Conventions | Coming up this weekend: Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Los Angeles, featuring special guests Todd McFarlane, Neal Adams and Marv Wolfman. Attendance is expected to reach 60,000, which is a pretty big number for such a convention that’s only in its second year. [Hero Complex]
Conventions | James Sime, owner of Isotope Comics and one of the organizers of MorrisonCon, talks about, well, Isotope Comics and MorrisonCon, and what it was like translating the world of writer Grant Morrison into a comics event: “The *promise* of MorrisonCon is this crazy, life-altering weekend where you’re plugged directly into this swirling world of brilliant ideas, offbeat interests, mad obsessions, and personalities who fire Grant’s creativity. We had to make that promise real, to translate as many improbable concepts and even random off the cuff Morrison riffs as possible into the tangible world. To render all that into nightclubs and hotel rooms and meeting space chairs and places for awesome humans to meet and mingle. We all agreed, it just wasn’t worth doing unless we could live up to that promise, to truly make something worthy of the name MorrisonCon… and go far beyond it.” [Three If By Space]
Digital | Comics by ComiXology has topped Apple’s charts as the top-grossing iPad application for the last six Wednesdays. ComiXology cited the launch of DC’s New 52 initiative, as well as many other comic companies moving to a same-day digital release schedule, as reasons for its success. “When have comic books, not comic book movies, not comic book merchandise, but the actual comic books been #1 in anything, much less high tech?” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “Being the number one grossing iPad application six Wednesdays in a row isn’t just a huge milestone for comiXology, but a huge milestone for comics as a medium … and we could not be prouder.” [press release]
Creators | An auction for the naming rights to a character in Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ The Secret Service raised $5,100 for St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, where Millar attended. The money will be used to pay for field trips for the school’s students. “I’m a former pupil at St. Bartholomew’s and have so many great memories of the place,” Millar said. “I know there’s not a lot of money in local government at the moment and I was sad to hear that the annual school trip for the children had been cancelled. By establishing this fund, I hope to have a pot the head-teacher can dip into every Christmas and take the entire school to a pantomime every year.” [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser]
Legal | Prosecutors in Macomb County, Michigan, rested their case Friday in the second trial of Michael George, a former retailer and convention organizer accused of the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara in the back room of their Clinton Township comic store. The judge this morning will hear a defense motion for a directed verdict, seeking dismissal due to lack of evidence, before testimony resumes.
George, now 51, was arrested in August 2007, after a detective reopened the cold case, and convicted seven months later of first-degree murder and insurance fraud, among other counts, and sentenced to life in prison. However, the judge later set aside the verdict, citing prosecutorial misconduct — George’s mug shot was shown to the jury — and the release of new evidence that could lead the jury to believe another person was responsible for the murder. His retrial began Sept. 14, and should conclude this week. Prosecutors contend that George staged the killing to look like a robbery so he could collect money from an insurance policy and a shared estate, and start over with another woman. George insists he was asleep at the time of the shooting, and that his wife was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. [Daily Tribune]
Publishing | Chip Mosher, marketing and sales director for BOOM! Studios, left the publisher on Friday after four years. Marketing coordinator Emily McGuiness will take over his duties. [BOOM! Studios]
Comics retailer Isotope Comics in San Francisco is once again hosting their annual mini-comics award competition, and — AHHHH!!! — entries are due Monday by midnight!
“It’s my favorite time of year, when we get an opportunity to help spotlight a creator who is toiling in the underground making something magical that almost no one has seen yet… seriously, what could be more exciting?!” said Isotope retailer James Sime, “I consider the winner to be the comic industry’s Miss America for the year, it’s the Isotope’s job to get their work out there to the comics press and reviewers. And I’m proud to say that winning this award has helped some amazingly talented folks get noticed and published by some of the best and coolest comic publishers in our industry. So don’t be shy… I know that many of you out there are hand-crafting some mini-comics brilliance, let us help share your work with the world!”
Past winners of the award include Joshua W. Cotter, Max Riffner, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Danica Novgorodoff, among many others. To enter this competition, simply send five copies of your mini-comic to Isotope’s address (326 Fell St. San Francisco, CA 94102) before the Sept. 26 deadline.
As I mentioned last month, Isotope Comics recruited several comic creators to document San Francisco’s Noise Pop music/arts festival. The team of “Sequential Reporters,” which included Justin Hall, Jamaica Dyer, Greg Hinkle and several more, drew their experiences as they attended concerts, hung out back stage and met the various bands who performed. As you can see from Hall’s entry (above), some of the stories may or may not be completely true.
You can see them all over on the Noise Pop website.
Noise Pop, a music, culture and arts festival that’s kinda like Austin’s South by Southwest, kicked off in San Francisco this week, and this weekend many comic book folks will join in on the fun. And at the center of it all is Isotope Comics, as owner James Sime is serving as “Comics Curator” for the event.
So what have they got planned?
- The Eisner-Award nominated duo of Matt Silady (The Homeless Channel) and Justin Hall (Glamazonia), both of whom teach at the California College of the Arts, will host a workshop on Saturday on comics creation.
- Courtney Crumrin & The Night Things creator Ted Naifeh will host Courtney Crumin Live, “presented in traditional olde tyme radio play fashion,” on Sunday.
- 30 Days of Night, Choker and Fell co-creator Ben Templesmith and DJ Samsupa will present a “cutting edge live-art demo,” which will be available to watch via webcast.
- All this week they’ll have “sequential reporters” reporting form the show, including both Silady and Hall, as well as Jamaica Dyer, Greg Hinkle and many more.
- Vinyl Dreams: a gallery of comic art on record sleeves. Sleeves to draw on are available at Isotope through Feb. 25.
Comic-Con | Badges for Comic-Con International sold out Saturday during a marathon online-registration session that taxed the servers of convention sales partner TicketLeap and frustrated ticket buyers. Four-day passes were gone by about 2 p.m. PT; the event sold out by 6 p.m. (Additional passes may become available as cancellations are processed.) As we noted earlier, San Francisco comics retailer Isotope is memorializing Saturday’s experience with a “San Diego Comic Con 2011 Registration Disaster Commemorative Fail Frog button,” featuring a modified version of the TicketLeap logo that frustrated users saw every time they refreshed their web browser.
On the TicketLeap company blog, CEO Chris Stanchak acknowledged that “our platform experienced capacity issues for a 4 hour period” on Saturday: “While we knew the event was going to put significant demand on our system, we did not expect the traffic we received. [...] The traffic we received yesterday was several orders of magnitude higher than our high end estimate. Due to the heavy strain on the system, users for all events across our system received ‘Over Capacity’ errors. This prevented ticket buyers from buying tickets and it prevented event organizers from managing their events.” Tom Spurgeon offers commentary. [Comic-Con International]
Legal | The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The statute, which was struck down in February 2009 by a federal appeals court, is opposed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, among other organizations. [CNET]
Awards | The Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards will move next year from Toronto Comicon to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The seventh annual awards will be presented on June 18, 2011. [Joe Shuster Awards]
Conventions | Exhibitor tables have gone on sale for MoCCA Festival 2011, set for April 9-10 at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. [MoCCA Festival]
Conventions | The student newspaper at California State University Long Beach reports on last weekend’s Long Beach Comic Con. [Daily 49er]
Retailing | Peter Hartlaub profiles James Sime, owner of Isotope comic book lounge in San Francisco: “Nobody made a comic store for women. They just didn’t exist. I think women love comics just as much as men do, maybe even more. And there’s so many great comics out there for everybody that I had to try. Isn’t San Francisco the city that’s all about just trying new things?” [San Francisco Chronicle]
Mini-comickers, ready your pens — San Francisco’s Isotope comics store is once again opening submissions for its annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics.
Entries will be accepted until Oct. 1, with the winner receiving not only the shiny post-modern piece of metal as seen on our right, but also the full support of comics retailer, musician and PR maven James Sime.
Previous winners include Joshua W. Cotter (Skyscrapers of the Midwest), Danica Novgorodoff (Slow Storm, Refresh Refresh) and Will Dinski (Fingerprints). Winners have gone on to be published by independent comic publishers like AiT-PlanetLar, AdHouse Books and Top Shelf Productions, as well as major book publishing houses like First Second Books.
Full details, and a healthy press release, can be found after the break:
Isotope has an excerpt of “Alone, Together,” an original Walking Dead prose short story by Robert Kirkman from the upcoming zombie-fiction anthology The Living Dead 2. Due out on Sept. 14 from Night Shade Books, the collection also features contributions from the likes of Max Brooks, Bob Fingerman, Kelly Link, Jonathan Maberry, Cherie Priest and David Wellington.