Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, where today we welcome special guest Ron Marz. Marz has written everything from Green Lantern to Witchblade, and you can currently find him working on comics like Artifacts, Prophecy, Blackburn Burrow and The Ride: Southern Gothic. He also writes the column Shelf Life for Comic Book Resources and can be found on Twitter.
To see what Ron and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
The Emerald City Comicon wrapped up yesterday in Seattle, with plenty of announcements from attending publishers. Here’s a round-up of news from the show:
• Image Comics officially announced Revival by Tim Seeley ad Mike Norton, the title we teased all last week. Seeley described the book as “rural noir,” and it is set in his home state of Wisconsin: “Both Mike and I grew up in small towns, he in Tennessee, me in Wisconsin. We both hated the towns we were from as teenagers and young adults and got the hell out,” Seeley told CBR. “But, now that we’re both older, we can look on those towns with more understanding and affection. Central Wisconsin is a really interesting place. It’s like concentrated America. It has all of the strengths and all of the weaknesses. All of the good stuff, and all of the conflicts on a more intimate scale. We thought it’d be the perfect setting for our story of a cop charged with policing the dead.”
• James Stokoe will write and draw Godzilla: Half Century War, which arrives from IDW in August. The miniseries is set in a different continuity than the Godzilla ongoing series by Duane Swierczyski and Simon Gane.
• Writer Christos Gage will team with artist Jorge Lucas for Sunset, an original graphic novel from Top Cow’s Minotaur Press. The story revolves around a retired Vegas mob enforcer.
Sales | Sales of comic books and graphic novels to comic books stores through Diamond Comic Distributors increased 27.5 percent in January compared to the same month in 2011. Comics were up 32 percent while graphic novels were up 18 percent compared to 2011. DC Comics dominated all 10 spots at the top of the chart, with Justice League #5 coming in at No. 1. Batman: Through the Looking Glass was the top graphic novel for the month. [ICv2]
Passings | British comics artist Mike White, who illustrated Alan Moore’s The Twisted Man and numerous other stories for 2000AD, Lion, Valiant, Action and Score ‘n’ Roar, has passed away after a long illness. [Blimey!]
Publishing | Because the world demanded it, apparently, Random House plans to publish e-books of all the collected editions of Garfield newspaper comics. [Down the Tubes]
Jeff Parker and Erika Moen had me at “dick and fart”. OK, not really. But recently when writer Parker and artist Moen (both members of Periscope Studio) launched the webcomic Bucko (the plot of which can be summed up in two sentences “A chance case of alcohol-fueled diarrhea at his job interview leaves him [Rich “Bucko” Richardson] desperately running for the bathroom where he discovers a brutally murdered body. Now it’s up to Bucko to solve this case!” [OK there's more than that, but I love short intros with long sentences...]), I immediately wanted to pester the two creators for an interview. They obliged. And Parker even dropped an f-bomb for free. Read the interview, enjoy the webcomic (which updates Tuesdays and Fridays), tell all your friends. That is all.
Tim O’Shea: How the heck did you two decide that the world needed to combine two genres like “dick and fart jokes” and “murder mystery”?
Jeff Parker: That genre heading was created by Erika. It’s not technically accurate, but it gets you in the realm of what BUCKO is. And well, someone may fart at some point I guess.
Erika Moen: Yeah, like Parker says, it’s not a literal description of what happens in the comic (well, aside from the “murder” part), but it more captures the feel of the work. I figured it was more effective than something like “a QUIRKY murder mystery!” or “a RIDICULOUS HIPSTER murder mystery” Although, really, “dick’n'fart joke” may not be that inaccurate, as we do have the promise of threesomes (“dick”), there is the case of diarrhea (“fart”) and the protagonists certainly think they’re solving a “mystery” So, y’know what? I take it back, my tag line is totally accurate.
Bucko, a free webcomic written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Erika Moen, launches today with a three-page intro in which Rich, the main character, wakes up on a strange couch and realizes he’s going to be late for a much-needed job interview. Murphy’s Law comes into full play from the get-go. The comic has a strong dose of humor, but the intro promises a body and a mystery, so come for the yuks, stay for the whodunit. And with this team on it, you can’t lose.
(Via Jamie S. Rich.)
Digital publishing | As expected, Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled its Nook Color e-book reader, priced at $249. The 7-inch LCD touch tablet runs on the Android 2.1 operating system, and offers web browsing, audio and video playback, and basic games (CNET notes that Barnes & Noble is pushing the device as a “reader’s tablet”). The device ships on Nov. 19. [CNET, Salon, paidContent]
Internet | PayPal has announced its much-anticipated micropayments system, with Facebook and a number of other websites lining up behind it. PayPal describes the new product, available later this year, as an “in-context, frictionless payment solution that lets consumers pay for digital goods and content in as little as two clicks, without ever having to leave a publisher’s game, news, music, video or media site.” Scott McCloud is quick out of the gate with reaction: “This is so close, in almost every respect, to what we were asking for over a decade ago, it’s almost eerie. They’re even using the same language to describe it.” [TechCrunch]
Originally I wanted the octopus to be holding a bunch of my day-to-day supplies (art, food, laptop, vibrator, etc). See, the octopus would represent ‘life’ and I’d be wrestling with it. Get it? Wrestling with life? … Yeah.
It was a bit too busy, so I stripped off the extras.