New Super-Man Kenan Kong's Secret Origin Arrives In "Batman/Superman" #32
Legal | Ecuadorean cartoonist Xavier Bonilla has received a court summons on unspecified charges that seem to relate to a cartoon that President Rafael Correa finds offensive. The case was brought by Ecuador’s new media regulator; Correa has stepped up attacks on the press in recent years, and the newspaper that runs Bonilla’s cartoons, El Universo, has been prosecuted in the past. [Business Standard]
Censorship | Michael Dooley looks at successful and unsuccessful attempts to remove comics from schools and libraries over the past 13 years; this short roundup is informative in its own right, and it’s apparently a sidebar to a longer article that’s not available for free. [Print Magazine]
Manga | Roland Kelts looks at the international popularity of One Piece, whose sales number 300 million volumes in Japan and 45 million in the rest of the world. The piece includes an interview with creator Eiichiro Oda — he says he writes what he imagines his 15-year-old self would like to read — as well as editors from Viz Media, the American publisher of One Piece, who discuss the reasons for its popularity overseas as well as the global impact of manga piracy on these manga pirates. [The Japan Times]
Conventions | Which shows are money-makers for creators, and how much do they make? The answers, broken out into a handy infographic, may surprise you. [The Devastator]
Life With Archie #16 is breaking new ground, at least for Archie: The latest issue of the grown-up soap opera based on adult versions of the familiar Riverdale gang will feature the wedding of Kevin Keller, Archie’s first openly gay character, to Clay Walker, his former physical therapist. Johanna Draper Carlson has a preview at Comics Worth Reading.
When I interviewed Life With Archie writer Paul Kupperberg last year, he pointed out that this issue also includes another significant first for Archie Comics: A realistic combat scene (well, about as realistic as any war comic) in which Kevin is injured. Since LWA has two parallel story lines, one in which Archie marries Veronica and the other in which he marries Betty, the story is split across two comics, but it is consistent in both of them: Kevin is injured in combat, returns to the States, and must learn to walk again—and face the humbling fact that he can’t do it alone. Enter Clay, who literally gets him back on his feet. It’s not Hemingway by a long shot, but it’s a nice read, and Kupperberg has plenty more twists up his sleeve for future issues.
Kevin J. Anderson‘s latest novel, Enemies & Allies, will be released tomorrow by William Morrow/HarperCollins. The prose novel is set in the 1950s and tells of the first meeting between Batman and Superman. As detailed by the publisher: “As America and the Soviet Union race to build their nuclear stockpiles, two extraordinary heroes must form an uneasy alliance. These studies in opposites—shadow and light—must overcome their distrust of each other to battle evil and injustice.” The publisher’s website offers consumers a chance to watch a brief video interview with Anderson, as well as a chance to browse inside the book. As detailed by the publisher: “Kevin J. Anderson is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Dune prequels (coauthored with Brian Herbert), and has carved an indisputable niche with science fiction epics, including his own successful Saga of Seven Suns series and The Last Days of Krypton.” In addition to discussing this new novel in this email interview, I also found out about his upcoming epic nautical fantasy series (part novel/part musical CD), Terra Incognita. My thanks to Anderson for his time.
Tim O’Shea: How much did you try to draw from the real world politics of the 1950s in writing Enemies and Allies?
Kevin J. Anderson: I wanted to capture a vivid setting for the novel, to make the backdrop of the 1950s an integral part to the story. I did add certain real-word political events into the story, but I was more concerned with setting the stage than giving a history lesson. After all, we didn’t really have a Superman and a Batman in our version of the world, so the newspaper headlines would have to be different.