"Star Wars" Minor Players Reflect on a Galaxy Not So Far Away in "Elstree 1976"
Disney’s D23 Expo kicks off today at the Anaheim Convention Center. The four-day event brings together all the various aspects of the Disney company — from theme parks to movies to TV to yes, even comics — under one roof, for panels, screenings, autograph signings and of course the opportunity to buy some Disney stuff. The complete schedule can be found here.
As I first mentioned back in June, BOOM! Studios, which publishes licensed comics based on several Disney properties, will be there and will have two booths at the show. Mark Waid, BOOM!’s editor-in-chief and writer of The Incredibles comic, will be at BOOM!’s display booth in the Disney Consumer Products area (#2209-41) Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Grace Randolph and Amy Mebberson, who also have worked on some of the titles, will be there throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. BOOM! will also have a booth in the Collector’s Forum area, #430, where they’ll be selling many of their Disney titles.
Other guests at the show include Tim Burton, Robert Zemeckis, Nicholas Cage, Courteney Cox, John Lasseter and many more. Panels will focus on upcoming films like The Princess and the Frog, Tron: Legacy, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, among others. And no, there’s no mention of anything Marvel-related, nor would I expect there to be considering the deal isn’t final. Maybe next year, though.
My wife’s a huge Disney fan — this is kind of like her Comic-Con — so we’ll be there Friday through Sunday. I plan to post pictures on the CBR Live blog throughout the day, God and iPhone willing, and will likely blog about it when I get a chance. So check back this weekend for updates.
BOOM! Studios’ November solicitations came out today and feature the launch of several new ongoing series in their BOOM! Kids line.
In addition to the previously reported The Muppet Show ongoing launching, BOOM! will also publish ongoing series for Cars, Wall-E and Toy Story, all of which start with a “zero” issue in November.
Alan J. Porter will continue to work on the Cars property, and he’ll also write Toy Story. They’ll feature art by Albert Carreres and Brett Schoonover, respectively. Wall-E, meanwhile, will be written by J. Torres with art by Morgan Luthi.
Check out some unfinal covers after the jump …
Legal | Marc Graser breaks down what aspects of Superman are now controlled by the heirs of co-creator Jerry Siegel after Wednesday’s court ruling: depictions of “Superman’s origins from the planet Krypton, his parents Jor-El and Lora, Superman as the infant Kal-El, the launching of the infant Superman into space by his parents as Krypton explodes and his landing on Earth in a fiery crash.” In 2013, the estate of Joe Shuster will become co-owners of the copyright to Action Comics #1 and the newly recaptured early works.
Warner Bros. and DC Comics, which still own later additions to Superman’s mythos — flight and other superpowers, kryptonite, Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, etc. — issued a statement characterizing the decision as affirmation that “the vast majority of key elements” developed after Action Comics #1 remain the property of DC. [Variety]
Publishing | Wired.com’s Andrew Kardon profiles BOOM! Studios’ kids’ imprint, which features Disney/Pixar comics and, soon, the Disney Standards line. [GeekDad]
Creators | Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Matt Davies talks about being laid off by the Westchester, N.Y., Journal-News after 17 years with the newspaper: “I was told a few months back by my editor that my position was valued, so I didn’t expect this. I’m not stupid, the business model is in dire straits for all newspapers, we all know that. It’s weird. Before there was a focus on the content; management was cognizant of the need for content, but this time it was all about the numbers, so my position was cut.” [The Daily Cartoonist]
Is it Sunday again already? Time for another What Are You Reading then. Our guest this week is blogger and Bleach fanatic John Jakala. Has John been reading Bleach this week? Click on the link to find out. Oh, and don’t forget to tell us what you are reading in the comments section below.
Given today’s announcement that Roger Langridge will be appearing at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it seemed like the ideal time to run my email interview with him regarding his Muppets work at BOOM! Langridge’s industry profile has been elevated by his recent Muppet work, and it was my pleasure to interview him about it. His grasp of the Muppets characters is amazing and given that I’m a longtime fan of the Muppets, I’m truly enthused when he says some of the characters have “hidden depths you could spend a lifetime mining.” I could spend a lifetime reading what Langridge mines, honestly.
Tim O’Shea: Your Muppet work for BOOM! Studios was the first time I saw you work in the Muppet-verse. But you worked with the Muppets back with the Disney Adventures magazine. How much has your Muppet style changed (if at all) between the Disney era work and now?
Roger Langridge: The Disney Adventures stuff was a bit less on-model; they’d been running some Mickey Mouse cartoons by Glenn McCoy that were drawn in a raggedy, undergroundish sort of style and they were popular enough that they were looking for something similar with the Muppets, so I was encouraged to just go with my own style entirely. The BOOM! material, being more in the nature of a piece of official merchandise, is stylistically somewhere between that and the official models: not entirely my own take, although still recognisably “me.”
O’Shea: How did the Muppet assignment come about–did you contact BOOM! or did they seek you out?
Langridge: They found me! I guess the unpublished Disney Adventures material had been circulating behind the scenes, and I suppose somebody liked it well enough to track me down.
Welcome to What Are You Reading, where we talk about stuff, but mostly books, especially comic books. Our guest this week is our fellow CBR blogger Brian Cronin, whom most of you no doubt know via the excellent blog Comics Should Be Good and author of the new book Was Superman Was A Spy: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed!
To discover what Brian and the rest of the crew are reading, simply click on the link below.
Godland artist Tom Scioli provided the above variant cover for BOOM!’s Incredibles #3, available only at this weekend’s HeroesCon. It’s a really nice piece, and, if this makes sense, has sort of an “indie” feel to it … which seems like the way to go for a variant cover for the show, considering HeroesCon plays host to Indie Island.
See BOOM!’s other variant covers and other plans for HeroesCon here.
Disney will host a convention of sorts in Anaheim this September called the D23 Expo– a “four-day event that brings the entire world of Disney under one roof,” according to a press release. That “entire world” will include BOOM! Studios, publishers of The Incredibles, The Muppet Show and several other licensed Disney/Pixar titles.
Per BOOM!’s Chip Mosher, the comics publisher will be on hand with “a line of show exclusives” they’ll be revealing in the near future.
D23 is the name of Disney’s fan community, which gives Disney fans access to the company through a website, a quarterly magazine and the D23 Expo. The event will also include previews of several upcoming Disney films, such as The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON, Toy Story 3, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. They also promise previews of ABC’s fall season, an exhibition of props from past Disney movies and the chance to meet stars from the Disney Channel.
So maybe you’ll have the chance to meet Mark Waid and Hannah Montana all in the same weekend. Stranger things have happened.
Publishing | Disney’s Studio Fountain and Soda Store in Hollywood will carry the BOOM! Kids line of licensed Muppets and Disney/Pixar comics. They will be the only comics sold in the store. [BOOM! Kids]
Legal | A 28-year-old man in Wheaton, Ill., was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to felony theft for using a bogus check in 2007 to buy a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #2 from Graham Crackers Comics in Naperville. As part of his plea, Scott K. Meherg was ordered to pay $980.99 in restitution toward the comic, which was never recovered. [Naperville Sun]
Legal | In other Spider-Man-related crime news, a New York man suspected of stealing $78,000 worth of farm equipment reportedly told employees of the business that his name was Peter Parker before dropping his pants to reveal a blue-and-red leotard. Apparently, “Brand New Day” hasn’t gone as well as we were led to believe. [WNYT.com]
Sales charts | The top of The New York Times’ Graphic Books Best Seller List looks just like last week’s edition, with The Dark Tower: Treachery, Watchmen and Naruto leading their respective categories. Star Trek: Countdown continues to perform well for IDW as it inches up to No. 2 in paperbacks. [ArtsBeat]
Publishing | Belgium, which produced some 4,000 new titles last year, is suffering from a lack of good writers. “Most Belgians who want a career in comics aspire to be illustrators, not wordsmiths,” writes Daniel Michaels. “At the country’s many comic fairs, it’s the artists around whom thousands swarm for autographs.” [Wall Street Journal]
BOOM! Studios sent out a press release tonight saying both The Incredibles: Family Matters #1 and The Muppet Show Comic Book #1 have sold out from Diamond Comics. According to the release, “tremendous re-order activity just prior to both comics release ensured a sell out before either comic hit stands this Wednesday.”
Second printings of both books should be available by the end of April.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Sure, with the current economic climate, we are definitely printing more conservatively than years before, but even so, the velocity of late in the game re-order activity for these books have been totally out of this world,” said Chip Mosher, BOOM!’s marketing and sales director, in the release. “Those re-orders ate up all the leftover stock at Diamond and then some. Not in our wildest dreams could we predict that we would effectively be sold out the day before these books hit the stands. Once we saw what was happening, we went into overdrive to get second prints of both books rolling into Diamond.”
Earlier today BOOM! announced a newsstand distribution deal with Kable Distribution Services, while yesterday they launched a new website to promote their Disney/Pixar titles under the BOOM! Kids imprint.
In an effort to get their new Disney/Pixar titles “into the hands of every child out there,” BOOM! has teamed with Kable Distribution Services for a national newsstand distribution agreement for their BOOM! Kids imprint (which got a new website this week as well).
The deal includes newsstand distribution for their Incredibles, Cars and Muppet Show comics.
“We want to get our line of Pixar/Disney comics into the hands of every child out there,” said Ross Richie, publisher of BOOM! Studios, in a very short press release. “Working with KDS, who has a strong record with handling kids comics in the newsstand market, I am confident that we will meet that goal.”