I mentioned a few days ago that March MODOK Madness was kicking off. And while most of their contributions are artistic renderings of Stan and Jack’s big-headed boy, this year they started strong with a cosplay contribution from Genevieve Tsai. That’s her boyfriend dressed up in a homemade MODOK costume, and iGenevieve wearing a MODAM costume. Because even big-headed evil scientists need love.
Publishing | John Jackson Miller takes apart the December sales numbers and finds that while comics were up for the month, graphic novel sales fell just enough to prevent the direct market from having its first up year since 2008. In fact, trades are down 16 percent from December 2010, and Miller spends some time discussing why that might be — and why next year might be different. [The Comichron]
Publishing | Houghton Mifflin has high hopes for Are You My Mother?, the new graphic novel from Fun Home author Alison Bechdel: The publisher plans a first printing of 100,000 copies. [Publishers Weekly]
Retailing | Diamond’s Retailer Summit will be held the two days before the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, with attendees receiving free admission to the April 13-15 convention. [ICv2]
Legal | Antarctic Press has agreed to stop selling Diary of a Zombie Kid and Diary of a Zombie Kid: Rotten Rules under the terms of a temporary restraining order issued Wednesday by a federal court. Wimpy Kid Inc. is suing Antarctic for trademark infringement, among other things, claiming that its Diary of a Wimpy Kid parodies are too close to the real thing. Antarctic CEO Joe Dunn signed the temporary restraining order, signifying that Antarctic agreed to it; the two companies are negotiating a settlement, according to court papers. One interesting tidbit: Diary of a Zombie Kid sold all of 850 copies in comics shops in August, while the first printing on the latest Wimpy Kid book was 6 million. [ICv2]
Comics | Bayou Arcana is a new anthology of Southern Gothic horror comics with a gender twist: All the comics are written by men and illustrated by women. There are some pretty broad generalizations in this article — “There is a certain sensitivity that you find in women’s art that just does not appear in a lot of guys’ work,” says the project editor, James Pearson — but the project itself sounds interesting. [The Guardian]
Publishing | DC Comics joins the Kia Soul, Goldfish, My Little Pony and several others on Advertising Age’s annual list of America’s Hottest Brands: “With decades of stories under their capes and utility belts, Superman — and other DC characters, including Aquaman and the Flash — had ossified. Though relaunching its entire cast and making their adventures available to print and electronic audiences might alienate some hard-core DC fans, it might also gain plenty of new ones. Making DC characters more popular is crucial for its parent company. While the comic-book business is way down from its heyday, its characters fuel big-ticket Hollywood movies that can generate millions of dollars in revenue and licensing. The pressure may be on DC because rival Marvel, now owned by Disney, has churned out superhero film properties on a regular basis for years.” [Advertising Age]
Broadway | Producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have changed their tune on the $75 million musical; previously they predicted they wouldn’t make back the money invested in the show without franchising it in other cities and countries, but now they predict they’ll make it back entirely from the Broadway run. They also are considering adding in new scenes and a new musical number to the production every year, “making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.” [The New York Times]
While riding the bus back to my hotel yesterday, we passed the world famous Kansas City Barbeque, where several heroes and one villain had just finished dining.
Kansas City Barbeque is well known as the setting for the famous bar scene in the 1980s Tom Cruise movie Top Gun, but as you’ll see in the image below, it’s also the favorite BBQ joint of super heroes from every publisher — including Crusader and Darkblade from Love and Capes, who are on the poster behind Cap:
Comic-Con International continues to roll out their programming schedule, as Saturday’s schedule of activities went live earlier today — a day that starts off with a philosophical discussion between Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison, and ends with the annual masquerade.
In between you’ll find a tribute to Harvey Pekar, as well as spotlight panels on Jerry Robinson, Ernie Chan, Jim Steranko, Terry Moore, Anders Nilsen, Robert Kirkman, Peter Kuper, Jamal Igle, Garth Ennis, J. Michael Straczynski, Mell Lazarus, Peter Tomasi, Walter and Louise Simonson, Jim Lee and Jonathan Hickman. Companies like Archie, Top Cow, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Legendary, BOOM! and Archaia will share their publishing plans, while Dark Horse will focus on their Joss Whedon books, DC highlights their Green Lantern, “Dark” and “Edge” titles, and of course, Marvel brings you the annual Cup O’ Joe panel with Joe Quesada.
To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Saturday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.
As if Portland, Ore. needed any more help in becoming comic-friendly, apparently their mayor is also a superhero. Mayor Sam Adams appeared at the recent Stumptown Comics Fest in full cosplay, dressed as SamDroid, a character designed by Manny McIvor as part of a competition held by the Alter Egos Society. The above video, courtesy of Things From Another World, includes interviews with the mayor, McIvor and Alter Egos Society founder Benja Barker.
My big question heading into the show this year was, “How much is it going to feel like a comics convention?” With Chris “Thor” Hemsworth and much of the cast of Chuck being around this weekend, would C2E2 start to feel like San Diego or – God forbid – Wizard World Chicago from a couple of years ago with movies and TV taking over the center of attention?
It’s only Friday, but so far so really damn good.
After last year’s C2E2, I had high expectations for the convention this year and everything got off to a great start. Press registration went smoothly again and some of the Artist Alley creators who hadn’t attended last year told me how impressed they were with the professionalism and just general niceness of the staff they’d worked with.
One major difference though is that the convention’s in a different part of McCormick Place this year. Instead of the impressive Lakeside Center with it’s unbelievable view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, it’s in the West Building. Still a very nice space with lush carpeting and plenty of room, just not as jaw-droppingly grand as last year. I’m not sure why that is, but one artist brought it to my attention that the setting sun through the giant picture-windows last year could sometimes make it difficult to see and interact with fans. So whatever the rationale for moving, there are positive and negative things about both spaces.
Hey college students — if you’re looking to woo your significant other with a night of fantasy, guys may want to consider dressing up as a Disney prince, while ladies may want to consider Sailor Moon.
L.A. Weekly has posted the results of a recent sex survey they did of 175 students from UCLA. The survey covers everything you’d ever want to know about their opinions on sex, from how much a virgin should sell their virginity for to what music they listen to during sex. Question 14, which reads “Which innocent childhood fantasies could best morph into adult sexual fantasies?,” is probably the most relevant to comic fans:
For females who responded, an intimate night with Aladdin or Prince Charming beat out one with Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue, as well as “an orgy with a cast of anime characters.” Males named Sailor Moon — which seems a bit dated to me, but to each their own — as well as Harry Potter, Superman, the Pink Power Ranger and “Batman and Robin.”
But no Slave Girl Leia, though Star Wars did top the list of movies guys consider the “best date movie to watch before having sex,” followed by American Pie and the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300. The surveyed women seem to prefer a romantic film, with The Notebook and Titanic taking the top spots.
Creators | Artist Alan Kupperberg shares word that colorist Tom Ziuko has been hospitalized as he fights acute kidney failure and other health conditions. “The good news is that the doctors seem to have finally stumbled on a series of treatments and therapies that have Tom seeing some light at the end of the tunnel,” Kupperberg said in a message to Daniel Best. “The bad news is that Tom, uninsured and unable to work since the beginning of December, is in a tough financial bind.” Kupperberg is accepting donations via his PayPal account — email@example.com — and adds, “I will pass 100% (plus) along to Tom.”
Ziuko worked in DC Comics’ production department before going freelance, and colored comics like Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman, Action Comics and History of the DC Universe, to name a few. Todd Klein remembers their time together at DC. [20th Century Danny Boy]
Creators | Artist Paolo Rivera suffered a broken cheekbone after intervening in a domestic dispute. “The good news is I’m all right and—most importantly—my vision is intact,” he wrote on his blog. “… I had surgery on Monday and have been taking it very, very easy since. All things considered, I was very lucky. My eye looks horrendous—the white of the eye is blood red—but I can still see (thank goodness) and should make a full recovery. I also have a pretty rad haircut right now due to surgery… it kinda looks like the one I had circa 1995.” [The Self-Absorbing Man]
Publishing | Veteran writer J.M. DeMatteis has resigned as editor-in-chief of Ardden Entertainment, fledgling publisher of Flash Gordon and partner in the planned revival of Atlas Comics. DeMatteis, who joined Ardden in February 2008, cited creative differences with Co-Publishers Brendan Deneen and Rich Emms. Deneen has assumed the role of editor-in-chief. [J.M. DeMatteis' blog]
Comic strips | Non Sequitur cartoonist Wiley Miller comments on the decision by more than 20 newspapers to replace the Oct. 3 installment of his strip because it mentioned the Prophet Muhammad: “[Editors] didn’t see the satire was on them, of being petrified to run anything related to him. But this whole thing has just gotten so silly over the years. It’s something I can’t lay off. It’s my job as a satirist to point out the stupidity in the world. And the editors fell right in line with proving how stupid it is.” Andrew Alexander, ombudsman for The Washington Post, criticized his newspaper for pulling the strip. [Fox News]
• Organizers estimate that weekend attendance topped 95,000, ICv2 reports, up from 77,000 the previous year (when the convention was held in February). Next year’s event is set for Oct. 14-16.
• At i09.com, Kelly Faircloth and Alasdair Wilkins round up NYCC’s bestselling comics — among them, Darwyn Cooke’s just-released IDW adaptation of The Outfit, True Blood, The Walking Dead, and a handful of BOOM! Studios’ licensed titles.
• At The Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater files a lengthy convention report, complete with photos: “One thing New York Comic Con has had going for it in past years was a genuine focus on comics culture. Other ‘geek media’ has certainly been present from the beginning, but certainly nowhere as invasive as it tends to be at a show like San Diego. This year, however, it’s clear that the show’s organizers have no issue letting it take a backseat to glitzier undertakings. Perhaps the show’s ultimate saving grace will be the fact that it’s so far from Hollywood that it just doesn’t make sense for movie makers to invest as much in the event—yet another reason to pray that the Spider-Man musical doesn’t prove a massive hit.”
I’m gonna make like Dr. Phil and get real in here for a second: I honestly think that these Marvel Minimates cosplayers are sporting the best comics-related costumes I have ever seen. Check out the entire photoset at Nikejerk3′s Flickr page and tell me if I’m wrong. Not that I’d listen if you did — I’ll be too busy staring at that Loki in slackjawed amazement.
(Via Agent M)
Los Angeles, Ca plans to top Australia’s record of 1245 people on August 27, 2010.
Come in costume as your favorite superhero or character and remember it is welcome to families and kids too!
The more people attending the better the chances of stealing Australia’s title!
Arrive between 12:30 PM – 12:45 PM at the intersection of Hollywood & Highland IN COSTUME on August 27. Anyone arriving after 1:00 PM will not be counted as a part of the World Record attempt.
Hollywood and Highland
Awards | The Xeric Foundation has announced its grant recipients for spring 2010: Margaret Ashford-Trotter, Thunder in the Building #2; Jason Brubaker, reMIND; Jonathon Dalton, Lords of Life and Death; Wei Li, Lotus Root Children; Jed McGowan, Lone Pine; Ansis Purins, Zombre #2: The Magic Forest; and Brittney Sabo and Anna Bratton, Francis Sharp in the Grip of the Uncanny! Book 1. A total of $32,761 was awarded for the seven projects. The next deadline for comic-book grants is Sept. 30. [via The Beat]
Creators | The Washington Post has named Olivia Walch, a 21-year-old rising senior at the College of William and Mary, as the winner of the America’s Next Great Cartoonist contest. [Comic Riffs]