Conventions | Although convention organizers rolled out an altered name — WonderCon Anaheim — and logo when they confirmed two weeks ago that the event will return to Anaheim, California, again next year, they insist they haven’t close the door on San Francisco. “We still want to get back to the Bay Area. [...] We are in touch with [the Moscone Center organizers] fairly regularly and we have an open dialogue,” says David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations. “They haven’t given up on us, either.” The convention was uprooted from the Moscone Center in 2012 first because of remodeling and now because of scheduling conflicts. WonderCon Anaheim will be held April 18-20. [Publishers Weekly]
Digital comics | I spoke with Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and iVerse Media CEO Michael Murphey about the new “all-you-can-eat” digital service, Archie Unlimited. [Good E-Reader]
It doesn’t look like there were as many comic-related announcements on Saturday at WonderCon as there were on Friday, but the second day of the con certainly brought some gems.
• IDW and DC announced that Mark Waid (Daredevil, Insufferable) and Paul Smith (Uncanny X-Men, Leave it to Chance) are teaming up for The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction. “Not many writers have been lucky enough to write The Rocketeer or The Spirit,” Waid said in a press release, “so I feel like I’ve won the lottery. This is one of the most exciting-and scariest-assignments I’ve ever undertaken. Luckily, I’ve got Paul Smith to make me look good!” The first issue of the miniseries arrives in July.
The New York Comic Con officially kicked off this afternoon, with fans eager to get inside and publishers eager to begin releasing news into the wild. So let’s see if we can’t herd some of those announcements together. Here’s a round-up from today:
• DC Comics Co-Publisher and artist extraordinaire Jim Lee will team with Batman scribe Scott Snyder on a new Superman title next year, just in time for the Man of Steel’s return to the silver screen. “This will play along with the other Superman books in the sense that it’s in continuity, but we really wanted to carve out our own territory,” Snyder told CBR. “This really is sort of the biggest, most epic Superman story we could do together while having our feet planted firmly in continuity and making sure that everyone had enough room.”
DC also unveiled a Kia Optima that features a Batman design by Jim Lee.
• Marvel announced three more Season One graphic novels: Iron Man, written by Howard Chaykin with art by Gerard Parel; Thor by writer Matthew Sturges and artist Pepe Larraz; and Wolverine, written by the team of Ben Blacker and Ben Acker, with art by Salva Espin. Also, Cullen Bunn returns to Deadpool with Deadpool Killustrated, a miniseries that pits the Merc with a Mouth against Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes, Beowulf, Don Quixote and more. Spoiler alert: he’s gonna kill them.
Legendary Comics announced today at New York Comic Con that it will publish a graphic-novel prequel to Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming giant-monster epic Pacific Rim as well as sci-fi miniseries written by Grant Morrison.
Produced by corporate sibling Legendary Pictures, Pacific Rim centers on monstrous creatures known as Kaiju that rise from the sea to consume Earth’s resources, and the massive piloted robots called Jaegers that are constructed to save humanity from destruction.
The graphic novel, which will be released before the film’s July 12 debut, is written by Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham and delves into the early days of the Kaiju attacks and how mankind reacts to the realization that these aren’t isolated incidents but rather a full-fledged invasion.
Del Toro tells Hero Complex that the book won’t simply have his name slapped on the cover. “I try to get involved as much as possible,” he said. “The first decision that is needed from me is to hire the right artist, the right colorist, the right writer for the books. That’s the part that I think is most important. It’s like directing in the comics. … In Pacific Rim, I expect to approve the layout, the pencils, the inking, the coloring, the cover, the script … everything.”
Morrison describes his project, Annihilator, to Heat Vision as “my big L.A. story. It’s a devil’s deal story, it’s a science fiction story, it’s a horror story.”
The six-issue miniseries follows Ray Spass, a screenwriter grappling with a brain tumor, lack of inspiration, and a deadline for a sci-fi movie script about an antihero named Max Nomax who’s in a haunted prison on the edge of a black hole after loosing a battle with an artificial lifeform. But Spass’ life changes when the real Nomax appears, and it’s revealed the tumor contains information key to preventing worldwide destruction.
Legendary Comics, the relatively new publishing arm of film production company Legendary Pictures, had about as audacious a debut as was possible last fall, with its first offering being Frank Miller’s too-controversial-for-DC Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic Holy Terror, the Legendary version scrubbed of DC trademarks just enough that it could be published without risk of a lawsuit.
The company’s latest offering isn’t quite as controversial … nor is it quite as noteworthy. It is, however, the comics project one might expect from film production company: a sort of focus group-testing, balloon-floating introduction to a character and concept that could potentially be adapted into a major motion picture, something I can’t imagine anyone seriously considered doing with Miller’s beautifully told, politically wacky comic about an off-brand Batman and Catwoman fighting terrorists.
If the very thought of a comic book series as film R&D turns you off (believe me, I understand!), then it’s worth noting that this latest project is edited, like Holy Terror was, by Bob Schreck and created by as solid, experienced and talented a creative team as a comics fan could ask for. It’s written by Matt Wagner (yes, Grendel, Mage and Sandman Mystery Theatre‘s Matt Wagner) and penciled by Simon Bisley (the painter whose interior work you’ve seen in Slaine and Batman/Judge Dredd), here being inked and colored by Rodney Ramos and Ryan Brown.
Still not sold on The Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk Volume 1 …? Look, I don’t blame you.
Retailing | The Manchester, Connecticut, comics store Buried Under Comics will reopen with a new name, A Hero’s Journey, and a new owner, April Kenney. A friend of previous owner Brian Kozicki, who died unexpectedly last month, Kenney arranged to purchase the store from Kozicki’s family. [Patch.com]
Retailing | Toronto retailer Silver Snail has moved from its longtime location on Queen Street to Yonge Street. [CityNews]
Publishing | Brian Smith, the DC Comics associate editor publicly ridiculed by Rob Liefeld last month, has announced his departure from the company, apparently under amicable circumstances. Nonetheless, Liefeld took a parting shot on Twitter. [Blog@Newsarama]
Museums | So what is the deal with the move of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art to the Society of Illustrators? They are being “transferred and acquired,” says MoCCA President Ellen Abramowitz, although the headline on this article says “rescued.” “After the transition, the Society of Illustrators will go on to be the sole overseer and manager of the holdings. ‘It’s in excellent hands,’ said Ms. Abramowitz.” [The Wall Street Journal]
Thursday may have started a bit slow in the news department, but it sure ended with a huge bang. Here’s a roundup of announcements that hit today from Comic-Con International in San Diego:
• Neil Gaiman announced via video that he will write a new Sandman miniseries that will detail what happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1. J.H. Williams III will provide the art. “It was a story that we discussed telling for Sandman‘s 20th anniversary,” Gaiman said, “but the time got away from us. And now, with Sandman‘s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told.” The series will be published by Vertigo sometime next year.
• Legendary will also publish the Majestic Files by J. Michael Straczynski, which will feature art by Geoff Shaw and Matt Banning.
• Terry Moore will write a Strangers in Paradise prose novel to coincide with the comic’s 20th anniversary next year. He also plans to do an all-ages comic after Rachel Rising finishes in 30-40 issues.
Publishers, creators, retailers and fans rolled into Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. While the convention officially kicked off Friday, the announcements started rolling out Thursday during the Diamond Retailer Summit. After going through Kiel Phegley’s lengthy report on CBR, I’ve pulled out a few tidbits that publishers shared with attending retailers:
• Dynamite Entertainment shared that the first issue of Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell’s The Shadow, which comes out next week, will likely go to second print. Following their Vampirella and Pantha projects, they also plan to roll out more of the former Harris Publications characters they now own, and they said they plan to work again with Kevin Smith in the future, who they’ve worked with on Bionic Man and Green Hornet.
• Dark Horse Comics announced two Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff miniseries; one featuring Spike and one featuring Willow (Editor Scott Allie spoke more about them with CBR). In addition, legendary artist Russ Heath will draw some pages in an upcoming issue of Buffy. Dark Horse will launch a new Dragon Age series in August, following the online miniseries that’s been running on Dark Horse Digital. They also confirmed that Becky Cloonan will return to Conan after James Harren’s three issues, and they announced Ex Sanguine, a five-issue miniseries by Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons. Finally, The Goon will go monthly with issue #40.
This weekend Legendary Comics announced that Steve Niles and Mike Kaluta are working on a new graphic novel for the publisher, an adaptation of John Milton’s 17th-century poem Paradise Lost. The poem tells the Biblical story of Satan tempting Adam and Eve, and how the couple is eventually cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Now, over on the publisher’s website, they’ve revealed the first piece of artwork for the new book. No word on when it will appear. “It’ll be a while,” Kaluta said at the panel. “It’ll take more than seven days.
Saturday at the New York Comic Con brought news for the Avengers, Superman, Legendary Comics and … Disney’s Prep & Landing? Here’s a round-up of announcements from the show today.
• With a big, blockbuster Avengers movie scheduled for next May, Marvel announced a new ongoing series, Avengers Assemble, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley. The book will launch next March and will feature most of the Avengers featured in the movie — Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk. The first arc will feature the villainous group the Zodiac.
• Marvel also announced that writer Rick Remender and artist Gabriel Hardman will take over Secret Avengers with issue #21.1, adding new members and pitting them against a new Masters of Evil.
• At the Cup O’ Joe panel today, Marvel also announced a Disney/Marvel crossover — Prep & Landing: Mansion: Impossible. It features the elves from the Disney television special who prepare homes for the arrival of Santa Claus every Christmas eve — only this time they’re trying to break into Avengers Mansion to get it ready for Santa. Written by director Kevin Deters and drawn by story artist Joe Mateo, the story will run in the back of the Marvel Adventures books as well as Avengers #19 in November.
Legendary Entertainment has premiered the poster and print ad for Holy Terror, the long-awaited graphic novel by Frank Miller.
The revenge tale, set for release in September, follows The Fixer, a “Dirty Hairy”-style hero who takes the fight to al Qaeda after his city is target by terrorists. Initially, and famously, conceived as a Batman story, Holy Terror is described as “a no-holds-barred action thriller told in Miller’s trademark high-contrast, black-and-white visual style, which seizes the political zeitgeist by the throat and doesn’t let go until the last page.”
See the full poster below. And don’t miss the five-page preview of Holy Terror released last month.
Three down, one to go … here’s a list of the major comics-related announcements made at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Saturday:
• A number of new projects were announced or promoted at Image’s Creator-Owned Comics panel, not the least of which is the return of Brian K. Vaughan to comic books. Vaughan will write a book called Saga, which is co-created and drawn by Fiona Staples. Vaughan told CBR that the book is “an epic drama chronicling the life and times of one young family fighting to survive a never-ending war. 100 percent creator-owned. Ongoing. Monthly. Fiona and I are banking issues now.”
• Image also announced that Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is collaborating with Charlie Adlard on a new series of graphic novels called Album. The books will be released roughly 18 months apart, 60 pages long, with different themes each year, with the first being Passenger. It’s co-published with Delcourt in France and will be available simultaneously in English and France.
• Jonathan Hickman and Nicky Pitarra will team up for The Manhattan Projects at Image. Hickman is also doing a book called Secret with artist Ryan Godenheim.
Legendary Comics announced at its panel this afternoon at Comic-Con International that it will publish new projects from Paul Pope and Matt Wagner.
Set for release this holiday season, PulpHope is a more than 200-page retrospective of Pope’s career, featuring many pieces that haven’t been seen before. A previous edition was published in 2007 by AdHouse Books.
The Tower Chronicles, developed by Wagner with Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, is a supernatural action-adventure about a bounty hunter with a hidden past who, backed by a team of high-tech mercenaries, protects civilians from the things that go bump in the night.
“We are thrilled to be working with Pope and Wagner on these upcoming projects for Legendary Comics,” Editor-in-Chief Bob Schreck said in a statement. “Just as our film division works with the best-in-class talent and filmmakers to produce content for the fandom demographic, so too will Legendary Comics move forward on our mandate to publish works from the best in A the industry.”
Legendary also will release Frank Miller’s Holy Terror in September.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter reports that Simon Bisley will provide artwork for the Tower Chronicles. They also provide additional details on the PulpHope book, calling it “a revamped version of the artist’s out-of-print art book titled PulpHope, stripping away 100 pages and throwing in 100 new ones incorporating work Pope has done in the music, toy and clothing spheres, as well as other material.”
Legendary Comics, the comic-publishing arm of Legendary Pictures, has revealed a new trailer for Frank Miller’s upcoming graphic novel Holy Terror. The project began as a “Batman vs. al-Qaeda” book for DC Comics before Miller eliminated Batman from it in favor of a new character called The Fixer, who you can see in action in the trailer.
The book will be published this September to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The trailer was revealed by Legendary as the “first of four locks” being opened, and they ask fans to help open additional locks by sharing content on Facebook and Twitter. “This was the first of four locks that will reveal exclusive content throughout the weekend, so be sure to check back regularly. Remember, the more you spread the word, the faster each reveal will be released!”