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D’Orazio blasts Sims for past bullying; ‘X-Men ’92’ writer apologizes [Updated]

"Punisher MAX: Butterfly," written by D'Orazio

“Punisher MAX: Butterfly,” written by D’Orazio

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.

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Mark Hamill endorses Free Comic Book Day, plugs ‘The Flash’

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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.”

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ReedPOP expands into China with Shanghai Comic Convention

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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.

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Jamie S. Rich joins Vertigo as senior editor

jamie-rich

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.”

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Reginald Hudlin joins CBLDF board of directors

reginald hudlin

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.”

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“Comic Book People 2″ Kickstarter heads into final stretch

comic book people2With 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.

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‘Ms. Marvel,’ ‘Shadow Hero’ among Dwayne McDuffie Award finalists

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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:

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Comic-Con International badges go on sale Saturday

comic-con signage

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.

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Comics A.M. | Final ‘Naruto’ sells 874,000 copies in its first week

Naruto, Vol. 72

Naruto, Vol. 72

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]

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IDW Publishing to move offices, open comics art gallery

idw-new office

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.

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Quote of the Day | Mark Waid on retailing lessons learned

Mark Waid“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

Sean Murphy tackles creator’s rights for conventions

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013.  Photo by Tim Greenway.

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013. Photo by Tim Greenway.

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.

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Marge and Bill Woggon named to Eisner Hall of Fame

marge-woggon

The Eisner Awards judges have selected Little Lulu creator Marjorie “Marge” Henderson Buell and Katy Keene creator Bill Woggon for automatic induction into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame.

Marge debuted the single-panel Little Lulu in 1935 in The Saturday Evening Post. She continued to write and draw the antics of the mischievous little girl until 1947, by which time Lulu was the story of a syndicated strip, comic books and animated shorts. Although Marge stopped drawing the comic, the retained creative control, finally selling Little Lulu to Western Publishing upon her retirement in 1971. She passed away in 1993 at age 88.

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On Norm Breyfogle: What would Batman do?

retun of scarfaceSpring 1992’s Batman #475 may not be all that important in the Dark Knight’s history, but it was a pretty pivotal issue in my own history with comics. It wasn’t just the first time I bought a Batman comic — beginning a growing interest in superhero comics that has yet to subside — but it was also the first time I encountered the work of artist Norm Breyfogle.

It was his incredible artwork that convinced me to purchase that issue over all of the other Batman comics on the stands and in the beat-up boxes of my local comic shop, and that fueled my many return visits, to buy new Breyfogle-drawn Batman comics as they arrived and dig out the dozens of earlier ones from the back-issue bins.

At the time, comics cost just $1 — a quarter of what the average issue costs today — but I was 14 years old, so my only income came from allowance, birthday and Christmas gifts, and what my grandfather paid me to mow his lawn. Comics were to me then, as they are now, a luxury purchase of sorts, something one spent one’s extra money on. As adults, that means they’re what we buy after we’ve paid the rent and utilities, bought groceries and filled up the gas tank.

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St. Louis store Star Clipper to close after 27 years

star clipper2St. Louis comic store Star Clipper is closing its doors after 27 years.

Owners Ben and A.J. Trujillo, who bought the shop in 2001, delivered the news to customers in a message sent this morning.

“The personal and professional experience of managing Star Clipper has been the most important of our lives,” the wrote. “We were lucky to inherit the legacy from wise people ahead of their time, grow with the medium, and love the job. But the time has come to bring Star Clipper to a natural conclusion.”

In an interview with St. Louis Magazine, Ben Trujillo pointed to a number of factors in the store’s closing.

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