Conventions | Coast City Comicon returns this weekend to Portland, Maine, and Batman artist Chris Burnham, who will be a guest, drums up excitement by explaining the nuances of Batman’s nostrils to the local newspaper. Other guests include Mike Norton, Yanick Paquette, Rachel Deering, Ben Templesmith, Alex de Campi, JK Woodard and Lee Weeks. [Portland Press-Herald]
Publishing | Jamal Igle and Kelly Dale have been named marketing co-directors of Action Lab Entertainment, with Igle handling public relations and promotions and Dale coordinating retailer outreach. [ICv2.com]
Creators | Brian Heater interviews Paul Pope for the latest RIYL podcast. [BoingBoing]
Creators | Ed Piskor talks about his love of hip-hop and his latest graphic novel, Hip Hop Family Tree. [TribLive]
Jamal Igle’s 2012 Kickstarter campaign for Molly Danger, “the story of the world’s most powerful girl,” was a crowd-funding success story, surpassing its $45,000 goal by a little more than $5,000. He learned a lot from the effort, and shared that knowledge with other creators. However, there was something the veteran artist didn’t count on: the drastic rise of the United States Postal Service’s international shipping rates.
“I didn’t see this coming, and it’s really perplexing me as to how to handle this,” Igle wrote in an email to his Kickstarter backers. “As some of you may be aware, postage rates for international shipping have doubled in the last year. When i launched the campaign for Molly Danger over a year ago, I calculated my costs based on the old rates. Now I find myself in a quandary on shipping to the United Kingdom and Australia being far more expensive. At the moment, since I would like to give you your books and other incentives as promised. One would slow the roll out of delivery, since i would be making up the difference out of pocket. The other is asking those backers to send additional funds, but I don’t want to have a Sullivan’s Sluggers situation where people think I’m pulling a bait and switch.”
Digital comics | It took three years for comiXology to reach 100 million downloads, but just one year for it to reach 200 million. Matthew Flamm profiles the company and its CEO, David Steinberger, who first saw a business opportunity in comics when he was trying to sell his collection and couldn’t find software to catalog it. The next big moment for comiXology is likely to come in October, when the fourth season of The Walking Dead premieres on television the same week the 10th-anniversary issue of the comic is released. Image Comics projects it will sell 300,000 print copies and another 45,000, or about 15 percent, as digital. [Crains New York]
Creators | Writer Mark Waid admits he didn’t think he’d be a good fit for Daredevil, because he doesn’t write in the darker style favored by his predecessors. “I’m better at swashbuckling adventure,” he says. “When I was asked to take that tack, I was in.” [Comic Riffs]
Hello everyone, Happy Memorial Day weekend to America, and welcome one and all to What Are You Reading? This week we are joined by special guests Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, the creative team behind Halloween Eve and the upcoming Rocket Girl. I spoke to them earlier this month about Rocket Girl, which surpassed its Kickstarter goal but you still have some time to get in on the action and rewards.
To see what Brandon, Amy and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Legal | Former comics retailer Michael George has lost his appeal for a new trial. He was convicted twice for the 1990 murder of his wife, first in 2008 and then in a 2011 retrial. George is serving life in prison without parole. [The Macomb Daily]
Creators | John Sutter profiles Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, whose hands were broken by government troops in an (unsuccessful) attempt to keep him from ever drawing again. [CNN]
Creators | Michael Diana, the first artist in the United States to be convicted of obscenity (for his comic Boiled Angel), returns to Miami after more than 20 years for a show of his work at the Miami Art Museum — which paid his remaining fines so he could enter the state without risk of arrest. [Miami New Times]
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.