Don Rosa and the late Steve Gerber have been named the recipients of the 2013 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, Comic-Con International announced. The award is named in honor of the uncredited co-creator of Batman/
Gerber, who passed away in 2008 at age 60, was the influential writer of such Marvel comics as The Defenders, Daredevil and Man-Thing who co-created Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown. He also created the animated series Thundarr the Barbarian and worked on such properties as The Transformers, G.I. Joe and Dungeons & Dragons.
Comic-Con International has announced this year’s nominees for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which is given to a comic artist “who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” This year’s nominees are:
• Rem Broo, artist of The End Times of Bram and Ben (published by Image)
• Craig Cermak, artist of Voltron, Year One (published by Dynamite)
• Bryan Coyle, artist of Babble (published by Com.x)
• Paul Roman Martinez, writer/artist of The Adventures of the 19XX (self-published)
• Russell Roeling, artist of Wasteland (published by Oni)
Both Cermak and Martinez are previous nominees.
The award is named for Russ Manning, the prolific artist who worked on Tarzan and Star Wars, and created the classic comic series Magnus, Robot Fighter. Started in 1982 as a joint presentation of Comic-Con International and the West Coast Comics Club, this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. Previous winners of the award include Dave Stevens, the first winner in 1982, as well as Art Adams, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Jerome Opeña, Steve Rude, David Petersen, R. Kikuo Johnson, Marian Churchland, Nate Simpson and Tyler Crook.
The winner will be announced July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
As big of a boon as Comic-Con International is to the San Diego economy, new research has found something significantly larger: beer.
U-T San Diego reports that an independent study released on Monday– it’s the first devoted to the impact of local craft brewing — found the county’s breweries accounted for $299.5 million in wages, capital expenses and contracts in 2011. The direct economic impact of Comic-Con International that same year was about $180 million, up a little from the $163 million figure found in a 2010 study commissioned by the San Diego Convention Center Corp.
Add to that $299.5 million beer number a reported $680.8 million in local brewery sales, and hotel and restaurant revenues from events like San Diego Beer Week. The new study determined local brewpubs employ 1,133 people, and breweries another 497.
The nominees were announced today for the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, Chris Ware’s Building Stories, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, and Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, with five nods each. Fantagraphics led with publishers with 24 nominations, followed by Image Comics with 17, plus one shared. ROBOT 6 was nominated for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism.
All comics industry professionals are eligible to vote. The winners will be announced July 19 during Comic-Con International. The full list of nominees are:
Best Short Story
- “A Birdsong Shatters the Still,” by Jeff Wilson and Ted May, in Injury #4 (Ted May/Alternative)
- “Elmview” by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)
- “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)
- “Moving Forward,” by drewscape, in Monsters, Miracles, & Mayonnaise (Epigram Books)
- “Rainbow Moment,” by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)
When you think of America’s nerdiest cities — OK, if you think about them — your mind likely gravitates toward San Diego, the summer destination of tens and thousands of people each July for Comic-Con International, or San Jose, known as the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” or Seattle, home to Amazon, Emerald City Comicon and Penny Arcade Expo (and neighbor of Microsoft).
But when the real-estate website Movoto.com compiled its own list of the 10 nerdiest cities in the United States, none of those locations came out on top. Heck, San Diego didn’t make the cut at all.
If you thought that, between movies and television and video games, Comic-Con International has gotten awfully crowded for comic books, get ready to make a little more room: New Wave icon Adam Ant is using the event to launch his U.S. tour.
OK, the 58-year-old singer won’t actually perform in the San Diego Convention Center, but U-T San Diego reports the timing of the July 17 show (that’s Preview Night!) isn’t a coincidence: The concert’s promoters think there will be some crossover appeal. I’m not sure why they think con-goers would be interested in seeing someone wearing an ornate costume and funny hat … oh, wait.
The singer is no stranger to comic books, of course: As Michael May noted in December, Adam Ant briefly starred in his own comic strip in 1982.
From San Diego’s Balboa Theater, Ant’s North American tour travels through 22 states and Canada before wrapping up in September.
Business | Marvel parent Disney is expected to begin layoffs in the coming weeks as part of a planned reorganization that follows a company-wide review of operations. The film studio is believed to undergo the deepest cuts, specifically in marketing, home entertainment and production.
The news arrives a little more than five months after Disney announced its $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm; earlier this week, word spread the media giant has closed LucasArts, the video-game subsidiary of Lucasfilm, and axed 150 employees. According to Variety, Disney executives told each division to ensure “that staff levels are in line with the company’s needs in a changing marketplace, particularly in divisions affected by shifts in new media and technologies.” The film division will bear the brunt of the layoffs in large part because of Disney’s increasing reliance on Pixar (purchased in 2006 for $7.4 billion), Marvel (purchased in 2009 for $4 billion) and, soon, Lucasfilm. [Variety]
I’m sure that a lot of you reading these words have very strong feelings about Comic-Con International, and not all of them are joyous and pleasant. Writing this, I get that sort of “ugh” knot in my stomach thinking about all the hard work and money it takes to go on a five-day “vacation.” Getting in the doors has become this epic-level event worthy of its own video game; finding a place to stay so you can use those badges you masterfully acquired can mean camping in your car. Being inside the convention center can be overwhelming and, even worse, you may not even get inside the panel you worked so hard to get these tickets for anyway.
There’s so much that can go wrong at Comic-Con that there’s a palpable sadness when you realize you don’t have it in you to fight to do it all again next year. I’m not going this year, and when I tell people at the shop that, sometimes I feel like I’ve said there’s no Santa Claus.
Awards | A last-minute reminder: Today is the deadline for Eisner Awards submissions. [Eisner Awards]
Creators | Grant Morrison looks back on his run on Action Comics, which ends today with the release of Issue 18, and touches upon Multiversity and his long-discussed Wonder Woman project: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be fucking serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.” [Entertainment Weekly]
The 93-minute melee for badges was only the first hurdle on the road to Comic-Con International. The next trial is this morning at 9 PT, when the mad dash begins for discounted hotel rooms in San Diego. Obviously, attendees don’t have to go through this process to find accommodations, but they’re likely to end up paying two to three times the Comic-Con rate.
Nearly 60 hotels, from Downtown San Diego to the airport to Mission Valley, are part of the convention block, offering room rates ranging from $149 to to $357 per night during the July 18-21 event. All but three offer shuttle service to the San Diego Convention Center, so even if you end up in the hinterlands, you’ll likely be no more than a 45-minute ride away. Unless you’re in Mission Bay, then … sorry.
Awards | Brian Crane (Pickles), Rick Kirkman (Baby Blues) and Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) have been nominated for the 2012 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, presented by the National Cartoonists Society. [National Cartoonists Society]
Awards | Nominations are being sought for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, which will be presented July 19 at Comic-Con International during the Eisner Awards ceremony. The deadline is April 5. [Comic-Con International]
Conventions | Comic-Con International organizers have issued a statement regarding the technical problems many experienced Saturday while attempting to purchase badges for this year’s event: “Comic-Con badge sales opened this past Saturday and while the allotted badges were processed there was clearly an issue with some customers experiencing a frozen screen. We, along with Epic registration, are in the process of investigating this and hope to have an answer as to what occurred. Please know that we take this issue very seriously and offer our sincere apology for those who found themselves in this predicament. Thank you for your understanding in what we know was a very difficult experience for many.” Badges sold out in a little more than 90 minutes. [Comic-Con International]
The backlash to DC Comics’ decision to hire sci-fi author and vocal gay-rights opponent Orson Scott Card for its new Adventures of Superman anthology could create ripples felt beyond the comparatively small comics industry.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the spotlight on Card’s contentious views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage — he’s tried to link homosexuality to childhood molestation, and advocated government overthrow if marriage equality were upheld — arrives at an inopportune time for Summit Entertainment, which is adapting the author’s acclaimed 1985 novel Ender’s Game.
Even as the Twilight Saga studio begins to parcel out promotional materials (Battle School logos debuted just last night) in the buildup to the Nov. 1 opening of the $110 million film, mainstream-media outlets are reporting on the author’s involvement with the National Organization for Marriage, a group dedicated to the opposition of same-sex marriage and gay adoption, and the calls for DC to drop Card from the Superman comic. It makes Summit’s Comic-Con International plans problematic, to say the least.
No doubt those of you who are planning to go to Comic-Con already know this and are probably hunkered down in front of your computer (or computers) with your browser (or browsers) already opened and ready to rock. (And maybe Twitter as well, as the excitement has already begun).
As I noted earlier this month, you have to have a Comic-Con Member ID to be able to be buy a badge. If you don’t have one, you won’t be buying badges today — the site is closed to new registrations and will not reopen until next week.
Also, if you purchased a four-day badge with Preview Night during pre-registration in August 2012, or if you are a professional or guest of professional who has registered for a Comic-Con 2013 professional badge, you are not eligible to participate in open online registration and can’t buy any badges today.
Watch for updates here as badges go on sale (and sell out).
If you’re planning to make the pilgrimage to San Diego in July for Comic-Con International, there’s probably no use asking what you’re doing Saturday morning. That’s because badges for this year’s event go on sale at 9 a.m., which means by, oh, 9:10 or 9:15 you’ll either be shouting for joy or out of frustration.
As we noted earlier this month, you have to have a Comic-Con Member ID to be able to be buy a badge. And if you don’t already have one, then you’re out of luck for Saturday: Organizers closed the website to new registrations on Tuesday and won’t reopen until early next week. (Go ahead and scream now, it’s OK.)
Also, if you purchased a four-day badge with Preview Night during pre-registration in August, or if you are a professional or guest of professional who has registered for a Comic-Con 2013 professional badge, you are not eligible to participate in open online registration and can’t buy a badge on Saturday.
If you want to make sure you’re ready when that starting pistol fires in the morning, you can find a guide to badge purchase on the Comic-Con website. There’s also a video, which you can find below, along with pricing. Comic-Con International is July 18-21.