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Legal | The Japanese magazine Monthly Big Gangan has put the series Hi Score Girl on hold following allegations by the game company SNK Playmore that the manga is using its characters without authorization. The publisher, Square Enix, already recalled the five volumes of the series published so far and stopped releasing the manga digitally. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver talk about bringing Wonder Woman to Gotham City in their two-part story for DC Comics’ new digital first anthology Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman. [Hero Complex]
Creators | Sonny Liew, creator of Malinky Robot and the artist of The Shadow Hero (written by Gene Luen Yang) was born in Malaysia, went to school in Singapore, then went to college in the United Kingdom and art school in the United States on his way to becoming a comics creator. There wasn’t much of a homegrown comics scene when Liew was growing up, so he read mostly imports, but that’s changing, and his newest project is an anthology featuring creators from the region. [The Malay Mail]
Publishing | I talked with TOON Books founder Francoise Mouly about her new imprint, TOON Graphics, which will feature “visual books” (picture books and comics) for readers ages 8 and up. The line launches with three titles: Theseus and the Minotaur, by Yves Pommaux, Cast Away on the Letter A, by Fred, and Hansel and Gretel, retold by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti. [Publishers Weekly]
Commentary | Former DC Comics senior editor Joan Hilty tackles the issue of sexism in comics and calls for publishers to include more women in their senior editorial rank:. “Women are getting the bestselling books into stores and greenlighting the million-dollar movie franchises, but they’re barely represented among the creative executives who map out the universes and storytelling strategies. That’s where you cement broad-based, long-term loyalty to authors and characters, tap new audiences and trends, and grow readership, without which none of those books or movies would exist.” [The Guardian]
Emerald City Comicon may not come with the metric ton of announcements that Comic-Con International does, but in a way it’s all the better for it. Comics still feel as if they’re front and center just where I like them, and the announcements have more charm because they aren’t screaming to be heard over the din of film and television rollouts.
One year, I’ll get up to Seattle to experience the event firsthand, but in the meantime, I get to absorb all the news and photos like everyone else, as they’re posted online. ECCC even streamed all of its panels on flipon.tv. Anything that happened in Room 301 is free for anyone to watch. Everything else can be purchased with a full archive pass for $14.95. Or if, you don’t want to sit through hours of panel footage, there’s CBR’s coverage or, heck, try Google or something.
A number of announcements jumped out as particularly noteworthy, so let’s run through The 6 Best Things from ECCC. And from my count, Dark Horse won Emerald City. Your miles may vary though, so post your favorites in the comments.
At this weekend’s Emerald City Comicon, Dark Horse announced two collections featuring early ElfQuest material by Wendy and Richard Pini.
In August, fans can expect The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest, a 720-page, black-and-white collection of “what is now known as The Original Quest.” It will include a gallery of concept art, pinups and covers, as well as commentary from the Pinis.
Then October brings ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition. In what sounds like something akin to IDW’s Artists Edition series, it will collect Wendy Pini’s original artwork from the first five issues of “The Original Quest.” According to the press release, “Each page is carefully scanned from Wendy Pini’s original art to capture every stroke and detail. At 12 1/8″ by 17″, it’s as close to holding Pini’s original art as a fan can get.”
The Complete ElfQuest Volume 1: The Original Quest goes on sale Aug. 6. ElfQuest: The Original Quest Gallery Edition will arrive in comic shops Oct. 8 and bookstores Oct. 21.
Conventions are always a great place to see creators and celebrities, but it’s rare that you’re given the opportunity to meet a Muppet. At New York Comic Con, Cookie Monster — and his “assistant” David Rudman — will appear Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon and from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the WeLoveFine booth (#1836), where you can also buy an exclusive NYCC steampunk Cookie Monster shirt.
Cookie Monster isn’t the only special guest appearing at their booth:
With just a week until the start of New York Comic Con, Dark Horse has announced its convention-exclusive comic books and merchandise. All items will be available at the publisher’s booth (#1636).
New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 10-13 at the Jacob Javitz Center in Manhattan.
And just like clockwork, Comic-Con International organizers have rolled out the programming schedule for Friday, July 19.
On its second day, the San Diego convention kicks into high gear, with publishing panels from Dark Horse (including one dedicated to Joss Whedon’s titles, and another to Star Wars), DC Comics, IDW (including the Hasbro licenses), Marvel (including the perennial “Cup O’ Joe”), Oni Press, Titan Comics and UDON, retrospectives devoted to ElfQuest, Walt Kelly, Aspen and Strangers in Paradise, and tributes to the late Carmine Infantino and Kim Thompson.
Oh, and don’t forget the Eisner Awards ceremony, which caps off the day.
Check out some of the comics-related highlights below, and visit the Comic-Con website for the full schedule:
I think IDW and Dark Horse are having some sort of competition at C2E2 this weekend to see who can overwhelm my email box with the most press releases, or at least that’s what it seemed like last night when a ton of press releases pop up around the same time from both companies. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve heard from both of them at the show thus far …
• Both companies announced they’ve picked up some new licenses. As I noted yesterday, Dark Horse will publish Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest starting later this year, and they’ve also picked up the license for new Halo comics. IDW, meanwhile, has picked up the license to the Jay Ward characters, with plans for series Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Rocky & Bullwinkle next year. Also, two of IDW’s other licensed titles will meet up in Mars Attacks Judge Dredd by Al Ewing and John McCrea. The first issue arrives in September.
• Both companies are also reaching into comics’ past to bring back some titles we haven’t seen in awhile. IDW announced that they’ll release deluxe hardcovers of Christian Gossett’s The Red Star this fall. They’re also bringing back Zombie War by Kevin Eastman, Tom Skulan and Eric Talbot in October. The original series was published by FantaCo and Tundra back in 1993. Dark Horse is resurrecting Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy, which was originally published by Burlyman Entertainment.
Dark Horse Comics announced at C2E2 this weekend that they’ve reached an agreement with creators Richard and Wendy Pini to bring the long-running cult hit Elfquest back to the printed page. The first release arrives in the fall and will be the prologue to Elfquest: The Final Quest, which is currently being serialized on BoingBoing. Following that, Dark Horse will release The Final Quest alongside all-new editions of previously published material.
“Dark Horse is a company I’ve admired ever since it sprang on the scene in the 1980s. Somehow, as large as they’ve grown, they’ve retained an independent spirit that Richard and I totally identify with. The quality of their offerings is legendary and I’m extremely happy that Elfquest is part of their lineup,” Wendy Pini said in a press release.
“The announcement of our ElfQuest line was originally planned for a Saturday panel announcement as part of WaRP’s presence at Emerald City Comic Con, but some very enthusiastic and cyber-savvy fans sleuthed out the team-up early and shared the news, so we’re hitting the web sooner than planned,” said WeLoveFine’s Nicole Campos.
The shirts are available now both online and at WeLoveFine’s ECCC booth, #838-839. Check some of them out below. And don’t forget that a new ElfQuest story is currently running over at BoingBoing each week.
Thirty-five years after Elfquest was introduced, helping to usher in the black-and-white comics boom, Wendy and Richard Pini’s epic fantasy adventure will makes it online debut with a new story serialized on Boing Boing.
Called Elfquest: The Final Quest, the new tale begins Monday, with a new page appearing weekly. It marks the popular website’s first foray into comics.
“Wendy and I never set out, thirty-five years ago, to take the indie comics world by storm,” Richard Pini said in a statement. “But there the history is, in the sales and — more importantly — in the fandom that’s stayed with us. Now we get to relive those scary, heady days once again as Elfquest makes its online debut to fans old and new.”
Debuting in 1978, Elfquest follows the Wolfriders, a tribe of feral elves in search of a new refuge and of their cosmic origins. Along the way they come into conflict with humans and trolls, and encounter other elf tribes like the Sun Folk and the Gliders. Over the decades, the series has gained a devoted following, and boasts a large female audience.
“Elfquest‘s World of Two Moons—its landscapes, inhabitants, dangers—is familiar yet always unpredictable territory,” Wendy Pini said. “After five years’ hiatus, I’ve come home to the Holt and to my main characters, Cutter and the Wolfriders, only to wreak storytelling havoc on them as never before. In Elfquest: The Final Quest sturdy, stable characters will react in totally unexpected ways as they face devastating, unavoidable change. I’m scared and exhilarated by what’s going to happen!”
The entire 6,000-page story to date can be read on the Elfquest website.
Richard and Wendy Pini have long wanted to make a movie of their ElfQuest series, but for some reason it has moved at a glacial pace. Now, The New York Times tells us, a group of fans are taking matters into their own hands and making an ElfQuest fan film with an all-female cast—and the Pinis have given the project their blessing.
The film is really just a trailer for the ElfQuest franchise, but producers Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes are pulling out all the stops, using a cast of ” some of web video’s best-known actresses,” according to the Times.
Thorpe and Rhodes are producing and co-directing the project, with Galacticast‘s Rudy Jahchan committed to doing special effects and A Good Knight’s Quest director Brett Register editing. A prosthetics artist has been commissioned to create elf ears directly inspired by Wendy Pini’s art, a cost which makes up a significant portion of the budget, along with food and location expenses. The plan is to shoot for two days towards the end of November — before it gets too cold, as ElfQuest characters don’t wear a lot of clothing — creating a one-to-three minute trailer.
The producers are funding the project via IndieGoGo (similar to Kickstarter), and donations have surpassed their goal of $5,000.
Meanwhile, on the non-web film front, Pini reports that Warner Brothers still has their movie in “active development” and recently hired the design team that worked on concept art for Avatar to develop a look for the ElfQuest universe. And no, Pini is not worried about diluting the brand.
“Our thought is that the more buzz ElfQuest has in every possible arena, the better things are for the film,” Pini said. “You never know how Hollywood is going to react, but it can’t hurt.”