INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
Conventions | The producers of Salt Lake Comic Con are expanding westward, and taking their FanXperience spinoff event to Asia. Organizers have announced a partnership with Pop Life Entertainment, the parent company of Funko, to hold FanX events this year in the Philippines (June 10-12), China (Sept. 14-17) and Thailand (Dec. 11). Salt Lake co-founder Bryan Brandenburg said Pop Life has an agreement with a Hollywood talent agency to bring “A level” guests to the Asian shows as well as to Salt Lake Comic Con. [The Salt Lake Tribune]
Comics | Issue 3800 of the British comic The Beano hit newsstands last week, making it officially, according to Guinness World Records, the longest-running weekly comic. Artist David Sutherland, who has been drawing the Bash Street Kids since 1961, unveiled the official plaque at Beano headquarters. [Down the Tubes]
Auctions | A copy of Suspense Comics #3, published in 1944, sold for $173,275 at auction last month, setting a new record for a non-superhero comic. The high price was probably due to the cover, by Alex Schomburg, which features a woman tied up and apparently about to be sacrificed by Nazis and the KKK, a crossover that would attract potential buyers from several groups of enthusiasts (this issue was described in an earlier auction as a ““Nazi/Bondage/Horror/War hybrid”). Plus it’s rare — the lurid cover may have suppressed sales when it was first published — and in good condition. [Observer]
“No Fear” used to be one of the most recognizable apparel brands, but a new venture between IDW Publishing and Fright-Rags bringing imagery from Ben Templesmith and Steve Niles’ “30 Days of Night” to a host of T-shirts may have some folks adopting a slightly modified motto: “No, fear.”
Earlier this week we learned that IDW Publishing has obtained the rights to publish comics based on the popular time-travel movie trilogy Back to the Future. Screenwriter Bob Gale, along with John Barber, Erik Burnham and a “rotating cast of artists,” will bring the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown to the printed page.
While the announcement on Wednesday mentioned “Batman ’66” artist Brent Schoonover and “Ghostbusters” penciller Dan Schoening are working on the project, it looks like that rotating cast of artists included Secret Identities artist Ilias Kyriazis at one point.
The last time IDW Publishing’s Ghostbusters comic was involved in a crossover, it was a very weird pairing with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For the new event, the Ghostbusters are teamed with a more natural, but perhaps weirder franchise: another version of the Ghostbusters.
Specifically, The Real Ghostbusters, the 1986-1991 animated series that spun out of the 1984 film and spawned a popular toy line two comic book titles. The oddly applied adjective “Real” came about to further distinguish these Ghostbusters from those that starred in a 1986 Filmation cartoon based on a mostly forgotten 1975 Ghost Busters TV series.
That’s why this series is called Ghostbusters: Get Real. Get it? (Now that I think of it, maybe the weirdest of all possible Ghostbusters crossovers would be one involving those from the ’84 film with those from the ’75 TV show.)
IDW Publishing has expanded its partnership with Marvel to include Artist’s Editions and Micro Collectors Fun Packs for the classic Star Wars comics.
Launched in 2010, the Artist’s Edition hardcover line presents complete stories scanned from the original art and printed at full size. IDW previously teamed with Marvel to produce Artist’s Editions for Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor, John Romita’s The Amazing Spider-Man, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.
The famously miserly Scrooge McDuck always refused to buy his own newspaper, preferring instead to find one discarded on a park bench. It’s therefore awfully difficult to imagine the World’s Richest Duck parting with $3.99 for a comic book. Why, that’s almost 40 whole dimes!
Naturally, Uncle Scrooge isn’t the target audience for the debut series from IDW Publishing’s new line of Disney comics, but he is the star. Absent from new-comics racks since BOOM! Studios lost the license four years ago, floppy comics starring the original Disney cartoon characters are now making their return. This month brings us Uncle Scrooge #1 (which is also being parenthetically numbered as #405, keeping the original numbering), and each of the next three months will add another title: First Donald Duck, then Mickey Mouse and ultimately Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories.
It’s appropriate that they start with Scrooge, as he’s the rare Disney character who got his start in the comics and later transitioned to animated stardom, rather than vice versa. And, of course, Scrooge has been a fixture of American comics, the longtime subject of his creator, master cartoonist and storyteller Carl Barks.
Crime | A comic-shop robbery went awry when the suspect set down her weapon — a hammer — so she could pick up a comic. A woman walked into Conspiracy Comics in Burlington, Ontario, around 8 p.m. Friday and purchased a comic. When the clerk opened the cash register, the customer allegedly pulled out a hammer and said “Empty the till.” When she set down the hammer to pick up the comic, however, another employee grabbed it, gave her the change, and told her to get out. Police checked the hammer for fingerprints and arrested Mary Margaret Ross on charges of robbery. “It was something that was unexpected and shocking,” said store clerk Anton Litvanyi, who wasn’t in the store at the time of the robbery. “At the same time, it is something that is comical … It’s not something that any retailer expects, but especially in a comics store.” [Hamilton Spectator]
CTM Media Holdings, which owns a majority interest in IDW Publishing, has changed its name to IDW Media Holdings, and placed IDW co-founder and CEO Ted Adams at its helm. The move paves the way for IDW to become listed on a stock exchange.
Telecommunications company IDT Corporation bought a controlling stake in the publisher in 2007, and then two years later created the spinoff CTM Media Holdings to house IDW Publishing, travel-based web portal Ettractions, and brochure and digital advertising distributor CTM Media Group.
A series of tabletop games based on the acclaimed clone drama Orphan Black is on its way from IDW Games, beginning in July.
The first issue of IDW Publishing’s Orphan Black comic sold nearly a half million copies — buoyed by multiple variants, including a LootCrate-exclusive — making it the top title in the direct market in February.
IDW Publishing will release a hardcover collection of American Barbarian, Tom Scioli’s Jack Kirby-inspired post-apocalyptic adventure.
Debuting in 2010, the webcomic chronicles the saga of Meric, who sets off across New Earthea to seek revenge against Two-Tank Omen, a half-tank/half-mummy creature who murdered his family. Along the way, the young barbarian — the last American — faces all sorts of threats, ranging from the risen dead to mutant motorcycle gangs to robotic dinosaurs.
Humble Bundle has rolled out the second Transformers bundle, with up to $155 worth of IDW Publishing’s comics starring the robots in disguise.
There’s a bit of a catch, however: The offer runs for just one week, ending Wednesday, March 11, at 11 a.m. PT.
No, it’s not a dream. That’s actually set of four hardcover volumes of Marvel’s Rom: Spaceknight. Unfortunately, however, your chances of getting one remain slim.
Despite a cult following, it’s been nearly 30 years since any Rom: Spaceknight has been published. The issue comes down to licensing, and Marvel’s agreement with Parker Brothers (now a Hasbro subsidiary) expired 1986. Certain elements created for the toy-inspired comic, originated by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, remain with Marvel, but the name and signature armor are off-limits — to both new work and reprints.
IDW Publishing will collect Bravo for Adventure, a rarely seen story legendary artist Alex Toth, as part of its Library of American Comics.
Out of print for three decades, the original 48-page story about “knock-about pilot and reluctant swashbuckler” Jesse Bravo was created for a French publisher, but a planned graphic novel was never released. It was later serialized in Warren Publishing’s comics magazine The Rook before reappearing again, with additional Jesse Bravo short stories, at a couple of other publishers. Toth never completed his full story.
IDW Publishing has announced it will relocate in June to the former Navy barracks within San Diego’s historic NTC at Liberty Station, where it will open a comics art gallery.
Located within the publisher’s new offices, the San Diego Comic Art Gallery will serve as a permanent home to showcase sequential and animation art, with retail space and working artists. Harry L. Katz, former head curator in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, has been named as the gallery’s curator.