Comic-Con International Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Merchandise and GN sales up, comics down, Diamond reports

Diamond Comic DistributorsTotal sales to the direct market increased 3.8 percent in the first half of the year, Diamond Comic Distributors announced during its annual retailer luncheon at Comic-Con International.

Merchandise — toys, apparel, posters, etc. — was the strongest category, climbing 10.4 percent over the same period in 2013, while graphic novels inch upward 2.9 percent. Sales of comics slipped 1.4 percent. In a statement, Chris Powell, Diamond’s vice president of retailer services, framed the performances of the comics and graphic novel categories as “level compared to last year, but [they] are still 12 percent above 2012 sales figures.”

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Comics A.M. | Japan launches anti-piracy initiative

Luffy of "One Piece"

Luffy of “One Piece”

Piracy | The Japanese government is joining with 15 anime production companies and manga publishers to launch a major initiative that will target foreign pirate sites. The push will start Aug. 1 and will have two components: The government will send takedown requests to 580 pirate sites and also launch a website that directs people to legitimate sources of online manga. The Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency estimates that Chinese pirate sites cost the industry 560 billion yen (about $5.5 million) last year. [Crunchyroll]

Comics | Lidia Jean Kott talks with writer Jason Aaron about his female Thor and pays a visit to Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C., where a quarter of the customers are women and the bestselling title is Saga (the bestselling superhero comic is Ms. Marvel). [NPR]

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Future of ZombieWalk uncertain after Comic-Con accident

zombiewalk2014

Courtesy of ZombieWalk: San Diego

The future of SDCC ZombieWalk: San Diego, held annually during Comic-Con International, is uncertain after a car drove into a crowd of participants and spectators Saturday, injuring three. A scheduled Oct. 26 event has been called off.

“Yes, the October walk is canceled,” organizers posted on their Facebook page. “We are evaluating continuing at all, at this point.”

Accounts of Saturday’s incident vary, but the San Diego Police Department says Honda Accord driven by a deaf man was stopped at Second and Island avenues at 5:30 p.m. as the procession of hundreds of participants in zombie makeup lumbered by. After waiting several minutes, the 48-year-old driver started rolling slowly into the crowd because his children, who are also deaf, were frightened. According to police, several people the surrounded the car and began hitting it, shattering the windshield. That’s when the father reportedly drove forward again, striking the 64-year-old woman. The crowd chased after the car as the family drove toward a police officer.

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Photo of the Day | Buzz Aldrin, wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet

buzz aldrin

Courtesy of Marvel’s Tumblr arrives what may be my favorite photo of Comic-Con International: Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, at the Marvel booth wearing not only a T-shirt that reads “Get Your Ass to Mars” but also … the Infinity Gauntlet.

Image Comics pushes the needle on gender diversity

FromUnderMountains-13258After the January Image Expo, Image Comics received some flak because most of the creators on stage were white men. On Wednesday, Publisher Eric Stephenson’s keynote address to the Image Expo held in conjunction with Comic-Con International included the following comments: “If we want to build a more diverse industry, though, if we want to develop a more diverse talent pool, then it is of utmost importance that we produce comics that appeal to as wide an audience as possible …”

That was said within the context of the historic gender disparity in comics, especially when looking at mainstream comics and the direct market. There’s more evidence than ever that the gender disparity in readership is no longer true; women are just as likely to read comics as men. If that’s true, then one would hope that just as many would be likely to attempt to make comics. That doesn’t seem to have come to pass in this corner of the industry, but Image announced a trio of upcoming releases that will hopefully start to shift the momentum in the right direction. If nothing else, these are among the most promising books to be announced at Image Expo, and they build on the gratifying surge in creator-owned comics.

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Mile High Comics may pull out of SDCC over exclusive variants

Mile High Comics' display at Comic-Con International

Mile High Comics’ display at Comic-Con International

Pointing to “seismic changes” in the number of convention-exclusive variants offered by publishers and toymakers, Mile High Comics President Chuck Rozanski has announced that after more than four decades, this may be his last year at Comic-Con International.

While he acknowledges in an installment of his Mile High newsletter that “the detrimental effects of exclusives at San Diego is not a new phenomena,” he asserts “the breadth and the scale” of those products have changed.

“No longer are exclusives limited to just a few booths, or only to Wednesday evening,” Rozanski writes. “We are now seeing all of the major comics publishers, and every single toy and game company, creating limited edition products that they deny us. This aversion to helping comics retailers has become so agregious [sic] and pernicious that I heard from my fellow dealers that some publisher and manufacturer booths were refusing to even allow anyone wearing a dealer’s badge to stand in line. That is beyond ridiculous.”

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SDCC | Bendis to guest-star in Image Comics’ ‘Nailbiter’

Nailbiter #7

Nailbiter #7

In 2000, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers #7 featured a familiar guest star, although not one readers were used to seeing in their comics: Writer Warren Ellis joined series protagonist Christian Walker on a ride-along to conduct research for an upcoming book.

But while the series later moved from Image Comics to Marvel’s Icon imprint, Bendis will make a return, of sorts, in November’s Nailbiter #7 as he pays a visit to Buckaroo, Oregon, to research a book about serial killers.

Created by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, Nailbiter revolves around Buckaroo, a small town notable for being the birthplace of 16 serial killers. After beating a murder rap, the latest and most notorious of the “Buckaroo Butchers,” Edward “The Nailbiter” Warren, has returned home — and he’s a big fan of Bendis, as is Williamson.

“[The Nailbiter] is a very big Brian Michael Bendis fan,” Williamson said during Saturday’s Image Comics panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. “But he’s a little mad he killed Peter Parker.”

Williamson, who, like Bendis, lives in Portland, Oregon, said the idea of putting words in the fictionalized writer’s mouth “is terrifying.” However, he’s working closely with Bendis to ensure everything feels authentic.

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SDCC, Day 3 | The Force is with Marvel

star warsAlthough Saturday at Comic-Con International was dominated by movies and television — led by Warner Bros. Pictures, Marvel Studios and Legendary Pictures — there was still room for plenty of comics news. First and foremost, the announcement of Marvel’s Star Wars plans.

That line, telling canonical stories set between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, launches in January with Star Wars, by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, followed in February by Star Wars: Darth Vader, by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca with covers by Adi Granov, and in March by the miniseries Star Wars: Princess Leia, by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson.

“What’s great about this time period is that all the characters are kind of on the table,” Aaron told CBR News. “Of course this is still early on and these people have pretty much just met each and just come together. So they’re still finding their place within this group and sort of figuring out their relationships with each other. Then there’s the fact that when you look at the gap between Episode IV and Episode V there’s some pretty major beats that happen off screen. So this gives up the opportunity to grab those beats and lay them down as part of the same canon as the movies.”

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SDCC | Action Lab summons ‘Puppet Master’ license

puppet masterAction Lab Entertainment, which publishes such titles as Princeless, Vamplets and Skyward, announced at Comic-Con International that it has acquired the license to the horror-movie franchise Puppet Master.

The comic series will be written and edited by Shawn Gabborin (Fracture, Snowed In), with franchise creator Charles Band selecting the roster of artists. No release date was given.

The film series debuted in 1989 with Puppet Master, the story of an elderly puppet maker named Andrew Toulon, who discovers an ancient Egyptian potion that he uses to bring his creations to life. Pursued by Nazis, Toulon hides the dolls and kills himself, only for the murderous marionettes to be revived 50 years later by a rogue psychic.

The original film spawned nine sequels and prequels, a four-issue comic, action figures and collectible cards.

SDCC | Fantagraphics to publish Liz Suburbia’s ‘Sacred Heart’

SacredHeartCoverFantagraphics announced today at Comic-Con International that it will publish Liz Suburbia’s webcomic Sacred Heart as a one-shot graphic novel.

Sacred Heart is set in a small town where all the adults have mysteriously disappeared and the teenagers rule. The situation is not total anarchy, and that’s one of the things that makes it so interesting — order has broken down in some ways but not in others. It’s been running online for a number of years, but Suburbia is completely redrawing the comic and Fantagraphics will publish it in a single volume— although the cartoonist says there will be more to come.

ROBOT 6 spoke with Suburbia about Sacred Heart and how it has evolved so far.

Brigid Alverson: Sacred Heart is about a town that seems to be full of high-school kids but no adults or younger children. Can you give us an idea about what’s going on?

In the first draft (the one that’s online) it’s kind of a secret, but in the final print version it’s more clear that their parents left almost four years ago and promised to return in about four years’ time.

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2014 Eisner Award winners announced

eisnerawards_logoGilbert and Jaime Hernandez won their first Eisner Awards — for Best Short Story and Best Writer/Artist, for Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 — during a ceremony held last night in conjunction with Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples led the evening, with wins for Best Continuing Series, Best Writer and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist. The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke, and Genius Illustrated, designed by Dean Mullaney, were also recognized in multiple categories.

Comic Book Resources won its third Eisner for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism.

In addition, Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Moore, Dennis O’Neil and Bernie Wrightson were inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, joining Irwin Hasen, Sheldon Moldoff and Orrin C. Evans, who were selected earlier by the judges. The Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing went to Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo and Jack Mendelsohn, while Aaron Conley was named as recipient of the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, Nebraska, and All Star Comics in Melbourne, Australia, were the winners of the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award.

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SDCC | IDW & BOOM! team for ‘Star Trek’/'Apes’ crossover [Updated]

star-trek-apes-cropped

In perhaps the most unexpected news to come out of Comic-Con International today, IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios announced a crossover between their popular Star Trek and Planet of the Apes franchises.

StarTrek.com reports that IDW will publish Star Trek/Planet Apes: The Primate Directive, a multi-issue miniseries featuring the original Enterprise crew and the characters from 1968′s Planet of the Apes. IDW’s Star Trek regulars Scott and David Tipton will write the comic, which will be illustrated by newcomer Rachael Stott.

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SDCC | Top Shelf returns with its ‘biggest digital sale ever’

top shelfTop Shelf Productions is again celebrating Comic-Con International with a “Cyber-Con Sale,” offering deep discounts on 150 digital titles, including March Book One, Monster on the Hill, God is Disappointed in You, American Elf and From Hell.

The publisher’s “biggest digital sale ever” also includes Eddie Campbell’s Bacchus, available now for the first time in digital form. (All of the Top Shelf titles are DRM-free, too, and downloadable in PDF, CBZ or ePub formats.)

But for the Top Shelf aficionado, there’s this: comiXology’s Top Shelf Treasury, featuring 172 titles — every comic and graphic novel the publisher offers on the digital platform, more than 25,000 pages in all — for $149.99. As Chris Ross, Top Shelf’s director of digital publishing, said today during the company’s Comic-Con International panel, that collection would give readers “a bachelor’s degree in independent comics.”

ComiXology is also holding a sale on other, less massive Top Shelf bundles: Double Barrel, American Elf, Lost Girls and Motorcycle Samurai.

The “Cyber-Con Sale” ends when Comic-Con does — Sunday. So you’ll have to act fast.

SDCC | Check out the mind-altering map of DC’s Multiverse

multiversity-map-cropped

Ahead of this afternoon’s DC Comics panel for The Multiversity at Comic-Con International, EW.com has debuted the mind-blowing — or is that mind-altering? — map of the DC Universe conceived by Grant Morrison.

Although the resolution isn’t high enough to make out all of the details, you can easily spot locations like the Source Wall, the Speed Force Wall, Dream, Apokolips, New Genesis, Skyland, the House of Heroes and the Rock of Eternity. The type in the Star Trek-like “Shift Ship Classification” on the right is a little too small for old tired eyes.

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SDCC | The ‘Gotham’ zip line photo we’ve been waiting for

batgirl zip

Widely circulated photos have shown San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria riding the 200-foot zip line set up at Comic-Con International to promote Fox’s Gotham, but it’s The Hollywood Reporter’s Philiana Ng who delivers the winning image: a Batgirl cosplayer striking a pose as she glides across the Gotham City skyline.

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