton, J.H. Williams III, Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand and Walt Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Artist’s Edition took home multiple honors at the 2012 Harvey Awards, held tonight in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. Named for the late Harvey Kurtzman, the awards are selected by comics professionals, who offer nominations and vote on the winners.

Also during the ceremony, Kevin Brogan presented the Hero Initiative‘s Dick Giordano Humanitarian of The Year Award to the late Joe Kubert, while Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. presented the Hero Initiative’s Lifetime Achievement Award to John Romita Jr.

You can find a list of all the nominees with the winners in bold below.

Best Letterer

Chris Eliopoulos, Fear Itself, Marvel Comics
Laura Lee Gulledge, Page By Paige, Amulet Books
Todd Klein, S.H.I.E.L.D.: Architects Of Forever, Marvel Comics
David Lanphear, Secret Avengers, Marvel Comics
Jason Shiga, Empire State: A Love Story (or Not), Abrams ComicArts

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David Petersen shows process for Baltimore Comic-Con program

I only just discovered the blog of Mouse Guard creator David Petersen, and it’s a great read if you like behind-the-scenes details. He recently posted a detailed account of the small model he made for the Matriarch’s Room, which appeared in Black Axe #5; it’s amazing to see how much care and thought he put into it. And now he has a new post, detailing the cover he drew for the Baltimore Comic Con program, from initial concept to finished art. It’s a treat for process junkies and some nice eye candy for the rest of us as well.

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2012 Harvey Awards nominees announced

The executive committee of the annual Harvey Awards today announced the nominees for 2012, which will be presented at the Baltimore Comic-Con Sept. 8.

Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist and founding editor of MAD magazine, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected by creators–”those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field,” according to the press release.

The nominees are:

Best Letterer

Chris Eliopoulos, Fear Itself, Marvel Comics
Laura Lee Gulledge, Page By Paige, Amulet Books
Todd Klein, S.H.I.E.L.D.: Architects Of Forever, Marvel Comics
David Lanphear, Secret Avengers, Marvel Comics
Jason Shiga, Empire State: A Love Story (or Not), Abrams ComicArts

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Comics A.M. | Industry’s digital inroads; exploiting new comics formats

"Insufferable," by Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Digital comics | George Gene Gustines takes a quick trip through the landscape of digital comics, dropping in on Mark Waid, comiXology’s David Steinberger and Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men Infinite Comic. Much of this is familiar territory to regular readers of this blog, but hey, it’s The New York Times noticing digital comics! [The New York Times]

Digital comics | FreakAngels writer Warren Ellis looks at three recent digital comics, noting how they all limit themselves to “two-tier storytelling”: “Accepting and exploiting new limitations is always part of a new format. These three projects, though, can’t produce even a full-page spread without some serious scheming and dancing.” [Warren Ellis]

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Comics A.M. | Marvel’s big push for AvX; New 52 hurting GN sales?

AvX #1

Publishing | David Gabriel, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, says that Marvel is putting “the biggest marketing investment that we’ve ever put into a series or an event” behind its upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men event. The campaign will include online, social media, radio and television promotion. “They’re actually treating every issue as an event, because there’s a different fight going on in every issue, and I’m told that they are pushing every single issue through all 12 issues,” Gabriel said. “The story itself has three acts, and each of those acts has a natural marketing hook to it, so they’re pushing those as well.” [ICv2]

Publishing | While DC’s New 52 has been good for comics sales overall, there is a dark side: Sales of pre-reboot collected editions are down. ICv2 also lists the Top 10 comics and graphic novel franchises in a number of different genres. [ICv2]

Legal | The Justice Department brought more charges of fraud and copyright infringement against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his colleagues on Friday, but also revealed that Megaupload isn’t all that mega: The file-sharing site had only 66.6 million users, not the 180 million previously claimed, and fewer than 6 million had ever actually uploaded a file. The indictment mentions one user who uploaded almost 17,000 items, including copyrighted movies, which were viewed 34 million times. [The Washington Post]

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Comics A.M. | Keatinge, Cho sign with Delcourt; comiXology rolls out affiliate program

Brutal

Publishing| Joe Keatinge and Frank Cho have signed a three-book deal with Delcourt, a comics publisher in France. The first book of theirs Delcourt will publish will be the first volume of Brutal, which will debut at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angouleme 2013. Delcourt publishes many American comics in France, including Walking Dead, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Invincible, Rocketeer, Hellboy, The Goon, Haunt and many more, as well as many manga titles.

“On a personal level, French comics have had a huge influence on me. Working within that industry is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I wanted a career in comics at all. Being an author with a book debuting at Angouleme is a goal I thought was many a year away, so this has taken things to a whole new level much sooner than anticipated. While I do plan on going back in 2012, this still gives me a year to work on my awful command of the language before I have to do a signing. Being in the good hands of Delcourt makes me think it’s a good start,” Keatinge said. [Joe Keatinge]

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Winners announced for 2011 Harvey Awards

Parker: The Outfit

Parker: The Outfit

Darwyn Cooke, Roger Langridge and Daven Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition led the 2011 Harvey Awards, presented Saturday night in conjunction with Baltimore Comic-Con. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the awards are selected by comics professionals, who offer nominations and vote on the winners.

The 2011 Harvey Awards winners are:

Best letterer: John Workman, Thor (Marvel)
Best colorist: Jose Villarrubia, Cuba: My Revolution (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Best syndicated strip or panel: Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau (Universal Press Syndicate)
Best online comics work: Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton
Best American edition of foreign material: Blacksad, Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
Best inker: Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)
Best new series: American Vampire, Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Most promising new talent: Chris Samnee, Thor: The Mighty Avenger (Marvel)
Special award for humor in comics: Roger Langridge, The Muppet Show (BOOM! Studios)
Best original graphic publication for younger readers: Tiny Titans, Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani (DC Comics)
Best graphic album — previously published: Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Best anthology: Popgun #4, edited by D.J. Kirkbride, Anthony Wu and Adam P. Knave (Image Comics)
Best domestic reprint project: Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)
Best cover artist: Mike Mignola, Hellboy (Dark Horse)
Best biographical, historical or journalistic presentation: The Art Of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets Of Life And Death, Todd Hignite (Abrams ComicArts)
Special award for excellence in presentation: Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk and edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW Publishing)
Best graphic album — original: Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)
Best continuing or limited series: Love And Rockets, Vol. 3, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Best writer: Roger Langridge, Thor: The Mighty Avenger (Marvel)
Best artist: Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)
Best cartoonist: Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW Publishing)
Best single issue or story: Daytripper, Fabio Moon and Gabiel Ba (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Bone 20th anniversary world tour details

Bone creator Jeff Smith’s busy travel schedule only begins at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. The creator will also hit Baltimore, Toronto, New York, Ohio and Italy this year in support of the 20th anniversary of Bone and the release of the Bone: 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume.

In addition, he shares that the Bone One Volume Slipcase Edition, which is the same book that’s included with the $350 box set without the extra bells and whistles, will debut at the Mid-Ohio Con in October. Check out a picture of it after the jump.

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Nominees announced for 2011 Harvey Awards

Harvey Awards

The nominees have been announced for the 2011 Harvey Awards, which recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art.

Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the cartoonist and founding editor of MAD magazine, the awards are selected entirely by creators. Final ballots are due by Aug. 6. Winners will be announced in conjunction with Baltimore Comic-Con, which runs Aug. 20-21. Scott Kurtz will again serve as master of ceremonies.

The nominees are:

Best Letterer
• Scott Brown, Box 13, Http://www.comixology.com and Red 5 Comics
• Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit, IDW
• Dustin Harbin, Casanova, Image Comics
• Troy Peteri, Witchblade, Top Cow
• Robbie Robbins, Locke & Key: Keys To The Kingdom # 1, IDW
• John Workman, Thor, Marvel Comics

Best Colorist
• Veronica Gandini, Mice Templar: Volume 10, Image Comics
• Laura Martin, The Stand, Marvel Comics
• Ed Ryzowski, Gutters, http://www.the-Gutters.com
• Dave Stewart, BPRD, Dark Horse Comics
• Jose Villarubia, Cuba : My Revolution, Vertigo/DC Comics

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Terry Moore does SiP, Slave Leia-style!

One of the things I love most about conventions is the artists who visit and show off their sketchbooks and draw sketches for people. Even if you don’t attend the convention, you can follow artists’ blogs and see work they did during the con begin to trickle in. With last week’s Baltimore Comic-Con in the rear-view, that’s beginning to happen.  Take, for example, Terry Moore, who did a phenomenal drawing of the girls from his Strangers in Paradise series dressed up as Slave Leia from Return of the Jedi.

You can view several additional pieces on his blog, including a Red Sonja and a piece he did for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Winners announced for 2009 Harvey Awards

Harvey Awards

Asterios Polyp, Chew, The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures and The Walking Dead were among the titles winning multiple honors at the 2009 Harvey Awards, presented Saturday in conjunction with Baltimore Comic-Con.

The ceremony, hosted by PvP creator Scott Kurtz, also featured the presentation of The Hero Initiative’s first Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award to Tim Sale and Jerry Robinson, and The Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award to Walter Simonson.

The complete list of Harvey Awards nominees can be found here. The winners are:

Best Writer
Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead (Image Comics)

Best Artist
Robert Crumb, Book of Genesis (W.W. Norton)

Best Cartoonist
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter (IDW Publishing)

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This weekend, it’s Baltimore Comic-Con

The 11th annual Baltimore Comic-Con opens Saturday morning, drawing an expected 15,000 attendees, and more than 150 guests, to the Baltimore Convention Center.

But none of those guests is a television or movie star, a professional wrestler, or a “model,” notes The Baltimore Sun. No, every one of them is actually involved in the creation of comics.

“It doesn’t make sense for our vendors to have these other people there to take up valuable space that would otherwise go to people who do make sense,” convention organizer Marc Nathan tells the newspaper. “… Having fringe sci-fi people, from shows that were popular back in 1972, doesn’t make that much sense to me. That’s not my show, that’s not what I want to do.”

The people you will find at the event include Laura Allred, Mike Allred, Sergio Aragones, Ivan Brandon, Tom Brevoort, Bernard Chang, Howard Chaykin, Ciff Chiang, Mark Chiarello, Frank Cho, Mike Choi, Kevin Colden, Amanda Conner, Ramona Fradon, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Ron Garney, Mike Gold, Michael Golden, Jimmy Gownley, Gabriel Hardman, Tony Harris, Dean Haspiel, Jonathan Hickman, Greg Horn, Adam Hughes, Jamal Igle, Klaus Janson, Georges Jeanty, Dave Johnson, J.G. Jones, Denis Kitchen, Barry Kitson, Scott Kurtz, Erik Larsen, Steve Lieber, the Luna Brothers, Ron Marz, Todd McFarlane, Carla Speed McNeil, Terry Moore, Sean Murphy, Steve Niles, Phil Noto, Denny O’Neil, Ryan Ottley, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jeff Parker, David Petersen, Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Chris Roberson, James Robinson, Don Rosa, Jim Rugg, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Jim Starlin, Billy Tan, Ben Templesmith, Herb Trimpe, Timothy Truman, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, John Workman and Bernie Wrightson.

Exhibitors include Adhouse Books, BOOM! Studios, comiXology, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Top Cow Productions and Top Shelf Comix.

In addition, the 2010 Harvey Awards will presented Saturday evening in a ceremony hosted by Scott Kurtz. Baltimore Comic-Con runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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

Barnes & Noble

Retailing | Barnes & Noble, the largest book chain in the United States, lost $63 million in the first quarter, a vast decline from a $12-million profit it reported for the same period a year ago. The retailer pinned about $10 million in losses on its costly fight with billionaire investor Ronald Burkle, and warned that a proxy battle could push the company even further into the red. [Reuters, ICv2.com]

Passings | Paprika director Satoshi Kon, who began his career as a manga artist before moving into anime in 1995, died Tuesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 46. Kon made his directorial debut in 1997 with Perfect Blue, and went on to helm such critically acclaimed anime features as Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and the aforementioned Paprika, as well as the television series Paranoia Agent. [Anime News Network]

Publishing | Kai-Ming Cha looks at initial efforts by manga publishers to provide digital content as legal alternatives to scanlations. [Publishers Weekly]

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