SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Conventions | Although the planned $500 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center is, by all appearances, dead, Comic-Con International isn’t ready to say what it will do when its contract expires in 2016. “With regard to the convention center expansion, I can say that any decision to remain in San Diego has always been dependent upon a number of factors, and no one issue could really trump the others,” says David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s director of marketing and public relations. He notes that organizers previously worked with the city, convention center and hotels to expand programming venues, and they continue to discuss such issues as “space, hotel rates and other logistical factors that need to be addressed if we are to remain in San Diego.”
The proposed expansion would have added 740,000 square feet of exhibit space, a five-acre rooftop park, a waterfront promenade with retail shops and restaurants, and a second, 500-room tower to the adjacent Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. However, a California appeals court ruled Aug. 1 that a planned hotel tax intended to pay for the bulk of the costs was unconstitutional, as it was never put to a citywide vote. Anaheim and Los Angeles attempted to woo Comic-Con away from San Diego in 2010. [ICv2.com]
Political cartoons | “I think it might be pretty risky to go back home,” says Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming, who’s on Japan in a business trip and is thinking about staying there. “If I go back, they might use my cartoons as an excuse to detain me.” Liming, whose pen name is Biantai Lajiao (Perverted Chili Pepper), was arrested and briefly detained in 2013 on charges of “rumor-mongering,” stemming from a post on the microblog site Weibo. This time, an anonymous commenter on a state-owned discussion board called Liming a “traitor” because of a cartoon he posted online that showed mainland Chinese being sent to Hong Kong to oppose the Occupy Central pro-democracy campaign and demonstrate how to kowtow to the government. “That post is written like something out of the Cultural Revolution,” Liming said, calling it a “smear campaign.” He has 500,000 followers on Weibo and another 340,000 on Sina Weibo, and he says he is losing income because his accounts have been shut down. [Radio Free Asia]
Even the mob can get into the spirit of the season.
Today sees the release on on comiXology of Masks and Mobsters #5 , the latest issue of the digital series by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson. Not only does it feature a special holiday story, but the creators are also being awesome and donating everything they make off the issue to charity. Henderson and Williamson (who shared with us on Sunday what he’s been reading) were kind enough to answer some of my questions about the series and their plans for this special issue, as well as reveal a whole bunch of art.
Thanks to a tweet over the weekend from Ed Brubaker, I discovered that Rich Tommaso is serializing a pair of crime comics online: The Mysterious Case: Sam Hill 1939, a follow-up to The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel; and Killer in My Sleep, which the cartoonist describes as “a straight-crime thriller about a serial monogamist/assassin set in the decade of the nineteen-sixties.”
On his blog, Tommaso also unveils some test covers for Killer in My Sleep, all of which are pretty sharp.
In 1993, around the same time Vertigo debuted, DC Comics created Paradox Press. The imprint, much like the ill-fated Piranha Press that preceded it, was an attempt to create a more sophisticated, less genre-dependent brand of comics that would ostensibly appeal to the average reader not particularly interested in whatever Superman or The Sandman had to offer. It was to be a three-pronged attack, with the oversize Big Books line offering an anthology-like approach to various nonfiction material (i.e. crime, urban legends, pirates, etc.); the main line publishing more literary fare like Brooklyn Dreams and Stuck Rubber Baby; and Paradox Mystery, the title of which is self-explanatory.
The debut book in the mystery line was La Pacifica, a three-volume saga of sex and violence and femme fatales that wound up being one of the best things the imprint ever published.
(Note: Violent images lurk below … )