Digital comics | Moulinsart, the company that holds the rights to Herge’s works, has released the complete Tintin comics in digital form. The iOS app is free, and it looks like the comics are $5.99 each, which is pretty reasonable. The catch is that they are all in the original French; it doesn’t appear as if translations are available yet. [Idboox]
Passings | Filipino komiks creator Jesse Santos died April 27 at the age of 83. Santos began his career in 1946 as an artist for the first serialized comic in the Philippines, Halakhak, and moved to the U.S. in the 1960s. He drew the sword-and-sorcery character Dragar the Invincible and took over from Dan Spiegle as artist for The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor. [Komikero Dot Com]
Free Comic Book Day is once again upon us, the day that current and hopefully potential comic fans flock to their local comic shop to sample a buffet of comic choices from publishers large and small. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into this time around, from previews of new or upcoming stuff — like Marble Season and Superman: The Last Son of Krypton #1 to first issues of brand new comics — like The Strangers #1 and Aphrodite IX #1. There are original comics, licensed comics, kids comics, anthologies … basically something for everyone.
Some retailers will offer all-you-can-eat options, while others might have limits on what you can get … so if you have to make a choice, here are six comics we’re particularly looking to sink our teeth into.
The snow is piled high where I am, and May seems like a long time away, but the Free Comic Book Day folks are getting into the spirit by posting some free previews (or “prevues,” as they spell it, since these are Previews prevues). The selection includes Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, a Molly Danger comic by Jamal Igle that will be bundled with a Princeless story by Jeremy Whitley, Atomic Robo, 2000AD, Brian Wood’s Star Wars, and more.
As in previous years, the FCBD website is also running a series of creator interviews. These aren’t particularly deep; all the creators get the same set of softball questions (actual question, I kid you not: “Tell us why everyone should read comic books?”) but some of them, like Fred Van Lente, go beyond “Comics are AWESOME!!!!!” and have a bit of fun with it. Recent interviews worth a glance include Cory Godbey, who is working on an adaptation of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth; Emmanuel Guibert and Mark Boutvant on Ariol; and Robert Venditti on X-O Manowar. It’s all nakedly promotional, but it’s promoting comics after all, and there is some good stuff in there, both in the responses and the art samples.
“I’ve seen more than a few well known comics professionals pitch projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo have their campaigns fail. They either didn’t do any promotion and just expected their “celebrity” to carry them. Others just threw a random concept up and didn’t talk about why they thought it should be made, why they felt it was important. Kickstarter, to me, is almost like a barn raising where the community gets together to help one another. I pledge to a lot of projects because of that as well.”
– Jamal Igle, discussing his Kickstarter-funded comic Molly Danger
Totally agree! I review a lot of Kickstarter pitches for my biweekly Kickstand column on Comic Book Resources, and I have seen plenty of half-baked pitches. Often the idea seems very good, but there is no indication of what the comic looks like or how the creator plans to publish and promote it. When you’re asking people to part with their money, you have to give them a good reason. I also like Igle’s comment about pledging to a lot of projects; I suspect that beyond just being a good citizen, this offers creators the opportunity to see a Kickstarter drive from the consumer side, which would offer valuable perspective.
It’s become an annual tradition here during our birthday bash: No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we’ve done in past years, we asked a cross-section of comics folks what they liked in 2012 and what they’re excited about for 2013. We received so many this year that we’ve broken it down into two posts; watch for another one Tuesday.
But for now, check out all the great stuff people shared with us, including hints at new projects and even some outright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded. Also, thanks to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.
JIMMIE ROBINSON (Bomb Queen, Five Weapons)
What was your favorite comic of 2012?
Image’s Saga, Fatale, Hawkeye‘s reinvention is fresh and exciting, Peter Panzerfaust, Enormous by Tim Daniel. It’s hard to pin down just one because there is SO much good work coming out nowadays — from many publishers across the board.
Travis Clevinger, the lead character in Dan Jolley’s Bloodhound, is a convicted murderer with no superpowers who is released from prison at the request of the FBI so he can track down a serial killer. First published in 2004 by DC Comics, the DC Universe series, which featured art by Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs, received good reviews but never quite found its audience and was never collected. That is, until now.
Bloodhound has found a new home at Dark Horse, which in June will publish issues 1-4 and 6-10 as a collected edition, titled Bloodhound, Vol. 1: Brass Knuckle Psychology, with 198 pages of comics plus an introduction by Kurt Busiek, an afterword by Ivan Cohen, and standalone art by Jamal Igle, Mike Norton, Tim Seeley and others. Where is Issue 5? Read our exclusive interview with Jolley to find out, and to get the backstory on Bloodhound.
Robot 6: Since it’s been a while, can you refresh us about what Bloodhound is about?
Dan Jolley: Bloodhound is about Travis “Clev” Clevenger, a huge, brutal, ex-Atlanta police detective who specializes in tracking down superhuman criminals. Clev had the city’s best record for finding and dealing with superhumans, thanks to a knack for understanding their thought processes. Unfortunately, he had also been having an on-again-off-again affair with his partner Vince’s wife, Trish, for a number of years, and when Vince found out, he attacked Clev with a crowbar. Clev killed Vince and got sentenced to prison.
Less than two weeks after IDW Publishing revealed plans for a new series called The Historians, writer Ron Marz and Jamal Igle have announced they’ve left the project.
Based on an idea by Eric Sellers, a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves whom Marz first met several years ago, The Historians follows a special Air Force squadron who must pursue a rogue member through time. It’s planned for March 2013 release. In a blog post, Marz implied “creative differences” with Sellers led to the abrupt departure.
“This was not my choice, nor the choice of artist Jamal Igle, or publisher IDW,” he wrote. “I’m disappointed the project did not work out as planned. To my knowledge, Jamal has left the project as well. It’s best to describe the situation as one of creative differences, and leave it at that. I hope to work with both Jamal and IDW at some point in the future. I wish the best of luck to The Historians moving forward.”
In a statement to Comic Book Resources, Marz added, “Sometimes projects don’t work out as expected. That’s the case with The Historians, unfortunately. I’m not one to tell stories out of school, but ultimately the team of me and Jamal Igle weren’t the right fit for the project. I do want everyone to know that there are no problems between me, Jamal Igle and IDW. I’m looking forward to working with both Jamal and IDW in the future, hopefully the near future.”
Igle similarly wrote, “I still have a great relationship with Ron and the staff at IDW, and look forward to a healthy future with all parties involved.” On a happier note for the artist’s fans, Igle said the opening in his schedule means he can begin working on the first Molly Danger book next month rather than waiting until spring, shifting release from October 2013 to July 2013.
Seven months after announcing the end of his exclusive contract with DC Comics, fan-favorite artist Jamal Igle is venturing into his own all-ages adventure series he’s hoping to fund through Kickstarter.
Called Molly Danger, the four-volume hardcover story follows “the world’s most powerful 10-year-old girl,” who’s protected the city of Coopersville for the past 20 years, but longs for a real life with a real family. Things change when D.A.R.T. (The Danger Action Response Team), an organization created to assist and monitor Molly, recruits a new pilot named Austin Brigg,s who hopes to impress his stepson, a fan of Molly Danger.
“As the father of a young girl, I’ve found myself disheartened that there isn’t a female superhero character for my daughter to read that hasn’t been turned into a killer, or overtly sexualized,” Igle said in a press release. “A character that isn’t joined at the hip to a male hero or subservient to one.”
Igle, best known for his work on DC’s Supergirl and Firestorm, will kick off the 30-day Kickstarter campaign Aug. 1, with a fund-raising goal of $45,000. Action Lab Entertainment, which publishes Princeless, will handle release and distribution of Molly Danger. Igle’s also created a teaser trailer (below) and production blog.
The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo opened its doors for the 2012 edition at 1:00 in the afternoon on Friday the 13th. I decided to tempt fate, spit in the eye of superstition and join a trio of friends from my local comic shop to make the four-hour trek between Detroit and Chicago, take in the sights to see at C2E2 and return home, all in one day. That’s right: I was silly enough to think a whirlwind visit to Chicago would be a good idea.
We hit the road around eight o’clock and with a pair of stops on the way to coincide with the wonderfully easy traffic all the way into the great state of Illinois, we made it to McCormick place by 11:15 Chicago time. Coming in from the south side of the convention center, we mingled with Chicago White Sox traffic (oddly enough, the Detroit Tigers were in town to play the Sox) and managed to find parking at McCormick after driving through the shipping area of the parking facility.
Sometimes when you interview a creator, you get the distinct impression that person would rather be promoting a new film or a new novel, anything but a comic book. Other times you are fortunate enough to talk to a creator like artist Jamal Igle who relishes his craft, loves comic books and is almost as much a booster of his fellow creators as the typical comic book fan. This Wednesday (December 14) marks the release of The Ray 1, the first installment of the four-issue DC miniseries by Igle with the writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. My thanks to Igle for the email interview. Once you’ve enjoyed this interview, be sure to check out CBR’s late November interview with Palmiotti and Gray, as well as the preview that CBR offered of issue 1.
Tim O’Shea: When the initial 52 DC Books were announced there was a great deal of displeasure voiced about the fact you were not on the list of creators. Two-fold question: How gratifying was it to see your fans support you so vocally on this front. Secondly, without going into details, were you offered a New 52 assignment and passed on it (please feel free to skip the first part and only answer the first part, if you prefer not to delve into it)
Jamal Igle: It was very flattering and humbling at the same time. It was a little difficult for me to respond to all of the inquiries, because I didn’t know, frankly, how to respond. I was still working on Superman at the time, so I hadn’t been assigned anything. It was a really weird, with all of the assignments being announced, not being able to say anything. The offer for The Ray came just as I was finishing up Superman # 713, prepping #714 and getting ready for San Diego.
Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray will team with artist Jamal Igle for The Ray, a four-issue miniseries debuting from DC Comics in December.
The Washington Post reports that this time the “human ray of light” isn’t Stan Silver, the version created by Palmiotti, Gray and Daniel Acuña and featured in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. Instead, he’s Lucien Gates, the fourth incarnation of The Ray since the character’s introduction in 1940 in Quality Comics’ Smash Comics #14.
The second Ray, Ray Terrill, was introduced in 1992 in a six-issue miniseries by Jack C. Harris and Joe Quesada before going on to star in a monthly series by Christopher Priest and Howard Porter. That title ran from 1994 to 1996, ending with Issue 28.
The Ray marks the second DC relaunch title for the prolific duo of Palmiotti and Gray, who last month concluded a 70-issue run on Jonah Hex: They take on the bounty hunter again in All-Star Western, which premieres Sept. 28. Igle most recently drew Supergirl for DC.
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week’s guest is Alex Segura, executive director of publicity and marketing at Archie Comics. But we’ll always know him as the guy who founded The Great Curve, the blog that would one day morph into Robot 6.
To see what Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
Publishing | Veteran writer J.M. DeMatteis has resigned as editor-in-chief of Ardden Entertainment, fledgling publisher of Flash Gordon and partner in the planned revival of Atlas Comics. DeMatteis, who joined Ardden in February 2008, cited creative differences with Co-Publishers Brendan Deneen and Rich Emms. Deneen has assumed the role of editor-in-chief. [J.M. DeMatteis' blog]
Comic strips | Non Sequitur cartoonist Wiley Miller comments on the decision by more than 20 newspapers to replace the Oct. 3 installment of his strip because it mentioned the Prophet Muhammad: “[Editors] didn’t see the satire was on them, of being petrified to run anything related to him. But this whole thing has just gotten so silly over the years. It’s something I can’t lay off. It’s my job as a satirist to point out the stupidity in the world. And the editors fell right in line with proving how stupid it is.” Andrew Alexander, ombudsman for The Washington Post, criticized his newspaper for pulling the strip. [Fox News]