“[Stan] Lee will receive a special Vanguard award from the Producers Guild in January, and the press release announcing the award claims that he ‘has exerted more influence over the comic book industry than anyone in history,’ which is probably true, but it also claims that he ‘created or co-created 90 percent of Marvel’s most recognized comic characters.’ We’ll never actually know the truth of those collaborations — like great modern American success stories, the truth has been lost in a neverending quagmire of lawsuits. (If this were The Social Network, you could argue that he was the Sean Parker of Marvel. Which isn’t a bad thing: Without Sean Parker, Facebook wouldn’t be Facebook.) [...] Lee will probably give a great speech when he wins the award. He’s always been good at talking, especially when he’s talking about his favorite subject, his greatest invention, the one character that we absolutely know for certain he’s 100 percent responsible for creating: Himself.”
– Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich, on the announcement that the Producers Guild of America will honor Stan Lee with its 2012 Vanguard Award, recognizing achievement in new media and technology
Some manga publishers do social media very well. Others don’t. Kodansha Comics took forever to even put up a website (and the one they have is pretty bare-bones—I think they just added a “News” section this week), and they told fans at San Diego Comic-Con that they expected to have Facebook and Twitter accounts by the end of the year—hardly an ambitious schedule. So an impatient fan has done it for them, creating a Kodansha USA fan page on Facebook, complete with logo and the note “I’m hoping if we can make a good fan page it will inspire the real Kodansha Comics USA will make one for them self.”
Jim Zubkavich is a busy guy these days. The Skullkickers writer has just relaunched his webcomic Makeshift Miracle with a new storyline and a new artist, and last week he announced a project with a very different tone: A comic based on the soon-to-be-released Mafia Wars 2 game, illustrated by Omar Dogan.
Mafia Wars 2 is a Facebook game, and here’s the rub: To read the comic you have to not only “Like” Mafia Wars 2 on Facebook but also allow MW2 to have access to your profile. Which, if you’re already involved with the game, shouldn’t be a problem, but it still skeeves me out a bit. So I didn’t take that last step.
Game comics are not usually my thing, but I enjoyed Zubkavich and Dogan’s previous collaboration, Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki, and I’d like to check this one out. I get the logic that the way to promote a Facebook game is on Facebook, but making the game accessible only from the app greatly reduces its effectiveness as a way to bring new people in. Still, if you’re already there, it’s probably worth checking out. As for me, I’m just going to check out the newest page of Makeshift Miracle, because even without Facebook apps, there’s plenty of Zub to go around.
Working with Graphicly, the publisher will expand to the company’s new Facebook app as well as to Amazon’s newly announced Kindle Fire. Image’s Facebook page will serve as a browseable store where potential readers can preview and purchase comics.
As of Wednesday such titles as Chew, The Infinite, Pilot Season, Severed and Skullkickers will join The Walking Dead and Invincible is being available digitally the same day as print.
“Publishing our top titles the same day digitally as print will allow our loyal reader to buy their favorite comics on almost any smartphone and tablet, while also getting them into the hands of new readers and grow the market,” said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson.
Graphicly has launched an application that enables publishers to embed a comic on their Facebook pages. Called, appropriately enough, Graphicly on Facebook, the app is geared toward exposing new and casual readers to comics through the social networking site.
“Most of our users are actually new comic book readers who have never been exposed to comics before,” Graphicly CEO Micah Baldwin tells Venture Beat.
The free app, which features panel-by-panel viewing, full-screen zoom, commenting and network sharing, is now only available to publishers using the Graphicly platform. However, that’s likely to change. “I think we’re gravitating to a model that lets anyone use the Facebook app to showcase their work,” Baldwin says.
Graphicly’s stable of publishers includes Marvel, Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, Top Cow and Archaia.
Pretty much since the Womanthology initiative began, Robot 6 has done its best to cover it. A few weeks back, some questions came about how the money raised for the Womanthology project was to be spent and further questions resulted based on the response to the concerns. Rather than stand on the sidelines as the discussion played out, I contacted Womanthology organizers to see if an email interview was possible. Laura Morley, Womanthology’s project administrator, was willing to take my questions. Thanks to Morley for her time, as well as to Michael May, Sean T. Collins and Graeme McMillan for interview prep support.
Tim O’Shea: Laura, how did you come to be involved with Womanthology?
Laura Morley: I’m an aspiring comics writer, and saw the original tweet Renae De Liz sent out in May, seeking women to contribute comics to an anthology for charity. I hadn’t actually crossed paths with Renae back then, and saw the message via someone else’s retweet – I wish I could remember whose, so I could thank them! It’s been an amazing experience for me. Then, since I’m one of those perverse people who gets a kick out of wrangling spreadsheets, I sent an email offering to help out with admin for the project – from that I wound up coordinating the admin effort, which has meant acting as a first point of contact for our contributors and our Kickstarter backers. You can also hear me sounding British on the Womanthology Kickstarter video.
O’Shea: Can you explain how it came to be that there is a hardback anthology and a sketchbook associated with Womanthology?
Morley: Publishing a hardcover volume was the plan from the beginning. The book is going to be pretty hefty – it’s over 300 pages long, on a 9×12 inch format, and we wanted to make something truly elegant that would serve as a good vehicle for the beautiful work inside. The sketchbook came about, I believe, as an opportunity to showcase some more of the work by our creators. Some contributors preferred to draw pinups than full stories, and some wanted to do both; some writers wanted to share samples from their scripts – we thought this would be a good way to get more of it out to the audience it deserves.
It’s not usually a big deal when a comics creator gets a Facebook page, but Art Spiegelman is not your run-of-the-mill comics creator. He’s the guy who did Maus, the graphic novel that changed the world. So yeah, this is a big deal, especially as he is on Facebook to promote MetaMaus, his new book (due out from Pantheon in October) about the making of Maus. The book will include not only Spiegelman’s ruminations on the genesis of his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel but also a DVD of the entire book, with hyperlinks to sources and annotations. Naturally, Art and the Pantheon folks are promoting it at San Diego Comic-Con this week, with special MetaMaus buttons.
For a bit more on MetaMaus, check out this article in The Art Newspaper, and for a bit more on Spiegelman, stay tuned to his Facebook page.
But will he tell us what he had for breakfast?
Warming up for a grueling Comic-Con International schedule, DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio held a virtual convention panel last night on Facebook for fans who can’t make it to San Diego. Highlights from the Q&A include:
• DC no longer has the rights to Archie’s Red Circle superheroes.
• Stephanie Brown will remain part of the DC Universe following the September relaunch. However, DiDio won’t reveal where she is just yet. “Sorry, but we are keeping some secrets,” he wrote, “and one of them involves Stephanie.”
• He’s sticking by his earlier remarks about the status of the Justice Society, saying “the official answer on JSA is that ‘They’re resting’.”
• When can we expect the release of Dark Knight: Boy Wonder, the planned six-issue conclusion of Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder? “Probably when he is The Teen Wonder.”
• Asked whether we’ll ever see the new version of Who’s Who in the DC Universe announced in December 2009, DiDio replied, “the question is not who’s who but when’s when.”
DiDio’s first actual Comic-Con panel, “DC Comics — The New 52,” kicks off at 2 p.m. Thursday in San Diego.
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, was a six-issue limited series (later collected into a single volume) that got a lot of love from critics but, for whatever reason, wasn’t continued beyond its original run. Now there’s a Facebook group called “Get ‘Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Ninth Grade’ Published” that is out to change that. (It’s an open group, so anyone can go check it out.) Jude DeLuca started the group and has been energetically adding members. The explanation: Walker and Jones pitched the sequel to DC, and DC hasn’t given a firm answer, so they are asking fans to write to DC and ask for it by name.
To help close the deal, Walker has posted some fresh Supergirl concept art on his website, as well as an explanation of his and Jones’s vision of the series:
Eric could have drawn Supergirl as the epitome of style and grace. But that wouldn’t have been our Supergirl. Our Supergirl was a character who needed to grow. She was overly self-aware, insecure and gangly, that’s part of being a young teenager (particularly as younger teens see themselves from within) and therefore an important part of the storytelling.
I think with the slight changes to the artwork here we really begin to see Kara’s self confidence manifest physically. This would have continued on a curve, all through 12th Grade. By the end (and there was a definitive end planned) 18 year old Kara would have looked like an adult – particularly because you watched her grow up.
Sounds tempting. Walker and Jones are working on something else as well (to be announced at Comic-Con), but it would be nice to see this series continue. If you agree, go to the DC Letters Page and let them know what you think.
My friendship and association with Alex Segura dates back to late 2004 when he invited me to join Robot 6‘s ancestor blog (or however you want to call its relation) The Great Curve. I wear my bias on my sleeve for this interview–I’ve always been a supporter of Segura’s work–be it years at DC Comics, or more recently, his current role as Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing at Archie Comics. In addition to discussing what he’s accomplished to date at Archie (and hopes to achieve in the near to long term), we delve into his own writing and musical pursuits (in the band, The Faulkner Detectives).
Tim O’Shea: Before your first stint with Archie a few years back, you worked at Wizard. So I gotta ask, what’s your reaction to the end of the print magazine?
Alex Segura: On a gut level, it’s sad. Wizard was a big part of my getting into comics – or at least, sticking with them – in middle school and into college. There were times when I wasn’t actively buying any regular comic books but would still pick up Wizard to keep tabs on the industry. Working there was also huge. It was my first full-time job in the industry and gave me a crash course in comics and how they work. I also met some of my best friends there – many of whom I still talk to on a regular basis. Hell, I live with Ryan Penagos, who I first met at Wizard. So, yeah. I have a lot of fond memories of both my time at the company and my relationship with the magazine leading up to that.
Professionally, I’m not all that surprised. There was a time when Wizard was a major tastemaker – they had a big part in the rise of Image and for a long while broke major news from the Big Two. But with the rise of comic news on the web, it just seemed like they got left behind. Hopefully this new incarnation can revive the company. We’ll see.
You may have noticed a new addition to our home page, and each post — easy access to our Facebook page! If you haven’t already, come “Like us” for quick and easy access to all our posts on Facebook, while you share your thoughts and comments.
He’s appeared in countless movies, cartoons and video games, so why not? Fans of Stan Lee have started a campaign on Facebook to get the comic book icon onto Saturday Night Live.
“Stan Lee has been known to make many scene stealing cameos, appearing in both movies & TV shows, yet there is one show & one cameo he has yet to tackle, Saturday Night Live. Imagine Stan “The Man” Lee appearing on SNL, think of the possibilities,” reads the description on the page. A similar campaign worked for actress Betty White last season.
Although Lee’s appearances on the silver screen are typically small cameos in Marvel’s films, I’m betting he’d do a better job than Steve Forbes, M.C. Hammer and Nancy Kerrigan, all of whom have hosted in the past.
It’s never boring when I get to catch up with writer/artist Matt Kindt about his creative and marketing process–as well as the film, Donnie Darko (and a range of other topics–including video games, Crisis on Infinite Earth and learning how to drive a stick shift). Had I known we could have talked while at a baseball game (this will make sense once you’ve read the interview), well I was crushed (OK not crushed, but I’m finding out next year if Kindt is partial to major or minor league baseball–and we’ll plan our next interview accordingly). Although I was fortunate enough to read an advance black and white preview of Revolver (his new graphic novel for Vertigo “a tale of two worlds — and how both test a man to his limits”), I’m looking forward to this Wednesday, July 14, when I can buy the book in its final form. While we all wait, enjoy this interview.
Tim O’Shea: How much advanced layouts, given the conflicting narratives that you maintain throughout the tale, did you have to set up at the project’s outset?
Matt Kindt: I lay everything out well in advance. I don’t pencil any pages until the entire thing is layed out. Especially with a book like this where I had a hard page count, meaning I couldn’t go over my page limit, I had to be very precise with everything, including where the page-turns would be for certain big reveals, etc.But I really do that with every book – I don’t start penciling anything until I’ve figured out the entire book.
The good folks over at CBR proper, who set up their own Facebook page not too long ago, have set one up for us as well. If you’re on Facebook, head over there and click on the “Like” link to befriend the robot and follow our feed. And don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, if you prefer … we’re easy.
The courtship of Comic-Con International, and its $40-million annual boost to the local economy, has made the move to Facebook.
On a newly launched Facebook fan page called Bring Comic-Con International to Anaheim, CA, the convention bureau posts an “Open Letter to Comic-Con International” extolling the virtues of the Orange County area and the Anaheim Convention Center — it underscores the selling points on its website — while acknowledging organizers’ hesitancy about uprooting the event from its longtime San Diego home.
“… We get the feeling that it is going to take something extra to get you to leave a place of comfort and familiarity to come to Anaheim,” the letter states. “We need to show you the level of interest and excitement that Comic-Con International elicits out of this huge Southern California drive market.”
To that end, the convention bureau is using the Facebook page “to gauge the fervor of the Southern California crowd” and show convention organizers “just how excited people would get at the mere consideration of Comic-Con International moving to Anaheim.”
It will take more than excitement and Facebook fans, though. As Comic-Con nears the end of its lease with the San Diego Convention Center, the home it long ago outgrew — attendance has been capped at about 126,000 because of lack of space — Anaheim and Los Angeles are prime contenders for the event for 2013 and beyond.
That’s not to say San Diego should be counted out: The San Diego Convention Center Corp. has submitted a proposal seeking to extend Comic-Con’s contract through 2015, and has secured commitments from three waterfront hotels to provide for free about 300,000 square feet of meeting space from 2013 to 2015.