Publishing | Pulp heroes The Spirit, Doc Savage and The Avenger disappeared from the DC Comics lineup more than a year ago, with Co-Publisher Dan DiDio now confirming on his Facebook page that the company’s rights to the characters have lapsed. Brian Azzarello paired the vintage characters with Batman, Black Canary, the Blackhawks and other current DC heroes in his First Wave miniseries, which launched in 2010. Heidi MacDonald adds, “we’ve heard that at WB it was pointed out that DC paying good money to license old characters didn’t make much sense when they had their own catalog of little-used characters to exploit.” [Blog@Newsarama]
Digital comics | As noted here Monday, comiXology was No. 3 on the list of top-grossing iPad apps of 2012, and in the press release announcing this, the comiXology folks dropped another number on us: They have served more than 2 billion pages since their launch three years ago. [comiXology]
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Chris Wisnia, creator of the Doris Danger books.
To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Publishing | Kodansha’s Attack on Titan, the action-fantasy manga by Hajime Isayama, has sold more than 9 million copies in Japan, according to the Sports Nippon newspaper. The eighth volume was released last week in Japan; Kodansha USA will publish the second volume next month in North America. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | Alex Zalben pays a visit to the Valiant offices and talks shop with editor Warren Simons: “Asking whether the idea was to set these up so that you can go right to TV, video games, or other properties, Simons strongly denies that was behind the relaunch. ‘I think you have guys who really love comic books,’ said Simons. ‘I’m just interested in publishing comic books. Obviously in this space, in this day and age you want to pay attention to everything – just like everyone does. But I think it all derives from publishing … [The publishers] just wanted to read comics about the characters that they loved growing up!’” [MTV Geek]
Learning that DC was cancelling five superhero titles reminded me immediately of the “Saturday Night Massacre,” when President Nixon’s firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox led directly to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckleshaus. But, you know, that’s just me. I may be one of the few superhero-comics bloggers who went through a Watergate phase in college. Got two term papers out of it, at any rate.
But I digress. As we all know, the May solicitations are out, and DC will still be publishing a significant number of superhero comics — so let’s get to ‘em, shall we?
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YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD THERE IS A GREEN LANTERN MOVIE
Seems like the last time DC did a multiple-issue “prequel series” to one of its big movies was 2006, with four lead-ins to Superman Returns. I liked Superman Returns, but those related comics weren’t too memorable. However, I do like the creative teams on these one-shots — Geoff Johns (a no-brainer for GL), Marc Guggenheim, Jerry Ordway, Joe Bennett, Karl Kerschl, Fernando Dagnino, and Cliff Richards, plus the screenwriters — so they may be more worthwhile.
Because they went live around the same time as last week’s column, I’ve had the better part of a week to consider the April DC solicitations. I’d like to tell you I dug deep into the language and the numbers, forsaking all regular human needs in order to unlock the secrets of DC’s superhero springtime, but we all know that didn’t happen. I blame the football.
There could be a couple of reasons to cut two issues from the runs of Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost. Twenty-four issues may be easier to collect, logistically speaking, than twenty-six. DC may also want to wrap up these storylines in advance of Free Comic Book Day (May 7 is the Saturday after the month’s first Wednesday), when I presume the big Flashpoint push will begin. The solicit for Flash #12 seems to indicate that Flashpoint starts in May.
December will be a good month for writer Ivan Brandon–what with the December 22 softcover edition release of Viking: The Long Cold Fire (Image) and more immediately, this week, the release of Doc Savage 9, the DC Comics/First Wave universe series that he is co-writing with Brian Azzarello. Brandon and I discuss both works, as well as the potential advantages of the digital platform, his recent involvement with Weird War Tales and the particulars of collaborating with a writer such as Azzarello. While we were not able to delve too much into his plans for 2011, it definitely sounds like his intentions for the new year are quite ambitious.
Tim O’Shea: How intrigued are you by the prospect of increased exposure via different platforms, such as the iPad for your work–how much of a priority is it for you to make your creative-owned work available for the digital platform?
Ivan Brandon: Well, of course it’s important to me to add millions of new outlets where people might find my work. The idea that I can link a new book and some of the people who follow me on Twitter, say, who don’t read comics at all might be able to just click and start down that road… that’s to me an incredible new market that needs to be taken very seriously.
But creatively moreso I’m very interested to see what new voices the digital world might bring to storytelling. What’s the new equivalent of a Jack Kirby when there are no longer any print world parameters to adhere to? Comics have for a long time toed a weird invisible line that I think this removes. I’m excited to see what kind of stories come from anyone who notices.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? where we ask, “If you were stuck on an island with the smoke monster, what would you bring to read?” Yes, that was my lame attempt to make today’s edition topical. Sorry. Let’s just write that off as me being really excited to see the end of Lost.
This week our special guest is comics retailer Randy Lander, who you can find selling comics at Rogues Gallery Comics & Games in Round Rock, Texas or blogging over at Inside Joke Theatre. To see what Randy and the rest of our merry castaways have been reading, click the link below …
If you’ve been enjoying Brian Azzarello’s work on Batman in Wednesday Comics, then this will probably make you happy … Azzarello is teaming with artist Phil Noto for a Batman/Doc Savage special. Per DC’s the Source blog, the special “sets the stage for an entire new world for the Doc, along with a slew of characters that will pop up later, including the Blackhawks and Rima, the Jungle Girl.” The special is due in November, with J.G. Jones providing the cover (above).
As we learned in June, Azzarello and Rags Morales are working on a new Doc Savage monthly series, set in an alternate DC Universe that will also include The Spirit. No word yet on when the monthly will debut.
This past weekend Philadelphia welcomed Wizard World, while Charlotte hosted HeroesCon. Two East Coast conventions, separated by more than 500 miles and a couple of states. If you were away from your computer, then you may have missed some of the announcements that sprang from both venues:
• For years people have been asking for an “iTunes for comics.” Well, it looks like we might actually get one. Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox will be a free download available later this year for PC, Macs and Linux. Comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. BOOM! and Top Cow have already signed on.
• Marvel had a lot of announcements at the show. Spinning out of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover that kicks off any day now will be a series of one-shots that fall under the heading of Dark Reign: The List. Basically Norman Osbourn starts making a list of everyone standing in his way who he needs to do dirty, nasty things to.
The eight one shots and the creators working on them are:
Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan
Dark Reign: The List – Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
Dark Reign: The List – Hulk by Greg Pak and Ben Oliver
Dark Reign: The List – Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Dark Reign: The List – Avengers by Brian Bendis and Marko Djurdjevic
Dark Reign: The List – Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Dark Reign: The List – Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman and Ed McGuiness
Dark Reign: The List – Punisher by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
The project was announced at around the same time both in Philadelphia and in Charlotte. For more info, check out CBR’s interviews with Bendis, Fraction and Remender, as well as Pak, Hickman and Aaron. Also, Aaron talks a little bit about his Wolverine one-shot on his blog; it will feature both Marvel Boy and Fantomex, as well as a new Weapon XVI.