If you don’t hear about the super-secret screening at Comic-Con International of a clip from director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, you’re certainly not the only one. Fear not, though, as talk-show host Conan O’Brien has you covered.
“They showed it, and it was very private, very secret, and they showed it — fans lost their minds,” he said on last night’s episode of Conan. “They’re not going to show it again. We actually get a hold of the clip. Yes, you’re welcome! [...] We got a hold of it, and we’re risking a lot of legal trouble here, but we’re just gonna go for it.”
Conan O’Brien’s weeklong visit to Atlanta wouldn’t be complete without a crossover with AMC’s hit adaptation of The Walking Dead, which calls the city home.
The opening monologue of last night’s Conan was interrupted by a frantic Merle Dixon and Carol Peletier (played by Michael Rooker and Melissa McBride), seeking protection from the herd of walkers outside (not zombies, as Merle noted to the talk-show host).
“Please, please, we’re good people,” Carol pleads, clearly not speaking for the elder Dixon brother. Soon, however, they discover what’s inside Atlanta’s Tabernacle may be worse than what lurks outside.
Digital comics | Although the Marvel Unlimited and DC Comics apps work very differently, Noel Murray has similar complaints about both: Specific titles are difficult to find, and the damn things keep crashing: “Frankly, while some of the other major comics apps have better search functions — Dark Horse’s, for example — none of the big companies have created the digital comics retailing equivalent of an Amazon or iTunes.” [Hero Complex]
Publishing | Drawn & Quarterly has announced its fall lineup, which includes Peter Bagge’s biography Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. [Drawn & Quarterly]
Robert Kirkman appeared last night on TBS’s Conan to discuss all things Walking Dead, from his wife’s distaste for his zombie franchise to rejected merchandising opportunities — perfume! energy drinks! — to host Conan O’Brien’s nitpicks, including why there are no undead animals.
“The honest answer to that is, The Walking Dead is based on a comic book,” Kirkman replied, “the artist that draws the comic book, Charlie Adlard, loves drawing people, loves drawing zombies, does not enjoy drawing animals so much.”
Watch the clips below.
Dark Horse will adapt one of Robert E. Howard’s last published Conan stories beginning in May with the debut of King Conan: Hour of the Dragon.
MTV Geek reports the new ongoing series, by Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello and José Villarrubia, will be based on the 1935-36 serial The Hour of the Dragon, also known as Conan the Conqueror. It centers on a middle-aged Conan, now king of Aquilonia, as his throne is threatened by conspirators who hope to depose him in favor of the kingdom’s rightful heir by resurrecting Xaltotun, an ancient sorcerer from the empire of Acheron.
King Conan: Hour of the Dragon, which features covers by Gerald Parel and Sanjulian, debuts May 29.
It’s Saturday, so it must be time for Shelf Porn! Today’s collection comes from Lance, a comic fan and veteran who shares his collection of long boxes, statues, replicas and more.
If you’d like to see your collection here, drop me an email at email@example.com with a brief write-up and some jpgs. Let’s make it happen!
And now here is Lance …
When writers and artists aim to break into the industry, the big question they have to ask themselves is if they’re ready for comics. But once cartoonist Vasilis Lolos broke into comics, he found out that sometimes comics wasn’t ready for him.
Lolos had already created a substantial amount of comics in his native Greece before he made his American debut in 2005′s Flight Vol. 2. But once he moved to New York, he quickly built up steam with a series of minicomics like Nebuli and Hats before garnering attention in 2006 as the artist of Image’s Pirates of Coney Island. While that series experienced some delays and ultimately went on hiatus after its sixth issue, Lolos continued pushing his way into comics and partnered with a group of like-minded cartoonists for two award-winning anthologies, 5 and Pixu. That work drew the interest of Marvel and DC Comics, which hired him for one-off stories like a back-up in a Spider-Man title and an issue of Brian Wood’s Northlanders. But after the latter’s release in 2009, nothing.
Next week’s Conan the Barbarian #8 marks the Lolos’ first published comic in more than three years. With this glimmer of new work and talk on his website of more to come, I contacted Lolos to find out where he’s been all this time. What I discovered was the story of his struggles with comics and life, which he’s working through and working into his art.
Despite all of the fallout, and guffaws, from the Great Left-Wing Bane Conspiracy, Conan O’Brien suggests we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the theory. “Now before you judge Rush Limbaugh, I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises,” he teased on last night’s Conan. “I think Rush might have a point.”
To back up his assertion, O’Brien rolled out a trailer for the Christopher Nolan film that features Tom Hardy’s Bane growling never-before-heard dialogue like, “I’m going to torture you like a dog tied to the top of my car” and “The streets will run red with blood before I release my tax returns.”
The Dark Knight Rises, with real dialogue from
Bain Bane, arrives in theaters at midnight.
Publishers, creators, retailers and fans rolled into Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. While the convention officially kicked off Friday, the announcements started rolling out Thursday during the Diamond Retailer Summit. After going through Kiel Phegley’s lengthy report on CBR, I’ve pulled out a few tidbits that publishers shared with attending retailers:
• Dynamite Entertainment shared that the first issue of Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell’s The Shadow, which comes out next week, will likely go to second print. Following their Vampirella and Pantha projects, they also plan to roll out more of the former Harris Publications characters they now own, and they said they plan to work again with Kevin Smith in the future, who they’ve worked with on Bionic Man and Green Hornet.
• Dark Horse Comics announced two Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff miniseries; one featuring Spike and one featuring Willow (Editor Scott Allie spoke more about them with CBR). In addition, legendary artist Russ Heath will draw some pages in an upcoming issue of Buffy. Dark Horse will launch a new Dragon Age series in August, following the online miniseries that’s been running on Dark Horse Digital. They also confirmed that Becky Cloonan will return to Conan after James Harren’s three issues, and they announced Ex Sanguine, a five-issue miniseries by Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons. Finally, The Goon will go monthly with issue #40.
A federal judge has dismissed a bid by Stan Lee Media Inc. to reclaim the rights to Conan the Barbarian, which the failed dot-com briefly held before going into bankruptcy in 2001. However, a bigger legal brawl still lies ahead, when the company appears before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on March 8 to argue it should be allowed to pursue the rights to Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, The Avengers and other lucrative Marvel properties.
Stan Lee Media, which operates independently of its namesake and co-founder — in fact, it’s suing Stan Lee — has struggled since emerging from bankruptcy in November 2006 to regain some of the money and glory from the heyday of the Internet bubble, primarily through lawsuits claiming the improper transfer of intellectual properties.
In the Conan lawsuit, filed in August even as Conan the Barbarian 3D arrived in theaters, the company claimed, in part, that when Conan Sales Co. bought back the rights to the Robert E. Howard characters in 2002, shareholders weren’t notified, and SLM’s interests weren’t properly represented. The complaint also alleged that Arthur Lieberman, Lee’s longtime attorney, committed fraud during the proceedings, and failed to report conflicts of interest. As a result, SLM argued, the transfer of the rights to Conan Sales Co., which subsequently sold them to Paradox Entertainment, should be annulled.
The ‘emo’ thing is both really funny and really annoying. All my books have been called ‘emo’ at one point or another, since Demo in 2003. Even Northlanders was called ‘emo’. Clearly its a meaningless insult, issued by lazy people who don’t have the proper words to describe something that is even a little bit less than 100% macho and straightforward. So Becky draws a sketch of Conan with a smile on his face, and only reaction available is to call it ‘emo’. It’s absurd. The funny part of it is these same people don’t even know what ‘emo’ is, what the word really means. A fun variation on this, something I spotted on some forum, was “Conan looks like a barista!”. I almost emailed Becky to ask her to sketch Conan working at Starbucks for the fun of it.
Brian Wood, talking to MTV Geek about his new Conan series, which launches this week, and the critique on some message boards that his character was too “emo.”
As funny as it is to imagine an emo Conan (paging Kate Beaton!), what I like about this quote in particular is Wood’s healthy attitude about criticism of his work. It’s not easy to put things out there and have them critiqued by the world at large, but dealing with it is a part of the job. Wood talks a little later about the passion of serious Conan fans and remarks that creators really should stay away from forums that discuss their work, saying, “I think readers should have the privacy and feel free to talk openly about a book without the writer or artist lurking over their shoulder, ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. It’s a little creepy, really.”
Conventions | San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved the basic funding plan for the proposed $500 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, home to Comic-Con International. At the center of the financing scheme is an assessment district that adds between between 1 cents and 3 cents per dollar to room taxes of 224 hotels with more than 30 rooms. Those hotels closest to the convention center would be assessed an extra 3 cents per dollar, and those farthest away could be charged an extra penny per dollar.
The expansion plan has a ticking clock, as Comic-Con has signed a deal to remain in San Diego through 2015, but larger venues in Las Vegas and Anaheim have been lobbying organizers to look elsewhere. [NBC San Diego]
Dark Horse starts a new Conan series next month with Conan #1, by Channel Zero and Demo collaborators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. Based on Robert E. Howard’s “Queen of the Black Coast,” the comic will weave new adventures into Conan’s two-year journey with the notorious female pirate Bêlit, a period barely touched on in the original short story. Comic Book Resources has a preview of the first issue.
I spoke with Wood and Cloonan about their plans for the series, using the classic Howard tale as their framework, and the dynamic between the young Conan and Bêlit.
ROBOT 6: How did each of you first encounter Conan — in the novels, the movie, or the older comics?
Wood: I’m sure it was the Arnold movie that was my first exposure, but not in a really meaningful way. I was 10 when it came out, so I wouldn’t have seen it, but we all played it at recess anyway. Later on, as I started to become more aware of comics, I became aware of Conan as he was drawn by masters like BWS and Frazetta. Funnily enough, the novels came last.
Consider this my calling my own bluff. Awhile back, I opined that no-one online really spent enough time talking about independent books that were being solicited, meaning that when they were finally released three months later, your store might have missed out because you didn’t even know to pre-order. With the March Previews coming out a week tomorrow, I figured there was no better time for me to tell you what you should be pestering your retailer for from the February edition. Here’s my pick of the top five books you should be looking to pre-order. Continue Reading »
Conventions | Wizard’s executive chairman Mike Mathews tells Heidi MacDonald that after the resignation of former CEO Gareb Shamus, the company wants to be “a Switzerland of entertainment” and mend fences with members of the industry: “Gareb is one of these types of personalities who has taken strong positions over the years with various people in the industry and brands. And that kind of hurt us because of where we are trying to go — we’re trying to be a Switzerland of entertainment and we want to try to try to reach out to brands.” MacDonald notes the company is offering a $100 credit toward Wizard conventions to former Wizard subscribers whose subscriptions abruptly ended when the magazine was shut down. A new CEO is expected to be named early next month. [The Beat]
Conventions | Image Comics announced several more guests for the Image Expo, scheduled for Feb. 24-26 in Oakland, California. The lineup now includes Blair Butler, John Layman, Rob Guillory, Nick Spencer, Joshua Fialkov, Joe Keatinge, Jim McCann and Jim Zubkavich, among many others. [press release]
Organizations | The Associação da Luta Contra o Cancer is running an awareness campaign in Mozambique featuring images drawn by artist Maisa Chaves of Wonder Woman, Catwoman, She-Hulk and Storm checking their breasts for lumps. [Daily Mail]