"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Legal | A 16-year-old in Nantes, France, was arrested last week for posting a cartoon on Facebook that mocks the Charlie Hebdo killings; the charge is “advocating terrorism.” The cartoon shows someone holding a copy of Charlie Hebdo and being struck by bullets. Electronic Intifada posts what is most likely the offending cartoon (it had been shared widely on social media), a takeoff on one of the more notorious Charlie Hebdo covers, accompanied by the text, “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.” The original cover featured a cartoon of an Egyptian protestor holding the Koran, with text that read, “The Quran is shit, it doesn’t stop bullets.” [France 3]
Publishing | Sales were down in 2014 for Diamond Book Distributors, even though the industry overall had an up year. The reason: DBD lost a key client, Dark Horse, to Random House. Nonetheless, Vice President Kuo-Yu Liang sees good things in store for 2015, including strong sales of indie graphic novels, expanding international sales, and the much-anticipated March: Book Two, which was released this week. [Publishers Weekly]
Courtesy of Neil Gaiman, we’re treated to an all-too-brief preview, with the covers, of P. Craig Russell’s adaptation of The Graveyard Book, the author’s award-winning 2008 children’s novel.
Russell, a longtime Gaiman collaborator, is joined on the two-volume graphic novel by an impressive roster of artists, each illustrating one chapter: Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson and Stephen B. Scott on the first book, and David Lafuente, Hampton, Nowlan and Showman on the second.
The first volume will be released on July 29, followed by the second on Sept. 30.
Legal | A dancer seriously injured last month during a performance of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark insists the accident was caused by malfunctioning equipment and not, as the show’s producers contend, by human error. Daniel Curry made the claim in documents filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court that seek to prevent the production from altering or destroying the computerized stage lift before his experts can inspect the equipment in preparation for a potential civil lawsuit. He’s also requesting maintenance records and any internal reports about the accident. The 23-year-old Curry was injured during the Aug. 15 performance of Spider-Man when his leg was pinned in an automated trap door. According to court papers, he suffered fractured legs and a fractured foot, and has had to undergo surgeries and unspecified amputations. [New York Daily News, The New York Times]
Retailer Things From Another World has again partnered with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for the charity’s auction at Comic-Con International. For the fifth annual event, creators ranging from Jill Thompson and Jonathan Case to Roger Langridge and Charlie Adlard have donated artwork in an effort to raise more than $100,000 for the CBLDF.
Some five dozen artists are participating; you can see some of the artwork below and on the TFAW website. You can bid July 20 during the CBLDF Auction at Comic-Con.
A heated Twitter conversation that began Wednesday with Jimmy Palmiotti saying it was “a crime” Amanda Conner didn’t receive an Eisner Award nomination for her work on Silk Spectre took an unexpected turn when Landry Walker pointed to a blog post by Eisner judge Frank Santoro in which he lists all the creators who contributed to Before Watchmen and says, “I refuse to buy or read anything by these folks.”
“HOLY SHIT… how could he be a judge then??” Palmiotti replied.
The easy answer is that if everyone who expressed an opinion was eliminated from consideration, there would be no one left to be an Eisner judge. However, Josh Flanagan of iFanboy went straight to Santoro for a response:
CM Punk might have had a rough Sunday taking on the Undertaker and his unbeaten streak at Wrestlemania, but his week seems to be getting better: The WWE has released a new shirt for the former WWE champion designed by Beasts of Burden artist Jill Thompson.
Thompson is no stranger to the wrestling world, having designed gear for Daniel Bryan and having teamed with Mick Foley for a couple of wrestling-themed kids’ books. And Punk,a comics fan, recently penned the intro to the Avengers vs. X-Men hardcover. Now where’s that Marvel book they once talked about?
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Our special guests today are Brendan Tobin and Pedro Delgado, who run the March MODOK Madness site. And with this being March, the madness is in full swing, so head over there to check out a lot of fun art featuring everyone’s favorite big-headed villain.
To see what Brendan, Pedro and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Epic artist P. Craig Russell has become well known for his collaborations with author Neil Gaiman over the past couple of decades, and in recent years he’s adapted several of the author’s short stories and prose novels into comics form. But now for his next hat trick, he’s enlisted a Magnificent
Seven Nine-esque group of artists to illustrate individual chapters for his adaptation of Gaiman’s celebrated 2008 children’s fantasy novel The Graveyard Book, announced in June.
As Russell told Comic Book Resources in a weekend interview, he’s writing the script and doing the layouts for the 352-page book, with a murderer’s row of artists coming in behind him to illustrate it. Joining Russell is Michael Golden, David LaFuente, Jill Thompson, Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris, Galen Showman and Scott Hampton. Russell said Hampton’s contribution will be about 100 pages, and that Nowlan is drawing the first story.
The dogs and cat of Burden Hill return to duty next year in a new miniseries by creators Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. Unofficially announced during a panel at last week’s New York Comic Con, Dorkin gave a few details on it on his blog.
“Although we didn’t make a formal announcement, during the Dark Horse Comics horror panel we mentioned that Jill Thompson and I are working on a second Beasts of Burden mini-series,” Dorkin said on his blog. “It’ll be four issues, two of which I’ve written (one of which I co-wrote with Sarah). When we’re finally done with it all the second series will cap a second hardcover collection, along with the Hellboy crossover and the Neighborhood Watch stories from Dark Horse Presents. As far as a schedule for the new series, I guess ‘sometime in 2013′ is about all I can cough up. Anyway, at least it’s underway, finally, and I’m glad we can start talking about it. Although I guess that’s all there is to say right now.”
The Eisner-winning comic from Dark Horse stars a group of dogs and cats that investigates supernatural events in their town. Beasts of Burden began as a recurring feature in the Dark Horse Book of… anthologies before graduating into its own miniseries. All of those stories can be found in Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites collection. More recently they appeared in Dark Horse Presents, with those stories being collected into the one-shot Neighborhood Watch.
If you didn’t have the massive ticket price for MorrisonCon last weekend, perhaps this is more your speed: the fifth annual Dundee Comics Day at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Much of the day’s event sounds like a redux of the program for Morrison’s high-end Sin City shindig, sans the pop magick angle:
The Dundee Comics day once again welcomes a stellar line-up of top industry talent, this time to celebrate the comics of award-winning Scottish writer Grant Morrison (MBE). Grant will be discussing his approach to writing comics, his thoughts about superheroes, as expressed in his recent book Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero, and his experience of working with some of the best comics artists in the industry.
This exploration of the comics of Grant Morrison is timely given his recent award of an MBE, but also because the University of Dundee is currently leading the way in the emerging field of Comics Studies with modules on comics at Undergraduate and postgraduate level, including the UK’s first MLitt in Comics Studies in the School of Humanities, launched in September 2011. DJCAD has also launched very successful modules on creating comics. The University of Dundee is therefore delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate the huge success of one of Scotland’s most influential and successful authors. The Comics Day talks are designed to appeal to everyone with an interest in comics, and will be accompanied by an exhibition of comic art work.
A raft of Morrison’s past collaborators will be joining him in Dundee, including Cameron Stewart (Seaguy, The Guardian), Frazer Irving (Klarion The Witch Boy, Batman), Frank Quitely (Flex Mentallo, New X-Men, WE3, All Star Superman, Batman & Robin, Multiversity), Rian Hughes (Dare) and Jill Thompson (The Invisibles). Two days prior, the college’s cinema is hosting a showing of Talking to Gods, the seldom-screened documentary on Morrison’s life and career.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, the third issue of Batman Inc. would be a must for me this week [after Chris turned in his picks, DC announced that the issue will be delayed until next month], especially since it features the return of Matches Malone, a character I wasn’t even aware I missed until now. I might also spring for the first issue of Axe Cop: President of the World, a new limited series featuring the hatchet-swinging lawman.
I read very little manga by Moyoco Anno, but what I have read has impressed me and what I’ve read about her has made me want to seek more of her work out. So with $30, I’d almost certainly nab Sakuran, Vol. 1, about a high-priced courtesan/geisha looking to escape her gilded cage.
If I really, really wanted to splurge, I’d plunk $125 down for the second printing of the Wally Wood EC Stories Artist Edition from IDW, of which I’ve only heard wonderful things. If my splurging had to be a little budget-friendly, and I was in a more academic mood, I’d at least flip through Cerebus: The Barbarian Messiah, a collection of critical essays on Dave Sim’s controversial opus.
Building on the licensing agreement they already have with The Tranformers and G.I. Joe, it’s no surprise to learn that IDW Publishing will publish comics based on Hasbro’s My Little Pony toy line.
“My Little Pony is a highly successful brand and we’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to extend the franchise through this collaboration with Hasbro,” IDW CEO and Publisher Ted Adams said in a press release. “We look forward to providing new stories for the fans and launching their favorite ponies into comic book form.”
“A MASSIVE kudos to Katie, as she suggested me for the art chores on the book,” Price said on his DeviantArt page. “We have great goodies planned, and for both of us this is a labor of love, as we are both Bronies
The series starts in November and will “stay true to its moral foundation, while providing themes and subject matter that older audiences can also appreciate,” according to the release. The series will feature covers by Jill Thompson, Stephanie Buscema and more.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics.
Wait a minute … “monthly”?
It’s true that we haven’t taken a What Looks Good tour in a few months, but the feature is back with an all-new approach that we hope will be more varied and useful than the old format. Instead of Michael and Graeme just commenting on everything that catches our attention in the catalog, we’ve invited Chrises Mautner and Arrant to join us in each picking the five new comics we’re most looking forward to. What we’ll end up with is a Top 20 (or so; there may be some overlap) of the best new comics coming out each month.
As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
1) Love and Rockets New Stories #5 by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics) — How do you possibly top the triumphant storytelling feat that was “The Love Bunglers”? I dunno, but Jaime Hernandez is certainly going to give it the old college try, this time shifting the focus onto the vivacious “Frogmouth” character. Gilbert, meanwhile, brings back some of his classic Palomar characters, so yeah, this is pretty much a “must own” for me.
2) Skippy Vol. 1: Complete Dailies 1925-1927 by Percy Crosby (IDW) — Percy Crosby’s Skippy might well be the great forgotten comic strip of the 20th century. Extremely popular in its day, and a huge influence on such luminaries as Charles Schulz, the strip has largely been forgotten and the name conjures up little more than images of peanut butter. IDW’s effort to reacquaint folks with this strip might change that — the few snippets I’ve read suggest this is real lost gem.
3) The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Books) — Tom Kaczynski’s small-press publishing company drops its first major, “big book” release with this memoir from the always-excellent Gabrielle Bell. Collecting work from her series Lucky (and, I think, some of her recent minis), the book chronicles a turbulent five year period as she travels around the world. Should be great.
4) Godzilla: The Half Century War by James Stokoe (IDW) — I usually stay as far away from licensed books as possible, but there is one simple reason I’m including this comic in my top five: James Stokoe. Stokoe’s Orc Stain has quickly become one of my favorite serialized comics, and his obsession with detailing every inch of the page combined with his ability to incorporate significant manga storytelling tropes in his work convince me he can do a solid job chronicling the adventures of the big green lizard that spits radioactive fire.
5) Barbara by Osamu Tezuka (Digital Manga) — Speaking of manga, here’s one of the more noteworthy Kickstarter projects of recent years: Digital Manga’s attempt to bring the master’s saga of a famous author and the homeless, beautiful woman he takes in and assumes to be his literal muse. This is well regarded in many Tezuka fan circles as one of the cartoonist’s better adult stories, and I’m glad to see Digital willing to take a chance on bringing more Tezuka to the West. I’ll definitely be buying this. I should also note that Vertical will also be offering some Tezuka this month, namely a new edition of Adolph (originally published by Viz in the ’90s), here titled Message to Adolph but well worth checking out regardless of the title.
If for some reason you’ve not already read Beasts of Burden, the Eisner-winning Dark Horse series by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson about a group of dogs and cats that investigates supernatural events, maybe this will pique your interest: Paris publisher Delcourt has released a nice trailer for the French edition of Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, in which the Wise Dog Society must contend with demonic cannibal frogs, tortured spirits, a secret rat society and a resurrection in the Burden Hill cemetery.
“I’m usually not a big fan of the animated comic book trailer thing, but I have to admit I was kind of knocked out to see this, and not just because it’s something I worked on,” Dorkin writes. “It looks pretty swell, someone really spent time on this and Jill’s art looks great, of course. It’s like an animatic for an animated film, with music and titles, it’s very professional and it honestly freaked me out when I first saw it because I figured it was going to be a french person thumbing through a printed copy of the book. Which it isn’t.”
Archie Comics have been more topical than ever lately, but when we heard that the Occupy movement was coming to Riverdale in an upcoming issue, we just had to get the details. Here’s writer Alex Segura on how they got the idea and where this comic is going.
Robot 6: OK, first of all—why? Whose idea was this, and why does it seem like a logical story for the Archie crowd?
Alex Segura: It came up while I was sitting and talking to our Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. We had just finished an interview to discuss the wedding of Kevin Keller and the reporter—I believe it was the AP’s Matt Moore—said “What’s next, Occupy Riverdale?” We all kind of chuckled at the idea, but once we got off the phone we stopped and thought “Why not?” Jon’s vision of Riverdale has always been of a modern city that reflects what’s going on around the world. So, once we decided we wanted to do it, I threw my hat in the ring and wrote up a proposal.
I really wanted it to be about Occupy but also not to stray too far from what an Archie comic should be, which is light-hearted, entertaining and, most importantly, funny. It wasn’t easy, but I think we got it. I looked back at a lot of the classic Archie stories from the 60s and early 70s that showed the gang dealing with current topics in an honest, but still “Archie” way. Not to mention our current, topical output, like Kevin Keller.