Free Comic Book Day
Publishing | Continuing its domination of the graphic novel sales in bookstores, The Walking Dead laid claim to seven of the Top 10 spots on BookScan’s April chart. The series, by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, took the first four positions. What’s more, 12 of the Top 20 graphic novels were volumes of The Walking Dead. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson talks to Right Stuf director of marketing and communications Alison Roberts about that company’s announcement earlier this week that it will be publishing the first three volumes Hetalia: Axis Powers as a print-on-demand books. The series was originally licensed by Tokyopop, which is co-branding the books with Right Stuf. [MTV Geek]
Jason Inman of Sh*t Comic Book Nerds Say fame sent along this Free Comic Book Day promo video. It’s funny and has me more excited to visit my local store on Saturday (and spend some money at their big sale), so maybe you’ll enjoy it too. Which free comics are you looking forward to?
Free Comic Book Day | In anticipation of Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle interviews Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics, who came up with the idea in the first place, inspired by “free scoop” days at ice cream shops. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Free Comic Book Day | John Jackson Miller traces the 10-year history of Free Comic Book Day. [The Comics Chronicles]
Conventions | ReedPop Group Vice President Lance Fensterman takes stock of this year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and sees plenty of growth, both in attendees (42,000 this year) and exhibitors. It looks like the show will continue: “We feel like we got the answer we needed. We made maybe a little bit of money, which is fine. Year 3 is when we expect to start to see some positive cash flow, but even more so we felt that the community embraced the event and the turnout and the ticket sales reflect that—and that is just what we needed to see.” [ICv2]
As information on Image Comics’ Free Comic Book Day offering continues to come out, so do their plans for future series. Joining Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival and G-Man by Chris Giarrusso will be previews of Guarding the Globe, an ongoing series announced by Robert Kirkman’s Skybound earlier this week, and It Girl and the Atomics by Jamie S. Rich and Mike Norton.
“It’s true. Launching in July, and straight out of the pages of Madman, comes a new ongoing series starring everyone’s favorite Atomic: It Girl,” Rich wrote on his blog. He added the book will be lettered by Crank! and colored by Allen Passalaqua, with covers by Mike and Laura Allred.
The Atomics previously appeared in their own series that was published by creator Mike Allred under his AAA Pop imprint. Since then, they’ve appeared as supporting characters in Allred’s Madman comics and in various one-shots.
Hat tip: Multiversity Comics
Creators | Legendary comic artist Tony DeZuniga, the co-creator of Jonah Hex, has been hospitalized in the Philippines after suffering from a stroke and pneumonia. The 70-year-old DeZuniga is reportedly in the intensive care unit as friends and family rally to help with his medical expenses. [GMA News]
Retailing | Diamond Comic Distributors announced that retailers have ordered more than 3.5 million comics for Free Comic Book Day, up 23 percent from last year. Diamond also confirmed a second event centered on Halloween. [ICv2]
Graphic novels | The Irish Education Minister, Ruairí Quinn, has given his blessing to a manga-style graphic novel intended to help teenagers develop “emotional intelligence.” [TheJournal.ie]
Greensboro, North Carolina, has a handful of nicknames: The Boro, Tournament Town, Gate City. Now, thanks to the efforts of Acme Comics, you can add one more to the list — Comic Book City USA.
WFMY News reports that supporters dressed as Captain America, Green Lantern and Spider-Man attended last night’s City Council meeting, where a resolution was unanimously approved declaring that Greensboro be known as Comic Book City USA the first Saturday of May each year in recognition of Free Comic Book Day.
“Now that it has passed, I expect us to be right up there with Portland and New York and San Diego as far as the importance to the community,” said Stephen Mayer, assistant manager of Acme Comics, which filed the resolution last month. “It’s amazing. It’s never been done in this way before. It’s never been adopted on so wide a scale, and it can only happen in Greensboro.”
BOOM! sent out a piece of artwork today for Hypernaturals, the upcoming cosmic comic they’ll publish by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the duo who helped define the past few years of the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe in Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and related titles. Although they didn’t send out anything beyond the above image, more information on the book is available at the Free Comic Book Day website , as Hypernaturals will be BOOM!’s offering next month (The Dune book that was previously listed on the FCBD page has been removed).
According to the text on the FCBD site:
This Free Comic Book Day… A universe trembles.
It is the far future; the human race has finally colonized the galaxy, preserving an era of prosperity that’s only possible because of The Hypernaturals. They’re a celebrated, galaxy-wide superhero task force that keeps the peace. That is, until they all mysteriously vanish. Now, as the galaxy teeters on the brink of chaos, it’s up to a group of retired and long forgotten Hypernaturals – and their novice recruits – to save the galaxy from complete destruction.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the superstar writing duo behind Annihilation and The Legion, launch an all-new original series that takes cosmic super-heroes to a new frontier. Experience the special preview issue of The Hypernaturals this May and pick up the #1 issue this July!
Update: Abnett and Lanning talked to CBR about the comic, the art team and more.
Free Comic Book Day is May 5, and most of the lineup was announced earlier this year. So I was intrigued when Action Lab Comics revealed this week that it’s releasing a digital FCBD comic. While it’s not unusual for artists to jump on the FCBD bandwagon by releasing digital comics on that day, this is the first time I have seen a publisher do it (readers: I know you will feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), and the first time I have seen a digital comic with the FCBD logo on the front. So I went straight to the source and asked Action Lab President Shawn Pryor just what was up with this. Here’s what he had to say.
Robot 6: Why did you decide to go with a digital format rather than print?
Shawn Pryor: Well, we’ve been in the direct market for a year or so, and by the time we noticed that Free Comic Book Day was approaching we completely missed the deadline to submit a book to Diamond for the event. It was then that we decided to do our own thing and make a massive 200-page Free Comic Book Day digital comic (Action Lab Confidential). In doing this, we can get this book into the hands of new readers or readers who have been wanting to check out the diverse line of books that we have to offer and/or coming out to brick-and-mortar stores soon.
When the 2012 Free Comic Book Day line-up was announced, some folks mistakenly assumed that gold-level offering, DC Comics: The New 52 Special Edition would simply be a reprint of previously published material. As revealed on The Source today, that’s not the case.
The comic will feature “art by legendary illustrator Jim Lee and other top talents” and will “include a new story by New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns.” In addition, the book will also include previews of DC’s second wave of New 52 titles, including Batman Incorporated, Dial H, Earth 2, G.I. Combat, The Ravagers and Worlds’ Finest. They also say to stay tuned for “more surprises to come.”
In addition, the Free Comic Book Day site also has more information and a preview from Image 20, the 20th anniversary anthology of “six, all-new original stories promoting upcoming Image Comics titles.” Two of the titles will be Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton, which you can preview on the site, as well as G-Man by Chris Giarrusso. The other stories will be announced at a later date.
The FCBD site also has previews from several other FCBD titles, including Oni’s Yo Gabba Gabba and Bad Medicine titles, and Viz’s Voltron Force, among others, so head over there if you want to check them out early.
Update: Apparently I misread the initial post and thought Jim Lee was drawing the new Geoff Johns story, but based on Brian Hibbs’ response in the comments section below, that may or may not be the case. I’ve updated the post above.
For those not familiar with it, The Ride is an anthology series conceived by 12-Gauge president Keven Gardner that features various stories of murder and mayhem, with the unifying theme of a 1968 Camaro that appears in each story. Creators who worked on The Ride in the past include Chuck Dixon, Cully Hamner, Doug Wagner, Ron Marz, Jason Pearson, Brian Stelfreeze and many more. And now you can add Nathan Edmondson and Paul Azaceta to the list, as they prep the engine for a new The Ride series, a preview of which will appear alongside the Gale Anne Hurd-conceived Anti on FCBD.
Courtesy of 12-Gauge, here’s an exclusive look at the cover for The Ride by artist Andrew Robinson, and you can find a page from the book after the jump. Free Comic Book Day is May 5.
Legal | The trial resumed today, if only briefly, in Tunis for the president of a Tunisian television network accused of “insulting sacred values” when he aired the adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Tensions were so high in the courtroom that proceedings were postponed until April. The Oct. 7 broadcast resulted in an attempted arson attack on the network’s offices and the arrest of some 50 protesters. Nessma TV President Nebil Karoui, who apologized in October, is charged with “insulting sacred values, offending decent morals and causing public unrest” because of the outrage triggered by a scene in Persepolis showing God, which is prohibited by Islam. [AFP]
Organizations | Stumptown Comics, the organization that puts on the Stumptown Comics Fest every year in Portland, Oregon, has added three new members to its board: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Charles Brownstein, Boilerplate co-author Anina Bennett and editor Shawna Gore. [Stumptown Comics]
Let’s not mince words, the online presence of Tom Brevoort has provided hours of great reading for Robot 6 readers. Given his constant and unflagging willingness to interact with consumers via social media, Brevoort is a quote machine (His Twitter bio? “A man constantly on the verge of saying something stupid–for your entertainment!?”). There’s always a directness (some would say bluntness) to his manner online–making him the ideal subject for an interview. Last year saw Marvel promote Brevoort to senior vice president for publishing. 2011 was a year of some major successes for Marvel, as well as a year where some hard business decisions were made. In this interview, conducted in mid-December via email, I tried to cover a great deal of ground (we even briefly discuss DC’s New 52 success)–and Brevoort did not hold back on any of his answers. For that, I am extremely grateful. Like any high profile comics executive, Brevoort has his fans and his critics (and many in between), but I like to think this exchange offers some perspectives everyone can enjoy.
Tim O’Shea: Whether it’s in your job description or not, fan outreach via social media is definitely part of your job–clearly by your own choice. What benefit or enjoyment do you get from interacting with the fans/consumers?
Tom Brevoort: I’m not sure that I get a particular benefit, except maybe just being the center of attention for a few minutes—maybe everything I do is motivated by ego! I’m a whore for the spotlight! But I started doing this kind of outreach back in the formative days of internet fandom, largely because I like the idea of internet fandom. I know that, if the internet had existed when I was a young comic book reader, I’d have been on those message boards and in those chat rooms all the time, obsessively—just like a certain portion of the audience today. So I like the idea of giving back, of being accessible enough that anybody who has a question or a concern knows where to find me, or at least to find somebody with an insider’s track who might have the background and knowledge to speak to their point. In a very real way, it’s all an outgrowth of what Stan Lee did in his letters pages and Bullpen pages. Joe Q, I think, was really the first person to perfect that approach for the internet age. As EIC he was incredibly available to the audience in a myriad of ways. It’s a philosophy that’s very much woven into our DNA at Marvel. And for the most part, our fans are interesting, vibrant, cool people, especially when you meet them in person.
Libraries | The Center for Cartoon Studies has found a new home for the Schulz Library, whose previous location was damaged in a flood in August: the old post office in downtown White River Junction, Vermont. The school was able to purchase the building with the help of Bayle Drubel, a real estate developer and founding CCS board member who bought the post office in 2004. Renovations are set to begin this winter to create room for instruction space, faculty offices and the Schulz Library cartoon collection. [The Center for Cartoon Studies, via The Daily Cartoonist]
Creators | The Atlantic profiles Zippy the Pinhead creator Bill Griffith. [The Atlantic]
Creators | Artist Fabio Moon talks about teaming with Zack Whedon on the new Serenity comic that makes up one-half of one of their Free Comic Book Day offerings. [ComicsAlliance]
DC Comics has unveiled Jim Lee’s T-shirt design for Free Comic Book Day 2012 featuring the current lineup of the Justice League. The image is an homage to a classic Justice League of America illustration by José Luis García-López, which you can see below.
The T-shirts will be available for order in January’s Previews catalog, with proceeds benefiting promotional efforts for FCBD.
Baltazar, Aureliani’s Superman Family Adventures coming next May; Tiny Titans ends with #50 [UPDATED]
Along with the rest of the “Silver” comic books coming on Free Comic Book Day next year, DC Comics announced the DC Nation 2012 Free Comic Book Day Super Sampler, which will feature comics based on their animated series Green Lantern, Young Justice and a new series called Superman Family Adventures. Today on the Source, DC announced the creative team for that book–the Tiny Titans team of Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani are working on the monthly Superman Family Adventures, which kicks off next May.
“I have been sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my tongue about Superman Family Adventures since Thursday, July 21 at approximately 4 p.m., when Art and Franco came to see me at SDCC and showed me the proposal for this series,” said series editor Kristy Quinn. “Whew. Now, at least, you’re all stuck waiting with me—I was getting lonely sitting at my desk with all this cool stuff I couldn’t share!”
Update: Issue #50 of Tiny Titans will be the final issue, as noted in today’s solicitations. Baltazar and Aureliani have been the creative team on Tiny Titans since DC started publishing it in 2008.