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Comics nominees announced for 22nd annual GLAAD Media Awards

From "Avengers: The Children's Crusade" #3, by Allan Heinberg and Jimmy Cheung

Nominations have been announced for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s 22nd annual Media Awards, which honor outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

The nominees for outstanding comic book are:

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, by Allan Heinberg, Jimmy Cheung and others (Marvel)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by Joss Whedon, Brad Meltzer, Georges Jeanty, Scott Allie and others (Dark Horse)
Fogtown, by Andersen Gabrych and Brad Rader (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Veronica, by Dan Parent (Archie Comics)
X-Factor, by Peter David, David Yardin and others (Marvel)

This is the third nomination in a row for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the second for X-Factor. Buffy won in 2008.

In addition, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, director Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Oni Press series, was nominated for outstanding film-wide release. Winners in all categories will be presented during ceremonies in New York City (March 10), Los Angeles (April 16) and San Francisco (May 14). It’s unclear at which event the comics category will be presented.

Christopher Butcher offers commentary: “Every year I agonize over these awards because they specifically reward the ‘straightest’ material that happens to be nice to gays, rather than doing anything to recognize the work of actual gay cartoonists. I’m trying hard not to do this, this year, because hey, at least they’ve nominated gay writers Allan Heinberg and Andersen Gabrych. And I don’t want to minimize the support or work of vocally queer-friendly creators like David, Meltzer, or Whedon.”

Bunn and Latour teaming up for Captain America story? [Updated]

Captain America, by Jason Latour

It looks like Marvel’s wind-up to the July premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger will include a collaboration between artist Jason Latour and The Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn.

On his blog, Latour, who illustrated the well-received Silver Samurai back-up story in September’s Wolverine #1, posted a color test for Captain America to accompany the announcement of his “next short Marvel gig.” “This time I’ll be collaborating with my buddy Cullen Bunn (The Damned, The Sixth Gun),” he wrote. “Rico Renzi will also be back helping me tag team the colors. Chances are high this character is involved.”

“I’ve always kind of loved Cap,” Latour continued, “in part because at face value he’s such a seemingly nonsensical character. He really works or fails based on the sum of little considerations. That’s a real challenge, but when he does work I like him as much as any superhero around. So, fingers crossed.”

No further details were revealed, so it’s unknown whether the project will be a back-up story or one of several one-shots or miniseries the publisher tends to roll out before the release of a movie. Update: We’ve been told by Marvel that Bunn, Latour and Renzi are collaborating on a story for March’s Captain America #616, a 104-page comic marking the character’s 70th anniversary.

Latour’s other recent work includes Daredevil: Black and White, I Am an Avenger #1, Scalped #43 and, out this week, Wolverine #5. Noche Roja, his graphic-novel collaboration with Simon Oliver, will be released by Vertigo next month. Bunn, the co-creator of The Damned, The Sixth Gun and The Tooth, wrote Immortal Weapons #2: Bride of Nine Spiders and Deadpool
Team-Up
#888 for Marvel.

Watch the trailer for SEGA’s Captain America: Super Soldier

SEGA has released the first trailer for Captain America: Super Soldier, its newly announced video game scheduled to debut in 2011, presumably around the time Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger opens in theaters.

Set during World War II, the third-person action-adventure will allow players to become Captain America as he battles the Iron Cross, the forces of Hydra, Arnim Zola and the armies of the Red Skull.

Quote of the day | Dan Harmon, on reaction to ‘Donald Glover for Spider-Man’

Troy (Donald Glover) in the opening scene from the season premiere of "Community"

“Troy would definitely be a Spider-Man fan. He wrote a comic book that’s included as an extra in the season-one DVD. He’s a hybrid of nerd and jock. Nerds and jocks overlap in the area of bad-ass stuff, like robots and things that kill things … video games and total domination of this and that … And it’s definitely a cutesy inside wink at the Donald Glover for Spider-Man campaign, and the curious eruption of a previously unknown demographic of racist comic-book readers it ended up uncovering.”

Dan Harmon, creator of NBC’s Community, explaining why Troy (Donald Glover)
wore Spider-Man pajamas in the opening scene of the season premiere

Six Flags Great Adventure to open Green Lantern roller-coaster

Green Lantern

Six Flags Great Adventure announced this morning it will debut a 15-story Green Lantern roller-coaster in spring 2011, just ahead of the Warner Bros. movie.

The Jackson, New Jersey, theme park describes the stand-up coaster as 154-feet tall with “over three quarters of a mile of twisting green steel,” and capable of reaching speeds of 63 miles per hour.

“Unlike traditional seated coasters,” the press release states,” Green Lantern is designed to allow passengers to stand erect throughout the entire course of the ride that delivers an experience unlike any other. The two minute and thirty second thrill begins with a pulse-quickening 45-degree vertical drop before rocketing riders through five inversions — including a 121-foot-tall loop, a 103-foot dive loop and a 72-foot inclined loop, climaxing in twisted double corkscrews.”

Six Flags Great Adventure is also home to such DC Comics-based thrill rides as Batman the Ride, Superman: Ultimate Flight, Bizarro and The Dark Knight Coaster.

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

The Thing

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]

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Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Borders Group headquarters

Borders Group headquarters

Retailing | About a week after laying off 100 people in its Tennessee distribution center, Borders Group has cut an unspecified number of jobs from its corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company laid off 88 corporate workers in January following disappointing holiday sales. [AnnArbor.com]

Legal | Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and state broadcaster Sveriges Television have been reported to the police for publishing “child porn” in the form cartoons. According to a news report, the illustrations (identified as manga) depict “two men having sex in the background, and one of an obviously under-age girl exposing herself to an older man who becomes so turned on that he suffers a nose bleed.” [The Local]

Legal | Robin Brenner attempts to put a recurring argument to rest by explaining why scanlation websites are not like libraries. [About.com]

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The Middle Ground #16: Play That William Tell Overture One More Time

greenhornetI’ve talked before about the oddness of Dynamite’s Green Hornet line, I think; the sheer deluge of books so quickly after launch, and the way it makes little sense to me in any way other than ensuring a lot of bookstore product in time for January’s movie release. But I’ve been reading a lot of the books recently, and now I have to admit: It makes even less sense. Continue Reading »

Scott Pilgrim vs. the snarky movie review

The Scott Pilgrim cast

The Scott Pilgrim cast

I always find it difficult to critique a film when I’m a fan of the source material. Playing the continual game of compare and contrast in my head tends to leave me a bit muddled. Am I appreciating the film on its own merits or do I just like it because it’s a spin-off of something I’ve really, really like a whole lot? Am I griping about it because it’s legitimately flawed or because it doesn’t match up with the perfect movie version I’ve been playing in my head for months on end? Are my criticisms fair and balanced or sloppily biased? Am I just playing yet another round of “Well, it’s not how I would have done it”? Obviously any review is subjective, but am I being subjective in a totally objective way? ‘Tis a puzzlement.

So I’m not sure what to say about the new Scott Pilgrim Vs the World film, which I happened to catch a preview of at my local cinema center last week. I liked it; it’s peppy and entertaining and, at least on a surface level, extremely faithful to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s work. Yet I’d be lying if I didn’t say it didn’t have flaws — flaws that, depending upon what drew you to the graphic novels, may sink the movie for you.

Spoilers await after the jump.

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Gary Friedrich’s Ghost Rider lawsuit against Marvel lives on

ghost riderA lawyer for Ghost Rider co-creator Gary Friedrich asserts the writer’s copyright-infringement lawsuit against Marvel will proceed, despite reports in June that the action had been dismissed.

Friedrich sued Marvel, Sony, Hasbro and other companies in April 2007, arguing the copyrights used in the Ghost Rider movie and related products reverted to him in 2001. He sought unspecified damages for copyright infringement, and violations of federal and Illinois state unfair competition laws, negligence, waste, false advertising and endorsement, and several other claims.

His attorney Charles S. Kramer now tells Digital Spy the order of dismissal, issued in late May, relates to the claims made under state law. A reading of the order by U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones supports that. She upheld the 2009 recommendation by Magistrate Judge James C. Francis that the state law and Lanham Act claims be dismissed. However, Francis also determined the Copyright Act of 1976 is the relevant federal statute.

“Gary’s case was originally filed asserting claims under both federal and state law,” Kramer tells Digital Spy. “The court’s ruling was only that this is a question of federal law only, under the federal copyright law, and that the case should thus proceed only on the federal law issues. [...] The federal copyright claim was always the main part of our case, and this is really more of a procedural ruling than anything else.”

In the 2007 lawsuit, Friedrich claimed he created Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in 1968 and, three years later, agreed to publish the character through Magazine Management, which eventually became Marvel Entertainment. Under the agreement, the publisher held the copyright to the character’s origin story in 1972’s Marvel Spotlight #5, and to subsequent Ghost Rider works.

However, Friedrich alleged the company never registered the work with the U.S. Copyright Office and, pursuant to federal law, he regained the copyrights to Ghost Rider in 2001.

SDCC ’10 | A roundup of Friday’s news

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

The second day of Comic-Con International, which began with the official word of Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game, concluded with the presentation of the 22nd annual Eisner Awards and news of a feature-film adaptation of Will Eisner’s landmark graphic novel A Contract with God.

In between, there were plenty of other comics announcements:

• During DC’s “Batman: The Return” panel, Grant Morrison revealed he and artist Yanick Paquette will launch Batman, Inc., an ongoing series that will see Bruce Wayne joined by a number of other characters wearing the mantle of the Bat. CBR TV spoke with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio about the new title.

• In the “DC Nation Special Edition” panel, Geoff Johns revealed plans for a second ongoing Flash series titled Flash: Speed Force, which will focus on the other speedsters of the DC Universe. DiDio also said the publisher will begin reprinting Young Justice material in October.

• Top Shelf unveiled plans to publish Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots Two, five new graphic novels for kids (plus new volumes of Korgi and Owly), Kagan McLeod’s Infinite Kung Fu, and Jess Fink’s Chester 5000 XYV collection. The publisher also previewed a page from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #2 — 1969.

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SDCC ’10 | All hail Stan Lee, lord of Asgard!

Stan Lee, surveying his domain

Stan Lee, surveying his domain

Of the many wonderful Stan Lee photos that have surfaced over the years — draped in a cape, (unintentionally) flipping us off, lying in bed, laughing with President Bush — this one, from UGO.com, of the Man himself frowning from Odin’s golden throne is by far my favorite. In case you don’t recognize the setting, it’s the Asgardian throne room from Thor reconstructed for the Marvel booth at Comic-Con International.

SDCC ’10 | Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game announced

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

The Green Lantern video game greenlit in July 2009 by Warner Bros. now has a title — Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment confirmed this morning that the game, inspired by the upcoming feature film, is being developed for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii by Double Helix Games and for Nintendo DS by Griptonite Games. It’s set to be released along with the film, which premieres on June 17, 2011.

According to the announcement, players “will utilize over a dozen constructs and take flight across the deepest parts of the universe to restore intergalactic order by wielding the ultimate weapon: the Green Lantern power ring.”

DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson told Hero Complex earlier this week that Rise of the Manhunters is part of a push to put more DC characters in Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment titles. The studio’s video-game publishing unit has undergone dramatic expansion over the past few years, acquiring developers TT Games, Snowblind Studios, Rocksteady Studios and Turbine Inc. In March WB announced plans for a new game-development studio in downtown Montreal that’s expected to focus largely on DC Comics properties.

Just yesterday at Comic-Con International, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns announced work has begun on a Suicide Squad video game.

Read the press release for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters after the break:

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SDCC ’10 | WB developing ‘hardcore violent’ Suicide Squad video game

Suicide Squad #1

Suicide Squad #1

In this afternoon’s “DC Focus: Geoff Johns” panel at Comic-Con International, DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer revealed that work has begun on a Suicide Squad video game.

Johns said the game, which is being developed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will be “hardcore violent.”

The studio’s video-game publishing unit has undergone dramatic expansion over the past few years, acquiring developers TT Games, Snowblind Studios, Rocksteady Studios and Turbine Inc., and in March announcing plans for a new game-development studio in downtown Montreal.

Following the critical and commercial success of last year’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, which sold a reported 2 million copies in its first three weeks of success, Warner Bros. announced it’s developing a sequel. It’s also working with Double Helix on a Green Lantern game that will be released along with next summer’s film.

DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson told Hero Complex it’s part of a push to put more DC characters in WBIE titles. (The new WB Games Montreal is expected to focus largely on the company’s comics properties.)

Although Nelson says that not all of the games will tie in to movies — for instance, Arkham Asylum had nothing to do with The Dark Knight — it seems likely that Suicide Squad title will be connected to the big-screen adaptation announced in February 2009.

SDCC ’10 | New Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game trailer debuts

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game,

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game,

Universal Pictures and Ubisoft have released an all-new Comic-Con trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, the highly anticipated side-scrolling beat-‘em-up set for release in August.

Loosely following the plot of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels, the game allows up to four people to play as Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Kim Pine or Stephen Stills, who must battle through several levels in to defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes.

Watch the Comic-Con trailer after the break:

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