EXCLUSIVE: "Hercules" Returns in New Marvel Series by Abnett & Ross
Passings | Archie Comics artist Tom Moore died yesterday at the age of 86. Moore got his start as an artist in the Navy, where he served during the Korean War: His captain found a caricature that Moore had drawn, and instead of calling him on the carpet, he assigned him to be staff cartoonist. Moore’s comic strip, Chick Call, ran in military publications, and after the war he studied cartooning in New York, with help from the GI Bill. Moore signed on with Archie Comics, drawing one comic book a month, from 1953 until 1961, when he left cartooning for public relations. “It’s important to create characters that can adapt to anything, but whose personalities are consistent,” Moore said in a 2008 interview. “Establish that, and don’t deviate. Betty doesn’t act like Veronica, and Charlie Brown doesn’t act like Lucy.” He returned to cartooning in 1970, drawing Snuffy Smith, Underdog, and Mighty Mouse, and then went back to Archie to help reboot Jughead, staying on until his retirement in the late 1980s. After retiring, Moore taught at El Paso Community College and was a regular customer at All Star Comics. [El Paso Times]
Publishing | DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio talk about the comics market as a whole, variant covers, and their move to Burbank, among many other topics, in a three-part interview. [ICv2]
Commentary | Christopher Butcher discusses the way the comics audience has diversified, and the way that parts of the industry (the parts that aren’t involved, basically) have refused to acknowledge the enormous popularity of newer categories of comics by “othering” them: “‘Manga aren’t comics,’ went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on (with the exception of Dirk Deppey at TCJ, bless him): This shit just isn’t comics, real comics, therefore we don’t have to engage it.” Butcher sees these attitudes changing at last, though, thanks to the massive commercial and critical success of books like Raina Telgemeier’s Smile (three years on the New York Times graphic novel best-seller list!) and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer. [Comics212]
Writer Matt Fraction appeared last night on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he offered sex advice from Just the Tips, the book he co-authored with his Sex Criminals collaborator Chip Zdarsky, and discussed the inspiration behind his run on Marvel’s Hawkeye.
“The book was really about what Hawkeye does when he goes home to do his laundry,” Fraction explained. “It’s like Hawkeye on his day off. To me he’s the human heart and soul of the Avengers, so it was fun to do a book like that about somebody who compulsively can’t stop helping people, even when he’s a human crap-sack tire fire of a human being. That’s on the back of the action figure: ‘human crap-sack.'”
Superheroes sprang from the era of pulp icons like The Phantom and Doc Savage, and now cartoonist Chris Schweizer has some of today’s most popular costumed characters back to their roots.
In a project undertaken just for fun, the creator of The Crogan Adventures imagined some of the Avengers and X-Men as they might’ve appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in a series called “Marvel Pulp.”
When you’re on a team alongside the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Incredible Hulk, it’s easy to be overshadowed, or even dismissed outright (Cookie Monster got in on that action just this week). But Hawkeye wants us to know he’s just as super as the rest of the Avengers.
Appearing last night on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a costumed Jeremy Renner sat down at the piano to belt out a heartfelt, and hilarious, ode to Hawkeye’s many lesser-known superpowers (to the tune of Ed Sheerhan’s “Thinking Out Loud”).
By and large, people outside Japan can’t fully understand how big Mobile Suit Gundam is. In some ways, it’s a cultural equivalent to American superheroes — and now one artist has melded the two.
Aburaya Tonbi created renditions of Marvel’s Avengers (including Spider-Man) in the style of Mobile Suit Gundam, albeit in a chibi style. Robot versions of Avengers have been made before — even ones loosely inspired by Gundam — but Campbell’s renditions hit at authenticity, while also being cute.
On the heels of Black Widow, Hot Toys has unveiled its Avengers: Age of Ultron 1/6th-scale Hawkeye collectible figure.
Based on actor Jeremy Renner’s likeness — would you expect anything less? — the 30-centimeter figures boasts a newly developed head sculpt, new costume, improved articulation and newly designed bow and arrows.
Fans of Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja & Co. at long last can get that figure they’ve been longing for: Pizza Dog. OK, sure, Hawkguy’s included, but … Pizza Dog!
Apparently, this Marvel Select Avenging Hawkeye figuring has been cropping up in Disney Stores, but now it’s available for order online from the Marvel Shop. Fully poseable, the 7-inch figure features “his classic black costume,” a bow, six arrows, a gun, interchangeable left hand, and two interchangeable heads (one with sunglasses, the other with a bandaged nose, of course).
After revealing the first series in its new line of Avengers: Age of Ultron Cosbaby bobbleheads last week, Hot Toys is back to tease the next two waves, which, yes, include Black Widow and Hawkeye.
There’s still no sign of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, however.
Man, it must be super rough to follow a creative team like Matt Fraction and David Aja. When they, along with Ed Brubaker, left Immortal Iron Fist, the vacuum of talent was really felt. Nothing against Duane Swierczynski, but it just wasn’t the same, despite Travel Foreman’s awesome art.
Aja and Fraction made their mark on Hawkeye too, as “Hawkguy” became a classic hit and a place to set a first foot into the Marvel Universe. Hawkeye being a simple character to follow (guy who shoots arrows does heroic deeds), they brought him back down to a simple storyline and singular purpose; it’s easier to relate to a guy just trying to keep his apartment building safe as opposed to unraveling the great Hickman mysteries over in Avengers. He has his faults, his close friends seem to be more human next to him (Tony Stark helping him set up his VCR is one of my favorite dialogues in the series), the women in his life seem to have a reason to be attracted to or letting go of him; this seems like someone we know.
Writer Matt Fraction is no stranger to mixing a little bit of social activism into his comics work. But this weekend, the Hawkeye and Sex Criminals scribe is drawing attention to a charity not because of art he made but because of art he detests: Fifty Shades of Grey.
The international best-selling romance novel and its just opened film adaptation could charitably be described as having a complicated relationship with sexual violence. Or as Fraction put it on his blog, “So there’s a movie out this weekend based on books that romanticize, fetishize, glamorize and normalize abusive relationships…And while sex is great and finding someone into all the stuff you’re into is great, sex is not consent to violence, a relationship is not permission to abuse, and there are thousands of women and children who have to deal with that fundamental and erroneous misconstruing of truth and wild misinterpretation of love every day.”
In response to the fact that the film’s earning millions made him feel “a little sick to think about,” Fraction is planning on matching donations to the Futures Without Violence charity generated by the sale of Hawkeye merchandise on WeLoveFine.com between now and Monday. The proceeds of past t-shirt and messenger bag sales exceeded $2,000 for the charity that works to end violence against women. But if you didn’t get a chance to buy a “Hawkguy” product then (or are just grossed out by the Fifty Shades phenomenon), now is your chance to make your contribution count for double.
The GLAAD Media Awards are traditionally a fairly mainstream affair, with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation recognizing outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in works that reach a wide audience. Although in the past, the organization has honored the likes of Fun Home, Luba and Strangers in Paradise, the outstanding comic book category is typically heavy on superhero titles released by Marvel and DC Comics.
However, with the announcement this morning of the nominees for the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards comes a couple of big surprises: Just one superhero series is singled out, and, for the first time since the comic book category debuted in 2003, there are no titles published by DC or its imprints.
Hawkeye merch has been available at the WeLoveFine online store for quite some time — but did you know proceeds were going to an anti-violence charity? Kelly Sue DeConnick announced via Twitter that the Hawkeye-themed merch had raised $2,068.39, which has been donated to Futures Without Violence, which seeks to end violence against women and children worldwide.
Black Widow and Hawkeye made their Disney Parks debut over the weekend, appearing at Disneyland for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the were joined at the event by Thor, Captain America and a contingent of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
If you missed them, you may be out of luck, as Disney’s Shawn Slater there are no plans for Black Widow and Hawkeye to visit Disneyland on a regular basis. However, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man maintain a presence at Innovations in Tomorrowland (interestingly, ROBOT 6’s J.K. Parkin noted that Iron Man was nowhere to be seen at the Half Marathon).
Creators | Cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? landing on the 2014 longlist for 2014 National Book Award. It’s the first time a graphic novel has been nominated in that category, and Chast is the only woman on this year’s list. When The Wall Street Journal noted that, between this nomination and Alison Bechdel’s MacArthur “genius grant,” “it’s a good day to be a female cartoonist,” Chast replied, “I totally agree. Actually my first thought was just it’s good for cartoons, for the graphic form.” [Speakeasy]
Creators | Alex de Campi talks about her pioneering digital comic Valentine, widely regarded as the first long-form comic to make extensive use of digital techniques. She doesn’t think the medium has come too far since then: “We’re all still in the shallow end, congratulating each other for getting our feet wet. There’s been no significant innovation since us. The DC and Marvel stuff is still based on half-page increments so it can go to print. The Madefire stuff I have seen (not a lot, maybe it’s gotten better) is just embarrassing motion comics. It pisses me off because there is so much more to be done. And I want to do it. But it would take an investor, or a very daring multi-media entertainment company. And big entertainment companies are many things, but daring is not one of them.” [Digital Spy]
Hawkeye #19 featured the Marvel hero during his period of hearing loss, which writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja used as an opportunity to tell a story through American Sign Language. The issue’s title page included the dedication “For Leah,” and as it turns out, “Leah” is 17-year-old Utah resident Leah Coleman, KSL.com reports.
Her mother Rachel Coleman worked with Fraction on the issue. The two met through a concert held by Rachel Coleman’s Signing Time television series in 2012, when Fraction related how much he loved ASL due to its visual nature. He later contacted her for assistance in bringing ASL to Hawkeye #19.