"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Nearly two months after Amazon announced the purchase of comiXology, the first title from the retail giant’s Jet City Comics imprint has debuted on the digital comics platform.
Wool: The Graphic Novel, an adaptation of the bestselling sci-fi novel by Hugh Howey, will be serialized in six biweekly issues beginning today on comiXology for $2.99 each. The full run is also available for $4.99 on Amazon.com as a Kindle Serial, with new issues arriving on the same schedule; comiXology will offer a $4.99 bundle once all six installments have been released.
A dark, dystopian story set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Wool was published in 2011 by Howey as a novelette through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing system. As it attracted a following, he wrote more installments, which became the bestselling Silo Series. The graphic novel is written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and illustrated by Jimmy Broxton; a print edition will be released in August.
Amazon launched its Jet City imprint in July 2013, intending to serialize its titles for the Kindle, and then offer bundled digital editions and print collections. Naturally with the acquisition of comiXology in April, the distribution channels expanded.
Following its move into fan-fiction publishing with Kindle Worlds, Amazon entered the comic-book arena with Jet City Comics, an imprint that launches today with the debut of Symposium, a new digital series by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko set in the “Foreworld” universe created by Neal Stephenson and others.
That will be followed in October by adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and Hugh Howey’s dystopian novel Wool, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and illustrated Jimmy Broxton, Jet City will serialize its comics for the Kindle, and then offer bundled digital editions and print collections.
In addition to those launch titles, the imprint will re-release The Hedge Knight, by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the world of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, in print and digital formats in November and its sequel The Sword Sword in early 2014.“My fans have been clamoring for the return of Dunk & Egg ever since the graphic novels of The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword went out of print several years ago,” Martin said in a statement, “so I am delighted to announce that Jet City Comics is bringing them back — newly formatted for digital readers, and in paper for those who still prefer the traditional formats. And Jet City will be bringing you something new as well: the graphic novel ‘Meathouse Man,’ adapted from one of my strangest, darkest, and most twisted short stories by the amazingly talented Raya Golden. I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Jet City’s takeoff. May they fly high.”
We get links a lot of Kickstarter projects, but very rarely do I see one that seems quite as magical as Goldtiger, by Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton. Well, I say Adams and Broxton, but there is another conceptual level to this project. The book is presented as if a high-end archival edition of a legendary lost newspaper strip by a pair of fictional creators, Antonio Barreti and Louis Shaeffer, with the story of their descent into dysfunction and madness affecting the contents of the strip accompanying it.
It’s a post-modern conceit that allows Adams and Broxton to both produce a fun homage to their favorite vintage newspaper adventure strips, and wryly comment on the psychological damage producing comics has all-too-often wreaked upon the writers and artists of the form. Most of all, though, it’s some great-looking comics: Broxton has provided us with some exclusive examples from the work in progress, and they’re all gorgeous.
To add a further level of intrigue to this story, “Jimmy Broxton” is also a fictional character of sorts, a persona created by the veteran inker James Hodgkins as he entered a new phase as his career as an illustrator rather than a finisher. Broxton dazzled me with his work on DC’s Knight and Squire miniseries: as fine a storyteller as he is a stylist, and producing multiple memorable character designs to boot. Guy Adams is a comparative newcomer to comics, but an author of a multitude of both novels and non-fiction. Their partnership was midwifed by Liam Sharp, who hired them both to work together for his digital comics publisher Madefire. Obviously, creative sparks flew. When I spoke to them both recently about Goldtiger, I realized they’ve became quite the double act …
Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are no strangers to creator-owned work — or using Kickstarter to get their projects off the ground. The longtime Jonah Hex scribes are once again turning to the crowd-funding site to raise funds to publish a unique split-book graphic novel called Sex and Violence. Planned as the first volume in a series, the 64-page adult graphic novel has each writer penning his own story about “crime, lust and redemption.”
In the first story “Pornland, Oregon,” Gray partners with artist Jimmy Broxton to follow a grieving grandfather who turns Portland’s Internet-porn community upside down looking for answers and revenge. The second story, by Palmiotti and longtime collaborator Juan SantaCruz, is titled “Girl in a Storm” and follows a New York City cop who becomes an unlikely voyeur when a lesbian couple moves into her neighborhood.
Happy Veterans Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and other things we’ve been perusing of late. Today our special guest is Brady Sullivan, the writer of Death Springs, a free weekly webcomic with artist JC Grande (Image’s Johnny Monster). He also has several print projects currently out or hitting the shelves soon, including the recently released action/satire Revolution Aisle 9.
To see what Brady and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Legal | Marvel has sued a Jerusalem retailer for $25,000, claiming the well-known Kippa Man store is infringing on its trademarks by selling unlicensed yarmulkes bearing Spider-Man’s likeness. “A reasonable consumer could be fooled into thinking that the infringing product is manufactured and/or sold by the plaintiff with the knowledge and/or approval of the defendant,” Marvel said in its complaint. Kippa Man owner Avi Binyamin notes the yarmulkes are manufactured in China, and that he only sells them. “There are 20 stores on this street, they all sell the same thing,” he told The Jerusalem Post, theorizing that he’s being targeted because his store is well known. The Times of Israel characterized the lawsuit as “the first move by Marvel against what it perceives as widespread copyright infringement in Israel, where products featuring its copyrighted superheros are commonly sold.” [The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel]
Internet | Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman joined with Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, OK Go and 14 other members of the creative community in signing an open letter to Congress against the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. “We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services – artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result,” the letter states.
Warren Ellis and Fantagraphics have also come out against the bill, while Peter David, who is against the bill in its current form, takes aim at those who “endorsed the piracy, supported the piracy, enabled the piracy, felt their own actions weren’t piracy, and now refuse to accept the consequences of their own actions.” ComicsAlliance has posted an editorial against the bill and rounded up webcomic reactions to the blackout. [NeilGaiman.com]
Ashes, one of the highest-profile and most successful comics projects to emerge from Kickstarter, hit a stumbling block over the weekend with the announcement by writer Alex de Campi that she and collaborator Jimmy Broxton “have had an irreconcileable split over creative differences,” leading her to ask the artist to leave the graphic novel.
On his Facebook page, Broxton (aka James Hodgkins) was more blunt, writing, “Jimmy Broxton has been fired, and his services are no longer required on the Ashes Kickstarter graphic novel project. I’m incredibly sorry that this has happened, and feel strongly that a lot of people who have shown tremendous support (to say nothing of actually giving money to pre order the book) are being let down. I acted in good faith, you all acted in good faith, this is a mess, make no mistake.”
That of course raises the question of what happens when a crowd-funded comic — Ashes exceeded its goal with pledges of $32,455 — loses one of its creators. De Campi was quick to address that, writing in an update to backers that she would refund money to those who donated because of Broxton’s involvement, or to anyone who has been soured by their split.
“Likewise, once I find a new artist, if his or her work is not a style you like, you may also contact me and be immediately refunded for your pledge,” she continued. “Folks, I am so committed to making this book. I am so sorry for this drama, and I hope you will find it in your heart to bear with me for a little longer while I straighten this out. Please be aware that the money you have pledged is still YOUR money (none of it was ever going to me anyway, it was all for art and print/reward fulfilment) and I will be respectful of your wishes as to where it will go.”
In a later update, de Campi also addressed specific questions about the amount of completed art for the project (“only what you see here on the Kickstarter”), whether Broxton will be compensated for his work (“Absolutely”), and the search for his replacement (“I haven’t even begun to look”).
A sequel to de Campi’s 2005 IDW series Smoke, Ashes is described as “a bullet ride through the brain of a dystopian Britain into the dark heart of the American psyche,” with soldier Rupert Cain and journalist Katie Shah reuniting five years after they brought down a government and seeking to escape punishment.
In 2005, writer Alex de Campi burst into the comics world with the IDW series Smoke. Illustrated by then-recent New X-Men artist Igor Kordey, it burst through the sea of work that year to earn an Eisner nomination — no small feat for such a new entry into comics. Since then she’s done a handful of OEL manga and BD comics but has largely fallen off the grid in favor of directing music videos. But now she’s coming back, and she’s coming back with a sequel to the book that made her name in the industry.
de Campi is working with artist Jimmy Broxton on Ashes, a graphic novel sequel to Smoke that she’s aiming to fund via Kickstarter. Described by the author as “a bullet ride through the brain of dystopian Britain into the dark heart of the American psyche,” it follows Smoke leads Rupert Cain and Katie Shah as the retribution for bringing down a government comes calling.
And they’re offering not only the typical incentives that come with a Kickstarter campaign, but also have listed the European trade rights, North American trade rights and film rights for it as incentives as well. “You can buy the trade rights and the film rights, right there on Kickstarter. Why not? The few book-to-film agents for comics that I’ve come across really have not added any value to the process. I’ve had agents at two of the major agencies as well as having worked with independents and nobody really did anything. Publishing and filmmaking will only continue to decentralise from their legacy past as groups of elite insiders based in NY and LA who required an agent to gain you access.,” de Campi told Bleeding Cool.
Aiming for a goal of $27,000, de Campi and Broxton have raised over $3,000 in just one day into the drive with just under two months to go. Notable backers at this point including comics creators Kieron Gillen and Dean Haspiel as well as editors Janelle Asselin and Tim Beedle. If you see something you like, add your name to the list.