Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
When J. Michael Straczynski was still the writer of Wonder Woman, he approached Colleen Doran about developing a new, “fantasy-oriented” look for her. He’s given Doran permission to share what she came up with, which she’s done on her blog.
She clarifies a couple of things in the comments section of her post. First, that she wasn’t hired to draw the actual comic; just to design the look. But more importantly, that this look would’ve been for a story after the one in which Wonder Woman wore Jim Lee’s controversial redesign.
There’s anthologies. Then there’s Womanthology.
Designed to showcase the works of female comic creators “of every age and experience level,” the short stories in Womanthology center around the theme “Heroic.” In addition to comics, the book will also have interviews and “how-to” tutorials by female creators to encourage the next generation of talent. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the charity Global Giving Foundation.
To bring this all together, the women behind Womanthology are turning to Kickstarter.com to raise money to print the book. With a release date tentatively set for December 2011, the Kickstarter campaign has already generated $18,000 of its $25,000 goal with just under a month to go.
The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of comic creators, including the likes of Ann Nocenti, Camille d’Errico, Ming Doyle, Colleen Doran, June Brigman, Fiona Staples, Barbara Kesel, Gail Simone, Trina Robbins and more.
Friends of comic artist Chris Wozniak and his wife Debra have set up a Facebook page and PayPal account in support of the couple, who lost their home in a tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Ala. on April 27.
“Their house was destroyed beyond words,” The Facebook page reads. “By the Grace of God, Chris some how made it out with his two dogs and is at a Red Cross Rescue Center. Debra was at work and also at a center.”
Wozniak has worked on several books for Marvel and DC in the 1980s and 90s, including Excalibur, Star Trek and the Spectre. More recently he worked on his own comics, including Bitter Midgets and the Marauders from Galaxy X.
Artist Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil, Orbiter) has teamed up with author Barry Lyga (The Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl) on a new “metafictive” graphic novel called Mangaman. The story is about a manga character who falls through a rip in reality into the “real” world.
“Ryoko, a manga character from a manga world, falls through the Rip into the ‘real’ world — the Western world — and tries to survive as the ultimate outsider at a typical American high school,” Lyga wrote on his website. “When Ryoko falls in love with Marissa Montaigne, the most beautiful girl in the school, his eyes turn to hearts and the comic tension tightens as his way of expressing himself clashes with this different Western world where he is stuck. ‘Panel-holed’ for being different, Ryoko has to figure out how to get back to his manga world, back through the Rip . . . all while he has hearts for eyes for a girl from the wrong kind of comic book.”
The book is due out in November from Houghton Mifflin. You can see additional artwork on the book’s official site.
I’m still in shock over the sudden, tragic death of comics writer, Milestone Media co-founder and animation producer Dwayne McDuffie, as I’m sure many of his fans, friends and fellow creators are. I’ve rounded up some thoughts and memories from some of those folks, as well as a few items of note about memorials and some of his work.
Legal | A federal judge has lifted the delay in the ferocious legal battle over the rights to Superman, allowing attorneys for Warner Bros. to proceed with deposition of the families of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright issued the stay last month while he considered an appeal on a procedural ruling, but on Tuesday he modified the order, permitting the studio to “proceed with full discovery of [heirs] Joanne Siegel, Laura Siegel Larson, Jean Peavy and Mark Peavy.” The depositions are expected to begin immediately. [THR, Esq.]
Retailing | Bookstores had their worst month of the year in September as sales slipped 7.7 percent, to $1.51 billion. [Publishers Weekly]
Piracy | Colleen Doran argues that it’s the middle-class artist, not the rich corporations, who are the real victims of digital piracy. [The Hill]
Crime | Houston police have arrested two people believed to be responsible for stealing thousands of dollars worth of comics from stores around the city. Bedrock City Comic Company was hit at least four times. [My Fox Houston]
Publishing | Marvel reportedly has issued a round of Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices to Google in an effort targeting Blogger sites that serve as clearinghouses for links to pirated comics. (Blogger was purchased by Google in 2003.) One such blog, Comics Invasion, already has been shut down. [Bleeding Cool]
Passings | Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad passed away Saturday of natural causes. He was 86. The winner of three Pulitzers, an achievement matched by just two other cartoonists in the post-World War II era, Conrad worked for the Los Angeles Times for nearly 30 years, and earned a place on President Nixon’s infamous “enemies list.” [Los Angeles Times, Comic Riffs]
As a part of their Creators Across America series, the Copyright Alliance has posted the above video interview with A Distant Soil creator Colleen Doran. The artist discusses her early career and the importance of knowing her rights as a creator, among other topics. Patrick Ross, who conducted the interview, says she is “successful and accomplished, and a hoot.”
Tablets | Hey, guess what? Apple’s making headlines with a new product. On the heels of yesterday’s iPad announcement, Comic Book Resources and Newsarama both reach out to members of the comics industry to get their thoughts on the new device, from traditional publishers to digital comics companies. Rich Johnston has a collection of reactions from Twitter. Meanwhile, we heard from Dark Horse directly:
“We, like all publishers, are excited about this new format, and all of the possibilities which come along with it. We have already experienced great success with our existing iTunes program, and are excited to see just how this new interface will fit into our company’s overall digital strategy,” said Neil Hankerson, executive vice president of Dark Horse Comics.
Other links of note …
May is Neurofibromatosis Awareness month, and long list of celebrities, including A Distant Soil creator Colleen Doran, have contributed “doodles” for an auction that benefits Neurofibromatosis Inc. The auctions started yesterday on eBay and run through May 17; you can find the complete list here.
Last Friday Vertigo announced Gone To Amerikay, a new original graphic novel written by Derek McCulloch (Stagger Lee) with art by Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil, Orbiter, Sandman). Although the project is still in the early stages, Doran sent over some of her early artwork for the project.
“Derek is writing one of the best scripts I have ever read in my life,” Doran said. “We spent the day on Thursday in NYC taking reference photos and running about doing research, but I can’t really talk about it very much. DC is keeping it all very close, I think. The book will be out sometime next year. I guess it’s setting us up to say how good the story is, because people are going to expect the moon, but I have the feeling Derek can deliver the moon.”
The one up top was shown at the Vertigo panel at the New York Comic Con; check out additional artwork that wasn’t shown after the jump …