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SpongeBob comic to debut next month

Good news for those who have been missing their SpongeBob Squarepants comics fix since the demise of Nickelodeon Magazine—SpongeBob comics are back!

SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg announced the new comic this morning. It will be published by Bongo Comics (the dead-tree home of Bart Simpson) and edited by former Nick Mag editor Chris Duffy, which is very good news—in its heyday, Nick Mag published not only SpongeBob comics but a wealth of short-form mini-masterpieces by creators of the first order, from Craig Thompson to Gahan Wilson to Justin Green. And indeed, it seems that Hillenburg and Duffy have assembled an impressive stable of creators for SpongeBob: James Kochalka (Johnny Boo, American Elf), Hilary Barta (Fear Agent), Graham Annable (Grickle), Gregg Schigiel (X-Babies), and Jacob Chabot (Mighty Skullboy Army, X-Babies).

The comics will be bimonthly and priced at $2.99 for 32 pages. The first issue will hit comics stores on Feb. 6 and newsstands on March 1.

Comics A.M. | Archie Drops Comics Code, Marking End of Era

Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval

Publishing | Thursday’s news that DC Comics will replace the nearly 60-year-old Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval with its own rating system was followed on Friday by an announcement by Archie Comics that it, too, will drop the Code. The two were the last publishers to abandon the CCA — Marvel withdrew in 2001, Bongo just last year — which means that as of next month, the once-influential self-regulatory body created by the comics industry in the wake of the 1954 Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency will cease to exist.  Before a series of revisions in 1971, the Code prohibited even the depictions of political corruption, or vampires and werewolves, and the use of the words “horror” or “terror” in titles.

Christopher Butcher wonders whether DC’s decision to drop the Code was made with an eye toward the bottom line, while Johanna Draper Carlson offers an overview of the CCA’s history. Elsewhere, Mike Sterling asks whether any retailers ever “experienced any kind of real-world impact of the Comics Code Authority?” And Tom Mason makes some tongue-in-cheek recommendations for DC’s new rating system, including “G – GREYING MAN-BOYS” and “R – REFRIGERATOR.” [Newsarama]

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Bongo Comics to launch new website (Updated)

BongoSo, just yesterday, when we were prepping our Food or Comics? post, I went looking for a catalog page for Futurama and could find no trace of a Bongo Comics website whatsoever. I snarked a bit on this in an internal e-mail to my Robot 6 colleagues.

And now, I’m feeling a little creeped out, because Heidi has the news that they are, in fact, getting one of these newfangled website thingies. That’s right: About 20 years after the rest of us, 17-year-old Bongo Comics discovers the internet.

It looks like they are making up for lost time, though, with plenty of content. will offer regular “Simpsons” and “Futurama” news items and blog updates, as well as announcements of new publishing ventures. A comprehensive history of all Matt Groening’s comic-book, trade-book, and calendar publications, including Groening’s catalog of books collecting his syndicated strip Life in Hell, will also be featured.

Well, OK, that actually sounds like every other publisher’s website. But hey, at least they are doing it! As of this writing, the actual website is password-protected, but hopefully the scaffolding will come off later today. It’s live! Go check it out.

SDCC ’09 | Thursday programming schedule released



Comic-Con International has released the programming schedule for Thursday, July 23, as well as some special programming for preview night. You can check out the entire day’s worth of activities right here for yourself. Here are some of the highlights …

  • During preview night on Wednesday, Warner Bross Television will show some of their pilots for upcoming TV series — Human Target, Vampire Diaries and the remake of V.
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ComicsLive | A guide to next week’s comic-related events

HOTPOT1.qxd:Layout 1Welcome to ComicsLive, a guide to upcoming signings, conventions and more. This type of information can sometimes get lost in the archives when it’s posted a few weeks or months ahead of time, so we’ll be consolidating them into one weekly calendar-esque post every Friday and running reminders at the bottom of Kevin’s Comics A.M. posts on the day of the event. Hopefully this will ensure the information is easier to find when you need it.

If you’d like to submit an event for inclusion, please email them directly to me. Please include the venue, city and state, start time, event details and any related websites where we can send folks for more information. Virtual events, like online creator chats, are also welcome.

Today, June 26

Toronto | Pulp Fiction, an art exhibit featuring the works of Marc Bell, Amy Lockhart, Peter Thompson, Seth Scriver and many more Canadian cartoonists, opens at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. The exhibit kicks off with an opening party tonight at 7 p.m. and runs through Aug. 23. More details can be found here.

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Jeffrey Brown’s ‘Bad Milhouse’

Bad Milhouse

Bad Milhouse

Jeffrey Brown, one of several creators contributing to Bongo’s Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror comic this year, shares some rough sketches of the first page of his story here and here. His story, “Bad Milhouse,” features Bart’s best friend in a story inspired by the TV movie Bad Ronald.

Kramers Ergot meets the Simpsons in this year’s Treehouse of Horror

©2009 Bongo Entertainment, Inc. The Simpsons © & ™Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

©2009 Bongo Entertainment, Inc. The Simpsons © & ™Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

I somehow missed this in Tucker Stone’s report from MoCCA last week, but luckily Heidi over at the Beat caught it — Stone spoke with John Kerschbaum about his future projects, and the creator revealed that he’s working on this year’s Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror book for Bongo Comics.

Kerschbaum isn’t the only one working on the book, though; as you can see below in the solicitation copy that Bongo was kind enough to send us, they’ve recruited a Murderer’s Row of creators, including Jeffrey Brown, Kevin Huizenga, Matthew Thurber and many more, and it’s edited by Sammy Harkham of Kramers Ergot fame:

Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #15
Edited by Sammy Harkham
48 pages/standard format/color/humor
UPC: 01511 (7-98342-02851-5)

Guest edited by Sammy Harkham, the award-winning creator of the popular Kramers Ergot anthology, this year’s issue is a jam-packed with some of the most idiosyncratic (and weirdest) takes on “The Simpsons” universe ever. Among Halloween-inspired short strips by such visionary cartoonists as Jordan Crane (Uptight), C.F. (Powr Mastrs), Will Sweeney (Tales from Greenfuzz), Tim Hensley (MOME), and John Kerschbaum (Petey & Pussy), are four featured tales of inspired Simpsons lunacy: heralded artists Kevin Huizenga (Ganges, Or Else) and Matthew Thurber (1-800 Mice, Kramers Ergot) collaborate on a weird and wild story equal parts Lovecraftian eco-horror and Philip K. Dick identity comedy. Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change-Bots, Clumsy) does a creepy and suitably pathetic story featuring Milhouse in a “Bad Ronald”-inspired tale of murder and crawl space living. Harkham and Ted May (INJURY) pull out all the stops for a tragic monster tale of unrequited love, bad karaoke, and body snatching at Moe’s Bar. Ben Jones (Paper Rad) does the comic of his life with an epic tale of how bootleg candy being sold at the Kwik-E-Mart rapidly spirals out of control into an Invasion of The Body Snatchers-like nightmare of a Springfield filled with cheap bootleg versions of familiar characters. And nobody does squishy, sweaty, and gross like up and coming cartoonist Jon Vermilyea (MOME), who outdoes himself with “C.H.U.M.M.,” a C.H.U.D.-inspired parody featuring everybody’s favorite senior citizen, Hans Moleman!

With a cover by Dan Zettwoch, Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #15 is like nothing you’ve ever seen, and is sure to be one of the most talked about comics of the year by alternative comic readers and Simpsons fans of all ages!

This goes on my “must buy” list.

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