That sound you hear is the collective gasp of millions of J.K. Rowling fans as Scholastic unveiled the new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by none other than Kazu Kibuishi, the acclaimed creator of Copper, Daisy Kutter and Amulet.
The cover is the first of seven illustrated by Kibuishi for the U.S. trade paperbacks commemorating the 15th anniversary of the U.S. debut of Rowling’s beloved fantasy series. According to Scholastic, each of the covers will depict a memorable moment from the respective book. The entire collection will be released in September as a boxed set. The American softcover editions have sported Mary GrandPré’s covers since 1998.
Illustrator Mike Mitchell, artist of the Tumblr-baiting Just Like Us series, has a new series on the go, re-skinning the classic strongman pose from the cover of Superman #6 with the wardrobe of other pop-culture icons. And the results are, to say the least, a little bit freaky. More below, and the full set so far can be seen here.
There have been other steampunk Avengers, but with the Hulk in suspenders and a bowler? I’d read a comic just about him.
Anyway, Brian Kesinger is awesome and you should check out his blog and DeviantArt page. He also does steampunk other things, like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Star Wars. But if steampunk’s not your thing, his Hip Hop Boba Fett and Pooh vs. Voldemort are cool, too. I posted bunch of my favorites below.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is due out this week, and the U.K. newspaper The Independent zeroes in on what everyone will be talking about: The Antichrist has arrived, and he sounds an awful lot like Harry Potter:
Though the words “Harry Potter” are never mentioned, the allusions are unmistakable. One section features a magical train hidden between platforms at King’s Cross station which leads to a magical school. The Antichrist character has a hidden scar and a mentor named Riddle. (Lord Voldemort, born Tom Riddle, is Harry Potter’s arch enemy in the Potter series.) Characters resembling both Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger also appear and, at one point, the Potter character kills someone with a lightning bolt from his flaccid penis.
So is Moore lining himself up with the religious fanatics who were burning the Harry Potter books in parking lots a few years ago? Of course not. Reviewer Laura Sneddon, who has actually read the book, says Moore is using the boy wizard to critique modern popular culture:
Neill Cameron is the creator of Mo-Bot High, a British graphic novel that he describes as a “giant robot high school comedy epic,” so it seems natural that he would add giant robots to the Harry Potter stories. Actually, here’s how it came about:
so aaaages ago I made a Funny Joke on twitter, announcing my delight at the news that I’d landed the assignment of producing graphic novel adaptations of all seven Harry Potter novels… but that I would of course be making some changes. This was just an excuse for me to make up lots of silly titles: Harry Potter and the Unusually Large Baby, Harry Potter and the Drunk Jellyfish, that sort of thing. Anyway, comics writer, journalist and tweeter par excellence Chris Sims chimed in with “Harry Potter and The Hell With It, They All Have Giant Robots Now.” And lo, my mind was blown.
Cameron has worked up some nice character sketches of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the others. I burned out on the Harry Potter books on volume 3, but I have to say, I would totally read Cameron’s graphic novel. Think about it, JK!
Lucy Knisley (Stop Paying Attention) has created a series of posters, each abridging one of the Harry Potter books. You can see the first four on her LiveJournal and the first three are available as prints.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s shelves are courtesy of Kenny Mittleider, who shares his extensive toy collection.
If you’d like to submit your shelves, just send some pictures and a write-up to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now let’s hear from Kenny …
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly discussion about the comics we here at Robot 6 have been checking out lately. Today’s special guest is Lauren Davis, who blogs about webcomics at Storming the Tower and io9, and is the editor of the San Francisco comics anthology The Comic Book Guide to the Mission.
To see what Lauren and the Robot 6 gang have been reading lately, click below …
Publishing | February brought a noteworthy, if unwanted, record for the direct market: The lowest-ever top title on record. Green Lantern #62 led Diamond Comic Distributors’ Top 300 with an estimated 71,500 copies, 18,400 less than the previous record holder. Chart watcher John Jackson Miller writes, “For the first time, we probably cannot say that when all reorders and newsstand sales are added, the total will be above 100,000 — although we certainly would expect its eventual readership to go above that mark given reprint editions (to say nothing of digital).”
DC’s $29.99 Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne deluxe hardcover helped to push year-over-year dollars sales up 6.92 percent, offsetting a slight decline in periodicals to and nudging combined sales up .94 percent. “Sales of those ‘long tail’ titles below the Top 300 masked a weakness at the top of the list,” ICv2 notes. “Unit numbers at the top of both the periodical and graphic novel lists were some of the lowest since ICv2 has been tracking comic sales.” [ICv2.com]
Comics | A copy of Detective Comics #27 bought for 10 cents by Robert Irwin in 1939 sold at auction Thursday for $492,937. It’s not a record price for the first appearance of Batman — a CGC-graded 8.0 copy fetched more than $1 million in February — but the $400,000 that the 84-year-old Irwin will make after the commission fee is subtracted will more than pay off the mortgage on his home. [Sacramento Bee]
Digital piracy | The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would grant the Justice Department the right to shut down a website with a court order “if copyright infringement is deemed ‘central to the activity’ of the site — regardless if the website has actually committed a crime.” In short, Wired’s Sam Gustin writes, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act “would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.” [Epicenter, AFP]
Legal | A federal judge has lifted the delay in the ferocious legal battle over the rights to Superman, allowing attorneys for Warner Bros. to proceed with deposition of the families of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright issued the stay last month while he considered an appeal on a procedural ruling, but on Tuesday he modified the order, permitting the studio to “proceed with full discovery of [heirs] Joanne Siegel, Laura Siegel Larson, Jean Peavy and Mark Peavy.” The depositions are expected to begin immediately. [THR, Esq.]
Retailing | Bookstores had their worst month of the year in September as sales slipped 7.7 percent, to $1.51 billion. [Publishers Weekly]
Piracy | Colleen Doran argues that it’s the middle-class artist, not the rich corporations, who are the real victims of digital piracy. [The Hill]
Crime | Houston police have arrested two people believed to be responsible for stealing thousands of dollars worth of comics from stores around the city. Bedrock City Comic Company was hit at least four times. [My Fox Houston]
Mouse Guard creator David Petersen shares two pieces of art he traded to artist Craig Rousseau, featuring Harry Potter‘s Dumbledore and Voldemort fighting. Click on over to his site to see his Voldemort.
The always-entertaining Lucy Knisley imagines what J.K. Rowling might’ve come up with had she been inspired to create Harry Potter some two decades earlier. The result? A Saved by the Bell-style TV series called Hogwarts High, starring John Cusack, Mark Paul Gosselaar and Brooke Shields, and featuring David Bowie as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Who needs Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk when you have Harry Potter?
Amid speculation as to what Disney’s announced $4-billion purchase of Marvel could mean to existing theme-park licenses, Universal Orlando today unveiled details for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a 20-acre addition to its Islands of Adventure.
The rights to the $265-million “theme park within a theme park” were secured from author J.K. Rowling in 2007, but NBC Universal has managed to keep information about the project a secret.