Publishing | This may seem a little inside-baseball, but it’s actually pretty significant: Dark Horse will switch from Diamond Book Distributors to Random House for book-market distribution, effective June 1, 2014. The publisher is sticking with Diamond for comics, but a lot of its line has appeal outside the direct market — the Avatar graphic novels, the Zelda guide — and Dark Horse wants to expand its presence in bookstores. This also makes for an interesting consolidation of manga distribution, as Random House also distributes Kodansha Comics (with which it has a strong business relationship) and Vertical books. [ICv2]
Comics | Superheroes may rule on television and in film, but comics continue to be a niche medium. The Associated Press reporter Melissa Rayworth talks to a comic-shop owner whose customers skulk in on the down low, an opera singer whose friends are surprised she reads comics, and Comics Alliance writer Chris Sims, who does a good job of putting things in perspective. [ABC]
Warner Bros. Television and TV Guide have teamed for the fourth consecutive year to produce a Comic-Con International special edition of the magazine, this time with a set of four flip covers that include Andy Kubert’s renditions of Superman and Batman.
The 88-page issue, which also boasts covers featuring The CW series Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and its new spinoff The Originals, and Supernatural, includes an overview of the 75-year history of the Man of Steel, an exclusive Arrow comic from DC Comics and the show’s executive producer Marc Guggenheim, a sneak peek at the DC Universe Original Animated Movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and a look at Warner Bros. Animation series MAD, The Looney Tunes Show, Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman.
The special edition, which goes on sale July 17, will be available for free during Comic-Con at the Warner Bros. booth (#4545). You can see all of the covers below.
Marc Guggenheim’s name may not have been listed in DC’s September solicitations, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping busy in the comics world. Deadline.com reports today that Liquid Comics will publish Nowhere Man, written by the Green Lantern movie scribe, this fall.
Announced in 2008, Nowhere Man is ““Sci Fi odyssey set in a groundbreaking vision of the future in which mankind has traded privacy for safety,” according to the description released by its original publisher, Virgin Comics, back then (Liquid Comics was formed in the wake of Virgin Comics’ demise). Deadline.com adds, “The story takes place 500 years in the future, where an oppressive government monitors the population, down to its thoughts. Everyone on Earth has been infected with a nano-tech virus that makes computerized thought analysis possible. A group of rebels combat this by generating a genetically altered child born immune to the virus. He grows up to become the Nowhere Man, mankind’s best chance to topple the invasive regime.”
Initially actor Hugh Jackman was involved with the comic, but Deadline makes no mention of him in the announcement. The comic comes out in November.
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
Comics, film and television writer Marc Guggenheim has partnered with producer Alisa Tager to launch Collider Entertainment, a company designed to created properties for comics that will then be developed for other media.
Deadline reports Collider will debut with two titles released through a deal with Image Comics: Utopian, penned by Guggenheim and his screenwriter wife Tara Butters (Dollhouse, Reaper), and The Mission, by screenwriters Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber (Red, Whiteout).
Debuting in November, Utopian is a five-issue miniseries set in a world where superheroes are made obsolete after war, famine and crime disappear. One hero seeks to discover the cause of the new utopia, but his efforts to return the world to its previous state are opposed by his colleagues. The art is by Ryan Bodenheim and Mark Englert.
The Mission, meanwhile, is described as a supernatural thriller about a man who apparently receives orders from the archangel Gabriel to commit murders.
Best known to comics fans for his work on titles like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Flash, War of the Superman and Resurrection, Guggenheim is the co-writer of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Green Lantern movie, and a consulting producer for NBC’s No Ordinary Family. Tager was executive producer of Enemy at the Gates and Serenity.
Related: Comic Book Resources talks with Guggenheim, Tager and Erich Hoeber about Collider.
Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever is the upcoming Warner Bros. action movie written by frequent comics scribe Marc Guggenheim and starring artist/inventor/genius Leonardo Da Vinci as a prototypical action hero in the Indiana Jones/James Bond/Batman mode. Perhaps you noticed Jeffrey Renaud’s interview with Guggenheim on the topic for our sister blog Spinoff Online … and perhaps you noticed the similarity of the idea (cooked up by Hitman producer Adrian Askarieh) to that of Jonathan Hickman’s new Marvel comic S.H.I.E.L.D., which features Leonardo and several other real-world and Marvel-Universe geniuses as members of a secret society dedicated to saving the world.
Well, you’re not alone: Jonathan Hickman noticed it, too. In a tweet directed at fellow Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, Hickman linked to the Guggenheim interview and wrote “This … is going to be AWESOME! ” Bendis replied, “i know, right? where do they come up with ideas like that?”
Now, there are enough winky emoticons and tongue-in-cheek phrases in there to mitigate against any perceived outrage over the similarity between the projects on the part of Hickman or Bendis. Meanwhile, Leonardo’s the guy who gave rise to the term “Renaissance man,” for pete’s sake — it’s hardly as though his astonishing, evocative talents have gone unnoticed by the world’s writers of fantastic fiction prior to the release of S.H.I.E.L.D., as anyone who’s read The Da Vinci Code can tell you. Still, it’s funny how, for the moment at least, everything’s coming up Vitruvian.
Today’s edition of Shelf Porn is another special celebrity edition, as Marc Guggenheim, writer of Amazing Spider-Man, Resurrection and many other comics titles (and who has also worked on a few television shows and movies, including the upcoming Green Lantern film), gives us a tour of his home office — complete with spinner rack, action figures and much more.
Remember, if you’d like to see your shelves featured here, just send your write-up and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. And now here’s Marc …
DC Comics announced that Last Stand on New Krypton artist Pete Woods will join writer Marc Guggenheim on Action Comics in June, providing interior art for DC’s longest-running title. And they’ll be joined by cover artist David Finch, who began working at DC exclusively earlier this year (he drew the Lex Luthor you see to the right).
“I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Marc on Action Comics,” Woods told DC’s The Source blog. “I also feel incredibly blessed to have David Finch doing covers — I have been a fan for years. Marc and I have some fun plans for this book and intend for it to live up to it’s name!”
Guggenheim spoke about his upcoming work on the book with Comic Book Resources back in December, where he discussed the challenge of writing a character who theoretically could get out of any situation.
“It’s funny. I’ve actually given a lot of thought precisely to that problem,” Guggenheim said. “In part, one of the things I want to do is introduce some villains that Superman could be defeated by. The truth is, his powers are not infinite — he has weaknesses and he has limitations to his powers. Truth be told, I could come up with a cosmic character that could just squash him like a bug. But the bigger challenge is, if I were to tell that kind of story, convincing the reader that there is some legitimate danger. Just because it’s Superman, it means I’m not going to squash him like a bug. Even if I did a whole arc where Superman lost his powers, I think people would be kind of hip to the idea that Superman is probably going to come out of this OK. They’re not going to let me destroy a multi-million dollar property.”
Marvel announced yesterday that they will adapt Stephen King’s N., a short story that appeared in the author’s latest collection, Just After Sunset, into a four-issue mini-series.
The story also appeared online as a motion comic last year, which was co-produced by Marvel. Writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Alex Maleev will turn the story of “something terrifying hidden in Ackerman’s Field” into a comic.
“It’s absolutely thrilling for Marvel to be working on ‘N.’ again and having the honor to publish it as a comic book miniseries,” said said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel senior vice president of development & planning, print, animation and digital media. “Both as a fan of the story and a producer on the ‘N.’ motion comic, I am absolutely psyched for the terrifying ride that Marc, Alex, and the editors have planned for readers!”