SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
This week, The Nib published a comic strip by artist Ronald Wimberly, whose work includes Prince of Cats and Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, titled “Lighten Up.” In it, Wimberly details his experience of being asked by a Marvel editor to lighten the skin tone of supporting character Melita Garner in a recent issue of Wolverine and the X-Men.
Passings | Cartoonist and illustrator Roy Doty, best known for his long-running Wordless Workshop cartoon, has died at age 92. Wordless Workshop, which ran in Family Handyman and other similar publications, featured a pipe-smoking handyman who, when faced with a domestic problem of some sort, would immediately visualize something he could build, including a simple set of plans. Doty also illustrated over 100 children’s books, including several by Judy Blume, and drew a syndicated Laugh-In comic based on the television show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. He had a short-lived show of his own on the Dumont Network in 1953, in which he told stories and drew cartoons. He won 10 awards from the National Cartoonists Society, including their Gold Key Hall of Fame Award, and continued to be an active cartoonist until last year. [Mike Lynch Cartoons]
The Portland, Oregon-based publisher announced this morning that it will begin accepting electronic submissions and pitches in May, not only from artists but from writers and colorists as well. More details are promised in May.
Founded in 1997, Oni publishes comics ranging from Scott Pilgrim and Stumptown to The Bunker and the upcoming Invader Zim.
Chris Sims, announced last week as the writer of Marvel’s X-Men ’92 digital-first series, publicly apologized Tuesday to Valerie D’Orazio after the blogger and former DC Comics editor called him out for years-old online harassment.
“I was wrong, and in every way the bad guy,” he acknowledged on his personal blog.
D’Orazio, a writer who rose to online prominence in late 2006 with “Goodbye to Comics,” a memoir that shone a harsh light on comics culture and her experiences as an assistant editor at DC, took to Twitter early Tuesday to criticize both Marvel and Sims. “Because of the actions of this person — who is now writing the X-Men for Marvel Comics — I have been diagnosed with PTSD from cyberbulling [sic],” she tweeted.
In a subsequent blog post, D’Orazio stated she was bullied online between 2007 and 2010, and claims Sims “ring-led the harassment” against her at the time of the March 2010 release of her Punisher MAX: Butterfly one-shot.
The promotional push for Free Comic Book Day 2015 kicked off this morning with a video from legendary Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, who not only endorses the event but also brick-and-mortar stores.
“Don’t buy them [comics] over the Internet,” he says. “Where’s the fun in that? You gotta get out, experience the community that is the fan world, maybe see some titles you never dreamed that you wanted.”
ReedPOP, which produces such events as New York Comic Con, Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and Star Wars Celebration, is expanding its global reach with Shanghai Comic Convention, to be held May 16-17 in China.
The event is only the company’s latest move on the international stage, following the additions of Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, India Comic Con, Australia’s Oz Comic Con, PAX Australia, Star Wars Celebration Europe and, as announced last fall, Paris Comic Con.
As DC Entertainment continues to staff its Burbank, California, headquarters, prolific writer Jamie S. Rich announced he’s been hired by Vertigo as senior editor. He began work there Wednesday.
“Lots of exciting things in the works,” he wrote on Twitter. “Stay tuned.”
Writer and director Reginald Hudlin has joined the board of directors of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
“Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy,” he said in a statement. “As Americans, we all need to stand united to protect our liberties. I’m flattered to be asked to join an organization that does just that.”
With a week left in the Kickstarter campaign, industry veteran Jackie Estrada is still a little more than $6,000 short of the funding goal for her hardcover Comic Book People 2: Photographs From the 1990s.
As the title indicates, the planned 176-page book is a follow-up to last year’s Comic Book People: Photographs From the 1970s and 1980s, and collects snapshots taken mostly at Comic-Con International, but also at other conventions and trade shows of the era.
Estrada, administrator of the Eisner Awards and co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, promises photos of Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Paul Norris, Nick Cardy, Neil Gaiman, George Perez, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Garth Ennis, Jeff Smith, Carla Speed McNeil, Paul Pope, Colleen Doran and more — about 600 shots in all.
The finalists have been announced for the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity, named in honor of the influential comics and animation writer who passed away in 2011. The winner will be announced Feb. 28 at Long Beach Comic Expo.
“I am so proud that my husband’s personal mission to include a more diverse array of voices — both in content and creators — is able to continue now through this award in his name, by encouraging others who share his vision of comics, characters and the industry itself better mirroring society,” Charlotte McDuffie said in a statement.
The finalists are:
If you had already had plans for Saturday morning, you’ll probably want to change them — at least if you’re hoping to buy badges for Comic-Con International.
Open online registration will begin shortly before 9 a.m. PT, although the EPIC Registration landing page will be accessible starting at 8 a.m. to allow hopefuls to enter their personal registration code and authorize their device or browser to enter the waiting room.
Manga | The 72nd and final volume of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, released in Japan on Feb. 4, topped the weekly sales charts, with 874,120 volumes sold in its first week. [Crunchyroll]
Conventions | With 10 fan conventions coming to Indianapolis this year, David Lindquist takes a look at the business of comics-themed entertainment, with interviews with Wizard World CEO John Macaluso and Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture author Rob Salkowitz. [Indianapolis Star]
IDW Publishing has announced it will relocate in June to the former Navy barracks within San Diego’s historic NTC at Liberty Station, where it will open a comics art gallery.
Located within the publisher’s new offices, the San Diego Comic Art Gallery will serve as a permanent home to showcase sequential and animation art, with retail space and working artists. Harry L. Katz, former head curator in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, has been named as the gallery’s curator.
“I’ve been such a jerk. (Your pull quote.) I used to look down my nose at stores that would order only Marvel and DC Comics and only enough to sate their Wednesday customer base, and now I get it. At Aw Yeah Comics, we’re far more diverse than that, but even still, there’s only so much money we can spend because there’s only so much money our customer base — not just our regulars, but even our potential customer base — has.”
— writer Mark Waid, on what being a retailer has taught him about comics, in an interview with Comic Book Resources announcing that he and partner Christy Branch are reincorporating their Indiana store Alter Ego Comics as Aw Yeah Comics Muncie
Speaking up is a hard thing to do for many creators, because as freelancers they often work at the whim of others. But Sean Murphy has made a name for himself beyond his actual work as an outspoken member of the artist community. Recently, he took to his deviantART page to pull back the curtain on an overlooked aspect of a creator’s life — one rife with doubts and unfulfilled promises, but with the occasional bright spot: conventions.
“While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators — ALL levels of creators — and not following through with what’s promised,” Murphy wrote. “Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there’s nothing worse than getting to the ‘convention reserved’ hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.”
While Murphy might now be in the upper echelon of creators vied for by conventions and stores, the New England artist has been attending cons for more than a decade.
Murphy is doing more than just complaining, however; he’s offering a solution — what he calls a list of “Creator’s Rights” pertaining to conventions.