"The Flash" Director Seth Grahame-Smith Departs Over 'Creative Differences'
Crime | A sheepish would-be robber walked away empty-handed Monday afternoon after attempting to hold up a Little Rock, Arkansas, comic store for Magic: The Gathering Cards. “I hate to do this, but I have a gun, and I want a box of Magic cards for my son’s birthday,” the man allegedly told a clerk at The Comic Book Shop. However, when the employee offered him a pack of the cards, he reportedly declined and left, saying, “Don’t call police.” The suspect remains at large, although police have distributed an image of him taken from a security camera. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]
Conventions | Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi will be a guest in July at Comic-Con International. Yu-Gi-Oh! is a card-fighting manga that has inspired a number of anime and manga spinoffs as well as, logically enough, a card game. This is the second announcement in two weeks of a high-profile manga-ka coming to America, as Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto will be a special guest in October at New York Comic Con. [Anime News Network]
Awards | Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer is the winner of the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, and Richard McGuire’s Here is the 2015 Honoree. [Pennsylvania Center for the Book]
David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, who worked together on Zuda’s High Moon, comiXology’s Box 13 and Marvel’s The Winter Guard, are taking their self-published creation The Only Living Boy to the web.
Legal | The creator of the Islamic superhero comic The 99 says he hasn’t been officially notified of a reported ban of the animated adaptation of his comic in Saudi Arabia. “Nobody ever contacted me, nobody ever asked me any questions,” Naif Al Mutawa says. There have been numerous Twitter campaigns against me for a while now and so for me it’s not new. Maybe it is true this time, but I find it very difficult to believe that a group as influential and high profile as them [Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta] wouldn’t recognize the good that The 99 has done for Muslims around the world.” He adds that the comic has been available in Saudi Arabia for seven years, while the cartoon has been airing for two and a half years, making the timing of a ban “a bit weird.” [Gulf Business]
Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back” feature for our big fifth anniversary, we asked various comics folks what they liked in 2013, what they’re looking forward to in 2014, and what projects they have planned for the coming year. In this edition, hear from Tim Seeley, Amy Reeder, Pat Aulisio, Andy Hirsch, David Gallaher, Amanda Meadows and Geoffrey Golden, Joey Weiser, Ian Brill, Philip Gelatt and Dave Dwonch!
Check out part one here, and don’t forget to come back Tuesday to read more!
Creators | Former 2000AD artist Brett Ewins has been freed on bail after a judge reduced his charge to assult. Ewins, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was accused of stabbing a police officer in a January altercation that left the 56-year-old artist hospitalized in serious condition. Because Ewins has already served nine months, part of it in a hospital (where he was in a coma), it’s unlikely he’ll have to go back behind bars. [Sex, Drugs, & Comic Books]
Creators | Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, who escaped to Kuwait after the Syrian security police beat him and broke his hands, is now living in Egypt and continuing to draw cartoons supporting the Syrian revolution. “Fear has been defeated in Syria when the people marched 19 months ago against tyranny,” he said. “I began to directly draw people in power including Assad and his government officials, to break the barrier of fear, that chronic fear that Syrians suffered from for 50 years.” [Reuters]
Since winning the first monthly Zuda contest, High Moon creators David Gallaher and Steve Ellis have gone on to work together on Deadlands: The Devil’s Six Gun, Box 13 and a couple of Winter Guard stories for Marvel. It’s a collaboration that works, and now the duo is re-teaming on a new Kickstarter-funded project called The Only Living Boy.
They plan to self-publish the project as a series of four 50-page comics, and they’re using Kickstarter to raise money to publish the first volume in time for the San Diego Comic Con this summer. Here’s how they describe the project:
THE ONLY LIVING BOY is a young adult graphic novel that tells the story of Erik Farrell, a 12-year old boy, who finds himself with alone and abandoned in a patchwork world. As the last human boy left on earth, he’ll try to piece his memory back together, while trying to piece together a new life for himself. Fighting beside Erik are the beguiling, insect princess Thea and the tenacious, mermaid warrior Morgan.
His opposition is a menagerie of exotic and dangerous creatures all under the command of the Dreaded Lord Baalikar and the fiendish Doctor Once.
The series, they say, is “inspired by pulp adventure novels and stories we grew up on — like John Carter, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Killraven, and the Jungle Book — but with a flavor all of its own!” It seems like you could add Jack Kirby’s Kamandi to that list as well.
Rewards for the project include both digital and physical copies of the book, prints, sketches, a portfolio review for aspiring artists and the chance to have your business “littering the grounds” of their world. You can check out their trailer for the book after the jump.
The internet has been abuzz ever since the news broke that Marvel is demanding $17,000 from Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich in return for not countersuing him, after he lost his suit against them. And now someone is doing something about it: Comics writer Steve Niles has set up a donation fund to help Gary, and donations are pouring in. Niles told CBR that most were in the $20 range, so it will take a lot to make a difference, but Marvel’s action seems to have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Jamie Gambell has pledged the proceeds from his February book sales to the fund, and other donors include Steve Lieber, David Gallaher, and Neil Gaiman, who gave the fund drive a huge boost by retweeting it to his large following.
The whole thing came together quickly over Twitter; after getting an e-mail from Friedrich, Niles appealed to friends to help him set up a PayPal page, then reached out to a number of prominent creators (not all of whom have answered the call). The goal is rather modest: “Looks like 6k will keep a roof over his head, so let’s shoot for 7,” Niles tweeted about an hour ago. The donations have been pouring in, but he will need a lot more to reach that goal, he told CBR.
Meanwhile, it’s a bit like the last scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with creators hollering good wishes as they toss money into the till. “I just helped Gary. We might all need help some time. Good Karma, people!” tweeted Jill Thompson. “I am totally in,” said Gail Simone.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d start with Alpha Flight #1 ($3.99). I had mostly positive feelings about the prequel issue with the only negatives being a mixture of “that doesn’t look like Sasquatch” and some anxiety born from being used to disappointment from Alpha Flight books. Neither of which has anything to do with the people creating the next eight issues, so I’m looking forward to this in a way that I haven’t since John Byrne left the book. Next I’d grab Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1 ($2.99), because an all-out Gorilla Grodd comic sounds awesome. And then I’d give Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths #1 ($3.99) a shot to see how well IDW can manage two Godzilla comics at a time. They certainly managed the first one well. Finally, I’d pick up Mickey Mouse #309 ($3.99) because it’s a globe-trotting adventure with a ton of guest-stars, including my favorite: The Phantom Blot.
The first thing I did when I got to C2E2 was head to Artist Alley to see who was there. It’s always fascinating to see big-name talent rubbing shoulders with creators who haven’t been discovered yet. Here’s a quick look at some of the tables that caught my eye today.
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Today marks the third anniversary of our werewolf western series HIGH MOON. To celebrate, Steve Ellis and I thought we’d take the time to share with you our top list of werewolves that have influenced, entertained, and inspired us over the years.
Starting with this classic:
6. The Wolf Man
SE: You can’t go wrong with this classic tale of innocent Larry Talbot, a poor bastard of a man, who gets caught up in circumstances that are out of his control. I saw this when I was younger – so I’m not sure how much it would still hold up though.
DG: This is a simple yet effective atmospheric masterpiece of horror. Lon Chaney Jr. plays his role to perfection. This is the foundation that all great werewolf movies should be built upon.
All this month, the creative team of High Moon has been celebrating its third anniversary of entertaining folks. Robot 666 is joining in the celebratory fun today by interviewing artist Steve Ellis. In this email info exchange we delve into the series moving away from ZUDA and growing its audiences through different digital platforms. While he was unable to go into details, I think fans of High Moon will be happy to learn there will some more Western horror in the High Moon creative team’s future.
If you’ve not read High Moon, at their blog the creators posted where to find High Moon: “The first three chapters of High Moon were collected last October by DC Comics. You can order the print collection through your local area comic book shop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.
The entire series is also available digitally through Comixology’ Comics or DC Comics apps for the iPhone and iPad Operating System. You can also download the issues from here – and read them on your computer or import them them into your ipad or iphone. The first issue is free — and every additional issue is just 99 cents!
And finally, for those of you savvy comic reading gamers our there — HIGH MOON is also available through the DIGITAL COMICS store on the Playstation Network for your PSP.”
Added bonus at the end of this interview, instead of answering a question, Ellis asks the readers a question.
Tim O’Shea: This month marks the third anniversary of High Moon. Looking back at the past three years, what have been some of the high points for you?
Steve Ellis: The first high point was meeting David at NYCC and starting the whole process of collaboration and building the working friendship that we’ve built. The rewards of working in comics come in different forms, but the collaborative process is one of the greatest parts of it.
Writer David Gallaher has been at the forefront of digital comics. For years he worked on the fringes of American comics, only to become an overnight success of sorts by winning the inaugural Zuda Comics competition with High Moon (with collaborator Steve Ellis), and then being hand-picked to launch the app from digital comics distributor comiXology with an ongoing series, Box 13. Both titles have seen multiple volumes online and opened the door for Gallaher to come full circle back to print comics with the first volumes of each in print and new work commissioned by Marvel.
Gallaher occupies a unique role as a creator whose popularity is based primarily on his online comics output, with his print work coming to catch up. The writer has a long history with the online work, going back to interning at Marvel’s interactive department in the late 1990s and being a advertising copywriter for several years. While his comics come out on the bleeding edge of comics formats, his instincts owe more to comics’ pulpy roots.
Chris Arrant: Let’s do an easy one, first – what are you working on today?
David Gallaher: This morning, I’m laying out the rest of Box 13: The Pandora Process, which is being illustrated by Steve Ellis and is being published digitally by comiXology. Steve and I also have another project we’re working on that we’re really excited about. It’s got what I refer to as the “new project smell.” Like High Moon, it plays to our pulp roots – and I think it’ll be equally as vast.
And at some point this week, we’ll start our preparation for the New York Comic Con and discuss what’s next for High Moon.
Box 13 writer David Gallaher sent word over the weekend that Box 13, the digital comic he created with artist Steve Ellis, is headed to the printed page, courtesy of Red 5 Comics.
Based on a syndicated radio series, Box 13 “is the story of newspaperman-turned-mystery novelist Dan Holliday, who kind of hires himself out as a detective to get ideas for his stories,” Gallaher told me last October. “It was a high-noir, high-adventure series, but it was certainly a product of its time. Our re-imagining of the series incorporates many of the noir elements of the original serial, but with a bunch of John Frankenheimer, Patrick McGoohan, Alex Toth, and Peter O’Donnell added to the mix. There is gunplay, conspiracy, romance, psychological drama, train chases, motorcycle chases, and danger! But, at its heart, it’s a story about rediscovering your place in the world after everything in your life changes forever.”
Originally published by Comixology on their iPhone application and website, the graphic novel will cost $13 and is due in May. The complete solicitation text can be found after the jump.
As I mentioned yesterday, over the last couple of weeks Tim O’Shea and I have been reaching out to various folks around the comics industry, asking them what they are excited about for 2010. We asked them to mention something they were anticipating as a fan and also something they were working on, if they could talk about it. Here’s round two; we’ll have round three up later today.
I am personally excited about what changes are coming at both DC COMICS and MARVEL COMICS. Most people look at change as a negative thing, but looking at the projects coming from both companies and the amount of multi-media projects coming our way, I cant help become excited to what the future holds. I think all these changes will help bring brand new readers to our industry and deliver some exciting projects to the loyal fans as well. see? a lot of positive vibes…there really is no reason to fear change. I believe in embracing it.
As far as what I have coming up… well , that would take a while, but the first thing that is coming to mind is the Image Comics one shot Justin Gray and I have in the works for this spring called Splatterman. Originally we were going to make this a few issues , but decided to go the graphic novel way and put it out as one book. It features beautiful artwork by Giancarlo Caracuzzo and Paul Mounts with a stunning cover by award winning artist, Tim Bradstreet. It’s the story of two comic creators [not us, lol] that create the ultimate horror comic character that comes back to haunt them. It’s crazy adult comics the way they were meant to be told. Anyone that enjoyed our Friday the 13th series and The Last Resort will understand what i mean.