INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Fandom | Feb. 11 is Flash Appreciation Day, a holiday drawn from the 2006 Justice League Unlimited animated series “Flash and Substance.” Last year, fans petitioned the White House (unsuccessfully), asking President Obama to pay tribute to the Scarlet Speedster. This year, however, they’re marking the occasion with special content spread across nine blogs, and a call for donations to The Hero Initiative. Jim McLauchlin, the organization’s president, participated in an interview and also rounded up creators Mark Waid, George Pérez, Walt Simonson, Dennis O’Niel and Jim Valentino to discuss their favorite versions of The Flash. [Nothing But Comics]
“Watchmen” artist and co-collaborator Dave Gibbons is auctioning off his “Whaat?” piece of diptych artwork – a parody of a Roy Lichenstein piece – on June 25 as part of an Ewbank’s auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Hero Initiative.
Part of 2013’s “Image Duplicator” exhibit curated by Rian Hughes at Orbital Comics in London, “Whaat?” came in response to a Lichenstein exhibit of “appropriated” comic art at the Tate Modern gallery in London. The Lichenstein exhibit gained a lot of controversy for using other artists’ work without giving them fair compensation or credit.
Comics | The Greenville County (South Carolina) Library has removed two copies of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Neonomicon from its shelves after a mother filed an official challenge to the collection’s sexual content. Carrie Gaske said that although her 14-year-old daughter found the horror book in the adult section, she thought “it looked like a children’s comic,” and would be fine for her to check out. Daughter Jennifer soon discovered Neonomicon wasn’t the “murder mystery comic book” her mother believed it to be. “It was good at first,” she said. “Then it got nasty.” How “nasty”? “The more into I got the more shocked I was, I really had no idea this type of material was allowed at a public library,” Carrie Gaske said. “I feel that has the same content of Hustler or Playboy or things like that. Maybe even worse.”
The library allows children age 13 and older to check out books from the adult section with their parents’ permission. The library system’s two copies of Neonomicon have been removed from circulation while a committee reviews the content. [WSPA.com]
Passings | The Comics Journal collects tributes to Maurice Sendak, the legendary children’s book author and illustrator who passed away Tuesday at age 83. Philip Nel, director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature, also writes an obituary for the influential creator of Where the Wild Things Are. [TCJ.com]
Publishing | In an interview with the retail news and analysis site ICv2, IDW Publishing President and CEO Ted Adams says that while digital sales are at 10 percent of print sales, both are going up: “There’s just no question at this point that selling comics digitally is definitively not impacting [print] comic book sales. If anything you could make the argument that the success of digital is driving more print comic book sales. The correlation at this point is that increased digital has resulted in increased print. Whether or not that is a direct correlation, I don’t know how you would figure that out. I can say with no uncertainty that our increased digital revenue has come at a time when we’ve had increased comic book sales.” [ICv2]
If you work in the industry for as number of years, you’re bound to gather a number of unique artifacts from your time spent. People have been delighted in recent weeks with Tom Brevoort’s “The Marvel Age of Comics” Tumblr showcasing the editor’s collection of original art and assorted oddities, and now The Hero Initiative is partnering with a Florida gallery to show off one-of-a-kind printer’s proofs for covers collected by renowned editor Julius Schwartz during his 42-year tenure at DC Comics.
Titled “Proof of Heroes,” the exhibit at Bear & Bird Boutique + Gallery will feature nearly 300 comic book cover printer’s proofs from 1964 to 1974. These printer’s proofs were sent to Schwartz for final approval before going to press, and features artwork from such comics legends as Nick Cardy, Neal Adams, Mike Kaluta and Carmine Infantino. The exhibit is set to run from Jan. 20 to March 3 at Bear & Bird’s Lauderhill, Florida, location, just above the comic store Tate’s. On Jan. 21, DC icons Paul Levitz, George Perez and Alex Saviuk will be on hand from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a signing, followed by a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The printer’s proofs will be available for just $100 each (certificate of authenticity included). All proceeds benefit The Hero Initiative.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Life with Archie is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Richie Rich Gems Winter Special - In addition to their modern-look Richie Rich, Ape has also re-introducied the classic version in both new and reprinted adventures. I missed the solicit for Richie Rich Gems #44 last month (which picked up where the Harvey series left off in 1982), but the series continues with not only the Winter Special, but #45 as well.
Dragons vs Dinosaurs - I haven’t had great luck with Arcana’s books in the past, but c’mon. The title alone…
Hero Happy Hour: On the Rocks - This, on the other hand, is no risk at all. I’m a big fan of Dan Taylor and Chris Fason’s superhero bar stories and this is an all-new, 80-page adventure. Not reprints; not even a printed version of the webcomic. It’s all-new and I need it.
The Dare Detectives: The Snow Pea Plot Collected Edition – Archaia prepares for their publishing Ben Caldwell’s Dare Detectives: The Kula Kola Caper by re-publishing the first story that was originally put out by Dark Horse.
The San Diego Comic-Con kicks off with a preview night on July 20, then runs July 21-24. If you are a comics creator or publisher, and you’re planning to bring something new to the con — a sketchbook, a print, a graphic novel debut, anything! — then we want to hear from you. Drop me an email (before Wednesday!) and let me know if you’ll have something cool on hand that attendees should know about. Feel free to send any artwork as well.
In addition to the portfolio of DC relaunch covers I mentioned this past week, Graphitti Designs will also sell a variant cover edition of Flashpoint #1 at their booth during the show.
If you read Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham’s work on Fables, you know the real star of the show isn’t Bigby or Boy Blue or even Flycatcher — it’s the little winged monkey Bufkin. Buckingham captures his majesty in the above print, which has a very small print run for a very small hero.
Only 25 were created, and five of them will be given away to the winners of the Hero Initiative‘s “Meet Willingham and Bucky on the yacht” auctions. Five fans will get to chat with the duo about Fables, get the print and ask one question that the creators will answer with “no hokum, no equivocation, no bush-beating and no balderdash.”
Another five will be given away at the Fables panel at the San Diego Comic-Con to the folks who ask the five best questions. How the remaining 15 will be distributed has yet to be determined, according to the Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin.
Legal | The Second Circuit Court of Appeals backed the 2010 decision by a federal judge to dismiss a comic writer’s claims that Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Columbia Pictures and parent company Sony Picture stole his idea for a hairdresser-turned-hero and transformed it into the movie You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Robert Cabell filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit in February 2009 accusing the moviemakers of ripping off his comic The Hair-Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde, about a Navy SEAL-turned-hairdresser who fights crime armed with a blow dryer. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Creators | The Hero Initiative reports that comics creator Josh Medors, who has a rare form of cancer, has been released from the hospital after being treated for a lung infection. [Hero Initiative]
Creators | Dave McKean discusses his most recent work, the erotic graphic novel Celluloid. [Suicide Girls]
The Hero Initiative announced yesterday that in order to help artist Josh Medors continue fighting a rare form of cancer in his spinal column, they and Marvel have created a limited edition print featuring Medors’ recreation of the cover to Amazing Spider-Man #33. The print will be available at Medors’ hometown comic store, Packrat Comics (both online and at the physical location in Hilliard, Ohio) on Free Comic Book Day.
You can click the link above for more details, but The Hero Initiative’s Jim McLauchlin also sent us a couple of behind-the-scenes scans depicting stages in the poster’s creation.
As part of my day, I’m lucky enough to see a metric ton of comic art (I weighed it!), so it takes something special to wow me — but from time to time I come across something new and unexpected.
Take artist Nick Bradshaw.
The piece that grabbed me was this great piece of original art he donated for the Hero Initiative’s 100 New Avengers project (at right). This isn’t the first time I’ve seen his name — but it’s the first time I’ve seen it like this.
Bradshaw came onto the comic scene back in 2004 when he illustrated a miniseries based on the cult movie Army of Darkness. After that he was hand-chosen by J. Scott Campbell to illustrate new tales in Campbell’s signature series Danger GIrl – and with good reason! Much like Campbell burst onto the scene showing shades of Art Adams inspiration, Bradshaw’s line work shown a real appreciation for Campbell’s line.
After that he fell off my radar, but this new piece really threw me for a loop — in a good way. Looking it up, Bradshaw just did the lead story in last month’s Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 — a comic I just asked comic shop to put on hold for me.
Jim McLaughlin at The Hero Initiative let us know about a unique new addition to the nonprofit organization’s upcoming “100 New Avengers” project: a custom New Avengers bottle, graced with a bevy of original art from the talented hands of some of comics’ biggest talent. The bottle, seen at right, will debut next week at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo — along with all 100 of the New Avengers covers created for the project.
At current count there are six artists’ contributions on the bottle, with more planned by the time of its official premiere. Admission into the debut event at C2E2 not only gets you in the event — duh! — but also a free raffle ticket for a chance to win the bottle.
Head over to The Hero Intiative’s blog for more information and to see more shots of the bottle.
If Greg Pelkofski have anything to say about it, he’ll be making comics for years to come. Hoping to get some advice on how to do that, the 21-year-old fan and aspiring comics editor paid $536.51 to have lunch with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada as a part of one of the Hero Initiative’s fund-raising efforts.
“Almost immediately, Joe began asking me questions about myself and I was able to explain my desire to be a comic book editor,” he wrote. “With an attentive ear, he patiently listened to me speak of my college studies and my experience as an intern at AARP. He explained how tough it is to actually break into comics, especially in today’s job market, but he also told of how rewarding the work is. We discussed editorial work in comics and what a typical day at Marvel is like, and I found myself wanting to work there now more than ever.”
Head over to the organization’s blog for a guest post by Pelkofski about the experience.
If you’re attending Long Beach Comic Con next weekend, here’s a fine way to support a good cause while getting to hang out with some industry notables: Tickets are available on eBay for a meet and greet with writer Jimmy Palmiotti, artists Tim Bradstreet, Amanda Connor and Dave Johnson, and actor Thomas Jane from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Gladstone’s Restaurant.
Your $65 benefits The Hero Initiative, and gains you access to the private party — only 20 people can attend — with the five, who will be available for conversation and autographs (tickets include appetizers and two drinks). Sales close on Friday. Ticket buyers should bring a photo ID to the Hero Initiative booth at Long Beach Comic Con at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 29, where they will be escorted to Gladstone’s.
100 Bullets/First Wave scribe and “long-suffering” Cubs fan Brian Azzarello has teamed up with the Hero Initiative to take three fans out to the ball game. Azzarello has season tickets to the Chicago Cubs, who play the New York Mets on Sept. 3.
“Misery loves company, and I’m happy to share this experience with three lucky fans,” said Azzarello. “The Hero Initiative is an important cause, and I’d like to thank the great Chicago comic retailers for making this all happen. Take it from me, the beginning of September is the perfect time to begin waiting for next year. Go Cubs!”
For two bucks, you can buy a raffle ticket at several Chicago comic shops for the chance to win, including Challengers Comics, Chicago Comics, Comix Revolution and Graham Crackers Comics. Tickets will also be available at Hero Initiative’s booth at Wizard World Chicago at the Rosemount Convention Center, Aug. 19-22.