Comic-Con Trailers: The Best of the Best, Ranked
Passings | Longtime Mark Trail artist Jack Elrod Jr. died Wednesday at age 91. Mark Trail was created in 1946 by Ed Dodd, who brought on Elrod four years later as a background artist. When Dodd retired in 1978, Elrod took over the comic strip, and earned many awards from environmental organizations. He also made a significant change due to reader feedback, removing the title character’s pipe after a 6-year-old fan wrote to him saying, “It is bad for his health, pollutes the air, and it is dangerous to the birds.” Elrod retired in 2014, handing over Mark Trail to current artist and writer James Allen. [Gainesville Times]
Every Wednesday evening for the past few months, I’d visit my local comic shop, scan the little piles of Secret Wars tie-ins stacked on the counter and flip through many of the more appealing-looking ones before ultimately setting them down, knowing I’ll get to them eventually, when they’re collected. Due to the price of almost all of Marvel’s comics, I’ve given up on reading them as they’re released, and instead wait to read them in trade.
Now I have read a handful of Secret Wars comics that I found at my friend’s apartment — the first issues of A-Force, The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Secret Wars Journal, X-Men ’92 – so I understand the general premise of the tie-ins, if not what’s going on in the main book. The downside of reading trades instead of single issues is that you’re always one event series behind everyone else. (How about that Axis, huh?)
I mention my own buying habits here only because this week I encountered a Secret Wars tie-in that looked so good, and looked even better the more I flipped through it, that I simply couldn’t resist buying it, despite its fairly substantial $4.99 price: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1, a one-shot anthology featuring five romantic stories set in various corners of the “patchwork world” of Secret Wars. And the fact that I did break down and buy it is kind of a review in and of itself.
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Marvel has announced a line-up of merchandise for Comic-Con International that includes a Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. T-shirt, a Rocket Raccoon mug and, perhaps most adorably of all, Skottie Young’s Avengers movie poster (part of the Phase 1 Marvel Cinematic Universe Blu-Ray Collector’s Set) and glass tumbler.
The limited-edition pieces will be available at the Marvel booth (#2329) at the San Diego Convention Center. See the list, with images, below:
The Kickstarter campaign for Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar Aw Yeah Comics! received widespread and immediate attention, rocketing the series past its $15,000 goal on the very first day. However, a drive for another terrific-looking all-ages project by established creators kicked off last week without that level of publicity.
Gumshoes 4 Hire brings together Sean “Cheeks” Galloway, Kevin Hopps, Gurihiru and DJ Welch for a comic about a group of friends that investigates seemingly petty crimes only to discover the real cause of the troubles in the town of The Cliffs may be the fabled Curse of the Wendigoes.
On the Dark Horse blog, editor Dave Marshall shares the cover process for Avatar: The Last Airbender — The Promise Part 1, from writer Gene Luen Yang’s rough ideas to art duo Gurihiru’s cover sketches to Avatar co-creator Bryan Konietzko’s notes to the final product.
The 80-page graphic novel, the first in a series of digests continuing the adventures of Aang and his friends, arrives Jan. 25.
Gene Luen Yang, creator of American Born Chinese and The Eternal Smile and writer of Level Up, announced on his blog Tuesday that he is undertaking a new project: He will be writing the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel, The Promise. Yang is working closely with Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of the original cartoon series, on the book, and the artwork is being handled by the Japanese duo Gurihiru, who illustrated some of the earlier Airbender comics and have done work for Marvel as well.
As Yang points out in his blog, this is not quite his first Avatar comic: When the movie came out last year, he drew a webcomic protesting the casting of Caucasians in roles that were clearly derived from Asian traditions. This book is based on the television series, not the movie, though, and Yang says he hasn’t seen the movie and doesn’t want to see it: “the only A:TLA universe I want inside my head as I’m writing these comics is the animated one. The real one.”
Oh, and don’t get too excited about an Avatar-Monkey King crossover—that’s just a bit of fan art that Gene drew to celebrate the occasion.